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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 05-04-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

April 2, 2005


  • [01] Athens reiterates priorities vis-a-vis Jerusalem Patriarchate crisis
  • [02] Gov't on tax hikes
  • [03] Gov't launches name-and-shame campaign for overpricing
  • [04] PASOK party spokesman, Communist Party members protest economic measures
  • [05] New heads at Athens Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival and Film Centre; all 3 meet with Karamanlis
  • [06] Pavlopoulos, PASOK MP trade comments in debate on 'primary shareholder' law
  • [07] EU seeks food safety assurance over Greek yoghourt recall
  • [08] Greece's permanent UN rep cites continued Security Council concern for Darfur
  • [09] Greek and Albanian public prosecutors discuss cooperation in combatting crime
  • [10] Turkish warplanes violate national air space
  • [11] Romanian Army chief to visit next week
  • [12] Public Order Minister Voulgarakis addresses Greek Police event
  • [13] Athens Mayor Bakoyannis speaks on EU-Turkey relations at Bosporus University event
  • [14] Conference on Balkan municipality cooperation beginning on Friday
  • [15] Balkan and Black Sea Committees discuss economic and social development
  • [16] Meeting of OECD social protection ministers comes to a close
  • [17] Alogoskoufis to present new development law in E. Macedonia-Thrace
  • [18] Progress seen in forging SE Europe energy pact
  • [19] New EFET leadership nominated in wake of yogurt recall
  • [20] Authorities say supermarkets formed price-rigging cartel
  • [21] Gov't to sell new stake in Football Pools Organization
  • [22] Tourism secretary general concludes visit to St. Petersburg
  • [23] Bourse ends week on high note
  • [24] 50th anniversary of Greek Cypriot EOKA liberation organization honored in Athens
  • [25] Water flow issue examined during conference in Orestiada
  • [26] Fishing vessel carrying scores of migrants lands in SW Crete
  • [27] NGO organizes conference on management of water resources
  • [28] SEGAS president says IAAF's decision on athletes Kenteris and Thanou 'respected and expected'
  • [29] Cyprus protests to UN over Turkish airspace violations
  • [30] Cyprus:ECHR ruling on Adali proves another human rights violation by Turkey
  • [31] Spanish Premier expresses interest in Cyprus' missing persons question
  • [32] Cyprus marks uprising against British colonial rule

  • [01] Athens reiterates priorities vis-a-vis Jerusalem Patriarchate crisis

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Athens on Friday stressed that its primary concerns vis-a-vis the ongoing crisis enveloping the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem are the institution itself and preservation of its Greek character and heritage.

    Speaking after a meeting with the Palestinian Authority's charges D'Affaires in Greece, Ismat Sabri, Deputy Foreign Minister Panayiotis Skandalakis said the government's other two priorities are the maintenance of good relations with all of the countries of the region, as well as preventing any negative repercussions to regional peace and security.

    On his part, Sabri reiterated that there is "no issue" of a challenge to the ancient Patriarchate's "Greekness".

    "This is a standing position of the Palestinian Authority," he added.

    In a related development, a government spokesman repeated a series of official statements out of Athens during the past week, namely, that Jerusalem Patriarch Erinaios (Irineos) "must assume his historical responsibilities".

    Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros also confirmed that the prime minister's office has received a copy of a signed statement by 10 high-ranking Jerusalem Patriarchate clerics demanding Erinaios' resignation.

    Communist Party (KKE) general secretary Aleka Papariga, meanwhile, directly called for the Patriarch's resignation after her separate meeting with Sabri.

    "It is not possible for anyone to tolerate the sale or leasing of Palestinian territories for 99 years to Israeli firms..." Papariga said.

    [02] Gov't on tax hikes

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    The government on Friday reiterated that if the latest tax measures -- a 1-percent increase of VAT rates, higher duties on cigarettes, alcohol -- are implemented, "they will lead us to the final goal, one which is clear".

    Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros, more-over, mostly dismissed questions citing a second wave of tax hikes, while pointing directly to the need to slash a 6.1-percent deficit the government charges it inherited from the previous PASOK government.

    [03] Gov't launches name-and-shame campaign for overpricing

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    The development ministry said on Friday that it would look for companies that raised the price of their products beyond an increase in Value Added Tax announced this week - and then release their names publicly.

