|Thursday, 12 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-02-05
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 EXTENSIONS ON ELA TESTIMONIESAthens, 5 February 2003 (14:08 UTC+2)
Suspected terrorist members Aggelatos Kanas, Irene Athanasaki and Kostas Agapiou, were taken to DA Leonidas Zervobeakos today, and asked for an extension, which was given to them for tomorrow, to prepare for their testimony.
Meanwhile new evidence against the suspects came to light yesterday. Giannis Ventouris, former President of the village council of Calymnos, stated that the ex-wife of Aggelatos Kanas, Sophia Kyriakidou, had confided in him the connection of her ex-husbands and of others to ELA. Mr. Ventouris stated that Aggelatos Kanas, Christos Tsigaridas, Christos Kassimis and, possibly, Giannis Serifis, were members of ELA.
The 64-year-old civil engineer, Christos Tsigaridas, who allegedly had the codename "Andrew" is considered the theoretic mentor of the organization, while he accepted the political responsibility of ELA's actions until 1991, when he left the organizations for "personal reasons". Christos Tsigaridas and Kostas Agapiou were allegedly in charge of coming into contact with Carlos' organization, from where they received weapons, explosives and know-how.
According to information, Christos Tsigaridas worked closely with Aggelatos Kanas, whom he had employed as an electrician in the construction of a hotel complex in Calymnos.
Meanwhile, an anti-terrorism service group has been in Thessaloniki since last night, where, according to information, arrests of further ELA terrorist suspects are expected.
Information mentioned that the men of the anti-terrorism service have begun concentrating information and, in cooperation with local authorities, are organizing a plan to arrest at least three individuals from Thessaloniki, who allegedly participated in the actions of the terrorist group from the end of the 70s to the beginning of the 90s, when the organizations ended its activity. This information, as well as that on the last four ELA suspect members, was found in Stasi files.
The Thessaloniki members, according to the same information, participated in certain bombings that the organization carried out after 1977, attacking banks, IRS offices, the courthouse and other state services. In fact, one of the suspects had been taken to the authorities in the past for illegal possession of arms, while a woman is included among the suspects.
The leaking of information in the ELA case will be investigated, stated Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas. Mr. Protopapas gave his assurance that the terrorism law will be fully implemented, while he responded to the allegations of ND MP P. Kammenos that "if the government knew about the activities of the arrested A. Kanas, it should have informed their MP of the risk he was at in coming into contact with him".
The Minister of the Press observed that "Mr.Kammenos is not at fault for not knowing Mr. Kanas' other activities", and added that he had already recommended that Mr. Kammenos be a bit more careful, since "he had claimed to be a specialist on terrorism issues and knew the Stasi files like the back of his hand. So, it was proven that he knew nothing and that everything he was full of hot air".
 PAPANDREOU MEETS WITH POWEL-ANNANAthens, 5 February 2003 (12:31 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou arrived in New York in order to participate in the special meeting of the Security Council, as an observer, during which the US Secretary of State Collin Powel will present the evidence proving the connections between Baghdad and Al Queda and that the regime in Iraq is in violation of resolution 1441 of the Security Council. Chief of the CIA George Tenet will also be present at the meeting.
Mr. Papandreou has just completed his tour of the Middle East, where he had meetings with Arab leaders, in an exploration of the consequences an attack on Iraq would have in the attitude of Arab states towards the US. A Euroarab initiative was achieved and in his contacts in Beirut he discussed the possibility of sending Arab and European delegates to Baghdad in order to help in finding a peaceful solution.
At 16:15, Mr. Papandreou will meet with the heads of the inspectors, Hans Blix and Mohammed Elbaradei, and immediately afterwards he will have meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Bulgaria (candidate member of the SC) and Romania.
At 20:30, a bilateral meeting is expected to take place with US Secretary of State Collin Powel, mainly on Iraq, as well as the Cyprus issue. Then Mr. Papanreou will meet (as President of the European Council) with the Foreign Ministers of the four member-states of the EU participating in the Security Council (Britain, France, Spain, Germany). At this meeting, Mr. Papandreou will stress the need for EU member-states to hold a common position at the Security Council, in the framework of the decision made on January 27. There is also a possibility of meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Russia and China.
At 23:30, Mr. Papandreou will have a discussion with Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan. Apart from the situation on Iraq, they will also discuss the Cyprus issue. According to information from the Foreign Ministry, Mr. Papandreou will point out that in three cases, Greece has raised the issue of the two countries coming to an agreement on the issue of security concerning Cyprus. However, Turkey has stated that it is not yet ready and is buying time, saying that more discussions with the army are necessary.
 SHARP TONES AND MEASURES ΟΝ CORRUPTIONAthens, 5 February 2003 (11:33 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis attributed the criticism of ND on corruption during the discussion in Parliament, due to its ultra right practices. Mr. Karamanlis made mention of a Simitis delirium, Secretary General of the Greek Communist Party noted that PASOK and ND practices are one and the same, and the President of the Coalition characterized the evident polarization a choice of the two major parties.
 UNITY CANNOT BE BLACKMAILEDAthens, 5 February 2003 (11:31 UTC+2)
The large drift between the Archbishop and certain members of the hierarchy was confirmed by Christodoulos' intense dissatisfaction with the insinuations of the Metropolite of Zachynthos Chrysostmos, that the Head of the Greek Church was aware of his being blackmailed by three specific individuals.
 GREEK NASA SCIENTIST ON THE COLUMBIA SPACE SHUTTLE TRAGEDYAthens, 5 February 2003 (17:22 UTC+2)
Dr. Stamatis Krimizis, a Greek scientist working with NASA, attributed the loss of experienced scientists to spending cuts in the space research program, stressing that this way the ability to prevent accidents and face the problems that arise becomes limited. He made the statements in an interview with the Athens newspaper TA NEA.
However, he stressed that in spite of the Columbia tragedy the space exploration will continue with great determination.
He also maintained that unmanned spaceships can do the same job with manned missions at a smaller cost and without the risk of lost lives.
The 65yearold, who was born in the island of Chios, is the Space Programs Director at Johns Hopkins University responsible for the design and construction of pioneer unmanned spaceships used in the exploration of space among them, the Voyager-1 and 2, Galileo and Cassini.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 5 February 2003 (16:52 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.59% at 1.657,43 points, while the volume of transactions was at 69.7 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 55 had gains and 259 recorded losses, while the value of 64 stocks remained unchanged.
 EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE EXECUTION OF LOBSANG DHONDUPAthens, 5 February 2003 (16:39 UTC+2)
The European Union expresses deep regret and disappointment at the execution of Lobsang Dhondup immediately after the Sichuan High People's Court upheld his death sentence, despite international concerns voiced at the lack of transparency of the process concerning his case and that of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche.
The European Union reiterates its concerns on the conditions under which the trial was conducted and the lack of certainty as to whether due process and other safeguards for a fair trial were respected, and considers this a serious violation of the rights of the two defendants.
It also reiterates its policy on the death penalty, including its insistence that in case the death penalty is maintained, the internationally accepted minimum standards should be respected. This includes all possible safeguards to ensure a fair trial and adequate fair representation as well as the need for clear and convincing evidence.
The European Union has voiced these concerns to the Chinese authorities, urged them to review the case against Tenzin Delek Rinponche and expressed as well its expectation that his death sentence will not be upheld.
The Acceding Countries the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Associated Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area align themselves with this declaration.
 DEMARCHE BY THE EU PRESIDENCY REGARDING IRAQAthens, 5 February 2003 (16:17 UTC+2)
The EU Presidency today carried out a demarche to Iraqi Missions in Athens, Brussels and New York on the basis of the following elements:
'The European Union is deeply concerned about the Iraqi crisis. Time is running out. UNSCR 1441 gave Iraq a final opportunity to disarm peacefully. If it does not take this chance it will carry the responsibility for all consequences.
Iraq must completely disarm itself of WMD. We want to achieve this in a peaceful way. This is only possible if Iraq fully, unconditionally and immediately complies with all relevant resolutions of the Security Council, in particular with UNSCR 1441 of 8 November 2002. Iraq must therefore come into such full and immediate compliance with its disarmament obligations.
We fully support Dr. Blix and Dr. El Baradei in their mission in accordance with UNSCR 1441. The Iraqi authorities must, as an imperative, provide the inspectors, immediately, with all additional and complete information on questions raised by the International Community, including the issues raised by the Inspectors themselves in their report to the Security Council on 27 January and co-operate proactively.
Further to the GAERC conclusions of 27 January, the Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Associated Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey align themselves with the demarche carried out on 4 February by the EU Presidency.
 THE US AMBASSADOR TO ATHENS ON TERRORISM AND IRAQThessaloniki, 5 February 2003 (16:11 UTC+2)
US ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller congratulated the Greek police authorities for the arrests of individuals accused of participating in the terrorist groups 17 November and ELA.
In statements he made on Iraq after visiting Thessaloniki Mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos, the US ambassador stressed that the United States, like any other country in the world, want a peaceful solution to the problem and nobody wants war. He added that the US, like Greece and any other country in the world, believes that there is a great threat for the world by the mass destruction weapons of Iraq. He referred to UN resolution 1441 and stated that it demands two things: presentation of all existing evidence on behalf of Iraq and total cooperation on behalf of Iraq.
The US ambassador met with Thessaloniki Mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos and Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis and discussed with them issues concerning the development of the region, its role in southeastern Europe and the cooperation with the United States in the sector of business and commerce.
 MINISTERIAL EU TROIKA MEETING WITH UKRAINEAthens, 5 February 2003 (16:02 UTC+2)
The developments in Ukraine and the European Union, as well as international issues like the situation in Iraq and the Middle East will be discussed in the EU Troika meeting with Ukrainian officials in Kiev on February 7.
The Greek Foreign Ministry, which presides over the EU Council of Ministers, announced that the issues under discussion will be the political situation and economic reforms in Ukraine, as well as developments concerning EU enlargement, the European Assembly, the European Security and Defense Policy and the working plan for the implementation of the common strategy on Ukraine. Other issues will be the cooperation between Ukraine and the EU against terrorism, cooperation in the sector of justice and internal affairs and developments in the EU-Ukraine relations.
The international issues to be discussed in the Kiev meeting will concern the Middle East, Iraq, Moldavia and Transdnistria, as well as the situation in Western Balkans.
 BRITISH ACTIVISTS IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 5 February 2003 (15:55 UTC+2)
British peace activists, on their way to Baghdad to form a human shield against the war, are expected to arrive in Thessaloniki this afternoon by car.
A Greek Social Forum delegation will receive the 35 activists and later they will make statements to the press. The British activists will be the guests of the Greek Social Forum tonight and tomorrow they will continue their trip to Iraq.
 A MATISSE STOLEN FROM TERIANT MUSEUMAthens, 5 February 2003 (14:30 UTC+2)
Manuscripts and other sketches by Henri Matisse were stolen from the unique and valuable collection of the artist's work from the Teriant Museum, and replaced by copies.
The theft of the significant work of art illustrated by Matisse, titled The Big Book and under titled Jazz, was discovered by the Director of the Teriant Museum, Konstantinos Maniatopoulos, on Sunday. According to his statements, 30 pages that were stored in a special locked casing in a secure area were stolen.
The theft is estimated to have taken place between January 20 and February 1. According to Mr. Maniatopoulos, despite the efforts made to improve the infrastructure and proper functioning of the Museum, the security measures are lacking, since they were designed 25 years ago. The Lesvos island Police Direction is carrying out a preliminary investigation.
 NATO EXTRAORDINARY MEETING ON IRAQBrussels, 5 February 2003 (18:11 UTC+2)
The ambassadors of NATO's 19 member states will hold an extraordinary meeting in Brussels on Thursday to discuss the Iraq crisis and a US request for support in case of military action on Iraq, according to an alliance spokesman.
The meeting was originally scheduled to take place today but the ambassadors had to take into account deliberations in other forums, such as today's address by US Secretary of State Colin Powel to the United Nations Security Council, in which he is expected to present new evidence against Iraq.
 SECURITY AT THE SECURITY COUNCILNew York, 5 February 2003 (11:32 UTC+2)
World interest in averting a war has been concentrated on the UN Security Council meeting in New York today, at which the US will submit proof on the Iraqi arsenal, while the entire international community considers the full disarmament of Iraq a requirement for the aversion of a war. A Euroarab initiative has been promoted by Athens.