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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-05-07

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, May 7, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] RUSSIAN PATRIARCH: THE LAND OF GREECE IS HOLY
  • [02] CONFERENCE ON INVESTING IN GREECE BEGINS IN NY
  • [03] PM AT EUROPEAN SOCIALIST PARTY CONFERENCE
  • [04] EPP-ED GROUP HOLDS SESSION IN THESSALONIKI
  • [05] FM TO GIVE OLYMPIC TRUCE STATUE TO KOFI ANNAN
  • [06] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH CONCLUDES VISIT TODAY
  • [07] ATHENS CONCERNED OVER MOUNTING FYROM CRISIS
  • [08] NEW PROVOCATION BY TURKEY
  • [09] SIGNIFICANT LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [10] REPPAS: GREECE IS CONFIDENT THAT THE FYROM GOVERNMENT WILL HANDLE THE SITUATION IN THE RIGHT WAY
  • [11] REPPAS: EVERYBODY BENEFITED FROM THE POPE'S VISIT
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [12] 20 ALBANIAN GUERRILLAS KILLED BY FYROM ARMY
  • [13] BRITISH INTERIOR MINISTRY: ATHENS IS A SAFE CITY
  • [14] ROMANIAN MILITARY DELEGATION IN GREECE
  • [15] PAPANDREOU AND ANGELOPOULOU IN NEW YORK
  • [16] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS: THE POPE'S VISIT TO ATHENS GAVE POSITIVE RESULTS
  • [17] "INTER-BALKAN THINK TANK" BY THE NEWS AGENCIES IN SE EUROPE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] RUSSIAN PATRIARCH: THE LAND OF GREECE IS HOLY

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, presently on an official visit to Russia, jointly officiated at a cathedral in the Kremlin with Russian Patriarch Alexy II.

    Addressing the Patriarch, Archbishop Christodoulos said "the Church is not dead because it is part of the living body of God. The church is not a thing of the past because it is eternal and endless."

    Moreover, he added that "the Church was fought in the past by harsh tyrants and its faithful children were persecuted, however, it remained upright and alive."

    He underlined ties existing between the Greek and Russian people and the importance of his visit for the development of relations between the two Churches. He also referred to the dangers facing present-day man due to globalization "which is threatening our traditions and particularity."

    On his part, Alexiy referred to the ties binding the two Churches, which have lasted for centuries, and said that the unity of the two Churches was expressed with the thanksgiving service.

    He stressed that "for every Orthodox Russian, the land of Greece is holy." The two religious leaders exchanged gifts afterwards. Archbishop Christodoulos later met with the mayor of Moscow at Saint George's Cathedral outside Moscow.

    In his address welcoming the Greek Archbishop upon the latter's arrival in Moscow yesterday, the Russian Patriarch expressed his skeptimism over the apology offered by Pope John Paul II during the latter's visit to Athens.

    The Pope had apologized for ``sins of action and omission'' by Roman Catholics, including the sacking of Constantinople, the center of Orthodoxy, in 1204.

    `This statement has to be seen in context, but as far as I am aware it is primarily about the Crusades. It's necessary to see how this apology will be manifested in actions,'' Alexy II said.

    Although Archbishop Christodoulos conveyed to the Russian Patriarch a message of love by Pope John Paul II, Alexy reportedly said that the Pope cannot prepare his visit to the Ukraine while the Uniates are planting bombs in Orthodox cathedrals, as had happened in the region recently.

    During his stay in Moscow, Mr. Christodoulos will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the President of the State Duma Selezhnev, Moscow Mayor Luzhkov, the Greek ambassador to Moscow and many Metropolitans of the Russian Church. He will also be visiting many holy monasteries and shrines, as well as St Petersburg's Academy of Theology, while he will also be attending receptions and commemorative events.

    [02] CONFERENCE ON INVESTING IN GREECE BEGINS IN NY

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou is to inaugurate a New York conference that will review investment opportunities in Greece, the Athens Stock Exchange and the Olympic Games of 2004.

    The annual event, which opens today, is organized by Capital Link, working with the Greek-UK Business Council.

    Other speakers will include the president of the Athens Olympics organizing committee, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, and the chairman of the Athens Stock Exchange, Panayiotis Alexakis.

    [03] PM AT EUROPEAN SOCIALIST PARTY CONFERENCE

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is presently in Berlin to attend the European Socialist Party Convention in Berlin, heading a ruling PASOK party delegation that includes Central Committee Secretary Costas Skandalidis, Foreign Minister George Papandreou and Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

    The "Security in Change" conference, which gets underway today, will be attended by 11 prime ministers and a total of 281 delegates from 20 parties.

    Issues to be discussed are European Union enlargement, modernizing the European social and economic model, the EU's global role on the creation of a fairer world and promoting institutional reforms in the EU in light of the inter-governmental conference and Euro-elections in 2004.

    [04] EPP-ED GROUP HOLDS SESSION IN THESSALONIKI

    The regular monthly session of the European People's Party European Democrats (EPP-ED) Parliamentary Group is to begin in Thessaloniki today and will be held until Thursday, May 10.

    Among the issues to be discussed are the present situation in the Balkan region, political asylum and immigration.

    The leader of Greece's main opposition party of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis is to give an address on Wednesday morning, thus inaugurating a series of sessions that will be addressed by Bulgaria's foreign minister, the ministers of interior from Austria and Spain, and others.

    The delegates are to attend a formal reception this evening hosted by the Mayor of Thessaloniki Vasilis Papageorgopouos, while on Friday, one day after the session concludes, the participants will be given a sea tour of Mt. Athos.

    [05] FM TO GIVE OLYMPIC TRUCE STATUE TO KOFI ANNAN

    Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou will deliver the "Olympic Truce" statue to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan tomorrow, May 8, during a ceremony at the UN's New York headquarters in the framework of the International Olympic Truce Center's (IOTC) board meeting.

    The statue, the work of Spanish artist Rosa Serra, is an offer by former UN Olympic Committee member Irwin Belk who attended the General Assembly's works on the Olympic Truce in 1999 as a member of the US delegation.

    Since only UN member-states are able to offer gifts to the international organization, the IOTC's secretary Kidane called on the Greek foreign minister and IOTC vice president to deliver the statue to Mr. Annan on its behalf.

    [06] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH CONCLUDES VISIT TODAY

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, currently on a visit to Thrace, continued his tour yesterday with a visit to the town of Nigrita, in the prefecture of Serres, where local citizens welcomed him warmly in the town's main square.

    His welcoming was also attended by main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis, who later left for the city of Komotene to address a party conference.

    The Patriarch is conducting an official five-day visit to the northern Greek dioceses of Xanthi, Serres and Nigrita, which fall under the patriarchate's jurisdiction. The municipality of Sapes was his first stop where he received a warm welcome by local authorities and residents.

    At Xanthi, Vartholomeos attended events commemorating Saint Theophanis, and inaugurate a cathedral for Serres and Nigrita.

    Under a 1928 agreement, the patriarch maintains spiritual leadership over parts of Macedonia, Thrace and Epiros, while the Church of Greece governs them administratively.

    His visit will conclude today in the city of Komotene and the Dadia Monastery. The patriarch will return to Istanbul after visiting Serres and the municipality of Strymon.

    [07] ATHENS CONCERNED OVER MOUNTING FYROM CRISIS

    Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou expressed his concern over the crisis mounting in FYROM, while he joined his European Union counterparts in their appeal to Skopje not to go ahead with its stated intention to declare the country in a state of war.

    Meanwhile, upon his arrival to FYROM for urgent talks with the government, EU security and foreign affairs chief Javier Solana stated "I'd like to say to the government and the people of Macedonia that they have the support of the EU ministers."

    NATO Secretary General George Robertson is to also arrive in Skopje today, followed by Swedish Foreign Minister and council chairwoman Anna Lindh, who will also be visiting Tirana and Sarajevo.

