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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-02-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SOCRATES KOKKALIS CHARGED WITH 4 FELONIESAthens, 20 February 2002 (13:37 UTC+2)
Charges were pressed, yesterday, by the District Attorney, against businessman and President of Olympiakos CFP Socrates Kokkalis. The felony charges regard espionage, money laundering, fraud and embezzlement. Furthermore, Mr. Kokkalis is also facing misdemeanor charges of active and passive bribery.
MP Panagiotis Kammenos turned documents in to the District Attorney bringing to light that Mr. Kokkalis was a Stazi agent, who came to Greece in order to transport Western technology to the Eastern Bloc. The charges of money laundering, fraud and embezzlement concern the Russian lotto case.
 GOVERNMENT MEASURES ON OAAthens, 20 February 2002 (13:34 UTC+2)
The morning after for Olympic Airways is a serious problem for the government and the Prime Minister, who called the Ministers of Finances and Transports to the Maximos Mansion last night. Upon leaving, Mr. Verelis stated that the Minister of Finances and he presented a restructuring plan for Olympic Airways, which was jointly drawn up by the Ministries of Transports and Finances.
The plan, which according to the Minister of Transports is compatible with the rules of the European Union, foresees the attraction of private capital and will be discussed by the Governmental Committee on Thursday.
Information published in Express newspaper, mentions that closing down of OA for two days, and then reopening it will also be considered. Government sources support that this solution would cost the state 117,388,114 euro, and will probably be approved by the EU.
 PASCHALIDES ON HIS INVOLVEMENT IN ILLEGAL GAMBLINGAthens, 20 February 2002 (14:31 UTC+2)
Beginning Monday, after Prime Minister Simitis' visit to Pella is completed, the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace, Giorgos Paschalides, will speak about individuals and issues related to his alleged involvement in illegal gambling.
These were the statements he made upon exiting the Maximos Mansion, where he participated in a meeting with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in preparation of the Prime Minister's tour.
 ASE-SKOPJE STOCK EXCHANGE COOPERATIONThessaloniki, 20 February 2002 (13:51 UTC+2)
It is a matter of days until the decision of cooperation between the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) and the Skopje Stock Exchange (MSE) is finalized, as the MSE board of directors will hold a meeting in order to make a decision on the issue.
Staff members of the MSE led by the Chairman, Evgeni Zogravski, who visited the Thessaloniki Stock Exchange Center (HKTh), discussed the possibility of developing cooperation on a dual listing level with representatives of the Greek Stock Market, but also EHAE group buying out of the administrator-company of the MSE.
After yesterday's discussions, 4 staff members of the MSE returned to Skopje with specific proposals on these two issues. These proposals will be discussed on the 25th in order for decisions to be made.
Specifically, yesterday's discussions were concentrated on the future signing of the Memorandum of Understanding, which is described in the framework of promoting dual listing in locally active companies.
 THE GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON THE KOKKALIS CASEAthens, 20 February 2002 (18:26 UTC+2)
No insinuation on the Prime Minister's honesty and the way he handles public affairs can be acceptable, stated government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
Government spokesman Christos Protopapas, stated on the recent meeting of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis with Mr. Socrates Kokkalis, that himself had said publicly some time ago that the Prime Minister will have a number of contacts with different businessmen, stressing that there are limits to personal attacks.
When asked whether the Prime Minister had been informed in advance on the accusations against Mr. Kokkalis, the government spokesman stated that there is no obligation on behalf of the servants of the Greek justice system to brief the government on such issues and naturally, this has not happened. The Prime Minister was informed on the issue like the rest of us, said Mr. Protopapas.
 PROTOPAPAS: THE SCENARIOS ON EARLY ELECTIONS ARE UNTRUEAthens, 20 February 2002 (17:54 UTC+2)
New Democracy can dream of early elections but this does not mean that its dreams can become true, stated government spokesman Christos Protopapas, pointing out that such scenarios have nothing to do with reality.
Mr. Protopapas stated that the government is trying to do its job as best as it can, stressing that in certain sectors there is significant progress, while in others additional measures are necessary to be taken. He also said that the government is promoting its work based on the interests of the Greek people.
 MAGRIOTIS WILL BE IN JERUSALEM IN MARCHAthens, 20 February 2002 (17:49 UTC+2)
Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis will be in Jerusalem in early March.
As it was made known by government spokesman Christos Protopapas, Mr. Magriotis will have contacts with Israeli government officials on the issue of the recognition of the new Patriarch of Jerusalem.
 LOSSES AGAIN IN THE ASEAthens, 20 February 2002 (17:07 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.37% at 2.409,26 points, while the volume of transactions was at 116.5 million Euro or 39.7 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 176 recorded gains and 136 had losses, while the value of 60 stocks remained unchanged.
 200 BILLION DRACHMAS FOR THE MODERNIZATION OF MEDIUM-SMALL SIZED BUSINESSESThessaloniki, 20 February 2002 (16:48 UTC+2)
Actions aimed at the modernization of the Greek medium-small sized businesses will be funded with over 200 billion drachmas by the year 2006. The above were stated by Ministry of Finance Investment and Development General Secretary Konstantinos Theos in Thessaloniki today.
The government wants the modernization of all medium-small sized businesses regardless of sector to become competitive in the new environment, while the funding will cover 40-50% of the action that will be undertaken.
 A MAGISTRATE TOOK OVER THE CASE OF BUSINESSMAN SOCRATES KOKKALISAthens, 20 February 2002 (16:36 UTC+2)
Magistrate Giorgos Pournaras took over the case of businessman Socrates Kokkalis.
Mr. Kokkalis, one of Greece's most important businessmen and president of Olympiakos football team, faces four counts of felony charges for espionage, money laundering, fraud and embezzlement. He is also accused of committing active and passive bribery.
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy parliament deputy Panagiotis Kammenos submitted documents to the prosecutor based on which, Mr. Kokkalis was a Stazi spy who came to Greece to take the western technology to the Eastern Block countries. The accusations concerning money laundering, fraud and embezzlement have to do with the Russian lotto case.
Mr. Pournaras is expected to start the examination of a total of 35 witnesses within the framework of the investigation launched on the case.
Government spokesman Christos Protopapas, stated on the recent meeting of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis with Mr. Kokkalis, that himself had said publicly some time ago that the Prime Minister will have a number of contacts with different businessmen, stressing that there are limits to personal attacks.
 THE PRESIDENT OF IRAN WILL VISIT GREECE IN MARCHAthens, 20 February 2002 (16:30 UTC+2)
President of Iran Mohammed Hatami will be on a formal visit to Greece on March 13-15. The announcement was made in Athens today after the meeting of Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou with Islamic Republic of Iran Parliament Vice-president Mohammed Rezah Hatami.
The Iranian Parliament Vice-president expressed satisfaction for the good level of bilateral relations and the coincidence of views on a number of regional issues. Regarding Iraq, he stated that there are indications pointing to a future US attack, maintaining that it will not be supported by any neighboring country as the wars cannot solve any problem.
 SIMITIS-JUNKER MEETINGAthens, 20 February 2002 (16:23 UTC+2)
The Cyprus issue, the Greek-Turkish relations, the situation in the Balkans and European issues, were discussed in the meeting of Prime Minister of Greece Kostas Simitis with Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Junker, who is on a visit to Athens.
In statements he made after the meeting, Mr. Simitis stated that Luxembourg backs the efforts for Cyprus' EU accession and the settlement of all pending issues in the region concerning the Greek-Turkish relations and the Balkans.
On the European Union stance on issues such as the Greek-Turkish relations and Cyprus, the two Prime Ministers pointed out that the EU must work for peace for the implementation of international law and treaties.
On the European development, Mr. Simitis stressed that Greece and Luxembourg share the view that there is a need to implement the policies that have been decided, while there must be a common way to deal with European Union issues.
The Greek Prime Minister also praised the efforts made by his counterpart for the creation of a Europe with greater social cohesion, solidarity and sensitivity.
 KARAMANLIS MEETS LUXEMBOURG PRIME MINISTERAthens, 20 February 2002 (14:32 UTC+2)
The future of the European Union, the progress of Cyprus' accession, and the Euroarmy were the issues discussed by Prime Minister of Lucembourg Jean Claude Juncker and the President of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis.
Immediately after the meeting, Mr. Karamanlis made the following statements:
"We had a very useful discussion with the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Mr. Juncker. Besides, we will have many chances to discuss these issues at summit meetings of the European People's Party. As is natural, we discussed the future of Europe. The Prime Minister and I agree, that smaller countries should have a part in the structuring of Europe, especially after its enlargement. We also believe in a federal structure for Europe's future. And of course, it a commonly held position that Europe should offer equal rights and opportunities to all its citizens and have jointly protected borders.
We also had the opportunity to exchange views on issues in Greece's national interest. I expressed our firm beliefs on Cyprus' accession to the Prime Minister of Luxembourg, as well as the major issue of the Euroarmy. I will also have the opportunity to express these positions at the upcoming Summit Meeting in Barcelona".
 CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER CANDINDATE GREEKOntario, 20 February 2002 (13:33 UTC+2)
A Greek living abroad, at present Minister of Health and Long Term Care of Ontario, Canada, Tony Clement (Antonis Panagis), is running for Prime Minister in the March 23 elections.
He was born in Liopetri, Ammohostos, and moved to England at a very young age, later moving to Hamilton, Canada.
As Mr. Clement stated to The Greek Press, he was drawn to politics due to his mother's working at an MP's office in Queen's Park, while never forgetting that Greek blood flows in his veins and being proud of his Greek heritage.
Mr. Clement, running in the Bramton district with close relations to the Cypriot Community in Mississaga, is hoping for the support of Greeks living abroad, and promised the creation of a new cultural center for the Community.
He is aware that at the moment the other candidate, Ernie Eves, is ahead in the polls in succeeding Mike Harris, but he does not rule out a surprise.