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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-06-30

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM meets with Niarchos Foundation chairman
  • [02] 2 former PASOK treasurers testify in Siemens investigation
  • [03] Sioufas honored in Cyprus

  • [01] PM meets with Niarchos Foundation chairman

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis was currently in a meeting on Tuesday with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

    Afterwards, the prime minister was also scheduled to meet with Commission vice president Jacques Barrot, who is responsible for justice, freedom and security issues.

    In the morning, premier Karamanlis had a meeting with the chairman of the board of directors of the Stavros Niarchos Public Benefit Foundation, Andreas Drakopoulos.

    No statements were made after the meeting.

    Caption: Prime minister Costas Karamanlis (L) with European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso. (ANA-MPA)

    [02] 2 former PASOK treasurers testify in Siemens investigation

    Two former treasurers for main opposition PASOK party testified on Tuesday before a special judicial magistrate in Athens in the ongoing and high-profile Siemens kickbacks and bribery case.

    Spyros Avgerinos and Dimitra Papachristou were questioned ahead of Wednesday's expected testimony by former PASOK MP and high-ranking aide Theodoros Tsoukatos, who has claimed that he received a one-million Deutschmark "campaign contribution" by Siemens Hellas -- a major public sector contractor for the Greek state -- in late 1999, which he subsequently handed over to the then ruling party's officials.

    However, PASOK leader George Papandreou and other current party officials have adamantly denied Tsoukatos' claim.

    In exiting the Athens first instance courts complex, both Avgerinos and Papachristou repeated earlier statements, namely that Tsoukatos regularly handed over donations to the party, therefore, they cannot know if the sum in question was deposited into PASOK's coffers and in what form.

    In a related development, the chief magistrate assigned to the case, Nikos Zagorianos, and the appellate prosecutor responsible for extradition matters, Evangelos Pantioras, are expected to travel to Germany to meet with German judicial authorities in Munich regarding Greek justice's extradition request for fugitive Mihalis Christoforakos, a one-time Siemens Hellas CEO who was recently arrested in Germany on an international arrest warrant issued by Greece.

    [03] Sioufas honored in Cyprus

    Greek parliament president Dimitris Sioufas was declared an honorary citizen of the occupied town of Morphou on Cyprus at a ceremony on Tuesday morning, during which he was presented with the Gold Key to the town.

    Receiving the key from Morphou mayor Haralambos Pittas, Greece's parliament president said that, from his school years "when we were rallying for Cyprus, for its just rights, I felt I was a Cypriot".

    "Today, you give me the opportunity to state myself as being a citizen of the martyrous town of Morphou, which I cannot freely visit, because it is behind the lines that divide Cyprus in two," Sioufas said in an emotional statement, adding that the honor presented to him embraces all the members of the Hellenic Parliament in their entirety.

    The town of Morphou, but not only Morphou, reflects the deeper dimension of the Cyprus issue, from the Turkish invasion in 1974 and the ongoing, since then, occupation of the northern part of the island republic, Sioufas said, adding that occupied Morphou is a symbol of the resistance and endurance of the Cypriot Hellenism aimed at vindication and the reunifcation of the island, and reaffirming the Greek parliament's support to the Cypriot people for the resolution of Cyprus' political problem.

    "We support your struggle for a just, viable and functional solution that will restore the (territorial) integrity and full sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, will be in agreement with the resolutions of the United Nations and the EU's acquis communautaire, and will restore and ensure the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Cypriot people, including the refugees' right to return to their homes and properties," Sioufas stressed.

    Mayor Pittas, addressing Sioufas, said "we are entrusting to you the key to our occupied city, the key to our hearts, which for us is the most valuable thing we have held on to in the 35 years of bitter refugeeism".

    He said that in the person of the president of the Hellenic Parliament is embodied the firm determination of the Greek Nation to fight strongly and selflessly until the day of vindication and freedom.

    Present at the ceremony were Cyprus House of Representatives (parliament) president Marios Garoyian, Greece's ambassador to Cyprus Vassilies Papaioannou, Cypriot MPs, and the commander of the Greek Force on Cyprus (ELDYK) colonel George Thalassinos, among others.

    Sioufas, heading a Greek delegation, arrived in Cyprus on Monday afternoon on a three-day official visit, where he was received by Garoyian upon arrival at Larnaka Airport.


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