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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-03-12

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, March 12, 2003

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] STABLE ECONOMY
  • [02] "A PAINFUL ATTACK FROM THE LEFT"
  • [03] MAGRIOTIS: FIRST DISCUSSION OF EU CONSTITUTION AT THESSALONIKI SUMMIT
  • [04] PAPANTONIOU ON INFORMAL EU DEF. MIN. MEETING
  • [05] WE DON'T KILL TOURISTS, JUST SOLDIERS
  • [06] WAR ECONOMY
  • [07] BEGLITIS ON THE DETENTION OF THE GREEK STUDENT
  • [08] PROTOPAPAS ON THE DETENTION OF THE GREEK STUDENT
  • [09] MORE LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [10] THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON CYPRUS
  • [11] PAPANDREOU STATEMENTS ON IRAQ AND CYPRUS
  • [12] EU PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE ASSASSINATION OF SERBIA'S PRIME MINISTER ZORAN DJINDJIC
  • [13] THE ASSASSINATION OF ZORAN DJINDJIC IS AN ACT OF BARBARITY AND HATE
  • [14] THE GREEK EU PRESIDENCY PRIORITIES IN VIEW OF THE SPRING EUROPEAN COUNCIL
  • [15] THE ND LEADER ON THE SERB PRIME MINISTER'S ASSASSINATION
  • [16] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT CONDEMNED THE ASSASSINATION OF DJINDJIC
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [17] FRIENDSHIP AFTER INTOLERANCE
  • [18] "IMPRESSIVE" CHARGES
  • [19] SKOPJE: MAMIDAKIS CLAIMS HE IS A VICTIM OF CORRUPTION
  • [20] EUROPEAN COURT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: OCALAN'S TRIAL WAS UNFAIR
  • [21] SERB PRIME MINISTER DJINDJIC ASSASSINATED NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] STABLE ECONOMY The Greek economy has a firm foundation and significant changes in fiscal policy in order to deal with the consequences of a possible war in Iraq will not be necessary, noted Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis, after his meeting with the Prime Min ister.
  • [02] "A PAINFUL ATTACK FROM THE LEFT" The rejection of the objection on the inappropriateness of the court, submitted by the defense attorneys, was proposed by the DAs in N17 trial. Suspected N17 leader Alexandros Giotopoulos' attorney, G. Rachiotis, characterized the organization as an aggr essive left that causes pain, supporting that the crimes should be characterized as political.
  • [03] MAGRIOTIS: FIRST DISCUSSION OF EU CONSTITUTION AT THESSALONIKI SUMMIT The first discussion of the EU constitutional treaty that has been occupying the Convention on the Future of Europe will take place during the Thessaloniki Summit, while the final decision will be made during the December Summit, to be organized by the I talian Presidency, underlined deputy Foreign Minister Giannis Magriotis.

    Speaking at a meeting on the Convention for the future of Europe, organized by the Region of Central Macedonia in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry and the Coordination Secretariat of European Oriented NGOs, in Thessaloniki, Mr. Magriotis stressed th at it is our obligation to participate in the discussion for the future of Europe.

    He also stressed that the Europe of the "25" should promote the participation of all citizens and cover its democratic deficit.

    The deputy Foreign Minister pointed out that problems such as unemployment and illegal immigration can only be dealt with, with policies carried out by the EU and not by member-state governments. As he said, the voices asking for the renationalification of policies that are now EU responsibilities, that they be returned to the governments, are coming from the past.

  • [04] PAPANTONIOU ON INFORMAL EU DEF. MIN. MEETING Iraq, issues concerning the activation of the Euroarmy, and the European Security and Defense Policy will the be the issues to be raised at the informal meeting of EU Defense Ministers to be held on March 14 and 15 in Vouliagmeni, according to statements

    of the Greek Minister of Defense Giannos Papantoniou yesterday.

    Regarding the major issue of Iraq, Mr. Papantoniou avoided defining the content of the discussions at the meeting, as that depends, he said, on the developments in the UN Security Council.

    Mr. Papantoniou also appreciated that there is a window of diplomacy in averting a military confrontation with Iraq, which all implicated sides should attempt to take advantage of.

    The Minister of Defense also repeated that Greece insists on the procedure of the UN through the Security Council and supports the work of the inspectors, and gave his assurance that Greek troops will not be sent to regions that are at war.

