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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 02-07-06

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

July 6, 2002


  • [01] Latest events a major development in the fight against terror, PM says
  • [02] Simitis will lead PASOK into the 2004 elections, party convention told
  • [03] Visiting Australian PM Howard meets with Kaklamanis
  • [04] UN Cyprus envoy to brief Security Council
  • [05] Communist party leader visits Lamia
  • [06] Greek inflation eases to 3.3 pct in June
  • [07] Greek weekly economic review
  • [08] Four Greek tobacco companies charged with price-fixing policy
  • [09] Bank of Greece's monetary policy method changes
  • [10] CESAR announces measures to regulate stock exchange
  • [11] ASE names list of quality criteria companies
  • [12] PM Simitis satisfied with progress in 2004 Olympics preparations
  • [13] IHF delegation happy with Athens preparations
  • [14] Three illegal immigrants spotted in dinghy off Lesvos
  • [15] Dance festival at Anavyssos
  • [16] Britain committed to EU Helsinki conclusions on Cyprus

  • [01] Latest events a major development in the fight against terror, PM says

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    Events in the recent days had been a major development in fighting terrorism, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Friday during an address that opened ruling PASOK's Convention.

    Departing from the text of his prepared speech to talk about the arrest of a suspected terrorist and the discovery of an arms cache believed to belong to ''Nov. 17'' - one of the most elusive and dangerous urban guerrilla groups in Europe - Simitis underlined that fighting and wiping out phenomena of terrorism was one of his government's top priorities.

    Citizens should feel safe, and confident that the state was there and that it worked effectively. The present government had now made important steps forward where numerous previous governments had tried and failed in the past, he added.

    This was not a time for comments and evaluations but the time to focus on the basic goal, which was to stamp out terrorism, Simitis said.

    He asked that the police be left to do the systematic work that this required undistracted and also urged citizens to trust in the police. Praising the work they had done so far, meanwhile, he noted that its final aim was to bring a practical result, namely sound evidence and a good arrest leading to a conviction and the end of terrorism in Greece.

    ND leader satisfied over latest developments in fight against terrorism: Main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis said on Friday his party viewed latest developments in the fight against terrorism in Greece with satisfaction.

    Addressing a political gathering in Atalanti, in the Fthiotida prefecture, Karamanlis also underlined the ''imperative need to give a definite blow on terrorist activities''.

    ''We believe that the new elements create increased obligations for all of us. Support by citizens and society to the competent authorities could be of major importance,'' Karamanlis said, referring to the arrest of a suspected terrorist and the discovery of an arms cache believed to belong to ''Nov. 17'' - one of the most elusive and dangerous urban guerrilla groups in Europe.

    The ND leader, however, launched a stinging attack on the government's policies in the economy, health and education sectors.

    Past terrorist crimes will never become statute-barred, gov't stresses: There was no question of allowing crimes linked to terrorist activities in the past to become statute-barred, Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos stressed on Friday as he arrived at PASOK's Convention.

    Similar assurances were made by government spokesman Christos Protopapas on this issue, while Merchant Marine Minister George Anomeritis described the arrest of suspected terrorist Savvas Xiros as ''a blow to international terrorism''.

    Asked whether the arrest of Xiros and the discovery by the police of an arms cache belonging to the urban guerrilla group ''Nov. 17'' was a political tool in the hands of the government, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said it was reasonable for the government to get the credit for these successes, in the same way that it had to shoulder the political responsibility.

    Responding to the same question, Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said that it was now most important for work to ensure public order and domestic safety to be completed, after which there would be plenty of time to think how to make the most of these events.

    Public order minister says bomber will get fair trial: Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis said on Friday arrested bomber Savvas Xiros, who was injured when a bomb he was carrying exploded in Piraeus last Saturday, will get a fair trial.

    Speaking at the ruling PASOK party's organizing convention, Chrysohoidis added that ''those who struggled for democracy in Greece were not silent icon painters. His (Xiros's) practice and that of those like him does not belong to the culture and civilization of our people but, on the contrary, it opposes our values. It does not constitute a policy but criminal behavior.''

    Police questions suspects of ''November 17'' terrorist case, no arrests to date: Police has made no arrests in relation to the terrorist organization ''November 17'' as was reported in the press, a police spokesman said on Friday, stressing that when such arrests are made the police will announce them.

    He underlined that the dissemination of gossip was not helpful to the effort of the police and stressed that the investigation was continuing within the bounds of legality.

    The spokesman thanked the citizens for their willingness to help the authorities. Sources, however, noted that the typewriter used by the murderous group to write its proclamations was found in the safehouse of downtown Athens and that police expected to find, in the same hideout, the ''historic'' .45 caliber handguns used in most of the murders claimed by the terrorist group.

