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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 09-07-20

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

Monday, 20 July 2009 Issue No: 3249


  • [01] Cyprus solution in framework of UN, EU values
  • [02] Greek parliament delegation in Cyprus for events marking 35th 'anniversary' of Turkish invasion
  • [03] Athens events marking Cyprus invasion 'anniversary'
  • [04] FM message to Turkey, FYROM
  • [05] Tsipras addresses SYRIZA nationwide meeting
  • [06] Alavanos addresses SYRIZA meeting
  • [07] President honored by US Cretans
  • [08] Peach producers' mobilisations
  • [09] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday
  • [10] Air-links fly injured girl's organs for use as transplants
  • [11] Western Macedonia: The 'Alps' of Greece
  • [12] Mastermind of int'l human-trafficking ring arrested in Thessaloniki
  • [13] Four foreign nationals killed in road accident in Serres
  • [14] Sunny on Monday
  • [15] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance
  • [16] President Christofias reiterates his commitment to find a viable solution

  • [01] Cyprus solution in framework of UN, EU values

    The framework within which a solution to the Cyprus issue is being sought is the UN Security Council resolutions and the principles and values of the European Union, prime minister Costas Karamanlis stressed on Sunday, in a message marking the 35th 'anniversary' of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    "The anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus is a day of remembrance and tribute. It is, at the same time, an opportunity for reaffirming the steadfast devotion of the entire Hellenism to the goal of a permanent, just, functional and viable solution of the Cyprus issue," the premier said in a written message.

    "The framework within which the solution is sought is a given fact: It is the resolutions of the UN Security Council. It is the values and principles of the European Union," the message said.

    "The agreement that we all hope will emerge from the ongoing negotiations must bear the stamp of both communities, without the interventions of third parties and without manufactured timetables. The basis of the negotiation is a bizonal, bi-communal federation with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single nationality," the premier continued.

    "Thirty-five years after the Cyprus tragedy, Greece and the Greek people 'do not forget'. We are fighting -- and we will fight to the final vindication -- for the demolition of the last remaining wall which, unfortunately still remains standing, on European territory," the message concluded.

    [02] Greek parliament delegation in Cyprus for events marking 35th 'anniversary' of Turkish invasion

    An inter-party delegation of the Greek parliament was in Nicosia on Sunday for events marking the 35th 'anniversary' of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    The Hellenic parliament delegation is led by ruling New Democracy MP Krinio Kanellopoulou, who also chairs the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs and defence, ND deputy Maria Kolla-Tsaroucha, main opposition PASOK MP Alexandros Athanassiadis, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) MP Haralambos Haralambous, Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MP Sophia Andriopoulou, and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) MP George Georgiou.

    In the morning, the delegation attended a memorial service for the 56 officers and conscripts of the Greek Force in Cyprus (ELDYK) who died in the Turkish invasion, as well as a service for the recovery of the 37 ELDYK men who went missing in the invasion.

    Wreaths were laid at the ELDYK monument by Cyprus defence minister Costas Papacostas, Greece's ambassador to Cyprus Vassilis Papaioannou on behalf of the Greek government, MP Kanellpoulou on behalf of the Greek parliament, and ELDYK commander colonel George Thalassinos.

    Kanellopoulou told ANA-MPA that the Hellenic parliament honors the heros who died or went mission in the Turkish invasion, which she said was "one of the most dramatic moments in the history of Cyprus and Greece".

    "It is our duty to fight with all our strength for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus issue," she added.

    The Cyprus defence minister presented honorary plaques to ELDYK soldiers who survived the invasion.

    [03] Athens events marking Cyprus invasion 'anniversary'

    Representatives of the political leadership of Greece and Cyprus and the Greek military leadership attended memorial events in Athens on Sunday honoring the resistance against the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, ahead of Monday's events that will mark the 35th 'anniversary' of the June 20, 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    The two-day events are organised by the Association of Cypriots of Greece and the Cypriot Embassy in Athens.

    Speakers at Sunday's events voiced concern that the 35-year delay in resolving the Cyprus issue was rendering the Turkish occupation of the northern part of the island republic a permanent situation.

