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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 03-06-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

June 27, 2003


  • [01] Simitis: EU resolute in fight against terrorism
  • [02] Opposition parties slam EU-US agreements signed in Washington
  • [03] EU close to agreement on GMOs, MEP says
  • [04] DM Papantoniou holds talks with Saint Petersburg senior official
  • [05] PM to present a Greek presidency account to the EP on Tuesday
  • [06] European Socialist party discusses EU draft constitution with Greek minister
  • [07] CoE Parliament adopts Pangalos' report on CoE and EU Constitution
  • [08] Education minister discusses cooperation with Cyprus president
  • [09] EU ministers approve farm policy overhaul
  • [10] Finance ministry unveils draft law on fiscal inspection centers
  • [11] Development minister signs EU, Tunisia and Morocco cooperation agreements
  • [12] Greek stocks end flat on Thursday
  • [13] ATHOC pressures for 'humane' solution to animal stray problem
  • [14] Appeals judges vote against re-opening Kokkalis case, cite procedural hitch
  • [15] German court rejects Greek compensation claim for Nazi massacre
  • [16] More defense witnesses testify in ongoing 'November 17' trial
  • [17] Public order minister attends event honoring police officers
  • [18] FM Iacovou says violation of human rights in Cyprus should be mentioned
  • [19] CoE Committee of Ministers follows closely events in Loizidou case

  • [01] Simitis: EU resolute in fight against terrorism

    WASHINGTON 27/06/2003 (ANA - T. Ellis)

    Prime Minister and European Council President-in-office Costas Simitis stressed here on Wednesday that the European Union was committed to the fight against terrorism, as implementation of international law and the prevalence of law and order in Europe and the world was in the Union's best interests.

    Speaking at a separate press conference following talks with US President George W. Bush and European Commission President Romano Prodi during an EU-US Summit at the White House, Simitis briefed Greek reporters on the agenda of talks which he said included a variety of issues: trans-Atlantic relations, the Middle East and the role of the ''Hamas'' group, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), the fight against terrorism, the signing of two EU-US judicial cooperation agreements, the Galileo program, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Africa, Cyprus, trade and financial matters, the agreement for the use of hydrogen, Iran, North Korea, genetically modified products, the ''open skies'' program as well as the EU's new defense strategy and cooperation with NATO.

    The Greek prime minister said technological breakthroughs have made the development and production of WMDs much simpler, a far cry from the second half of the previous century when such endeavors -- i.e. manufacturing atomic and hydrogen bombs -- were undertaken by only the largest or most advanced countries.

    ''Technology has reached such levels as to allow for WMDs, nuclear or biological, to be manufactured by only a few people with limited space'', he stressed, adding: ''There are paranoid people everywhere, people full of hatred, hostilities are everywhere, and the world as a whole should not be held hostage to such people ... Today, when such technology is common knowledge we have to be very careful.''

    Cyprus: With regard to the Cyprus issue, which is of particular importance to Greece, Simitis said he had pointed to the US president the need for UN-sponsored talks, and for the Turkish side to be pressured into changing its stance on the issue.

    He said the US president had acknowledged that and pledged his support for efforts to re-start talks.

    ''As a matter of fact, as (Greek) Foreign Minister George Papandreou informed me, the US president had addressed (Turkish PM Tayyip) Mr. Erdogan and had told him he needed to take some steps'', Simitis said.

    Asked about statements made by both US and EU leaders over reinforced trans-Atlantic ties in spite of the war in Iraq, Simitis said that despite initial US and EU fears over an intense diplomatic confrontation, the Greek presidency managed to focus attention on the future, while pointing to a need for discussions on developments after the war.

    ''The Greek presidency stressed that post-war developments should be within the framework of the United Nations, although the UN had not played a role in the war'', he said, adding that neither side wanted a showdown.

    ''I believe that common sense prevailed in the end'', the prime minister noted.

    Asked whether he thought the world was safer after the war in Iraq, Simitis said: ''It is not safer now, as it was not safe before the war. There are always dangers and it is our obligation to combat them.''

    Finally asked to describe his experience at the Union's presidency, the prime minister said it was a very interesting experience and that his government had worked very hard for six months, before noting, in an indirect reference to the domestic front: ''But six months are enough. Now the government has to turn its attention to domestic issues''.

    [02] Opposition parties slam EU-US agreements signed in Washington

    Athens, 27/06/2003 (ANA)

    Smaller Left-wing opposition parties within and outside the Greek Parliament on Thursday slammed the agreements signed between the United States and the European Union during a summit meeting in Washington, seeing them as capitulation to American 'imperialist' attitudes.

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga, whose party is third largest in Parliament, described the EU-US agreements signed on Wednesday as ''dangerous'' and also expressed apprehension about the European strategy presented at the Halkidiki EU summit by EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana.

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology party leader Nikos Constantopoulos, whose party is also in Parliament, said the EU-US summit marked ''Europe's adaptation to the imperialist dogma and its participation in its warlike plans,'' while he accused the EU of ''sacrificing democratic values'' to appease the U.S. leadership.

    He particularly objected to Europe's adoption of preventative strikes, saying this bypassed the international system of security and cooperation, international law and the charter of the United Nations, and expressed opposition to an agreement for mutual judicial cooperation and extradition.

    The leader of the Democratic Social Movement (DHKKI) Dimitris Tsovolas, whose party gained just 2.69 per cent of the vote in the last elections, said the judicial agreement was an 'unconditional surrender of Europe to the United States by the Greek EU presidency.''

    [03] EU close to agreement on GMOs, MEP says

    Athens, 27/06/2003 (ANA)

    The big issue in the relations between the European Union and the United States of America, namely the disagreement over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that was threatening to bring Europe and the U.S. to the edge of a trade war, seems to be moving toward an arrangement.

    According to the European Parliament's rapporteur for this issue and the head of New Democracy party MEPs, Antonis Trakatellis, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council were very near achieving an agreement on the establishment of rules by the EU on the labeling and 'detectability' of GMOs and the foodstuffs and animal feed made from them.

    Furthermore, after the meeting of a European's People's Party (EPP) subcommittee dealing with this issue in Denmark on Thursday, Trakatellis stated that ''the fast adoption of this agreement is possible, without the need of a consultation process with the Council and we call on the EU to develop some guidelines for the co-existence of the modified and organics products''.

    The pact anticipates among others the following: when a product is made or includes GMOs, that should be written on the wrapping of the product, as well as the obligation of the enterprises to provide information for the products for at least five years. Also there is the need for the introduction of systems that identify the GMOs at all stages of its distribution, in order to establish the producer and the place that these products came from before going for sale.

    Finally, Antonis Trakatellis said that the acceptance of this agreement is important for the right choice of the consumers and for to avoid a war between Europe and the U.S, Argentina, Canada etc.

    [04] DM Papantoniou holds talks with Saint Petersburg senior official

    Athens, 27/06/2003 (ANA)

    Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, currently on an official visit to Russia, met on Thursday with the representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the region of Saint Petersburg, Valentina Matvienko.

    Following their talks, Matvienko told reporters that they discussed issues concerning military and technical cooperation. She added that she ''was certain that the relations between the two countries will continue to develop positively in the economic, political and military-technical sector.''

    On his part, Papantoniou said that his presence in Saint Petersburg was to underline the importance which Greece attributes to the cooperation in the defense sector as well. The minister noted that over the past five years Greece ''procured Russian weapon systems which were very satisfactory. The products of the Russian defense industry, which the ships ZUBR are included in and are built in Saint Petersburg, are very satisfactory and very competitive both in terms of price and quality,'' the Greek defense minister concluded.

    [05] PM to present a Greek presidency account to the EP on Tuesday

    Athens, 27/06/2003 (ANA)

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, as the Greek European Union presidency comes to a successful end on 30 June, will on Tuesday present an account to the Plenum of the European Parliament of Greece's six-month tenure as the Union's head.

    The Greek prime minister, currently the European Council president in-office, will brief the EP members in detail on the conclusions of the Thessaloniki EU Summit that concluded on 21 June, and probably an account of Wednesday's EU-US Summit in Washington, where he held decisive talks with US President George W. Bush on transatlantic relations.

    Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) is another issue that will occupy the EP, on which the Greek prime minister and the European Commission are expected to make statements with regard to the forthcoming World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting for GMOs distribution.

    Greece will hand over the EU's rotating six-month presidency to Italy.

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Wednesday will present the Eurodeputies with the program of his country's presidency at the Union's Ministers Council, and later in the day the new Italian presidency and the European Commission will make statements on the situation in Chechnya.

    [06] European Socialist party discusses EU draft constitution with Greek minister

    BRUSSELS 27/06/2003 (ANA - A. Simatos)

    Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos held talks here on Thursday with the European Socialist party's directorate, which expressed disagreement regarding the European Union's draft constitution and praise for the Greek EU presidency for achieving a unified text which will form the basis of discussion during the Intergovernmental Conference.

    Speaking to the Athens News Agency (ANA) after the meeting, Tsohatzopoulos said there are strong reactions on the draft constitution tabled at the Thessaloniki EU summit.

    He added that in the European Socialist party there are many views on the future of Europe which shape the framework of a substantive dialogue in light of the Intergovernmental Conference.

    The minister also referred to positive comments for the Greek EU presidency, and Prime Minister Costas Simitis in particular, concerning its effectiveness on a series of important issues and, primarily, for the issue of achieving a specific draft constitution text which will form the basis of discussion, during the Intergovernmental Conference, on shaping the European constitution.

    Tsohatzopoulos also stressed the satisfaction of the European Socialist party's directorate over the unanimous ratification and recognition by the European Parliament of the character of the European party as an institution which is consolidated in the EU's charter proclamation.

    [07] CoE Parliament adopts Pangalos' report on CoE and EU Constitution

    STRASBOURG 27/06/2003 (ANA - O. Tsipira)

    The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly plenum on Thursday voted to adopt a report compiled by Greek CoE Parliamentary deputy Theodoros Pangalos on how the CoE can play a role in the draft Constitution of the European Union.

    Pangalos, an MP for PASOK that heads the Greek CoE Parliamentary delegation, was also widely congratulated on his 'very clever handling of CoE-EU relations' and for his astute observations.

    The report, which is now the official position of the CoE Parliamentary Assembly, asks the new EU Intergovernmental Conference to establish within the new EU Constitution a relationship of equal partnership between the CoE and the EU and to make a commitment that the EU will sign the European Treaty of Human Rights and the European Cultural Treaty.

    It also calls on EU law-makers to protect gender equality under the new Constitution.

    [08] Education minister discusses cooperation with Cyprus president

    NICOSIA 27/06/2003 (ANA - G. Leonidas)

    Education Minister Petros Efthymiou discussed issues concerning cooperation between the education ministries of Greece and Cyprus with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos on Thursday.

    He also briefed him on the two-day conference between European education ministers taking place in Cyprus.

    Efthymiou said that during the discussion on cooperation between the two ministries, based on the 1997 memorandum, many points were noted where cooperation can become more productive.

    He said the memorandum will be renewed and enlarged.

    He further mentioned that the conference of European education ministers is taking place in Cyprus because Greece and Cyprus made the joint effort to enable Cyprus to become the country to host this major European event.

    [09] EU ministers approve farm policy overhaul

    LUXEMBOURG 27/06/2003 (ANA/M. Kourmousis)

    The European Union on Thursday acquired a new common agricultural policy following agreement reached by the bloc's farm ministers on a compromise.

    Greek farm minister George Drys, who prepared the compromise and chaired the meeting, described the agreement as historic, backed by the EU's agriculture and fisheries commissioner, Franz Fischler.

    At the same time, both officials addressed a warning to the US ahead of negotiations with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Cancun, Mexico in September.

    “Our American friends should receive this message. We in Europe have given enough and will not negotiate under the rationale of leaving things open-ended, with only our trade friends making demands,” Drys told a news conference.

    Fischler underlined that Europe was the globe’s largest importer of farming products.

    “The EU has done its homework. Now others must make a move, for example our American friends, who, unlike the EU, have over recent years revived their old system of support and massively increased their trade-distorting agricultural subsidies. Not practicing what you preach is unacceptable,” he said.

    Fischler added that Europe had many more issues to negotiate both with the US and with developing countries.

    The Greek minister said the decision by Europe’s farm ministers conveyed a political message to the WTO, farmers and consumers that no produce would from now on be dumped; and no budgets would be burdened for products that could not be sold.

    “At the same time, we are safeguarding farmers’ income through respect for the environment and for the well-being of animals,” Drys said.

    Fischler noted that European farmers would be paid their subsidies irrespective of the type and volume of products (decoupling); while new funds out of an annual 1.2 billion euros would be earmarked for rural development.

    In Athens, the main opposition New Democracy party accused the government, which is also the EU's rotating president, of failing to protect the interests of Greek farmers, including their products.

    In a separate statement, the Communist Party of Greece said the EU compromise would serve to accelerate a shrinking of farm output.

    Two key farmers' domestic trade groups - PASEGES AND GESASE - welcomed the EU ministers' agreement, saying their main demands were finally incorporated.

    Farm minister: new CAP a significant accomplishment for Greek agriculture: ''The new CAP is a significant accomplishment for Greek agriculture'', noted Greek agriculture minister George Drys, who is currently chairing the EU's farm ministers council.

    Greece succeeded in increasing its milk production quota by 120,000 tones, in having all provisions to apply to Mediterranean products, and in placing all the Aegean islands under the status of the Community's outer periphery areas.

    [10] Finance ministry unveils draft law on fiscal inspection centers

    Athens, 27/06/2003 (ANA)

    Greece's finance ministry on Thursday unveiled a draft legislation envisaging the creation of Fiscal Inspection Centers in a move aimed to better monitor public spending in the country.

    Under the draft law, these centers will have the ability to make in-depth inspections to all agencies managing budget funds.

    The government aims to create a stricter public spending inspections system, to contain excess spending and to contribute in saving funds for the state budget.

    The draft law also envisages the creation of a special service to evaluating inspections and to monitor the wealth of finance ministry's staff, something like an internal affairs agency.

    The legislation also envisages that both the regular budgeted and all public sector agencies' budgets should be balance after 2004, while it stresses that public borrowing should be made only to cover its investment needs.

    [11] Development minister signs EU, Tunisia and Morocco cooperation agreements

    Athens, 27/06/2003 (ANA)

    Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos signed two cooperation agreements between the European Union, Tunisia and Morocco on Thursday concerning scientific and technological cooperation between the EU and the two countries.

    ''We are interested in peace, stability and cooperation all over the Mediterranean and in the Middle East in particular. Let us cooperate so that all the peoples of the Mediterranean can live in a climate of stability and peace in the years to come,'' he said.

    Tsohatzopoulos said the two agreements are a natural sequence of Mediterranean cooperation, which already existed since 1980, in various sectors such as ecosystem protection, water resources, fishing, marine sciences, agriculture, the preservation of natural heritage and renewable energy sources.

    ''On the basis of this cooperation, we are proceeding with new cooperation in the 21st century which we believe will contribute to the EU reaching a GDP increase of 3 percent,'' the minister added.

    [12] Greek stocks end flat on Thursday

    Athens, 27/06/2003 (ANA)

    Greek stocks ended Thursday's session mixed after spending much of day moving in tight rates, reflecting lack of fresh incentives in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    The general index ended at 1,906.45 points, unchanged from Wednesday's closing, while turnover was a steady 142.6 million euros.

    The Publication, IT and Construction sector scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (1.39 percent, 1.38 percent and 0.78 percent, respectively), while the Textile, Holding and Insurance sectors suffered the heaviest percentage losses (3.03 percent, 1.56 percent and 1.21 percent).

    The FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks rose 0.18 percent, the FTSE/ASE MID 40 index ended 0.24 percent higher and the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index eased 0.46 percent. The wider FTSE/ASE 140 index ended 0.12 percent up.

    Broadly, decliners led advancers by 201 to 111 with another 49 issues unchanged.

    Derivatives Market Close: Turnover at 70.7 mln euros Thursday

    Equity Index Futures:

  • FTSE/ASE-20 (high cap): At discount

  • Underlying Index: +0.18 percent

  • FTSE/ASE-40 (medium cap): At discount

  • Underlying Index: +0.24 percent

    Stock Futures:

  • Most Active Contract (volume): Intracom (828)

  • Total turnover in derivatives market: 70.7 mln euros

    Bond Market Close: Sellers outstrip buyers on Thursday

    Greek Benchmark 10-Year Bond

  • Yield: 3.93 pct

  • Spread over German bund: 10 bps

  • Day's Market Turnover: 4.2 bln euros

  • Most Active Bond: 11-year, expiring May 2013 (890 mln euros)


    Closing rates of June 26 2003

    Parities in euro

    For. Exchange Buying Selling

    US Dollar 1,152 1,126

    [13] ATHOC pressures for 'humane' solution to animal stray problem

    Athens, 27/06/2003 (ANA)

    Athens organizers on Thursday promised intensified efforts ahead of next year’s Olympics to solve a nagging problem that has repeatedly given Greece a “black eye” in the past and has recently been linked in foreign press reports to preparations for the Games themselves, namely, the issue of stray animals.

    In a high-profile press conference attended by the relevant agriculture deputy minister, prefectural and municipal authorities, as well as local animal rights’ and veterinarians’ representatives, Athens 2004 Games Organizing Committee (ATHOC) President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki emphasized that although her organization is not “institutionally responsible” for solving the stray animal, it recognizes that the issue touches on the “quality of life” aspect of the post-Games period -- a notion long promoted by ATHOC -- while also constituting a public relations blight for the Athens Games.

    The press conference comes after an earlier ATHOC initiative to build a single and unified stray animal shelter for the greater Athens area near of the foot of Mount Parnitha (northwest Athens), at the Erythres site, apparently faltered.

    Moreover, a series of particularly negative articles on the stray animal issue, replete with ominous predictions of “mass killings” of animals on the alter of the Games, intensified ATHOC’s efforts to find a solution amongst all of the involved parties – central government, Attica prefecture, individual municipalities, animal rights groups and vets.

    Along those lines, Deputy Agriculture Minister Fotis Hatzimichalis promised that the government will allocate one million euros to fund a program for creating numerous animal shelters in the greater Athens area, with host the largest number of strays in Greece as well as almost half of the country’s residents.

    He also deflected stepped up criticism by saying a tabled draft bill in Parliament, expected to outline the operation of such shelters by local authorities, is proof of the government’s commitment to solving the blight. Conversely, Hatzimichalis conceded that past incidents, mass poisonings and reports of cruelty to animals, did tarnish the country’s image, stressing however, that such behavior is inconsistent with Greek culture and society.

    “Those responsible must be condemned and punished,” he said.

    Both Angelopoulos-Daskalaki and the government deputy minister again reiterated that any stray animal program will revolve around the axis of collection, medical treatment and care, tagging and recording, adoption wherever possible, and finally, a return of the animals to their “natural environment”, which essentially means that they will be returned as close as possible to where they were first picked up.

    All of the participants at the press conference, in fact, emphasized that destroying the strays is not an option, except in cases of confirmed disease, such as rabies.

    [14] Appeals judges vote against re-opening Kokkalis case, cite procedural hitch

    Athens, 27/06/2003 (ANA)

    Greece's appellate judges on Thursday voted against a proposal by Supreme Court prosecutor Evangelos Kroustallakis to re-open the case against IT tycoon Socratis Kokkalis by ordering a judicial inquiry by an appeals magistrate.

    The proposal was rejected by the Plenum of Appellate Judges by 115 votes to 67.

    The justices argued that such an order would amount to a procedural irregularity since the case had already been brought before the Appeals Council, where a decision on the recommendation by examining magistrate Giorgos Pournaras to shelve the Kokkalis case file, on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence to back the criminal charges against him, was outstanding.

    In view that an Appeals Council decision on the case was pending, the appeals justices decided that they could not legitimately intervene at this phase. Of the 67 judges that voted in favor of assigning the case to an appeals-level magistrate, some wanted the discussion on the Kokkalis case postponed in view of the outstanding decision, while others were in favor of Kroustallakis' proposal.

    The meeting also rejected Kroustallakis' proposal to assign an appellate-level examining magistrate to look into the actions of first instance court judge Konstantina Bourboulia. The justices agreed that criminal charges should be brought against Bourboulia but said that the case should be handled by a first-instance judge not an appeals judge.

    [15] German court rejects Greek compensation claim for Nazi massacre

    BERLIN 27/06/2003 (ANA - P. Stangos)

    Germany's federal high court on Thursday rejected a compensation claim brought against the German state by four Greek siblings whose parents were killed in a massacre committed by Nazi troops in the village of Distomo during World War II.

    The ruling confirms the decisions of two lower-level German courts that also rejected claims for compensation made by Argyris Sfountouris and his three sisters for their parents' death and the destruction of their property during reprisals carried out in their village by a company of SS troops on June 10, 1944, in which 213 non-combatants were executed and the village was torched.

    The not entirely unexpected decision of the Karlsruhe-based court is the final ruling on the case within the German legal system, effectively bringing the family's battle within Germany to a close.

    Responsibility for the case now passes on to the Greek government, which is the only authority competent to raise the issue of war reparations for Nazi atrocities on a bilateral level under international law.

    The decision was announced verbally by the presiding judge of the high court, while the full text of the decision and the reasoning for it will be published within the next two months, after both sides have been officially been notified.

    The verbal announcement and press release issued note that the rulings issued by a first instance court in Livadia, Greece that order the German state to pay compensation to the victims cannot be recognized in Germany because they violate the principle that states are immune from the rulings of other countries' courts.

    [16] More defense witnesses testify in ongoing 'November 17' trial

    Athens, 27/06/2003 (ANA)

    More defense witnesses for the accused testified before the Three-Member Criminal Appeals Court on Thursday, where 19 people are on trial charged as members of the terrorist group November 17.

    Newspaper editor George Kouris was first on the stand, appearing as a defense witness for Patroklos Tselentis. He said Tselentis was a 'model citizen' on his native island Cephallonia, where the entire community had been flabbergasted by his arrest.

    He urged the judge to give Tselentis 'a chance', saying that he had made 'a mistake'.

    According to Kouris, if the members of the group had done the same things four to five years earlier, under the military junta that ruled Greece in 1967-1974, it was likely that they would now be in the government instead of in jail.

    Among the witnesses for Tselentis was his wife Alexandra-Dafni, who described him as a person with a 'heightened sense of social responsibility' who believed his involvement in the group would change something in society.

    ''He realized the impasse and this is why he withdrew,'' the witness went on to say, adding that her husband now felt remorse for the things he had done.

    Witnesses for Theologos Psaradellis appeared before the court for a second day, with most of them again noting the incongruity of Psaradellis' opposition to individual violence as a Troskyist and his membership, even more so a founding role, in an armed guerrilla group like November 17.

    The prisoner's wife Nada told the court that the description of her husband as an ideological 'right-hand man' within the group - by fellow-accused Christodoulos Xiros in his confession to police - 'smacked of police technocrats' since the phrase did not sit well with Leftist speech.

    She slammed her husband's involvement in a 1983 robbery as an 'idiotic act' and was assertive in stating that her husband had been with her and their family on Cyprus when the police officer Pantelis Petrou and his driver Sotiris Stamoulis were killed in 1980. The statute of limitations on both the murders has expired.

    Private-sector employee Ioannis Felekis, meanwhile, earlier told the court that he and Psaradellis had both refused to use guns and explosives during the struggle against the Greek junta, even though they had access to them, since they were against individual violence as Trotskyists.

    The sister of the accused, Eleni Psaradelli, told the court that in the summer of 1988 - when he is accused of participating in another N17 robbery - Psaradellis was spending most of his time in the hospital with their sister Elisavet, who was gravely ill and died in July that year.

    Finally, the court heard the testimony of three work colleagues of Kostas Karatsolis, who said that he had not at any time given any indication of being involved in illegal activities, either at work or during their social interactions.

    [17] Public order minister attends event honoring police officers

    Athens, 27/06/2003 (ANA)

    Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrysohoidis and senior police officers attended an event in the Police Mansion's auditorium on Thursday during which officers and ordinary political employees were honored for their contribution to combatting drug use.

    Chrysohoidis said that in past years the Anti-Drug Service has achieved admiral work and ranks among the top corresponding services of European countries.

    He also stressed the important role played by state agencies and municipal authorities, as well as by the Harbor Service and the Economic Crime Squad.

    Chrysohoidis said a period is being experienced in which the phenomenon of drug trafficking and use has increased but also public opinion has become sensitized at the same time, while police services have become organized and have succeeded in training their staff from the aspect of both knowledge and technology to enable the confiscation of big quantities of drugs.

    [18] FM Iacovou says violation of human rights in Cyprus should be mentioned

    NICOSIA 27/06/2003 (CNA/ANA)

    Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou emphasized during his meeting here Thursday with Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Alvaro Gil Robles that reference should always be made to the violation of human rights in Cyprus because of the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    Iacovou said that in ''Cyprus, there have been mass violations of human rights as a result of the invasion and occupation.''

    ''The practice which some organizations follow by removing the violations, such as the report of the State Department which presents the situation in the occupied areas of Cyprus and the government controlled areas without mentioning whatsoever that this country was invaded and is under occupation, is not right,'' the minister said.

    On his part Robles, speaking through an interpreter, said some problems were already identified and that during the meeting with Iacovou there was unanimity of views of the procedure of recommendations.

    He also said that he would be going to the occupied north of Cyprus to examine the situation there.

    [19] CoE Committee of Ministers follows closely events in Loizidou case

    STRASBOURG 27/06/2003 (CNA/ANA)

    Chairman In Office of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers, Moldavian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nicolae Dadau said here on Thursday, speaking before the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly, that once the question of the payment of the just satisfaction to Greek Cypriot Titina Loizidou by Turkey is settled the Committee will decide how to proceed on the other issues raised by this case.

    Answering a question by Greek deputy Cosmas Sfyriou, Dadau said that ''the Turkish authorities declared unequivocally at the deputies meeting on 19 June 2003 that the necessary action will have been taken to allow the Committee of Ministers to find at the Human Rights Meeting on 7-8 October 2003 that the just satisfaction by the Court has been paid.''

    ''This will also allow the deputies to adopt a final resolution on the execution of the Court's judgment. The deputies have so far concentrated through other resolutions on the payment of the just satisfaction. Once this question has been settled the Committee will decide how to proceed on the other issues raised by this case,'' Dadau said.

    Invited by Sfyriou to comment on Turkish position that the European Court of Human Rights' judgment on this case will be implemented under certain terms, Dadau said he hoped that till in October special actions will not be needed, adding that the events that will be taking place in this case will be followed closely.

    The ECHR ordered Turkey to pay Titina Loizidou 600,000 dollars for loss of use of her property, 40,000 dollars for moral damages and about 260,000 dollars for costs, in addition to eight per cent interest as of 28 July 1998.

    Loizidou's house is situated in the northern town of Kyrenia occupied by Turkish troops since 1974.

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