    Consumers should call the ministry's watchdog number - 1520 - and report price hikes exceeding the VAT rise, the ministry said in a statement.

    [04] PASOK party spokesman, Communist Party members protest economic measures

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Main opposition PASOK party spokesman Nikos Athanassakis said on Friday the only thing working people and the Greek people can expect now from the New Democracy government is the next batch of measures "with which they will once again try to close the holes created by their incompetence and their erroneous policies."

    Athanassakis added that the government has already announced beforehand the next batches of measures in the economy, invoking a statement by Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis that "there are no last measures in taxation."

    In another development, members of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) staged a march through the main streets of Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, calling for the abolition of Value Added Tax on consumer products.

    The demonstrators gathered in Agia Sofia Square and distributed informative material to shop owners and employees "as the first reaction", according to a relevant announcement, "to the government's new anti-popular and tax-implementing measures."

    They are also claiming the granting of a minimum salary of 1,200 euros, a minimum pension of 960 euros and of 400 euros for farmers.

    Meanwhile, in a reply to PASOK's spokesman, alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said "it is indeed very difficult for PASOK and its spokesman to realize that a government, which is working with the only criterion being serving the interests of the country and of citizens, does not need to resort to black propaganda mechanisms."

    [05] New heads at Athens Festival, Thessaloniki Film Festival and Film Centre; all 3 meet with Karamanlis

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Friday met consecutively with the three new heads of a same-number of noted state-run cultural organizations: the Athens Festival, the annual Thessaloniki Film Festival and the Athens-based Greek Film Centre.

    Karamanlis, who also holds the culture ministry portfolio, first received Yorgos Loukos, the current artistic director of the Lyon Opera Ballet, one of France's two national ballet companies.

    Afterwards, Loukos expressed his willingness to help restructure the venerable Athens Festival, an annual series of summertime performing arts events -- music, dance, theatre -- hosted at the Roman-era Herod Atticus Odeon, beneath the Acropolis. The only pending issue regarding the appointment is whether the internationally acclaimed Loukos will serve as the Festival's president or its artistic director.

    Noted Greek director Pantelis Voulgaris -- "Brides" (2004) and "It's A Long Road" (OLA EINAI DROMOS, 1998), among others -- met afterwards with the Greek premier at the Maximos Mansion office after his appointment as the new director of the Thessaloniki Film Festival.

    Voulgaris said he will continue the work begun by his predecessors at the post, Theo Angelopoulos and Michel Dimopoulos.

    Finally, author Thanassis Valtinos, who was tapped to head the Greek Film Centre, was received last by Karamanlis.

    Valtinos later said he will follow the program already scheduled by the current administration for the 2006 season, while emphasizing however, that opportunities will be given to new artists.

    [06] Pavlopoulos, PASOK MP trade comments in debate on 'primary shareholder' law

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Interior and Public Administration Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Friday flatly dismissed charges by a main opposition PASOK deputy regarding implementation of the high-profile 'primary shareholder' law and its effects on the banking sector's operation, among others.

    The minister took exception with a comment by Karditsa-area deputy Dinos Rovlias, who said in Parliament, among others, "...on the issue of the 'primary shareholder' (law), it does not interest us (PASOK) if the prime minister has personal grievances with a certain family..."

    He address came during debate on a tabled question regarding the law.

    In response, Pavlopoulos said that "if your party (PASOK) had gotten used to this type of reasoning, because you had transactions with 'families' in the past, that's another matter ...

    However, when you talk like this, it appears that you both know and care for certain interests, ones that may be harmed, in general, by our (legal) regulations."

    [07] EU seeks food safety assurance over Greek yoghourt recall

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    The European Union has sought assurances from Greek food authorities that no threat was posed to public health from tainted yoghourt recalled from markets at home and abroad by its manufacturer, FAGE SA.

    Without notifying Greek food regulatory authorities, the domestic dairy ordered recall of 256,000 tubs of yoghourt infected by surface mould from eight EU members - the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Sweden and Finland, the National Food Control Agency (EFET) told the EU's Commission in a letter.

    The withdrawal of another 110,000 tubs was ordered from the United States of America, as well as 350,000 from the domestic market, according to the letter released by the development ministry, which supervises the food control agency.

    EFET said that on the basis of data given by FAGE so far, it was impossible to determine the number of yoghourts that could not be withdrawn from the market, or how long recall of the product would take.

