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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-08-08

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and




    Athens, 8 August 2002 (12:48 UTC+2)

    Officials of the Counter Terrorism Service have attributed the proclamation signed by November 17, carrying an indistinct fingerprint, sent to Alter television last night, to areas irrelevant to terrorism.

    This text is full of spelling and syntax errors and reminds us more of anarchists than of terrorists, commented an analyst of the Greek Police. It is almost certain that it was a prank. N17 had indeed placed half a fingerprint in the second proclamation it had sent to the French Liberation newspaper. However, it is not possible to discern if it is the same print, because the one on the proclamation sent to the television station has not been impressed clearly.

    The specific television station had also broadcast a picture of Savvas Xeros, injured in hospital, when the N17 case started more than a month ago. The authorities had begun investigations into who leaked the photograph to the television station, and the Naval Court DA referred the case to the Special Examiner of the 2nd Piraeus Naval Court Department.

    According to a relevant announcement by the Ministry of Merchant Marine, the investigation searching for whomever is responsible for violations of service confidentiality and violation of duty, has led to three Coast Guard officers.

    The Ministry of Merchant Marine also published the following in relation to the case:

    1. The pictures were taken by three sources: The Coast Guard, the Doctor of the Hospital, and the relevant Police Service.

    2. The picture in question was taken at the EVAGGELISMOS hospital on Sunday, June 30, by a digital camera, property of the Coast Guard.

    3. According to indications, the picture in question was an object of transaction between the Coast Guard and a third party. The instigator(s) has not been revealed, and neither has the person who bribed them, and of course these individuals are the ones the investigation is closing in on.

    When Savvas Xeros is finally transferred, high security health facilities will be necessary at the Corydallos Penitentiary, where two will be constructed, one in the psychiatric ward and one in the infirmary, in order to deal with the medical needs of the N17 suspects. The suspects were allowed access to newspapers yesterday, and card-phones and radios will be made available to them next week, while their request for television will not be granted for a few days for security reasons.

    Meanwhile, Attica police officers are walking around with the picture of Dimitris Koufontinas, the most wanted man in all of Greece in connection to the N17 case, in their hands.

    Photographs have been sent to all Greek Police departments in order for all police officers available to assist in the ongoing investigation. However the investigation is expected to be a difficult one, as the 44-yer-old Dimitris Koufontinas may be hiding out in an ELA safe house. From testimonies gathered thus far, it seems that Dimitris Koufontinas is their favorite child.


    Athens, 8 August 2002 (13:03 UTC+2)

    Katerina Thanou was crowned European Champion, winning the gold medal in the women's 100 meter dash at the European Athletics Championship in Munich, with a time of 11.10.

    Another gold medal was won for Greece by Katerina Voggoli in the discus throw, with 64 meters and 31 cm, while Tasoula Kelesidou won the bronze in the same event, with 63 meters and 41 cm.


    Kos, 8 August 2002 (14:23 UTC+2)

    Serious negligence in observing security measures in the Kos military camp where the arms theft took place, was ascertained by investigations carried out by the High Military Command of the Greek Islands (ASDEN).

    Their findings were announced today by the Minister of National Defense Giannos Papantoniou, during a press conference in Kos, with the Head of the General Army Staff (GES), General Charvalas.

    Serious oversights was discovered in security measures, there was negligence by those responsible for guarding the arms, said the Minister characteristically, and added that he has issued orders to the Head of the GES to impose strict penalties on the responsible parties, in fact, he is to exhaust the strictness of the law.

    Concerning a question on whether military resignations were requested, Mr. Papantoniou answered that there are no resignations in the Army, there are penalties, which will be administered depending on each party's responsibilities.

    On his side, the Head of the GES said that based on the findings, the necessary administrative measures were taken and harsh penalties were administered to the responsible parties in every direction, depending on their responsibility.

    Mr. Papantoniou pointed out that investigations are continuing and it will take time for them to be completed, while he was not in the position to define its length.

    He underlined that a dazzling light will be shed on the case and in depth investigations will continue, and that he has the utmost confidence that police and military authorities will do their jobs correctly and reach the guilty parties.

    He refused to make any political comment on the course of the questionings and noted that he would use his political influence for the investigation to go as deep as possible.

    Concerning quarantine issues and the conditions at the camp, the DA is responsible, said Mr. Papantoniou, while the Head of the GES, addressing the soldiers' parents, noted that they should not worry because their children are not being tortured, but questions have to be asked.

    The Minister of National Defense assured journalists that cooperation between the Military and the Police is excellent.

    He stressed that the specific incident will not affect the programme of reducing military service that has been announced in any way.

    Referring to the theft, he characterized the event as unacceptable, harmful to the image of Greece's military and added: This has nothing to do with the high morale, the excellent readiness and the good training of the Armed Forces and the Ground Forces. There was an isolated incident and for that reason the negligence, oversights and errors must be punished in an exemplary manner, because it must in no way taint or cast a shadow over the general image of Greece's Armed Forces, which the government, the Prime Minister, I myself and the entire Greek people want to be proud of.

    Both the Minister and the Head of the GES referred to the modernization and restructuring programme of the Greek Armed Forces. In that framework, Mr. Charvalas said that to this day 52 formations, complexes and units have been disbanded, with the a corresponding closing down of military camps, while 35 of the existing units have been restructured. After the completion of the second phase, 64 formations, complexes and units are expected to be disbanded along with the closing down of the corresponding military camps, while 103 units will be restructured. In total, the restructuring foresees disbanding 148 formations, complexes and units and the restructuring of 276 units, with the shutting down of corresponding camps. The goal is to create powerful, modern and well trained Armed Forces, which will be completely secure.


    Kos, 8 August 2002 (11:50 UTC+2)

    Another telephone call - the third one in four days - was placed early this morning by an unknown party, who supported that the arms theft from the Kos military base, was the work of "November 17".

    "We repeat that we are November 17", said the unknown person in his call to the "Eleftherotypia" newspaper claiming responsibility for the theft, then saying something concerning a proclamation, which unfortunately could not be understood.

    The authorities do not seem to be taking the call seriously.


    Athens, 8 August 2002 (11:50 UTC+2)

    The General Price Index closed at 2,127.12 units, recording an increase of 1.59%. The volume of transactions came to 63.8 million euro, while a majority of 220 stock rose, 82 fell and 77 remained at the same value level.


    Brussels, 8 August 2002 (11:50 UTC+2)

    Greece sadly holds the first place in youth unemployment in the Eurozone, leaving even Italy behind. According to the information of Eurostat, the official Commission statistics service, which was published yesterday, unemployment for young people under the age of 25 in March, 2002, in Greece, reached 27.4%, with Italy coming a close second with 27.3%. Following is Spain with 22.2%, while youth unemployment is over 20% in France and Finland. It is also impressive, that with 27.4%, Greece is 11.1% above the Eurozone average (16.3%) and 12.2% above the average of the rest of the EU's countries.

    Things are worse when it comes to the unemployment of young women, which, according to Eurostat information, reaches an astounding 35.7%, meaning that more than one in three young women in Greece under the age of 25 that wish to work, cannot enter the job market. Italy is second in this sector also, with 31.6% and Spain is third with 27.6%. The average unemployment for young women in the Eurozone is 17.6% and 15.8% in all of the EU. In unemployment of young men, Greece is second, with 20.2%, following Italy, where the percentage is 24%. The Eurozone average is 15.2% and the EU average is 14.7%.

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