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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-05-15

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, May 15, 2003

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] A POWERFUL ECONOMY WITH SOCIAL SENSITIVITY
  • [02] NEGATIVE TESTS, POSITIVE CONCLUSIONS
  • [03] VIOLATIONS IN THE AEGEAN AND THE ENLARGEMENT
  • [04] CRITICIZING CRITICISM
  • [05] HISTORIC MEETING OF EU MINISTERS OF FINANCE
  • [06] DISCOMFORT FROM QUESTIONING
  • [07] EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE CONDITIONS FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN TOGO
  • [08] THE SAE PRESIDING BOARD MEETS IN THESSALONIKI
  • [09] THE EU PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON ACEH (INDONESIA)
  • [10] PIONEER PROPOSALS ON E-GOVERNMENT AT A LOCAL AND REGIONAL LEVEL
  • [11] LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [12] THE MINISTER OF DEVELOPMENT WILL ATTEND THE ESP PRESIDING BOARD MEETING
  • [13] PROTOPAPAS ON THE TURKISH VIOLATIONS OVER THE AEGEAN
  • [14] THE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN CHIEF DENTAL OFFICERS-CECDO WILL TAKE PLACE IN SYROS
  • [15] GREECE WILL MAKE A DEMARCHE TO THE TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY
  • [16] POLYMORPHISM AND PLURALISM IN THE EUROPEAN NATIONAL RADIO AND TELEVISION
  • [17] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ON THE RATIFICATION OF THE EU-FYROM AGREEMENT
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [18] MR. PAPANDREOU RAISED THE ISSUE OF THE TURKISH PROVOCATION OVER THE AEGEAN NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] A POWERFUL ECONOMY WITH SOCIAL SENSITIVITY His certainty that unemployment will continue to drop after 2004 was expressed by Prime Minister Simitis, in a video message at the General Assembly of the Association of Greek Industries, essentially answering the forecast of the Association's President

    on an increase in unemployment. Mr. Simitis appealed to businesses to contribute creatively to the construction of an economically powerful and socially sensitive Greece, while Mr. Karamanlis presented the positions of ND on the reorganizing of the econo my. The Minister of Economy and Finance attributed the rise in costs in businesses to their large profits and their need to "wean" off the state, he repeated. The President of SEV asked that the economy stay outside electoral confrontations, stressing tha t labor must become more flexible.

  • [02] NEGATIVE TESTS, POSITIVE CONCLUSIONS "The young lady is doing well", said Minister of Health C. Stefanis, announcing that the test results carried out on the 23-year-old flight attendant from South Africa, proved that she was not suffering from SARS. The state mechanism was fully prepared, the doctors were well informed and there was a unit waiting for the girl at the hospital, and an effort was made by the hospital to communicate with all who came into contact with the specific patient, said Minister of the Press Chr. Protopapas.
  • [03] VIOLATIONS IN THE AEGEAN AND THE ENLARGEMENT The European Commission and Commissioner Gunter Verheugen, in charge of the enlargement, was informed of the Turkish violations in the Aegean by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou. A notam and formal diplomatic protest was made by the Greek Ambassador t o Ankara. It would be wrong for the government to blow this out of proportion, stated Th. Pagkalos, while I. Vavitsiotis attributed the problem to the change in interception limits.
  • [04] CRITICIZING CRITICISM One cannot be a Christian and discriminate said Archbishop Christodoulos in a speech at the 2nd Hieratic Conference of the holy archbishopric of Athens, on "The flock of economic refugees". Shortly afterwards Mr. Christodoulos condemned certain members o f the clergy, characterizing them as ridiculous for criticizing Minister of Education P. Efthymiou at the Conference regarding the clergy benefit. "I put my neck out for your financial demands and you compromised my position", said Mr. Christodoulos.
  • [05] HISTORIC MEETING OF EU MINISTERS OF FINANCE The informal meeting of the Council of Ministers of Finance and Regional Policy of the EU to be held on Friday and Saturday in Chalkidiki will be a historic one, as it is the first the 10 countries that signed the accession treaty will participate in.

    The main topic of the meeting will be the funding of structural policies in the united Europe of the "25", after 2006.

    Specifically, the works of the council will concentrate on what will transpire during the 2007-2013 period. After 2006, Greece will quite probably lose a portion of its participation in structural funds, due to the enlargement of the EU towards the East,

    but will also raise Greece's GDP per capita.

