|Wednesday, 20 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-02-19
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SIMITIS: THE EU SUMMIT IN BRUSSELS WAS A SUCCESSAthens, 19 February 2003 (16:55 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis briefed President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos today on the latest developments in the Iraq crisis and the outcome of the EU informal Summit on the issue held earlier in the week in Brussels, called by the Greek EU presidency.
Speaking to reporters before the meeting, Mr. Stephanopoulos praised the Prime Minister for his initiative and the summit result, as the leaders of the 15 EU member states reached a common position on the Iraq issue.
Mr. Simitis said that the volition had existed for a common confrontation of the problem, and expressed the hope that "we shall continue like this in the future".
He warned, however, that tension was anticipated as ''the Iraq issue is not finished'', but added that ''no one can proceed alone, without the cooperation of the others''.
After the 90-minute meeting, Mr. Simitis said that he and the President had discussed international affairs, developments in the European Union and the results of the EU leaders' meeting in Brussels on Monday.
He described Monday's summit as a success "because Europe's common desire to play a role" was made apparent.
"War is not inevitable", he said, reiterating the common EU position agreed at the summit, adding that Iraq must comply with the Security Council resolutions.
Mr. Simitis gave the assurance that the Greek government effort for a peaceful solution would continue "because everyone must realise the misfortune that war brings".
 GETTING TO THE POINT WITH THE THIRD PLANNicosia, 19 February 2003 (09:12 UTC+2)
The newly elected President of the Republic of Cyprus, Tassos Papadopoulos, will have his first meeting with the UN Secretary General's representative in Cyprus Alvaro De Soto, while discussions with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash are expected to be resumed. President Kliridis refuted that he will be remaining on the negotiations committee. There is certainty that a third plan will be submitted. The Turkish Prime Minister is in favor of expediting a solution.
 SECOND TESTIMONY, DENIES EVERYTHINGAthens, 19 February 2003 (11:14 UTC+2)
DA in charge of the blackmail in the name of N17 case D. Papaggelopoulos, will hear the second testimony of the Eleftheri Ora newspaper publisher Gr. Michalopoulos, whom a series of witnesses have named as the perpetrator of the blackmails. According to his attorney, during his 7-hour testimony, Mr. Michalopoulos denied all accusations against him by the Aggelopoulos' couple, businessman Argyris Saliarelis, Marianna Latsi, and Metropolite of Zachynthos Chrysostomos.
 YIANNITSIS MET WITH AUSTRALIA'S SPECIAL ENVOY FOR CYPRUSAthens, 19 February 2003 (20:49 UTC+2)
The Annan Plan on Cyprus and the conclusions of the extraordinary EU Summit meting in Brussels on the crisis in Iraq dominated in today's meeting of Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Tasos Yiannitsis with Australia's special envoy for Cyprus Jim Short.
Mr. Yiannitsis briefed Mr. Short on the common decision reached by the 15 concerning Iraq, while Mr. Short conveyed to the Deputy Foreign Minister the outcome of his recent visit to Ankara. They also discussed the prospect of a referendum in Cyprus in case the Annan Plan is approved.
Regarding the revised Annan Plan, it was established that an agreement is very difficult to be reached by February 28, while a reference was made to the Turkish reservations.
 MICHALOPOULOS HAS COMPLETED HIS TESTIMONY BEFORE THE PROSECUTORAthens, 19 February 2003 (20:07 UTC+2)
Publisher Grigoris Michalopoulos completed his testimony today before the responsible prosecutor, who is examining the case concerning the blackmails made in the name of terrorist group 17 November.
According to information, Mr. Michalopoulos rejected the accusations targeting him characterizing as slander and lies the charges made against him, while he also spoke of a well orchestrated attempt aimed at his extermination.
Grigoris Michalopoulos was called to give information on the fact that he was an eyewitness in the assassination of Michalis Vranopoulos in January 1994. Based on the same information, he stated that he was never called by the police to testify even though he had made the fact known from the beginning.
 PROTOPAPAS ON THE GREEK EU PRESIDENCYAthens, 19 February 2003 (19:37 UTC+2)
All those who had assumed that the initiative undertaken by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, as the European Council President, will fail have been proven wrong, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas. He added that the Prime Minister was fully vindicated for his decision to call an EU informal Summit meeting on the issue of Iraq.
Mr. Protopapas stated that the Greek EU Presidency has been upgraded through perseverance, patience and specific political goals. It has become an EU Presidency that can play a decisive role in developments, form developments and undertake initiatives that can be exploited at an international level for the solution of problems.
He also expressed the hope that the decisions reached will contribute in a positive way to the creation of a climate that will guarantee that the crisis will be overcome through peaceful means and the disarmament of Iraq.
The Greek government spokesman concluded that Saddam Hussein should accept his country's complete disarmament from weapons of mass destruction and the UN Security Council can guarantee that there will be no threat for humanity in the future through the weapons' inspectors work.
 GOV'T SPOKESMAN: KOSTAS SIMITIS WILL BE PASOK'S LEADER IN THE NEXT ELECTIONSAthens, 19 February 2003 (18:27 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas denied the scenarios according to which, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will accept a European Union post and leave Greek politics. The comment was made in response to press reports based on which, the Greek Parliament President urges the Prime Minister to take over a European post.
Mr. Protopapas stated that the Prime Minister himself has put an end to the scenarios. He added that Mr. Simitis will complete the mandate given to him by the Greek people. He also said that he will be heading the governing Socialist Party of PASOK in the next parliamentary elections seeking another victory in the polls.
