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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-11-04

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Solution of Cyprus issue needs patience, Europarliament president tells Athens conference
  • [02] Work stoppage Tues., strike Wed. affects trains and urban railroad
  • [03] Police examine young man for match to missing toddler Ben Needham, lost from Kos in 1991

  • [01] Solution of Cyprus issue needs patience, Europarliament president tells Athens conference

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    ANA-MPA - "The solution to the Cyprus issue will be reached through small steps and patience," noted President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, speaking on Monday to the "South for Growth" conference in Athens.

    Replying to a press question on the restart of negotiations between Cyprus and Turkey, he said that they must start immediately and called on the Turkish side to take a clear and constructive position.

    On the energy issue, Schulz said that Greece is playing a very important role in Cyprus' growth. He added that in the next twenty to thirty years Greece and Cyprus have a very strong potential of becoming energy suppliers.

    Schulz addressed the conference - organized jointly by all Parliament press offices in southern European countries - on proposals to deal with the crisis.

    Actions he proposed addressed youth unemployment, small and medium-sized entreprises (SMEs), cooperation with Northern African countries and the union of banks.

    Speaking about enterprises in particular, Schulz said that a credit programme and an investment strategy were vital for SMEs, which affected unemployment. A major problem faced by SMEs were lack of funds, as the European Central Bank loans carried an interest rate of 0.5 percent, and banks did not supply businesses with cash but focused on speculation.

    Among the measures he proposed were completing a viable bank union so that banks can salvage other banks and break the link between banks and state loans.

    There must be an end to mistrust and trust be restored, Schulz said, and added that violence is a sign of instability; people don't vote for extremists because they are neonazis but because they're desperate, he noted. Commenting on politicians criticising the EU, he said that European countries would not be stronger standing by themselves but would face tougher competition.

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    [02] Work stoppage Tues., strike Wed. affects trains and urban railroad

    Hellenic Railways (TrainOSE) trains and the urban railroad (proastiakos) will not run from 09:00 to 12:00 on Tuesday, in a work stoppage that will allow employees of both to rally outside the Council of State, which is examining the company's share transfer to the state privatisation company TAIPED.

    The work stoppage also includes the section of the Metro running between Doukissis Plakentias and Airport stations.

    On Wednesday, on which Greece's umbrella private and public sector unions have declared a 24-hour strike, the Metro will operate as usual up to the Doukissis Plakentias section. The electric train (linking Kifissia and Pireas) and the tram will also run as usual.

    Athens urban buses will run from 09:00 am to 21:00. Trolleys, TrainOSE and the urban railroad will be on strike.

    [03] Police examine young man for match to missing toddler Ben Needham, lost from Kos in 1991

    NICOSIA (ANA-MPA/A. Viketos) - A young man who was identified through a video as possibly being Ben Needham, a 21-month-old toddler who disappeared from the Eastern Aegean island of Kos in 1991 while vacationing with his parents, was located in Cyprus on Sunday in the south coastal city of Limassol and has voluntarily given blood for DNA testing.

    The case began when the Interpol office at the Greek Police forwarded a video provided to Interpol by the president of the Kos Bar Association to Cyprus Police. It showed a young man bearing close resemblance to an age-progressed sketch of Needham released by Scotland Yard attending an Orthodox Easter service at the Limassol church of Aghia Triada.

    The young man was found after neighbours recognised a photo provided by the Cyprus Police. He said he is 22 years old, lives with his aunt and uncle near the church and originates from Romania. He has been living in Cyprus since February, and his parents live abroad. He said he recognised himself in the video and photos but was afraid to contact police because he didn't know why they were looking for him.

    The Cyprus Interpol branch has urgently requested DNA material from Ben Needham's parents, through the Greek and British Interpol offices, to see if there is a match.

    Cyprus Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said that investigations would be launched on Cyprus for trade in children by Roma, following the cases of Ben and, in Greece, Maria, who was found living in a Roma camp in Farsala with a family other than that of her biological family, now identified as a Roma couple living in Bulgaria.

    [FILE PHOTO, 1996]

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