|Friday, 28 February 2020|
Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 11-03-21
From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>Monday, 21 March 2011 Issue No: 3747
 Papandreou backs action to enforce Libya trucePARIS (ANA-MPA - O. Tsipira)
The international community will move to enforce the UN Security Council's decisions for Libya, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said here on Saturday after attending a meeting of European, U.S. and Arab leaders on Libya hosted by France.
"Today's meeting showed the determination of the international community to enforce the decisions of the United Nations, especially for the protection of human life in Libya and, of course, on the need to implement a truce.
Unfortunately, despite the assurance of the regime in Libya that the decisions will be implemented and that a truce will be implemented, these are proved false by the reality, by their actions, actions of violence. That is why the international community will move for the implementation of the decisions," Papandreou said.
 PM Papandreou to brief Parliament on Libya on TuesdayPrime Minister George Papandreou will be briefing Parliament this coming Tuesday on developments on the issue of Libya.
 Road open for action in Libya, PM tells SI presidiumThe international community had sent a clear message through the United Nations Security Council resolution on Libya, opening the way for member-states to intervene for the protection of Libya's citizens, Prime Minister and Socialist International President George Papandreou told a meeting of the SI presidium in Athens on Saturday.
"The message of the international community via UN Security Council resolution 1973 is clear: We will on no account tolerate the murder of innocent citizens and we are greatly concerned about developments in Libya at the time when the Libyan government strikes innocent citizens," Papandreou stressed.
The Security Council resolution gave member-states the opportunity, either on a national level or on the level of regional organisations or other structures, to take measures for the protection of citizens in the case of attack, Papandreou said.
Events in the Middle East and north Africa had shown that a series of fundamental political, economic, social and cultural issues need to be addressed in order to ensure peace.
He particularly emphasised the problems besetting young people in those countries, who could see no future or the possibility of meeting their basic needs and thus sought support, making use of new technologies to express their concerns in a democratic way.
"We must listen to these young people and see how they view their own participation but also how are movements can make use of the citizens' messages," he added, citing the example of Morocco where the popular demands were heard and the constitutional changes about to be adopted had also met the approval of the European Union.
He stressed during the meeting that the SI supported democratic principles and values, so that in recent months it had severed its ties with certain parties that had violated these. Pointing to the SI's past successes in bringing the two sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to begin dialogue, he said that it would continue the effort now along the same lines and with the same level of determination.
 Papandreou back in Athens for SI dinnerPrime Minister George Papandreou returned to Athens late on Saturday after a lightning visit to Paris, where he took part in a meeting of international leaders that decided on military intervention in Libya to enforce a no-fly zone sanctioned by the UN Security Council.
On his return he hosted a working dinner for the Socialist International presidium at the Hilton Hotel in Athens. Sources said that Papandreou, who is also president of the SI, will be meeting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on the sidelines of the dinner.
 Socialist International's Presidium makes statement on democracy in North Africa, Middle EastThe Socialist International's (SI) Presidium which convened in Athens over the weekend, in an announcement on Sunday stressed that "we express our unequivocal solidarity not only for those struggling now for democracy in North Africa and the Middle East, but to all those as well who are defending democracy in other parts of the world at every moment."
The statement underlines that the Socialist International "has a considerable history of contribution to democratic struggles in southern Europe in the '70s, in South America and the Caribbean in the 80s, again in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as in Asia in the 90s, socialdemocrat, labour and socialist parties of the Socialist International had an active participation in the democratisation process. It is an issue of vital importance for us to use these experiences to support the democrats of today and for us to recognise that this moment has a similar importance for the Arab world."
The presidium refers in the statement to an "Arab Spring" that "began from Tunisia and became stormy with the events that inspired and played a catalytical role in Egypt."
The statement also refers to "postmodern revolutions" that have as a common characteristic that "they began by young men and women who overcame racial and social discriminations and used the only weapons that they had at their disposal, modern technology and the social media."
It further said that "the success of the transition to democracy, in Egypt and Tunisia, is of vital importance for the entire region and, mainly, for all those who as a reply to their demands met with force and suppression. We are seeing in Libya that the voice of the people was not heeded by the regime, and that the situation is developing dangerously."
The Socialist International also reiterates its support for the absolute right of the Palestinian people for freedom, democracy and a country status.
Moreover, it pointed out that "the Presidium of the Socialist International, during the meeting in Athens on March 19 2011, underlines the importance of democracy as part of the identity of socialdemocracy, and on this basis, our organisation is in readiness to cooperate with all the democratic forces that are emerging in the Arab world today, and that equally share our commitment for good governance, social justice, sustainable development and peace."
 Gov't decision on Libya 'dangerous', KKE claimsThe Communist Party of Greece (KKE) criticised the government's decision to support military action in Libya in an announcement on Saturday, saying this was "extremely dangerous for the Greek people"
It said that the government had decided to "support and participate in the slaughter and dismemberment of Libya" by supplying planes, helicopters, ships, bases and other facilities that promoted the "special and general interests of plutocracy", and thus embroiled Greece in a new round of heightened competition and imperialists wars in the region.
KKE went on to attack main opposition New Democracy and smaller opposition parties that supported Greek involvement in Libya.
 KKE holds rally against Libya attackA rally and protest march against the attack in Libya was held in Athens on Sunday afternoon, at the initiative of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and its youth group KNE.
The demonstrators gathered at Syntagma Square and then marched to the U.S. embassy.
The march was headed by KKE Secretary General Aleka Papariga. Shouting slogans against the attack in Libya, the demonstrators made stops during the march in front of the embassies of France and Britain, while posting a resolution at the European Union's offices.
 ANEK lines ship returns from Libya with no passengersThe passenger ferry "Eleftherios Venizelos" owned by the shipping firm ANEK Lines on Sunday returned to Souda, Crete from the port of Sirte in Libya, where it had been since March 15. The ship had no passengers on board.
An announcement by the ship owner said the delay in departure from the Libyan port was due to required inspections and the overall situation prevailing in the area.
 PM: 'we are now entering the heart of the problems'Greece is now entering the heart of the country's problems and going through the "most difficult period politically," Prime Minister George Papandreou said during a cabinet meeting focusing on issues relating to the upcoming European Union summit on March 25 and government planning.
During the meeting held on Friday afternoon, he also appeared confident that Greece "will emerge from the tunnel".
"Our enemy in this effort are not just the various established interests but the mindsets that have been cultivated all these years," he said, identifying the problems as "inertia, immobility and force of habit".
He also announced that a detailed discussion within the party and the government on planning the next steps will be held after the end of the March 25 summit, which he said would mark "the end of the chapter now being written".
Also a part of this discussion would be the issue of exploiting the state's real assets in the best possible way, he added.
 PM Papandreou to visit Syros on MondayPrime Minister George Papandreou will hold a meeting with agency representatives of the Southern Aegean in Ermoupolis on the island of Syros on Monday morning, where he will be making an address.
Earlier, in the framework of his visit to the island in the Cyclades, the prime minister will be visiting the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
 Samaras repeats call for drastic revision of Memorandum termsThe terms of the Memorandum drawn up for the European Union and International Monetary Fund loans to Greece must be drastically revised, main opposition New Democracy's leader Antonis Samaras said in an interview that is due to be published by the Sunday edition of "Eleftheros Typos".
In this, Samaras stresses that he is not opposed to the long-term goals set in the Memorandum but disagrees with the policies imposed in order to reach them. He also stressed that simply modifying the terms for repaying the loans will not be sufficent to correct the problem, which is the vicious cycle of recession caused by the economic policy imposed by the Memorandum.
Concerning the proposed privatisation of state assets, Samaras said that he did not disagree with the principle but only with the timing, since Greece would be selling under pressure and thus lose out in any deals struck.
 Samaras departing for Brussels on MondayMain opposition New Democracy's leader Antonis Samaras will be departing for Brussels on Monday in order to take part in the European People's Party (EPP) summit. While there, he is to have a series of meetings with European politicians and members of the European Commission.
These will include a private meeting with Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, the president the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek, European Commissioner for financial programming and the budget Janusz Lewandowski and a number of EPP officials.
Samaras will also have a working meeting with New Democracy MEPs.
 Turkish elections a deadline for exploratory talks, Droutsas tells 'Kathimerini'The next general elections in Turkey marked the deadline for wrapping up exploratory talks with Greece, Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said in an interview due to appear in the Sunday edition of the newspaper "Kathimerini".
In this, Droutsas indicates that the exploratory talks cannot continue indefinitely and that after the elections, Ankara will have to decide whether to settle the issue or take it to the International Court of Justice at The Hague. He also indicated that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had made certain pledges on this score.
The minister urged Turkey to come to grips with the reality of international maritime law and stop trying to avoid the restrictions this imposed, or using military means to impose its own positions.
"We will not allow this, nor can Turkey affect Greece's rights using these tactics," he stresses in the interview.
 Tsipras wraps up tour of ThessalyCoalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Parliamentary group leader Alexis Tsipras ended a tour of west Thessaly on Sunday by visiting the Fortress at Trikala, where he stressed that the world was now going through exceptionally difficult times.
