Greece, Italy and Germany are insisting on a ban on the use of depleted uranium shells, the Minister of National Defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated in Parliament yesterday, in response to questions tabled in Parliament by deputies of the main opposition party of New Democracy.
However, the Defense Minister stated that he and his Italian counterpart believe that the number of Italian troops who suffer from leukemia is unusually high.
"It was ultimately proved that NATO's intervention in Kosovo caused greater harm and delayed a diplomatic and political solution to the problem, the only possible one, which Greece had supported from the beginning," Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said.
In reference to the latest developments in FYROM, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the present situation is expected to last a long time.
"It is an element formed by new forces which clandestinely support actions leading to a lack of regional stability," he said.
The bill, essentially a series of amendments to existing legislation, will allow for DNA testing of individuals when there is reasonable belief that felonies have been committed. However, the provision is that the genetic testing will have to be ordered by a magistrate, while any DNA material collected and tested will subsequently be destroyed. Also, the draft bill allows for collection of personal data and electronic surveillance of suspects, while it abolishes certain legal protections heretofore accorded suspects, permits house searches and establishes measures to protect judges and other civil servants involved in the prosecution of suspects.
In addition, the jury system will be abolished in terrorism trials and legal provisions that in the past had tied the hands of law enforcement authorities pursuing the arrest and prosecution of suspected terrorists will be lifted.
The proposed law also calls for the creation of a witness protection program and the granting of amnesty to terrorist organization members who supply the state with evidence.
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) called the bill "one more weapon against the people's rights and freedoms", saying that the government succumbed to pressure exerted by the United States.
KKE also claimed that the state's secret services are affiliated with terrorist organizations, which is why the suspects have not been brought before the law.
The Coalition for the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) accused the government of reverting to judicial authoritarianism.
Mr. Constantopoulos will have successive meetings with the vice-president of the Parliament of FYROM, former Premier Branco Cervenkovski, Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski and the President of the Republic Boris Trajkovski.
This evening, Mr. Constantopoulos will also meet with FYROM's Foreign Minister Srgjan Kerim.
Fifty-four-year-old Ekaterini Fotiadou, an expatriate to Germany, was returning to her homeland in Evros via Thessaloniki when, according to the captain, she felt ill, went into cardiac arrest and fell unconscious. The cabin crew unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate her with artificial breathing and heart massage. An ambulance crew awaiting the aircraft at the Macedonia airport of Thessaloniki ascertained the woman's death.
Following the tour, Mr. Papandreou spoke of the effective implementation of the unified defence doctrine and stated that "we hope the day will come when we will be able to speak of a demilitarised Cyprus. However, this cannot happen before a solution to the problem of Cyprus is reached."
Moreover, Mr. Papandreou reiterated that the island's positive course and the prospect of its accession to the European Union is not creating any security problems for the Turkish- Cypriots, adding that, on the contrary, it is strengthening and increasing their rights.
The Greek and Turkish foreign ministers reportedly support the measures undertaken by FYROM in regards to the situation at the country's border with Yugoslavia, while they also added that their countries' cooperation with FYROM is not aimed against any other party.
Messrs. Cem and Papandreou also condemned all forms of terrorism and violence that threaten regional security.
Ambassador Burns also stated that the bill should be discussed by the Greek political system, while he added that the United States are satisfied by the cooperation with the Greek government.
During is visit to Kavala, Mr. Burns stated that the city can host the development of business activities and investment.
"There are many possibilities ... the aim of our visit here is to find out whether we can further increase the economic relations between us."
The US ambassador is accompanied by the US General Consul in Thessaloniki, the embassy's commercial attache and the general secretary of the Greek-US Chamber of Commerce.
The said bill contains ten articles amending or superseding the existing legislation, among them the lifting of confidentiality, surveillance using sound or video recordings or other "special technical means," the combination or juxtaposition of personal data, inspections of bank accounts and DNA analysis.
