|Thursday, 5 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-10-04
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH Thessaloniki, October 4, 2001
The main opposition party is ahead in vote intention, with 36,9% against 30,2% of the governing party.
Next is the Greek Communist Party with 5,4%, the Free Citizens Movement with 5,1%, the Coalition with 3,3% and DIKKI with 1,7%.
New Democracy is ahead of PASOK by 13 units in expected electoral victory, with 45,8% and 32,9% respectively.
To the question of who is more appropriate to be Prime Minister, Mr. Simitis is ahead by 3 units with 33,1% against Mr. Karamanlis' 29,9%
26% of those asked is quite satisfied by the government, while the respective amount for the opposition is 24,9%. 41,3% is very unsatisfied by PASOK and 40,7% by New Democracy.
35,3% have faith in PASOK's ability to govern the country and 34% in New Democracy, 3,7% in other parties, and 24,3 in none of the parties.
In popularity of political figures the lead goes to Dimitris Avramopoulos with 60,5% and following are Nikos Konstantopoulos with 58,8%, Kostas Karamanlis with 56,3%, Kostas Simitis with 47,7%, Dimitris Tsovolas with 43,2%, Stefanos Manos with 33,5%, Aleka Paparhga with 24,4% and Antonis Samaras with 21,9%.
The poll also shows that unemployment is the main problem on Greek minds and not the threat of war, although the poll took place after the terrorist strikes on the US, from September 13 to 27, 2001. According to poll, Greeks are also worried about terrorism and crime, health and medical coverage.
 G. PAPANDREOU-ARCHBISHOP DIMITRIOS MEETINGForeign Secretary Giorgos Papandreou went to the ruins of the Twin Towers in New York City, accompanied by Archbishop of America Dimitrios, who performed a short memorial service at the ruins of the St. Nikolaos church.
"We are shocked by the human tragedy. A lot of times, seeing all the cement and steel in the photographs makes you forget that there are countless human individual stories of heroism, pain, misery that are unfolding all over New York right now", stressed Mr. Papandreou.
"Amongst them there are Greeks", he said and made mention of the symbolism of a Greek Orthodox, pointing out that the Greek Government announced the offering of $500.000 for the reconstruction of the church.
 JACQUES DELORS IN ATHENSFormer President of the European Committee, Jacques Delores, will visit Athens today. At 3pm he will be at the French Institute and will answer questions about the European Union.
At 8pm he will speak at the Athens "Megaron" Music Hall at an event of the "Labraki" Research Foundation on "The European Union and its course to broadening and consolidating of institutions".
On Friday, at 12:30pm, Jacques Delors will meet with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.
 BOAT WITH 400 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTSMore than 700 foreigners have tried to cross the borders of Greece illegally in the past few hours. The Coast Guard spotted a bot with 400 illegal immigrants off the coast of Crete.
According to statements of Deputy Foreign Secretary Grigoris Niotis, it is estimated that illegal immigrant trafficers make $7 billion annually.
 SCHWIMMER-STEFANOPOULOS MEETINGThe Secretary General of the European Council, Walter Schwimmer, will meet with the President of the Republic, Kostis Stefanopoulos. Mr. Schwimmer began his visit to Athens yesterday, in the framework of an attempt to upgrade the role of this European instrument in the reality that is being formed internationally.
Today, in a press conference that Mr. Schwimmer will hold, he will talk about the need of Mediterranean countries to cooperate with each other to deal with the phenomenon of illegal immigration, as well as on the activities being developed by the European Council on confronting new challenges.
Also, the Secretary General of the European Council, will meet with the President of the Parliament, Apostolos Kaklamanis, while yesterday he met with Replacement Foreign Secretary Elisabeth Papazoi and the President of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis.
 ANNIVERSARY OF NEW DEMOCRCY FOUNDINGWith a celebration that will take place in the Zappion Megaro, New Democracy will celebrate its 27th anniversary. The President of the party, Kostas Karamanlis will be the speaker at the event.
