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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-08-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

August 10, 2002


  • [01] Inflation flat at 3.3 pct in July yr/yr
  • [02] Cyprus on alert for 'N17' fugitive following Greek request
  • [03] Two questioned in relation to ''November 17'' terrorist group
  • [04] Merchant marine minister visits construction site of coast guard academy
  • [05] IKA doctors to strike on Monday, Tuesday
  • [06] Stocks edge up, try to consolidate
  • [07] ATHOC private-homes leasing tender on course
  • [08] Greece's Kenteris wins gold medal in 200 meters
  • [09] American woman continues to be in critical condition after sailing accident
  • [10] Migrant smuggler, nine Kurds intercepted at Patra port
  • [11] Denmark hopes for new impetus in peace process
  • [12] Human rights committee supports Turkish Cypriot journalists

  • [01] Inflation flat at 3.3 pct in July yr/yr

    Athens, 10/08/2002 (ANA)

    Consumer price inflation in July stood at 3.3 percent year on year, the same as a month earlier, the National Statistics Service (NSS) said on Friday.

    The NSS attributed July's figure to a 1.7 percent decline in foodstuffs and non-alcoholic beverages, mainly due to a drop in the price of fruit and vegetables, including potatoes.

    In addition, the apparel and footwear index fell by 11.3 percent due to the summer sales, which started early this year; household goods and services dropped by 3.7 percent; and communications services declined by 1.7 percent, the NSS said in a statement.

    Furthermore, accommodation services rose by 0.3 percent due to rent increases and a hike in electricity rates.

    Finally, health services increased by 0.6 percent.

    The European Union harmonized consumer price index remained unchanged at 3.6 percent in July, the statement added.

    [02] Cyprus on alert for 'N17' fugitive following Greek request

    Athens, 10/08/2002 (ANA)

    Cypriot authorities are reportedly investigating whether Dimitris Koufodinas -- an alleged “November 17” terrorist currently ranking as Greece’s “most wanted man" -- fled to the east Mediterranean island state over the past month.

    According to reports, Nicosia commenced the probe after a request by Greek authorities.

    Koufodinas, 44, a part-time beekeeper and self-described math tutor living outside of Athens under an assumed name for two decades, is accused of being the notorious urban terrorist group’s “treasurer”, operations chief and a prolific assassin.

    Authorities are freezing "N 17" assets: Authorities were working fast in investigating bank accounts related to the persons arrested for alleged participation in the "November 17" terrorist organization.

    Sources said on Friday that the confiscation of money from accounts would not be limited to the persons accused of participating in terrorist actions, but would widen to cover relatives and even friends.

    The recently enacted law against organized crime allows for the freezing and confiscation of assets that were obtained via illegal activities.

    Alleged terrorist Xiros' health progressing well: Alleged ''November 17'' terrorist group member Savvas Xiros was still hospitalized on Friday, while doctors said that his health is progressing well.

    Xiros is expected to testify to a prosecutor at the beginning of next week for eight felony charges.

    The alleged terrorist was gravely injured on June, when a bomb he was carrying to place in a storefront in Piraeus exploded in his hands and was subsequently apprehended by coast guard officers.

    Xiros is facing a total of eight criminal charges for allegedly taking part in 85 terrorist actions of the murderous ''November 17'' terrorist organization.

    Also on Friday, lawyer George Agiostratitis undertook officially the defense of Xiros.

    [03] Two questioned in relation to ''November 17'' terrorist group

    Athens, 10/08/2002 (ANA)

    Argyris Tsakalias, the uncle of alleged ''November 17'' terrorist group member Savvas Xiros, was questioned by an anti-terrorist squad team at his residence in the eastern Aegean island of Ikaria on Friday. The questioning was completed late Friday night.

    Also on Friday the same team of the anti-terrorist squad questioned Ilias Gaglias, who was named as a member of the infamous terrorist group ''November 17'' by alleged terrorist Kostas Telios.

    Gaglias, who according to Telios was the latter's recruiter into the ''N17'' group, was released after a five-hour-long session with the investigators.

    Neither one was remanded in custody.

    [04] Merchant marine minister visits construction site of coast guard academy

    Athens, 10/08/2002 (ANA)

    Merchant Marine Minister George Anomeritis on Friday visited the construction site new installations for the training of the Greek coast guard and port authority personnel in Alexandroupoli, Evros prefecture, Northeastern Greece.

    The campus of the new academy is 148 hectares of land, while the buildings under construction will be 37,000 square meters and will cost 33.5 million euros. The capacity of the facilities will be that of 1,000 men per graduation year.

    The minister said that the project will lead to the ''necessary upgrade of the quality of the human resources of the corps, which serves the largest merchant marine fleet in the world''.

    [05] IKA doctors to strike on Monday, Tuesday

    Athens, 10/08/2002 (ANA)

    Doctors at the state-run Social Security Foundation, Greece’s largest pension and health care fund, announced another strike for Monday and Tuesday. The IKA doctors’ union is again demanding the permanent hiring of some 5,500 colleagues currently employed on a contract basis.

    [06] Stocks edge up, try to consolidate

    Athens, 10/08/2002 (ANA)

    The Athens bourse finished slightly higher on Friday in a second straight consolidating session with trade in a narrow range.

    The general share index gained 0.32 percent to end at 2,131.71 points. Turnover was 85.2 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.38 percent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalization paper 0.01 percent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap equities 0.44 percent up.

    Of 361 stocks traded, declines led advances at 155 to 148 with 58 issues remaining unchanged.

    The most heavily traded stocks in value were Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Space Hellas, Football Pools Organization, Sex Form, and Alpha Bank.

    Derivatives Market Close: Equity index futures down in thin trade: Equity index futures on the Athens Derivatives Exchange finished lower in slim trade on Friday, showing a discount of about 0.50 percent.

    Turnover was 62.0 million euros.

    The underlying FTSE/ASE-20 index for blue chip and heavily traded stocks ended 0.38 percent up and the underlying FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalization paper 0.01 percent higher.

    Among stock futures, Alpha Bank drew the highest turnover. Contracts traded at a discount.

    Bond Market Close: Prices rise in brisk trade: Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Friday finished higher in active trade focusing on five-year paper.

    The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 4.92 percent, and the spread over the corresponding German bund was 35 basis points.

    Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totalled 2.6 billion euros.

    [07] ATHOC private-homes leasing tender on course

    Athens, 10/08/2002 (ANA)

    Olympic Games 2004 Athens Organizing Committee (ATHOC) on Friday disseminated the terms and requirements of a tender for the lease of private homes to visitors attending the Athens Games and invited interested contractors to submit their business plan and financial proposal by 15.00 hours on Wednesday, 30 October 2002.

    Nearly in completion, the program for private home leasing during the Olympic Games 2004 will take off in November, while homeowners wishing to lease their residences can address the consortium that will be selected by ATHOC to manage the private-home rental project.

    The government has already announced that up to 25,000 private residences will be first evaluated and subsequently listed for leasing during the upcoming 2004 Olympics in Athens, part of a remedy to an Olympic-size shortage of lodgings for the Games.

    [08] Greece's Kenteris wins gold medal in 200 meters

    Athens, 10/08/2002 (ANA)

    Costas Kenteris of Greece won the gold medal in the men's 200 meters at the European Athletics Championships in Munich on Friday, covering the distance in 19.85 seconds. It was the second best time ever recorded in Europe for the event.

    He also broke the competition record and the national record.

    Kenteris, 29, had also won the gold medal at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and the gold medal in the World Athletics Championships in Edmonton in 2001. He is the first man to hold the Olympic, world and European titles over the distance.

    After the 4th day of competition, Greece has four gold and two bronze medals.

    [09] American woman continues to be in critical condition after sailing accident

    Athens, 10/08/2002 (ANA)

    A member of the U.S. sailing team who sustained a serious head injury in an accident on Thursday, continued to be hospitalized in critical condition on Friday.

    Kimberly Birkenfeld, 37, is in intensive care at the Tzanneion Hospital in Piraeus and doctors say that her condition is under control and stable.

    The accident occurred on Thursday morning in the sea region of Aghios Kosmas during practice.

    Birkenfeld, who was in command of the Mistral-type sailing boat, collided with a dinghy of the New Zealand team and hit her head on the propeller.

    She was taking part in the ''Saronic Gulf-Regatta 2002''.

    [10] Migrant smuggler, nine Kurds intercepted at Patra port

    Athens, 10/08/2002 (ANA)

    A 31-year-old man was arrested at the port of Patra, western Greece, on Thursday morning after authorities discovered eight Kurdish illegals hidden in his camper vehicle.

    The suspect, identified as Ahmad Adnan, was waiting to board a ferryboat to Italy.

    The coast guard said the man was traveling with a Swedish passport. All nine of the suspects were arrested.

    In an unrelated incident, four Iranian nationals were intercepted off the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos early Friday morning by the coast guard. The would-be migrants were attempting to reach Greek territory aboard an inflatable dinghy, and after first disembarking from the opposite Turkish coast.

    [11] Denmark hopes for new impetus in peace process

    NICOSIA 10/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    The representative of the Danish European Union presidency in Cyprus has expressed hope that the UN-led Cyprus peace process, now facing a deadlock, would be given a fresh impetus next month when the UN Secretary General meets President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    In an interview with CNA, Knud Johansen, charge d’Affaires of Denmark here, noted that the UN peace talks have not progressed as the EU had hoped.

    Johansen welcomed the constitutional reforms Turkey has adopted last week as ''an important step but only the first step'' and pointed out that the difficult part of their implementation remains to be seen.

    The Danish diplomat, in Cyprus for nearly a month, said next week he will meet Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Foreign Minister Per Stig Moller to report to them on his contacts here.

    ''The peace negotiations have not progressed as the EU had hoped and it is difficult to predict whether it will be possible to finalize these negotiations by December this year,'' he told CNA.

    He said he hoped that next month's meeting between Kofi Annan, Clerides and Denktash on September 6, in Paris, ''will signify a breakthrough which would give a new impetus to the peace process.''

    President Clerides and Denktash have been engaged in direct talks in the presence of Annan's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto. No substantive progress towards a comprehensive settlement has been made because of Denktash's insistence on two separate states.

    Annan, who came to Cyprus in mid May in a bid to revive the stalled talks, has invited the two leaders to the Paris meeting to take stock and see what is to be done to push the process for-ward.

    Replying to questions, the Danish diplomat said Cyprus is at the forefront with preparations for accession and its harmonization process with the acquis communautaire and expressed hope that all ten candidate countries set to join will be invited to do so at the Copenhagen summit.

    ''I do not see any EU member state blocking enlargement,'' he said, commenting on the possibility of a new rejection of the Treaty of Nice by the Irish people and the likelihood of a Greek veto, if Cyprus is not included in the first wave of enlargement. He said he has already met here Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, party leaders and government officials and intends to meet Turkish Cypriots on his return to the island, towards the end of August.

    He said the purpose of his presence in Cyprus is to ''establish a broad network of contacts and links'' and explained he is only temporarily here, came from the Danish embassy in Pretoria and will return to it in January, when Denmark hands over the six-monthly EU rotating presidency to Greece.

    [12] Human rights committee supports Turkish Cypriot journalists

    NICOSIA 10/08/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    The Committee for the Restoration of Human Rights in the Whole of Cyprus strongly condemns the ''jail sentence'' passed by an illegal court in Turkish occupied Cyprus against two Turkish Cypriot journalists of the main opposition daily for ''defamation'' against Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    The Committee issued a press release on Friday saying that it has already made urgent representations to international institutions and will soon proceed together with the Union of Cyprus Journalists in organizing several events to protest and condemn the illegal actions of the regime, which deprives Turkish Cypriots of their basic human rights.

    Meanwhile, political parties and non governmental organizations in Cyprus have issued press releases in which they appeal to the UN, the European Union and international organizations to use their influence to secure the release of the Turkish Cypriot journalists.

    The illegal court, in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, on Thursday passed a six-month ''jail sentence'' against the editor in chief of the main opposition daily ''Afrika'', Sener Levent, and his reporter Memduh Ener for purportedly defamatory articles against Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    The article appeared on July 29, 1999, in the Turkish Cypriot daily ''Avrupa'' that came under attack by the Denktash regime in occupied Cyprus.

    The paper was renamed ''Afrika'' and continues publication, in spite of repeated raids of its offices and confiscation of equipment.

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