|Friday, 23 October 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-02-04
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SADDAM HAS NOT REALIZED THE SITUATIONAmman, 4 February 2003 (12:20 UTC+2)
"The leaderships of region's countries appreciate that Saddam Hussein has not realized the seriousness of the situation'', said after his meetings in Amman, greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou who added that, ''if he does realize it, there is still a chance he will comply and a serious possibility that war is avoided".
Following his meeting with his Jordanian counterpart in Amman, the second stop of his Middle Eastern tour, Mr. Papandreou called Saddam Hussein to fully cooperate with the international community and comply with the Security Council resolution.
"If the Iraqi leader complies, then we can talk about a diplomatic success", stressed Mr. Papandreou, who made mention of a plan to respond to the consequences of a war but insisted that "for the time being diplomatic efforts are our priority".
Meanwhile, the Americans would welcome a change in Saddam's position and his compliance to UN resolutions, although such a possibility is not considered likely, appreciated Mr. Papandreou after a telephone communication with US Secretary of State Collin Powel, whom he informed on his tour of the Middle East as President of the European Council.
During his contacts, the Foreign Minister has also discussed the Middle Eastern issue as well as the possible connection of the issue to the crisis in Iraq - and he stated that a dialogue on the application on the "road map", which will lead to two independent peaceful states by 2005, must begin.
 NEW ARREST FOR TERRORISMAthens, 4 February 2003 (12:41 UTC+2)
Another arrest of an individual that allegedly participated in the activity of the ELA terrorist organization was made by police today. Shortly after 8am, 64-year-old architect Christos Tsigaridis was arrested in his house in Paleo Psychiko.
According to information, the 64-year-old man is mentioned to in Stasi files with the codename "Andrew", and has already been taken to the building of the General Police Direction of Attica (GADA), where he is being questioned. Nevertheless, in statements yesterday, Mr. Tsigaridis supported that he has nothing to do with ELA.
Another suspect is expected at GADA within the next few hours, with the codename "Nicholas".
Arrests in the ELA case are also expected in Thessaloniki within the next few days. According to information published in today's "Aggelioforos", the names of three members of the organization from Thessaloniki were made known from Stasi files, and significant incriminating evidence has been concentrated against them. Information mentioned that the suspects are a married couple and one more person, Thessaloniki residents who were active in the terrorist organization until 1995, when it was disbanded.
It should be noted that ELA carried out its first terrorist strike in Thessaloniki in 1977 and had taken responsibility for more than 10 attacks on IRS offices, police directions, the court house and other targets by 1990.
Meanwhile, the three first suspects to be arrested in connection to ELA, Irene Athanasaki, Aggelatos Kanas and Kostas Agapiou, will begin testifying successively tomorrow from 9am to 2pm. All three face criminal charges of accession to and participating in a terrorist organization.
 TAKING OUT OF THE COLLECTION BASKETAthens, 4 February 2003 (12:03 UTC+2)
Evidence on individuals in the publishing sector was allegedly turned into the DA by Bishop of Zakynthos, Chrysostomos. Journalist Al. Stefanopoulos was sued by publisher G. Tragas, who was accused of asking for rewards from Bishop of Thebes Ieronymos to assist in his election to the Archbishopric.
 THE TURKISH MINISTER OF TOURISM WILL VISIT ATHENSAthens, 4 February 2003 (18:59 UTC+2)
The course and the prospects of the Greek-Turkish cooperation in the sector of tourism will be at the center of tomorrow's talks between Greek Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos and Turkish Minister of Tourism Mrs. G. Aksit, who will be on a working visit to Greece.
Mrs. Aksit is expected in Athens this evening and tomorrow the two ministers will sign a protocol of cooperation and make statements to the press.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON SIMITIS' CONTACTSAthens, 4 February 2003 (18:07 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister and European Union President Kostas Simitis had a telephone communication with his counterparts from Britain, Portugal, Italy and Sweden at their initiative to discuss the developments concerning Iraq and the EU stance, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
Mr. Simitis had the opportunity to point out to his counterparts from Britain, Portugal and Italy that their stance concerning the declaration of the 8 did not contribute to the good picture of the European Union and had a negative effect on the common EU stance which is necessary in crucial issues, like Iraq.
