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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-02-05
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PREMIER: GREECE AND INDIA SHARE COMMON VALUESDelhi, 5 February 2001 (11:27 UTC+2)
Greece and India share common values, according to Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis who is presently on an official five-day visit to Delhi, heading a delegation of government officials and private sector entrepreneurs.
Today, Mr. Simitis will meet with Indian President Kocheril Raman Narayanan and Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, among other officials. The Greek Premier and his Indian counterpart are to sign a series of agreements, including double taxation avoidance, investment protection measures and cooperation in the agricultural sector.
Also, Jawaharlal Nehru University planning to award Mr. Simitis an honorary doctorate andthe Premier is expected to referr to the European Union's charter of fundamental rights during his acceptance speech. Specifically, Mr. Simitis is to state that respect for fundamental rights and liberties constitutes a key element for the structure and operation of a modern democracy.
"These rights constitute the quintessence of democracy as absolute values, inviolably bound with human nature," according to the Greek Premier.
This morning, Mr. Simitis visited and laid a wreath at the Gandhi Monument.
The delegation accompanying the Premier includes Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas, Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi and National Economy Deputy Minister Yiannis Zapheiropoulos.
The Premier isn't scheduled to tour the quake-stricken Gujarat state, since infrastructure has been completely wiped out in the area, which borders Pakistan.
Instead, Mr. Simitis' itinerary includes New Delhi and meetings with the central government, the western city of Jaipur, home to India's nascent marble industry, and the famed industrial port city of Bombay.
 MINISTER EXPRESSES SORROW FOR XENAKIS DEATHAthens, 5 February 2001 (10:17 UTC+2)
World-famous Greek composer Iannis Xenakis passed away in Paris yesterday, at the age of 78. He is survived by his wife, Francoise, and their daughter.
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos stated that "with his work, Iannis Xenakis represents one of the most advanced chapters in the history of music.
"Xenakis identified himself with modernity and research, that is, with two basic components of cultural creation. His talent, his profound and multi-faceted culture and his cosmopolitan spirit fascinated and will fascinate people. His death is a great loss but in no way does it signal the end of a work which has been and will always be 'open'," Mr. Venizelos added.
Xenakis was born in 1922 into a Greek family residing at Braila, Romania. The sense of being an ousider remained integral to his identity, signaled by the title of a recently published book of interviews il faut etre constamment un immigre.
Having lost his mother when he was five years old, he was sent off to boarding school on the Greek island of Spetses at the age of ten. He studied civil engineering at the Athens Polytechnic, but the German invasion followed by the British occupation drew him into the Resistance, activities from which he would end up near fatally wounded, losing one eye, then later condemned to death. Forced to escape Greece, Xenakis ended up in Paris in 1947, wanting to study music, but earning a living working as an engineering assistant for Le Corbusier.
His creative and intellectual intensity attracted the attention of both the reknowned architect, who delegated architectural projects to him in spite of his lack of professional training, and the composer and pedagogue Olivier Messiaen, who saw in the music he was struggling to produce in isolation an originality deserving of encouragement. Xenakis had his first major success with the premiere of Metastasis in 1955, and by 1960 he was able to devote himself entirely to composition.
Along with his acoustic works, he has produced a number of important electroacoustic pieces, and a series of multimedia creations involving sound, light, movement, and architecture (polytopes).
Xenakis was a pioneer in the area of algorithmic composition, and also developed an approach to digital synthesis based on random generation and variation of the waveform itself.
 NO TRUST IN BOURSE, INVESTORS ARE TO BLAME TOOAthens, 5 February 2001 (11:02 UTC+2)
Eight out of ten Greeks have no trust in the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) and believe that the bourse's present crisis will send ripples through the economy, according to a nationwide poll.
Published in the Athens daily "Ta Nea" today, the V-PRC poll found that 77.9 percent of the respondents have no trust whatsoever in the bourse, unlike 13.7% who are confident of ASE's course.
Moreover, 69.4 percent of those polled believe that the state has to intervene immediately and take recovery measures, although a 'fatalist' 20.4% feel that if the government were to become involved it would only make matters worse.
