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Athens News Agency: Daily News Bulletin in English, 04-05-17

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>

May 17, 2004


  • [01] Two opinion polls indicate New Democracy victory in next month's Europarliament elections
  • [02] PM Karamanlis begins official visit to the U.S. on Monday
  • [03] Three British reporters arrested while attempting to 'have their pictures taken' in front of Calatrava roof
  • [04] Athens mayor received by Pope Athens,
  • [05] PM visits ancient ruins of Eleusis
  • [06] PASOK leader says Greece will host successful Olympic Games
  • [07] Dahle of Norway wins women's cross-country mountain bike race

  • [01] Two opinion polls indicate New Democracy victory in next month's Europarliament elections

    Athens, 17/05/2004 (ANA)

    Two opinion polls published in Sunday editions of two main Athens dailies showed the ruling New Democracy party emerging victorious in next month's European Parliament elections, in the view of the overwhelming majority of respondents.

    A GPO opinion poll appearing in Sunday's edition of ELEFTHEROS TYPOS showed ND with a 7.7 percentage point lead over the main opposition PASOK party, with 72.1 percent of respondents believing that the ruling party will emerge the victor in the Euroelections.

    The poll was conducted between May 11 to 13 on the basis of a written questionnaire with interviews with 1,983 people.

    To the question of which party they were most likely to vote for if the Euroelections were to be held this Sunday, 41.1 percent of respondents replied ND, 33.4 percent replied PASOK, 7.2 percent said they would vote for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), 3.6 percent for the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYN), 2.9 percent for LAOS, and 0.7 percent for DHKKI.

    To the question of which party they believed would be the top vote-getter in the Euroelections, 72.1 percent said the believed ND would emerge the victory, 12.0 percent said PASOK, and 15.9 percent replied "don't know/no reply".

    Regarding the government's image, 41.4 percent said they considered it "positive", 14.3 percent said "rather positive", 25.7 percent said "neutral", 5.8 percent said "rather negative", while 1 percent replied "don't know/no reply".

    Asked to judge the prime minster's positions on and handling of foreign policy, 60.9 percent of respondents said "positive" and "rather positive", 18.2 percent said "rather negative" and "ne-gative", while 18.6 percent said "neutral".

    In a separate poll by Metron Analysis appearing in Sunday's edition of ETHNOS newspaper respondents appeared to have great expections of the new government and were in a state of "wait and see", while they also expected decisive changes by PASOK leader George Papandreou.

    The poll was conducted between may 8 to 13, on the basis of a structured questionnaire among 1,203 citizens throughout Greece.

    With respect to which party they believed would win the Europarliament elections, 69.1 percent said ND, 12.3 percent said PASOK, while 18.3 percent said "don't know/no reply".

    WIth respect to the political party leaders, 69.7 percent had a positive view of ND leader and prime minister Costas Karamanlis, 61.4 percent of Papandreou, 48.5 percent of SYN leader Nikos Constantopoulos, 36.3 percent of KKE leader Aleka Papariga, and 21 percent of LAOS leader George Karatzaferis.

    Regarding the most qualified for prime minister, 48.5 percent said karamanlis, while 32.1 percent said Papandreou.

    Satisfaction with Karamanlis was expressed by 43.8 percent of respondents, against 24.8 percent for Papandreou, while 28.4 percent were "neither satisfied nor dissatisfied" with Karamanlis against 31.5 percent with Papandreou.

    Respondents "advised" Karamanlis: to materialise his (national elections campaign) pledges, combat unemployment, deal with the people (and their problems), stamp out corruption, and keep control in his party.

    Respondents "advised" Papandreou: to have a more fighting spirit, to be stricter, keep tabs on the government, support the government, renew PASOK, deal with the people (and their problems), keep control on his party, acquire more experience, and acquire better associates.

    [02] PM Karamanlis begins official visit to the U.S. on Monday

    Athens, 17/05/2004 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis begins an official visit to the United States from Monday until Friday.

    The talks he will have with President George W. Bush and other senior U.S. officials will include bilateral relations, the Cyprus issue, Greek-Turkish relations, Turkey's European prospects and the major international and regional matters. The Olympic Games will also be on the agenda of the talks.

    The Greek prime minister will also meet UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, the president of the Foreiagn Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, the president of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate and speak at the Council of Foreign Relations.

