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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-02

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] US official's talks in Athens
  • [02] New Metro station opens
  • [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] US official's talks in Athens

    Visiting US new Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Ambassador Tina Kaidanow, had separate meetings in Athens on Wednesday with foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis and deputy minister Yannis Valynakis, at the US diplomat's request.

    Kaidanow paid a protocol visit to foreign minister Bakoyannis, and no statements were made after the meeting.

    During his meeting earlier with Kaidanow, Valynakis was critical of Turkey's behavior in the Aegean, warning that Ankara's provocations will not be without consequence.

    Recently, efforts have been made by "certain quarters" to create tension in the region, Valynakis said in statements after the meeting and, citing the Greek adage that "good accounts make for good friends", warned that "when the account is inflated by violations (of Greek national airspace), overflights (of Greek islands in the Aegean) and buzzings, it is only natural that all those cannot be left without consequence".

    "It is self-evident that the principles and values of the EU must be respected in our region, that active application of the principles of good neighborhood is required, and it is only on the basis of these principles that we can move forward," Valynakis explained.

    The talks with Kaidanow, who recently succeeded Matthew Bryza to the post, focused on Greek-US bilateral relations, developments in the region of SE Europe, the Cyprus issue and international developments.

    "We had the opportunity to discuss bilateral relations between Greek and the US, this strategic relationship, which is at an excellent level in the economic, political and military sectors," Valynakis said, and noted the role of the Greek community in the US as a "bridge in the relations between the two peoples".

    Valynakis further briefed Kaidanow on Greece's positions on issues concerning the region, reiterating that Greece "supports the European prospect of the Western Balkans and Turkey, on condition that those countries respect and abide by the specific criteria and prerequisites set out by the EU".

    "Only full compliance will lead to their full accession to the EU," he stressed.

    On the Cyprus issue, Valinakis stressed that Turkey has assumed specific commitments to the EU regarding Cyprus "which Ankara must fulfill", adding that a Cyprus solution can only be one founded on the UN resolutions and the principles and values of the EU, and one freely arising from dialogue between the two sides.

    [02] New Metro station opens

    The Athens Metro Line 3 (blue line) section from the Defense Ministry station to the Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (AIA) reopened to the public on Wednesday, after being closed since mid-February for the construction of three new stations along the route, while environment, town planning and public works minister George Souflias inaugurated the first of the three new stations at the Mint (Nomismatokopeio Station).

    Souflias said that the Nomismatokopeio station will serve an estimated 30,000 commuters daily, while the facilities also include a three-storey underground parking space with a capacity of 630 parking spots.

    He noted that the distance from the Mint to the center of Athens (Syntagma Square station) will require just 10 minutes by Metro, whereas the distance takes at least 40 minutes by car during peak hours. This, he added, was the reason why the630-car parking facility and the Metro's biggest transfer station was created on the surface area of the Nomismatokopeio station, noting that the transfer station would open to commuters in two weeks' time, at the same time as one storey of the parking facility, while the other two storeys of the underground parking facility would open to the public by the end of September.

    As for the other two new stations on the route, Souflias announced that the Holargos Station would open to commuters in December, while the Aghia Paraskevi station would be in operation early next summer.

    As for the Metro extension to the western suburbs of Athens (Metro line 2, or 'red' line), Souflias said that the new stations of Peristeri, Anthoupolis and Haidari would be ready by the end of the year, while in the coming spring four more Attica prefecture suburbs in the east-- Ilioupolis, Alimos, Argyroupolis and Elliniko), will also have Metro stations (red line extension to the east).

    Further, a tender was currently underway for extension of the Metro route from Haidari (red line) to Piraeus, with stations in Aghia Varvara, Korydallos and Nikea, and three stations in Piraeus (Maniatika, Piraeus and Municipal Theater), Souflias said, adding that six consortiums of technical companies were taking part in the tender for the project, which is budgeted at 515 million euros.

    In addition, the minister continued, another tender would be issued soon for a U-shaped Metro line comprising 20 stations and spanning 20 kilometers underground, extending from Galatsi to Maroussi, via Athens University and Pangrati.

    Souflias stressed that the ministry's overall developmental plan for the Athens Metro network envisioned a total of 200 stations spanning a track network of 220 kilometers, which will be incorporated in the new Attica basin Regulatory Plan, aiming to serve all areas of the basin in the future.

    [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Speculation that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will call early elections and reactions within ruling New Democracy (ND) dominated the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Wednesday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Eruption within ND. Everyone, ministers and MPs, except [Environment Minister George] Souflias express rage at the prospect of elections."

    APOGEVMATINI: "We need a new 'NO'. Open letter from 'Apogevmatini' to the prime minister".

    AVGHI: "Political turning point. With or without elections in October, political developments have taken their course".

    AVRIANI: "Karamanlis manifesto and bold initiatives to clear the political scene once and for all. PM to announce his decisions today".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Desperate efforts by ministers, MPs and party officials to get the idea of elections out of the prime minister's head because they believe it is a suicidal ideation".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "A date with the Oracle...Ministers and MPs playing...lotto with the elections".

    ESTIA: "ND suicide. It is inflicting political damage on itself".

    ETHNOS: "Drums of war beat in ND. Today or tomorrow it will opt for elections on 4th(?) October".

    KATHIMERINI: "Karamanlis on the verge of deciding to hold elections. Papandreou says 'no' to consensus".

    LOGOS: "The choice made today...government MPs object to early elections".

    NIKI: "Dilemma in the wreckage. Karamanlis unties the 'Gordian Knot'".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Political struggle needed for long-lasting measures for public health, the health system".

    TA NEA: "Karamanlis also hit by Siemens bombshell on the eve of elections".

    TO VIMA: "Ballot boxes and weeping. Half of ND crying and wailing. Karamanlis makes final decision for early elections".

    VRADYNI: "George's [PASOK leader George Papandreou] torpedo to markets and institutions. Papandreou's 'No' to consensus on the economy".


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