|Thursday, 14 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-10-18
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 TASK FORCES IN CASE OF CHEMICAL STRIKESAthens, 18 October 2001 (13:38 UTC+2)
Task forces will deal with possible nuclear-biological or chemical attacks, as was decided by the 13 secretaries general of the different ministries, who met in the general secretariat of Political Protection, despite the fact that there is no special reason for Greece to worry about such terrorist actions occurring in Greece.
These task forces will be responsible for operational organization in such cases, while police, fire fighting and Armed Forces, as well as scientists from the Special Infections Research Center, the Atomic Energy Committee and other bodies will participate. Their coordination will be the responsibility of the special group created by the Ministry of Health.
The group convened today for the first time with the participation of the second in Command of the Armed Forces, the Chief of Police, Paramedic Units, the Special Infections Research Center, the Fire Department and the Coast Guard.
According to the Central Committee of Political Protection, three work groups will be created by scientists, whose job it is to develop new emergency plans to deal with chemical, biological or nuclear incidents.
 MILLER'S 2ND VISIT TO THE DEFENSE MINISTRYAthens, 18 October 2001 (13:39 UTC+2)
US Ambassador Miller met with the Heads of the General Staff yesterday, in a meeting held at the Defense Ministry.
Specifically, he had a one hour meeting with the Commander of the Armed Forces, General Masoussos Paragioudis, with whom he discussed issues on terrorism, Greek-American and Greek-Turkish relations. According to information, the possibility of replacing US troops in the Balkans with European forces was discussed, if the US decide to make such a move.
In talks that Mr. Miller had with Air Force Commander, D. Lytzerakos, they discussed accommodations for US aircraft, for their attacks on Afghanistan, while with the Navy Commander, vice Admiral G. Theodoroulakis, he discussed Greek support of US Navy forces and the use of the Souda Naval Base.
 ISSUES DISCUSSED BY MINISTERS OF JUSTICEAthens, 18 October 2001 (13:37 UTC+2)
The protocol of the 29.5.2000 Treaty was signed by Minister of Justice Michalis Stathopoulos, who participated in the joint committee meeting of EU Ministers of Justice and Economy, as well as in the emergency meeting of EU Ministers of Justice and Internal Affairs, which took place in Luxembourg.
Based on this protocol any member-state, providing judicial guarantees, can ask for necessary information on bank accounts within the borders of another member-state, during a criminal investigation of certain serious offences, including organized crime. The protocol was mainly signed to fight the legalization of income from illegal activities, which is often connected to terrorist funding.
The topic mainly discussed at the Emergency Meeting of EU Ministers of Justice was the European arrest warrant, which, with the latest regulation, may replace extradition of wanted or convicted individuals from one European country to another. This will cancel checking if the crime committed in the country that issued the arrest warrant is punishable in the country where the wanted party is at the time.
The Greek delegation was against the broad definition given for terrorism, which included supporting terrorism and urging others to commit terrorist acts. In coming meetings a definition of terrorism which will not restrict the expression of opinion on terrorism is expected. The Greek delegation supported that the notion of terrorism should include among its other characteristics, the elements of terrorist intent, and intention to incite fear in citizens, so that there is a clearer difference from other similar illegal activities, which cannot be considered terrorism.
 PHILOSOPHER EMPEDOCLES DESCRIBED THE DNA 2.500 YEARS AGOThessaloniki, 18 October 2001 (18:25 UTC+2)
The pre-Socratic philosopher, doctor and politician, Empedocles (495-435 BC) was the first to describe the DNA about 2.500 years ago. The first scientific research that proved DNA carries genetic code information began in 1944 but ancient Greek philosophers Heraclitus and Empedocles were those who gave the first information on the DNA existence.
The above were stated by Aristotle University biochemistry and toxicology professor Anastasios Kovatsis speaking in the 1st Science Fiction International Conference that opened in Thessaloniki today.
Professor Kovatsis stated that the foundations for the DNA research were laid by the Greek pre-Socratic philosophers. The basis of the DNA, its description, its applications, and everything Empedocles said 2.500 years ago were fully confirmed and today form the basis of biology and medicine. Professor Kovatsis said that today, we know that the DNA applications do not concern only the cure of certain illnesses but can contribute to the creation of humans or other species that will be better, more resistant to illnesses and will have a longer life expectancy.
 SMALL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 18 October 2001 (17:36 UTC+2)
Small losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.26% at 2.344,37 points, while the volume of transactions was 100.09 million Euro or 34.1 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 62 recorded gains and 272 had losses, while the value of 28 remained unchanged.
 SUSPICIOUS LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE HEALTH MINISTRY IN ATHENSAthens, 18 October 2001 (17:20 UTC+2)
A suspicious letter with a white powder in it, adressed to the US embassy in Athens, was found among the health ministry mail.
The mobilization of the responsible authorities was immediate and the building was placed in quarantine. The employees were not allowed to leave the building, while the envelope was isolated and is being examined by a group of specialist scientists formed precisely for this purpose. The likelihood of a hoax is also being considered.
The news was confirmed by government spokesman Dimitris Reppas and health ministry general secretary Mr. Sofianos.
 PAPANDREOU: NO ANTHRAX CASE IN GREECEAthens, 18 October 2001 (17:08 UTC+2)
No anthrax case has been reported in Greece and there is no suspicion that Greece could become a target of such an attack, stated foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou after the one-hour meeting he had with prime minister Kostas Simitis in view of tomorrow's EU Summit meeting in Gent, Belgium.
Mr. Papandreou stated that there should be no panic because the Greek authorities can deal with the situation, adding that the people's everyday life should continue as usual.
The foreign minister also underlined that Greece participates actively in all EU initiatives against terrorism and in the effort to solve the Palestinian problem. Referring to the Palestinian issue, he said that developments in the Middle East are very alarming. He said that the situation was deteriorating for some time, adding that after the assassination of the Israeli minister of tourism it is imperative that a solution should be found and the international community must undertake an initiative aimed at moving ahead with the peace process.
Mr. Papandreou stated that the prime minister will present in the Gent EU Summit meeting the Greek proposals for a solution to the Palestinian issue.
 THE EU LEADERS WILL DISCUSS TERRORISMAthens, 18 October 2001 (16:45 UTC+2)
The effects the terrorist attack on the United States had both inside the European Union and at an international level will be the main topic of discussion in the Summit meeting of the EU leaders that will be held in Gent, Belgium tomorrow.
They will also discuss developments concerning the circulation of the Euro that will begin next year and the future of Europe in view of the European Council meeting in Laaken.
During the formal dinner, the EU leaders will have the opportunity to discuss developments in the fight against international terrorism and the stance the EU should adopt, while they will also deal with the issue of the EU enlargement.
Ways to combat terrorism will be discussed in the European Conference that will be held in Brussels on Saturday with the participation of the 15 EU countries, and the western Balkan states, while Russia, Ukraine and Moldavia have been invited to the formal luncheon.
 GREECE CONDEMNS THE ASSASSINATION OF THE ISRAELI MINISTERAthens, 18 October 2001 (16:33 UTC+2)
Greece condemns the assassination of the Israeli minister of tourism, who was murdered yesterday in an attack that contributes only to the destabilization of the region and has a negative effect on the settlement of the Palestinian issue.
The above were stated today by foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis issuing an appeal to both sides to display self-restraint and proceed bravely and with a sense of responsibility with the negotiations that will lead to peace.
Mr. Beglitis also repeated the invitation for a meeting of Palestinians and Israelis in Athens.
The invitation that was issued by foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and the Greek initiative for a religious dialogue under the auspices of the EU and European Commission president Romano Prodi were welcomed yesterday by the EU foreign ministers in the general affairs council meeting.
Mr. Papandreou briefed his EU counterparts on the latest contacts he had in Syria and his imminent trip to Iran and Egypt.
The 15 EU foreign ministers reiterated the EU political will to strengthen cooperation with the Arab-Muslim countries and expressed their political reservations concerning the spread of the military operations in Afghanistan to other target-states.
 COALITION OF THE LEFT ON MS. DAMANAKI'S DISSENTAthens, 18 October 2001 (16:26 UTC+2)
The issue that was created after Coalition of the Left parliament deputy Maria Damanaki's dissent from the party position regarding the US bombing of Afghanistan will be discussed in the party's central political committee meeting on Saturday.
In public statements she made, Ms. Damanaki has pointed out that she disagrees both with the Coalition of the Left stance on the issue and its participation in anti-war demonstrations.
 PAPAZOI IS IN PARISAthens, 18 October 2001 (16:22 UTC+2)
Deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi is in Paris to represent the Greek government in UNESCO's 31st general assembly meeting.
UNESCO's medium-term strategy programs for the five-year period of 2002-2007 aimed at contributing to peace and economic development through education, culture and science, will be among the issues that will be discussed in the meeting, while a draft declaration on cultural diversity will be adopted.
 ROUSOPOULOS ON THE ND ECONOMIC AFFAIRSAthens, 18 October 2001 (16:21 UTC+2)
New Democracy did not have nor has any secret bank accounts in Greek or foreign banks, and has no relations with offshore companies, stated right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy party spokesman Thodoros Rousopoulos referring to the accusations launched by environment, public works and land planning minister Kostas Laliotis.
Mr. Rousopoulos stated that New Democracy is the first Greek political party that invited auditors to check on its financial state, adding that the initiative became a law after 1996.
 LALIOTIS LASHED OUT AT NEW DEMOCRACYAthens, 18 October 2001 (16:13 UTC+2)
The confrontation between minister of environment, public works and land planning Kostas Laliotis and the opposition party of New Democracy continued today. Mr. Laliotis lashed out at right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy on the issue of the "Eleftherios Venizelos" Athens airport.
Mr. Laliotis warned of a "political earthquake" when the evidence concerning a Liberian company case will be revealed. He said that Mr. Mitsotakis will have the same fate with German chancellor Helmut Kohl and New Democracy will have the same fate with Germany's Christian-Democratic Party, adding that politicians have the fate they deserve.
Mr. Laliotis also attacked New Democracy spokesman Thodoros Roussopoulos calling him an "out and out liar" and stated that he should read what he was writing as a journalist when Mitsotakis was the prime minister.
 "DAILY TELEGRAPH": "OLYMPIC" INSURANCE PROBLEMLondon, 18 October 2001 (13:37 UTC+2)
The serious problem of finding an insurance company to cover the Olympics after the September 11 attacks on the US, was brought to light in an article of the Daily Telegraph, titled, Can the cost of insurance cause the desertion of sports?
The article underlined that after September 11, humanity and the world of sports, discovered that the cost of insurance coverage has skyrocketed, which may have cancellation of certain sporting events as its consequence, due to unbearable economic burdens. Especially vulnerable, are international sporting events.
Among other things, the following reference to the 2004 Olympics in Athens was made:
It is a fact that the responsible parties for the security of the Sidney Olympics, had to examine the far fetched possibility of a plane crashing into the Olympic Stadium during the Games' opening ceremony. That possibility is no longer far-fetched for the organizers of the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Greece, just like FIFA, may face a cancelled insurance contract. But, they have not to this date negotiated their insurance coverage.
As long as they continue to do so, they may find out that the cost is forbidding, even more than the Greek government can offer as a subsidy.