|Friday, 23 August 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-01-23
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 MODEL IN COUNCILS AND PROTESTSNafplio, 23 January 2003 (11:21 UTC+2)
The review of the European strategy for employment and social protection is being discussed in Nafplio, at the informal meeting of EU Ministers of Labor and Social Securities, while 5,000-7,000 protesters are expected in the city, who will participate in separate protests organized by the Coalition and the KKE for tomorrow. If I were not a Minister, I would be with the protesters state Minister of Labor D. Reppas. During the protest, the Nafplio market will close down. www.mpa.gr presents the framework of the discussion in Nafplio.
 AXES OF EUROPEAN POLICY ON THE IRAQAthens, 23 January 2003 (11:17 UTC+2)
Washington responded to the French-German axis against the war in Iraq announced by President Chirac and Chancellor Schroeder, by questioning their leading role in the EU. Efforts to avert the war are being made by the Greek Presidency and Russian Foreign Minister Ig. Ivanof will visit Athens. Greece ruled out military participation in a Gulf war, while Washington denied that a UAV was shot down over Iraq.
 OLYMPICS WITHOUT ADDITIONAL FUNDSAthens, 23 January 2003 (11:22 UTC+2)
The government is only prepared to fund Olympic projects which will have post Olympics use pointed out Minister of Culture Ev. Venizelos, in response to a request for a budget increase for the 2004 Olympics, which was submitted by President of the Organizing Committee Gianna Aggelopoulou. The Prime Minister made it clear that the budget will not be raised and Mr. Venizelos that the funds for other cities will not be decreased.
 JOURNALISTS AND EDITORS TO TESTIFYAthens, 23 January 2003 (11:17 UTC+2)
Publishers and journalists are expected to appear before the DA investigating the circuit of blackmailers who used N17 as a threat towards their victims. The list of victims has undergone an unexpected enlargement, as after the businessmen and the clergy, military men and stock brokers also seem to be included in it. Businessman Ar. Saliarelis, after testifying, pressed charges against publisher Gr. Michalopoulos, from whom he is asking for almost 3 million euro in damages. Mr. Michalopoulos responded in the same way.
 IVANOV CONTACTS IN ATHENSAthens, 23 January 2003 (19:17 UTC+2)
The issue of the likely invasion of Iraq and the efforts to avert the war in the region, dominated in the meeting Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis had today with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who is on a visit to Athens.
Mr. Ivanov stressed that there is political and diplomatic room for the crisis in Iraq to be settled peacefully and expressed his country's position according to which, an armed conflict in the region cannot be justified based on the existing evidence. He also pointed out that more time should be given to the UN weapons inspectors to do their job in Iraq.
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis stated that the Greek EU Presidency believes that the war in Iraq can be avoided.
Mr. Simitis and Mr. Ivanov discussed issues concerning the preparation of the EU-Russia Summit meeting that will be held in Saint Petersburg in May, while they also examined a number of bilateral issues.
Earlier, Mr. Ivanov had met with Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, who expressed satisfaction for the positions of the Russian Foreign Minister concerning the likelihood of a war in Iraq and how it can be avoided.
Mr. Kaklamanis and Mr. Ivanov characterized the Greek-Russian relations as excellent, both at a diplomatic and parliamentary level as well as in the sectors of commerce and tourism.
The Russian Foreign Minister also visited the Russian church in Athens earlier in the morning.
 BANK OF GREECE - NATIONAL BANK OF ROMANIA COOPERATION MEMORANDUMAthens, 23 January 2003 (18:01 UTC+2)
The Bank of Greece and the National Bank of Romania are expected to sign a cooperation memorandum in Bucharest tomorrow. The memorandum will be signed within the framework of the efforts made for a more effective monitoring of the country's banking system by the Bank of Greece.
The memorandum concerns the mutual exchange of information and according to a Bank of Greece statement, it will offer a more complete picture of the operation of the Greek banks in Romania. The same goes for the Romanian banks in Greece.
 THE EU PRESIDENCY BACKS ALL EFFORTS FOR PEACE IN IRAQAthens, 23 January 2003 (17:47 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou expressed the support of the Greek EU Presidency to the efforts to lift the dead end and avoid the war in Iraq.
In a statement issued yesterday by Mr. Papandreou, who is presiding over the EU Council of Ministers, is mentioned that the regional conference with the participation of countries bordering with Iraq, held as a follow-up to an initiative by Turkey, comes at a crucial period for the developments in the wider Middle East region.
The conference got underway in Istanbul today and Mr. Papandreou stressed that the EU backs the efforts aimed at lifting the dead end especially, when they come from countries neighboring with Iraq. He also said that the EU shares with them common responsibilities for a peaceful settlement of the differences within the framework of the UN resolutions.
 SIGNIFICANT GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 23 January 2003 (17:39 UTC+2)
Significant gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.64% at 1.697,06 points, while the volume of transactions was at 88.8 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 308 recorded gains and 30 had losses, while the value of 43 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE RUSSIAN ENERGY MINISTER WILL VISIT ATHENSAthens, 23 January 2003 (17:18 UTC+2)
Greek Development Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos will meet with Russian Energy Minister Igor Yusupov tomorrow. The Russian minister will be in Athens this evening and he will have contacts with the management of Hellenic Petroleum and the natural gas company DEPA.
The main issue under discussion will be the EU-Russia relations in view of the preparations for the EU-Russia Summit Meeting that will be held in Saint Petersburg in May.
 THE EU ACTIVITIES TODAYThessaloniki, 23 January 2003 (17:16 UTC+2)
The informal EU Labor and Social Security Ministers Summit meeting opens in Nafplio today and will last until January 25, to examine issues concerning employment, social policy and consumers.
The EU Policy and Security Council Committee will meet in Brussels today, while the summit meeting on the International Treaty against Corruption that opened in Vienna on January 13 continues today and will focus on economic and fiscal issues.
The meeting of the EU Education Council Committee will be completed today after examining education, youth and culture issues.
The meeting of the EU troika with Russia will take place at a ministers' level in Athens tomorrow within the framework of the EU general affairs and foreign relations policy.
The special meeting to analyze the European Court decision on the Open Skies policy will take place in Athens tomorrow. Transportation, telecommunications and energy will be the sectors under discussion.
 MOBILIZATION WITHOUT VIOLENCE IN NAFPLIOThessaloniki, 23 January 2003 (17:08 UTC+2)
The assurance that the protests in Nafplio, on the occasion of the informal summit meeting of the EU Labor and Social Security Ministers, do not aim at causing violence and incidents was given by activists to MPA. They stressed that their goal is to make known the people's problems and demands. Their statements were made shortly after Labor Minister Dimitris Reppas issued an appeal to protesters to show a sense of responsibility and respect the city and its residents contributing to the social strengthening of the European Union.
The EU Labor Ministers Meeting got underway today and at the same time, a social anti-summit meeting is taking place at the Cultural Center in Argos held by organizations and institutions with the participation of university professors. They will express skepticism and present counter-proposals on issues like social security and social policy. A mass rally with the participation of social movements from all over Greece is scheduled to take place tomorrow and according to estimates, the demonstrators are expected to reach 20.000.
The European Social Forum, in which participate the party Coalition of the Left Party, the Network for Social and Political Rights and other organizations, estimates that his protesters will correspond to 70% of the demonstrators. Action Thessaloniki 2003 and PAME will participate with about 150 busloads of protesters from Athens, while Thessaloniki's participation will be symbolic with 5 buses chartered by the European Social Forum and one by Action Thessaloniki 2003 and PAME.
 REPPAS FOR RESPONSIBILITY IN PROTESTSNafplio, 23 January 2003 (13:34 UTC+2)
The curtain is opening on the meetings of the Greek Presidency this afternoon, with the informal meeting of EU Ministers of Labor and Social Securities. There is a great concentration of social organizations from Greece and abroad concentrated in Nafplio organizing various protest rallies. The point of conflict between the protesters and the Ministry of Labor, are work relations and the insurance issue, issues high on the Agenda of the two-day informal meeting.
Greek Minister of Labor Dimitris Reppas stated that he believed the protesters will express their opinions in a democratic and responsible manner, as soon as he reached the city of Nafplio.
Mr. Reppas called the protesters to respect the city and its residents who are hosting them and to contribute in their way to the reinforcement of the EU's social portal.
Regarding the meeting itself, he said that the Greek side will attempt to reach a consensus on a strategy of social cohesion in the EU where there is a shortage today.
Specifically, the issues that will occupy the meeting are the strengthening of flexible forms of employment and the lending of personnel through private agencies, as well as the insurance issue and its connection to the Stability Pact. Regarding the insurance issue, the 15 Labor Ministers will attempt to materialize a decision taken by the EU two years ago concerning the limitation of early retirement, with a raise in the real age of retirement from 58 in 2000 to 63 by 2010.
Meanwhile there is a strong police presence in Nafplio in order to prevent confrontations and any violent turns of the rallies. More than 2000 police officers both from Athens and the Peloponese police direction, are in charge of the security of the city and the meeting. There is an estimated 1 police officer for every 5 protesters.