Albanians involved in robberies
NEWS IN DETAIL
Greek Independence Day messages
The buttressing of our national independence from external threats has
priority in Greece's goals, President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos
stated in a message to expatriate Greeks on the occasion of the country's
national day. The day marks the 176th anniversary of the declaration of the
Greek War of Independence against Ottoman rule.
"The threat is real and the provocations well known," he notes.
The provocations rally the Greeks together and strengthen national
consensus, he adds, noting that "Greece, with a steady European orientation,
is carving a course demanding of everyone willing contributions, which will
give it the potential of consoli dating its position internationally."
Prime Minister Costas Simitis observed that Greece's independence could be
secured not only by means of a strong deterrent force, but by the country's
equal participation in all phases of European integration, as well as its
participation in the Economic and Monetary Union.
In order to be strong and proud, he added, Greece should play a major role
in setting a common course in the strife-torn Balkans.
The new leader of the main opposition New Democracy party Costas Karamanlis
said that Greece and Hellenism had achieved astounding successes under
conditions of national understanding, calm public dialogue, a sense of
moderation and above all the belief that there was much that united
The traumatic experiences of the past, he added, should act as lessons,
particularly when the people were demanding a way out of the decline of
A statement from the Coalition of the Left and Progress said that it was in
Greece's power to overcome the crisis in which it found itself. Foreign
policy, it said, was trapped in dead ends created by wrong moves. A far-
sighted strategy was needed to deal with Turkish hostility. Meanwhile, the
economic crisis was continuing, the environment and cultural life were in
Independence Day celebrations marking the beginning of the revolution
against Ottoman rule on 25 March, 1821, culminated in a military parade
through central Athens today.
Defence Minister reaffirms policy towards Turkey
Greece's defence strategy is centred on both a policy of deterrence and one
of de-escalating tensions, said Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos last
night, addressing an event at Patras University in honour of Greece's
A display of determination, he said, was the only way to block Ankara's
expansionist plans and provocations.
"That is why it has to be made clear to Ankara, the USA and Europe that
Greece will respond instantly and with all the appropriate means to any
provocation against its territorial integrity...that is why we have created
a new defence policy aimed at securing the country's strategic sufficiency,
" he added.
"Greece does not want to provoke crises or conflicts. We must emphasise
that the containment of Turkish agression and the removal of any state of
vulnerability in the Aegean and Cyprus create the objective conditions for
peaceful relations in the region," he stressed.
Meanwhile, in response to questions regarding his meeting with Albanian
Socialist leader Fatos Nano, currently in Greece on a private visit,
Tsohatzopoulos drew attention to the need for solidarity with and support
for the entire Albanian people on the part of the European Union in order
for the crisis to be overcome.
He expressed his complete agreement with the deployment of an international
police force in Albania.
Albanian Prime Minister satisfied with Greece's role
Albanian Prime Minister Bashkim Fino said last night that Albania was
satisfied with Greece's contribution towards efforts to bring about
national reconciliation in Albania.
Speaking to Thessaloniki's ET3 television station, Fino attributed Albanian
reactions to a visit to Gjirokaster last week by Foreign Undersecretary
Yannos Kranidiotis to "a diplomatic technicality which has since been
resolved". The Albanian Prime Minister also expressed satisfaction with
humanitarian aid sent by Greece to Albania, stressing the need for Greek
economic aid, including investments in the near future.
Uzbekistani President to visit Greece
Economic and trade relations between Uzbekistan and Greece, particularly in
the sector of civil aviation, will be the focus of a visit to Greece at the
end of March by a delegation led by Uzbekistani President Islam Karimov.
Karimov will have talks with Greece's leaders and is to visit the Athens
Chamber of Trade and Industry on Wednesday 2 April.
The delegation includes finance and economy ministers, as well as
representatives of the country's business and financial circles, including
Uzbekistan Airways general director, Mr. Rouzmetov, who is to meet with
officals of Olympic Airways and the Civil Aviation Service.
Rouzmetov is expected to raise the issue of a possible second weekly flight
to from Tashkent to Thessaloniki via Larnaca. Uzbekistan is also interested
in making Greece a transit station for air cargo between Tashkent and
European countries. In addition, Rouzmetov is expected to raise a former
proposal by Uzbekistan Airways for an interline agreement to be signed with
OA, giving the latter access to Asian states, as well as access to
new destinations for the former.
Plans for Arab Common Market
The eventual emergence of an "Arab Common Market" was foreseen at
conference of communist and labour parties from the eastern Mediterranean
and Middle East countries, held in Athens by the Communist Party of
The two-day conference was attended by delegations from Egypt, Iran, Iraq,
Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, Bahrein, Palestine, Syria and the Sudan. According
to KKE public relations director Babis Aggourakis, the participants
concluded that organisations such as the International Monetary Union, the
European Union and even the World Bank, aimed at keeping countries in the
region in an underdeveloped state in order to strike at every breeding
ground of resistance, particularly the communist labour parties and
The purpose of the conference, said Aggourakis, was to make a joint
assessment of the situation following recent developments in Albania as
well as the stance of the Israelis and Americans regarding adherence to the
terms of the Palestine peace accords. The conference also condemned any
expansion of NATO towards the east and south.
Man sought in murder of Georgian
An Albanian is being sought by police in northern Greece in connection with
death of a Georgian in an alleged settling of accounts over the transport
of illegal immigrants.
Theodoros Tzovanidis was shot and killed on Saturday near the village of
Rizo, Pella, in front of his six-year-old son who later identified Kosta
Kotsi, 38, from police photographs.
Pella police report that Kotsi is known to have been involved in transporting
illegal immigrants, while it is believed that Tzovidis, who was a driver,
had provided the means of transport in his own vehicle.
Albanians involved in robberies
Three crimes involving Albanians were reported yesterday, one involving an
attack on an Athenian taxi driver. Anastasios Boidas, 35, was beaten and
robbed by Leka Loulas, 27 and Marios Markos, 26 who had flagged down the
taxi in the inner suburb of Pangrati. They were later arrested in a nearby
Two Albanians were attacked and robbed by four of their compatriots in the
inner Athens district of Kolonos. The two victims, Edouardo Duro, 21 and
Arma Selini, 19, are in a satisfactory condition in Nikea General
In another incident, seven Albanians were arrested in a billiard hall in
Kipseli, central Athens, after charges were brought against them by a
compatriot. Christos Paras, 17, was beaten up and robbed by the seven men
after he confronted them and accused them of burgling his home.
Tomorrow there will be cloud and rain in the east during the afternoon,
with heavy rain in the south and scattered snow in mountainous areas. The
weather will start to clear from the northwest during the afternoon. Athens
will be cloudy and wet with temperatures between 7-14C. Similar weather
in Thessaloniki with temperatures between 2-9C.
In soccer, AEK beat Edessa 2-0, putting it within four points of Olympiakos
(62 and 58). Panathinaikos is in third place with 54. Three out of Greece's
four competitors have been beaten in main event of the "Greece I" tennis
tournament in Kalamata. Greek champion Kostas Economidis is still to play,
facing Germany's Michael Kochman tonight.
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