    Apart from church services, Sunday's events including a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in central Syntagma Square, as well as the inauguration of a two-day exhibition at the Syntagma Metro station.

    Representing the government at Sunday's events, deputy development minister George Vlachos stressed that the only exit from the impasse the Cyprus issue was in was the path of conciliation, adding that the collective security and prosperity of the Cypriot people and respect of the human rights was a condition for any solution reached.

    "We look forward to a united and free Cyprus i which all its inhabitants will live equally, regardless of language, nationality and relibion," Vlachos concluded.

    On behalf of the Greek parliament, House vice-president Anastasios Nerantzis said that the continuing Turkish provocations were proof that Turkey's practice remained unchanged, and warned that this would be taken into consideration by the international and European communities.

    [04] FM message to Turkey, FYROM

    Foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis sent a double message to Turkey and FYROM in statements on Crete on Saturday evening.

    Bakoyannis, in Heraklion for the 41st congress of the Pan-Cretan Association of America, said in remarks on the Greek national issues that the country was clearly facing Turkish provocativeness in the Aegean, but added that Greece, with self-confidence and cool-headedness and always based on international law was successfully confronting the entire situation.

    On an upcoming visit to Turkey, Bakoyannis noted that she has accepted a relevant invitation, but added that she has an extremely full schedule at this time and therefore the dates of the visit will be set through diplomatic channels".

    On FYROM, Bakoyannis said that referral of the name issue to the International Court of Justice would be a long process, but stressed that Greece has exceptionally strong arguments and was putting them forward, adding the counry's conviction that, with those arguments, it will prove that the problem lies in the intransigence manifested by Skopje.

    She further called on Skopje to adjust its policy for the sake of its own people, and to enter the name negotiations in good faith in order to fund a mutually acceptable name.

    [05] Tsipras addresses SYRIZA nationwide meeting

    Coalition of the Left, Movements and Ecology (SYN) leader Alexis Tsipras on Saturday charged a "turn towards an ultra-Right agenda" on migration, labor relations and social security, and towards new, more unjust economic measures, in his opening address to a two-day meeting of the nationwide body of the SYN-led SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) parliamentary alliance, taking place at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Faliro, near Piraeus.

    Tsipras said that on the night of the European Parliament elections, the entire political system in Greece was "dancing to the tune" Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party leader George Karatzaferis", adding that the government hastened to turn into practice the 'zero tolerance' (to illegal migration) called for by main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    The SYN leader further said that, regarding the migration issue, PASOK was facilely following the government's policy line "of a cheap show of strength against the weak, aimed at regaining the lost votes", with PASOK's motive being to fish votes from "the murky waters of the ultra-right populism".

    Also, the planned creation of a DNA bank on criminals, the use of traffic surveillance cameras for crime investigation and abolition of the confidentiality of communications would benefit the government multiply, with the procurements for the infrastructure of the above, on the one hand, and on the other with the ability to "implicate anyone they want to in things that he hasn't done".

    Tsipras said that an attempt was being made to create a regime of terror on the one hand, and on the other to introduce changes to the job market, social security and the administration of the state wealth under the guise of necessary reforms against the crisis.

    The Left, he continued, must put forward a clear stance, self-confidence and clear-cut arguments, intiatives and actions against all those, adding that he would not contribute to the escalation of a senseless and apolitical clash.

    The two-day session ends on Sunday with an address by SYRIZA parliamentary group leader Alekos Alavanos and adoption of the conference conclusions.

    [06] Alavanos addresses SYRIZA meeting

    Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA parliamentary alliance) parliamentary group leader Alekos Alavanos presented a 10-point analysis on the outcome of the recent Europarliament elections, the political situation in Greece and the alliance's operational matters, addressing the closing session of a two-day SYRIZA nationwide body meeting on Sunday.

    Referring to SYRIZA's drop in percentages in the Euroelections, Alavanos asked "why shouldn't we be the third party in the Europolls", noting that that had been a difficult mission "but not outside our abilities".

