|Friday, 3 December 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-11-13
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, November 13, 2002
After their meeting, the Foreign Minister mentioned that he informed Mr. Karmanalis of the next steps the Greek government is contemplating, always in coordination with Cypriot President Glafkos Cleridis, while that at the same time the National Council is convening for an initial evaluation of the plan.
New Democracy will study the plan and is reserved in taking a position prior to doing so, but its decision will be made with the interests of Hellenism as its first priority, stated ND Spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos, after receiving the plan from Mr.
Mr. Roussopoulos characterized the government's delay in turning in the plan over to the Opposition a mistake and asked for the Council of Party Leaders to be convened, presided over by the President of the Republic, in order to examine the issue.
In further statements, Mr. Papandreou did not rule out the possibility of convening a Council of Party Leaders concerning the issue, as New Democracy requested, and stressed that Greek political parties must be in agreement on the Cyprus solution plan.
He also answered ND criticisms concerning the delay in turning over the plan, mentioning that it was at the request of the Cypriot President Glafkos Cleridis, who asked that the plan not be turned over before the Cypriot National Council meeting yesterda y afternoon.
Upon receiving the plan, Secretary General of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) Aleka Papariga stated that any solution on the Cyprus issue must be based on UN resolutions. She stressed that the schedule is suffocating and is functioning coercively on a ma jor issue that has remained unsolved for 30 years. This "either you agree or there is chaos" attitude, hinders the situation even more, appreciated the KKE Secretary General.
"The Copenhagen schedule and the blackmail of accession cannot be placed above the resolving of the Cyprus issue", she stressed.
After his meeting with the Foreign Minister, during which he received the plan, President of the Coalition Nikos Konstantopoulos, stated that "we will study the Annan plan very carefully and take an essential position, as is our duty, and we will do so r esponsibly and specifically".
Mr. Konstantopoulos underlined that "the period of crucial negotiations and even more crucial decisions which we have entered, requires composure and sobriety".
"Regarding our recent experience with the "Macedonian issue", let it teach us and keep us from overreactions, fanaticism, mistakes and hastiness", he said.
"Cyprus must be an equal member state with an international personality, one sovereignty, one citizenship and not a mock state with exceptions from European acquis", he stated, and continued that all this "must be under the condition, of course, that the
solution does not legalize the consequences of the Turkish invasion, that it will move within the framework of international law and European acquis and that it is viable and functional".
The plan will be discussed in Parliament by the Foreign Affairs and Defense Parliamentary Committee on Thursday, at 12 noon.
"No later than February 28, 2003, the leaders of the two communities will finalize the Agreement Plan, which must be their first and foremost goal and that of their governments. They must limit their activities to works which are absolutely necessary for
the functioning of their governments, taking into account the letter and the spirit of the Agreement Plan".
With this strict provision, the UN Secretary General gives the two sides the desirable time limit in which they must complete their negotiations, setting yet another landmark in the history of the Cyprus issue.
The time plan set by Kofi Annan's "basis for the Agreement on the complete resolving of the Cyprus problem" may not be committing, it is however related to EU works, and clearly sets the framework in which negotiations must move in view of Copenhagen and
the agreement to sign the Accession Treaties for the 10 new EU candidate countries on April 16, in Athens.
Methodios Psomas, Chryssa Makrokosta, and Victoria Koutnassova entered the cave in order to map it, bet were trapped inside due to heavy rainfall which flooded the cave.
All three of them are in good health and were very pleased to finally exit the cave.
So far, participants in the meeting include delegates from Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Yugoslavia, Denmark, Ireland, Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey.
There will be interventions in the framework of the meeting by Rike Carlson from Denmark, delegate of the "Stop the Union Copenhagen 2002" movement, who is organizing events - protests in December, during the Copenhagen Summit, and John Lori from Irish L abour Party, on their struggle concerning the referendum in Ireland on the Nice Treaty.
At 5pm, the Consolidation Against State Terrorism has programmed a motorcycle car protest drive against the holding conditions of the N17 suspects, which will start from the Mars Field and end at "Corydallos".
The police will take measures in order to prevent incidents during the protest.
Meanwhile, within "Corydallos", many of the suspects are still refusing to eat. The Xeros brothers have been refusing for several days, while Savvas Xeros, who has undergone surgery on his eyes and hands, refused to take his medication yesterday. Eight o f the eleven suspects in the women's wing are also refusing to eat.
The only suspects to receive their meals regularly are Patroklos Tselentis, Dionysis Georgiadis and Kostas Tellios.
Mr. Loverdos also met with the Cuban Ambassador J. Quesada Cnception. They discussed the meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee in the next three months for the promotion of 1.5 million euro worth of Greek aid to Cuba.
From his side, right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy honorary President Konstantinos Mitsotakis wished that this assurance will be confirmed adding, however, that he is not absolutely certain about it.
Mr. Loverdos clarified that the plan follows the models adopted in Western Europe and specifically, in Belgium and Switzerland.
Based on a statement issued by the Bank of Greece, the current transactions balance had a surplus of 146 million in August compared to 26 million Euro in the same period last year.
The European Commission estimates that the Greek economy will have a growth rate of 3.9% next year compared to 4.2% which was its initial prediction, while in 2004 it will be at 3.7%.
The fiscal deficit in Greece is estimated at 1.3% of the GDP in 2002 and at 1.1% of the GDP in 2003 and 2004. In addition, Greece's debt will drop to 105.8% of the GDP compared to 107% in 2001, while in 2003 it will drop even further to 102%. The Europea n Commission also predicts that Greece's debt in 2004 will drop to 98.5% of the GDP.
Regarding inflation, the European Commission predicts that the Greek price index will be at 3.8%, compared to 3.6% it had predicted last spring, while for 2003 it reiterated its spring prediction for inflation of 3.2%.
On unemployment, the European Commission changed its prediction for 2003 maintaining that the unemployment rate will increase to 9.4% instead of 9.3% it had predicted earlier.
The negative climate in the ASE was strengthened considerably by the publicizing of the European Commission fall report according to which, the growth rate will slowdown, while inflation will be maintained at high levels.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 262 had losses and 59 recorded gains, while the value of 52 stocks remained unchanged.
Mr. Simitis referred to the current international situation and stressed that it is probably the last chance for the solution of the Cyprus problem through the UN, underlining that Greece and Cyprus have requested the activation of the international org anization toward this direction. Mr. Simitis pointed out that there is a risk for the Cyprus problem to remain unsolved if it continues to be a pending issue. He also underlined that there are certain ones who do not want the negotiation and maintain that
the solution will come at some point.
He reiterated that Cyprus' EU accession is not associated with the solution of the Cyprus problem and pointed out that the political decision for its EU accession will be reached in Copenhagen, while the process will be completed in Athens on April 16.
Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou briefed the cabinet members on the main points of the plan. The Foreign Affairs Parliamentary Committee will meet tomorrow and the Foreign Minister will brief the Parliament deputies on the Annan plan.
side has displayed a sense of responsibility through the years and persuaded the International Community that Greece and Cyprus want the solution of the Cyprus problem.
By refusing dialogue this impression will be overturned, said Mr. Simitis and underlined that this is the last chance for a solution to the Cyprus problem. He reminded that ideas and proposals had been presented by the UN in the past but this is a comple te plan. He also stated that this is an unusual move that will be hard to be repeated because the UN cannot put its prestige at risk through continuous dead end efforts.
The Prime Minister also stated that for the negotiation to be constructive attention should not be paid to symbolism of minor importance. He stressed that if the plan is rejected the International Community will have to be persuaded that the reasons on w hich the rejection of the plan was based were valid. He also stated that if there is no solution nothing can rule out that the occupation forces will become accepted by the International Community in 10 or 20 years.
Responding to questions by reporters, Mr. Protopapas stated that if the negotiations have an outcome it will be a positive development because it will strengthen security and have a positive effect on the Greek-Turkish relations.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that the state structure and the system of government suggested by the plan are problematic which means that there will be a functional problem. He also said that certain points of the plan are not harmonized with the European stand ards.
The leader of New Democracy stated that a great effort and tough negotiations are needed to achieve a viable and operational solution harmonized with the European institutions.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that the solution of the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for Cyprus' EU accession and this means that even in the case that no solution is reached Cyprus will become a member of the European Union.
Mr. George assured Mr. Kaklamanis that the OSCE will watch the issue closely and expressed the hope that there will be good and tough negotiations to reach an agreement that will satisfy both sides.
Mr. Kaklamanis discussed with the British official the issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, even on a temporary basis, so that visitors from around the world will have the opportunity to have a complete picture of the Parthenon at the Acropolis in Athens. Mr. George stated that he will convey this position to the board of directors of the British Museum where the Parhenon Marbles are kept.
In the meeting, they also confirmed the excellent cooperation between the OSCE and the Greek Parliament for stability, peace and security in Europe. They discussed the actions that will have to be undertaken, particularly in eastern Mediterranean where p eace, stability and security are put at risk as a result of the multiple conflict hotbeds in the region.