|Saturday, 14 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-02-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 WAR CAN BE AVOIDEDAthens, 20 February 2003 (11:24 UTC+2)
The coming days are days for initiative and they will be crucial for Europe and the further progress of this effort, stated Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, in statements to Flash radio.
From his discussions so far, a new important idea has a risen, that could be included in a possible new UN Security Council resolution: The formation of a more specific list of demands to Iraq, which would test Saddam Hussein's credibility and will to cooperate.
In a different case, pointed out Mr. Papandreou, specifically in a resolution-ultimatum, many countries would be opposed and support that it is too soon for such an action. The Greek Presidency will support these chances with initiatives it will take, and we hope that this window of opportunity will allow us to solve the problem peacefully, added the Greek Foreign Minister.
Regarding the image he created from his contacts both in Arab countries and with his American counterpart K. Powell, he stated that war is not unavoidable. Mr. Papandreou commented that in a telephone communication he had with Mr. Powell from Brussels, the US Secretary of State evaluated the result of the Council as a success for the EU and showed that he understood that we are asking for a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the crisis, in the framework of resolution 1441 and providing the necessary time to the inspectors, but at the same time place Saddam Hussein before his own responsibilities.
Regarding the letter British Prime Minister Tony Blair sent to the leaders of the candidate and under accession countries, Mr. Papandreou limited his statements to saying that our cooperation with the 13 countries is excellent, and the Greek Presidency's tactics are just a continuation of the already existing European tactics.
This means that countries under accession discuss after the end of the European Council's meeting and its Findings. It would be good for the discussions on a breach among EU countries, because they help no one. For us, observation of the standing tactics is the best way to avoid any misinterpretations.
 SRATEGIC AND PREVENTIVE EU ACTIONThessaloniki, 20 February 2003 (12:16 UTC+2)
The Council of EU Ministers of Energy will meet in Thessaloniki on Saturday, during an especially crucial period, as the main topics to be discussed are the energy policy of the EU and the crisis in relationship of the International Community with Iraq, one of the most important oil producers in the world, which, in combination with the crisis in Venezuela, has led to a significant increase in international oil prices. The mpa.gr will present all aspects of the meeting and the framework in which the Presidency will move, through Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos.
 THE GREEK EXPORTS TO TURKEY INCREASED BY 17.8% IN 2002Thessaloniki, 20 February 2003 (19:06 UTC+2)
The Greek exports to Turkey followed an upward course in the eleven-month period of January-November 2002. However, this increase did not put an end to the continuing widening of the trade deficit for Greece concerning its transactions with Turkey.
Specifically, in the eleven-month period in question the Greek exports to Turkey reached US6.2 million compared to US2.7 million in the same period in 2001. This corresponds to an increase of 17.93% according to the latest figures presented in Thessaloniki today by economic and commercial attache in the Greek Consulate in Istanbul Mr. Kounalakis.
In the same period, the Turkish exports to Greece reached US9.5 million compared to US1.2 million in 2001 recording an increase of 15.47%.
 PROTOPAPAS ON RADIOACTIVE MATERIALSAthens, 20 February 2003 (18:50 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas categorically denied a press report published on a newspaper today.
The press report referred to a network which smuggles radioactive materials to Iraq via Greece.
 PROTOPAPAS: NEW EU PRESIDENCY INITIATIVES ON IRAQAthens, 20 February 2003 (18:36 UTC+2)
The Greek EU Presidency undertakes new initiatives aimed at settling the crisis in Iraq, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
The first initiative concerns a proposal by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou directed to the UN Security Council suggesting the adoption of specific issues-questions to use them as indexes in order to measure Iraq's cooperation with the UN weapons' inspectors. The second initiative concerns the opening of talks with the Arab world.
Mr. Protopapas reiterated that the informal EU Summit meeting decision brought Europe to a single position. He said that it opened a window to peace and added that it is time for Iraq too to cooperate fully with the UN weapons' inspectors for the peaceful settlement of the crisis.
When asked to comment on the likelihood of a second UN Security Council resolution on Iraq, the government spokesman stated that this will be decided by the Security Council itself. He said that a wider agreement is necessary for a resolution to be adopted. In such a case, it will practically mean that the International Community will reach a decision binding for all, said Mr. Protopapas.
 KARAMANLIS: QUICKER STEPS TOWARD THE EU POLITICAL UNIFICATIONAthens, 20 February 2003 (17:52 UTC+2)
The right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy maintains that quicker steps are needed to be made toward the political unification of the European Union, while the EU should form a common policy on foreign affairs and security, pointed out ND leader Kostas Karamanlis.
The statement was made by Mr. Karamanlis after the meeting he had with former French President and President of the Convention on the future of Europe Valery Giscard D' Estaing.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that his party maintains that the EU should become more effective without limiting the role of the smaller member states.
 MARGINAL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 20 February 2003 (17:34 UTC+2)
Marginal losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.03% at 1.692,97 points, while the volume of transactions was at 61 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 103 recorded gains and 181 had losses, while the value of 95 stocks remained unchanged.
 EURO-DEPUTIES DELEGATION IN TURKEYAthens, 20 February 2003 (17:30 UTC+2)
A delegation of the Committee on Women's Rights and Equal Opportunities, headed by PASOK Euro-deputy Anna Karamanou, will meet on February 24 with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos within the framework of a three-day visit to Turkey.