The government spokesman reminded the contacts the Prime Minister's diplomatic adviser Mr. Sotiropoulos had last Friday with his European counterparts concerning the declaration of the 8. They had expressed to him the position according to which, they support the EU General Affairs Council decision and had no intention to cause problems to the EU image by expressing solidarity to the United States.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 4 February 2003 (17:31 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.62% at 1.667,19 points, while the volume of transactions was at 64.3 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 72 recorded gains and 241 had losses, while the value of 65 stocks remained unchanged.
 TWO TURKISH FIGHTER JETS HARASSED A GREEK AIR FORCE JETAthens, 4 February 2003 (16:43 UTC+2)
A Greek Air Force jet was harassed at noon today by two Turkish fighter jets, while flying 40 miles southeast of the Aegean island of Rhodes inside the Athens FIR. One of the Turkish jets was flying just 150 meters above the Greek aircraft for several minutes.
Greek fighter jets rushed on the scene and intercepted the Turkish aircraft. For the record, the Greek airspace violations by Turkish aircraft have increased notably during the past few weeks.
 SIMITIS-ANGELOPOULOU MEETING POSTPONEDAthens, 4 February 2003 (16:19 UTC+2)
Today's meeting of Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis with Athens 2004 Organizing Committee President Mrs. Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalakis was postponed due to Mr. Simitis' preparation for this evening's debate in Parliament on the issue of corruption.
Meanwhile, press information mentions that Mrs. Angelopoulou expressed discontent during yesterday's ministerial committee meeting concerning the committee decision for cost and budget coordination in the Olympic Games preparations.
The meeting of the Prime Minister with Mrs. Angelopoulou will take place tomorrow.
 KARAMANLIS WILL BE IN BRUSSELS TOMORROWAthens, 4 February 2003 (16:10 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis will be in Brussels tomorrow to attend the European People's Party, EPP, Presiding Board meeting.
Mr. Karamanlis will meet with EPP President Wilfred Martens, European Commissioner Pedro Solbes, responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs and New Democracy Euro-deputies.
 THE EU CALLS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMAthens, 4 February 2003 (16:06 UTC+2)
All EU member states should try constantly to improve their social security system, stated European Commissioner Pedro Solbes, responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs. Mr. Solbes made the statement responding to a question on whether Greece should proceed with new changes in its social security system.
The European Commissioner met in Athens today with Greek Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis and discussed issues concerning the course of the European economy.
 PAPANDREOU WRAPPED UP HIS TOUR OF THE MIDDLE EASTThessaloniki, 4 February 2003 (16:04 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou wrapped up his tour of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon and he is on his way to New York via Paris to attend the UN Security Council meeting tomorrow in which the US will present evidence on Iraq.
Syria, Jordan and Lebanon favor a political solution to the crisis in Iraq and decided to form a committee of envoys that will attempt to visit Baghdad in an effort to persuade Saddam Hussein to comply with the UN resolutions.
After his visit to New York, Mr. Papandreou is likely to visit Egypt. Meanwhile, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia is expected to visit Athens within the next few days. The contacts are placed within the framework of the consultations between Middle East leaders and the European Union aimed at easing the tension with Iraq.
 PAPANDREOU'S CONTACTS IN LEBANONBeirut, 4 February 2003 (16:01 UTC+2)
Speaking to the Press after his meeting with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud and Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hamoud, Greek Foreign Minister and European Council President Giorgos Papandreou referred to the need to send a clear message to Saddam Hussein that he has to fully comply with UN Security Council Resolution 1441.
Mr. Papandreou said that that the Arab world must be mobilised in order to convey that message to Iraq. There was a sense of resignation, but we have to stress the need to be active and take initiatives, he said.
The European Council President and the Lebanese officials (Lebanon currently holds the Arab League Presidency) referred to the likelihood of cooperation between the EU and the Arab world. Mr. Papandreou said on the Iraqi issue that we will see after February 15th, when the ministerial meeting of the Arab League will take place, the ways of coordinating our efforts.
Moreover, he pointed out that the EU is discussing the possibility of backing the Arab envoys whose visit to Iraq is being considered.
Mr. Papandreou expressed the EU's commitment to promote the peace process in the Middle East and stressed the need for an open dialogue amongst the Arab world and the European Union, in order to enhance political and economic cooperation. Europe is here for the Arab world, the Greek Foreign Minister characteristically said.