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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2004-03-07

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, March 7, 2004

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] OPTIMISM BY PRESIDENT AND PARTY LEADERS
  • [02] CALM AND ORDERED ELECTIONS
  • [03] SERTAR DENKTASH ATTACK ON PAPADOPOULOS
  • [04] NEW DEMOCRACY AHEAD IN EXIT POLLS
  • [05] KARAMANLIS CV
  • [06] EASY VICTORY FOR ND
  • [07] ND SUPPORTERS CELEBRATE PARTY'S VICTORY
  • [08] "CLEAR AND MAJOR VICTORY"
  • [09] WE LEARN LESSONS FROM OUR DEFEAT
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [10] GREEK CYPRIOTS, "NO" TO THE ANNAN PLAN NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] OPTIMISM BY PRESIDENT AND PARTY LEADERS His optimism that everything will go as planned was expressed by the President of the Republic Costis Stefanopoulos, who voted in Patra at 10:35 this morning. "Regardless of the result, I am certain that everything will go well", stated Mr. Stefanopoulos

    to the press, immediately after casting his vote.

    President of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis was the first political leader to vote. Arriving at Thessaloniki's 410th electoral department in Agios Eleftherios at 08:20, where he was greeted by party supporters.

    After voting, Mr. Karamanlis made the following statement to the press: "Today is the celebration for our democracy. Today our citizens decide on the present and the future of our land and we have absolute confidence in their judgment".

    A warm greeting was in store for President of PASOK Giorgos Papandreou upon his arrival in Larissa, where hundreds of members and supporters of the party were waiting for him to arrive in order to vote.

    "I came to Larissa, to the heart of the farmlands, to carry out my right, while I am a candidate both here and in Thessaloniki, and `voting is the highest right and duty of every citizen. We are all optimistic with this beautiful and sunny day and with a ll the enthusiasm around. My forecasts are very optimistic, the messages from all over Greece are very positive, we are moving towards a very optimistic result."

    His optimism that the People's Orthodox Alarm (LAOS) will gain entry to the Parliament was expressed by the President of the party Giorgos Karatzaferis, who voted at 11:10 this morning. "Already, before the closing of the polls, everyone is talking about

    the great surprise LAOS is going to make".

    His certainty that DIKKI has won its dignity was expressed by party President Dimitris Tsovolas, immediately after voting at 11:15 today. "We have been true to our soul for some time now. What is certain is that we have won our dignity and conscience. We

    are certain that from this point on the Greek people will de cide", he stated to the press.

    His hope that everything goes well was expressed by President of the Coalition of the Radical Left Nikos Constantopoulos, who cast his vote at 11:30 in Athens. Mr. Constantopoulos stated to the press that: "Voting for the Coalition of the Radical Left is

    a vote of conscience and hope in society for a different Greece. It is at the simultaneously a resistance to neoliberal, conservative, bipartisan policies. And it is a force of unity for a major party of the Left I hope everything goes well".

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis voted this morning at 11:30 in Piraeus, where he pointed out that in today's elections we are deciding on tomorrow and on the way major domestic and foreign policy issues are going to be handled.

    "The elections are being carried out all over Greece normally. I call all citizens to carry out their right to vote, as is the law. We have a beautiful sunny day, it will not only be useful it will also be pleasant", he stated to the press, adding: "Toda y we are deciding on tomorrow, we are deciding on the handling of issues related to the economy, the Cyprus issue, Greek Turkish relations and the Olympic Games. Greece needs progress. It needs progress with security, progress with experience and knowledg e."

    Secretary General of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Aleka Papariga referred to the struggles her party will carry out beginning tomorrow, after voting at 12 noon in Nikea.

    Upon leaving the electoral department Mrs. Papariga made the following statement: "Starting on Monday we have struggles ahead of us and that requires a tough KKE and a strong united front of workers and employees, in the city and in the countryside, of t he radical powers who are not suited by plutocracy, Brussels and NATO".

  • [02] CALM AND ORDERED ELECTIONS The elections are being carried out throughout the country steadily, while some 9,800,000 have the right and obligation to vote for a new Parliament and a new government. The polls opened at 7am and will close at 7pm. Voters must bring with them their id entity card or passport, while election booklets are no longer necessary. There are over 545,000 new voters participating in the elections. His satisfaction for the steady progress of the elections was expressed by the functioning Minister of the Interior . The results of the exit polls will be announced as soon as the polls close, while the first formal results will be announced at 22:30.
  • [03] SERTAR DENKTASH ATTACK ON PAPADOPOULOS Foreign Minister of occupied Cyprus Sertar Denktash, claimed that President Papadopoulos does not want
  • [04] NEW DEMOCRACY AHEAD IN EXIT POLLS New Democracy is in the lead according to the exit polls announced at 19:00, followed by PASOK, the KKE, the Coalition of the Radical Left, LAOS, and DIKKI, although there was some differentiation in the order of the last two parties.

    Specifically, the exit polls are as follows: American Research PASOK 40.5 - 42.5% ND 44.5 - 46.5% KKE 5 - 6% Coalition 2.8 - 3.2% DIKKI 1 - 1.5% LAOS 2 - 2.5%

  • [05] KARAMANLIS CV Born in 1956, Costas Karamanlis studied Law at Athens University and economics at Deree College. He completed his post graduate studies at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in Boston, with a Masters degree in Political and Fina ncial Science, and received his PhD in Diplomatic History. He served in the Navy from 1977 to 1979.

    He wrote the book titled "Eleftherios Venizelos and Greece's foreign relations from 1928 to 1932". He wrote the foreword and edited the following publications "The Spirit and the Era of Gorbachov" 1987 and "Imperialism: the case of Angola" 1988. He colla borated with the "Economikos Tachydromos" magazine from 1987 to 1989. He taught Political Science, Diplomatic History and Law at Deree College and in the Study in Greece student exchange program (1983-1989). He participated in the writing of the collectiv e volume "The European Interation and the Balkan Multi-fragmentation, the Role of Greece", with the research titled "The Post Communist Turmoil in Southeastern Europe" (Sideris Publications 1994). He practiced law from 1984 to 1989. He was a founding memb er and President of the KIPAEA and the Greek center for the promotion of the European Union "Europe 1992".

    ONNED and New Democracy official in the organizational and ideological sector during the 1974-1979 and 1984-1989 periods. Elected at the Athens Law School students' conference (1976-1978).

    He has been a member of New Democracy since 1974. He was elected second Thessaloniki MP with ND in the elections of June 1989, April 1990 and first MP in the October 1993, September 1996 and April 2000. He served as Vice President at the Council of Europ e, member of the Greek Parliament's Standing Interparliamentary Committee for National Defense and Foreign Affairs and member of ND's Central Committee and Political Council from 1993 to 1997. He was elected President of New Democracy on March 21 1997.

    In April 1998 he was elected Vice President of the European Democratic Union and in February 1999 Vice President of the European People's Party.

    He speaks English, German and French, he is married to Natasa Pazaiti and has two children.

  • [06] EASY VICTORY FOR ND A wide and certain lead for ND of about 4% is given by all exit polls carried out by research companies for Greece's major television channels, a fact that suggests that Costas Karamanlis is the winner in these elections and that he will be able to form a powerful government for Greece tomorrow. Statements from the new Prime Minister are expected, while top PASOK officials admitted their party's defeat. The appreciation that the ND-PASOK difference will be more than 4% was expressed by the Head of PASOK' s electoral committee, P. Avgerinos. According to the results of KAPA Research from 100% of the electoral departments in the exit poll it carried out, ND received 45.3%, PASOK 41.5%, the KKE 5.5%, the Coalition 3.4%, DIKKI 1.5%, and LAOS 2.1%.
  • [07] ND SUPPORTERS CELEBRATE PARTY'S VICTORY Thousands of ND supporters flooded the streets of Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities throughout Greece holding Greek flags and flags with their party's emblem, in order to celebrate their party's victory with slogans, horns, and fireworks.
  • [08] "CLEAR AND MAJOR VICTORY" We stand before a clear and major victory for ND, stressed Head of ND's Political Planning Giorgos Souflias outside the party's offices on Rigilis street. "I do not think that there is anyone left who does not believe that we stand before a clear and gre at victory for New Democracy. The goal is to prove that it is a victory for all Greeks, a victory for all of Greece".
  • [09] WE LEARN LESSONS FROM OUR DEFEAT "We will not hesitate to recognize reality and we will not fail to learn the lessons therein to the last paragraph", stated the departing Minister of Culture Evaggelos Venizelos, after the announcement of the exit polls. He stressed that it is a major, c lear victory for ND, and correspondingly a major, clear defeat for PASOK.
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [10] GREEK CYPRIOTS, "NO" TO THE ANNAN PLAN The majority of Greek Cypriots would reject the Annan proposal for the resolving of the Cyprus issue if the referendum for its approval was carried out today, as was revealed by the opinion polls carried out by the "Fileleftheros", "Politis" and "Simerin i" newspapers.

    Specifically, according to the Ray Consultants opinion poll carried out for the "Fileleftheros" newspaper, 62% of the citizens would reply negatively to the referendum, while 24% would answer "yes".

    It should be noted however, that the percentage changes only if the President of the Cypriot Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, the Greek government, and each voter's party encourage the people to vote in favor of the plan.

    Also, the vast majority of the voters are pessimistic regarding the resolving of the Cyprus problem, with 63% appreciating that the negotiations underway will not lead to a solution.

    Security and human rights

    Furthermore, 31% of citizens consider the issue of security as the most important factor in case a solution is reached. The viability of the plan is considered most important by 25% and respect of human rights follows.

    The AC Nielsen poll carried out for the "Politis" newspaper found that 53% would vote against the plan, while 19% would vote in favor. Also, 82% agrees with the way President Papadopoulos has handled matters so far, while 9% disagrees and 9% did not answ er.

    Finally, according to the poll of Intercollege Reasearch and Development Center, carried out for the "Simerini" newspaper, 54% would reject the Annan proposal, while 11% would vote "yes".

    At the same time 40.8% believes that the plan favors Turkish Cypriots, 20.5% that it favors Turkey, while only 0.8% believe that it favors the Greek Cypriot side.

    Also, 12.4% stated that it could, in case a solution is reached, live under a Turkish Cypriot administration, while 89% expressed an intense concern with the remaining Turkish settlers in Cyprus after the solution.


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