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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-11-11

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, November 11, 2002








  • [01] GREECE WAITING FOR ANAN SOLUTION PLAN "Today we had a chance to evaluate recent meetings concerning developments in the Cyprus problem. The discussion extended to the necessary movements after Kofi Annan submits his plan. Everything shows that tomorrow may be the day the plan will be submitt ed. It is a historical moment", stated Foreign Miniser Giorgos Papandreou yesterday, after his three hour meeting with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.

    "It has always been our goal for the solution to respect UN decisions, and for Cyprus to become a member of the EU very shortly. The enlargement of the EU will be decided on December 12. At the same time, we must all work to find a solution. If we can fi nd one by the Copenhagen Summit, it will be very significant. If not, we will have to continue negotiations immediately in order to find a solution as soon as possible".

    Mr. Papandreou also stressed that there have been contacts with all Cypriot political parties and close cooperation with the President, Mr. Cleridis, who has Greece's full support. "It is a moment we must all deal with calmly and seriously, so that we ca n really come out of this significant phase better, having promoted our national interests in the best way".

    At the same time, the President of the Greek Parliament, Apostolos Kaklamanis, repeated that the position of the Greek government on the accession of Cyprus and Cyprus problem are two different problems.

    Mr. Kaklamanis stressed that the accession procedure of Cyprus is essentially over, while he pointed out that there are still many pending issues concerning the Cyprus problem. He also added that there are impressive efforts and pressure from the US and the UK to solve both issues at the same time.

  • [02] N17 SUSPECTS REFUSING TO EAT The "November 17" suspects awaiting trial in "Corydallos" Penitentiary have refused to eat for the next 48 hours.

    They are protesting their holding conditions, they are asking for free communication with their attorneys, doing away with isolation, open cells and normal access to the courtyard.

    The Xeros brothers began refusing to eat last Friday, in solidarity to the other prisoners being held in the women's wing of Corydallos.

  • [03] PAPANDREOU: AWAITING THE ANNAN PLAN "We are awaiting the Annan plan", stated Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, after his three hour meeting with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, in the presence of Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas. As he said, during this meeting they discussed the last details before the Anan plan is submitted. Mr. Papandreou pointed out that the Greek and Cypriot governments are asking for substantial procedures. At the same time he expressed hopes that a solution is found as soon as possible, but stressed tha t no one can guarantee such a thing, since it depends on the procedures.

    The Greek Prime Minister discussed the latest developments in the Cyprus issue in a telephone communication with the President of the Cypriot Republic Glafkos Cleridis. The Foreign Minister, on his side, had a telephone communication with Kofi Annan's sp ecial consultant on the Cyprus issue, Alvaro de Soto, who stopped in Athens on his way to Cyprus. Mr. Papandreou characterized this discussion more procedural and of the essence, and stressed that the Greek government knows nothing more about the Annan pl an than it did yesterday and the days before.

  • [04] THE DEFENSE MINISTER ON THE NATIONAL ISSUES Vigilance and firmness in the positions concerning the issues of national importance is suggested by Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou after the changes in Turkey's political scene as a result of the recent elections.

    The Minister of Defense gave an interview to the Athens newspaper "TA NEA", on the occasion of the imminent presentation of the UN Secretary General plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem. In the interview he points out that a good scenario for Gree ce will be a plan consistent with the UN resolutions and the European standards, meaning a two-community, two-zone federation in Cyprus.

    Mr. Papantoniou stated that the Greek side will not accept just any solution given the fact that Cyprus' accession into the EU will proceed in accordance with the Helsinki decisions independently from the political solution of the Cyprus problem.

    On the developments in Turkey, he stated that the change in the political map of the neighboring country offers a more positive prospect to the Greek-Turkish relations.

  • [05] THE CRIMES COMMITTED BY 17N ARE NOT POLITICAL The members of the terrorist group "17 November" were politically motivated but they are not political criminals because their behavior includes actions that cannot be identified as political crimes. The statement was made to MPA by Aegean University Soc iology Professor and former General Secretary of the Greek Foreign Ministry Mr. Kostas Zoras within the framework of the 2nd International Sociology Conference that ended in Thessaloniki yesterday.

    However, he underlined that whether they will be tried as political criminals remains to be decided by the courts.

    Mr. Zoras stated that the 17N members chose the armed violence and terrorism aimed at creating political and social conditions leading to the collapse of the system. They failed, they were unable to persuade society and finally they were defeated, said M r. Zoras.

