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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-08-07

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

August 7, 2002


  • [01] Unemployment drops to 9.6 pct in the second quarter
  • [02] Detailed profile of 'most wanted' fugitive Koufontinas released. PM briefed by public order minister over latest N17, Kos theft developments
  • [03] 156 US congressmen request the recognition of the Jerusalem Patriarch
  • [04] Gov't asks tourism firms to keep prices down
  • [05] Kathimerini to create maritime investment company
  • [06] Mutual fund assets slip in July
  • [07] ATHOC - DEH join forces to boost Attica's power network
  • [08] President to reply to Brok's invitation after September 6
  • [09] US pleased with Cyprus' anti-terrorist struggle
  • [10] EU calls on Turkey to contribute to Cyprus solution
  • [11] Vassiliou says Cyprus to join EU even if problem unsolved
  • [12] Cyprus to take measures regarding Palestinian

  • [01] Unemployment drops to 9.6 pct in the second quarter

    Athens, 07/08/2002 (ANA)

    Unemployment fell to 9.6 percent in the second quarter of 2002 from 10.2 percent in the same period a year earlier, and 10.9 percent in the first quarter of this year, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said on Tuesday.

    The total number of jobless in the second quarter was 420,100, with unemployment among men falling to 6.2 percent from 6.7 percent in the same period of 2001; and among women to 14.6 percent from 15.4 percent, the NSS said.

    Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis told reporters that the decline in joblessness was major, but no reason for complacency.

    ''The battle against unemployment must continue,'' the minister added.

    The number of jobless youth who have never previously been employed fell by 18.7 percent in the second quarter against same-period 2001, and the long-term unemployed dropped by 4.8 percent.

    Jobless youth totalled 168,700 in the second quarter of the year, and the long-term unemployed 229,800 people.

    The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Crete (6.0 percent), the Ionian Islands (6.0 percent), and the Peloponnese (7.2 percent), the statement said.

    Finally, in the second quarter of 2002 employment rose by 0.8 percent with salaried employment up 1.9 percent.

    Part-time joblessness rose to 4.5 percent from 4.1 percent in first-quarter 2001, the NSS said.

    [02] Detailed profile of 'most wanted' fugitive Koufontinas released. PM briefed by public order minister over latest N17, Kos theft developments

    Athens, 07/08/2002 (ANA)

    Law enforcement measures, especially in light of the recent major breakthrough to eradicate the deadly "November 17" terrorist group, were at the forefront of a wide-ranging meeting on Tuesday at the Athens police headquarters.

    The meeting follows Monday's unscheduled meeting between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis, with the latter briefing the premier on developments concerning the "N17" front as well as on the investigation into the ominous theft of weaponry from a Kos military depot last week.

    Police and other law enforcement officials participating at Tuesday's meeting were each provided with a five-page brief on Greece's "most wanted fugitive", namely, suspected 'N17' operations chief and reputed top assassin Dimitris Koufontinas.

    The 44-year-old self-described beekeeper stands 1.75cm tall with a normal build. Additionally, he has a visible burn scar on the inside of his right arm, something that reportedly causes an obvious stiffness in its movement and leads him to wear mostly long-sleeved shirts, police said.

    Recent reports also portrayed the suspected N17 terrorist as clean-shaven and able to operate a motorcycle.

    Finally, he is considered armed and extremely dangerous, according to reports.

    Several photographs of Koufontinas were also issued for posting at police precincts around the country.

    Alleged ''N17'' members may soon be allowed newspapers, radios, TVs: The alleged members of the infamous terrorist organization ''November 17'' will be allowed to read newspapers, to have radios and televisions in their cells, according to sources.

    They will also be allowed more time with their lawyers, the same sources said, noting that if it becomes imperative payphones will be installed in commonly used spaces within the high security wing.

    There may also be a lifting of the privacy of telephone conversations of those incarcerated, dependent on the judicial due process allowed by the legislation concerning organized crime.

    Alleged ''N17'' member requesting access of his case file: An alleged member of the infamous terrorist organization ''November 17'' on Tuesday submitted an application/declaration noting that he does not have access to the case file prepared by the prosecutor's office regarding his case.

    Pavlos Serifis, who was initially questioned by a prosecutor without the presence of a defense lawyer, appointed on July 30th a lawyer to represent him and requested officially to be notified of the material collected by prosecutors in the case against him, calling on relevant paragraphs of Greece's legislation.

    Alleged ''N17'' member hospitalized for high fever: An alleged member of the infamous terrorist organization ''November 17'' was hospitalized on Tuesday in the medical facilities of the Korydallos prison, for high fever.

    Kostas Tellios underwent medical exams, while the results are expected on Wednesday. Following the exams, he was taken back to his cell, under heavy guard.

    Tellios' lawyer said that his client appeared nervous, as his psychological condition was not good, since the doctors stopped providing necessary medication, in order to administer medication that would lower his fever.

    The lawyer also said that he was told by prison officials that the 16 alleged members of the murderous terrorist group would be allowed access to newspapers and to their case files, as both were prohibited to date.

    Probe continuing into Kos weapons affair: An investigation into the mysterious theft of weaponry from a Kos military depot was still in progress on Tuesday, with the focus officially turning to personnel that served or are currently assigned to the base on the Dodecannese holiday island.

    Some 25 people, including officers, NCOs and conscripts have been questioned so far, while five "suspicious" fingerprints discovered in the warehouse where the weapons were taken from are also under scrutiny. The army announced over the weekend that 17 handguns, three submachine guns and three infantry assault rifles had been stolen from the camp.

    A top military prosecutor is overseeing the probe.

    [03] 156 US congressmen request the recognition of the Jerusalem Patriarch

    WASHINGTON, D.C., 07/08/2002 (ANA)

    US President George Bush on Tuesday was strongly encouraged by 156 Members of the U.S. Congress to look into the withholding of the recognition of the Patriarch of Jerusalem Irineos, the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes (SAE) President Andrew E. Manatos and SAE Chairman Andrew A. Athens said.

    By tradition, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem elects the Patriarch, as it did Patriarch Irineos in August of 2001. The governments of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, again by tradition, confirm the election.

    However, the appropriate Israeli officials have withheld official recognition, limiting the full functioning of Patriarch Irineos, a press release of SAE said.

    ''This letter to President Bush notes that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Demetrios of America have been working tirelessly for peace, with even greater intensity since September 11,'' the press release added.

    ''As you know, both of these outstanding religious leaders have expressed great interest in the proper recognition of Patriarch Irineos so that he can make a significant contribution to peace in the Middle East, and carry out his other important responsibilities," it concluded.

    [04] Gov't asks tourism firms to keep prices down

    Athens, 07/08/2002 (ANA)

    Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on Tuesday asked tourism enterprises to exercise price restraint.

    After a meeting with the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers and representatives of travel agencies, Christodoulakis also expressed concern over stubborn inflation, whose failure to decline was hurting competitiveness of the economy.

    He forecast growth of 3.8 percent in 2002, as anticipated.

    [05] Kathimerini to create maritime investment company

    Athens, 07/08/2002 (ANA)

    Shareholders of Kathimerini SA, a publishing and cargo ship owning company quoted on the Athens bourse, on Tuesday approved management's proposal of setting up a maritime investment company.

    Returns on the firm's investment in Nissos Naxos Shipping SA, a subsidiary that owns two cargo vessels, will be used to acquire two further cargo shippers, Kathimerini said in a statement.

    Nissos will make the purchase; and its status will then be converted into that of a shipping investment firm, including a name change to Argonaftis Investment Company.

    The two shipping firms for acquisition have a net value of 10 million US dollars, the statement added.

    [06] Mutual fund assets slip in July

    Athens, 07/08/2002 (ANA)

    Total assets of Greek mutual funds were at 22.86 billion euros on July 31, down 0.67 percent from 23.02 billion euros at the end of June, the Union of Institutional Investors said in a monthly report released on Tuesday.

    The union attributed the decline to across-board outflows stemming from a bourse price decline.

    Stocks nose up in cautious trade: The Athens bourse finished slightly higher in cautious trade on Tuesday, despite sharply rising markets elsewhere in Europe.

    The general share index gained 0.30 percent to end at 2,093.79 points. Turnover was 53.4 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.20 percent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalization paper 0.16 percent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities 0.11 percent up.

    Of 356 stocks traded, advances led declines at 155 to 139 with 62 issues remaining unchanged. The most heavily traded stocks in value were Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Coca Cola HBC, Football Pools Organization, National Bank of Greece, and Alpha Bank.

    Derivatives Market Close: Equity index futures edge up: Equity index futures on the Athens Derivatives Exchange finished slightly higher on Tuesday, with contracts on the high capitalization index showing a slight premium.

    Contracts on the mid-cap index traded around par.

    Turnover was 70.4 million euros.

    The underlying FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.20 percent up; and the underlying FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalization paper 0.16 percent higher.

    Trade was slim in stock futures, with Intracom attracting the most attention.

    Bond Market Close: Prices fall in heavy trade: Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Tuesday finished lower in heavy trade focusing on ten-year paper.

    The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 4.96 percent, and the spread over the corresponding German bund was 34 basis points.

    Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 4.2 billion euros.

    Sell orders accounted for the bulk of trade.

    [07] ATHOC - DEH join forces to boost Attica's power network

    Athens, 07/08/2002 (ANA)

    Increased needs in electric power, as well as the need for a reinforced, adequate and reliable power network during the 2004 Olympic Games have led the Athens 2004 Olympic Organizing Committee (ATHOC) and the Greek Public Power Corporation (DEH) to forge a collaboration for the development of a program of projects designed to upgrade the current power network in Attica.

    The program is divided into two sectors, the first regarding reinforcement of the power transfer system and distribution network in Attica budgeted at 56 million Euro, and the second will focus on power supply adequacy and reliability at the Olympic installations, budgeted at 122 million Euro.

    [08] President to reply to Brok's invitation after September 6

    NICOSIA, 07/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides intends to give his final answer to the invitation extended to him by the Chairman of the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, Elmar Brok, for a discussion of the Cyprus problem, after September 6.

    Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Tuesday that the president will give his final answer, in the light of developments during the September 6 meeting between him, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in Paris.

    Brok had sent on July 31 a letter to President Clerides inviting him and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to a discussion on the Cyprus problem before the Committee.

    President Clerides and Denktash have been engaged in UN-led direct talks in Nicosia since January this year, with a view to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem but no progress has been achieved so far.

    [09] US pleased with Cyprus' anti-terrorist struggle

    PAPHOS, 07/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    US Congressmen have said Cyprus is doing a good job in the global effort to fight international terrorism.

    Congressman David Dreier, heading an eight-member delegation from the US Congress currently touring the region, said after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides on Monday that they discussed developments in the Cyprus question, the country's European Union accession course and the fight against terrorism.

    The president was in the coastal resort of Paphos on his way to Rhodes aboard his yacht for his summer holidays.

    Dreier said after the meeting that the Congressmen told the president they were very pleased with the contribution Cyprus is making in the international struggle against terrorism.

    The US delegation met also with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, the Attorney General, the Finance Minister and Cypriot deputies. On Monday afternoon they met the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Rauf Denktash.

    The American Congressmen, who are on a tour of various countries in the region, left Cyprus on Tuesday.

    [10] EU calls on Turkey to contribute to Cyprus solution

    NICOSIA, 07/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    The European Union expects Turkey to contribute in a positive manner towards a negotiated settlement in Cyprus and support the UN efforts in this direction, Jean Christophe Filori, press spokesman of the EU Commissioner for enlargement, has said.

    He also said that constitutional reforms within Turkey itself and the question of Cyprus are two separate issues.

    Asked what the EU expects from Ankara with regard to Cyprus, Filori told a press conference in Brussels that Turkey should work positively towards the resolution of the problem and back the efforts of the UN Secretary General to find a comprehensive settlement.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    Filori said the package of measures the Turkish parliament approved must be examined thoroughly. The EU, he said, must monitor the implementation of the legislation approved and seek clarification on some of them.

    His comments come in the wake of a decision by the Turkish parliament to introduce reforms the EU has been demanding for years. The parliament approved, among other changes, the abolition of capital punishment in peacetime and the use and teaching of the Kurdish language.

    [11] Vassiliou says Cyprus to join EU even if problem unsolved

    NICOSIA, 07/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    Cyprus' Chief Negotiator for Accession to the European Union and President of the United Democrats, George Vassiliou, said on Tuesday that if despite all efforts the Cyprus problem were not solved by December, the island would still accede to the EU.

    He said in such an event, the door would remain open for the intercommunal dialogue in the hope that it would succeed before January 1st, 2004.

    In a United Democrats press release issued here on Tuesday, Vassiliou replies to recent comments by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on an alleged statement by Vassiliou that the Greek Cypriot side would accede to the EU, the talks on the Cyprus problem would continue and later the Turkish Cypriots would follow.

    Vassiliou told the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation's Turkish program that he was surprised by Denktash's comments on the alleged statement, and reiterated that all Cypriots wish for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    ''We want the intercommunal dialogue to be successful, so that a reunited Cyprus may join the EU'', Vassiliou added.

    He said that ''if despite this and despite all efforts and our good will this is proven impossible before December, then Cyprus will accede to the EU but the door will remain open for the intercommunal dialogue in the hope that it will succeed before January 1st, 2004''.

    Vassiliou said there was no doubt that ''the intercommunal dialogue can lead to an agreement with the establishment of a bizonal bicommunal federation that will become a full member of the EU'', which would be the best way ''to safeguard a secure and happy future for all Cypriots''.

    [12] Cyprus to take measures regarding Palestinian

    NICOSIA, 07/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and Justice and Public Order Minister Nicos Koshis have decided to take measures regarding Abdallah Daoud, the Palestinian who still remains on the island after he was brought to Cyprus three months ago along with 12 others who had been released from Bethlehem's Nativity Church.

    Koshis told reporters on Tuesday that Daoud is causing problems to the Cypriot authorities as he is not cooperating with them and not respecting the terms of hospitality.

    ''One of the measures is to warn the Palestinian that he is a guest of the Republic of Cyprus and he has to cooperate with the authorities'', Koshis said. Kasoulides has stressed that the Police are dealing with the problem but added that in September there will be some arrangements for Daoud's departure from the island.

    The justice minister said that Daoud is also causing problems to the representation of the Palestinian authority in Cyprus.

    ''Our willingness to help has been welcomed by the EU and the Arab world but we have enough problems here in the region'', Koshis warned.

    He added that if the Palestinian does not comply with the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus then the Foreign Ministry will contact EU countries to examine which country can accept him.

    ''Europe can accept him without any implication but if anything happens in Cyprus we will have serious implications'', Koshis added.

    The foreign Minster noted that Cyprus has achieved an important diplomatic success by helping to solve the problem but added that according to an agreement with the EU Daoud would be accepted by a European Union country when circumstances permit it.

    Referring to the status of the Palestinian, Kasoulides said that he is a ''foreign guest'' without any official asylum, adding that ''his status can change to an illegal visitor if he does not conform to the laws of the state''. The 13 Palestinians arrived in Cyprus on May 10.

    Twelve of them left Cyprus on May 22 on board two planes destined for the six European countries that had agreed to take the Palestinians in.

    Daoud remains in Cyprus temporarily until a EU country is able to accept him.

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