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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-12-03

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, November 3, 2002

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] SPIEGEL: THERE IS NO DANGER FROM N17
  • [02] POSSIBLE ANSWER ON ANNAN PROPOSAL TODAY
  • [03] NEW ANTITERRORISM BILL
  • [04] GOVERNMENT DENIES EXISTENCE OF EU CYPRUS DOCUMENT
  • [05] DANISH F. MINISTER CONNECTS CYPRUS' ACCESSION TO SOLUTION
  • [06] ORDER TO PAY FORMER KING ISSUED
  • [07] F. MINISTRY DENIES ACCESSION-SOLUTION TEXT EXISTS
  • [08] NO NON PAPER ON CYPRUS FROM EU PRESIDENCY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [09] GREEK-TURKISH FRIENDSHIP CELEBRATION IN FRANKFURT
  • [10] COMMISSION LETTER ON ELECTRONIC GAMES LAW NEWS IN DETAILS
  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] SPIEGEL: THERE IS NO DANGER FROM N17 His belief that there is no longer any danger from the "November 17" terrorist group was expressed by German Ambassador to Athens Albert Spiegel, during a press conference he held on his first formal visit to Thessaloniki.

    Mr. Spiegel gave his assurance that he feels safe in Greece, despite the fact that there had been an attempt on his predecessor's life by N17. He also stressed that the greater part of the organization is in the Corydallos Penitentiary, and that he is ve ry well protected by the police.

    The German Ambassador expressed his belief that the Greek Olympics will be safe and stated that he was satisfied by the preparation progress.

    At the same time, he pointed out that a formula for Turkey's incorporation to the EU would be found, despite the fact that many European governments expressed doubts as to how far Turkey meets the necessary requirements. Mr. Spiegel underlined that Turke y's course in Europe will be greatly affected by its position concerning the plan of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the Cyprus issue.

    Furthermore he stressed that Greece and Germany are interested in the economic development of the Balkans and there are works in the region they could undertake together. As he mentioned, Germany has strengthened the Balkan Stability Pact with 1.2 billio n euro.

  • [02] POSSIBLE ANSWER ON ANNAN PROPOSAL TODAY The National Council of Cyprus, Presided over by President of the Cypriot Republic Glafkos Cleridis, is still in session, in order to determine the response of the Greek Cypriot side to the Annan proposal. Cypriot Government Spokesperson Michalis Papapet rou stated that the decision will be announced either today or tomorrow, with a letter to be sent to Secretary General of the UN, through his Special Consultant Alvaro de Soto.

    Meanwhile, the UN is also expecting the response of the Turkish Cypriot side either today or tomorrow, according to statements of its Press Spokesperson Fred Eckhart. "We asked both sides to make essential comments on the proposal of the Secretary Genera l. Alvaro de Soto, who was in Ankara yesterday, met with the Turkish Foreign Minister. He is expecting the comments from both sides, maybe even today", stated Mr. Eckhart.

    "We would prefer the Cyprus issue be solved before Cyprus' accession to the EU", stated Press Spokesperson of the EU Jonathan Faull, "but it is not a requirement".

    During a press conference held at the offices of the EU's Representation in Athens, Mr. Faull, who is participating in the two-day meeting of EU member-states Representation Directors, being held in view of the upcoming Greek Presidency, added that the E U will "accept Cyprus either way, since it fulfills all necessary requirements".

    Concerning Turkey and the Copenhagen Summit he noted that it has made great progress over the past few years, and especially over the past few months, but still does not fulfill the Copenhagen political criteria.

    Referring to the Annan proposal, Mr. Faull stressed that "we need a member-state in the EU that functions according to our procedures. That functions properly".

    "We believe", he noted, "that the Annan proposal provides that possibility. According to this plan there will be a state called Cyprus, which will function properly on an international and European level. We have looked into the Annan proposal and are op timistic, after taking into account every word. It is not, however, our job to accept or reject the plan".

    At the same time, support for Cyrpus' accession regardless of finding a solution to the Cyprus issue, was shown by Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, Carlos Costa Neves, during a meeting he had with Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Tasso s Giannitsis, in Athens yesterday.

    Mr. Neves expressed his country's support to the unhindered, and in accordance with the Helsinki decisions, accession of Cyprus, which is expected to take place at the Copenhagen Summit. Mr. Giannitsis presented the Greek positions on Turkey's accessiona l prospects, pointing out that these two issues are not interlinked, and that the Cyprus issue cannot be held hostage by Turkish pursuits towards the EU.

  • [03] NEW ANTITERRORISM BILL The submission of a new antiterrorism bill, to include the relevant EU decisions and foresee, among other things, increased sentences for terrorist organization leaders, will extend the statute of limitations, and will differentiate between terrorist act ions and actions which are part of union or democratic rights, was announced today by Minister of Justice Philippos Petsalnikos in statements to "Flash" radio today.

    Mr. Petsalnikos also mentioned that he believes it is feasible to begin the "November 17" suspect trial by early March.

  • [04] GOVERNMENT DENIES EXISTENCE OF EU CYPRUS DOCUMENT Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou and Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas denied the existence of a working document in the EU, which connects the accession of Cyprus to the solution of the Cyprus issue, in view of the Copenhagen Summit.

    The issue came to light after "Ta Nea" newspaper published an article according to which a working document is being circulated at a member-state representative level, which includes scenarios concerning the Cyprus issue, depending on the developments un til December 12. In one of these, it was noted that in case there is no agreement on resolving the Cyprus issue in principle by 12/12, then the Summit will express its disappointment and will encourage negotiations continue, so that a solution is reached by April, moving the signing of the accession agreement to that date.

