|Wednesday, 14 April 2021|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 08-06-23
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 23 June 2008 Issue No: 2925
 President Papoulias begins official visit to ChinaBEIJING (ANA-MPA/N.Megadoukas)
President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias arrived here at midnight Sunday (local time) for a five-day official visit.
During his visit, President Papoulias will hold talks with China's state and political leadership on issues of bilateral and international interest. He is also expected to visit Beijing's Olympic installations.
The Greek president is accompanied by Employment Minister Fani Palli-Petralia, Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis and Deputy Foreign Ministers Yiannis Valinakis and Petros Doukas and a delegation of businessmen.
Two bilateral agreements are expected to be signed on Monday, after talks between Papoulias and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao. The Greek president will travel to Shanghai on Wednesday.
 Joint statement by Greece-U.S. Economic and Trade Cooperation CommitteeWASHINGTON (ANA-MPA/T. Ellis)
A joint statement issued at the end of the Greece-U.S. Economic and Trade Cooperation Committee's session here over the weekend stressed that the two countries' delegations had the opportunity of holding a lengthy discussion on economic, trade and business relations between the two countries.
It added that the two sides focused on further improving bilateral trade and investments transactions, energy issues, the furtherance of joint development cooperation activities and the protection of copyrights.
"One of the main pursuits in the talks was the development of economic and trade relations that will reflect the strong political bonds linking the two countries," the announcement said.
It went on to say that on the basis of joint efforts by the two sides aimed at achieving stability in the Balkans and Greece's strong economic presence in the wider region "the two sides have boosted their regional development cooperation, as is also confirmed by the signing of a Cooperation Memorandum on Sustainable Tourism between the Greek and American International Development Cooperation Service (Hellenic Aid and USAID respectively). The two delegations underlined their desire to cooperate more closely and to develop suitable strategies to enable the volume of bilateral trade and the flow of investments between the two countries to increase."
 Justice minister does not rule out factfinding committee on Siemens issueJustice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis did not rule out the possibility of a factfinding committee being set up to probe the Siemens issue "even during the summer," speaking in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Eleftheros Typos tis Kyriakis."
"If investigations produce specific incriminating evidence regarding the clear responsibilities of political figures and the file is forwarded to Parliament, and provided that the stage of the secrecy of the process ends, we shall not refuse the setting up of a Factfinding Committee, even during the summer," the minister said.
Referring to the issue's investigation process, Hatzigakis believes that "during the summer, possibly in July, we shall be having developments and the regular investigation process shall begin."
 KKE leader on Siemens issueCommunist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga focused on the issue of revelations concerning the Siemens issue in an interview she gave to the Sunday newspaper "Angeliaforos tis Kyriakis."
"We have called for the creation of a factfinding committee, buy you must know that much will not come to light," Papariga stressed.
"This is what happens always. Because it is the system that is rotting. The struggle should now be for the radical overturning of the correlation and of the system. The culprits lie in those political sectors that are linked with authority decisions. At least, this is obvious. The power parties are exposed to these apparatuses. Their policy is rotten and its branches are also rotting," she added.
 Alavanos on Siemens issueRadical Left Coaliton (SYRIZA) leader Alekos Alavanos said in an interview with the Sunday newspaper "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia" that the Siemens case is the last straw for the patience of society.
"The Siemens case is the last straw for the patience of society. We are experiencing the corresponding 'clean hands' period in Italy, even if we don't have di Pietro as a prosecutor, but Sanidas," he said.
Alavanos expressed the hope that "there shall be a great difference in the outcome" where "the ground was covered by the alliance between big businessmen, neo-fascists and local society enthusiasts."
Also commenting on developments in the country, Alavanos spoke of "plans to divide the large parties to facilitate a Parliamentary majority."
 KKE on EU summit outcomeThe Communist Party of Greece (KKE), commenting on Friday on the outcome of the European Union summit, said that the decisions taken at the summit prove that expectations created that the EU would take measures against high prices were pure mockery.
KKE added that the EU is the first to be guilty of high prices, because it is guiding and protecting the strengthening of capitalist monopolies and cartels with its decisions.
