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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 07-04-02

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 2 April 2007 Issue No: 2560


  • [01] Greek finmin arrives in Melbourne
  • [02] Interview with Greek finmin in 'Washington Times'
  • [03] Greece's Bakoyannis sees 'ray of hope' for Middle East after EU meeting
  • [04] President Papoulias attends anniversary events of Messolonghi Exodus
  • [05] PASOK leader received warmly at PASOK youth conference
  • [06] PASOK MPs rail against government corruption, unreliability
  • [07] PASOK youth congress ends
  • [08] Opinion polls see ruling party bruised by bonds scandal
  • [09] Differences between PASOK and ND not substantial, KKE leader stresses
  • [10] Olympiakos fan arrested over sports-related killing in Paiania
  • [11] Further arrests follow raids on soccer fan associations
  • [12] Pro soccer clubs should be abolished, KKE leader says
  • [13] European Human Rights Festival held in Thessaloniki
  • [14] Thanksgiving service for anniversary of Cyprus liberation struggle held in Thessaloniki
  • [15] Development minister to attend SEECP energy ministers' conference in Croatia
  • [16] Macedonia-Thrace minister on price for lamb
  • [17] N. Greece livestock farmers temporarily halt slaughterhouse sit-ins
  • [18] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday
  • [19] Train derailed near Corinth; woman injured
  • [20] Hooded youths vandalise property in Zografou, injure man
  • [21] Farmers boycott commemoration of Kileler uprising
  • [22] Scattered showers on Monday
  • [23] Sunday editions of Athens' newspapers at a glance
  • [24] Papadopoulos: We work for reunification and financial support of T/C
  • [25] Government submits new proposals for financial aid to Turkish Cypriots

  • [01] Greek finmin arrives in Melbourne

    MELBOURNE (ANA-MPA - S. Hatzimanolis)

    Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis arrived in Melbourne on Sunday, following his visit to Washington, at the head of a large business delegation from Greece.

    He will be the main speaker at a business forum that begins on Monday at Melbourne's Crown Casino, where business delegates from Greece and Greek-Australian business people that already have business ties with the country will be able to meet and further expand their cooperation in Greece and Europe.

    On the sidelines of the forum, Alogoskoufis is scheduled to meet Australian Treasurer Peter Costello, Victoria State Treasurer John Brumby and Victoria State Minister for Tourism Tim Holding.

    Also to address the Monday forum is Victoria's state minister for industry and state development and small businesses, Theo Theophanous. He and Alogoskoufis will later jointly inaugurate Melbourne's Greek Museum and the "Nafsika Stamouli" Gallery.

    The minister's programme will include a visit to Sydney and a meeting with the Orthodox Archbishop of Australia Stylianos.

    [02] Interview with Greek finmin in 'Washington Times'

    Greece is a "gateway to Europe" according to an interview given by Greek Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis to the U.S. newspaper "Washington Times". The interview appeared on Friday, shortly after Alogoskoufis arrived in Washington on a tour to promote Greek exports and its role as an economic driving force, particularly in southeastern Europe.

    "Greece has been a very dynamic economy and dynamic society in the last several years," he said. "We had been isolated in southeast Europe with very little trade with our neighbors. ... All this has changed. Greece is the most mature economy in the region."

    Greece has invested about $15 billion in southeast Europe, and Greek banks are expanding into neighboring countries, including Turkey where Athens bankers have bought up major Turkish financial institutions.

    "We are no longer a dynamic economy of 10 million people. We are the center of a region of 250 million people," he said, referring to the citizens of the 27-nation European Union.

    "We're working with everybody in the region. We're working with everybody in the world," he added.

    The minister also emphasised the Greek government's recent economic reforms and privatisations, noting that its policies had slashed a soaring deficit to 2.6 percent of GDP from 7.8 percent three years ago and that the economy was powering ahead with growth rates of 3.7 percent of GDP in 2005 and 4.3 percent of GDP last year, while unemployment had dropped to 8.9 percent in 2006.

    [03] Greece's Bakoyannis sees 'ray of hope' for Middle East after EU meeting

    BERLIN (ANA-MPA - P. Stangos)

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis on Saturday said that a "ray of hope was appearing for the first time since the Mecca conference," for a solution in the Middle East.

    "Greece has always supported that the solution of the Middle East problem is the foundation of a Palestinian state, that will coexist in security beside Israel," she said.