  • [06] MEETING OF JUDGES AND JURISTS FROM SE EUROPE The proceedings of the first informative meeting of judges and jurists from southeastern European countries opened in Thessaloniki today organized by the National School for Judges with the support of the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs.

    In the meeting participate 125 judges and jurists from 9 countries (Greece, Cyprus, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia, Slovenia) and the proceedings will be completed on November 17.

    In the opening ceremony, Supreme Court Prosecutor and National School for Judges General Director Evangelos Kroustallakis pointed out the prospects opened in SE Europe for a peaceful and European future. He referred to the values of a single legal civili zation in Europe and stressed that the European judges have a responsibility to consolidate freedoms, and civil and social rights for a Europe built for the people.

    Greek Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos sent a message congratulating the National School for Judges for this initiative. He stressed that the judges and jurists participating in the meeting will benefit from the further strengthening of relations a mong the region's countries and peoples.

  • [07] PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS: THE SOLUTION IN CYPRUS SHOULD NOT CONFIRM PARTITION Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos stated that there is a need for a solution in Cyprus that will not confirm its partition but will lead to the unification of the island. He made the statement in a formal luncheon given in his honor by the local auth orities in the Aegean island of Chios.

    He stressed that the plan to be presented should be viable, namely the solution should be able to function in a permanent way. He also said that the Greek Cypriots can have a say on the issue through a referendum.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos stated that the guide in the Cyprus issue should be a feeling of patriotism and national interest. He said that the Greek side is the one that wants the solution of the Cyprus problem, while the other side maintains that the problem is

    solved for the past 28 years. This was Mr. Ecevit's position, stated Mr. Stephanopoulos.

  • [08] THE 43RD THESSALONIKI FILM FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION JURY PRESS CONFERENCE Thessaloniki Film Festival Director Michel Demopoulos, presented the International Competition Jury of Thessaloniki's 43rd International Film Festival last Sunday.

    Italian director and president of the seven-member International Competition Jury, Marco Bellocchio was absent from the presentation due to illness and is expected to arrive in Thessaloniki tomorrow.

    Mr. Demopoulos presented the members of the jury which include: American director Bob Rafelson, French director, film and music critic, Thierry Jousse, Iranian actress-living legend and diva of Iranian cinema Niki Karimi, Yugoslavian film critic and jour nalist Miroljub Vuckovic, Albanian director, awarded with the Golden Alexander at the 42nd International Thessaloniki Film Festival, Fatmir Koci, and Greek director, film critic and writer, Achilleas Kiriakidis.

  • [09] EVENT IN HONOR OF AMERICAN DIRECTOR BOB RAFELSON The 43rd Thessaloniki Film Festival honored "defiant" American director Bob Rafelson in an event given in his honor last Saturday.

    The event included the screening of Five Easy Pieces (1970), the film that fused all of the director's ideological influences and launched his defiant career in cinema.

    In his speech, International Thessaloniki Film Festival Director Michel Demopoulos welcomed the honored guest and stated that "the festival chose Bob Rafelson because he is the expression of a great experience in the world of cinema". Mr. Demopoulos also

    noted the great impact that Five Easy Pieces had in his cinematography schooling.

    When asked about how he sees the film he made in 1970, Mr. Rafelson admitted that he hasn't seen it since it was filmed, something which is also true about all of his films. "I won't see it today either. I believe that when a filmmaker shoots a film it t hen belongs to the audience", said Mr. Rafelson.

  • [10] THREE FILM DIRECTORS SPEAK ABOUT THEIR WORK This year, the 43rd Thessaloniki International Film Festival will be presenting the directing work of a familiar figure in French cinema, Jean Francois Stevenin, who has played in numerous films. The festival will be screening three of his films, Mountai n Passage 1978, Double Gentlemen 1986, and Mischka 2002.

    In his speech, festival director Michel Demopoulos said, "Jean Francois Stevenin might not be well known in Greece but he is a familiar figure because of his appearances in many French films as leading and supporting actor. He has worked with Truffaut, R ivette and many other directors. He's been involved with cinema from many different posts".

    Mr. Stevenin explained how he became involved with cinema thanks to... Jimmy Hendrix: "One evening I was going to a Hendrix concert in Paris. While in line, I met a screenwriter. We got along very well and 15 days later I gave up my studies, family, ever ything and ended up as an assistant on the set of a film. I have to thank Jimmy Hendrix for that. Every eight years I make a film as an actor, producer, director or from some other position". Mr. Stevenin also spoke about the influence exerted on him by C assavetes' films and referred to his double identity as a director and actor, while he stressed that his films often include random encounters.

    This year in the framework of Thessaloniki's 43rd International Film Festival, the New Horizons parallel events present the work of one of the most innovative modern cinematographers, Korean director Hong San-Soo. In his speech, the Director of New Horiz ons, Dimitri Eipidis, characterized him as the representative of the most radical movement in modern Korean cinema, "a cinema that comprehends the rest of the world and is respected and admired for its supply of new creative talent such as Hong San-Soo".

    The director claimed that his pursuit of cinema was entirely coincidental: "As a child I never dreamt of becoming a director. At the age of 20 I met someone with a proposal. We worked together, I enjoyed it and so I continued".

    He said that he likes simple films and stressed that he is inspired by life. He declared himself against globalization, stating the importance of the size of the community a person lives in.

    In the framework of the 43rd International Thessaloniki Film Festival, New Horizons presents six films of Italian director Aurelio Grimaldi. Dimitri Eipides, the Director of New Horizons, welcomed Mr. Grimaldi characterizing him as "a hidden treasure". " His work is rejuvenating. He writes and directs his films, adds the soundtrack and even designs the costumes. Furthermore he has been able to keep away from the mainstream. His work is fresh and unique and not often encountered in modern cinema. He is a s ignificant talent".

    Aurelio Grimaldi first wanted to become a director when he was a high-school student. As he pointed out, the situation in Italian cinema is quite unusual. "To make a film in Italy you need the approval of one of the three organizations that exist for thi s purpose; either public television, private television or the government's cinema institution. It's strange that Berlusconi controls public television. Private television belongs to Berlusconi and a committee controlled by Berlusconi's government gives t he licenses" said Mr. Grimaldi. He also stated that he prefers cinema that deals with social problems adding, however, that cinema doesn't solve them, it merely underlines them.

  • [11] LOSSES IN THE ASE Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today which was affected negatively by the downward course of the major European stock markets.

    The general index dropped to -0.23% at 1.832,13 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 62.6 million Euro.

    Of the stocks trading today, the majority of 214 had gains and 90 recorded losses, while the value of 71 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [12] PASSARIS' EXTRADITION FROM ROMANIA IS POSSIBLE Romanian Undersecretary of Justice Mrs. Simona Teodorayu stated to MPA that Greek criminal Kostas Passaris, who was arrested in Romania, is likely to be extradited to Greece. However, she stated that the Justice Ministry does not comment on trials as the

    courts are independent bodies and they give the information that can be announced.

    The Romanian Undersecretary of Justice is in Thessaloniki to attend the first informative meeting of judges and jurists from southeastern Europe that is being held in the northern Greek city, organized by the National School for Judges with the support o f the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs.

    Referring to the Greek-Romanian relations, Mrs. Teodorayu stressed that the two countries cooperate very good at all levels and the first conference of Balkan lawyers will be organized in Bucharest in the spring with the support of Greece.

    Mrs. Teodorayu also stated that in the past two years, Romania has made changes including the restructuring of the Justice sector, for the country to meet all necessary preconditions for its accession into the European Union. She added that Greece has of fered its assistance to Romania and will continue to support the negotiations with the EU especially now that it will take over the rotating EU Presidency during the first half of 2003.


  • [13] SIMITIS TO GERMAN NEWSPAPER: EUROPE WILL SOON BE MULTICILTURAL His view that the solving of the Cyprus issue should follow European models, with Belgium as an example, was expressed by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in his interview to the German "Frankfurter Allgemeine" newspaper, titled "Europe Will Soon Be Multicu ltural".

    Concerning Turkey, he stressed that the EU is not shutting the door for it, but it is discussing how their candidacy can be promoted and how reforms can move along.

    Mr. Simitis denied that the European Union is too reserved as far as determining a date to start accession negotiations with Turkey is concerned, and noted: "We know Turkey a lot less than we know other accession candidates. Turkey is not like other coun tries. This has both to do with its religion, as well as with its History. On the other hand, Turkey is cooperating with Europe in many sectors. This means that we say yes to its candidacy. But Turkey must continue to work in this direction".

