|Sunday, 18 August 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-01-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 FOR A SOLUTION WITHOUT WARAthens, 20 January 2003 (12:33 UTC+2)
Head of the UN team of Inspectors in Iraq Hans Blix, will brief the European Union in Athens today, while NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson, in an interview with greek daily ''Kathimerini'' does not rule out the possibility to avert the war. An atmosphere in favor of averting the war is being formed in the EU, as is evident both from Head of EU Foreign Policy Xavier Solana, in an interview with ''Ethnos'' as well as from German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who was received by greek pm in Athens.
 SEARCHING FOR SOURCE OF BLACKMAILSAthens, 20 January 2003 (11:43 UTC+2)
The DA has called Mrs. Marianna Latsi, daughter of shipowner Giannis Latsis, to testify as part of the investigation of the case of blackmails against businessmen in the name of terroristic threat, while on her part, Mrs. Aggelopoulou president of the 2004 olympics organizing committe, questions the degree to which it is appropriate for the Head of the Olympic Organizing Committee to testify. The DA is trying to locate the sources of the blackmailer's information, which may well be individuals holding important positions in the state.
 COMMITMENTS WITH CONTRADICTIONSNicosia, 16 January 2003 (12:48 UTC+2)
A new meeting has been scheduled for tomorrow in Nicosia, between President Cleridis and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, as special UN Envoy Alvaro De Soto obtained their commitment to try and solve the problem by February 28. After the meeting however, Rauf Denktash repeated his well-known objections concerning the time and content of the Annan plan. Mr. De Soto and US Delegate to Cyprus, Thomas Weston, are in Athens today.
 MOBILIZATION OF LEGALITY ΙΝ GREEK FOOTBALAthens, 20 January 2003 (12:11 UTC+2)
M. Psomiades, the legally invisible owner of AEK FC, is just the beginning, according to Minister of Culture Evaggelos Venizelos' statements to the "Ethnos" newspaper. Mr. Venizelos gave his assurance that investigations into professional footbal clubs, will be carried out with no exceptions. At the same time the emergency audit is beginning in AEK today, executed by the Auditing Council, after the order of dep. Minister of Culture, G. Lianis. Mr. Psomiadis, who has been suited for the threats against internationalk AEK footballer D.Nikolaidis, has also been called before the Sportsfan's Committee. AEK fans protested against Mr. Psomiadis and AEK coach Mr. Bajevic yesterday, while Mr. Psomiadis did not attend the AEK-Panionios game.
 PROTOPAPAS ON TURKEY'S EUROPEAN COURSEAthens, 20 January 2003 (19:19 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas referred to the issue of Turkey's European course.
He stated that Greece wants to have as a neighbor a country that functions based on the European standards, respects human rights and operates like a European state.
Mr. Protopapas said that Greece has an interest in boosting Turkey's European orientation. He added that it remains to be seen whether Turkey will exploit the opportunities given to it by the European Union.
 ECOFIN MEETS TOMORROWAthens, 20 January 2003 (18:26 UTC+2)
The ECOFIN meeting to be held tomorrow under the presidency of Greek Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis is expected to approve five Stability and Development Programs submitted by Germany, France, Italy, Greece and Finland, as well as the Convergence Program submitted by Sweden.
The revised program submitted by Greece will be approved in the meeting without difficulty. However, the 15 will repeat the criticism and remarks made by the European Commission mainly concerning public debt.
The 15 are expected to stress that the growth rate of the Greek economy is regarded as feasible and in agreement with the recent EU predictions. At the same time, they will call on the Greek government to adopt structural changes and new, radical reforms in the retirement system and employment.
Meanwhile, the Eurogroup Council meets this evening and the interest of the 12 Finance Ministers of the Euro-zone is expected to focus on the international situation and the effects of the strengthening of the euro, the oil price hikes and the imminent invasion of Iraq on the Euro-zone economy
 SIGNIFICANT LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 20 January 2003 (18:20 UTC+2)
Strong pressures were exerted on the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index recorded losses of -1.30% at 1.667,67 points, while the volume of transactions was at 53.7 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 57 recorded gains and 246 had losses, while the value of 78 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON TERRORISMAthens, 20 January 2003 (18:16 UTC+2)
The Prime Minister appreciates deeply the Angelopoulou family of businessmen contribution to the efforts against terrorism and the exposure of other illegal networks.
The above were stated by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas responding to a relevant question by reporters. Mr. Protopapas added that the responsible prosecutor received the documents that were handed over by members of the Angelopoulou family almost simultaneously with the government.
 CHRISTODOULAKIS-BARNIER MEETINGAthens, 20 January 2003 (16:43 UTC+2)
Greek Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis meets in Brussels today with European Commissioner Michel Barnier, responsible for structural funds. They will discuss the present and future of European funding within the framework of the 2nd and 3rd community support framework.
Mr. Barnier is expected to raise the major issue of community funding within the framework of the 2nd community support framework that will have to be closed by March 31.
In case the necessary documents are not collected by Athens before the above mentioned deadline, the European Commission will be unable to approve the last funding. It will be unable to release a big part of the still undistributed 1.5 billion euros and Greece will run a serious risk of losing the community funds in question.
 FOREIGN INVESTMENTS OF 6 BILLION EUROS EXPECTED IN GREECEAthens, 20 January 2003 (16:05 UTC+2)
Foreign investments in Greece in the sectors of telecommunications, tourism and electricity production, are expected to be at 6 billion euros by the year 2006.
Also, the presence of foreign investors in the Greek economy is strengthened through investments in the Greek stock market and the Hellenic Petroleum and Skaramanga Shipyards privatization which is in progress.
Based on the OECD latest figures for the period 1992-2001, Greece has attracted just 0.2% of the world investments which is indicative of the structural problem in the Greek economy during the 90s; a tendency that was not reversed even in the golden period of 1999-2001.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS ON A TWO-DAY VISIT TO BRUSSELSAthens, 20 January 2003 (16:01 UTC+2)
Development Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos will be on a two-day visit to Brussels tomorrow to present the positions and priorities of the Greek Ministry of Development within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency.
Specifically, the Minister of Development will address the International Conference on Industrial Policy in the Enlarged Europe organized tomorrow by the European Commission.
On Wednesday, January 22, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will visit the European Parliament to present and discuss the priorities of the Ministry of Development within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency with the members of the Euro-Parliament Committees on Industry, Energy, and Technology. He will also discuss them with the Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee.
 CHURCH OF GREECE: 16 m. EURO BUDGETAthens, 20 January 2003 (13:46 UTC+2)
The 2003 budget of the Church touched on 16 million euro, approximately 240,000 euro lower than last year.
According to "Flash" radio, the Holy Synod will dispense 9 million of the figure above to its central financial service for the construction of new buildings or the maintenance of existing ones, 890,000 to public relations and events, and just 45,000 to charity.
The basic sources of income of the Church are rents, which pay it more than 9 million euro, and dividends providing more than 2.5 million euro.
 COMMISSIONER VERHEUGEN ON TURKEY'S POLICY TOWARD ITS NON-MUSLIM MINORITIESBrussels, 20 January 2003 (19:04 UTC+2)
European Commissioner Gunter Verheugen condemned Turkey's policy toward all its non-Muslim minorities responding to a question by Greek Euro-deputy Stavros Xarhakos, elected with the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy. Mr. Xarhakos' question concerned the persecutions suffered by minorities in Turkey and the destruction of cultural heritage in the islands of Imvros and Tenedos.
Mr. Verheugen mentions that the Greeks, Armenians and Jews in Turkey face problems concerning their right to own property, while in many instances property has been confiscated or is at risk of being confiscated.
Referring to the reforms announced recently by Turkey, Mr. Verheugen stated that they do not cover all the problems faced by religious minorities regarding property rights, while there are difficulties in registering property like in the case of the islands of Imvros and Tenedos.
In his question, Mr. Xarhakos had raised the issue of the expulsion of the Greek residents of Imvros and Tenedos in violation of the Treaty of Laussane regulating the Greek-Turkish relations since 1923. He also added that the Greek population of Imvros has been reduced from 9.400 people to just 200.
 SIMITIS AND COX ON THE CYPRUS ISSUEStrasbourg, 15 January 2003 (18:13 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister and EU President Kostas Simitis characterized as very important the resumption of the talks on Cyprus between Greek Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
In statements he made in Strasbourg after the dinner given in his honor by European Parliament President Pat Cox, Mr. Simitis gave the assurance that he will do everything possible for the solution of the Cyprus problem based on the Annan Plan.
He called on Mr. Denktash to contribute in a decisive manner to the efforts for the solution of the problem in Cyprus.
European Parliament President Pat Cox also called on Mr. Denktash to enter a serious and meaningful dialogue with Mr. Clerides.
