|Wednesday, 19 June 2013|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 03-10-14
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>October 14, 2003
 US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Athens on October 22
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)The government confirmed on Sunday afternoon that US Secretary of State Colin Powell will visit Athens on October 22, en route to Madrid where the International Donors' Conference on Iraq will be taking place.
According to diplomatic sources, Powell will visit Athens after accepting an invitation extended to him by Foreign Minister George Papandreou during his latest visit to Washington.
The final confirmation by the State Department of the date of the visit was given to the foreign minister's diplomatic office at noon on Sunday.
Greek diplomatic sources said that during his brief stay in Athens Powell will have a private meeting with Papandreou for talks on problems in the region, the situation in the Balkans, Greek-US relations, preparations for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Iraq and the Middle East question.
Also to be discussed will be Euro-Turkish and Greek-Turkish relations, as well as the Cyprus issue in the wake of the visit to Athens by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on October 21.
Foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis categorically denied on Monday the possibility of a tripartite meeting in Athens between Powell, Papandreou and Gul and that the visit by the US secretary of state is linked in any way to developments in Greek-Turkish relations.
 Gov't: Greece closely monitoring latest municipal elections in Albania
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)The Greek government on Monday stressed that it was closely monitoring developments in neighboring Albania in the wake of this past weekend’s municipal elections there, especially in parts of southern Albania with a large ethnic Greek presence.
Government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris reiterated that Athens will closely monitor both the election results as well as other developments, following reports on Sunday that one voting precinct official in the predominately ethnic Greek district of Himarra was severely beaten by unknown assailants who subsequently made off with the ballot box. The same precinct had earlier been evacuated – except for the 40-year man later attacked – when a hand grenade was thrown outside its doors.
The man was listed in stable condition at the Ioannina hospital in northwest Greece.
Meanwhile, according to an ANA dispatch from Gjirokaster, the president of the Union for Human Rights Party, Vangelis Doules, said another two ballot boxes were stolen, in the Piliouri and Kyparo districts of southern Albania, respectively, while another two ethnic Greeks serving as voting precinct monitors were attacked by unknown suspects.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) had recorded similar, albeit more widespread election irregularities -- intimidation of election commissioners, destruction of ballot boxes as well as evidence of fraud -- the last time municipal elections were held in the neighboring country in 2000. Numerous ethnic Greeks had also been prevented from crossing the border to return to their ancestral homes prior to those elections as well.
Incidents during Albania's municipal elections in November 2000, mostly involving ethnic Greek candidates and voters, generated an angry response from Athens and promises by Tirana to meet its international and bilateral commitments.
Man injured in attack on polling station during Albanian local elections: A member of an Albanian vote-counting committee was admitted to Ioannina hospital on Monday, after he was apparently savagely beaten by unknown assailants that attacked a polling station in Himarra.
The attack occurred late on Sunday evening, after Albania's municipal polls, when a group of unidentified attackers lobbed a hand-grenade into the polling station, causing most of its panic-stricken occupants to flee.
One 40-year-old man alone remained behind to guard the ballot box when the attackers stormed in and assaulted him, inflicting serious cuts and bruises.
He was transferred to Ioannina hospital in an ambulance on Monday morning.
According to an ANA report from Tirana, meanwhile, the official results of the municipal polls have yet to be announced, though both main parties are claiming victory, while the ruling Socialists deny any problems in the polls.
The Greek minority-supported Union of Human Rights Party, meanwhile, is claiming victory in Himarra based on early results, where its candidate has come down in alliance with the main opposition Democratic Party, and also sees victory in around eight municipalities and communities in southern Albania.
Commenting on the Albanian elections from Athens, acting government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris said the Greek government's response to the Albanian government would be ''proportional to the events, which must first be established''.
He added that the government was closely monitoring both the results of the elections and the events that took place during their course.
 EU foreign ministers discuss developments in Middle East and Iraq
LUXEMBOURG 14/10/2003 (ANA/Ch. Poulidou)The European Union's foreign ministers met here on Monday to discuss developments in the Middle East, criticizing the Israeli initiative for the construction of the security ''wall'' between that country and the Palestinian territories.
''The inalienable right of the Israelis for security should not offer them the ability to recycle violence,'' French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said, while Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis said that ''the European strategy for the Middle East problem should be delineated with care so that the European Union would be able to influence developments, while at the same time to secure its credibility in a place where its intervention later may have greater added value''.
