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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-02-06

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


CONTENTS

  • [01] EU INSISTS ON IRAQ DISARMAMENT
  • [02] KANAS NOW AWAITING TRIAL
  • [03] EXHIBITION ON BYZANTIUM IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL
  • [04] LECTURES ON CULTURE AND GREECE
  • [05] MILITARY SPENDING WILL DROP TO 3.9% OF THE GDP
  • [06] ANNAN LETTER TO SIMITIS AND GUL
  • [07] THE GREEK PARLIAMENT RATIFIED THE INTERNATIONAL TREATY ON TERRORISM
  • [08] PAPANTONIOU IN THE MUNICH CONFERENCE ON SECURITY POLICY
  • [09] THE PRIME MINISTER'S PRESS SPOKESMAN RESIGNED
  • [10] INT'NAL SEMINAR FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE 2003 SPRING EUROPEAN COUNCIL

  • [01] EU INSISTS ON IRAQ DISARMAMENT

    Athens, 6 February 2003 (12:14 UTC+2)

    Its intense worry about the Iraqi crisis was expressed by the Greek Presidency of the EU, in a message sent to the Iraqi delegations in Athens, Brussels, and New York, while at the same time it called Baghdad to fully and immediately comply with UN Security Council resolutions, before time runs out.

    The European Union is deeply concerned about the Iraqi crisis. Time is running out. Resolution 1441 of the UN Security Council was a last chance for Iraq to peacefully disarm itself. If it does not make the most of this chance, it will bear full responsibility for the consequences.

    Iraq must move to full disarmament as far as weapons of mass destruction are concerned. We want it to do so peacefully. This is only possible if Iraq fully complies, without terms and immediately, with all related Security Council resolutions, and especially resolution 1441 of the UN SC, of November 8, 2002. Thus, Iraq must comply fully and immediately with its obligations in the disarmament sector, mentioned the message.

    The EU expressed its support to the UN inspectors on the weapons of Iraq, which has been called to provide all additional and complete information regarding the issues raised by the international community, as well as certain issues set by the inspectors themselves in the report to the Security Council on January 27.

    After the conclusions of the General Affairs and Foreign Relations Council of the EU on January 27, the countries incorporated, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Republic of Slovakia and Slovenia, the connected countries, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey, undersigned the message sent by the EU.

    [02] KANAS NOW AWAITING TRIAL

    Athens, 6 February 2003 (12:29 UTC+2)

    Aggelatos Kanas is now awaiting trial, after his testimony to Special Examiner Leonidas Zervobeakos. The president of the Kimolos village council is accused of accession to and participation in the Revolutionary People's Struggle terrorist organization, and will be sent to the Corydallos Penitentriary.

    At 10am, Aggelatos Kanas was taken from the General Police Direction of Attica to the Appeals Court. His testimony to Mr. Zervobeakos lasted more than an hour and the Special Examiner asked for information surrounding the activities of ELA and the terrorist organization's actions.

    Immediately following his testimony, it was deemed that Aggelatos Kannas would remain in custody awaiting trial, since there is his ex-wife's testimony against him.

    However, Kanas was once again taken to the holding cells of the General Police Direction of Attica at 11:45, and will be taken to the Corydallos Penitentiary when the testimonies of the remaining three ELA suspect-members are complete.

    [03] EXHIBITION ON BYZANTIUM IN SPAIN AND PORTUGAL

    Athens, 6 February 2003 (19:07 UTC+2)

    One of the most significant exhibitions ever organised on Byzantium... This is the "gift" of the Hellenic Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs to Spain, on the occasion of the Greek EU Presidency for the first half of 2003. The exhibition, organised by the Directorate of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments and the Museum of Byzantine Culture, is entitled "Aspects of every day life in Byzantium" (Aspectos de la vida cotidiana en Bizancio).

    Madrid's exhibition opens in February 6 at the Museo Arqueolügico Nacional. On March 15, it will travel to Lisbon, Portugal, due to be open from April 4 to June 8.

    [04] LECTURES ON CULTURE AND GREECE

    Athens, 6 February 2003 (19:03 UTC+2)

    Dublin's Chester Beatty Library is organising an important series of public lectures on culture and Greece each Thursday afternoon in February. The program takes place on the occasion of the Greek EU presidency for the first half of 2003 (6.02.2003 - 27.02.2003).

    These four illustrated lunchtime talks are paving the way for the great exhibition A Stage for Dionysus in Dublin, opening this March in the Irish capital. The exhibition is organised by the Embassy of Greece in Dublin, in cooperation with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, the Melina Mercouri Foundation, the Hellenic Literary and Historical Archives and the Irish Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism.

    [05] MILITARY SPENDING WILL DROP TO 3.9% OF THE GDP

    Athens, 6 February 2003 (18:50 UTC+2)

    The situation in the Greek armed forces, defense spending and the country's defense policy were examined in today's cabinet meeting held under Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.

    Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou stated that defense spending will be cut to 3.9% of the GDP from 4.9%. It is estimated that the 1% cut will correspond to 500 billion drachmas a year.

    Mr. Papantoniou also stated that the conscripts serving in the Greek Navy ships will be gradually replaced by professional navy sailors. The decision will be initially implemented in the Greek Navy frigates and gradually will affect tank-carriers, gun-boats and missile-boats.

    He also stated that the Euro-army will be active in FYROM in the first week of April with the participation of 650 soldiers and officers from EU member states.

    The issue of Iraq was also discussed in the cabinet meeting and was underlined that there is still room for a peaceful solution to the crisis.

    [06] ANNAN LETTER TO SIMITIS AND GUL

    Athens, 6 February 2003 (18:36 UTC+2)

    UN Secretary General Kofi Annan sent letters to Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey, Kostas Simitis and Abdulah Gul, inviting them to New York for talks on the issue of security in Cyprus. Greece and Turkey will be called to undertake the role of guarantor powers in case the Cyprus issue is resolved.

    The issue was discussed in today's cabinet meeting in which it was underlined that the Greek government is ready to proceed with talks on the guarantees issue. At the same time, the Prime Minister stated that a new Annan Plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem is likely.

    [07] THE GREEK PARLIAMENT RATIFIED THE INTERNATIONAL TREATY ON TERRORISM

    Athens, 6 February 2003 (18:21 UTC+2)

    The international treaty against terrorist bomb attacks was ratified in the Greek Parliament today.

    In favor of the treaty voted the Parliament deputies of the governing Socialist Party of PASOK, except from two (Yiannis Kapsis and Panagiotis Kritikos) and all the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy deputies, while against the treaty voted Coalition of the Left and the Greek Communist Party, KKE.

    Undersecretary of Public Order Vangelis Malesios in an effort to respond to criticism according to which, the treaty will restrict national sovereignty and Greece will have to show obedience to the US demands, cited the government's recent successes especially, in domestic terrorism. He also stressed that the government's efforts will continue against international terrorism.

    The Undersecretary denied criticism based on which, Greece will be obligated by the US to extradite Greek citizens to be tried in the United States. He stressed that in Greece the freedom and democratic rights of the citizens have been secured, both in terms of legislation and constitutionally.

    [08] PAPANTONIOU IN THE MUNICH CONFERENCE ON SECURITY POLICY

    Athens, 6 February 2003 (18:12 UTC+2)

    Greek National Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou will be in Germany tomorrow to attend the 39th Munich Conference on Security Policy taking place on Saturday, February 8.

    In his address, Mr. Papantoniou will refer to the role of the EU foreign and security policy in the prevention of conflicts and crisis management.

    Among the issues discussed in the conference will be the global struggle against terrorism, the situation, the prospects and the future role of NATO.

    Within the framework of the conference, Mr. Papantoniou is scheduled to meet with his Swedish counterpart Leni Bjowklund.

    [09] THE PRIME MINISTER'S PRESS SPOKESMAN RESIGNED

    Athens, 6 February 2003 (17:43 UTC+2)

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis' press spokesman Giorgos Pantagias submitted his resignation today and it was accepted.

    In his letter of resignation, he reminds his decision to be a candidate in the B' electoral district of Piraeus in the next parliamentary elections, while he also mentions that an effort is being made aimed at defaming the political work he is doing in the region of Piraeus.

    [10] INT'NAL SEMINAR FOR THE PREPARATION OF THE 2003 SPRING EUROPEAN COUNCIL

    Athens, 6 February 2003 (17:25 UTC+2)

    The Greek presidency is organising in Athens on February 7-8 a high-level seminar with the participation of members of the European Union Commission, internationally renowned economists, senior policy-makers and social partners, charged with preparations for the 2003 Spring European Council to be held in Brussels in late March.

    Participants will discuss the so-called ''Lisbon process'', whose goal is to make the EU economy the most competitive world-wide by 2010, a target meeting difficulties in its application, while the Greek presidency is seeking reconfirmation of the expectations of EU member-state governments who were signatories to the Lisbon conclusions.

    The Seminar, which will include five round tables, will be attended by EU Commissioner for Economic & Monetary Affairs Pedro Solbes, European Central Bank Vice President Loukas Papademos, Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) Director Daniel Gros, EU Commissioner for Competition Mario Monti, EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs Anna Diamantopoulou and Greek National Centre for the Environment and Sustainable Development President Mihalis Modinos. Concluding remarks will be addressed by Lisbon agenda coordinator for the Greek Presidency George Papaconstantinou.


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