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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-02-21

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] A CHILDS' CONCERNS AT EU ENERGY MEETING
  • [02] SADDAM'S COOPERATIVENESS "INDEX"
  • [03] DAMAGES WORTH 800 MILLION EURO!
  • [04] VALERY GISCARD D' ESTAING'S VISION FOR EUROPE
  • [05] GREEK CONTEMPORARY ART IN BRUSSELS
  • [06] CROATIA'S APPLICATION FOR EU ACCESSION
  • [07] STEPHANOPOULOS: PEACE WILL PREVAIL
  • [08] LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [09] CONFERENCE ON THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION
  • [10] EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON BURMA/MYANMAR
  • [11] SIMITIS-PRODI-BERLUSCONI-AZNAR TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION

  • [01] A CHILDS' CONCERNS AT EU ENERGY MEETING

    Thessaloniki, 21 February 2003 (11:10 UTC+2)

    A lot of times when I go to school I see a black cloud in the sky. When I was younger, they told me the sky was angry. Now I know it's because of oil.

    I know that war is a bad thing. It makes people suffer, most of all the children. I also learned from our teacher that we should burn less oil, because it pollutes the atmosphere and changes the climate. So I thought I would write you this letter and tell you that you must do something to prevent a war, especially one over oil, which is so bad for the planet.

    Electra Theologou, a fourth grade student of the 11th Public School of Ampelokipi, Thessaloniki.

    A ten-year-old student from Thessaloniki wrote a letter to the Ministers of Energy of Europe. The letter's goal was to ask the 15 to hear children's concern about the possibility of war, the pollution of the environment, the lack of utilizing milder forms of energy.

    Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who received the letter, has invited the student to observe the Meeting's works, meet the letter's 15 recipients and be photographed with them during the formal family photograph.

    She will also have the opportunity to read her letter to the 15 in the margin of the formal luncheon held by the Minister of Development in honor of his European counterparts on Saturday afternoon.

    The delegations of the EU countries to participate in the informal meeting, will arrive in Thessaloniki tonight and attend a dinner at the Hyatt hotel. Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will open the meeting's works at 9:30 on Saturday.

    Strong police forces will be present around the Hyatt hotel, due to a rally being organized by the General Federation of DEI (Public Power Corporation) Workers and the federation of workers in petrol products and the chemical industry, on Saturday at 1pm.

    The workers will gather approximately 500 meters from the hotel, in an area they have agreed on with the police, for security reasons. The President of GENOP-DEI, Nikos Pilalidis, said that a delegation will attempt to meet the President of the Meeting, Greek Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos, in order to submit a resolution with certain demands.

    [02] SADDAM'S COOPERATIVENESS "INDEX"

    Athens, 21 February 2003 (09:22 UTC+2)

    The adoption of an index recording Iraq's cooperativeness was proposed to the UN by the Greek Presidency, through Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, who, at the moment, is promoting the greatest involvement of the Arab League in the effort for a peaceful resolving of the crisis and disarmament of Iraq. Iraq submitted the list of names of the individuals who participated in the destruction of its weapons of mass destruction. There may be a new Security Council resolution next week.

    [03] DAMAGES WORTH 800 MILLION EURO!

    Thessaloniki, 21 February 2003 (09:22 UTC+2)

    According to initial estimations, the cost to repair infrastructure and agricultural produce damaged by the bad weather will cost 800 million euro, a fact that could negatively affect inflation. The issue will be raised before the EU and a subsidy will be requested, while it will also be discussed in the meeting presided over by the Prime Minister today. The Weather Forecast Service has foreseen snow over the weekend, dozens of villages all over the country are still cut off, and 8 islands in the Aegean are still in a state of emergency. Traffic services are functioning normally.

    [04] VALERY GISCARD D' ESTAING'S VISION FOR EUROPE

    Athens, 21 February 2003 (20:01 UTC+2)

    Important and extremely difficult was characterized the work of the EU Convention by its President Valery Giscard d' Estaing, speaking in the European Movement for dialogue on the future of Europe. He stated that there is a great interest on behalf of the European citizens but an absence of originality regarding the proposals for new symbols, the name and the flag of the European Union.

    He wished that the Constitutional Assembly will give to Europe a Constitution that will be easy to understand and read for all its citizens, clarifying that the EU Convention work is difficult.

    According to Mr. Giscard d' Estaing, one of the most important points of the initiative is to contribute to the creation of a European conscience.

    On the common Foreign and Defense Policy, Mr. Giscard d' Estaing maintained that if there was such a policy, Europe would have a significant power in the UN Security Council. He said that Europe today is divided, and for the past 10 years efforts are being made to solve this problem but nobody had predicted the current events. National states should develop a common stance and political will is the solution to the problem, said Mr. Giscard d' Estaing. He added that the crisis over Iraq will help the EU form a common foreign and defense policy.

    [05] GREEK CONTEMPORARY ART IN BRUSSELS

    Athens, 21 February 2003 (19:53 UTC+2)

    Thirty-five artworks of painting and sculpture, typical samples of contemporary Greek art, are presented at the building of the EU Council in Brussels, in the context of the events organised by the Greek Ministry of Culture on the occasion of the Greek EU Presidency. The National Gallery of Greece curates the presentation which will last from January 6 to June 30.

    The main concern of the organisers was to highlight the characteristics of Greek modern art and reveal its relationship with Greek traditional culture. The selection of artworks includes artists like, Dikos Vizantios, Niki Kanagini, Tassos Christakis, Georgios Rorris, Grigoris Semitekolo, Daniel Gounaridis, Yannis Lasithiotakis. Their work reflects the global cultural creation. But at the same time, through the variety of expression and despite influences, makes the signs of the course that was covered through the centuries, visible.

    [06] CROATIA'S APPLICATION FOR EU ACCESSION

    Athens, 21 February 2003 (18:33 UTC+2)

    Croatia's Prime Minister Ivica Racan handed his country's application for EU accession to Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis.

    In statements made afterwards, Mr. Simitis stressed that the request for Croatia's EU accession opens new doors for the countries in the Balkan region. He added that the European Council and the European Commission will examine Croatia's request in April and decide on the framework of the necessary timetables.

    The Prime Minister also pointed out that the main priority of the Greek EU Presidency is the strengthening of the European prospect for the Balkans. He pointed out that the initiatives of the EU Presidency move toward this direction with the European Conference in Athens on April 17 and the meeting of the Balkan countries in Thessaloniki in June on the sidelines of the European Council.

    On his part, Mr. Racan stated that the Croatian political leadership and public opinion support the EU accession, while his government has the will to promote the necessary institutional and economic reforms.

    Regarding the latest developments on the crisis in Iraq, Mr. Simitis underlined that the February 17 decision in Brussels constitutes a common stance for the EU member states and the candidate states.

    When asked to comment whether the EU enlargement will be affected by a likely war in Iraq, Mr. Simitis stated that the European Union makes a great effort to avert a war pointing out, however, that if there is a war it will affect all those developments.

    Mr. Racan also referred to the issue and expressed his support to the common decision on Iraq reached by the 15 on February 17.

    [07] STEPHANOPOULOS: PEACE WILL PREVAIL

    Ioannina, 21 February 2003 (17:59 UTC+2)

    Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos expressed the wish that peace will prevail on the occasion of the developments on the issue of Iraq. Mr. Stephanopoulos attended the festivities in Ioannina, northwestern Greece, for the 90th anniversary of the city's liberation from the Turkish yolk.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos stated that the more we think about the war, the more we want peace. Therefore, he said, the international organizations should function and the international law should be implemented, while the desire of the peoples who are in favor of peace should dominate.

