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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-07-05

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

July 5, 2002

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't wants 'crushing blow' against terrorism, PM Simitis says
  • [02] Greek, Australian PMs discuss deal on bilateral cooperation on justice issues
  • [03] Greek leadership attends July 4 event at US envoy's residence
  • [04] PASOK Executive Bureau meets on upcoming municipal elections
  • [05] Skandalidis interview: 'PASOK can reverse its current slump'
  • [06] Euro-Med's initiative's environment ministers in Athens next week
  • [07] Magriotis to attend NATO summit in Riga
  • [08] New justice ministry general secretary named
  • [09] Finance minister visits Brussels for talks with Solbes
  • [10] Greece, Germany lead EU in investments in third countries
  • [11] Wholesale prices drop by 1.3 percent in May
  • [12] Greece unveils legislation to promote electronic trade
  • [13] Greek stocks end 1.35 percent higher on Thursday
  • [14] Amendment allows military service dodgers to compete in Olympics
  • [15] Boreholes to be drilled at the Gulf of Corinth to assess seismic risk
  • [16] US aircraft carrier docks at Hania port
  • [17] Greek-flagged tanker boarded by Greenpeace
  • [18] UN Secretary General confers with adviser on Cyprus

  • [01] Gov't wants 'crushing blow' against terrorism, PM Simitis says

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    Prime minister Costas Simitis said Thursday that his government wanted the blow against terrorism to be a ''crushing'' one.

    ''We want the blow against terrorism to be a crushing one,'' Simitis said before a meeting of the ruling PASOK Executive Bureau, referring to the recent developments in the investigations on terrorism.

    Simitis said that the developments were the result of ''systematic work'' carried out in recent years ''away from publicity'', and it was this work that ''gives the ability to the police to make use of facts and information and have these results''.

    The premier insisted on a ''low-key'' tactic and ''serious and systematic effort'' in the ongoing investigation, stressing that many steps had been made in recent years.

    "But we are continuing, with a plan, and with determination," he said, adding however that there was still "much work" to be done to wipe out the network of terrorism, collect the evidence and arrest all those responsible.

    "It is the moment for action and not words," Simitis stressed, and noted the Greek Police's international cooperation, which, he added, was always true to the democratic principles, the Constitution, and the laws of the country.

    The premier called on the Greek people to have confidence in the government and the Greek police, and called on the political parties and media to contribute positively to the task being carried out.

    The central goal of the government's policy was and continued to be the uprooting of terrorism, Simitis said, adding that the government was determined to cement a feeling of safety among the Greek citizens and give Greece the reputation of one of the safest countries in the world.

    Later, government spokesman Christos Protopapas, in reply to press questions, said that there had been no "arrests in the sense of the interpretation of the term set out in the country's laws".

    "Investigations are being carried out, but there have been no arrests," he clarified.

    On questions regarding the stance of the opposition parties, Protopapas said that the government hoped that all the parties and citizens would maintain a responsible stance for the entire duration of the investigations into combatting terrorism.

    Meanwhile, public order minister Michalis Chrysohoidis briefed parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis on the course of and results in the investigations on terrorism, and particularly the activities of the shadowy 'November 17' terrorist organization.

    A parliament press release said that Kaklamanis had asked Chrysohoidis to convey to the police leadership and officers the parliament's satisfaction with and congratulations on the seriousness, sense of responsibility and efficiency with which the problem of terrorism was being handled, adding that this matter was of major importance to the function of democracy and to social tranquility in the country.

    Political parties respond to PM's statements on terrorism: Greece's main opposition on Thursday offered its support and agreement to efforts to stamp out terrorism in Greece, responding to a call made earlier by Prime Minister Costas Simitis to the political parties.

    New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis said his party had lost members to terrorist attacks and had armed the state with unprecedented legal powers against terror and was ready to both support and actively assist in the fight against terrorism.

    He stressed that the chance event that led to the capture of a suspected terrorist by police last Saturday had been an opportunity that the authorities had been long been waiting for and should not be allowed to go to waste.

    "The evidence found must be used to bring to justice those who for 27 years either planned or carried out heinous crimes, spreading pain and death, and make them pay. In that way there will be redemption for Democracy itself," he said.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), by contrast, accused the prime minister of attempting to glean political capital from the arrest without stating clearly what precisely it defined as uncovering terrorists and admitting that the current investigation was far from achieving that goal.

    "KKE repeats that mechanisms of the "Nov. 17" type are linked to the activities of intelligence services. They are either created by these or are made use of by them in due course. Their targets are the popular movement, as became particularly clear after September 11, 2001," a KKE announcement said.

    Authorities receive information on terrorist organizations: People related to terrorist organizations have provided the counter-terrorism service with important information, according to judicial circles, taking advantage of clauses in the anti-terrorism law on impunity for people involved in cases of terrorism who facilitate investigations on the case.

    According to reports, some of these people acted on their own accord, while others were summoned by the police to testify.

    Reliable sources said searches of houses by the counter-terrorism service have produced findings, some of which are considered to be serious and are being evaluated by relevant services.

    On the question of bomber Savvas Xiros, who was injured when a bomb he was attempting to plant in Piraeus on Saturday night exploded in his hands, reports said he would not be testifying unless the state of his health allowed him absolute clarity.

    Xiros' ex-wife Angeliki Sotiropoulou, who is living with their 13-year-old child in the town of Lavrio, was summoned for interrogation by the counter-terrorism service on Thursday.

    Meanwhile, more than 20 people from various parts of the Attica prefecture have been questioned by the counter-terrorism service, following the storming of the November 17 organizationís hideout in Patmou Street in the Athens region of Patissia.

    According to reports, at least five of those questioned, including a woman, have been detained and charges will be filed against them. However, it is not clear for what offences they are being charged.

    In the meantime, police are continuing searches of safe houses both inside and outside Attica.

    Police find arms cache, fingerprints linking Xiros to 'Nov 17': Greek police on Thursday announced that they had further evidence indicating that Savvas Xiros, the man currently in their custody as a suspected terrorist, is a member of the elusive urban guerrilla group ''November 17''.

    Apart from an arms cache discovered in a major police operation on Wednesday, which was rented by Xiros and is believed to be the group's main hideout, police have also matched the 40-year-old suspect's fingerprints to those found in a car used by 'Nov. 17' in the murder of ship-owner Kostis Peratikos.

    Speaking to reporters at Attica central police headquarters, Greek police chief Fotis Nasiakos said that a 0.38 gun, two automatic rifles, a rocket launcher and ammunition had been found during the raid mounted on a Patissia apartment.

    Police also found proclamations written by Nov. 17, the group's banner and stamps, a computer, wigs and other items used for disguises, explosives, fuses, cutting tools and hand grenades.

    He said police were still going through the 84 Patmos Street apartment under the supervision of public prosecutor Ioannis Diotis, who specializes in cases of terrorism.

    Nasiakos stressed the contribution made by the general public, as a number of people had called in with very useful information after photographs of Xiros were published in the media on Wednesday night.

    The hideout was found by investigators following up leads and information and had been rented by Xiros under a false name about eight years ago.

    Police arrested Xiros, a church mural and icon painter, after he was wounded on Saturday in an explosion. Police believe that a bomb he had intended to set at the offices of HFD went off prematurely, causing him severe injuries.

    He is still in hospital under heavy guard and stands to lose one arm and an eye.

    Suspected bomber Savvas Xiros recovering, doctors say: The health of suspected terrorist Savvas Xiros was slowly but steadily improving, while he was aware of his surroundings and able to communicate, doctors at Athens' Evangelismos hospital announced on Thursday.

    A bulletin released by the hospital said that Xiros was no longer on life support, while his general condition was good.

    Xiros is being treated at the hospital under heavy guard after he was severely injured in an explosion last Saturday that cost him his arm and one of his eyes. Police believe the explosion occurred when a bomb he had intended to set in Piraeus went off prematurely.

    A massive police investigation has since found evidence linking Xiros, a church mural and icon painter, with the notorious and elusive terrorist group "Nov. 17".

    [02] Greek, Australian PMs discuss deal on bilateral cooperation on justice issues

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his visiting Australian counterpart John Howard, concluded a deal and the preparation of another during their meeting in Athens on Thursday .

    Following the meeting, Simitis said that the two sides decided to conclude a deal on the mutual assistance on criminal judicial affairs, while the discussed the processes for a bilateral agreement concerning social security issues.

    The Greek premier also underlined the historic close bonds of the two countries, calling on the historical contribution of Australian forces in Greece during the Second World War. He added that those bonds were also maintained by some 600,000 Greek expatriates that live in Australia today.

