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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-11-21

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, November 21, 2002








  • [01] GREECE'S STEADFAST SUPPORT TO CYPRUS' ACCESSION The Greek government will deal with any effort to impede Cyprus' accession to the EU decisively at the Copenhagen Summit Meeting, stated Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, and this statement was considered a warning towards Greece's European partners t hat Greece may even veto such actions.

    The government has made it clear to all sides that the issue of Cyprus' accession is independent of resolving the island's political problem, as was decided on, very clearly, at Helsinki, and this is its steady position.

    The Cyprus issue is expected to be discussed at the NATO Summit in Prague, where the issue of the Euroarmy will be raised. The winner of the Turkish elections, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is continuing his contacts in European capitals, in order to achieve a d ecision on a date to begin Turkey's accession negotiations at Copenhagen. Certain sides noted that what Turkey may secure at the Copenhagen summit, is a date on which discussions will be held to set a date for negotiations, in which case the Greek side is

    expected to insist conditions be set for Ankara, concerning certain gestures of good faith as far as resolving the Cyprus issue and arrangements on the Euroarmy are concerned.

    Last night, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis conversed with US President George Bush, next to whom he was seated at the ceremony in honor of the President of the Czech Republic, Vatslav Havel, but information mentioned that they mainly talked about the cere mony. Mr. Simitis may have the chance to discuss the issues promoted by Greece with Mr. Bush and Turkish President Mr. Sezer, today.

  • [02] PAPANDREOU-SCHWIMMER: EU AND COUNCIL OF EUROPE COOPERATION Greece is hoping for EU cooperation with the Council of Europe in order to face the new challenges in Europe, stated Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, during his meeting with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe Walter Schwimmer, with whom t hey discussed the priorities of the Greek Presidency.

    Furthermore, he thanked Mr. Swchimmer for his willingness to assist in future negotiations on the Cyprus issue.

    On his side, Mr. Schwimmer underlined that the Greek Presidency of the EU will be important because it will play a major role in the enlargement procedure.

    He also expressed his hopes for cooperation between the Council and the EU during the Greek Presidency.

    Mr. Schwimmer also signed the declaration for Olympic Truce.

  • [03] ENERGY CHANNEL REQUIRES GREEK-TURKISH COOPERATION The transfer of natural gas from the East to the West was the main point discussed at the meeting yesterday between Special US Representative in the energy sector in Caucasus, Steven Man, and alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Giannitsis.

    The connection of the East to Europe requires cooperation between Greece and Turkey, and individual aspects of the issues are being discussed by the relevant ministries. Both sides agreed on mutual information and cooperation during the Greek Presidency.

  • [04] NATO SUMMIT TO CONCENTRATE ON EUROARMY AND CYPRUS The course of the Cyprus issue, Cyprus' accessional progress and the Euroarmy issue, are the main Greek points of interest at the NATO Summit being held today and tomorrow in Prague. Prime Minister Kostas Simitis has been in Prague since yesterday aftern oon in order to participate in the Summit.

    At the top of the Summit's agenda is the issue of creating a multinational force that can be rapidly deployed anywhere on the planet, the enlargement of the Alliance with the addition of 7 new countries, the situation in the Middle East and Iraq.

    The agenda only has one common point with issues that are of great interest to Greece, the Euroarmy, but in the private meetings of the Greek delegation, the Cyprus issue is expected to be discussed.

    As far as the Euroarmy is concerned Greece will pressure for the Brussels decision to be accepted, with the support of other EU countries.

    The accession of Bulgaria and Romania to NATO is of special interest to Greece, since Greece had supported it at every opportunity, both during bilateral meetings with these countries, and at meetings with Alliance bodies.

    The Prime Minister is being accompanied in Prague by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, Minister of National Defense Giannos Papantoniou, and Minister of the Press Christos Protopapas.

  • [05] CYPRIOTS AND GREEKS AGAINST ANNAN PLAN The majority of Cypriots and Greeks, 71% and 53.8% respectively, stated clearly "no" to the Annan plan on the resolving of the Cyprus issue, while only 27% of Cypriots and 45.3% of Greeks say "yes", according to a poll carried out in Cyprus and Greece by

    ALCO and Symmetron MRCI Ltd, for the "Eleftheros Typos" newspaper.

    74% of Cypriots believe that the Annan proposal is not viable, while 55.4% of Greeks agree with them. 66% of Cypriots and 76.3% of Greeks are not prepared to accept the Annan solution in order for Cyprus' to be incorporated to the EU. 73.3% of Greeks bel ieve that the solution is unfair, and 21.7% believe it is fair. The results of the poll were published in today's edition of the "Eleftheros Typos".

  • [06] PROOF OF GIOTOPOULOS' LEADING ROLE IN N17 An 8-page handwritten document with detailed action instructions to "November 17" members, published in today's "To Vima" newspaper, was allegedly written by Alexandros Giotopoulos, proving his leading role in the organization, according Greek Police Off icers.

    The manuscript in question, which reveals the conspiratorial and covering principles used by the organization members, and which kept them from being arrested for 27 years, Giotopoulos calls N17 a company, and imposes a series of security measures on the

    other members, so that their actions and roles are not revealed.

    Among other things, he asked organization members:

    Not to mention anything concerning their actions to family members or sexual partners. To always make up stories to cover their actions. To know and observe everything happening in their neighborhood within a 500 yard radius, so as to know if they are being watched. To follow certain routes through the city to avoid police. Not to frequent drug addict or transvestite hang-outs where there could be plains clothes police officers present. To avoid moving in taxis because they may belong to the police. Not to talk in rooms with telephones, because the police may have installed transmitters. To each have 3 "crypts" in and around the city to store items related to the organization activities, while he set rules on how to meet with other organization "cores". To keep all of their houses "clean" and not to keep any texts on the armed revolutionary Left, while he allowed books of a "general Marxist content held by all leftists".

    Finally, Giotopoulos stated that all actions of every N17 member is in the framework of certain organization "cores'" actions, who he asks to be informed in case of any unexpected event.

  • [07] HITIRIS: GREECE DOES NOT ACCEPT THE ERDOGAN "PACKAGE" The Greek government rejects the discussion of the Cyprus issue, the Euro-army issue and Turkey's European prospect as a "package", according to a proposal made by Turkish election winner Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the meeting he had with British Prime M inister Tony Blair.

    The above were stated by acting government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris, who pointed out that Cyprus will become an EU member based on the already decided criteria and process. He also stated that Cyprus' EU accession does not depend on the solution of t he Cyprus problem or the developments in the issue of the Euro-army.

    Referring to Turkey's leadership, he called on it to make its decisions now before it is too late.

  • [08] POSITIVE PREDICTIONS BY OECD ON THE GREEK ECONOMY The growth rate of the Greek economy will be at 3.9% in 2003, according to OECD economic analysts, while in 2004 it will be at 3.8%, based on the biannual report that was published today. This year's growth rate will be at 3.6%.

    On inflation, the analysts predicted that it will remain above 3% during the next two years, while this year it will be at 3.8%. In the next two years, inflation in Greece will be at 3.3% in 2003 and at 3.2% in 2004.

    Based on the report of the OECD analysts, the economy's acceleration will lead to a drop in unemployment which is still high.

    The organization's economic analysts point out in their biannual report on the Greek economy, that further efforts are necessary to keep primary spending under control in order to lower public debt and secure fiscal stability.

  • [09] BIG GAINS IN THE ASE Big gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +2.16% at 1.860,49 points, while the volume of transactions was at 127.3 million Euro.

    Of the stocks trading today, 292 recorded gains and 44 had losses, while the value of 38 stocks remained unchanged.


  • [10] SIMITIS' MESSAGE TO ANKARA Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis sent a clear message to Turkey according to which, the country must make goodwill gestures on Cyprus and the issue of the Euro-army before the Copenhagen Summit on December 12. Mr. Simitis said in Prague, where he atte nds the NATO Summit meeting, that such gestures are necessary for Greece to adopt a positive stance toward Ankara's demand concerning the setting of a specific date for the opening of Turkey's EU accession negotiations.

    Mr. Simitis had talks with US President George Bush and Turkish President Mr. Sezer, while he had meetings with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and Prime Ministers of Britain and Italy, Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi. The main issue under discussion

    was Turkey's demand concerning the setting of a date for the opening of its EU accession negotiations in the Copenhagen Summit meeting. The European leaders adopted a joint position according to which, it is impossible to present Turkey with a date for t he opening of its EU accession negotiations in Copenhagen. However, it could be determined when the issue in question will be considered.

    Earlier, Mr. Blair had stated that Turkish election winner, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had requested, in a recent meeting he had with him, a solution providing for a simultaneous settlement of the Cyprus issue, Cyprus' EU accession and the setting of date for the opening of Turkey's EU accession negotiations.

    Mr. Simitis made it clear that Greece will not accept a package solution but on the other hand, it can help to find a solution to the Turkish demand.

  • [11] THE GREEK AMBASSADOR CONGRATULATED THE ROMANIAN GOVERNMENT The Greek ambassador to Bucharest, Mrs. Dora Grossomanidou welcomed NATO's accession invitation to Romania.

    Mrs. Grossomanidou congratulated the Romanian government that managed to meet its goal and become a member of NATO. She also stressed that Greece will continue to back the efforts made by Bucharest.

  • [12] SIMITIS: THE EUROPEANS WANT THE CYPRUS ISSUE TO BE CLOSED The assurance that the European leaders want the issue of Cyprus to be closed and avoid the dragging on of discussions on the issue, was given by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in a press conference on the sidelines of the NATO Summit meeting in Prague. H e also stressed that the view shared by everybody is that Turkey should not take advantage of the issue seeking to enter endless discussions.

    Mr. Simitis underlined that Turkey should make its intentions clear to the European leaders, while Ankara is also called to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem, implement the Helsinki decisions on Cyprus and contribute to the creation of mor e stable conditions for peace and cooperation in the region.

    On the issue of the Euro-army, Mr. Simitis stressed that there was an agreement of the "15" in the Brussels Summit meeting for the cooperation of EU member-states with non EU members that belong to NATO. The EU and NATO had to issue a joint statement on the issue in the Prague Summit as well. This, however, was not possible because Turkey did not agree with the process.

    Mr. Simitis also said that the only thing on which there was an agreement today was to hold a joint EU-NATO exercise in 2003.

    Clarifications on the issue was given by Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou, who stated that a decision was reached for preparations to get underway for a joint exercise in 2003. However, the Turkish ambassador stated that the planning of the joint exercise can get underway, but the holding of the exercise itself can be under the precondition that the EU-NATO agreement will be completed.

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