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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-06-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Disability and media conf'
  • [02] Australasia AHEPA Convention
  • [03] Mylonas resigns after release
  • [04] Police shot by hash growers

  • [01] Disability and media conf'

    Optimism that the problems of the people with disabilities can be solved without prejudice and the need for greater public awareness, were underlined by Minister of State and government spokesman Thodoros Rousopoulos who opened on Monday the two-day 3rd International Conference on "People with a Disability and the Mass Media". Speaking at the conference, organized and hosted by the Secretariat General of Communication - Secretariat General of Information (SGC - SGI) in Athens, Rousopoulos stressed that the commitments made at last year's conference have been materialized, adding that next year participation will become wider for more substantive and effective results. Presentations will be submitted to a special committee comprising academicians and scientists to be studied and help determine the conference's themes. Rousopoulos underlined that well-concerted efforts for a new culture free of deeply-rooted prejudice and discrimination is necessary, pointing out that the discrepancy between what is being said and done should be identified and combatted. Deputy Health Minister Giorgos Constantopoulos stressed that the health ministry's goal is to ensure greater independence for people with disabilities, underlining the major issue of children with disabilities. Athens Journalists' Union (ESIEA) President Panos Sobolos stressed that over the past few years the media have contributed greatly to the sensitization of society, adding that considerable steps have already been made but apparently they are not enough. Communications General Secretary Margarita Papada-Chimona underlined that people with disabilities need honesty and not charity.

    [02] Australasia AHEPA Convention

    Issues concerning education, charity work, culture and greater youth participation will be under discussion at the 54th AHEPA Australasia National Convention to be held on July 1-7 in Athens with the participation of roughly 1,200 delegates and representatives from the United States, Canada, Australia, Greece and Cyprus. Participants will also adopt resolutions on a number of issues of Greek national importance including the FYROM name issue, Cyprus, the Theological School of Halki, and the Pontian Greek genocide. Delegates will have the opportunity to visit archaeological and tourist sites, attend events hosted by AHEPA USA and participate in a cruise around the Greek islands. The AHEPA Australasia delegates will depart for Cyprus on July 11 to hold a mini conference on July 14 with the participation of the state, political and Church leadership to be briefed on the latest developments in Cyprus and be updated by the committees on the missing, the refugees and the enclaved in the occupied part of Cyprus. Delegates will visit the Kykkos Monastery, lay a wreath at the tomb of Makarios and visit Paphos and Limassol.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of a view of Athens

    [03] Mylonas resigns after release

    Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE) president George Mylonas on Monday announced his resignation from the post, just hours after he was released by his abductors after spending nearly two weeks in captivity, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

    Mylonas, who is the founder, president and CEO of the Athens-listed Alumil aluminum constructions industry, was released by his abductors in the first hours of Monday, nearly two weeks after he was abducted by unidentified gunmen shortly before midnight on June 9 in Thessaloniki, as he was returning to his home in the Panorama residential district.

    Meanwhile, the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE), following agreement with the Capital Market Commission, lifted a suspension on trading of the Alumil Mylonas Aluminum Industry SA shares, effective immediately, which had been put in place after the industrialist's abduction 13 days earlier.

    Mylonas was released by his abductors in the first hours of Monday, and, according to initial reports, he was given a stolen BMW car to return home by his kidnappers, possibly in the region of Peria, Yiannitsa or Veria, and arrived at his home at 1:15 a.m.

    The ransom amount paid by the family was undetermined, while Mylonas was reported to be well in health.

    Silence had shrouded the police investigations and negotiations with the abductors following an appeal by Mylonas' family.

    Mylonas was abducted by unidentified gunmen shortly before midnight on Monday, June 9, in Thessaloniki, as he was returning to his home in the Panorama residential district. According to ireports, three gunmen immoblised his car -- which was driven by Mylonas himself and with his wife as a passenger -- a short distance from his home. The perpetrators entered the car, released Mylonas' wife, and forced the industrialist to head eastwards, and a few kilometers later, in the Thermi area, they abandoned the car and disappeared, taking Mylonas with them.

    Mylonas' wife immediately alerted authorities of the abduction.

    Police who rushed to the scene found Mylonas' cell phone and watch on the back seat of the abandoned car.