    She was speaking after an informal meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Bremen, Germany that decided to back an Arab peace initiative and agreed to engage with ministers of the new Palestinian national unity government who are not members of the Islamist Hamas movement.

    They voiced full support for the Arab plan revived at a summit in Riyadh this week offering Israel peace and relations in exchange for a complete withdrawal from Arab land occupied in the 1967 Middle East war and a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.

    The German EU presidency has worked hard to revive an EU role in the region, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel embaring on her third tour of Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon on Saturday.

    Regarding Lebanon, however, Bakoyannis expressed concern over developments there:

    "It is very important for everyone that the government of Fouad Siniora survive and to avoid any kind of action that might cast doubt on the UN Security Council's decision," she stressed.

    Asked about Iran's nuclear programme and the recent capture by Iranian authorities of 15 British service personnel, Bakoyannis spoke of a "very difficult situation" but stressed that Greece wanted dialogue with Iran to remain open.

    "I would like to hope that Iran will realise that this sort of policy does not help the general effort, which is an effort for peace and dialogue," she added.

    [04] President Papoulias attends anniversary events of Messolonghi Exodus

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Sunday attended events marking the 181st anniversary of the Messolonghi Exodus.

    Also present was Cyprus' mayor of Turkish occupied Morphou who proclaimed Papoulias honourary citizen of Morphou.

    In his address, President Papoulias made particular reference to the Cyprus issue.

    "This day gives us the courage of the great sacrifice of the fighters of '21 of Messolonghi, to struggle for the liberation and reunification of Cyprus, to struggle for a stable and just solution to the Cyprus issue," said Papoulias, adding that "but until then, we will struggle united to achieve the great national target."

    The government was represented at the events by Health and Solidarity Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos. Also present were former president Kostis Stephanopoulos, Parliament Vice-President Ioannis Tragakis, deputies and political party representatives.

    [05] PASOK leader received warmly at PASOK youth conference

    Main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou was warmly received when he visited the conference for refounding PASOK's youth party on Saturday afternoon at the Peace and Friendship Stadiumi in Faliro.

    "I came here to listen to you," Papandreou said in a brief address to the party's youth, noting that the country's youth would bring about its "resurrection" and shake things up.

    "We guarantee a Greece with values, a Greece that will put moral principles first and will not be corrupted, with not be carried away by corruption, by the various 'cronies' and the various gangs that currently feed off the public sector, the social security funds, your future," he added.

    He also reminded those present of the words of his father, PASOK founder Andreas Papandreou: "Youth that believes in itself cannot be stopped by anyone."

    Finally, Papandreou expressed satisfaction with the work achieved by the congress so far and promised to return on Sunday.

    "Your choices will be free choices, democratic choices according to your conscience. You have the power, you decide, you determine the future of PASOK's youth party. I will be with you, both as the opposition today and as a government tomorrow," he concluded.

    [06] PASOK MPs rail against government corruption, unreliability

    A group of main opposition PASOK MPs accused the government of hypocrisy and corruption on Sunday, during a press conference held in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki to present the 'Government Unreliability Paper' produced by PASOK. They included Evangelos Venizelos, Haris Kastanidis, Yiannis Magriotis and Thanassis Papageorgiou.

    Venizelos noted that the record of three years of broken promises by the Karamanlis government had been "overshadowed" by the recent revelations of "structured bonds" issued by the finance ministry and their "shady path toward Greek social security funds", which bought them at more than their market value.

    "[Prime Minister Costas] Karamanlis has not only lost the moral high ground, he has not just shouldered the entire political responsibility for what is happening at the expense of the workforce and pensioners, not only has he pitifully contradicted himself in relation to his hypocritical statements about humility and modesty, about supporting transparency and fighting corruption - he is the person who is primarily answerable to the Greek people," Venizelos said.

    According Kastanidis, ND had talked tough about morality as the opposition and capitulated completely once in government.

    "The events of the last days lead us to the conclusion that the country is being harmed and offended by the actions and operation of a government mechanism of crooks," Kastanidis stressed.

    Magriotis, on his part, said the government had "refounded" the state along purely party-political lines. "In the best case it was refounded with incompetents, but in the worst case it was with shysters, and this is the reality," he said.

    Pieria MP Papageorgiou noted that problems in his area had increased in the last three years.

