|Saturday, 19 October 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-03-08
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK - TURKISH TALKS CONTINUEAthens, 8 March 2002 (14:26 UTC+2)
Athens conirmed today that high-level exploratory meetings between Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministry officials, will begin on March 12.
Referring to the content of these exploratory meetings, the Greek spokesperson, Mr.Beglitis, repeated that these meetings do not constitute discussions, or negotiations, but an exchange of views with no agenda and all off the record.
Mr. Beglitis also repeated that the framework in which the Greek side will move in any discussion, is that of International Law, as well as bilateral and international Treaties, respect of territorial integrity and the inviolable of the borders of both countries, as well as sovereign rights.
Finally, the Greek side placed special gravity on European precedent, and more specifically on the conclusions of the European Council of Helsinki.
The two countries' Foreign Ministers met in New York and Istanbul in the past few months, and had agreed that these exploratory talks be scheduled so that some common ground may be found, and a discussion may be initiated.
Participants in the Greek side include the Director of Political Affairs of the Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Anastasios Skopelitis, and Professor of International Law Argyris Fatouros. The Turkish side includes Ambassador Ugul Ziyal and the legal advisor of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Mr. Bulukbasi.
 GREEK CHURCH DELEGATES IN THE VATICANAthens, 8 March 2002 (14:09 UTC+2)
A delegation of the Church of Greece is departing for the Vatican today, in order to have discussions with the members of the pontifical councils, as well as to transfer a message to Pope John Paul II.
In his message to the Pontific, Mr. Christodoulos mentioned that Athens and Rome must cooperate.
In the meantime, during their stay in the Vatican they will discuss issues of common interest, such as bioethics and abortion.Christian heritage and identity, as well as the de-christianization of Europe and the relationship of the church to the European Union, will also be discussed.
 SIMITIS RETURNS TO ATHENSAthens, 8 March 2002 (13:35 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is returning to Athens tonight, after having completed his 6-day official visit to Japan.
The Prime Minister visited Japan's old capital, Kyoto, was shown around temples and palaces, and watched the traditional ceremony for the preparation of tea.
While addressing the government in Kyoto, Mr. Simitis referred to the 2004 Olympics, supporting that Greece is aiming at holding human games.
 TURKISH DELEGATION IN ALEXANDROUPOLISAlexandroupolis, 8 March 2002 (18:43 UTC+2)
The wish to cooperate in the sectors of economy, tourism and culture was expressed today by the members of a Turkish 19-member delegation from the region of Ismir, who visited Evros deputy prefect Mr. Kougioumtsis. The delegation is made up of politicians and economic officials as well as local administration representatives.
Mr. Kougioumtsis stated that a great effort is being made for Evros River, at the borders between Greece and Turkey, to become a river of friendship and not a river of confrontation.
Cigli mayor Tefik Algianak stated that cooperation should start in the sectors of economy, tourism and culture and referring to his municipality he stated that it has a population of 158.000 people with a total of 350 private businesses. Ismir industrial region president Yilmaz Ankaraman stated there is a total of 391 businesses active in the specific region employing an estimated 5.000 people in industries that manufacture high quality products. He also stressed that in the past 6 months a cooperation got underway with businessmen from the city of Alexandroupolis in northeastern Greece.
The Turkish delegation will visit the Furnidec-Furnima Furniture Exhibition in Thessaloniki tomorrow.
 REPPAS: THE UNEMPLOYMENT GENDER IN GREECE IS FEMALEAthens, 8 March 2002 (18:17 UTC+2)
The gender of unemployment among the young people in Greece is female, stressed Labor Minister Dimitris Reppas on the occasion of the International Women's Day, maintaining that Greece's strategic goal for the next period is to increase the employment rate among women.
Mr. Reppas stated that women in Greece represent just 32.6% of the workforce, while the unemployed women are at 12.9% compared to 4.7% for men. The unemployment rate among young women is especially high and almost double than that recorded among young men namely, 42% and 22.8% respectively.
The strategic goal for Greece is to increase the employment rate for women to reach the European average of 50%, while in the next 9 years it will reach 60% in accordance with the Lisbon targets.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 8 March 2002 (17:20 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.66% at 2.448,11 points , while the volume of transactions was at 111 million Euro.
Of the stocks trading today, 184 recorded gains and 120 had losses, while the value of 68 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE FIRST ROUND OF THE GREEK-TURKISH CONTACTS ON TUESDAYAthens, 8 March 2002 (17:14 UTC+2)
The first round of the exploratory contacts between Greece and Turkey at Foreign Ministries political directors level will open in Ankara on Tuesday, March 12, based on the agreement between Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey, Giorgos Papandreou and Ismail Cem. The agreement was reached in New York and was reconfirmed in Istanbul.
