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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-10-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Saturday, 31 October 2009 Issue No: 3337


  • [01] PM urges combined action on economy, environment
  • [02] Greek society united against terrorism
  • [03] PM Papadreou to meet British counterpart in London on Saturday
  • [04] Canada's Governor General lays wreath at Tomb of Unkown Soldier, meets parliament president
  • [05] UN SecGen's itinerary for Athens visit
  • [06] Environment minister meeting with SYRIZA head
  • [07] Education minister with civil servants' board
  • [08] Greek, Cyprus representatives address UN 3rd Committee
  • [09] Small bomb explosion outside former ND minister's residence
  • [10] Prof. Dimitris Tsatsos appointed interior ministry advisor
  • [11] ND proposal for a new founding charter
  • [12] Coalition on labour issues
  • [13] Italian ambassador meets deputy education minister
  • [14] Finmin promises single-digit deficit in letter to Almunia
  • [15] Deputy tourism minister on Greek Tourist Organisation
  • [16] Construction firm appeal against CoS decision on Votanikos site
  • [17] Eurobank Properties says profits slightly down in Jan-Sept
  • [18] Metka signs 450-mln-euro energy project in Turkey
  • [19] Olympic Air's pavilion at Philoxenia exhibition inaugurated
  • [20] Producer's Price Index down 7.7% in Sept
  • [21] Retail sales volume down 4.5% in Aug.
  • [22] Stocks recover slightly on Fri.
  • [23] Greek bond market closing report
  • [24] Foreign Exchange rates - Saturday/Monday
  • [25] Áthens welcomes Winter Olympics Flame
  • [26] Contacts of Ecumenical Patriarch in US
  • [27] Francis Ford Coppola receives medal of Athens
  • [28] Police officer charged in prison on drug trafficking
  • [29] Rainy on Saturday
  • [30] The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance Politics

  • [01] PM urges combined action on economy, environment

    BRUSSELS (ANA-MPA - V. Mourtis)

    Efforts to exit the economic crisis should be combined with those for tackling the crisis facing the environment, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou proposed at the European leaders' summit in Brussels on Friday. His proposal was supported by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other European leaders, as well as the European Commission.

    Papandreou called for new investments in the green economy, for boosting development, tackling the recession and reducing deficits.

    In a press conference given after the end of the summit, he gave specific examples of tools to finance such initiatives, such as a tax on international transactions, issuing of 'green' bonds and a carbon tax.

    Papandreou and Brown both submitted a proposal for a new development strategy that would create new jobs.

    Concerning the Greek economy, the Greek premier said his government was determined to make deep reforms, such as in the way that the budget was drafted and in taxation, with a major redistribution and a stimulus package to boost lower incomes and small to middle-sized businesses. He said that Greece's proposals to the European Commission were reliable but that Europeans questioned Greece's ability to adhere to them, after what they had seen in previous years.

    Papandreou went on to describe climate change as the most important problem facing the planet, which would likely cause the wave of migration to intensify. He also expressed satisfaction with the wording of the summit's draft conclusions, which urge Turkey to cooperate and implement an migrant readmission protocol.

    Regarding the Lisbon Treaty, Papandreou stressed that this brought to an end a long period of uncertainty, while opening the prospect of further enlargement, such as the accession of western Balkan countries.

    He also referred to his meeting with the premier of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Nikola Gruevski and to the name dispute with FYROM, saying that he had made Greece's position clear and underlining that a solution of the name issue was a condition for the start of EU entry talks with Skopje.

    [02] Greek society united against terrorism

    Referring to the recent terrorist strike in Athens, the Greek premier stressed that these found Greek society united against "blind, murderous violence that targets both ordinary citizens and those in uniform."

    "Together we can put an end to this cycle of blood that undermines individual and collective freedoms and at the same time damages our country's image worldwide," he stressed.

    Papandreou said that Greece would counter violence with more democracy and respect for individual and social rights.

    "For us, the rule of law means that the state has an obligation to protect human rights, which are life, property and freedoms."

    He also praised the responsible stance of the opposition parties, underlining its importance.

    [03] PM Papadreou to meet British counterpart in London on Saturday

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will be meeting in London on Saturday with his British counterpart Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street, the premier's press office announced on Friday night.

    Papandreou, who is also foreign minister, will then meet Foreign Secretary David Milliband. The premier will be accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas.

    [04] Canada's Governor General lays wreath at Tomb of Unkown Soldier, meets parliament president

    The Governor General of Canada Michaelle Jean, who is on an official visit to Greece, on Friday laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens and saluted the honor guard.

    Later, she was received by parliament president Philippos Petsalnikos. After the meeting Petsalnikos said that her visit will reinforce Greek-Canadian bilateral relations, underlining that the handing over of the Olympic Flame on Thursday at the Panathenian Stadium in Athens to Canada for the Winter Olympics must become a synonym for competition, culture and sports, but not politics.

    Petsalnikos asked the Canadian Governor General to promote the reactivation of the Canadian-Hellenic Friendship Committee in the Canadian parliament, emphasising the existence and operation of Hellenic Studies chairs in Canadian universities.

    Jean thanked the Greek state for her warm welcome, stressing that the two countries' relations must be rejuvenated and acquire a new prospect. She also appealed to the Greek parliament to ratify the bilateral agreements that have been signed between the two countries. Jean emphasised the smooth relations between the two countries in international organisations, underlining the dynamism of Greeks in Canada and their success in culture, research and politics.

    Afterwards, Canada's Governor General went to the Athens Technopolis and participated in a dialogue forum with young people.

    [05] UN SecGen's itinerary for Athens visit

    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is is due to arrive in Athens on Tuesday to take part in a conference on the Interfaith dialogue.

    On Wednesday, Ban Ki Moon will address the 3rd Forum on Immigration and Development, during which he will be welcomed by Prime Minister George Papandreou. The Forum will be held under the auspices of the Interior Ministry.

    Later the Head of the UN will give a press conference and afterwards will hold talks with Papandreou at the Maximos Mansion (government headquarters) on issues related to climate change, illegal immigration, the global financial crisis, and Greece's participation in peacekeeping missions, and issues of Greek interest such as the Cyprus issue and the FYROM name issue.

    Afterwards, Ban Ki Moon will be received by President of Republic Karolos Papoulias, who will host a lunch in the UN chief's honour. In the afternoon Ban ki Moon and his wife will visit the New Acropolis Museum and in the evening will dine with the premier and his wife.

    On Thursday, the UN secretary general will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and afterwards will be welcomed by parliament president Phillipos Petsalnikos at the Greek parliament, where he will address a special plenary session. After his speech he will be bestowed the Parliament's Gold Medal in recognition of the UN's timeless important role in peace and cooperation among countries and people, and also the initiatives he has undertaken. Later, Ban Ki Moon will depart for New York from Athens International airport.

    [06] Environment minister meeting with SYRIZA head

    Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili met with Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras on Friday.

    "Green development cannot be fenced within narrow political party lines; it is a notion that can inspire and formulate a broader social and political alliance of citizens," she underlined after the meeting.

    She also stated that they discussed issues that concern the greater Athens region and focused on the large green zones so lacking in the greater Athens area, land development issues, as well as issues concerning the inner city district of Eleonas, and the site of the old Athens airport.

    On his part, Tsipras stated that they discussed a land development programme and the need for institutional protection of mountain and green spaces in the greater Athens region, adding that he presented his party's proposals on a number of related issues, including the establishment of metropolitan parks in the Athens districts' of Goudi, Elliniko and Eleonas as well as on the creation of a green area that will surround Athens' new Panathinaikos Stadium.

    [07] Education minister with civil servants' board

    Education Minister Anna Diamantopoulou met with the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) board Friday, stating afterwards that talks focused on the new role the ministry will play in the public administration sector.

    She also referred to the establishment of a national certification system for professional qualifications.

    ADEDY president Spyros Papaspyrou agreed on the need for a national certification and evaluation system.

    Papaspyrou said he agreed with the government's decision to end the STAGE programme in the public sector, underlining that the same policy should be adopted in the private sector as well.

    He also stressed that Supreme Staff Selection Council (ASEP) examinations should be announced immediately to fill permanent civil service jobs.

    [08] Greek, Cyprus representatives address UN 3rd Committee

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)

    Greece's alternate permanent representative at the UN, ambassador Dimitris Karamitsos-Tziras addressed the 64th General Assembly's 3rd Committee, saying that "the military invasion and the ensuing occupation of 37 percent of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey led to continuous violations of human rights and of fundamental freedoms."

    The 3rd Committee is responsible for human rights and basic freedoms.

    The issue of human rights violations by Turkey for 35 continuous years was also raised by Cyprus's permanent representative at the UN, ambassador Minas Hatzimichael, before the 3rd Committee.

    The Cypriot representative stressed that "since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied a third of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus, the Cypriot people have been deprived collectively of the basic right to peaceful coexistence."

    [09] Small bomb explosion outside former ND minister's residence

    A home-made time bomb exploded at dawn at the entrance of the apartment building in which main opposition New Democracy (ND) former minister and current European Parliament deputy Marietta Yannakou lives in the Patissia district of Athens.

    A short time earlier, at 4:12 and 4:15 a.m., an anonymous caller telephoned the Athens daily Eleftherotypia and the private Alter television station, respectively, warning that a bomb would explode at Yannakou's residence in 20 minutes.

    Police, who were immediately alerted, cordoned off the area.

    The explosion, which occurred at 4:32 a.m., broke the glass panes of the apartment building's entrance and damaged to a car parked outside.

    The explosive mechanism had been placed in a rucksack at the entrance of the apartment building, and according to bomb disposal experts was of a small magnitude.

    The police counter-terrorism squad is investigating the attack.

    [10] Prof. Dimitris Tsatsos appointed interior ministry advisor

    Constitutional Law professor Dimitris Tsatsos on Friday took over as advisor to the interior minister.

    Prof. Tsatsos accepted the proposal made by Interior, Decentralization and e-Governance Minister Yiannis Ragoussis to assume the position of advisor on institutional initiatives undertaken by the ministry.

    [11] ND proposal for a new founding charter

    Main opposition New Democracy's (ND) organisational committee for the party's extraordinary congress, set to convene on Nov. 7, on Friday presented its proposals for amending its founding charter, ahead of a meeting on Saturday focusing on procedures for the election of a new party leader.

    The final proposal to be presented to the party congress, that will reach a definite decision next Saturday, is likely to be approved by a committee vote, in case no new agreement is reached by the candidates running for the post.

    According to the proposal, the party president will be elected by the party's rank and file through a secret ballot. The candidate elected to the post will have to garner the absolute majority of the valid votes cast. The election will be repeated as soon as possible between the two candidates that won most of the votes in case no absolutely majority is established in the first round of the vote. The candidate that garners most of the votes in the second round will be elected party president.

    The election of the new president by the party's grass roots will be organised by the central returning board.

    The candidates that will run for party president will be those who have submitted their candidacy to the Nov. 7 congress organisational committee by Oct. 22, 2009 and were approved after found to be legitimate and within the deadline set.

    The election of the party president is held on the same day for the voters living in Greece and the members of the Greek expatriate party organizations abroad. In this election process will participate the Greek expatriates in Europe specifically, Germany, UK, France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Austria and Cyprus.

    The central returning board is responsible for the organizing of all procedures concerning the election of the party president with the assistance of the General Director, the Secretariats and party bodies.

    [12] Coalition on labour issues

    The Political Secretariat of the Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) stressed on Friday that "it is a great shame for the governments of New Democracy and PASOK the fact that they have implemented the 'stage' programmes and used them as clientele relations tools."