  • [05] DANISH F. MINISTER CONNECTS CYPRUS' ACCESSION TO SOLUTION The conclusions of the 1999 Helsinki Summit were given a new interpretation by Danish Foreign Minister, Per Stig Moller, who met with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and President of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis. Mr. Moller connected the solution of the

    political problem in Cyprus with its accession, while when asked about the possibility of Greece vetoing a problem in Cyprus' accession, he responded that that would be a problem of the Greek Presidency.

    This position contradicts the decision of Helsinki that the resolving of the Cyprus issue would facilitate Cyprus' accession to the EU, but that even if no solution were to be reached upon the completion of accession negotiations, the decision for access ion would be made, regardless of whether the Cyprus issue has been resolved or not.

    Specifically, Mr. Moller characteristically said that "the decision of the European Union in 1999 stated that if Cyprus is not united everything will be taken into account". However, he appreciated that there is still time to complete negotiations on the

    Cyprus issue, "so that Cyprus can join the European Union united". When asked what would happen if Cyprus were not unified, he responded: "You know that our decision was to take everything into account, and we will take everything into account".

    When asked about the imminent Greek veto if there is a problem with Cyprus' accession, Mr. Moller answered, "I know that, but the Greek government will have to deal with all the problems because the enlargement will not be completed, because it is receiv ing the Presidency and then you will have the problem, because you will have the Presidency".

    In fact, when asked it the resolving of the Cyprus issue is in fact a requirement for Cyprus' accession, drawing on information of "non papers" from the Danish government he responded: "I will not give you a clear answer".

    The decision of the European Union in 1999 saying that if it is not united they will take everything into consideration, but I still think there is room for hope that there is time to finish negotiations so that Cyprus can be incorporated to the European

    Union as a united island.

  • [06] ORDER TO PAY FORMER KING ISSUED By order of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, the Ministry of Finance issued a warrant for the payment of 13,700,000 euro, as ruled by the European Court for Human Rights, to the members of the former royal family of Greece.

    The above was announced by deputy Minister of Finance Giorgos Floridis, who stressed that "with this the government is showing its respect for the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in deed, and at the same time that it does not wish to have any loose ends concerning this issue". As he said, "the Greek people has paid enough for the institution of royalty, and we believe this was the last payment".

    The amount will be drawn from the funds for natural disasters and is final. The warrants will be issued to the names as they were mentioned in the ruling of the European Court. Konstantinos is referred to as the former king of Greece.

    The Financial Audit Service will issue four warrants in the names of the beneficiaries of the Court's ruling, which will be sent to the Acharnes IRS, where they file their tax statements. When the either the beneficiary himself or a trustee proceeds to t he service, he will receive the amount. The transaction is being monitored by the State Legal Council, which will inform the European Court today.

  • [07] F. MINISTRY DENIES ACCESSION-SOLUTION TEXT EXISTS Today's publication of "Ta Nea" newspaper mentioning a working document circulating among European Union member-state representatives, connecting Cyprus' accession to the resolving of the island's political issue, was refuted with an announcement made by

    Press Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Panagiotis Beglitis.

    "In no case is there in any written document of the European Union any reference connecting Cyprus' accession to having first resolved the political problem", he mentioned characteristically in the statement.

  • [08] NO NON PAPER ON CYPRUS FROM EU PRESIDENCY Today's publication of "Ta Nea" newspaper mentioning a working document circulating among European Union member-state representatives, connecting Cyprus' accession to the resolving of the island's political issue, was refuted with an announcement made by

    Press Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Panagiotis Beglitis.

    "In no case is there in any written document of the European Union any reference connecting Cyprus' accession to having first resolved the political problem", he mentioned characteristically in the statement.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [09] GREEK-TURKISH FRIENDSHIP CELEBRATION IN FRANKFURT Greek and Turkish immigrants in Frankfurt seem to have turned the will for friendship between the two peoples into reality, creating a Greek-Turkish Friendship Association.

    On December 6 the Association is organizing a Sugar celebration with the end of the Ramadan. The event to be held at the German-Turkish Friendship club, Strahlenberger st. 199, in Offenbach-Kaiserlei, is dedicated to children, for which there is a specia l program.

    The Board of the Association has called all of its members to enjoy a night full of Greek and Turkish music by Greek and Turkish bands, "Prosechos" and "Uluzar", while a there will be a "Karagiozis" shadow theater performance.

  • [10] COMMISSION LETTER ON ELECTRONIC GAMES LAW The European Commission sent a warning letter to the Greek government on the issue of law 3037/ 2002 forbidding the installation and conducting of electronic games on private or public property, including Internet Cafes. According to the response of Inte rnal Market Commissioner Fritz Bolkenstein to a question posed by ND EuroMP Kostis Chatzidakis, the Commission is investigating charges that certain provisions of the law in question violate articles 28-30 of the European Community's treaty on free trade.

    Mr. Bolkenstein pointed out that the specific law seems to institute, beginning on August 1, 2002, the overall prohibiting of installing and functioning of all electrical, electronic and electromechanical games, technical entertainment games and games us ed through computers, in any private or public space apart from a casino. This fact, as Mr. Bolkenstein stressed, could be considered to have the same effect as quantity restrictions on imports, which is forbidden according to article 28 of the treaty of the European Community.


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