    The Greek President also referred to the European Union informal Summit meeting convened on behalf of the Greek EU Presidency during which the EU member states expressed a common stance on the issue of Iraq.

    [08] LOSSES IN THE ASE

    Athens, 21 February 2003 (17:03 UTC+2)

    The Athens Stock Exchange followed the downward course of the rest European stock markets.

    The general index dropped to -0.74% at 1.680,46 points, while the volume of transactions was at 56.4 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 74 recorded gains compared to 232 that had losses, while the value of 73 stocks remained unchanged.

    [09] CONFERENCE ON THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION

    Thessaloniki, 21 February 2003 (16:54 UTC+2)

    An international conference on the Prospect of a European Constitution will take place in Thessaloniki's Aristotle University on February 28 and March 1 on the occasion of the Greek EU Presidency, the European Convention on the future of Europe and the 2004 Inter-governmental Conference.

    Distinguished jurists and political scientists from Greece and abroad will discuss issues concerning Europe's institutional future with an emphasis to its constitutional construction. Democracy and the fundamental rights in the European Union, the voting of the constitutional treaty and the institutional architecture of the future Europe will be among the issues discussed by the conference participants.

    [10] EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON BURMA/MYANMAR

    Athens, 21 February 2003 (16:37 UTC+2)

    The EU notes with serious concern that reports of restrictions on freedom of expression and political arrests and detentions in Burma/Myanmar have increased since the Presidency Declaration of October 11, 2002.

    The EU calls on the Burma/Myanmar authorities to respect their promises to release all political prisoners and to immediately hold a substantial dialogue with the national league for democracy, as well as with the other political groups, with a view to proceeding to the democratic transition of the country.

    Of particular concern is the growing pattern of harassment and attempted intimidation of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi by the Burma/Myanmar authorities, supported by the Union Solidarity Development Association (USDA), as demonstrated recently in Rakhine State.

    In this context, the EU notes with concern the recent political arrests in the country, in particular the arrest of the Secretary General of the Shan Nationalities' League for Democracy and a number of NLD members. The EU believes such actions are aimed at dissuading supporters of the National League for Democracy and the Burmese Democratic Movement from having contact with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi while, at the same time, do not facilitate the progress towards democracy announced by the Burma/Myanmar authorities.

    The EU reaffirms its commitment and support for political change in Burma/Myanmar in pursuit of national reconciliation, respect for human rights and democracy. The EU welcomes the current visit to Rangoon by an Amnesty International delegation and hopes this will lead to a greater understanding of and respect for human rights.

    At the same time the EU also reiterates its call on Senior General Than Shwe to enter urgently into a genuine and substantive dialogue with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and the National League for Democracy, the other political groups in the country and representatives of the ethnic nationalities.

    The EU also calls upon the Burma/Myanmar authorities to institute a programme of economic reforms with the aim of adequately addressing the economic and humanitarian needs of the people of Burma/Myanmar and to take further steps to effectively tackle the spread of HIV/AIDS. The EU will take the situation in Burma / Myanmar into close account in considering renewal of the European Union Common Position in April 2003.

    The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union, the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.

    [11] SIMITIS-PRODI-BERLUSCONI-AZNAR TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION

    Athens, 21 February 2003 (16:34 UTC+2)

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis had telephone contacts with European Commission President Romano Prodi, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.

    Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas announced that Mr. Simitis discussed with Mr. Prodi the issues examined with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The crisis in Iraq was the issue Mr. Simitis discussed with his two counterparts.

    Specifically, he discussed with Mr. Berlusconi about the contacts with certain Arab states, while the crisis in Iraq and the imminent visit of the Spanish Prime Minister to the United States and his meeting with President Bush were the issues discussed with Mr. Aznar.

    Mr. Protopapas stated that views were exchanged in the talks Mr. Simitis had and characterized as positive the fact that the two European leaders briefed the European Council President before any contacts with international community officials and big state leaders.


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