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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-05-23

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 23, 2003

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PROTECTIVE MEASURES
  • [02] ONE IN, ONE OUT...
  • [03] NEW SUSPECT BEFORE EXAMINER TOMORROW
  • [04] REGIONAL CONFERENCE OF WEU IN ATHENS
  • [05] D. REPPAS: THE ECONOMY IS STILL THE GOVERNMENT'S HIDDEN ACE
  • [06] SOROS CONGRATULATES GREEK PRESIDENCY
  • [07] PROPOSAL FOR COOPERATION BETWEEN GREEK AND BALKAN PUBLISHERS NEW INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR IN THESSALONIKI
  • [08] THE STRENGTENING OF THE EURO IS A BOOMERANG FOR THE EU
  • [09] LOSSES AGAIN IN THE ASE
  • [10] EU PARLIAMENT PRESIDENTS' CONFERENCE
  • [11] SIMITIS: THE FIRST STEP FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF IRAQ IS THE LIFTING OF THE EMBARGO
  • [12] "THE SAINT OF ISMIR" CONCERT WILL BE PERFORMED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
  • [13] HUMANITARIAN AID TO IRAQ FROM GREECE AND CYPRUS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER IN GREECE NEXT WEEK
  • [15] PAPANDREOU ATTENDED THE G-8 FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PROTECTIVE MEASURES Measures for the continuation of the insurance and healthcare coverage of employees who were fired from businesses that recently went bankrupt and motives towards businesses for absorption of the employed were announced by Ministers of Finance, N Christo doulakis, and Labor, D. Reppas, while they denied that there is a problem with increase in the retirement limit. ND called the government to take its responsibilities, tell the Greek people the whole truth and inform it of what they intend to do. Question s were submitted by KKE MPs. Society is crying out against unemployment, expensiveness and the pillaging of paychecks, said the President of the Coalition of the Left Nikos Constantopoulos.
  • [02] ONE IN, ONE OUT... A deadline to prepare his testimony has been given to 42-year-old Costas Avramidis, who is accused of participating in "17N" with the nickname Costas the Pontian. His attorney stated that Mr. Avramidis denies the charges and made mention of a rocky found ation for the indictment and a persecution due to political beliefs with shady evidence. The request for release from prison of, Christos Tsigaridas, a suspect in the ELA terrorist case, was accepted with a bail of 20,000 euro, while he will have to regul arly visit the police.
  • [03] NEW SUSPECT BEFORE EXAMINER TOMORROW A deadline to prepare the statement he will present before Special Examiner Leonidas Zervobeakos until 1pm tomorrow has been given to 42-year-old Costas Avramidis, who is facing criminal charges for participation in the "17 November" terrorist organizati on.

    Avramidis, who denies any connection to the organization, was arrested after the statements of Savvas Xeros and Sotiris Condylis, as well as because of the fact that his fingerprints were found on a book in one of the two organization hideouts.

    Meanwhile, the first reaction to Avramidis' arrest, came from the Consolidation Against State Terrorism, an initiative the 42-year-old participated in, and which made mention of the whole case being a fabrication.

    "If all the people who at some point in their lives were near the suspected members of "17 November" or who touched an object which then came into their possession, have to answer to the law, we are in the framework of a constant trial, which will lead j ustice into adventures", stated defense attorney of D. Koufontinas and A. Sotiropoulou, Gianna Kourtovic.

    "We have been in court for the past three months, we have heard 320 witnesses, we have gone through all the organization's actions in the last 20 years, all the cases, and there has been no evidence against this individual, Costas Avramidis. It means not hing that a fingerprint was found on a book. The specific book was in the court's exhibits. It has hundreds of fingerprints, since it is a book from 1985. Should all the people who touched it answer to the authorities as 17N suspect members?"

    While Mr. Avramidis is very possibly looking at a fate similar to that of the other 17N suspect members, another suspected terrorist, Christos Tsigaridas, alleged member of ELA, is being released today, after a stroke he suffered.

    The request for Tsigaridas to be released was accepted by Mr. Zervobeakos, and based on it the defendant must post 20,000 euro in bail, while he will not be allowed to leave the country and will have to go to his area's police station twice a month.

    Meanwhile, the 17N trial will not continue today, due to a death in the family of one of the judges, which will not allow him to be present in the proceedings.

