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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 06-03-20

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

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

March 20, 2006

CONTENTS

  • [01] Alogoskoufis: Citizens' income will improve as of 2007
  • [02] PASOK party leader addresses rally in Agrinio
  • [03] PASOK party's local election candidate process to be completed by end of April
  • [04] PASOK party deputy presents 30 proposals on transparency and ethics
  • [05] Greek delegation participating in informal SE Europe public order and security conference
  • [06] Development minister addresses event on ND party's two-year governance
  • [07] Role of ND distinct, new party secretary Zagoritis says
  • [08] Health minister comments on hospitals' readiness to treat patients
  • [09] KKE delegation to attend funeral of Slobodan Milosevic
  • [10] International Detente and Peace Committee holds protest rally outside Serb consulate in Thessaloniki
  • [11] Synaspismos leader addresses party's central political comm't
  • [12] Kuwaiti Parliament delegation focuses on bilateral trade, investment prospects
  • [13] Anti-war rally held at Syntagma Square in Athens
  • [14] Gov't steps up counter-attack against PASOK over economy
  • [15] Government does not interfere in collective labor agreement negotiations, employment minister says
  • [16] Hellenic-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry to participate in Canton International Exhibition
  • [17] President Papoulias inaugurates conference of Sarakatsani Greeks
  • [18] Level of water in Evros River continuing to fall
  • [19] Event honors late Nobel laureate Elytis
  • [20] 8th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival ends
  • [21] Samos harbor authorities arrest migrant smuggler
  • [22] Soccer: Olympiakos stumbles; AEK, Panathinaikos post wins

  • [01] Alogoskoufis: Citizens' income will improve as of 2007

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Finance and Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis reiterated over the weekend that Greek citizens will be able to see positive results of the government's policy in their own income from 2007 onwards.

    He added that all taxpayers will be pleased as of 2007, particularly ones with medium-level incomes, while lower-income classes and pensioners will be given all of the increases that ruling New Democracy party promised before the March 2004 elections.

    Alogoskoufis' comments were published in an interview carried by the Sunday edition of the Athens daily "Kathimerini".

    The economy minister criticized the "Cassandras" of the main opposition PASOK party, as he said, for the "unfavorable predictions" they made ahead of an ECOFIN meeting.

    Both the European Commission and ECOFIN accept the Greek Stability and Development Program, which notes that "as of 2007 onwards we can begin the gradual implementation of the second phase of tax reform, which concerns private individuals, particularly wage earners."

    Alogoskoufis also referred to an increase in farmers' pensions and supplementary pension allowances in two installments, "as promised before the elections."

    Alogoskoufis also expressed his conviction that "the major projects will forge ahead this year." He admitted that there were major delays, which he attributed to "PASOK not preparing projects for the next day."

    The minister noted, however, that pending issues concerning the institutional and administrative framework of the 3rd Community Support Framework have been resolved, with the greatest possible benefit for the public sector "so that the major projects that the country needs can forge ahead from now on."

    Finally, he said he considers the contribution of joint ventures between the public and private sector to be significant, as they will "lead to the more effective implementation of infrastructures and the provision of better services to citizens at a lower fiscal cost."

    [02] PASOK party leader addresses rally in Agrinio

    20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou, addressing a rally on Sunday, continued his sharp criticism of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and the government, this time focusing on a fiscal audit, the phone-tapping furor and what he called the non-observance of election pledges.

    Papandreou began his speech by highlighting the "other path" sought by PASOK and the responsibility his party is undertaking in light of elections.

    Referring to the phone-tapping furor, the PASOK leader said it is an issue concerning the protection of democratic rights and freedoms of Greek citizens and an issue of national security.

    Papandreou repeated his queries on the tapping of Vodafone mobile phone numbers as to who were responsible, the individuals on a final list of phone-taps and where the products of the phone-tapping went. He added that he will continue asking these questions until he receives answers from the government and prime minister.

    Papandreou also placed personal responsibility on the prime minister in connection with the fiscal audit, terming it once again a "big swindle" which, as he said, "constitutes the major moral and political crime of ND."

    Papandreou addressed his party's 5th national council conference on Saturday and accused the government of denigrating the country's image. He further criticized Karamanlis personally for giving full backing to Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis.