The Euro-deputes will also meet with Turkish President, the Prime Minister and political party leaders. Meetings will be held with representatives of non governmental organizations such as, the National Council for Women.
Mrs. Karamanou will call on the Turkish authorities to allow the Euro-deputies to visit Turkish former Parliament deputy of Kurdish origin Leyla Zana, who is jailed since 1994 and has been honored with the European Parliament's Zacharov Prize.
In case their demand is met, the visit will take place on Tuesday morning and the delegation will ask for her release from prison. A press conference will be held in Ankara on Wednesday.
 SIMITIS-D' ESTAING: OPTIMISM FOR A SINGLE EUROPEAN VOICEAthens, 20 February 2003 (16:49 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and President of the Convention on the future of Europe Valerie Giscard D' Estaing, who is on a visit to Athens, appeared optimistic over the likelihood for Europe to have a common voice. In the meeting they had at the Prime Minister's office they discussed the future of Europe and the picture presented by the European Union on the occasion of the issue over Iraq.
Mr. Simitis in statements he made after the meeting pointed out that it is natural to have differences but the European countries should overcome them. In any case, he stressed that one should not conclude that the EU is being weakened through such a procedure. The goal is to strengthen it and through the Convention procedures this will be achieved, added the Greek Prime Minister and European Union President.
Earlier, Mr. D' Estaing had a meeting with Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos at the Presidential Building, who welcomed him and expressed joy for meeting with him again.
 THE FIRST MEETING OF GREEK AND TURKISH DELEGATIONSAthens, 20 February 2003 (16:25 UTC+2)
The first meeting of the Greek and Turkish delegations will take place in Ankara tomorrow to discuss the issue of security within the framework of solution of the political problem in Cyprus.
As it was announced by Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis, ambassador Alexandros Filon will be heading the Greek delegation, while Turkish Foreign Ministry political director Baki Ilkin will be heading the Turkish delegation. In the delegations will also participate specialists from the two Ministries of Defense.
 RESULTS OF TELEPHONY RADIATION IN 2004Brussels, 20 February 2003 (13:36 UTC+2)
The first results of research reports regarding the consequences of mobile telephony antennae radiation on public health are expected in 2004-2005, however, there are communal legal provisions on the safe placement of antennae and use of mobile telephones, stated European Commissioner for Information Society Erkki Liikanen, in response to a question of ND EuroMP Giannis Marinos.
In his question, Mr. Marinos raised the issue of radiation from mobile telephony antennae placed in densely populated areas, especially over apartment buildings and near schools and gyms. He also stressed that there is evident concern in Greek and international press, on the consequences these antennae have of public health.
In an ND press release it was noted that in a prior response of the Council in July 1999, the safety zone for electromagnetic fields around the bases of the antennae were 4 meters (low power urban area station) to 10 meters (high power rural stations) horizontally and less than 1 meter vertically.
Regarding concerns about damage to the neural and hormonal systems, Mr. Liinaken noted that so far it has not been proven that exposure to the electromagnetic fields of mobile and wireless telephones is potentially harmful below the recommended minimum, while he stressed that the European Commission closely observes every new scientific result, so as to react if necessary to any new evidence that has not yet been taken into consideration.
The Commissioner also informed Mr. Marinos that the Commission supports the forming of a broad scale epidemiological plan, Interphone, which involves 13 countries, and whose goal it is to ascertain the degree to which using a mobile telephone increases the danger of cancer and if radio frequencies given out by mobile telephones are carcinogenic. The results of this plan will not be available prior to 2004-2005, when documented conclusions will ready, stressed Mr. Liinaken.
 GREECE-ROMANIA: STRONGER ECONOMIC COOPERATIONBucharest, 20 February 2003 (17:14 UTC+2)
Greece and Romania decided to strengthen their economic cooperation during the talks Greek Development Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos had with Romanian EU Affairs Minister Hildegard Puvak in Bucharest.
The intensification of the existing economic cooperation will speed up the Romanian government efforts for EU accession.
On her part, Mrs. Puvak stressed that Romania counts on Greece's economic support and its experience as an EU member. She concluded by stating that the fact that Greece holds the EU Presidency during the first half of 2003 is an advantage for the Romanian efforts aimed at meeting the EU accession criteria.
 ROMANIAN GRATITUDE TO ATHENSBucharest, 20 February 2003 (13:48 UTC+2)
The gratitude of Romania on the Greek plan for the Reconstruction of the Balkans, was expressed by the country's Prime Minister Adrian Nastaze. The specific plan will strengthen Romania's budget by 70 million euro for programs for social and financial infrastructure. The Romanian Prime Minister made the statements above after his meeting yesterday with Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who was visiting Romania.
The Romanian Prime Minister stated that the two countries' relations have been bearing fruits over the past few years, stressing that cooperation for the development of the local energy market development and in small and medium businesses, the political responsibility for which, in the Greek government, is held by Mr. Tsochatzopoulos.
Information indicates that in 2002 the volume of transactions was 3.6 times larger than that of 1989 and exports are 2.7 times as many, and Mr. Nastaze made a commitment towards the Greek Minister that he is studying ways to improving market conditions so that new fields for action by Greek investors are created.