The foreign ministers also focused on developments in Iraq, in light of the Madrid Conference - due for Oct. 23 and 24 - and welcomed the proposal of the Commission which prescribes EU funding for the reconstruction of that country to the tune of 200
million euros for the fiscal years 2003 and 2004, stressing that these funds are additional to the 730 million already provided by the EU for humanitarian aid.
Concerning the national funding - of member-states - for Iraq, the council stressed that such initiatives may be acceptable but only for a year.
The ministers also underlined the necessity for the UN to be more involved in Iraq, while Yiannitsis stressed that there is also a necessity for ''a progressive transfer of power to the Iraqis on a pragmatic basis which will be in connection with the security of the region''.
This general council also dealt with the preparation of the next EU summit, concerning the issue of enlargement where emphasis is placed on the direction of a ''natural unification of the single market''.
EU FMs discuss Intergovernmental Conference, Papandreou seeks amendment: EU Foreign Ministers examined here on Monday institutional matters concerning the Intergovernmental Conference and particularly proposals by the Convention on the Future of Europe which refer to the establishment of the ''EU foreign minister'' and the reform of the Commission's leadership.
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, in reference to the Commission, called for the amendment of the Convention's proposal to enable the existence of a status of equal participation of commissioners.
Referring to the new institution of foreign minister, Papandreou noted that for the sake of the effectiveness of the system ''the EU foreign minister should be EU Vice-President.''
Later in the evening the ministers were due to discuss the proposal on the establishment of a ''President'' of the European Council, matters related to Eurodeputies and matters concerning Common Foreign and Defense Policy.
On the sidelines of the foreign ministers' meeting, Papandreou attended a reception given at the ambassador’s residence in honor of the new President of the European Court Vassilis Skouris.
 Press minister stresses continued focus on Cyprus problem
NICOSIA 14/10/2003 (ANA - G. Leonidas)Visiting Greek Press Minister Christos Protopapas on Monday stressed that Athens and Nicosia remained jointly focused on finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and were ''taking a common path'' in this effort.
Protopapas made the statement after meeting a delegation from the Cypriot party DHSY led by the party's president Nikos Anastassiades.
The Greek minister said the meeting had revealed an identity of views on issues pertaining to the Cyprus problem, Cyprus' European progress and the EU issues in view of the European Summit on the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC).
 Gov't on Turkish PM's visit to occupied northern Cyprus
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Acting government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris on Monday said the government was anticipating with interest both Turkey's official stance regarding a solution to the Cyprus problem and the Annan plan and the results of so-called 'elections' in the occupied north of the island.
Hytiris was responding to questions regarding a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the occupied territories.
 PM to soon present 2004 election manifesto, PASOK secretary says
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)PASOK Central Committee Secretary Mihalis Chrysohoidis on Monday announced that the premier will be presenting the ruling party's manifesto for the 2004 general elections in the next few days, shortly after meeting Prime Minister and PASOK President Costas Simitis earlier in the day.
PASOK party officials and delegations of the party's Central Committee will then begin a program of contacts and communication with the electorate throughout the country, in order to initiate dialogue with society on PASOK's program and policies for 2004-2008 term of government and the Convergence Charter.
The party secretary reported a climate of optimism within PASOK that was based on the government's achievements, which he said were daily changing the lives of Greeks. He expressed conviction that these benefits would soon spread to all levels of Greek society.
 PM briefed by PASOK's candidate selection committee coordinator
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Monday received high-ranking PASOK deputy Paraskevas Avgerinos for talks focusing on next year’s general election, as the latter has been appointed coordinator of the ruling party’s candidate selection committee.
According to Avgerinos, a one-time Euro-MP and current PASOK central committee member, the ruling party’s upcoming ballots will feature several news names and more women candidates. He also forecast that the election will be decided by what he said was the 25 percent of the electorate that is still undecided.
The spring of 2004 has repeatedly been cited by the Simitis government as the period when the next elections will be held.
 President Stephanopoulos to arrive in Serbia on Tuesday for three-day visit
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)President Kostis Stephanopoulos will begin a three-day official visit to Serbia-Montenegro on Tuesday. He will be accompanied by Deputy Foreign minister Andreas Loverdos.
Talks he will be having with the country's leadership will focus on bilateral relations, the situation in the Balkans and developments in the European Union.
President Stephanopoulos will hold talks with Serbia and Montenegro President Marovic, Montenegrin President Vujanovic, former President Vojislav Kostunica, Serbian Parliament President Micic, who is also acting Serbian president and the Prime Ministers of Serbia Zivkovic and Montenegro Djukanovic.
He will also be visiting Belgrade Mayor Chrustanovic, the Parliament of Serbia-Montenegro, where he will be making an address and meeting President Micunovic, and the Patriarch of Serbia Pavle.
 National defense general staff chief visiting China
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)National Defense General Staff chief George Antonakopoulos began an official visit to China on Monday, at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart General Liang Guanglie.
Antonakopoulos will be holding talks with China's military leadership on issues of mutual military interest, as well as on ways of widening Sino-Greek military cooperation.
The program includes a visit to the national defense university, the Beijing guard's third division and the Chinese navy's military base.
The visit will last until October 18.
 ND deputy formally tables Parliament query over tank purchase
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)A main opposition New Democracy (ND) deputy on Monday formally tabled a Parliament question towards Prime Minister Costas Simitis regarding a purchase contract for new main battle tanks (MBTs), charging, among others, that the final price tag was 30 percent higher than originally forecast.
In his tabled question, ND deputy Spilios Spiliotopoulos asks the government to explain what he referred to as a cost overrun of 480 million euros, while again reiterating that a defense ministry procurement program for the 2000-2005 period cited the purchase of 248 “Leopard” 2HEL at a final cost of 1.6 billion euros.
Spiliotopoulos last week charged that only 170 MBTs were included in the final contract.
He also asks why the government has not demanded information on the roles of two offshore companies involved in the contract and apparently at odds over a 60-million-euro commission.
The Achaia prefecture MP last week cited local press reports claiming that a contract between the German-Greek firm IBOS and the Evanston Group Ltd. refers to the commission, with disputes between the two parties eventually finding their way to Swiss courts.
 Education minister distances gov't from church affairs
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Education and Religious Affairs Minister Petros Efthymiou on Monday distanced himself from the conflict that exists between the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece, stressing that the government supports the policy of clearly defined roles for the church and the state.
''First of all, this is a very delicate ecclesiastical subject, which we should not complicate any further with political or party interventions. This is in any case the substance of a position held by us for a long time, about the clearly defined roles of the Church and the State,'' Efthymiou said, responding to a relevant question.
''That of course does not mean that we should not, all of us, try to contribute to the easing of the tension and calm, in the spirit of love as it is mandated by the nature of the two pinnacle institutions of Orthodoxy, those of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece,'' he added.
''Part of this contribution is to not have, not even for a moment, political or partisan intervention,'' he concluded.
 Deputy FM hands demarche to Pakistani envoy over Greek sailors
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos on Monday handed a demarche to the Pakistani Ambassador in Athens Habib ur Rahman, concerning four crew members of a Greek owned ship that run aground at the Pakistani port of Karachi and were forbidden from living the country.
The Greek owned ''Tasman Spirit'' run aground on July 27, 2003 and the Pakistani government barred the exit of four Greek crew members and the chief of the salvage crew that arrived in the country.
Loverdos called Rahman and expressed the deep concern of the Greek government over the Greek sailors, requesting that the Pakistani authorities immediately lift the exit ban.
He also requested to be briefed on the charges brought against the crew, as the foreign ministry has not yet received relevant information to date.
A press release issued by the foreign ministry noted that the minister said ''we feel responsible for the sailors and their families for their fortune and their good condition,'' adding that he did not wish to believe that the Greek sailors were held in Pakistan as ''hostages'' of the government to force payment of compensation for damages caused by the tanker that run aground.
According to the same press release, the Pakistani ambassador promised to relay the message personally, so that the Greek foreign ministry may receive the necessary information in a short time.
 ND leader to depart on Tuesday for EPP presidium meeting in Brussels
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis departs for Brussels on Tuesday to participate in a meeting of the European People's Party (EPP) presidium the same day, while on Wednesday he will take part in the party's summit.
 Finmin says progress ''fairly satisfactory'' in use of EU funds
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said on Monday that use of European Union funds under the European Union's Third Community Support Framework package was "fairly satisfactory."
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with the Prime Minister, Christodoulakis said progress was being made despite problems that emerged at the start of implementation.
"Progress is clear, as shown by the release of another 2.0 billion euros in programs that are proceeding normally," the minister said.
 Jobless benefit up by 10 pct, new labor programs announced
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Unemployment benefit is to rise by 10 percent, effective on January 1, 2004, under a decision signed by Labor and Social Security Minister Dimitris Reppas on Monday.
The base amount for unemployment benefit is to rise to 311.25 euros with a ceiling of 329.25 euros per month.
In addition, two new employment programs are to be implemented by 2008 to provide jobs for 2,800 jobless aged 18-64, budgeted at 28,451,944 euros.
Employers will receive a subsidy of 20 euros per day for hiring unemployed people, plus another 1.50 euros if the recruit is female or over 45 years of age.
Of total jobs under the two schemes, 400 will be reserved for unemployed people who wish to be self-employed.
 Greece wants to keep traditional allocation of EU olive oil funds
BRUSSELS 14/10/2003 (ANA/B.Demiris)Greece wants the European Union to retain its traditional allocation of olive oil funds among member states, Agriculture Minister George Drys said on Monday.
Any fiscal savings that accrued from the abolition of support measures should be added to funds for olive oil, Drys told reporters after an EU farm ministers' meeting in Luxembourg.
Greece backed introduction of the principle of partial decoupling of support, although the danger should be averted of abandonment of the crop, especially in sensitive areas in the south, he added.
 Gov't meeting on tourism policy postponed
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)A government meeting to discuss policy for tourism, originally scheduled to take place on Monday, was postponed because Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos is currently in Turkey, representing the government at the Justice and Development (AKP) party conference.
The ministerial meeting, which will be chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and decide on a package of measures to support tourism enterprises and boost investments in tourism, will take place in the next few days.
 Gov't urges strikers to display 'social conscience' in making demands
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Acting government spokesman Telemahos Hytiris on Monday said that all sides had to have a ''social conscience'', reiterating that the government had exhausted all margins for higher pay rises.
Responding to questions regarding a recent wave of strikes by workers in the public sector, including teachers, hospital doctors and others, Hytiris said the government viewed Greek society as a whole and the pay rises it had offered already stretched the limits the economy could endure.
He pointed out that civil servants stood to get pay rises between 5-7 per cent, which were roughly double inflation.
''There is a limit to everything. We would be happy if we could do something better,'' Hytiris added.
 State owns 7.46 pct of National Bank of Greece after share sale
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)The state controls 7.46 percent of National Bank of Greece after a recent share offer to institutional investors, Athens bourse authorities said on Monday.
Before the sale of 28,050,000 shares, the state held 18.46 percent of stock, authorities said in a statement.
 Greek stocks move cautiously higher on Monday
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Greek stocks ended a dull session slightly higher in the Athens Stock Exchange on Monday, with investors hesitant at the start of a new week and with no new incentives or directions available in the market.
The general index rose 0.19 percent to end at 2,112.57 points, off the day's highs of 2,125.51 points. Turnover was an improved 177.5 million euros of which 88 million euros accounted for the transfer of a block of Piraeus Bank's shares to institutional investors as part of a deal to sell an 8.0 percent of its equity stake.
The Base Metals and Telecommunication sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (1.24 percent and 0.88 percent, respectively), while the Textile and Construction sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses (1.29 percent and 1.06 percent, respectively).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.22 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index eased 0.20 percent and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index fell 0.87 percent.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 203 to 94 with another 62 issues unchanged.
Derivatives Market Close: Turnover at 93.6 mln euros Monday
Equity Index Futures:
Bond Market Close: Buyers match sellers on Monday
Greek Benchmark 10-Year Bond
Closing rates of October 13 2003
Parities in euro
For. Exchange Buying Selling
US Dollar 1,178 1,151
 PM briefed on reported IOC concern over rail line, OAKA dome
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Concerns over delays for the new suburban rail line across much of northern Athens and renovations on the all-important main Olympic Stadium (OAKA) reportedly dominated a one-hour meeting here on Monday between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Athens 2004 Olympic organizing committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.
Sources close to ATHOC said the two projects are listed as close to the “red zone” in a report composed by an IOC inspector and submitted to Denis Oswald, the organization’s powerful chairman of the coordination commission supervising progress for the 2004 Games.
In terms of the suburban rail project -- a line expected to connect northwest Athens with the new international airport in east Attica prefecture as well as with the metro and national railway systems – IOC inspector and Swiss transport expert Philippe Bovy reportedly warned that a stretch of the line (Neratziotissa-Doukissis Plakentias) is in danger of not being ready on time. The specific portion of the rail line is crucial to transporting passengers to OAKA.
Moreover, the IOC also reportedly voiced its heightened concerns about the state-of-the-art yet much-delayed glass and metal dome over the OAKA stadium – a recurrent worry for the Lausanne-based organization’s leadership.
Relevant ministers, conversely, have assured the IOC and ATHOC that deadlines are being met, with both projects ready by 2004. The prime minister is expected to request more information about the two projects, and ahead of the upcoming inter-ministerial meeting on Olympics preparations, from Transport Minister Christos Verelis and Deputy Culture Minister Nassos Alevras, whose portfolio includes many of the 2004-related projects.
Nevertheless, the government and ATHOC are expected to follow a common stance vis-a-vis the IOC's concerns over the delays in the works.
Another issue on the agenda of Monday’s talks was the closely watched security aspect of the Games, especially in light of another recent barrage of mostly critical foreign press reports on the issue.
Additional outlays for the already costly Olympic security program (initially billed at more than 600 million euros) and a more attuned communications policy to better promote the government’s efforts in the field was also discussed by Simitis and Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.
The next inter-ministerial meeting between the government’s top ministers and ATHOC’s leadership is scheduled for next week, while another IOC inspection team will arrive in Athens at the end of the month.
 Body of official who delayed villa walls' demolition found
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)The body of the official that temporarily postponed the demolition of a handful of beachfront walls surrounding luxury residences on Attica prefecture’s southeast coast last week was discovered close to her holiday home near the Keratea township on Monday afternoon, police said.
Search teams discovered the body of Roubini Stathea-Tzouvara, 52, at the bottom of a 20-metre cliff roughly a kilometer from her residence in eastern Attica prefecture. Stathea-Tzouvara, a high-ranking official at the finance-ministry affiliated Real Estate Service, was at the centre of a furor last week involving a hastily issued order to temporarily block the demolition of the four beach-front walls. The issue of the four beachfront walls in upscale southeast Athens attracted its share of intense media coverage last week when attorneys representing the affluent owners of the properties frantically attempted, successfully at first, to prevent the demolition of walls illegally erected on the shoreline.
According to reports, the woman had left three notes at her residence, one addressed to her husband and one each to her two children, while the former also told police she phoned him earlier and threatened to commit suicide.
Earlier reports on Monday stated that Stathea-Tzouvara had been subpoenaed by the prosecutor’s office over her alleged role in granting the temporary postponement and was also the focus of a pending investigation by finance ministry inspectors.
 N17 trial continues with Tzortzatos' 2nd defense attorney
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)The ongoing "November 17" terrorism trial continued to be occupied by defense attorneys for the accused Vassilis Tzortzatos on Monday, who are making their final arguments in his defense.
Monday's session was kicked off by attorney Ippokratis Mylonas, who addressed the court for the fifth consecutive day.
He asked that his client be acquitted of charges regarding the murder of MP Pavlos Bakoyiannis, newspaper publisher Nikos Momferatos, public prosecutor Constantinos Androulidakis and the attempted murder of a police officer during a robbery of an Egaleo post office and of surgeon Zacharias Kapsalakis.
Mylonas accused the appeals judges of "rushing" the interrogation for some cases and making mistakes as a result. He said prosecutor on the bench Vassilis Markis had made six errors regarding the attempted murder of Kapsalakis, thus misleading the court.
Once Mylonas was finished, the court was then addressed by a second defense lawyer for Tzortzatos, Kostas Papadakis.
The attorney argued that the public had been "brainwashed" and noted that an overwhelming 78 per cent believed all 19 of the defendants on trial were guilty during a recent poll.
In an analysis of the phenomenon of terrorism, Papadakis said that the state itself bred terrorism through class prejudice. He also claimed that Greek governments had resorted to implicating the "revolutionary Left" after their embarrassing failure over the course of many years to apprehend the terrorists.
