|Sunday, 17 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-02-22
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS: THE EU MUST BE PROTECTED IN VIEW OF A LIKELY CRISISThessaloniki, 22 February 2003 (13:25 UTC+2)
Greek Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos had a working meeting this morning with responsible European Commissioner Loyola de Palacio and OPEC general secretary S. Galderon. The meeting were held on the sidelines of the informal EU Energy Ministers Council meeting taking place in Thessaloniki.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos, who is the President of the EU Energy Ministers Council, stated that they discussed the likely consequences of an unfavorable geopolitical development in the region of Iraq.
He assured that during the informal EU Energy Ministers Council meeting the participants will be briefed on the predictions of the OPEC countries and will take the necessary measures. He said that the goal is to protect Europe from the likely consequences of a war in Iraq.
Responding to the question if the situation concerning the international oil prices will have a successful conclusion, Mr. Calderon stated that the goal is to strengthen the cooperation with the EU to have enough oil in the market.
Referring to the recent problem with Venezuela, Mr. Calderon stressed that it was transitional and was faced successfully in cooperation with OPEC which acted immediately to meet any oil shortages.
 PROTEST DEMONSTRATION ON THE OCCASION OF THE EU ENERGY MINISTERS COUNCIL MEETINGThessaloniki, 22 February 2003 (15:55 UTC+2)
Most of the protesters demonstrating outside a Thesaloniki hotel, where the informal EU Energy Ministers Council meeting took place, have already left the scene.
The majority of the protesters left after a protest resolution was delivered. An estimated 100 people, members of the Greek Social Forum, and a dozen of young protesters, calling themselves anarchists, are still in the area.
They chant slogans against globalization and a likely war in Iraq, while strong police force is protecting the building. No violent incidents were recorded.
Earlier, the demonstrators were protesting against the liberalization of the electricity market and the privatization of the Hellenic Petroleum company.
 VENIZELOS' RESPONSE TO THE ROGGE STATEMENTSThessaloniki, 22 February 2003 (15:04 UTC+2)
The timetables for the Athens Olympic Games are under control and the International Olympic Committee, IOC, has complete confidence in the Greek government and the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, stated Greek Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos. He made the statement in response to the comments made by IOC President Jacques Rogge concerning the delays observed in the Olympic Games preparations.
The Culture Minister stated that there are known problems and almost in every case they are the result of factors that cannot be controlled by a government in a democratic country. Such problems are, the reactions by certain municipalities, the slow pace in the issuing of court decisions etc.
Mr. Venizelos stated that the IOC did not show a red card, adding however, that it is beneficial that the IOC President points out the existing problems because it promotes preparations.
 THE EU PRESIDENCY ON THE NATURAL GAS SUPPLIESThessaloniki, 22 February 2003 (14:34 UTC+2)
The main points of a proposed directive by the European Parliament and the Council concern the adequate supply of the EU with natural gas which was done until now by monopolizing natural gas companies.
The Greek EU Presidency aims at achieving a compromise, believing that there is enough room for flexible approaches acceptable by all EU members. The cooperation and autonomy at an EU level will strengthen the coordinated responses in case of difficulties in supply and likely supply interruptions.
During the EU Energy Ministers Council proceedings it was stressed that the EU members could adopt and make public certain minimum safety standards in the natural gas supply.
The Greek EU Presidency also believes that the specific directive should include a prediction for the legal recognition of the importance of the long-term natural gas supply contracts. The EU could make suggestions on contracts in special circumstances when there is a natural gas supply loss.
 THE EU PRESIDENCY TARGETS FOR THE SAFETY OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS' SUPPLIESThessaloniki, 22 February 2003 (13:52 UTC+2)
The increase in the level of security reserves from 90 to 120 days as well as the harmonization of the national storage systems, are two of the main points in the directive proposed by the European Parliament and the Council concerning the adoption of measures for the safe supply in petroleum products.
As it was stressed in the informal meeting of the EU Energy Ministers in Thessaloniki, the Greek EU Presidency aims at a friendly exchange of views between the EU members to promote the preconditions that will lead to a consensus and an accelerated future course on the directive mentioned above.
Productive and transparent national infrastructure must be promoted for the management of security reserves according to the EU Presidency, which also suggests that other likely solutions should be considered instead of using the reserves and affecting the oil prices.
Among the Greek EU Presidency goals is also the strengthening of dialogue between oil producing and consumer countries to create a community strategy to achieve stability of prices and consumer protection.
 SIMITIS: EUROPE COULD NOT BE ABSENT FROM DEVELOPMENTSAthens, 22 February 2003 (12:54 UTC+2)
Europe could not be absent or fractured over the crisis in Iraq, stated Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in an interview with the Athens newspaper "Imerisia" today.
Mr. Simitis underlined that the success of the EU informal Summit meeting in Brussels reflects not only Europe's prestige but Greece's as well which was the one to undertake the initiative.
He further pointed out that the Greek EU presidency managed something the rest believed it was not feasible. He said that the will of the EU members to have a common approach is very strong in spite of the differences.
When asked to comment on the developments in Cyprus after the election of Tasos Papadopoulos to the Cypriot Republic Presidency, he said that the Cypriot people have an interest in completing the effort aimed at solving the Cyprus problem. He said that outgoing President Mr. Clerides and Mr. Papadopoulos will work consistently for the continuation and completion of this historical undertaking.
 CHRISOCHOIDIS: ELA WAS BROKEN UP BY USING EVIDENCEBerlin, 22 February 2003 (16:41 UTC+2)
Greek Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis stated in Berlin yesterday that the terrorist group Revolutionary Peoples' Struggle, ELA, was broken up through the use of evidence, adding that the authorities were not based exclusively on the Stasi archives.
Mr. Chrisochoidis made the statement during his short visit to Germany where he met with German Interior Minister Otto Schily.
The visit was made within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency initiatives and according to Mr. Chrisochoidis, immigration was the main issue of the talks.
Mr. Chrisochoidis stated that no German or any other foreign agency took part in the investigations the Greek authorities had launched on the issue of terrorism. He clarified that the Scotland Yard and the FBI were involved at some point in the investigation on the terrorist group 17 November, adding that there was no more cooperation with foreign law enforcement authorities and agencies at any level.