|Friday, 15 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-10-08
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SIMITIS: US ANSWER UNAVOIDABLEAthens, 8 October 2001 (12:00 UTC+2)
The answer to the September 11 terrorist strike was characterized as unavoidable by Prime Minister Kostas Simtis, in statements last night. At the same time he appreciated that there was no great need for alarm and pointed out that Greece is accommodating with the use of its airports after NATO and EU decisions, however, at this time, there is no request for further help.
Those who killed thousands of innocent civilians must answer for their actions. Greece is fighting terrorism, Greece is participating in the framework of NATO and EU decisions, said the Prime Minister, and stressed that Greece asked the US that the military operation be concentrated on specific targets. Mr. Simitis stresses that US Vice-President, Mr. Cheney, with whom he spoke yesterday afternoon, assured him of the existence of specific targets, as well as that humanitarian support of refugees and the people of Afghanistan will continue. The Greek Prime Minister expressed the hope that there will none or very few victims in the civilian population.
Referring to tomorrow's meeting of the Governmental Council on Foreign Affairs and Defense, he stressed that the situation will be examined in detail. The situation is under control and no particular alarm is needed, much less fear that anything might happen. Greece is accommodating with its airports in the framework of NATO and European Union decisions, as I mentioned. There has been no request for any further help and I do not think that it will be needed, he noted.
In relation to the situation that has formed after the terrorist strike on the US he mentioned that global facts have changed, while he expressed his personal opinion that at this point no one can say with certainty that things will take a turn for the worse. I don't think that will happen, I don't believe it will, and I repeat that being worried or afraid at this point is not justified. We are in control of the situation, added the Prime Minister.
 EMERGENCY SECURITY MEASURESAthens, 8 October 2001 (12:07 UTC+2)
The plan that had been prepared by security services in Greece after the September 11 attack on the US, was put into action last night.
Emergency security measures were taken at the Eleftherios Venizelos airport and all other airports of the country, while there is information that the Chania airport in Crete has been shut down.
In Athens, the American, British and Israeli Embassies are being guarded, and places where their interests are served are being watched over as targets.
Emergency measures have also been taken by the General Army Staff in all US bases in our country, especially in those at Actio and Souda.
American marines and Greek Navy Seals will patrol the Souda Bay. Mixed units of Greek and American forces will patrol the Souda air and naval bases.
The General Army Staff sent a message to all units to raise security measures.
Measures have also been taken in harbors and other sensitive building security. All military facilities are under extreme security measures, and border guards have taken similar measures.
Certain Arabs in Greece are under surveillance, although it must be noted that the majority of Arabs in Greece are peace loving citizens, most of whom have started families marrying Greek citizens, and have interests here.
 REACTIONS IN GREECEAthens, 8 October 2001 (12:25 UTC+2)
Opposite reactions by the Left and the Right wing. The Greek people was called to rise up against this unfair war, which is using terrorism as a pretext, and is being waged against the entire planet on Mega television station last night, by Mr. Makis Mailis, member of the Greek Communist Party Central Committee.
He continued to say that Greece has no place in this unfair war, and that it should not offer any accommodations, especially when it might be targeted for retaliation, he added.
He also underlined that the US attack would have taken place even without the attack on the Twin Towers, because it is part of US plans to control the oil routes and establishing nuclear bases in Afghanistan.
The US strike on Afghanistan was also condemned by the Coalition of the Left in an announcement it made, stressing amongst other things that the US and their allies chose the recycling of fear and bloodshed in answer to the September 11 strike.
The whole announcement is as follows:
"The US and their allies moved to the choice of violence of war in Afghanistan in "answer" to the violence of the terrorist strike in New York, under the title of "Endless Peace" they chose the recycling of terror and bloodshed.
The Coalition along with all peace loving powers of the world, raises its voice in protest, and condemns war.
War is not the solution to our problems. The blood of the innocent victims of New York cannot be washed away by the blood of the innocents in Afghanistan".
On the other hand, New Democracy expressed its solidarity in the fight against terrorism, as the President of New Democracy, Kostas Karamanlis, through party spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos, stressed on Mega television station.
An important positive factor is that the US did not choose to attack right away, but let some time pass, so that they could be sure of their strikes and that fact differentiates George Bush's associates from those of Bill Clinton.
He also underlined, that after the attacks on the US and Afghanistan, a third attack will come, one which no one can guess.
An anti-war rally has been organized for tonight at 7pm by the statue of Eleftherios Venizelos, by the Anti-war Committee of Thessaloniki and the Youth Action for Peace. In an announcement they made, they asked for the bombings to stop in Afghanistan and for no involvement of Greece in any limitation of democratic liberties and rights.
 FOUR EARTHQUAKES SHOOK THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 8 October 2001 (14:09 UTC+2)
Four earthquakes shook Thessaloniki this morning. According to Thessaloniki's Aristotle University geophysics laboratory, the first earthquake was recorded at 07:50am and was measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale, while its epicenter was located 15 kilometers east of Thessaloniki at the region of Asvestochori.
The second earthquake took place at 08:26am, the third at 08:32am and the fourth at 08:36am, measuring 4.2, 4.1, and 3.2 on the Richter scale respectively, followed by hundreds of smaller tremors, all from the same epicenter.
According to seismologists, the earthquakes came from a region with limited seismic activity. Seismologist Eleftheria Papadimitriou stated to MPA that the tremors came from a small fault and from a region that is known to give rather small earthquakes.
Seismologists will observe the phenomenon for 48 hours before reaching final conclusions.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 8 October 2001 (19:47 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.52% at 2.215,30 points, while the volume of transactions was very small at 77.25 million Euro or 26.32 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority, 282, recorded losses and only 45 had gains, while the value of 51 remained stable.
 GOVERNMENTAL COUNCIL ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEFENSE MEETINGAthens, 8 October 2001 (18:13 UTC+2)
The governmental council on foreign affairs and defense that met today presided over by prime minister Kostas Simitis made an initial assessment of the situation that was created after the attack of US and British forces on Afghanistan.
As it was made known, a comprehensive security and readiness plan covering all sectors was examined. It provides for strict security measures along Greece's sea and land borders to stop the uncontrolled entry of illegal immigrants. The transportation minister decision to ban the flights of private planes is still in effect. Also, security measures are in effect for the protection of embassy buildings and any possible target of a terrorist attack, while the ministry of defense will make the necessary preparations to face the likelihood of a biochemical war.
Government officials believe that Greece is not a very likely target but the country should be ready to deal with every possible threat.
Minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated that nobody can face terrorism alone and made it clear that this is a war against terrorism and not a war of cultures.
 INFLATION DROPPED TO 3.6% IN SEPTEMBERAthens, 8 October 2001 (16:47 UTC+2)
Inflation dropped by 0.2% in September to 3.6% compared to the month of August as a result of the drop in the fuel prices. The final figures confirmed the most optimistic predictions as according to them, inflation was estimated to be at 3.6%-3.9%.
Based on data on the harmonized inflation provided by the Greek National Statistics Agency, the harmonized index was unchanged in September at 4%.
 HITIRIS: GREECE'S STANCE CAN BE POSITIVEAthens, 8 October 2001 (15:39 UTC+2)
Undersecretary of press Tilemachos Hitiris stated that Greece's stance can be positive, speaking in a talk-show on the Athens-based television station "Mega".
Mr. Hitiris pointed out that as a member of NATO Greece has obligations that have to be met and this is what Greece does. Greece has received the request to offer its airspace and is not at the front line of the operations as other countries of the alliance.
The undersecretary of press also pointed out that there has been no negative response from Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli foreign minister Simon Peres to the invitation extended to them by the leadership of the governing socialist party of PASOK to attend the 6th party congress expressing the hope that they will accept it.
 THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR VISITED NE GREECEKomotini, 8 October 2001 (15:33 UTC+2)
The promotion of economic and trade cooperation between Britain and the prefecture of Rodopi, in northeastern Greece, was examined among others in the meeting British ambassador to Greece Davis Christopher Madden had with local officials during his visit to the region.
Mr. Madden was also briefed on the region's development profile and the prospects for inter-border and inter-Balkan cooperation.
 GREEK HUMANITARIAN MISSION TO TEHERANAlexandroupolis, 8 October 2001 (15:30 UTC+2)
The first of the two three-member missions of the Alexandroupolis-based non governmental organization Hellenic Aid departs for Teheran today within the framework of its participation in the Greek foreign ministry "emergency humanitarian aid" program.
The mission will reinforce the aid activities the organization undertook in the region of Iran, at the borders with Afghanistan, for the past three years, to help the local residents deal with the long drought.
Hellenic Aid has received US$200.000 from the Greek foreign ministry and the humanitarian aid (food and water) will be distributed in Afghan refugee camps. The second mission will depart at the end of October and it is estimated that Hellenic Aid will offer help to over 10.000 refugees in the next four months.
The Greek government has approved humanitarian aid of US$1 million, 50% of which was given to the UN High Commission for Refugees and the rest 50% to non governmental organizations, among them Hellenic Aid.
 COALITION OF THE LEFT DEMARCHE TO THE TURKISH AMBASSADORAthens, 8 October 2001 (15:02 UTC+2)
A Coalition of the Left party delegation visited Turkey's ambassador to Athens, Mr. Ali Tuigan today to protest against a news report published on the Turkish newspaper "Sabah" which presented party leader Nikos Konstantopoulos as a supporter of terrorists.
After the meeting, the delegation stated that Coalition of the Left supports the struggle for democratic rights in Turkey and everywhere else in the world where they are being violated. The delegation added that all those who characterize this stance as a support to terrorism should reconsider their relation with democracy and the obligations they have undertaken to be a part of the European democratic framework.
 FLIGHT OF PRIVATE AIRCRAFT PROHIBITEDAthens, 8 October 2001 (12:11 UTC+2)
An order of indefinite prohibition of private plane flights and aircraft with Greek shipping registries in Greek air space, was issued last night to the Service of Civil Aviation by the Minister of Transports, Christos Verelis.
Besides, security measures in our country have been increased. The Minister of Public Order, Michalis Chrysochoidis, is inspecting areas which may be considered targets and is personally inspecting security measures.
 PAPANDREOU: THE AFGHAN PEOPLE ARE NOT THE TARGETCopenhagen, 8 October 2001 (12:07 UTC+2)
The Afghan people are not the target of the operation, on the contrary, humanitarian assistance towards the Afghan people, in which Greece is participating, is constantly increasing, stated Foreign Secretary Giorgos Papandreou from Copenhagen.
The Foreign Secretary characterized the Taliban regime as anachronistic, authoritarian and oppressive, adding that it has made the common Afghan citizen suffer.
Besides, he undelined, this is not a war against Islam and the Arab world. We want the Muslim world, the Arab world near us and to systematically work to deal with our common problems, common causes, such as poverty, wars, which give birth to extreme situations, he added.
He also stressed that next Sunday he will visit Syria, with which our country has traditionally had good relations, unless developments dictate a postponement of the visit.