|Friday, 6 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-10-11
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH Thessaloniki, October 11, 2001
She also stressed that it is uncertain that the problems of the Palestinian people will be solved, with an occupational Israeli army and colonialists on Palestinian soil.
Mr. Arafat also met with the President of the Coalition, Nikos Konstantopoulos, and President of DIKKI, Dimitris Tsovolas.
 ARAFAT-KARAMANLIS MEETINGThe meeting the President of New Domocracy, Kostas Karamanlis, had with Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat, was characterized as useful.
"We had a very heart-felt and useful conversation with President Arafat. I had a chance to express our positions on terrorism. It is important for the International Community to establish a broad alliance against terrorism. And, of course, we agreed that no one can evoke the just Palestinian struggle, as a pretence for terrorist activity. We are absolute on that point", stated Mr. Karamanlis after the meeting.
The President of New Democracy pointed out that it is necessary for the entire International Community to contribute effectively, so that at last, a solution can be found, and Palestinians and Israelis can put their differences aside, and stability and peace can be obtained by this sorely tried region.
"I want to underline that, as I told President Arafat, nobody can deny the peoples of the world peace, stability, security and progress", he stressed.
 DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS HELP REFUGEESThe Doctors Without Borders of Greece will start an emergency program for the medical and pharmaceutical support of Afghan refugees, responding to our planet's great humanitarian crisis.
A volunteer group of three members is leaving on Friday October 12, to arrive at the Afghan-Pakistan border refugee camps.
The group led by doctor and President of the Greek Doctors Without Borders, Kostas Papaioannou, executive Christine Geyral and technician Andreas Koutepas will begin a program targeted at:
Giving first degree health care by creating a clinic- tent in the refugee camp.
The distribution of basic medicines, as well as consumable medical and material equipment
The epidemiological study and the research of transmittable diseases, as well as 7the vaccination of women and children.
 6TH PASOK CONGRESS The 6th PASOK congress is opening its doors at a crucial international juncture, with the Leader of the Palestinians, Yasser Arafat, as its official guest. Mr. Arafat has been in Athens since last night and has had meetings with the leaders of the opposition parties, and at 11 am this morning a meeting between him and Prime Minister Simitis took place at the Maximos Megaro.
International developments after the terrorist attack on the US and the retaliations of the US on Afghanistan, as well as Greece's role in the European Union, are the topics expected to be discussed by Prime Minister Simitis in his speech at the congress, which has been scheduled for 1:15pm. The greeting of Mr. Arafat is also awaited for with great interest.
As far as the internal political situation is concerned, the Prime Minister is expected to ask for a "clear order" from the congress, so that he can move to a unifying fraework in his speech, but at the same time he will point out that he agrees with creative changes, but not the changes that will cancel what has been achieved so far for the government's policy.
There will be 6.353 participants at the congress, the accrediting of which has begun since 9am this morning at the facilities of the Olympic Stadium. Official guests will arrive at 12:30 and congress works will begin at 1pm the greeting of the Central Committee's Secretary, Kostas Skandalidis and the election of a President. The Prime Minister's speech will follow and then the greetings of party spokespersons.
Delegations from socialist and socialdemocrat parties from 26 countries have been invited to the congress. Minister of the Interior, Vaso Papandreou, is the President of the congress.
 1000 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN 30 DAYSWith the last incident of illegal immigrants being caught last night by the Coast Guard in the area of Lavrio, the total of illegal immigrants entering the country over the last 30 days, has almost reached 1000 men, women and children. These people are usually transferred on fishing boats from the shores of Turkey, to islands such as Rhodes, Kos, Crete, as well as others. There was fear of an increasing wave of illegal immigrants, as Foreign Secretary Giorgos Papandreou pointed out 4 days after the terrorist strike on the US, due to the then imminent retaliation of the US. Afghans, Iraqis and, as in the most recent case, Kurds, as well as other peoples from the Near and Middle, come to Greece in search of a brighter future.
Last night 40 illegal immigrants of Kurdish descent were caught on the "Lale 8" sailing boat, sailing under a Turkish flag. The captain of the vessel, who had a French passport, as well as two Turks, crew members were arrested. They will all be taken to the district attorney.
 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".
 PAPANDREOU-MILLER MEETINGForeign Secretary Giorgos Papandreou met with the new Ambassador of the US, Thomas Miller this morning.
Right after the meeting, Mr. Miller thanked Greece for its support, and confirmed the discussion of a possible participation of Greek forces in the general framework of operational planning.
The new Ambassador of the US in Athens, underlined the importance of contacts Mr. Papandreou will have with Muslim countries, such as Syria and Iran.
 GREECE SUPPORTS THE EFFORTS FOR THE RESOLVING OF THE MIDDLE EASTERN ISSUEThe support of the Greek government to the Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat in his struggle for the peaceful resolving of the Middle Eastern issue, was expressed by Prime Minister Simitis in statements he made shortly after his meeting with Mr. Arafat in Athens. Mr. Simitis supported discussions between Palestinians and Israelis, and stressed that the refusals of the Israeli government to approach the negotiations table must end at once. At the same time he referred to the traditional bonds of friendship of the Greek and the Palestinian peoples, and made a commitment that Greece will never stop contributing to the end of violence and death, and to the existence of a Palestinian state, according to the decisions of the United Nations.
Regarding terrorism, he pointed out that the development of a global society where violence and terror will reign, must be prevented. "The position of Greece and the US is clear: terrorism must be confronted decisively, without hesitation and at its roots", said Mr. Simitis adding that at the same time phenomena that cause terrorism such as poverty, inequality and problems that are left pending in the international system, must be dealt with.
The Palestinian Leader also referred to ties of the Palestinian people with the Greeks, and expressed the warm thanks of the Palestinian people for the positions of Greece towards them. He spoke of a traditional, cultural, religious, and deep relationship, which Palestinians hold dear and are proud of.
Yasser Arafat condemned the recent terrorist attacks on the US and referred to the final announcement of the Muslim convention, which rejects such actions. "We call all the world and all countries to cooperate in order to deal with such sad events that strike all of humanity. Something like this needs greater coordination between Europeans, Americans, Russians, and all countries, so that we can hold a powerful position against terrorism, which is directed towards the whole of humanity", he characteristically pointed out.
"We are thankful for the help offered by the Greek people, the Greek government and leadership, to the Palestinian people on all levels. Thank you, thank you, thank you", said Yasser Arafat, ending his statements.
 ISRELI MINISTER OF E. SNE AT PASOK CONGRESSEfraim Sne, Israeli Minister of Transports and high level staff member of the Labor Party, will represent Israel at the PASOK congress in Athens. Mr. Sne served as deputy Minister of Defense in the previous Labor Government of Ehunt Barak, and is today a member of the Israeli Ministerial Security Council.
The Israeli Minister will address a greeting at the PASOK congress. In the scope of the congress he is expected to meet with Foreign Secretary Giorgos Papandreou, and Ministers of Defense Akis Tsohatzopoulos and Transports, Christos Verelis.
It is worth noting that this is the first Israeli Minister ever to be present at a PASOK congress.
 ANTIWAR RALLIESAn antiwar rally has been organized for tonight in Thessaloniki, which will take place at 7pm in front of the statue of Eleftherios Venizelos. Organizers of rally are the Thessaloniki Antiwar Council, the Democratic Consolidation for People's Freedoms and Solidarity, Youth Action for Peace and the federation of workers of bottled beverage factories.
Another rally will be held in the Freedom square of Serres, at 7:30pm. Both rallies are organized to show the opposition of local bodies to the retaliation of the US against the Afghan people.
 SIMITIS: CLEAR MANDATEPrime minister Kostas Simitis asked the delegates participating in the governing socialist party of PASOK 6th congress to give him a clear and strong mandate.
In his opening speech, Mr. Simitis stated that he wants a clear message of unity for the party to be able to meet its goals, called for the solution of the in-party problems and condemned the phenomena of political competitiveness within the party.
He referred to the achievements of PASOK in the years it is in power and pointed out that PASOK plays a leading role in the developments.
On the issue of terrorism, he stressed that the governing party displayed moderation and prudence in the effort aimed at the uprooting of terrorism.
He stated characteristically that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in his speech this afternoon within the framework of PASOK's party congress will give an example of the existing inequalities in the world and their effects. Referring to the state-issued identity cards, he pointed out that the problem has been settled based on the state constitution and laws, adding that an effort had been made to turn it into a major national problem.
On the social security issue, he said that the government and workers should look together for solutions that will be viable and socially fair.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS: PASOK WILL COME OUT STRONGERMinister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos predicted that the 6th PASOK Party Congress will result to the further strengthening of the party.
He stressed, however, that the necessary preconditions must be created during the party congress procedures for PASOK to be strengthened and become successful and victorious.
When he was called to comment on the presence of Palestinian president Yasser Arafat in the party congress, the minister of defense stated that it is a great honor and political success that confirms the historical ties linking the Palestinian people and movement with Greece and PASOK. Mr. Tsochatzopoulos characterized as very clear position the statement made by Mr. Arafat that the Palestinian issue should not be allowed to be exploited in relation with terrorism.
 TURKISH CONSUL GENERAL MEETING WITH MACEDONIA UNIVERSITY DEANThe new Turkish consul general to Thessaloniki, Gazne Soysal met today with Macedonia University dean Giorgos Tsiotras.
They discussed issues concerning higher education in both countries and at the same time, they examined the cooperation potential between Macedonia University and higher education institutions in Turkey.
 META: THE GREEK-ALBANIAN RELATIONS BECOME STRONGERThe Greek-Albanian relations become stronger, underlined Albanian prime minister Ilir Meta in his message to the 6th PASOK Party Congress that opened in Athens today.
He said that Albania condemns terrorism and stands by the United States in the global front against it, adding that his country will cooperate with Greece and the rest countries in the region to stop terrorism.
Mr. Meta stated that Albania wants to play the role of a peace and stability factor in southeastern Europe and its goal is the EU-Albanian association.
The Albanian prime minister pledged that the Greek minority in Albania will be among the new models of democratization that will be implemented by his government. He also referred to the Albanian immigrants in Greece saying that they are a positive factor in the mutual development of bilateral relations and pointed out that his government will combat organized crime in cooperation with Greece among other countries.
 YIANNITSIS: THE UNEMPLOYMENT DROP WILL BE A RELIEF FOR THOUSANDS OF PEOPLELabor minister Tasos Yiannitsis, in statements he made on the sidelines of the 6th PASOK Party Congress, stressed that according to the available figures, unemployment dropped from 12.4% to 10.7% at the end of last year, stressing that this is a relief for tens of thousands of people.
When called to comment on the latest figures on unemployment in the last trimester of 2000 issued by the National Statistics Agency, he stressed that according to them the unemployed are 81.000 less.
He also said that based on the indications for 2001, it is confirmed that social convergence becomes more and more obvious in Greece and added that the Greek economy can deal effectively with the international uncertainty and limited prospects.
 REPPAS: NO REQUEST FOR GREEK PARTICIPATION IN THE MILITARY OPERATIONSNo request has been made for Greek participation in the military operations in Afghanistan, reiterated today government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, expressing the hope that there will be no such request in the future as well.
He said that according to the conclusions reached after taking under consideration the existing facts, the military operations, based on the form they have today, will not lead to the participation of land forces from other countries because this is not deemed as necessary.
Regarding the security measures in case of biological warfare, Mr. Reppas stated that the health ministry has formed a very satisfactory policy framework to deal with every eventuality and that the efforts for greater security, made by the responsible agencies after the terrorist attacks on the United States, have intensified.
 THE GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON CYPRUS' EU ACCESSIONThe Helsinki Summit meeting decision defines the framework of Cyprus' EU accession course, stressed government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, commenting on the statements made by the European Commissioner responsible for EU enlargement issues, who maintained yesterday that the EU accession of a divided Cyprus can become a bomb at the foundations of the European Union.
Mr. Reppas reiterated that the solution of Cyprus' political problem is not a precondition for its EU accession and this position cannot be overturned as the EU has undertaken a commitment.
Mr. Reppas stated that the EU enlargement will take place with Cyprus in the first wave of the candidate for membership states, adding that Cyprus cannot be the hostage of the Turkish occupation forces. He stressed that this cannot be allowed by the EU and concluded that Cyprus has the right to become an EU member as it meets the necessary criteria.
 SIGNIFICANT GAINS IN THE ASESignificant gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.37% at 2.267,77 points, while the volume of transactions was 116.54 million Euro or 39.71 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 282 recorded gains and 50 had losses, while the value of 46 remained unchanged.
 YASSER ARAFAT: WE ARE GRATEFUL TO THE GREEK PEOPLEPalestinian leader Yasser Arafat was received very warmly by the 6th PASOK Party Congress delegates in Athens today.
In his speech underlined that his people expresses its deepest thanks to the Greeks and their governments for the support they have offered to the Palestinians during all those years.
He made a special reference to his friendship with Andreas Papandreou characterizing him a hero and a friend of the Palestinian people. He also said that PASOK has strong ties with the Palestinian people and every people fighting for freedom, democracy, justice and independence. He also promised that a central square in Palestine will be named after Andreas Papandreou after it is recognized as an independent state entity.
Mr. Arafat stated that his people is the victim of terrorism exercised by the state of Israel, stressing that the Palestinian people suffer from a brutal form of oppression and occupation. He said that the Israeli occupation has destroyed thousands of houses and has imposed a siege blocking the free movement of the people. He said that this racist occupation targets every citizen, Christian and Muslim, blocking their access to their places of worship.
Mr. Arafat expressed opposition to every form of terrorism and especially, the kind which targets the lives of innocent people and stressed that himself and the Palestinian people are ready to continue their struggle against the Israeli occupation.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
 BARNIER: ONLY 21% PROGRESS IN THE LAND REGISTER PROJECTThe progress made so far in the National Land Register project corresponds to just 21% of the initial predictions, as only 8.000 square kilometers are in the process of being registered instead of the predicted 28.220 square kilometers that were supposed to be processed by the end of the current year.
The figures were given to publicity by European Commissioner Michel Barnier, responsible for regional policy issues, responding to a question by right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy Euro-deputy Stavros Xarhakos. Mr. Barnier also stated that many years will be needed for the project to be completed if the current pace continues.
Mr. Barnier also clarified that while the initial budget of the project was 172 million Euro later it was downgraded to the sum of 138.9 million Euro, adding that in any case the pace of the necessary procedures is not satisfactory.
 THE GREEK PRESIDENT IN FRANKFURT'S BOOK FAIRGreek president Kostis Stephanopoulos visited the Greek pavilions in Frankfurt's 53rd International Book Fair accompanied by culture minister Evangelos Venizelos.
Inaugurating the pavilion of the Greek Publishers- Booksellers Federation, Mr. Stephanopoulos pointed out that he is proud of Greece's modern presence. He thanked Mr. Venizelos for his contribution to Greece's presentation and congratulated the Greek publishers on the way they represent Greece.
Mr. Stephanopoulos visited almost every Greek publishing house pavilion and talked with writers and publishers.
He also visited the church of St. George where he was received by Metropolite Augustine of Germany.