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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-01-22

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, January 22, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS HIT AGAINST ND DEPUTY
  • [02] MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER: WE DON'T FEAR TERRORISTS
  • [03] GREEK PROPOSALS AT EU GENERAL AFFAIRS COUNCIL
  • [04] ND DEPUTY UNDER GUARD IN ICU, BUT NOT IN DANGER
  • [05] GREEK COMMUNIST PARTY SG TO MEET WITH MILOSEVIC
  • [06] GREEK SAILOR ROBBED AND KILLED IN SOUTH AFRICA
  • [07] REPPAS: GREECE IS A SAFE COUNTRY
  • [08] MORE LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [09] SEAN CONNERY IS IN ATHENS
  • [10] THE SCIENTISTS' GOAL IS TO INCREASE LIFE EXPECTANCY TO 200 YEARS
  • [11] COOPERATION BETWEEN THE GREEK NATURAL GAS COMPANY AND THE TURKISH BOTAS
  • [12] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ON THE FYROM NAME
  • [13] STOLEN GREEK ANTIQUITIES WERE RETURNED TO GREECE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [14] THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE IN THE TURKISH NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
  • [15] A GREEK DELEGATION WILL BE IN CAIRO

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GOVERNMENT CONDEMNS HIT AGAINST ND DEPUTY

    The government has strongly condemned last night's attack against main opposition party New Democracy deputy Vassilis Michaloliakos.

    The attack, government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stated, "provokes abhorrence and indignation for those who, using violence as a weapon, try to promote their criminal designs.

    "Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who was briefed from the very first moment, and the government as a whole, are at the colleague's side. We condemn this act in the most categorical manner and reaffirm our will to tackle mechanisms aiming at destabilization and harming the country's interests. Democracy gives a unanimous reply to those who undermine it."

    Mr. Michaloliakos was slightly injured when a bomb exploded outside a building in the port city of Piraeus as he was emerging from his car.

    According to reports, the bomb, which caused extensive damage in the area, was detonated by remote control which had been planted in a nearby car.

    Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoides, who immediately informed Prime Minister Costas Simitis, paid a visit to the Tzanneion hospital were Mr. Michaliolakos was treated for his injuries. Main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis also rushed to the hospital.

    No one has assumed responsibility for the attack but police sources believe that the notorious 17 November terrorist organization is the culprit.

    [02] MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER: WE DON'T FEAR TERRORISTS

    Following yesterday's bomb attack against a deputy of the main opposition New Democracy, the conservative party's leader Costas Karamanlis dismissed the perpetrators as "cowards", stressing that "we don't fear terrorists."

    Exiting the Tzaneion hospital where deputy Vassilis Michaloliakos was being treated, Mr. Karamanlis stated that "once again, the cowardly terrorists made their appearance. They hit one of our own, a significant (party) member, Vasilis Michaloliakos. Luckily, he's well and in good hands. But I do want to send a message: New Democracy does not fear the terrorists. At last, we must all take responsibility and perform our duty in order to combat terrorism."

    No one has assumed responsibility for the attack but police sources believe that the notorious 17 November terrorist organization is the culprit.

    Mr. Mihaloliakos moved to the district of Piraeus only about a month ago. It is not clear why he would be targeted by the group.

    The blast occurred as he was getting out of his car in front of his apartment building, shattering windows of nearby shops and homes.

    According to police reports, eyewitnesses have testified that they saw two youths running from the scene shortly before the explosion and riding away on a small motorcycle.

    The deputy was returning home with his brother after a customary New Year's ceremony hosted by the Piraeus Metropolite. On Sunday morning, Mr. Mihaloliakos had attended a memorial service in Piraeus held for victims of terrorism.

    [03] GREEK PROPOSALS AT EU GENERAL AFFAIRS COUNCIL

    The European Union's General Affairs Council is to convene in Brussels today, where the latest developments in the Balkan region and NATO's use of depleted uranium ammunition are among the issues to be discussed.

    Greece is to be represented by Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Alternate FM Elizabeth Papazoi, while the special coordinator of the Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe Bodo Hombach has also been invited to brief the Council on matters pertaining to the region, especially Kosovo and Montenegro.

    Greece intends to seek the European Union's intervention in dealing with DU issue, while it plans to make specific proposals and ask for an independent fact-finding committee comprising experts from all 15 EU member-states to carry out on-the-spot research.

    Greece's proposals, already forwarded to the EU's Swedish presidency, call for the creation of an integrated scientific study reviewing the consequences of hostilities for the environment and humans in Kosovo, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, as well as for environmental studies in those Balkan regions where war operations were not carried out, to diagnose possible repercussions for the environment.

