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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 04-11-02

Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

November 2, 2004


  • [01] Gov't announces program for repatriation of capital
  • [02] Greece, Kyrgyzstan sign bilateral accords in air transports, tourism and diplomacy during Kyrgyz president Askayev's visit
  • [03] Russian deputy FM Fedotov confers with FM Molyviatis, foreign ministry officials
  • [04] KKE leader Papariga meets with FM Molyviatis, expresses concern over ongoing Turkish violations in Aegean
  • [05] Greek Deputy FM Skandalakis meets with Archbishop of America Dimitrios
  • [06] PASOK President covers a wide range of issues from the Greek economy to US elections at AMCHAM economy conference
  • [07] Synaspismos leader Constantopoulos to visit Bulgaria Nov. 4-5
  • [08] UN chief Annan welcomes signing of European Constitution treaty
  • [09] Ecumenical Patriarch on Turkey's EU accession
  • [10] Turkish foreign ministry report cites Theological School of Chalki as the 'key to EU'
  • [11] Hungarian army chief due for visit on Tuesday
  • [12] Assistance of Russian judicial authorities requested in probe on Russian TOR-M1 missile purchase
  • [13] Turkish warplanes violate Greek national air space
  • [14] PM Karamanlis, deputy culture minister Petralia discuss post-Olympics usage of Games installations
  • [15] PM and health minister discuss health ministry's legislative work
  • [16] Interior ministry circular says civil services must replace lost files submitted by public
  • [17] Christoforos Papadopoulos to stand for Coalition party presidency
  • [18] Finmin sees new era for the economy
  • [19] Ex-finmin says economy should not be butt of party rivalry
  • [20] Public works minister says 'windfall period' ahead in construction sector
  • [21] State budget revenue lagging in Jan-Sept
  • [22] Parliament president meets with World Federation of Trade Unions leadership
  • [23] U.S. Ambassador Miller tells conference on Greek economy that 'American investors are not social workers'
  • [24] Justice minister requests appeal against dismissal of bourse mismanagement case
  • [25] Philoxenia tourism trade fair in Thessaloniki Nov 4-11
  • [26] 26th International Maritime Salon to be held at Athens' Hellenikon complex
  • [27] Stocks up in high-cap buying
  • [28] Greek gov't announces measures to improve public transportation in Athens
  • [29] Athens mayor presents events program for city's 170th anniversary as Greek capital
  • [30] Police hope for new leads from evidence on terror strike at Petrou Ralli flyover
  • [31] Road accident fatalities in August roughly level with previous year
  • [32] Greece has substantial shortage in blood, tissue and organ donation, day-seminar speakers observe
  • [33] Athens 2004 president attends Olympic Know-How Transfer Conference in Beijing
  • [34] Greek police leadership calls on Archbishop Christodoulos, receives blessing
  • [35] Draft law for in vitro fertilization
  • [36] Hellenic American Union events this month
  • [37] Cyprus President: EU constitution a tool for principles and guidelines

  • [01] Gov't announces program for repatriation of capital

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    The government expects its capital repatriation program to result to capital inflows from 5 to 20 billion euros, according to estimates by the Economy ministry and the State General Accounting Office.

    The wide difference between the two forecasts is justified by the fact that the ministry is traditionally making conservative forecasts while the General Accounting Office is adopting analytical methods to approach the subject.

    The Economy ministry expects that repatriated capital will total 10 billion euros, resulting to a tax income of up to 300 million euros for the state, while the General Accounting Office expects repatriated capital to reach 20 billion euros with tax income to total 600 million euros.

    Economy minister: The government will not change anything in the taxation of private cars, Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Monday.

    Speaking to reporters, after a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to discuss economic issues, the Greek minister declined to comment on a decision by the country's judicial authorities to shelve an investigation on the way that some companies were listed in the stock exchange, saying that "the government has done what it should have on the issue".

    Alogoskoufis also signed a ministerial decision paving the way for a repatriation of capital to Greece. According to the decision, repatriation of capital can be done only through financial institutions based in Greece, using any kind of banking method. Repatriated capital should have been deposited with a bank account abroad by August 4, 2004, and the capital will be taxed with an one-off 3.0 percent rate.

    The government is expected to announce by the end of February 2005 its final decisions on the deadline of the repatriation program.

    [02] Greece, Kyrgyzstan sign bilateral accords in air transports, tourism and diplomacy during Kyrgyz president Askayev's visit

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Greece and Kyrgyzstan on Monday signed three bilateral accords in the sectors of air transports, tourism and diplomacy, during a meeting between President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos and his Kyrgyz counterpart Askare Askayev, who is in Athens on a state visit.

    Addressing Askayev, Stephanopoulos spoke of Greece's strong interest in the region of central Asia and noted the frank intention of both countries to develop closer cooperation relations in the commercial, political and tourism sectors.

    Askayev expressed admiration for Greece's achievements, adding that his country, as a younger democracy, wished to draw information from Greece regarding development and reinforcement of the democratic institutions.

    The Kyrgyz president also referred to his country's participation in the international anti-terrorism alliance, pointing out the losses it suffered during the war on Afghanistan.

    Kyrgyzstan is a participation in the NATO Partnership for Peace program, in the framework of which Stephanopoulos proposed the dispatch of Kyrgyz officers for training at the NATO centre in Northern Greece.

    The three accords were signed, on behalf of Greece, by tourism development minister Dimitris Avramopoulos and deputy foreign minister Evripides Stylianidis.

    PM to meet Kyrgyzstan president on Tuesday: Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is scheduled to receive the President of Kyrgyzstan Askar Akayev on Tuesday morning at 9:00, government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros announced.

    Immediately afterwards at 10:00, Karamanlis will have a meeting with Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister George Souflias and at 11:00 he will chair a meeting of a government committee for issues of gender equality.

    At 20:30 on Tuesday, the premier is scheduled to speak at an event organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.

    President Stephanopoulos hosts reception for Kyrgyzstan counterpart: President Kostis Stephanopoulos hosted a reception in honor of his Kyrgyzstan counterpart Askar Akayev on Monday night and referred to prospects of cooperation between Greece and Kyrgyzstan in his address.

    President Stephanopoulos spoke of the two countries' struggle against terrorism and "the great possibilities of friendly and close cooperation which exist both at bilateral level and in international forums, since the two countries have a substantive and widespread coincidence to show in their approach to various international problems."

    He also commented on the Partnership Relation and Cooperation Agreement, which has been in effect for five years and "constitutes the most suitable tool for the development of relations between the European Union and Kyrgyzstan" and promised that "Greece will always be of help, looking forward to a steadfast relation of friendship and cooperation."

    President Stephanopoulos further referred to Greece's option for a peaceful solution of differences with Turkey and said that "our country supports the European prospect of Turkey, hoping that it will continue its efforts to meet all criteria and its obligations."

    On the question of Cyprus, President Stephanopoulos said "the finding of a mutually acceptable, just and workable solution based on the Annan plan, and compatible with the principles of the European Union, remains the target" and expressed support for the taking of measures for the Turkish Cypriots' economic backing, "measures which will be compatible with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations and the agreements of the European Union and which will respect the legal authorities of the Republic of Cyprus."

    Kyrgyzstan President meets with Psarouda-Benaki and Constantopoulos in Athens: Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akayev, on an official two-day visit to Greece, met with Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki and Nikos Constantopoulos, President of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) party on Monday.

    Psarouda-Benaki expressed the Greek Parliament's readiness to help the newly-established Kyrgyzstan Republic, "not only through our democratic traditions but also based on our experience in establishing our own state," she said. Psarouda-Benaki said she was confident that there was strong potential for cooperation and close ties between the two countries' parliamentary houses.

    On his part, Akayev spoke of the decisive role his country's parliament played in helping Kyrgyzstan become a free market economy over the past 14 years, as well as efforts which are still under way, after the latest constitutional amendments, for the country's further development by strengthening a state of law and the protection of human rights.

    Akayev also emphasized the gravity he places on strengthening relations with Greece's parliament in order to learn from its experience in democratic institutions, and invited Psarouda-Benaki to visit the country "Alexander the Great visited many centuries ago."

    Akayev and Constantopoulos in a separate meeting, later in the day, discussed issues of mutual interest.

    Akayev's meetings with Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) President George Papandreou and Secretary General of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Aleka Papariga were postponed.

    [03] Russian deputy FM Fedotov confers with FM Molyviatis, foreign ministry officials

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Foreign minister Petros Molyviatis on Monday met with visiting Russian alternate foreign minister Yuri Fedotov. The meeting was also attended by deputy foreign minister Yannis Valynakis.

    Earlier, Fedotov met with foreign ministry secretary general Ambassador Y. Yennimatas for a discussion on matters of mutual interest in the wider region, including the Cyprus issue.

    Also discussed were matters in light of Greece's assumption of its seat as a non-permanent member on the UN Security Council on January 1, 2005, for a two-year term, a foreign ministry announcement said.

    Molyviatis is scheduled to brief the standing parliamentary committee on foreign affairs and defense on November 10 on foreign policy issues.

    [04] KKE leader Papariga meets with FM Molyviatis, expresses concern over ongoing Turkish violations in Aegean

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga on Monday expressed concern over the ongoing violations of Greek national airspace in the Aegean and infringements of the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) by Turkish warplanes, during a meeting with foreign minister Petros Molyviatis, and stressed that the procedure for Turkey's accession into the EU should be utilized with respect to the Aegean, the Cyprus issue, and the rights and liberties of the Turkish people.

    Papariga said her meeting with Molyviatis -- held at her request -- had been "very useful" and comprised a "substantive briefing".

    "We are concerned for an active and continuous reaffirmation of Greece's sovereign rights," Papariga said, adding that the Madrid and Helsinki (1999) agreements had created the negative fact of recognizing vital rights in the Aegean for Turkey, contrary to the rights of Greece.

    Papariga endorsed smoothing out Greek-Turkish relations, as well as the efforts for a mutual effort for peaceful coexistence based also on the friendship of the peoples.

    Replying to press questions, Papariga reiterated that the KKE was opposed to the accession of countries into the EU not because of nationalistic reasons but for the same reasons that it had opposed Greece's EU membership.

    Asked what the KKE stand was on the prospect of a referendum on Turkey's EU accession, Papariga said that her part was in favor of referenda on major issues so as to give the people the opportunity to be informed and intervene.

    A referendum could be helpful if there was substantive briefing of the people, she said, but warned that those who demand such referenda sometimes had different motives.

    [05] Greek Deputy FM Skandalakis meets with Archbishop of America Dimitrios

    NEW YORK 2/11/2004 (ANA/P. Panagiotou)

    Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis, responsible for overseas Greeks, discussed the issue of Greek education in the United States, as well as a series of other matters concerning the Greek-American community, with Archbishop of America Dimitrios on Monday.

    In statements to reporters after the meeting, the head of the Greek Orthodox Church in America said that "these discussions, as always, are fruitful, substantial and open and promote the ultimate objective, that of the good of the Greek-American community, helping it to develop and perform to the maximum of its potential."

    The Archbishop noted that Skandalakis "knows about American reality, given that he was a professor in American institutions of higher education."

    On his part, the deputy foreign minister, who was accompanied by the General Consul of Greece in New York, Ekaterini Boura, noted: I thank the Archbishop because in the difficult task I have, he is one of the best or my top adviser."

    Deputy FM Skandalakis awarded by US Rep. Maloney in NY: Greece's deputy foreign minister for Greeks Abroad affairs Panayotis Skandalakis on Sunday was awarded an honorary distinction by US House of Representatives member Caroline Maloney (D-NY), who is also co-founder of the US Congress' "Greek Group".

    Maloney, in a symbolic ceremony held at Athens Square in the Astoria district, celebrated the success of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games this past August, acknowledging the "praiseworthy and exemplary" work accomplished by Greece in organizing "successful, safe and unforgettable Games".

    Volunteers at the Games from the Greek American community were also honored at the event.

    While in New York, Skandalakis also had a series of meetings with representatives of the Greek American community, attended celebrations marking the October 28 OCHI Day Greek national holiday, and addressed an event hosted by the Federation of Greek Associations of New York, where he stressed that "when the Greeks are united, they can say Ochi (no) to anyone", adding that "today, Hellenism says 'ochi' to decadence, to division, and to those who want and seek to deprive freedom from the peoples".

    [06] PASOK President covers a wide range of issues from the Greek economy to US elections at AMCHAM economy conference

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) President George Papandreou on Monday criticized the New Democracy government on its economic policy and emphasized that the government's 'fiscal audit' had hurt the country's credibility abroad, during his speech at the two-day Greek Economy Conference, organized by the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.

    Papandreou continued on the topic of the economy, making his own proposals which included the provision of an oil subsidy and tax benefits for companies and households. He also outlined what he called the economy's current strong points: ''it operates based on the strongest currency in the world, it is protected against external crises, it has achieved annual growth rates of above 4% in recent years, the corporate environment has improved with the easing of interest rates, infrastructure has been drastically upgraded and the successful staging of the Olympic Games proved that Greece is capable of staging a huge event of worldwide reach successfully.''

    Aside from the Greek economy, PASOK's president also made reference to Tuesday's US presidential elections. "Tomorrow night we will know who the next US president will be. We will know if the citizens of the world's sole superpower were motivated by fear and introversion or by hope for a better future," Papandreou said.

    He also touched upon the issue of Greek-Turkish relations, saying that "the framework for cooperation was based on our decisions in Helsinki, (...) and this framework enabled the prospects of both peoples to change drastically." This according to Papandreou, has contributed substantially to the creation of a stable environment.

    "This stability was and continues to be a prerequisite for economic growth, attraction of investments, market liberalization, capitalizing on our tourism potential and transferring funds from the sector of defense to the areas of economic growth, education and health care," he added.

    "Today, this necessary active presence-participation on the part of Greece does not exist. I'm afraid that we leave developments to chance with Greece itself being the victim, but also Europe which needs us and which had trusted us on these issues," Papandreou continued.

    On the issue of education, the PASOK leader proposed that either an agency or team charged with reforming the country's educational system be created. "The reform team will be designated by Parliament, staffed with distinguished Greek experts who will work on making recommendations regarding necessary changes to the educational system," he said, adding that after the necessary substantiation and dialogue, PASOK will be ready to support deep-rooted changes if the government is willing and dares to proceed.

    [07] Synaspismos leader Constantopoulos to visit Bulgaria Nov. 4-5

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) leader Nikos Constantopoulos will discuss the situation in the Balkans, Greek-Bulgarian relations and the neighboring country's prospects in light of its forthcoming accession to the European Union, during a two-day visit he will make to Sofia on November 4-5.

    He will be accompanied by the head of the party's international relations department, Panos Trigazis.

    Constantopoulos will meet with Bulgarian President Georgi Parzanov as well as with Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Sergei Stanishev and with the leaderships of the other parties represented in the Bulgarian Parliament, according to an announcement on Monday.

    [08] UN chief Annan welcomes signing of European Constitution treaty

    NEW YORK 2/11/2004 (ANA/P. Panagiotou)

    UN secretary general Kofi Annan considers the signing of the European Constitution "an important landmark in the building of Europe" and also a "positive step that opens up new horizons for the EU of the 21st century, offering a unique opportunity for the preservation and reinforcement of the democratic institutions, peace and prosperity".

    An announcement by the UN general secretariat's representative on Sunday also said that Annan welcomed the signing of the Treaty of the European Constitution by the heads of state and government of the EU member states.

    It further expressed the UN chief's hope that the European Constitution will provide new opportunities for strengthening the existing, important cooperating between the UN and the EU, as well as the advancement of the targets and principles of the UN Charter.

    [09] Ecumenical Patriarch on Turkey's EU accession

    ISTANBUL 2/11/2004 (ANA/A.Kourkoulas)

    Turkey's EU accession will change the course of history of the country and will also change the conditions under which the Patriarchate operates, Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos said on Monday.

    Addressing a group of policemen on a religious visit here from Drama, Vartholomeos praised the policy of Greek governments which support "Turkey's European course." He also expressed the wish that Turkey will fulfill all the criteria that apply to candidate countries so that it can become a part of the European Union as soon as possible.

    "We are optimistic about the future, despite delays regarding certain issues, such as the reopening of the Theological School of Chalki and the settlement of cases regarding the property of Greeks abroad and of the Church," Vartholomeos said.

    [10] Turkish foreign ministry report cites Theological School of Chalki as the 'key to EU'

    ISTANBUL 2/11/2004 (ANA/A.Kourkoulas)

    A report issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday regarding the issue of reopening the Theological School of Chalki, said the School is "the key to the EU." The ministry in its report emphasized that "the EU will not be convinced about Turkey unless it sees the Theological School of Chalki reopened."

    The report appeared in the newspaper "Radical" and contained the foreign ministry's forecast as to the consequences of the October 6th European Commission report, which made detailed reference to the problems the Greek Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul faces.

    The authors' report that Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will decide on these issues.

    According to diplomatic sources, who commented on Monday's article, there is no indication that Turkey's government views the Theological School of Chalki as "the key to the EU."

    [11] Hungarian army chief due for visit on Tuesday

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Chief of the Hungarian Army General Staff, Major-General Ferenc Gyorossy, is due to arrive in Athens on Tuesday for a three-day official courtesy visit at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Lieutenant-General Nikolaos Douvas.

    A Greek Army General Staff (GES) announcement said that an official welcoming would be held at the GES headquarters at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, while, earlier, Gyorossy would lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, followed by talks with the GES leadership on matters of mutual military interest.

    On Thursday, Gyrossy will visit the Infantry Academy in Halkida, while he was also scheduled to visit several archaeological sites and monuments during his stay in Greece.

    [12] Assistance of Russian judicial authorities requested in probe on Russian TOR-M1 missile purchase

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Parliamentary Factfinding Committee President Yiannis Tragakis has requested the assistance of the Russian judicial authorities in the probe on the Russian TOR-M1 missile purchase issue.

    Tragakis' request has already been conveyed in a letter he addressed to the defense ministry in order to be forwarded officially to the Russian authorities.

    [13] Turkish warplanes violate Greek national air space

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Six formations of Turkish warplanes flew over the Aegean on Monday, without submitting flight plans, and in seven cases they violated national air space in the regions of the central and northern Aegean, press reports said.

    In all cases, the 12 Turkish aircraft were recognized and intercepted by Greek air force jets, while in three cases the interception process developed into mock dogfights.

    Two of the Turkish warplanes were armed.

    In another development, the Turkish aeronautical exercise codenamed "Dogu Akteniz" began on Monday and will last until November 12. Forces from the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain, as well as Stanmavformend (NATO's Permanent Mediterranean Naval Force) ships are participating in the exercise.

    The exercise is taking place in the southeastern Mediterranean and in the Aegean.

    It is also being combined with NATO's minesweeping exercise codenamed "Mainex", which is taking place in the northern Aegean.

    The aeronautical exercise will be monitored discreetly by Greek Navy vessels, as is always the case, while air force aircraft will be on standby to tackle possible provocations.

    Greece is not participating in the "Mainex" exercise which, as it is already known, has a frigate with NATO's Permanent Mediterranean Naval Force.

    The purpose of the naval exercise is to train staff in the procedures of naval operations in support of peace.

    [14] PM Karamanlis, deputy culture minister Petralia discuss post-Olympics usage of Games installations

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, who also holds the culture ministry portfolio, conferred on Monday with deputy culture minister Fani Palli-Petralia and the president of the Olympic Properties Company on the post-Olympics usage of the installations constructed for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games this past August.

    The Olympic installations officially passed into the jurisdiction of the culture ministry on Monday from the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC) and the environment, town planning and public works ministry (which had the responsibility for the so-called 'orphan' projects).

    Culture ministry sources, commenting on the picture presented in certain of the installations, said it was only natural that they had the appearance of a work-site, given that the special adaptations to the venues made specifically for the Olympic Games were being removed.

    The sources also noted the ATHOC's contractual obligation to turn over the installations in a 'clean' state, as per correspondence exchanged two months ago between Petralia and ATHOC chief Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.

    The culture ministry was mulling the idea of setting up a museum with exhibits from significant moments of the Athens Games in the environs of the OAKA main Olympic complex, including sections of the props and equipment used for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies.

    Regarding the post-Olympics usage of the installations, the sources said planning has proceeded, but there were certain legal matters to be resolved before tenders were called.

    Karamanlis also held separate meetings with development minister Dimitris Sioufas and health minister Nikitas Kaklamanis on matters of their competency. No statements were made after the meetings.

    [15] PM and health minister discuss health ministry's legislative work

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Health and Social Solidarity Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis on Monday discussed draft laws on polyclinics, assisted reproduction and organizational and administrative changes in the National Health System (ESY) and in public health.

    The first three bills will be ratified by the end of the year and the one on public health will be ready in the first quarter of 2005.

