|Monday, 18 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-02-27
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 HULL FOUNDIkaria, 27 February 2003 (08:46 UTC+2)
Procedures to salvage the hull of the EKAV helicopter that crashed off the shore of Ikaria three weeks ago began this morning. It was located approximately one mile off the Faros community, at depth of 75 meters. There were 4 crewmembers on the helicopter that are missing and this was the third such accident with an EKAV helicopter.
 REACTIONS TO N17 TRIAL CONDITIONSAthens, 27 February 2003 (11:21 UTC+2)
The refusal of radio and television coverage and the conditions under which the mother of all trials will be carried out, has sparked reaction in the legal, journalistic and political world of Greece.
The television and radio coverage of the alleged members of terrorist group 17 November trial is banned by the new law and it will be allowed only if the court rules in favor with the agreement of all parties involved in the trial, stressed Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
Publicity is a bad consultant in the development of the November 17 trial according to the President of the Court, Michalis Margaritis. Speaking at a conference for young attorneys, he stressed that the great publicity given is a very bad thing, and he added that before going to court he neither reads nor listens to anything that may be related to cases he is going to try. I go without any emotional charge and the token of innocence in my hands, he noted.
In reaction, a letter of protest was sent to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice, Ioannis Gavrilis, by the President of the Athens Bar Association, in which the Bar is protesting the lack of necessary conditions to practice law inside and outside of the courtroom in the specific case, due to the inappropriateness of the facilities that have been constructed in the women's wing of the Corydallos penitentiary.
He expressed his reaction to the inability expressed by Mr. Gavrilis for a Bar delegation to visit the courtroom in order to ascertain if all conditions for an unhindered trial to be carried out by the defense and prosecution attorneys, have been met.
The Bar President also pointed out that: We have been informed that communication between attorneys and their clerks during the trial is impossible due to a glass barrier, the tables are unsteady due to their small width, the attorneys' chamber is consecutive to that of the journalists, with no interior circuitry and 40 card-phones are available for both attorneys and journalists.
At the same time the Athens Journalists' Association Presiding Board protested strongly to the government over the issue concerning the coverage of the trial of the alleged 17 November terrorist group members.
In a meeting with Minister of Press and Mass Media and government spokesman Christos Protopapas, the association's Presiding Board raised the issue of the meaningful, and in accordance with the constitution, coverage of the trial.
The association wants the journalists covering the trial to be allowed to have continuous visual contact with all the parties of the trial present in the courtroom.
The Athens Journalists' Association stressed that the fact that the journalists are not allowed to use tape-recorders and mobile phones (except in certain areas of the courthouse) deprives the journalists of their basic tools. It is underlined that the journalists will be forced to agree to inadequate information, given to the public in small dosages, which is absolutely unacceptable.
Meanwhile, political parties of the Left in Greece, have also expressed their dismay at the prohibition of television and radio coverage of the N17 trial.
The Greek Communist Party (KKE) asked for the trial to be covered by state television. KKE member responsible for press issues, Makis Mailis, stated that what the government has stated regarding the conditions of the () trial, has fairly met with various reactions.
The government is obliged to secure the necessary conditions of essential publicity, as well as to facilitate journalists in the televised coverage of the case, he stressed.
This can be secured with the responsibility of state television, the constant coverage of the proceedings with one or two steady cameras, feeding the image to all television stations, he added.
The President of the Coalition of the Left and Progress stressed that the basic principle of democracy is transparency and publicity. Democracy and justice have nothing to fear from publicity and transparency, which gives every citizen the ability to have full knowledge of everything that happens, and check on the way state and government institutions are run, the way the government functions each time, he pointed out, stressing that when governments choose regulations for secrecy and the limitation of information in place of transparency and publicity, they are exposed.
 A FUTURE FOR EUROPEAN EDUCATIONAthens, 27 February 2003 (11:57 UTC+2)
The future of European education will be discussed by the Ministers of Education of the European Union, at the informal Meeting to be held on March 1-2 in Vouliagmeni.
With a basic axis of how education is dealt with as a public good throughout Europe, the Greek Presidency will attempt to promote more programs and more funding in the direction of adopting joint European policies in education by 2010.
As was pointed out by Minister of Education Petros Efthymiou during the presentation of the informal Meeting's agenda, the basic goal of the Greek Presidency is the reforming of educational systems.
The Meeting's works will begin on Saturday, with the meeting of the 15 Ministers of Education, who will discuss the framework of practicing educational policies after Lisbon.
