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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-09-05

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, September 5, 2002

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] THESSALONIKI TUBE AND TUNNEL ON TRACK
  • [02] MPS DISAGREE WITH SILENT CONTINUATION OF FYROM NAME AGREEMENT
  • [03] HOW GIOTOPOULOS WAS ARRESTED
  • [04] KOUFODINAS HAS SURRENDERED TO POLICE
  • [05] SAE PRESIDING BOARD MEETING
  • [06] THE TWO GREEK NATIONAL NEWS AGENCIES IN THESSALONIKI'S 67TH ITF
  • [07] THE GREEK PROGRAM FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE BALKANS
  • [08] MAJOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE 17N CASE WITH THE SURRENDER OF KOUFODINAS
  • [09] DETAILS OF KOUFODINAS' SURRENDER
  • [10] LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [11] THE GREEK FARMERS CONTINUE THEIR PROTESTS
  • [12] PROTOPAPAS ON THE MAJOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE 17N CASE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] THESSALONIKI TUBE AND TUNNEL ON TRACK During their meeting yesterday, French Ambassador Jean-Maurice Ripert told Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis that the French "Buick" company, contractor of the Thessaloniki Tube, informed him that all problems concerning the project have b een solved. The Minister pointed out the steady will of the government to construct the Tube.

    Meanwhile, seven company groups have expressed an interest within the deadline for the first phase (concerning the selection) of the tender for the "Research, Construction, Financing, Maintenance, and Utilization of the Thessaloniki Underwater Artery".

    It should be noted that the project, which has a total budget of 322 million euro, will be carried out with a Transfer Contract and the Greek public sector will contribute 58 million euro and another 14 million euro for the necessary expropriation of pro perty and archeological research and the transfer of Public Welfare Istitutions.

  • [02] MPS DISAGREE WITH SILENT CONTINUATION OF FYROM NAME AGREEMENT With a question put to Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, PASOK MPs S. Papathemelis, K. Spiriounis, and P. Kritikos, positioned themselves against silently extending the intermediate agreement between Greece and FYROM.

    These Mps appreciated that the agreement - which ends within the next few days - was "one-sided from the start for Greece, since during its seven years, the only party to continually and constantly gain something was Skopje, which have taken advantage of

    Greece's kindness and laxness, and instead of orientating themselves towards initiatives that would bring it closer to Greece, they have grown even more audacious than before".

    At the same time, the MPs are against the term "commonly accepted solution to the name" with the argument that "such a goal sounds peculiar, since the Albanian-Slavic formation of Skopje in its Slavic version, asserts historical direct descendance from A lexander the Great, and they want us to accept this scientifically ridiculous naivete, which is politically dangerous to us".

    The MPs asked to be informed on the positions of the Greek government on the issue.

  • [03] HOW GIOTOPOULOS WAS ARRESTED A mobile telephone number and a series of coincidences led the authorities to Alexandros Giotopoulos, only a few days before the discovery of the Damareos st. "November 17" hideout.

    According to today's publication of "Macedonia" newspaper, the number belongs to the Piraeus bomber, Savvas Xeros, who, two years after the murder of Brigaider Steven Saunders, was the cause for the police of the counter terrorism service to trace N17's "Lambros".

    Authorities' investigations revealed that on the morning Saunders was killed, on June 8, 2000, a suspicious call had been made to a mobile telephone: an unknown party called 0973686013 from a mobile telephone a few minutes before the attack. It was disco vered that the call was made from a short distance from the house of the British Brigadier, at the time N17's vicitm was leaving his house.

    A few hours after the attack, the police contacted all three mobile telephony companies concerning the calls made two hours prior to and two hours after the attack: There goal was, if possible, to trace possible communication between the terrorists. The investigations that followed were concentrated on a few hundred calls, through which however, they could not trace the owners of the telephones, since they used mobile card phones. Among those calls was that of Savvas Xeros and the -until then - unknown p arty.

    It should be noted that a few weeks prior to the attack on Saunders, there was a press publication, based on which "the authorities were going to carry out an investigation on telephones, in case the organization resurfaced", thus revealing the informati on to the terrorists. But, as it seems, they did not pay it the attention it deserved.

    On July 11, 2002, the police took the statement of Giannis Myssirlis, owner of two stores on Damareos st. 73 (five days earlier, the related hideout had been found). Mr. Myssirlis mentioned that one of his storerooms was directly below the organization's

    hideout. In fact, he stated that he had come into contact with its tenant (whom he recognized as Savvas Xeros from a photograph), because the waterpipes had burst, and water was dripping on to his merchandise. As he explained, Xeros had given him a mobil e telephone number (0973686013), to contact him in case of an emergency. Investigating the number, the police discovered that it was one of the numbers they had traced on the morning Saunders was killed.

    On the same day, the counter terrorism service came into contact with the telephony company to which Xeros' number belonged, and managed to find the signal transmission of Alexandros Giotopoulos' telephone: The signal came from Lipsi. After a two day inv estigation they discovered that the telephone belonged to "Michalis Economou". Through that name they reached his house in Vyronas, which was put under surveillance. Four days later (July 17) the police arrested Alexandros Giotopoulos, in simultaneous rai ds of both houses. Of course, before arresting him, therewas confirmation that Giotopoulos was a member of the organization - and essentially the leader of "November 17".

  • [04] KOUFODINAS HAS SURRENDERED TO POLICE According to information Dimitris Koufodinas, the most wanted person by the Greek Police in relation to the terrorist group "17 November", has surrendered.

