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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-09-23

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, September 23, 2003

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GOT GAS, BUT NO TAXIS
  • [02] THE RUSSIANS ASK FOR GUSINSKI
  • [03] CENTER-LEFT BEFORE THE ELECTIONS
  • [04] GROCERY STORES GOING UNDER
  • [05] INTERPARTY DELEGATION TO VISIT RAMALLAH
  • [06] HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT IN GREECE
  • [07] THOUSANDS OF SQUARE METERS OF LAND IN CITY PLAN
  • [08] PROTOPAPAS ON THE RUSSIAN REQUEST FOR GUSINSKY'S EXTRADITION
  • [09] GAINS IN THE ASE
  • [10] HUNGARY'S PRESIDENT MET WITH THE GREEK PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT
  • [11] THE PARALYMPIC GAMES' PREPARATIONS WERE DISCUSSED IN A MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE MEETING
  • [12] LETTER BY THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE TO THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] DONKEY ARRESTED...
  • [14] WESTON: PSEUDOELECTIONS AND NEW POLITICAL WILL IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GOT GAS, BUT NO TAXIS A new extension to the placement of cash registers connected to fuel pumps was given yesterday, after the meeting between deputy Minister of Finance Ap. Fotiadis and the Federation of Gas Station Owners, which decided on calling off the strike immediatel y following the meeting. In statements after the meeting Mr. Fotiadis made mention of a "dialogue in good faith" with mutual explanations, and pointed out that the agreement of September 9 is being applied "to the letter". Athens taxis are continuing thei r strike in protest of cash machines being installed in TAXIS. A number of the owners agrees with the installation, as long as the passenger pays 8% VAT tax on the tariff.
  • [02] THE RUSSIANS ASK FOR GUSINSKI The Russian authorities are asking for the extradition of Russian Media businessman Gusinski. The request was formally transferred by the Greek Foreign Ministry to the Ministry of Justice for the procedures to continue. The file is expected to go to the DA, while within the week the judicial council will rule on his extradition. If the Russian demand is not accepted, Gusinski will be released on no terms. There is a Russian warrant for the 51-year-old businessman, who was arrested in "El. Venizelos" airp ort on August 21, for $250 million in fraud.
  • [03] CENTER-LEFT BEFORE THE ELECTIONS A modern center-left can be built prior to the elections, as there are many currents in thought, many idea communities moving in that direction, said Minister of the Merchant Marine G. Paschalidis, at an event on "The Center Left and Progressive Governme nt", organized by the Renewal Modernization Movement of the Left (AEKA) in Thessaloniki. Participants included AEKA head, dep. Minister of the Interior N. Bistis and attorney M. Trikoukis.
  • [04] GROCERY STORES GOING UNDER Approximately 20,000 small and medium supermarkets have "gone under" in the past 15 years. The "invasion" of the large chains of supermarkets, the exclusion of small businesses from backing, as well as the attitude many of them held, that no modernizatio n was required, has resulted in the number of small and medium supermarkets dropping from 32,000 to 12,000 in the last 15 years, according to the Panhellenic Association of Grocery Store and Small Supermarket Owners.
  • [05] INTERPARTY DELEGATION TO VISIT RAMALLAH An interparty delegation will visit Ramallah during the week, in order to meet with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, according to the announcement made by President of the Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis to the delegation of the Greek Committee for I nternational Non-Proliferation and Peace, that visited him in his office yesterday afternoon.

    During the meeting, issues concerning current international politics, especially the developments in Iraq and Palestine, were discussed.

    Mr. Kaklamanis expressed his concern and trouble on the course of reaching peace in the Middle East, as well as the possibility of military operations on new fronts, after Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • [06] HUNGARIAN PRESIDENT IN GREECE Greek President of the Republic Costis Stefanopoulos was visited by President of Hungary Ferenc Madl at the presidential residence today. Mr. Madl is on a formal visit to Greece.

    Mr. Stefanopoulos and Mr. Madl discussed issues of bilateral cooperation, while the Greek President presented his Hungarian counterpart with the Great Cross of the Savior and his wife with a medal for her social action. On his side, Mr. Madl presented Mr . Stefanopoulos with a map of Greece of 1850.

    Mr. Mantle then met with the President of the Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis and the President of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis.

  • [07] THOUSANDS OF SQUARE METERS OF LAND IN CITY PLAN Two hundred and sixty three areas throughout the country, corresponding to 260,000,000 sq. meters of land, are expected to be incorporated to city plans, as their planning research is being completed rapidly. There is a significant number of unauthorized

    buildings in these areas, which will be connected to public welfare networks (electricity, water supply, telephone lines).

    Meanwhile, Minister of the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works Vasso Papandreou, pointed out that the circular based on which municipalities will begin accepting the necessary paperwork for electricity and water connections, is expected to be

    issued by the end of the week. It is estimated that it will take 2 months for these connections to be made.

    It was also made known that fines for the construction of unauthorized buildings from now on will be a hundred times what they had been so far.

    The Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE) characterized the draft of the Ministry of the Environment as unconstitutional and it did not rule out appealing to the Council of the State. The TEE's criticism mostly focuses on the regulations for unauthorized con struction and the change in the issuing of building permits. The main objections concern the cases where buildings that were constructed without the supervision of a mechanical engineer will be approved.

    Meanwhile, the draft on forest areas was the main topic of discussion at the meeting between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture.

    Specifically, the details of the new amended text of the draft which will clearly define forest areas, private forests, areas to be reforested and areas where construction is allowed, were explored.

    According to information, forest areas that have undergone irreversible damage will be declassified. At the same time, the draft will settle issues regarding violations and unauthorized constructs, while there will be regulations for construction corpora tions that bought land characterized as forest areas.

  • [08] PROTOPAPAS ON THE RUSSIAN REQUEST FOR GUSINSKY'S EXTRADITION The responsible authorities have received the Russian request for the extradition of businessman Vladimir Gusinsky. The request has already been forwarded to the Council of Court of Appeals Judges, which will decide on the case.

    The above were stated by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas, responding to a question by a reporter concerning the request expressed by the Russians. Gusinski was arrested at Athens' "Eleftherios Venizelos" International Airport on August 21 on an international warrant issued by Interpol.

    The Russian tycoon is wanted by Moscow for alleged multi-million dollar fraud. Gusinsky, 50, is the former owner of the popular NTV television network, renowned for running stories highly critical of President Vladimir Putin's policies, especially his dr ive to suppress rebels in the breakaway republic of Chechnya.

    Police said he was wanted by Moscow for allegedly swindling the Russian state out of 250 million dollars. He is also accused of fraudulent privatization and money laundering.

  • [09] GAINS IN THE ASE Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.23% at 2.026,52 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 93.4 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 123 recorded gains and 182 had losses, while the value of 78 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [10] HUNGARY'S PRESIDENT MET WITH THE GREEK PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT The future of Europe and the role of the new European Union countries, were at the center of the talks held in Athens today between Hungarian President Ferenc Madl and Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis. The Hungarian President is on a forma l visit to Greece.

    Mr. Kaklamanis backed the need for the creation of a dynamic Europe with its own foreign and defense policy, which will guarantee security for all European peoples.

    On his part, Mr. Madl thanked the Greek Parliament President for Greece's support to his country's European course and promised to continue to work for a united Europe.

  • [11] THE PARALYMPIC GAMES' PREPARATIONS WERE DISCUSSED IN A MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE MEETING The organizing of the 2004 Paralympic Games was discussed in the meeting of the ministerial committee for the Coordination of the Olympic Games' Preparations chaired by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. "Athens 2004" Organizing Committee President Mrs. Yian na Angelopoulou-Daskalaki was also present in the meeting.

    Mr. Simitis stressed that the Paralympic Games are as important as the Olympic Games underlining that beyond being a sports event they are also a new challenge. He stressed that they offer the opportunity for major interventions that will facilitate the participation of people with disabilities in society, improve their access to the city and safeguard the preconditions for an even stronger sports movement for people with disabilities.

    After the meeting, Undersecretary of Press and head of the Prime Minister's Press Office Tilemachos Hitiris stated to reporters that a total of 4,000 athletes will take part in the Paralympics and 5,000 journalists will cover the event.

    The Paralympics will be held on September 17-29, 2004 and their cost, estimated at 50 million euros, will be covered in its entirety by the Greek government, which happens for the first time in the history of the games.

    Athletes from 143 countries will compete in 19 sports that will be held in 20 sports facilities. A total of 294, specially modified buses and 100 minibuses of equal specifications will be used to meet the needs of people with disabilities, while 15,000 v olunteers will offer their services.

    A total of 132 Greek athletes will compete in the games, while the Olympic Village will host 7,000 people, said Mr. Hitiris.

  • [12] LETTER BY THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE TO THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER Metropolite Ioannis of Pergamos, head of the Ecumenical Patriarchate Office in Athens, met with Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou. The Metropolite delivered a letter by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew mentioning in detail the Ecumenical Patriarc h's view on the issue that has arisen recently between the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    The Metropolite stressed that the goal of his visit was to brief the Foreign Minister on the issue concerning the list of candidates for the Metropolis of Thessaloniki. The Metropolite underlined that the goal of the visit was to inform the State on the situation and not ask for its intervention.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] DONKEY ARRESTED... Two Greek Cypriots are facing the charge of "insulting the state" because they asked to cross over to the north of the island on a donkey, which they had supplied with a mock passport. The donkey's owners will be taken to court tomorrow, and the evidence

    to be used against them is the donkey itself, which has been tethered to a tree in a police station yard. Mr. Denktash's authorities were especially annoyed as the now questionable Turkish Cypriot leader had stated that the only Cypriot species on Cyprus , is the donkey. The Government Spokesperson in Athens made mention of ridiculousness, and expressed his hope that the donkey is not also taken to trial.

  • [14] WESTON: PSEUDOELECTIONS AND NEW POLITICAL WILL IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES The upcoming "elections" in Cyprus' occupied territories were characterized as the best chance to make the political will expressed in the protests the political will of the entire Turkish Cypriot community, by Special Coordinator on the Cyprus issue in

    the US State Department Thomas Weston.

    Speaking at an event of the Cypriot community organized by the Cypriot Federation, PSEKA and the Cypriot-American Chamber of Commerce in Astoria, Mr. Weston mentioned that the "elections" are definitely illegal and than nobody, with the exception of Turk ey, would recognize the regime of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, and that the concerns of the Cypriot government are fully justified.

    However, he noted that event though they may be illegal, the "elections" represent the best opportunity of expressing the political will of Turkish Cypriots, which did not exist in the past.

    Mr. Weston characterized the period until May 2004 as very intense and gave his reassurance that the US will continue their efforts until then.


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