|Friday, 18 October 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-05-21
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, May 21, 2003
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
Everything began a few days ago, when after a Corsair A- 7E landed, apart from the filings found in the engine, which is considered normal to a certain degree, bolts were found in the gear transmission. In an investigation carried out on all such aircraf ts stationed in Araxos, bolts and screws were found in three more engines, as well as in two aircrafts in service.
The issue became public with the publication of a question by ND Defense sector Head, Sp. Spiliotopoulos, while the Chief of the General Air Force Staff was already looking into the event, although the leadership of the Ministry of Defense had not yet be en briefed.
The unprecedented findings are of great concern to the leadership of the Air Force, and presence of the Chief of General Air Force Staff to check on the inspection times of the Corsairs, in order to ascertain if they are thoroughly checked, is indicative
of the incident's severity.
An emergency investigation is already underway, ordered by the Chief himself, the penal and disciplinary section of which has been undertaken by the DA of the Air Force Police, while a group of technicians is already at the repair base in Araxos, in orde r to check if qualitative standards are being followed.
All scenarios are being looked into, from breakdowns to severe neglect, even sabotage, since investigations so far indicate that for someone's hand to have made it into the engine's gearbox, it would require about half an hour's worth of work, a fact tha t minimizes the possibility of their coming undone due to human neglect. However, it is not impossible for the metal objects to have come from friction, heavy work of the engine, while the possibility of their being sucked in by the engine during take off
or landing will also be looked into.
However, despite the severity of the incident, the presence of the filings and metal parts, did not constitute a danger to the aircrafts, according to Air Force sources.
The President of SAE, Andrew Athens, pointed out that at the present, conditions offer maximum support for the resolving of the Cyprus issue, which is an immediate priority for SAE. He stressed that Cyprus' accession to the European family is a great nat ional success, which should be crowned with the resolving of the political problem.
"The Cyprus issue was and still is our most important national issue regarding Greeks living abroad", said Mr. Athens. "At our annual meeting from June10 to 12, 2003, in Washington, along with the Global Coordination Committee for the Cypriot Struggle, w e will continue our dialogue with White House, State Department and Defense Ministry officials, senators and representatives. We will continue our struggle until we find the correct solution.
At this conference, SAE will raise the issue of recognizing the Genocide of the Pontians and I believe that conditions have matured enough to begin a dynamic and organized global campaign".
At the same time he mentioned the effort being made for the recognition of the Patriarch of Jerusalem Mr. Irineos by the Israeli government, with his pressure as President of the Coordinated Greek Effort. Although he could not go into detail, he stated t hat he expects good news very soon. The issue is to be raised in the upcoming meetings US Secretary of State Colin Powel and Security Consultant Condoleezza Rice are going to have with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Many Congress members have sent s upport letters on the issue to President Bush, and there are coordinated efforts with many Jewish organizations in America and Greece.
Regarding SAE, Mr. Athens expressed his concern and connected its progress to its financial self-reliance, which will come through the National Fund of Greeks Abroad, which was decided on by the 4th Global SAE Assembly.
"It is important for us to have secure funds," he stressed. "The government is helping us, but I do not want that to go on forever. That is why I am insisting on the strengthening of the National Fund of Greeks Abroad, and everyone must understand this, primarily those within SAE." Mr. Athens would like to see SAE reach a point where it is a "partner" of the Greek state, and brought the example of the Medical Programme which was greatly successful and supported by the Greek state. Mr. Athens stressed tha t "we are not government employees".
Speaking to MPA Director General Spiros Kouzinopoulos, Theodorakis, who had formed the Lambrakis Democratic Youth right after the assassination, remembered the first hours outside Thessaloniki's AHEPA Hospital where Lambrakis was taken and referred to th e lessons learnt from that shocking event.
Mikis Theodorakis also pointed out that the sacrifice of Grigoris Lambrakis is not out of place today. He stressed that when it was committed there was a threat of nuclear war, while today the world peace and the integrity of independent states and peopl es is being threatened by the new dogma of the powers dominating in the United States.
The goal of the program is the safe management of nuclear wastes and fuel in the Russian Federation.
In his speech, Mr. Magriotis stressed that the agreement signed should be a useful tool for the solution of the major issue of the nuclear wastes and fuel management in northwestern Russia.
The victim is 51yearold Kildegard-Roswitha Knecht, who went alpine climbing at Mount Olympus with her husband. During descent and at an altitude of 2,350 meters she slipped because of the snow and fell from a cliff suffering deadly injuries.
Of the stocks trading today, 75 recorded gains and 242 had losses, while the value of 60 stocks remained unchanged.
Fifty Greek companies will present their products in the 700 square meters of the Greek pavilion. The participating Greek businesses represent the sectors of building materials, food and beverages, industrial equipment, manufacturing and chemicals.
The FYROM market presents great interest regarding the development of business activities. The Greek-FYROM business activities develop rapidly since 1995 and Greece is FYROM's third largest trade partner.
The goal of the agreement is to upgrade and broaden bilateral cooperation in the justice sector.
Mr. Petsalinikos stated that a new chapter is being opened in bilateral cooperation in the sector of justice, while an opportunity is given for closer cooperation between the justice systems of the two countries.
On his part, the Russian Justice Minister stated that the meeting of the EU Troika with the Russian Federation held yesterday was very well organized and took place in a very positive and constructive atmosphere. Mr. Chaika said that the signing of the a greement is an important step for the strengthening of bilateral cooperation in the sector of justice.
Referring to the issue of the Euro-army, Mr. Papantoniou stressed that the European Union has the operational capability to launch humanitarian and peacekeeping missions. On the issue of armaments, he said that significant progress has been made, pointin g out that resources were released at EU level to be used to finance research in the sector of defense. On the European Armaments Organization, he said that it will secure the future of the Greek defense industry and preserve thousands of job positions in
the specific sector.
Mr. Papantoniou also referred to the escalation of the Turkish provocation in the Aegean and attributed it to the fact that the Turkish military establishment has become autonomous and exercises its own policy. He said that Greece does not have to change
its course but at the same time, it remains at a high degree of readiness.
Asked to comment on the case of the A7 Corsair aircraft, after the revelation that repair tools have been found in their engines, he stated that an inquiry is underway and heavy penalties will be imposed to those responsible. He pointed out, however, tha t it has not been established yet if it was sabotage or serious negligence on behalf of the technical personnel.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the Declaration of Barcelona is the basis for the effort aimed at greater cooperation among the Mediterranean peoples.
He underlined that the Energy Ministers of the EU member states and the Mediterranean partners work since 1995 for the promotion of specific energy strategy plans to form a broad cooperation and sustainable development zone for all citizens. He added tha t the basic points of the dialogue launched to determine the future common actions, is the strengthening of competitiveness in the energy sector, the safe energy supply and the protection of the sensitive environment.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS