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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-09-10

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, September 10, 2003

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] CHARTA FOR THE TERM
  • [02] PAPANDREOU IN CYPRUS
  • [03] DA: ALL GUILTY, GIOTOPOULOS THE LEADER
  • [04] TRAGEDY ON THE EVROS RIVER
  • [05] 21 DEAD IMMIGRANTS IN EVROS
  • [06] NUMBER OF DEAD IMMIGRANTS INCREASES TO 25
  • [07] G. PAPANDREOU IN CYPRUS TODAY
  • [08] OCEANIA SAE'S RESPONSE TO 2004 OLYMPICS PUBLICATIONS
  • [09] DA PROPOSES ACQUITTAL OF AN. PAPANASTASIOU
  • [10] 2 ACQUITTALS AND LENIENCY FOR 3
  • [11] TEN FRONTS IN THE CONVERGENCE CHARTER
  • [12] GAINS IN THE ASE
  • [13] REACTIONS TO OSWALD'S STATEMENTS
  • [14] PIRAEUS BANK WAS DECLARED BANK OF THE YEAR BY "THE BANKER" MAGAZINE
  • [15] THE GREEK ECONOMY GROWTH RATE AT 4.5% IN THE SECOND TRIMESTER
  • [16] C. HANDY URGES THE EUROPEANS TO ASSUME A LEADING ROLE IN THE WORLD ECONOMY
  • [17] SURGERY FOR THE SEPARATION OF THESSALONIKI'S SIAMESE TWINS IN ITALY
  • [18] THREE GREEK NATIONALS WERE ARRESTED IN THE TURKISH OCCUPIED TERRITORIES IN CYPRUS
  • [19] PAPANDREOU-PAPADOPOULOS STATEMENTS ON THE ARRESTS OF GREEKS BY THE TURKISH CYPRIOTS
  • [20] ATHENS DEMARCHE TO THE UN ON THE ARREST OF THREE GREEK NATIONALS
  • [21] PAPANDREOU-IAKOVOU MEETING
  • [22] PAPANDREOU CONDEMNED THE ATTACK ON HIS SWEDISH COUNTERPART
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [23] CHARTA OF GOALS AND COMMITMENTS
  • [24] PAPANDREOU: NEW MOMENTUM FOR THE SOLUTION OF THE CYPRUS PROBLEM NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] CHARTA FOR THE TERM Prime Minister Costas Simitis will present the convergence charta at the Zappeion Mansion today. The convergence charta is the operational plan of the government's work beginning today and ending at the close of the next four-year term, stated Government

    Spokesperson Christos Protopapas, while Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis repeated that the policies to be followed on economic and social convergence, convention, foresee acceleration and growth over the next few years. On its side, the Oppositi on accused the government of leading Greece away from the European averages over the past few years. With our initiatives we changed the atmosphere, said the Prime Minister at the meeting of the Executive Office.

  • [02] PAPANDREOU IN CYPRUS A formal visit to Cyprus is being carried out today and tomorrow by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou. The parties of the Turkish Cypriot community turned down Mr. Papandreou's invitation for a meeting. "We thought it was absolutely logical and normal to have these meetings, but it is up to the Turkish Cypriot political leaders to accept or refuse this invitation", stated Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Panos Beglitis. A US warning was given to Denktash to avoid any rigging in the elections.
  • [03] DA: ALL GUILTY, GIOTOPOULOS THE LEADER DA of the bench Christos Lambrou appeared certain of the guilt of the 19 defendants yesterday, during the first day of his statement, in the trial regarding the crimes carried out by the alleged members of 17N. Mr. Lambrou characterized Alexandros Giotop oulos the head of the organization, and D. Koufontinas as the executor, he left the possibility of mitigating circumstances being taken into account for P. Tselentis, and expressed his sorrow regarding Mr. Tellios. He ascertained the implication of Ag. So tiropoulou in the organization and insinuated that the organization's "Anna" is Al. Giotopoulos companion, Marie Terez Peinot. Alexandros Giotopoulos accused the DA of being spiteful and malicious.
  • [04] TRAGEDY ON THE EVROS RIVER Twelve bodies have been found so far from the boat that overturned while being used by a group of Asian illegal immigrants to cross the Evros River to Greece. There are special immediate response forces in the area and searches are being carried out in o rder to make sure there were no other passengers on the boat.
  • [05] 21 DEAD IMMIGRANTS IN EVROS The number of bodies on the banks of the Evros river are increasing, with 17 having been recovered so far on the Greek river bank, while another 4 were found on the Turkish side.

    Police sources mention that of the 17 bodies found on the Greek side, there were 15 men and 2 women. The unfortunate illegal immigrants were mostly young people, aged 25-30, however their country of origin and circumstances under which they died have not

    yet been determined. It is estimated that they drowned approximately 4 days ago, and their bodies then washed up in the Petalo area.

    The Greek authorities appreciated that they probably tried to cross the river in a wooden boat, while they are also looking into the possibility of their having tried to cross while being tied with a rope.

  • [06] NUMBER OF DEAD IMMIGRANTS INCREASES TO 25 The number of immigrants who allegedly drowned while trying to cross the Evros river from Turkey to Greece, has increased to 25, with 22 bodies found on the Greek bank and 3 floating on the Turkish side of the river.

    Of the 22 bodies that have been recovered in the Petalo area, 20 are men and 2 are women, and according to initial information, they are Pakistani illegal immigrants aged 25-35. Rescue crews are in the area in order to collect the remaining three bodies that the currents are moving towards the Greek bank. The Greek authorities and army have informed local Turkish authorities, but, according to a fire department official's statements to the Macedonian Press Agency, there has been no movement on the opposi te bank, and the macabre work of collecting the bodies has been undertaken by the Greek authorities.

    According to initial information, the illegal immigrants had traveling documents and were dressed, which leads the authorities to believe that they were attempting to cross the river on boats, possibly with the aid of Turkish traffickers.

    According to the statements of the Eastern Macedonia-Thrace Commander, Lieutenant General Giorgos Kokkinis, the most probable scenario is that they were Pakistani immigrants trying to cross over to Greece in search of a better fortune. The heads of the r escue crews appreciated that the boats they were being transferred on sank, approximately 4 days ago, to the north of the point at which they were discovered and then the currents carried them down the river.

  • [07] G. PAPANDREOU IN CYPRUS TODAY The coordination of the Greek and Cypriot governments regarding "necessary changes to the Annan proposal", is one of the main reasons for Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou's visit to Cyprus, where he will be arriving today.

    "We must see how we can more effectively support these proposals for changes and find ways past the taboos between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, cultivated by Denktash all these years", stated Mr. Papandreou from Stockholm, where he had been invited by Swe dish Prime Minister Goran Person.

    Mr. Papandreou will arrive in Cyprus at 2pm for his two day meeting, heading a delegation of service officials.

  • [08] OCEANIA SAE'S RESPONSE TO 2004 OLYMPICS PUBLICATIONS The unfounded attack on the organization of the 2004 Athens Olympics in the Australian media, was responded to by the Oceania SAE. According to the announcement of the Regional SAE, the real answer will be given on August 30, 2004, with the end of the Ol ympics. It is noted however, that in the meantime such attacks should not be allowed to overshadow reality and while there should be mention of comparative advantages in the organization. Among these are the construction of the Olympic Village, the sale o f tickets at reasonable prices, while there is reference to the new Athens airport, the tube, the tram construction and the ring roads that will facilitate traffic in Athens during the Games, as well as the disposal of large sums for security in compariso n with others organizations.

    Finally, the historical-cultural dimension of the Games was pointed out, as they are returning to the land that bore them, with the certainty that the 2004 Olympics will be memorable and successful.

  • [09] DA PROPOSES ACQUITTAL OF AN. PAPANASTASIOU The acquittal of Anestis Papanastasiou was proposed be DA Christos Lambrou, during his statement to the court today in the "17 November" trial.

    As he said, it is likely that he did not give the army camp draft for which he has been indicted to 17N. "That was done by his cousin, Nikos Papanastasiou", said Mr. Lambrou characteristically.

    On the contrary he asked that the court be very strict with Dimitris Koufontinas, because during the time he was in hiding, he also hid the organizations' arms. "Why Mr. Koufontinas? What are you planning? Do you want to use these instruments of the devi l, these weapons, against the Greek people again?", he supported.

  • [10] 2 ACQUITTALS AND LENIENCY FOR 3 The acquittal of Anestis Papanastasiou, since the charges against him were not proven, and Giannis Serifis, due to the fact that the statute of limitations regarding his crime has expired, were proposed by DA Christos Lambrou, in the trial of the crimes 19 individuals are accused of having committed as alleged members of the 17N terrorist organization. Mr. Lambrou, who expressed his certainty that Mr. Serifis was a founding member of 17N, asked that leniency for sincere remorse be shown for Patroklos Tse lentis, Sotiris Kondylis and Costas Telios. He asked that there be no leniency on the others, while he expressed his concern on the possibility of 17N members that were not arrested, using the weapons D. Koufontinas hid.
  • [11] TEN FRONTS IN THE CONVERGENCE CHARTER Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis presented the Convergence Charter in a press conference today. The charter, which was earlier discussed and approved by the cabinet, includes a number of commitments on ten fronts on which the Greek government seeks to

    achieve convergence with the rest European Union countries.

    The Prime Minister characterized the Convergence Charter as a framework of dialogue on how Greece can be led to convergence with the average European economy and society.

    Presenting the ten fronts of the Convergence Charter, Mr. Simitis referred to the creation of more job positions and the strengthening of income; stronger social cohesion; strengthening of entrepreneurship and increase of investments; consolidation of ex troversion; support of education; creation of modern transportation and energy infrastructures; protection of the environment and sustainable development; policies for strong local communities; strong agriculture and development of rural areas; modern gov ernance and safeguarding of equal opportunities for all.

    Mr. Simitis pointed out that in the goals of the government for 2008 are included, among others, the drop of unemployment to 6%; increase of wages to reach 90% of the European average; gradual decline of income taxation from 40% to 35%; increase of socia l spending to reach 30% of the GDP; increase of the Social Solidarity Allowance to reach 200 euros; increase of the farmers' minimum pension to reach 300 euros; increase of the financing of the National Health System from 2.7% to 4% of the GDP; drop of th e maximum taxation coefficient for businesses to 30% and increase in the public spending for education to 5% of the GDP.

  • [12] GAINS IN THE ASE Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.61% at 2.075,21 points, while the volume of transactions was impressive at 475.1 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 234 recorded gains and 100 had losses, while the value of 49 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [13] REACTIONS TO OSWALD'S STATEMENTS International Olympic Committee, IOC, Coordinating Commission President Dennis Oswald in an interview with a German newspaper characterized his mission to Athens as an experience for strong nerves.

    Speaking to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Mr. Oswald referred to the difficulties in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games preparations, while he also predicted that there will be a government change in Greece in 2004.

    Mr. Oswald stated that the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy is leading in the opinion polls, adding that even in the case the governing Socialist Party of PASOK wins in the elections the individuals in charge of the Olympic Games prepara tions are likely to change. He also expressed guarded optimism regarding the progress of the Olympic Games projects.

    Commenting on the statements, Greek Undersecretary of Press Tilemachos Hitiris stated that Mr. Oswald is a moody person, while Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos stated that responsible to deal with the case of Mr. Oswald is IOC President Mr. Rogge. He

    added that Greece asks from everybody and mostly from its main partner, the IOC, to display credibility, stability and respect toward a joint effort.

  • [14] PIRAEUS BANK WAS DECLARED BANK OF THE YEAR BY "THE BANKER" MAGAZINE Piraeus Bank was declared Greece's Bank of the Year for 2003 by "The Banker" magazine, which is published by "The Financial Times". The specific distinction was received this year by banks from 106 countries out of a total of 340 candidates selected to p articipate in the competition.

    Major Greek banks participated in the competition. The magazine's committee selected the Piraeus Bank for its profit-making ability, the buyouts it has carried out, its strategy and alliances as well as, its superiority in the sector of technology.

  • [15] THE GREEK ECONOMY GROWTH RATE AT 4.5% IN THE SECOND TRIMESTER The growth rate for the Greek economy in the second trimester of 2003 was at 4.5%, while an increase was recorded in investments (8.9%), exports (1%), imports (1.6%) and final consumption spending (3.9%), according to a statement issued today by the Gree k National Statistics Agency.

    The GDP increase by 4.5% in the second trimester of 2003 followed a very significant increase by 4.3% in the first trimester of the year.

  • [16] C. HANDY URGES THE EUROPEANS TO ASSUME A LEADING ROLE IN THE WORLD ECONOMY The belief that the European businessmen should strengthen their position among the leading powers forming the world economic "chess-board", was expressed by world management guru Charles Handy speaking to MPA today.

    Mr. Handy, a professor at the London Business School and a distinguished author, underlined that the European businessmen have a more fair and philosophical approach to capitalism by maintaining the balance in the problems that could arise while seeking wealth through fair means.

    Mr. Handy underlined that global economy is at a very crucial point today and most markets watch closely the developments in the US market (which is formed by the decisions of consumers at a world level), a tendency that defines their reactions up to a p oint.

    The guru of management also referred to the over-lending of consumers at a world level and expressed concern that there is an increased risk for a system collapse. To face this risk, Mr. Handy suggests a more careful and stable monitoring of the issue by

    the responsible authorities.

    The most important problem in the current century is that the large firms, which he calls "elephants", exert very strong pressures on the small-medium sized companies pushing them aside. Mr. Handy underlined characteristically that the future of the econ omy belongs to the small-medium sized companies.

    Within this framework, he expressed the view that the small-medium sized companies should be encouraged as much as possible to play a more decisive and meaningful role in the world economy.

  • [17] SURGERY FOR THE SEPARATION OF THESSALONIKI'S SIAMESE TWINS IN ITALY The surgery for the separation of Thessaloniki's Siamese twins will most likely take place at a specialized medical center in Palermo, Italy. The two three-month-old girls will undergo the operation as soon as possible.

    They are united in the head area (temple) and the positive thing is that they have separate brains and blood vessels.

    The Siamese were born in Thessaloniki last June and are expected to undergo separation surgery within the next 15 days.

    Doctors appear optimistic regarding the outcome of the operation given the fact that the two baby-girls have separate brains and their rest vital organs develop normally.

  • [18] THREE GREEK NATIONALS WERE ARRESTED IN THE TURKISH OCCUPIED TERRITORIES IN CYPRUS Three Greek nationals were arrested by the Turkish Cypriot authorities in the region of the Turkish occupied Kerinia in Cyprus, accused of espionage.

    According to information, they come from the island of Crete and visited Cyprus on the occasion of the twinning of the city of Anogia with the occupied Gialousa that took place in Limassol yesterday. Three of the visiting Cretans crossed over to the Turk ish occupied part of Cyprus for a visit. They were arrested and are being held at an outpost. The Turkish Cypriot authorities confiscated their camera and interrogated them. They were given the right to communicate with the mayor of Anogia through mobile phones.

    Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou as soon as he was informed of the incident instructed the Greek ambassador to Nicosia to make a demarche to the UN and demand they are released immediately.

  • [19] PAPANDREOU-PAPADOPOULOS STATEMENTS ON THE ARRESTS OF GREEKS BY THE TURKISH CYPRIOTS Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos and Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou characterized as unjustified and groundless the illegal arrest of three Greek nationals by the Turkish Cypriot authorities under espionage charges. The arrest was

    made at the port of Kerinia in the Turkish occupied northern Cyprus.

    The Cypriot President stated that the government is in contact with the United Nations.