 SIMITIS ΑΤ EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTSStrasbourg, 15 January 2003 (17:28 UTC+2)
The view that the human rights charter approved by the European Union should become part of the new EU Constitution was expressed by EU President and Prime Minister of Greece Kostas Simitis, who visited the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
Mr. Simitis was received by European Court President Luzius Wildhaber in the presence of Greek judge Christos Rozakis, who is the court's Vice-President and represents Greece.
Mr. Simitis was briefed on the operation and the activities of the court, while he visited the plenary session chambers.
Commenting on the fact that Turkey signed the treaty for the abolition of the death penalty today, Mr. Simitis stated that it is a positive message coming from Ankara pointing out, however, that more steps need to be made.
 NEW EUROPEAN OMBUDSMANStrasbourg, 15 January 2003 (17:05 UTC+2)
Nikiforos Diamandouros is the new European Ombudsman. In a secret voting in the European Parliament plenary session today Mr. Diamandouros got a total of 293 votes. A minimum of 261 votes was necessary for his election.
Another vote had taken place yesterday but no one of the five candidates was elected as no one was able to collect the necessary 261 votes.
 EU NON BINDING RESOLUTION ON MOUNT ATHOSStrasbourg, 15 January 2003 (16:49 UTC+2)
The lifting of the entry ban for women in the monastic community of Mount Athos, northern Greece, is provided by a resolution approved today by the European Parliament. The resolution, which is non binding for Mount Athos, is based on the violation of the equality of the sexes principle.
A relevant resolution was submitted by a Dutch Euro-deputy, member of the European Socialist Party, and concerned the fundamental rights situation in the European Union states in the year 2001. For the record, the Greek government Socialist Party of PASOK Euro-deputies have voted against the resolution paragraph concerning the status of Mount Athos, stressing that the issue had been raised in Greece's accession treaty into the then EEC.
It should be noted that criticism has been launched on almost all EU member-states on a number of issues concerning the situation of the citizens' fundamental rights.
 TWELVE-YEAR-OLD UNIVERSITY STUDENTSBrisbane, 17 January 2003 (18:42 UTC+2)
They were able to read at the age of 2! When they were 4yearsold they appeared on Australian TV channels, reciting poetry and solving very hard math problems.
They are the twins Catherine and Edward Alpert, who at the age of 8 had already decided what they wanted to study: psychology for her and geology and astronomy for him.
Their mother is Greek-Australian Dr. Felicity Alpert, and today the twins from Brisbane, Australia, are the youngest students in the University of Southern Queensland.
At the age of 11, they graduated from high-school and immediately they were accepted in the university. However, because of their young age they will have to study by correspondence.
They are also excellent dancers and singers and won prizes in a number festivals, competitions and championships. They are very distinguished in ballet and jazz. They also study acting and this year they will play on a film that will be shot in Queensland. Catherine is distinguished in playing golf, while Edward has begun writing his first book, a science fiction.
They do not forget their Greek origin, their mother is a Greek from Alexandria, Egypt, and they state with great pride that their parents raise them with an emphasis on the ancient Greek education model.
 REUNIFICATION AT STRIKING DISTANCENew York, 15 January 2003 (11:12 UTC+2)
Rauf Denktash once again displayed an insistence on his standing positions, which have so far not contributed to the promotion of negotiations, even after the grand rally of tens of thousands of Turkish Cypriots in favor of a solution, which was commended by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who said that we are in striking distance from the reunification. In a few hours the new round of negotiations will begin between Cleridis and Denktash, who has organized an anti-rally in his support. We want a united Cyprus to be accessed, said Greek Prime Minister yesterday at the European Parliament.
 FEBRUARY 28 THE DEADLINE IN CYPRUSNew York, 15 January 2003 (11:07 UTC+2)
Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan urged the leaders of the two Cypriot communities to listen to the voices of the ordinary people and their desire for peace, while he expressed his appreciation that we are at a striking distance from the reunification of Cyprus.
First of all I am pleased that the people are out in the streets promoting peace and demanding peace and demanding the unification, which is something that we have worked very hard on and many people in the region had hoped for, pointed out Mr. Annan, stressing that are going to press ahead with the negotiations, the deadline of the 28th of February is a firm one.
Obviously it is up to the people to decide who their leader is and up to their leader to decide whether he persists or resigns. But whether the leader persists or resigns, I think that the people have spoken, and it is very difficult not to listen to the people when they are out on the street in such great numbers, he added, and noted: What I would urge the leaders do is listen to the voices of the simple people and their desire for peace.