Of the stocks trading today, 141 recorded gains and 206 had losses, while the value of 23 stocks remained stable.
Mr. Reppas added that the Cypriot government and the international community have adopted a clear position. He said that Turkey is the one that refuses to get into line with the international community and called on Ankara to change its policy regarding Cyprus.
Mr. Cem had stated in a radio interview in Turkey that he does not like the US policy on Cyprus and that he expects a more objective stance from Washington. He also said that the US should not expect that it will persuade Turkey to accept the Greek and Greek Cypriot positions.
The unknown American sent the object to the Greek consulate in Houston, USA with an anonymous letter in which he explained that he had taken the piece of marble during his visit to the Acropolis some time ago. In his letter he mentioned characteristically that he was very sorry and that he wanted the object to be returned back to where it belonged.
Quoting the police report, AFP reported that units were met with strong resistance from the guerillas of the National Liberation Army (UCK) when they tried to take control of the villages Brest and Malino Malo. The rebels overran the two localities after FYROM troops last Thursday drove them out of their former stronghold in Tanusevci, which straddles the border with UN-run Kosovo.
FYROM defense ministry spokesman Georgi Trendafilov said the security forces were in full control of Tanusevci since Monday.
US troops based in Kosovo were occupying a small part of the village on the Kosovo side of the border.
In the statement it has issued it is stressed that the Pan- Macedonian Association of Melbourne-Victoria and the Federation of Pan-Macedonian Associations in Australia express their complete satisfaction regarding the latest statements made by Kostas Simitis on the "Macedonian" issue and the fact that the Greek state is opposed to any negotiation on the name that will be used by FYROM.
At the same time, it is stressed that it backs every move that will confirm the historical truth over the FYROM name.
Mr. Niotis is scheduled to visit the cities of Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto and he will be back to Greece on March 17. In Ottawa, Mr. Niotis will visit the federal parliament.
He was born in Athens in 1925 and studied architecture in Athens and New York. Later, he studied stage-design in London's Slade School of Fine Arts. He became famous for his stage-designs in ballet performances and for his cooperation with Kenneth MacMillan and Rudolf Nureyev.
He worked mostly with the Opera Houses in Berlin, Vienna, Zurich, Paris and the New York Metropolitan Opera.
Last year, Nicholas Georgiadis became corresponding member of the Athens Academy and was honored by the Greek state for his work.
His funeral will be held in London on Wednesday, March 21.
Mr. Tsatsaronis is a former correspondent for the "Der Spiegel" magazine and now he is the editor of the Athens based German-speaking weekly newspaper "Athener Zeitung".
He said that the developments today remind of the situation in Kosovo, adding that the region has suffered many wars and there is no room for more armed conflicts.
Mr. Konstantopoulos underlined that the goal of the extremist actions is to threaten FYROM's territorial integrity as well as the territorial integrity of the rest of the countries in the region, adding that it is the common strategic interest of all the Balkan states to stop the armed clashes and the spread of the crisis. Mr. Konstantopoulos had meetings with parliament vice- president Tomislav Stoyanovski and opposition leader Branko Cervenkovski, who described to him the situation and expressed their concern for the developments.
Mr. Konstantopoulos stated that the situation is extremely serious and that the tension is not coincidental or accidental. He said that it will be a lasting tension, stressing that it is necessary to safeguard stability and security in the region as a scenario of destabilization is underway which was known since 1990 when the war in Bosnia broke out.
He also said that his party supports the accession of all Balkan countries into the European structures and international organizations. Referring to the Greek-FYROM relations, he said that Greece is FYROM's strategic partner and the two countries have a mutual interest to cooperate to safeguard stability and security in the region through the respect of the existing borders.
On the issue of the name of FYROM, he said that Coalition of the Left wants the issue to be resolved as soon as possible in a way that will be mutually beneficial.
Later this afternoon, Mr. Konstantopoulos will meet with prime minister Ljupco Georgievski, president of the republic Boris Trjkovski and foreign minister Serzan Kerim.