|Saturday, 19 September 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-09-26
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ROGGE AND OSWALD OF IOC IN ATHENSThessaloniki, 26 September 2001 (11:41 UTC+2)
The President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge and the President of the Coordination Committee, are in Athens. The two powerful men of the IOC, move under extreme security measures, while they have made no statements. The main reason of their visit is to see how the Olympic Works are coming along, as well as to oversee all those which have been constructed in recent months.
This is the first time since Jacque Rogge has taken up the position of President of the IOC, that he has visited our country. The President of the IOC will leave Greece today, while Mr. Oswald will stay until Frid
 US CONSUL GENERAL IN THESSALONIKI SPEAKS TO MPAThessaloniki, 26 September 2001 (13:57 UTC+2)
The 2004 Olympics will be safely organized in Greece, and they will be the best ever, stated the American Consul General in Thessaloniki, John Koenig, emphatically, in an interview with the Macedonian Press Agency, while he praises the position of the Greek government on the issue of military commitment in the fight against international terrorism.
Mr. Koenig also referred to the warm expressions of support which took place at the US Conculate in Thessaloniki, by Greek Americans who have returned from the States, ordinary citizens but also officials, after the strike of September 11, and the wish of many of the Prefectures of Northern Greece to offer blood for the injured or to take part in the rescue crews.
As Mr. Koenig said, many Greeks, simple people and officials signed the condolence's book, which the Consulate opened last week. Among those who signed were the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace, Mr. Paschalidis, the Mayor of Thessaloniki, Mayor Papageorgopoulos, the General Secretary of Central Macedonia, Mr. Valassopoulos, the Thessaloniki Prefect, Mr. Papadopoulos, and others. There were some moving moments, many never had any ties whatsoever with the US, they were just moved by the events, they felt indignation and came by to sign:, said the American Consul General.
To a question on security measures that have been taken at the Consulate and other American facilities, after the attacks, Mr. Koenig stated:
I'm not going to go into detail about any of the security measures that have been taken, but, yes, we have taken some increased security measures in cooperation with the Greek authorities, who were very supportive and quick to react after the attacks. Those cover all American facilities here and we are very appreciative of their support. We have also done some things here to prepare ourselves for the future. President Bush has said that we all need to continue our daily lives, but we have to be more vigilant, more aware of the fact that we are going into conflict with world terrorism, and we must all be prepared to make the necessary changes in our lives and continue living the way we believe is right. So, for example, this morning at the Consulate, we had a refreshment training at first aid, just in case something goes wrong, and these kinds of things baring in mind that we're looking at a difficult period up ahead that there is a greater challenge to our lives. We all want to go back to living our normal lives, but we cannot forget that we are entering a long-term conflict with international terrorism which will require us to be more vigilant.
Referring to the position of the Greek government and the support of the Greek public opinion, the Consul General of the US stated:
We found the support to be very strong and it was greatly appreciated. The immediate reaction was very positive, human and very natural for two countries that have been friends and allies for so long. We greatly appreciate the leadership the Greek government has shown, and I think the most notable, was the statement of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis of the 19th of September which was emphatically clear on where Greece stands on this situation. By America's side and by the side of other countries that believe in freedom.
I think', he continued, I think that clearly we all share in grief, and that brings people closer together. This crisis has brought us closer together for other reasons, also because of what we share. This is about freedom and openness and diversity, and it is on other issues, many of which have their roots in Greece and are held very strongly by Greece, the United States and many other countries today. So confronted with this challenge from international terrorism, I think people with so much in common, band together and appreciate what binds them together even more. And that is what I think we've seen here and all over the world: Common purpose to defeat terrorism.
Finally, to the question of whether or not the voices, which after the September 11 terrorist strike say Greece is not capable of providing security for the 2004 Olympics, Consul General of the US in Thessaloniki, John Koenig, was categorical:
We are working very closely with Greece on many issues related to terrorism, security and the Olympics in general, and the cooperation is excellent. We have no reason to doubt that the Olympics will be held here and that the Greek government will take the measures necessary to secure the Olympics, as such events always face certain security challenges, in the US or wherever they are held, and we stand ready to continue cooperating with the Greek government and many other countries to make sure that they are the best Olympics that they can possibly be.
 KARRAR IMPRESSED BY CULTURAL OLYMPICS PROGRAMAthens, 26 September 2001 (13:55 UTC+2)
The Genreal Director of IOC, Francois Carrar, was impressed by the program for the Cultural Olympics, underlining that it is the first time any government invests in the promotion of culture in the framework of the Olympic Games. Nobody wants the Olympics to be a cheap bazaar, because Athens stands for high values stated the General Director of IOC. Karrar had positive things to say on the commitment of the Greek government to combine the 2004 Olympics with a total of 100 cultural events, which cover the entire spectrum of art.
This is a unique complete attempt in the cultural sector, since the events are not organized solitarily by 'Athens 2004'. The Company of Promotion of Cultural Heritage, also contributed. We will aid in any thing you need stated the General Director of the IOC. Then said that the observing of rules and contracts of Olympic marketing, is very important to the IOC. Those who think they can take advantage of Olympic symbols are fooling themselves, and they will be punished harshly, mentioned Fr. Karrar.
Minister of Culture, Evaggelos Venizelos, mentioned that the cultural dimension of the 2004 Olympics is something self evident for the Greek government, and repeated that the Cultural Olympics will cost 40 billion drs. while the same events in Sidney only cost 3 billion drs.
 "CARMEN" AT THESSALONIKI "MEGARON"Thessaloniki, 26 September 2001 (13:56 UTC+2)
One of the most popular operas in the world, Bizet's Carmen, will be presented at Thessaloniki's Megaron Music Hall, continuing the tradition which begun with the production of La Traviata. The premier of Carmen will take place on October 25, while 5 more shows will follow on 29/10, November 5,9,11, and 13.
The music of the opera will be performed by the Thessaloniki State Orchestra conducted by Nikos Athineou, while it was directed by Nicolas Trees, set is by Lorenzo Cutuli, choreography by Matilde Rubio and costumes by Gera Graf.
 THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON TURKEY'S ARMAMENTS PROGRAMAthens, 26 September 2001 (19:26 UTC+2)
Turkey makes its choices concerning its armaments program and Greece makes its own based on its interests, security and the protection of its sovereign rights, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas responding to a question on whether the government will accelerate its armaments programs following a similar decision Turkey has made after the terrorist attacks on the United States.
Mr. Reppas expressed doubts on whether Turkey will be able to reinforce its armaments programs considering the economic problems it faces and stressed that in Greece the Governmental Council on Foreign Affairs and Defense decisions on the armaments issue are still in effect and no changes have been made.
 SMALL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 26 September 2001 (18:59 UTC+2)
Small losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.25% at 2.158,04 points, while the volume of transactions was at 127.51 million Euro or 43.45 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 128 recorded gains and 194 had losses, while the value of 56 remained stable.
 KARAMANLIS MET WITH IOC PRESIDENTAthens, 26 September 2001 (18:22 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis in the meeting he had in Athens today with International Olympic Committee, IOC, president Jacques Rogge, IOC Coordinating Committee president Dennis Oswald and "Athens 2004" Organizing Committee president Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki called for the IOC assistance to meet the new demands on issues of security for Athens to be able to guarantee that the Olympic Games will be held in total safety.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that his party sees the Olympiad as a national issue and backs the effort but it will not accept any attempt to exceed the budget and by-pass the necessary procedures, stressing that transparency in the management of the taxpayers money will not be bargained.
 ROGGE: THE ATHENS 2004 SECURITY PLAN BUDGET IS SATISFACTORYAthens, 26 September 2001 (17:45 UTC+2)
The issue of security in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games was at the center of contacts International Olympic Committee, IOC, president Jacques Rogge and Athens 2004 Coordinating Committee president Dennis Oswald had in Athens today.
Mr. Rogge and Mr. Oswald met with prime minister Kostas Simitis and Athens 2004 Organizing Committee president Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki. Mr. Simitis reiterated that Athens works for the security of the Olympic Games in 2004 and for this purpose it cooperates with 7 countries.
Mr. Rogge stated in a press conference that the budget for the security of the 2004 Olympic Games is regarded as satisfactory and it does not have to be increased. He stressed, however, that it is only logical to increase the number of people who will work in the sector of security. He also said that the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake will not be postponed.
They also had meetings with New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis and Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, while they visited the Greek Olympic Committee offices. An IOC delegation visited the Olympic projects in Athens and specifically, the areas where the Olympic Village and the journalists villages will be built.
 THE EXERCISE "PARMENION 2001" IS UNDERWAYThessaloniki, 26 September 2001 (16:52 UTC+2)
The military exercise "Parmenion 2001" got underway in Evros, northeastern Greece today with the participation of army units from the 4th Army Corps and a large number of reserves.
The exercise will last seven days and its final phase will be held in the presence of president Kostis Stephanopoulos on October 2.
Live ammunition will be used in the final phase of the exercise and local residents will be able to watch it from the observation post in the region of Psilos Stavros.
 JORGE SEMPRUN IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 26 September 2001 (16:48 UTC+2)
Another great book by Spanish author Jorge Semprun, under the title "Goodbye light of youth", is at the Greek bookstores published by Exantas publishing house. Semprun will be in Thessaloniki tomorrow on the occasion of the publication of his book in the Greek language.
