|Wednesday, 13 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-10-10
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH Thessaloniki, October 10, 2001
In statements the Secretary of the Central Committee of PASOK, Kostas Skandalidis, made after the meeting, he underlined that the congress is taking place at a crucial juncture, and has the potential of presenting a real problem for discussion to the grounding of the party on all that is happening. "It is a joint decision, a joint unanimous position of Executive Office members, that it is a clearly political congress and with a great potential to become a new beginning for us".
The Minister of the Interior also reassured that all additional security measures have been taken to avert a possible terrorist strike on Greece.
Mr. Papandreou expressed her belief Greece is not a main target of terrorists and supported that Greeks should feel safe.
 ARMY MANEUVERS CANCELLEDThe General Army Staff announced the cancellation of the "Nikiforos-Toxotis" army maneuvers. The aeronautical maneuvers were scheduled to take place on October 17, but the date will be changed due to the burdening of the Eastern Mediterranean by NATO Air and Naval powers.
 REIMBURSEMENTS FOR THE ARMYMP of New Democracy in Thessaloniki, Panagiotis Psomiadis, asked the Minister of National Defense, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, about the extent of reimbursements for overtime and weekends for officers and non-commissioned officers of the army.
Mr. Psomiadis pointed out that there is an immediate need for reimbursements to be provided to the armed forces, just as they have been given to all working people in over the past few years.
Furthermore, he underlined that "it is time for the Simitis government shake off ‘micrologistics' in what concerns the wages of the armed forces".
 CHE GUEVARA'S DAUGHTER IN THESSALONIKIThe European conference for friendship and solidarity ties with Cuba, will take place this weekend in the teleconference room of Macedonia University in Thessaloniki, with the participation Che Guevara's daughter, Adelaida.
Furthermore, next Monday, Adelaida Guevara, a doctor by profession, will speak at the event in honor of her father. The event will take place at 8pm in the amphitheater of the Polytechnic School of the AUTh. The topic of the event is "Healthcare in Cuba".
 14 MPS QUESTION MINISTER BEHAVIOR TOWARDS JUDGESA question was submitted to the Prime Minister by 14 MPs of New Democracy, in relation to the organized attack by Ministers – as it is being characterized – on District Attorney actions in relation to the National Real Estate Registry and the Stock Market.
The MPs stress, among other things, that the Prime Minister's and Ministers' attempt to link these legal District Attorney actions, with supposed interference by New Democracy, and this attack against justice and complete disrespect towards functional and personal independence, have the disorientation of public opinion as their only target.
 ANTI-WAR RALLY IN ATHENSThe anti-war rally organized in downtown Athens last night, by workers unions leaning towards the Left, was peaceful.
The march, in which of approximately 5.000, started from the Propylea and ended at the US Embassy, from where the protestors dispersed at around 8:30pm with no incidents.
 PRESIDENT IN PATRAThe President of the Republic, Kostis Stefanopoulos, will visit Patra next month, to be present at this year's religious events in the memory of the city's Patron Saint, Saint Andreas.
The President has already sent a written response to the mayor of Patra, Evaggelos Floratos.
 G. PAPANDREOU PROPOSES DISCUSSION BETWEEN RELIGIONSA proposition of religious dialogue was made by Foreign Secretary Giorgos Papandreou, as a mediation to avert war between religions, after the declaration of a "holy war" by the Taliban and the appeal of Osama bin Laden's organization for Muslims everywhere to participate. Today, Mr. Papandreou will visit the Ecumenical Patriarchy in Istanbul, and talk with Patriarch Bartholomew about the commencing of a dialogue between the religions.
 ANTI-WAR RALLY TOMORROW IN THESSALONIKIAn anti-war rally will take place tomorrow (Thursday) at 7pm, by the statue of Eleftherios Venizelos, organized by the Antiwar Committee of Thessaloniki, the Democratic Consolidation for Peoples' Freedoms and Solidarity, the Youth Action for Peace and the Federation of workers at bottled drinks. In an announcement they made, they asked for the bombing in Afghanistan, as well as every involvement of Greece, to cease.
 GREECE-BULGARIA-TURKEY SIGN COOPERATION AGREEMENTWith the recent the trilateral trans-border cooperation agreement signed in Edirne, the formal procedure of formation and function of the Evros-Maritza-Meric Eurozone is complete.
Three companies from Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, which were each formed by dozens of bodies of local government, economy, education, healthcare, culture and environment protection, are participating in the Eurozone, which includes the prefectures of Evros, Edirne and the region of Haskovo.
Regional Director Aris Papadopoulos participated in the ceremony for the signing of the agreement by the mayors of Tyhero, Haskovo and Edirne, and he promised to support this trilateral Eurozone struggle for the materialization of joint trans-border programs.
Member of the Executive Committee of the Association of European Border Regions, Alkis Papadimitriou, described the framework and the fields in which the European Community offers potential of trans-border cooperation, and advised the partners to finalize plans of cooperation, so that they may be submitted to the responsible community and national organizations.
Mayors Georgi Ivanon and Cengin Varnatopu (Haskovo and Edirne) thanked the Greek side for its initiative and stressed the need of cooperation in materializing joint programs and actions for the tightening of relations between neighboring people.
 FOREIGN DELEGATIONS AT THE PASOK CONGRESSDelegations of socialist and socialdemocrat parties from 26 countries will be present at the 6th PASOK congress, the doors of which open tomorrow at the facilities of the Olympic Stadium.
Among the staff members of the parties are the President of the European Socialist Party, Robin Cook, the Prime Minister of Albania, Ilir Meta, the President of the Albanian Socialist Party, Fatos Nano, the Honorary President of the Socialist Movement (KISOS) of Cyprus, Vassos Lyssaridis, the Secretary General of AKEL, and others. The leadership of PASOK has addressed invitations to the Palestinian Leader, Yasser Arafat and the Foreign Secretary of Israel, Simon Perez, but they have not yet responded. Parties from Albania, Ukraine, Palestine, Switzerland, Syria, Serbia, Spain, Russia, Romania, Poland, Pakistan, Morocco, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, Hungary, Britain, Germany, France, FYROM, Egypt, Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Armenia and Algeria, will all be represented.
 GREEK AIR FORCE BOMBER CRASHEDAn A7 Corsair type bomber of the Greek Air Force, crashed five miles west of Araxos, in an uninhabited area. The crew managed to abandon the aircraft in time. The aircraft was participating in a training mission.
 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN ATHENS-KO-RHODES38 illegal immigrants from Iraq were arrested in the early morning hours in Athens, and are being held in the St. Anargyroi, after a raid on the house in which they were staying.
The wave of illegal immigrants continues, with 30 more illegal immigrants in Rhodes, while another 16 were found in Ko.
 ABDUL SALAM ZAIF: WE CAN HAVE THOUSANDS OF MARTYRS"Americans made mistakes. They did not account for the power of Islam or the persistence of the Afghan people. In the war with the Russians we had two million martyrs. If need be, we can have more…", stated the Ambassador of Afghanistan in Pakistan, Mullah Abdul Salam Zaif, in an interview with "Ta Nea" newspaper.
He is the only Ambassador of the Taleban regime and a historic member of their leadership, as well as one of the 7 survivors of 32 member group called "Students of the Koran" in 1994.
Abdul Slam Zaif accused the US of wanting to control Central Asia for economic reasons, and that they are attacking all Muslim people, not just Afghanistan. He estimated that the Taleban regime can withstand US attacks for a year, and to the question of how this is possible with the entire US military machine against them, he observed: "There is not one of us, not ten of us, not a hundred of us, not a thousand of us, not thousands of us, not a million of us. We are many nations, many millions. Let them dream."
 AKIS TSOHATZOPOULOS' SECOND BOOKMinister of Defense, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, is publishing his second book, a contribution to the pre-congress discussions of PASOK, and he will present it this afternoon at 6:30pm. Its title is Notebooks of Political Thought", and includes speeches and interventions of the Minister. His first book was titled, "The Society of Solidarity", and was presented in Thessaloniki last Friday.
 ANTI-WAR RALLY IN KARDITSAAn antiwar rally will take place tonight at 8pm in the central square of Karditsa, so that the local bodies can protest against the US attack on Afghanistan.
 CHARGES FILLED AGAINST PAPANIKOLAOU HOSPITALCriminal charges were filled against the members of the board of directors of the Papanikolaou Hospital in Thessaloniki, accused on sanitation violations.
According to a report that was submitted to the prosecutor by sanitation authorities, in the hospital kitchen and restaurant were observed sanitation and maintenance violations that could have a negative effect on the health of patients and personnel.
 GREEK RAILWAYS ORGANIZATION: TRAIN FARE AGREEMENT WITH TURKEY, ROMANIA, BULGARIAThe train fare agreement that was signed today by the Greek Railways Organization, FYROM and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia railways organizations is expected to be expanded to Turkey, Romania and Bulgaria as well.
The Greek Railways are expected to also sign an agreement with Croatia and Slovenia to adopt a common train fare and subsequent train fare cuts placing on a new basis commercial transportation between the Balkan states, while having pan-European axis number 10 as a key-point.
The above were stated today to MPA by Greek Railways Organization freight director Loudovikos Kourtidis in a press conference that was given in Thessaloniki aimed at presenting the tripartite agreement.
Mr. Kourtidis stated that the participation in the agreement is a one-way street for the rest Balkan countries as very soon the railway networks of Greece, FYROM and FRY will carry most of the goods transported by train to western Europe.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS-MILLER MEETINGMinister o defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos had a one-hour meeting with the new US ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller today with whom he discussed the situation after the launch of the US bombing of Afghanistan and the measures taken against the terrorist attacks.
Mr. Miller expressed satisfaction for the job done so far by the Greek government and clarified that this is not a war between peoples or civilizations but a fight against international terrorism. He said that the Afghan people are friends and since the start of the year the United States have offered to Afghanistan humanitarian aid of US$500 million.
He maintained that the evidence proving the guilt of the "al Qaeda" organization have been accepted by the international community and by the Muslim leaders, who condemned terrorism.
He also praised the Greek government decision to postpone the military exercise code-named "Toxotis" and Athens' effort to avert the likelihood of tension in the Greek-Turkish relations.
 ARAFAT IS IN ATHENSPalestinian leader Yasser Arafat is in Athens, according to press information. Mr. Arafat came to Greece at the invitation of the government to attend the governing socialist party of PASOK congress that opens tomorrow in the Greek capital.
As it was made known, Mr. Arafat will meet later this evening with right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis at a central Athens hotel.
Earlier today, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas had expressed the hope that both Arafat and Israel's foreign minister Simon Peres will be present in the congress.
He also added that this is a very crucial period and for security reasons no announcements could be made on Mr. Arafat's movements.
 SMALL GAINS IN THE ASESmall gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.75% at 2.237,10 points, while the volume of transactions was 69.62 million Euro or 23.72 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 254 recorded gains compared to 64 that had losses, while the value of 62 stocks remained stable.
 REPPAS: WAR IS NOT A POPULAR OPTIONWar is not a popular option but we should not miss the fact that a terrorist attack of such a scope cannot remain unanswered, reiterated government spokesman Dimitris Reppas responding to a question on the risk for a widespread destabilization in the world.
He added that all means must be used in a response that will be the final act in a setting of terror and fear created by terrorists, reiterating that there is no conflict between cultures, religions and nations. He also stated that the effort made to combat terrorism should be accompanied by initiatives on different levels namely, political, diplomatic and humanitarian.
Mr. Reppas added that the target is bin Laden and the terrorist networks. Responding to a question on the likelihood of biological warfare, he said that he does not believe that the terrorists will go that far.
 REPPAS: THE PROPOSAL FOR A MEETING OF RELIGIOUS LEADERS IS POSITIVEGovernment spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized as positive initiative the proposal for a meeting of religious leaders under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarch. The proposal was made today by foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou in the meeting he had with the Ecumenical Patriarch and Mr. Reppas stated that dialogue is useful especially at this particular time.
He said that this is a positive initiative, because as it has been stated repeatedly, there is no conflict between religions. Mr. Reppas stated that every religion praises the value of human life, adding that human existence is above everything else.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
 ANDREW ATHENS DENIED ALLEGED STATEMENTS ON THE OLYMPIADWorld Council for Hellenes Abroad, SAE, president Andrew Athens characterized as malicious rumors the statements he allegedly made after the terrorist attacks on the United States according to which, the Athens 2004 Olympic Games should be postponed for security reasons.
Mr. Athens pointed out that as usual certain individuals try to divide Greece and the Greeks living abroad, in view of the 4th World Conference by using statements he did not make.
For the record, a few days ago Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas referring to the issue had offered the government's full backing to the SAE president.
 PAPANDREOU-VARTHOLOMEOS AGREEMENT ON A SUMMIT MEETING OF RELIGIOUS LEADERSForeign minister Giorgos Papandreou met at the Fanar today with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and presented him a proposal for dialogue between representatives of religions after the declaration of a "holy war" by the Taleban in Afghanistan and the appeal issued by bin Laden's "al Qaeda" organization to every Muslim to take part in it.
The Ecumenical Patriarch agreed with Mr. Papandreou's proposal, pointing out that every religion including Islam should cooperate with the political leaders after the latest developments and underlined that in the near future a summit meeting of religious leaders could be held to promote cooperation among the peoples.
Referring to the present situation, the Ecumenical Patriarch expressed the hope that reason will prevail and the danger of terrorism will be avoided.
Foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou pointed out that there are no indications showing that Greece is in danger from terrorism but this does not mean that terrorism is not a concern for everybody, mainly because it undermines the democratic institutions. He also underlined the need for cooperation in order to isolate those religious individuals, who try to use the meaning of religion in a way that promotes violence, terrorism and the lack of tolerance toward everyone who is different. He said that Greece is at the borders separating the Islamic and Christian world and therefore, is the appropriate country to undertake such initiatives.
The Greek foreign minister will convey to the responsible EU institutions the proposal for a dialogue between religions to deal with terrorism and for this purpose, he had already contacts with European Commission president Romano Prodi, Israel's foreign minister Simon Peres, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and the United States.