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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 12-08-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Israeli President due in Athens on state visit on Monday
  • [02] Foreign national illegally residing in Greece confesses to assault of teen girl on Paros after arrest
  • [03] Police sweep operation in central Athens
  • [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines on Sunday
  • [05] FinMin, Troika, agree 'substantial percentage' of measures

  • [01] Israeli President due in Athens on state visit on Monday

    AMNA/ Israeli President Shimon Peres arrives in Athens on Monday for a state visit at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Karolos Papoulias.

    During his official visit to Greece, Peres will have meetings with the state and political leadership, while on Wednesday he will go to the island of Hydra with Papoulias, before departing for Israel on Thursday morning.

    Peres will be met at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Presidential Mansion in an official ceremony, and afterwards will have a private meeting with President Papoulias before being joined by the Greek and Israeli delegations for a broader discussion.

    The two Presidents will make joint statements to the press at noon.

    At 14:00 Peres will have a private meeting with Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras, followed by a working lunch.

    On Monday afternoon Peres will have separate meetings with main opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, before attending an official dinner in his honor hosted by Papoulias.

    On Tuesday Peres will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in central Syntagma Square. He will then meet with parliament president Evangelos Meimarakis and be presented with the Gold Medal of the Hellenic Parliament.

    Peres will also meet with members of the Jewish community in Athens and visit the New Acropolis Museum, where a lunch will be hosted by culture minister Constantine Arvanitopoulos.

    The two Presidents leave for Hydra on Wednesday morning, accompanied by their official delegations, and return to Athens that same night.

    Peres will depart Athens for Israel on Thursday morning.

    [02] Foreign national illegally residing in Greece confesses to assault of teen girl on Paros after arrest

    AMNA/ A 21-year-old Pakistani national illegally residing in Greece that was arrested early Saturday by Athens security police for the sexual assault of a 15-year-old girl found seriously injured on July 23 on a beach on the island of Paros, has confessed to the crime, police announced on Saturday night.

    The Pakistani was initially taken in for questioning early Saturday as a suspect, as the results of laboratory examinations were awaited, and officially arrested after DNA tests positively identified him as the perpetrator.

    A 15-year-old Greek girl was found seriously injured on July 23 at a beach on the popular island of Paros, one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean.

    The girl, her mother and her sister were staying at the home of friends for a brief vacation, and after an afternoon swim at the Chryssi Akti beach the mother lost sight of the girl and searched her out, eventually finding the teen unconscious and injured behind an outcropping of rocks. The girl bore several wound to the head and face, while the lower part of her bathing suit was missing. Subsequent tests confirmed that the girl had been raped.

    The girl was initially taken to the Paros Health Centre but due to the gravity of her injuries was transferred by helicopter, still unconscious, to the Attiko Hospital in Athens, where she underwent surgery after sustaining serious head injuries.

    Genetic material belonging to an unidentified male was later detected on the clothing and body of the teen girl, as well as genetic material under her fingernails, indicating that she had fought with her assailant and bringing police to believe that the girl was sexually assaulted.

    The investigation spread to Athens after a young foreign male was reported as suddenly leaving the island on a ferry to Athens after the attack.

    The teenager is still being treated at Attiko Hospital, in the intensive care unit, where she is reported in critical condition.

    The suspect worked as a gardener at a Paros hotel near the spot where the girl was assaulted. The man was tracked down through his cell phone and was found in an apartment in Nea Halkidona.

    On Saturday night, ELAS (Greek Police) press spokesman Christos Manouras announced that the Greek Police, after a methodical and systematic investigation, has solved the case of the serous assault of a 15-year-old girl on the island of Paros".

    "The perpetrator is a 21-year-old foreign national, a citizen of Pakistan, who is in the hands of the police," Manouras said.

    He gave a detailed account of the case, including an investigation into all individuals who had departed the island in the days following the attack for various reasons, including three Pakistanis who were traced to an apartment in Nea Halkidona and taken to Attica Security Police headquarters, where one of them, the 21-year-old, confessed to the crime and described the assault in detail.

    Manouras said a DNA sample was taken from the 21-year-old and a DNA laboratory test positively identified him as the perpetrator, matching the samples taken from the victim. The 21-year-old will appear before the local prosecutor headquartered on Syros.

    The police spokesman further said that the alleged perpetrator was illegally residing in Greece, as were his two Pakistani apartment-mates, who would also be taken before a Syros prosecutor.

    [03] Police sweep operation in central Athens

    AMNA/ More than 1,100 non-legal immigrants were arrested and another 4,900 brought in for questioning by police on Saturday in the context of a sweep operation code-named "Xenios Zeus" in the wider Athens area, the Attica Police General Directorate (GADA) announced on Sunday.

    Some 4,900 illegal aliens were brought in for questioning and 1,130 were arrested on Saturday during the sweep operation, which was launched on Friday in a clampdown on illegal migration.

    The 1,130 were arrested for not meeting the legal conditions for residency in Greece, while 52 house searches were also conducted in the presence of prosecution functionaries.

    A police announcement said that the police checks would continue daily.

