|Friday, 24 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-07-23
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PAPANDREOY ADDRESSED THE 4TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE WORLD INTER-PARLIAMENTARY ASSOCIATION OF HELLENISMAthens, 23 July 2002 (18:02 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou addressed the 4th General Assembly of the World Inter-Parliamentary Association of Hellenism and referred to the vision shared by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots for Cyprus' accession into the European Union. The general assembly will be completed on July 25 and takes place in the Senate Hall of the Greek Parliament in Athens.
On the course of Turkey toward the European Union, he said that it is a big bet and the preconditions for this are the main issue of discussion in the neighboring country.
Mr. Papandreou referred to Greece's role in the European Union and the Balkans and the challenges that will be faced by Greece when it will take over the EU Presidency. He also referred to the 2004 Olympic Games and the promotion of the Olympic Truce which wins more and more supporters.
Mr. Papandreou thanked the parliament deputies of Greek origin for their support on crucial issues for Greece such as, the Cyprus issue, the reopening of the Theology School of Chalki, the ethnic Greek minority in Albania, etc.
He said that the dismantling of the terrorist group 17 November is a great success for Greece and stressed that the global efforts to protect democracy must continue.
 CONGRATULATIONS FROM EU FOREIGN MINISTERS ON N17 CASEBrussels, 23 July 2002 (15:25 UTC+2)
Congratulations were given to the Greek government concerning the strike against terrorism, by the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi and Foreign Ministers of the European Union, in the margin of the General Affairs Council, held in Brussels.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw gave a personal letter to Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, in which he welcomed the success of the Greek authorities against terrorism.
Mr. Papandreou informed his colleagues of the developments in the terrorism case and the progress in the eradication of November 17, during a luncheon they had.
 NEW "17 NOVEMBER" ARRESTThessaloniki, 23 July 2002 (18:33 UTC+2)
A 37-year-old teacher named Konstantinos Telios, who was born in the Aegean island of Samos in 1965 and is a permanent resident of Thessaloniki, is the 17 November terrorist group member under the code-name Markos. The announcement was made by Thessaloniki Police General Director Major-General Nikiforos Tzatzakis.
Mr. Tzatzakis stated that Telios appeared voluntarily to the police this afternoon and admitted that he took part in specific acts within the framework of his participation in 17 November. Telios was arrested and is already being transferred to Athens.
According to press information, before Telios' arrest police had searched two apartments in Thessaloniki. No guns or printed material were found.
 MARGINAL GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 23 July 2002 (17:34 UTC+2)
Marginal gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.12% at 2.085,89 points, while the volume of transactions was at 102.5 million Euro.
Of the stocks trading today, 126 recorded gains and 164 had losses, while the value of 89 stocks remained unchanged.
 GOVERNMENT DISCONTENT FOR THE LEAK OF THE 17N TESTIMONIESAthens, 23 July 2002 (16:39 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas expressed discontent for the leak of part of the testimonies made by those arrested in the 17 November terrorist group case, stressing that the leak of such information is against the government logic.
Mr. Protopapas stated that the leak came from someone who had access to the preliminary examinations and added that every citizen is innocent until proven guilty. He stated that police should be left alone to do their work.
The government spokesman also denied press reports according to which, Greece has requested the assistance of the Turkish police.
 THE DRUG-RELATED DEATHS INCREASED FIVE TIMES IN THE PERIOD 1990-2001Athens, 23 July 2002 (16:24 UTC+2)
The drug-related deaths in Greece increased five times in the period 1990-2001. According to official information, drug-related deaths were 66 in 1990 and 321 in 2001.
Specifically, in 1990 a total of 52 deaths were recorded in Athens, 9 in Thessaloniki and 5 in the rest of the country, while in 2001 the deaths in those regions were 211, 54 and 56 respectively. Based on the available figures, the drug-related deaths increased almost 4 times in Athens, 6 times in Thessaloniki and 11 times in the rest of the country.
The majority of those, who lost their lives from the drugs, were not married (58 in 1990 and 211 in 2001), jobless (29 in 1990 and 258 in 2001), and with basic education (29 in 1990 and 108 in 2001).