    Karamanlis was briefed by Kaklamanis and gave his approval for new bills to be prepared on pharmaceutical policy, while the minister also received the prime minister's approval in principle on the appointment of 1,000 auxiliary nursing staff for specialized intensive care units as soon as possible. A debt owed by hospitals was another issue discussed during the meeting.

    [16] Interior ministry circular says civil services must replace lost files submitted by public

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    A circular sent to all public sector services by the interior ministry says they are henceforth obliged to replace all files submitted by members of the public that government services are responsible for losing, putting them together from scratch.

    The circular is signed by Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and was sent out on Monday to all ministries, general secretariats, regional authorities, prefecture authorities and municipalities. Its implementation will also require a presidential decree that outlines the procedure for replacing the contents of the lost files, such as certificates and documents.

    This will establish a period of time in which the lost file must be replaced and the conditions under which the citizens will assist, as well as the obligation of the services involved to find a way to temporarily grant the request for which the file was submitted in the first place.

    [17] Christoforos Papadopoulos to stand for Coalition party presidency

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Christoforos Papadopoulos on Monday announced that he will be standing for president of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology party when the current leader steps down at the upcoming party congress. Papadopoulos is a member of the Coalition party's Central Committee and Political Secretariat.

    He has notified the party in a letter, in which he also notes a need to make the Coalition less leader-centric.

    Meanwhile, current leader Nikos Constantopoulos on Monday called on the government to reconsider the holding of a referendum in Greece on the European Constitution, saying his party planned a series of initiatives to inform the Greek people on this issue.

    He also reiterated the party's objections to the EU Constitutional Treaty, which he said was decided on "in the absence of the peoples of Europe" and essentially constitutionally imposed neo-liberal ideals, free markets and free competition as an "unassailable socio-economic model for Europe".

    [18] Finmin sees new era for the economy

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis said on Monday that a new economic era lay ahead in which growth would stem from outward-looking sectors of the economy, private investment and improved competitiveness.

    "We are leaving behind an era in which economic growth was based on public works," Alogoskoufis told a conference held by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce.

    The economy's two major problems at present were low competitiveness and fiscal deviation, the minister said.

    [19] Ex-finmin says economy should not be butt of party rivalry

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    A finance minister under the last government, Nikos Christodoulakis, said on Monday that the economy should not remain the butt of rivalry between the previous and current governments.

    "Will the economy be able to evolve into a long-lasting, effective process of genuine reform based on consensus," Christodoulakis, also a deputy for the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement, told a conference of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce.

    He also criticized the government for "abandoning" a 2004 privatization plan, "freezing the new development law, and "calling off" the operation of two new supervisory authorities for insurance firms and gambling.

    [20] Public works minister says 'windfall period' ahead in construction sector

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Public Works Minister George Souflias on Monday met with the general secretaries of the country's 13 regions, ahead of the implementation of a new law on awarding large state-funded works, particularly infrastructure projects.

    Souflias also announced that a standing committee will be created at the ministry to advise regional entities on stalled or complicated public works, including new tenders and legal snags.

    Asked about delays in awarding such projects of late, Souflias noted that "the upcoming period will be a windfall period, as long as construction firms have an appetite for hard work". Moreover, he said projects worth 2.5 billion euros will be awarded in the upcoming period.

    [21] State budget revenue lagging in Jan-Sept

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    The rate of increase of budgetary revenue in January-September 2004 was 4.5%, sharply lower than a target of 8.5%, widening the budget deficit in comparison with the same period a year earlier, the State Accounting Office reported on Monday.

    Spending grew by 11.3%, in line with a target of 11.5%, with primary expenditure rising on target by 14.6% and interest up 1.7% against a target of 1.1%, the accounting office said in a routine statement.

    The budget deficit totaled 8.83 billion euros, up 18.9% against the same period of 2003, the statement added.

    [22] Parliament president meets with World Federation of Trade Unions leadership

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki, on Monday met with the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) leadership, whose members are in Athens on occasion of the WFTU 17th Presidential Council session.

    According to a parliament press release, George Mavrikos, WFTU Vice President and Coordinator for Europe's regional office, briefed Psarouda-Benaki on the session's topics of discussion as well as efforts national trade unions and the WFTU are making in establishing and safeguarding peace.

    [23] U.S. Ambassador Miller tells conference on Greek economy that 'American investors are not social workers'

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    "The American investors are not social workers, but people with knowledge, experience and many options in other countries," U.S. Ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller said on Monday in addressing a conference organized by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce with the Greek economy as its theme.

    Miller spoke of an extremely upgraded image of Greece abroad after the particularly successful organization of the Olympic Games and the progress marked in the sector of infrastructures and security, referring in particular to Greece's participation in the effort for the detection of material which could be used for the creation of weapons of mass destruction. Greece, Miller said, was the first European Union member-country which took the relevant measures by installing special detectors of radioactivity at its ports.

    However, in order for Greece to attract foreign investors and particularly Americans, it must do much more, the ambassador stressed. "You know that you must restrict inflation and the public deficit. It is not however important what somebody says he will do, but what he finally does," said Miller, adding: Possible investors from the United States often ask me about the situation in Greece regarding the security of the investments, the taxation system, transparency and bureaucracy. The investors, if they meet difficulties and get annoyed, will find other countries."

    [24] Justice minister requests appeal against dismissal of bourse mismanagement case

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras on Monday met Supreme Court Public Prosecutor Dimitris Linos and discussed the options of lodging an appeal against a recent order by the Athens Misdemeanours Court Council to dismiss the charges in a case of suspected bourse mismanagement on the Athens Stock Market.

    After the meeting, Linos said he would immediately ask for an appeal against the decision.

    The Council's ruling ceased prosecution of members of the Athens Stock Market board and Capital Markets Commission, originally initiated in May, for charges of repeated breach of duty in the second half of 1999.

    [25] Philoxenia tourism trade fair in Thessaloniki Nov 4-11

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    The international Philoxenia tourism trade fair will be held in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on November 4-11, organizers said on Monday.

    The first two days will be for trade representatives only, with the remaining days open to the public.

    Tourism Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos is to inaugurate the trade fair on Thursday.

    [26] 26th International Maritime Salon to be held at Athens' Hellenikon complex

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    The 26th International Maritime Salon will be held from November 6-14 at the exhibition area of the former Athens Eastern Airport at Hellenikon, covering a space of 24,000 square meters.

    New products will be presented at the exhibition, from Greece and abroad, for those who adore the sea and water sports.

    The International Maritime Salon constitutes the top-ranking event of the branch in Greece and is directed to professionals in the field as well as to the general public, presenting a wide variety of products such as sailing boats and cruisers, dinghies, speed boats, boat engines, accessories, equipment, electronic systems, maintenance products and also diving, fishing and surfing gear.

    Taking part in the 26th International Maritime Salon at Athens' Hellenikon complex will be more than 250 exhibitors, Greek and foreign manufacturers and import companies.

    [27] Stocks up in high-cap buying

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Stocks finished higher, with players buying into high capitalization paper, and selectively into smaller stocks, traders said.

    The Athens general share index closed at 2,499.12 points, showing a rise of 0.40 percent. Turnover was 118.3 million euros.

    The FTSE/ASE-20 index for high capitalization shares ended 0.53 percent up; the FTSE/ASE-40 for medium cap stocks closed 0.25 percent higher; and the FTSE/ASE-80 for small cap shares finished 0.95 percent up.

    Of stocks traded, advances led declines at 196 to 88 with 72 remaining unchanged.

    [28] Greek gov't announces measures to improve public transportation in Athens

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Greek Transport and Communications Minister Mamalis Lapis on Monday announced a package of measures aimed to facilitate the use and upgrade the public transportation system in Athens.

    The measures, included in a new traffic map of Athens, include the introduction of a single ticket for all public transport, reducing fares in the Metro and Suburban Railway for routes to the Athens airport, introducing Express lines to the bus network, expanding the use of bus lines in roads, expanding the Tram network and re-introducing the measure of restricted parking at the Athens city centre. The package also includes the creation of a single Urban Transport agency, to be responsible for planning and coordinating transportation in the city.

    More analytically, the measures include the introduction of a single ticket, worth one euro, valid for 90 minutes for all public transportation system and another ticket, worth 0.70 euros, valid for all public transportation system excluding the Metro system. The measures also include a reduction of fares to the Athens airport, using the Metro and the Suburban Railway systems, to six euros from eight euros, the introduction of Express bus lines, of 24-hour bus service in selected routes and expanding the operating hours of the Metro system.

    The Greek minister also announced expanding the use of bus lines, to cover 47 km from 38 currently, with the aim to exceed 50 km and stressed that taxis would not be allowed to use the bus lines.

    The government was seeking to expand the use of Tram and was currently working to offer priority traffic movement to the tram system, Lapis said, adding that bureaucratic procedures were delaying the project. He announced the expansion of the Tram system to Piraeus and Voula and then to Goudi and Byron. The Tram will operate daily from 05.00 to 01.00 and on a 24-hour basis on Friday and Saturday.

    The ministry also announced the re-introduction of restricted parking in the Athens centre and higher penalties to traffic code offenders.

    Lapis said the government aimed to significantly raise the number of citizens using public transportation to a ratio of one in two from one in three currently.

    [29] Athens mayor presents events program for city's 170th anniversary as Greek capital

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni on Monday presented the events planned to celebrate the city's 170th anniversary as the capital of Greece, as well as an initiative to set up a "School of Athens".

    The program includes events featuring lectures and music in each of the seven City of Athens districts, while the municipality will also put out publications that will help Athenians find out more about the city and the district in which they live.

    Among the highlights of the events planned is an exhibition that the Municipal Gallery on the neoclassical architecture of early Athens in the 19th century, organized in collaboration with the Benaki Museum.

    [30] Police hope for new leads from evidence on terror strike at Petrou Ralli flyover

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Police on Monday said that the investigation into a terror strike targeting two riot squad buses on the Petrou Ralli flyover early on Friday morning was continuing, with hopes that forensic evidence and eyewitness accounts will turn up new leads.

    Investigating officers particularly stress the testimony of two witnesses, who claim to have seen people in the park where the cable leading to the detonator was set shortly before the explosion, and the eyewitness accounts of army troops on guard duty at the time.

    Police forensic laboratories, meanwhile, are continuing to analyze bomb fragments found on the scene and are conducting DNA analysis on a hair found on the detonator cable, believed to belong to one of the perpetrators.

    The search is also still on for the black motorcycle that the perpetrators are believed to have used to make their escape in a three-kilometer radius surrounding the site of the attack. Police believe the bike was stolen and was probably abandoned a short distance from the site of the explosion for safety reasons, with the perpetrators switching to another mode of transport to make their getaway.

    [31] Road accident fatalities in August roughly level with previous year

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    Road accident fatalities in August 2004 were roughly at the same level as the previous year according to figures released on Monday by the National Statistics Service, which reported 165 deaths, 295 seriously injured and 1663 lightly injured in 1451 road accidents over that time.

    In August 2003, by contrast, 164 people were killed, 287 were seriously injured and 1725 were lightly injured in 1496 accidents over the month.

    The Statistics service said the figures for road accidents for the period January-August in the past three years was 11,437 accidents in 2002, 10,443 accidents in 2003 and 10,192 accidents in 2004.

    Road accident death statistics for the same periods from 2002 until 2004 were 1,124 deaths in 2002, 1079 deaths in 2003 and 1076 deaths in 2004.

    Road accident injuries during the same eight-month period also declined over the past three years, with 15,360 injured in 2002, 13,671 in 2003 and 13,052 in 2004.

    [32] Greece has substantial shortage in blood, tissue and organ donation, day-seminar speakers observe

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    There was a substantial shortage in blood, as well as tissue and organs for transplant, in Greece, according to speakers at a day-seminar titled "Blood and organ donation" organized by Thessaloniki's Aristotelian University in the northern Greek capital. The speakers also noted an unwillingness among Greeks for voluntary blood donation, but also fear regarding the post-death donation of organs and tissue.

    AHEPA hospital's Mediterranean Anaemia Unit director Eleni Hasapopoulou-Batami said that Greece required 600,000 units of blood annually, while only a small proportion of that was covered by voluntary blood donation, whereas the largest proportion was met through donation of blood by friends and relatives of the patients requiring the blood.

    She noted that the AHEPA hospital's blood donation unit had recorded 140,291 units of blood donated by donors in the first half of the year, compared with 165,653 units donated by friends and relatives of patients.

    She said Greece also received blood -- a small quantity -- only from the Swiss Red Cross, which was exclusively for the needs of the Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital in Athens, adding that the Swiss Red Cross had supplied the children's hospital with 12,000 units of blood in the first half of 2004.

    Hasapopoulou further noted the reforms required in the blood donation system in Greece so as to bring it in line with European legislation, and which needed to be completed by February 2005.

    Aristotelian professor and president of the Union of Organ Donors of Greece (EDOSA), Theodoros Dardavesis, said that although Greece had the appropriate infrastructures and capable staff for carrying out transplants, not more than 20 transplants were carried out per year in the country due to lack of tissue and organs, adding that there was a waiting list of 11,000 patients in the country for organ and tissue transplants.

    [33] Athens 2004 president attends Olympic Know-How Transfer Conference in Beijing

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    "We kept the promise we made to the international community for unique Olympic Games on a human scale to the fullest," Athens 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said during the inaugural session of the Olympic Know-How Transfer Conference which kicked off in Beijing on Sunday under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The conference, as is evident by its title, is meant to transfer valuable know-how and experience related to staging the Olympic Games to Beijing, the host of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The transfer of such knowledge and experience to future host countries and candidate hosts is a contractual obligation of every organizing committee.

    Present at the conference, which will run through November 3, are: IOC President Jacques Rogge and high-ranking IOC officials; the management and executives of the Beijing 2008 Organizing Committee; the chairpersons of IOC Coordinating Commissions for future Olympic Games; the Presidents of the International Sport Federations and other representatives of sport associations; representatives of the Organizing Committees for the Winter Olympic Games to be hosted in Torino (2006) and Vancouver (2010); and representatives of the candidate host cities for the 2012 Games (Paris, New York, Moscow, London, Madrid).

    After hearing words of praise on the successful staging of the Athens Olympics from Chinese officials, Rogge, and IOC Coordinating Commission Chairman for the Athens Games Denis Oswald, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki spoke about the tremendous undertaking of staging an Olympic Games and emphasized that "no matter how careful and detailed the planning may be, it is very important that one tests every function and must be ready to provide immediate solutions at any given moment. The stadiums and the infrastructure works alone do not guarantee the Games' success. It is the staff that gave its best and represented Greece to the world," she said. "The Athens Olympic Games were a worldwide celebration that renewed the values of the Olympic Movement," she added.

    After Angelopoulos-Daskalakis' comments, Athens 2004 Chief Operating Officer Marton Simitsek presented the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee's organizational structure and strategy.

    [34] Greek police leadership calls on Archbishop Christodoulos, receives blessing

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    The leadership of the Greek Police (ELAS), headed by Greek Police Chief Georgios Aggelakos, on Monday paid a visit to Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece, the head of the Autocephalous Church of Greece, and received his blessing.

    An earlier meeting with Christodoulos had been cancelled because the Archbishop was unwell.

    After the meeting, a spokesman for the archbishop commented on Christodoulos' statements on Sunday in which he aligned himself with the controversial statements of candidate European Commissioner Rocco Buttiglione regarding homosexuality, saying that Christodoulos was merely expressing the "clear and unchanging position of the Church, as this is laid out in the scriptures".

    "Our Church has always castigated sin but embraced sinners," the spokesman said.

    [35] Draft law for in vitro fertilization

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    The "easy victims" who deal with in vitro fertilization in Greece constituted at least 10,000 couples who could not manage to have a child. From now on, the procedure of the in vitro fertilization will be encompassed by an institutional framework which henceforth places rules to this enormous problem.

    According to a draft law, announced on Monday, from now on women who proceed to in vitro fertilization must fulfill specific terms and prerequisites. The basic one is that of age as it is foreseen that a woman will be able to try until her reproductive age, that is, until menopause. Many assess that this settlement will prohibit women over the age of 50 to proceed to in vitro fertilization.

    [36] Hellenic American Union events this month

    Athens 2/11/2004 (ANA)

    The Athens-based Hellenic American Union (HAU) has announced two workshops and a seminar for this month, beginning on Nov. 13 with an event entitled "Develop Team Working Skills".

    A workshop entitled "Employee Relations Climate" is scheduled for Nov. 20, while a seminar on "Writing Skills for Customer Service" will take place on Nov. 22 through Nov. 24.

    All of the events will be held in English at the HAU's central Athens campus, 22 Massalias St.

    For more information, call the HAU at (210) 3680056 or 3680006 -- e-mail

    [37] Cyprus President: EU constitution a tool for principles and guidelines

    LARNACA 2/11/2004 (CNA/ANA)

    The European constitution offers no reason or excuse to review the entire proposal for a political settlement in Cyprus, President Tassos Papadopoulos has said, adding that the constitution does not alter the situation with regard to the question of Cyprus but it does provide one more argument to back principles and guiding lines.

    Speaking on his return Sunday from Rome, where he signed the constitution, he said Turkey's European course is the main topic of discussion among EU leaders, to whom he outlined his positions with regard to the obligations Ankara has to fulfill to Brussels and to Nicosia.

    ''The European constitution is no reason or forum or excuse to review the entire proposal (a UN solution plan, the Annan plan) for a solution in Cyprus. The constitution does not change the situation in Cyprus but it is one more tool for the principles and the guidelines needed for a solution,'' he said.

    Responding to questions, he reiterated his goal to secure a settlement that is compatible with the human rights, as these are provided for in the new European constitution and other principles enshrined in the new EU convention.

    ''Neither the convention nor the constitution address matters such as the internal structure of a state,'' he added.

    On his conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan, he said he does not lay too much political emphasis on courtesy calls on the sidelines of meetings such as the one in Rome.

    ''We did not have a substantive dialogue. However I think that Mr. Erdogan knows very well what we are seeking, through other channels and from other occasions,'' Papadopoulos said.

    Responding to other questions, he said the focus of discussions among EU leaders is Turkey's European aspirations, in view of the December summit that will decide whether to give Ankara a date for the start of accession negotiations or not.

    ''This is a continuous dialogue, many have reservations, others express their views. The positions Turkey has to fulfill towards the EU and us are clear,'' he said, adding that Cyprus' positions are ''strong and understood.''

    He explained that within the EU, member states form alliances and coordinate their goals with a view at securing support for their own interests as well as of others.

    Asked to comment on US warnings about dire repercussions on Cyprus, if it vetoes Turkey's start of accession negotiations, he said Thomas Weston, to whom such remarks are attributed, should have known by now that ''this kind of threat, this type of so-called objective evaluations bring about exactly the opposite result.''

    Former US State Department special coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston is said to have threatened with very serious fallout on Cyprus if Nicosia blocks the start of membership talks with Ankara.

    Papadopoulos said that Weston had talked in a similar fashion before the April referendum on the UN-proposed solution plan, which the Greek Cypriots rejected in their overwhelming majority and the Turkish Cypriots approved.

    Responding to questions about Cyprus' bid to join the European Monetary Union (EMU), he said joining the EMU is not optional but compulsory for the ten new members that joined the EU in May.

    ''The Maastricht indicators are binding for us and when we meet them and comply with them for two years, then the EU can consider our application to join the EMU,'' he said.

    Papadopoulos said that EU economic and financial requirements are ''healthy measures on which to found a healthy economy with prospects for continuing development.''

    He said the government had already submitted to the EU its convergence program, which seems to have been accepted by Brussels.

    Cyprus says EU convention huge step forward: Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides on Monday described the signing of the new EU constitution by the 25 members' heads of government and state as a huge step forward, noting that the principles of the constitution will take on a meaning in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

    He added that Turkey's European bid would be examined through the provisions of the new constitution, which Ankara signed in Rome as a candidate country.

    ''Europe made yet another huge step forward with the signing of the constitutional treaty,'' he said, noting that this would be to the benefit of all European citizens.

    The spokesman pointed out the historical symbolism of Rome and said Cyprus was present as a new member state.

    He said the House of Representatives would now ratify the treaty, according to the constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, which does not provide for a referendum to ratify international conventions.

    Chrysostomides said the government has prepared a leaflet and is planning seminars to better inform the Cypriot citizens about the new constitution.

    Replying to questions about the provisions of the new European constitution, Chrysostomides said the emphasis on the EU principles and the respect of international law and human rights ''will all have a meaning in our effort to find the right solution of the Cyprus problem and reunify our country.''

    Regarding the signing of the treaty by Ankara, he said Turkey signed it as a candidate country, and noted that Turkey's whole EU course would be seen through the provisions of the constitution and thus ''will comprise the terms for the compliance of all new states that pursue their accession to the EU.''

    He also noted that the Human Rights Charter that has been incorporated into the new constitution is binding.

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