|Sunday, 11 April 2021|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 04-11-01
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>November 1, 2004
 Deputy FM says Greece will not give Turkey blank cheque
NICOSIA 1/11/2004(ANA - G. Leonidas)Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis stressed that Greece will not give Turkey a blank cheque and that a veto is a considerable weapon in the hands of a country when it is not exercised.
He said that with the threat of a veto for Turkey's European Union accession prospects one can achieve significant things in return.
In an interview with the newspaper "Simerini" on Sunday, Valinakis pointed out that Athens will not give a blank cheque to anyone, adding that if Turkey does not behave like a European neighbor in its foreign relations, this automatically rules out the possibility of it becoming a member of the EU.
Valinakis also said that in December Turkey might receive a date for the commencement of negotiations which will be very laborious.
He further said that what Greece wants for Cyprus is a European solution which will be just, viable and workable and which will be compatible with Cyprus's capacity as an EU member-state.
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, speaking in Rome immediately after the signing of the new European constitution on Friday, said that it will make Europe more creative and more effective.
"Today is a historic step for the European Union. Europe is acquiring its first constitutional treaty. A constitution which has many positive elements enabling Europe of the "25" to become more creative and more effective," he said.
Karamanlis also stressed the importance of cooperation regarding defense and security being strengthened by a solidarity clause, while also referring to predictions for boosting tourism and the development of rural areas.
"It is of great importance that tourism and the prediction of action to boost it is included in the supportive policies of the EU, as well as the fact that not only a few but all insular, border and mountainous regions are subject to the implementation of special measures and policies for their development," the prime minister said.
 PM sends speedy recovery message to Yasser Arafat
Athens 1/11/2004 (ANA)Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has sent a message to Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, wishing him a speedy recovery. Arafat is being treated at a military hospital in Paris where he was admitted on Friday.
 Dissolution of Democratic Social Movement party ratified by special congress
Athens 1/11/2004 (ANA)A special congress of the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) party on Saturday almost unanimously ratified the proposal made by party leader Dimitris Tsovolas on the dissolution of the party.
The proposal was ratified with 675 votes in favor, two against and three blank votes. It was also agreed that a three-member committee will undertake the party's liquidation process.
Tsovolas said in his address that with this act "the last page of the organized political presence of DHKKI, for which we feel proud, will close with dignity and political consistency."
 Internationalist solidarity event held in Athens
Athens 1/11/2004 (ANA)The All Workers Militant Front (PAME) organization, a Communist Party of Greece-affiliated labor union, held an event at the Sporting Stadium in central Athens on Sunday, as an expression of solidarity to the peoples of Cuba, Palestine, North Korea and Vietnam. In addition to the large crowd of youngsters who turned out for the event, 33 union leaders from 17 countries who are in Athens on occasion of the World Federation of Trade Unions conference, as well as five Palestinian children, guests of PAME, were also in attendance.
The event began with songs played by a Kurdish group, followed by an opening speech by PAME Secretary George Mavrikos, who emphasized that for PAME, internationalism is not a trend, but a value, a principle, an ideology and an example of stability. Referring to the countries to which Sunday's event was dedicated, Mavrikos emphasized that "we do not consider them to be 'the axis of evil' but we support them, because as far as we are concerned their governments and people are the axis of good."
The keynote speech was made by Secretary General of Cuba's General Confederation of Workers Pedro Ross, who said that the people of Cuba are undergoing difficult times with military intervention being a possibility. He criticized the Bush administration for using the fight against terrorism as an excuse for world dominance, a practice which he said, only results in strengthening the resistance of peoples around the world.
Other speakers included Kim Yong Do from North Korea, Chu Thi Hau from Vietnam, 11-year old Basil Aziz from Palestine, and Mohamed Shaban Azzouz from Syria.
 Archbishop Christodoulos says people cannot tolerate one speaking of death, truth and sin
Athens 1/11/2004 (ANA)Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, in a sermon at the Agios Panteleimonas Ilissou church on Sunday, said people today cannot tolerate one speaking of death, the truth and sin.
Giving an example of the decadence of society, Archbishop Christodoulos referred to the case of Franco Butiglione, whom he termed a "good Christian."
"Because he was a good Christian. When they asked him to tell his opinion about marriages between homosexuals, he replied just like any good Christian would. That is to say that being a homosexual is a sin before God, it is not a penal offence," he said.
"Imagine the point we have reached and the sorrowful state humanity has reached. It wants us to cover up and not speak about what is a declared, blatant and flagrant sin, because those who have the 'defect' are annoyed and because they want all the rest to admit that this is a natural situation," Archbishop Christodoulos added.
 Bulgarian President Parvanov says Bulgaria will return manuscripts and relics to historic Greek monasteries
ISTANBUL 1/11/2004 (ANA)Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov on Sunday announced to Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos his country's intention to return to historic Greek monasteries manuscripts and other relics belonging to them.
Vartholomeos, visibly moved, thanked President Parvanov for his decision which, as he said, will further contribute to friendship between the two peoples.
The relics and manuscripts to be returned had been removed from monasteries in the Greek towns of Drama, Soufli and Xanthi during the first two decades of the 20th century.
President Parvanov made his announcement during his meeting with Vartholomeos in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he had arrived to participate in celebrations marking the 90th birthday of Bulgarian Patriarch Maximos.
 Crime gang operating in Attica region disbanded
Athens 1/11/2004 (ANA)A crime gang of Albanian nationals that had carried out numerous burglaries at gas stations and had also attempted to kill other foreign nationals was disbanded on Sunday, following the arrest of four of its members, who range from 19-24 years of age.
According to the police investigation, the perpetrators had carried out three armed robberies and were also involved in another armed robbery, two attempted killings and an attempted kidnapping. A hand grenade, a gun, a small amount of marijuana, and fake documents were found in their possession.
The four will be sent to the prosecutor's office, while the investigation into other criminal activity is still under way.
 Traffic code violation fines payable at post offices as of November 1
Athens 1/11/2004 (ANA)The process of paying traffic code violation fines through the Greek Post Office service (ELTA) will begin as of November 1, providing citizens with the possibility of avoiding long queues at tax offices.
Consequently, people will be able to pay their fines at any post office in the country, regardless of the region where the traffic code violation occurred, while the process of confirming violations and distributing amounts owed to local administration bodies will be simplified.
The person fined for a traffic code violation must, within a period of 10 calendar days from the date of the fine's issue, pay it at a post office without any other charge and have with him both copies of the fine issued.
 Foreigners arrested for drug trafficking
Athens 1/11/2004 (ANA)A 29-year old Albanian national was arrested on Sunday for the trafficking of cocaine who, according to a police investigation, used false documents to secure loans from banks. The Albanian national, at the time of his arrest, was found to be in possession of 130 grams of cocaine, a 50 euro counterfeit note, various credit cards, 350 euros in cash and three mobile telephones.
It was also discovered that he had been convicted of numerous burglaries, while a warrant for his arrest was also pending for a robbery he was involved in at the Corinth tolls in 1999, with another man who is still wanted by the police.
Another two Albanian nationals, 24 and 25 years old, were also arrested on Sunday for the trafficking of large amounts of cocaine within the Athens region. All three have been sent to the prosecutor's office.
 Kurd illegal immigrant found dead in truck taken to Ancona in Greek ferry boat
Athens 1/11/2004 (ANA)Harbor authorities in the port of Ancona, Italy, found a dead Kurd illegal immigrant on Friday who had concealed himself in the double wall of a Dutch-owned truck which had driven on to the Ancona-bound Greek-flag ferry boat "Hellenic Spirit" in the port of Igoumenitsa in northwestern Greece.
Twelve other fellow countrymen of his were also found with him, according to the Greek Merchant Marine ministry which was notified of the event on Friday night, two of whom were suffering from extensive dehydration.
The truck's driver was arrested, while the illegal immigrants were taken to a hospital in Ancona as a precautionary measure.
The Greek ferry boat plied the Patra-Igoumenitsa-Ancona route.
 Illegal immigrants caught with 70 kilos of hashish
Athens 1/11/2004 (ANA)Border guards in the region of Kalohori, in the northern prefecture of Kastoria, arrested four illegal immigrants on Saturday who had about 70 kilos of hashish in their possession.
The illegal immigrants were five but during their ensuing chase by the border guards one of them managed to escape.
A search of their luggage revealed the hashish which weighed 70.09 kilos.
 Cars and motorcycles torched in Athens district of Exarchia during night
Athens 1/11/2004 (ANA)Five motorcycles and two cars parked in a street in the Athens district of Exarchia were torched during the early hours of the morning on Sunday.
According to the fire brigade, the arsonists doused the vehicles with oil and set them on fire. The motorcycles were completely destroyed, while the cars were seriously damaged. The arsonists managed to flee the scene before being detected.
 Pope encourages efforts to foster dialogue and tolerance in Cyprus
VATICAN CITY 1/11/2004 (CNA/ANA)Pope John Paul ии encouraged Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Cypriots in their ongoing efforts to foster dialogue and tolerance among the divert ethnic and religious groups in Cyprus, stressing that only by commitment to understanding and mutual respect long held tensions can be resolved.
Papadopoulos, who was paying an official visit to the Vatican City, in the framework of his visit to Rome where he signed Friday the European Union Constitutional Treaty, had on Saturday a half hour-long meeting with the Pope.
Later on the president met with the Vatican's Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano, whom he briefed on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem. Papadopoulos and Sodano also exchanged views on the European Constitutional Treaty as well as on the future of the European Union.
The Pope welcomed President Papadopoulos in the Private Library. The two men had a brief private talk, followed by a greeting in the presence of the Media.
''Mr. President, it is a pleasure for me to greet you as you visit the Vatican. I ask you to extend my cordial good wishes to the people of your nation which has always been so deeply faithful to the Christian message,'' the Pope said.
He added that ''I encourage you and you're fellow citizens in your ongoing efforts to foster dialogue tolerance among the divert ethnic and religious groups in your country,'' noting that ''indeed it is only by commitment to understanding and mutual respect that long held tensions can be resolved and lead to unity based on the principles of solidarity and justice.''
''I pray that almighty God may impart to you and all the people of Cyprus the gift of peace and harmony,'' the Pope added.
President Papadopoulos and the Pope exchanged gifts. Present at their meeting were the President's spouse Photini and his daughter, the Director of his Diplomatic Office Tasos Tzionis, the Director of his Press Office Marios Karoyian, Cyprus' Ambassador to the Holy See George Poulides and Cyprus' Ambassador to Rome Alexandros Zenon.
At his meeting with Sodano, Papadopoulos was escorted by the Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou.