|Wednesday, 11 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-11-08
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 CEM VISIT CONTINUESAthens, 8 November 2001 (12:00 UTC+2)
The two-day visit of Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs to Athens will continue today, the concentration of which, now, is the examination of bilateral affairs, as well as international developments after the September 11 terrorist strike.
Minister of Foreign Affairs G. Papandreou held a reception in honor of Mr. Cem, who also met with the President of the Republic, and then met with the President of New Democracy, Kostas Karamanlis, who characterized their discussion as candid, adding the need to smooth out bilateral relations based on international legislature and international treaties. On the Cyprus issue Mr. Karamanlis supported that a fair and viable solution should be found in the framework of UN resolutions, stressing that Cyprus' course towards incorporation to the EU must not be interrupted. During the Greek-Turkish business council reception, Mr. Cem made mention of promotion of human relationships by Greek and Turkish businessmen, while G. Papandreou stressed that businessmen from both countries contribute to Greek-Turkish friendship.
Mr. Cem also received a letter form the Federation of Cypriot Organizations in Greece (OKOE), stating that the basis for a peaceful and just resolution of the Cyprus issue, can be found in the application of International Law and the decisions made by International Organizations.
In its letter, OKOE called Turkey's Minister of Foreign Affairs to honor the dozens of treaties and resolutions, which eliminate any chance of the uniting, dividing, double uniting, the annexation of a part or the whole of Cyprus, and asked Mr. Cem to tell Turkish Cypriot leader Raul Denktash, to reapproach the negotiations table, with a constructive and friendly spirit, foreseen by UN resolutions and High Level Treaties.
 GREEK-US REACTIONS TO NILES' STATEMENTSAthens, 8 November 2001 (12:09 UTC+2)
The US government has taken a safe distance from the statements of the former US Ambassador to Athens, Thomas Niles, to Mega TV.
State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher pointed out that Mr. Niles is a private citizen, and does not speak for the US government. He added that the US and Greek government are working closely in the fight against terrorism.
After a meeting with Prime Minister Simitis, secretary of PASOK's Central Committee Giorgos Laliotis commented on Mr. Niles' statements, mentioning that this obsession with terrorism is US inspired and remote controlled.
On Mr. Niles' claims that November 17 is connected to government staff members, PASOK and PAK, he made mention of myths, groundless scenarios and a love for terror of retired diplomats.
 ZACHYNTHOS REFUGEE CASES EXAMINED INDIVIDUALLYZachynthos, 8 November 2001 (11:59 UTC+2)
The gradual transfer of refugees from the ship on which they traveled, to housing on the island of Zachynthos, continues. They have now been counted by the island's coast guard.
The total number of illegal immigrants has reached 714, of which 125 are children and 93 are women. So far, the children with their families have been taken to the ARCADIAN hotel, 296 people in total, while the rest are undergoing medical examination and are then taken to the housed gymnasium of the island.
A group from the Center of Infectious Disease Control is expected to arrive on the island today. The refugees will be sheltered on the island for the next 15 days, and according to the Minister of Commercial Shipping, Giorgos Anomeritis, each case of request for political asylum will be examines individually, while the refugees that do not receive political asylum will be repatriated. The 7 Turkish traffickers are being held and are expected to be taken to the District Attorney today.
 NATO RAN OUT ON THE BILLThessaloniki, 8 November 2001 (11:54 UTC+2)
More than 100 NATO military officials that were staying in Thessaloniki hotels in the beginning of 1999, before the bombing in Serbia, still haven't paid for their stay in the hotels, which has resulted in the hotel owners resorting to civil courts.
As is mentioned in the precautionary measures request that was turned in by the representatives of Macedonian Hotels to the one-member court of first instance, from January 5 to April 4 2000, 132 NATO military personnel members in total, stayed at City hotel in Thessaloniki at various times, in the framework of their transfer to Kossovo. But, as the hotel owners mention, their bills have not, to this day, been paid. The request for security precautions has targeted the city's travel agencies, which was in charge of procuring accommodation for the foreign military personnel.
The unpaid debts include the overnight stay, breakfast, and telephone calls made by the multinational force that stayed at the hotels.
The case will be examined by the court in December.
 PROTOPAPAS ON THE DEPLOYMENT OF GREEK SOLDIERS IN BOSNIAAthens, 8 November 2001 (19:05 UTC+2)
Greece's military presence in the wider region of southeastern Europe, as a guarantor power for normality, security and cooperation, is placed within the government's policy, stated government spokesman Christos Protopapas, responding to a question on the likelihood for the Greek forces to replace the US troops in Bosnia which will leave for Afghanistan.
When asked to comment if the Greek military presence in the Balkans will be increased, he stated that if it is necessary it will happen.
 THE GOVERNMENT'S GOALS UNTIL 2004Athens, 8 November 2001 (18:46 UTC+2)
The government's goals for the next four years concerning economic development, the prosperity of the people and Greece's strong international presence, were reiterated by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in the governmental committee meeting on the government planning until 2004.
According to government spokesman Christos Protopapas, the Prime Minister stressed that a lot have changed after the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States. Mr. Simitis stated characteristically that uncertainty has increased, the situation in international economy has changed, while countries like Greece with new problems are facing new needs.
Mr. Protopapas stated that the priorities to which the Prime Minister referred, were the Olympic Games and specifically, the need to respect the Olympic projects' timetables, the quick and correct exploitation of the 3rd Community Framework of Support funds, the creation of 300.000 new job positions, the opening of the dialogue for the reform of the social security system, the tax reform in 2002, the Greek EU presidency in the first half of 2003, the promotion of changes and reforms in public administration, education and health and the successful adoption of the Euro.
Mr. Protopapas stated that the governmental committee will meet on November 15 to discuss the economic policy, the cabinet will meet on November 21 to discuss the state budget and on November 29 the cabinet will hold another meeting to discuss Greece's preparation for the adoption of the Euro. In the same period of time, a special meeting will be held on the problem of illegal immigration.
 PLASKOVITIS: GREECE IS READY FOR A COMPOSITE NAME FOR FYROMAthens, 8 November 2001 (18:12 UTC+2)
Greece is ready to sign an agreement on a composite name for FYROM if such a name is accepted by both sides, stated Foreign Ministry general secretary Elias Plaskovitis in the meeting of the joint Greek-Dutch European Affairs committee.
Responding to a question by a reporter on whether the name will include the term "Macedonia", Mr. Plaskovitis refused to give further details.
However, European Affairs Greek Committee president Dinos Vrettos stated that he personally believes that the new FYROM name will include the term "Macedonia".
The Greek and Dutch parliament deputies also discussed the EU enlargement and the future of Europe. The issue of Cyprus' EU accession was also raised and it was stressed that Cyprus was among the first EU candidate-states meeting the necessary preconditions for EU accession.
 PAPANDREOU-CEM SIGNED PROTOCOLS OF COOPERATIONAthens, 8 November 2001 (17:46 UTC+2)
Three new confidence-building-measures and four protocols of cooperation were signed in Athens today by the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey.
Mr. Papandreou and Mr. Cem characterized the agreements as one more step toward the strengthening of bilateral relations.
On the Cyprus problem, which continues to be a "thorn" in bilateral relations, Mr. Papandreou stressed that Greece backs the efforts made by the UN secretary-general for its solution stressing, however, that the solution of the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for Cyprus' accession into the EU.
From his side, Mr. Cem was firm on the Turkish positions, stressing that Cyprus' EU accession will have consequences on the Greek-Turkish relations, if the political problem is not resolved first.
They also discussed ways to deal with international terrorism and agreed to cooperate in the issue of the humanitarian aid for the Afghan refugees.
They reviewed the developments in the Balkans and Mr. Cem stated that he agrees with Greece's position that the Stability Pact's role must be strengthened and promoted.
The developments in the Middle East was another issue they discussed and the Turkish Foreign Minister maintained that the resumption of negotiations will contribute to the efforts against violence in the region.
The confidence-building-measures concern the contacts and the exchange of views between general staff leaders in meetings within the framework of international organizations in which Greece and Turkey participate, the visits by military officials and their participation in large scale military exercises and the environment development plan in Evros.
The protocols of cooperation signed concern the repatriation of illegal immigrants, the establishment of a joint group to deal with natural disasters, the cooperation of diplomatic academies as well as, the cooperation of the sectors of culture and education.
They also signed a joint statement on Olympic Truce which they will forward to be signed by other countries as well.
 MARGINAL GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 8 November 2001 (17:24 UTC+2)
Marginal gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.06% at 2.634,9 points, while the volume of transactions was 193 million Euro or 66 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 191 recorded gains and 126 had losses, while the value of 43 stocks remained unchanged.