    He said that although SYRIZA's momentum had been greatly diminished, "it is nevertheless not a 'shipwreck'," and attributed blame for the electoral result to the alliance's steering organ as well as to himself.

    Alavanos explained that there were differing views among the component trends of SYRIZA, but noted that it was possible for all the trends to unite behind a common prospect.

    [07] President honored by US Cretans

    President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias was bestowed the Venizelos Award by the Pan Cretan Association of America, the organisation's top award, during the association's 41st convention in Heraklion, Crete.

    The award was presented to Papoulias at a ceremony on Saturday evening, durin which the Association's president Manolis Velivassakis noted that the award was being presented to the President of the Hellenic Republic in a gesture of appreciation for his contribution to the ecumenical Hellenism.

    Papoulias, in turn, expressed great joy in being on Crete once again and warmly thanked the Association for the honor bestowed on him.

    He said he felt Crete was like a home to him, since his grandfather, Lt. Napoleon Papoulias, had been heavily wounded during the 1897 battle of Voukolia for the town's liberation.

    Papoulias also noted that the late statesman Eleftherios Venizelos, after whom the award is named, had undisputably been one of the biggest figures of modern-day Hellenism, and his struggles, political abilities, acuteness of spirit in difficult eras had placed their seal on the country's course.

    Greece, he added, does not forget Crete's contribution during the hard times, such as the Turkish yoke, the Balkan wars with the Cretan volunteers in Epirus and Macedonia, and the Battle of Crete during the nazi occupation.

    Papoulias further congratulated the Association for its dynamic and impressive work in the US.

    Present at the ceremony, among other officials, was foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis, who inaugurated the convention.

    A banquet was also held in Papoulias' honor on Saturday night, hosted by the secretary general of the Crete Periphery Serafeim Tsokas and addressed by Bakoyannis and Tsokas.

    Financial News

    [08] Peach producers' mobilisations

    Peach producers from Pella prefecture are due to meet with agricultural development minister Sotiris Hatzigakis or ministry officials at noon on Monday, as the producers continued their road blocks for the fourth consecutive day on Sunday.

    Just before his meeting with the producers, the minister is due to meet with the MPs from Pella and Imathia prefectures.

    Peach producers from Pella and Imathia prefectures in northern Greece launched blockades along the Egnatia Odos national motorway and the Thessaloniki-Veria national highway on Thursday, lining up tractors and forcing motorists to take lengthy detours.

    The producers appeared split over the future of their mobilisations on Saturday after a package ofmeasures announced by the government the previous evening, following a meeting in Athens between producers' represenatives, canning industry representatives and the minister.

    The peach farmers' representatives rejected the measures stating that their mobilizations will continue, as opposed to the canning industries that expressed the will to consider them.

    Pella producers, in a meeting on Saturday, decided to escalate mobilisations, whereas Imathia producers decided on Saturday night to suspend their mobilisations.

    [09] Foreign Exchange rates - Monday

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

    U.S. dollar 1.420

    Pound sterling 0.872

    Danish kroner 7.504

    Swedish kroner 11.136

    Japanese yen 133.12

    Swiss franc 1.531

    Norwegian kroner 9.068

    Canadian dollar 1.586

    Australian dollar 1.776

    General News

    [10] Air-links fly injured girl's organs for use as transplants

    The vital organs of a 13-year-old girl fatally injured in a fall were donated by her family and flown to patients needing emergency transplants in Athens, Austria and Germany in the early hours of Sunday morning.

    The girl had fallen from a cliff on Friday, while collecting herbs with her uncle in the village of Anthochori in Ioannina prefecture. She was taken to Ioannina hospital where doctors finally declared her to be beyond saving. Her parents then gave permission for her organs to be removed for use as transplants and air-links were immediately set up via Ioannina airport to fly them to patients in need.

    An aircraft from Vienna with a team of doctors took the young girl's heart, while the German aircraft that landed soon afterward suffered a tyre rupture on landing and was immobilised until a team of technicians from Germany were flown in to repair the damage.

    Another plane arrived soon afterward to pick up the girl's organs.

    The girls kidneys were flown to Athens by an Olympic Airlines plane.

    [11] Western Macedonia: The 'Alps' of Greece

    Trekking to the Lakes Drakolimnes in Flega, swimming in the waters of Portitsa Gorge, exploring the Drakos cave in Kastoria, rafting on the rivers Venetikos and Aliakmon, horseback riding in Nymfeo is just a small taste of the alternative form of tourism people, who do not like crowded vacation destinations, can enjoy in Western Macedonia, northwest Greece.

    The Region of Western Macedonia, comprising the prefectures of Kozani, Grevena, Kastoria and Florina, is the only one in Greece that has no access to the sea but visitors can enjoy the serene beauty of eight lakes and the ruggedness of many rivers.

    The huge man-made Polifitos Lake created in 1973 dominates in the prefecture of Kozani. However, the region's magnificent mountains, the archaeological sites, including the Macedonian Tombs in Eordaia and the Paleontology Museum in Ptolemaida with the mammoth bones and fossilized insects, plants and seashells on display, a tangible proof that the region was once covered by the sea, are also a major attraction for tourists.

    The exceptional natural beauty of the prefecture of Grevena with the alpine-like landscape captivates trekking enthusiasts who are offered various options from Valia Calda valley, to Mt. Orliakas, Vasilitsa, Spileo and Lakes Drakolimnes. The region also features many monasteries, traditional villages and stone-built bridges, while its unique delicacy, the mushrooms, is celebrated in a special event held each August along the Venetikos River.

    The prefecture of Kastoria is located further to the north featuring the Grammos Mountain Range and the Aliakmon River springs. The city of Kastoria with its tens of Byzantine churches is built by the shores of the lake that shares the same name. The River Party event held in Nestorio at the Aliakmon River banks in early August is an attraction for thousands of young people enjoying music events, and alternative forms of tourism.

    The Lakes Small and Large Prespes in the prefecture of Florina, in the northwest corner of the country, form a unique ecosystem and constitute natural border between three countries, Greece, FYROM, Albania. The small island of St Achilles "floats" on the waters of Small Prespa and visitors can admire the St Achilles basilica built in the 11th century by Czar Samuel. The traditional village of Nymfeo is a must for tourists who can also visit the "Arcturos" brown bear and wolf sanctuary facilities in Aetos.

    [12] Mastermind of int'l human-trafficking ring arrested in Thessaloniki

    A 51-year-old man believed to be the mastermined of an international human trafficking ring reaching as far as China, and the number one people-trafficker in the Balkans, was arrested by Thessaloniki Security Police on Saturday, together with his 53-year-old close accomplice.

    The two men, both taxi drivers, were being interrogated by police.

    The two detainees were arrested near the Stavroupolis bridge, where they picked up 8 illegal migrants (6 Iranians and 2 Iraqis) in order to transport them to Athens.

    According to Thessaloniki Aliens Bureau director Tryfonas Koukios, the international human-trafficking ring is active in China, Moscow, Belgrade, FYROM and Greece.

    [13] Four foreign nationals killed in road accident in Serres

    Four people, all Bulgarian nationals, were killed in a powerful head-on collision between a passenger car and a truck on the Egnatia highway near Serres on Saturday.

    Three of the Bulgarians were killed when their car crashed head-on with an oncoming truck in the opposite lane on the 36th kilometer of the Serres-Promachona stretch of the Egnatia motorway. The truck driver, also a Bulgarian was killed, too.

    The accident occured when the truck, which was loaded with bricks, veered off course into the opposite lane and, for reasons as yet unknown, kept traveling for several kilometers in the opposite lane, where it collided with an oncoming car carrying the three Bulgarians.

    After the collision, the truck overturned, broke through the road's protective guard railing and fell into a 10-meter deep ditch. The driver was crushed by the truck.

    Weather forecast

    [14] Sunny on Monday

    Sunny weather is forecast on Monday, with moderate, mainly northerly winds rising to a maximum of 7 Beaufort at sea. Temperatures are seen dropping, ranging between 18C and 36C. Sunny in Athens, with temperatures from 23C to 36C. Same in Thessaloniki, with strong winds and temperatures from 23C to 31C.

    [15] Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glance

    The economy, private universities, the new flu pandemic and changes in the public sector were the main front-page items in Sunday's newspapers.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "Operation 'clean hands' now - Public Administration inspector Leandros Rakintzis' agonising message to the government".

    APOGEVMATINI: "The financial crisis brought changes to the preferences (in majors) of the higher education candidates".

    AVGHI: "SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left parliamentary alliance) everywhere - The Left represented by SYRIZA needs to organise resistance everywhere and put forward the real social problems".

    AVRIANI: "Last chance for Karamanlis to reverse the political climate".

    CHORA: "Background of instability, with prospect of apostasy, brings early general elections, various 'centers' inside and outside Greece maintain".

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Summer of sighs - Economic impasse - The government headed towards inability for payment of state expenditures and new measures are being sought by autumn".

    ETHNOS: "Degree in 3 years equal to public university title - Exclusive: the explosive regulation on colleges in Greece".

    KATHIMERINI: "The crime mafias corrupting the entire country - Persons above suspicion under the microscope of the EYP (National Information Service)".

    LOGOS: "Prime minister planning initiatives to reverse the climate, under the weight of European pressure for containment of the deficits".

    NIKI: "Generals and feuds in ND - The battle of Karamanlis' dauphins (hopeful successors) has begun".

    PROTO THEMA: "New flu: shock-measures if the pandemic takes on nightmarish proportions in autumn (when the schools open) - Revelation: Health minister Avramopoulos' national emergency plan".

    RIZOSPASTIS: "KKE (Communist Party of Greece) central committee resolution: power to the people with our strategy for a powerful KKE".

    TO VIMA: "EYP State - The behind-the-scenes of the changes (in the EYP leadership and its activities".

    VRADYNI: "Everything changing in the public sector in the coming months".

    Cyprus Affairs

    [16] President Christofias reiterates his commitment to find a viable solution


    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias on Saturday stressed that he remains committed to fight for a solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, not because is the ideal solution, but because, as he said, "is the only realistic option we have in order to release Cyprus from the Turkish occupation and the tragic results of the military coup and the Turkish invasion in July 1974."

    Addressing a ceremony for the missing persons in Cyprus, organized by Organisation of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons of Cyprus, President Christofias said that as a result of this compromise, the principle of equality, as defined by the UN relevant resolutions, between the two communities in Cyprus will be applied.

    "We pursue a solution that will reunite the country, the people, the institutions and the economy, a federal state with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship, and a single international personality. We pursue a functional and viable solution. A solution that can last through time, that will ensure conditions of peace and prosperity and that will free Cyprus from occupation and foreign guarantees. A solution which will free Cyprus from the Turkish settlement, and which will restore human rights and basic freedoms, including the right to return back to the homeland and the right for property", President Christofias pointed out.

    President Christofias said that he extends the hand of friendship "to our Turkish Cypriots compatriots, and the hand of cooperation to the Turkish Cypriot leadership. Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots should and could find the compromise that will allow us to live together in conditions of peace, security and prosperity. We can define alone, our fate", he added.

    President Christofias expressed hope the direct negotiations to lead to an agreed solution that will also give an end to the tragedy of the relatives of missing people in Cyprus. He said that the progress achieved in the framework of the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP), is a positive development. By the exhumation and identification of the remains , with the DNA method, some of the families of the missing persons in Cyprus have already get informed about the fate of their relatives, he added.

    In addition, President Christofias stressed that the government intensifies its efforts so that the Turkish side will be obliged to comply with the relevant European Court of Human Rights decision and cooperate with a view to effectively ascertain the fate of each and every missing person.

    "The Republic of Cyprus will provide any kind of assistance, in order the work of the Committee on Missing Persons to be supported and concluded as soon as possible", he added.

    The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP), a tripartite committee comprising representatives of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities and a UN appointed representative, is involved in a process of exhumation and identification of remains of missing persons in Cyprus. It was set up in the early 1980s and in the recent past it has stepped up its work to help resolve this humanitarian issue.

    President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunite the island.

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