    Replying to the criticism, ND's local branch issued an announcement dismissing the criticism as an "April Fool's joke":

    "It is widely known that April 1 is a day of celebration for PASOK. The Greek people and especially those of Thessaloniki know this well. They also know that in the past three years Greece has entered a trajectory of real growth and progress. Especially in Thessaloniki, the Karamanlis government has given the city infrastructure and works that PASOK had deprived it of for 20 years. There is only one truth: Karamanlis' government, this time next year, will once again be at the helm of the country's governance."

    [07] PASOK youth congress ends

    The youth congress of the main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) ended at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus on Sunday. The majority voted against the revision of Article 16 of the Constitution which enables the possibility of the founding of private universities.

    Addressing the 6,000 delegates, PASOK Political Council member and head of the party's Youth Department, Costas Skandalidis, underlined that "there is no identity of views on the course of higher education," saying that on the one hand, there's the view of PASOK leader George Papandreou and of PASOK and on the other, "the revision being advanced by the (Prime Minister Costas) Karamanlis government."

    [08] Opinion polls see ruling party bruised by bonds scandal

    The ruling New Democracy party has emerged the worse for wear after the bonds scandal and revelation of mismanagement by state pension funds, losing some of its lead against main opposition PASOK, according to opinion polls published on Sunday.

    ND just 0.5% ahead according to ALCO

    According to an Alco poll appearing in the newspaper "Ethnos tis Kyriakis (Sunday Ethnos)", ND is just half a percentage point ahead in voter preference, with 33.9 % of voters backing ND against 33.4% backing PASOK.

    The poll, conducted between March 13 and March 23, reports 5.5% of voters backing the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), 2.8% backing the Coalition of Left, of Movements and Ecology (SYN) and 2.2% the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party.

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis retains a commanding lead over PASOK leader George Papandreou as most suitable for premier, backed by 42.8% of voters compared with just 28.2% preferring Papandreou.

    The ruling party also fares better on the question of who is most likely to win an immediate election, with 58.4% backing an ND victory against 23.5% predicting victory for PASOK.

    The paper noted that ND's support among voters had slipped since the last poll, attributing this to the bonds scandal, while the smaller opposition parties had also fared worse relative to previous polls.

    Kapa Research polls shows ruling party lead declining by 0.6 points

    According to a poll conducted by Kapa Research on March 27-29 and published in the Sunday Vima, meanwhile, ND had a one-point lead over PASOK but its lead had declined since the last poll conducted in February, when it was 1.6 points.

    Specifically, 36.9% of those answering the poll said they would vote for ND, 35.9% for PASOK, 7% backed KKE, 3.9% backed LAOS and 3.4% backed SYN, while 11.3% said they had not decided.

    Karamanlis was again firmly ahead of his main rival Papandreou as most suitable premier, with 52.8 backing the current prime minister against 34.9% backing the main opposition leader.

    ND was also seen as the party most likely to win immediate elections, with 64.6% predicting an ND victory against 23.2% for PASOK.

    The Kapa Research poll was carried out nationwide, among men and women aged above 18.

    [09] Differences between PASOK and ND not substantial, KKE leader stresses

    The differences between the ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK parties are secondary and "painless", Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga said on Sunday while addressing a KKE party conference in Thessaloniki.

    "The biggest difference between ND and PASOK is their contest for power, their struggle to get the leading role in management. Their differences are not in substance, since they neither harm nor weaken the bourgeois political system. They act as safety valves to let off pent up discontent, they give the ruling class the capability to continue exercising power by changing the parties in government," Papariga noted.

    She stressed that "KKE is the only political force in Parliament that can succed in quantitatively and qualitatively weakenening the two-party system," and that the efficiency of struggle was linked to securing a popular vote in favour of KKE and against ND and PASOK.

    In a reference to a recent government law for reforming tertiary education, Papariga noted that this could be withdrawn if the government found itself faced with a vibrant opposition but could not be achieved by PASOK in its present form.

    She pointed out that when Constantine Karamanlis senior had withdrawn a framework law for universities back in the late 70s, this had been because the PASOK party of that day had represented a completely different policy that was sweeping it to power.

    "Why should ND back down today? It is being pressured by PASOK, of course, but only on the electoral field. It is not being pressured by a different policy. Their differences lie chiefly in the way that they will handle popular discontent. In any case, ND has no margins to take back a law of strategic importance with European-wide dimensions within the EU. Nor can PASOK behave like PASOK in 1979 and 1980. And this because it has joined the strategy of European and Greek capital," Papariga said.

    [10] Olympiakos fan arrested over sports-related killing in Paiania

    Yet another man was led before a public prosecutor on Saturday in connection with the deadly clash between rival club supporters in Paiania on Thursday, in which a man in his early 20s was killed.

    The 35-year-old Olympiakos fan, who heads a Olympiakos fan association in Peristeri, turned himself in late on Friday after hearing that he was being sought. Police were looking for the suspect after a raid on the fan association's offices, in which they found and confiscated a knife, flares and other suspicious items.

    Police were investigating the brutal killing of a Panaithinaikos fan during a pre-arranged fight between supporters of the rival clubs Olympiakos and Panathinaikos in an eastern Athens suburb, ahead of a women's volleyball match between the two clubs.

    Public prosecutors slap heavy charges on Paiania hooligans

    Public prosecutors on Friday, meanwhile, slapped heavy charges on those arrested for the violence on Lavrio Avenue in Paiania the previous day.

    Police arrested 13 people on the scene, including an underage boy, while another three people were placed under arrest late on Thursday night after raids on football fan associations in Agios Dimitrios, Peristeri and Kallithea.

    A total of 15 suspects were led before public prosecutors on Friday over the affair - since one of those arrested was in hospital being treated for injuries - and were slapped with criminal charges that included participation in a criminal organisation, intentional homicide, multiple counts of attempted homicide in concert with others, multiple counts of robbery with others, breaking the laws on explosives, causing explosives and possession of narcotics.

    Misdemeanour charges against them included causing grievous bodily harm, vandalism, causing bodily harm through negligence, illegally carrying weapons, weapons use and weapons possession and breaking laws on fireworks and flares.

    The case has now been passed on to the 26th examining magistrate.

    [11] Further arrests follow raids on soccer fan associations

    The head of the Neo Faliro 'Friends of Olympiakos' Association was led before a public prosecutor on Sunday, following his arrest the previous day, and charged with a number of crimes and misdemeanours.

    Among these participation in a criminal organisation, illegally carrying a weapon and breaking laws on weapons and fireworks. His case will be included in the rest of the file being handled by the 26th examining magistrate in connection with the fatal clash between rival soccer club supporters in Paiania on Thursday that left one young man dead.

    Police on Saturday announced the arrest of two more soccer fan association heads after they found veritable arsenals in raids on their fan club premises.

    The raids were carried out on 10 Olympiakos and Panathinaikos fan clubs in Athens and Piraeus, in the presence of a public prosecutor. In two of them, police found a variety of weapons, including clubs, switchblades, catapults, petrol bombs, chains, flares, fireworks and other objects.

    Authorities are also continuing a search for three Olympiakos supporters who, according to the evidence and witness accounts, are suspected of beating to death the 25-year-old head of the Panathinaikos supporters' club of Kolonos during incidents in Paiania last Thursday.

    [12] Pro soccer clubs should be abolished, KKE leader says

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga on Saturday called for the abolition of Greece's professional football clubs (PAE) and their replacement by a new type of amateur football. She was speaking in Thessaloniki during a KKE party organisation conference.

    "Championship sport cannot be linked with commerce, because it then becomes raw violence and corruption," she underlined, in comments on Thursday's clash between fans in Paiania that led to the death of a young Panathinaikos club supporter.

    Papariga criticised the measures taken by the government as "dousing fires" and said that there was political responsibility for the incidents "for all the governments that have cooperated with the PAE instead of abolishing them, who have mixed up football and sport generally with betting, so that doping firms and betting firms generally have become a state within a state".

    All this gave birth to teams with "organised" supporters and cultivated violence, she added.

    Referring to issues in education, KKE's general secretary noted that the student movement was entering a new phase following the passing of the bill in Parliament, where through struggle within and outside of universities, in all its forms, it had to create conditions to have the law reversed and not be implemented.

    Questioned about the bond scandal involving Greek pension and social security funds, meanwhile, Papariga underlined that "stench and scandal and above all, anti-popular policy" would be the order of the day as long as ruling New Democracy and main opposition PASOK continued to dominate political life.

    [13] European Human Rights Festival held in Thessaloniki

    Sunday was the last day of a three-day all-Europe festival held in the 3rd warehouse of Thessaloniki's wharf by the National Youth Council to raise awareness among young people on the need to protect human rights.