    [03] Three British reporters arrested while attempting to 'have their pictures taken' in front of Calatrava roof

    Athens, 17/05/2004 (ANA)

    Three British journalists were arrested Saturday at Athens main Olympic Stadium (OAKA) -- just days after two British colleagues who attempted to present negative reports on the security measures for the Athens 2004 Olympics and were temporarily detained -- claiming they wanted to be photographed in front of the OAKA's state-of-the-art roof designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, police said Sunday.

    The three detainees were identified as Thomas Patrick Walsh, 48, a producer/presenter of a BBC television programme, Hugo Louis Foster Dixon, 40, a photographer for the "Zoo Weekly" magazine, and William David Store, 29, a writer for the same magazine.

    The three men arrived at Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos international airport on a British Airways flight from London shortly after noon on Saturday, rented a car and went to a central Athens hotel, where they rented rooms. They then went to OAKA where construction work was still being carried out, and entered the worksite behind the west arch of the Calatrava room at about 5:00 in the afternoon.

    A private security guard signalled to them to stop, but the journalists ignored him. Policemen patrolling near the west arch immediately headed in their direction, immobilised them and took them to the nearby Maroussi police station.

    At the station, police confirmed their identity after the wife of one of the three was called to bring their passports. The three were not carrying passports or any other identification on them, with the exception of Store, who had his press ID with him.

    The three were released after their identities were confirmed.

    An announcement by the security directorate for northeastern Attica reiterated that the full security measures for the Olympic installations would be enforced as of July 1, 2004 and, until then, the usual and necessary measures of the pre-Olympic period were in place, since worksites were still in operation at many of the sites.

    [04] Athens mayor received by Pope Athens,

    ROME (ANA)

    Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni was received on Saturday at the Vatican by Pope John Pal II who called for peace and the abstention of any form of violence. At the the same time the Pontiff expressed support to the idea of the Olympic Truce.

    The Pope, addressing himself to the mayor of Athens, the host city of the Olympic Games, hailed the importance of Athens as an historic city.

    Concluding, the Pope stated "Long Live Greece", wishing in this way to honour not only Bakoyianni but also the city of Athens and the whole of Greece.

    [05] PM visits ancient ruins of Eleusis

    Athens, 17/05/2004 (ANA)

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Saturday visited ancient ruins in Elefsina, known in antiquity as Eleusis, a centre for mystical rites and worship.

    Located in a highly industrialised coastal area, the site was dedicated to Demeter, goddess of the earth, who reputedly taught men to till the land.

    The prime minister heard requests from archaeologists and local government officials who want improvement works carried out that would display the ancient ruins to their best effect, and upgrade the whole area.

    ''We have just toured one of the country's most significant archaeological sites. Our cultural heritage is also the nation's capital, which is why we attach great importance to it,'' Kara-manlis told reporters.

    Plans are underway to revive Elefsina and its archaeological sites, he added.

    After receiving a guided tour round the site from archaeologists, Karamanlis visited a small musueum in the area containing ancient artifacts.

    [06] PASOK leader says Greece will host successful Olympic Games

    Athens, 17/05/2004 (ANA)

    The "Tour of Athens" on Sunday morning "is a message that Athens will host successful and safe Olympic Games," main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou said on Sunday evening.

    Papandreou took part in the race event along with tens of thousands of Athenians, stating that this year's "Tour of Athens" constituted a message for the Olympic Games and their security.

    The PASOK leader also referred to the freedom enjoyed in Greece, which also consitutes a message to the visitors and athletes who will come to the country that "we will have excellent games which we will all enjoy."

    To a question if Sunday's event was also an answer to those claiming that there were security problems in Athens, Papandreou said that "when a politician, a public figure can run among thousands of people without any security problem, it shows how safe Athens is, and naturally 'this is an answer'."

    [07] Dahle of Norway wins women's cross-country mountain bike race

    Athens, 17/05/2004 (ANA)

    Gunn-Rita Dahle of Norway on Saturday won the women's cross country in a two-day international mountain bike event held by the Athens 2004 Olympics organising committee.

    Open to elite men and women riders who are members of UCI registered MTB Trade Teams, national selections or individuals, the EI races are taking place at the Parnitha Olympic mountain bike venue, located at the foot of a mountain about 20 kilometres from Athens.

    The length of the course at the venue is 6.1 kilometres (one lap) including woodland roads, paths and artificial rocky sections.

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