    The officials and ministers to participate in the meeting will arrive at Thessaloniki's "Macedonia" airport. They will then be driven to the hotel where the council will be held. In the evening, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Nikos Christodoula kis, will hold a dinner in honor of the ministers, officials and delegates.

  • [06] DISCOMFORT FROM QUESTIONING The court's discomfort was caused during the proceedings of the 17N trial today, when Stephanie Chandes, daughter of Greek American Captain George Chandes who was killed by the terrorist organization, questioned the security she felt in Greece. "We were raised so as to be proud of being Greeks. My father's death took away that pride", she stated after having testifying on the case.

    She stated that she could not identify the culprits as they were wearing helmets and had their faces covered, while adding that it was one of them who shot her father. However, Stephanie Chandes appreciated that Alexandros Giotopoulos was the instigator of her father's murder.

    Alexandros Giotopoulos, alleged leader of the "17 November" terrorist organization, is the only one of the suspects that has been charged with the killing of George Chandes and his driver Nikos Veloutsos. He is accused of being the instigator, while the perpetrators are still uknown.

    Meanwhile, Christodoulos Xeros was asked if he was a member of the 17N terrorist organization, and responded: "I don't see why you need this trial, since you have already made up your mind. Just tell us the verdict so we can go downstairs and sit in peac e".

  • [07] EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE CONDITIONS FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN TOGO The European Union is concerned by the recent reports of detention of members of political opposition parties and the treatment of members of a local human rights NGO, Acat-Togo, which has in the past been involved in the preparation of reports for the E uropean Parliament.

    In order to help create the right climate for democratic elections, the EU urges the Togolese authorities to refrain from arbitrarily detaining opposition activists, to clarify the situation of those detained, and to ensure the effective enjoyment of the

    right to expression. It furthermore calls on the authorities to ensure that human rights activists can carry out their legal and legitimate activities without risk of intimidation and hindrance.

    The EU repeats its recommendation to the Togolese authorities and all the opposition parties to ensure that the next election enables all shades of political opinion to have their say and to participate with the greatest possible transparency and indepen dence.

    The EU notes the key role played in elections by independent domestic and international electoral observers. The EU regrets that the Togolese authorities were unable to agree to an EU Exploratory Mission, and notes that as a result an EU electoral observ ation mission cannot be deployed in Togo for the Presidential elections on 1 June.

    The Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Associated Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, membe rs of the European Economic Area align themselves with this declaration.

  • [08] THE SAE PRESIDING BOARD MEETS IN THESSALONIKI The World Council of the Greeks Living Abroad, SAE, Presiding Board meeting opened in Thessaloniki today.

    In its second annual meeting the SAE Presiding Board will review its activities since the February meeting and will determine the immediate priorities in the execution of secondary programs. It will also discuss issues concerning SAE's participation in t he organizing of the first Helleniad in June 2003, the support and promotion of the 2004 Olympic Games and especially, the Volunteers' Program.

    The SAE Presiding Board will hold a joint meeting with the coordinators of SAE's five networks (Youth, Businessmen, Scientists, Culture and Women), while it will also hold a meeting with the Institute of Greeks Living Abroad and the Board of Directors of

    the National Fund of the Greeks Living Abroad.

  • [09] THE EU PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON ACEH (INDONESIA) The EU Presidency welcomes the decision to hold the Joint Council Meeting between the Government of Indonesia and GAM in Tokyo on May 17-18, 2003. It commends the decision of the Government of Indonesia to pursue a peaceful solution for Aceh through poli tical dialogue and welcomes the goodwill shown by the leadership of GAM. It also hopes that the Government of Indonesia and GAM will continue to be committed towards full implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.

    The EU Presidency reaffirms the European Union's strong commitment to the territorial integrity of Indonesia and expresses its full support to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement as the appropriate framework to ensure lasting peace for the people of A ceh. Moreover, it thanks the HDC for its efforts and expresses its appreciation of the willingness of the Government of Japan to host the Joint Council Meeting.

    Finally, the EU Presidency reiterates the European Union's determination, as a Co-Chair of the Tokyo Conference for Peace and Reconstruction of Aceh, to provide all possible support in this respect.