It went on to say that it is imposing the deregulated activity of capital, and it is jointly responsible for increases in fuel and food prices worldwide, while calling for the reversal of the EU's policy.
High prices and poverty cannot be tackled with charity measures for the impoverished, KKE concluded and called on the working class to show "insubordination and disobedience towards the EU."
 Memorial service for Andreas PapandreouA memorial service was held at the tomb of late prime minister and PASOK party founder Andreas Papandreou at the First Cemetery in Athens at noon on Saturday, on the 12th anniversary of his death. The event was held in the presence of PASOK leader and son of the deceased George Papandreou and many party members.
"Andreas, as the Greek people used to call him, always said 'Greece for the Greeks'. This phrase is always timely today as well, because today the Greek feels a stranger in his country, distanced from a government and a political system that does not respect him and does not protect him. On the contrary, it protects and covers up financial, political and party interests that are involved in corruption, black money, unaccountability and arbitrariness," Papandreou said.
"I demand from this government that does not dare and that surrenders, a factfinding committee on the Siemens case as a start to deep and big reforms in our political system and I am determined to clash with the government and with the political system and with practices that are unfair for Greece and the Greeks," the PASOK leader added.
The memorial service was attended by the brother of George Papandreou, Nikos, and the brother of Andreas Papandreou, George, as well as by many Parliamentary deputies and members of PASOK.
 Memorial service in Cyprus for Andreas PapandreouNICOSIA (ANA-MPA/A. Viketos)
A memorial service was held at Agios Ioannis Cathedral here on Sunday marking the 12th anniversary of the death of Greek prime minister and PASOK party founder Andreas Papandreou.
The memorial service, at which Archbishop Chrysostomos officiated, was held at the initiative of the EDEK party and PASOK's Cyprus Committee.
EDEK leader Yiannakis Omirou said that Andreas Papandreou "identified his struggles and his life with the struggles of Cyprus for freedom and vindication."
The memorial service was attended by Education Minister Andreas Dimitriou, representing Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.
 Foreign Exchange Rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.573
Pound sterling 0.795
Danish kroner 7.517
Swedish kroner 9.473
Japanese yen 169.17
Swiss franc 1.629
Norwegian kroner 8.107
Canadian dollar 1.593
Australian dollar 1.648
 16th Panhellenic Journalists Conference endsThe 16th Panhellenic Journalists Conference, organised by the Evros prefecture, came to an end on the island of Samothraki at noon on Saturday with the participation of over 300 press representatives from Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Bulgaria and Turkey.
This year's theme was "Information on digital paths - The challenges, the changes, the problems." Addresses were made on the issue by over 35 printed and electronic press representatives from Greece, Cyprus and abroad, as well as university professors and political party representatives.
 New earthquake off MethoniThe Athens National Observatory's Geodynamic Institute announced on Saturday that at 14:36 a new earthquake measuring 5.9 points on the Richter scale occurred at a distance of 270 kilometres southwest of Athens. The epicentre of the quake was located in the sea region south of the town of Methoni. No damage was reported.
At 08:57 on the same day, another tremor measuring 5.4 points on the Richter scale had taken place in the same region.
 Wildfires in Patra, SalaminaTwo wildfires broke out in Patra, in the Peloponnese, and on the island of Salamina on Sunday morning.
The wildfire in Patra started in the municipality of Olenia at about 10 a.m. and was being tackled by firefighting aircraft, a helicopter and the Fire Brigade.
The fire in Salamina began shortly before noon in the region of Agios Fanourios and was burning dry grass and forest land. The blaze was likewise being combatted by firefighting aircraft, a helicopter and the Fire Brigade.
Another wildfire that had broken out in the region of Psatha and Porto Germeno at 10:20 a.m. was reported under partial control on Sunday afternoon, and so was the fire at Aliveri, on the island of Evia, that was burning dry grass and olive trees.
 Two new wildfires in Magnisia, ArgolidaTwo new wildfires broke out at noon on Sunday in the prefectures of Magnisia, in eastern Greece, and in Argolida in the Peloponnese.
The first is burning scrubland near the town of Mikrothives and the second near the town of Sterna grassland and olive groves. The fires are not threatening residential areas, according to the Fire Brigade.