    The events involved a medley of sights, sounds and tastes from every corner of the planet and were organised with the support of the General Secretariat for the Younger Generation.

    They formed part of a campaign launched by the Council of Europe under the slogan "All Different - All Equal" that took place simultaneously in 41 countries.

    It featured a number of activities organised by numerous non-governmental organisations that took part, providing visitors with information on their action. Among these activities was the "Living Library" that began in Denmark - in which a person acts as the book and shares his story with readers - and activities such as film screenings, concerts by immigrants and gypsies, discussion workshops and activities for children.

    [14] Thanksgiving service for anniversary of Cyprus liberation struggle held in Thessaloniki

    A thanksgiving service for the 52nd anniversary of the EOKA struggle for the liberation of Cyprus in 1955-59 was held on Sunday at the Church of Divine Wisdom in Thessaloniki by Thessaloniki Metropolitan Anthimos.

    The Greek government was represented by Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Kalantzis and Cyprus by the Cypriot government spokesman Christodoulos Pasiardes.

    In a speech after the service, Pasiardes noted that the vision of those who sacrificed themselves at that time was not the present Cyprus under partial Turkish occupation.

    "We who were betrayed on July 15, 1974 say a proud and dignified 'no' to attempts to impose unacceptable solutions to the Cyprus problem," he stressed, adding that the Cyprus people demanded a viable solution that would ensure the reunification of the people and the country.

    The service was organised by the Cyprus General Consulate in Thessaloniki and attended by Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis, Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, Cyprus Consul Elpidoforos Economou and local MPs.

    Financial News

    [15] Development minister to attend SEECP energy ministers' conference in Croatia

    Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas will attend in Zagreb, Croatia on Monday and Tuesday, a conference of energy ministers of the countries taking part in the South-East European Cooperation Process (SEECP).

    He will be accompanied by development ministry Secretary-General Nikos Stefanou.

    Sioufas will also take part in the Forum on the theme "Energy Safety, Dynamics and Investments: South-East Europe, an Energy Market between Russia, the Mediterranean, the Caspian Sea, the Middle East and the European Union".

    [16] Macedonia-Thrace minister on price for lamb

    The state's responsibility was to protect consumers and guard against profiteering, Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Kalantzis said on Saturday when asked to comment on the "safety price" demanded by livestock farmers for lamb and kid meat.

    "In a society of free competition, the State has an obligation to defend two things: First, the interests of the citizen and secondly that there are no profiteering phenomena. No one can interfere with competition," the minister said during a visit to Thessaloniki's central market.

    "We are interested in keeping a check on prices, so that there is no profiteering and on checking the quality of the merchandise to protect consumers," he noted.

    He said that prices were satisfactory in relation to the previous year and promised to step up market inspections, predicting the markets would run smoothly over the Easter holiday.

    [17] N. Greece livestock farmers temporarily halt slaughterhouse sit-ins

    Livestock farmers in northern Greece temporarily halted sit-ins of slaughterhouses late on Friday night but warned that this was temporary, since their coordinating committee will reconvene on Easter Monday to decide further action.

    The head of the Drama livestock breeders association Panagiotis Livaditis said the decision was made in order to allow smooth operation of markets. He said that they were continuing to fight for a minimum price for lamb and goats of at least seven euros a kilo - the same as last year - even though many farmers had already sold for under six euros a kilo.

    "They sold about 20 percent cheaper than last year. If one calculates the increases to animal fodder and medicines, farmers' incomes are reduced by 50 percent relative to last year," he added.

    In a meeting with merchants at the beginning of the week, farmers were originally pressing for a sale price of eight euros a kilo while merchants were refusing to budge from a price of 6.5 euros per kilo.

    [18] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:

    U.S. dollar 1.342

    Pound sterling 0.685

    Danish kroner 7.510

    Swedish kroner 9.421

    Japanese yen 158.58

    Swiss franc 1.637

    Norwegian kroner 8.184

    Cyprus pound 0.585

    Canadian dollar 1.548

    Australian dollar 1.661

    General News

    [19] Train derailed near Corinth; woman injured

    A Greek Railways (OSE) train was derailed late on Friday about 500 metres from the Isthmus in Corinth while travelling from Athens to Patras. Of the 47 passengers on board, one woman was injured and taken to the Corinth General Hospital, while according to initial reports her condition is not considered serious.

