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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-03-23

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM arrives in Brussels for EU summit
  • [02] Bakoyannis' itinerary during U.S. trip
  • [03] Kastalia clinic hostage-taker arrested
  • [04] GSEE urges govt to change economic policy

  • [01] PM arrives in Brussels for EU summit

    BRUSSELS (ANA/MPA) Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis arrived in Brussels on Thursday to take part in the European Union leaders' summit that begins later this afternoon.

    EU leaders are expected to focus on issues of employment and competitiveness, as well as the revised Lisbon Strategy.

    On arriving in the city, Karamanlis immediately took part in the European Peoples Party (EPP) summit that focused on preparations for the later meeting of EU leaders and the EPP Congress that will take place in Rome on March 30-31.

    In statements afterward, Karamanlis stressed that he will particularly emphasise employment and sustainable growth during the European Council meeting.

    "For us a basic priority is to create more jobs, with especial concern for women and young people, and to strengthen social cohesion and small to middle-sized businesses," he added.

    Regarding the EPP Congress, the Greek premier said that this convened every three years in order to adopt fundamental resolutions and to elect the EPP presidium, while this year it would also mark the 30th anniversary since the foundation of the EPP.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [02] Bakoyannis' itinerary during U.S. trip

    WASHINGTON (ANA/MPA - A. Ellis) Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who is currently visiting Washington, is due to meet U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the State Department later on Thursday night.

    Prior to the meeting with Rice, Bakoyannis will have a working dinner with Greek-American Senator Paul Sarbanes and give an interview to the "Washington Post".

    Her meeting with Rice will also be preceded by a 45-minute meeting with Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, a former U.S. ambassador to Athens, who is highly knowledgeable on issues concerning Greece.

    Rice and Bakoyannis are due to make a joint statement shortly after midnight Greek time, after which the Greek foreign minister will attend a press conference for the Greek press at the Greek Embassy in Washington.

    She is next due to visit Blair House to take part in a dinner given by John Negroponte, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, who is also of Greek origin on his father's side. The dinner is in honour of Archbishop of America Demetrios and Bakoyannis and marks the March 25 Greek Independence Day anniversary.

    On Friday, Bakoyannis will represent the Greek government at a special ceremony at the White House to honour the Greek Independence Day holiday, which will be attended by U.S. President George Bush. There will also be a brief meeting between Bush and Bakoyannis prior to the ceremony.

    A little earlier, Bakoyannis will have a meeting at the White House with the president's Assistance for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Frances Fragos Townsend.

    After the White House event, the Greek foreign minister will depart for New York, where she is due to meet the U.N. mediator for the Macedonia issue Matthew Nimetz, Archbishop Demetrios and celebrate the March 25 Independence Day holiday with the Greek-American community over the weekend.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [03] Kastalia clinic hostage-taker arrested

    A 26-year-old man who was holding three people hostage at the Kastalia Clinic in Elliniko was arrested on Thursday at 17:15, following a raid by EKAM Special Forces police that ended the hostage crisis without any injuries.

    The man - a former patient - had broken into the psychiatric clinic and held three women at gunpoint at 13:30 on Thursday.

    Police said he had been released about six weeks ago after being treated for psychiatric problems and drug abuse.

    He arrived at the clinic earlier in the day with a woman friend and a video camera and attempted to get in through the main gate, where he was stopped by security. According to the woman, who is now testifying to police, on arriving at the clinic the culprit told her he would "make her famous". He then managed to jump over the fence at an unguarded spot and enter the building, where he started to wreak havoc, breaking a PC in the reception area and offices.

    Afterwards, he went up to the first floor of the clinic taking three women hostage: a nurse, a hospital employee and a woman from a nearby shop that had come on a visit.

    Police said the 26-year-old accuses his parents and doctors at the clinic of having him committed when there was nothing wrong with him, while he is also recording footage with his video camera to give to a TV channel as an exclusive.

    Eye witness reports say the man is armed with two guns but it is unclear whether these are real of fakes. According to police, the man appears to be calm and is not making threats but neither has he made any specific demands.

    The police task force for hostage situations, including four expert police negotiators, have been deployed and are trying begin negotiations with the hostage-taker. The clinic has been cordoned off, while the ambulance service and Special Forces (EKAM) police are on standby. In charge of the operation are Attica Security Chief Major Gen. Drosos Bougoudis and SE Attica Police Chief Brigadier Nikos Seretis.

    Police are also questioning the hostage-taker's brother, who is now at the scene.

    Meanwhile, the Crisis Management Council has convened at the Greek Police headquarters under General Inspector for Southern Greece Lieut. Gen. Vassilis Tsiatouras and Attica Chief Major Gen. Asimakis Golfis, with a public prosecutor and other emergency services attending.

    The hostage crisis also cut short a meeting between Justice Minister Anastasios Papaligouras and Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras to discuss the founding of a judicial police force.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

    [04] GSEE urges govt to change economic policy

    Greeces largest trade union umbrella GSEE on Thursday accused the government of hypocrisy and of using different languages over its economic policy.

    GSEEs president Christos Polyzogopoulos, commenting on remarks made by Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis on low wages and high prices in Greece, urged the government to change the economic policy mix. Commenting on the situation faced by Greek workers, Polyzogopoulos said workers were threatened by doubts expressed by employers over collective labour agreements and to increasing prices in domestic prices. Greek enterprises and banks are reporting record high profits, boosted by government policy such as new laws on working hours, overworking pay, public sector enterprises, pension system reform, tax-breaks, a development law and joint ventures between public and private sector companies, he stressed.

    Polyzogopoulos also noted that a governments income policy for 2006 offered pay rises below the inflation rate.

    Meanwhile, bank workers union OTOE has called a general meeting for April 17 to decide on its strike mobilizations with the aim to ensure higher pay increases.

    ANA-MPA Copyright © 2004-2005 All rights reserved.

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