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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-10-03

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


CONTENTS

  • [01] G. PAPANDREOU MEETINGS WITH US OFFICIALS
  • [02] THERE WILL BE NO GREEK INVOLVEMENT
  • [03] THE GREEKS GRIEVE FOR THE VICTIMS AND CRITICIZE THE US
  • [04] 8 LAWSUITS IN PARLIAMENT AGAINST MINISTERS
  • [05] LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [06] PAPANDREOU AND FISCHER DISCUSSED THE FYROM NAME ISSUE
  • [07] PAPAZOI-SCHWIMMER MEETING
  • [08] SUMMER TOURISTS IN THRACE HAVE DOUBLED
  • [09] OLYMPIC GAMES MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE MEETING
  • [10] NORMATIVE REFORMS IN SE EUROPE WILL BE COMPLETED IN A DECADE
  • [11] MR. NIOTIS' STATEMENTS ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION
  • [12] CONFERENCE ON IMMIGRATION
  • [13] ANTI-WAR RALLY IN THESSALONIKI
  • [14] EU ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO GREECE TO DEAL WITH THE REFUGEE PROBLEM

  • [01] G. PAPANDREOU MEETINGS WITH US OFFICIALS

    Washington, 3 October 2001 (15:15 UTC+2)

    It is needless to say that Greece will cooperate with the US, based on the activation of article 5 of the NATO treaty, stated Foreign Secretary Giorgos Papandreou, after a meeting in Washington with his US counterpart, Colin Powell.

    He also stressed that in the military operation planned by the US, Greece, so far, will only be involved in information exchange, and giving assistance by refueling from NATO bases in Greece.

    Furthermore, Mr. Papandreou expressed the condolences of Greece and the Greek people for the victims of the September 11 attack.

    The two Ministers discussed issues of broader and regional cooperation issues, such as the Balkans, and the possible mediatory role Greece could have in the international alliance which has been created to fight terrorism, due to its geographical proximity to the Middle East.

    While in Washington, Foreign Secretary Giorgos Papandreou also met with National Security Consultant of the US, Condoleezza Rice. International developments after the terrorist strike on the US and the possibility of resolving regional crises were discussed, and the good state of Greece-US cooperation was established bilaterally, through the EU and NATO.

    In statements to NET TV, Mr. Papandreou stressed that he was given the opportunity to convey the undivided support of the Greek people and their condolences on the tragic events of September 11 to Mrs. Rice, who will inform President Bush.

    Mr. Papandreou was satisfied from the cooperation, since it will give us the chance, as he said, to resolve problems in the Middle East and the Balkans, and bring back peace to our region. Other issues were Greek-Turkish relations and the Cypriot issue, where Mr. Papandreou stressed that these regional crises are very often the source of unrest in the broader area.

    Mr. Papandreou will also meet with the mayor of New York, Rudolf Juliani and Archbishop of America Dimitrios, today, while he will go to the ruins of the World Trade Center.

    [02] THERE WILL BE NO GREEK INVOLVEMENT

    Athens, 3 October 2001 (15:11 UTC+2)

    The opinion that Greece will not be involved in any US military contingencies was expressed by governmental spokesperson, Dimitris Reppas.

    Speaking on Flash radio station, Mr. Reppas supported that our country is the prime mover on a diplomatic and political level in taking initiative on creating a front against international terrorism.

    Furthermore, referring to the very important as he said information that the US is ready to recognize Palestine's independence, Mr. Reppas pointed out that Athens is open for meetings between Palestinians and Israelis to take place.

    [03] THE GREEKS GRIEVE FOR THE VICTIMS AND CRITICIZE THE US

    Athens, 3 October 2001 (14:24 UTC+2)

    The Greeks grieve for the victims of the terrorist attack in the United States and want to offer help but at the same time criticize the US leadership for its policies, according to an opinion poll by the polling company V.PRC conducted on behalf of the Athens newspaper "TA NEA".

    Specifically, 39.2% of those questioned stated that they feel deep sorrow for the victims, 36.7% said that they are afraid and 23.4% responded that the United States have paid for their mistakes.

    Also, 57.1% responded that the name United States causes them a negative impression, 18.9% positive and 24% none. A big percentage (68.1%) fear that Greece could be the target of a similar attack in the next few years, while 22.5% do not fear that at all.

    [04] 8 LAWSUITS IN PARLIAMENT AGAINST MINISTERS

    Athens, 3 October 2001 (15:14 UTC+2)

    8 lawsuits by civilians and syndicates against members of the government were turned in to the Parliament by the Supreme Court District Attorney, in order to investigate any criminal responsibilities they may have.

    Charges were pressed against:

    Former Minister of Transports, Anastasios Mantelis, for the assigning the administration of Olympic Airways to Speedwing International Ltd, a British company.

    Minister of Environment, Planning and Public Works, Kostas Laliotis, for destroying the Pedion tou Areos with illegal trespassing of private individuals among whom the Panhellinios sports club.

    Minister of Transports, Christos Verelis, because as it is stated in the lawsuit, the Minister of Press was misled by Mr. Verelis and shut down Cold FM radio station, while at the same time allowing other pirate stations operating.

    Minister of Education, Petros Efthymiou, on supplying school books in a scandalous manner, as mentioned in the lawsuit, as well as for the failure to evaluate a person for the position of engineering consultant at the Pedagogical Institute.

    Minister of Defense Akis Tsohatzopoulos, for not promoting two world champions in sailing to officers in reserve or to a similar rank.

    Minister of Public Order, Michalis Chrysochoidis, for illegally holding a businessman at the airport for a crime which had been striken-out seven years before.

    Deputy Foreign Secretary, Grigoris Niotis, for not paying damages for a household appliance destroyed at the Kazakstan customs.

    [05] LOSSES IN THE ASE

    Athens, 3 October 2001 (19:09 UTC+2)

    Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.29% at 2.223,59 points, while the volume of transactions was 116.34 million Euro or 39.64 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 189 recorded gains and 127 had losses, the value of 62 remained stable.

    [06] PAPANDREOU AND FISCHER DISCUSSED THE FYROM NAME ISSUE

    Athens, 3 October 2001 (18:12 UTC+2)

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas confirmed that the issue of the FYROM name was discussed in the meeting Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou had with his German counterpart Joshka Fischer and stated that the discussion was held because a new mission will be underway in FYROM with the participation of forces from European countries.

    On the issue of the name, Mr. Reppas reiterated that Greece remains firm to its positions, pointing out that it must be dealt with because its solution will contribute to the further stabilization of the situation in the region.

    [07] PAPAZOI-SCHWIMMER MEETING

    Athens, 3 October 2001 (17:31 UTC+2)

    Deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi met today with Council of Europe general secretary Walter Schwimmer, who is on a visit to Athens.

    Mr. Schwimmer praised Greece's stance within the framework of the cooperation against terrorism, while on the occasion of the new provocative statements made by Turkey on the alleged harboring of terrorists by Greece, he pointed out that such statements are never helpful.

    From her side, Ms. Papazoi called on Turkey to display a sense of cooperation and responsibility and expressed Greece's support to all Council of Europe activities.

    [08] SUMMER TOURISTS IN THRACE HAVE DOUBLED

    Komotini, 3 October 2001 (16:57 UTC+2)

    The number of tourist arrivals and hotel bookings in Thrace, northeastern Greece, doubled this summer compared to the same period last year.

    According to figures provided by the Tourist Directorate, the arrivals from Britain, Germany, France, Turkey and Bulgaria doubled in the prefectures of Xanthi, Rodopi and Evros compared to last summer. The increase observed in the Greek tourist arrivals exceeded 50%.

    [09] OLYMPIC GAMES MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE MEETING

    Athens, 3 October 2001 (16:31 UTC+2)

    The outcome of the International Olympic Committee, IOC, delegation visit to Athens last week was discussed in the Olympic Games ministerial committee meeting that was held today under prime minister Kostas Simitis.

    In the meeting it was stressed that the IOC remarks on the delays observed in certain projects were correct but they did not concern all the projects.

    In statements after the meeting, undersecretary of press Tilemachos Hitiris stressed that the IOC was 99% satisfied when it left Greece and added that in the ministerial committee meeting the prime minister called on its members to work harder, accelerate their pace and cooperate better.

    The next meeting of the ministerial committee will be held in two weeks and the next visit of the IOC Coordinating Committee to Athens will take place on November 21.

    [10] NORMATIVE REFORMS IN SE EUROPE WILL BE COMPLETED IN A DECADE

    Thessaloniki, 3 October 2001 (16:06 UTC+2)

    The normative reforms concerning investment infrastructures in southeastern Europe are expected to be completed within a decade, opening the way for the inflow of foreign capital to the states of the wider region.

    The above were stated by former ambassador of Greece to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, professor Spiros Lioukas on the sidelines of a two-day seminar organized in Thessaloniki by the Greek government and the OECD.

    Based on the outcome of the seminar proceedings, it appears that the simplification of legislation and the creation of a common normative framework will limit the reservations expressed by international investors.

    It is worth noting, that a paradox is being observed in the region of southeastern Europe as the eagerness of the governments in the region to promote the necessary structural changes in a quick pace can result to badly prepared moves. The above were stressed by Rolf Alter, in charge of the OECD normative reforms program, who clarified that the governments in the region must lower their expectations concerning the structural changes progress as in recent years those expectations have become very high.

    Responding to a MPA question, Mr. Alter praised Greece for the pace of its structural reforms. He said that Greece has made a huge progress, stressing that the fact that it has pledged to stay very active in the wider region is very positive.

    [11] MR. NIOTIS' STATEMENTS ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

    Athens, 3 October 2001 (15:35 UTC+2)

    Immigration is a right, but illegal immigration is a plague as together with drug trafficking constitute the main source of profit for organized crime worldwide, estimated at US$7-8 billion annually.

    The above were stated to MPA by undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis, stressing the significance of the first conference on immigration cooperation issues in the Mediterranean held in Athens today and tomorrow, organized by the Council of Europe and the Greek foreign ministry General Secretariat for the Greeks Living Abroad.

    Mr. Niotis stated that in a civilized society the issues that have to do with the respect of human rights and the dignity of immigrants must be handled in a responsible manner.

    [12] CONFERENCE ON IMMIGRATION

    Athens, 3 October 2001 (15:28 UTC+2)

    Immigration is a fact for Europe but it has to be managed in a careful and clever manner to avoid the likelihood of creating new problems instead of solving the existing ones, stressed EU Regions Committee president Joao Jardim in the conference on employment, culture, social cohesion and immigration that was held on the Aegean island of Mykonos.

    The true integration of immigrants into society is a proof of a successful immigration policy, while the promotion of the respect of diversity in a multi-cultural Europe, that is based on solidarity, is one of the fundamental targets of the European Union.

    Greek undersecretary of interior Konstantinos Kaiserlis stated that for Greece the integration of immigrants into society has a special significance as it used to be a country of immigrants and now has become a country that receives immigrants.

    Cyclades prefect Panagiotis Rigas stated that immigrants in the prefecture are estimated at 8.000 in a total of 100.000 local residents and come mainly from Albania.

    [13] ANTI-WAR RALLY IN THESSALONIKI

    Thessaloniki, 3 October 2001 (15:14 UTC+2)

    There was great participation in the rally organized in Thessaloniki against Greece's participation in military operations organized by the US in retaliation to the September 11 attacks. With slogans such as no engagement, no involvement, the bases and the Americans must leave and terrorism is the opportunity to encase the people's rage, approximately 3.000 people responded to the calling of the Committee of Bodies Against War, and stated their opposition to the participation of Greece in the war.

    In the rally that took place at Aristotelous Square, the main speaker was member of the Committee of Bodies, Michalis Liakos, who underlined that surveys show that 70% of Greeks do not want the involvement of Greece in military operations and that 80% do not want a war at all. Furthermore, he called the people of Thessaloniki to democratic vigilance and daily struggle against war and laws that limit their individual rights.

    [14] EU ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO GREECE TO DEAL WITH THE REFUGEE PROBLEM

    Brussels, 3 October 2001 (17:18 UTC+2)

    Greek governing socialist party of PASOK Euro-deputy Anna Karamanou made a request for European Union economic assistance to Greece to help it deal with the problems caused by the big refugee wave created as a result of the dramatic developments in Asia and the Middle East.

    Speaking in the Euro-parliament plenary session, Ms. Karamanou stressed that the Greek islands are an entry gate to the European Union for thousands of refugees, mainly Afghans. She requested EU assistance for a complete and joint plan aimed at the protection of the right to an asylum and the full implementation of the Geneva Convention.

    Ms. Karamanou stated that the time has come to deal with the problem of the massive population transfer through a fairer global policy aimed at limiting inequalities and settling disputes through peaceful means.


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