 STATEMENTS ON 17N BY THE GREEK POLICE CHIEFAthens, 23 July 2002 (16:21 UTC+2)
The belief that the lab tests as well as, the rest of the tests on the material found in relation with terrorist organization 17 November will widen the investigations' field, while the group's criminal acts will be well-founded to stand in court, was expressed by Greek Police Chief Fotis Nasiakos. The statements were made after a meeting today chaired by Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis.
Mr. Nasiakos stated that 17 November suffered a powerful blow based on the fact that 10 of its members have been arrested and another one, namely Dimitris Koufodinas, is still wanted. He said that based on the preliminary investigations, the individuals, who are under police custody, in cooperation with others, who are still wanted, have committed the overwhelming majority of the 17 November terrorist and criminal acts, mainly the robberies.
The Greek Police Chief praised the efforts of the Greek Police officers and stated that the efforts will continue for the arrest of all those who participated in 17 November from the day it was established until today.
 CHRISOCHOIDIS: "17 NOVEMBER" SUFFERED A POWERFUL BLOWAthens, 23 July 2002 (16:11 UTC+2)
The assurance that the 17 November terrorist group members will be led before justice to answer for their actions and have a fair trial, was given by Minister of Public Order Michalis Chrisochoidis in statements he made today.
Mr. Chrisochoidis stressed that 17 November suffered a powerful blow through a systematic and methodical effort and pointed out that already 10 individuals have been arraigned, while one person is still wanted. In addition, the evidence on possible involvement of other individuals is being examined.
The Minister of Public Order made it clear that the 17 November case will close for the Greek state only when all suspects will be led to justice and assured that light will be shed on the case.
Referring to democracy in Greece, he pointed out that the Greek people were wounded by the national disasters and wars but they were determined to defend democracy and their rights. Terrorism had cast a shadow over this course as it attempted to replace the people's will and the state of law. However, he pointed out that long before it was defeated by the police at an operational level, 17 November was defeated at a political and ideological level by the power of democracy as it was made clear that violence cannot be the means to solve political or ideological disputes.
Mr. Chrisochoidis thanked the Prime Minister and the political leadership in Greece for the confidence they showed in him, the Greek Police and the prosecutor's office, while he also thanked the Greek people for their support to the efforts against terrorism.
 GREEK POLICE INVESTIGATING OTHER ORGANIZATIONSAthens, 23 July 2002 (15:25 UTC+2)
Investigations concerning four other organizations will be carried out by the authorities and the counter-terrorism service in Aegina, Athens and Thessaloniki within the next few days. Organizations such as ELA, May 1st, and Revolutionary Cores, are being targeted, as it is believed that members of these organizations were connected with members of November 17.
According to a publication in The Vima newspaper, members of N17 came from or ended up in one of these organizations. The Greek Police believe that the individuals arrested in Thesprotia came from ELA and May 1st, and that Koufontinas and Christodoulos Xeros were connected to members of the Anti-State Struggle
The authorities are supporting the theory of communicating vessels, since apart from N17 and ELA, that were active in the past 27 years, other organizations were created that originated from or ended up there.
Meanwhile the counter-terrorism service seems to have turned to investigations for the tracking of an individual in Thessaloniki, as well as to solve the case of the attack on the branch of the National Bank, after information gained from testimonies of N17 members that have been arrested.
The case concerns a 40-year-old teacher called Marcos, who seems to be a collaborator of N17, as well as a robbery attributed to ELA that took place two years ago against an armored truck outside the National Bank on Pavlos Melas st.
 V. PAPANDREOU - M. BARNIER MEETINGAthens, 23 July 2002 (15:25 UTC+2)
Issues concerning major projects incorporated to the 3rd Community Support Framework, as well as the progress of the Olympic Projects, which are being co-funded with community funds, were discussed during a meeting yesterday between Minister of the Environment, Planning and Public Works Vasso Papandreou and EU Commissioner for Regional Development Michel Barnier.
After the end of the meeting, Mrs. Papandreou stressed that by the end of the year, the institutional framework for the studies and quality control of major works, which the government has committed to, will be presented to the Commission.