Meanwhile, the wildfires breaking out earlier in the day in the prefecture of Achaia, on the island of Salamina and at the Elefsina tollgate were reported under control.
 Protest for abolition of prison for minorsA mechanised rally organised by the "Initiative for the Rights of Detainees", and promoting the slogan of "no child in a cell", set out from the Pedio tou Areos Square in downtown Athens on Sunday and headed to a prison for minors in the town of Avlonas.
The protest outside the prison at Avlonas is part of the Initiative's campaign to have the prison for minors abolished.
"The campaign began by the Initiative for the Rights of Detainees about a month ago is meeting with a positive response," Initiative member Ioanna Drosou told the ANA-MPA, adding that "over 1,500 signatures calling for the abolition of the prison for minors have already been collected."
 Athens bookstore torchedThe bookstore "Nea Thesi", located in Ippokratous Street in downtown Athens, was attacked by about 15 arsonists at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The arsonists rushed into the store, forced the employees out and started a fire with an inflammable fluid they doused the premises with, causing serious damage. The attackers then fled the scene, while the fire was extinguished by the Fire Brigade soon afterwards.
 Eight illegal migrants arrestedEight illegal migrants were arrested by local coastguard on Sunday morning at cape Skandari on Kos island, Dodecanese complex.
The eight men told authorities that they have sailed from the Turkish coasts with a dinghy boat that they destroyed after getting ashore.
 Three policemen injured in CreteThree policemen were injured on Sunday evening during an incident in Malades, in the prefecture of Iraklion on the island of Crete.
According to first repports, the policemen were taking part in an operation against cannabis cultivators in the region, when unknown persons opened fire against them.
 Hot on MondayHot weather is forecast on Monday, as well as northerly gale-force winds in the central and southern Aegean and a slight increase in temperatures in the west of the country. Wind velocity between 3-8 beaufort. Temperatures in Athens ranging from 22C to 33C, and in Thessaloniki from 22C to 33C.
 Panathinaikos signs Lazaros ChristodoulopoulosAthens soccer club Panathinaikos signed international midfielder Lazaros Christodoulopoulos on Saturday, reportedly paying 2.2 million euros for his transfer from Thessaloniki club PAOK.
Panathinaikos initially reached an agreement with PAOK and afterwards with the 22-year-old star, who went to the offices of his new club and signed a four-year contract.
 The Sunday edition of Athens' newspapers at a glanceThe continuing revelations in the Siemens issue and reactions by the government and the opposition parties, as well as changes anticipated by the new National Land Register dominated the front pages of Athens' newspapers on Sunday.
ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "SIEMENS: Suitcases with bombs from...refrigeration".
APOGEVMATINI: "Building map changing in 300 regions in the country on completion of general town planning".
AVGHI: "The forces of yesterday cannot guarantee tomorrow. Alexis Tsipras (Coalition party leader) to K.A.".
AVRIANI: "SIEMENS deposited big amount in OFF SHORE company belonging to leading political official".
CHORA: "The swamp of (former prime minister Costas) Simitis. Whichever stone you pick up, you fall into his environment".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Days of Koskotas in heavy shadow of Siemens".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "2,000,000 euros seeking owner. SIEMENS scandal. Seven new remittances detected from Monte Carlo and Dubai to Greek recipients".
ETHNOS: "Remote-controlled bombs with the veterans of PASOK being the first victims"'
KATHIMERINI: "The Siemens can of worms is opening. The two big parties are facing a new round of revelations with awe".
LOGOS: "Siemens: The company that is rocking Greece. The 'can of worms' has opened and it is degrading the political scene".
PROTO THEMA: "Blue kickback at OSE (Hellenic Railways Organisation). The Siemens scandal is now passing on to the New Democracy party".
RIZOSPASTIS: "They are promoting the monopolies. They are crushing popular needs. Decisions by governments at the European Union summit".
TO VIMA: "Time for change. Dialogue for the revival of politics".
VRADYNI: "'Tsounami' in PASOK. Siemens placed a noose at Harilaou Trikoupi (the offices of the PASOK party). All the backstage events with Tsoukatos, Mantelis and the German kickbacks".
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