    [20] Hooded youths vandalise property in Zografou, injure man

    A band of hooded youths wreaked havoc along the length of Iroon Politechniou road in the eastern Athens district of Zografou early on Saturday, vandalising shops, cars and banks. They also lightly injured a man that attempted to stop them.

    At around 2:20 on Saturday morning, the group damaged a Cyprus bank cashpoint, broke the windows of a shop selling mobile phones and damaged the Laiki Bank cashpoint in front of it, as well as vandalising three parked cars.

    When they were seen by one of the car owners, who attempted to stop them, they also attacked him before running away.

    [21] Farmers boycott commemoration of Kileler uprising

    Events commemorating the Kileler uprising - a farmers' revolt in the early 20th century - were held in the absence of Larisa farmers on Saturday, who boycotted the celebrations in protest against current agricultural policy.

    The events were organised jointly by the Larisa prefecture and Kileler municipality.

    The Union of Larisa Agricultural Cooperatives had earlier announced that it refused to take part but tensions rose when a small group of farmers from Domokos arrived and demanded to be allowed to speak, which organisers initially refused before finally giving way.

    The government was represented by Thessaly regional director Fotis Goupas and main opposition PASOK by MP Yiannis Koutsoukos, who is secretary of the party's agricultural development sector.

    Weather Forecast

    [22] Scattered showers on Monday

    Cloudy weather with scattered showers is forecast throughout the country on Monday, the first day of Easter week. Winds northerly, northeasterly, light to moderate, rising to strong or very strong over the southeast Aegean. Temperatures in Athens ranging between 9C and 17C and in Thessaloniki from 7C to 15C.

    [23] Sunday editions of Athens' newspapers at a glance

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Place your money here. Fact: this is how the 'green raid' (referring to the colour of the main opposition PASOK party) on the social security reserves was set up"

    APOGEVMATINI: "New leave for civil servants. The provisions of the interior and public order ministry circular"

    AVGHI: "Moral instigators on the bench. Will they go unpunished? The big bosses of the powerful soccer clubs keep the problem going"

    AVRIANI: "Karamanlis a hostage and government dismantled by the vehicle of scandal-mongering. Plan to manipulate political life fully deployed"

    CHORA: "Thousands of permit-less buildings legal. An end to anarchic construction. Small lots freed of restrictions"

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Secret reshuffle by [PM] Karamanlis"

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Cut-throats for a ticket. The 'wolves' of the stadiums that have made violence a profession"

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "The big scam in the spotlight. Revelation. 'Acropolis' was informing Hypovereinsbank to wait for the 280 million two months before the bond was issued"

    EPOCHI: "Structured white-collar violence. Two young people lost in 'date with death'"

    ETHNOS: "Bonds and kickbacks 'choke' the government. Poll: difference between ND-PASOK at 0.5%"

    KATHIMERINI: "The [social security] funds dictate the changes. Concern over opinion polls - Karamanlis 'swat team' to clear up the scandal"

    LOGOS: "Shutting down the stadiums only the start. Heavy list of charges for the goings on at Paiania. Dealing with violence a strategic choice for the prime minister"

    NIKI: "The big overturn. ND 1.2% behind PASOK in 2nd Athens constituency"

    PARON: "Karamanlis front and centre! Cut off a few heads before its too late demand MPs and party officials that have been left speechless by the inactivity"

    PROTO THEMA: "He's choking on the kickbacks. Opinion polls show PASOK just a hair's breadth behind. Karamanlis nowhere to be seen as they steal people's pensions"

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Not one euro for 'gambling' (investment in securities). Social security fund reserves"

    TO VIMA: "Election....derby! ND and PASOK running 'chest-to-chest'. Revealing opinion poll by Kapa Research. Funds and bonds close the gap"

    VRADYNI: "Who's hiding behind the hooligans. Where and when the date with death was set"

    Cyprus Affairs

    [24] Papadopoulos: We work for reunification and financial support of T/C


    The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, has said that the government is constantly working for the implementation of measures to achieve a close cooperation with the Turkish Cypriots, helping them to improve their financial situation.

    "We work constantly, we find ways, we put forward measures to achieve the closest cooperation with the Turkish Cypriots, thus contributing to their economic growth, but always bearing in mind that all measures aim to the financial integration and the reunification of our country and economy", he stressed.

    In statements Sunday, the president said that the international community is realizing that Turkish claims about a so called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, are merely a myth which aims to upgrade the Turkish occupation regime in the northern areas of Cyprus.

    Asked if there have been any reactions regarding the new package of measures for the financial support of the Turkish Cypriots, submitted Saturday by the Cypriot government to the EU, the president said that there have been no reactions yet.

    "There are not reactions so far. Discussions continue. This is the third discussion held on the issue and we hope that consideration will be shown", he said.

    The president was also asked on Turkey's vetos regarding Cyprus' participation in international organizations.

    The president described Ankara's stance as unacceptable.

    "This is an unacceptable tactic by a country that wishes to become a member of the EU. In our declaration for Turkey's accession course, we have clearly stated that our position will depend every time on Turkey's stance towards us and the other international organizations", he pointed out.

    Turkey's stance against Cyprus' participation in a series of international organizations is an old issue, the president said, adding that Turkey has been preventing for three years now, Cyprus' participation in international organizations because the charter of these organizations provide for unanimity.

    Turkey has been vetoing Cyprus' membership in international organizations, arrangements and treaties, such as the Wassenaar Arrangement, the Open Skies Treaty, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

    Furthermore, Turkey does not consent to the expansion of the EU-NATO dialogue with the participation of Cyprus (and Malta).

    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.

    [25] Government submits new proposals for financial aid to Turkish Cypriots


    The government of Cyprus has submitted to the German EU presidency and the European Commission its new proposals for the financial support of the Turkish Cypriot community, with the ultimate goal to contribute to the reunification of Cyprus.

    The new proposals were submitted Saturday by the Cypriot Foreign Minister George Lillikas on the sidelines of the Informal EU Foreign Ministers' Meeting that took place in Bremen, Germany.

    In statements during a press conference he held in Germany, Lillikas pointed out that the government of Cyprus had submitted in the past various proposals for the financial aid to the Turkish Cypriots which it had unilaterally implemented.

    "In addition to those measures, I submitted to the German EU Presidency and the Commission proposals and ideas, which the government of Cyprus wishes to promote and implement unilaterally with the aim to help the reunification of Cyprus", he said.

    Lillikas, who met Saturday with his German counterpart Frank Walter Steinmeier and the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, said that the government of Cyprus is glad to see the per capita income of the Turkish Cypriots being increased almost by 300% in the past three years due to the measures that the government has implemented in the past three years unilaterally as well as the measures implemented in cooperation with the European Commission.

    He expressed certainty that the new measures submitted by the government, would contribute further to the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots, to the improvement of their standard of living and to the cooperation between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities aiming at reunifying the people of Cyprus.

    Asked about the reaction of the EU on the new proposals, Lillikas said that every new proposal is seen positively but added that the EU presidency and the Commission will need time to examine the proposals and ideas submitted by the government.

    Lillikas referred to the conclusions of the EU Foreign Affairs and External Relations Council of April 26th, 2004 and said that the government is in favor of the reunification of Cyprus.

    "But the question is, how to succeed the reunification. Through the development of a separate economy, separate trade and interests, or through the development of cooperation and common interests between the two communities of Cyprus?", he wondered.

    Policy of the government of Cyprus is to support proposals and measures and to undertake initiatives aiming at financially supporting the Turkish Cypriots and their prosperity, always in the framework of the efforts to contribute to the economic integration and reunification of Cyprus.

    "We believe, as stated in the April 26th, 2004 conclusions, that the reunification of Cyprus can be achieved through the economic integration which means developing contacts, cooperation and common interests between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots", he concluded.

    Meanwhile, in statements on his arrival from Germany Saturday night, Lillikas said that the Cypriot government is now waiting for the reaction or comments on behalf of the EU.

    Regarding his meeting with his German counterpart, he said that they continued their discussion on the Commission's regulation regarding trade between the EU and the areas that are not under the effective control of the Cypriot government.

    He also informed him on the issues concerning the opening of the Ledra Street crossing point, as well as the opening of other crossing points based on the government's proposals.

    Lillikas briefed Steinmeier on the latest developments regarding the efforts to implement the July 8th, 2006 agreement that aims to pave the way for substantive talks on the Cyprus issue.

    "I expressed the government's stance and wish that the Turkish side responds positively so that to implement the agreement in 2007 and prepare the ground for new talks for the solution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of Cyprus", he said.

    On July 8th 2006, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat met in the presence of former UN

    Undersecretary General Imbrahim Gambari and agreed to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and those that concern substantive issues.

    The Republic of Cyprus entered the EU in May 2004. The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

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