    Commenting on Mr. Solana's visit to Skopje, Mr. Papandreou and his French counterpart Hubert Vedrine stated that he will have the possibility of ascertaining on-the-spot what measures are necessary and to subsequently brief the EU.

    The EU's security and foreign affairs chief has expressed doubt as to whether FYROM's government will succeed in achieving the necessary two-thirds majority in Parliament to have the country declared in a "state of war."

    Moreover, a spokesman for the Swedish EU presidency said the "15" disagree with FYROM's initiative, saying that "what is needed is not a state of war but a state of peace."

    According to the country's constitution, a state of war, which gives wider rights to the security forces, needs the approval of a two-thirds parliamentary majority, which the Slav parties have.

    It also allows the government to pass decisions without waiting for Parliament to turn them into laws and gives the president wider powers to hire and fire top officials, including ministers.

    FYROM's constitution does not provide for a state of emergency. According to the law, the army is allowed to operate inside the country only in a narrow stretch along the border.

    [08] NEW PROVOCATION BY TURKEY

    The Turkish side made a new provocation as it continues to raise the issue of the Aegean islands' demilitarization.

    Next Monday, there will be a change of command in the permanent mine-sweeping force in the Mediterranean. The command post will be taken over by a Turkish captain. The ceremony that will be held on the occasion of the assumption of his duties was going to be attended by Greek Navy chief vice-admiral Giorgos Theodoroulakis.

    As it is customary in such occasions, the Greek side requested diplomatic permission for Mr. Thedoroulakis to be able to go with a helicopter to Aksan Naval Base opposite the island of Rhodes. The helicopter was also scheduled to land in Rhodes to refuel.

    The Turks, who received the information, stated to the Greek Naval attache in Ankara that they refuse to give the approval requested as Rhodes is regarded by the Turkish side as part of the demilitarized zone.

    As a result, Mr. Theodoroulakis will not go to Turkey to attend the ceremony.

    [09] SIGNIFICANT LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Significant losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.50% at 3.156,14 points, while the volume of transactions was very small at 130.32 million Euro or 44.4 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, only 12 recorded gains and 339 had losses, while the value of 19 remained stable.

    [10] REPPAS: GREECE IS CONFIDENT THAT THE FYROM GOVERNMENT WILL HANDLE THE SITUATION IN THE RIGHT WAY

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the rekindling of the crisis puts stability in FYROM at risk, adding that the Greek government is confident that the FYROM government will handle the situation in the right way. Mr. Reppas made those comments after the new clashes that erupted between government forces and Albanian-speaking rebels.

    He said that Greece follows the developments closely, adding that the international community has been mobilized.

    [11] REPPAS: EVERYBODY BENEFITED FROM THE POPE'S VISIT

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that everybody benefited from Pope John-Paul B' visit to Greece.

    He said that Greece showed that it can respond to the needs of such a visit, adding that the leaderships of the two Churches laid the foundations for a new framework within which their problems will be discussed.

    Responding to the question on whether constitutional rights were violated by the measures taken during the Pontiff's visit, he said that such an issue has not been raised.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [12] 20 ALBANIAN GUERRILLAS KILLED BY FYROM ARMY

    FYROM army forces killed twenty Albanian guerrillas in fighting early this morning, near the northern village of Lojane, according to army spokesman Blagoja Markovski.

    As the French news agency AFP reported, there were no casulaties among the soldiers, while Mr. Markovski said that operations were under way against the self-proclaimed National Liberation Army (NLA) around the village of Slupcane, at the center of the combat zone just west of the city of Kumanovo.

    Tanks and helicopters were also involved in the attacks, an AFP reporter in the nearby village of Likovo said.

    [13] BRITISH INTERIOR MINISTRY: ATHENS IS A SAFE CITY

    Crime rate in Greece is lower than the EU average, while Athens is a safe city, according to a research conducted by the British interior ministry and published by the BBC.