Speaking of the state, a vast percentage (72.3) of the respondents maintain that there are political responsibilities involved in the index's plunge, while 78.9% hold the ruling PASOK party liable, as opposed to 68.7% who blame the opposition.
Responsibilities are also allocated to individuals whose companies are listed (85.8%), along with stockbrokers and securities companies (79.7%), the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou (78.3%) and the Premier Costas Simitis (75.8%).
At the same time, 36.8% of the respondents are opposed to the censure motion tabled by the main opposition party of New Democracy against Mr. Papantoniou (which the Parliament rejected last week), even though 33.6 percent support the move.
As for the investors' liability, 81.5% agree that the blame lies with them, too, in their effort to make a fast buck.
 THE NEW ATHENS AIRPORT WILL BE INAUGURATED IN MARCHAthens, 5 February 2001 (17:37 UTC+2)
The new Athens airport at Spata will be inaugurated in March based on the existing timetable, stated acting Greek government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris.
Meanwhile, according to press reports, 39 airline company directors in a letter to the government warned that if the flight charts and the necessary arrivals equipment are not provided in time, then the "Eleftherios Venizelos" Airport at Spata will not open as scheduled.
 AN IOC DELEGATION WILL VISIT ATHENS TOMORROWAthens, 5 February 2001 (17:26 UTC+2)
An International Olympic Committee, IOC, delegation will visit Athens tomorrow to be briefed on the course of the 2004 Olympic Games preparations.
Canadian IOC vice-president Richard Pound in an interview with the Athens newspaper "Ethnos" appeared positive regarding the organizing of the Olympic Games in Greece.
In the interview he stressed that he is not an anti-Greek and that a special attention has been given to the preparations after the warnings that were issued, while he underlined that the Greek government has a strong sense of its responsibilities.
 SIMITIS WILL BE IN THE INTER-BALKAN CONFERENCE IN SKOPJEThessaloniki, 5 February 2001 (16:55 UTC+2)
Prime minister Kostas Simitis will attend the Inter-Balkan Summit meeting scheduled to take place in Skopje, FYROM on February 22-23.
The meeting will be attended by SEECP state and government leaders, while an invitation has been issued to the Swedish prime minister as the current EU presidency holder.
The proceedings will be opened by the FYROM president and among the issues that will be discussed will be the prospects for the further strengthening of cooperation, security, democracy and good neighborly relations. Also, they will discuss the strengthening of the regional economic cooperation aimed at the acceleration of the development of the countries in southeastern Europe.
 THE PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVES OF GREECE AND TURKEY IN NATO WILL MEET IN BRUSSELSAthens, 5 February 2001 (16:37 UTC+2)
The permanent representatives of Greece and Turkey in NATO, Vasilis Kaskarelis and Onur Oymen, will meet in Brussels today to discuss the confidence-building-measures that had been agreed by Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem in Budapest last September.
It should be noted that the measure of the mutual briefing on the time and place of the military exercises in the Aegean is already implemented, while the political directors of the Greek and Turkish foreign ministries are expected to meet in March.
 THE DISAPPOINTMENT CONTINUES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 5 February 2001 (16:28 UTC+2)
The disappointing trend continues in the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index dropped by 1.87% at 3.098,07 points, while the volume of transactions was 74.73 million Euro or 25.4 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 314 recorded losses and only 26 had gains, while the value of 28 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE BULGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTER WILL BE IN ATHENS ON THURSDAYAthens, 5 February 2001 (16:20 UTC+2)
The Greek side will try to feel the intentions of the Bulgarian side concerning the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline during the two-day formal visit of Bulgarian foreign minister Natezda Michailova to Athens on Thursday.
The Bulgarian foreign minister will have consultations with president Kostis Stephanopoulos, foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis, right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis and Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.
The talks of the Bulgarian foreign minister with her Greek counterpart will focus on bilateral political and economic relations, the developments in the Balkans, the course of the Stability Pact, the developments in Europe and Bulgaria's EU accession prospect.
