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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-19

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Karamanlis on official visit to China, meetings with Chinese premier, BOCOG chief on Thursday
  • [02] Ten arrested in cigarette smuggling case

  • [01] PM Karamanlis on official visit to China, meetings with Chinese premier, BOCOG chief on Thursday

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis arrived in Beijing on Thursday morning (local time) on a three-day official visit, and was slated to meet later in the evening with premier of China's state council Wen Jiabao, with whom he will sign a strategic cooperation agreement.

    Earlier, Karamanlis will also meet with the president of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Organising Committee (BOCOG) Liu Qi, who is also secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Beijing Municipal Committee, a member of the CPC Central Committee Politburo and former mayor of Bejing (1999-2002).

    The visit is considered of important from both a political and economic viewpoint, and Karamanlis is accompanied by foreign minister Petros Molyviatis, minister of state and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, deputy foreign minister Evripides Stylianidis, and a large business delegation.

    In addition to promoting Greek agricultural products -- such as olive oil -- on the vast Chinese market and cooperation in the sector of construction and knowhow, the Greek government is also interested in attracting Chinese investments to Greece, as the country is strategically placed to serve as a springboard for Chinese entrepreneurs to Europe and the wider Balkan region.

    Karamanlis will also visit Shanghai, where there will be a large delegation of people involved in business and finance.

    [02] Ten arrested in cigarette smuggling case

    A total of 10 suspects were arrested in northern Greece on Wednesday for smuggling nearly 2 million packs of contraband cigarettes into the country.

    Police in Chalkidiki, Macedonia, stopped three trucks and arrested the drivers who were carrying a total of 1,855,000 packs of cigarettes representing more than 4.2 million euros in lost excise taxes.

    After investigating, police discovered that the cigarettes had been loaded in Romania on December 22 on a ship flying a North Korean flag and destined for a port in Montenegro.

    A fisherman spotted the ship, the "Tania", four nautical miles off the coast of cape Pines in Mount Athos and informed police.

    The ship was then located off the coast of the island of Samothrace and was escorted by coast guard vessels to the port of Alexandroupolis, where all seven crew members were arrested.

    According to the police, the crew members, of Ukrainian nationality, are part of an international crime ring.

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