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Athens News Agency: News in English, 03-05-25

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek FM promotes west Balkan states' EU prospects
  • [02] Simitis discusses EU issues with Slovenian leadership
  • [03] Unified EU audio-visual policy discussed at informal ministers' council
  • [04] Olympiakos takes 7th straight championship title
  • [05] AHEPA symposium concludes in Athens
  • [06] Reding on EU states' culture: 'We don't want to become a melting pot'
  • [07] Latest poll shows lead by main opposition ND
  • [08] Monday weather - Rain in the north
  • [09] Latest 'N17' terror suspect freed by magistrate, investigation
  • [10] Greek PM discusses EU issues with Slovenian leadership

  • [01] Greek FM promotes west Balkan states' EU prospects

    25/05/2003 23:21:56

    Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou reiterated Athens position of accelerating western Balkan countries EU prospects, during a speech on Saturday at the World Economic Forums South-East Europe Meeting, which was held in Athens over the weekend.

    The conference comes during the culminating weeks of the Greek EU Presidency, an event that has brought together several heads of state and government as well as numerous foreign investors, regional business leaders and key ministers and opinion-makers.

    ?The message that we will try and send to the European Council in Thessaloniki is that were ready to overcome historical differences and establish the rule of law, conversely, the European Union commits itself to substantive economic and political support so that the countries of the western Balkans become EU member states,? he said.

    Asked about Athens relations with Turkey and the Cyprus issue, Papandreou referred to a ?new dynamic that allows for a decrease in tensions, and shows the way for different solutions, one of which could be the International Court at The Hague?.

    Finally, commenting on the latest developments in the Middle East peace process, Papandreou said the ''ice has broken, although problems remain.''

    [02] Simitis discusses EU issues with Slovenian leadership

    25/05/2003 23:10:34

    LJUBLJANA (ANA) -- Issues dealing with the latest EU expansion, and especially the situation in the western Balkans, dominated Prime Minister Costas Simitis talks here with his Slovenian counterpart Anton Rop, part of the Greek premiers ongoing tour of European capitals in his capacity as the EU president-in-office and prior to next months summit in Thessaloniki.

    ?When the Iraq crisis was at the center of attention and discussions, the Union had forgot about Kosovo; that there continues to be a fragile situation in the former Yugoslavia, but after the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic they remembered that something must be done with the western Balkans.''

    Simitis added that issues dealing with the western Balkans development (more funding for energy and transport networks, etc.), harmonisation with the Unions acquis communautaire and even strategies to combat organised crime will be discussed in Thessaloniki.

    On his part, Rop said he believes the Union's common security and defence policy should be strengthened, something Ljubljana supports.

    ''However, we want whatever changes taken in this direction to be supplimentary vis-a-vis NATO's role,'' he stressed.

    [03] Unified EU audio-visual policy discussed at informal ministers' council

    25/05/2003 23:08:10

    Culture ministers from 25 European Union member-states and acceding-states gathered in Thessaloniki over the weekend for an informal summit meeting here, only weeks before the EU summit takes place in a Thessaloniki-area resort.

    Expectedly, the issue of Europes unified policies vis-a-vis the United States prolific and lucrative audio-visual production dominated the session.

    In a press conference after the informal summits conclusion, EU Commissioner Viviane Reding stressed to reporters that ?we do not want to become the United States of Europe ... we will retain our cultural diversity, we do not want to become a melting pot, our roots are our advantage.?

    Asked about Greeces standing request for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens from the British Museum, Reding, the EU Commissioner responsible for education and culture, said: ?This is a bilateral issue.?

    However, she also referred to the EUs position over the close relationship and cooperation between museums of the 25 European countries.

    On his part, Greek Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, who hosted the event held under the Greek EU presidencys auspices, reiterated that the EU supports UNESCOs initiatives, while also recognises the international agencys role on the international stage. Among others, he cited the need for a multilateral agreement for the protection and promotion of the worlds cultural diversity.

    In fact, Reding and Venizelos are due to meet with UNESCO UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura in a few days to discuss the issue.

    Various cultural events coincided with the informal culture ministers summit, including a performance of an ancient comedy, performances by various dance and music troupes as well as tours of Byzantine-era cathedrals were on the agenda.

    [04] Olympiakos takes 7th straight championship title

    25/05/2003 23:05:46

    Olympiakos Piraeus won its seventh straight Greek first division championship on Sunday by easily defeating Xanthi 5-1 away in the last game of the 2002-2003 season, tying (70 points) with perennial arch-rival Panathinaikos Athens but taking the title with a better head-to-head record.

    Both clubs qualified for direct Champions League play next season.

    Third place went to AEK Athens, which finished the season with a blazing 12-game winning streak -- including a 1-2 victory over Olympiakos on the latters home pitch -- and only two points behind its rivals. AEKs management woes throughout the whole season were apparently a major obstacle to the club taking the title, while Panathinaikos suffered a devastating 3-0 loss to Olympiakos during the previous week of play, a defeat that more-or-less erased its championship hopes. As consolation, AEK will play a qualifying match for Champions League play in late August.

    On Sunday, Panathinaikos outlasted indifferent Akratitos Athens 3-1 during a home game played on the island of Rhodes, as the former was banished from its home pitch for fan hooliganism.

    AEK, also banished from its home field, downed tough Panionios Athens 4-2 after falling behind 0-2 in the first half hour. Panionios had already qualified for UEFA Cup play.

    In other matches,

    Proodeftiki Piraeus-Aegaleo, 1-1

    Aris Thessaloniki (UEFA qualifier) - Iraklis Thessaloniki, 2-1

    Kallithea Athens-OFI Crete, 2-0

    Ionikos Athens-Panahaiki Patra, 3-0

    PAS Yiannena-PAOK Thessaloniki, 3-2 (UEFA qualifier)

    Panahaiki was relegated, while Ionikos and PAS Yiannena must play knockout matches to remain in the first division.

    [05] AHEPA symposium concludes in Athens

    25/05/2003 22:58:24

    Hellenisms role in the world amid ongoing globalisation based on the Olympic ideals was the focus of an American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) symposium in Athens over the weekend, held at the Old Parliament Building, where the theme of ?Hellenism and Universality? also dominated most speakers comments.

    Several speakers addressed delegates at the conference, including noted Greek-American scientists Aris Patrinos, Dimitris Nanopoulos and Stamatis Krimizis.

    [06] Reding on EU states' culture: 'We don't want to become a melting pot'

    25/05/2003 21:14:18

    Culture ministers from 25 European Union member-states and acceding-states gathered in Thessaloniki over the weekend for an informal summit meeting here, only weeks before the EU summit takes place in a Thessaloniki-area resort.

    Expectedly, the issue of Europes unified policies vis-a-vis the United States prolific and lucrative audio-visual production dominated the session.

    In a press conference after the informal summits conclusion, EU Commissioner Viviane Reding stressed to reporters that ?we do not want to become the United States of Europe ... we will retain our cultural diversity, we do not want to become a melting pot, our roots are our advantage.?

    Asked about Greeces standing request for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens from the British Museum, Reding, the EU Commissioner responsible for education and culture, said: ?This is a bilateral issue.?

    However, she also referred to the EUs position over the close relationship and cooperation between museums of the 25 European countries.

    [07] Latest poll shows lead by main opposition ND

    25/05/2003 21:10:24

    Two latest opinion polls in as many Athens dailies were published on Sunday, with one listing a continuing lead by the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party over ruling PASOK and the other focusing on preferences by PASOK voters.

    ND leads PASOK by almost 10 percentage points, according to reports, with 39.6 percent of respondents saying they prefer the main opposition to 29.8 percent for the ruling party. Some 4.7 percent of respondents chose the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), 2.6 percent the Coalition of the Left (Synaspismos), 2 percent picked the out-of-Parliament DHKKI party and 1.8 percent favoured the recently created LA.OS. group. Another 17.4 percent of respondents declined to answer.

    In the poll, conducted by the firm Rass and published in the Sunday edition of ?Kathimerini?, ND leader Costas Karamanlis garnered 33.5 percent of respondents preferences on the question of ?who is better suited to be prime minister?. Premier Costas Simitis was preferred by 32.8 percent of respondents.

    In another poll published by the Sunday edition of ?Eleftherotypia?, meanwhile, 55.9 percent of respondents said they do not want a change in PASOKs leadership, as opposed to 33.8 percent in support of the opposite.

    The poll was conducted by the V-PRC firm between May 21-23.

    Some 40.7 percent of respondents called on PM Costas Simitis to change policy on several crucial sectors.

    Fighting unemployment, checking inflation and easing cost-of-living hikes as well as the health sector dominated respondents concerns.

    [08] Monday weather - Rain in the north

    25/05/2003 18:10:12

    Rain and scattered showers are forecast for northern Greece on Monday, especially in eastern Macedonia and Thrace. Partly cloudy with a only a chance of rain elsewhere. Westerly to southwesterly winds, weak to moderate. Temperatures between 11C to 20C in the north; 13C to 25C elsewhere.

    Partly cloudy in Athens, 15C to 24C; chance of afternoon thunderstorms in Thessaloniki, 14C to 20C.

    [09] Latest 'N17' terror suspect freed by magistrate, investigation continues

    25/05/2003 14:42:27

    The 20th ?November 17? terrorist group suspect, arrested only this past week, was unconditionally freed by local appellate level magistrate on Saturday following a brief arraignment, where he again denied charges of involvement with the lethal urban terror band.

    Costas Avramidis, 42, was arrested by police this week based on a fingerprint detected on a book seized in one of two ?N17? safehouses in Athens, as well as testimony by one of the 19 ?N17? suspects currently on trial, Sotiris Kondylis.

    According to reports, meanwhile, Kondylis reportedly said he knows the man but that he is not a member of the ultra-leftist terrorist group, and after being shown a photograph of Avramidis -- alternately identified as a civil engineer by training or as an artist. November 17 has claimed responsibility for more than two dozen assassinations as well numerous bomb and rocket attacks since 1975. Initial reports claimed that Kondylis had identified Avramidis as the man who recruited him into the elusive organisation.

    In statements during his incarceration, Avramidis repeatedly claimed he was being persecuted for his beliefs and political activity. Among others, he freely admits to being an active member of a tiny local group struggling against what it refers to as ?state terrorism? and oppression.

    [10] Greek PM discusses EU issues with Slovenian leadership

    25/05/2003 14:38:12

    LJUBLJANA (ANA) -- Issues dealing with the latest EU expansion, and especially the situation in the western Balkans, dominated Prime Minister Costas Simitis talks here with his Slovenian counterpart Anton Rop, part of the Greek premiers ongoing tour of European capitals in his capacity as the EU president-in-office and prior to next months summit in Thessaloniki.

    ?When the Iraq crisis was at the center of attention and discussions the Union had forgot about Kosovo; that there continues to be a fragile situation in the former Yugoslavia, but after the assassination of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic they remembered that something must be done with the western Balkans," the Greek PM said.

    Simitis added that issues dealing with the western Balkans development, harmonisation with the Unions acquis communautaire and even strategies to combat organised crime will be discussed in Thessaloniki.


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