|Sunday, 19 May 2013|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 03-10-29
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>October 29, 2003
 Greece celebrates rejection of Italian ultimatum in WWII
Athens, 29/10/2003 (ANA)Double celebrations marking the anniversary of Greece's refusal to bow to fascist Italy in 1940 and Thessaloniki's liberation from the Ottomans in 1912 were held in the country's second city on Tuesday with President Kostis Stephanopoulos taking the salute in a military parade.
Stephanopoulos told reporters after the event that key concepts of freedom, patriots, Greeks, and the national flag acquired significance when they matched sentiments.
On Monday, he told an officers' club in Thessaloniki that civil servants who failed to respect and serve the public could not be called patriots; or people who sought wealth illegitimately, including what he called ''parasites'' that fed on public money and went unpunished.
In a message for the October 28 holiday, Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that gains needed to be consolidated; Greece was powerful enough today to take on new challenges.
The leader of the main opposition New Democracy party, Costas Karamanlis, said that Greece now faced a historic challenge as it had in 1940; that of striving in the front line for prosperity and security in Europe.
National Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said that the upgraded capacity of the armed forces attested to an ongoing modernization drive.
The Communist Party of Greece said the October 28 holiday only acquired real significance if timely conclusions were drawn from the historical event that matched the interests of the people; and the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology under-lined that the spirit among Greeks of resistance against fascism had acquired a new, internationalist and global dimension.
A schoolchildren's parade was held in Athens to mark October 28 anniversary with Education Minister Petros Efthymiou and Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni looking on.
In Iraklion, Crete, Press and Mass Media Minister Christos Protopappas attended a celebration.
October 28 was also celebrated in Cyprus in an anniversary event led by President Tassos Papadopoulos.
In the US, the World Council of Hellenes Abroad lauded the heroic resistance of Greeks in 1940.
Ethnic Greeks in Albania also celebrated ''Ochi'' (''No'') Day.
Greece faces historic challenge, ND leader Karamanlis says in OCHI Day message: Greece today, just as in 1940, finds itself facing a historic challenge, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis said Monday, on the eve of the 63rd anniversary of the October 28, 1940 OCHI Day national holiday commemorating the historic day on which the country rejected Italy's ultimatum and joined the fight against Fascism in World War II.
Today, he said, Greece was facing the historic challenge of whether it would fight on the front line for a Europe of prosperity and security for all.
Greece's history, civilization and its place in Europe and the southeastern Mediterranean demanded that it take up the challenge, as did the country's vision for building a truly strong Greece and a society of growth, cohesion, progress and solidarity.
In 1940, he said, the Greeks fought not only for Greece, but with heroism and self-denial, optimism and strength, they fought on the front line of the free world's battle for peace, democracy and the dignity of the peoples. The Second World War, he continued, was the climax of a relentless international antagonism and the horrific outcome of the perception that one country's loss was the other country's gain. "It was a clear-cut lesson to all those who supported intolerance, isolationism and conflict".
Today, 63 years later, the ND leader continued, the people of Europe have transcended the enmities of the past, and the European Union is the biggest wager of the current century, both for the European continent and also the entire world.
He said that the Europeans were actively proving that the way to the values for which the Greeks fought in 1940 -- peace, democracy and human dignity -- could be achieved only through cooperation, and the building of relations of solidarity and confidence among the peoples.
President Stephanopoulos unveils memorial for Jews fallen in 1940-41: Greek President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos on Monday unveiled a memorial in Thessaloniki for Greek Jews that fell during the 1940-41 war by Greece against the Axis powers.
The unveiling ceremony was attended by Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Haris Kastanidis and main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis.
 FM Papandreou leads PASOK delegation at Socialist Int'l meeting in Brazil
SAO PAOLO 29/10/2003 (ANA)Foreign Minister George Papandreou led a delegation from Greece’s ruling PASOK party on Monday at a conference organized here by Brazilian leader Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva for the 23rd “Socialist International”, an event that coincided with the Brazilian president’s birthday and the anniversary of this election to the post.