    Mylonas, 49, is the owner, president and CEO of the listed Alumil aluminum constructions industry and the Alumil Group of companies, with major investments in Greece and abroad.

    The Serres-born Mylonas is also a member of the board of directors of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) and the Hellenic Aluminium Association, and vice-president of the board of the Association of Aluminum Processing Industries.

    Further, Mylonas is vice-president of the Greece-China Business Council, and a member of the Greece-Serbia Business Council.

    Mylonas and Alumil have received several awards and distinctions in recent years for their business activities.

    Mylonas' statement

    Mylonas announced his decision to step down from the SBBE presidency, in statements to the waiting reporters outside his home, just hours after his release from captivity, saying he wanted to spend more free time with his family. "I want to devote more time, which I unfortunately cannot cut from my work, and consequently I will cut it from public affaris. Thus, in the future, you will no longer hear statements by me," he said.

    Mylonas thanked the police for their support to his family throughout the ordeal, his friends and the majority of the mass media, adding that he would not reveal details on his abduction.

    Regarding the conditions of his captivity, Mylonas described them as "dignified", adding that he had not encountered any problem during his 13 days in captivity, and clarifying that the only thing the perpetrators wanted was the ransom".

    "It was a bad experience for me, which has passed without resulting in victims and without burdens on my family or on my company. The details are of no significance," Mylonas said.

    He did confide to the press, however, that his mind was constantly on his family throughout the ordeal, and revealed that it was his wife who had "successfully conducted the negotiations" with the abductors, and expressed hope that what had happened to him would not happen to anyone else.

    Regarding the abductors, he said they were three in number, that he had had a "minimum of contact" with them, and that they had been "willing and polite" with him".

    "Whatever I wanted, they gave me. Naturally, given the circumstances, it wasn't like being at home. I spoke to them in Greek. I didn't see their faces," Mylonas said, and declined to reveal the location where he had been held captive nor the spot where he was released.

    Replying to questions, he said that the the discussions with the kidnappers had been held "in a very good climate" since, he added, in an effort to lighten the atmosphere, "I asked them to release me by Tuesday so that I could accompany my daughter to a drawing competition".

    Mylonas further refused to reveal the ransom amount and, to another question, said that his ordeal would not impact the course of his company.

    "They let me go at an isolated spot, and told me that a few meters away there was a car with a full tank of fuel waiting, and gave me the key. They told me how to get to out of there, because I didn't know the area," the industrialist said.

    To another question, Mylonas said that he would not be attending an event in Thessaloniki later that day with prime minister Costas Karamanlis as the central speaker, explaining that he wanted "to rest, to see the sunlight" that he had been deprived of during his days in captivity, and added that he would not speak of some of the things he went through during his ordeal "even to the police", but would "keep them inside me to my death".

    Meanwhile, the Alumil board issued an announcement informing its investors that the "temporary crisis" with the company's chairman and CEO had reached a positive conclusion, adding that Mulonas would "return to his executive duties in the next few days".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE) president George Mylonas

    [04] Police shot by hash growers

    Three policemen were injured, one of them seriously, after being attacked by hashish growers in the village of Malades in Heraklion, Crete, on Sunday night.

    The officers, from the Heraklion police station, were taking part in an ambush at a hashish plantation when they were attacked by unidentified individuals who opened fire on them with what was believed to be a Kalashnikov.

    One of the policemen was seriously injured by a gunshot wound in the head, while the other two officers had bullet shots in the leg and the shoulder.

    All three policemen were in Heraklion Hospital, where they all underwent surgery. The two policemen with the ligher injuries were in stable, non-life-threatening condition.

    Police have launched a manhunt in the area, while a police congent from Athens, headed by chief insprector for Northern Greece Dimitris Bouloukos, left for Heraklion early Monday morning on orders of Greek Police (ELAS) chief Vassilis Tsiatouras, to help in the investigations and in a clean-up operation in Malades similar to that of Zoniana, where in early November three other police officers were injured when attacked by local hashish growers during a police raid.

    The contingent from Athens comprises EKAM special force teams, members of the criminology service, officers of the police drugs squad, and from the homicide force.

    Caption : Police helicopter search for unidentified individuals who opened fire against police officers in Malades village in Crete island on Monday 23 June 2008.ANA-MPA/Stefanos Rapanis

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