|Monday, 27 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-04-11
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK RELIEF ONLY IN UN FRAMEWORKAthens, 11 April 2003 (11:17 UTC+2)
The role of the UN in the reconstruction of Iraq was discussed in yesterday's Cabinet meeting, as stated Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas, during the press conference that followed. According to Mr. Protopapas, Prime Minister Costas Simitis informed the Cabinet of the following:
Regarding the war in Iraq, the Prime Minister stressed that the war is moving towards its end. It is uncertain when one will be able to say that it will finally be over, but developments so far have the positive aspect that they will limit further casualties in civilian population and soldiers, and lifts the economic uncertainties.
The main issue now seems to be condensed to the question, what will the role of the UN be? The Summit Meeting of the EU stated that the role of the UN should be central. This notion was used with the acceptance of UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. In his last meeting with Mr. Blair however, US President George Bush said that the role of the UN must be vital. Everyone is using the terms they feel best express them. But these terms still remain unclear. Because a vital role is not just dealing with humanitarian aid. And a central role is participating in economic and political issues, especially the political and economic reconstruction of Iraq. The issue is still open and there is a tug-of-war taking place about it. This weekend, Mr. Chirac, Mr. Schroeder and Mr. Putin will meet, and, obviously, they will discuss it. It will also be discussed at the EU General Affairs Council next Monday and Tuesday. At the same time, a procedure will commence within NATO, because the US requested the Iraq issue and the possible contribution of NATO forces for the stabilization of the situation in Iraq, be discussed within NATO.
We have a position, which is also that of the EU. That the UN must become involved as soon as possible, as far as political and economic reconstruction are concerned. Meaning the post war preparation. Because if it is too late in becoming involved, it will not be able to affect the situation. This means, however, that delicate negotiation is required on when the involvement will begin and under what conditions. Because it must not be our goal for the UN to be involved in hostilities which may drag on for a long time. That is the crucial issue at the moment. There is no answer generally accepted from all sides. The impression we had from various communications was that the issue is still open in the US. There are positions on giving the UN a greater role.
 POWELL-PAPANDREOU ON THE PHONEAthens, 11 April 2003 (11:11 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou had a telephone communication with his US counterpart Colin Powell yesterday. During their discussion, which was initiated by the US side, Mr. Powell conveyed the interest of the US government in promoting a solution for the Middle Eastern issue, as the war in Iraq is ending.
The US Secretary of State pointed out that the US will pay special attention to this procedure and are especially interested in immediately recommencing procedures for peace in the Middle East, pointing out the need for close cooperation with the EU in the direction of the Quartet.
 SUSPICIOUS, BUT NOT MADAlexandroupoli, 11 April 2003 (11:10 UTC+2)
The sample taken from a cow in Evros ten days ago, which was suspected of suffering from spongiform encephalopathy, was found negative, according to lab reports from London.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS: THE EUROPEAN ENERGY NETWORKS TO BE LINKED WITH THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE CASPIAN SEA REGIONAthens, 11 April 2003 (19:55 UTC+2)
Greek Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos underlined the need for the European energy, natural gas and oil networks to be linked with the countries in the Middle East and the Caspian Sea region.
Addressing the conference on Oil and Economy, international developments and their effects on the Greek market, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the war in Iraq has changed the situation at a global level because the balances were shifted and the game was brought to an economic and political level.
He said that oil is expected to play an important role in this new scene as it will be used by Iraq to pay off its debts for many years to come. This fact creates questions regarding the reconstruction model in the region. For this reason, the global energy balance demands that the inter-European energy networks will have to be linked with countries in the Middle East and the Caspian Sea region for the economic recovery to continue in the 21st century.
 EU MINISTERS CONFERENCE: TOWARDS AN INFORMATION SOCIETY IN EUROPE FOR ALL ITS CITIZENSHeraklion, 11 April 2003 (19:30 UTC+2)
The political proposals to be exploited for the development of information society in Europe with the participation of all its citizens, were examined by the participants in the EU Ministers of Communications and Transportation symposium Towards an information society in Europe for all its citizens. The conference took place in Heraklion, Crete today within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency.
Greek Minister of Transportation and Communications Christos Verelis and the responsible Undersecretary Manolis Stratakis characterized the discussion as very constructive. An emphasis was given to the need to promote measures at a technical, legislative and institutional level to deal with the exclusion of a big part of the European population from information society.
The EU Ministers participating in the symposium agreed among others that the necessary actions should be promoted for the creation of an information society open and accessible offering the opportunity for equal participation to every citizen without discrimination. They also agreed to take institutional measures at a national and a wider European level, coordinate their activities with the European Commission for the exchange of experiences, and encourage industry for the development of products, services and technological solutions.
 PAPANTONIOU CALLS FOR THE SPEEDING UP OF PROCEDURES FOR THE STRENGTHENING OF EUROPEAN DEFENSERhodes, 11 April 2003 (18:33 UTC+2)
The need for the further strengthening and acceleration of the political and defense unification of Europe in the light of the latest developments in Iraq, was stressed by Greek Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou. Mr. Papantoniou made the statement speaking within the framework of the EU Armaments General Directors informal meeting taking place in the island of Rhodes in southeastern Aegean.
Mr. Papantoniou also referred to the initiatives and actions of the Greek EU Presidency aimed at completing the operational readiness of the European Rapid Reaction Force in 2003. He also mentioned the need for the strengthening of the relation between the European defense and the European war industry and especially, the creation of an inter-governmental European Armaments Organization.