    It added that the decision taken by the PASOK government to abolish the stage programmes in the public sector "was not the result of its interest in cracking down on favours, uninsured labour and the labour middle ages, since it is conveying them to the private sector, but of purely monetary reasons, to decrease public expenditures."

    Moreover, it noted that the way with which it is abolising the stage programmes in the public sector "without securing a future and prospects for people working for them is like wanting to abolish slavery by killing the slaves."

    [13] Italian ambassador meets deputy education minister

    Italian Ambassador to Athens Gianpaolo Scarante on Friday met Deputy Education Minister Evi Christofilopoulou and discussed issues concerning education in Greece and Italy. They particularly discussed the launch of Italian classes as an optional language course in the Greek high school curriculum.

    The ambassador expressed Italy's great satisfaction at this important development, which he said confirmed the excellent cooperation between the two countries. He also proposed the start of contacts between the Greek and Italian governments on the modernisation of educational systems and an exchange of views and experiences concerning the reforms underway in both countries.

    Financial News

    [14] Finmin promises single-digit deficit in letter to Almunia

    Greece's Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou has pledged fiscal reforms, reliable statistics and a reduction of the public deficit to a single-digit figure in a letter sent on Friday to European Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Joaquin Almunia.

    "The newly-elected Greek government pledges to proceed with reforming public finances, to restore the reliability of statistical figures on public finances and transparency in the management of public finances and the target for 2010 is to reduce the public deficit to a single digit percentage of GDP, in the context of implementing policies for its medium-term reduction to 3 percent of GDP," the minister wrote.

    Papaconstantinou reported that the measures taken by the Greek government between April and October 2009 had failed to resolve the serious problems in the country's public finances, while he underlined that these had been mostly emergency measures targeting an increase in revenues.

    The minister noted that the initial estimated impact of these measures had been for a reduction of the deficit by four billion euros or 1.7 percent of GDP by the end of 2009. Current estimates, however, showed that they would reduce the deficit by less than 1 percent of GDP, or 2.3 billion euros less than originally estimated.

    Papaconstantinou said that figures on the execution of the budget in January-September 2009 revealed a "collapse" of revenues, which fall short of the estimates in the Stability programme that the previous government had submitted by roughly 10 billion euros or more than 10 percent of GDP. At the same time, the figures reveal that spending exceeded budget estimates by four billion euros or 1.7 percent of GDP.

    As a result, the minister explained, the general government deficit was higher than that forecast in the previous government's Stability and Development programme by 16 billion euros or 7 percent of GDP.

    He gave three reasons for this divergence: a greater-than-expected reduction of real GDP in Greece, the political instability that existed during the period when economic policy should have been focused on efforts for fiscal reform and that resulted in lower revenues and over-spending; and the absence from the official statistical figures of various amounts due to suppliers of the broader public sector.

    [15] Deputy tourism minister on Greek Tourist Organisation

    The Greek Tourist Organisation (EOT) "has accumulated debts amounting to 128 million euros to third parties, due to advertising promotion commitments, over the 2006-2009 period, according to the initial picture registered by the new government" and as was publicised on Friday by Deputy Tourist Development Minister Angeliki Gerekou during a press conference held in the framework of the 25th "Philoxenia" international exhibition in Thessaloniki.

    She added that "by the end of 2009, in order for Greece to be reliable in its advertising promotion (...) it must confront this debt for sure," particularly in light of big exhibitions such as the "World Travel Market" in London (9-12/11), "where our country will be discussing the "market" of advertising time for Greek tourism."

    The deputy minister further said that there is cooperation with the Finance ministry on the issue. "We are not satisfied with EOT's way of operation. There will certainly be changes (...) For the time being we are studying them."

    In the new campaign, she indicated that emphasis will be placed on the highlighting of the local identity of regions, in cooperation with local administration bodies, but the target is "for not even one euro to be lost in vague zones and regions of promotion." She also said that the 50 percent backing in advertising promotion funds for Greek tourism in 2009 was never given by the previous government.

    [16] Construction firm appeal against CoS decision on Votanikos site

    The Babis Vovos construction (BVIC) group on Friday filed an annulment motion with the Council of State (CoS), Greece's supreme administrative court, against the construction license and environmental impact study related to the construction of a new Panathinaikos FC sports complex in Athens' Votanikos district.

    The appeal was filed following the publication of a CoS plenum ruling that allows construction of the stadium but orders the irrevocable cessation of works for the construction of an adjacent multiple purpose commercial complex designed to host Athens municipality services and a large shopping mall.

    The firm underlined, in a relative statement, that the appeal is in agreement with the management's belief that the two projects (stadium and shopping mall) are "indissolubly associated", in addition to the fact that the twin urban regeneration project constitutes the only solution both for Votanikos and the environmental upgrading of Ambelokipi district in downtown Athens, where Panathinaikos' old and disused pitch and stands are located today.

    [17] Eurobank Properties says profits slightly down in Jan-Sept

    Eurobank Properties on Friday reported a 0.24-percent drop in its nine-month net profits to 34.9 million euros, as a result of a 9.0-pct rise in lease revenues to 30.6 million euros, a 16-pct increase in net lease revenues to 27.7 million euros as well as a 24-pct decline in profits from a readjustment of fair value asset investments to 5.9 million euros reflecting negative conditions in the real estate market.

    Also interest revenues fell 11 pct to 7.0 million euros in the January-September period. The company said its cash reserves totaled 163 million euros, while loans totaled 77 million euros.

    [18] Metka signs 450-mln-euro energy project in Turkey

    Metka and RWE & Turcas Guney Elektrik Uretim AS on Friday signed an EPC contract for the construction of a thermoelectric power station, with a power of 775 MW, in Denizli region in Turkey.

    The newly set-up joint venture was formed by RWE AG and Turcas Elektrik Uretim AS, a subsidiary of Turcas Petrol AS.

    Greek-listed Metka will build the project using a Siemens (SGT5-4000F gas turbine technology). The project is expected to be ready by the end of 2012 and has an initial budget of 450 million euros.

    [19] Olympic Air's pavilion at Philoxenia exhibition inaugurated

    The administration of the Olympic Air company expressed satisfaction over the reception it has received from the Greek public.

    "The Greeks have embraced this new undertaking, but we also do not feel owners of the company, but its administrators, Olympic belongs above all to the Greeks," said Olympic Air's commercial director Stavros Daliakas at the inauguration of its pavilion at the 25th Philoxenia International Tourism Exhibition.

    Daliakas said that the passenger capacities of the company's flights are currently estimated at 60 percent.

    Olympic Air's pavilion was visited on Thursday by Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Angela Gerekou, who accepted an invitation to write her wishes for the new company in a "post-it," writing "good flights for a beautiful Greece."

    [20] Producer's Price Index down 7.7% in Sept

    Greece's Producer's Price Index (measuring both the domestic and external markets) dropped 7.7 pct in September, compared with the same month last year, the National Statistical Service said on Friday. The statistical service, in a report, said the producer's price index was down 0.8 pct in September from August this year.

    [21] Retail sales volume down 4.5% in Aug.

    Retail sales volume fell 4.5 pct in August compared with the same month last year, the National Statistical Service said on Friday.

    The statistics service, in a report, attributed the decline of the index to a 2.6-pct fall in the foodstore index, a 0.6-pct drop in the fuel category and an 8.8-pct-decline in the other department category in the month.

    [22] Stocks recover slightly on Fri.

    Stocks ended higher in the last trading session of a negative week in the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday. The composite index of the market rose 0.62 pct to end at 2,686.21 points, with turnover at 289.9 million euros, of which 18.9 million euros were block trades.

    Sector indices ended mixed, with the Construction (2.95 pct), Oil (1.78 pct), Food/Beverage (1.65 pct) and Industrial Products (1.40 pct) scoring the biggest percentage gains of the day, while Media (4.93 pct), Telecoms (3.93 pct), Raw Materials (1.78 pct) and Health (1.77 pct) suffered losses.

    The FTSE 20 index rose 0.58 pct, the FTSE 40 index ended 0.02 pct higher and the FTSE 80 index dropped 0.46 pct.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 121 to 88 with another 51 issues unchanged.

    Sector indices ended as follows:

    Insurance: +0.63%

    Industrials: +1.40%

    Commercial: +0.32%

    Construction: +2.95%

    Media: -4.93%

    Oil & Gas: +1.78%

    Personal & Household: -0.43%

    Raw Materials: -1.78%

    Travel & Leisure: +0.10%

    Technology: -1.74%

    Telecoms: -3.93%

    Banks: +1.14%

    Food & Beverages: +1.65%

    Health: -1.77%

    Utilities: -0.22%

    Chemicals: -1.46%

    Financial Services: -1.71%

    The stocks with the highest turnover were National Bank, Bank of Cyprus, Piraeus Bank and Eurobank.

    Selected shares from the FTSE/ASE-20 index closed in euros as follows:

    Alpha Bank: 13.29

    ATEbank: 1.95

    Public Power Corp (PPC): 13.95

    HBC Coca Cola: 17.90

    Hellenic Petroleum: 8.30

    National Bank of Greece: 25.29

    EFG Eurobank Ergasias: 10.90

    Intralot: 4.37

    OPAP: 17.40

    OTE: 11.50

    Bank of Piraeus: 11.85

    Titan: 23.69

    [23] Greek bond market closing report

    Turnover in the Greek electronic secondary bond market totaled around 3.0 billion euros on Friday, with the yield spread between the 10-year Greek and German benchmark bonds at 139 basis points. The Greek bond yielded 4.765 pct and the German Bund 3.27 pct.

    In interbank markets, interest rates eased slightly. The 12-month Euribor rate fell to 1.23 pct from 1.25 pct, the six-month rate rose to 1.04 pct from 1.02 pct, the three-month rate eased to 0.72 pct from 0.73 pct and the one-month rate was 0.42 pct.

    [24] Foreign Exchange rates - Saturday/Monday

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.491

    Pound sterling 0.900

    Danish kroner 7.502

    Swedish kroner 10.467

    Japanese yen 135.74

    Swiss franc 1.524

    Norwegian kroner 8.458

    Canadian dollar 1.608

    Australian dollar 1.640

    General News

    [25] Áthens welcomes Winter Olympics Flame

    Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis on Friday received the Olympic Flame for the Winter Olympics, to take place in Vancouver next year, in front of Athens City Hall.

    Panathinaikos international volleyball player Nikos Smaragdis handed the Olympic Flame to Paralympian fencing competitor Panagiotis Triandafyllou in the presence of Kaklamanis.

    "Olympism unites us. We must all ensure that the flame currently passing through the city of Athens will not burn solely for the 15 days of the Olympic Games, but will serve as the flame of peace, cooperation and tolerance that remains lit in our hearts always," he said.

    [26] Contacts of Ecumenical Patriarch in US

    NEW YORK (ANA-MPA/P. Panagiotou)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos is continuing his contacts programme in the United States. Following a brief visit to Atlanta, the leader of Orthodoxy is due to return to New York on Friday night where he will visit the Museum of Biblical Art and then go to the Lincoln Centre to attend a special concert on peace, in the framework of celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of Demetrius on the Archbishop's Throne of America.

    During his visit to New York, Vartholomeos received at the suite of the hotel where he is staying former US president Bill Clinton with whom he discussed environmental issues and issues concerning interreligious and intercultural dialogue. All the meetings, apart from the members of his entourage, are attended by Archbishop of America Demetrius.