    The specific research mentions that even though crime rose by 14% in Greece in the period 1995-1999 it continues to be clearly lower compared to the average crime rate in the EU member-states.

    In the period 1997-1999, the number of murders committed in Greece were 52 namely, 1.69 for every 100.000 people, while the capital city with the highest crime rate is Washington in the United States with 50 murders for every 100.000 people followed by Pretoria in South Africa and Moscow in Russia.

    In the period 1995-1999, break-ins in Greece dropped by 13%, while drug related crimes showed a sharp increase of 130%.

    [14] ROMANIAN MILITARY DELEGATION IN GREECE

    Romanian Army General Staff Chief Michail Popescu will visit Greece on May 8-11 heading a military delegation at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Manousos Paragioudakis.

    The two generals are expected to discuss issues concerning bilateral military relations and Romania's course toward EU accession and NATO membership.

    [15] PAPANDREOU AND ANGELOPOULOU IN NEW YORK

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will open the 5th Conference of Capital Link on "Investments in Greece: economy, stock market, 2004 Olympic Games" that will be held in New York. The main speaker in the conference will be 2004 Olympic Games organizing committee president Ms. Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalakis.

    The conference is an established institution in New York and every year is held with the participation of about 400 senior executives from US companies and distinguished members of the Greek-American community.

    [16] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS: THE POPE'S VISIT TO ATHENS GAVE POSITIVE RESULTS

    Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece in statements he made from Moscow characterized as positive the results of the Pope's visit to Athens.

    The Archbishop stated that the Greek Orthodox Church faced this visit as a challenge and not as a test. He said that the Church of Greece represented Orthodoxy in the right way during the Pope's visit to Athens, stressing characteristically that the Pope apologized to the Orthodox Christians, condemned proselytism and the violence used by the powerful on those who are weak and agreed that the European states should not lose their Christian character.

    Archbishop Christodoulos, who is on a visit to Russia, met with Metropolite Cyril of Smolensk and together they visited the Duma where the Archbishop met with its president Genadi Selesniev.

    [17] "INTER-BALKAN THINK TANK" BY THE NEWS AGENCIES IN SE EUROPE

    The general directors of the Association of Balkan New Agencies (ABNA), who held an extraordinary meeting in Ankara on May 4-6, decided to create a "Balkan Think Tank" aimed at assisting the inter-Balkan cooperation and eliminating differences. In the think tank will participate personalities from all Balkan countries.

    The decision was reached on the sidelines of the symposium on "The Balkan spirit - Common values and peace" organized by the Turkish news agency "Anadolu". The founding meeting of the Inter- Balkan Think Tank will be held in Thessaloniki next November and will be organized by Macedonian Press Agency (MPA) which had the initiative.

    Turkish undersecretary of foreign affairs ambassador Yiyit Alpogan, who represented foreign minister Ismail Cem in the symposium, pointed out that Turkey regards the safeguarding of territorial integrity and the respect of the existing borders in the Balkans as necessary terms.

    Anadolu general director Mehmet Goler, who is currently holding ABNA's rotating presidency, speaking in the symposium stated that he has a vision according to which, the co-habitation of the peoples in the region, following the EU model, will be possible.

    MPA general director and ABNA general secretary Spyros Kouzinopoulos underlined that the 21st century Balkans have to be a region where differences will be settled in a peaceful way and mutual understanding and friendship will be promoted.

    MPA board of directors president Paraskevas Paraskevopoulos referring to the issue of the inter-Balkan cooperation used as an example the improvement recorded in the Greek-Turkish relations after the earthquakes that hit both countries. He said that the improvement was made possible thanks to the right moves made by foreign ministers Giorgos Papandreou and Ismail Cem. He also referred to the cooperation between Greek and Turkish businessmen.

    In the extraordinary meeting of the ABNA general directors it was also decided that the procedures for the promotion of the Diavlos II project, aimed at the development of cooperation among the Balkan news agencies through the use of the new technologies, must be accelerated.


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