 ASE TRADING OPENS WITH SIGNIFICANT LOSSESAthens, 5 February 2001 (12:22 UTC+2)
Trading on the Athens Stock Exchange opened today in a negative climate, with declines in all the individual sector indices.
The general index was down by 1.44 percent at 3,111.42 points, having plunged earlier to an even lower 3,105.74.
At the same time, trading volume barely amounted to a low 9.4 million euro.
 TWO NABBED FOR TRYING TO SELL ZINC AS «URANIUM»Athens, 5 February 2001 (10:19 UTC+2)
Two individuals were arrested yesterday and are presently being interrogated by police after having attempted to sell a mixture of red mercury and zinc which they claimed is uranium.
According to the police report, the two suspects were arrested in central Greece after trying the sell the said substance for a reportedly astronomical amount of money.
Researchers at the Dimokritos Laboratory have determined that the material is definitely not radioactive.
 JOINT MILITARY EXERCISE BY GREECE AND CYPRUSNicosia, 5 February 2001 (18:46 UTC+2)
A joint map military exercise held by the army staff of Greece and Cyprus, under the code-names "Olympus" and "Alexandros" and with a hypothetical goal to face Turkish provocation in the Aegean and Cyprus, got underway today.
According to a statement issued by the Cypriot ministry of defense, the exercise that will be completed on February 9, is placed within the framework of the Joint Defense Doctrine and the goal is to test the participation of the Emergency Political Planning agencies and the implementation of the Crisis Management Joint Memorandum.
The Cypriot exercise is being held simultaneously with the Greek National Defense General Staff exercise, code-named "Alexandros 2001".
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS' STATEMENTS ON THE 37TH SECURITY CONFERENCE IN MUNICHBerlin, 5 February 2001 (19:23 UTC+2)
The massive criticism launched by Europe against the US plans for the development of a national anti-missile protection shield and the decision reached by the EU member-states for the creation of a European defense and security policy are, according to Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, the reasons that created a certain climate between Americans and Europeans in the 37th Security Conference in Munich.
In an interview with the Deutsche Welle during his visit to Germany on the occasion of the conference, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that there was a climate of suspiciousness, adding that the new US secretary of defense will need some time to adjust his government's positions to the new facts that exist today.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the US plans are an issue that will be discussed in the future, while he pointed out that the European politicians had the opportunity to make it clear to the US side that the issue of the anti-missile protection can not be a unilateral decision by the United States.
 SIMITIS HAD POSITIVE TALKS ON HIS FIRST DAY IN INDIANew Delhi, 5 February 2001 (18:28 UTC+2)
The first day of Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis' formal visit to New Delhi, India ended with the meeting he had with his Hindu counterpart, the signing of a memorandum on agriculture and the formal dinner that was given in his honor by the country's prime minister.
The Greek prime minister tomorrow is scheduled to meet with main opposition Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi, the widow of assassinated prime minister Radzip Gandhi, who was the son of the assassinated prime minister Indira Gandhi.
The new Greek embassy complex in New Delhi will be inaugurated tomorrow in the presence of the Greek prime minister, the government ministers and the Greek delegation accompanying him, as well as, Hindu dignitaries.
The prime minister will give a press conference and then he will depart for the city of Jaibur where he will stay for two days. Then, the Greek delegation will visit Bombay, the commercial center of India, where the prime minister will address an event organized by Greek and Hindu businessmen.
 GREECE OCCUPIES THE TOP PLACE CONCERNING THE FREEDOM ENJOYED BY ITS CITIZENSNew York, 5 February 2001 (18:07 UTC+2)
Greece gets the highest grade concerning the respect of political rights in the new 2000 report that will be issued in the spring by the "Freedom House" Institute regarding the degree of freedom enjoyed by the people in countries around the world.
The highest grade is 1 and the lowest is 7. According to an article on the Journal of Democracy magazine issued by the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, Greece is characterized as a free country and is graded with 1 in the political rights category and 3 in the civil rights category.
Turkey is characterized as partly free country, like last year, and is graded with 4 in the political rights and 5 in the civil liberties.
Cyprus is characterized as a free country and is graded with 1 both in the category of political rights and the civil rights.