Papadakis is to continue his address to the court on Tuesday.
 Politicians attend presentation of book on drama of Yugoslavia
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Greek politicians held a discussion on Monday night on the position of Greece's political leadership and society towards the drama of Yugoslavia, occurring over the past decade, on the occasion of the presentation of a book by Takis Mihas titled ''Unholy Alliance. Greece and Serbia of Milosevic.''
Nikos Bistis, deputy interior minister, said Greek governments before 1996 supported the old forces of Yugoslavia to the detriment of national interests, but the Simitis-Papandreou government turned the country in the opposite direction, embracing the new forces and restoring Greek foreign policy in the eyes of international public opinion.
All speakers agreed that dialogue on the Balkans and on the position of Greek foreign policy during the Yugoslav issue must take place because many questions have remained unanswered.
 One in six children worldwide working, Reppas says during presentation of book
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)One in six children on the planet, that is about 186 million children aged between 5-17, are working, Labor and Social Security Minister Dimitris Reppas said on Monday, speaking during the presentation of the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) book entitled ''A future without child labor''.
Reppas said that even in developed societies of the European Union and the United States about five percent of children worked. Greece, he said is not below the average of the EU as more children have been absorbed into the education system.
The labor minister stressed that the new national action plan for employment provides clear reforms governing the employment of people under the age of 18.
''If we completely abolish the employment of children, we may unintentionally set the basis for harsher forms of exploitation, poverty and even prostitution and the solution to these dilemmas is the processing of a strict framework which will regulate the rules and prerequisites for the employment of children, Reppas said.
The labor minister concluded by saying that ''the overall solution of the problem is found in education, in the confrontation of prejudices, the solution of problems such as the children of immigrants and to the role of special institutions such as the ombudsman.''
 Deputy labor minister touring Evros prefecture
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Deputy Labor Minister Eleftherios Tziolas began a two-day tour of the Evros prefecture on Monday, which includes a visit to the ruling
PASOK party's offices for a meeting with the party's Prefectural Committee and members of the local Regional Committee.
On Tuesday, Tziolas will visit the Labor Center’s new building and hold a meeting with its administration and employees' societies from the prefecture on problems facing working people.
He will also call on the Manpower Employment Organization in the city of Alexandroupoli for a briefing on the course of its operational modernization, the Employment Promotion Center’s upgrading and the implementation of employment programs.
 Drug bust in Thessaloniki
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)A foreign national and four Greeks have been arrested in Thessaloniki on charges of drug possession, local police said Monday.
They said three of the detainees were arrested after a search of their car turned up 30 ecstasy pills. Following questioning, the identity of the supplier was revealed, and police set up a rendezvous with the supplier by phone to supposedly purchase more ecstasy pills.
At the rendezvous spot, the supplier and an accomplice accompanying him were also arrested, while another 30 ecstasy pills and 620 euro in cash were confiscated, according to a police announcement.
The names of the detainees were not immediately released
 Public debate on "Biotechnology and Bioethics" on Wednesday
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Scientists from countries throughout the world are expected to converge on Athens next Wednesday to take part in a public debate on the theme "Biotechnology and Bioethics" organized by the Cultural Olympiad.
Presenting the aims of the debate at a press conference on Monday, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said it would touch on issues that currently occupy all humanity and all governments.
The debate will be coordinated by Prof. Spyros Simitis from Frankfurt University Law School, who is also president of the German Bioethics Committee.
The debate will be held at the new administrative headquarters of the National Bank of Greece on Aiolou Street 82-84, beginning at 18:00 p.m. and ending late the same day.
 U.S. ambassador arrives in Rhodes for private visit
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)U.S. Ambassador to Greece Thomas Miller on Monday arrived at the south eastern Aegean island of Rhodes for a private visit, along with his wife and several high-ranking embassy staff.
During his meeting with local administrators he stressed his wish to work hard for the success of the Olympic Games of Athens in 2004, adding that each day he feels safe in Greece.
Miller also said that his cooperation with the ministry of public order and with Foreign Minister George Papandreou is very good.
He also commented on the Greek-Turkish relations, saying that they are at a very good level and congratulated the Greek government for this development, adding that since the Imia incident much has changed in the relations between the two countries and for the better.
 Women's helpline says laws on restraining orders must change
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)The SOS ''Next to you'' helpline on Monday appealed to the justice ministry to change laws for issuing restraining orders, saying that the current process was too slow and too costly for most women victims of abuse.
The helpline was set up six months ago and has since received calls from 550 people in areas throughout Greece, 90 per cent of them married women that were victims of domestic violence, with children that were either direct of indirect victims of violence themselves.
According to helpline staff, one of the main causes that trapped women in situations of abuse was a lack of funds, while many women that owned property were prevented from managing it themselves and were unable to react.
 Greece to host FIBA's 1st women's 'Diamond Ball' competition
Athens, 14/10/2003 (ANA)Greece will host FIBA's (Federation of International Basketball Associations) 1st women's ''Diamond Ball'' competition in which the women's national teams who are champions in the five continents will participate.
The competition will coincide with the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and is expected to be a great attraction for basketball fans since a high quality of play is expected.
FIBA's 1st men's ''Diamond Ball'' competition took place in Hong Kong in 2000, while the second competition (taking place every four years) will be hosted by Serbia-Montenegro.
The women's ''Diamond Ball'' competition will comprise the national teams of China (Asia), Australia (Oceania), Russia (Europe), Brazil (America) and the champion of Africa, as well as the Greek national team. FIBA Europe has proposed the dates of August 5-8 or 6-9, 2004, for the competition to be held.
 Christofias: Turkey ousted Turkish Cypriots from Cyprus institutions
NICOSIA 14/10/2003 (CNA/ANA)Turkey is the one prohibiting the Turkish Cypriots from participating in the institutions of the Cyprus Republic and nobody has ousted them, House President Demetris Christofias has stated.
Invited to comment on remarks by European Parliament President Pat Cox that there should be four Greek Cypriot Euro MPs and two Turkish Cypriot Euro MPs, Christofias said that provisions of the Annan plan should not be selectively implemented.
Speaking on arrival from London, he explained that it would be preferable if the Cyprus problem were solved so that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots as partners would enjoy their share in society.
He said these problems exist due to Turkey's continuous occupation and the intransigent positions of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash who is demanding two separate states on the island.
Christofias said that the Turkish Cypriot leadership, under the
guidance of Turkey, ousted the Turkish Cypriots from the Republic's institutions so as partition could materialize, noting that the Republic is a unitary state.
 Seminar of Greek and Cypriot press officers underway
NICOSIA 14/10/2003 (CNA/ANA)The Cyprus problem, the Intergovernmental Conference and the Athens Olympics 2004 were the main issues discussed at an annual meeting of the press and information offices of Cyprus and Greece, which started here on Monday.
Addressing the seminar Cyprus Minister of Interior Andreas Christou expressed certainty that with Greece's support a viable and functional Cyprus settlement will be eventually achieved just like the EU accession goal was accomplished.
He reassured participants that the Cyprus government will support the press and information offices in their effort to promote the state's positions in serious matters and confront the disinformation when attempted.
In the presence of Greek Minister of Press and Government Spokesman Christos Protopapas and his Cyprus counterpart Kypros Chrysostomides, Christou noted that the significance of this year's seminar is that it takes place only a few months after a new government assumed office and therefore officers have the opportunity to be briefed on its positions, policies as well as the latest developments in the efforts to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem.
Protopapas stressed that the seminar marks only the beginning of an even closer cooperation and the start of new initiatives on national issues, such as the 2004 Olympics and the presence of both countries in Europe.
The Cyprus government spokesman underlined the importance of the exchange of knowledge and opinions ''because it offers the opportunity to outline our objectives and our strategy relating to international public opinion and European public opinion.''
In his speech Cyprus' EU Harmonization Coordinator Takis Hadjidemetriou noted the importance of responding to the obligations set out in the Accession Treaty with the EU in the new European competitive environment.
''The implementation of the acquis communautaire will try our endurance and capabilities in a series of issues such as foreign workers, human rights and a multicultural education,'' said Hadjidemetriou.
The Director of Cyprus Press and Information Office Yiannakis Solomou referred to the high level of coordination at all levels between the two press and information offices and the assistance offered by the Greek Press Officers to their Cyprus colleagues.
Referring to the role of the Cyprus Press Officer, he noted that the situation will be soon completely different bearing in mind the new tasks and duties deriving from Cyprus' accession to European Union.