 COSMOTE AMONG THE LEADING COMPANIES IN EUROPEThessaloniki, 8 November 2001 (17:22 UTC+2)
The Greek mobile phone operator COSMOTE SA is on the list with the 500 best companies in Europe representing different sectors, according to the Financial Times "FT500 Survey" annual research.
The Financial Times FT500 Top Companies list presents the annual picture of the biggest companies in the world based on their market capitalization.
According to COSMOTE SA managing director Evangelos Martigopoulos, the performance of the company is recognized at an international level and it is a reward for the efforts made so far.
 ANTIWAR RALLY IN THESSALONIKI AND ATHENSThessaloniki, 8 November 2001 (14:49 UTC+2)
Antiwar rallies will take place today in Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as in others large cities.
At 7pm residents and bodies of Thessaloniki will assemble in Aristotelous Square, protesting the bombing of Afghanistan and asking to end it.
An hour earlier, at 6pm, an antiwar rally will take place in Athens, after the initiative of the Workers' Center. The protesters will march to the US Embassy.
 SANTIAGO CALATRAVA IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 8 November 2001 (14:49 UTC+2)
An exhibit of the works of the famous Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, will open on November 23 at the Telloglio Foundation by the Minister of Culture Evaggelos Venizelos. The artist will be present at the opening, he will present designs, photographs and models of works, among which is the Athens Olympic Stadium. The exhibit also includes models and designs of the sculpted scenery Kalatravas made for the The Women of Troy.
 REDUCTION OF COST AT "MACEDONIA" AIRPORT PROPOSEDThessaloniki, 8 November 2001 (14:48 UTC+2)
Deputy Minister Spyros Vougias is waiting for an answer from the General Director of Lufthansa in Athens, on a proposal he submitted, to except flights to Thessaloniki from the company's cut-backs and to not fire the approximately 50 people working at the company. Lufthansa executed 15 flights a week, transferring approximately 2000 passengers.
Mr. Vougias also made the government's intention to lower the landing and stopping cost at "Macedonia" airport known. With this action, functional cost for the company would drop and there would be no need for cutbacks in funds.
However, the fact that the Thessaloniki flight was 28th on the list of 43 flights that Lufthansa is cancelling, doesn't leave mush room for hope.
If the German company gives an answer by Friday, Mr. Vougias will transfer it to the Company's Workers' Committee himself, with which he will meet on the afternoon of the same day in Thessaloniki.
 SUSPICIOUS ENVELOPE IN MAIL SERVICE OFFICESThessaloniki, 8 November 2001 (14:47 UTC+2)
There was commotion this morningat a letter sorting center of the Greek Mail Service in Thessaloniki, when employees noticed a suspicious white powder coming from an envelope. The employees of the center in the area of Sfagia informed the police, and the envelope has been sent to the university labs to be examined.
At the same time the police were searching for the person the letter was addressed to, who went to the mail service.
She informed the police that the envelope had a protein medicine, in powder, mailed by a Dutch pharmaceutical company. However, the police sent the envelope to the labs just as a precaution.
 ROMANIA'S PRESIDENT ILIESCU WILL VISIT GREECEBucharest, 8 November 2001 (17:12 UTC+2)
Romanian President Ion Iliescu will be on a formal visit to Greece on November 21-23. He is scheduled to meet with President Kostis Stephanopoulos and a Greek businessmen delegation for talks on the course of investments in Romania.
Greece's ambassador to Bucharest will meet in the Romanian capital on November 14 with President Iliescu, Romania's ambassador to Athens and Greek businessmen in Romania to prepare Mr. Iliescu's visit.
Greek Businessmen in Romania Association general secretary Yiannis Niavis, who will travel to Greece with the Romanian President, stated that the Greek businessmen in Romania should offer information to businessmen in Greece who want to invest in Romania.
 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL: HORRIBLE TORTURES IN TURKEYLondon, 8 November 2001 (20:13 UTC+2)
Turkey has failed to take serious and drastic measures against torture, according to Amnesty International. The human rights organization mentions that in spite of the declarations made by the Turkish government no serious or effective measures have been taken so far aimed at combating torture.
In a statement issued in London today it is stressed that testimonies on the extent of the torture phenomenon in Turkey are systematic and numerous.
Based on evidence provided by Amnesty International, many inmates in Turkish prisons and police stations are being tortured in horrible ways during interrogation and afterwards they are being blinded in order to be unable to identify their torturers.
The most widely used tortures in Turkey are savage beatings, sexual abuse, the threats that inmates will be killed or raped, and psychological pressure. Also, the victims are hanged from their hands, and they are deprived of sleep, and food.