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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2004-04-07

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, April 7, 2003





  • [05] 6TH WEEK OF 17N TRIAL



  • [01] INCIDENTS IN SOUDA Serious incidents took place around the Marathio military base in Chania, in an antiwar event during which a group of hooded individuals slipped into the protest, and started throwing rocks, flares and Molotov cocktails at the police, resulting in a fire

    on the interior of the base. [02[ APRIL DRESSES THESSALONIKI IN WHITE

    It has been snowing in Northern Greece since early this morning, even within the city of Thessaloniki. The national weather service had foreseen the extreme, for the month of April, phenomena. These phenomena will continue until at least this afternoon, when there will be a gradual improvement of the weather in Western Greece. Temperatures will be between -1 Co and 16 Co in the islands.

  • [03] ELECTIONS WITH SIMITIS AND INITIATIVES "Elections will take place in 13 months, in the Spring of 2004", stressed the Secretary General of PASOK's Central Committee Costas Laliotis from Kilkis, and he pointed out that the governing party will arrive to this electoral confrontation headed by Mr . Simitis, to win. "The people want a PASOK government, but at the same time they also want writing samples that will allow the confirmation, renewal and strengthening of PASOK with crucial social groups", stated Minister of Culture Ev. Venizelos.
  • [04] WINTER REDUX Although the calendar reads "April", it may as well be December in Northern Greece, where it is snowing, even in downtown Thessaloniki. Although the snow came as a pleasant surprise, it has caused serious traffic problems and accidents during the morning

    rush hour.

    Regardless of the snow, schools are functioning normally in the Prefecture of Thessaloniki. "Salt dispersal machines have been on the streets since early this morning", stated Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis, who also said that, according to in formation, the weather would soften by this afternoon.

    Temperatures throughout Northern Greece have dropped from the warm Spring days of the past week, to - 5Co in Drama, while itineraries from Kavala to Thassos have been cancelled. Schools in the four prefectures of Western Macedonia will remain closed, whe re it is snowing relentlessly.

    Cars can only travel with anti-skidding chains on the roads covering the Prefectures of Grevena, Florina, Castoria, and Cozani, where, in some cases, there was more than 40cm of snow.

  • [05] 6TH WEEK OF 17N TRIAL Witness testimonies on the murder of Turkish diplomat Cetin Gorgu, the rocket launched against a Police Special Forces' bus in the Exarchia area of Athens, and the fray with the police in Sepolia, Athens, in 1991, are expected to be looked into today, on

    the first day of the 17N trial's sixth week.

    Today's proceedings are expected to be of great interest, as among the defendants involved in the cases to be looked into, are Sotiris Condylis and Constantinos Telios, who have admitted their participation in these actions, and have named other members of the terrorist organization.

    In the proceedings so far, an eyewitness in the murder case of DA Constantinos Androulidakis in January 1989, could not recognize any of the defendants as the perpetrators of the attack.

    Eleni Vavouraki, who took the stand this morning, testified that she had seen three men in the Zografou area participating in the murder of the DA. She said that one looked like a child, while another was very tall and slim. However, she could not recogn ize any of the defendants as the perpetrators of the murder.

    DA Christos Lambrou then asked defendant Costas Telios if he participated in the specific attack of 17N. Telios supported that just as in all other organization actions, he was physically present (but did not participate), just as he had supported in his

    preliminary statement.

    Meanwhile, on the front of the eradication of terrorism in Greece, Michalis Kassimis, accused of accession and participation in the "May 1st" terrorist organization, will testify before Special Examiner Leonidas Zervobeakos.

    Allegedly, he also participated in the attempted murder of former President of the General Union of Greek Workers, Giorgos Raftopoulos, in June 1987.

    Michalis Kassimis is expected to testify with a memorandum, in which he will deny all charges against him, and will present an alibi for the day the attack against Mr. Raftopoulos took place.

    Michalis Kassimis is the brother of the deceased Christos Kassimis, alleged founder of the ELA terrorist organization.

  • [06] THE CHILDLIKE PERP Three individuals participated in the murder attempt against DA Androulidakis, according to an eyewitness, who, however, did not recognize any of the three individuals in the faces of the defendants in the trial for the crimes committed by 17N. Defendant

    Costas Telios was asked about his participation, and he repeated that he was physically present in all actions, in which he admitted participating.