Papandreou was scheduled to speak on the topic of “Prevention and Resolution of Conflicts in the New International Environment”.
Earlier, the Greek FM called da Silva, better known as Lula in South America’s largest country, as a “personality that inspires hope for a better world”. Discussions also turned to the issue of European integration, something that apparently interests the Brazilian leadership, while the latter expressed poorer countries’ displeasure with the American and European agriculture policy.
Moreover, da Silva signed the “Olympic Truce” declaration, an initiative under the IOC’s auspices that is being vigorously promoted by Athens and Papandreou personally.
“We are here in Brazil today representing Greece, during a significant moment, a moment when the world is passing from an era of insecurity, and where the social democratic position remains particularly timely – a guarantee for the promotion of a world of solidarity, a world that fights poverty, inequality, and promotes peace and multi-faceted diplomacy within the UN…” Papandreou said.
 Greeks favor UN for Iraq's reconstruction, Eurobarometer poll finds
BRUSSELS 29/10/2003 (ANA - V. Demiris)Similar to most Europeans, many Greeks believe that the United Nations should be responsible for the reconstruction of Iraq and its temporary governance and that this should be chiefly funded by the United States, according to the findings of a Eurobarometer poll on 'Iraq and peace in the world'.
Greeks are also disinclined to send troops to Iraq and are most likely to consider the US-British military campaign against Iraq unjustified, according to the poll released here on Monday.
The survey was carried out between October 8-16 in the 15 EU member-states, among a sample of 7,515 people overall and 500 in Greece.
Specifically, 42 per cent of Greeks consider that the United Nations should be responsible for Iraq's reconstruction, com-pared to 58 per cent of EU citizens overall, 32 per cent believe it should be Iraq's temporary government, compared to 44 per cent in the EU, 21 per cent favor the EU member-states, compared to 25 per cent in the EU, and 20 per cent say it should be the United States, compared to 18 per cent in the EU.
Over half of Greeks (52 per cent) are in favor of Greece contributing funds to Iraq's reconstruction against 54 per cent in the EU, while 47 per cent are against, compared to 45 per cent in the EU.
The funds for reconstruction should come from the United States according to 61 per cent of Greeks participating in the survey, the United Nations according to 34 per cent and the EU according to 19 per cent. The equivalent percentages for all EU member-states were 65 per cent, 44 per cent and 24 per cent.
About 29 per cent of Greeks in the survey were in favor of sending their country's troops to Iraq to keep the peace, compared to 44 per cent of Europeans over average, and 70 per cent were against, compared to 54 per cent in the EU on average.
After Germans, Greeks are the most opposed to sending national troops to Iraq, while those most in favor are the Danes (77 per cent for and 21 per cent against).
Only 4 per cent of Greeks consider the US-led operation against Iraq justified, compared to 29 per cent in the EU overall, which is the lowest support among all EU member-states. The highest levels of support were in Denmark, where 57 per cent consider the operation justified and 41 per cent consider it unjustified.
Over 68 per cent of Europeans and 96 per cent of Greeks consider the US-led operation to be unjustified.
Regarding the Middle East peace process, 90 per cent of Greeks would like to see the EU take a more active role, compared to 81 per cent in the EU overall.
 Public order ministry issues report Olympic security
Athens, 29/10/2003 (ANA)Greece’s public order ministry issued a press release on Tuesday reiterating that security planning for next year’s 2004 Athens Olympics covers the entire country, with the emphasis directly on prevention and neutralization of terrorism threats.
The announcement came in response to a latest round of mostly negative press by international media on the sensitive matter of Olympic security as well as press reports.
As it stands, Athens’ Olympics will be the first in the post Sept. 11 era. Moreover, Greece, unlike far-off Australia, is situated in the eastern Mediterranean and Balkans, replete with hundreds of islands and the EU’s largest shoreline, elements that have made massive spending and preparations for security imperative.