The goal of the contacts is to make an effort to find convergence points for the Greek-Turkish dialogue that will focus initially on organizing issues.
Greece has made it clear that the dialogue is linked with the only legal Greek-Turkish dispute concerning the Aegean continental shelf.
Meanwhile, the date of the next meeting that will be held in Athens, the intervals of the meetings and the framework of the dialogue will be determined in the Ankara meeting.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis stated that it is a given for the Greek side that the framework of the political dialogue should be based on the respect of international law, international and bilateral treaties, territorial integrity, the inviolability of the borders, the non use of violence. Also, it should be based on the European standards and the Helsinki conclusions.
The EU-Turkey Association Council will take place on April 16.
 EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 4.1 IN KERKINIThessaloniki, 8 March 2002 (17:01 UTC+2)
An earthquake measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale was recorded at 3.31pm today and its epicenter was located 20 kilometers west of the city of Serres in the region of Kerkini, according to Thessaloniki's Aristotle University geophysics laboratory.
Speaking to MPA, Aristotle University seismologist Manolis Skordilis stated that it was a weak tremor that causes no concern. He also said that the region of Kerkini is not earthquake active and the tremors recorded in the region from time to time are not strong.
 WOMEN PARLIAMENT DEPUTIES AND EURO-DEPUTIES VISITED THE PRESIDENTAthens, 8 March 2002 (16:52 UTC+2)
The greater participation of women in the decision-making centers, the percentage of women candidates in parliamentary elections, and their greater participation in the existing institutions, were among the issues raised in the meeting of a group of Greek women parliament deputies and Euro-deputies with President Kostis Stephanopoulos. The visit to the presidential building was made today on the occasion of the International Women's Day.
Minister of Environment, Public Works and Land Planning Ms. Vaso Papandreou headed the delegation and underlined that women often are being judged based on tougher criteria compared to men even if they have the same qualifications and the same abilities with them.
 AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PROTESTThessaloniki, 8 March 2002 (15:33 UTC+2)
A protest action has been organized this Sunday (17:30) at Aristotelous square by members of Amnesty International, in the framework of their annual action for children's rights. During the event the audience will be called to sign 4 Amnesty International appeals concerning children fallen victim to tortures in Russia, Albania, Egypt and Congo, and Amnesty International's report, titled "Unseen scandal, secret shame. Tortures and child abuse", will be distributed.
 GARBAGE HEAPS IN ATHENSAthens, 8 March 2002 (14:13 UTC+2)
Heaps of garbage have started mounting all over Athens, due to the continuing strike of municipality's sanitation workers. The approximately 230 workers, are expected to make crucial decisions on the future of their strike.
Meanwhile, a delegation of the workers will try to meet with the leadership of the Ministry of the Interior today.
 GREEK MUSLIMS VISITED THE EURO-PARLIAMENTBrussels, 8 March 2002 (17:34 UTC+2)
Twenty Muslims from the prefectures of Xanthi and Rodopi, northeastern Greece, visited Brussels at the invitation of Greek governing Socialist Party of PASOK Euro-deputies Yiannis Koukiadis and Yiannis Souladakis.
During their visit to the Belgian capital that was completed yesterday, the Greek Muslims had the opportunity to be briefed on the latest developments in the European Union, the operation of the European Parliament and the positions backed by PASOK's Euro-deputies on the issues of national importance.
In statements they made, the two Euro-deputies stressed that it is an obligation for the Greek Euro-deputies to invite Greek citizens to Brussels, regardless of religion, to be briefed on European policies that will have an effect on their everyday and professional life.
 OPTIMISTIC IN FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISMTokyo, 8 March 2002 (14:45 UTC+2)
Hard work will bear positive results in the fight against terrorism, stated Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, in a press conference with the Japanese press in Tokyo, shortly before leaving for Athens.
"We are making every possible effort to find the parties responsible for the terrorist strikes in Greece. We are working hard in this direction, and whoever works hard succeeds in the end", stated the Prime Minister.
The Greek government has already worked hard so that the 2004 Olympics are held in conditions of complete security, stated the Prime Minister. "We did not change our plans due to September 11, since the existing security measures for civilians and Olympic security, are the best possible ones. The group of the 7 countries (US, UK, Spain, France, Israel, Australia and Germany) cooperating for maximum security of the Olympics, had already begun functioning before September 11".