|Saturday, 24 August 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-01-22
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 FIXED ON A PEACEFUL SOLUTIONAthens, 22 January 2003 (12:21 UTC+2)
Until January 27, when the results of the UN inspectors are announced, Greece will work for a common position in the EU on the Iraq issue, stated Prime Minister Simitis today, while Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou characterized Saddam Hussein's cooperation with the UN arms inspectors the key to avoiding a cause for war.
 GREEK PRESIDENCY CRASH TEST IN NAFPLIOAthens, 22 January 2003 (12:24 UTC+2)
We want close cooperation with the protesters, stated Foreign Minister G. Papandreou, commenting on the position of Min. of Labor D. Reppas, who stated that if he were not Minister, tomorrow, at the Meeting of the EU Labor Ministers, he would be with the protesters. Mr. Reppas appealed to parties and syndicates for mobilizations without extremism. The Coalition of the Left disagreed with the decision of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) to hold its own rallies. There are street movements and there are parlor movements, replied KKE Secretary General A. Papariga.
 GREEK STABILITY PROGRAMME APPROVEDBrussels, 22 January 2003 (12:20 UTC+2)
The Council of Ministers of Finance of the EU approved the reviewed plan for stability and development of Greece for the 2002-2006 period. Everyone recognized the very significant progress in the Greek economy, especially Greece's high growth rates and Greece's economy in general, stated Minister of Finance and President of the Council, N. Christodoulakis. However, the 15 expressed their worries about the low confinement rate of the public debt.
 LIST OF VICTIMS CONSTANTLY ENLARGINGAthens, 22 January 2003 (12:29 UTC+2)
The list with the victims of the blackmail racket that used N17 as a threat to its victims is constantly enlarging, since after the metropolites that followed the businessmen, now there are members of the military among alleged the victims. Former President of Olympiakos FC and businessman Argyris Saliarelis is testifying before the DA.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE LIKELIHOOD OF A WAR IN IRAQAthens, 22 January 2003 (18:45 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas ruled out the involvement of Greek troops in the case of war operations in Iraq. When asked about the likelihood to offer facilities to the US if there is a war in Iraq, he responded that the moves will be made within the framework of the UN decisions and after the situation is assessed.
He said that the Greek side believes that there is still room for a peaceful solution to the problem and stressed that Greece as the EU President has undertaken initiatives and wants a common position to be adopted by the representatives of the EU states in the United Nations.
Mr. Protopapas stated that the EU would have, at some point, to prove that it is capable of displaying a common foreign and defense policy.
 SMALL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 22 January 2003 (17:40 UTC+2)
Limited losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to 0.15% at 1.669,69 points, while the volume of transactions was at 70.4 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 109 recorded gains and 183 had losses, while the value of 89 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE CULTURE MINISTER ON THE SPECIAL STATUS OF MOUNT ATHOSThessaloniki, 22 January 2003 (17:13 UTC+2)
The European Parliament non binding resolution concerning the lifting of the special status of the monastic community of Mount Athos in northern Greece, where women are not allowed, has no legal basis, stated Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos in an interview with the Athens radio station Alpha Polis.
He referred to the special constitutional status of Mount Athos and reminded that the Vatican is another example of special status.
Mr. Venizelos stated that he addressed the European Parliament Committee on Education and Culture on the issue and explained to its members the special constitutional status of Mount Athos based on article 105 of the Greek Constitution. He said that the Mount Athos charter was approved jointly by the Greek Parliament and the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He also said that Greece's EU accession treaty provided for Mount Athos to maintain its special status. This status was confirmed in the Inter-governmental Conference that led to the Treaty of Amsterdam.
Mr. Venizelos underlined that special territorial statuses can be found in many European Union countries and especially, in those with old colonies. A special status is in existence in regions of Denmark, France and other states.
He said that Mount Athos is the private property of the 20 monasteries making up the monastic community. If the EU wants to deal with such an issue then it should consider dealing with the Vatican as well, which is a sovereign state within a sovereign state, and address the fact that it is governed only by men.
Mr. Venizelos stated to the European Parliament Committee that he believes that tradition in the Vatican must be respected and the same should happen in the case of Mount Athos. He underlined that nobody can say that the EU will live without traditions.
 PAPANDREOU CONTACTED HIS COUNTERPARTS ON IRAQAthens, 22 January 2003 (16:23 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, who is presiding over the EU Council of Ministers, had a telephone communication last night with his counterparts from France, Portugal and Austria.
According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis, Mr. Papandreou discussed with his counterparts the developments in Iraq, in view of the General Affairs Council meeting that will take place on January 27 to form a common EU position.
Mr. Papandreou also had a telephone communication with the Foreign Ministers of Egypt and Jordan and discussed the likelihood of a political solution to the crisis in Iraq.
 EU PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON VENEZUELAAthens, 22 January 2003 (16:20 UTC+2)
The European Union, through a statement issued by the Greek EU Presidency, welcomes the establishment of the Friends of Venezuela Group made up of Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Portugal, Spain and the United States.