 IMPORTANT REVELATIONS BY N17 MEMBERSAthens, 23 July 2002 (14:36 UTC+2)
Important revelations are included in the testimonies of the N17 members which were made public. In these, many of the terrorists that are already known are described, while there are other members wanted by the authorities. Vassilis Tzortzatos is also known as Stamatis, Savvas Xeros as Michalis, Dimitris Koufontinas as Lucas, Iraklis Kostaris as Harris, Giannis Skandalis as Komis (The Count), Alexandros Giotopoulos as Lambros o Psilos (Lambros the Tall Guy) and Christodoulos Xeros as Manolis.
Alexandros Giotopoulos: I deny all charges against me and I will testify anything related to the DA with my attorney present.
Vassilis Xeros: Georgiadis offered these extra services to the organization for about a year and essentially stopped in the middle of 1998.
Apart from Lucas (D. Koufontinas) and Savvas I have not met other people in the house on Patmos st. I have also visited Lucas in the organization's house in Piraeus, where there were guns, rockets, explosives and other materials. But in the beginning of 1999, after the order of Lucas, I started looking for a new house in the Pagrati area. Georgiadis continued to support us, but in very minor issues. In the placing of baskets (bombs) at McDonalds and Detroit Motors on Kifisia Avenue, as well as outside Chrysler on Katechaki Avenue, and at the Mesogion Avenue Opel hit, I was the lookout. Savvas placed (the explosives) and Lucas looked out. We went there in stolen cars, which we then dumped. Takis (possibly Iraklis Kostaris) participated in some of the thefts. The people which I mainly worked with were my brothers, Koufontinas, Georgiadis and Takis, using the codename Harris.
Also, Lambros (Alexandros Giotopoulos) and I had met a man in Piraeus before the Peratikos murder, who had given me the feeling that he was the Chief, but I do not know anything else about him. We called money lettuce, guns pens, bombs baskets, rockets pipes, and when we wanted to say we were going to kill someone, we would say that we were going to do something for them.
Christodoulos Xeros: In 1983, I met Giannis Serifis and we spoke about the possibility of armed action for the first time. Serifis brought me into contact with Dimitris Koufontinas who he introduced as Lucas.
Lucas brought me into contact with the Count. They taught me conspiratorial rules, how to steal cars, etc. In 1984 they introduced me to Lambros the Tall Guy, Nikitas, and Alekos or the film. Lambros is around 60 today and Nikitas is about 55, average height, with slightly wavy brown hair, wears glasses for near-sightedness and was slightly overweight.
Alekos is around 45 now, and his name is Patroklos. Among other things, in his testimony, Christodoulos mentioned that they rehearsed before carrying out the hits. Concerning the operation against US official Robert Chad, he mentioned: The one who went to the starting point, Syntagma Square, called the café we were at when the target left, and asked for a prearranged non-existent name.
When he café owner called the name out the two guys that were there understood that the target was on his way and after awhile left discreetly. I believed that the organization was doing the right thing and would force the world to change. Slowly, after realizing that nothing could be achieved, I stopped my political activity
Vassilis Tzortzatos: Referring to Christodoulos, who recruited him in 1985. He introduced me to Lucas with the nickname Stamatis. In our meeting with Lucas we talked about American political and financial goals.
The meetings continued until the day we decided to kill Momferatos, Tzortzatos also referred to the attack against the Police Special Forces bus in 1985, while he described other killings, Since 1992 I have not participated in any actions, I repent for my actions and denounce any such form of struggle because it leads nowhere.
Kostas Karatsolis: Referring to how his brother-in-law, Kostaris, recruited him. He introduced him to Michalis (Savvas Xeros) and Lucas (Dimitris Koufontinas) and told him they belonged to an organization and were going to fight. They called Iraklis Kostaris Harris.
After a few meetings they revealed that they were members of N17 and they had planned entering the Vyronas Police Department and stealing weapons for the organization. I accepted the proposal. After giving some evidence about the operation on the Police Department, he then mentioned that: From the end of 1990 I have participated in no operations.
We would meet in the St. Nikolaos Station in Kato Patissia, at a grill house and a church in the area of the station. It was there that we had said we were going to do a ND MP, Sykourio and place baskets in embassy cars.