On occasion of the anniversary, a concert took place last night on Lykavitos, conducted by Stavros Xarhakos, with the participation of Manolis Mitsias and Dimitris Basis. In his greeting, the Kostas Karamanlis, referred to the founder of New Democracy, Konstantinos Karamanlis and the following Prime Ministers and Presidents. He underlined that the history of N.D. is filled with courageous decisions and great choices, which created modern Greece. The party's vision today, is a dynamic Greece, an equal participant in international happenings and a powerful society of active citizens. Greetings were also given by the Secretary of the Central Committee of N.D., Vaggelis Meimarakis.
 T. MILLER: GOOD US-GREEK COOPERATIONThe new American Ambassador to Greece, Thomas Miller, arrived in Athens this morning. "We will do whatever we can to promote good cooperation between Greece and the US", stressed Mr. Miller and added "our two countries have a long history of friendship, share the same principles and the same history and have the same goals".
The new American Ambassador, on the issue of the recent terrorist strikes, stated that "if we do not eradicate this kind of threat, we are all in danger".
"Greece has good relationships with other Balkan countries and we listen to it. The existence of democratically elected forms of governments", added Mr. Miller.
To a question on the Cyprus issue he underlined "it is a difficult problem and I will not place a time frame in resolving it".
 JUAN JOSE MOSALINI IN THESSALONIKIThe ambassador of tango, Juan Jose Mosalini, will present a unique show of music and dance in Thessaloniki on October 20 with the framework of the 36th Dimitria cultural events.
He has appeared in France, Oslo, Brussels, Istanbul, Montreal, London, Athens and Tokyo and has toured Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland and the United States.
 PAPANTONIOU: THE GREEK ECONOMY RESISTS THE WORLD CRISISThe effects of the global crisis on the Greek economy, as a result of the terrorist attacks on the United States, will be limited under the precondition that there will be no further adverse developments.
The above were stated by minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou after the meeting he had this morning with prime minister Kostas Simitis. He stressed characteristically that the Greek economy resists the outside pressures.
 THE EFFECTS OF THE TERRORIST ATTACKS ON TOURISM IN CRETEThe initial effects of the recent terrorist attack on the United States have started to show on the number of tourists visiting certain holiday destinations.
A number of problems have appeared in the island of Crete in south Aegean, as many conferences that were scheduled to take place on the island have been canceled.
Local tourist agents stated that the effects on conference tourism are notable, adding that after the latest terrorist attacks there are concerns on the future of tourism.
 FIGURES ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IN GREECEFigures on illegal immigration in Greece in the period starting from early 2000 until the end of August 2001 were presented by police director responsible for immigration issues Panagiotis Yiannoulas speaking in the 1st conference on illegal immigration in the Mediterranean organized in Athens by the Council of Europe and the general secretariat for the Greeks living abroad.
Mr. Yiannoulas pointed out that people in Greece and the rest EU member states are justified to feel unease on issues of internal security, illegal immigration and border crime.
According to official figures, in the year 2000 the border police authorities in Greece arrested 164.022 illegal immigrants, of whom 76% were Albanians and 6% Iraqi, followed by Romanians, Bulgarians, Iranians, Afghan, Pakistanis and FYROM citizens. At the same period of time, a total of 1.102 human traffickers were arrested and 839 transportation means were confiscated.
 LABOR MINISTRY FIGURES ON THE IMMIGRANTS LIVING IN GREECEThe majority of immigrants who live and work in Greece, making up 10-15% of the total workforce in the country, are young males according to labor minister Tasos Yiannitsis who addressed the Athens conference on illegal immigration in the Mediterranean.
A large number of them has relatively high education and some of them have university education, while the work they offer covers a wide ranging spectrum.
After 1991, most of the illegal or recently legalized economic immigrants come mainly from two countries, Albania (66%) and Bulgaria, with which Greece has signed agreements on seasonal employment.
According to Mr. Yannitsis, the presence of 700.000 foreign workers has caused important shake-ups, while their contribution was decisive to basic economic indexes, such as increasing the gross domestic product, keeping inflation under control, and meeting the convergence criteria for the country's EMU accession last year.
Immigrants have a positive effect on the sector of agriculture, as the ministry of agriculture estimates that the need for foreign workers in the sector is 108.000 individuals, reaching its peak in the months of August and September. Partially positive is their presence in mainly small businesses as they keep labor cost down allowing them to survive. Very positive is the effect of immigration on the social security fund, while the immigrants also help in slowing down the aging of the Greek population as the birth rate among foreign workers is high. According to the labor minister, the 1997 attempt to register and legalize foreign workers in Greece was successful. A total of 370.000 immigrants filed applications for a "white card", and finally, the "green card" was received by 232.000 of them. The second wave of illegal immigrants' registration and legalization concerns 380.000 individuals and is still in progress.
 THE NEW US AMBASSADOR SPOKE OF GOOD US-GREEK COOPERATIONThe new US ambassador to Athens, Thomas Miller arrived in Greece this morning and in statements he made, it was stressed that everything possible will be done to help toward a good cooperation between Greece and the United States. He said that the two countries share a long friendship, the same principles and history and have the same goals.
On the recent terrorist attacks on New York, he said that if this kind of threat does not disappear then the whole world will be in danger.
Mr. Miller added that Greece shares good relations with the rest Balkan countries and the US listens to what it has to say, stressing that the common target is the existence of democratically elected governments.
Responding to a question on Cyprus, he said that it is a difficult problem and he sets no timetable for its solution.
 REPPAS ON THE US EVIDENCE ON TERRORISMThe terrorist organization "al Qaeda", its leader and its members, are linked with the terrorist attack on the United States, stated government spokesman Dimitris Reppas. He said that the evidence that was provided by the US government within the framework of the discussion among the permanent NATO representatives in Brussels and the information mentioned at a bilateral level lead to that conclusion.
On the activation of article 5 concerning mutual assistance, the government spokesman stated that all countries have decided to contribute to efforts aimed at creating a strong front against terrorism, in order to be able to achieve collective self-defense after an attack by an outside source.
Responding to the question on what Greece will do, Mr. Reppas stated that it is an equal member of the alliance and decisions are reached after talks with the rest of the member states.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
 PAPANDREOU MET WITH MEMBERS OF THE GREEK-AMERICAN COMMUNITYForeign minister Giorgos Papandreou met with members of the Greek-American community in the Greek consulate in New York and conveyed the deep sorrow of the Greek people for the tragic events of September 11, while he also extended the condolences of the Greek government to the White House and the families of the victims.
Referring to the stance of the Greek government, Mr. Papandreou made it clear that Greece condemns terrorism and expressed its complete solidarity to the United States, their people and government. Mr. Papandreou referred to the fact that Greece will facilitate the US aircraft refueling at the US Base in Crete and stressed Greece's close cooperation with the FBI and the CIA aimed at the arrest of the perpetrators.
Mr. Papandreou also referred to his recent tour of Europe and the efforts of the Greek government to underline the need for the settlement of regional conflicts and problems (Balkans, Cyprus, etc) as they fuel violence and fanaticism.
On the way certain mass media covered the events in New York, he said that "heretic views" are often presented on television shows to boost ratings but they do not express the feelings of the Greek people, who condemn the terrorist attacks.
 RUSSIAN PASSENGER PLANE EXPLODES EN ROUTE TO SIBERIAAll 77 people on board a Sibir Airlines Tu-154 were killed when the plane exploded and crashed into the Black Sea, while being en route from Tel Aviv, Israel to the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. All 66 passengers on board were Israelis.
The circumstances of the crash are unclear and according to Russian president Vladimir Putin, it could have been the result of terrorism.
US officials stated that the plane might have been hit accidentally by surface-to-air missiles fired during a Ukrainian military exercise.
Meanwhile, all takeoffs were canceled from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport for security reasons. Israeli officials stated that all theories about the causes of the crash are being investigated.