  • [10] PIONEER PROPOSALS ON E-GOVERNMENT AT A LOCAL AND REGIONAL LEVEL The e-government must be developed from the bottom up, putting people first. That was one of the main conclusions of a conference organised by the CoR and the Prefecture of the Cyclades in Santorini, Greece on May 12-13, 2003.

    The conference, which brought together local and regional representatives from across the EU, focussed on the ways in which greater use of information technology can help improve the efficiency of local and regional authorities and, at the same time, hel p to involve citizens more directly in their work.

    The other main conclusions were that: Local and regional authorities have a key role to play in promoting e-government The exchange of information and dissemination of best practice should be strongly supported at EU level The local and regional dimension of e-government should be given strong emphasis in the development of e-government policy at EU level E-government is a new tool for modernising local and regional administrations

    The conference was opened by Henning Jensen (DK/PES), Mayor of Naestved in Denmark and President of the CoR Commission for Culture and Education and Panagiotis Rigas (GR/PES) Prefect of the Cyclades, Greece, and CoR member.

    Mr. Jensen told the conference that the "information society should not be limited to certain geographical areas. If we want to reap the benefits of the information society it is essential to adapt online delivery public services to local needs and cond itions in order to ensure effective and user friendly e-government solutions at the local and regional level in Europe. E-government is not just a question of efficiency. A key goal of the Committee of the Regions continues to be the creation of a social ly and regionally equitable European information society which is accessible to all."

    According to Mr. Rigas, e-government was particularly important in island areas. "Participation in the information society and the introduction of e-government can improve the citizens' access to public services and reduce the communication difficulties caused by geographical remoteness. The proximity of local authorities to their citizens means they have a particular responsibility to promote the best applications of e-government. Our objective is the enlargement of social democracy with increased par ticipation and responsibility", said Mr. Rigas.

    The discussions at the conference helped in the development of a CoR study on the subject of e-government at local and regional level, which is scheduled to be completed in October 2003.

  • [11] LOSSES IN THE ASE Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.50% at 1.733,28 points, while the volume of transactions was at 102.4 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 145 recorded gains and 145 had losses, while the value of 87 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [12] THE MINISTER OF DEVELOPMENT WILL ATTEND THE ESP PRESIDING BOARD MEETING Greek Minister of Development and European Socialist Party Vice-President Akis Tsochatzopoulos will be in Brussels tomorrow to attend the ESP Presiding Board meeting.

    ESP President Mr. Robin Cook will brief the presiding board in view of the ESP leaders' Summit meeting that will take place in Berlin on May 22. Also, a debate will be held on globalization and the organizing of the relevant international forum that will

    be held by the ESP next November.

    A discussion will be held on the overall international situation, the EU enlargement, the political and organizational preparation of the ESP in view of the Euro-elections in 2004 and especially, on the issue of the drawing up of the European Socialists'

    Manifesto. They will also make an assessment of the progress made in the dialogue with the US Democratic Party.

  • [13] PROTOPAPAS ON THE TURKISH VIOLATIONS OVER THE AEGEAN Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated that the initiative undertaken by Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou to send a written memo to European Commissioner Gunter Verheugen on the Turkish violations over the Aegean was very good and

    positive.

    Responding to a relevant question, Mr. Protopapas stated that Turkey creates problems to its accession into the EU through its behavior. The Greek government, reiterated Mr. Protopapas, supports Turkey's accession into the EU but if Turkey wants to be a European country it should have the right behavior.

  • [14] THE COUNCIL OF EUROPEAN CHIEF DENTAL OFFICERS-CECDO WILL TAKE PLACE IN SYROS The Spring Meeting 2003 of the Council of European Chief Dental Officers-CECDO will take place in Ermoupoli, Syros, on May 22-25 organised by the Greek Ministry of Health within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency.

    The Council of European Chief Dental Officers, founded in 1995, is a scientific forum with the aim to promote public health in the field of dentistry across Europe. To this end, it convenes every six months, in order to contribute to the advancement of c ooperation and co-ordination of activities developed by countries at a national level, in the field of dental care provision, dental health promotion and health education, dental technology, dental education, as well as in regard to issues concerning oral

    health care professionals.

    The members of the Council are dentists, who are high-level officials in the health system of each country or dentists who play an advisory role in their governments on issues of dental policy and policy for the promotion of the population's oral health.

    The Council will examine the issue of oral health care workforce planning on the occasion of the EU enlargement, the issue of dentists' mobility in the European countries, as well as the inequalities observed in the number of dental workforce.

