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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-07-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Rainy, stormy on Sunday
  • [02] N17 terrorist suspect denies charges (ADDS detail, new suspects)
  • [03] Freak whirlwind shunts jet along Athens airport tarmac
  • [04] Supreme Court rules for prosecution in abetting Kurdish rebel leader
  • [05] Anti-terrorism drive gives gov't impetus in voter preference
  • [06] State doctors on 24-hour strike Monday
  • [07] November 17 terrorist suspect denies charges
  • [08] Weather Forecast: Cloud, rain on Saturday
  • [09] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

  • [01] Weather Forecast: Rainy, stormy on Sunday

    27/07/2002 19:55:45

    Unsettled weather with cloud, rain and storms is forecast in all parts of the country. Winds variable, moderate, turning strong at sea. In the north, temperatures will range from 15C to 26C; in the Ionian and on the rest of the mainland from 18C to 30C; and in the Aegean islands from 22C to 31C. Showers and storms are expected in Athens with temperatures between 22C and 29C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 20C to 26C.

    [02] N17 terrorist suspect denies charges (ADDS detail, new suspects)

    27/07/2002 19:50:19

    A suspected terrorist denied criminal charges brought by an Athens prosecutor on Saturday that he took part in attacks perpetrated by the November 17 terrorist group, police said in a statement.

    Detained on Friday, police identified the man as Nikolaos Papanastasiou, 50, a potter residing in Stamata, Attica. His alleged pseudonym in November 17 was ''Nikitas.''

    The statement cited preliminary evidence as indicating that in 1984 Papanastasiou took part in a murder attempt on US sergeant Robert Judd in Attica; a robbery at the National Bank of Greece in Petralona, Athens; and the murder of police officer Christos Matis in Athens.

    Again according to preliminary evidence, Papanastasiou also took part a year later in the murder of Nikolaos Momferatos, publisher of the Apogevmatini daily newspaper, whose driver also died in the Athens attack, the police statement said.

    Another suspect, Christodoulos Xiros, had named ''Nikitas'' as an operator in the four attacks, according to transcripts of evidence he gave to authorities that were leaked to the media.

    Papanastasiou is to give evidence on Monday at 1900 hours after judicial authorities agreed to his request for an extension to prepare his case.

    After a spate of arrests and reported confessions over the past few weeks, police believe they have mostly unravelled November 17, which has a 27-year history of murder, attempted murder, bomb attacks and robbery. Trial dates have yet to be set.

    At the top of a list of suspects slated for detention are a man codenamed "Sardanapalos" who is believed to have been a senior member of November 17 after it began operations in 1975; and a woman known as ''Anna'', also thought to be part of the group's early history.

    The woman was reportedly described by another suspect, Pavlos Serifis, as a tall blonde with a good knowledge of Greek.

    According to Serifis, ''Anna'' allegedly took part in the slaying of Richard Welch, a CIA station chief in Athens, in 1975, a crime that marked the start of the terrorist group's 27-year career.

    Still at large is Dimitris Koufodinas, who authorities believe may have gone into hiding in Attica or Halkidiki. Koufodinas is seen as a key player in November 17, also operating as the group's treasurer.

    Yet another suspect being sought is an alleged operator in the group known as ''Aris''.

    [03] Freak whirlwind shunts jet along Athens airport tarmac

    27/07/2002 19:10:01

    A woman was slightly injured on Saturday when a two-minute whirlwind shifted an Olympic Airways jet along the tarmac of Athens international airport as passengers were disembarking after a flight.

    The high wind that sprang up at the start of a brief storm gripped the Boeing 737-300, detaching the aircraft from a passenger ramp. Both the aircraft and a nearby airport bus were damaged.

    Authorities called an ambulance to take the injured woman to the airport's medical centre but she declined assistance, citing recovery.

    No planes were taking off or landing when the whirlwind struck, airport authorities said.

    [04] Supreme Court rules for prosecution in abetting Kurdish rebel leader

    27/07/2002 18:44:10

    The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal for procedings to be dropped against 12 people charged with aiding and abetting Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan in his illegal entry into Greece three years ago.

    Along with the 12 charged with aiding illegal entry, issuing a false document and abuse of the country's peace internationally, Ocalan is also to stand trial for illegally entering the country on January 28, 1999.

    According to court documents released on Saturday, the Supreme Court ruled that the original decision to prosecute issued by the Athens Appeals Court Council was valid.

    Charged with abetting Ocalan are A. Naxakis, a retired Hellenic Navy captain who planned the Kurd's entry; author Voula Damianakou-Vasilopoulou and her daughter, who hosted Ocalan overnight; two of his associates; an airline pilot who transported Ocalan from Russia to Greece; and the police, airline and airport officials who allowed his entry.