  • [04] REGIONAL CONFERENCE OF WEU IN ATHENS The European prospects of the broader Balkan region will be the main point of discussion at the regional conference of the World Economic Forum, to be held today and tomorrow in Athens, in the presence of international market "guru" George Soros, CEO of Soros Fund Management.

    The WEF is well known in the international business community from the conferences it holds every year in Davos, with the "creme de la creme" of the world's political and business elite.

    The total number of participants - coming from 31 different countries - is expected to be more than 300. The works will be presided over by the Governor of the National Bank, Th. Karajas, and George Soros, who has significant investments in the region.

    The atmosphere of the meeting was given by the Governor of the National Bank, who pointed out that for two days, Athens will be the center and point of reference of everything happening in the region, while he underlined that the final goal is for the co nference to be held in the Greek capital annually, a possibility that has not been ruled out by the representatives of the WEU.

  • [05] D. REPPAS: THE ECONOMY IS STILL THE GOVERNMENT'S HIDDEN ACE The appreciation that the economy is still the government's "hidden ace" was expressed by Minister of Labor Dimitris Reppas, in an interview to "Flash" radio, and he attributed the noise surrounding unemployment to personal interests aiming at causing fe ar in the labor force and promoting views on a more flexible market.

    "The real situation of the economy is not that which certain parties are trying to present, taking advantage of the crisis in certain businesses. The fact that the economy is still the government's strong suit is obvious from the high growth rate, macroe conomic stability, and the atmosphere in Greece during a period of crisis and recession trying Europe", ended Mr. Reppas.

  • [06] SOROS CONGRATULATES GREEK PRESIDENCY The international market "guru", George Soros, CEO of the Soros Fund Management, is prepared to move to the creation of a second chapter in business participation, which will invest in Southeastern European countries.

    In the framework of the new fund, attention will be paid to telecommunications, cable television, and consumer product enterprises, as was revealed today by Mr. Soros, during his speech at the World Economic Forum conference, which is being held in Athen s for the first time (in the presence of 2 Presidents of Republic, 5 Prime Ministers, 20 Ministers and 300 businessmen from 31 countries).

    Furthermore, Mr. Soros invited the international business community to invest in Southeastern European countries. He underlined that the WEF must send a clear message at the Thessaloniki Summit, to be held in June, for a more active participation of the EU in economic development in Southeastern Europe, as well as in taking initiatives in strengthening cooperation among the region's countries.

    Regarding the role of Greece in the broader region, Mr. Soros stressed the Greek Presidency, characterizing it as successful and creative, especially during such a difficult period, when the war in Iraq had caused so much tension between the EU and the U S, as well as among EU member-states.

  • [07] PROPOSAL FOR COOPERATION BETWEEN GREEK AND BALKAN PUBLISHERS NEW INTERNATIONAL BOOK FAIR IN THESSALONIKI A proposal for the co-publishing of books between Balkan and Southeastern European publishers, as well as funding the publication of new books through European and national programmes, was submitted today at a two-day meeting of Greek and Balkan publishe rs being organized in Thessaloniki by the National Book Center, where the initiative of the Balkan Translation Center and the organizing of the 1st International Book Fair, which will be held in May 2004 in the TIF, was first presented.

    [08] THE STRENGTENING OF THE EURO IS A BOOMERANG FOR THE EU

    The long desired strengthening of the euro toward the US dollar appears to gradually turn into a boomerang for the EU as the continuous upward course of the single European currency toward the US currency develops into a visible threat for the competitiv eness of the exports of the united Europe. The value of the euro skyrocketed to 1.18 US dollars this morning.

    Most vulnerable to the developments will possibly be the exports of the EU countries with less competitive economies, among them Greece, according to statements made to MPA by Greek Organization for Foreign Commerce Managing Director Dimitris Mardas.

    If the scenarios concerning the decline of competitiveness for the European exports are confirmed, the effects will not be the same for all exporting products and will depend on factors of quality and characteristics, clarified Mr. Mardas.

    Most affected will be the industrial products of average and low quality for which the main defining factor is their price. Less affected will be the products for which the main defining factor is their characteristics. Such products are, for example, th e high quality and technology products, said Mr. Mardas.

    Asked to comment on whether the responsible EU authorities, and specifically the European Central Bank, can intervene to reverse the trend, he said that when a currency becomes international, like in the case of the euro, interventions could take place i n cooperation and coordination with other central banks. Therefore, the trend will change only if there are coordinated interventions at central banks' level or if the market itself rationalizes the situation.

  • [09] LOSSES AGAIN IN THE ASE The downward trend dominated in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.54% at 1.690,93 points, while the volume of transactions was at 103.7 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 89 recorded gains and 221 had losses, while the value of 67 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [10] EU PARLIAMENT PRESIDENTS' CONFERENCE Two were the basic issues discussed in the annual Parliamentary Conference taking place in Athens within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency in view of the Constitutional Assembly that will complete its work during the Greek EU Presidency.

    Those issues were the role of the European Parliaments in relation to the Constitutional Assembly and the role of the national Parliaments in the enlarged Europe.

    All the speakers were in favor of the strengthening of the role of the national Parliaments, as well as the strengthening of their cooperation with the European Parliament.

    In the Conference, held for the first time in the presence of the EU acceding countries, participated 40 presidents of legislative bodies and European Parliament President Pat Cox.

    Opening the proceedings, Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis gave an emphasis to the major challenges of today and especially, those concerning the enlarged Europe, after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York's Twin Towers.

    The 25 Parliament Presidents of the enlarged Europe as well as the Presidents of the Parliaments of the EU candidate countries of Romania and Bulgaria and the European Parliament President were received by Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

  • [11] SIMITIS: THE FIRST STEP FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF IRAQ IS THE LIFTING OF THE EMBARGO Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis characterized the UN Security Council decision to end the economic sanctions against Baghdad as the first step for the opening of the procedure for the reconstruction of Iraq.

    Responding to questions by reporters after the meeting with his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern in Dublin today, Mr. Simitis stressed that it is a very important first step. He said that it is a positive development, as the UN will play a significant role

    in the process for the reconstruction of Iraq based on what the EU had suggested.

    The Greek Prime Minister underlined that efforts should get underway as soon as possible to help the Iraqi people organize a new state and their country's economy in order to combat poverty and achieve development.

  • [12] "THE SAINT OF ISMIR" CONCERT WILL BE PERFORMED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH "The Saint of Ismir" concert will be performed in Thessaloniki on May 28 in the presence of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos. The concert is organized by the Federation of Refugee Unions in Greece, the Macedonia-Thrace Imvros Association and the Istanbu l Association in northern Greece.

    The concert will be held to raise funds for the restoration of the only Christian Orthodox church preserved in Ismir after the 1922 disaster in order for the faithful to be able to attend the holy liturgy, especially in major feasts and religious holiday s. The Ecumenical Patriarchate will send priests to other Christian monuments in Asia Minor too, with the approval of the Turkish State.

  • [13] HUMANITARIAN AID TO IRAQ FROM GREECE AND CYPRUS Humanitarian aid from Greece and Cyprus for the people of Iraq will depart tomorrow on board a Greek C-130 transport plane.

    Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Andreas Loverdos stated that the military aircraft will leave from Greece tomorrow morning with final destination Amman, Jordan and a stop in Larnaca, Cyprus to receive the humanitarian aid collected there.

    The humanitarian aid will be forwarded from Jordan to Iraq by car. The aid includes 5 tons of food and medicines collected by the Prefecture of Attiki and 10 tons of humanitarian aid collected by the Archbishopric of Cyprus.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER IN GREECE NEXT WEEK Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Jean Chretien will be visiting Greece next week, in the framework of his tour of three European countries.

    The Canadian PM, as is mentioned in the "Greek-Canadian Report" newspaper, will visit Athens, which is the first stop in his tour of Europe, on May 28, in order to participate in the Canada-Europe Union Summit, to be held in the Greek capital.

    After Athens, Mr. Chretien will travel to St. Petersburg, the Russian capital, in order to participate as the Head of a Canadian delegation to attend the 300th anniversary of the city on the 30th and 31st of May.

  • [15] PAPANDREOU ATTENDED THE G-8 FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou attended the G-8 Foreign Ministers meeting that took place in Paris, under his authority as the EU Foreign Ministers Council President.

    Mr. Papandreou in his meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell referred to the EU initiatives for a better transatlantic cooperation in all international problems.

    He said that there is a will to overcome the disagreements reported on the occasion of the crisis in Iraq.

    Mr. Papandreou also pointed out that there is a will to see the next steps in a way that will safeguard the UN role and peace and stability in a wider region.


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