    The agency stated that it had launched an enquiry on March 1 following complaints from consumers; and quoted the manufacturer as saying that the recall had begun on February 9.

    The letter was sent following a request for information from the EU's consumer affairs commissioner, who regretted the fact that authorities had failed to notify the bloc of the incident.

    [08] Greece's permanent UN rep cites continued Security Council concern for Darfur

    NEW YORK 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Greece's permanent representative to the United Nations this week cited the UN Security Council's continued interest over the situation in Sudan's strife-plagued Darfur province.

    Top Greek diplomat Adamantios Vassilakis referred to a need of punishing the perpetrators of war crimes in Darfur, as well as promoting "specialized" sanctions against the government of Cte d'Ivoire (in west Africa), as well as the Council's concern for the continuing dispute between neighbors Ethiopia and Eritrea.

    Greece holds a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2005-2006 period.

    Vassilakis spoke at a monthly review of the body's activities, as the Security Council last month focused on a variety of major problems affecting Africa.

    [09] Greek and Albanian public prosecutors discuss cooperation in combatting crime

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Supreme Court public prosecutor Dimitris Linos held talks on Friday with Albania's general prosecutor Theodoris Solahou, while both officials stressed that very good cooperation exists between the two sides on combatting crime and money laundering.

    They added that there is also close cooperation between the prosecuting authorities of both countries, as well as coordination and mutual briefing.

    The Albanian public prosecutor said that his country's prosecuting authorities have no evidence on the involvement of wanted suspect Apostolos Vavylis in the pyramids scandal which harmed the Albanian economy during the years 1996-1997 and led thousands of Albanians to financial ruin.

    The meeting was also attended by Greek and Albanian officials, as well as by the Albanian ambassador.

    [10] Turkish warplanes violate national air space

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    A total of 18 Turkish warplanes flew over the Aegean on Friday, without submitting flight plans, and on six occasions they violated national air space in the regions of the northern and central Aegean, according to National Defense General Staff sources.

    In all cases the Turkish aircraft were recognized and intercepted by Greek air force jets, while no mock dogfights occurred between Greek and Turkish aircraft.

    Three Turkish aircraft were armed, while four were photograph-taking Phantom jets.

    The sources added that on Monday alone 40 Turkish warplanes had violated national air space on 24 occasions in the northern, central and southern Aegean.

    [11] Romanian Army chief to visit next week

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Chief of Romania's Army General Staff, Brigadier General Sorin Ioan, arrives in Athens on Monday on a four-day courtesy visit at the invitation of Greece's Army General Staff (GES) chief Lieutenant-General Nikolaos Douvas, a GES announcement said Friday.

    The formal welcome for Ioan will be held at the GES headquarters on Tuesday, at 10:00 a.m.

    Earlier Tuesday, Ioan will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, during a special ceremony outside Parliament at Syntagma Square, followed by talks with the GES leadership on matters of mutual military interest.

    On Wednesday, the Romanian army chief will visit the Infantry School in Halkis, where he will be briefed on the School's mission, work and activities.

    Ioan will further visit cultural and archaeological sites in the area, including the Acropolis, before his departure on Thursday.

    [12] Public Order Minister Voulgarakis addresses Greek Police event

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Greece's lack in supporting the elderly will be covered by the Public Order Ministry with a pioneering measure, the operation for the first in the history of the Greek Police of a Department of Communication and Services for Retired Officers, within the Public Order Ministry itself.

    This was stated by Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis on Friday in an address at an event for the official opening of the department. He said "the level of social sensitivity of every social system is measured by the organized confrontation of the young and the elderly." As he stressed, "in Greece, there is a great lack in this sector."

    He added that the founding and operation of the department "is a step in the direction of the increase of the indexes of social response in this sensitive sector, also when it refers to people who have offered to the corps of the Greek Police (EL.AS)".

    He said the aim of the newly set up department is the securing of communication by the retired police officers and their unions with the leadership of EL.AS and the strengthening of the relations between the retired police officers with the police officers in service.

    Present at the event, among others, were Deputy Public Order Minister Markos Markoyiannakis, ministry General Secretary Leonidas Evangelidis, National Information Service (EYP) commander ambassador Ioannis Korantis, ministry Legal Consultant Georgios Poulakos and senior officers of EL.AS.

    The event was also addressed by EL.AS chief Lieutenant-General Georgios Angelakos.

    [13] Athens Mayor Bakoyannis speaks on EU-Turkey relations at Bosporus University event

    ISTANBUL 2/4/2005, (ANA/A. Kourkoulas)

    Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyiannis spoke on EU-Turkey relations and the changes that this momentum entails for the image of the region, during an event held at the Political Sciences Department of Bosporus University on Friday evening.

    Politicians, intellectuals and the Istanbul authorities were present at Bakoyiannis' lecture.

    "Greece and Turkey should become twin pillars of stability and prosperity in Southeast Europe, like France and Germany, who, despite the rivers of blood which they shed in wars between them, were the steam-engine of European unification," Bakoyiannis said.

    The mayor of Athens stressed that "the majority of Europeans and of the European political system wants to see Turkey in the European Union" and assured the audience that "the prejudices against Turkey in Europe will be overcome, as similar prejudices against Greece in the past were overcome."

    Bakoyiannis further referred to the differences which continue to exist between Greece and Turkey, underling the violations of Greek air space, but stressed that the politicians from both sides will overcome the problems.

    Bakoyiannis noted that "the Cyprus issue, which haunts Greek-Turkish relations from the decade of the 1950s, finds itself close to a solution."

    Concluding, the mayor of Athens told the Turks that the presence of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul constitutes a particular advantage for Turkey. "It can become a lasting assurance of Turkish tolerance and objectivity of cultural, religious and national multiformity," she said.

    Bakoyannis will be received by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos at Phanar on Saturday and return to Athens on Sunday.

    [14] Conference on Balkan municipality cooperation beginning on Friday

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    The 5th two-day international conference on friendship and cooperation between the municipalities of major Balkan cities began in Piraeus on Friday and will focus on the role of inter-municipal cooperation for peace and reconciliation among Balkan peoples.

    Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis was due to inaugurate the event.

    Addresses will also be made by ruling New Democracy party Eurodeputy Costas Hatzidakis, Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos and representatives of the municipalities of Athens, Ankara, Bucharest, Belgrade, Tirana and other Balkan cities.

    Piraeus Mayor Christos Agrapidis will be addressing the conference on Friday on the theme of "the role of intermunicipal cooperation for peace and reconciliation between Balkan peoples."

    [15] Balkan and Black Sea Committees discuss economic and social development

    Kavala, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    The Balkan and Black Sea Committees completed their conference in Kavala, northern Greece, on Friday after examining ways of developing their regions economically and socially through cross border cooperation.

    Emphasis was placed during the discussion on securing European Union programs to support cross border cooperation they wish to develop and this request will be forwarded to the European Commission.

    In light of the convening of the European Council in June to define fiscal policy over the 2007-2013 period, the Political Office of the Balkan Committee and the Black Sea Committee expressed support for the European Commission's proposal concerning the future of regional policy and state and cross border cooperation.

    Support for the European Commission's proposal is also ex-pressed through the resolution issued, at the end of the conference, both on the content of the proposal and on financial resources which are essential for implementing the political targets raised by member-states.

    [16] Meeting of OECD social protection ministers comes to a close

    PARIS 2/4/2005 (ANA/O. Tsipira)

    The sessions of the two-day meeting of the ministers of social protection of the member countries of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) came to a close on Friday.

    The subject of the meeting was: "An active social policy for all and an increase of the possibilities for every citizen".

    From Greece, taking part were Labor and Social Protection Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos and Deputy Health and Solidarity Minister George Constantopoulos.

    On the sidelines of the sessions, Panayiotopoulos met with his Australian counterpart Kate Patterson. The Australian minister confirmed to the Greek minister that Australian Prime Minister John Howard would visit Greece in late April.

    During the two-day sessions, the ministers reached the conclusions which are summed up in three basic points: Reconciliation of family and professional life, better social balance between the generations for the securing of pensions and no to the exclusion from the labor market of persons with disabilities or of social groups which are in a disadvantageous position.

    Regarding the first point, the family and the child was at the centre of discussion. With the objective of securing for children and youth a better as possible start to life, the ministers agreed that they should adopt policies which will give to parents greater margins and flexibility for dealing with their family responsibilities in combination to work.

    Consequently, the number of nursery stations should increase. In this sector, Greek Minister Panayiotopoulos expounded on the choices which Greece has made for dealing with the issue. He referred to the program of the Labor Centre for the securing of at least one nursery station in each of the country's municipalities. "In the last 20 years, 22 nursery stations were created. The government is already promoting in one year eight stations and we believe that by the end of the four year term, we will be able to complete our program so that every municipality will have at least one station which we believe constitutes a social structure of support for the working mother," he said.

    [17] Alogoskoufis to present new development law in E. Macedonia-Thrace

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis will present the new development law over the weekend to officials and local residents in the eastern Macedonia and Thrace region, and specifically during seminars in the city of Komotini.

    The entire law and relevant ministerial decisions can be found (in Greek) at the ministry's Internet address:

    [18] Progress seen in forging SE Europe energy pact

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said on Friday that progress had been made in forming a convention for southeastern Europe to set up a unified electricity and natural gas market.

    Sioufas expressed the hope that the pact would be signed in Athens in coming months by the prime ministers of contributing states.

    The minister was addressing the first meeting of the Southeast European Energy Community's Regulatory Council, which included officials from the European Union.

    [19] New EFET leadership nominated in wake of yogurt recall

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    The government on Friday nominated a Thessaloniki veterinary pathology professor as the new president of the Central Food Control Agency (EFET), following the resignation of the agency's top leadership a day earlier amid charges of a "cover-up" related to the recall of roughly 350,000 containers of yogurt.

    Prof. Ioannis Vlemmas is set to replace Nikos Katsaros at EFET's helm, while the general director's position will be tendered, as prescribed by law. The head of a foodstuffs techno-logy faculty at an Athens technical institute (TEI), Evangelos Lazos, was nominated for the vice-president's position.

    EFET general director Christos Apostolopoulos also resigned on Thursday.

    The yogurt was recalled by the FAGE company in early March due to the presence of surface mold. Meanwhile, top main opposition PASOK deputy Anna Diamantopoulou on Friday criticized the development ministry's leadership for what she called delays in responding to consumers' complaints.

    [20] Authorities say supermarkets formed price-rigging cartel

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    The competition commission said on Friday that the SESME trade group of supermarkets and seven of its members formed a cartel to concert pricing in 2001.

    In a statement, the commission named the offenders as Athens-quoted Atlantik, Veropoulos, Masoutis, Metro, Sklavenitis, Trofino and Athens-listed AB Vassilopoulos.

    A fine will be imposed in the near future, the statement said.

    [21] Gov't to sell new stake in Football Pools Organization

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    The government said on Friday that it would float a fresh chunk of stock in Athens-quoted Football Pools Organization (OPAP) in a move that will lower its stake to 34% from 51%.

    The state will retain the right to appoint a majority on the board of OPAP, a heavily traded stock, for the duration of an exclusivity agreement with the firm and any renewals of the pact, the finance ministry said in a statement.

    A legal notice of the intention to sell the stock has been sent to parliament.

    The terms and timing of the sale of the stock will be set by a ministerial privatization committee, the statement added.

    [22] Tourism secretary general concludes visit to St. Petersburg

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Tourism Development ministry secretary general George Fotinopoulos has returned from a two-day visit to St. Petersburg, where he met with local tourism officials and organizations, the ministry said on Friday.

    The purpose of the visit was to further consolidate Greece-Russia cooperation in the tourism sector, in the framework of wider initiatives undertaken in recent months by the tourism development ministry.

    During his stay in St. Petersburg, Fotinopoulos met with representatives of tourism organizations and bureaus, held talks with Russian tour operators, and attended a working lunch hosted by Greece's consul in St. Petersburg.

    [23] Bourse ends week on high note

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Greek stocks posted healthy gains at the Athens Stock Exchange on Friday, with the general price index closing at 2,893.12 points, up 1.34 percent from Thursday's session. Turnover stood at 187.7 million euros.

    Most sector indices posted profits, with Insurances (2.67 pct), Industries (2.20 pct) and Retailing (2.09) leading the pack; IT

    [24] 50th anniversary of Greek Cypriot EOKA liberation organization honored in Athens

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    The 50th anniversary of the Greek Cypriot EOKA (National Organization of Cypriot Fighters) liberation organization was honored in Athens on Friday at an event organized by the Athens University with cooperation by the embassy of Cyprus.

    EOKA fought a four-year war of liberation against the British occupation of Cyprus, between 1955-1959, which resulted in Cyprus gaining independence in 1960.

    Deputy Education Minister Spyros Taliadouros said EOKA's liberation struggle was one of the brightest moments in our history, which heightened with individual and collective acts of heroism.

    Deputy Minister to the President of Cyprus Christodoulos Pasiardis said ''no one can or is entitled to doubt or downgrade the Greek virtue of the heroes of that legendary period, adding that those who do this are behaving in an improper manner towards the holiness of that struggle of Cyprus.''

    Referring to the Annan plan on Cyprus, which was rejected by the Greek Cypriots with a resounding "no" vote, Pasiardis said the proud no of Cypriot Hellenism will remain no to a plan which will be the same in controversial points.

    [25] Water flow issue examined during conference in Orestiada

    Orestiada, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    The installation of measuring and warning systems for the continuous flow of water along the cross border rivers of Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey was held in Orestiada, northern Greece, at the invitation of the Crossborder Cooperation Network of prefectures of Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey.

    The event was held as a result of longstanding problems concerning the timely exchange of information on quantities of water in crossborder rivers and problems created by such phenomena for bordering prefectures.

    In another development, Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos told Parliament, in reply to a question by Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology party leader Alekos Alavanos on damage caused in the Evros region as a result of the river's overflowing, that "compensation will be paid within two months from the final registration of damage."

    Pavlopoulos clarified that compensation will be paid in the cases of both damage already caused to crops and where damage renders planting impossible.

    [26] Fishing vessel carrying scores of migrants lands in SW Crete

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    Authorities were on high alert in extreme southwestern Crete on Friday after the coast guard spotted a small wooden fishing boat stranded off a remote beach near the village of Paleohora, a vessel reportedly carrying between 110 and 120 illegal migrants, including 10 youths. Initially believed to be Iraqi nationals, police later said the individuals told them they were Palestinians. Roughly 35 of the would-be migrants were detained by mid afternoon, authorities said, while efforts were continuing to locate the remainder.

    The craft approached Greek territory amid rough seas south of Crete. The migrants confirmed that Italy was the vessel's final destination, adding that they embarked from an undisclosed Turkish port.

    First aid teams were also headed to the area to offer assistance, police said.

    [27] NGO organizes conference on management of water resources

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    The non-governmental organization Citizens for the Future organized a conference at the foreign ministry on Friday on "A new strategy for managing water resources."

    Inaugurating the conference, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said "few realize that what prolonged the duration of human life in the 20th century by many years is the cleaning and chloriosis of drinking water. The contribution of this factor exceeded the contribution of all medicines put together."

    Referring to Greek reality, Sioufas enumerated the reasons creating problems in the rational management of water resources in the country: the unequal distribution of water resources in the country (more rain falls in western Greece than in the east of the country), the unequal distribution of demand (the Thessaloniki-Athens-Patra axis has increased demand), the dependence of northern Greece on the surface flow of water from rivers originating in neighboring countries and the many islands lacking adequate water resources.

    [28] SEGAS president says IAAF's decision on athletes Kenteris and Thanou 'respected and expected'

    Athens, 2/4/2005, (ANA)

    SEGAS Sports Association President Vassilis Sevastis said on Friday the decision taken by the international IAAF sports association to refer Greek athletes Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou to the Lausanne Sports Court was "respected and expected."

    IAAF took its decision, disagreeing with a previous ruling by the Judicial Committee of SEGAS which had cleared the two top athletes.

    Kenteris' lawyer said, however, that the decision was expected but the time chosen for its announcement raised questions.

    [29] Cyprus protests to UN over Turkish airspace violations


    Cyprus has strongly protested to the United Nations against mass violations of its airspace and Nicosia FIR by Turkish Air Force planes during February and March 2005.

    The island's protest was included in a letter sent by Cyprus Permanent Representatives to the UN Andreas Mavroyiannis to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    The Cypriot ambassador notes in his letter that those violations constitute a violation of International Law and endanger international civil air navigation.