    During a dinner on Wednesday night, Vartholomeos presented a book-album of the photographer of the America Archdiocese and the ANA-MPA in the US Dimitris Panagou. The book, that was prepared by journalist Revekka Papadopoulou, bears the title: "Archbishop of America Demetrius, the first decade 1999-2009." Through 368 pages and 537 photos the Thessaloniki hierarch's 10-year course is presented who, as it is noted, "brought calm to the Church of America."

    [27] Francis Ford Coppola receives medal of Athens

    Award-winning film director Francis Ford Coppola received the medal of the city of Athens from Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis on Friday.

    "A few years ago I decided that I wanted to continue my cinema career making more personal films, with my scenarios on modern issues, such as the 'Tetro'," he said in an interview during which he said that he did not want to become rich and famous and that from a very young age he had distanced himself from Hollywood's system.

    He also referred to his considerable cinema past and his cooperation with legendary actors. He said about Marlon Brando, with whom he worked in the "Godfather" and the "Apocalypse Now", that he was a great intellectual, but at times he behaved like a child and you had to persuade him to do something.

    Coppola said he was optimistic about the future of the cinema. He added that the cinema will change considerably due to technical developments but he believed that the outcome will be very good.

    Asked about his opinion of Barack Obama, he expressed optimism that he would develop into a great leader. "The last time that I was here, with a different governance in the US, I received attacks," he said, adding that Obama "succeeded in changing the attitude towards the US."

    At 19:00, Coppola visited the "Mihalis Kakoyannis" Foundation where he gave a masterclass, while at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday he will attend the premiere of his latest film "Tetro" at the "Ideal" cinema, where he will be receiving the special award of the "European Cinema Panorama" for the action of his American Zoetrope production company.

    [28] Police officer charged in prison on drug trafficking

    A police officer was arrested on Thursday in Athens by internal affairs officers on drug trafficking charges, namely, in trafficking to prison.

    Two foreign nationals were also arrested.

    The police officer was serving in the prisoner transportation division, and according to a preliminary probe, funneled drugs into several correctional facilities.

    All suspects were sent before a prosecutor, while the police officer was suspended from duty.

    Weather Forecast

    [29] Rainy on Saturday

    Rainy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Saturday, with wind velocity reaching 3-8 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 1C and 20C. Cloudy and rainy in Athens, with northerly 4-7 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 9C to 14C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 8C to 12C.

    [30] The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    The investigation into Wednesday's terrorist attack on a police station in Aghia Paraskevi, northeastern Attica, the situation in main opposition New Democracy (ND) ahead of the election of a new leader and the fiscal deficit, dominated the headlines on Friday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Changes in labour relations - Clash between employees in STAGE programme and government".

    APOGEVMATINI: "First message of unity in ND - ND's supporters concerned over ND's Congress meeting on Saturday".

    AVRIANI: "Conflict in ND - Government slow in decision taking".

    CHORA: "Three Kings and a Queen (referring to the candidates for ND's leadership) - Arguing continues in ND on the election procedure".

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Police station entrances will be left without guard posts".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chryssohoidis proceeds with new shocking revelations - He abolishes the guard posts outside police stations".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Police numb after the attack".

    ESTIA: "Leader election procedure in ND is full of holes - ND at an impasse".

    ETHNOS: "Puzzle with DNA and fingerprints from the crime scene".

    KATHIMERINI: "The terrorists wanted deaths - Heavy weaponry puzzles authorities".

    LOGOS: "Chryssohoidis: The police stations without guards - Evidence from terrorist attack under the microscope".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Working class demands permanent and stable jobs".

    TA NEA: "Gun possession a felony - Chryssohoidis considers imposing a stricter law".

    TO VIMA: "Social front against terrorism - Unanimous condemnation".

    VRADYNI: "Government in search of the real deficit - Recital of amateurishness and unreliability".

    36, TSOCHA ST. ATHENS 115 21 GREECE * TEL: 64.00.560-63 * FAX: 64.00.581-2 INTERNET ADDRESS: * e-mail: anabul@ana gr * GENERAL DIRECTOR: GEORGE TAMBAKOPOULOS

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