|Wednesday, 8 April 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-09-05
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, September 5, 2003
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
The main bulk of the police force will surround the Conference Center during the opening of the Fair by the Prime Minister, while there will also be police forces in the city center where the protests will take place. There will also be police forces gua rding consulates, banks and company offices, while there will also be helicopter surveillance.
Meanwhile there was tension between defendants Patroklos Tselentis and the alleged leader of 17N Alexandros Giotopoulos. "It is unprecedented for a man to hide in his own shadow and claim that his letters have been copied and his fingerprints are taken h ere and there", supported Patroklos Tselentis. Earlier, Alexandros Giotopoulos had characterized Tselentis as a pathetic and treacherous little man who would launch charges to keep himself out of prison.
Immediately following Tselentis' statement, Anestis Papanastasiou began his testimony, thus closing the round of defendant testimonies. Anestis Papanastsiou stated he was not guilty, however he did not claim he was framed by the authorities.
The Minister added that he does not know if this action was in any way connected to the 17N trial and the testimony of the organization's alleged leader, Alexandros Giotopoulos. "If the culprits wanted to affect justice by placing a bomb, they should kno w that this country's justice cannot be distracted or affected by anyone", he supported.
Meanwhile a new organization, "Revolutionary Struggle", took responsibility for the double bomb attack. The organization claimed responsibility with a telephone call to the "Eleftherotypia" newspaper half an hour after the explosions.
The police officer who was slightly injured in his legs from the second explosion, was taken to the 401 Army Hospital.
Mr. Protopapas was asked today about the rejection, by France and Germany, of the US proposal for a UN resolution securing international aid for Iraq, as well as regarding the possibility of a new round of confrontations between the EU and the US on the Iraq issue. The Minister of the Press stressed that the point of this entire affair is not conflict but the future of Iraq's reconstruction. "I believe we must move in this direction", he said characteristically.
"I think that views can be exchanged so that we can have an especially upgraded and powerful course of the EU towards the future, in its new form. There are now 25 of us, not 15, and that means we need new structures in order for us to be effective and t o be able to secure those policies, reactions and interventions that can upgrade the notion of a United Europe and which will make it even more reliable in the eyes of its citizens", said Mr. Protopapas.
He will stress that the goal is to accelerate the convergence pace and increase the per capita income for the Greek people to reach the average EU income, while at the same time, limit the regional inequalities in the country. In plain words, the goal wi ll be to achieve an impressive improvement of the quality of life for the Greek people, will say the Prime Minister.
The real convergence in the next four years will not be the only major challenge for the country. The year 2004 is very crucial as it will be the year of the Athens Olympic Games. Prime Minister Simitis will characterize the year 2004 as a major turning point of the past 30 years for Greece and Hellenism, while the next four years will be a "high risk four-year period".
Referring to the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy, he will point out that the main difference between ND and PASOK is the faith that only the strong social protection will release the creativity of the people who, otherwise, will be led to social exclusion.
Of the stocks trading today, the majority of 227 recorded gains and 83 had losses, while the value of 73 stocks remained unchanged.
The figures mentioned above were presented by the US commercial attache of the US embassy in Greece during a press conference in Thessaloniki on the occasion of the participation of the United States in Thessaloniki's 68th International Trade Fair.
Even though the US economic presence in Greece is limited there is still room for further development of bilateral economic relations, stated the US embassy commercial attache. He added that the Athens Olympic Games are seen as a significant temptation f or US firms and certain of them have already won the construction of Olympic projects.
The presence of US firms in the Olympic Games is significant but specific figures will not be available regarding its size before the year 2005. He said that US firms are present in the sectors of security, catering, high technology and Olympic Villages,
while further opportunities offered by the Olympic Games are still being explored, stated the US official.
The Prime Minister was received at the airport by Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Haris Kastanidis, Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis, Thessaloniki Mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos and other officials.
Prefect Psomiadis addressed the Prime Minister and underlined that he does not want to reduce to nothing everything that has been done in the Prefecture of Thessaloniki but at the same time, he wants to point out that there are problems for which the gov ernment is responsible. He referred to the problems faced by the people of Thessaloniki namely, unemployment, environmental pollution, insecurity, crime, bad traffic conditions, lack of modern schools and hospitals and economic destruction of small-medium
Responding Prime Minister Simitis stated that he is aware of the problems, adding that many significant things have been done in Thessaloniki in the past few years. He characterized the city as the center of the Balkans and stressed that it plays an inte rnational role, while he underlined that Greece's heart for development and prosperity beats in the city. Mr. Simitis said that the work of the government has not been completed yet and referred to the new goal for Thessaloniki, namely the promotion of th e city's candidature to host the 2008 Expo.
Olympic Committee Presidency" took place in Athens today in the presence of 83yearold Samaranch and representatives from the world of politics and sports.
Speaking in the presentation, Mr. Samaranch appeared optimistic that the Olympic Games in Athens will be a big success and the best games ever held.
He also stated that without "Athens 2004" Organizing Committee President Mrs. Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalakis there would have been no Athens Olympic Games.
Mrs. Angelopoulou-Daskalakis stressed that the Athens Olympic Games will be unforgettable and thanked Mr. Samaranch for everything that he has done for Greece and for his faith that Greece will host unique games. She called him a very good friend of Gree ce and a true philhellene.
He stressed that the goal is to accelerate the convergence pace and increase the per capita income for the Greek people to reach the average EU income, while at the same time, limit regional inequalities in the country. In plain words, the goal will be t o achieve an impressive improvement of the quality of life for the Greek people, said the Prime Minister.
The real convergence will not be the only major challenge for the country in the next four years. The year 2004 is very crucial as it will be the year of the Athens Olympic Games. Prime Minister Simitis characterized the year 2004 as a major turning poin t of the past 30 years for Greece and Hellenism, while the next four years will be a "high risk four-year period".
He said that since last September, Greece has made significant progress in an international economic and geopolitical environment that was and continues to be very risky and fluid, stressing that the country has gained a truly strong place in the Europea n Union and SE Europe.
Mr. Simitis stated that the Greek economy has entered a course of development underlining that in the period 2000-2003 the growth rate was at 4.0%, more than three times higher compared to 1.2% in the period of 1991-1995. He also stressed that currently the Greek economy is the fastest developing economy in the Euro-zone and according to the IMF, is the fastest growing economy in the developed world.
On inflation, he said that in 2002 it was at 3.6%, five times smaller compared to ten years ago when it was at 16%.
Referring to the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy, he pointed out that the main difference between ND and PASOK is the faith that only the strong social protection will release the creativity of the people who, otherwise, will be led to social exclusion.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS