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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-02-18

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, February 18, 2002








  • [01] "N17" AFFIDAVIT DENIED-MILLER PRESSURES Minister of Public Order, Michalis Chrysochoidis, emphatically denied the existence of any testimony related to the activity of "November 17", during an interview to NET TV.

    According to an article published in the "Sunday Vima" yesterday, a former member of the terrorist organization, who seemed to have been highly involved in terrorist action in the past, had given a affidavit to the men of the counter-terrorist force.

    Mr. Chrysochoidis also denied that there are any pressures from the exterior to confront terrorism in Greece, pointing out that it is Greece's obligation to weed out "November 17".

    However, it seems that pressures from the US on the issue of terrorism exist, and are escalating. The US Embassy to Athens is putting unbearable pressure on the Greek government, specifically demanding terrorist arrests.

    It is not a random event that the US Ambassador, Mr. Miller, has publicly "encouraged" the Greek government to show some tangible evidence of its intentions to eradicate terrorism, by actually arresting some terrorists.

    These two instances of "encouragement" took place during Mr. Miller's speech at the Foreign Press Correspondents Association, last Wednesday, and again two days later at a meeting at which Mr. Chrysochoidis was present.

  • [02] SUPPORT RALLY FOR PALESTINIANS A support rally to the Palestinian people is being organized for Tuesday, 6pm, at the statue of "Venizelos", by Thessaloniki unions and associations.

    The Workers' Center of Thessaloniki, the Public Workers' Union of Thessaloniki, the Middle Education Teachers' Union of Thessaloniki, the Hospital Doctors' Union of Thessaloniki and the Non-Appointed Teachers' Union will all participate in the rally.

  • [03] JOINT DECLARATION OF EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENTS The importance of security in Europe and the Mediterranean was underlined in a joint declaration, made by the spokespersons of the 24 countries participating in the 3rd European-Mediterranean Parliament President Conference, which ended yesterday.

    The declaration disapproves of the lack of substantial progress in restoring the peace in the Middle East, and calls the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to display self control and return to the negotiations table. At the same time it condemns violence a nd restates that the fair resolving of the Middle Eastern issue, should be based on the principle of "exchanging land for peace", and applying the decisions of the Security Council. The declaration mentions that the legal rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and founding of an independent state, as well as the right of Israel to live in peace and security within its borders.

    The convention participants greeted the meeting that took place after the invitation of the Greek Parliament President between the troika (Spain, Greece, Sweden), and the President of the Israeli Knesset and the Head of the Palestinian National Council.

    In fact, they urgently called for humanitarian support for the Iraqi people, they expressed their hope for the resolving of the Cyprus issue, condemned terrorism, encouraged governments to keep the truce during the Olympics, and underlined that parliamen tary institutions can play a decisive role in the forming of tighter bonds between people of that region.

  • [04] SALVATION PLAN FOR OLYMPIC AIRWAYS The government is adopting a new plan for the salvation of Olympic Airways after the failure of the attempt to privatize Greece's national airliner, which has lasted more than a year. The plan foresees a partition into two companies, cutbacks on non-prof itable flights, changes in working contracts and personnel cutbacks, as well as searching for the necessary capital from banks and private individuals.

    According to information published in the "Imerisia", the government is promoting a modernization program for Olympic, one similar to that of Swissair. This program foresees the partition of Olympic Airways into two companies, one of which will be respon sible for debts and all other activities of OA, except for flights, which will be the responsibility of the new company.

    The "old" OA will specifically be responsible for all land based services, catering and the technical base, activities which are expected to be sold before the closing of the company, and only in the case that the "new" OA does not ask to take up some of


    In this new Olympic airways, which will take over both commercial and passenger traffic, all employees necessary for the new flight plan of the company will be "transferred". A search for new investors to "finance" this venture will take place in the nex t three months.

    The government is optimistic that the salvation plan it is promoting will receive the approval of the European Union, while for it to be applied an amount of 180 million euro is necessary.

  • [05] SIMON NORFOLK PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION Simon Norfolk's photography exhibition will begin on Friday and last until March 5, and will be housed in the Old Archeological Museum (Yeni Jami). The exhibition is part of the framework of "Photographic Juncture 2002" and will be titled "Genocide - Lan dscape Memories".
  • [06] COORDINATION PROGRAM FOR THE INFORMATION SOCIETY The Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace is aiming to take up the coordination of all ministry activities regarding the Information Society in Northern Greece. This was pointed out by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace, Giorgos Paschalidis, during a meeting on "Th e Information Society in the District of Central Macedonia", which took place in Thessaloniki this morning.

    As Mr. Paschalidis pointed out, the Ministry can assume the role of coordinator, since it has acquired the necessary communication mechanisms and cooperation with bodies in the private and public sector, as well as experience in implementing inter-distri ct developmental initiatives.

    The Ministry's goal, as Mr. Paschalides pointed out, is for modern Information and Communication Technologies to be utilized to the maximum of their potential, so that cooperation and information exchange on an inter-district level can be developed and s upported, and for the improvement of quality of life, media competitiveness, employment market and working conditions, as well as financial and social characteristics.

    At the same time, the Ministry's goals include supporting the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace on a national and international level and the toning down of problems of both inter-district inequalities and local societies.

    The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace expressed the need for cooperation and coordination of action plans, so that there is complementation, as he stressed, and a Complete Plan is formed, the materialization of which will function as a vehicle for development

    in Northern Greece.

  • [07] PAPANTONIOU-EVERT ON THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS The Greek-Turkish relations were the main topic of discussion in the meeting of Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou with right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy former president Miltiadis Evert.

    Mr. Papantoniou accused Turkey of attempting to create a fabricated tension in the Aegean. Mr. Evert stressed that the issues of national importance should not be used in party conflicts and the same view was shared by the Defense Minister as well, who s aid that national issues must unite the Greeks to promote a single foreign policy. He stated that the greater the agreement on national issues the better the Greek foreign policy will be exercised.

    The Defense Minister accused Ankara of attempting to fabricate tension in the Aegean in view of the Greek-Turkish dialogue, stressing that there is no special reason for concern, adding however that vigilance is necessary.

  • [08] THE DECLARATION OF THE MOST ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN CIVILIZATIONS The final declaration of the meeting of the parliament presidents of the most ancient civilizations in the Mediterranean namely, the Egyptian, Greek, Persian and Roman, was signed in Athens today.

    The presidents of the Greek Parliament, the Popular Assembly of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Islamic Advisory Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Italian Parliament, agreed to continue the dialogue aimed at the closer cooperation in the s ector of education and the promotion of Olympic Truce within the framework of the 2004 Olympic Games.

    Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis underlined that the Final Declaration records the efforts made in the meetings of the four Parliament Presidents and reflects the prospect of their future cooperation.

  • [09] THE WORLD CONFERENCE OF GREEKS FROM PONTOS IN THESSALONIKI The 5th World Conference of Greeks from Pontos that will take place in Thessaloniki on September 18-21 under the auspices of the Greek President will be of decisive importance for the problems and prospects of the Greeks from Pontos at a world level.

    Thirteen Federations of Greeks from Pontos from around the world will attend the conference.

    They will discuss issues concerning the preservation of their historical memory and cultural uniqueness, the way in which the young Greeks from Pontos deal with their cultural identity in relation to their social environment, the problems faced by the re patriated Greeks from Pontos and the genocide of the Greeks from Pontos committed by the Turks.

  • [10] GREECE'S IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE NORMALIZATION OF THE SITUATION IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA The Ministers of Defense of the two entities in Bosnia-Herzegovina praised Greece's role in the effort to normalize the situation in the country after the talks they had in Thessaloniki with Undersecretary of Defense Loukas Apostolidis.

    Croat-Muslim Federation Minister of Defense Mijo Anic and his counterpart from the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina Slobodan Bilic thanked the Greek government for the help it offers to their country through the presence of the Greek military force an d the agreements for the training of army officers in Greece.

    Mr. Apostolidis characterized the meeting with the two Ministers of Defense as a historic step and in the joint press conference they gave he stated that more steady steps are made in the Balkan cooperation through bilateral and multilateral meetings and


    Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou will visit Bosnia-Herzegovina in the next few months. During the visit will be discussed issues concerning the time of the visit to Greece by the President and the Prime Minister of the Serb Republic.

    On the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Ministers of Defense of the two entities stated that the normalization pace should have been faster.

  • [11] LOSSES IN THE ASE Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.12% at 2.461,01 points, while the volume of transactions was at 95 million Euro.

    Of the stocks trading today, 284 recorded losses and 50 had gains, while the value of 38 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [12] THE OA WILL BE PRIVATIZED The Greek national airline Olympic Airways will continue to fly and all necessary measures will be taken to avoid placing an economic burden on the Greek people. The goal is for the OA to be privatized, stated government spokesman Christos Protopapas.

    Mr. Protopapas stated that the government has made a big effort to find the right solution concerning the second proposal that was tabled for the purchase of the airline. However, he added that the economic figures and guarantees that were provided by th e interested parties were found to be inadequate and therefore, the second offer was also rejected.

  • [13] MAGRIOTIS: THE STATE HELPS THE GREEKS ABROAD The Greek state tries to help the Greeks living in the regions with serious problems and especially, in the regions of the Black Sea and Albania, stated Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis in the presentation of the 5th World Conference o f the Hellenism from Pontos made in Thessaloniki today.

    The 5th World Conference will take place in Thessaloniki on September 18-21 under the auspices on the Greek President and for the first time, will participate a total of 13 federations of Greeks from Pontos.

    Mr. Magriotis stated that Greece is strong diplomatically and politically and the Greek communities in certain parts of the world are very strong and blooming. However, he added, there are certain cases in which for clearly historical and political reaso ns the Greeks living abroad face serious problems and certain initiatives are being undertaken to help them.


  • [14] SUPPORT TO THE OLYMPIC TRUCE GREEK INITIATIVE Foreign Minister of France Hubert Vedrine and Germany's Joscha Fischer expressed their full support to the Olympic Truce Greek initiative.

    The two ministers signed the Olympic Truce statement of support on the sidelines of the General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels in the presence of Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    Mr. Papandreou stated that this idea may sound romantic but it can be exploited in a realistic way for the restoration of peace. Mr. Papandreou reminded that the Olympic Truce text has already been signed by the Presidents of the Israeli Parliament and t he Palestinian National Council. He made the statement while referring to Greece's initiative concerning the visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories by the European Parliament Presidents in an effort to end the violence in the region.

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