    Papandreou said that "Mr. Karamanlis personally has responsibility for the insult against the Greek people" and noted that it is a case of "arrogance taking on the dimensions of an affront" against the sacrifices and efforts of the Greek people to enable the country to join the euro zone. He also accused the government of failing to utilize relevant advantages and of undermining the course of the economy.

    Finally, he expressed his solidarity for the young people of France, as he said, terming them "rebels with a cause" while calling on young Greeks to become "rebels with a cause" as well.

    Gov't reaction: In response to Papandreou's comments in front of supporters in the western Greece town of Agrinio, Minister of State and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos issued the following statement:

    "In order to address farmers Mr. Papandreou must first of all publicly ask for forgiveness for the official position of the governments in which he served as a minister, namely, that 'farmers must now fend for themselves'.

    "Until he does this every effort to appear as a critic will remove him farther from the boundaries of seriousness and standing," Roussopoulos stated.

    [03] PASOK party's local election candidate process to be completed by end of April

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Processes required for the selection of candidates that the main opposition PASOK party will be supporting in local elections in October will have been completed by the end of April, according to a statement made by the head of the party's Election Process Committee, Alekos Papadopoulos, in an address at PASOK's 5th National Council conference on Saturday.

    "Decentralization is not an administrative model option, it is a profound political concept which has to do with the meaning of responsibility which we guarantee," he said, speaking of unprecedented processes followed by PASOK in selecting personalities.

    Papadopoulos also underlined with particular emphasis that, apart from the arithmetical results on the election night, the people will also determine PASOK in relation to what the party says about the renewal of confidence in it and of its political prospects.

    [04] PASOK party deputy presents 30 proposals on transparency and ethics

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Main opposition PASOK party Deputy Filippos Petsalnikos presented the party's 30 Labor Group proposals on transparency and ethics during the second day of PASOK's National Council meeting on Saturday.

    The proposals include a compulsory stage of public deliberation for every legislative bill before it is tabled in Parliament, while every bill must have a quality report attached to it concerning repercussions for the economy and society.

    Also proposed were "two readings" before a relevant committee for all bills, the codification of legislation, the establishment of an analytical system for discussing the state budget and a special Parliamentary committee will be checking the budget's implementation.

    [05] Greek delegation participating in informal SE Europe public order and security conference

    VARNA, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A Greek delegation, headed by Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras, is participating in an informal conference here on safeguarding public order and security.

    Also participating in the conference are representatives from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Turkey.

    Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov stressed the need in his address for relevant institutions, services and bodies to take greater care for order and for the security of the ordinary citizen.

    Bulgarian Interior Minister Rumen Petkov said on his part that international terrorism constitutes a considerable threat for the region and for the whole world, adding that the geopolitical position of the Balkans creates preconditions for their use by international extremist groups for training and other purposes.

    [06] Development minister addresses event on ND party's two-year governance

    LONDON, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Three-day events organized here on Greece's two-year governance by the New Democracy party, jointly organized by the Constantine Karamanlis Foundation of Democracy and the party's Prefecture Organization in Britain, began at the Greek Centre on Friday night with Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas being the main speaker. The theme of his address was "Two years of governance. Challenges and prospects."

    Sioufas made an account of the government's work over the past two years, stressing that ND has followed its program consistently.

    "We are creating new industrial regions and we are upgrading those already existing to facilitate the creation of new businesses and to contribute to the improvement of their competitiveness. We have promoted institutional and practical measures to boost healthy competition and protect the consumer," the minister said.

    "In modern-day political history, governments which have done so much in such a few years are rare," Sioufas added.

    Events will continue at the Greek Centre on Saturday with the participation of party cadres in Britain and ND deputies who have come from Greece.

    [07] Role of ND distinct, new party secretary Zagoritis says

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Ruling New Democracy party's new secretary, Lefteris Zagoritis, stressed over the weekend that "it is our obligation to point out the mistakes of the government and to seek their correction."

    Referring to October's local government elections, Zagoritis did not rule out the possibility of cooperation with the left, while he accused main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou of resorting to shouting. Regarding the issue of phone-tapping, he said "nobody wants the revelation of the truth more than us."

    His comments were featured in an interview published on Sunday by the newspaper "Eleftheros Typos".

    "The role of the party, of course, in relation to the government, is distinct. It will not be discreet, however, when possible mistakes or omissions are spotted. We shall note them and seek their correction. It is our obligation. Just like our highlighting positive points and successes is," he said.

    Referring to latest opinion polls, Zagoritis said that despite the fact that the government is in the middle of a difficult reform effort, people trust ND and Karamanlis even more so. In spite of this, there is no complaisance and paces are being stepped up "so that at the time of the real reckoning, in the elections, we can present considerable work."

    As regards the opposition tactics applied by Papandreou, the ND secretary said that PASOK is unable to express a modern political speech or to table specific proposals.

    "I regret that Mr. Papandreou often resorts to shouting and to disdainful remarks. This shows a lack of arguments and failure to formulate positive and responsible political speech. This does not surprise us. PASOK is accountable at least for political audacity," he said.

    Zagoritis holds talks with mayors of Thessaloniki prefecture: The ruling New Democracy party's Central Committee secretary Lefteris Zagoritis held talks on Saturday with mayors from the northern prefecture of Thessaloniki, who had been elected with ND's support during the previous local elections. Talks with the mayors focused on the next local elections in the country due in October this year.

    "On April 7, ND's national conference on local administration issues will be taking place at the Peace and Friendship Stadium (in Piraeus) and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will be attending," Zagoritis said in a statement to reporters.

    "We will have the opportunity there of discussing our positions on first and second stage self-administration, prospects and the great deal of work accomplished, both at institutional level and the level of financial support for self-administration," he added.

    The meeting between Zagoritis and the mayors was also attended by local party officials.

    [08] Health minister comments on hospitals' readiness to treat patients

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said over the weekend that all cases concerning hospitals' lack of readiness to treat patients will be dealt with severely. The minister was speaking in the wake of a case reported at a hospital in Volos, eastern Greece, on Friday.

    A public prosecutor had appeared, accompanied by police, after written complaints made by angry citizens that doctors on duty were absent and the hospital's shift was functioning inadequately.

    The prosecutor ascertained that out of 23 doctors on duty 15 were absent. The hospital's administration claimed that the hospital was functioning since doctors responsible for basic specialties had not been absent. Employees explained that there is a great shortage of space where doctors on duty can work.

    [09] KKE delegation to attend funeral of Slobodan Milosevic

    BELGRADE, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A delegation of the Greek Communist Party's (KKE) Central Committee arrived in Belgrade on Friday to participate in events scheduled in honor of Slobodan Milosevic.

    The delegation is headed by Theodosis Konstantinidis, a Political Bureau member. Also participating are Stratis Korakas and George Chavatzas, who is also representing the World Trade Union Federation.

    KKE's delegation visited the "Museum of the Revolution", where Milosevic's body is lying in state, late on Friday afternoon and laid a wreath, while its members also stood beside the honorary guard standing next to the coffin.

    The delegation will be attending the funeral and burial services for Milosevic in Belgrade and Pozarevac on Saturday.

    [10] International Detente and Peace Committee holds protest rally outside Serb consulate in Thessaloniki

    20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Members of the local International Detente and Peace Committee (EDYETH) held a protest rally outside the consulate of Serbia-Montenegro in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, at noon on Saturday on the occasion of the death of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

    The demonstrators held a banner that read "Symbols are not eliminated. Peoples are not subdued. They resist and win" and shouted slogans that expressed, as they said, indignation over the murder of Slobodan Milosevic, whose portrait they held in their hands.

    [11] Synaspismos leader addresses party's central political comm't

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (Synaspismos) leader Alekos Alavanos on Sunday again criticized government policy, main opposition PASOK and the stance of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) in an address at the party's central political committee.

    Alavanos said the government is intensifying its negative position towards working people, while accusing it of applying an anti-popular policy. As regards to recent proposals by SEB regarding austere wage increases and other relevant statements by SEB President Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, Alavanos stressed that they exceeded the limits of abuse and provocations, adding that the only thing they (SEB) are doing is exporting businesses abroad, and that "it is worth our exporting Mr. Kyriakopoulos to France as well."

    [12] Kuwaiti Parliament delegation focuses on bilateral trade, investment prospects

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A high-ranking visiting Kuwaiti Parliament delegation held a press conference on Saturday at the residence of the Gulf State's ambassador in Athens, following contacts over the previous days with ministers and Greek Parliamentarians.

    The head of the Kuwaiti delegation visiting Greece, Marzouk al Habini, noted that observations and comments the group's members heard in Athens will be conveyed to the Kuwaiti government, while noting that the ongoing visit is the third by a Kuwaiti Parliamentary group since 1998.

    Additionally, he cited a handful of initiatives that could jumpstart the one-sided trade balance between the two countries, namely, the holding of a trade exhibition of Greek goods and services in the Gulf Emirate; an informational campaign in his country over investment possibilities in Greece, as well as the establishment of a joint committee to probe the reasons why several bilateral trade and investment agreements have met with obstacles.

    Among others, Kuwaiti MPs noted that the government in the oil-rich Middle East country has unveiled plans for another batch of major infrastructure projects in Kuwait.

    Beyond trade possibilities, the Kuwaiti delegation also noted that several high-profile and current issues were discussed with their Greek counterparts and the government in Athens, including the matter of newspaper cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, a particularly sensitive topic for Muslims.

    The Kuwaiti delegation members also said they emphasized to their Greek counterparts that Islam as a religion is absolutely unrelated and not linked to terrorism.

    Finally, al Habini said his delegation even brought up the matter of the Greek state's legal action against a "pseudo-mufti" in the Thrace province -- the region that hosts a Muslim minority in Greece -- noting that Greek officials briefed the Kuwaiti Parliamentarians on the issue and Athens' international obligations.

    According to Deputy Foreign Minister Evripides Styliandis this past week, the years 2006 and 2007 will witness an "opening of Greek economic diplomacy in the East Mediterranean, the countries of the Gulf and the Arab world in general."

    He noted that Athens' priorities are to boost exports to Arab countries, increase Greek business presence in those countries and to attract Arab capital to Greece, as a gateway to the Balkans and to Western Europe.

    [13] Anti-war rally held at Syntagma Square in Athens

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    An anti-war rally was held on Saturday afternoon at Syntagma Square in Athens, that joined its voice with 200 other cities all over the world against war, on a day that marks the third anniversary of the outbreak of war in Iraq.

    Participating in the rally were the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE), the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY), the Athens Labor Centre (EKA), the Greek Social Forum and the "Stop the war alliance", as well as many labor, student and Palestinian organizations.

    Shortly after 3.30 in the afternoon, the demonstrators headed for the U.S. embassy in Athens, shouting such anti-war slogans as "resistance to planet terrorism", "occupation is war", "stop all wars" and "hands off Syria and Iran."

    Accompanied by the popular orchestra of composer Mikis Theodorakis and songs by Maria Dimitriadis, Sotiria Leonardou and Yiannis Thomopoulos, the anti-war movement and labor unions raised a "cry of concern" against all wars, both those under way and the impending ones that have been announced in advance, according to actor Stefanos Lineos who signaled the beginning of the event.

    "We few people who are here today know that many who are in their homes will find out about it when the fire reaches their yards," he said.

    ADEDY President Spyros Papaspyros said on his part that wars take place for the control of citizens and of working people and for democratic interests which abolish everything that peoples have achieved.

    [14] Gov't steps up counter-attack against PASOK over economy

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Economy Minister George Alogoskoufis on Sunday continued to lead the government's attack on main opposition PASOK as well as the party's leader, George Papandreou, with the emphasis remaining on the economy.

    Among others, Alogoskoufis reiterated his high-profile criticism that PASOK engaged in a "political fraud" in 1999 against the Greek people in order to meet EMU criteria.

    "It's inconceivable that the leader of the main opposition - especially when he's in the wrong, as he is the one under scrutiny - to call the prime minister a 'political fraud'. Such a statement cannot remain unanswered ... I continue to insist that PASOK committed a political fraud in 1999 with the figures supplied to our partners in the European Union and to EU agencies, and to the detriment of the Greek people," Alogoskoufis was quoted as saying in televised statements on Sunday.

    Asked about his statement in September 2004, when he noted that "Greece entered EMU on its merit", he clarified that a high-profile audit ordered by the government had not been completed at the time, an audit he said confirmed the fact that the annual budget deficit exceeded 3 percent of GDP since 1999.

    "It must be understood that the audit was conducted by Eurostat and not by our services, as it (Eurostat) had already detected and condemned, in writing, PASOK's practices," he added.

    Meanwhile, the economy minister reiterated that the government intends to give "significant increases" in 2007 to farm-sector pensioners and low-income pensioners.

    Minister of State and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos also responded sharply to comments made by Papandreou in a recent address.

    "The falsifiers of the economy's true state, those who mortgaged the future of Greece believe that the citizens do not possess a memory and judgment," Roussopoulos said, adding:

    "We understand the need for PASOK and its leader to speak out of line because they lack arguments in the face of positive results by the new government," Roussopoulos said.

    Meanwhile, in addressing an event focusing on the upcoming college students' elections, Roussopoulos stepped up his criticism by referring to a "last-ditch effort by the opposition surpassing all boundaries of irresponsibility". He particularly cited a recent statement by the former foreign minister calling on Greek youth to imitate the example of the youth protesting in France over the week.

    "He's intentionally hiding the fact, however, that the French are protesting against the implementation of a policy that mirrors his pre-election promise in Lavrio to deal with joblessness amongst young people."

    PASOK reaction: In reaction to the statements by Alogoskoufis and Roussopoulos, PASOK spokesman Nikos Athanassakis stated:

    "Mr. Alogoskoufis and Mr. Roussopoulos continue to lie. The so-called Alogoskoufis-Karamanlis 'audit', as it was done, hurt the economy, the country and added burdens onto the shoulders of Greek citizens. Today, they believe they will be vindicated both personally and politically, by disputing a national success, namely, the country's accession into EMU, insulting the Greek people and its sacrifices..."

    [15] Government does not interfere in collective labor agreement negotiations, employment minister says

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis said in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, on Saturday that the government does not interfere in collective labor agreement negotiations. "The government does not interfere, nor could it interfere and it would not interfere in collective negotiations. This has never happened," he said.

    Tsitouridis, who was asked by reporters to say whether the government intends to make a move to facilitate the signing of a general collective labor agreement, said that "we honor and respect the institution of collective negotiations and we call on all to reach an understanding round a table."

    Asked further to comment on statements by Federation of Greek Industries (SEB) President Odysseas Kyriakopoulos on wage increases concerning the collective labor agreement, the minister said that the government's position is that all, with their positions and statements, must not dynamite what the country needs, understanding.

    Tsitouridis: 'Time for SEB to make sacrifices': Labor Minister Savvas Tsitouridis on Sunday commented directly on a set of recent proposals by the president of the industrialists' federation (SEB) Odysseas Kyriakopoulos, who among others, called for a more elastic labor regime for younger and newly hired employees in tandem with compensation-free lay-offs -- proposals reminiscent of a closely watched government initiative in France.

    Tsitouridis' comments were the latest in a sharp reaction by several government ministers to the comments by the large employers' group president.

    The minister said Kyriakopoulos' proposals were "quite distant" from the government's policy, whereas he backed the institution of collective bargaining agreements, another issue at the forefront of an employers-unions standoff following bank managements' refusal to negotiate a sector-wide agreement with the bank employees' union (OTOE).

    In an even more direct tone, the newly appointed minister said Kyriakopoulos' proposal reminds him of one prior to the 2004 elections by main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou, adding that "now is the time for SEB to make sacrifices".

    Additionally, the minister echoed a previous government promise by stating that no reforms or changes will be attempted vis--vis the rights of individuals with a "mature number" of social security contributing years.

    Tsitouridis' comments were carried in an interview published in the Sunday edition of the Athens daily "Apogevmatini".

    [16] Hellenic-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry to participate in Canton International Exhibition

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The Hellenic-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be participating in the Canton International Exhibition and businessmen interested in participating in its mission must make their declarations by March 20.

    The Chamber will be organizing a business mission for the 8th consecutive year. The 99th Canton International Exhibition, which takes place in two periods, from 15-20 and 25-30 April, is the most important one for those interested in activating themselves in the Chinese market.

    The 98th period had 28,808 pavilions, 150,000 exhibits and 12,655 exhibitors.

    [17] President Papoulias inaugurates conference of Sarakatsani Greeks

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    President Karolos Papoulias inaugurated the 2nd Conference of Sarakatsanis from Greece and Abroad on Saturday, underlining the invaluable contribution of Sarakatsani Greeks to the country's cultural and economic life. The conference is being organized by the Panhellenic Federation of Sarakatsani Societies at pavilion 8 at the Thessaloniki International Fair.

    "The Sarakatsanis constitute a considerable part of our nation. For centuries they had been crossing the mountains and plains in Greek and Balkan territory, a place where Hellenism had flourished," President Papoulias said.

    "Nomadic life cultivated the passion for freedom in their souls. A passion that was transformed into memorable sacrifices during our nation's liberation struggles," he added.

    Minister of Macedonia and Thrace George Kalantzis conveyed greetings to the conference from Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, while greetings from Parliament President Anna Benaki-Psarouda were conveyed by the Vice President of the House George Sourlas and from main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou by party Deputy Nikos Salayiannis.

    The 1st Conference of Sarakatsanis from Greece and Abroad had taken place 10 years ago.

    [18] Level of water in Evros River continuing to fall

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The level of water in rivers in the northern prefecture of Evros was continuing to fall on Saturday, but still remained above emergency levels. The level of water in the Evros River has also partially receded.

    According to latest measurements made at 11 a.m. on Saturday, the level of water at Pythio is 6.12 meters (with the emergency level being 5.70 meters), at Petalo 6.48 (6.00) and at Kipi 4.70 (4.00).

    Local officials estimate that the overflowing of the Evros, Ardas and Erythropotamos rivers has caused the flooding of about 40,000 acres of land.

    [19] Event honors late Nobel laureate Elytis

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    Nobel-prize winning writer Odysseus Elytis was honored during an event in Athens on Saturday evening that coincided with the 10-year anniversary of his death. The event, entitled "It is still early", was organized by the culture ministry and held at the Benaki Museum.

    The poet won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1979.

    [20] 8th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival ends

    20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    The 8th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival came to an end on Sunday, with the International Cinema Critics Union (FIPRESCI) selecting the film by American James Longley, "Iraq in Fragments", and the Greek-language documentary "Yiannis Moralis" by Stelios Haralambopoulos for the two major prizes awarded.

    The spectators' awards, funded by the state-run ERT-3 TV channel, included: - For a Greek production exceeding 45 minutes: A film by Kimon Tsakiris "Sugar Town - The grooms". - For a foreign production exceeding 45 minutes: The US film "18 kilos of love" by Dani Menkin.

    [21] Samos harbor authorities arrest migrant smuggler

    20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    A patrol boat of Samos' harbor authority spotted a speedboat in the sea region of Cape Prassou at dawn on Sunday, with a 42-year-old foreign national on board later arrested for lacking proper travel documents.

    Ensuing investigations revealed that he had ferried nine illegal immigrants from the Turkish coast for a fee.

    The nine foreigners were picked up by police and harbor authorities on a beach at Cape Prassou later in the day.

    [22] Soccer: Olympiakos stumbles; AEK, Panathinaikos post wins

    ATHENS, 20/3/2006 (ANA/MPA)

    League-leading Olympiakos Piraeus stumbled on Saturday by losing 1-0 to a tough Xanthi side in an away game where last year's champions appeared mostly indifferent due to a comfortable lead over second-placed AEK Athens and Panathinaikos Athens. Xanthi, conversely, stayed in the hunt for a UEFA birth.

    AEK, meanwhile, trounced lowly Kallithea Athens 4-1 away on Saturday to keep its Champions League hopes alive, as did Panathinaikos a day later by effortlessly downing OFI Crete 3-1 at home.

    In other action:

    Xanthi - Olympiakos Piraeus 1-0

    Kallithea Athens - AEK Athens 1-4

    Akratitos Athens - Levadiakos 0-0

    Apollon Kalamaria - Ionikos Piraeus 2-1

    Iraklis Thessaloniki - Egaleo Athens 4-2

    Panathinaikos Athens - OFI Crete 3-1

    Atromitos Athens - Larissa

    Panionios Athens - PAOK Thessaloniki

    (on Monday, March 20)

    The standings after 24 weeks of play:

    Olympiakos 63

    AEK 54

    Panathinaikos 54

    Iraklis 40

    Xanthi 38

    Larissa 34

    Atromitos 33

    PAOK 31 (23 games)

    Apollon Kalamaria 28

    Egaleo 29

    Ioniko s 27

    Levadiakos 22

    OFI 20

    Panionios 19 (23 games)

    Akratitos 17

    Kallithea 16


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