|Sunday, 19 May 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-01-30
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PAPANDREOU-YAKIS MEETINGAthens, 30 January 2003 (18:26 UTC+2)
The issue of the planned attack on Iraq dominated in the meeting Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Yasar Yakis had in Ankara this afternoon.
Mr. Yakis pointed out that the Turkish soldiers will not fight in such a case but they will try to stop the waves of refugees from entering Turkey.
The two Foreign Ministers expressed their common will for the improvement of bilateral relations. Mr. Papandreou spoke about the Cyprus issue as well, pointing out that it is a historical problem that puts a burden on bilateral relations. He stated that the issue can be resolved and the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots will be able to live together peacefully.
 CYPRUS HAS COME OF AGEAthens, 30 January 2003 (11:31 UTC+2)
The Cyprus issue is near a solution, but political will is necessary in order to reach it, stressed Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, who, in a clear message to the Generals at Ankara, underlined that Cyprus must come to a decision on its own. «Greece and Turkey are not its guardians», he said characteristically. Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to be willing to find a solution, according to Alvaro De Soto, who, after meeting with the leader of the AKP party in Ankara, affirmed Mr. Erdogan's keenness to find a solution.
 RULING ON PASSARIS CASE ON FEBRUARY 5Bucharest, 30 January 2003 (12:46 UTC+2)
The ruling on the case of infamous Greek criminal Kostas Passaris will be announced on February 5, according to the Romanian DA authorities.
In today's last session of the court, a life sentence was proposed for Passaris, as judicial authorities supported their charges on evidence that the Greek criminal was the culprit of the double homicide at Le Petit Bijou currency exchange in Bucharest.
In his final testimony, Passaris admitted that he was responsible for a number of murders in Greece, while he added that he would not be so naïve as to trust a friend, such as Gabriel Melide, since he had already been double-crossed by a friend in Greece.
He added that in his testimony, Melide is protecting the real culprit of the double homicide in his testimony, whom Passaris stated, he does not know.
It should be noted that Melide was the man that turned Passaris over to the police, after the double homicide on the night of November 24/25, 2001.
 BETTER AMATEURISM, THAN LAWLESSNESSAthens, 30 January 2003 (11:30 UTC+2)
Immediate investigations of FCs, which will have been completed by the end of April, were announced by Minister of Culture and Sports Evaggelos Venizelos, who made it clear that the teams are not in danger, but that the cleansing concerns individuals, and he foresaw that very few FCs will make it through the investigation. If necessary, we will return to an amateur form of football, said Mr. Venizelos. A new administration has been appointed for AEK FC, while the Chief of the Thessaloniki DA's office intervened after the complaints expressed a few days ago Ev. Mytilineos, upon resigning from the position of Iraklis FC President, complaints that caused intense reactions from Olympiakos FC's President, Socrates Kokkalis.
 SIMITIS-MEDGYESSY MEETINGAthens, 30 January 2003 (19:09 UTC+2)
The process of enlargement, migration issues, the shaping of the new Europe, the situation in the Balkans and bilateral cooperation were the main topics of discussion between Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis and Hungarian Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy in the meeting they had in Athens yesterday.
Asked by a journalist whether he intended to visit the USA, Simitis replied that he would be going to the United States at the end of June within the framework of the EU-USA summit meeting, but did not rule out other visits or contacts in the meantime.
Mr. Simitis underlined that all the details of each Act of Accession should be agreed by 31 January in preparation for the final stage of enlargement, which will be sealed with the signing of the Treaty in Athens in April. He added that the Greek Presidency was examining the requests of the various countries, as always within the framework agreed in Copenhagen and at the most recent General Affairs Council on January 27-28, 2003.
Mr. Medgyessy expressed satisfaction that the text of the Act of Accession would be prepared in time and requested that no new provisions be added in view of the fact that there was already a binding agreement. He informed Simitis that a referendum would be held in Hungary in early April on the country's accession to the EU which had the support of most Hungarians.
On migration issues, Mr. Medgyessy said the priorities of the Greek Presidency coincided with Hungary's intentions, adding that the two countries had signed a Readmission Agreement. Mr. Medgyessy asked his Greek counterpart for "a mutual opening of the labour market" in view of accession, and requested Hungary's participation in the Constitutional Convention.
Mr. Simitis said Greece would examine the issue of the free movement of workers between the two countries by April, while noting that some EU countries would not be implementing the restrictions decided. On the shaping of the new Europe, the Greek premier said the interests of both sides were in the same direction, namely «a strong Commission and EU bodies which apply common policies». He underlined that the draft Constitution must be submitted by June, so that the European Council can discuss the opening date and the political mandate for the Intergovernmental Conference, with a view to signing the new Treaty in the period prior to the next European elections.
The two leaders examined possibilities for joint action in the Balkans and the Middle East, while agreeing on the formulation of a joint statement in favour of stability in the Balkan region. The two sides also agreed to set up a joint committee after April to promote development cooperation plans in the Balkans and the Middle East.
 MR. SIMITIS COMMENTED ON THE 8 EUROPEAN STATES' INITIATIVEAthens, 30 January 2003 (18:55 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in a statement he has issued today expressed the view that the way in which the initiative undertaken by eight European countries, to back the US in the issue of Iraq, was expressed does not contribute to a common stance towards this issue.
He stressed that the EU seeks to have a common foreign policy and within this framework there should be an understanding.
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, in his capacity as President of the European Council made the following statement:
The way in which the 5 EU member states and the 3 candidate states' initiative on the Iraq issue was expressed does not contribute to a common stance towards this issue.
The EU seeks to have a common foreign policy. Therefore, a common understanding is necessary on the Iraq issue, as was the case with the General Affairs Council on Monday the 27th of January 2003.
The Presidency will continue working for a common stance.
 THE GREEK EU PRESIDENCY WELCOMES THE NEW CONSTITUTION OF SERBIA-MONTENEGROAthens, 30 January 2003 (18:07 UTC+2)
The adoption of the Constitutional Map and the Executive Law by the Parliaments of Serbia and Montenegro was welcomed by the Greek EU Presidency in a statement it has issued today. The statement mentions that this is a significant step toward the full implementation of the March 14, 2002 Belgrade Agreement.
Among others it is stressed that the EU Presidency wishes to encourage all political forces in both Republics to work closely for the appointment of the Parliament deputies of the common state as soon as possible.
It is pointed out that efforts should focus on the establishment of new institutions, the creation of a functional and effective state and the fulfillment of the necessary criteria for the further promotion of the European prospect of Serbia and Montenegro.
 PAPANDREOU-MILLER MEETINGAthens, 30 January 2003 (17:23 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou had a meeting at the Athens El. Venizelos International Airport with US ambassador Thomas Miller at the US diplomat's request. The meeting was held just before Mr. Papandreou's departure for Ankara where he will have contacts on Turkey's European prospect.
The meeting focused on the situation in Iraq, the developments in the Middle East and the European initiative on North Korea. Mr. Papandreou will visit North Korea and South Korea within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency after his visit to Israel and Palestine.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 30 January 2003 (17:00 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.33% at 1.671,13 points, while the volume of transactions was at 53.9 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 134 recorded gains and 154 had losses, while the value of 90 stocks remained unchanged.
 COMMON EU-US AIRSPACE IS UNDERWAYAthens, 30 January 2003 (16:55 UTC+2)
Greek Transportation Minister Christos Verelis expressed his full satisfaction for the success of the meeting in Athens with the participation of European Commission and European Presidency specialists aimed at the creation of a common EU-US Airspace. The meeting was held last week at the initiative of the Greek Transportation Minister, who is presiding over the EU Ministers of Transportation Council.
The issue of a common EU-US Airspace is under discussion in the EU Ministers of Transportation Council since 1996. In this common inter-Atlantic airspace area, the airline companies will be free to open offices and offer their services based on trade criteria, while they will be able to be competitive on a fair and equal basis.
The promotion of the issue is associated with the need to solve the problems created after the negative ruling of the European Court against 9 member-states issued in early November last year. Based on the court decision, the member-states which have agreements with the US on the specific issue are being called to denounce them.
Greece has not signed such an agreement because it is in favor of a common European position on the issue.
 EU SANCTIONS ON CONGOAthens, 30 January 2003 (15:54 UTC+2)
Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tasos Yiannitsis, who is presiding over the EU Council, expressed the EU concern regarding the illegal exploitation of Congo's natural resources and the developments taking place in the country at a humanitarian, political and military level.
Mr. Yiannitsis stated that the population of Congo lives in conditions that are in total contrast with the country's huge natural wealth. He added that according to a report submitted by the UN Committee of Specialists formed in 2000 on the illegal exploitation of natural resources in Africa, high ranking politicians, members of the military and businessmen in Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Congo have been involved in widespread looting for their own benefit using methods like the forced labor of local population.
He said that the EU backs the adoption of sanctions whenever is necessary, preferably by the UN Security Council and not by individual states or groups of states, while at the same time it is in favor of transparency and good governance in all public affairs both domestic and foreign.
 LIMITING THE OPTIONSWashington, 30 January 2003 (11:31 UTC+2)
A meeting of the UN Security Council on February 5 in order to look into developments in Iraq and the measures of the international community after the report of the UN inspectors, who did not ascertain the existence of weapons but charged Iraq with a lack of cooperation, was proposed by the US. Prime Minister Simitis had a telephone communication regarding the Iraq issue with his British and Italian counterparts this morning. A message to the Iraqi people, that their destiny is not a war and that they must cooperate with the international community and the inspectors, was sent by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, who is beginning his tour of the Middle East.