|Wednesday, 13 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-10-17
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ECOFIN: MONEY LAUNDERING DIRECTIVELuxembourg, 17 October 2001 (13:35 UTC+2)
A directive against money laundering was agreed upon in Luxembourg yesterday, by the EU Ministers of Economy.
ECOFIN took new strict measures against dirty money connected to terrorism, while EU Ministers of Economy and Justice signed a memorandum of cooperation between their countries on this issue.
Minister of National Economy and Economics Giannos Papantoniou pointed out that from a communal legislature viewpoint, money laundering will not only concern drug trafficking and high crime rates, but international terrorism, too.
Based on the agreement, attorneys, accountants and all professionals cognizant that their clients are moving money related to terrorist activities, are obliged to report it to the proper authorities.
 GREEKS WANT A COMMON EU FOREIGN POLICYAthens, 17 October 2001 (13:44 UTC+2)
A common policy for the European Union is desired by Greeks today, with 83% believing that it is necessary, in contrast to 65% which is the EU average, according to the Eurobarometer, the regular survey of public opinion in EU member-states.
On the other side are Britain and Finland, with less than 50%
According to the survey, Greeks see the perspective of a joint defense and broadening positively, while Greeks along with the Portuguese are the least satisfied with their lives.
Also, Greeks read very few newspapers, do not listen to much radio, while their knowledge of foreign languages is extremely low, as is their appreciation towards politicians, businessmen and lawyers.
On general terms the survey mentions that the majority of Greeks is dealing with the EU positively and judge that Greece will benefit from it.
Finally, only 18% of Greeks trusts political parties, while 86% trusts the Army and 64% trusts the Church.
The Eurobarometer survey took place in April and May, and 16.000 Europeans participates. 1.005 Greeks participated.
 NOTABLE IMPROVEMENT IN THE NEIGHBOR'S IMAGEThessaloniki, 17 October 2001 (17:50 UTC+2)
Specialists reached the conclusion that the image of the neighboring peoples, as presented in the school books of the neighboring Balkan states, has been notably improved. It is noted that the improvement is significant in Greece and Bulgaria, while the neighbor's image is not that good in the Turkish school books and especially, in the elementary school reading books.
The above were mentioned by Aristotle University philosophy school professor Panagiotis Xochellis on the occasion of the international scientific symposium on "Inter-cultural education and the school: the example of school books" that opens in the northwestern Greek city of Edessa tomorrow and will last until Saturday.
He stressed that unfortunately in the history school books of certain countries nationalism is over highlighted and neighboring peoples are presented as being inferior, while more weight is given to the war incidents targeting civilization. He stated that certain books include national stereotypes and negative pictures of the "other" even in the modernized books that were published in the 80s and 90s.
 MEASURES FOR THE SUPPORT OF THE AIRLINE COMPANIESAthens, 17 October 2001 (17:30 UTC+2)
The EU adopted measures for the support of the airline companies which need assistance to deal with the financial damages they have suffered as a result of the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States, according to a decision by the EU transport ministers council that was reached yesterday.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the EU has decided that the European states will undertake to pay the additional insurance premiums that the airlines had to pay as a result of the terrorist attack on the US. Regarding Olympic Airways, it was accepted, after a request made by transport minister Christos Verelis, that its Boeing 737-200 airplanes will not have to be withdrawn by March.
These airplanes will be allowed to be used after the date mentioned above only in destinations outside the EU and for domestic flights.
 SIGNIFICANT GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 17 October 2001 (17:07 UTC+2)
Significant gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +2.03% at 2.350,53 points, while the volume of transactions was at 132.56 million Euro or 45.17 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 316 recorded gains and 28 had losses, while the value of 33 remained unchanged.
 THE BUILDING ACTIVITY SLOWED DOWN IN APRILAthens, 17 October 2001 (16:37 UTC+2)
The private building activity showed a considerable slowdown in the month of April, according to official figures provided by the National Statistics Agency.
Specifically, the private building activity dropped by 13.7% based on the number of permits issued and by 15.5% based on the overall volume of activity compared to April 2000.