In the latest response, the ministry again pointed to the establishment and work of a seven-nation advisory group on security, a consultative body that includes most of the countries considered anti-terrorism experts in the world today, and especially as far as Olympics security: the USA, Great Britain, Australia, Germany, France, Spain and Israel. Greek officials also reiterated that timetables for implementing the costliest and most complicated security blueprint in the history of the Olympics are being met.
 Defense minister inaugurates new military school in N. Greece
Athens, 29/10/2003 (ANA)Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou on Monday inaugurated the Higher Interbranch School of War in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.
Addressing the army officers present, Papantoniou said the school was the culmination of a huge effort to modernize the Greek armed forces that began two years previously.
He also reported that the ministry had received 18,000 applications for the 5,700 positions for professional paid troops offered in the latest round of recruiting, which he said was an indication of the huge success of the institution and the effectiveness of ministry measures to support this.
 WINPEACE Greek and Turkish women's initiative: Common programs presented
Athens, 29/10/2003 (ANA)The non-governmental organization WINPEACE-Women's Initiative for Peace on Monday presented an outline of the NGO's programs at a press conference in Athens.
WINPEACE is a six-year-old initiative by Greek and Turkish women devoted to creating and supporting a culture of peace through bi-cultural exchanges and education, joint meetings and projects, and seminars on alternative approaches to peace.
WINPEACE Greece representative Margaret Papandreou and WINPEACE Turkey representative Zeynep Oral presented the organization’s pilot program "education for peace", which was initially applied in two schools in Istanbul and will be expanded.
The purpose of the program is for pupils to be trained in self-knowledge, to pinpoint the causes that give rise to aggressiveness, and to seek out and diagnose prejudices. Ways are then sought to eliminate the prejudices and advance the view non-conflict between the two opposing sides is of benefit to both sides.
Several other programs were also outlined, including a summer camp program held in Greece, attended by children from the two communities on Cyprus, and women's agro-tourism cooperatives in Greece and Turkey.
 PPC's public offering 6.7 times oversubscribed, gov’t says
Athens, 29/10/2003 (ANA)A public offering of Public Power Corporation's 15.7 percent equity stake was 6.7 times oversubscribed, the Greek government said on Monday.
The public offering raised 636 million euros, raising the offering price to 17.5 euros per share, near the top-end of an offering price range set by the company (16.40-17.72 euros per share), reflecting strong buying interest from abroad.
Foreign institutional investors bid for 125.1 million shares (including demand for prometoha share swaps), while domestic private investors submitted more than 35,000 bids, seeking 28.3 million shares. Domestic institutional investors bid for 42.7 million euros.
A joint announcement by the Economy and Development Ministries said that domestic demand accounted for 46.1 percent of the public offering with the remaining 53.9 percent stake offered to foreign institutional investors.
A private placement with PPC's staff and board members was set at 15.75 euros per share with a 10 percent discount.
PPC's third flotation included offering of 36.5 million listed shares, with a nominal value of 4.60 euros per share, or 15.7 percent of the company's equity capital (including a green shoe of 5.4 million shares), raising its total equity stake offered to the public to 49.9 percent.
 Greece, Cyprus to cooperate in agriculture
NICOSIA 29/10/2003 (ANA/M.Kourmousis)Cyprus and Greece on Tuesday forged two cooperation agreements in the agriculture sector spanning 2003 to 2005.
Signing the pacts were visiting Greek Agriculture Minister George Drys and the Cypriot minister of agriculture, natural resources and environment, Efthymios Efthymiou.
Under the terms of the first agreement, the two sides will arrange exchanges of experts in the field; work together in the research and veterinary sectors; and prepare Cyprus for implementation of the European Union's common agriculture policy when the country becomes a full member of the bloc next year.