In his new book he describes parts of his life as an adolescent and his first years as an adult, including memories from the Spanish civil war, the fall of the Spanish Republic, and WWII.
Semprun, together with film director Kostas Gavras, wrote the script for the movie "Z" based on the book by Vasilis Vasilikos on the murder-case of leftist Greek parliament deputy Grigoris Lambrakis, who was killed in Thessaloniki in 1963.
He was born in 1923 in Madrid to a family of diplomats and intellectuals. During the Spanish civil war his family was exiled to France, he became a member of the Communist Party and participated in the resistance against the Nazis. In 1943 he was arrested by Gestapo and was held for two years. In 1964 he came to a disagreement with the Spanish Communist Party and he was expelled. He served as culture minister in the government of Felippe Gonzales. He is a member of the Goncourt Academy since 1996 and lives in Paris.
 THE EURO-PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT IS ON A VISIT TO GREECEAthens, 26 September 2001 (16:35 UTC+2)
Euro-parliament president Nicole Fontaine is on a formal visit to Greece today until September 28 at the invitation of Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis.
During her visit, Ms. Fontaine will have a number of meetings with the state and political leadership to discuss current Greek, European and international issues. She will also address the European Affairs Parliamentary Committee and the Greek Euro-deputies to exchange views on the current European issues.
On the sidelines of her visit, Ms. Fontaine will open an international conference, on the 20th anniversary of Greece's EU membership and the future of Europe, organized by the "Konstantinos Karamanlis" Institute for Democracy.
Ms. Fontaine will end her visit to Greece with a meeting she will have with president Kostis Stephanopoulos.
 KARAMANLIS IN BRUSSELSAthens, 26 September 2001 (13:57 UTC+2)
The President of New Democrcy, Kostas Karamanlis, is going to Brussels today, to participate in the Convention of the European People's Party, which will take place tomorrow. The developments after the terrorist attack in the US is the topic of the conference. Mr. Karamanlis will be accompanied by Dora Bakoyanni, Yannis Valinakis and Theodoros Roussopoulos.
 HOLY SYNOD INTO SESSION TOMORROWIstanbul, 26 September 2001 (13:55 UTC+2)
Under the weight of the publication of the epistles that Archbishop Christodoulos sent to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Holy Synod of the Fanari will come into session tomorrow.
The Archbishop's epistles, which are published in the official Church magazine, touche on the problems that divide the two churches. Amongst other things he characterizes irregular events dated back many years, first of all not mentioning the name of the First, meaning the Archbishop, and secondly for dividing the Church of Greece into Old Greece and New Countries.
 GREEK AND TURKISH DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETINGBrussels, 26 September 2001 (19:08 UTC+2)
Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos met with his Turkish counterpart Sabahadin Cakmakoglu on the sidelines of the NATO defense ministers meeting held in Brussels. It was a scheduled meeting and the two ministers discussed the international developments.
In the NATO summit meeting, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos expressed the Greek position against the indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians.
 STEPHANOPOULOS-AZNAR MEETINGMadrid, 26 September 2001 (18:48 UTC+2)
Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos will meet in Madrid today with Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar. They will discuss the international situation and the future of Europe in view of the upcoming Spanish EU presidency.
Yesterday evening, Mr. Stephanopoulos attended a formal dinner that was given in his honor by the royal couple of Spain. Greece and Spain condemned the terrorist attacks on the United States and Mr. Stephanopoulos stressed that the battle against terrorism and the study of the causes behind it must be a top priority for Europe.
Referring to the Cyprus issue, Mr. Stephanopoulos underlined that its solution is a top priority for Greece and criticized the persistent negative stance by Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash concerning the procedure for the settlement of the issue. He also expressed his support to the efforts made by the UN secretary-general toward this end.
 THE US HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HONORS SAE PRESIDENT ANDREW ATHENSChicago, 26 September 2001 (16:25 UTC+2)
The US House of Representatives honored World Council for Hellenes Abroad, SAE, president Andrew Athens for his contribution to the efforts aimed at offering humanitarian aid and free medical care to millions of people around the world, as it is mentioned in a full-page report on the monthly official publication of the US House of Representatives' minutes.
Mr. Athens founded the United Greek-American Congress in 1974, while earlier he became noticed when he promoted initiatives aimed at the strengthening of the Greek presence in the United States.
He was elected World Council for Hellenes Abroad, SAE, president in 1995 and from this post he continues the efforts aimed at providing medical care to millions of people around the world. SAE has launched a Medical Program offering medical care to the Greeks of the Diaspora in countries like the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, while through a program of visiting nurses in 35 villages in the Ukraine, the Medical Centers serve over 35.000 patients on a monthly basis.
New medical centers have been built in Armenia, Mariupoli and Vatum and it is estimated that they will serve over one million patients on an annual basis.