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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-04-21

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, April 21, 2003








  • [01] 3 PEOPLE AWAITING TRIAL FOR TEMBI ACCIDENT The driver of the truck that caused the Tembi accident, D. Dolas, and the truck's owners, F. Kavelidis and A. Kameas, are awaiting trial after the agreement of the examiner and the DA. All three are accused of willful mass manslaughter.
  • [02] MEMORY AGAINST OBLIVION Thirty-six years after the after Democracy was lost to a group of disloyal officers, the people and the Armed Forces walk together, united, on the path of peace and progress, mentioned the daily order of the Minister of Defense, G. Papantoniou, in refere nce to the 36th anniversary of the April 21st 1967 coup. The founding of a museum and the construction of a monument was proposed by the "Association of Imprisoned - Exiled Resistance Members".
  • [03] TO EASTER' RHYTHM The market will shift into special working hours today, for the holidays, due to which a bonus is paid to taxis and hairdressers. Consumers should not buy meat from producers who cannot guarantee the safety of the meat product, warned the Center for Cons umer Protection. There are sufficient products with increased checks on the market
  • [04] GOVERNMENT REACTIONS ON STOCK MARKET ACCUSATIONS Reactions came from the government today, in response to publications extending accusations against PASOK MPs and officials, of using their position in order to gain inside information into the stock market, and gaining great sums.

    "The government has a job to do and that job is for the Greek people", stressed Minister of the Press Christos Protopapas, in response to a question on publications implicating Ministers and PASOK officials in stock market "games".

    "When there is real evidence, then our officials assume responsibility, when that is not the case, we continue normally", he said to "Flash" radio, and noted that the PASOK government introduced the law on the stock market.

    On the position of the Prime Minister, he pointed out that Mr. Simitis will do whatever it is he is planning to do, when he believes the time is right.

    MP Thodoros Pagalos was also criticized by Minister of Labor Dimitris Reppas, regarding allegations about shady dealings in the elections to PASOK's Executive Office.

    "The only thing I am being accused of is being elected to the Executive Office! Should I have asked for someone's permission before becoming a candidate? No one can question the judgment and the intelligence of the Central Committee that elected the Exec utive Office. In the same way that no one can forger the truth", stressed the Minister.

    Regarding Minister Stefanos Manikas, whom "Avriani" newspaper publications implicate in stock market games, he noted that he is an official that offers a lot to political life with his validity and composition.

    As far as the resignation of Minister Malesios from the position of Deputy Minister of Public Order is concerned, he pointed out that it was an action sensitivity and responsibility, because transparency issues must hold a special position.

    "It is obvious that an effort is being made to warp the government's course with claims that are being promoted skillfully, so that they create impressions corresponding to the content and weight of the claims", noted Mr. Reppas. He added that politics c annot be determined by exterior centers of influence or anybody who wants to enforce his own plans.

    Transparency, clarity and justice, are the response to the issues created by Mr. Malesios' resignation and the publications implicating PASOK Ministers and MPs in stock market games, stressed Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

    In an interview to the "Thessaloniki" newspaper, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos underlined: "I am sorry because impressions, if you like, are being made at the moment. I want and hope that through the effort of transparency, through sensitivity shown by individuals

    - who resign - and appeal to justice, to deal with justice, an answer be given these issues. Because I think that nobody wants to accept that business competition should or can affect our officials or the way PASOK works, or our effort. And that is why I

    believe that there is an answer to these issues: Transparency, clarity, and justice."

    To a question on the possibility of early elections, he commented: "The logical path to follow for all of us is to complete our tenure until April 2004 and to strengthen our influence in order to achieve the best result possible, a victory in the 2004 el ections. Mr. Simitis will lead this effort in the elections and all the members and officials will give their best selves".

    As far as information on a possible reshuffling is concerned he noted that it is up to the Prime Minister to utilize it if he believes that it can strengthen the efficiency, intervention and prospects of the government.

    Scenarios of a sick imagination, completely unrelated to reality, was the characterization given by the Secretary of PASOK's Central Committee, Costas Laliotis, to the front page story of the "Apogevmatini" newspaper, titled "Laliotis eradicates Simitis'


    In his announcement, Mr. Laliotis stressed that his political and moral solidarity towards the Prime Minister and President of PASOK Costas Simitis, is unreserved and self evident, and continued to say that: "It is a deep and long standing belief of mine

    that transparency and legality in every aspect of public life, must be non-negotiable principles in order to consolidate unquestionable public morals. These non negotiable principles carry the same weight for PASOK, as for all other parties, all politici ans and citizens, regardless of their political affiliations".

    He also stressed that his political and moral support to "all politicians and citizens of public life who carry out every aspect of their course and actions with principles of transparency and legality".

    In ending, Mr. Laliotis recommended that in order for the "sensitive" and "transparent" "Apogevmatini" to become a credible source, it should "deal essentially, seriously and journalistically both with the "Works and Days" of its financial bosses and pro viders, as well as with the "Works and Days" of its party prompters, as well as its political bosses, who reside in New Democracy".

  • [05] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE HOLY WEEK SERVICES VIA THE INTERNET Greece's two National News Agencies, the Macedonian Press Agency and the Athenian Press Agency, in cooperation with OTENET and the help the "Themeliodomi" Group, will transmit the most importance services, the Epitaph, the service of the Resurrection, an d the other events of the Holy Week, directly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul, over the Internet.

    Specifically, the events to be transmitted are those to take place in the Holy Patriarchal Church of St. Georgios, in Fanari, carried out by Ecumenical Patriarchate Mr. Vartholomeos.

    Internet users can observe the events of the Holy Week at the following addresses:,, and

  • [06] WITNESS ACCUSED OF PERJURY IN 17N TRIAL Defense attorney for Vassilis Jorjatos, Ippocrates Mylonas, submitted a request that witness Giorgos Voutzalis, who testified in the case of the attack on ND MP Lefteris Papadimitriou in December 1992, be held, during today's proceedings in the trial for

    the crimes committed by 17N.

    Mr. Mylonas supported that there are reasons to believe that he may have committed perjury. Earlier, Mr. Voutzalis had identified, with utter certainty, Dimitris Koufontinas and Vassilis Jorjatos, as the two of the three perpetrators against Mr. Papadimi triou.

    As far as the third person involved in the attack is concerned, Mr. Voutzalis stated that he was 70% certain that it was Savvas Xeros.

  • [07] GREEK-TURKISH MEETING IN LESVOS A Greek-Turkish meeting on "The citizens of the Aegean. Greeks and Turks discuss on today and tomorrow" will take place at the municipal theater of Mitilini in the northeastern Aegean island of Lesvos on May 3-4.

    The meeting will be open to the public, while an invitation to participate was extended to 150 distinguished diplomats, parliament deputies, prefects and mayors, businessmen and people of the Press and culture from Greece and Turkey.

  • [08] SIMITIS' COMMENTS UPON HIS DEPARTURE FOR A THREE-DAY TOUR The significance of the Athens Summit, given Cyprus' EU accession and the strengthening of Greece's prestige in the European and international political scene, was underlined by Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis in statem ents he made at noon today upon his departure for a three-day tour of Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

    Mr. Simitis has already visited Nicosia, Cyprus. Today, he will visit Helsinki, tomorrow, Stockholm and on Wednesday, he will be in Copenhagen to discuss with the Prime Ministers of Finland, Sweden and Denmark the issues of the June 19-20 Summit meeting to take place in Chalkidiki, northern Greece. The summit issues will be the European Conference, immigration and the issue of Iraq.

    The Greek EU Presidency in this difficult period has managed to promote the targets set, overcome divisions and plan its prospects. The Athens Summit was very successful due to Cyprus' EU accession. What was impossible for many became a reality through h ard work and delicate moves, said the Greek Prime Minister.

    Mr. Simitis also referred to the climate created inside the country as a result of the accusations concerning business interests in which political personalities are involved one way or the other. The Prime Minister made it clear that the government defe nds legality and transparency.

  • [09] PROTOPAPAS: DEMOCRACY HAS STRONG FOUNDATIONS Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas referred to the April 21st anniversary and pointed out that the Greek people through their resistance, efforts and heroic uprising at the Athens Polytechnic School, expressed their opposition to the junta in

    every way and managed to bring its downfall opening the door for the return of Democracy to Greece.

    Democracy in Greece is not in any danger. It has strong foundations. It faces quality problems but all necessary moves are being made and the institutional framework is being improved, said Mr. Protopapas.

    He stated that, in any case, the Greek people should remember how the seven-year-long tyranny became a reality and who were responsible. Historical memory is useful to be able to recognize similar times and stand united further strengthening the course o f Democracy, said Mr. Protopapas.

  • [10] GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON TRANSPARENCY AND LEGALITY Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas underlined the government's and the Prime Minister's dedication to the need for transparency and legality in the country. The comments were made in response to questions by reporters on the political climate

    created in the past few days as a result of the accusations concerning business interests and politicians.

    Mr. Protopapas stated that many parliament deputies from all political parties had invested in the stock market and reminded that the Prime Minister had undertaken the initiative to bring a draft bill in parliament making such investments illegal for the

    government ministers. The law is observed strictly, stated Mr. Protopapas, and stressed that the issue has closed.

    He underlined that there is absolutely no issue that constitutes a threat for the government and reiterated a statement made today by the Prime Minister saying that "we have nothing to hide from anybody".

  • [11] GREEK UNDERSECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS VISITS GEORGIA Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis met in Tblisi today with Georgian Foreign Minister Mr. Menagarishvili and Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Aptsiauri.

    The Georgian Foreign Minister thanked Greece for the assistance it offers to his country, adding that Greece makes every effort for the appointment of an EU Representative to the Caucasus as soon as possible. He also characterized Cyprus' EU accession as

    a very positive development.

    Mr. Magriotis announced that a program will get underway to help the Greek community in the region. The program provides for the creation of new Health Centers and the support of the already existing ones, Greek language and Greek culture lessons and the

    strengthening of the small-sized Greek businesses in the region.

    Mr. Magriotis visited the Health Center in Tblisi with World Council for Greeks Living Abroad, SAE, President Mr. Andrew Athens. The Health Center was created by SAE four years ago and during that time it has served over 1 million people.

    Mr. Magriotis visited Vatum yesterday, in the autonomous region of Ajaria, and met with Ajaria President Aslan Abashidze and members of the Greek community living in the region. Tomorrow, he will visit Stavropol, south Russia, to deliver humanitarian aid

    to the Greek community in the region hit by devastating floods last year.

  • [12] CONFERENCE ON THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION DRAFT PLAN The need to avoid the shrinking of Europe's social profile and the concern for the contents of the EU Constitutional Treaty draft plan, to be submitted to the European Council in Thessaloniki on June 20, was expressed by the European Association of Women

    Jurists Vice-President Sofia Spiliotopoulou.

    Mrs. Spiliotopoulou, also a member of the Women's Association of South Europe, presented the conclusions of a conference held in Athens in a press conference today.

    In the conference participated members of the European Assembly, scientists and politicians, as well as representatives of non governmental organizations from Greece and other European countries.

  • [13] GREEK HEALTH MINISTER: MEASURES AGAINST SARS An appeal to the Greek citizens to avoid travelling to countries where SARS virus infections have been reported, was issued by Health Minister Kostas Stefanis, stressing that if anyone has symptoms of the disease should inform the authorities immediately .

    Responding to questions by reporters on the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, he said that all necessary measures have been taken in Greece and if anything suspicious is reported all necessary means are available for the isolation and examination of the


    He said that there is no doubt that it is a serious threat as already there are cases of the disease reported in 25 countries and it is likely to continue to spread.


  • [14] INABILITY TO COMPROMISE DIVIDED TURKEY Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktash appears to be fully isolated now, after the agreement to resolve the Cyprus issue based on the Annan model expressed by Turkish Cypriot parties to Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who visited the island in the framework

    of his tour as President of the European Council. Turkey refuted the scenario wanting the annexing of N. Cyprus through Prime Minister Erdogan, but the meeting between Prime Minister Simitis and Turkish Cypriot party leader, caused the rage of nationalis t politicians in Ankara, who are now talking of treason.

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