    In addition, Greece plans to ask that the EU's financial protocol for the Western Balkans (CARDS) provide for a special environmental mechanism and that EU 6th environmental program be used to fund actions to protect the health of the public in the area.

    [04] ND DEPUTY UNDER GUARD IN ICU, BUT NOT IN DANGER

    Main opposition party New Democracy deputy Vassilis Michaloliakos, who was injured in a bomb blast last night, is not in danger but continues to be hospitalized at Tzaneion hospital's intensive care unit for security reasons.

    According to hospital officials, Mr. Michaloliakos underwent late-night surgery in the chest and legs to remove the glass shards from his chest and legs but his life is not in danger.

    The blast occurred as he was getting out of his car in front of his apartment building, shattering windows of nearby shops and homes. Several passers-by hit by flying glass also received hospital treatment.

    The blast, which caused extensive damage to the area, was attributed to an explosive device detonated by remote control which had been planted under a nearby motorcycle.

    According to police reports, eyewitnesses have testified that they saw two youths running from the scene shortly before the explosion and riding away on a small motorcycle. The police anti- terrorist squad combed the area for remains of the explosive device.

    Although there was no claim of responsibility, police have said they are investigating whether the notorious terrorist group 17 November is behind the attack, as it has used the same method several times in the past.

    The group, which has killed 23 individuals since 1975, last used a remote-controlled bomb in 1990 against Greek tycoon Vardis Vardinoyannis, who escaped unharmed thanks to his armored car. It also failed to kill former Public Order Minister George Petsos in a similar attack in 1989. It also blew up three buses carrying Greek and U.S. military and police officers in previous years, killing a Greek policeman in 1985.

    [05] GREEK COMMUNIST PARTY SG TO MEET WITH MILOSEVIC

    The Secretary-General of the Greek Communist party (KKE) Aleka Paparega is to meet with the former president of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic on Wednesday, during the course of her official, four-day visit to F.R.Y.

    Heading a KKE delegation, Ms. Paparega will meet with officials from the Serb Socialist Party, the Yugoslav Left Party and the New Communist Party of Yugoslavia to discuss ways of developing the "action of the Balkan anti-NATO center" and events in March 2001 marking the second anniversary of the NATO campaign in Yugoslavia.

    The KKE officials will also participate in rallies held at Belgrade and Novi Sad, while they will also and visit hospitals as well as refugees from Kosovo and the towns of Pancevo and Novi Sad in northern Serbia.

    According to a KKE announcement, the purpose of the visit is to "convey the undiminished solidarity" of Greek communists to the Yugoslav people and their struggle for "national independence, a Balkans of peace and cooperation, without NATO and nuclear arms."

    [06] GREEK SAILOR ROBBED AND KILLED IN SOUTH AFRICA

    A 50-year-old Greek sailor has killed during a robbery that occurred in a central street of Derban, South Africa.

    Greek consular authorities in Derban are presently conducting an investigation into the murder of Stavros Koulianos, a crew member of the "Cavo Gerakas" vessel. His body will be transported to Greece.

    [07] REPPAS: GREECE IS A SAFE COUNTRY

    The discussion on the new draft bill on terrorism and organized crime will be completed next month, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas responding to questions by reporters concerning the failed bomb attack against right-wing opposition party of New Democracy parliament deputy Vasilis Michaloliakos.

    Mr. Reppas stated that such actions are condemned, stressing that the mechanisms seeking to destabilize the country will be confronted. He underlined that such actions undermine the institutions and hurt democracy, while responding to the question if the government is satisfied with the results so far and the cooperation between the Greek and foreign anti-terrorist agencies, he said that every one can reach the conclusion that there is not enough effectiveness. Mr. Reppas also said that the country is safe but the results are not satisfactory, stressing that they are not the expected ones.

    [08] MORE LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    More losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index was down by 2.26% at 3.081,85 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 102 million Euro or 34.7 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 308 recorded losses, while the value of the rest 26 stocks remained unchanged.

    [09] SEAN CONNERY IS IN ATHENS

    Famous actor Sean Connery and his wife arrived in Athens yesterday on the occasion of the opening of her painting exhibition in a gallery at the Votanikos region in the Greek capital.

    The famous couple will stay for a few days in Greece. Mr. Connery visited this morning the gallery where the exhibition will be held and later at noon he was honored in the City Hall by Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos. He was also scheduled to visit the Acropolis.

    Yesterday evening, the couple attended a dinner given in their honor by Greek music composer Vangelis Papathanasiou at his house.

    [10] THE SCIENTISTS' GOAL IS TO INCREASE LIFE EXPECTANCY TO 200 YEARS

    In the next 25 years the number of people over the age of 65 will be 828 million worldwide compared to 328 million they were in 1990. Also, in the EU member states, like Greece, where the number of people in that age group correspond to 20% of the population today, it is estimated that they will make up 26% of the population in the year 2020.

    The above were made known in a press conference organized by Thessaloniki's Medical Association on the occasion of the 5th Conference of the Geriatrics and Gerontology Society in northern Greece that will be held on January 25-27.

    The goal of the scientists for the next decades is to increase the average life expectancy to 200 years. According to biologists-geneticists, aging is the result of a specific gene and if it is decoded and isolated the aging process will virtually stop.

    [11] COOPERATION BETWEEN THE GREEK NATURAL GAS COMPANY AND THE TURKISH BOTAS

    The Greek state natural gas company, DEPA, signed a protocol of cooperation with the Turkish state natural gas company BOTAS aimed at moving jointly toward the materialization of energy projects in the wider region of southeastern Europe.

    Based on the cooperation protocol, the two companies will draw up joint viability studies for the construction of a natural gas pipeline that will link the wider region of the Caspian Sea, Russia and the Middle East with the Balkan and EU states via Greece and Turkey.

    The protocol was signed in Ankara in the second meeting of the tripartite working group on technical issues formed by the European Union, Greece and Turkey.

    It should be noted that the agreement is placed within the framework of the Inogate Umbrella Agreement, while the specific actions that will be undertaken by the two companies are included in a detailed memorandum that has been signed based on which, the joint draft studies must be ready by May to be submitted to the responsible EU bodies.

    [12] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ON THE FYROM NAME

    Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis referred to the issue of the FYROM name today and stated that there is a political will by both sides for a mutually acceptable solution to the problem, adding that the talks that are being currently held are both at a bilateral level and through the United Nations.

    Mr. Beglitis stated that there is mobility in both sides and Greece is open to the talks that are based on the 1995 interim agreement.

    [13] STOLEN GREEK ANTIQUITIES WERE RETURNED TO GREECE

    A special ceremony was held in the culture ministry building in Athens today for the return of 274 stolen Greek antiquities that were removed from the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth on April 12, 1990. The ceremony was held in the presence of Greek culture minister Evangelos Venizelos, US ambassador Nicholas Burns and other Greek and US officials.

    Mr. Venizelos stated that the stolen artifacts were traced in the United States and thanks to the support and assistance of the US government, the US agencies, ambassador Burns and US embassy to Athens education attache Ms. Nilsen they were repatriated.

    He characterized the illicit trade of antiquities as one of the worst and most provocative kinds of organized crime and expressed satisfaction because in this area as well as in other areas of organized crime international cooperation, and in the specific case, the Greek-US cooperation gave important results.

    US ambassador Nicholas Burns stated that everyone who has visited Corinth, the archaeological site and the museum, has admired the special beauty of the place and realizes that today is a great day. He also stated that archaeological excavations with the cooperation of Greeks and Americans are taking place in the region for the past 110 years and during that time many archaeological treasures have been brought to light.

    Mr. Venizelos stated that investigations are underway for the location of other 11 artifacts that are still missing, while Mr. Burns stated on that issue that the FBI continues its efforts aimed at finding the antiquities and arrest the offenders.

    It should be noted that a total of 285 priceless artifacts were stolen from the Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth in 1990, in one of the biggest museum robberies in Greece. The artifacts had been unearthed during the archaeological excavations that started in the region by the American School of Classical Studies in 1866.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE IN THE TURKISH NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL

    Turkey's National Security Council met today to discuss the measures that are about to be taken against France in response to the French National Assembly decision to recognize the 1915 Armenian massacre as a genocide committed by the Ottoman Turks.

    It is an issue that has caused strong reactions in Turkey which threatens France with countermeasures in response to this move. Meanwhile, the British weekly review The Observer predicts that there will be problems in the relations between Ankara and London commenting on the British Foreign Office decision to make a reference to the victims of the Armenian genocide in the big event next Saturday dedicated to the Holocaust victims.

    [15] A GREEK DELEGATION WILL BE IN CAIRO

    A four-member Greek delegation leaves for Egypt tomorrow to attend a parliament meeting in Cairo of the four countries with the most ancient civilization in the region namely, Greece, Italy, Egypt and Iran.

    The previous meeting on this quadripartite cultural dialogue was held in Teheran, while the next one will be held in Athens.


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