The EU expresses its support to the contribution the Friends of Venezuela Group could have to the efforts aimed at finding a viable solution to the crisis in Venezuela in accordance with resolution 833 adopted by the Organization of American States. The resolution provides for a peaceful, democratic and constitutional solution through elections.
The EU urges the institutions and the people of Venezuela to seek a solution assisted by the OAS General Secretary and the Friends of Venezuela Group within the framework of democratic principles and the state of law.
 CONSUMER PRICE INDEX INCREASE IN THE EURO-ZONEAthens, 22 January 2003 (16:14 UTC+2)
The consumer price index rose to 2.3% in the Euro-zone in December compared to the initial prediction of 2.2%, according to the revised figures made public by the European Statistics Agency, Eurostat.
The goal set by the European Central Bank for the index in question was 2% and according to economic analysts, the increase recorded is mainly due to the services sector.
 OMCT APPEAL AGAINST TORTUREAthens, 22 January 2003 (14:42 UTC+2)
The International Secretariat of the World Organization Against Torture has appealed to the Greek authorities to take all measures necessary to ensure the rights of foreigners and asylum seekers, and specifically, secure housing for these people who remain homeless, as well as to ensure that the practice of illegally holding them for more than the legal trimester, as happened in a recent Rhodes case, will stop at all welcoming centers throughout Greece, as it is a violation both of Greek legislature and European and international legislature on the protection of human rights.
The International Secretariat of the World Organization Against Torture noted that Greece is holding the European Presidency and that it has announced that among its priorities is the issue of refugees and immigrants.
So the OMCT has called the Greek authorities and the Greek Ombudsman to immediately investigate all violations mentioned and to immediately release all foreigners held illegally all over the country.
 POST OLYMPIC USE OF OLYMPIC FACILITIES STRESSEDAthens, 22 January 2003 (13:27 UTC+2)
Minister of Culture Evaggelos Venizelos stressed the post Olympic use of the facilities being constructed in the framework of the preparations for the 2004 Athens Olympics, in statements he made after a government meeting on the Olympics, chaired by Prime Minister Simitis.
The Olympics are not a major sports and communications event to last 15 days in August 2004. It is an opportunity to realize a great developmental investment in Greece, a real modernization. So what really interests the state is the proper preparation for the Olympics, but mainly that the post Olympic heritage is large and viable, both to Athens and Attica, and to Thessaloniki, Patra, Volos, Heracleon and every single prefecture and city in the country, stated Mr. Venizelos characteristically.
The Minister gave his assurance that the budget of the Greece 2004 program, concerning the Greek periphery, will not be transgressed and he pointed out that everything undertaken by the Greek State is being handled in the overall state budget for Olympic preparations, which is 4.6 billion euro.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS ON THE EU ENERGY SUPPLIESBrussels, 22 January 2003 (18:43 UTC+2)
The Greek EU Presidency focuses on the EU supplies of petroleum products and natural gas, stated Greek Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos, addressing the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Energy, Research and Technology.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that in view of the likely war in Iraq it is very important for Europe to have enough energy reserves and form a Crisis Management Committee.
He said that the Greek EU Presidency regards the EU-Russia dialogue of strategic importance as 40% of the EU needs in natural gas are covered by Russia. The EU gets natural gas from Algeria and the North Sea as well, but the goal is to bring to the EU the natural gas from the Caspian Sea countries. A good deal is expected to be reached on the issue in the EU-Russia Summit Meeting in Saint Petersburg at the end of May.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos also stated that the EU backs the establishment of a Regional Electricity Market in SE Europe. Regarding the energy policy, he said that the Greek EU Presidency works systematically toward the creation of an operational internal energy market in accordance with the Barcelona European Council program.
 AGGELOPOULOU-SCHROEDER MEETINGBerlin, 22 January 2003 (13:10 UTC+2)
German Chancellor Gerhart Schroeder was briefed on Greece's progress on the Olympic preparations by the President of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, Gianna Aggelopoulou.
Mr. Schroeder stressed his country's interest in the Athens Olympics and agreed with Mrs. Aggelopoulou on the formation of a joint Greek, German and Italian committee. The committee with deal with the European dimension of the Olympics, in view of the major sports events to be held in Europe.
In fact, Mr. Schroeder accepted an invitation to be present at the 2004 Olympics, and expressed his wish to participate in the torch race immediately after the Olympic Flame reaches Germany.
Mrs. Aggelopoulou pointed out that the Athens Olympics are the first Olympics to be held in a state of economic and monetary union in Europe.
The President of Athens 2004 stressed that interest in the Athens Olympics is very lively in Germany, and can be discerned in the fact that 1,869 German citizens have applied to participate as Volunteers.
Mr. Shroeder and Mrs. Aggelopoulou agreed on a new meeting in June, in the margin of the Summit Meeting in Greece.