  • [07] CLOSER TO THE CREATION OF A BALKAN GAS PATH Representatives of the Greek DEVA, Turkish BOTAS and Austrian OMV natural gas companies, will meet in Thessaloniki tomorrow at 9am, in order to sign a memorandum of cooperation on the construction of a natural gas pipeline, which will begin from Thessalo niki and will end in Austria, via the Balkans.

    Participants in the meeting, to be held in the Macedonia Palace hotel, concerning the creation of the so called "Balkan gas path", include representatives of Balkan countries through which the pipeline will pass.

    In essence, the pipeline in question will be the second branch of the main Greece-Turkey pipeline (leading to Igoumenitsa), which will begin in Thessaloniki and pass through FYROM, Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, in order to end , in its first phase, in Austria. In fact the project will function simultaneously - not alternatively - with the connection of Greece and Italy, which will include the underwater pipeline Parga - Itranto.

    The memorandum of cooperation on the so called "Balkan path" will include the obligation of all cooperating members to move to a preliminary advisability study. It should be noted that Balkan countries interested in project include MAKPETROL (FYROM), NIS-GAS (Yugoslavia), BH-GAS (Bosnia-Herzegovina), PLINACRO (Croatia), GEOPLIN (Slovenia), as well as the Ministry of Industry and Energy of Albania.

  • [08] EASYGROUP LOOKING TO GREECE The entrance of easyGroup to the Greek market was announced in an exclusive interview given to the "Imerisia" newspaper by businessman Stelios Chatziioannou.

    The group is already searching for franchisees, interested in opening a easyInternetCafe chain store, while in the next phase, in approximately a year, Mr. Chatziioannou foresees the entrance of easyCar, the car rental service, in the Greek market.

    Regarding his international plans, the self proclaimed "serial businessman", is prepared to apply his group's philosophy, the basic principle of which is "low cost", both on a functional level and on a price level, in another sector of entertainment.

    Starting off in Britain, easyGroup will create a chain of cinemas charging just 50 pence. "What I want is to get people out of their houses, for a family to be able to go see a film without the price being prohibiting. I'm competing with the couch", stat ed Stelios Chatziioannou characteristically.

    In fact, according to his statements, low cost is the magic recipe for success and steady growth of enterprises. The goal of the founder of easyGroup, is to create an "all weather" enterprise, and that can only be achieved with low cost. "I believe that the best businesses are the ones that can stand a crisis. On a good day anyone can turn a profit, the issue is what you do when recession hits and the competition starts being about the price. If your cost is low, you survive. The businessman should not h ave to worry whether the economy is going up or down. That's going to happen anyway", pointed out Mr. Chatziioannou characteristically.

    As far as the present phase is concerned, where the unfavorable economic and stock market related conjunction and geopolitical tensions are striking the business sector, the antidote to the crisis is always low cost. That is what gives easyJet its main c ompetitive advantage against other airlines, he said.

    Mr. Chatziioannou foresees that in the long term there will be a tendency towards concentration in the European airline sector, in which there are more active airlines than are really necessary.

    "The Iraq crisis is striking at tourism and slowing down passenger traffic. But I do not know whether the war will be a catalyst for certain airlines to collapse, as governments have the nasty habit of intervening and saving them. But it is sure that in Europe there will be only three major airlines left in the end, probably in the major countries, Germany, Britain and France, and two low cost airlines, EasyJet and Ryanair. The rest will either stay far behind in the competition race, or they will collap se", stressed Mr. Chatziioannou. On the conflict in Iraq, his view was made clear in a simple statement: "Both as a human being and as a business man, I am opposed to war", he underlined.

  • [09] SIMITIS SPEECH AT OMBUDSMEN CONFERENCE Prime Minister of Greece and President of the European Union Costas Simitis, spoke at the 4th Conference of National Ombudsmen of the European Union, being held in Athens.

    He characterized the work of the Ombudsman as successful and noted that the 25 countries now forming the EU, are being called to enrich democracy, liberty, the justice state and the European social model for the protection of fundamental rights.

  • [10] EU PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE ISRAELI OPERATIONS IN TULKAREM The EU Presidency expressed concern regarding the Israeli operations in Tulkarem in a statement issued today.

    According to the statement, the Presidency of the EU is particularly concerned with the Israeli operations in Tulkarem. We are afraid that this kind of unacceptable actions, which pose under curfew the population of a whole town and occupying even school s administrated by UNRWA, take the form of collective punishment and fuel hatred and violence.

    We realize Israel's need to secure the safety of its citizens, but we are convinced that this will be effectively achieved only by the immediate, reciprocal and parallel implementation of the roadmap by the two parties.

  • [11] SIGNIFICANT GAINS IN THE ASE Significant gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +2.48% at 1.579,30 points, while the volume of transactions was at 103.7 million euros.

    The Greek stock market followed the course of the major European stock markets which recorded gains as a result of the developments in the war in Iraq and the indications that it could end sooner than expected.

    Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 330 had gains and only 20 had losses, while the value of 20 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [12] YIANNITSIS' VISIT TO STRASBOURG Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Tasos Yiannitsis will be in Strasbourg tomorrow to attend the European Parliament plenary session.

    Mr. Yiannitsis is expected to address the Euro-parliament's Kangaroo group on the "Challenges of United Europe".

    On Wednesday, he will attend the plenary session debate on the EU Enlargement which will be completed with a voting on the EU accession of the 10 new member states. He will also present an EU Presidency statement on the Mirillon report on the common Euro pean Defense Policy.

    On Wednesday afternoon, he is scheduled to meet with European People's Party President Hans-Gert Poettering.

  • [13] INCREASE OF 10.5% IN RETAIL SALES IN JANUARY The retail sales index recorded an increase of 10.5% at an annual basis in January, as it was announced today by the Greek National Statistics Agency.

    In the region of Athens the bigger increase was recorded in the sales of major food stores, while in the rest of the country the most important increase was observed in books and stationery sales.

  • [14] GREEK INVESTMENTS OF US$1.5 BILLION IN BULGARIA The investments made in Bulgaria by 1.500 Greek companies, with a total of about 100.000 employees, are estimated to be close to US$1.5 billion, while there is still a strong interest by Greek companies that want to become active in the country.

    The above were stressed by Greek embassy in Sofia Economic and Commercial Affairs adviser Dimosthenis Parnassos in a press conference in Thessaloniki on the occasion of a one-day conference organized to take place tomorrow on "The Business Reality in Bul garia. The prospects for 2004". In the event will participate Bulgarian government ministers.

    Mr. Parnassos stated that Bulgaria continues to occupy the 5th place among the countries to which Greece exports its products and also it is among a limited number of countries with which Greece has a positive trade balance.

  • [15] PROTOPAPAS ON GUL'S VISIT TO THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES Responding to a question by a reporter, Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated that Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's visit to the Turkish occupied territories in northern Cyprus is a common practice. He pointed out that such visits are made for internal consumption purposes and target the Turkish public opinion, while they do not mean legalization of the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state.

    Mr. Protopapas reiterated that if the Turkish leadership truly wants to serve the Turkish Cypriot community and promote the overall interests of the Turkish people should contribute to the solution of the Cyprus issue based on the Annan peace plan.

  • [16] GOV'T SPOKESMAN: APRIL 16, WILL BE A BIG DAY FOR GREECE April 16, will be a big day for Greece and Europe, reiterated today Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas, adding that Cyprus' EU accession is a milestone for Greece and Europe.

    Mr. Protopapas stated that Cyprus' prospect and security will be improved, while the course of Europe changes as it will be open for many new countries and its size will be bigger offering new possibilities.

    Responding to the question if the government will ban antiwar protests on that day, he stated that the Greek government does not ban anything and Greece is a deeply democratic country.

    He clarified that there will be specific areas where relevant events will take place, adding that security measures will be in effect for the protection of the attending state leaders as it happens in all European countries and Summit meetings.

  • [17] YIANNITSIS MET WITH HIS CZECH COUNTERPART The international developments in relation with the crisis in Iraq and their effects inside the European Union, the imminent signing of the Accession Act and the role of the Greek EU Presidency in the issues mentioned, dominated in the meeting Deputy For eign Minister Tasos Yannitsis had with his Czech counterpart.

    They agreed on the need for an active UN participation in the management of humanitarian issues in Iraq, while Mr. Yiannitsis expressed the belief that the UN role is a basic issue that will be discussed in the EU in the immediate future.

    Responding to a question by his Czech counterpart on the Greek EU Presidency position over the initiative for the strengthening of cooperation on defense issues, Mr. Yiannitsis stated that Greece sees the initiative positively but is expecting clarificat ions on its nature and the way it will be promoted. Greece, stated Mr. Yiannitsis, has worked for unity inside the EU and toward this direction will work as far as this initiative is concerned.

    Referring to the work of the Greek EU Presidency, Mr. Yiannitsis underlined that progress is being made on its basic priorities and expressed optimism that the Greek EU Presidency will be successful in reaching decisions on a number of vital issues.


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