The second pact between the two sides is a program for agricultural development covering 2004-2006.
 Social responsibility sought in EU textiles sector
BRUSSELS 29/10/2003 (ANA/B.Demiris)Greek European Union commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou said on Tuesday that new measures proposed in the European Union for the textiles and clothing sector aimed to promote social responsibility by companies.
''The main aspect of the Commission's proposals for the textiles industry is a focus on issues of corporate social responsibility, including industrial and environmental models, and responsible management of industrial change, including timely consultations with workers,'' said Diamantopoulou, who is responsible for social affairs.
The Commission's measures aim to reinforce competitiveness in textiles and clothing spurred by the abolition on January 1, 2005 of the World Trade Organization’s import quotas after nearly four decades.
 Dimosari Ravine on Evia ready to receive visitors after 'improvements'
Athens, 29/10/2003 (ANA)The Dimosari Ravine on the island of Evia was officially declared ready to receive visitors over the weekend after the inauguration of a new Visitors Information Centre in the village Kalyvia.
The centre was inaugurated on Saturday in the presence of Evia Prefect Athanassios Bourandas, mayors from surrounding towns, MPs for Evia and the ordinary public.
It is the culmination of efforts began in 1996 to restore and 'improve' the ravine, which has been included in the European Union's NATURA program as an area of outstanding natural beauty and special ecological importance.
Access to the ravine for visitors has been improved by the widening and repair of footpaths running through it. This was preceded by an environmental study to establish protected zones for plant life and rare animals found within the ravine.
The area is near the towns of Marmari, Karystos and Styra, which are easy to reach from the Athens port of Rafina.
 Successful PPC flotation leads ASE higher on Monday
Athens, 29/10/2003 (ANA)Greek stocks ended Monday's session higher helped by strong buying interest in Public Power Corporation's shares after the news of a very successful flotation of a 17.5 percent equity stake in the company.
The general index rose 0.50 percent to end at 2,112.53 points, with turnover a disappointing low 82.8 million euros.
The Mineral-Cement, Investment and Bank sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (1.40 percent, 0.76 percent and 0.76 percent, respectively), while the IT, Base Metal and IT Solution sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses (1.58 percent, 0.59 percent and 0.44 percent, respectively).
The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.63 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 0.15 percent higher and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index eased 0.20 percent.
Broadly, decliners led advancers by 146 to 144 with another 64 issues unchanged.
Public Power Corporation's shares ended 3.86 percent higher, reflecting a successful completion of a third flotation scheme and a forecast by CSFB for a price-target of 22 euros per share, up 25 percent from the share offering's price of 17.50 euros.
The FTSE/ASE 140 index ended 0.46 percent higher at 2,457.71 points.
Derivatives Market Close: Turnover at 47.1 mln euros Monday
Equity Index Futures:
Bond Market Close: Buyers match sellers on Monday
Greek Benchmark 10-Year Bond
Closing rates of October 27 2003
Parities in euro
For. Exchange Buying Selling
US Dollar 1,184 1,157
 Attorneys for 'Thesprotia three' address court in N17 trial
Athens, 29/10/2003 (ANA)The attorney for alleged November 17 terrorists Kostas Karatsolis and Pavlos Serifis - who along with Iraklis Kostaris have come to be referred to as the 'Thesprotians' - continued presenting final arguments in defense of his clients before the Three-Member Criminal Appeals Court on Monday.
Themistoklis Sofos questioned fingerprints belonging to Karatsolis found on a typographic plate at the Patmos Street safe-house.
He also argued that the statute of limitations had expired for criminal charges of membership of a terrorist group against Serifis.
Sofos said that there was no evidence showing that Serifis had participated in the organization after 1983, which meant the charge should be converted to misdemeanor and then dropped because more than a decade had passed.
He disputed the code-name 'Vaggelis' attributed to his client by the authorities, which also appears in the organization’s accounts, and said that Serifis had admitted in his confession that he had not participated in any of the group's activities after 1980 due to a disability incurred during a road accident.
Next to address the court was the attorney Nasos Nikas, representing Karatsolis, Pavlos Serifis and Iraklis Kostaris.
The trial was adjourned until Wednesday morning.
 Bank robbers get away with 260,000 euros in central Athens
Athens, 29/10/2003 (ANA)Two hooded bank robbers attacked a branch of Probank on Halkokondyli Street near Omonia early on Monday morning and managed to get away with a loot of 260,000 euros.
Police say the robbers appeared well informed as to branch procedure, since they ambushed two bank employees as they were opening the doors at 7:20 in the morning, following them into the bank and forcing them to open the safe at gunpoint.
The two robbers then escaped on foot and quickly disappeared. The police were called a few minutes afterward but were unable to pick up their trail.
 Former premier awarded Athens agricultural university medal
Athens, 29/10/2003 (ANA)Former Greek premier Georgios Rallis was awarded the Athens Agricultural University's Gold Medal on Monday, on the occasion of the October 28 Greek national holiday.
Rallis read out an address on ''The War of 1940-1941'' during the ceremony.
He is the third person to receive the university's gold medal after President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and former Cyprus president Glafcos Clerides.
 Cyprus demands implementation of ECHR ruling in Loizidou case
NICOSIA 29/10/2003 (CNA/ANA)Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos said here Tuesday that the condition put forward by Turkey concerning the case of Greek Cypriot Titina Loizidou, not to examine her right to return to her occupied property before 2005, in an effort to defray compensation the European Court of Human Rights ordered Turkey to pay, ''appears to gain support from other European countries''.
In his remarks to the press, President Papadopoulos stressed that the Republic of Cyprus will remain firm in its demand for implementation of the decision as it stands.
Replying to question regarding Turkey's demand to obtain a date to begin accession negotiations with the EU, President Papadopoulos said ''all countries are examined equivalently and should satisfy the criteria set out in Copenhagen as well as the conclusions of the various Councils''.
''Turkey cannot have a more favorable examination (of its application) from the other countries'', President Papadopoulos concluded.
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 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.
 Belgian Senate believes accession will boost Cyprus settlement
BELGIUM 29/10/2003 (CNA/ANA)The Belgian government and the European Union are convinced that Cyprus' accession to the EU will be a great boost for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem, said here Tuesday
Belgium's Foreign Minister Louis Michel as his country's Senate ratified with an overwhelming majority the EU Accession Treaty of the 10 acceding states.
Referring to Turkey's accession course, Michel said that the Belgian position is determined by the Copenhagen criteria for full adoption of the acquis communautaire by all candidate states.
Michel said that by the end of 2004 the EU would examine whether Turkey satisfies the Copenhagen criteria and whether the EU will proceed with a date to commence accession negotiations.
During the debate that was held before the voting, various references were made to Cyprus.
Senator Van Overmeire Karim said it seems that Turkey must make more efforts to observe its army and police, respect human rights, the Kurdish minority, decrease inflation and solve the Cyprus problem.
He said the EU expects Turkey to maintain a constructive approach regarding a solution to the Cyprus problem. On the 1st of May, he said, we will welcome Cyprus as an EU member state, and the fact that
Turkey will be military occupying a part of a member state, is a deviation.
Roland Du Vivier, in his intervention stressed that Cyprus' accession to the EU will contribute in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.
Referring to Turkey's candidacy, Vivier said that there is an issue which makes the country (Turkey) lose from its credibility, and that is the issue of Cyprus.
He quoted Enlargement Commissioner, Gunter Verheugen that in May, the EU will find itself in a state where a part of a member's territory is occupied by a candidate state.
Vivier said that there is still time until May 2004 for a solution and reminded that the key to a solution lies not with Nicosia but with Ankara, and expressed hope that the Belgian diplomacy will stress this to Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.