    Mavroyiannis demands the termination of those violations by Turkish warplanes, underlining that the Turkish acts increase tension in the region and prevent efforts being made for reconciliation and reunification of the Cyprus Republic, divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

    The Cypriot diplomat says in his letter to Annan that in the light of the start of accession negotiations with the European Union set for 3 October this year, Turkey must review its policy towards the Cyprus problem, comply with numerous UN resolutions on Cyprus and respect the Republic's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

    [30] Cyprus:ECHR ruling on Adali proves another human rights violation by Turkey

    NICOSIA 2/4/2005 (CNA/ANA)

    Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides stated on Friday that the European Court of Human Rights' ruling against Turkey in the case of the murder of Turkish Cypriot journalist Kutlu Adal in 1996 ''is a confirmation of yet another violation of human rights by Turkey''.

    The ECHR on Thursday found Turkey guilty for violating Article 2 concerning the lack of an effective investigation into the killing of Adali, who was critical of the Turkish occupation of Cyprus' northern third and of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's policies.

    Under Article 41 (just satisfaction), the Court awarded the applicant, Adali's widow 20,000 euros for non-pecuniary damage and EUR 75,000 for costs and expenses.

    Chrysostomides said that is obvious the European Court of Human Rights has found that Turkey violated various articles of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights in the case of Adali and awarded non-pecuniary damages.

    ''This is a confirmation of yet another violation of human rights by Turkey'', he concluded.

    [31] Spanish Premier expresses interest in Cyprus' missing persons question

    NICOSIA 2/4/2005 (CNA/ANA)

    Spain's Prime Minister Jose Louis Rondriguez Zapatero has expressed his personal interest and his government's support for the solution of the humanitarian issue of the missing persons in Cyprus.

    Zapatero's support was included in a letter to the Committee of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners of War and Missing Persons. The letter was handed over to the Committee by Spain's Ambassador in Nicosia Jose Manuel Cerverade Gongora, a Committee press release said on Friday.

    The Spanish premier assured the Committee that the missing persons question was high on his agenda, expressing his government's readiness to assist efforts for a solution to this humanitarian issue, the press release added.

    The Committee representatives briefed the Spanish Ambassador on developments in this question, thanking Zapatero for his personal interest and support.

    The Cypriot government has submitted to the tripartite Committee for Missing Persons, comprising one representative from the Greek Cypriot

    side, one representative form the Turkish Cypriot side and a UN envoy, for investigation 1493 cases of Cypriot and Greek nationals listed as missing, a number that includes women, children, elderly persons and members of the National Guard.

    Of the 1493 cases, the remains of 14 missing persons have been identified through the DNA process when the government of the Republic embarked unilaterally on a process of exhumation and identification of remains. he CMP now has before it 1479 cases to investigate.

    There are also another 107 cases of Greek Cypriot and Greek missing persons whose files have not been submitted to the CMP and whose families have been informed as to the reasons why the specific files were not presented to the CMP. The Cypriot authorities continue to investigate these cases.

    In addition to that, there are 50 cases of Greek Cypriots missing since the 1963-64 period, when inter-communal fighting occurred. The CMP has the files of 500 Turkish Cypriot missing persons from 1963-64 and 1974.

    The Greek Cypriot side has handed to the CMP information on more than 350 cases of Turkish Cypriots listed as missing, which gives full account as to the fate of these persons.

    [32] Cyprus marks uprising against British colonial rule

    NICOSIA 2/4/2005 (CNA/ANA)

    The Cyprus people marked on Friday the 50th anniversary of the start of the uprising against the British colonial rule on April 1, 1955.

    The armed anti-colonial struggle, which lasted four years, led to the establishment of the Cyprus Republic in 1960. Three powers then guaranteed the Republic's independence, namely Britain, Greece and Turkey.

    Britain has maintained, under the Treaty of Establishment, two sovereign military bases on this East Mediterranean strategic island.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory, ignoring numerous United Nations resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    Celebrations throughout the free areas of the Republic culminated Friday with church and memorial services and various events to mark the launch of the uprising campaign against the British colonial rule.

    President Tassos Papadopoulos attended the church service at St John's Cathedral in Nicosia, the world's last divided capital.

    In a statement the Cypriot President praised the four-year (1955-1959) anti-colonial struggle and paid tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for freedom and independence.

    President Papadopoulos assured that ''we'll carry on our struggle using all available means to achieve the reunification of our homeland and prosperity for both, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriots.''

    He said insistence to achieve justice ''is a shield that will secure justice for Cyprus and peace and prosperity for our country.''

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