    Simitis also spoke of the different approach to the issue of the common agricultural policy of the European Union, noting that the balance between the interests of the EU farmers and the farmers of third countries has to be examined.

    He noted that the bilateral economic relations have margins for further development, underlining Australia's support for the Greek candidacy for a position as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

    He also stressed Australia's support for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece and that country's support for the resolution of the Cyprus problem based on the United Nations relevant resolutions.

    On his part, Howard spoke of the huge contribution of Greek expatiates in modern Australia's building process and stressed the request of businessmen of his country for better access to the Greek market, which is on a good path for resolution.

    Simitis, responding to question tabled by Australian reporters on the issue of terrorism, strongly stressed that there is no issue of the threat of terrorist actions during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, which, he underlined, will be absolutely safe.

    Australian PM Howard briefed on preparations for 2004 Olympics: Australian Prime Minister John Howard on Thursday continued his official visit in Greece, with Athens 2004 organizers (ATHOC) briefing him on preparations for the upcoming Games.

    The Australian prime minister, at the head of a large delegation from the island continent nation, arrived at ATHOC's headquarters in the morning, where he was received by ATHOC president Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, among others.

    In statements to reporters afterwards, Howard said he was certain the Athens 2004 Games would be completely successful, before noting that Sydney and Australia are willing to offer whatever assistance to Athens and Greece.

    On her part, Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said the visit by the Australian premier demonstrates the strong bonds of friendship between the two sides, while adding that: "every country can contribute through the Olympic Games, not just to its self but to the world".

    Finally, regarding a question on the specter of terrorism, ATHOC's head emphasized that Greece is working very hard and carefully for the Games, "so that people are hosted in a friendly and peaceful country."

    [03] Greek leadership attends July 4 event at US envoy's residence

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    The latest breakthrough in efforts to catch a notorious urban terrorist group was the main theme of discussions at Thursday's Fourth of July celebration at the US ambassador's residence here, an event attended by most Greece's top political leadership.

    The July 4th celebration was attended, among others, by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, main opposition leader Costas Karamanlis, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, several ministers, including Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis, deputies and diplomats.

    In briefly addressing a crowd of some 2,000 guests, US ambassador Thomas Miller stressed that the fight against terrorism has become a priority for all following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, while he also praised Greece's political and police leaderships for their efforts to eradicate the phenomenon.

    He also made specific reference to Athens' support in the campaign, while citing mutual feelings of solidarity uniting the Greek and American peoples.

    [04] PASOK Executive Bureau meets on upcoming municipal elections

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    Prime Minister and President of ruling PASOK Costas Simitis on Thursday chaired a two-and-half-hour meeting of the party's Executive Bureau, focusing on local administration reforms and the municipal and prefectural elections in October.

    Recent developments on urban terrorism were not discussed at the meeting according to some of the attendees, complying with the line of the prime minister for maintaining "low tones" and "sobriety" with regard to that issue.

    Simitis and the attending PASOK Secretary Costas Laliotis, in an unprecedented move, refrained from any statements after the meeting.

    [05] Skandalidis interview: 'PASOK can reverse its current slump'

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    Ruling PASOK was capable of emerging from its current slump to win the next elections, provided it could break out of a self-perpetuating cycle of introspection and fatalism fed by poor results in opinion polls, Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis said in an exclusive interview with the ANA on Thursday.

    He said the bad climate could be reversed by changing the government's priorities, placing more emphasis on social issues, democracy and social justice, and also by changes in the structure of power and the way it was handled.

    ''We need to govern using practices that are closer to the institutions and that reinforce social dialogue to a much greater extent. We could be much more effective in dealing with everyday problems,'' he said.

    Above all, he added, the party needed to rally in order to dispel fears of defeat in the next elections.

    Asked to comment on the bad showing of the ruling party in recent opinion polls, Skandalidis said the negative climate within the party was itself largely to blame for these, while the bad results further fuelled this trend.

    He stressed, however, that opinion polls had been bad in the past and had been proved wrong at election time.

    ''It is clear that, roughly in the middle of its four-year term, PASOK is going through a critical phase. It is not at its best moment but it is up to us to reverse the situation, as we have done before,'' he added.

    Regarding the PASOK convention beginning on Friday, he said this should focus on the political conjuncture, developments in Europe and the sliding fortunes of social democratic parties.

    He also stressed that there should be discussion on the way the ruling party contended with main opposition New Democracy.

    According to Skandalidis, PASOK had to highlight ND's inexperience and inability and its deeply ''anti-popular'' strategies that it assiduously hid.

    The minister said that the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Costas Simitis for high-ranking government and party officials earlier in the week had been a start in this direction.

    ''We all decided - and I hope it is carried out - to rally and head for victory without raising issues of leadership or displaying introversion...All PASOK officials must become the heralds of unity that aims for victory - and I'm talking about victory in the elections in spring 2004,'' Skandalidis said.

    Regarding changes to election law, he said that the government's first priorities were laws regulating means and assets statements by politicians and changes to local government, while changes to election law would be tackled next year.

    The new system would seek to create effective governments that gained more than a minimum percentage and brought MPs closer to the electorate, meaning that very large electoral districts would be downsized.

    On local government, Skandalidis said he was a firm believer in decentralization, though conceding that there were problems and admitting that certain local authorities were open to criticism.

    He said local government's biggest problems were unified laws governing the way it was controlled, the way it operated and transparency.

    Another goal was to get local authorities, even small municipalities, more involved in developmental programs and able to manage funds, and to widen the range of services they provided through cooperation with other municipalities.

    Planned changes in the structure of local government, he added, would be changes to administrative structure rather than geo-graphical boundaries, while new metropolitan authorities being planned would undertake tasks and services that were not currently being carried out by other levels of local government.

    Regarding illegal immigration, Skandalidis said that tougher measures planned by the European Union were necessary for Greece also, since its size and economic state did not allow it to admit unlimited numbers of immigrants.

    On EU directives calling for contract workers to be given permanent jobs, Skandalidis said that these did not apply to the public sector and were not backdated.

    He also strenuously denied rumors that he had asked for large pay rises for the public sector and had adopted the demands of trade unionists without regard for the budget, prompting a falling out with Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis.

    [06] Euro-Med's initiative's environment ministers in Athens next week

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    Environment ministers from Euro-Mediterranean member-states will meet in Athens next week for talks on expanding cooperation in the environmental sector throughout the Mediterranean basin, in light of an international conference on viable development this autumn in Johannesburg.

    "Environmental Integration" and "Achieving Synergies" are two of the topics on the first day of the conference, set to begin on June 9, a session that will include input by representatives from various economic sectors: tourism, industry, agriculture, environmental specialists etc.

    [07] Magriotis to attend NATO summit in Riga

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis leaves on Friday for Riga to represent the prime minister at a summit meeting of NATO members and candidate-states.

    Athens remains in favor of NATO's expansion in the east, while in terms of the Balkans, Greece was the first country to publicly support both Bulgaria's and Romanian's NATO accession.

    Magriotis returns to Athens on Saturday.

    [08] New justice ministry general secretary named

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    The justice ministry announced on Thursday that honorary Supreme Court assistant prosecutor Ioannis Gavrilis has been appointed as the ministry's new general secretary.

    Gavrilis, 67, received his law degree from Athens' Law School in 1957 and studied at the post-graduate level at the University of Hamburg. He served as an assistant appellate court prosecutor from 1986 to 1990 and as supervisor of the first instance prosecutor's office until his forced retirement last month with the rank of Supreme Court assistant prosecutor.

    [09] Finance minister visits Brussels for talks with Solbes

    BRUSSELS, 05/07/2002 (ANA - M. Spinthourakis)

    Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis briefly visited Brussels on Thursday for talks with commissioners Pedro Solbes and Michel Barnier.

    Solbes, responsible for economic and monetary issues, and Christodoulakis discussed issues concerning the functioning of the Council of euro group countries.

    According to the Spanish commissioner's press spokesman ''it was a useful meeting which is part of the framework of the Commission's traditional contacts with the economy ministers of countries assuming the euro groupís presidency.''

    Christodoulakis' meeting with Barnier, responsible for regional policy and institutional restructuring, was reportedly of the same nature.

    The French commissioner's press spokesman, in an announcement issued on Thursday, said the two men had the opportunity ''of discussing all issues concerning the implementation of EU cohesion policies in Greece, as well as the need for the successful implementation of these policies'' by 2006, while ''the future of the EU's regional policy'' was also discussed.

