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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-05-22

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, May 22, 2003







  • [01] EU RAISES PENSION ISSUE A starch warning was given to 7 EU countries yesterday, including Greece, by the European Commission, which stressed that measures must be taken to deal with the funding problem of the securities system. The Commission believes that there is a significan t problem and Spain, where the participation of the state in pensions is the largest, and in 2040 will reach 12% of the GDP. Some people retire early.
  • [02] LOCAL ELECTIONS WITH LIMITS AND PRINCIPLES The determining of a maximum limit of electoral expenses for candidate mayors, prefects, municipal and prefecture council members, according to the model of the national elections, was foreseen in the bill of the Ministry of the Interior. The bill forese es the obligatory setting of a financial administrator in each combination. If the provision is not followed, the combination will not be allowed to participate in the elections, while preventive auditing of all expenses will instituted.
  • [03] GROWTH AND PROGRESS, A GREEK OBLIGATION Greece's progress, especially as far as its interior problems are concerned, could be better, and it is the debt of Greeks themselves to discover the causes and map new courses that will free current potential, which will help development, uplifting and progress of our people, stressed distinguished composer Mikis Theodorakis in an interview to the MPA, on occasion of the 40th anniversary of the murder of MP and "marathon activist" for peace Gr. Lambrakis.
  • [04] G. ANTONOPOULOS NEW RECTOR AT AUTH The until recently vice-chancellor of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh), Giannis Antonopoulos, is the new Dean at AUTh, as in the second round of the elections he concentrated 51.93%, against 48.07% of the Proctor of the Polytechnic School,

    Vassilis Papageorgiou.

  • [05] A STRING OF VIOLATIONS The truck that caused the bloody accident in Tempi had worn out tires, that should have been changed a long time before, and a tachograph that had been tampered with, while it was also overloaded and speeding, according to the findings turned in to the L arissa DA.
  • [06] INVESTIGATIONS AT ARAXOS BASE CONTINUE The investigation being carried out on the possible sabotage at the Araxos Air Force Base was mentioned by the Minister of National Defense, in statements he made. Specifically, Mr. Papantoniou mentioned: "I do not believe it is wise to make any comments

    on the issue because an investigation is penal and disciplinary being carried out by the proper Air Force authorities, and it is right to wait for their findings".

    He also recommended that everyone avoid making extreme statements concerning flight safety in the Air Force. "It is a very sensitive issue. An investigation is underway, my orders are for it to go in depth and when the responsibility is found, there will

    obviously be very harsh penalties, depending on those responsibilities".

  • [07] EUROPEAN PEOPLE'S PARTY MEETING IN RHODES The works of the European People's Party will open in Rhodes tomorrow, the discussions of which concern the future and the boarders of the European Union.

    The meeting is being organized by Foreign Affairs sector of ND and the "Constantinos Karamanlis" Institute for Democracy, and participants include, among others, former Foreign Minister Theodoros Pagalos, former foreign policy Head of the Coalition of th e Left, Nikos Choundis, DIKKI EuroMPs, Mr. Alyssandrakis and Mr. Bakopoulos, as well as well known ND officials.

    After the end of the works on Saturday afternoon, the President of ND will depart from Rhodes for Astypalea. There, Mr. Karamanlis will have consecutive meetings with the mayor and island body representatives, and will the depart for Athens.

  • [08] NEW SUSPECT IN 17N CASE A 50-year-old man was taken to the Counter Terrorism Service this afternoon, and the possibility of his participation in the "17 November" organization is being looked into.

    The suspect was taken to the Counter Terrorism Service from the Attica area, and according to unconfirmed information, this individual allegedly belongs to the first generation of the organization.

    So far it is unknown how the police located his trail, while there may be announcements on the issue in the next few hours.

  • [09] NEW SUSPECT IDENTIFIED The man code-named "Costas the Pontian" within the "17 November" terrorist organization is, according to journalistic sources, the person who was taken to the Counter Terrorism Service this afternoon. The 42-year-old Constantinos Avramidis, a civil engin eer, was located in his house in Zografou, Athens, and was taken to the General Police Direction of Attica by the police.

    He had been named by Savvas Xeros during his preliminary statement, while according to information, Xeros had recognized him from photographs. As was made known, he is a peripheral member of the organization, not part of the main body.

    Police sources mention that the findings in the two organization hideouts led to his location. Constantinos Avramidis was taken in during the early morning hours in the Attica area, and is expected to be arrested by this evening, while he may possibly ev en appear before Special Examiner Leonidas Zervobeakos today.

  • [10] G. PAPANTONIOU-M. EVERT MEETING Minister of National Defense Giannos Papantoniou was visited today by former President of New Democracy Militadis Evert. During their meeting they discussed the progress of national issues, developments on the Cyprus issue and Turkish provocations in the

    Aegean with the increasing number of violations of Greek airspace by Turkish military aircrafts.

    The Minister said that he is concerned with Turkey's position, but noted that the Armed Forces are ready. Mr. Evert stressed that there may be a serious incident in the Aegean and Greece must be prepared for every eventuality.

    Mr. Papantoniou stated that there was convergence in his position with that of Mr. Evert on major national issues, which he considered important since Greece is a country facing a serious national threat.

    Mr. Evert also commented that there was full agreement, especially on Turkey's provocative stance. "Turkey must understand that these tactics of airspace violations is a dead end and that there is no chance of a European path for Turkey with the policy i t is following. Turkey must understand that it will be isolated from all of Europe and we will take initiative in actions, I do not mean ND, but Hellenism as a whole, to cut Turkey's path off if it continues with this policy. We want Turkey in the Europea n Union, but in the frame of mind of a democratic nation, a state that respects human values and international law. And it is proven that Turkey does not respect international law and provokes on a daily basis. It is harming itself.

  • [11] G. MICHALOPOULOS TAKEN TO EXAMINER ON BLACKMAIL CASE The publisher of the "Eleftheri Ora" newspaper Grigoris Michalopoulos will be taken to the Examiner of on Sunday, facing accusations of blackmails against businessmen in the name of the 17N terrorist organization.

    Mr. Michalopoulos is facing multiple charges of blackmail and attempted fraud, all criminal offenses.

  • [12] INTERNET CONNECTION PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF THE EARTHQUAKE IN ALGERIA The powerful earthquake, measuring 6.7 on the Richter scale, that rocked Algeria last night damaged the international cables (SMW3, Flag, Colombus3, etc) passing through the region and as a result the OTEnet international connections, among many others, have been cut off.

    Therefore, the OTEnet subscribers temporarily have no access to the international Internet. A great effort is being made by OTEnet and everybody involved to restart the connections and restore access to international Internet.

  • [13] THE CHILEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT IN GREECE Chile's Parliament President Isabel Allende will be on a formal visit to Greece starting tomorrow. The visit will take place at the invitation of Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    Mrs. Allende will leave for the island of Crete as soon as she arrives in Greece to visit archaeological sites and meet with local authorities.

    On Monday, May 26, she will have separate meetings in Athens with Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, governing Socialist Party of PASOK Central Committee general secretary Kostas Laliotis, Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis and right -wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis.

    She will attend a formal luncheon given in her honor by Mr. Kaklamanis. Later in the afternoon, she will meet with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and then she will be received by Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    On Tuesday, May 27, Mrs. Allende will visit the archaeological site of the Acropolis and before departing for her country she will give a press conference at the Grande Bretagne Hotel organized by the Chilean embassy in Athens.

    Isabel Allende, the daughter of the assassinated President Salvador Allende, is a mother of two and has studied Sociology at the University of Chile. She was elected to Parliament in 1998 and in 2002. She has served as President of her country's Socialis t Party, while since 1994 she is the party's Vice-President. In the past, she was a professor at the University of Chile and she is the general director of the Salvador Allende Institute.

  • [14] THE DOWNWARD TREND CONTINUES IN THE ASE The downward trend continues in the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index dropped to -0.48% at 1.700,09 points, while the volume of transactions was at 95.6 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 215 recorded losses and 81 had gains, while the value of 81 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [15] NEW ARREST OF A 17N SUSPECT A fingerprint on a book found in the terrorist group "17 November" hideout at Patmos Street in Athens and the references made to his name by two individuals arrested for participation in the terrorist group, led the authorities to the arrest of 42yearold

    civil engineer Kostas Avramidis from Kilkis.

    Police confirm that Avramidis, also known as "Pontios", was a 17N member of peripheral interest and soon he will undergo formal questioning.

    The testimonies that included Avramidis' name were two. The first belonged to Sotiris Kondilis or Aris of 17N, who stated that a person called Kostas brought him into contact with Dimitris Koufodinas in order to become a member of the terrorist group. He

    said that this individual was also known as "Pontios" and lived in the region of Exarchia in Athens. He worked occasionally in the construction of buildings, had gray hair, and wore eyeglasses because he was near-sighted.

    Savvas Xiros, who is also accused of being a 17N member, had stated that a man named Kostas, who was a Fine Arts School student, was not fit to become a member of the terrorist group because he was an absentminded artist.

    Other information, mentions that Kostas Avramidis was known to the police for a number of years and had been arrested a few times after protests held in the center of Athens.

    He was a friend of Christodoulos Xiros and in the past six months he was watched closely by the counter-terrorist agency.

  • [16] EU PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE CATASTROPHIC EARTHQUAKE IN ALGERIA The EU Presidency expresses its profound sorrow and its deepest condolences to the government and the people of Algeria as well as to the relatives of the victims of the disastrous earthquake, which befell yesterday this country.

    The EU is ready to offer all possible assistance in order to alleviate the suffering of the Algerian people affected by this tragedy.

  • [17] CHRISTODOULAKIS: THE GREEK ECONOMY HAS DISPLAYED GREAT STRENGTH The view that the Greek economy and specifically, employment has displayed a notable strength during the past difficult years, was expressed by Greek Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, who added that the government continues to promote competitivene ss and the creation of new job positions.

    Mr. Christodoulakis admitted that the Greek economy faces problems but underlined that it is able to deal with them. He said that the economic policy has to continue to be on the path of stability, development and more job positions.

  • [18] FORMAL RECEPTION FOR BULGARIA'S LETTERS AND CULTURE DAY A formal reception was given by Bulgaria's new consul general in Thessaloniki Mr. Plamen Ivanov on the occasion of Bulgaria's Letters and Culture Day, the country's second biggest national holiday.

    Present in the reception were Thessaloniki's Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis, representatives of the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace, the 3rd Army Corps, the Municipality of Thessaloniki, and consul generals of other countries in northern Greece. Also, present

    were personalities of the city's business and literary world and members of the Greek-Bulgarian Friendship Association of Thessaloniki "Cyril and Methodius".


  • [19] SIMITIS-BLAIR MEETING The agenda of the Thessaloniki Summit Meeting and the international developments were the main issues under discussion in the meeting Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis had in London with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

    In statements he made after the meeting that lasted over an hour, Mr. Simitis said that the Europe of the "25" must move forward regardless of the different views existing inside the EU.

    On the Cyprus issue, Mr. Simitis said that the resumption of dialogue is meaningless if Turkey does not change its position.

    In the meeting they also discussed the changes in the sectors of security, defense and common foreign policy promoted by the under formation EU Constitution to which Britain is opposed.

    The Greek Prime Minister also pointed out that relations between Europe and the United States are very good.

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