|Monday, 20 May 2013|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 03-10-27
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>October 27, 2003
 Simitis says in message national gains through struggles must be safeguarded
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Simitis, in a message on Sunday marking Tuesday's national holiday commemorating the outbreak of the war with Italy on October 28, 1940, said that ''the era of 1940 has taught us that all that have been gained through struggles and sacrifices would be in danger if we do not have the foresight to stabilize our gains.''
The prime minister said that ''today, Greece is strong enough to confront new challenges and the relentless facts in the sector of the economy, with a high growth rate, with visible prospects for an increase in employment, with strong prerequisites for the real economic and social convergence with our advanced partners in the European Union, with planning and action for organized social care and protection for the sensitive groups of the population.''
Simitis says in message national gains through struggles must be safeguarded.
Simitis went on to say that Greece was ''strong and secure because it actually constitutes an oasis of peace and stability in our sensitive region, offering a hand of friendship, cooperation and good neighborliness with all countries, supporting everywhere and always the implementation of the rules of law and the maintenance of international treaties''.
On his part, Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis said in his message that ''October 28, 1940 is not for us just an excuse to feel proud for our past. Above all, it’s a live and contemporary message of being on the alert and for the activation of our people's collective conscience. It is a message of refusing totalitarianism, racism and violence. It is a message of humanity, freedom and democracy, of peace and friendship of peoples.
 Political parties issue messages in light of national holiday
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) party issued messages on Sunday in light of Tuesday's national holiday commemorating the outbreak of war with Italy on October 28, 1940.
KKE said October 28, 1940, sends the message that its celebration acquires substantive value to the degree that opportune conclusions are drawn concerning popular interests.
It added that genuine national interests are linked unbreakably to the struggle against monopolies, imperialism and anti-popular policy in each separate country.
DHKKI leader Dimitris Tsovolas said the message sent by October 28 to all the peoples of Europe is that no force can subjugate people who are determined to defend their just causes.
He added that the best tribute paid to those who fought in 1940 is resistance to defeatism and submission and to the denial of popular rights and freedoms.
The central Political Committee of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) party released a message on Sunday marking Tuesday's national holiday commemorating the outbreak of the war with Italy on October 28, 1940.
''The spirit of the resistance of the Greek people against fascism today acquires a new internationalist and ecumenical dimension,'' the massage said.
The message stressed that this dimesnsion ''passes through movements against the storm of neoliberal globalization and through the anti-war movements in order to defeat the forces which undermine peace and international organizations, international law and our legal civilization which were conquests of the two bloody World Wars.''
 Archbishop Christodoulos officiates at official church service in Thessaloniki
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos officiated at an official church service held at Saint Dimitrios church in Thessaloniki on Sunday, attended by President Kostis Stephanopoulos who arrived in the city to attend events commemorating the city's patron Saint Dimitrios, the liberation of the city from Ottoman rule and the anniversary of the outbreak of war with Italy on October 28, 1940.
Among others, the church service was attended by Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and Minister of Macedonia and Thrace Haris Kastanidis. Also present was main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis.
Archbishop Christodoulos is due to inaugurate an exhibition at the Metropolitan Mansion on Sunday evening, organized on the occasion of the 195th anniversary of the establishment of Thessaloniki's church.
The three-day festive events will heighten on Tuesday with a military parade to be held in Alexander the Great Avenue.
 President Stephanopoulos visits exhibition 'Cyprus
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)President Kostis Stephanopoulos visited the exhibition titled ''Cyprus 1700-2000'' at the Tellogleio Art Foundation in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on Sunday which provides an account of Cyprus' culture over the past three centuries.
The president was given a guided tour of the exhibition and was accompanied by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Minister of Macedonia and Thrace Haris Kastanidis and Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis.
The exhibition, inaugurated last September by Prime Minister Costas Simitis during his visit to the city, is jointly organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus, the ''Home of Cyprus'' and the "Costas and Rita Severi Foundation'' and is taking place with backing by the Greek Culture Ministry, the Education and Culture Ministry of Cyprus and the Bank of Cyprus.
At noon, President Stephanopoulos attended a luncheon given in his honor by Kastanidis, while in the evening he will be attending the official celebration commemorating the city's patron Saint Dimitrios, the 91st anniversary of its liberation from Ottoman rule in 1912 and the anniversary of the outbreak of war with Italy on October 28, 1940.
Later in the evening, the president will attend a reception given in his honour by Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos.
 Deputy FM to begin tour of Black Sea countries on Monday
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)Deputy Foreign Minister Ioannis Mangriotis will begin a tour of Black Sea countries and of Greek communities in the region as of Monday.
His first stop will be Odessa, in the Ukraine, where he will meet with representatives of the Greek community. He will also be proclaimed an honorary professor of the Humanitarian Studies Institute during his stay in the country.
Magriotis will also be visiting Yerevan, Armenia, on Tuesday where he will be celebrating Greece's October 28 national holiday with the Greek community before going on to Tbilisi, Georgia, where his program includes a meeting with Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze.
On Friday, the deputy foreign minister will represent Greece at the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Pact's ministerial meeting in Baku, Azerbaidjan.
 PASOK secretary issues circular in light of preliminary elections in party
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)Preliminary elections will be held in the ruling PASOK party on November 9, while party secretary Mihalis Chrysohoidis issued a circular to prefectural party committees, stressing that tickets for the new election victory will have been finalized by the Central Committee by the end of November.
Chrysohoidis underlined that PASOK must dare its qualitative differentiation, enriching its human potential with young people who have both a presence and action in social networks.
He further noted that priority must be given in preparing tickets to the issue of women's participation, adding that procedures must be linked to the anxieties and troubles of local societies.
 ND leader criticizes government's economic policy, calls for early elections
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Kara-manlis, in an address in the town of Polygyros in northern Greece on Saturday, criticized the government for its economic policy and accused it of being a prisoner of non-transparent economic interests.
Karamanlis said in all public procurements prices exceed all international levels and the final cost of public projects outstrips their budget two and three times.
''Over the past three years, at least four billion euros received from the sale of public property, instead of being directed at reducing the public debt, were channeled to consumer expenditures,'' he said.
Referring to unemployment, the ND leader said it remains at nightmarish levels, adding that an indication of this is the situation prevailing in the north and northwest of the Halkidiki prefecture where unemployment figures are more than double the national average.
Karamanlis promised an increase in public expenditures for education from 3.5 percent of GDP to 5 percent, a substantive upgrading of local government and a comprehensive plan of action against corruption.
He also called once again for early elections, normally due in April next year, without any further delay.
 Balkan deputy defense ministers attend SEDM meeting in Albania
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)The deputy defense ministers of 10 NATO and partner countries participating in the Southeastern Europe Defense Ministerial (SEDM) issued a joint statement after their meeting in Tirana, in which they expressed their support for ongoing NAÔÏ and ÅU operations ßn the region, and reiterated their commitment to make every effort to enhance the ability of SEDM and the Southeastern Europe Brigade (SEEBRIG) to contribute to stability and security in the region.
The meeting was held on Friday, October 24.
They also reiterated their support for the open door policy of SEDM for all Balkan nations once they meet specified criteria.
The meeting exchanged views ïn the internationaI security environment and ïn defense and regional security cooperation since their Iast meeting in Bucharest a year before.
The deputy ministers were informed about the PMSC and SEDM-CC activities in that time and exchanged views on the SEDM process, stating that it is the most successful confidence-building initiative in Southeastern Europe.
After discussing developments in Afghanistan and lraq, the deputy ministers agreed that re-construction is essential to bringing stability to both countries and pledged to contribute to these efforts to the best of their ability, while they reaffirmed SEDM's tangible contributions to the international struggle against global terrorism.
The deputy defense ministers agreed that SEDM is now so well advanced that their annual meetings are no longer necessary and agreed to recommend that Balkan defense ministers approve this decision in Zagreb ïn 19 Nïí 03.
They also noted proposals by Greece and Bulgaria to invite the defense ministers of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia and Montenegro as guests to a SEDM Ministerial Meeting and agreed that the SEDM-CC should address this issue at its next meeting in March 2004.
 Finance minister says economy improving considerably
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)Finance and Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, speaking to the Greek Radio and Television Corporation's (ERT) television station in Crete on Sunday and referring to a speech by main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis, accused ND of trading on dangers regarding the economy and added that elections will be held at the end of the four-year term.
''In past years inflation has been decreasing and it is approaching the European average more. All macroeconomic indicators, particularly that of the public debt are showing a considerable improvement. The public debt in our country this year will be the lowest in the past 10 years at least,'' he said.
Christodoulakis went on to say "all these are signs of a considerable improvement of the Greek economy. New Democracy does not see this improvement and is trading on dangers and describing the progress and prospects of the economy, using only the color of grey."
Referring to the issue of the next general elections, Christodoulakis said "the elections will take place in April, 2004. The government has a specific mandate from the Greek people to complete a big, ambitious and particularly demanding task. To prepare the Olympic Games. To decrease unemployment even more. And I am confident this will happen."
 Local authority staff back to work on Monday
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)Striking local authority workers throughout the country will be back at work on Monday after their union federation POE-OTA was unable to pass a motion to continue strike action during a general assembly on Saturday.
The assembly was inquorate because trade unionists affiliated to ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy failed to turn up.
 Athens mayor orders intense drive to rid Athens of rubbish after strike
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni on Saturday ordered all municipal cleaning and maintenance services to chip in and work overtime in order to clear the mounds of rubbish that have accumulated on the streets of Athens during a strike by local authority workers.
After the local authority workers union federation POE-OTA failed to renew its strike next week and the Ano Liosia landfill was reopened with the intervention of riot police, Bakoyianni called on refuse collection crews, park maintenance services and road maintenance services to deploy all their manpower, vehicles and equipment in order to collect an estimated 8,500 tones of refuse on the streets of Athens.
Priority will be given to high-risk areas, such as those near hospitals and nursing homes, market places, schools and other establishments of learning, day-care centers, centers for old people, municipal out-patient surgeries, the historic city centre and the main shopping areas.
It is estimated that more than 16 tones of rubbish will have to be collected before the city is fully cleared of excess refuse and that the work will occupy 1,400 workers of various kinds doing double and even triple shifts.
Piles of garbage in Athens being collected at speedy rate: Crews of garbage collectors in the municipality of Athens are struggling at a speedy rate to rid the capital of piles of garbage, following the end of a strike called by local government employees and the reopening of landfills.
Garbage trucks had made a total of 1,016 runs by noon on Sunday, carrying about 3,750 tones of garbage to the landfill at Ano Liosia.
According to an announcement by the municipality, the task of collecting all the garbage will last for about a week since 8,500 tones of garbage will have to be removed in addition to 1,200 tones produced daily. By the time all the garbage will have been removed, over 16,000 tones of garbage will have been collected.
The municipality of Athens pointed out that over 1,400 employees of various specialties will be used with overtime work, while all available means are also being used. Priority is being given to such places as hospitals, markets, schools and commercial centers.
 Four detained after police raids uncover quantities of drugs
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)Four people were detained by Thessaloniki police after 14 kilos of hashish and 1.5 kilos of heroin were found during raids on their apartments in the city's Ano Poli district.
According to an announcement on Saturday, police had been tipped off that the four were dealing in drugs and all four will now be led before a public prosecutor to be charged with drugs offences.
 Ombudsman Diamantouros begins tour of 10 new acceding EU countries
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)European ombudsman Nikiforos Diamantouros has begun a tour of the 10 acceding countries to the European Union with the purpose of briefing the citizens of their rights.
In September he visited Estonia and next week he will be in Hungary.
As stated by Diamantouros, ''As of May 1, 2004, the citizens of the countries of the enlargement will be citizens of the European Union and will enjoy all the rights related with it. In order for them to fully use their rights, the Hungarian citizens, and the citizens of all the countries of the enlargement should be informed of their rights and on the way with which they will better exercise them.''
 Henning wins gold in men's triathlon test event in Athens
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)Denmark's Rasmus Henning finished first in the men's triathlon world cup in Athens on Saturday in a very close race where the winner was determined in a photo finish.
Henning beat France's Cedric Fleureton by 0.03 seconds with a time of 1:52:41.93 against Fleureton's time of 1:52:41.96.
Third place went to Swiss athlete Sven Riederer with a time of 1:53:11.02.
Of the Greek athletes in the event, Vassilis Krommydas finished 37th out of the 52 athletes taking part with a time of 1:58:43.53.
The ITU World Cup also doubled as a test event for the triathlon during the Athens Olympics in August. Athletes taking part had high praise for the organizers and described the route as demanding, though some said they would have liked to have seen more spectators.
 Australia's Jones finishes first in triathlon test event in Athens
Athens, 27/10/2003 (ANA)Australian athlete Michelle Jones climbed to first place and victory in the women's triathlon world cup in Athens on Saturday with a time of 2.06:47.02, after running a very good race in the last event, the 10-kilometre run.
The silver medal went to Britain's Jodie Swallow with a time of 2.06:47.42 and third place went to Spain's Pilar Hidalgo, whose time was 2.07:13.35.
The ITU World Cup also doubled as a test event for the triathlon during the Athens Olympics in August. The athletes taking part praised the organizers on a job well done overall, though several noted the need for a feeding point during the cycling route.
Participants also commented on the high temperatures and demanding route, which was described as very difficult.
 Papadopoulos: No resumption of talks before end of 'elections'
NICOSIA, 27/10/2003 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said everyone ascertains that there is no possibility of resuming the dialogue for a Cyprus settlement before the completion of the illegal elections in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus.
Invited by reporters on Sunday to comment on the results of the visit to the region by US State Department Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston, President Papadopoulos said ''what should be done is for Turkey to change its attitude, positions on Cyprus, so we can be able to look towards progress on the Cyprus problem''.
To a remark about conditions which Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has set for the resumption of the talks, (about changes to all the provisions of the UN plan, no discussion of maps), President Papadopoulos said these ''are a repetition of old positions under a new format''.
''I do not think there is any possibility that the UN Secretary-General will accept Mr. Denktash's conditions'', the president added.
''We are realists and should acknowledge that the decisions on Cyprus are taken by Ankara and the messages that we and the Americans get is that Turkey might have accepted that a non-solution is not a solution and might have abandoned the policy of reacting without limits, but has still to change the format and the framework of a solution which it considers unacceptable, which is, the recognition of two separate state entities on the island'', the president said.
Regarding the issue of whether observers should come to Cyprus to monitor the illegal elections of December, President Papado-poulos said their arrival was not the issue but what they intend to do when they are here.
Concerning the case of Greek Cypriot refugee Titina Loizidou where the European Court of Human Rights ordered Turkey in 1998 to pay some 900.000 dollars in compensation to her for loss of use of her property, occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, Papadopoulos said it was unlikely that Turkey would go ahead and pay without setting conditions.
Acknowledging that he cannot predict the final outcome of the case, he reminded that in May when the Turkish Permanent Representative at the Council of Europe had said that Turkey would pay the compensation, everyone welcomed his statement but he (the president) had said, ''it was unlikely that it would pay without preconditions or terms''.
Her lawyer, Achilleas Demetriades said that deliberations would continue on Monday, in view of the meeting of the deputy foreign ministers of the CoE to be held on Wednesday.
Turkey has said it is ready to pay the money to Loizidou but it is not willing to allow Loizidou access to her property, an obligation Turkey has to meet as part of the ruling.
 Very difficult for talks to resume before 'elections', Weston says
LARNACA, 27/10/2003 (CNA/ANA)US State Department Special Coordinator on Cyprus, Ambassador Thomas Weston said here on Saturday it is very difficult for UN-led talks for the solution to the Cyprus question to be held before the illegal elections, scheduled for December 14 in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus.
Speaking before departing to Dublin, Weston said that he leaves the island ''refreshed, optimistic as always and recommitted to working very hard to do what we all want to do, which is solve the division of the island'', adding that he would be back to the island shortly.
He said between now and until the illegal elections, it would be ''very difficult to actually move back to negotiations'', adding that during his meetings he found a ''great interest in getting back to talks as soon as possible''.
Stating that most of the attention, and especially in the occupied areas, is focused on the so-called elections, the US envoy said ''I anticipate that after those 'elections' all our efforts are going to be devoted doing exactly that, getting back to the negotiations where we can reach a settlement'', before ''the actual accession of Cyprus to the EU'' in May 2004.
In Dublin, Weston will have contacts with Irish officials. Ireland will take over the EU rotating presidency in the first half of 2004.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.
 Papadopoulos: Government opposes installation of Bases antenna
NICOSIA, 27/10/2003 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said the government opposes the installation of an antenna by the British Bases in Cyprus at the Akrotiri Salt Lake area near the southern coastal town of Limassol, and has protested to the British government over the issue.
Invited to comment on appeals to the government to deny the Bases power for the facility, Papadopoulos said this is some-thing, which is provided in the Treaty of Establishment, and Cyprus has an obligation to respect and abide by it.
The Ecologists-Environmentalists Movement deputy George Perdikis called on the government here Sunday to deny power to the facility.
His statement came after the British Bases issued a press release on Friday, which said that ''construction work is almost complete on the Akrotiri Salt Lake site and testing of the new antenna will begin shortly''.
It also said the British government had fulfilled its commitment which addressed concerns about the impact of the antenna on the health and the environment and for this reason, they will install permanent emission monitoring equipment in the heart of the village and the results of the testing will be made available to the villagers.
President Papadopoulos told reporters on Sunday that the government ''is following the correct policy and is demonstrating against the installation and operation of the antenna''.
''We have repeatedly and officially made our position on the issue known'' the president said but the British government ''is proceeding with its plans''.
However he indicated that ''the issue of whether we should cut or not the power supply, is provided in the Treaty of Establishment and Cyprus has an utmost obligation to respect and abide by the Treaty'', Papadopoulos concluded.
Earlier Sunday, Foreign Minister George Iacovou said the president has dealt with the issue and has written to the British High Commissioner informing him that the government of Cyprus opposes the construction of the facility, until the repercussions it may have on the health of the people and the environment are studied.
He said Britain has carried out some studies on the issue, ''but we are not satisfied with them''.
Iacovou also echoed Papadopoulos' view that ''we are committed to selling power to the Bases'', noting that if the government cannot do that, then the British will operate the Dhekelia power station.
The antenna is being installed in the wetland, a unique ecosystem of fresh and saltwater habitats.
The site supports a significant number of rare species, including 13 endemic and rare plant species and 32 bird species specially
protected under the European Birds Directive. A number of species of water bird winter on or migrate through the site, including around 6.000 flamingos.
Under the terms of the Ramsar Convention, the British Bases are obliged to promote the conservation and wise use of the Akrotiri Ramsar site.
Britain has retained two military bases in Cyprus since the island gained its independence from British colonial rule in 1960.