|Friday, 3 December 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-04-11
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, April 11, 2003
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
"Regarding the war in Iraq, the Prime Minister stressed that the war is moving towards its end. It is uncertain when one will be able to say that it will finally be over, but developments so far have the positive aspect that they will limit further casua lties in civilian population and soldiers, and lifts the economic uncertainties.
The main issue now seems to be condensed to the question, "what will the role of the UN be?" The Summit Meeting of the EU stated that the role of the UN should be central. This notion was used with the acceptance of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. In his l ast meeting with Mr. Blair however, US President George Bush said that the role of the UN must be vital. Everyone is using the terms they feel best express them. But these terms still remain unclear. Because a vital role is not just dealing with humanitar ian aid. And a central role is participating in economic and political issues, especially the political and economic reconstruction of Iraq. The issue is still open and there is a tug-of-war taking place about it. This weekend, Mr. Chirac, Mr. Schroeder a nd Mr. Putin will meet, and, obviously, they will discuss it. It will also be discussed at the EU General Affairs Council next Monday and Tuesday. At the same time, a procedure will commence within NATO, because the US requested the Iraq issue and the pos sible contribution of NATO forces for the stabilization of the situation in Iraq, be discussed within NATO.
We have a position, which is also that of the EU. That the UN must become involved as soon as possible, as far as political and economic reconstruction are concerned. Meaning the post war preparation. Because if it is too late in becoming involved, it wi ll not be able to affect the situation. This means, however, that delicate negotiation is required on when the involvement will begin and under what conditions. Because it must not be our goal for the UN to be involved in hostilities which may drag on for
a long time. That is the crucial issue at the moment. There is no answer generally accepted from all sides. The impression we had from various communications was that the issue is still open in the US. There are positions on giving the UN a greater role" .
Specifically, measures will be taken covering the route from the "Eleftherios Venizelos" airport to the hotels the European leaders will be staying at, as well as from the hotels to the sites where the works and events for the Signing Ceremony of the Acc ession Treaty, the Informal Council and the European Convention will take place. There will be national delegations from 28 countries in Athens.
The US Secretary of State pointed out that the US will pay special attention to this procedure and are especially interested in immediately recommencing procedures for peace in the Middle East, pointing out the need for close cooperation with the EU in t he direction of the Quartet.
Also, theatre activities and music events against the war, for children, have been organized for an hour later at the intersection of Tsimiski st. and Aristotelous st.
Further antiwar protests and rallies have been organized for tomorrow in Thessaloniki. At 12 noon an antiwar rally will be held by the United Workers Fighting Front at the Venizelos statue, calling workers to attend dynamically and shout for peace. Membe rs of the Committee for International Disarmament and Peace of Thessaloniki will also participate in the rally.
At the same time, "Resistance: Thessaloniki 2003" has programmed a meeting at Kamara, to be followed by a protest march to the US Consulate.
The Greek Social Forum of Thessaloniki has organized a meeting at the Venizelos statue at 1pm, while the Union of Civil Servants' Organizations of Thessaloniki will hold a rally at the Ancient Market at the same time.
An antiwar event has been organized for tomorrow at 7pm at Kamara, by the Association of Non-Appointed Teachers and the Union of Employees at OTA and municipal businesses of the Thessaloniki Prefecture.
The Popular Educational Home of Ambelokipi will present Aristophanes' "Acharnes", while a shadow theater sketch against the war will follow, ensued by a concert by "Free range chicken".
Regarding the resolving of the Cyprus issue, the Minister of the Press told Flash radio that it must be achieved within UN frameworks and based on the Annan proposal, which is still on the table. Discussions between Turkey and Greece, discussions of the "5" with Britain or with the two communities have no point. They essentially only serve the intentions of Mr. Denktash and the Turkish establishment in proclaiming two states. Something Greece will never accept, since it is outside UN frameworks.
When asked about the role of the UN in the post war period, Mr. Protopapas expressed the appreciation that consciences have been formed in our country and everywhere, supporting the crucial role the UN has in the political and economic reconstruction of Iraq.