On Sunday, March 2, the Ministers of Education of the 10 candidate countries will also participate in the works, where the issue of the electronic enlightenment will be discussed.
Mr. Efthymiou stressed that the basic priority is the promotion of New Communication and Information Technologies and life long education as the basic lever for the improvement of the educational system, adding that the goal of the Greek Presidency is to reform educational systems, so that they decisively contribute to the progress of societies and the prosperity of peoples.
He also stress that education is a self-sufficient value, which is connected to economy and employment, but that they are not a burden to it. He also mentioned that the Greek Presidency is aiming at a decision being made for the realization of a special Summit Meeting, similar to that of Lisbon, which will deal exclusively with Educations issues.
With a central slogan in favor of free education and against the degrading of education, university staff members, educators, university, high school and primary school students will gather at Syntagma Square on Friday, one day before the opening of the Meeting's works. Educational bodies are organizing an anti-meeting for Education at Pantio University on Saturday and Sunday.
The Thessaloniki Action 2003 organization and the Social Forum, are also organizing protest marches in the area of the Meeting in Vouliagmeni.
Regarding the protests, Mr. Efthymiou stressed that the beauty of Europe is its democratic character, while he pointed out that it is completely natural for there to be other voices and other opinions.
 POLITICAL YOUTHS AGAINST TVThessaloniki, 27 February 2003 (11:20 UTC+2)
Four political youth organizations suggest that Greek citizens turn their televisions off for 2 hours, between 19:00 and 21:00 on Wednesday, March 5, while at the same time they send faxes and emails to television stations, in protest of the transformation, as they said, of information into a commercial show.
The youths of PASOK, ONNED (New Democracy), the Coalition, and DIKKI, in a joint interview, expressed their resentment regarding the "commercialization of the news and the devaluation of political events", by the media, while the reason behind this common initiative was the way in which television stations covered the antiwar events of February 15.
It should be noted that most television stations had opted for in depth coverage of the visit of the former king of Greece to his parents' graves, instead of the massive protests held in major Greek cities.
 EU-US JOINT STATEMENT ON SANCTIONS AGAINST THE TRANSNISTRIAN LEADERSHIPAthens, 27 February 2003 (19:53 UTC+2)
The European Union and the United States have agreed to issue the following statement:
We express our continued concern over the Transnistrian conflict in Moldova, which constitutes a serious risk for stability and security in this part of Europe. We stress our support for the efforts of mediators within the framework of the OSCE to reach an early political settlement to the conflict.
We call on both parties in the conflict to engage intensively in negotiations with a view to finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in full respect of Moldova's territorial integrity. The leadership of the secessionist Transnistrian region has continually demonstrated obstructionism and unwillingness to change the status quo, thereby impeding meaningful negotiations.
Under these conditions, we declare our intention to adopt, following our respective internal procedures, targeted sanctions in the form of travel restrictions on a list of members of the Transnistrian leadership considered to be primarily responsible for the lack of cooperation into promoting a political settlement of the conflict.
This joint declaration underscores our unity of purpose in bringing the Transnistrian leadership to result-oriented negotiations. We will continue to work closely with the OSCE and other international partners to move the negotiation process forward. A prompt resolution of the Transnistrian conflict will not only result in a unified Moldova but also in a more stable and secure Europe. We call on other partners to join our common efforts and to consider the adoption of similar measures.
 SIMITIS ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN CYPRUSAthens, 27 February 2003 (19:45 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis referred to the developments in the Cyprus issue speaking in the cabinet meeting today.
UN secretary general Kofi Annan delivered to Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash his third plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem. The plan was also delivered to the ambassadors of Greece and Turkey. The third plan includes the changes made in the second plan that were announced last Sunday.
This proposal added the Prime Minister is a basis for negotiation and it was examined yesterday by the Greek and the Greek Cypriot side. He said that there are some remarks on the plan which will be presented to Mr. Annan by Mr. Papadopoulos.
The plan also includes a statement on two referendums that will be held by the two Cypriot communities.
Mr. Simitis said that he pointed out to Mr. Annan that it is impossible for one side to state that it agrees with the plan when it does not know what stance has been adopted by the other side. Therefore, an agreement will be possible only if both sides state at the same moment that they accept the plan and if both sides are persuaded that there is no more room for negotiations.
According to the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Annan will conclude that there can be no immediate signing of this third plan and therefore, he will call on the two sides to sign a statement that they will hold a referendum on the plan on March 30. Mr. Annan will also invite the two sides to visit New York before March 14.
 MEETING OF NUTRITION COUNTERPARTS IN THE WHO EUROPEAN REGIONAthens, 27 February 2003 (19:10 UTC+2)
Nutrition counterparts from the 51 countries in the WHO European Region will evaluate on February 28-March 2 the progress and discuss future priorities on the development and implementation of their Food and Nutrition Action Plans.
On March 2, the work of the European Commission in the field of Nutrition will be presented, followed by discussion on whether there are any particular problems/challenges faced by the Candidate Countries in the field of Nutrition.
 SIMITIS ON THE TALKS WITH ANNAN ON IRAQAthens, 27 February 2003 (18:54 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, speaking in the cabinet meeting today, referred to the talks he had with UN secretary general Kofi Annan on the issue of Iraq.
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas said that the Prime Minister stated to the cabinet members that the UN secretary general does not want a solution not accepted and supported by the UN. Therefore, he is opposed to any effort aimed at avoiding to implement everything agreed in the United Nations.
The Prime Minister also stated that Iraq has not given a clear response yet to the UN weapons inspectors' demand calling it to destroy its missiles, adding that the following period will be crucial characterized by many consultations. Greece's stance is based on three points: the initiative for developments will belong to the UN, Iraq will have to implement resolution 1441 and war should be the last option when all other solutions have failed.
 EVENT FOR THE SPONSORS OF THE GREEK EU PRESIDENCYAthens, 27 February 2003 (18:12 UTC+2)
Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis and top ministry officials attended a special event held at Athens Zappeion Hall today to present the Greek companies that currently sponsor the Greek EU Presidency.
Addressing the event, the Alternate Foreign Minister thanked the participating companies and said that the sponsorship process was an expression of the ''social responsibility'' of the business world. He also said that sponsorship contributes to a reduction of costs, all to the benefit of Greek taxpayers.
 THE BODY OF A CREW MEMBER WAS RECOVERED FROM THE SEAAthens, 27 February 2003 (18:08 UTC+2)
The body of flying medical doctor Maked Safadi was recovered today by divers from the oceanographic ship Aegean. A search was underway since February 11 aimed at locating the remains of the four crew members on board the doomed medical helicopter that crashed in the Aegean Sea near the island of Ikaria.
The helicopter cabin was located at the bottom of the sea late last night, about 1.5 nautical mile southeast of the Ikaria airport at a depth of 70 meters. The tail part of the helicopter was located about 50 meters away from the cabin.
The body of doctor Safedi has been taken to the Ikaria Hospital. The crane that will be used to lift the cabin from the bottom of the sea is expected to arrive in Ikaria this afternoon.
Still missing are helicopter pilot Efstratios Fotiadis, co-pilot Elias Lentis and medical nurse Ioannis Kourolis, who are believed to be inside the helicopter cabin.
 THE LOSSES CONTINUE IN THE ASEAthens, 27 February 2003 (17:21 UTC+2)
Small losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.23% at 1.613,58 points, while the volume of transactions was at 94 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 169 recorded gains and 108 had losses, while the value of 103 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE FIRST 16 ARTICLES OF THE EU CONSTITUTIONAthens, 27 February 2003 (17:03 UTC+2)
The draft plan presented in the February 6 meeting on the 16 articles of the Constitution Treaty which is currently under formation will be discussed by the Convention on the Future of Europe taking place in Brussels today and tomorrow.
Specifically, on the first day of the meeting the plenary session will discuss articles 1 to 7 which provide for the character of the EU, the powers of the member states and the respect of national identities; the clarification and wording of the EU values and goals; the issue of the incorporation of the European Map of Fundamental Rights into the Constitution and the content of the final text of the Map; the meaning of the term non discrimination; the clarification of the European nationality and the rights it creates.
On the second day, they will discuss the contents of articles 8 to 16 concerning the EU powers and the power categories; the content and the special cases of the EU economic policy; the common foreign and security policy; the research and development policy and the development aid policy; the principles defining the separation of powers.
The presiding board will also present to the plenary session the draft plan of articles 17 to 24 to be discussed in the next meeting to be held on March 17-18.
 THEY ANSWER TODAYNicosia, 27 February 2003 (09:12 UTC+2)
The initial responses of rejection or acceptance of the final plan for the resolving of Cyprus' political problem are expected today by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, from the island's two communities. Mr. Annan gave a week's extension for the final conclusion of the peacemaking procedure. A new trilateral Annan-Papadopoulos-Denktash meeting will be held today, while Turkish Cypriots are organizing a new rally.