    Specifically, among the issues to be examined will be the following: Is there a need for oral health care workforce planning on either a country or Pan-European basis and why? How could oral health care workforce training be planned and integrated on a Pan-European basis in the future? Which factors hamper a Pan-European oral health care workforce planning and training? Which countries and in what way are conducting, at present, oral health workforce planning? Has the oral health care workforce planning proven effective, and what were the success factors? Are there any key indicators to assist oral health care workforce planning? Is oral health care workforce planning feasible? What important elements should be included? Who is responsible for the most effective and most efficient "use" of the health care personnel?

    Also, the Council will discuss the issue of recommended fluoride content in toothpastes, aiming at a more effective prevention of caries.

  • [15] GREECE WILL MAKE A DEMARCHE TO THE TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY Greece will make a demarche to Ankara via the diplomatic route in the following days in protest to the numerous violations recorded lately over the Aegean with a special reference to the incident that took place two days ago, according to Greek Foreign M inistry spokesman Panos Beglitis.

    Commenting on the informative memo submitted to the European Commission on the issue, Mr. Beglitis stressed that Greece will continue to follow closely and calmly the issue of the Turkish violations in the Aegean. At the same time, it will underline the practice adopted by Turkey which is unbecoming for an EU candidate state.

    Mr. Beglitis stated that this is the first time that such a memo is submitted to the European Commission. He clarified, however, that verbal briefings have been made repeatedly in the contacts Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou had with European C ommissioner Gunter Verheugen, responsible for the EU enlargement, and European Commission President Romano Prodi. The EU Council of Ministers was also briefed.

    Commenting on a remark made by a reporter according to which, there was an increase in the Turkish jets' violations in the past 2,5 years, Mr. Beglitis said that an increase is observed in the past year. However, there has been a clear decline compared t o the 80s and 90s.

    The Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman warned Turkey that, in any case, the tension and controversy in the Aegean will be against it and will have a catalytic effect on its European course. He said that the Greek government and the Foreign Minister have se nt a message to Turkey repeatedly according to which, the Turkish government will have to realize that times have changed and that Turkey will have to adjust to the European standards if it wants to become an EU member.

  • [16] POLYMORPHISM AND PLURALISM IN THE EUROPEAN NATIONAL RADIO AND TELEVISION The variety, pluralism and balance in the programs of the national radio and television to continue to express national culture in the globalized environment is the basic goal of the European Broadcasting Union, EBU, (the largest professional association

    of national broadcasters in the world). The EBU Board of Directors meets in Thessaloniki today and tomorrow within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency just before the EU Summit meeting and in view of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

    The EBU has 71 members in 50 countries and it is a European body since the early 90s when its members included eastern and central European countries. The Greek state-run television channel ERT is an elected member in the EBU Board of Directors since 199 7.

    Among the issues to be discussed by the EBU will be the continuation of its operation and the radio-television coverage of the Olympic Games in Athens.

    In a press conference in Thessaloniki, EBU President and Director General of the Finnish Broadcasting Company, YLE, Arne Wessberg appeared optimistic regarding the future of television in relation to the Internet, saying that they complement each other. He also expressed satisfaction for the way the war in Iraq was covered by the national radio and television stations in Europe.

  • [17] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ON THE RATIFICATION OF THE EU-FYROM AGREEMENT The draft law passed yesterday, through which the agreement for the stabilization and association of the EU with FYROM is ratified by the Permanent Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, was characterized as a very positive development b y Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis.

    He said that this is a very positive development as this agreement constitutes an EU tool, as well as a tool for FYROM's European course.

    The ratification process is expected to be completed by the Parliament's plenary session before the end of the month. At the same time, the agreement for the stabilization and association of Croatia with the EU is expected to be ratified soon before the Thessaloniki European Council meeting.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [18] MR. PAPANDREOU RAISED THE ISSUE OF THE TURKISH PROVOCATION OVER THE AEGEAN Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou met with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul in Brussels this morning on the sidelines of the Convention on the Future of Europe.

    Mr. Papandreou conveyed Greece's discontent to Mr. Gul over the escalating harassment of Greek aircraft by Turkish jets during military exercises in the Aegean.

    The Greek Foreign Minister stated that his Turkish counterpart said that he was unaware of the issue.


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