|Tuesday, 21 May 2013|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 03-10-09
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>October 9, 2003
 Press minister presents report on Greece's image abroad
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Greece is no longer a small, marginal force but is seen as a modern, European country, Press and Media Minister Christos Protopapas said on Wednesday as he presented a report on Greece's image in the foreign press during its European Union presidency.
The report was commissioned by the general secretary for communications, Dimitris Gerou.
Protopapas said that the prejudice and skepticism with which the foreign media had formerly treated issues pertaining to Greek society had largely disappeared, while noting that the country's ''visibility'' would become steadily more apparent as the 2004 Olympics in Athens approached.
He said that foreign news coverage of Greece, particularly that concerning preparations for the Olympics, would henceforth be systematically monitored, recorded and analyzed by the same applied communications team at Athens University that prepared the report.
The press minister also noted that a positive image for the country depended on delicate and balanced handling of Greece's foreign and communications policy and called for intense efforts to upgrade the country overall.
The report was based on articles about Greece appearing in 32 foreign newspapers with proven influence on the international reading public in 19 countries that, apart from the United States and Russia, were either EU member-states or countries due to join the EU.
The report analyzed 2,848 articles appeared between January 1, 2003 and June 30, 2003, of which 1,037 were exclusively about Greece while the rest referred to matters of Greek interest.
Of the articles exclusively on Greece, about 58 per cent were judged to be positive, 26 per cent neutral and 16.5 per cent negative. Most positive comments were focused on the Greek EU presidency, Greek diplomacy and Greek society, neutral articles were mainly about Greek society, the Greek EU presidency and EU-Greece relations, while the majority of negative comments centered on Greek society, the Olympic Games and sports.
Presenting the conclusions of the report, analysts said that Greece's ''visibility'' appeared to have improved, Greece's EU presidency had been positively received and the country's efforts to ''Europeanize'' had been lauded, though reservations regarding modern Greece continued to exist.
By contrast, the stance toward traditional Greece was positive, the stance toward the Athens Olympics was marked by ambivalence and anti-Americanism continued to occupy the US papers in particular.
 DM says Cyprus, Aegean still cloud Greek-Turkish relations
WASHINGTON, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou noted here that although Greek-Turkish relations have improved over recent years two distinct issues remain unsolved, namely, the long-standing Cyprus question and Turkey’s unilateral claims in the Aegean.
Papantoniou arrived in the United States this week to participate in an informal NATO defense ministers’ assembly in Colorado Springs, while he first spoke at a conference on Greek-American relations in Washington D.C.
He also said Greece’s high defense expenditures are related directly to this situation.
Papantoniou, the one-time national economy minister, added that Athens hopes that within 2004 both these problems will be resolved, as the coming year is imperative for Turkey’s European prospects, “the moment of truth for Turkey in light of the December 2004 (EU Summit),” as he noted.
Moreover, he cited his belief that “substantial progress” will be achieved towards resolving these two issues, thereby allowing for Greece’s continued support in favor of Turkey’s continued European course.
Papantoniou noted that during his stay-over in Washington he also met with US Senator and former US vice-presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) as well as Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.)
 Greek-Bulgarian relations "exemplary", FinMin says
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Greek-Bulgarian relations are ''an example of smooth economic cooperation'', Greek Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said on Wednesday.
Speaking to ANA, on the sidelines of an inauguration ceremony of the biggest investment in the Bulgarian metal industry by Greek metals group Viohalco, Mr Christodoulakis stressed that the Greek government was particularly pleased with the very quick steps made by the Bulgarian economy towards its accession in the European Union, ''a prospect that Greece supports strongly, systematically and with determination''.
Viohalco acquired a 75 percent equity stake in Stomana, Bulgaria's biggest steel factory two years ago.
The Greek minister said that Bulgaria attracted 40 percent of the 4.0 billion euros that Greece has invested in Eastern Europe, with around 1,500 Greek companies having dynamic activities with annual trade turnover of around one billion euros in the country.
Mutual investments, joint business initiatives and infrastructure projects are the main directions for bilateral joint efforts, Mr. Christodoulakis stressed. He noted that ''trade was not enough'' and urged for more joint initiatives in energy systems, natural gas transport and the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline.
''I will say only one thing: our relations with Greece have never been better,'' Bulgarian Finance Minister Milen Veltsev told ANA. ''I am deeply impressed both by the volume of Greek investments and by the total growth of economic cooperation of our two friendly countries,'' Mr. Veltsev said after a meeting with his Greek counterpart.
 Economy minister meets with Bulgarian premier
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)National Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis on Wednesday met with Bulgarian Prime Minister Saxe Coburg Gotha in Sofia and discussed the interest of both countries in cooperating in the energy sector.
The talks focused on the sectors of electricity production and petrol transport, while Christodoulakis expressed Greece's interest in the participation of Greek investors in the privatization of Bulgaria's electricity production.
 Greek embassy director responds to Washington Post's report on the 2004 Olympic Games security
WASHINGTON, 09/10/2003 (ANA - T. Ellis)The security of the 2004 Olympic Games is of Greece's highest priorities and the country proves it by investing huge sums of money in the protection of VIPs, athletes and visitors, said in a letter to the Washington Post Achilleas Paparsenos, director of the Greek embassy's press office here.
In his letter, which the newspaper published in part, Paparsenos responded to a recent report of the same paper concerning the security of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, expressing the belief of the Greeks that the 2004 Games will be the safest that they can possibly be.
Paparsenos stressed that Greece is spending three times as much as was spent for the security of the Sidney Olympics, saying that 1 billion dollars was set aside for that purpose, while 58,000 persons are being prepared as security personnel.
 US State Department spokesman says no differences between Greece-US on N17
WASHINGTON, 09/10/2003 (ANA/T. Ellis)US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, replying to a questioner on Wednesday, said there were no differences in views and approach between Greece and the US on the issue of the November 17 terrorist group.
Commenting on a statement by ruling PASOK party secretary and former Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis who, addressing a Greek-US conference on Tuesday, had said N17 has
been dismantled, Boucher said:''I can see no specific difference between Athens and Washington. As you are aware the trial (of N17 suspects) is continuing. I explained to you that there are detailed criteria for people to be removed from the list of terrorism. We want to know that they have been completely out of action for two years. Consequently, we have not yet reached this point. It is not a question of a difference of views regarding the state of the organization.''
 Gov't spokesman says the sooner Iraq comes under UN auspices so much the better
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Government spokesman Christos Protopapas, commenting on Turkey's decision to send 10,000 troops to Iraq, said on Wednesday the sooner Iraq comes under the auspices of the UN so much the better.
''The present situation in Iraq is leading nowhere. The sooner the country comes under the auspices of the UN so much the better for Iraq and for all of us,'' the spokesman said.
 Archbishop Christodoulos meets with Pat Cox, addresses EPP Eurodeputies
BRUSSELS, 09/10/2003 (ANA - A. Simatos)Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos on Wednesday said ''I hope that we will work together, to confirm that Europe is not a space but a culture''.
Speaking to the Eurodeputies of the European Peoples' Party (EPP) here, Archbishop Christodoulos referred indirectly to the prospect of Turkey's accession to the European Union, saying ''it is very important what you will do with the countries that want to enter the EU, but do not belong to our civilization''.
''If you institute a special relationship, prescribing the widest possible cooperation with these countries, but keep them outside the boundaries of the EU, you will exhibit the prudence our civilization demands,'' he added.
''An EU that will include countries of the south and eastern Mediterranean will be a historical farce,'' the Greek prelate said.
Speaking of the form of government, Archbishop Christodoulos underlined that ''the Orthodox Church has no opinion on the form of governance, nor in the ways of governance of the people, but it is always wishing for peace and always supports those in need and the weak''.
He, however, expressed his dissatisfaction over the lack of the mentioning of Christianity in the European draft Constitution, saying that the Church of Greece had requested that along with Christianity, Greek culture and the Roman understanding of the rule of law should have been noted.
''The inability to note (the aforementioned) in the Constitution of Europe, in the foundations of the European world is the first really unpleasant new element in the history of the EU,'' Archbishop Christodoulos stressed.
He added that such action should have been self-evident, questioning whether there is fear that the political leadership may admit whom it is representing.
The same issue was also tabled by Archbishop Christodoulos during his talks with Europarliament President Pat Cox, stressing to him that although there is mention of Christian values in the draft Constitution, such as respect for human rights and tolerance of differences, there is no mention of their source.
He added that this is an issue, among others, that is also one to be decided by those responsible for the Constitution, on which are really the roots of European civilization and noted that he will work hard for specific reference in the Constitution.
On his part, Cox took a stance favoring a specific reference of the Christian roots of Europe in the prelude of the European Constitution.
Christodoulos declared his satisfaction over article 51 of the draft Constitution, which recognizes the legal status of churches in the EU and noted that through this article there can be effective protection for the special status of the Mt. Athos monastic community.
 Christodoulos holds press conference in Brussels closing five day visitBRUSSELS, (ANA/G. Zitouniati)
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos on Wednesday said that neither the government nor the church have expressed a wish for a meeting between him and Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
During a press conference at the end of a five-day visit here, he said, responding to a relevant question, that he could not answer Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos' invitation to visit Istanbul and resolve differences that arose between the Church of Greece and the Patriarchate recently, since such decision has to be taken after the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Greek Church on Thursday.
The Archbishop also spoke of the European Union and the warm welcome he felt that he was treated to, during his visit here and he spoke in detail of the presence of the Greek Church in the Balkans, the Middle East, Afghanistan and elsewhere, providing aid to the peoples of those regions.
In an unrelated development, Christodoulos met with European Commissioner Michael Barnier, with whom he discussed programs the Greek Church drafted in hopes of gaining funding from the European Union, which as he said were discussed with and initially approved by Simitis, but later remained inactive at the national economy ministry.
''I requested the help of Mr. Barnier to release (the funding) from the ministry,'' Christodoulos said.
During this fifth day of his visit here, Christodoulos also met with Javier Solana, European Union high representative on issues of defense and foreign affairs.
