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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-11-03

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: We have won crucial battles
  • [02] Samaras in Alexandroupoli
  • [03] Two-day suspension of foreign mail delivery
  • [04] 5.1R jolted Samothrace
  • [05] Frontex unit deployed
  • [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM: We have won crucial battles

    ANA-MPA/Prime Minister George Papandreou called on all citizens to participate in the November 7 local government elections "because it is a vote of responsibility for the country, for our country and local administration."

    Addressing a rally at a hotel's convention centre in the northwestern city of Ioannina on Tuesday, Papandreou said "the salvation and reshaping of our country is an affair and a decision of all of us. I am certain that the citizens, in their overwhelming majority, willl confirm and will strengthen the wind of change that is blowing in our country."

    Referring to the economy, Papandreou said: "Many are watching our efforts and successes amazed. We have won and are still winning crucial battles but we have not yet won the war. We acquired reliability. The right to raise our stature and to protect the interests of our country. As we did in the past days as well, at the European Union's Summit, where we averted the adoption of an unacceptable proposal, for those countries in the European Union having great fiscal problems, as we, to be deprived of the democratic right of their vote."ANa-MPA

    In another point in his address, the prime minister underlined that "we are faithful to our slogan 'either we change or we sink'." And he went on to say "and on the contrary, the size and intensity of the crisis was and is for us a further reason for us to change quicker. And this is what we did and we are doing."

    Papandreou also referred to the latest terrorist acts in Athens, saying that "we condemn unequivocally and we stand merciless, merciless towards whoever attempts, in vain, to disrupt with terrorist acts social peace and to deal a blow at the image of our country internationally in a particularly difficult period.

    "For us the security of the citizen is a right of the citizen. Security in his life, his work, his daily life. The government and the relevant services will continue the systematic, organised effort, that has given specific results recently."

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [02] Samaras in Alexandroupoli

    ANA-MPa/Main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras, speaking in the northern city of Alexandroupoli on Tuesday, called for a vote against the memorandum in the local elections, adding that the "extortionate dilemmas" of Prime Minister George Papandreou do not intimidate him and ND is ready in the event that PASOK takes the responsibility of Parliamentary elections.

    Referring to the possibility of his party participating in an all-party government, the ND leader said: "Our problem is not to distribute ministries. Our problem is for the disastrous policy of suffocation to change. And a Recovery and Growth Policy to be adopted. Whoever wants to distribute ministries with a government implementing a suffocation policy can do it. Not us. We shall insist on a radical turn to Recovery and Growth. And the Greek people will send this message," he said.ANA-MPa/

    He criticised Papandreou and vice president Theodoros Pangalos over the issue of the debt's restructuring, terming their "contradicting statements as paranoia".

    "It is paranoia for the prime minister to come out and say that 'he rules out the restructuring of the debt' and then his vice president to come out and say that the restructuring of the debt is not something bad and we must not rule it out," he further said, adding that "someone of the two does not know what he is saying unless they have a secret agenda and the vice president is preparing the people. The Memorandum Policy does not avert bankruptcy. It brings it closer. They may have accepted it but we reject it."

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [03] Two-day suspension of foreign mail delivery

    (ANA-MPA) -- A cargo jet carrying a suspicious envelope made an emergency landing in Bologna late Tuesday evening after Greek authorities received information that the package -- reportedly destined for the office of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi -- contained explosives.

    The incident came after roughly 13 parcel and mail bombs were intercepted and neutralised in the greater Athens area on Monday and Tuesday, most addressed to foreign embassies in Athens and one headed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office.

    Two arrests were made on Monday along a busy Athens street of suspects believed to have mailed one such mail bomb minutes earlier. According to police, the two suspects -- both local men in their early 20s -- were armed and found in possession of similar parcel bombs.

    Initial reports claim the pair is linked to the ultra-leftist, self-styled anarchist terrorist (ANA-MPA) underworld active in the Greek capital in recent years, with a law enforcement investigation now in high gear, as another five suspects are wanted. The incidents are unrelated to the recent mailings of more powerful parcel bombs from the Middle East to US destinations, cases believed to be the work of Islamic terrorists.

    The emergency landing came hours after a bomb disposal squad conducted a controlled detonation of two envelopes discovered in the cargo terminal of Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport on Tuesday evening.

    According to initial reports, the envelopes were first isolated, with one was destined for Europol headquarters at The Hague and the other for the European Court of Justice.

    The private cargo plane took off from Athens carrying the letter addressed to Berlusconi's office and was first headed to Paris before its final destination of Lyon, where the plane's load of cargo would have been sorted and forwarded to recipients. (ANA-MPA)

    Suspension in mail service

    Greek Police (EL.AS) and the country's Civil Aviation Authority, citing the unprecedented developments over the past 72 hours, announced a 48-hour suspension of mail and parcel deliveries to foreign destinations. ANA-MPA

    The two-day suspension will apparently give Greek authorities the opportunity to scan already accepted correspondence for possible threats. (ANA-MPA)

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [04] 5.1R jolted Samothrace

    An earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale jolted the island of Samothrace in the northern Aegean at dawn on Wednesday, but no damages were reported.

    The quake was recorded at 4:51 a.m., at a distance of 50km southeast of the city of Alexandroupolis, with its epicenter in the Saros Gulf.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [05] Frontex unit deployed

    (ANA-MPA) -- The deployment of European border guard forces under Greek command was launched on Tuesday in the northeast Evros region along the river border with Turkey, following an official request by the Greek government.

    The Frontex Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) will be briefed by Greek authorities upon their arrival in the Orestiada municipality, focusing on the EU and national legislation provisions concerning migration inflow and illegal migration, legal issues -- use of weapons and handcuffs, arrests, etc. -- as well as the geography of the 12.5 km-long river bank along which they will be deployed. ANa-MPa

    The RABITs will patrol the region together with Greek forces to help curb illegal migration. The European border guards will be under the command and coordination of Greek authorities, bear their countries' insignias and use their weapons only in self-defence.

    They will move into designated regions defined in an already approved operational plan. The deployment of the 175-member team and their equipment (including vehicles, thermal cameras etc) will serve as a deterrent against illegal immigrants streaming over from Turkey, a problem that has assumed explosive dimensions in the specific region.

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

    [06] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Wednesday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    A spate of parcel bombs on Tuesday and planned changes to the tax collection system, mostly dominated the headlines on Wednesday in Athens' newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Alert over the parcel bombs!".

    AVGHI: "Let's hope they (gov't) won't loot us at the ballot, too".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Government abolishes, with law, the minimum salary in private sector".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "International alert over the parcel- bombs".

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Terror gloom on the way to the ballots".

    ESTIA: "Total confusion over the Memorandum".

    ETHNOS: "Alert for the delivery men of terror".

    IMERISSIA: "Kallikratis plan in taxation system brings three major changes".

    KATHIMERINI: "Bomb against county's image".

    LOGOS: "Athens places Europe on alert... over the booby-trapped parcels".

    NAFTEMPORIKI: "Bank financing to market runs dry".

    NIKI: "Greek Police on alert".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Government abolishes collective labor agreements with blows against wages and salaries".

    TA NEA: "Terror couriers".

    TO VIMA: "Thriller in mid-air with parcel bomb destined for Silvio Berlusconi".

    VRADYNI: "Bomb against the collective labor agreements".

    More details on the subscriber's page of APE-MPE | Subscription request form

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