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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 96-12-20

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

From: The Greek Press & Information Office, Ottawa Canada <>

ATHENS NEWS AGENCY BULLETIN (No 1071), December 20, 1996

Greek Press & Information Office
Ottawa, Canada
E-Mail Address:


  • [01] Farmers converge on Athens, Gov't unwavering
  • [02] Gov't spokesman
  • [03] Farmers' meeting with Tzoumakas
  • [04] Greek ambassador reported safe in Lima
  • [05] Stephanopoulos on official visit to Egypt
  • [06] Athens welcomes Euro Court rulings
  • [07] Cultural Capital of Europe programs outlined to deputies
  • [08] Simitis says he would never bow to 'blackmail'
  • [09] Court rules seamen's strike illegal
  • [10] Citibank explosion work of November 17, police sources say
  • [11] 18 illegal immigrants picked up on Samos
  • [12] 'Wrapping paper' furor hits Thessaloniki
  • [13] Commission approves transport, environment projects for Greece
  • [14] Kavala business delegation attend Belgrade trade fair
  • [15] Bourse approves bonds loan
  • [16] OECD forecasts 3 per cent growth in '97
  • [17] Mastroianni death noted
  • [18] Jules Dassin to become honorary Greek citizen
  • [19] Bendit urges radical change in anti-drug policies
  • [20] Rhodes to host "Culture Marathon"

  • [01] Farmers converge on Athens, Gov't unwavering

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    The government stood its ground as thousands of farmers from all over the country converged on Athens' city center yesterday in support of their demands, although Prime Minister Costas Simitis again refused to meet them as long as they continued to block roads and rail links.

    More than 100 coaches arrived in Athens at noon with farmers and their families scheduled to attend the rally. Some 5,000 farmers began to arrive in waves outside the agriculture ministry building, shouting slogans and expressing their determination to continue their protests until they are vindicated.

    Farmers want lower fuel prices, higher price supports and US$ 1.3 billion in debts rescheduled, however, the government has maintained that it has no money to give.

    The rally began with speeches by members of the farmers' coordinating committee of Thessaly, who attacked the government for its handling of the situation, accusing it of intransigence.

    Pan-Thessaly Struggle Committee President Yiannis Pattakis, Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Deputy and Coordinating Committee member Vangelis Boutas as well as other members of the committee addressing the crowds of farmers in Vathis Square, accused the government of "not listening to farmers' cries of desperation" and of following a "Thatcherist" policy. They said it was a question of survival for the farmers, while Mr. Boutas said survival does not go together with convergence programs.

    Mr. Simitis, they said, was refusing dialogue with the farmers because he had nothing to say with respect to their demands.

    Thousands of farmers have blocked national roads for 23 days with tractors, causing a transportation chaos and inflicting more than $100 million in damages on the economy.

    Many barricades have come down in recent days and farmers in some regions have lost heart, but blockades on the north-south motorway in the Thessaly region have stayed in place, virtually cutting the country in two.

    [02] Gov't spokesman

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas yesterday called on the farmers to take the first step towards resolving the impasse caused by the type of protest action they have chosen, stressing that the government had done all it could to alleviate their problems.

    He said it was not possible for the government to be "blackmailed" under pressure created by the road and rail blockades.

    Mr. Reppas urged farmers to participate in the dialogue for the creation of a national "framework" for agriculture as well as a framework for putting agricultural demands to the European Union.

    Replying to questions, Mr. Reppas accused KKE of providing assistance and "political cover" to the form of protests used by the farmers. He added that the government had taken all the necessary measures to prevent any outbreak of violence at yesterday's rally and march.

    The farmers' march coincided with a debate in Parliament on the 1997 budget, which ends on Saturday night with a vote. The budget has triggered a number of strikes and protests in recent weeks by various groups opposing Mr. Simitis' economic policy.

    He has stressed that Greece needs to catch up with its European partners, reiterating that sacrifices must be made, especially by the wealthy.

    Students, a large number of construction workers and some pensioners later joined the farmers in a show of solidarity.

    The Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY), the Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE), the Athens Labor Center, the Federation of Pensioners and other trade union organizations in resolutions all expressed solidarity with the farmers.

    [03] Farmers' meeting with Tzoumakas

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    After the rally, farmers' representatives held a meeting with Agriculture Minister Stephanos Tzoumakas in Parliament, during which they demanded satisfaction to their demands.

    The resolution, which they handed to Mr. Tzoumakas, also refers to problems facing stockbreeders and pension demands in general.

    Farmers' representatives said later that a two-hour meeting with the minister had been fruitless and that the government's "intransi-gence" was outrageous. They claimed none of the six demands they had put forward had been accepted, adding that the only thing which the government promised them was 12 billion drachmas from the European Union as compensation for farmers whose crops or installations were damaged by recent bad weather.

    In contrast, the minister described the meeting as substantive, adding that farmers had been fully briefed on the 12 million drachma compensation sum approved by the European Commission. He reiterated that the budget and commitments towards the EU prohibited the circumscribed the government's possibilities in further meeting farmers demands at the present time.

    Also present at the meeting was Under-secretary to the Prime Minister's Office George Paschalidis. The farmers' Struggle Coordinating Committee later decided to escalate its action and said the precise form would be defined today at a meeting in Larisa.

    Meanwhile, the managing director of the Athens Paper Mill plant in Drama (Softex) announced earlier in the day that the company had been forced to give compulsory leave to 200 workers.

    Explaining the decision, Antonis Georgiadis said the temporary lay-off was necessitated by a lack of raw materials resulting from farmers' blockades.

    He said production at the Softex plant had stopped on Dec. 7.

    Although the president of the Drama Labor Center, Savvas Ispachanidis, who represents the Softex workers, said that there was no cause for concern, Drama residents are reportedly worried that the compulsory leave is just the first step towards the closure of the plant, which plays a major role in the economy of the northern Greek city.

    [04] Greek ambassador reported safe in Lima

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    The Greek Ambassador in Peru, Alcibiades Karokis, his wife and their three children are safe and under guard by Peruvian police after his ordeal in the hands of Tupac Amaru guerrillas at the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima.

    The head of the foreign ministry's A4 department Nikos Ladopoulos told the Athens News Agency that Mr. Karokis was released from the Japanese embassy on Wednesday.

    Following the failure of negotiations with the Peruvian government, the guerrillas decided to send four diplomats (the ambassadors of Greece, Germany, France and Canada) out of about 200 people they are holding hostage to negotiate with the Peruvian government on their behalf. However, the three European ambassadors did not return to the Japanese ambassador's residence and angered the guerrillas.

    According to reports, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel had instructed the German ambassador to escape and hide if he found the opportunity. The Greek foreign ministry gave similar instructions to Mr. Karokis.

    Diplomatic sources said all the European diplomatic missions in Lima agreed with the decision on the European ambassadors' getaway.

    [05] Stephanopoulos on official visit to Egypt

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will begin a four-day official visit to Egypt today, at the invitation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

    The Greek president will meet Mr. Mubarak in Cairo at noon tomorrow for talks expected to focus on bilateral relations between Athens and Cairo, the Middle East and Greek national issues.

    President Stephanopoulos, who will visit Luxor and Alexandria, as well will also have contacts with members of the ethnic Greek community in Egypt.

    [06] Athens welcomes Euro Court rulings

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    The government yesterday welcomed a European Court ruling which found Turkey guilty of continuing human rights violations and offers the opportunity to hundreds of Greek Cypriot refugees to claim their right to use and enjoy their property in the Turkish-occupied north of the island republic.

    "An important ruling with great significance on many levels, which touches the essence of the Cyprus problem," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said of the judgment vindicating the plaintiff, Titina Loizidou, a Greek Cypriot refugee from the occupied port city of Kyrenia.

    "The ruling has great symbolic value," Mr. Reppas said, calling on other Cypriots to take the same initiative in order to exert pressure on "a condemnable status."

    The court found Turkey responsible for the continuing violation of human rights in the Turkish-occupied area of Cyprus, ruling by 11 votes to 6 that "denial of access to the applicant's property and consequent loss of control thereof is imputable to Turkey."

    According to the ruling, the Republic of Cyprus remains "the sole legitimate government of Cyprus" and the international community does not regard the puppet regime in the occupied north as a state under international law.

    [07] Cultural Capital of Europe programs outlined to deputies

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    Several ministers and other officials yesterday presented Parliamentary deputies with the file of all infrastructure projects for Thessaloniki's assumption of the Cultural Capital of Europe title next year, as well as an accompanying financial and cultura l plan.

    Funding of the whole program amounts to 80 billion drachmas and is met through both national and EU credits. It is the first time that a Cultural Capital is funded with such large sums.

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, Environment Minister Costas Laliotis and Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos, together with Thessaloniki Mayor Dinos Kosmopoulos, and the art director of the city's Cultural Capital Organization (CCO) P. Theodoridis, unveiled the plans in Athens' Zappeion Hall.

    Mr. Laliotis expressed confidence that the city can adequately meet its role as Cultural Capital, as a metropolitan center of northern Greece, and as a dominant reference pole for the Balkans, the Black Sea region and the Mediterranean.

    The government is funding 233 basic projects budgeted at 62 billion drachmas, of which 52 billion are managed by CCO, and the rest concern projects in the city's harbor.

    An additional sum of 10 billion drachmas through the EU's URBAN program is devoted to construction of the city's concert hall and municipal utility projects.

    Mr. Theodoridis said the concept of a city of diverse culture due to its immigrant population was a guide for the cultural capital.

    The cultural program is based on eight large exhibitions, centered on the one featuring the relics of Mount Athos, and including one on perceptions of the personality of Alexander the Great in east and west.

    [08] Simitis says he would never bow to 'blackmail'

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    The government is not opposed to Greece's farmers but only to a few of them, Prime Minister Costas Simitis was quoted yesterday as stating during an interview with the popular monthly magazine "Nitro".

    The premier added that he would rather "go home" instead of bowing to protesting farmers' demands.

    "There are millions of farmers in Greece but only 3,000 farmers have taken the streets," Mr. Simitis said, sending a clear message to farmers blockading the country's roads for 22 days, demanding higher subsidies, lower taxes and cheaper fuel.

    "My job is to spread the available money in a socially just way and that is why we must struggle not to succumb to blackmail," he said.

    Yesterday, farmers marched on Athens to press for a meeting with Mr. Simitis, who, staying true to his original stance, refused to personally talk to them unless they abandoned their barricades.

    Mr. Simitis has rejected all demands, saying Greece has no money to give and must catch up with its European Union partners.

    In the wide-ranging interview, Mr. Simitis said he was in politics "to apply certain ideas about society."

    He said his vision of Greece in the next few years included a stabilized economy and an improved quality of life, with better public services.

    Stressing that more work was needed to make the country a significant economic force in the Balkans, he said that Greece should direct its foreign policy towards the United States, the European Union and eastern Europe.

    Mr. Simitis said Washington was interested in ending Greek-Turkish disputes as part of its general policy but warned that Greece would not rush to agree to solutions contrary to its interests.

    Noting as "positive" the fact that new US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had a good knowledge of Greek issues, the prime minister said "we should not fall into the trap of labeling US secretaries of state as either pro-Turkish or pro-Greek because at the end of the day they represent the United States.

    "Understanding of our issues is greater, now, than a year ago. That doesn't mean that we have won the game. The game is open," he said.

    Mr. Simitis took over from ailing Andreas Papandreou in January, winning the general elections last September and party congress elections since then.

    "Andreas Papandreou was a clear thinker and was able to express his views simply and persuasively," he said of the late premier, adding that the model of the leader-oriented party is now a thing of the past.

    "The model of leadership is related to the evolution of society," Mr. Simitis said, adding that National Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos - one of Mr. Simitis' rivals in party elections for the post of prime minister and then party president - and the rest of the founding members of ruling party PASOK "were well aware that we can proceed only through co-operation."

    Mr. Simitis said the fact that he had a stable policy won him the September elections, while his chief opposition rival, New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert, relied solely on promises.

    "Mr. Evert plays power games," Mr. Simitis said, accusing ND of a lack of policies, which "results in personal opposition."

    "The biggest problem with ND is that they regard politics exclusively as the art of power," the premier noted.

    [09] Court rules seamen's strike illegal

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    A Piraeus court ruled yesterday that the ongoing seamen's strike was illegal and asked the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) to immediately call off all protest actions.

    The PNO organized two consecutive 48-hour nationwide strikes beginning on Monday this week to press demands for the special tax status of seamen to be left intact by the government's new tax law.

    The strike has prevented many Greek-flagged as well as many foreign-flagged vessels from entering or leaving ports throughout the country.

    The court issued its ruling following a petition filed by the association which represents owners of coastal shipping vessels.

    In a related development, striking seamen held a rally and march in Piraeus yesterday to protest the government's decision to use navy vessels to transport trucks from Crete to Piraeus.

    According to informed sources, three navy vessels late Wednesday night sailed from the Suda naval base on Crete carrying trucks to the Salamina naval base.

    The PNO board of administration was expected yesterday to hand a resolution condemning the decision to Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis.

    Meanwhile, 13 vessels serving foreign routes remained at anchor in Patra yesterday, unable to leave for destinations in Italy because striking seamen and dockworkers refused to allow the embarkation of passengers and trucks.

    About 300 trucks continue to be stranded at the western port city by the strike, which was scheduled to end at 6 p.m. today.

    Meanwhile, the Communist party of Greece (KKE) lashed out against the government yesterday accusing it for "assault against the seamen," and warning that "the climate of terrorism which is reproduced by the government policy will not prevail."

    The PNO's executive committee later decided to extend the strike for a further 24 hours.

    It is now scheduled to end at 6 a.m. local time on Saturday, although a further extension of strike action cannot be ruled out.

    Meanwhile, scuffles in Piraeus yesterday between striking seamen and truck drivers resulted in one man's death.

    The scuffles broke out when drivers tried to board the "Vicenzos Kornaros" ferry boat with their vehicles and were opposed by striking seamen.

    The victim, Manolis Roditis, who according to initial reports was a passenger on the ferry boat, apparently found himself in the midst of the scuffles and fell to the ground unconscious.

    He was immediately rushed to the Tzanneion Hospital in Piraeus where doctors said he had died from heart failure.

    [10] Citibank explosion work of November 17, police sources say

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    Security police said yesterday that a bomb blast against a Citibank branch in the northwestern Athens suburb of Halandri shortly after midnight on Thursday bore the hallmarks of the elusive November 17 terrorist organization.

    The strong blast, which police said was caused by three kilograms of TNT, caused extensive damage but no casualties. The blast completely destroyed the bank and damaged almost all the shops in the shopping center housing the bank at Halandri's central Dourou Square.

    Police said the home-made explosive device had been planted in a bag at the bank's entrance.

    The same Citibank branch was the target of a November 17 attack in 1991.

    [11] 18 illegal immigrants picked up on Samos

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    Eighteen Iraqis of Kurdish descent were arrested yesterday on the deserted coast of Vourlioton on the island of Samos, police said.

    The illegal immigrants - eight men, five women and five children - told harbor authorities they had paid $2,000 each to a Turkish captain to transport them from Turkey to Samos on his speedboat.

    The Turkish captain of the speedboat was later arrested by the coastguard after a sea chase north of Samos.

    Mehmet Mirze Yayla, 29, from Izmir was subsequently identified by the illegal immigrants and was due to appear before the public prosecutor later yesterday.

    The speedboat was spotted by a Greek fisherman and coastguard officers believe Yayla was preparing to ferry another "cargo" of illegal immigrants from the Turkish coast.

    [12] 'Wrapping paper' furor hits Thessaloniki

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    A design for paper used for wrapping meat and fish has divided the world of arts and letters in Thessaloniki just days before the northern port city officially assumes its one-year term as Cultural Capital of Europe.

    The furor has been caused by the plans of the art department of the city's Cultural Capital Organization to print and distribute wrapping paper with lines from the works of celebrated Greek poets alongside catch-phrases commonly used by contemporary Greek youth such as "... don't bug me."

    Proponents of the paper, which has lines from the poetry of Nobel laureates George Seferis and Odysseus Elytis, describe the concept as a "public, literary rave or happening" which brings the popular masses closer to literature.

    However, a number of prominent literary figures in Thessaloniki have expressed strong opposition, saying literature and its creators should be treated with greater respect.

    [13] Commission approves transport, environment projects for Greece

    Brussels, 20/12/1996 (ANA - M. Savva)

    The European Commission has approved the sums of ECU 324.1 and 88.9 million for projects in Greece in the transport and environmental sectors, respectively.

    The funds are to be provided through the EU's Cohesion Fund, and will cover in most cases between 85 and 90 per cent of the total cost of such projects.

    The transport sector projects include two plans aiming to improve transportation from various outlying areas to the center of Athens with the construction of a new railway line to Corinth (Ecu 140 million), and of a railway carriage sorting station west of the capital. The projects are estimated to significantly reduce the journey time between Athens to Patra, and from Patra to Thessaloniki.

    The transport projects also include the Patra- Athens - Thessaloniki highway, which is to be funded with ECU 74.4 million.

    The environmental projects concern drainage, biological waste treatment plants and the Evinos River dam.

    [14] Kavala business delegation attend Belgrade trade fair

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    A Greek business delegation from Kavala, representing mainly the food and beverage sector, has participated in an international trade fair in Belgrade as part of an attempt to enter the Yugoslav market.

    The head of the delegation and president of the Kavala chamber, Apostolos Mardyris, met on the sidelines of the exhibition with the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Commercial Chamber, Michaelo Milosevic, and the president of the Serbian Commercial Chamber, B. Stoicovic.

    The Kavala Chamber delegation also held a meeting with representatives from the Valievo Chamber in Serbia, with both delegations signing a co-operation agreement.

    [15] Bourse approves bonds loan

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    The board of the Athens Stock Exchange has approved the entry into the bourse of a bonds loan amounting to 20 billion drachmas by the International Reconstruction and Development Bank at its board meeting yesterday.

    The board also approved the papers concerning an increase in the share capital of the insurance company "European Reliance AEGA", to enable it to join the main market of the bourse.

    Another issue examined was the prolonged rise in the ELBIEMEK company's shares. The company was called on to explain possible substantive events justifying the continuous rise.

    [16] OECD forecasts 3 per cent growth in '97

    Paris, 20/12/1996 (ANA/AFP)

    Greece will have a growth rate near 3 per cent in 1997 but is in danger of maintaining an increased public deficit, high inflation and unemployment as well as a drop in competitiveness, an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report stated.

    The report said growth reached 2.5 per cent in 1996, which is higher than the European Union average, thanks to salary increases which precipitated an increase in household consumption, as well as to an increase in public investments supported by EU funds.

    However, the report notes, inflation stood at 8.5 per cent, higher than the government's convergence target, while efforts to limit the public deficit to 7.6 per cent of GDP in 1996 will be "difficult to attain." Consequently, the target of 4.2 per cent for 1997 is in danger of being missed, according to the OECD, which estimates that the deficit is not expected to be reduced by more than 1.5 per cent next year.

    The report also refers to "uncertainties" which exist concerning a reduction in interest rates and the rate of de-escalation of inflation, despite the declared intention of the government to persist with its "hard drachma" policy. Expansion of production "may not be enough to avert a rise in unemployment, due to the fact that undertakings are continuing their process of restructuring," the OECD report notes.

    [17] Mastroianni death noted

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    Greek Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos called the death yesterday of Italian film star Marcello Mastroianni a "loss of life, not a loss of memory."

    Mastroianni died at the age of 73 at his home in Paris. He had been treated for pancreatic cancer over the past few months.

    "As an actor, Mastroianni transformed the role to a real-life person," Mr. Venizelos noted.

    [18] Jules Dassin to become honorary Greek citizen

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos yesterday called for honorary Greek citizenship to be extended to renowned French film and stage director Jules Dassin, husband of the late actress and former culture minister Melina Mercouri.

    "Being a Greek has never been simply a legal formality, but is deeply linked with a prevalence of ideals, a field of historic memory and collective dignity," Mr. Venizelos said in a letter to Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister Alexandros Papadopoulos.

    "Jules Dassin has acquired this bond of physical and moral citizenship of our country through his personal stance in difficult times," Mr. Venizelos added, calling for procedures to be immediately set in motion to extend honorary citizenship to Mr. Dassin.

    "I propose, therefore, that you initiate procedures, ex officio, to formally make Jules Dassin a Greek citizen. The country owes this to him for all that he has done, together with Melina, and continues to do on his own for the international projection of Greece," the letter said.

    [19] Bendit urges radical change in anti-drug policies

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    Green Eurodeputy and former leftist firebrand Daniel con Bendit urged adoption of a European Union anti-prohibition policy in relation to drug substances and legalization of so-called "soft" drugs, as well as the free provision of "hard" ones or their substitutes under strict medical control.

    Mr. Bendit made his proposal in a speech at the Athens Economic University (ASOEE) yesterday. Speeches were also made by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, New Generation General Secretary Petros Sfikakis and deputy and former leader of the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) Maria Damanaki. The event was jointly organized by the New Generation General Secretariat, the Continuous Youth Committee for Drugs and the International Anti-Prohibition Union.

    Mr. Bendit then referred to official figures outlining the magnitude of the development of the illegal drugs trade. Its annual turnover amounts to US$ 500 billion, with the price of substances being 1,700 times greater than their purchase value from Third World farmers.

    "Mobilize as many armies as you like. Only 10 per cent of drug trafficking is seized and the sole thing further prosecution will achieve is some sort of an increase in the above percentage with, however, a parallel increase in the price of drugs in the illegal trade as well," he said.

    Pondering whether all drugs should be allowed freely, Mr. Bendit said "this not so responsible proposal is the neo-conservative one which was discussed in the US in Reagan's time."

    "Our model is aimed at an immediate restriction of the danger and anticipates legalization of soft drugs, the granting of methadone (and even heroin in special cases) under strict medical control and briefing for young people on the real dangers linked to each substance," he added.

    Mr. Papandreou, Mr. Sfikakis and Ms Damanaki agreed in general with the above views.

    Mr. Papandreou referred to his recent experience from the conflict between the two policies concerning drug substances. The conflict was also visible during the European Union summit in Dublin, where "French President Jacques Chirac demanded consolidation of a suppression policy all over Europe."

    Mr. Papandreou, openly favoring the contrary conception, said that "in society conceptions on drugs appear to have a mythical and religious aspect" and that the dominant approach did not produce results.

    "The legalization of 'soft' drugs and implementation of methadone programs is the sole solution for handling the problem," he said.

    At the same time, Mr. Papandreou proposed an open social dialogue on the issue, as well as collecting and comparing experiences gained by various countries.

    Mr. Papandreou reserved the right to support the anti-suppression view together with the Netherlands (they hold the next rotating European Union presidency as of January) during the next summit.

    [20] Rhodes to host "Culture Marathon"

    Athens, 20/12/1996 (ANA)

    Greece will host a major international athletics event on the island of Rhodes on April 20 next year on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of the Dodecanese islands in the modern Greek state.

    The "Rhodes Culture Marathon," organized by Rhodes municipality, will follow a route taking in most of the island's ancient monuments.

    It is based on an idea conceived by philhellene Sudanese journalist Meki Abdelatif who last year organized the "Nile Culture Marathon."

    Runners from 21 countries of Europe, Africa, Asia and America will be taking part in the marathon, while parallel events will be attended, among others, by six ministers from Africa.

    End of English language section.

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