    The same sources said that police questioned three persons that are on the suspect list for participation in the ''November 17'' terrorist group, but did not arrest them.

    Also, sources within the judicial authorities said that five persons were at the sights of the police as the most likely suspects in connection with the shadowy group that murdered scores of people over the past 27 years, but no arrests would be made before the authorities felt confident of their chances to get convictions.

    [02] Simitis will lead PASOK into the 2004 elections, party convention told

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday underlined his determination to lead ruling PASOK into the next general elections, which he stressed would take place in early 2004, at the end of the government's four-year term.

    In his address to open a PASOK convention that began on Fri-day, the prime minister unequivocally ruled out the possibility of early elections and put an end to speculation about a possible succession of leadership in the party.

    He said he had come to identify his political course with the achievement of major goals by Greece and the people, and that he wanted and would be present, given the will and mandate of the electorate, in 2004.

    He outlined his main policy goals at the head of a new government as being those of convergence with the European Union, the holding of historic Olympic Games, Cyprus' accession to the EU, a settlement of differences with Turkey over the Aegean continental shelf, strengthening the country's international position and ensuring peace and security in the region.

    Simitis particularly stressed PASOK's socialist orientation and ideals, while said that the modernist drive was more than just the sum of isolated demands by special pressure groups but an overall drive for change in society.

    The prime minister also drew a sharp contrast between PASOK and the opposition parties on both sides of the political spectrum. According to Simitis, the Left had become a bastion of conservatism that wanted a gigantic state sector, while New Democracy was ''reactionary and populist...adopting all demands without discretion, plan or responsibility'' and would undermine the economic strides that had been made by the country.

    Continuing his attack on ND, he said it had not understood any of the great changes that had taken place in the world and was still following the old-fashioned recipe of ''client-politics'' and exchanging votes for favors.

    PASOK would not let ND and its nonexistent policies turn Greece into a third-world country, he added.

    Noting a turn away from socialist parties and a distrust of politics among Europeans, Simitis said that this was encouraged by the media and big economic interests and said that PASOK should not allow this to happen in Greece.

    He stressed the need for measures to create an EU social model that would counteract the effects of globalization, with powerful redistributive policies, cohesion and policies that brought tangible benefits in people's everyday lives.

    Turning to organizational issues for the party, Simitis that the election of the party's leader by all the members was the most radical change in PASOK's history.

    PASOK did not belong to mechanisms, officials or individuals, he repeated for the third time this week, while warning ''weary'' officials that they had no automatic right of tenure.

    He once again appealed to members to resist an atmosphere of internal preoccupation and pessimism and rally to the cause of a new PASOK victory.

    PASOK Secretary: The Convention was later addressed by PASOK Central Committee Secretary Costas Laliotis, who reiterated the need to put an end to introspection and reverse the negative climate for the party.

    ''The convention, as a leading political event, can and must contribute decisively to reversing an unfavorable and negative conjunction, creating hopes and ambitions in the majority of Greeks,'' Laliotis said, saying that all PASOK members had an obligation to end the vicious circle of ''introversion, moaning and defeatism''.

    [03] Visiting Australian PM Howard meets with Kaklamanis

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    Visiting Australian prime minister John Howard on Friday met with parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis for talks on a variety of issues, including the course of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games projects.

    Howard, whose country hosted the 2000 Games, is in Greece on a state visit.

    According to a parliament press release, Kaklamanis and Howard reaffirmed the close and friendly ties between the two countries, which they said were reinforced by the Greek community in Australia.

    Kaklamanis stressed the ideas shared by the two peoples and their mutual respect, which he said was forged during the tough struggles for liberty and independence against nazism. He also expressed the Greeks' appreciation for the Australian's participation in the Battle of Crete.

    Kaklamanis further thanked Howard for Australia's support for the Cypriot people and their efforts to regain independence and restore the unity of the Republic of Cyprus, and also for the know-how being provided to Greece in its preparations to host the 2004 Games in Athens.

    Howard expressed gratitude for his warm reception in Greece, and said he was impressed by the progress made in the Olympic projects in Athens, while also expressing the Australian people's appreciation and admiration for the contribution of the some 600-700 thousand strong Greek community to the building of modern-day Australia.

    [04] UN Cyprus envoy to brief Security Council

    UNITED NATIONS, 06/07/2002 (ANA - M. Georgiadou)

    The UN secretary general's special envoy for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto will brief the Security Council on developments on the Cyprus issue on July 9, according to UN sources.

    Diplomatic sources also said that on July 8 in the afternoon, de Soto will be meeting European Parliament President Pat Cox, who will be having a meeting with the Turkish permanent representative at the Turkish delegation's offices on the morning of the same day, as well as with the Greek permanent representative at the EU's offices late in the afternoon.

    [05] Communist party leader visits Lamia

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Aleka Papariga arrived in the town of Lamia, eastern Greece, on Friday and had meetings with trade union and local administration bodies in the framework of a tour of the Fthiotida prefecture she began in the morning.

    Referring to the issue of terrorism she said ''I was impressed. I didn't expect such good replies from ordinary people. They did not believe that terrorism was broken up or that '17N' was located. We do not nurse hopes that the scalpel will go in deep.''

    Expressing pessimism, Papariga said ''the nucleus of terrorism will not come out. If they bring it out they will be exposed'', adding that ''we are reserved. Is all this a coincidence? I cannot rule it out but at this period the government has need of a good testimony.''

    Papariga is due to address an outdoor rally in a downtown square in Lamia in the evening.


    [06] Greek inflation eases to 3.3 pct in June

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    Greek annual inflation eased to 3.3 percent in June from 3.4 percent the previous month, National Statistics Service said on Friday.

    NSS said that the harmonized inflation rate was 3.6 percent in June, year-on-year, while the consumer price index fell 0.2 percent on a monthly basis.

    The slight decline in the inflation rate on an annual basis, reflected a 7.3 percent rise in the alcohol and tobacco group prices, a 7.1 percent increase in hotel-coffee-restaurant prices, a 5.3 percent rise in health prices, a 3.6 percent increase in housing prices, a 3.6 percent rise in education prices, a 3.4 percent increase in entertainment prices, a 4.0 percent rise in other goods and services and an 1.8 percent increase in durable goods prices over the month.

    The 0.2 percent decline in the monthly consumer price index in June reflected a 0.2 percent rise in clothing and footwear prices, a 0.5 percent increase in health prices and a 0.3 percent rise in other goods and services.

    Transport prices fell 1.0 percent in June, while hotel-coffee-restaurant and food and beverage prices eased by 0.3 percent in the month.

    [07] Greek weekly economic review

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    A decision by Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency, to review Greece's public debt by including all securitization revenues in the period 2000-2001 in these figures, will maintain Greek public sector's borrowing cost at high levels, analysts said during the week. Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, however, reiterated that this development would have no impact on a stability and growth program and said the government would stick to its goal of achieving a budget surplus of 0.8 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product this year.

    Greece took over eurozone's rotating presidency from July 1st replacing Denmark which is not a member of the eurozone.

    Greece lags other European countries in attracting direct foreign investments, Eurostat said during the week, with total FID 135 million euros.

    Foreign investors are showing more confidence in the prospects of the Athens Stock Exchange compared with their Greek counterparts, official figures showed on Friday. Foreign investors' market share in the Greek bourse rose to 27.14 percent at the end of June, from 24.39 percent in May 2002, while domestic investors' share fell to 72.86 percent from 75.60 percent over the same period.

    Greece's strategic target was economic convergence with other EU member-states, Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said, after briefing President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos during the week. Christodoulakis said that real convergence could only be achieved through strengthening the country's competitiveness, increasing productivity and promoting structural reforms.

    He described a Third Community Support Framework program as a "generator for employment" and stressed that henceforth all project funded by a Third CSF must ensure new job creation and maintain existing job positions.

    More than 5,000 projects have already been included in a Third Community Support Framework, while the total number of submitted projects exceeded 6,890, the economy ministry said.

    Transport and Communications Minister Christos Verelis said there was no plans to raise Athens Metro ticket prices. He said that average traffic exceeded 470,000 passengers daily in 2002, up from 277,000 passengers in 2000, while average speed of metro trains was 80 km per hour, one of the highest in Europe.

    Price increases connected with the introduction of the euro currency and issues related with the operations of slimming centers topped the list of complaints drafted by the Greek Consumers' Institute in the first six months of 2002.

    [08] Four Greek tobacco companies charged with price-fixing policy

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    Four Greek tobacco-processing companies are facing sanctions from competition authorities on charges of forming a price cartel in the country.

    Following coordinated inspections by European Union competition authority teams both in Greece and in other EU member-states last months, four Greek tobacco companies were found to have formed a cartel in their supplies from tobacco producers.

    The European Competition Commission, in cooperation with national competition authorities, has embarked on an ambitious effort to break price-fixing cartels in the European tobacco industry, mainly in Greece, Spain and Italy.

    [09] Bank of Greece's monetary policy method changes

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    The method of the monetary policy's exercising by the Bank of Greece is changing by a decision of the bank's governor issued on Friday, which brings about five amendments in the relevant process.

    In this way the relevant status is fully harmonized with the framework of the European Central Bank's directive (2002/2) and they reflect the needs of adjustment created by developments in the sector of applying a unified monetary policy.

    [10] CESAR announces measures to regulate stock exchange

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    The Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) announced the technical measures for the implementation of the European Union directive concerning the abuses of the market.

    The measures included clauses for insider trading, market leading, obligations concerning the announcement of exchange listed companies' data and other issues concerning the money and securities market.

    [11] ASE names list of quality criteria companies

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    The Athens Stock Exchange on Friday published the list of the first 24 listed companies that are fulfilling all quality criteria set by market authorities.

    These companies are: Alpha Bank, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling, Kyriakides Marbles, FORTHnet, Lavipharm, Unisystems, Titan Cement, Silver & Baryte, Germanos ABEE, Delta Holdings, Lambrakis Press, National Bank of Greece, Hellenic Stock Markets Holding, Commercial Bank of Greece, Themeliodomi, Athens Medical, Minoan Lines, Mohlos SA, Olympic Technical SA, EFG Eurobank Ergasias, Bank of Cyprus Ltd, Piraeus Bank, Cosmote and Motor Oil.

    An ASE announcement stressed that the list did not present a recommendation or investment proposal, nor any kind of categorization of stocks, while it noted that the list was not based on company financial results.

    [12] PM Simitis satisfied with progress in 2004 Olympics preparations

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    The outcome of the recent inspection by an IOC team headed by Coordinating Committee president Denis Oswald and progress in preparations for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, including security issues, were discussed Friday during a meeting between prime minister Costas Simitis and Athens 2004 Organizing Committee (ATHOC) chief Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, in light of the breakthroughs earlier this week in terrorism investigations.

    Sources said Angelopoulos told Simitis the discovery of a hideout of the elusive 'November 17' terrorist organization and progress in the investigations created a "good environment" for the Games with respect to security, while the premier briefed her on the course of the investigations.

    Simitis expressed satisfaction over the general course of preparations for the 2004 Games following Angelopoulos' briefing on progress made and Oswald's report, despite some delays in sports facilities and traffic problems.

    [13] IHF delegation happy with Athens preparations

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    International Handball Federation (IHF) Secretary General Raymond Hahn in Athens on Friday said that he was especially happy with Athens preparations for the Olympic Games 2004.

    The IMF Secretary General and his delegation were concluding a visit to the offices of “Athens 2004 Organizing Committee”, where they were briefed on the progress of preparations for the game and had a brief meeting with “Athens 2004” President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.


    [14] Three illegal immigrants spotted in dinghy off Lesvos

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    Three illegal immigrants without documents were intercepted by the Greek Coast Guard on Friday, floating off the shores of the Aegean island of Lesvos in an inflatable rubber dinghy, the merchant marine ministry announced.

    The three men claim to be Afghans and are to appear before a public prosecutor in Mytilene later in the day.

    [15] Dance festival at Anavyssos

    Athens, 06/07/2002 (ANA)

    The Just Dance Festival is kicking off at Saturday noon at the location Alykes of the southeastern seaside resort of Anavyssos.

    Five open-air stages spread out in an area of 25 hectares will provide a musical forum to 73 DJ’s who will play a selection of tunes from Tech, Drum n’ Bass, Trance, Chill out and Progressive House for the dance show that will start at 4 p.m. Saturday and will last through 10 a.m. Sunday.

    The event will be enhanced with board skating skill shows, lazer-beam shows, new generation technology stands and Internet.

    [16] Britain committed to EU Helsinki conclusions on Cyprus

    LONDON, 06/07/2002 (CNA/ANA)

    Britain is fully committed to the 1999 Helsinki EU Summit conclusions that were reaffirmed at the Seville European Council Summit last month and remain the basis of the EU position on Cyprus, British Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Baroness Symons said on Thursday.

    "Her Majesty's government believes that it is in all parties' interest to reach a settlement this year" she said answering a question by Lord Kolclooney in the House of Lords.

    Helsinki Summit conclusions said that a solution to the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for EU accession.

    Lord Kolclooney asked whether the advice given by the EU to the "Greek Cypriot leadership", as he called the Cyprus Government, that Cyprus can join the EU without a settlement of the Cyprus problem, would be likely to encourage a settlement.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. It opened accession negotiations with the EU in 1998 and has so far provisionally closed 28 out of 31 chapters of the acquis communautaire.

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