    Mr. Papandreou stated that the Greek government is in close cooperation with the Cypriot government.

  • [20] ATHENS DEMARCHE TO THE UN ON THE ARREST OF THREE GREEK NATIONALS Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, who is on a visit to Cyprus, instructed the Greek ambassador to Nicosia to make a demarche to the UN demanding the immediate release of the three Greek nationals arrested in the Turkish occupied northern Cyprus.

    The three are members of the City Hall of Anogia, Rethimno in the island of Crete. They are deputy mayor Yiannis Heretis and City Council members Sofoklis Heretis and Manolis Skandalis, who were on a visit to Cyprus on the occasion of the twinning of the ir city with the municipality of Gialousa.

    According to the Cypriot News Agency, CNA, the three Greeks are being accused by the Turkish Cypriot authorities of photographing military installations at the port of Kerinia.

  • [21] PAPANDREOU-IAKOVOU MEETING Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou stated that with Cyprus' EU membership bilateral relations between Greece and Cyprus will enter a totally new dimension as both countries will be cooperating within the framework of the EU. The statement was made

    after a meeting of delegations from the two countries in Nicosia headed by Mr. Papandreou and his Cypriot counterpart Giorgos Iakovou.

    Mr. Iakovou stated that in the meeting participated Harmonization Coordinator Takis Hatzidimitriou, who made a briefing on the harmonization course and Cyprus' plans for its full compliance with the European standards and its representation in the EU ins titutions.

    Among the issues discussed were also the Cyprus problem, the individual appeals made to the European Court for Human Rights and the imminent Islamic Conference that will take place in Malaysia on October 11. Mr. Iakonou stated that decisions were reached

    on those issues.

  • [22] PAPANDREOU CONDEMNED THE ATTACK ON HIS SWEDISH COUNTERPART Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou condemned the attack on his Swedish counterpart Anna Lindh.

    From Nicosia, he expressed his support to Mrs. Lindh, commenting on the assassination attempt made on her in Stockholm today.

    Mr. Papandreou reminded that yesterday he was in Stockholm himself (to support Sweden's accession into the Euro-zone) and stressed that he condemns this criminal act which is in contrast with the country's institutions and traditions. He also said that a ccording to information he received, the Swedish Foreign Minister is out of danger.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [23] CHARTA OF GOALS AND COMMITMENTS The convergence charta, which consists of goals and commitments for Greece to narrow the gap from the average of the EU of the "15", was presented by Prime Minister Costas Simitis at the Zappeion. Mr. Simitis said that over the next four years growth wil l accelerate and he announced the transfer of the charta's principles to all regions. The next four years will be four years of high risk, because it will judge national issues, and the convergence that concerns every individual in the country, said Mr. S imitis, who added that he knows that a lot more needs to be done. However, the distance we have covered is significant, pointed out the Prime Minister, who gave his assurance that PASOK has the experience, the vision and the plan a powerful Greece needs.
  • [24] PAPANDREOU: NEW MOMENTUM FOR THE SOLUTION OF THE CYPRUS PROBLEM A new momentum is being created for the solution of the Cyprus problem, stated Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou upon his arrival to Cyprus this afternoon, pointing out that the non-solution of the Cyprus problem is not a solution.

    Speaking at the Larnaca Airport, where he was received by his Cypriot counterpart Giorgos Iakovou, he said that today we can look at the future with a completely different self-confidence because we experience a different situation.

    He said that the two governments are in a very close cooperation and that he will have the opportunity to meet with the Cypriot President and the Foreign Minister.

    Mr. Papandreou also pointed out that besides the solution of the Cyprus problem, another major priority is the future of Cyprus inside the EU, underlining that Cyprus will play an important regional role in the European Union.

    Welcoming Mr.Papandreou, Mr. Iakovou referred to the close cooperation between the two governments and the two Foreign Ministries. He also thanked the Greek EU Presidency and Mr. Papandreou for the fact that Cyprus was able to reach the historical milest one of the EU accession.


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