|Tuesday, 1 December 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-02-03
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 WAR NOT UNAVOIDABLE SAYS PAPANDREOUThessaloniki, 3 February 2003 (13:20 UTC+2)
A war is not unavoidable, if there is cooperation on the side of Iraq, stated Foreign Minister and President of the EU Council of Ministers Giorgos Papandreou, after his meetings in Jordan. Their intense worries about the operation being planned against Iraq were expressed by the King of Jordan Abdullah Abdullah, Prime Minister Ali Abu and Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher. The leadership of Jordan asked for pressure to be put on finding a political solution to the crisis, and appreciated that the issue of the region is broader and very important. At the same time, the humanitarian problem of hundreds of thousands of refugees who will seek safety in countries neighboring Iraq was mentioned.
Mr. Papandreou pointed out that the Arab countries are awaiting a common position from the EU and the initiative of the Presidency itself in resolving the crisis through peaceful means. He also added that these countries fully support UN resolution 1441, while the position of Greece is that war is not unavoidable if there is full cooperation on the side of Iraq with the inspectors.
Tonight Mr. Papandreou will travel to Beirut, while tomorrow he is expected in Cairo. On Wednesday, February 5, the Foreign Minister will travel to New York, where the UN Security Council will convene on the Iraq issue.
American Secretary of State Collin Powel will brief the Council on Iraq. After Mr. Papandreou's meeting with members of the SC and EU states that are members of the SC including Bulgaria (which is a candidate for the SC), the Greek Presidency will decide on whether it will call an emergency European Council or Council of Ministers meeting on the Iraq issue.
If we have developments leading to a strong message of peace towards Iraq or preparations for a war, we will move to an emergency meeting, noted Mr. Papandreou characteristically, and added that there is a chance of peacefully resolving the issue. In fact he stressed that as presiding country, Greece will exhaust every possibility in order to find a diplomatic solution, so that a strong message of peace can be sent, that this is the last chance for Saddam Hussein.
Mr. Papandreou noted that all possibilities are still open on convening a Council of the 15 or the 28, even a Simitis-Bush meeting, while he noted that there will be a clearer image after the briefing of the SC by Mr. Powel.
Meanwhile the Iraq crisis will be the main point of interest for one more week, and will be among other issues the topic of discussion between Prime Minister Simitis and his Iranian counterpart, on Wednesday February 5.
 ELA SUSPECTS TESTIFY ON WEDNESDAYAthens, 3 February 2003 (12:25 UTC+2)
The suspects arrested on charges of participation in the Revolutionary People's Struggle (ELA), have received an extension to testify by Wednesday.
The 52-year-old Aggelatos Kanas, the 56-year-old Kostas Agapiou, and the 49-year-old Irene Athanasaki, have been charged with accession to and participation in a terrorist organization by DA Kyriakos Karoutsos. However, all three, according to their attorneys, deny all charges and any participation in ELA.
Aggelatos Kanas, President of the Village Council of the island of Kimolos, was arrested late on Saturday, while the names of the other two suspects, the civil engineer and the private employee, were announced yesterday. Also, five more individuals have been taken to the General Police Direction of Attica and developments are expected within the next few hours.
The first terrorist action taken by ELA was on April 20, 1975, in Elefsina, when bombs exploded in 8 cars of the US diplomatic mission.
 THE RULE OF THREEAthens, 3 February 2003 (12:04 UTC+2)
DA Dimitris Papaggelopoulos has evidence on three individuals involved in the blackmail by threat of N17 case. The file that opened with accusations by well known businessmen against Gr. Michalopoulos, will be closed this week with charges being pressed. Information published in the "Sunday Eleftherotypia" stated that businessman Th. Aggelopoulos has submitted a recorded conversation via mobile phone with one of the three suspects, who is a journalist.
 AUSTRIAN INITIATIVE ON BEHALF OF THE GREEK EU PRESIDENCYAthens, 3 February 2003 (19:55 UTC+2)
Austria's Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner is to visit Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria on behalf of the Greek EU Presidency, at the end of the week, in an effort to look into ways to peacefully resolve the Iraq crisis.
The Austrian Foreign Minister will be in Morocco on Friday, Tunisia on Saturday and Algeria on Sunday for talks with government officials in these countries.
 THE MAYOR OF KIRJALI VISITED ALEXANDROUPOLISAlexandroupolis, 3 February 2003 (19:20 UTC+2)
Kirjali Mayor Mr. Dimitrov visited Evros Prefect Mr. Zabounidis in Alexandroupolis, northeastern Greece. In the meeting, the Bulgarian side raised two issues.
The first issue concerned two programs of 55.000 euros and 800.000 euros respectively, within the framework of the FARE inter-border action for the purification of the waters of Ardas River which passes through the Municipality of Kirjali.
Mr. Zabounidis stressed that his Prefecture supports the environmental protection of the river, pointing out that the two regions have common interests toward this direction. However, he underlined that the basic precondition for cooperation is the participation in the program of all the Bulgarian municipalities along the river banks.
The second issue raised by the Mayor of Kirjali was the creation of an industrial zone in the region.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON TERRORISMAthens, 3 February 2003 (18:16 UTC+2)
The government is not aware of the exact moves made regarding the arrests of terrorists and the time in which these moves are being made. This is a matter concerning the responsible authorities, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas. He reiterated that the investigation on terrorism will proceed, stressing that Greece is and will continue to be one of the safest countries in the world.
On the arrest of Kimolos' local community president Angeletos Kanas, the government spokesman stated that the government is not concerned with the political identity of those arrested in relation with terrorism. This is also the line followed by the responsible authorities, said Mr. Protopapas, given the fact that they make their moves based on evidence that links specific individuals with terrorist acts.
On the conditions of the arrest of Mr. Kanas, he said that Mr. Kanas traveled to Athens from the Aegean island of Kimolos under the protection of television crews and added that police did its job quietly.
Responding to a question by a reporter on the likely involvement of businessman Socratis Kokkalis in the Stasi archives, Mr. Protopapas stated that the archives are being studied carefully by the government for a systematic, responsible and low profile work without excessive television coverage.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 3 February 2003 (17:45 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.36% at 1.677,52 points, while the volume of transactions was at 56 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 87 recorded gains and 209 had losses, while the value of 82 stocks remained unchanged.
 CONFERENCE ON EMPLOYMENT WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE EU PRESIDENCYAthens, 3 February 2003 (17:02 UTC+2)
A conference on the Future of Labor - Basic Challenges for the European Employment Strategy is organized by the Greek Ministry of Labor with the support of the European Commission to take place in Athens on February 13-14.
The conference is one of the major events in the area of Employment and Social Affairs during the EU Presidency and will focus on the new tendencies formed regarding the organizing of labor and the future needs in the specific sector.
The conference aspires to contribute to the debate on the future of employment policies in view of the European Employment Strategy Revision, taking under consideration the European Commission statement in January 2003. The revision will be one of the major issues in the Spring Summit meeting agenda.
The Greek EU Presidency has invited representatives from all the EU member states and the EU candidate states (representatives of governments, companies, social partners, academicians, institutions and networks, both at a European level and at an EU member state level).
The main speaker in the conference will be Mr. Jeremy Rifkin, founder and president of the Economic Trends Foundation in Washington.
 PAPATHEMELIS ON THE STASI ARCHIVES AND THE ARRESTS OF ELA MEMBERSThessaloniki, 3 February 2003 (16:02 UTC+2)
Governing Socialist Party of PASOK Parliament deputy and former Minister of Public Order Stelios Papathemelis stated that he is satisfied with the arrests of individuals described in the Stasi archives in spite of the delay. The statement was made on the occasion of the arrests of three individuals accused of participation in the terrorist group Revolutionary Popular Struggle, ELA.
The name of one of the three was included in the Stasi files which were received by the Greek authorities in March 1995, stated Mr. Papathemelis to MPA.
He said that the archives of the former East German secret service are a valuable information tank on terrorism in Greece and added that when Greece was in deep darkness regarding terrorism the information in question was priceless.
Mr. Papathemelis stated that the Stasi archives provided enough information proving that certain individuals were terrorist group members.
 REPPAS IN FAVOR OF A DEMOCRATIC GLOBAL GOVERNANCEBrussels, 3 February 2003 (16:32 UTC+2)
The need for a new democratic global governance in which strategies at an international level will be combined with policies at a regional, national and local level, was underlined by Greek Labor Minister and EU Labor Ministers Council President Dimitris Reppas. Mr. Reppas addressed a conference organized in Brussels by the European Commission and the World Committee on the Social Dimension of Globalization.
Mr. Reppas stated that such a governance will be able to face issues like the widening gap between the poor and the rich, the destruction of the environment as a result of the uncontrolled development, the cultural conflicts and the immigration flow increase.
Referring to the world economy, he said that it should become viable mainly in its social and environmental dimension.
 PAPANDREOU'S CONTACTS IN JORDANAmman, 3 February 2003 (16:12 UTC+2)
King Abdallah of Jordan, Prime Minister Ali Abu al-Ragheb and Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher expressed their strong concern for the planned military operation against Iraq in the meeting they had with Greek Foreign Minister and EU Council of Ministers President Giorgos Papandreou. The Jordanian leadership called for pressures to be exerted for a political solution to the crisis. It also referred to the humanitarian problem of hundreds of thousands of refugees who will look for shelter in Iraq's neighboring countries.
Mr. Papandreou stated that the Arab countries are waiting for the common stance of the EU, as well as for the EU Presidency initiative, in an effort to solve the crisis through peaceful means. He added that these countries back UN resolution 1441 while, according to Greece's position, the war will not be inevitable if there is cooperation between Iraq and the UN weapons' inspectors.
Later in the afternoon, the Greek Foreign Minister will be in Lebanon, while on Wednesday he will be in New York for the UN Security Council meeting during which the United States will present incriminating evidence against Iraq.
After his visit to New York, Mr. Papandreou is expected to continue his tour of the Middle East with visits to Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
 ARAB MESSAGES TO THE WEST-SADDAMDamascus, 3 February 2003 (12:05 UTC+2)
Its agreement to the full application of the resolution for the disarmament of Iraq was expressed by Damascus to Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, pointing out however that the resolution does not foresee resorting to violence. Mr. Papandreou is traveling to Amman today, and the inspectors will be in Baghdad before February 14. The crucial meeting of the Security Council, in which the US will present evidence on the Iraqi arsenal, will be held in two days. The Iranian Prime Minister will be in Athens tomorrow to meet with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.