 STOCK EXCHANGE COOPERATION MEMORANDUMThessaloniki, 19 February 2003 (18:11 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki Stock Exchange Center managing director Vasilis Margaris and Bucharest Stock Exchange general director Stere Farmache signed a memorandum of cooperation yesterday.
The agreement is the outcome of the efforts made by the Thessaloniki Stock Exchange Center aimed at promoting the Greek stock exchange to the developing countries within the framework of the DAC program sponsored by the Greek Foreign Ministry.
The goal of the Cooperation Memorandum is to promote open cooperation relations between the interested parties.
After the signing of the Cooperation Memorandum, Mr. Farmache expressed gratitude to the Greek side for the overall assistance planned to be offered to the local stock exchange. He also expressed the hope that the program already tabled by the Thessaloniki Stock Exchange Center, regarding the establishment of a New Stock Exchange Market in Romania, will be approved soon within the framework of the Greek Development Aid.
 PROTESTS AGAINST NATO WARSHIPS IN THE PORT OF PIRAEUSPiraeus, 19 February 2003 (17:50 UTC+2)
Protest demonstrations were held today against NATO warships that sailed into the port of Piraeus. Local residents and authorities gathered in the area holding signs.
They also held a protest march to Alexandra Square chanting slogans against a war in Iraq and against the United States.
 THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE ON EMPLOYMENT MEETS IN GREVENAGrevena, 19 February 2003 (17:33 UTC+2)
The meeting of the European Committee on Employment got underway in Grevena, northwestern Greece, today. The proceedings will be completed on Friday.
The European Committee on Employment is a high level European Union body with a special weight which introduces issues to the Labor and Social Affairs Ministers Council.
The committee meeting in Grevena is one of the most important as its conclusions and proposals will be linked with the main issues concerning the revision of the European Strategy on Employment and the assessment of the Lisbon agreement implementation course.
In the committee meeting participate about 60 representatives (Undersecretaries, General Secretaries, General Directors) from the 15 EU member states.
 MARGINAL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 19 February 2003 (17:19 UTC+2)
Marginal losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.02% at 1.693,44 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 60.2 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 191 recorded gains compared to 81 that had losses, while the value of 107 stocks remained unchanged.
 PAPANTONIOU WITH PRODI, D' ESTAINGBrussels, 19 February 2003 (11:10 UTC+2)
Greek Minister of National Defense Giannos Papantoniou, who is in Brussels, met with the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, Commissioner Michel Barnier, as well as the President of the Assembly on the Future of Europe, Giscard D'Estaing,
As far as his discussions with Mr. Prodi are concerned, Mr. Papantoniou expressed his satisfaction with the Commission's response to the Greek Presidency's request to take initiative on a more cohesive and effective cooperation framework in the defense sector.
The Minister made a proposal to the Commission President, that a new line be created in the budget for the financing of defense R&D, and asked that the concerns on competitiveness issues in the defense sector, as well as in the sector of defense research, be noted in the findings of the Summit Meeting this coming March.
With Commissioner Barnier, Mr. Papantoniou discussed the initiative of the Greek Presidency in strengthening the ties of European Defense and European industry, both through the reinforcement of expenses for research on defense issues on the side of the EU, as well as supporting the view of the Assembly in the constitution, regarding the creation of a European armaments organization in the direction of creating a common market for weapons systems within Europe.
With Giscard D' Estaing, the Minister discussed various issues connected to international developments, the potential war in Iraq and the results of the European Council regarding this crucial issue, as well as the developments as far as the European Constitution is concerned, which is the object of the Assembly Mr. D' Estaing presides over.
 STRENGTH FOR PEACE AND DEMOCRACYBrussels, 19 February 2003 (09:10 UTC+2)
Europe's strength, is its common will for more peace, democracy, and progress, stated Prime Minister Costas Simitis, immediately after the completion of the EU Summit Meeting which ended with an agreement on an policy concerning Iraq, constituting a positive surprise both for the European Parliament as well as for the European press. A new resolution at the Security Council is being processed by the UK and the US. Discomfort was expressed by five countries awaiting acccession that were excluded from the Monday Summit.
 SIMITIS: AGREEMENT OF THE "15" AND THE ACCEDING AND CANDIDATE STATES ON IRAQBrussels, 18 February 2003 (21:36 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister and EU President Kostas Simitis referred to the meeting of the EU Troika with the 10 acceding and the three EU candidate states in the press conference he gave today after the extraordinary EU Summit meeting in Brussels.
The Prime Minister stated that the countries were briefed on the Summit meeting conclusions and it was confirmed that the 13 agree with the course that was drawn up.
The Prime Minister pointed out that in the joint statement issued the EU member states and the 13 acceding and candidate states confirmed their decision for a common position to avoid dividing lines and promote development and stability.
Responding to a question on the statements made by French President Jacques Chirac concerning the candidate states, he underlined that everyone can express their views but the important thing is to have a common line on problems, like in the case of Iraq.
Mr. Simitis stated that both himself and Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou have contacts with the United States within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency on the issue of Iraq and there is consultation on joint action. The Prime Minister stated that in the case of a war it will be considered what it will be done to help Turkey or any other country to deal with the consequences of a war.
He also stressed that the EU has not reached a decision yet on the need to adopt a second UN resolution and it will reach a decision when the time comes.
Mr. Simitis stated that in yesterday's joint statement the 15 stress that the use of military force is possible when the international community does not have any other option in accordance with the UN Charter.