    Indeed, the operation was continuing in central Athens on Monday in the environs of Omonoia Square, Monastiraki, Vathys Square and the Pedion tou Areos park vicinity.

    Public Order and Citizens' Protection minister Nikos Dendias told a press conference on Saturday that "today is a good day for the Greek Police, regarding both the smooth development of the major 'Xenios Zeus' operation and the success in solving the hideous crime on Paros".

    He said that the living conditions of the illegal immigrants in the Athens center were a shame for civilization and for each and every person, noting that entire areas of Athens have been turned into a no-man's land rife with drug trafficking, prostitution, smuggling, theft, serious injuries, murders, and all other types of delinquent behavior.

    Dendias stressed that even what was once known as the noted "Athenian Trilogy" -- the area encompassing the famed Athens University, Athens Academy and Athens University Library buildings in downtown Athens -- has been turned into a "supermarket" for narcotics, while the environs of Omonoia Square, the 'crossroads' of the Greek capital, has become a center of lawlessness.

    The picture of the city centre creates fear and shame to the residents and abhorrence to the visitors and tourists, Dendias said, adding that the government, and he personally, could not shut their eyes to his and not act. Therefore, at prime minister Antonis Samaras' orders, the 'Xenios Zeus' operation was launched earlier in the week, the minister said.

    The purpose of the operation is to restore human dignity to the immigrants. "There is no racial criterion, we do not care about the color, nationality or religion of the illegal immigrants. Our only criterion is the observance of legality with absolute respect to the human rights and the European acquis," Dendias said.

    He added the operation to "take back" Athens and restore legality will continue, and legality in these areas was "coming to stay" and gradually expand. "We will not allow things to return to the previous chaotic and unacceptable condition".

    Dendias also said that beginning Monday, there will be a parallel operation by the financial crimes police to check the legality of the operation of shops, full checks on the issue of receipts, and a clampdown on imitation products.


    [04] Athens Newspaper Headlines on Sunday

    AMNA/ Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The changes to salaries, pensions and one-off retirement benefit, the cutbacks in state health spending and mergers in the banking sector were the main front-page items in Athens' newspapers on Sunday.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "What is to be done with pensions, one-off retirement benefit, benefits and retirement ages".

    AVGHI: "Sell-off with double the cost".

    AVRIANI: "10 million euros in account abroad of top-ranking ATEbank official".

    DIMOKRATIA: "By how much the pensions will be reduced".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "The co-governance will not survive past winter".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Offsetting of state's-businesses' debts".

    ESTIA: "The cutbacks in the state expenditures".

    ETHNOS: "68,000 businesses have shut down".

    IMERISSIA: "Full-speed ahead towards 4 banks".

    KATHIMERINI: "Race against time to find the 11.6 billion euros".

    LOGOS: "EFSF intervention in crisis".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Spain knocking on bailout mechanism's door".

    NIKI: "Where the 'smart' deposits find refuge".

    PRESS TIME: "The worst are coming - Provocative confession by minister Lykourentzos on health system".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Privatization of ATEbank a blow to working farmers".

    STO KARFI: "Don't let PASOK's flame go out - Olymp

    TA NEA: "End to free healthcare".

    VRADYNI: "Upsets in pensions, benefits, and knife to special salary scales". ic truce sought urgently".

    [05] FinMin, Troika, agree 'substantial percentage' of measures

    AMNA/ The Greek finance ministry and the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Troika representing the country's lenders have agreed on a substantial percentage of the policies of a package of measures for cutting state spending by 11.5 billion euros in the next two years (2013-2014), ministry sources said on Sunday after a meeting between finance minister Yannis Stournaras and the Troika.

    The sources, who were also in attendance at the talks, said the meeting took place in a positive climate.

    They said that the discussions with the Troika will continue and at by the end of the coming week, in collaboration with the government's economic staff, some of the so-called 'equivalent measures' proposed by the Greek side for inclusion in the 2012 budget and the 11.5 billion package will be finalized.

    In all instances, the ministry sources said that everything will have been finalized in early September, ahead of the scheduled Eurogroup meeting.

    Following the conclusion of Sunday's meeting, The Troika will leave Athens, to return in early September to conclude the negotiations.

    Ministry sources said after the meeting with the Troika that the procedure for closing the 2012 budget is progressing, and within the coming week it will be decided what will be implemented and how, and also which fiscal equivalent measures are acceptable.

    As for the measures for 2013-2014, the sources said that over the past 10 days, the ministries have worked methodically with the technical teams of the Troika, "and so we have today very good percentage" of the 11.5 billion euro measures. "We have agreed - and this is important - on a series of policies," the sources said, adding that some new proposals will be forwarded to the Troika at the end of the week.

    "This process must be completed by early September, so that we will be ready for the Eurogroup, the budget and everything else that is outstanding. Therefore, the process is going well, it is progressing systematically. I believe that the same climate exists on the side of the partners, too," one member of the economic staff told AMNA, and clarified that there is no problem with the issue of the pending tranche of the bailout loan.

    "What Mr. Juncker (Eurogroup president Jean-Claude) said, that a solution will be found, stands," he said.

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