    Based on the available information, Koufodinas gave himself up and is already at the Counter-terrorist Agency where he is being questioned. Earlier, his lawyer had contacted the Counter-terrorist Agency to agree on the details of his surrender.

    Dimitris Koufodinas is regarded as a basic member of "17 November" and he is accused of participation in 20 assassinations committed by the terrorist group.

  • [05] SAE PRESIDING BOARD MEETING The 3rd annual meeting of the World Council for the Greeks Abroad, SAE, Presiding Board headed by its President Andrew Athens, will take place in Thessaloniki on September 14-17.

    In the meeting an assessment will be made of the activities undertaken by SAE in the past year and its future actions with an emphasis to SAE's regional conferences that will be held by late November, the Helleniad, and the 2004 Olympic Games.

    SAE's Presiding Board will hold meetings with Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis and General Secretary Dimitris Dollis, responsible for issues concerning the Greeks abroad, as well as parliamentary committee on the Greeks living abroad p resident Grigoris Niotis.

    A press conference will be given at SAE's offices on September 16.

  • [06] THE TWO GREEK NATIONAL NEWS AGENCIES IN THESSALONIKI'S 67TH ITF The two cooperating Greek national news agencies the Athens News Agency, ANA, and the Macedonian Press Agency, MPA, will participate in Thessaloniki's 67th International Trade Fair with their own stand at pavilion 16. They will present their joint activi ties among them, the site www.elections2002 they have created on the occasion of the October 13 municipal elections, and the "Greece-EU" special bulletin in view of the Greek EU Presidency.

    The major events within the framework of the 67th ITF will be broadcast on the Internet (www.ana.gr and www.mpa.gr).

  • [07] THE GREEK PROGRAM FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE BALKANS Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Andreas Loverdos is optimistic regarding the materialization course of the Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans and expressed the belief that the first project namely, the reconstruction of the bomba rded parliament building in Sarajevo, can be underway in 2002.

    Mr. Loverdos underlined that the process for the signing of bilateral agreements with the 6 countries included in the 5-year 550 million Euro reconstruction program has been completed. He added that the goal is to create a Balkan market of 65 million peo ple.

    Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis stated, before the meeting of the Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans monitoring committee, that Thessaloniki has become the seat of Balkan institutions. He said characteristically th at 75% of the 3.000 Greek companies that are active in the Balkans are based in Thessaloniki and northern Greece.

  • [08] MAJOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE 17N CASE WITH THE SURRENDER OF KOUFODINAS A major development took place within the framework of the "17 November" terrorist group case with the surrender of Dimitris Koufodinas to police at 14:35pm today.

    According to press information, the surrender of Dimitris Koufodinas, age 44, was agreed after long negotiations between the lawyer of Angeliki Sotiropoulou, who was Koufodinas' companion, and the Counter-terrorist Agency. According to information, he ne gotiated the conditions of his surrender demanding the favorable treatment of Angeliki Sotiropoulou.

    Press reports had mentioned in the past few days that Sotiropoulou was associated with "17 November" and that her fingerprints were found in the 17N hideout at Damareos Street in Athens. At the same time, there was information that her arrest is imminent .

    Police sources point out that Angeliki Sotiropoulou was not arrested and remained at large in order to come into contact with Dimitris Koufodinas which indeed happened after the recent press information.

    The available information mentions that the house where Koufodinas was hiding in Piraeus had been located by the police in the past few days.

  • [09] DETAILS OF KOUFODINAS' SURRENDER Dimitris Koufodinas arrived at the Police Headquarters in Athens with a taxi. He surrendered and was led to the 12th floor where he is being questioned. His lawyer, Yianna Kurtovik, who is also the lawyer of his companion Angeliki Sotiropoulou, arrived a t the Police Headquarters shortly afterwards.

    Earlier, Koufodinas had called Ms. Kurtovik from Piraeus, told her that he wants to surrender and asked her to be his lawyer.

    Angeliki Sotiropoulou and Alicia Cortez, the companion of Savvas Xiros, another 17N member who is in the hands of the police, are expected to be called by the police to be questioned again.

  • [10] LOSSES IN THE ASE Significant losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.10% at 2.063,88 points, while the volume of transactions was at 83.3 million Euro.

    Of the stocks trading today, only 51 recorded gains and the overwhelming majority of 260 had losses, while the value of 64 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [11] THE GREEK FARMERS CONTINUE THEIR PROTESTS About 100 tractors of farmers from Velestino, central Greece, will remain lined up along the Volos-Larisa motorway without blocking the traffic.

    Tomorrow at noon, hundreds of farmers will arrive in Thessaloniki by bus to take part in the protest rally on Saturday, when Thessaloniki's 67th International Trade Fair will be formally opened.

    Meanwhile, the farmers from the province of Tirnavos remain at the new Larisa-Tirnavos-Elassona bridge demanding compensation for the damages suffered by their crops last winter.

  • [12] PROTOPAPAS ON THE MAJOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE 17N CASE Government spokesman Christos Protopapas characterized Dimitris Koufodinas' surrender and arrest as a major development in the efforts against terrorism.

    He stated that Koufodinas was a tough "17 November" executioner and stressed that today's development was the result of police work, as Koufodinas was left with no other choice than to give himself up.

    Referring to the rumors on Dimitris Koufodinas, Mr. Protopapas stated that today's development proved that there was no invisible hand that blocked his arrest.

    He stressed that the terrorist group "17 November" has been broken up. However, he underlined that the case of terrorism in Greece is still open and predicted that there will be more developments.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


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