He also referred to other EU Presidency initiatives such as the promotion of a common European education, the creation of the appropriate infrastructure in the sector of satellite communications and the Euro-Mediterranean cooperation. He said that the goal is the greater involvement of the Arab countries in this European initiative and announced that a relevant seminar will take place in Corfu on May 9-10.
 BIG GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 11 April 2003 (17:50 UTC+2)
Big gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. A decisive role in the creation of a positive climate in the Greek stock market was played by the upward course followed by the European markets.
The general index rose to +1.26% at 1.603,79 points, while the volume of transactions was satisfactory at 86.5 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 269 recorded gains and 69 had losses, while the value of 44 stocks remained unchanged.
 PROTOPAPAS: APRIL 16, IS A DAY OF CELEBRATIONAthens, 11 April 2003 (17:44 UTC+2)
April 16, is a day of celebration for Greece and Europe. Cyprus becomes an EU member, its security is strengthened and new prospects are being opened. It is a great national success that concerns everybody and was made possible after efforts that lasted for many years. The above were reiterated by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas calling on all the people of Greece to see this event in a positive way.
Mr. Protopapas stated that with Enlargement the EU borders will reach as far as Russia, adding that a dialogue is underway with the Russian Federation on the future of Europe and a further cooperation aimed at making a reality the vision for a Europe stretching from the Atlantic to the Ural Mountains.
Regarding the protest demonstrations organized to take place on April 16 and on April 17, the government spokesman responded that certain security measures have been taken as it happened in other Summit meetings but the protest demonstrations will not be banned. Greece is a deeply democratic country and those who want to participate in a demonstration can do so, as nobody will stop them, said Mr. Protopapas.
Mr. Protopapas asked for the understanding of the people of Athens for the problems they will face on that day in their transportation, pointing out the special significance this day has for Greece.
 MACEDONIA-THRACE ASSOCIATION OF JOURNALISTS PROTESTThessaloniki, 11 April 2003 (17:05 UTC+2)
The Board of Directors of the Macedonia-Thrace Association of Journalists sent a telegram to the International Federation of Journalists expressing grief for the loss of 12 journalists and condemning the practices aimed at terrorizing the people of the press. It also calls on the federation to examine the attacks launched against press representatives in the war in Iraq.
Specifically, the telegram mentions that the Association strongly stigmatizes the brutal behavior of US soldiers targeting people of the press. It also mentions that on Thursday afternoon Charalambos Bikas, a member of the Association, attempted to enter Palestine Hotel in Baghdad together with two Italian colleagues after displaying the International Federation of Journalists' identity card. He was verbally attacked by the hotel guards, who were US soldiers, and after pointing their guns to his head they ordered him to stay away.
 PAPANTONIOU: VERY DANGEROUS THE LIKELIHOOD OF A TURKISH INVASION OF N. IRAQAthens, 11 April 2003 (16:54 UTC+2)
Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou characterized as very dangerous the likelihood of a Turkish invasion of northern Iraq expressing the certainty that the United States and other powers will give a fight to secure the territorial integrity of Iraq.
In statements he made in the Aegean island of Rhodes, he said that a precondition for Iraq's smooth transition to a state of democracy and prosperity is the protection of its territorial integrity and added that in case of a partition the consequences will be very dangerous. The Greek Defense Minister stated characteristically that Turkey should remain inside its own borders.
Mr. Papantoniou referred to the need for the role of the United Nations to be substantial in the post-war Iraq both in terms of Iraq's reconstruction and in the establishment of a democratic regime.
He pointed out that within this framework efforts will be made so that the Greek companies active in the country will receive at least part of the money owed to them by Iraq together with the rest European companies. He also added that an effort will be made for them to have a substantial participation in the reconstruction of Iraq either by themselves or in cooperation with other companies.
 PROTOPAPAS: ATHENS EU SUMMIT A GREAT CELEBRATIONAthens, 11 April 2003 (15:17 UTC+2)
Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas characterized the EU Summit Meeting to be held on April 15-17 in Athens a great celebration. The accession of Cyprus is something we have strived to accomplish for decades, it is a great moment for Cyprus and Greece. The enlargement of the EU is a great moment for Europe, which is changing shape. The new Constitution of Europe, the future of Europe, the present crisis, its problems and the new state of affairs will be discussed at the Summit. We selected Greece for this ceremony, in order to promote our country throughout the world. To send the message of a powerful Greece and that Greeks have every reason to support this effort.
Regarding the resolving of the Cyprus issue, the Minister of the Press told Flash radio that it must be achieved within UN frameworks and based on the Annan proposal, which is still on the table. Discussions between Turkey and Greece, discussions of the 5 with Britain or with the two communities have no point. They essentially only serve the intentions of Mr. Denktash and the Turkish establishment in proclaiming two states. Something Greece will never accept, since it is outside UN frameworks.
When asked about the role of the UN in the post war period, Mr. Protopapas expressed the appreciation that consciences have been formed in our country and everywhere, supporting the crucial role the UN has in the political and economic reconstruction of Iraq.
Finally, as far as security measures and mobilization that are already being planned are concerned, the Minister of the Press stressed that Greece is a democracy and if certain bodies want to carry out protests, they are free to do so. It is impossible to forbid rallies. There will just be security measures, as there are in all European capitals when Summits are held, in the areas where the Summit or the signing ceremony are to be held, he said characteristically.