    The announcement further said Thursday's meeting was the first official contact between Barnier and Christodoulakis since October, when the latter assumed the national economy ministry, and the holding of a new meeting on July 22 was agreed on the occasion of the French commissioner's scheduled visit to Greece for a briefing, among others, on the course of projects related to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

    [10] Greece, Germany lead EU in investments in third countries

    BRUSSELS, 05/07/2002 (ANA - B. Demiris)

    Greece and Germany were the only EU states with a growing inward and outward flow of Extra-EU investments in 2001 compared to 2000, according to data published by Eurostat here on Thursday.

    Greece's outward flow of extra-EU investments rose from 377 million Euro in 2000 to 449 million Euro in 2001, while inward extra-EU investments climbed from 95 million Euro in 2000 to 135 million Euro in 2001.

    Outward extra-EU investments of the 15 member states dropped from 322 billion Euro in 2000 to 202 billion Euro in 2001, while inward extra-EU investments for the "15" dropped from 158 billion Euro in 2000 to 96 billion Euro in 2001.

    [11] Wholesale prices drop by 1.3 percent in May

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    Greece's wholesale prices' index dropped by 1.2 percent in May from the previous month, for an increase of 0.7 percent compared with the same month last year, National Statistics Service said on Thursday.

    NSS also noted that the wholesale prices' index for the Jan-May period rose by 0.8 per cent, compared with the same period last year.

    [12] Greece unveils legislation to promote electronic trade

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    Greece's development ministry is promoting a draft presidential decree aimed to promote electronic trade in the country through creating an institutional framework envisaging free flow of services in the information society and abolishing all legal barriers resulting from existing differences of national legislation among EU member-states.

    The move is included in an effort to harmonize Greek law with EU directive 2000/31EK referring to "certain legal aspects of information society services, particularly electronic trade, in the domestic market."

    The institutional framework for electronic trade, a development ministry statement said, was of vital significance to businesses and consumers.

    The draft presidential decree focuses on five issues: determining a legal sense of electronic trade services, determining commercial communications with rules protecting consumers, promoting electronic signing of contracts and determining responsibilities of intermediaries.

    The draft decree will specify services offered by the information society, exempting issues relating to taxation, personal data protection, notary activities, law services, and gambling. It also defines that all companies based in Greece, offering electronic trade services, are subject to Greek legislation (as the country has achieved a high degree of law harmonization with the EU), and establishes a principle of not necessarily having an earlier license of operation.

    The draft presidential decree will also ensure a high level of consumer protection in electronic trade activities and ensure electronic contract signing.

    [13] Greek stocks end 1.35 percent higher on Thursday

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    Greek stocks ended Thursday's session higher in the Athens Stock Exchange following a positive trend in international markets.

    The general index ended 1.35 percent higher at 2,193.72 points, with turnover a low 63.7 million euros.

    The IT Solution and the Insurance sectors suffered losses (0.72 percent and 0.09 percent, respectively), while all other sector indices scored gains led by Telecoms, Textile and Construction (2.25 percent, 1.88 percent and 1.75 percent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 1.11 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 0.93 percent higher and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index rose 1.0 percent.

    Broadly, advancers led decliners by 234 to 76 with another 47 issues unchanged.

    The most heavily traded shares in value were Hellenic Telecoms, Coca Cola, National Bank, Alpha Bank and Vodafone.

    Equity index futures finish lower: Equity index futures on the Athens Derivatives Exchange finished lower on Thursday, with contracts on the high capitalization index showing a slight discount, but those of the medium showed a 0.40 to 0.60 per cent discount.

    Turnover was 64.3 million euros.

    The underlying FTSE/ASE-20 index for heavily traded stocks and blue chips gained 1.11 percent; and the underlying FTSE/ASE-40 for medium capitalization stocks rose by 0.93 percent.

    Bond prices almost unchanged in light trade: Bond prices in the domestic secondary market on Thursday finished almost unchanged in a slow trade day, focusing on ten-year paper.

    The Greek benchmark 10-year bond showed a yield of 5.3 percent, and the spread over the corresponding German bund was 31 basis points.

    Turnover through the central bank's electronic system totaled 1.4 billion euros.

    Buy orders accounted for half of trade.

    [14] Amendment allows military service dodgers to compete in Olympics

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    Greece's Parliament on Thursday passed an amendment that will allow athletes who have evaded doing their national service in the Greek military to compete in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

    The amendment is mainly applicable to athletes living abroad and will allow them to come to Greece without any check of their military service status.

    [15] Boreholes to be drilled at the Gulf of Corinth to assess seismic risk

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    A series of boreholes, some up to 1,200 meters deep, will be drilled at the sea floor of the Gulf of Corinth to assess the seismic risk of the region, with the development of an institute earth sciences laboratory.

    The project has been undertaken in the rift of Corinth in order to investigate various aspects of crucial deformation, while the facility will also be instrumental for the development of methods for more efficient exploration and production of hydrocarbons.

    The DGLab project ''Deep Geodynamic Laboratory-Gulf of Corinth'' will contribute to the development of a European seismic hazard research facility. Its main objective concerns the documentation of hydraulic and mechanical behavior of faults as well as the acquisition of data required for seismic risk mitigation.

    The mechanical behavior of faults will be investigated through the instrumentation of deep boreholes intersecting active faults and designed for obtaining data on the physics of earthquakes and a seismic fault motion. This facility will also include a set of deep permanent seismic sensors to document seismic signals at depth. The DGLab-project is thus aimed at the development of an efficient research infrastructure.

    The CorSeis project ''An integrated study of seismic hazard assessment in the area of Aigion, Gulf of Corinth'' will improve the observational, experimental, and theoretical methodologies for seismic hazard assessment.

    Tectonic studies with geomorphology, trenching, and coring in quaternary sediments associated with dating, will provide information on long and mid term deformation and rupture sequences of the major faults. Continuous GPS monitoring will bring space and time variability of the strain field.

    Recording of the seismic activity with an array of borehole geophones will allow detailed analyses of source and structure characteristics. Borehole and surface high dynamic accelerometers in soft soil sites will provide means to study non-linear effects with respect to reference sites. Continuous geophysical (strain, tilt, pore water pressure, etc.) and geochemical monitoring are aimed at detecting crucial transients to be analyzed together with seismicity.

    [16] US aircraft carrier docks at Hania port

    Athens, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    The United States aircraft carrier "Washington" docked at the Hania port of Marathi on Thursday, where it will stay until July 8 so that its 6,000-strong crew can come ashore for rest and recreation.

    The massive vessel is 300 meters long, 25 meters wide some 24 storeys high and is powered by two nuclear reactors, while it has a tonnage of 97,000 and can transport up to 80 aircraft.

    It entered active service for the US Navy on July 4, 1992.

    [17] Greek-flagged tanker boarded by Greenpeace

    ISTANBUL, 05/07/2002 (ANA)

    Members of the local chapter of "Greenpeace" blocked a Greek-flagged tanker from sailing through the Bosporus in order to highlight their protest against the petro-chemical industry.

    The tanker, identified as the "Crude Rio", is loaded with 160,000 was sailing from the Black Sea into the Bosporus when it was intercepted by the Greenpeace members, who hung two huge banners on its side.

    According to the semi-official "Anadolu" agency, 10 of the 26 protesters that boarded the vessel are Turk nationals.

    [18] UN Secretary General confers with adviser on Cyprus

    NICOSIA, 05/07/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had a 40 minute meeting Wednesday evening in Vienna with his special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto to discuss developments in the ongoing peace talks.

    "De Soto briefed the Secretary General and heard his input about how to move forward" with the negotiations, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard told CNA about the meeting. He said the UN did not intend to issue a statement on the meeting.

    Replying to questions, Eckhard said he was not aware of any plans for another meeting early next week between de Soto and the Secretary General.

    In a statement on Monday, de Soto expressed regret that the goal of resolving the core issues had eluded the negotiators and said that such a breakthrough would have greatly facilitated the detailed legal drafting of a comprehensive settlement, which must be completed in the autumn of this year.

    Alvaro de Soto leaves for New York via Paris, where the British envoy on Cyprus Lord David Hannay is meeting heads of departments at the French foreign ministry dealing with EU enlargement and Eastern Mediterranean affairs.

    The two envoys, who have been engaged in the Cyprus peace effort for a number of years, might be meeting in the French capital as part of their regular exchange of views on the peace process.

    The fourth round of direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Dentkash ended on Tuesday. Talks are scheduled to resume on 16 July, after de Soto returns from New York where he will brief the Security Council on Tuesday.


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