    Mr. Simitis disagreed with Mr. Giscard d'Estaign's opinion that Turkey is not a European country and will never become a member of the EU. The Greek PM noted that there are many regions in Europe where people live differently, and that this does not mean

    that they should not be part of Europe.

    On Greek Turkish relations he noted that there are disagreements on the issues of Cyprus and the continental shelf, and added: "We believe that Turkey has not moved to the necessary initiatives, because it continues to believe that part of our sovereign state in the Aegean belongs to it, and that it should play the part of a great power. But whoever wants peace should discuss with the other party, not refuse them. Turkey must abandon the notion that it can pressure us and realize that violence no longer has a place in our relations".

    Drawing on the change in Turkey's political scene and the election of moderate Islamist Erdogan's party, the Greek Prime Minister appreciated that the Turkish elections showed that a large portion of the population wants a course towards Europe. At the s ame time he is expecting a clear statement by Mr. Erdogan during his visit to Greece, that the changes expected in Turkey are being pursued through International Law.

  • [14] SIGNIFICANT GREEK PRESENCE IN FLORENCE RALLY Approximately 1000 Greeks, members of Left wing movements, syndicate bodies and social movements participated in the European anti-war rally of the Social Forum that took place in Florence yesterday. President of the Coalition of the Left, Nikos Konstant opoulos, and members of the KKE participated in the rally. In his statements, Mr. Konstantopoulos was in favor of a struggle for a different world, more humane, with greater social protection.
  • [15] PRESENTATION OF THE HELLENIAD IN THE SAE-EUROPE CONFERENCE The program of the Helleniad (the meeting of young Greeks living abroad within the framework of a leading event in Thessaloniki, the capital of Ecumenical Hellenism) was presented in the World Council for Greeks Abroad, SAE-Europe meeting in Frankfurt ye sterday by its vice-president Thessaloniki Aristotle University lecturer Mr. Chrisafis.

    The initiative is supported and backed financially by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture and is organized in cooperation with SAE. SAE Secretary Giorgos Papadopoulos is the council's representative in the Helleniad non-profit company that was established for the materialization of the Helleniad meeting.

    The goals of the Helleniad is to strengthen the ties among the young Greeks living abroad, familiarize the Greeks with Olympic sports that are not popular in Greece, promote and exploit talented athletes and promote the artistic creation of the young gen eration.

    The 1st Helleniad is scheduled to take place in June 2003.

  • [16] THE ANNAN PLAN FOR THE SOLUTION OF THE CYPRUS PROBLEM HAS BEEN DELIVERED The UN Secretary General Kofi Annan plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem was delivered this afternoon simultaneously to Cypriot Republic President Glafkos Clerides in Nicosia by Mr. Annan's special adviser Mr. Alvaro de Soto and to Ergun Olgun, ad viser to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. The plan was delivered to the Turkish Cypriot side by deputy UN Secretary General Sir Kiran Prendergast at the UN headquarters in New York. The plan was also delivered to the three guarantor powers in Cyprus,

    namely Greece, Turkey and Britain.

    Information from Turkey mentions that Ankara is displeased with the plan. According to the same information, the winner of the recent Turkish elections Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has allegedly stated that the Greek Cypriots have played a role in the specif ic plan.

    The UN Security Council will meet informally this evening to be briefed on the plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem. Its members will be briefed by Deputy UN Secretary General Sir Kiran Prendergast without ruling out the likelihood for the briefin g to be made by Mr. Kofi Annan himself.

    The National Council of the Cypriot Republic will meet tomorrow afternoon under President Glafkos Clerides to discuss the plan. Meanwhile, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis has issued an invitation to President Clerides today to visit Athens next Satur day.

  • [17] NO COMMENT BY MR. DE SOTO AFTER THE DELIVERY OF THE UN PLAN UN Secretary General special adviser on Cyprus Mr. Alvaro de Soto avoided to make any comments after the UN plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem was delivered to the interested parties.

    Leaving the Presidential Building in Nicosia, Mr. de Soto stated that he delivered to Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides the letter with the conclusions of the UN Secretary General consultations on the next steps within the framework of the talks on the Cyprus problem. The letter was also delivered to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in New York and in a few hours a formal statement will be issued both from Nicosia and New York, said Mr. de Soto.

    He also stated that he expects a response from President Clerides and Mr. Denktash but he avoided to refer to a timetable.

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