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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-01-22

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Greece wants improved relations with Turkey
  • [02] Cyber-crime laws scrutinised

  • [01] PM: Greece wants improved relations with Turkey

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Tuesday underlined his government's desire for better relations between Greece and Turkey, during an interview given to the Turkish news agency Anadolu a day before the start of his official visit to Ankara.

    "I will be the first Greek prime minister to visit Turkey after an interval of 48 years. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and I will have an opportunity to focus on Greek-Turkish relations and their future," he said.

    Emphasising that the Greek government was doing everything in its power to improve relations, he also repeated Athens' support for Turkey's European prospects and said it was the right time to take action in order to boost bilateral ties.

    During the interview, Karamanlis pointed to the major progress made in bilateral trade and investments and noted that the volume of trade between the two countries had risen to three billion US dollars in 2007 from a mere 200 million dollars in 1999.

    He also listed positive developments in tourism between the two countries and the Greek-Turkish natural gas pipeline, which was the result of bilateral cooperation.

    At the same time, he pointed to serious bilateral problems that were still outstanding and needed a resolution, such as finding a viable solution to the Cyprus issue based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation.

    Regarding Turkey's prospects of joining the EU and the opposition voiced in some quarters of Europe, Karamanlis said the EU had an obligation to send a "clear message to all candidate-countries, including Turkey".

    "Greece believes that if Turkey fully complies with the EU acquis, then this will lead to its full accession," the Greek premier stressed.

    He noted that Turkey had a long way to go before reaching this target, however, and expressed hope that it would succeed in meeting EU criteria.

    "It must, also, settle its relations with Cyprus and recognise it," Karamanlis underlined.

    Asked to state his message to the Turkish people during his visit, the Greek prime minister said his message was crystal clear: Greece desires to fully restore relations with Turkey:

    "The two countries must make efforts to resolve their differences peacefully and on the basis of international law," he said, expressing a hope that Ankara would respond to the "hand of friendship extended by Greece".

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Karamanlis.

    [02] Cyber-crime laws scrutinised

    Greece's legal framework does not adequately protect the public against cyber-crimes, such as extortion or defamation over the Internet, and it does foresee the arrest of those disseminating child pornography, according to the head of Greek Police's electronic crime squad, Emmanouil Sfakianakis, who spoke on Tuesday before a relevant Parliament committee.

    Sfakianakis noted that the 1994 law currently in force permits access to phone records and conversations in order to investigate cases of homicide, blackmail, human-trafficking, organised crime and threats to national security. It does not, however, make any provision for the distribution of child pornography over the Internet by individuals, unless they are part of a gang.

    A 2005 presidential decree, meanwhile, calls for a previous order lifting confidentiality in order for companies providing Internet services to release confidential data, leaving "thousands of offences, both misdemeanours but also felonies, carried out over the Internet remain unsolved," Sfakianakis said.

    He claimed his department was "hamstrung" in efforts to prosecute child pornography and cases of extortion by people that deliberately defame others via the Internet because of these privacy laws.

    "We get dozens of complaints by enraged citizens that see their daughters exposed on the Internet by an ex-boyfriend after the end of an affair. We gets dozens of complaints every day - but I can do nothing. I can find the (electronic) trace of the culprit but the law does not allow me to see who it is," Sfakianakis reported.

    Caption: ANA-MPA/EPA file photo / ALEX DE LA ROSA

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