|Thursday, 22 October 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-07-13
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PAPANDREOU SENT A CONGRATULATORY LETTER TO THE NEW TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTERAthens, 13 July 2002 (12:14 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou sent a congratulatory letter to new Turkish Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel, who took over his duties yesterday. Mr. Papandreou expressed the hope that the improvement in bilateral relations will continue based on the initiatives already undertaken.
Mr. Papandreou stated from the Aegean island of Samos that he had a telephone communication with Mr. Gurel and agreed to meet as soon as possible to continue the cooperation between the two countries. Mr. Papandreou also said that he had a communication with Turkish former Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and discussed the latest developments in the neighboring country.
 KAKLAMANIS MET WITH THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRIME MINISTER OF YUGOSLAVIABelgrade, 13 July 2002 (11:18 UTC+2)
Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis expressed satisfaction for the talks he had during his two-day visit to Belgrade and the progress made in the consolidation of democratic institutions in Yugoslavia. The statements were made after the meeting he had yesterday with Federal Republic of Yugoslavia President Voislav Kostunica.
Mr. Kaklamanis stressed the need for the immediate materialization of the economic reconstruction plan for the Balkans which provides for 350 million Euro for Serbia and a significant part for Montenegro for the road axis number 10 to be completed by 2004. This road axis will be used to facilitate the arrival to Greece, via Yugoslavia, of the central European and Balkan athletes and sports fans on the occasion of the Olympic Games.
Yugoslav President Kostunica thanked Mr. Kaklamanis for the support offered by Greece to his country and characterized as a monument of the Greek-Yugoslav friendship the two halls in the Yugoslav Federal Parliament which were rebuilt with the financial contribution of the Greek Parliament. He also said that friendship will play a significant role for peace and stability in the Balkans.
In the meeting he had earlier with Yugoslav Prime Minister Dragisa Pesic, the Greek Parliament President expressed Greece's firm positions according to which, there should be no changes in the existing Balkan borders, minority rights must be respected and the development course of the region should be promoted.
Mr. Pesic underlined that the main goals of his government are the materialization of the preconditions for Yugoslavia's accession into the Council of Europe and the promotion of the Stability Pact, stressing that Yugoslavia counts on Greece's assistance.
 TERRORISM - IN SEARCH OF THE "KEY MAN"Athens, 13 July 2002 (18:55 UTC+2)
45-year-old Dimitris Koufontinas is turning into the key man of the counter-terrorism department's investigations. He seems to be the individual that rented the hideout in Pagrati, and is the husband of Aggeliki Sotirakopoulou. His real name has not officially been revealed, while recently he went by the name Dimitris Labropoulos.
The investigations of the authorities point to Koufontinas being one of the main members of the November 17 terrorism group, a link to the chief of the organization, who participated in many assassinations from 1988 onwards.
Meanwhile Savvas Xiros was taken back to the Evaggelismos hospital at 16:30, after undergoing surgery on his eyes this morning at the General State Hospital.
The plan for Xiros' transfer was put into effect in the afternoon, and took just over 4 minutes. The security measures taken by the Counter-Terrorism Service during his transfer were unprecedented, while the Evaggelismos was transformed into a fortress.
The 40-year-old bomber was underwent delicate surgery on his eyes. He was admitted to surgery at 10:45, while Professor of ophthalmology G. Theodosiadis had informed his parents and his brother beforehand.
The operation was considered a success and all foreign bodies were removed from his right eye cavity, and the doctors expressed their optimism. There are still some problems with his left eye which may require further surgery.
Savvas Xiros is expected to give a supplementary statement to the District Attorney tomorrow in order for more information to be given on the structure of the organization. Within the next few days an arrest warrant will be issued for Xiros by the DA.
At the same time, the forensics labs are working night and day collecting information from the evidence and the hard drives of the computers found in the two hideouts in Kato Patisia and in Pagrati.
 ABOUT 100 BILLION DRACHMAS REMAIN HIDDEN IN GREEK CHESTSAthens, 13 July 2002 (12:36 UTC+2)
About 100 billion drachmas remain hidden in chests or under mattresses in Greece as according to data provided by the Bank of Greece, a 97% of the 2.9 trillion drachmas in circulation until December 31, 2001 has been withdrawn.
Therefore, the Greeks have not exchanged with Euro the remaining 3% that correspond to about 100 billion drachmas. For the record, 65 billion drachmas of the total currency circulation in Greece were in coins.
 A 25% OF MEN WAGE-EARNERS WORK ON SATURDAYSAthens, 13 July 2002 (12:26 UTC+2)
A 25% of the Greek men wage-earners work on Saturdays when the EU average is at 21.3%. Greece has one of the highest percentages among the 15 regarding work on Saturdays and one of the lowest on Sundays.
According to figures provided by the European Statistics Agency, Eurostat, the sector employing more people on Saturdays is that of hotels and restaurants (92%), as well as the sectors of agriculture and fisheries (women 90% and men 73%) and the health sector (women 57% and men 67%).
 XIROS TESTIFIED BEFORE THE RESPONSIBLE PROSECUTORAthens, 13 July 2002 (12:05 UTC+2)
According to judicial sources, prosecutor Ioannis Diotis has completed the examination of 40yearold Savvas Xiros. Regardless of the legal character of the specific testimony the brief will be forwarded to the Athens prosecutor's office possibly on Monday.
Xiros allegedly has admitted his participation in the terrorist organization 17 November revealing, at the same time, evidence that will offer significant assistance to the investigations aimed at breaking up the terrorist organization.
 SAVVAS XIROS IS IN SURGERYAthens, 13 July 2002 (11:39 UTC+2)
Savvas Xiros was admitted to surgery as soon as he arrived at the Athens General Hospital after the completion of the gigantic transfer operation from Evangelismos Hospital. According to Athens General Hospital President Alexandros Holevas, Xiros undergoes an eye surgery. For the record, Xiros was injured on Saturday, June 29 when a time-bomb exploded in hands in the Port of Piraeus.
After the surgery is completed a medical bulletin will be issued by the Athens General Hospital.
In the statements made by Mr. Holevas there was no reference made to the likelihood of Savvas Xiros' return to Evangelismos Hospital where he was taken when he was injured.
 INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUE TO LOCATE THE PERSON WHO RENTED THE 17N HIDEOUT IN PANGRATIAthens, 13 July 2002 (11:10 UTC+2)
Investigations continue for the arrest of the person who rented the terrorist organization 17 November hideout at 73 Damareos Street in Pangrati and is regarded one of the high ranking members of the terrorist organization.
According to police information, the specific individual goes by the name Dimitris Koufodinas, alias Dimitris Lambropoulos. He is allegedly the partner of Savvas Xiros' ex-wife.
Other information mentions that he was the liaison between the members of the organization and its leaders, while according to others he was the organization's treasurer.