"It would not be an exaggeration to say that we are living in the most crucial days since the end of World War II," Tsipras said.
Calling for "imediate disengagement of all Greek armed forces from the theatre of war", Tsipras said that Greece was being dragged into "NATO's dangerous war games" in its own neighbourhood, amid choices that were extremely dangerous and might well lead to generalised warfare that would be totally contrary to the needs of the Arab people in revolt.
He also noted what he called a "systemic crisis of capitalism that was threatening labour entitlements" but also the re-emergence of the nuclear threat in Japan, 25 years after the disastrous accident in Chernobyl.
 Hellenism in Austria honours March 25, 1821 national anniversaryVIENNA (ANA-MPA/D. Dimitrakoudis)
Hellenism in Austria on Sunday honoured the National Anniversary of March 25, 1821 with a religious service at the Greek Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral in the historic sector of the Greeks in the centre of Vienna, followed by a ceremony at the monument of the great visionary, forerunner and national martyr Rigas Fereos.
The religious service and ceremony were attended by hundreds of members of the expatriate community, Austrian friends of Greece and many representatives of Greek and Cypriot authorities in Austria, headed by the ambassadors of Greece Panayiotis Zografos and Cyprus Marios Lyssiotis.
 Foreign Exchange rates - MondayReference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank:
U.S. dollar 1.424
Pound sterling 0.880
Danish kroner 7.516
Swedish kroner 8.977
Japanese yen 115.6
Swiss franc 1.286
Norwegian kroner 7.946
Canadian dollar 1.400
Australian dollar 1.435
 Police release photos, fake names used by terror groupThe Greek police have released 16 photographs of the five suspected members of the terror group "Conspiracy of Cells of Fire" recently arrested in Volos and Kifissia, as well as the names used by the group in various fake documents, appealing to members of the public to come forth with any information concerning these.
The 16 photographs were released on Friday afternoon and had all been used by suspects Georgios Nikolopoulos, Damianos Bolano, Christos Tsakalou, Giorgos Polydorou, Olga Economidou and Mihalis Nikolopoulos to make fake identity cards and other documents.
In addition, they also released the names of 11 people used on the fake documents and details of another 16 that had been found on hand-written notes in premises used by the suspects, which the counter terrorism squad believes would have been used in the same way.
The documents and other evidence were found and confiscated in the apartments on Ellispontou Street, Volos and Sapfous Street in Kallithea.
The names used in the fake IDs were Christos Lykogeorgos of Epaminondas, Georgios Vassiliou of Anastasios, Loukoutos-Vokos of Ioannis, Anastasios Kokotinis of Georgios, Maria Arianoutsou of Theodoros, Georgios Fakinos of Emmanuel, Dimitrios Konstantopoulos of Panagiotis, Dimitrios Kapetanopoulos of Periklis, Peter Athanassiou (two IDs) and Antonios Makris of Georgios.
The 16 names found in hand-written notes were the following: Georgia Tripolitaki, Maria Rita Angeliki Kailothanasaki, Constantinos Doulas, Evangelos Evaggelidis, Leonidas Stylianos, Orestis Magkas, Vassilios Bourdouvalis, Nikolaos Vlatas Vlatakis, Stefania Patsarika, Constantinos Bougiopoulos, Dimitrios Vakakis, Evangelos Zafeiris, Georgia Manoli, Dionysios Xenakis and the names of two Pakistanis and one Romanian on asylum applications.
Police have urged members of the public to volunteer any information they might have concerning any of the above names, confidentially, at the counter terrorism service phone lines 170, 1014 and 1964.
 Police seize nearly two tonnes cannabis in drug raidGreek authorities have seized nearly two tonnes of cannabis during an operation to dismantle an international ring of Greek and Albanian drug dealers in Attica and Larissa, during which they placed six suspects under arrest.
The raid was carried out on Saturday by the Attica Security drugs squad, working in collaboration with the Attica financial crimes unit (SDOE) drugs department and the U.S. Embassy's Drug Enforcement Administration bureau.
They arrested one Albanian and five Greeks, including the suspected mastermind of the ring, who were in the process of transporting the drugs to western Europe using long-haul trucks for international transport.
The police operation was based on a tip-off about the ring's activities and a three-month investigation that led detectives to the ring's mastermind, who owned a trucking company and other businesses in Larissa, and one of his closest associates.
The two were placed under close surveillance, leading police to a large warehouse in the industrial region of Aspropyrgos Attica that contained tools and equipment for converting trucks in order to make special crypts in the floor or roof that could be used to carry drugs.
