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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-03-13

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 13, 2003

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ECONOMY AND SECURITY BEFORE THE WAR
  • [02] EVALUATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION
  • [03] DECISION ON INAPPROPRIATENESS
  • [04] NEW LAW FOR STABLE GOVERNMENTS
  • [05] AIRPORT SECURITY MEASURES IN VIEW OF IRAQ WAR
  • [06] VOZEMBERG: 17N CHOSE ITS TARGETS WITH SOCIAL HATRED
  • [07] GARGANAS: WE MUST NOT PANIC
  • [08] NO EMERGENCY MEASURES BECAUSE OF THE CRISIS OVER IRAQ
  • [09] BEGLITIS: THERE SHOULD BE NO POWER VACUUM IN SERBIA
  • [10] CONSIDERABLE GAINS IN THE ASE
  • [11] THE BANK OF GREECE GOVERNOR MONETARY POLICY REPORT
  • [12] EU DEFENSE MINISTERS INFORMAL MEETING IN ATHENS
  • [13] SIMITIS: THERE SHOULD BE NO ATMOSPHERE OF FEAR
  • [14] CHRISTODOULAKIS: THE ADOPTION OF EMERGENCY MEASURES IS NOT NECESSARY
  • [15] SIMITIS: NO EUROPEAN PROSPECT FOR TURKEY WITHOUT THE SOLUTION OF THE CYPRUS PROBLEM
  • [16] BEGLITIS: THE BANNING OF HADEP WILL AFFECT NEGATIVELY TURKEY'S EUROPEAN COURSE
  • [17] THE EU PRESIDENCY ON MALTA'S REFERENDUM
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [18] THE MAFIA KILLED DJINDJIC NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ECONOMY AND SECURITY BEFORE THE WAR The Cabinet is deciding on measures to deal with the consequences the war in Iraq will have. Minister of Finance N. Christodoulakis has given his full support to the Prime Minister. Minister of Transportation C. Verelis is taking measures for flight safe ty. Minister of Development A. Tsochatzopoulos gave his reassurance that there are adequate fuel reserves. The better absorption of funds from the 3rd Community Support Framework is being promoted.
  • [02] EVALUATION OF HIGHER EDUCATION The government's decision to move to an evaluation of higher education was announced to university deans by the Prime Minister. An independent authority will carry out the evaluation, so that its findings can be completely honest and objective, while the

    related bill will be delivered by the Minister of Education P. Efthymiou at the deans' meeting on Saturday.

  • [03] DECISION ON INAPPROPRIATENESS The court trying the 17N case is expected to announce its decision today, on the inappropriateness (of the court) objection filed by the defense attorneys. If it is overruled, objections concerning the case briefs are expected to follow, while witness te stimonies are not expected prior to Monday. Discomfort was caused to the Left, by the characterization of 17N as the "attacking Left" by the attorney of suspected organization leader Al. Giotopoulos, G. Rachiotis. The KKE could not be more different in id eology, politics and practice to 17N, stated the party's Secretary General, Aleka Papariga.
  • [04] NEW LAW FOR STABLE GOVERNMENTS The experience of coalition governments has been traumatic, stated dep. Minister of the Interior L. Papadimas, rejecting the proposed change to the electoral law submitted by MP St. Manou. The electoral law is good and we must not lose the rationale of t he proportional vote, stated honorary President of New Democracy Constantinos Mitsotakis. The government is not going to surprise anyone with a change in electoral law, stated Mr. Papadimas.
  • [05] AIRPORT SECURITY MEASURES IN VIEW OF IRAQ WAR The immediate uptake of measures for the protection of airports and air traffic in general, in view of the possible initiation of military operations in Iraq, was decided on by the National Security Committee of Civic Aviation, presided over by the Minis ter of Transportation Christos Verelis.

    Specifically, those measures include the procurement of 21 explosive locations machines so baggage can be fully checked, and increase of police forces at Greek airports.

    Also, special training for the staff was decided, so that it can carry out security and access checks in Greek airports and full checks of cargo and mail.

  • [06] VOZEMBERG: 17N CHOSE ITS TARGETS WITH SOCIAL HATRED The assassination of Zoran Djindjic was mentioned during the opening statement today of the prosecution attorney representing the family of Costis Peratikos, Eliza Vozemberg.

    Mrs. Vozemberg referred to the assassination of the Serb Prime Minister in the framework of her arguments on the characterization of the crimes committed by 17N as either political or penal, asking whether the way the crime was committed and the persons it was committed by, determines the political or penal nature of the crime.

    Furthermore, she characterized the motives of the accused as humble, while she questioned the claim of the defense concerning the connection of 17N with the Left, by asking "What does 17N have to do with questioning movements? How was its concurrence wit h the Left attempted?"

    Mrs. Vozemberg ended by supporting that 17N chose its targets according to social hatred, malevolence and vindictiveness, a fact, she stressed, that was evident in the organization's declarations.

    Meanwhile, Ioanna Kourtovic, attorney to Aggeliki Sotiropoulou and Dimitris Koufontinas, supported that the views of the defendants and their attorneys are being twisted around in the dialogue being held outside the courtroom.

    "A fair trial includes what happens outside the courtroom. When what is said by the defendants and the attorneys in the courtroom is so systematically twisted. When there is an interrogation procedure every afternoon, on various television channels, whic h question and create witnesses".

    One out of two Greeks is following the trial

    At the same time, according to an ALCO poll carried out for ALPHA television, 52.7% of those asked believes that the procedure being followed in the 17N trial secures its fairness, while only 17.7% supported that it will not secure a fair trial.

    Also, according to the information of the poll, 41.2% of those asked is following the trial, 12.7% closely, 28.5% somewhat, 33.5% a little, while 24.8% stated that it is not following it at all.

    Interest in the development of the trial was expressed by 50.4%, while 49.3% showed little or no interest at all. Finally, concerning the question of whether terrorism has been fully eradicated with the arrest of the 19 suspects, 72.9% believes that it h as not been fully eradicated, and only 10.3% believes the opposite.

  • [07] GARGANAS: WE MUST NOT PANIC We must not panic, Greece can respond to the crisis due to the possible attack in Iraq, stated the Governor N. Garganas of the Bank of Greece. "Our country is going to host the 2004 Olympics and it can respond to this unfortunate economic juncture", said

    Mr. Garganas in statements to NET television.

  • [08] NO EMERGENCY MEASURES BECAUSE OF THE CRISIS OVER IRAQ Assurances that the Greek economy can withstand the effects of an expected crisis in Iraq were given by Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis speaking in the cabinet meeting today. The cabinet members decided that for the time being no emergency measures w ill be taken and any such decision will be made after the war erupts.

    Mr. Simitis pointed out that the Greek economy, which has adopted the euro and has high growth rates, can withstand the effects from a crisis in Iraq. He also underlined that the budget will be strictly followed, while there will be constant checks in th e market. He ruled out the likelihood to cut the consumer tax on fuel even in the case of a war.

  • [09] BEGLITIS: THERE SHOULD BE NO POWER VACUUM IN SERBIA Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis expressed the wish that the procedures for the appointment of a new Prime Minister will take place soon to avoid any power vacuum, while the union of Serbia and Montenegro will proceed smoothly.

    There is a future and a prospect for the Balkans and they need our support in all sectors to restore security and stability and strengthen their European prospect which passes through the combating of organized crime, stressed Mr. Beglitis.

    He added that organized crime should be curbed through political means because it is dangerous, can finance political personalities, and affect political forces and institutions.

    Mr. Beglitis announced that Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou will attend Zoran Djindjic's funeral, a date for which has not been set yet.

  • [10] CONSIDERABLE GAINS IN THE ASE Considerable gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today following the upward trend dominating in the big European stock markets. The general index rose to +1.93% at 1.506,43 points, while the volume of transactions was at 67.5 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 265 had gains and 47 recorded losses, while the value of 70 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [11] THE BANK OF GREECE GOVERNOR MONETARY POLICY REPORT The Greek economy could have a growth rate of 3.7% in 2003 under the precondition that there will be no sharp and serious deterioration of the geopolitical and economic situation. However, even in the case of such an unfavorable scenario the adoption of specific measures could weaken the effects of a crisis.

    The predictions for a growth rate of 3.7% and an inflation that could balance at higher average levels compared to 2002, are included in the monetary policy report that was given to publicity today by Bank of Greece Governor Nikolaos Garganas.

    The Bank of Greece Governor also suggested the adoption of measures to limit the effects an armed conflict in Iraq could have on the Greek economy. Specifically, he called on the Greek government to adopt the necessary measures for the management of petr ol reserves and the monitoring of the fuel market, while social partners should seek the immediate improvement of competitiveness in sectors where it appeared to be on the decline in 2002.

    The size of the effects will depend on the nature, the extent and the duration of a war in Iraq. However, according to Mr. Garganas the effects, can be limited if the government takes the necessary measures and monitors the fuel market to prevent profite ering.

    Based on the report, the pressures resulting from a long war in Iraq will be stronger on Greece compared to the rest euro countries, especially on inflation and tourism, while they could be comparatively weaker in the area of domestic demand and GDP grow th rate.

  • [12] EU DEFENSE MINISTERS INFORMAL MEETING IN ATHENS The proceedings of the two-day EU Defense Ministers Informal Meeting will be launched in Athens tomorrow chaired by Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.

    The issues that will be discussed are international terrorism, the European capability in crisis management and the operational readiness of the EU to take action in countries such as FYROM.

    They will also discuss defense investments by EU countries for the establishment of a common European armaments institution.

    Mr. Papantoniou will brief the EU Defense Ministers on the initiatives undertaken by the Greek EU Presidency for the best coordination of policies on defense industry issues and the strengthening of research and technology in the sector of defense.

    They will also discuss issues concerning common education and space policy within the framework of the European Policy of Security and Defense.

    Among the issues under discussion will be the developments in Iraq within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency policy for a common position to be adopted by the EU members.

  • [13] SIMITIS: THERE SHOULD BE NO ATMOSPHERE OF FEAR The belief that there should be no atmosphere of fear was expressed by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in the cabinet meeting that took place in Athens today and focused on the country's economy.

    The Prime Minister appeared optimistic expressing his confidence in the Greek economy and its strength and therefore, no emergency measures were adopted for its protection.

    Mr. Simitis stated to the members of his government that the crisis will be overcome by displaying prudence and self-restraint. He also called on his government ministers to intensify their work always within the framework of the state budget.

  • [14] CHRISTODOULAKIS: THE ADOPTION OF EMERGENCY MEASURES IS NOT NECESSARY The view that the adoption of emergency measures is not necessary but the efforts to improve economic growth and limit inflation should intensify, was expressed by Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis after the cabinet meeting today. The main goal is t o maintain economic growth in every way, stated Mr. Christodoulakis.

    Mr. Christodoulakis stated that no public service state company will be allowed to proceed with price increases that will exceed the inflation rate. He also underlined that efforts should intensify in the privatization program setting as a main target th e monthly inflow of 400 million euros from the 3rd community support program.

    He said that the state budget should be observed strictly and if there is a need the most sensitive groups will be supported.

    To deal with the pressures in the exports front, the National Council of Exports is expected to meet on Monday for the first time.

    On structural inflation, he said that the government's goal is to be at 3% this year (the prediction of the Bank of Greece is at 3.6%), adding that a special attention will be given to the sectors of food and entertainment displaying significant inflatio nary pressures.

  • [15] SIMITIS: NO EUROPEAN PROSPECT FOR TURKEY WITHOUT THE SOLUTION OF THE CYPRUS PROBLEM The Cyprus issue is open and if it is not resolved there will be no European prospect for Turkey, stressed Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis addressing the cabinet meeting today.

    According to government spokesman Christos Protopapas, Mr. Simitis referring to the Annan initiative stated that it brought no results because of the stance adopted by the Turkish Cypriot side which is solely responsible. He added that Turkey did not dis play any intention to change its stance and it will suffer the consequences as a result of the failure of the effort to solve the problem in Cyprus. He said that this was obvious by the reaction of the European Commission and the Foreign Ministries of thi rd countries.

    The Prime Minister added that Cyprus' EU accession will take place without problems because Greece and Cyprus had adopted convincing positions during the negotiations and confirmed the legitimacy of their choices.

  • [16] BEGLITIS: THE BANNING OF HADEP WILL AFFECT NEGATIVELY TURKEY'S EUROPEAN COURSE It is a very negative development for the normalization of political life and the consolidation of democratic institutions in Turkey, stated Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis responding to a question by a reporter on Turkey's Constitutional

    Court decision to ban the HADEP party.

    Turkey, as an EU candidate country has the obligation to guarantee the smooth and unhindered operation of political parties in compliance with the commitment it has undertaken based on the partnership relation it has with the EU, stated Mr. Beglitis.

    He pointed out that the decision to ban the HADEP party will be assessed by the responsible EU institutional bodies, adding that it is certain that it will have a negative effect on Turkey's European course.

  • [17] THE EU PRESIDENCY ON MALTA'S REFERENDUM Following the results of the national referendum on EU membership in Malta, the first in an acceding country, the EU Presidency welcomes the decision of the Maltese people regarding the future of their country as part of the European family.

    This is an important step in the established procedures for the signing and implementation of the accession treaties.

    The EU Presidency reiterates its commitment to do its part in helping to bring about the reality of an enlarged union.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [18] THE MAFIA KILLED DJINDJIC The Serbian government accused organized crime, and specifically gangs led by the former commander of the special forces, for the murder of Serb Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, who was gunned down outside his office in Belgrade. The Vice President of the country, Nebojsa Covic, has taken the position of Head of State. The international community has condemned the killing of the Prime Minister, and repeated its support to the reforms taking place in Serbia. The contribution of Z. Djindjic to the stabilizat ions of the Balkans, was stressed by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.
    Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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