    [05] Anti-terrorism drive gives gov't impetus in voter preference

    27/07/2002 17:48:58

    A spate of arrests linked to the November 17 terrorist group has helped the ruling PASOK party to narrow its gap with main opposition New Democracy, which ranks first in voter preference, a poll released on Saturday showed.

    According to the survey by Metron Analysis conducted on July 11-23, ND was 5.5 points ahead of PASOK against 8.8 points in late June to early July, and 6.3 points in February.

    Commissioned by the Imerissia daily financial newspaper, the poll gave PASOK 31.9 percent of voter backing, up 1.9 percent from early July. ND gained 37.4 percent, down 1.4 percent.

    Next came the Communist Party of Greece with 4.6 percent of voter preference; the Democratic Social Movement at 3.0 percent; and the Coalition of the Left and Progress at 2.6 percent.

    The two largest parties were quits in voter preference in urban areas, each securing 32.9 percent.

    In semi-urban and rural areas ND retook the lead at 44.2 percent against 30.4 percent for PASOK.

    Asked which party would win if elections were held immediately, 54.3 percent of respondents tipped ND for victory and 25.8 percent PASOK, with 19.5 percent declining to forecast.

    Among public figures in PASOK, Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis ranked third at 57.8 percent, sharply up from 27.3 percent in the last survey. Chrysohoidis is in charge of the police campaign to unravel November 17.

    Coming top in PASOK was Foreign Affairs Minister George Papandreou; and among public figures in ND, Dora Bakoyianni, a parliamentary deputy whose first husband was slain by November 17.

    Among public figures overall, the favourite was President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, followed by parliament speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis, and Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, head of the Athens 2004 Olympics organising committee.

    Finally, asked to name the most probable origin of November 17, 32.3 percent of respondents said they believed that the group was a tool of major vested financial interests; 17.4 percent that it sprang from the far left; 9.8 percent that its members were the agents of secret services; 6.6 percent that its members derived from PASOK; and 1.7 percent that they came from the far right.

    Asked to characterise the members of November 17, 74 percent of people questioned described them as terrorists and 19 percent as social rebels, with 7.0 percent of respondents stating that they were unable to speculate.

    [06] State doctors on 24-hour strike Monday

    27/07/2002 16:54:26

    Doctors in state health centres and practices are to stage a 24-hour strike on Monday in a lasting dispute with the government over pay and status.

    Employed by the Social Security Foundation, the doctors are seeking payment of a monthly allowance given to staff in state agencies overseen by the health ministry; and salaried status for 5,500 colleagues hired on a contractual basis.

    Minimum staff will report to work during the strike to handle emergencies as required by law.

    [07] November 17 terrorist suspect denies charges

    27/07/2002 16:14:07

    A suspected terrorist on Saturday denied charges brought by an Athens prosecutor of taking part in crimes perpetrated by the November 17 terrorist group, police said in a statement.

    Arrested on Friday, the man was identified as Nikolaos Papanastasiou, 50, a potter residing in Stamata, Attica. His alleged pseudonym in November 17 was ''Nikitas.''

    The statement cited preliminary evidence as indicating Papanastasiou in 1984 took part in a murder attempt on US sergeant Robert Judd in Attica; a robbery at the National Bank of Greece in Petralona, Athens; and the murder of police officer Christos Matis in Athens.

    Again according to preliminary evidence, Papanastasiou also took part a year later in the murder of Nikolaos Momferatos, publisher of the Apogevmatini daily newspaper, whose driver also died in the Athens attack.

    Police believe they have mostly unravelled November 17, which has a 27-year history of murder, attempted murder, bomb attacks and robbery, in a spate of arrests and reported confessions over the past few weeks. Trial dates have yet to be set.

    [08] Weather Forecast: Cloud, rain on Saturday

    27/07/2002 15:11:40

    Cloud is forecast in all parts of the country on Saturday with rain and storms in the Ionian, on the mainland and the northern and eastern islands. Showers or short-lived storms may occur in the rest of the country. Winds variable, light to moderate. In the north, temperatures will range from 17C to 29C; in the Ionian and on the rest of the mainland from 20C to 32C; and in the Aegean islands from 22C to 34C. Showers and storms are expected in Athens with temperatures between 23C and 32C. Same in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 20 to 28C.

    [09] Foreign Exchange Rates - Monday

    27/07/2002 15:11:33

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank until Monday

    U.S. dollar 1.008

    Pound sterling 0.638

    Danish kroner 7.493

    Swedish kroner 9.517

    Japanese yen 118.4

    Swiss franc 1.461

    Norwegian kroner 7.623

    Cyprus pound 0.579

    Canadian dollar 1.584

    Australian dollar 1.869


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