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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-11-28
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PASSARIS CAUGHT!Bucharest, 28 November 2001 (11:48 UTC+2)
Chief of Bucharest police, Mihai Giorgi, stated that the infamous criminal, Kostas Passaris, was arrested in an apartment on the 9th floor of a downtown building yesterday. Passaris had rented the house the day before, and was in the country with a forged passport.
Mr. Giorgi stated that police special forces broke into the apartment at 7pm, Passaris shot at them, and then ran towards the balcony in order to escape, but did not make it.
The Greek criminal is being held in the Central Police Headquarters of Bucharest and is being questioned, while his extradition to Greece is expected to come soon.
The police found two handguns in his the apartment, a 9 mm, possibly used in the armed robbery of an exchange booth last Saturday night, and a 7,65 mm, along with bullets and foreign currency.
Commenting on the arrest, the Chief of Bucharest Police said that the authorities assumed that the perpetrator of the double homicide and robbery may have been foreign, because no similar crime had ever been committed in their country before, and because the two employees at the exchange booth were killed in cold blood.
A few days ago, two Greek police officers went to Romania to investigate the Passaris case, and were looking for links in Bachau and Galatsi, where it is possible that Passaris committed more robberies, as Giorgi mentioned.
The Chief of Police of Bucharest also said that the female accomplice of Passaris was Romanian, and that her identity is known, so an arrest is not far away.
 NO GREEK PARTICIPATION IN CLONING PROGRAMSAthens, 28 November 2001 (11:59 UTC+2)
Greece has ratified a binding convention, that it will not participate in any cloning programs, stated the Minister of Health, Alekos Papadopoulos, after his meeting with the President of the General Confederation of Greek Workers, Christos Polyzogopoulos.
However, Mr. Papadopoulos stressed that relevant committees will examine whether or not Greece will participate in cloning programs to be conducted for therapeutic purposes. There are very harsh questions, what does therapeutic purposes mean, how far does a therapeutic purpose go and with what means, he underlined. We are waiting for the experts' thoughts, he stressed, adding that it is an issue that goes beyond our nation.
The Minister of Health pointed out that it is normal for science to evolve, but he stressed that we need to know the limits of research, so that we do not reach extremes.
 GREECE-TURKEY NETWORKS MEET GILMAZ & CEMAlexandroupoli, 28 November 2001 (11:49 UTC+2)
The President of the "Polis" Greek Municipality Network, Mayor of Sappes, Dinos Charitopoulos, and his Turkish counterpart of the Trakyakent Network, Mayor of Tekirdag, Osman Tabak, asked for the role of the Network of Greek and Turkish Municipalities to be upgraded and for any available assistance to be given, in a recent meeting they had with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ismail Cem, in Ankara.
The goal of the meeting was to inform the Turkish Minister of the activity of the Networks and of the sectors where cooperation has developed between the them and the local government bodies of Eastern and Western Thrace.
Also, the President of the "Polis" Network asked that issues concerning the local government of Greece and Turkey be included either in bilateral agreements or in memoranda of cooperation to be signed.
 MR. PAPANDREOU'S INTERVIEW WITH THE FOREIGN PRESS CORRESPONDENTSAthens, 28 November 2001 (18:38 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, in an interview he gave in Athens today to the foreign press correspondents, stressed that there can be no talk on security in Cyprus before the Cyprus problem is resolved.
Mr. Papandreou underlined the issues of the EU enlargement, Cyprus' EU accession prospect and the Greek-Turkish relations, while he also referred to the developments in the Balkans, the Middle East and the international situation after the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States.
Mr. Papandreou also revealed that today he had a telephone communication with his British counterpart on the issue of the British nationals, who are in police custody together with Dutch nationals accused of spying, because they were caught taking pictures of Greek military areas. Mr. Papandreou stated that taking pictures of military airplanes, as the accused did, is a hobby not widely known in Greece which, however, is not the case in their own countries.
He said that the following period will be difficult, characterized by many challenges, prospects and opportunities in view of the EU enlargement and the Greek EU presidency. He referred to the initiatives undertaken by Greece in the efforts to combat international terrorism, while he made a special reference to the role played by Greece, which is located at a crucial crossroads of civilizations.
On the issue of the Middle East, he said that it is an important point of friction between the Arab states and the international community. He said that coordinated efforts should be made by the EU and the United States for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Mr. Papandreou stated that Greece has a firm policy based on international law, the peaceful settlement of disputes, the inviolability of the borders, the respect of human and minority rights, the reconstruction of the Balkan region and the incorporation of the Balkan states into the European institutions.
He also referred to the capabilities of the Euro-army, clarifying that it has not been authorized to impose solutions.
 NETWORK OF BIG BALKAN CITIESThessaloniki, 28 November 2001 (17:29 UTC+2)
The mayors of 30 big Balkan cities are closer to the materialization of an inter-Balkan and inter-municipal cooperation as on December 3-4 they will lay the foundations for the creation of a Network of Big Balkan Cities.
The proposal for the creation of the network was made last year by Thessaloniki's mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos in the 1st International Meeting of Cooperation and Friendship of Big Balkan Cities.
In the 2nd International Meeting next month will participate mayors from Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, FYROM, Bosnia-Herzegovina, FRY and Romania.
 CHRISTODOULAKIS: THE EURO IS GOOD FOR GREECEAthens, 28 November 2001 (17:26 UTC+2)
The Greek cabinet met today under the presidency of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis to discuss the preparations by organizations and businesses in Greece on the occasion of the adoption of the Euro as legal tender starting in January next year.
Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis stated that Januray 1st will signal the launch of a new era for the Greek economy, the Greek citizens and the country as a whole.
He said that the preparations for the adoption of the Euro will soon be completed and added that the adjustment period will last two months when consumers will be able to use both the drachma and the Euro.
Mr. Christodoulakis stated that the Euro will be good for the country and the Greek citizens as it will signal a period of cheaper services and goods because they will be more competitive in the united European market as they will be priced with the same currency in all the EU countries.
 MARGINAL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 28 November 2001 (17:23 UTC+2)
Marginal losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.04% at 2.699,07 points, while the volume of transactions was at 169 million Euro or 58 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 125 recorded gains and 194 had losses, while the value of 40 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE ND LEADER MET WITH THE AUSTRIAN FOREIGN MINISTERAthens, 28 November 2001 (17:19 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis met with the visiting Austrian Foreign Minister Benita-Maria Ferrero Waldner at the party's central offices in Athens.
They discussed the EU enlargement course and especially, Cyprus' EU accession course as well as, the EU-Turkey relations, the Euro-army issue, the developments in the Balkans and bilateral issues.
 DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN DRIS AND FISCHLERAthens, 28 November 2001 (17:16 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas confirmed that there is a disagreement between Greek Minister of Agriculture Giorgos Dris and European Commissioner Frantz Fischler on the Greek government's figures regarding the volume of the Greek cotton production.
Mr. Protopapas stated that the figures at the disposal of the Greek government are accurate, while the EU circles maintain that the Greek production is larger and therefore, the subsidies will be lower. He referred to the meeting that will take place in Brussels this afternoon on the specific issue and expressed the wish that the Greek views will be adopted.
 GREEK GOVERNMENT SATISFACTION FOR THE ARRESTAthens, 28 November 2001 (17:08 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas expressed the government's satisfaction for the arrest of Kostas Pasaris in Romania.
He confirmed that Greek Police Chief Fotis Nasiakos went to Romania with the Prime Minister's airplane due to the urgency of the situation. Mr. Protopapas stated that the government will ask for the extradition of Pasaris even though there are certain difficulties.
 CHRISOCHOIDIS EXPRESSED SATISFACTION FOR PASARIS' ARRESTAthens, 28 November 2001 (17:04 UTC+2)
Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis expressed satisfaction for the arrest of Greece's most wanted criminal, Kostas Pasaris, by the Romania police.
Mr. Chrisochoidis stated that in the case of Pasaris the outcome proved that persistence and effort pay off.
The Public Order Minister stated that a team of Greek police officers went to Romania two weeks ago, while Greek Police Chief Fotis Nasiakos has already arrived in Bucharest to be briefed on the conditions of Pasaris' arrest.
Meanwhile, the Greek authorities have launched the procedure requesting his extradition.
 "TOURIST SPYS" STILL IN JAILKalamata, 28 November 2001 (14:29 UTC+2)
The 12 British and 2 Dutch tourists that have been charged with espionage, were taken to the Kalamata examiner yesterday. Examiner Socrates Gavalas ordered the extension of their imprisonment. The tourists were arrested 3 weeks ago, for taking photographs and keeping notes of a military air base.
 STEFANOPOULOS OPTIMISTIC ON OLYMPICSAthens, 28 November 2001 (13:33 UTC+2)
The President of the Republic, Mr. Kostis Stefanopoulos, seemed optimistic on the successful organization of the 2004 Olympics, judging by his statements during his visit to the chair of the Olympic Organizational Committee. Mr. Stefanopoulos was informed by the President and the General directors of Athens 2004, on the progress of the Olympics' organizing.
A colossal effort is taking place, on a very broad range, which includes details, planning, programming, scheduling, stated Mr. Stefanopoulos characteristically, and appreciated that the effort being made, will continue with at the same pace, with no oversights or relaxation. Thus, I can reassure my beliefs that Greece will hold excellent Olympics.
 PASARIS WILL BE EXAMINED BY PSYCHIATRISTSBucharest, 28 November 2001 (17:59 UTC+2)
A team of psychiatrists will examine the extremely dangerous Greek criminal Kostas Pasaris, who was arrested in Bucharest yesterday by the Romanian police. The authorities want to determine his mental state when he committed the robbery and the two murders at a currency exchange office at the center of the Romanian capital, according to statements made by Romanian police homicide department chief Lucian Guru.
Pasaris' accomplice Radila Mioara, 20, was arrested in Bucharest today and she is being questioned. Pasaris refuses to answer to questions concerning crimes he is accused of committing in Romania.
 ROGGE: HIGH LEVEL SECURITY IN GREECEWashington, 28 November 2001 (17:12 UTC+2)
The level of security in Greece is high, while the 2004 Olympic Games planning is adequate, stated International Olympic Committee, IOC, president Jacques Rogge in the meeting he had at the White House with US President George Bush.
Earlier, Mr. Rogge had delivered a speech in the National Press Club in Washington and replied to questions on the Olympic Games preparations in Athens, the security in the Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City and the Olympic Truce.
 ROGG: HIGH SECURITY LEVEL IN GREECEWashington, 28 November 2001 (13:23 UTC+2)
The Security level of Greece was characterized as high and adequate for the plans of the 2004 Olympics, stated the President of the IOC Jacques Rogge, in an meeting he had at the White House, with US President George Bush.
Earlier, Mr. Rogge had spoken at a luncheon of the National Press Club in Washington, where he was asked about Athens' preparations for the 2004 Olympics, the safety of the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics and the Olympics cease-fire.