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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-11-12
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SURVEY SHOWS SMALL DIFFERENCES IN ND-PASOK POLICIESAthens, 12 November 2001 (12:36 UTC+2)
Small differences can be discerned in the policies of PASOK and New Democracy by Greek citizens, according to the second part of the Opinion poll, published in Eleftherotypia today.
Specifically, 46% of the respondents believe that the policies of the two more major parties are identical or have very few differences on important issues. In contrast, only 17% believe that New Democracy and PASOK differentiate from each other in the basic sectors of practicing political power.
Also, according to the poll, 53,9% of the respondents have no trust in the government as far as unemployment is concerned, 45,7% expresses its mistrust on health issues, while 43% do not trust the government on educational issues.
In fact, one in two Greeks believes that the government should improve the position of the poorer population groups, while only 6,1% believes that the Olympic Games of 2004 should be given priority.
In the first part of the poll, published yesterday, New Democracy had a lead if 6 points against PASOK. However, PASOK is considered a more able party to govern the country with a percentage of 35,7 against 31,1% of New Democracy. Giorgos Papandreou is considered the most popular politician, followed by Avramopoulos, Tsohatzopoulos, Siouflias and Karamanlis.
 AUSTRALIA: 3 GREEKS LIVING ABROAD MPSMelbourne, 12 November 2001 (13:41 UTC+2)
3 of the 17, in total, candidates of Greek descent one a position in the Australian parliament, in Saturday's elections. Sophia Panopoulou, Maria Vamvakinou, and Petros Georgiou, will be the Greek triad in the Australian Parliament, as the Melbourne newspaper for Greeks living abroad, New World, reports.
 LALIOTIS TESTIFIES TO D.A. TODAYAthens, 12 November 2001 (12:40 UTC+2)
The Secretary of PASOK's Central Committee, Kostas Laliotis, will testify to District Attorney Dimitris Papaggelopoulos, in order to present evidence having to do with his accusations on the initial contract signed by New Democracy on the Spata airport in 1993.
Mr. Laliotis claims to have compared the original contract signed when Mr. Mitsotakis was Prime Minister, with the contract that was finally signed in 1995, when he was a Minister, and discovered that the Greek public sector had benefited by 100 billion drs. It should be noted that the honorary president of New Democracy, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, has pressed charges against Mr. Laliotis, which will be discussed on May 30, 2002.
At the same time, the D.A. check the connection of Mayo Investment Company, a Liberian company, to New Democracy.
 HITIRIS: THE OLYMPIC GAMES ARE A PRIORITY FOR THE GOVERNMENTAthens, 12 November 2001 (18:09 UTC+2)
The Athens 2004 Olympic Games are a priority for the government and they will be most successful, stated acting Greek government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris.
He stated that there are certain difficulties faced in the Olympic Games preparations adding that this is only natural. Mr. Hitiris also stressed that the Greek government strongly believes that that the Olympic Games in Athens will be a success.
 THE 15 TAKING PICTURES OF A KALAMATA AIR BASE ARE UNDER ARRESTAthens, 12 November 2001 (17:57 UTC+2)
Acting Greek government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris confirmed today that the 15 British and Dutch nationals, who were taking pictures of an Air Base in Kalamata, southern Greece, have been arrested.
Mr. Hitiris stated that the photographic material in their possession has been confiscated and the 15 have been led before the prosecutor.
 THE GOVERNMENT DENIES THE FYROM NAME SCENARIOSAthens, 12 November 2001 (17:47 UTC+2)
Acting Greek government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris denied the scenario on a solution of the FYROM name problem based on which, FYROM will use the name it wants and Greece can use a different name for it.
The Undersecretary of Press and Mass Media stressed that the negotiations under the UN auspices are underway aimed at finding an international name for FYROM.
 SIGNIFICANT LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 12 November 2001 (17:38 UTC+2)
Significant losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.86% at 2.605,43 points, while the volume of transactions was at 127 million Euro or 43 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 99 recorded gains and 219 had losses, while the value of 41 stocks remained unchanged.
 COOPERATION MEMORANDUM SIGNED BY THE CHURCH AND "ATHENS 2004"Athens, 12 November 2001 (17:03 UTC+2)
A memorandum of cooperation was signed today between the Church of Greece and the "Athens 2004" Olympic Games Organizing Committee. The memorandum was signed by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece and "Athens 2004" Organizing Committee president Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalakis.
Archbishop Christodoulos stated that the Olympic Games are a unique opportunity for Greece that should not be wasted.
From her side, Ms. Angelopoulou announced that the Church will receive a total of 200 million drachmas for the renovation of buildings that belong to the Church and will be used during the Olympic Games as supplementary residential facilities.
 PAPANDREOU CONTACTS ON CYPRUSAthens, 12 November 2001 (16:22 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou will have meetings in New York today with the US and British special coordinators on Cyprus.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis stated that the Cyprus problem continues to be a priority for the international community in spite of the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States.
He said that there is room for the resumption of proximity talks, while he rejected the likelihood for Greece and Cyprus to accept views and procedures outside the UN solution framework.
Commenting on the negative response Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides gave to the invitation by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for direct talks between the two sides, Mr. Beglitis stated that Mr. Clerides refused because the request undermines the efforts made by the UN secretary-general for the resumption of proximity talks.
 PAPANDREOU MEETINGS IN NEW YORK ON THE FYROM NAMEAthens, 12 November 2001 (16:20 UTC+2)
The issue of the name of FYROM will be at the center of the talks Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou will have in New York today with UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, FYROM Foreign Minister Ilinka Mitreva and US assistant Secretary of State Mr. Grossman, on the sidelines of the UN general assembly.
Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis stressed that the stance of the Greek government is clear and has not changed and efforts are made both within the framework of the UN and at a bilateral level aimed at reaching a compromise and realistic solution.
Mr. Beglitis clarified that Greece cannot accept the constitutional name of FYROM, neither a double name, and concluded by saying that this has been made clear to the involved sides, adding that this is the framework within which Greece moves.
 "KANDAHAR": SCENES FROM LIFE IN MODERN AFGHANISTANThessaloniki, 12 November 2001 (16:19 UTC+2)
A prophetic film on the tragedy of the war in Afghanistan, which was made about 6 months before the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States, was screened within the framework of Thessaloniki's 42nd International Film Festival New Horizons Program. It is the movie "Kandahar" by Iranian director Mohsen Mahmalbaf, based on the autobiographic narration by Afghan journalist Nilufar Pariza, who plays the leading role.
Nilufar Pariza, speaking in a press conference on the occasion of the screening of the film, referred to the situation in Afghanistan, the place women have in the country and the stance of the western mass media.
Ms. Pariza said that the West presents life in Afghanistan as black or white but in this movie the director is trying to present the life of an average individual. She also stated that the message is that the country has been destroyed by war and that it needs help.
The Afghan journalist also stressed that the western mass media are consciously seeking to divide the world and that before September 11 no one was interested in Afghanistan in spite of its turbulent history. She stressed that the economy is the biggest problem in the country followed by culture and politics and added that the real problems have not been addressed yet.
She stressed that people in Afghanistan live in famine conditions and stressed that the role of the western mass media is murderous because they show only fractions of what goes on in the country and not what really takes place there.
Speaking about the "burga", the cloth the women wear over their heads in Afghanistan, she said they become attached to it because they feel safe under it and many of them, who left Afghanistan, did not want to take it off not because of conservatism but because of the insecurity they felt.
Responding to the comment that in Afghanistan there are not only women without a face but men without a face too, as no one has ever seen Mullah Omar, she said that no one has seen Mullah Omar because he is just a creation. She said that only 30% of the population lives in urban centers and since 1847 no government managed to have total control over the tribes living in the country.
If the President of the King returned to Afghanistan today no one would support them. The Taliban created Mullah Omar, a figure that affects the people, adding that the activities of the Pakistani and US secret agencies serve the interests of the Taliban, concluded the Afghan journalist.
 THE CULTURE MINISTER BACKS UNIVERSITY LEVEL CINEMATOGRAPHY DEGREEThessaloniki, 12 November 2001 (16:16 UTC+2)
The establishment of a university level cinematography studies degree, starting the coming academic year was requested by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos with a letter to Education Minister Petros Efthimiou dated November 5. The content of the letter was made public yesterday in the Culture Minister's press conference on the occasion of Thessaloniki's 42nd International Film Festival.
Mr. Venizelos stated that cinematography studies could be included in the Universities of Thessaloniki and Athens which already have theater studies departments. He also stated that the Culture Ministry can undertake to organize and operate the studios and laboratories, necessary for the preparation of the students, in cooperation with the Greek Cinema Center and Thessaloniki's International Film Festival.
Referring to the new collaborations undertaken by the Culture Ministry, he spoke about the Cinema Network in Southeastern Europe, which is based in Greece and has 11 member-states, stressing that the establishment of a co-production fund will be discussed in the southeastern European Culture Ministers meeting that will be held in Thessaloniki in January.
Finally, he announced two major plans on cinema's participation in the Cultural Olympiad. The first concerns the organizing of a 60-film international panorama in 2003 with themes inspired from the Greek mythology and the second concerns 5 major co-productions, one from each continent, also inspired from the Greek mythology. The Culture Ministry will participate in their financing with the sum of 3 billion drachmas. Those five films will be screened in the spring of 2004.
 AMERICAN CINEMA DOMINATESThessaloniki, 12 November 2001 (16:13 UTC+2)
The European cinema is in crisis, while Americans dominate in Europe, as 70% of the films screened in European movie theaters are US productions. Characteristically, 7 out of 10 box-office hits in Europe are American productions.
The situation is much the same in the Greek movie theaters where in the period 2000-2001, 80% of the 250 films screened were American (specifically, 193 American, 18 Greek, 35 European and 4 from other countries), while of the 12.5 million tickets sold, 1.5 million were for Greek films.
The above were stated in an international meeting for the promotion and distribution of European films organized in Thessaloniki by the Greek Cinema Center within the framework of Thessaloniki's 42nd International Film Festival that takes place in the city.
 SIMITIS: TURKEY CANNOT STOP CYPRUS' EU ACCESSIONBratislava, 12 November 2001 (16:24 UTC+2)
Turkey cannot stop Cyprus' accession into the European Union, stated Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, who met in Bratislava today with his Slovak counterpart within the framework of his visit to Slovakia.
Prime Minister Simitis reiterated that the solution of the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for its accession into the EU. He stressed that Cyprus meets the preconditions for its accession and already 23 of the 29 EU accession procedure chapters have closed.
Referring to the issue of the Olympic Games, the Slovak Prime Minister stated that the international community supports Greece in the organizing of the 2004 Olympic Games. When asked to comment on the security issue, Prime Minister Simitis assured that Greece will organize successful and secure Olympic Games.
 PASSENGER PLANE CRASHES IN NEW YORKNew York, 12 November 2001 (17:26 UTC+2)
Information coming from New York mention that all its airports have closed after the passenger plane crash that happened a short while ago, five kilometers away from New York's JFK Airport.
Authorities have mentioned that the pilot had informed the control tower that the airplane had mechanical problems.
According to information, it was an American Airlines A-300 Airbus with 246 passengers and 9 crew members on board that crashed into buildings in the region of Rockaway Beach and at least four buildings are on fire.
As it was made known, the airplane had taken off from the JFK and its destination was the Dominican Republic.
 PAPANDREOU IN UN GENERAL ASSEMBLYNew York, 12 November 2001 (12:40 UTC+2)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Papandreou, is meeting with foreign officials in New York, in the margin of the General Assembly of the UN. Mr. Papandreou met with the President of the Cypriot Republic, Glafkos Cliridis yesterday.
In his statements, the Minister of Foreign Affairs characterized the UN General Assembly as especially crucial, while he stressed that it empowers the European voice for finding solutions on the Middle Eastern and the Afghanistan issue. Mr. Papandreou pointed out that at the conference, the dedication of the UN to the struggle against terrorism and its interest in supplying humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, were clearly shown.