Finally, as far as security measures and mobilization that are already being planned are concerned, the Minister of the Press stressed that Greece is a democracy and if certain bodies want to carry out protests, they are free to do so. "It is impossible to forbid rallies. There will just be security measures, as there are in all European capitals when Summits are held, in the areas where the Summit or the signing ceremony are to be held", he said characteristically.
In statements he made in the Aegean island of Rhodes, he said that a precondition for Iraq's smooth transition to a state of democracy and prosperity is the protection of its territorial integrity and added that in case of a partition the consequences wi ll be very dangerous. The Greek Defense Minister stated characteristically that Turkey should remain inside its own borders.
Mr. Papantoniou referred to the need for the role of the United Nations to be substantial in the post-war Iraq both in terms of Iraq's reconstruction and in the establishment of a democratic regime.
He pointed out that within this framework efforts will be made so that the Greek companies active in the country will receive at least part of the money owed to them by Iraq together with the rest European companies. He also added that an effort will be made for them to have a substantial participation in the reconstruction of Iraq either by themselves or in cooperation with other companies.
Specifically, the telegram mentions that the Association strongly stigmatizes the brutal behavior of US soldiers targeting people of the press. It also mentions that on Thursday afternoon Charalambos Bikas, a member of the Association, attempted to enter
Palestine Hotel in Baghdad together with two Italian colleagues after displaying the International Federation of Journalists' identity card. He was verbally attacked by the hotel guards, who were US soldiers, and after pointing their guns to his head the y ordered him to stay away.
Mr. Protopapas stated that with Enlargement the EU borders will reach as far as Russia, adding that a dialogue is underway with the Russian Federation on the future of Europe and a further cooperation aimed at making a reality the vision for a Europe str etching from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains.
Regarding the protest demonstrations organized to take place on April 16 and on April 17, the government spokesman responded that certain security measures have been taken as it happened in other Summit meetings but the protest demonstrations will not be
banned. Greece is a deeply democratic country and those who want to participate in a demonstration can do so, as nobody will stop them, said Mr. Protopapas.
Mr. Protopapas asked for the understanding of the people of Athens for the problems they will face on that day in their transportation, pointing out the special significance this day has for Greece.
The general index rose to +1.26% at 1.603,79 points, while the volume of transactions was satisfactory at 86.5 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 269 recorded gains and 69 had losses, while the value of 44 stocks remained unchanged.
Mr. Papantoniou also referred to the initiatives and actions of the Greek EU Presidency aimed at completing the operational readiness of the European Rapid Reaction Force in 2003. He also mentioned the need for the strengthening of the relation between t he European defense and the European war industry and especially, the creation of an inter-governmental European Armaments Organization.
He also referred to other EU Presidency initiatives such as the promotion of a common European education, the creation of the appropriate infrastructure in the sector of satellite communications and the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. He said that the go al is the greater involvement of the Arab countries in this European initiative and announced that a relevant seminar will take place in Corfu on May 9-10.
Greek Minister of Transportation and Communications Christos Verelis and the responsible Undersecretary Manolis Stratakis characterized the discussion as "very constructive". An emphasis was given to the need to promote measures at a technical, legislati ve and institutional level to deal with the exclusion of a big part of the European population from information society.
The EU Ministers participating in the symposium agreed among others that the necessary actions should be promoted for the creation of an information society open and accessible offering the opportunity for equal participation to every citizen without dis crimination. They also agreed to take institutional measures at a national and a wider European level, coordinate their activities with the European Commission for the exchange of experiences, and encourage industry for the development of products, servic es and technological solutions.
Addressing the conference on "Oil and Economy, international developments and their effects on the Greek market", Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the war in Iraq has changed the situation at a global level because the balances were shifted and the "game"
was brought to an economic and political level.
He said that oil is expected to play an important role in this new scene as it will be used by Iraq to pay off its debts for many years to come. This fact creates questions regarding the reconstruction model in the region. For this reason, the global ene rgy balance demands that the inter-European energy networks will have to be linked with countries in the Middle East and the Caspian Sea region for the economic recovery to continue in the 21st century.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS