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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-11-27

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, November 27, 2002








  • [01] EUROPEAN COURT TO DECIDE ON "ROYAL ESTATES" The European Court for Human Rights is ready to announce its verdict on the damages to be paid from the Greek state to former King of Greece Konstantinos, regarding the so-called royal estates.

    The irreversible decision of the court will be announced on Thursday, and according to information, will require the Greek state to pay approximately 10,850,000 euro a submultiple of Konstantinos Glixburg's demands, which were almost 500 million euro.

    The ruling will give Greece a deadline of a few months to apply to decision. The Court will deliver its ruling to alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Giannitsis, who will inform the Prime Minister.

    "The Greek people will pay for the Simitis government's mistakes once again", stated press spokesperson of New Democracy Thodoris Roussopoulos in an announcement yesterday, concerning the publication of a case history by the Foreign Ministry.

    "When the PASOK government undertook the one-sided initiative of submitting, voting on and applying the law on the estate of the former royal family, it also undertook, officially, explicitly, and with no reservations, the following double commitment tow ards the Greek people: That the provisions of this law would not internationally expose our country and that the Greek tax payer would not be burdened", he underlined.

    "Also, with the Foreign Ministry's publication of a case history, they are trying to prepare the ground to tell the Greek people that they have worked hard in its interest, but "what can you do, the court ruled the other way". Thus, the government has be en driven from "we do not owe the former king a penny", to murmur something about "just reparations"", he noted.

  • [02] PAPANDREOU-RICE MEETING Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou stressed that resolving the Cyprus issue is a crucial element for Turkey's progress towards EU accession, during his meeting with US National Security Consultant Contoloeezza Rice in Washington, while they also d iscussed Cyprus accession to the EU and the priorities of the Greek Presidency of the EU.

    He asked for and received assurance that the US would contribute to the resolving of the Cyprus issue and to retaining the dynamics developed, if there is no solution by the Copenhagen Summit of December 12.

    "We see the other side having difficulties, specifically Mr. Denktash, but at the same time we see a dynamic building up in the Turkish Cypriots, who initially want to join the EU, and of course in order for that to happen, to resolve of the Cyprus issue , and thus support the initiation of negotiations based on the Annan proposal", he stated, and added:

    "We see the same in Turkey, voices saying that it is a great opportunity to solve the Cyprus issue, and Turkey must not miss it, and by resolving the Cyprus issue it will secure a better fate concerning its own course towards the EU".

    "Resolving the Cyprus issue is an important element in Turkey's course towards the EU", stressed the Foreign Minister in statements to NET television.

    "We want this course, we want Turkey to come closer to the EU, a European Turkey, a democratic, open Turkey, which has adopted the Copenhagen criteria, which respects international law, which will actively contribute to resolving the Cyprus issue. US sup port of these dynamics is very important, regardless of whether the Cyprus issue is resolved before or after Copenhagen. This dynamics must begin now, with negotiations, and last until the Cyprus issue is resolved.

    Mr. Papandreou stressed that the Greek side had no indications of anyone wanting to place asterisks or a frame of accession for Cyprus that would be in any way different from that of other candidate countries.

    "We insist on this position because Cyprus has done some remarkable work negotiation-wise, it is ready to be incorporated to the EU and on its side the Commission is prepared, if Cyprus is incorporated without having resolved the political issue, to have

    a protocol which will immediate apply community acquis, from the moment the Cyprus issue is resolved. The whole of Cyprus will be incorporated, but community acquis cannot be applied in the northern part of the island, which is under occupation. These de cisions seem to be reasonable for all EU members and we do not foresee any difficulties", he underlined, adding that in politics one must prepare for all eventualities, pointing out however, that "the scenarios heard are extreme because we have done the n ecessary work to have a steady accession of Cyprus".

    He repeated that efforts are being made to resolve the Cyprus issue prior to its accession, that there is very little time and that as the days go by, it becomes harder to achieve this goal.

    "For us it is very important not to forget about the Cyprus issue if it is not solved by December 12, to have new dynamics which will continue after the Copenhagen Summit", he stressed.

    He noted that setting a date to begin accession negotiations for Turkey is an important factor for Turkey's interior reforms, which are in Greece's best interest, and specifically in the interest of the Cyprus issue, as Turkey's course towards the EU mea ns that the Cyprus issue will eventually be resolved.

    Mr. Papandreou characterized his discussion with Mrs. Rice concerning the Greek Presidency of the EU and its priorities, as very significant. The Foreign Minister said that the dialogue between Greece and the US during the Greek Presidency will be especi ally important, since there are tensions, disagreements and there must be a serious dialogue, not just on a governmental level, so that ways of effectively dealing with present financial and political challenges, security and globalization issues, the pro blems brought on by globalization, poverty and inequality, can be explored.

    He noted that the US is especially interested in Greece's relation to the Arab world, the Palestinian problem, the Caucasus issue, the Balkans, where the problems have not been solved and there is an increase in criminal activity in the region, as well a s the issue of Iraq.

    Especially on Iraq, Mrs. Rice expressed the hope that there is full cooperation on the part of Sadam Hussein with the UN inspectors, and that a diplomatic solution is found for this problem.

    Assistant Deputy Secretary of State Janet Bogue also had meetings with Greek officials, on issues such as energy and organized crime. Discussions on these issues were held between Mrs. Bogue and alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Giannitsis.

    In view of the upcoming Greek Presidency, the possibility of financial support and cooperation policies in the Balkan region were also looked into, as well as the need to create favorable conditions for investment and development and fighting organized c rime, which extends into other European countries.

    Mr. Giannitsis repeated that Greece supports the European prospects of all Balkan countries and underlined the importance Greece attributes to development and growth in the broader region. A Summit Meeting between the EU and the Balkans has been organize d in this framework, during the Greek Presidency of the EU.

    The alternate Foreign Minister also referred to the continuous Greek efforts in promoting the accession of Bulgaria and Romania, which is expected to be completed in 2007, as well as the Connection Agreements to Western Balkan countries in 2007.

    Mrs. Bogue also met with the Secretary of International Affairs and the EU of New Democracy, Giannis Valinakis. They discussed the situation in the Balkans and the relations of Center-Right parties in the region, while special mention was made of the Ini tiative for Democracy in the Western Balkans, which was undertaken by New Democracy President Konstantinos Karamanlis, for the European People's Party, stressing the positive effects the European prospects of these countries on the stability and developme nt of the region.

  • [03] GREEK PRESIDENCY LOGO PRESENTED ON THURSDAY The logo, the image that will accompany the Greek Presidency of the EU for coming months, will be presented in a special ceremony, which will be held by the Foreign Ministry on November 28, at 3pm, at the Athens "Megaron" Music Hall.

    During the event, a video with a historical review of previous Greek Presidencies will be played, and speeches will be made by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou and alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Giannitsis.

  • [04] PAPANDREOU OPTIMISTIC ON CYPRUS There must be negotiations so that "sooner or later, these dynamics bring Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots close together, and Turkey's position changes, so that it is more positive towards a viable solution for Cyprus", stated Foreign Minister Giorgo s Papandreou, in an interview he gave to the Greek service of the BBC, expressing his optimism on the resolving of the Cyprus issue.

    Regarding Cyprus' accession to the EU, he mentioned that "there will be a powerful voice in the region" within the EU, while "this way we will be able to promote our common interests through a logical cooperation of our countries in the region". In Mr. P apandreou's opinion, resolving the Cyprus issue should go through Turkey's course of accession to the EU.

    Meanwhile, the foreign Minister will visit Ankara on December 4, where he will have meetings with Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, the winner of the elections Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and his Turkish counterpart.

  • [05] MINISTRY OF CULTURE HONORS K. GAVRAS Internationally renowned Greek director Kostas Gavras will be honored by the Ministry of Culture and the Thessaloniki Film Festival, with an event in which a great part of his filmography will be screened at the Astron cinema.

    The program includes his Oscar winning "Z", as well as "Conseil De Famille", "La Petite Apocalypse", "State of Siege", "MAD CITY", "Amen", "Music Box", and others films.

  • [06] VIETNAMESE BOY IN SEARCH OF HIS PARENTS A 10-year-old Vietnamese boy is searching for his parents through the Red Cross, after they were separated during their transfer from Vietnam to Europe by traffickers.

    Fam Tonan An, who, according to the "Aggelioforos" newspaper, is staying with a Vietnamese family in England, is searching for his parents in all Balkan cities, as he does not know the exact city in which he was separated from his parents, but he does re call that it was a three-day drive from there to England.

  • [07] TOMARAS: THE 5TH SAE-N&S AMERICA CONFERENCE WAS A SUCCESS Satisfaction for the proceedings and the conclusions of the 5th N&S America World Council for Greeks Abroad, SAE, Conference was expressed by SAE Vice-President, N&S America region coordinator Mr. Christos Tomaras in statements he made to MPA.

    Mr. Tomaras said that the conference delegates had the opportunity to discuss and reach decisions on three basic directions, namely education, national issues and culture-2004 Olympic Games. He stated that this is reflected by the resolutions approved by

    the delegates.

    Also, a proposal for the creation of a network of Greek journalists living abroad has been approved. The decision will be discussed in the next SAE Presiding Board meeting that will take place in Thessaloniki in February.

  • [08] THE EUROPEAN COURT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS WILL RULE TOMORROW ON THE FORMER KING'S DEMANDS The European Court for Human Rights is expected to rule tomorrow on former King Konstantinos' demand for compensation by the Greek state. According to information from legal sources in Strasbourg, the sum the former King will receive as compensation will

    be 20-40 billion drachmas. It is stressed that this decision is irrevocable and the Greek government will have only a few months to comply.

    Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas appeared optimistic on the ruling of the European Court for Human Rights and suggested patience until tomorrow afternoon when the court decision will be issued.

    Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy Parliament deputy Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated that when the government voted the law on the former royal family had assured the Greek people that the country will not be brought to international courts an d the Greek taxpayers will not be forced to pay. Mr. Pavlopoulos stated that the government has failed in both.

  • [09] GAINS IN THE ASE Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.13% at 1.869,22 points, while the volume of transactions was at 70.6 million Euro.

    Of the stocks trading today, 160 recorded gains and 134 had losses, while the value of 81 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [10] THREE MILLION PEOPLE WILL DIE FROM AIDS IN 2002 Half of the 42 million AIDS carriers are women, according to a UN report published in view of the World AIDS Day on December 1.

    The predictions made by scientists on the future of the disease are unfavorable as an estimated over 3 million people will die from the virus in 2002, while those infected are 5 million.

    It is also estimated that other 45 million people will be infected in 126 poor countries by 2010 if no drastic effort is made against the spread of the disease.

    Based on the above, AIDS is spread rapidly in the Baltic region, Russia and certain central Asian countries. The Sub-Sahara Africa is still the most infected area in the world. In Greece, the registered cases are 5.800, of the lowest case numbers in Euro pe, thanks to the timely interventions in the sectors of prevention and treatment.


  • [11] ANNAN LETTER TO CLERIDES Cypriot government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou stated today that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan sent a letter to Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides yesterday asking him to inform him by Saturday which points of his proposal for the solution of the Cyp rus problem the Greek Cypriot side wants to be changed.

    The letter will be presented in tomorrow's session of the National Council in Cyprus. According to the Cypriot government spokesman, a letter was also sent to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and its contents have not been made known yet.

  • [12] CHRISTODOULAKIS-EICHEL MEETING Greek Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis briefed his German counterpart Hans Eichel on the Greek EU Presidency priorities in the sectors of the economy in a meeting they had in Berlin.

    Mr. Christodoulakis presented the Greek EU Presidency guidelines as they were expressed in the EU Summit meetings, based on the European Commission positions regarding the Stability Pact and the efforts to cut public deficits and secure funds for the fin ancing of the EU accession of new members, among them Cyprus.

    The Greek Finance Minister is on a tour of the European capitals for this purpose and earlier today he departed for Paris.

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