 Gov't spokesman on arrest of Arab, possible al-Qaeda link
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Police were continuing to investigate but had so far discovered nothing to justify concern, government spokesman Christos Protopapas said on Wednesday regarding an Arab being held by Greek authorities.
The affair came to the forefront on Tuesday following press reports that Greek authorities had arrested a person of Arab origin and were investigating possible connections to the notorious terrorist organization al-Qaeda.
The rumor was denied by the Greek police on Tuesday, who said that arrests of Arabs in Greece were all connected to immigrant trafficking.
According to police, there were no reports or indications from any service that any of those arrested were connected with al-Qaeda.
A source close to the public order ministry, however, clarified that Arabs are routinely checked for other types of activity after they are arrested, though no evidence has yet emerged that points to links with al-Qaeda.
 Gov't disputes findings of report on corruption in Greece
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)The government on Wednesday disputed the findings of a report on corruption in Greece, noting that it had been produced by a private company whose Greek section had several high-ranking members of main opposition New Democracy on its board, such as its president Virginia Tsouderou and ND leader Costas Karamanlis' communications consultant.
According to government spokesman Christos Protopapas, there were "gray areas" in the report and its figures were handled in a "peculiar way" that served ND's interests.
"No one denies that there were sources of corruption and this is why new institutions for fighting corruption were established. ND now comes to smite these institutions, attack inspecting mechanisms and attempt to create communications events through its officials," he said.
 Gov't spokesman confirms PM replied to Babiniotis letter
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Government spokesman Christos Protopapas on Wednesday confirmed that Prime Minister Costas Simitis had replied to a letter sent to him by the head of the Athens university rectors' coordinating body, Prof. Babiniotis.
Responding to complaints that the information had been selectively leaked to only one paper, Protopapas said that the press ministry had not been involved in leaking the information.
He also stressed that the PM's reply did not state anything new regarding the case but merely repeated what Simitis had said before the cabinet.
 Parl't speaker sees elections in spring 2004 after meeting PM
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis on Wednesday said that the next elections will definitely be held right at the end of the government's term in spring 2004, after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis to discuss Parliament's legislative work.
According to Kaklamanis, the bills and other legislative acts that were currently being prepared by the government made an earlier election date very unlikely.
Among these he cited the bill for the new electoral system, that is to be voted on before the Christmas break, the developmental bill and a bill for the 'statement of means' inspection procedure.
 Gov't 'very satisfied' with launch of inquiry into Leopard tank tender
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Government spokesman Christos Protopapas on Wednesday said the government was "very satisfied'' that a public prosecutor had launched an investigation into the tender that led to the purchase of Leopard tanks by the Greek armed forces.
The spokesman underlined that the government wanted ''plenty of light to be shed on the case in order to prevent anyone from casting shadows on public life''.
''It is inconceivable for such an issue to arise over a tender where all rules for transparency and free competition by foreign companies were adhered to,'' Protopapas added.
The issue was raised in Parliament on Tuesday by main opposition New Democracy (ND) MP Spilios Spiliotopoulos, who tabled a Parliament question requesting information on why an initial figure of 248 main battle tanks to be acquired between 2000-2005 had been trimmed to 170 units.
Spiliotopoulos also charged that the contract – for the purchase of the “Leopard” 2HEL model – does not include related ordnance or spare parts.
Moreover, he cited press reports claiming that a contract between two off-shore companies – German tank-maker IBOS and the Evanston Group Ltd. – foresaw a 60-million-euro commission for the sale.
 Gov't denies rumors of PM's dissatisfaction with ministers
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Government spokesman Christos Protopapas on Wednesday denied a rumor in the press that Prime Minister Costas Simitis was not satisfied with the performance of his ministers.
"There is no such issue," Protopapas said.
On the contrary, he added, the ministers were carrying out programmed tours, had submitted the reports asked of them and the prime minister was particularly pleased with the results of a first assessment of his government.
He said Simitis would issue a general call to everyone to 'rally to the cause' in view of the coming elections when he addressed PASOK's national council on Thursday.
 PM Simitis congratulates Prof. Skouris on election to European Court helm
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Prime minister Costas Simitis on Wednesday sent a congratulatory cable to Greek justice and law professor Vassilis Skouris on his election to the post of president president of the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of European Communities.
Skouris was on Tuesday elected to the post for the term until October 6, 2006, replacing previous president Gil Carlos Rodriguez Iglesias, who had held the post since 1994.
Skouris was elected president by the judges and advocates general in the Court, whose members were partially renewed on Monday.
In his message, the prime minister noted that professor Skouris' election to the European Court helm was an "exceptional honor", and attributed to "acknowledgement of your capabilities and your prestige".
Simitis said that the "election of a Greek justice to the lofty post of president of the third largest institutional organ of the European Union lends honor to his legal world and comprises a guarantee for the impartiality and high level of exercise of the Court's authorities, which concern not only the respect of legality within the Union, but also Europe's course to its integration".
 FM Papandreou calls on Pakistani counterpart Kasuri for release of Greek seamen
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Foreign minister George Papandreou had a telephone discussion with his Pakistani counterpart Mian Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri, the foreign ministry said Wednesday in a press release.
During the telephone conversation on Tuesday night, Papandreou broached the issue of the Greek seamen currently under restriction in Karachi, and called for the immediate lifting of the restriction and their repatriation to Greece, the release said.
The eight-member crew of the grounded Greek tanker "Tasman Spirit" were arrested by Pakistani authorities last Friday on charges of negligence in handling the ship's entry into the port.
The tanker, carrying 67,500 tones of crude oil, ran aground outside the channel leading to Pakistan's main port in Karachi on July 27, causing the worst spill in Pakistan's history. It spilled 28,500 tones of crude. The rest was drained out.
Pakistan's police said the five Greeks and three Philippines nationals that made up the crew will probably be released on bail within a couple of days, once their bail documents are complete.
The spill has contaminated several kilometers of eastern beaches, damaged marine life and mangrove forests and caused health problem for the people living nearby.
 Chrysohoidis honored for contribution to improvement of Greek-American relations
WASHINGTON, 09/10/2003 (ANA - T. Ellis)Greece's ruling PASOK central committee secretary and former public order minister Michalis Chrysohoidis was on Tuesday honored with an award for his personal contribution to the improvement in recent years in Greek-American relations, by the Hellenic-American Heritage Council.
The award was received, on Chrysohoidis' behalf, by Greek ambassador in Washington, George Savvaides, who noted the "genuine success" of Chrysohoidis' visit to Washington last October in his then capacity as public order minister, adding that Chrysohoidis had "contributed decisively" to the improvement in relations between the two countries in the sector of his competency.
In a videotaped message to the second annual conference on Greek-US relations organized by the Council in Washington on Tuesday, Chrysohoidis expressed appreciation for the award, and said it was necessary that any problems arising be resolved through cooperation. In that framework, he added, Greece was a devoted member of the European Union and the Atlantic Alliance (NATO), as well as a factor of stability in the Balkans.
Referring to the preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Chrysohoidis noted that Greece has invested one billion dollars in the Games' security, a sum that far surpassed that of any other Olympic host country in the past, citing as examples Atlanta (300 million dollars), Sydney (200 million dollars), and Salt Lake City (310 million dollars).
In the context of those preparations, Chrysohoidis spoke of the problems that existed which, however, were being confronted through close cooperation among seven countries, including the US, which had both experience and know-how and comprised an informal security team for the Athens Games.
 Communist party leader visits hospitals, holds talks in Patra
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga visited two hospitals in Patra, western Greece, on Wednesday and held meetings with representatives of health societies such as the Medical Society and the Society of Social Foundation (IKA) doctors of Patra.
''All have just claims concerning economic and salary issues, as well as work conditions. What we are telling them, however, is that what is necessary for these claims to be handled, at the same time with the claiming effort, is for them to question the general political direction. Because all the problems are due to market deregulation, privatizations and the fact that big capital has infiltrated everywhere, not only in the form of department stores, but also the health sector as well,'' she said in a statement.
Papariga further said it should be understood that the working class and lower and middle income brackets are the victim all over Greece, adding that all over the country everything is taking place for big capital.
 Book on late Yiannos Kranidiotis' contribution presented in NicosiaNICOSIA (ANA/G. Leonidas)
Cyprus' Group for the Modernization of Society, in cooperation with the Intercollegiate publications and with support by Interlife and the education ministry's cultural services, has published a book registering the contribution of the late Alternate Foreign Minister of Greece Yiannos Kranidiotis.
The book titled ''Reference to Yiannos Kranidiotis'' was presented at the Intercollege, Nicosia on Wednesday morning.
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, prefacing the book, said Yiannos Kranidiotis ''paved ways and was an architect of the European course of Cyprus'', adding that the authentic registration of his words, in the book, constitutes a considerable contribution for researchers and the accurate historic registration of important aspects of recent history in relations between Cyprus and the European Union.
The book includes speeches made by Kranidiotis at events organized by the Group in Nicosia and Limassol.
 British Royal College of Defense Studies delegation to visit Thrace
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)A delegation of British Royal College of Defense Studies will pay a visit in Thrace, northeastern Greece, on Thursday.
The delegation will visit the Fourth Armed Forces Corps stationed in Xanthi and will be briefed on its activities.
The delegation is composed on 13 high-ranking officers of the British armed forces, as well as those of other countries.
They will tour the region from Xanthi, western Thrace to the Evros prefecture, the eastern most point of the Greek mainland, which is also the border with Turkey. During their visit to Evros' capital Alexandroupoli they will be briefed on the activities of the local customs office and the police of the region.
 Greek high-technology exports rise strongly, report
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Greek high technology product exports are rising with high growth rates, in contrast with stagnant total exports by the country, a survey by the Centre of Exporting Research and Studies (KEEM) said on Wednesday.
KEEM, a research agency set up by the Panhellenic Exporters' Union, published a report on Greek main export products in the year 2000.
The report showed that exports of steel scrap, butane, petrol, sheep leather, paintings and drawings, components for telecommunication devices, photographic paper, minerals and propylene leaves and tapes, more than doubled in value in 2000 compared with the previous year.
On the other hand, exports of wheat, oil products, virgin olive oil, women's underwear, viscose fiber, pull-overs, polychlorid vinyl, pants, sorts and air turbines, fell significant (more than 30 percent) over the same period.
Exports of high technology products rose 57 percent in value in the period 1996-2000 with their share of total exports rising to 12.7 percent from 8.0 percent. These products included scientific research devices, energy production machinery, industrial applications, office automation, telecommunications equipment, medical and pharmaceutical products and petrochemicals.
The electric machinery and equipment category was the biggest exporter in 2002, with exports totaling 358 million US dollars, while telecommunications devices and equipment recorded the biggest average annual growth rate in the 1996-2000 period (38.3 percent), followed by office automation and medical and pharmaceutical products (36.4 percent and 33.6 percent, respectively).
 Greece liberalizes passenger transport with non-EU countries
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Greece has liberalized international regular passenger transport with countries that are not members of the European Union.
Under a decision signed by Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis, procedures have been simplified for state services involved in the issue of permits.
Greek transporters have been awarded permits for Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia-Montenegro, Turkey and Georgia, which have been sent to authorities in those countries for approval, the ministry said in a statement.
 ND leader criticizes gov't over shipyard, shipbuilding policy
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis on Wednesday focused on
problems of the citizens' everyday life and especially that of unemployment, during a speech he delivered in the Western Piraeus Municipality of Perama, in southwestern Attica.
He focused on local problems criticizing the government and Prime Minister Costas Simitis personally, saying that ''too much talk with grandiose words do not provide solutions''.
''We do what we can to secure a better life for you, with a program, a plan and priorities we secure a new prospect with certainty,'' Karamanlis said, in presenting a series of measures and motives for the businesses in support of the shipyard zone, a mainstay of the region.
He underlined that ''when on an international level there is high activity of (shipbuilding) orders, it is at least criminal for Greece to be absent, while it is a paradox that while new ships are being built for Greek interests conditions here at the shipyards have reached the bottom''.
 Shipping register shows net rise in vessels, tonnage
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)The Greek shipping register in September gained 17 vessels and lost 10, posting a net gain of seven ships, the merchant marine ministry said on Wednesday.
The register acquired 907,803 gross registered tones and lost 167,553 gross registered tones, the ministry said in a statement.
 Athens, Piraeus hospital doctors on strike October 9-10
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Hospital doctors in Athens and Piraeus are to begin a 48-hour strike starting on Thursday.
In addition, doctors will refuse to handle regular duties in outpatients departments along with surgical work on October 13-15, their union said in a statement on Wednesday.
Another 48-hour strike is scheduled for October 16-17, the statement said.
Hospital doctors are seeking a rise in state spending on health, an increase in pay brackets, improved working schedules, payroll status for all practitioners, payment of legally ordained allowances, and classification of their profession as hazardous to health.
 National Bank leads ASE to recovery on Wednesday
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Greek stocks recovered spectacularly on Wednesday following a rebound in National Bank's share price above the 18 euros level in the Athens Stock Exchange.
The general index ended 1.42 percent higher at 2,123.22 points with turnover an improved 171.9 million euros.
All sector indices ended higher with the exception of the Textile sector which ended 0.10 percent down. The Insurance (4.38 percent), Publications (2.66 percent) and Construction (2.39 percent) sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day.
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 1.30 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index jumped 2.12 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index rose 1.72 percent.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 281 to 42 with another 37 issues unchanged.
The most heavily traded stocks in value were Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Vodafone, National Bank of Greece and Football Pools Organization.
Derivatives Market Close: Turnover at 155.9 mln euros Wednesday
Equity Index Futures:
Bond Market Close: Buyers outstrip sellers on Wednesday
Greek Benchmark 10-Year Bond
Closing rates of October 8 2003
Parities in euro
For. Exchange Buying Selling
US Dollar 1,187 1,160
 PM briefed by town planning minister; latter on demolition of beachfront walls
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)The government on Wednesday promised to continue trying to demolish certain categories of illegally built structures, especially unlicensed buildings on beachfronts, forests, archaeological sites etc.
The announcement, made by relevant Town Planning and Public Works Minister Vasso Papandreou following her meeting here with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, came only days after a high-profile effort to bring down the walls of four luxury seaside residences in southeast Athens fizzled in the wake of last-minute judicial and administrative obstacles.
What attracted even wider media attention was the fact that the illegal structures were part of residences belonging to four well-known ship-owners or entrepreneurs, with television images, in fact, showing attorneys with documents in hand frantically attempting to prevent the demolition.
Papandreou, moreover, backed an independent judicial investigation into the last-minute ruling by a top finance ministry-affiliated official, who ordered a postponement of the order on grounds that the exact shoreline in front of the seaside residences should be reassessed.
The government this month unveiled a draft bill setting out conditions for allowing the temporary granting of water and power connections to tens of thousands of unlicensed residences, practically all outside town planning and zoning districts. Subsequent measures are foreseen to permanently legalize such structures, although the government has reiterated that this does not include forestland, areas designated for reforestation, beachfronts, archaeological sites, protected areas etc.
In an unrelated development, asked about whether the government’s recently announced “social charter” was having a positive impact on public opinion, and in light of recent opinion
polls apparently showing indifference to the measures, Papandreou said:
“All of (ruling) PASOK backs this policy, which can give our country new prospects (for development) … An extensive campaign to brief citizens has already begun,” she said.
 PM at presentation of Cultural Olympiad Christmas cards for UNICEF
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)At an event on Wednesday attended by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, the Cultural Olympiad organization presented five Christmas cards for 2003 it has prepared specially for UNICEF'S collection as an official UNICEF sponsor.
A brief text on the back of each cards outlines the goals of the Cultural Olympiad.
Under a sponsorship contract signed with UNICEF in March, the Cultural Olympiad pledged to support a ground-breaking UNICEF program for the vaccination of 1.5 million children in the 3rd world against key diseases, budgeted at 7 million dollars.
The program provides vaccines against six common and often lethal diseases, including measles, diphtheria, polio, tuberculosis, hooping cough and tetanus.
According to Venizelos, by contributing to the program Greece was contributing to the ''moral renewal'' of the 2004 Games.
''We seek added value through institutions such as the Olympic Truce and the Cultural Olympiad,'' Venizelos said.
The event was also addressed by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Nana Mouskouri, who noted that four million children under the age of five die every year of diseases and infections that they had not been vaccinated against.
Approximately 650,000 children in more than 40 countries have so far been vaccinated under the program since the contract between UNICEF and the Cultural Olympiad was signed.
The Christmas card series was first released worldwide at the start of autumn and will circulate in Greece from Wednesday, while there will also be a poster promoting cooperation between UNICEF and the Cultural Olympiad that will be circulated worldwide.
The event was also attended by Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis, Olympics Organizing Committee (ATHOC) head Gianna Angelopoulos and other officials.
 UNFPA's 'State of the World Population' report for 2003 unveiled in Athens
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Athens joined several other UN branches around the globe on Wednesday to unveil the UN Population Fund’s (UNPFA) annual “State of the World Population” report, with the emphasis this year falling on what the international organization calls the largest number of adolescents in the history of mankind.
During an event held at one of Greece’s oldest maternity wards and medical teaching institutions, the Aretaio Hospital, UN representatives and local family planning association officials noted that nearly half of the world’s population is under the age of 25, while adolescents (10 to 19) make up 20 percent of world’s population.
Speaking during the event, UNPFA official Pamela Delargy stressed that “their (adolescents) future is the future of the world ... if they grow up in poverty and conflict situations… if they are exposed to HIV or orphaned by HIV, or marry early… the whole world has a problem.”
Delargy, who arrived for the Athens event from the UN’s New York headquarters, noted that the 2003 report contains both shocking and encouraging information.
On her part, the head of the UNIC office in Athens, Maria-Luisa Chavez, said the report was being unveiled simultaneously in several cities around the world, with the Greek capital included among them. Detailed demographics are also given for every region and continent, as well as for practically every country in the world.
In the report, the UN squarely backs increased funding and cooperation to promote family planning and medical care around the world (especially prevention and treatment of HIV infection), while the discussion soon turned to the situation in Greece.
Asked about the number of abortions in Greece on a yearly basis, the president of Aretaio, noted obstetrician G.K. Kreatsas said “no official statistics are available”, although he estimated that abortions have decreased in recent years here.
Media reports over the years claimed that Greece maintained one of the highest abortion rates in Europe.
Dr. Kreatsas merely referred to “degrees of rates” that the medical community uses to try and gauge how many abortions are performed in the country, while he also pointed to a reduction in the frequency of STDs as a related element on which he bases this assessment.
Moreover, he said efforts must be stepped up to bring family planning education to young people by trained professionals, although cooperation with local PTA boards, for instance, still does not take place.
 Cruise ship collides with pier in Aegina harbor; no injuries
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)The Greek cruise ship "Giorgis" on Wednesday collided with the pier in Aegina harbor while attempting to dock.
None of the 19-member crew or 382 passengers on board were injured as a result of the collision, though there was minor damage to the bow.
The passengers continued their one-day cruise of the Saronic Gulf in the cruise ship "Ermis" that sailed to Aegina to pick them up.
 Culture minister to award prizes in Panorama film festival
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos is to hand out the special awards, including the award for best European film, of the 16th "European Cinema Panorama" festival organized by the newspaper "Eleftherotypia" at a special ceremony in the Apollon cinema in Athens on Thursday.
The ceremony will be followed by the screening of the new Woody Allen film "Anything Else" that was first shown at the Venice film festival.
Friday will be the official start of the Panorama festival's tribute "7th Art and the Olympics", organized in collaboration with the Cultural Olympiad, which kicks off with the screening of Alfred Hitchcock's silent film "The Ring".
 Five detainees escape police lock-up facility, one recaptured
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Five detainees awaiting transfer to prison facilities escaped early Wednesday from the Thessaloniki general police directorate building's holding cells, one of whom was later recaptured, police said.
The five men sawed through the iron bars of the lock-up facility's bathroom's window with a file at about 3:30 a.m., through which they exited to the building's courtyard and, undetected by the guards, ran into the street and disappeared under cover of the night.
Three of the prisoners were in custody pending trial on drug charges, while the other two were serving long sentences for homicide.
A police source told ANA that the detainees took advantage of the overcrowded conditions at the facility to make their escape.
Due to the fact that the prisons in northern Greece are full to capacity, 44 detainees were being held at the police building lock-up facility awaiting transfer.
 Agriculture minister Drys presents forestry bill
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)The government is implementing the greatest operation to handle problems facing citizens with the arbitrary and controversial application of forestry legislation with the completion of the forestry bill.
Agriculture Minister George Drys, presenting the forestry bill on Wednesday, said forests and public forested expanses of land are protected absolutely.
The definition of a forest is specialized and applied for its absolute protection.
What is required for an expanse of land to be termed a forest is for it to have forest species and have coverage of at least 25 percent.
It further says the ownership problem is solved with reference to air photos of 1945 and 1960. Meaning that expanses of land in the country which were not forests in 1960 are not today as well. These expanses of land are being de-characterized and the state's ownership element will cease.
On the other hand, expanses of land which were forests in 1960 remain forests forever and their destruction in any way is illegal and is not legitimized.
Representatives of various groups, members of the initiative for the protection of public estates and forest land, expressed their opposition to the draft law during a meeting on Wednesday night at the Athens Bar Association offices.
 Public awareness event for mentally retarded children
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)The municipality of Athens is organizing a day of events on Sunday to increase public awareness on the needs and abilities of mentally retarded children, in the context of the European Year of People with Disabilities (2003), it was announced Wednesday.
The municipality's Youth and Sports Organization (ONA) is organizing a series of events at the municipal Cultural Centre in the downtown Exarchia district on 9 Tsamadou Street, and on the pedestrian walk between Tositsa and Stournari streets, including street concerts, and painting and book exhibitions.
The purpose of the events is to increase public awareness on the needs, but also the abilities, of children suffering from mental retardation.
 Tzortzatos' counsel continues 2nd day of final argument in N17 trial
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)The defense attorney for one of the more high-profile defendants (Vassilis Tzortzatos) at the ongoing “November 17” trial continued his final argument on Wednesday, reiterating that the proceedings lacked fairness, while criticizing the actions of the presiding judge and prosecutors.
Attorney Hippocrates Mylonas also ridiculed prosecutors’ recommendations – mostly guilty verdicts against practically all the defendants – saying they (prosecutors) barely “touched” on the voluminous indictment filled with numerous murder and robbery charges.
Finally, he said a presiding judge, a direct reference to Mihalis Margaritis, should remain emotionally detached during the testimony phase.
 Police, fire fighters, coast guard officers stage protest in Athens
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)The federations of the unions of police officers, fire fighters and coast guard officers on Wednesday rallied in central Athens in protest for what they termed as the non adherence of the government to its commitment to recognize their work as dangerous and hazardous for their health.
Such a recognition would incur immediate financial and pension benefits, including earlier pensioning.
Police officers' union officials insist on meeting with representatives of the government and the parties in Parliament so as to promote a solution to their problems.
 European Commission announces "Cinedays 2003'' events
BRUSSELS, 09/10/2003 (ANA - A. Simatos)The European Commission on Wednesday announced the holding of a series of events in European countries, including Greece, titled ''Cinedays 2003.''
The ''Cinedays'' events, organized for the second consecutive year, promote European cinema every autumn in Union member states and candidate countries through a series of activities such as the screening of European films over a period of two weeks (October 10-24) in cooperation with cinema festivals and cooperation with television networks and cinema halls.
According to the Commission's announcement, the ''Cinedays'' initiative, supported by the Media Plus EU program and the European Commission's General Education and Culture Department, aims at reminding Europeans of the richness of the European cinema and, at the same time, attracting the interest of young people in the films, culture and history of their neighbors.
 International Radiology symposium in Crete
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)The Third Aegean Postgraduate Radiology Course will be held on October 10-12 at the Creta Maris hotel on the island of Crete, organized by the University of Crete's Radiology Department.
The international postgraduate scientific meeting will focus on modern techniques of depicting the peptic, urinary and central nervous systems and the broadening prospects for interventionist radiology in the treatment of frequently occurring diseases of those systems.
A total of 50 distinguished foreign and Greek speakers from respected international centers in Europe and the US will address the symposium on their experience with these techniques and present contemporary views on a broad range of illnesses.
The sessions will be attended by more than 500 physicians from Europe and the US.
 International conference told genes determine possibilities of man in sport
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)From the moment a person is born science will be able, in the near future, to determine whether he will be a possible Olympic Games medalist or world champion.
Consequently, genes determine the possibilities of man in sport, according to the 7th International Medical Conference on Sports Sciences taking place at a downtown Athens hotel on Wednesday.
According to Dr. John Holloszy, a professor of medicine at the universities of Washington and Saint Luis specializing in the effective training of athletes, the ''reading of genes'' will enable the deciphering of the capabilities of a newborn person.
''All our research lead to the fact that in a few years time we will recognize a champion from the time he is born. We will be able to find those genes which make someone run faster, make bigger jumps or become stronger,'' Holloszy said.
 US embassy, gov't offices closed Oct. 13 for Columbus Day US nat'l holiday
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)The US Embassy and consular section in Athens, the US consulate general in Thessaloniki, and all US government offices in Greece will be closed on Monday, October 13, in observance of Columbus Day, a US national holiday.
 INSEAD graduates' event in Athens this month
Athens, 09/10/2003 (ANA)Graduates in Greece of INSEAD, one of the top business and management post-graduate schools in the world, are organizing an event this month in Athens entitled “Prospering in Uncertain Times.”
Speakers include H. Landis Gabel, INSEAD’s deputy dean; the president of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB), Odysseas Kyriakopoulos; the managing director of EFG Eurobank, Nikolaos Nanopoulos, as well as the director of the Boston Consulting Group, Bolko von Oetinger.
 Protest rally in Tirana over killing of immigrant by Greek police officer
TIRANA, 09/10/2003 (ANA - I. Paco)Albanian youths staged a protest rally outside the Greek Embassy in Tirana to demand that a Greek police officer be brought to justice for the killing of an 18-year-old Albanian immigrant at the Greek-Albanian border a few days ago, an ANA dispatch from the city said on Wednesday.
The protest was held on Tuesday by a student organization, with protestors carrying banners bearing anti-racist slogans and demands for justice.
It is the first time that such a protest has been staged in Tirana to support the rights of Albanians who have emigrated abroad.
Meanwhile, Albania's Ombudsman on Tuesday took a statement from another Albanian immigrant, who alleges that he suffered abuse at the hands of Greek police officers at the Krystallopigi border post.
 Government welcomes EU involvement in Loizidou case
NICOSIA, 09/10/2003 (CNA/ANA)The Cyprus government has described as ''very important'' the European Union's involvement in efforts to secure compliance by Turkey with a European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling, relating to human rights violations in Cyprus.
Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said on Wednesday the EU will make representations to Ankara with regard to Turkey's refusal to execute the Court's decision in the Titina Loizidou case.
He said a debate will be held next Wednesday at the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe after EU member states in the Committee intervened during Tuesday's Committee meeting when Turkey set out terms before it complies with the ECHR ruling.
Chrysostomides said the EU demarches towards Turkey may refer to the possible repercussions Ankara's continued stance on the Loizidou case will have. He said Greece and Cyprus tabled a resolution condemning Turkey's behavior but he did not want to reveal the contents of the resolution.
Asked whether the government believes the EU's involvement can change the situation, Chrysostomides replied that the ''EU's involvement is very significant in view of Turkey's accession course and a continued reminder to Turkey that compliance with the Copenhagen criteria and its contribution to a solution of the Cyprus problem are very significant in relation to its EU course''.
The European Court ordered Turkey in 1998 to pay some 900.000 dollars in compensation to Loizidou for loss of use of her property, occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, and told Ankara to allow Greek Cypriot Loizidou access to her property for peaceful enjoyment.
Turkey's representative to the Committee of Ministers said Tuesday that his government would pay the damages but demanded that the Committee should not deal with the execution of the second part of the ruling (access to property and peaceful enjoyment) until 2005.
 Cyprus FM refutes allegations on illegal state's OIC PU statusNICOSIA, -09/10/2003 (CNA/ANA)
Cyprus' foreign ministry has said that statements and reports claiming that the Turkish Cypriot illegal regime in Cyprus' occupied areas enjoys observer status in the Organization of Islamic Conference Parliamentary Union are unfounded.
A press release issued by the ministry of foreign affairs says that the Cypriot ministry looked thoroughly into the issue of the application put forward by the internationally-condemned illegal state to participate in the OIC Parliamentary Union that took place in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The ministry says the so-called president of the Turkish Cypriot ''parliament'' addressed the Executive Committee of the Union but was described by the Union's President only as a ''visitor''.
The ministry adds that the Jakarta final communiqué noted the Executive Committee's decision to examine the issue of the acceptance of the Turkish Cypriot community's and not the pseudo state’s application at its next meeting and recalled the chapters of its decisions on this matter, issued at the Union's previous meetings.
More specifically the communiqué refers to the recommendation of the 6th session of the Executive Committee, held in Rabat, September 24-25, 2001 which explicitly said that ''the observer's status was granted from the OIC to the Muslim Turkish community of Northern Cyprus'' and not to the ''Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus'' which as mentioned in this text ''is only recognized by Turkey.''
The Cypriot foreign ministry press release adds that in view of the OIC 10th Heads of State and Government Meeting to be held in Malaysia October 11-18, both Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Foreign Minister Georgios Iacovou had a series of meetings with their counterparts of OIC member states in New York, on the sidelines of the 58th UN General Assembly session, while the foreign ministry and Cyprus' diplomatic missions abroad continue to have systematic contacts with the governments of OIC member states.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.