    As far as the Greek cruiser patrolling the Persian Gulf is concerned, in the framework of the international campaign against terrorism, Mr. Papantoniou pointed out that the vessel will remain in the region to the degree that it is outside areas that are at war. "If the area is at war we will of course reevaluate the positioning of the cruiser. That is our criterion", he said.

    The Minister also pointed out that harbor facilitations provided to allied ships are part of existing military cooperation agreements and it is not an issue of asking for things in exchange, as is the case with Turkey, which was asked to allow the deploy ment of 62,000 troops within its territories.

    Mr. Papantoniou also referred to the progress achieved in the framework of the Greek Presidency of the EU, regarding the goals set at Helsinki Summit on the ESDP.

  • [05] WE DON'T KILL TOURISTS, JUST SOLDIERS The N17 trial recommenced again today at 9am, with a new intervention by Dimitris Koufontinas, who made mention of an attempt to twist the motives of the terrorist organization's actions.

    Holding the recently published book with the N17 declarations, Dimitris Koufontinas asked the court President, Michalis Margaritis, to give him the permission to speak, wanting to respond to the comments made by the prosecutor yesterday, on the character

    of the organization.

    Specifically, prosecutor Ilias Anagnostopoulos, called on an organization declaration to question the political character of N17's actions, stating that they had said they were prepared to strike at American tourists on vacation on the Greek islands.

    Dimitris Koufontinas read out the excerpt in question, which mentions that "the opponent of N17 is the criminal genocidal mechanism called the US armed forces". "We will continue to strike at these murderers, whether they are working at bases in our coun try, or if they are here on vacation". "Thus - continued Koufontinas - we were not talking about American tourists coming to Greece. The motives behind our actions have been twisted around".

  • [06] WAR ECONOMY A 20% drop in global development due to the war was foreseen by the International Monetary Fund, but Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis gave his assurance that the Greek economy has a stable foundation and there will be no need for significant cha nges in fiscal policy.
  • [07] BEGLITIS ON THE DETENTION OF THE GREEK STUDENT The Foreign Ministry, in cooperation with the Ministries of Public Order and Justice, evaluates the contractual framework of relations between Greece and Britain in the sector of judicial cooperation to determine what can be done to win the release of th e Greek student who is detained in Britain.

    The above were stated to Athens radio station "Flash" by Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis regarding a British Low Court decision to extend the detention time of 25yerold Greek student Charalambos Dousemetzis, who was arrested based on the new anti-terrorist law in the country.

    Mr. Beglitis characterized the arrest of the Greek student as a serious problem which is faced by the Greek government with the appropriate seriousness, without affecting the very good level of the Greek-British relations.

    The Foreign Ministry spokesman pointed out that the lack of communication and information that was acknowledged by the British authorities was insulting to the Greek government, a fact that was underlined through the diplomatic route both in Athens and i n London.

  • [08] PROTOPAPAS ON THE DETENTION OF THE GREEK STUDENT The Greek authorities study the case of the Greek student Charalambos Dousemetzis looking for ways to react, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.

    He said that the British authorities overreacted by deciding to detain him for a long period of time for his ideological beliefs without a proof that he has actually done anything.

  • [09] MORE LOSSES IN THE ASE The Athens Stock Exchange continued its downward course today as a result of the strong pressures exerted on the banking sector.

    The general index dropped to -1.60% at 1.477,91 points, while the volume of transactions was at 51.6 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 241 recorded losses and 70 had gains, while the value of 70 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [10] THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON CYPRUS Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated that Greece follows firmly the policy it has adopted on the Cyprus issue for the past few years, pointing out that Greece wants the political problem in Cyprus to be settled.

    He expressed satisfaction for the statements of the European Commission spokesman and the responsible EU Commissioner according to which, the government in Nicosia represents, based on International Law, the whole of the island. In May 2004, the whole of

    Cyprus will become part of the EU and a protocol in the Enlargement Treaty will clarify that the European standards will not be implemented in the northern part of the island.

    The European Union, noted Mr. Protopapas, wants to remind Turkey, in the most categorical way, that its own European course passes through the solution of the political problem in Cyprus. He stated that Greece hopes that in the following period Turkey, u nder the pressure of international community and the EU, will be forced to change its stance and create the necessary conditions for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    He concluded that the Greek government will continue to work systematically toward this direction always in close cooperation with the Cypriot Republic government and President Tassos Papadopoulos.

  • [11] PAPANDREOU STATEMENTS ON IRAQ AND CYPRUS "It is absolutely necessary to respect the Security Council. Decisions must be taken through UN institutions and we, as the EU, consider that decisions taken outside the UN on matters such as military intervention do not comply with legal formality", Pre sident of the Council of Ministers, Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou told the European Parliament plenary session shortly before departing for Strasbourg, echoing recent statements by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

    Mr. Papandreou reiterated the need to set specific targets which Iraq must meet within a certain timeframe, as an alternative to the crisis resolution process. He said efforts were currently under way to bring the different sides within the Security Coun cil closer together as well, and stressed the need for Iraq's full cooperation with the UN weapons inspectors.

    Referring to the impasse in the talks on Cyprus held in The Hague, Mr. Papandreou expressed the will of Greece and of the EU to resolve the political problem, stressing that at a time when Turkey is in the process of drawing closer to the EU, there could

    be no such problems in the Union.

    Attributing the breakdown of talks in The Hague to Turkish domestic problems due to the crisis over Iraq, Mr. Papandreou reiterated that the process for the Cyprus Republic accession into the EU would continue according to schedule.

  • [12] EU PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE ASSASSINATION OF SERBIA'S PRIME MINISTER ZORAN DJINDJIC The EU Presidency, deeply shocked by the assassination of the Prime Minister of Serbia Zoran Djindjic, strongly condemns this atrocious act of violence, which is incompatible with a sound democratic system.

    The assassination of the Prime Minister of Serbia coincides with an important and crucial period for the future of the new State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, especially as far as its European perspective is concerned. The Presidency calls on the polit ical leadership in both Republics to take all the necessary measures so that the democratic principles and stability in the country may prevail in these testing times.

    Furthermore, the Presidency expresses the hope that the efforts of Zoran Djindjic to promote reform will be further pursued by all political forces in both Republics for the benefit of the people of Serbia and Montenegro.

    The Presidency expects from all competent authorities to fully investigate the case and dispense justice.

    The Presidency extends its condolences to Zoran Djindjic's family and the Serb people.

  • [13] THE ASSASSINATION OF ZORAN DJINDJIC IS AN ACT OF BARBARITY AND HATE I am deeply shocked by the news of the assassination of Serbia's Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic and I condemn in the most direct and categorical way this act of barbarity and hate, stated Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    Zoran Djindjic played a decisive role in Serbia's transition to democracy and contributed with determination to the normalisation of political life. He took over the post of the Prime Minister in an extremely difficult period and worked steadily for Serb ia's return to the international community, the modernisation of institutions and the economy, the strengthening of its European orientation, the stability and security in the wider Balkan region, stressed Mr. Papandreou.

    Mr. Papandreou stated that Mr. Djindjic was a firm supporter of the further development of bilateral relations between Serbia and Greece. He said that many times, when the two had met, he had the opportunity to see for himself the friendly feelings he ha d toward Greece and the Greek people.

    Mr. Papandreou said that friend and neighbour Serbia is left with a great political void as a result of Zoran Djindjic's tragic death, and as the Foreign Minister of Greece he extended his condolences to the Serb people and his family.

  • [14] THE GREEK EU PRESIDENCY PRIORITIES IN VIEW OF THE SPRING EUROPEAN COUNCIL Greek Undersecretary of Press and Mass Media Tilemachos Hitiris briefed the foreign press correspondents in Athens on the priorities of the Greek EU Presidency in view of the Spring European Council meeting to take place in Brussels on March 21.

    He said that the efforts continue for Europe to become more competitive concerning its social policy and in order to achieve this goal special measures must be taken for employment, the implementation and dissemination of new technologies and social cohe sion.

    Mr. Hitiris stated that the priorities of the Greek EU Presidency within the framework of the Lisbon strategy are: the support of entrepreneurship and small-medium sized businesses, the promotion of the European economy of knowledge, investments on resea rch to reach 3% of the EU GDP and completion of the unification of the European markets.

    Mr. Hitiris referred to the proposal made by Blair, Chirac and Schroeder for the establishment of an institution that will submit proposals on employment issues. He also said that in spite of the fact that the creation of new job positions had some resul ts, lately there was a small increase in unemployment.

    Referring to the imminent informal EU Defense Ministers Council meeting that will open in Athens on Friday, he said that it will focus on issues concerning the operational readiness of the rapid reaction European forces.

    Mr. Hitiris said that the Greek EU Presidency will continue the dialogue with the Mediterranean countries on issues of defense and security and a seminar will be held in Corfu in May with the participation of Arab states.

  • [15] THE ND LEADER ON THE SERB PRIME MINISTER'S ASSASSINATION Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis expressed his deep sorrow and repugnance for the assassination of Serb Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in his letter of condolences addressed to Serb President Natasha Micic.

    Mr. Karamanlis condemned the assassination of the Serb Prime Minister and expressed the hope that it will not have a negative effect on the efforts made for the promotion of democratic reforms in the country.

  • [16] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT CONDEMNED THE ASSASSINATION OF DJINDJIC The assassination of Serb Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic was condemned by the Greek government through its spokesman Christos Protopapas.

    Mr. Protopapas pointed out that unfortunately the assassination took place in a crucial period for democracy and stability in the country and wished that the reform program launched by Djindjic will continue.

    The Greek government extended its condolences to his family and the Serb people.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [17] FRIENDSHIP AFTER INTOLERANCE A battery of friendship on T. Papadopoulos and a proposal to circumvent the UN, was Rauf Denktash's response to interior opposition and criticism from the international community, which taxed him with the breakdown of the talks in Hague. Ankara is facing

    the possibility mentioned by its Foreign Minister Y. Yakis, that Turkey may be considered to be occupying EU territories illegally.

  • [18] "IMPRESSIVE" CHARGES The case of Greek student Charalambos Desemetzis, who appeared in a British court charged with two offenses under Britain's terrorism law, has been adjourned until April 8, while he will await trial in custody. The prosecution mentioned that the Greek st udent had visited Lebanon and had had meetings with the Hizballah, Hamas and Al Fatah, while his attorney claimed that he was concentrating the material on "N17" for his postgraduate degree studies and in order to impress his British girlfriend. Mr. Douse metzis assured the Greek Consul that he has no complaints regarding his holding conditions.
  • [19] SKOPJE: MAMIDAKIS CLAIMS HE IS A VICTIM OF CORRUPTION Greek businessman K. Mamidakis asked for answers from the Prime Minister of FYROM Branko Crvenkovski, on how he intends to deal with the corruption in his country, during Mr. Mamidakis' speech at the forum organized by the "Economist" in Skopje. "I am a direct victim of the corruption in your country and I would like you to tell me if your country will secure equal terms for all investors", asked Mr. Mamidakis.
  • [20] EUROPEAN COURT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: OCALAN'S TRIAL WAS UNFAIR The European Court for Human Rights condemned Turkey for violating the human rights of Kurdish PKK leader Abdulah Ocalan and ruled that Ocalan's trial was not fair.

    After a trial that lasted 3.5 years, the European Court ruled that the PKK leader was not tried by an independent court and remanded in custody longer than the allowed 4day period after his arrest in Kenya.

    The European Court imposed on Turkey a fine of 100,000 euros and the country can file an appeal by June 12.

    For the record, the leader of the Kurdish rebels is serving a life sentence in total isolation at a prison in Imrali island.

    Initially, Ocalan was sentenced to death in 1999 for his role in the 16year long Kurdish rebel operations against the Turkish army. Last October, the death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

  • [21] SERB PRIME MINISTER DJINDJIC ASSASSINATED Serb Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic died in a hospital today after he was shot in the chest and back in an apparent assassination outside a government building in Belgrade.

    Fifty-year-old Djindjic, a reformer who played a big part in the downfall of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, was shot in the chest and back by two snipers who fired their guns from a distance.

    Djindjic narrowly escaped injury in another incident last month when a truck suddenly swerved out of its lane toward a convoy of cars -- one of which was carrying the Prime Minister.

    Djindjic then suggested the near-miss could have been linked to efforts by his government to stamp out organized crime which flourished during the rule of former President Slobodan Milosevic.

    Jailed as a dissident student in the 1970s, frustrated as a popular protest leader in the 1990s, Djindjic rebounded in a lightning street uprising in 2000 to become leader-in-waiting of a new democratic Serbia.

    A fitness enthusiast, Djindjic was born in Bosanski Samac, Bosnia in August 1, 1952 and his father was a Yugoslav Army officer.

    He was married and had two children.


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