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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-07-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papandreou: Gov't lacks plan for the economy
  • [02] Arsonists target Tax Bureau office
  • [03] UNHCR public awareness campaign for refugees
  • [04] Greek-British journalist released
  • [05] Eight arrested in drug raids
  • [06] Free Internet in Gazi

  • [01] Papandreou: Gov't lacks plan for the economy

    Chairing a party meeting for green development, main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Monday stressed that the government lacked a plan for the country's economic recovery and was resorting to erratic measures in order to deal with the crisis.

    This was relayed to reporters by PASOK spokesman George Papaconstantinou, who said that Papandreou had also referred to the crucial conjuncture facing the country, the citizens' lack of confidence toward the state, the democracy deficit and the disrespect shown for state institutions.

    The spokesman rejected allegations that "green development" had evolved into a "new fetish for PASOK" and underlined that the party's relevant proposals will be specified further during the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair in September.

    Commenting on the ECOFIN meeting underway on Monday, which will be addressed by the national economy and finance minister "in order to pave the way for Greece's request for more time to reduce deficit", Papaconstantinou underlined the need for renegotiation.

    The PASOK spokesman stressed that the government aimlessly spends the Greek taxpayers' money and agreed that more time is needed to reduce deficit pointing out, however, that negotiations will not have a positive effect on the Greek people because the government lacks a plan.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou

    [02] Arsonists target Tax Bureau office

    Arsonists planted a home-made incendiary device at the entrance of the Tax Bureau office in Galatsi, which exploded at about 3:00 a.m. Monday.

    The ensuing fire caused extensive damage to the ground floor of the Tax Bureau building and to two adjacent shops before it was extinguished by firefighters who rushed to the site.

    [03] UNHCR public awareness campaign for refugees

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis and the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) Office in Greece will unveil on Wednesday a UN-sponsored public awareness campaign on the refugee problem.

    The UNHCR public awareness campaign is underway with the support of the Greek foreign ministry and aims to highlight the global dimension of the refugee crisis and the need to assist developing countries that receive most of the refugees and the organizations that offer them protection and help.

    [04] Greek-British journalist released

    Iran released Greek-British journalist Iason Athanasiadis-Fowden on Sunday, according to reports by the AFP and Reuters news agencies.

    Athanasiadis, who works for the Washington Times, had been arrested during disturbances that had followed the recent presidential elections in the country.

    The journalist was released thanks to efforts by the Iranian embassy in Athens and his press card was returned to him, according to Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeman Hassan Qashqavi.

    The Greek embassy in Tehran confirmed that it is the journalist in question, who has both Greek and British citizenship.

    Caption: ANA-MPA/EPA file photograph made available by The Washington Times showing Greek-British journalist Iason Athanasiadis-Fowden, who did freelance work covering the Iranian presidential election for the newspaper.

    [05] Eight arrested in drug raids

    A total of eight foreign nationals were arrested in the wider Athens area on the weekend in two major drug busts, police said on Monday.

    Attica Security Police chief Yiannis Dikopoulos announced that seven individuals -- five Albanian nationals and two Iranian nationals, among them a 16-year-old minor -- were arrested on Friday night for trafficking in large quantities of heroin and cocaine in Attica.

    Police also found a heroin laboratory they had set up in an apartment, from which they seized the lab's entire equipment, 5 kilos and 635 grams of heroin, 140 grams of cocaine, 3,800 euros in cash, three precision scales and 10 cell phones, as well as the automobile used by the gang to sell and deliver the drugs.

    According to police, the gang distributed approximately 50 kilos of heroin per month.

    In a separate incident, a 30-year-old Albanian national was arrested on Friday night in Nea Smyrni, where he, too, had set up a heroin laboratory.

    Police also found and seized two Kalashnikov rifles with two rounds of ammunition, an MP5 automatic submachine gun and a round of ammunition, a revolver, hundreds of bullets of various diameters, and approximately 5 kilos of explosives. The origin of the explosives and where they were destined to be used are being investigated.

    All eight detainees were due to appear before a public prosecutor on Monday.

    Caption: Kalashnikov rifles, guns, bullets, large quantities of drugs and equipment for processing narcotics were among the evidence found and displayed by Attica Security police on Monday, following two separate arrests in major drug-dealing cases on Friday. ANA-MPA/Attica Security photograph.

    [06] Free Internet in Gazi

    Athens citizens and visitors will have access to free high-speed wireless internet in the Gazi area, within the framework of the Information Society Operational Programme, according to an announcement by the Athens Municipality.

    The project, which began on July 1, is incorporated in the Information Society SA Digital Strategy and was completed with the support of the City of Athens IT Company (DAEM) and the Municipality's Information Technology Department, which coordinated all participating bodies to ensure its effective and rapid delivery.

    The installation of state-of-the-art equipment in a central building at the City of Athens Technopolis ensures coverage of all of the complex's outdoor areas as well as Kerameikos Square and former Korean Market Square. The specific area is one of the largest in Greece in terms of provision of free wireless internet access by a state body.

    Visitors to Technopolis and the surrounding area can access the internet with the use of the necessary equipment, such as a laptop computer, PDA or mobile phone, as well as wireless WiFi networks.

    A similar network has already been installed in three public areas within the City of Athens, via the Operational Programme, namely Syntagma Square, Kotzia Square and Thissio.

    The wireless network was created in order for citizens and visitors to familiarize themselves with high-speed internet and promote the numerous capabilities and services it can offer us in our day-to-day life and work.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photograph of the Athens Technopolis in the central Athens district of Gazi. A former gasworks, the complex has been converted to a municipal centre for exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events in the city centre.

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