Investigators also discovered that the suspects were preparing to export a large quantity of cannabis to England and traced the trucks that would be used for this purpose.
The police operation was carried out on Saturday, leading to the seizure of two trucks containing one tonne and 200 kilos of cannabis. A further 620 kilos of cannabis were found in the Aspropyrgos warehouse, where they were being guarded by an Albanian armed with a Kalashnikov rifle.
As well as the owner of the trucks and the Albanian, police also arrested three truck drivers and a man that had leased the Aspropyrgos warehouse. They confiscated the drugs, three trucks, the Albanian guard's Kalashnikov and a clip of bullets, a private car, 32,455 euro, 1,125 GBP, 80 Scottish pounds, 12 mobile phones and four precision scales.
Under questioning the suspects have admitted to at least two more shipments of cannabis to England using trucks in February 2011, while police are now focusing on the group's economic activities to discover incidents of money-laundering.
All six arrested were led before a public prosecutor on Sunday, while an investigation is continuing to arrest yet more of their accomplices.
 Coast guard seizes ship carrying contraband cigarettesA Greek coast guard vessel on Sunday seized a freighter carrying 6,150 cartons of contraband cigarettes of various brands in seas off the coast of Piraeus. The freighter "Adelaida" was flying a Comoros flag had a crew of seven Ukrainians, who were placed under arrest.
The ship's destination was a company in Montenegro that was involved in the transport of various types of goods but not cigarettes.
The "Adelaida" was taken to the port of Elefsina and held after coast guard officers discovered that its documents of nationality and safe manning had expired and that it was not legally sailing under the Comoros flag.
 Protests over fares, landfill siteThe municipality of Patras and local residents set up road blocks at the Rio road tolls on Saturday, demanding a solution to the problems arising with the city's overburdened landfill site. Further north in Pella and Florina, another protest was underway by local residents, environmental groups and left-wing movements against hikes in public transport fares and road tolls and recent cuts in railway services to the region.
Protestors boarded the train to Edessa and then gathered outside the new railway station, unfurling a banner that demanded the resumption of the Thessaloniki-Florina rail service, which is to be stopped between Edessa and Florina.
 Roma death prompts retaliatory attack on Ano Liossia landfillThe accidental death of a Roma gypsy scavenging among rubbish at the Ano Liossia landfill on Saturday prompted an angry retaliatory attack by other groups of Roma, who attacked the landfill, set fires and torched three machines.
The man was seriously injured when he was accidentally swept away by a refuse compressor and died on his way to Tzanio Hospital in Piraeus.
News of his death triggered an angry reaction, with incidents that lasted two hours before the intervention of MAT riot police to restore order. The fire in the landfill was put out by the fire brigade, using eight fire engines and 24 firemen.
An inquiry into the circumstances of the man's death has been launched by the police.
 Young man arrested for migrant traffickingA 22-year-old man was arrested by police in Thessaloniki on charges of migrant-trafficking after he was caught carrying eight illegal migrants, including two minors, in a car that he was driving.
The vehicle was sighted and placed under surveillance by police seeking migrant traffickers on Friday night, while further investigation revealed that the car had been reported stolen in Vari, Attica.
Police stopped the car in a rural region of Nea Peramos, Kavala and discovered the eight illegal migrants in the vehicle.
The 22-year-old river was arrested and the eight migrants will face an extradition process.
 Olympiacos Piraeus clinches Super League titleOlympiacos Piraeus thrashed AEK Athens 6-0 at home in games played for the Greek Super League over the weekend, clinching this year's title, while Panathinaikos Athens beat Kerkyra 2-1 at home and PAOK Thessaloniki was held to a 2-2 draw away by struggling Atromitos Athens.
In other action:
Xanthi-Asteras Tripoli 1-0
Aris Thessaloniki-Panseraikos Serres 3-1
Iraklis Thessaloniki-Panionios Athens 1-1
Kavala-Olympiacos Volos 0-1
Larissa-Ergotelis Crete 3-3
Standings after 27 weeks of play:
1. Olympiacos Piraeus 67 points (Champion)
2. Panathinaikos 57 (Playoffs)
3. AEK 43
4. PAOK 41
5. Olympiacos V. 41
6. Kavala 38
7. Aris 36
8. Xanthi 35
9. Iraklis 33
10. Ergotelis 33
11. Panionios 31
12. Kerkyra 30
13. Atromitos 30
14. Asteras 28
15. Larissa 25
16. Panseraikos 20 (Relegated)
 Rainy on MondayRainy weather and northerly winds are forecast in most parts of the country on Monday, with wind velocity reaching 3-8 beaufort. Temperatures will range between 2C and 17C. Cloudy and rainy in Athens, with northerly 5-8 beaufort winds and temperatures ranging from 8C to 12C. Same in Thessaloniki, with temperatures ranging from 5C to 11C.
 Athens' Sunday newspapers at a glanceThe start of aerial bombardment against Libya, the nuclear threat but also a controversial 50 billion euro privatisation programme mostly dominated the headlines in the Sunday editions of Athens' newspapers.
APOCALYPSEIS: "Hand everything over - German extortion behind plan for 50 billion"
ARTHRO: "PASOK versus PASOK"
AVGHI: "Parents, pupils, teachers up in arms over annihilation of 1,237 schools"
CHORA: "Libya action gets green light - Crucial days for war in Mediterranean".
ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Changing the terms the first step for getting rid of the Memorandum - interview with (main opposition New Democracy leader) Antonis Samaras".
ELEFTHEROTYPIA: "Operation 'End Gaddafi' - Allies attack launched after Sarkozy message".
EPOCHI: "Libya: uprising drowned in blood".
ETHNOS: "'Prime' beaches facing an 'exploitation' tsunami".
KATHIMERINI: "Greek secrets in Wikileaks - What the confidential cables reveal about Greek politicians on crucial issues"
LOGOS: "Cessation of reforms - the laws have been passed but not implemented".
NIKI: "Sixteen commandments for harsh austerity - The IMF clearly describes how Greece must collect the 26 billion euro".
PARASKINIO: "Europe's largest kickback went to a former Greek minister!"
PARON (weekly): "Lambrakis mixed up in coup against Makarios".
PROTO THEMA (weekly): "Kozloduy (power plant): our own nightmare."
REALNEWS (weekly): "Its either 'yes to everything' or elections! Message from (Prime Minister) George Papandreou to his MPs".
RIZOSPASTIS: "Anti-imperialist struggle with a new dynamic for people power".
TO VIMA (weekly): "Morgan Stanley's double game with Alpha-Ethniki".
VRADYNI: "Pension lump sum: when you can get it, what is happening with IKA, public sector".
 President: Cyprus against use of Bases for Libya operationNICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
Cyprus opposes the use of the British Bases for military actions in the region, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said on Sunday, noting however that the Bases are sovereign and can be used with just a warning on behalf of Britain.
Replying to questions on Libya, President Christofias said that ''the EU is not unanimous'' on the issue and that ''there was much discussion at the latest extraordinary Council and we could not reach a common position.''
He added that Cyprus ''opposes the use of the British Bases for military actions in our region.''
''It is another matter if democracy should rule in Libya and other Arab countries. There is no question about that, of course we are in favour, but this again is up to the peoples, it is a right of these peoples of these countries. This is our position. We do not agree with military interventions, even of this kind,'' he added.
Asked if the British Bases were being used for the operations in Libya, President Christofias said ''not yet.''
''Unfortunately, the Bases are sovereign and can be used with just a warning on behalf of Britain. We gave Britain the message that we do not wish the Bases to be used, because we are against it,'' he added.
Asked if Cyprus would offer its services in the event it was requested by the EU, President Christofias said ''there is no unanimous EU Council position.''
''We hope no one asks for anything. Keep in mind that Cyprus is far from Libya. We are neither Malta nor Italy. So, I do not think this will be necessary,'' he added.
Britain, a former colonial power, has retained two military bases in Cyprus when it granted the country its independence in 1960.
 British Forces Cyprus supporting operations in LibyaNICOSIA (CNA/ANA-MPA)
British Forces Cyprus (BFC) is providing support to ongoing operations over Libya and, ''through the British High Commission, will keep the Republic of Cyprus Authorities informed of developments.''
In a press release, BFC says that ''RAF Akrotiri is hosting VC-10, RAF E3D and Sentinel surveillance aircraft,'' and that it is not being used to launch offensive strikes on Libya.
''These aircraft will provide a surveillance and re-fuelling capability similar to that previously used to support humanitarian operations to evacuate British citizens and other foreign nationals from Libya,'' it adds.
Furthermore, it notes that ''regional coordination of UK air assets will be controlled by Joint Force Air Component HQ based in RAF Akrotiri.''
BFC says ''the duration of the operation and support from RAF Akrotiri will continue for as long as BFC are tasked to do so'' and that ''the UK's stated aims are to support UNSCR 1973.''
''RAF Akrotiri is not being used to launch offensive strikes on Libya, nor is it hosting air assets from any other nation for this operation. There are no plans to deploy Typhoon or Tornado aircraft to RAF Akrotiri,'' it points out.
It also says that ''no further details of current or future operations will be provided by BFC.''
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