British aircraft carrier to visit
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greece demands inquiry into bomb at Patriarchate
Greece will proceed via diplomatic channels to express its displeasure with
the latest terrorist incident at the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul
and request a full inquiry, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said
A strong explosion went off at 11.50 last night in the grounds of the
Patriarchate's buildings in the Phanar district of Istanbul. Although
nobody was hurt, the Saint George church sustained serious damage.
The state-run Turkish news agency, Andolu, reported that the Islamic
Fighting Front for a Greater East (IBDA-C) - an extremist Islamic
fundamentalist organisation - had assumed responsibility for the blast.
The IBDA-C has claimed responsibility for previous attacks on churches and
restaurants serving alcohol in the Istanbul area.
Reppas said the terrorist act was an attempt to undermine the rapprochement
between the two countries, stressing that it had been condemned by Turkish
circles as an attempt to destabilise Turkey's rapprochement efforts with
He characterised the organisation as an Islamist extreme right-wing
nationalist organisation, motivated by anti-Greek sentiments.
Simitis in Cyprus tomorrow
Prime Minister Costas Simitis's visit to Cyprus tomorrow is an indication
of the importance Greece places on a resolution of the Cyprus problem,
government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today.
Simitis's visit is of "the highest national priority", Reppas told
reporters, adding that the visit would underline the importance Greece
places on Cyprus and would serve to align the common points in Hellenism's
The prime minister will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Theodoros
Pangalos, Reppas, ruling party PASOK Secretary Costas Skandalidis and PASOK
Eurodeputy Yiannos Kranidiotis.
Reppas added that the Cypriot government's 'Nikiforos' military exercise,
expected to begin in the next few days, was also of "the highest importance
within the framework of the joint defence doctrine".
Asked whether Greece would be participating in the military exercise, he
said this was an issue which would be examined.
Hellenic Air Force planes participated in last year's Nikiforos exercise
for the first time in the framework of the joint defence doctrine.
No new or further taxes will be imposed, government spokesman Dimitris
Reppas said today, stressing that Prime Minister Costas Simitis and
National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou had committed
themselves to not imposing new taxes in their election pledges.
Reppas said that Simitis would chair a meeting of senior government members
tonight to prepare for the government's policy statements in Parliament.
He added that the prime minister had not yet decided on the make-up of the
Stolen luxury car ring uncovered
Police have broken up an organised ring stealing luxury cars in major Greek
cities and selling them in Europe.
Stanic Predi Lang, 25, and Prenkar Bojoslav, 23, were arrested by police at
the Promahonoas border post near Serres as they tried to drive two stolen
vehicles from Greece to Belgrade.
One of the vehicles had false number plates indicating it came from
Police said the mastermind behind the ring was a Stanvik Dikora, who is
also being sought by Interpol.
In the past two years, some 300 luxury cars have been stolen from Greece
and Italy, headed for Sofia and Belgrade and from there to central Europe
to be sold for a fifth of their real value.
Meanwhile, three Albanian illegal immigrants were killed this morning when
the jeep they had stolen crashed in the northern city of Florina, police
Police said the three were aged between 25 and 30 but had no further
details on their identity.
British aircraft carrier to visit Piraeus
The British navy's aircraft carrier "HMS Invincible" will dock in the port
of Piraeus on Octber 7 for a week's visit.
The Invincible is one of the British Navy's three aircraft carriers and
carries a crew of 1,200, including 100 women.
The carrier will be open to the public on Saturday, October 12 between
10.30 am and 12.30 pm.