|Friday, 23 August 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-01-29
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 MOST EU MEMBER-STATES FAVOUR PEACEBrussels, 29 January 2003 (11:57 UTC+2)
There are disagreements within the EU regarding the possible attack on Iraq, however, most member-states are in favor of peacefully resolving the crisis, stressed Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, speaking at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.
He also added that most European countries would prefer that an attack on Iraq was decided on by the UN.
At the same time he underlined that the coordination of the positions of EU member-states, which are members of the Security Council, on the Iraq issue, will continue.
Mr. Papandreou pointed out that for the time being there is no need to issue a new Security Council resolution prior to the possible attack. As he mentioned, what is important is that the UN inspectors in Iraq are given the necessary time to complete their work.
Furthermore, he noted that it would be a mistake to have an EU-US conflict on the Iraq issue. However, commenting on the statements of US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that the German and French position on Iraq was indicative of the "old Europe", he underlined that Europe is proud of its history.
The Foreign Minister, responding to an EUMP's question, expressed his hope that an agreement between Greece and FYROM on the name issue will be signed soon, since, as he said, many of the requirements have been met. As he mentioned, a year before, the two countries had come close to signing an agreement, but did not, due to the conflict that broke out in FYROM.
 VENIZELOS ON THE FOOTBALL CRISISAthens, 29 January 2003 (14:16 UTC+2)
Minister of Culture Evaggelos Venizelos addressed the issue of the crisis in football, after an event for the presentation of the program for the Cultural Olympics 2003-2004.
Tomorrow, the first formal meeting of the Professional Sports Committee will be held, presided by honorary Vice President of the Supreme Court, Mr. Konstantinos Papalakis. During the meeting, and to a greater degree after the end of the meeting, I will have the chance to make extensive comments and announce a time plan of immediate actions, which will be a full answer to everyone, stressed Mr. Venizelos, while he continued: There is a plan for the cleaning, better yet for the cleansing of football, to be immediate and complete. It would be good for everyone who has not realized it yet, to do so by tomorrow afternoon, I would say; because from tomorrow afternoon dense legal actions will commence, which will also bear the final results.
Meanwhile, the President of Olympiakos FC, Socrates Kokkalis, commented on the statements of made by Mr. Mytilineos after his resignation from Iraklis FC, and the insinuations he made about Greek football. The until yesterday President of Iraklis FC who is still a major shareholder Evaggelos Mytilineos, obviously in search of excuses to abandon his position, resorted to a vulgar attack against Olympiakos and myself.
Mr. Kokkalis stressed that Mr. Mytilineos had attacked Olympiakos FC before while he was abandoning positions he had previously furiously contested.
The President of Olympiakos FC underlined that such bully-like challenges that are insulting to both Iraklis FC and Greek football as a whole.
Olympiakos FC is expecting the immediate reaction of Sports Justice in order to finally put an end to this fetid cesspool of slander and disinformation by the self-appointed guardians of Greek football.
 DIGITAL RETURN OF PARTHENON MARBLESLondon, 29 January 2003 (13:07 UTC+2)
Technology assisted in the virtual return of the Parthenon Marbles. In an event held in a room of the British Parliament, a digitally altered film was shown, in which the Parthenon Marbles were placed in parts of the under construction new Acropolis Museum.
With the aid of virtual reality, the attendees toured the new Acropolis Museum and received a first glimpse of how the Marbles, that have been in the British Museum since 1811, would look when returned to Greece. The event caused great interest on the part of the British.
Lately, there has been an enlivenment of the interest in the return of the Marbles in view of the 2004 Athens Olympics, as many British MPs and distinguished individuals have publicly expressed they are in favor of returning them to Greece. The virtual reality tour was first presented during a visit of the Greek Minister of Culture, Evaggelos Venizelos, to the UK , in December.
 THE LATSIS FAMILY THREATAthens, 29 January 2003 (11:47 UTC+2)
A testimony was made to DA Dimitris Papaggelopoulos, who is handling the blackmail by calling on N17 case, last night, by Mrs. Marianna Latsi, daughter of shipowner Giannis Latsis, sister of EFG Eurobank Chairman, Spyros Latsis, and wife of National Theater President Nikos Kourkoulos. According to publications, information on the Latsis family blackmail had been found in the files of N17's victim, businessman D. Aggelopoulos.
 PAPANTONIOU-BUTEFLIKA MEETINGAthens, 29 January 2003 (18:10 UTC+2)
Algerian President Abdelaziz Buteflika and Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou in their meeting in Algiers today agreed on the need to examine all options for a peaceful solution to the crisis in Iraq in accordance with the international treaties and the UN decisions.
Mr. Papantoniou, who is wrapping up his two-day visit to Algeria today, stated after the meeting that Mr. Buteflika expressed fears for the creation of a negative climate in the Arab world. The Algerian leader also stated that there is a risk for the destabilization of the international system as a result of a military attack on Iraq especially, if the US decides on such an attack unilaterally.
Mr. Papantoniou briefed the Algerian President on the latest developments concerning Cyprus and the support of the Greek and the Greek Cypriot sides to the Annan Plan for a solution in Cyprus. He also thanked Algeria for its positive stance on the Cyprus issue.
On the Euro-army, Mr. Papantoniou invited Algeria to participate as an observer or in any other way it wants in the European Rapid Reaction Force exercises or operations.
On the Greek-Algerian cooperation, it was agreed that proposals for the creation of a group of specialists should be submitted as soon as possible. The group will contribute to the strengthening of cooperation between the Armed Forces of the two countries at a technical level, in training and know-how.
 PROTOPAPAS ON THE COMMUNICATION SIMITIS HAD WITH BLAIR AND BERLUSCONIAthens, 29 January 2003 (17:32 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis had a telephone communication with his counterparts Tony Blair from Britain and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi to discuss issues concerning the EU common stance on Iraq in view of the UN Security Council meeting. Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated that this communication had a special importance due to the imminent meeting of the two Prime Ministers with US President George Bush.
Mr. Protopapas reminded the continuous efforts of the Greek EU Presidency to form a common stance and undertake joint initiatives for the political solution of the problem with Iraq avoiding a war.
 SMALL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 29 January 2003 (17:18 UTC+2)
Small losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.26% at 1.665,66 points, while the volume of transactions was at 64.7 million euros
Of the stocks trading today, 144 recorded gains and 143 had losses, while the value of 91 stocks remained unchanged.
 PROTOPAPAS: NO PENDING ISSUES WITH THE FORMER KINGAthens, 29 January 2003 (17:12 UTC+2)
The government is not preoccupied with the former King and any pending issues have been settled through the European Court for Human Rights decision, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
The statement was made in response to a question by a reporter on the problems faced by the former King in getting from the Greek state the compensation awarded to him by the court.
He said that the former King should undertake all necessary initiatives to overcome the problems and get his money. We are not the ones blocking him, stated Mr. Protopapas.
 CONFERENCE ON DRUGS WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE GREEK EU PRESIDENCYAthens, 29 January 2003 (16:59 UTC+2)
A conference on a more effective drug policy will be organized by the Greek Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health, Justice and Public Order in cooperation with the European Commission and the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). The conference will be held in Zappion Megaron building in Athens on March 6-8.
The Greek EU Presidency seeks to bring together researchers, politicians and representatives of non governmental organizations to exchange experience and suggest ways for a more effective EU policy in the sector of drugs.
Also, another goal of the Greek EU Presidency is to prepare proposals for the EU stance in the 46th Session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna in April 2003.
 C-27J AIRCRAFT FOR THE GREEK AIR FORCEAthens, 29 January 2003 (16:34 UTC+2)
The contract with the US firm Lockheed Martin Alenia Tactical Transport Systems (LMATTS) for the purchase of 12 medium capacity C-27J transport aircraft with the option to purchase three more aircraft of the same type and additional material and services, was signed today in the presence of Greek Undersecretary of Defense Loukas Apostolidis and the ambassadors of the US and Italy to Athens.
The aircraft will be used for all-weather, 24hour transport of personnel and materials, airborne forces, drops of supplies, search and rescue missions and transportation of patients.
According to the US2 million contract, the delivery of the aircraft will start in 2005 and will be completed in July 2006.
Mr. Apostolidis stated that the purchase of the 12 aircraft is placed within the framework of the effort to modernize the Greek Air Force and added that the aircraft in question will be used not only for defense purposes but for humanitarian peacekeeping missions as well.
 THE GREEK EU PRESIDENCY ON THE ISSUE OF IRAQAthens, 29 January 2003 (15:56 UTC+2)
The Greek EU Presidency position on a common European stance regarding Iraq for a peaceful solution of the issue, was expressed by Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in telephone communications he had with his counterparts from Britain and Italy, Tony Blair and Silvio Berlusconi.
Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou also referred to the issue in a press conference. Mr. Papandreou, citing the report issued by leading UN weapons inspector Mr. Hans Blix, stated that there is hope for a peaceful settlement of the issue. He characterized as positive the statement made by US President George Bush according to which, all available evidence should be submitted to the UN in order to deal with the issue of Iraq.
We share common values and goals when we say that we want the implementation of UN resolution 1441 for Iraq's disarmament, said Mr. Papandreou.
 EU INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION STRATEGY APPROVALBrussels, 29 January 2003 (15:17 UTC+2)
The European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee voted unanimously in favor of the consultation on the EU information and communication strategy prepared by Greek Euro-deputy Antonis Trakatelis, elected with the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy.
In the consultation it is stressed that even the European citizens living in remote areas need to have continuous and adequate information on fundamental issues such as the EU foreign and security policy, enlargement and treaty reform.
It is also stressed that a special attention should be given to issues like the relation between the European policies and the everyday life of the European citizens. Especially, after the accession of new members into the EU which is expected to bring significant changes to European agriculture, fiscal and funding policy.
Mr. Trakatelis characterized the approval of the consultation he prepared as a very positive event. He stressed that the right and objective information of the citizens is now more necessary than ever before as people are bombarded with lots of information that can often lead to confusion and a distorted picture of reality. A European citizen who is well informed is necessary for the European integration, stressed Mr. Trakatelis.
 GREEK HUMANITARIAN AID TO TURKEYAnkara, 29 January 2003 (16:13 UTC+2)
The Turkish Foreign Ministry, with a statement it has issued, thanked the Greek government and the Greek people for the sensitivity they displayed toward Turkey by sending humanitarian aid to help the country face the problems caused by the earthquake that hit regions in southeastern Turkey on Monday.
For the record, the Greek government, after certain moves made by the Greek Foreign Ministry in cooperation with the Greek embassy to Ankara, sent humanitarian aid of 200.000 euros to Turkey to help it face the problems caused by the catastrophic earthquake.
 POSTPONE, YES, CALL OFF, NOWashington, 29 January 2003 (11:48 UTC+2)
Washington did not rule out the possibility of extending the inspection of the Iraqi arsenal by a few weeks, however President Bush made it clear that illegal regimes such as that of Iraq, which he accuses of not having disarmed itself, are threats to peace, since with their possession of arms they could blackmail and cause instability. Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou will tour the region, while there are evident worries about the economy. Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos proposed a common handling of the possible energy crisis in the EU.