However, in the January-April period the building activity showed an increase of 1.8% regarding its volume, while the increase compared to the same period last year was at 11.7%.
 PAPANTONIOU: NO RECESSION PROBLEM IN GREECEAthens, 17 October 2001 (16:15 UTC+2)
Greece will not face an economic recession problem even if the growth rate drops below the 4.5% mark this year, stated minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou one day after the ECOFIN meeting.
He stressed, however, that the EU fiscal policy cannot relax, especially in Greece that suffers from a high public debt. He stressed that the lowering of the debt is the basic resource of funds for the government's social policy.
Mr. Papantoniou stated that apart from the privatization policy there are three key-points that will contribute positively to the efforts aimed at shielding the Greek economy even more. The first is the fast and effective exploitation of the 3rd Community Framework of Support funds, the second is the adoption of measures aimed at strengthening business activity and the third, is the reform of the legislation on development.
 PAPANTONIOU: EU TASK FORCE ON DIRTY MONEYAthens, 17 October 2001 (15:48 UTC+2)
The European Union proceeds with the establishment of a Financial Action Task Force that will target money laundering operations based on an ECOFIN decision, according to a statement made today by national economy minister Yiannos Papantoniou.
It will be a task force that will operate within the framework of the EU and will intervene in money laundering cases, black economy and suspicious transactions in general.
It will be responsible for the collection of evidence that will be forwarded to the European Central Bank which in turn will order the freezing of the suspicious bank accounts. This will happen as soon as the necessary legal framework is created within the EU.
 CALLS FOR AN INQUIRY ON THE RELATION BETWEEN A LIBERIAN COMPANY AND K. MITSOTAKISAthens, 17 October 2001 (15:42 UTC+2)
Minister of environment, public works and land planning Kostas Laliotis gave a report to publicity today that was drawn up by an independent international auditing company according to which, the Greek state benefited by 100 billion drachmas from the contract signed by the PASOK government for the construction of the new Athens Airport compared to a contract that was initialed earlier by the then New Democracy government.
Mr. Laliotis submitted the report to parliament and called for an inquiry to be held by the responsible parliamentary committee on the movement of a Liberian company bank account and the company's relation with the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis.
Mr. Mitsotakis responded to the charges made and accused Mr. Laliotis of mud-slinging, adding that he was the man who did all the dirty work for PASOK and now becomes party secretary.
 INVESTIGATION IN PROGRESS ON SUSPICIOUS BANK ACCOUNTSAthens, 17 October 2001 (15:36 UTC+2)
An investigation is underway to locate bank accounts of individuals or organizations that could be linked with terrorism, according to statements made by Bank of Greece governor Loukas Papadimos on the sidelines of the one-day conference on the Euro organized in Athens by the Bank of Greece. Mr. Papadimos pointed out that he cannot respond to the questions made on the issue by reporters because the investigation in progress is classified.
The Bank of Greece, the anti-terrorist agency, and the National Information Agency are in cooperation with European Union and US agencies and according to Greek bankers, the suspicious bank accounts are likely to be in branches of big foreign banks in Greece.
The Bank of Greece one-day conference will be addressed today by European Central Bank governor Vim Duizenberg.
 BYZANTINE HOURS: AN EXHIBITION ON THE EVERYDAY LIFE IN BYZANTIUMThessaloniki, 17 October 2001 (14:35 UTC+2)
The multi-venue exhibition "Byzantine Hours- Works and Days in Byzantium" will be inaugurated on October 21 in Thessaloniki, at the Museum of Byzantine Culture, and on October 22 in Athens, at the Byzantine and Christian Museum.
"Byzantine Hours" is presented simultaneously in three cities in Greece Athens, Thessaloniki, Mystras which were all important centres in the Byzantine Empire. In planning this event for the new millennium, the Greek Culture Ministry contributes, through its own museological and museographic proposal, to the approach of Byzantine Civilization.
Works of outstanding historical and artistic importance, from 41 museums abroad as well as from Greek museums and private collections, have been combined with new finds from excavations in order to document "Byzantine Hours" an articulated exhibition that explores the Byzantines' daily life and ideology.
The thematic units in each exhibition venue function both independently and complementarily in relation to the others, thus constructing a huge museum spreading across the whole of Greece. The exhibition at Mystras has been open to the public since August 3, 2001.
Events held on the occasion of the "Byzantine Hours" exhibition include an international conference on 'Byzantium: An Ecumenical Empire', organized by the Ministry of Culture.
THESSALONIKI, WHITE TOWER
The exhibition in the White Tower paints a vivid picture of everyday life in
Byzantium: life in the city, in the agora, in the bath-house, in the fields, in the ports, on pilgrimages, at home.
Before our eyes unfold the works and days of the farmer, the hunter, the carpenter, the stone mason, the physician, the shop-keeper, and the traveller, together with details of women's diverse activities in the home.
Through the ordinary or more valuable objects in people's everyday surroundings, we come to understand how they viewed life and the world, their religious feelings and beliefs as reflected in their daily actions, and the simple, uncomplicated moments in their personal and family life.
On five floors of this mediaeval monument, the city's emblem, with its distinctive architectural structure, visitors can take in a number of thematic units focusing on the fundamental aspects of life in the Byzantine city and the Byzantine home. Thirty five precious items are on display for the first time. Distinctive artifacts of Byzantine culture, they come from museums and collections in ten countries, and are accompanied by 900 or so objects from museums, collections, and recent excavations in Greece.
In association with the "Byzantine Hours" exhibition, two exhibitions will be held in Eptapyrgion, Thessaloniki in the former prison building.
I. Essay on Byzantine Fortifications: Northern Greece, 4th 5th centuries.
The exhibition offers visitors an overview of Byzantine fortifications, seeking to
explain the rationale behind their structure and function as part of the defence
of the Empire. Selected examples from northern Greece illustrate the various
structural elements which made up the fortifications as also the
interrelationships and rules which governed them.
II. The Eptapyrgion, The Citadel of Thessalonike
The Eptapyrgion fortress is one of the best preserved fortified monuments in
Greece. The exhibition traces the history of Eptapyrgion as Thessaloniki's
citadel, and documents the architectural, historical and social dimension of this
Byzantine fortress, including its role as a prison in the modern era, and the
progress of the restoration work on the monument.
ATHENS, BYZANTINE AND CHRISTIAN MUSEUM
The part of the exhibition taking place in Athens, at the Byzantine and Christian Museum, is entitled "Byzantium: An Ecumenical Empire". It aims to present the political ideology that was predominant for the entire life of the Byzantine empire, according to which the monarch, as descendant of the Roman emperors, was the ruler of the Oikoumene. The Exhibition is divided into three units.
The first makes reference to the Byzantine beliefs on the geographical and metaphysical dimensions of the Oikoumene. It also presents the origins of the ideology of ecumenical rule. Alexander the Great was in the ancient Greek-roman world the highest model of world-ruler, followed by Augustus, whose realm, the Roman empire, evolved into the state of Constantine the Great, the main founder of the Byzantine idea of ecumenical power. This unit gives also prominence to the ecumenical character of Christianity, which was the unifying element in the multicultural diversity of Byzantium.
The second unit aims to project the central position of the emperor within the ecumenical dimension of the Byzantine state. It is divided into two sub-units. The first illuminates basic aspects of the imperial ideology, such as the idea of the 'ruler by the mercy of God', the piety and unrivalled bravery of the monarch. Portraits of emperors and precious imperial objects form part of this endeavour. The second subunit is dedicated to the idealised 'presence' of the emperor in the whole realm, through the organisation of a strictly hierarchical administrative system.
Finally, the third unit focuses on the influence of Byzantium on the Medieval world. The institutional organisation of the Byzantine empire, its coinage, Orthodoxy and art all aroused the admiration of foreigners and mixed feelings of respect and rivalry. The objects on display are organised in such a way as to make clear the important role of Byzantium on the political, economic, religious and artistic life of the Middle Ages.
Within the framework of the Exhibition are scheduled special educational interpretative activities, which will be attended by more than 1000 visitors, in groups (pupils, adults, foreigners, people with special needs). Moreover, about 4000 pupils of all the educational levels have already planned to visit the Exhibition, with the help of an educational guidebook.
During the Exhibition musical events will be organized at the Byzantine and Christian Museum and also six lectures, addressed to a specialized as well as to a non-specialized audience.
 MILLER MEETS MILITARY CHIEFS OF STAFFAthens, 17 October 2001 (14:24 UTC+2)
The US Ambassador in Athens, Thomas Miller, met with the Chief of Staff Manoussos Paragioudaki, and the Commanders of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force, in the Pentagon today.
 GREECE SUPPORTS ROMANIA'S EFFORTS FOR EU ACCESSIONBucharest, 16 October 2001 (15:12 UTC+2)
Ms. Theodora Grossomanidou, a Greek diplomat who participated in the Greek-Romanian economic conference that was held at the city of Iasion last weekend, reiterated Greece's support to Romania's efforts aimed at becoming an EU member.
Greece continues to be a stable and active partner of Romania and backs its efforts to become a NATO and an EU member, stated the Greek diplomat to Romanian press agency Rompres.
She also stated that Romania is a country with a modern European structure and strong institutions. She expressed the belief that an increase will be observed in bilateral trade relations in the near future as there is great potential in the economic sector, telecommunications and computers as well as agriculture, transportation and tourism.
 GREEK DELEGATION IN BUCHARESTBucharest, 16 October 2001 (15:08 UTC+2)
A Greek delegation, made up of representatives of the ministries of national economy and labor, is on a two-day visit to Bucharest. Head of the delegation is national economy ministry international economic relations general secretary Minas Stavrakakis.
The Greek plan for the Balkan reconstruction, the Greek-Romanian agreement on the final settlement of the Greek political refugees compensation, the Greek credit to Romania and the participation of Romanian companies in Greek state projects, will be among the issues that will be discussed in the meetings of committees of specialists representing the two countries.
 PAPANDREOU-ROGGE MET IN LAUZANELausanne, 16 October 2001 (14:18 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou met with the President of the International Olympic Committee, Jacques Rogge, in Lauzanne. The issue that occupied them was the Olympic cease-fire.
Meanwhile, the Minister of the Environment, Planning and Public Works, Kostas Laliotis, and the President of "Athens 2004", Gianna Aggelopoulou, will sign a memorandum of cooperation for the restructuring of Athens in view of the 2004 Olympics.
 EU DISCUSS AIRLINE PROBLEMSBrussels, 16 October 2001 (13:37 UTC+2)
The problems faced by airline companies after September 11, due to the vertical drop of passenger traffic and the increase of insurance costs are the topics of discussion for the 15 Ministers of Transports of the EU, which is taking place today in Brussels.
In Greece, analysts of the Ministry of Transports, predict a 10% - 40% drop in air traffic from and towards our country in the last trimester of the 2001 and 20% for the Spata airport in 2002, as well as labor problems for all airlines.
The decisions of the EU will have a catalytic effect, especially for our country, in the marginal economic situation, not only of Olympic Airways, but other Greek airlines too. Also, the expected decisions will affect the privatization process of Olympic Airways.
Concerning labor problems, the Greek side is expected to ask the 15 for state support to be allowed, without characterizing it as a subsidy, which is forbidden.
 FIVE GREEKS MISSING IN NEW YORKNew York, 17 October 2001 (13:32 UTC+2)
The names of another 5 Greek Americans were added to the long list of those missing after the September 11 attack on the New York WTC.
The following names have been added:
Steve Hatzis, age 32, employee of Cantor Fitzgerald
Steve Kokianos, age 22, employee of Morgan Stanley
Stefanos Soulas, age 45
Timothy Soulas, age 26, and
According to the Ethnikos Kirykas the total number of dead or missing Greeks living abroad is not greater than 40