|Monday, 27 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-04-16
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 A UNION OF "25"Athens, 16 April 2003 (09:01 UTC+2)
The Europe will take on political dimensions, with the accession of 10 new members under the shadow of the Parthenon, which are drawing nearer to the geographic dimensions. In an article in Monde, Prime Minister Costas Simitis characterized the enlargement the restitution of the rift that had been created in Europe by the cold war.
 CYPRUS WITH EUROPEAN SECURITYAthens, 16 April 2003 (09:02 UTC+2)
Violations of Greek airspace and the downgrading of Turkish representation from the Prime Ministerial level, to that of the Vice President of the government, was the Turkish reaction to the confirmation of Cyprus' accession to the EU, while a short time ago Ankara said that accession would mean they would annex the north part of the island. Former Presidents Cleridis and Vasiliou are in Athens.
 ELECTIONS IN 2004Athens, 16 April 2003 (09:14 UTC+2)
His decision for elections to be held at the end of the 4-year tenure, specifically in May 2004, was repeated by the Prime Minister in his interview to Ta Nea newspaper, with which he responded to the Karamanlis appreciations of early elections. Mr. Simitis repeated that he does not govern according to the results of opinion polls.
 PRESIDENT OF THE ESC SPEAKS TO MPAThessaloniki, 16 April 2003 (15:17 UTC+2)
The President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Roger Briesch, sees the enlargement in a positive light, appreciating that the accession of 10 new countries to the EU will strengthen the economic dynamics of the Joint Market. Mr. Briesch justified the worries expressed by part of the Greek people and noted that all other countries had the same worries when Greece, Spain and Portugal were accessed to the EU. But their fears were not confirmed. He traced a lack of coordination in what is called unified European economic policy, despite the will that has been expressed and is in favor of a more federal direction for the European Union.
In his interview to the Macedonian Press Agency, the President of the EESC, the fourth institutional body of the EU, also spoke about the discomfort caused to US President George Bush by the influence of the European model on South American countries, and the methods used by the US in order to weaken the European structure.
First of all, he said, regarding the new member states, we must incorporate these countries to their real, natural family, that of Europe. At the same time it is an economic action and a generous action. The entire procedure that led these countries to make an effort in order to conform with the criteria for accession to the EU, that contributed to the rise of their economic, social and industrial level.
With the completion of the enlargement, we will have an economic market policy with a social content, democracy and freedom, he added, continuing to say that, in a globalized world we face difficult negotiations and conflict within the World Trade Organization.
A second point that interests us is our relationship to third world countries, because we want to show them, within the framework of the World Trade Organization, that we want what is best for them, and that with cooperation we can help eradicate their problems.
Regarding developments in Iraq, Mr. Briesch stated that suddenly, the war in Iraq brought certain realities to light. The US are playing their game in order to be able to weaken the European structure. And they are doing this by offering significant financial aid.
To the question on whether there is a real common European economic policy, after the questions created by the different approaches on the issue of Iraq, the President of the EESC stated that the answer is both yes and no. As years and various treaties go by, the Maastricht treaty, the Amsterdam treaty, the Lisbon treaty, a will has been expressed for the coordination of economic policies.
This will, of course, and the effort to coordinate has brought forth some results, there has been progress, but it is inadequate as far as economic development, economic enlargement and employment is concerned. This happens because we leave the choice of coordination to individual countries, and they deal with their own best interest first of all, and with the general best interest afterwards, and for that reason, in my opinion, federalization the only solution.
 PRODI: EUROPE IS OUR HOMEAthens, 16 April 2003 (20:07 UTC+2)
Today we have every reason to be proud of the achievements of Europe, stressed European Commission President Romano Prodi speaking in the Accession Treaty signing ceremony in Athens. He said that we should thank the people of the ten countries that became the new members of the EU for the quiet revolution they held for the past 12 years and added that today we embrace the 75 million new European citizens and welcome them home.
The European Commission President stressed the need to strengthen the democratic institutions in the EU. Regarding the single currency, the Euro, he said that it is not used by every EU member yet, adding that there is still no close enough coordination of the economic policies of the EU countries in order to be able to combat unemployment and poverty.
On the Lisbon Strategy, he said that there are still important steps to be made to fully mobilize the human and technological powers in our society.
On the war in Iraq, he said that it showed us to what degree we have to work together if we want to influence the international scene, have our voice heard and defend our principles. He also pointed out the need to develop a common EU foreign policy and develop the collective security and defense means.
He said that there is a need for a framework of friendly countries along the EU borders beginning from Morocco and moving along the coasts of the Mediterranean and eastward to Russia.
He sent a message of solidarity and friendship to the African countries, stressing that the cooperation with the EU will continue to be a priority, while a similar message was sent to the countries of Latin America and Asia.
Referring to our friends and allies, the Americans, he said that nobody in Europe can forget that we owe you our freedom. He said that now is the time to overcome the recent differences, adding that it is time for a new cooperation between Europe and the United States that will constitute the basis for a stable peace in the world.
Mr. Prodi also stated that in a world of globalization the principles we have inherited from the EU founders which come from the age of the Enlightenment: freedom, democracy, state of law, justice, tolerance and peaceful settlement of conflicts, have a meaning only if they are implemented by everybody. He concluded that Europe is our home and our ambition is the creation of a fair world.
 PAT COX: THE TIME HAS COME TO LOOK AT THE STARSAthens, 16 April 2003 (19:09 UTC+2)
European Parliament President Pat Cox speaking in the Accession Treaty signing ceremony in Athens stated, while looking at the European flag, that it symbolizes the ideal of a developing Europe in time.
The circle symbolizes perfection and incorporates the ideal of unity, he said, while the twelve stars symbolize the hours of the day and the 12 months of the year and remind of the progress that can be made in time. The circle is open and not closed and reminds us of what has been accomplished and what is left to be accomplished, said Mr. Cox.
He also referred to what Vaclav Havel had said in Strasbourg in 1990 and reminded that he had said then that the 12 stars do not constitute a belief that Europe is a heaven on earth. It had been mentioned then that there can be no heaven on earth but the world can become a better place if we are brave enough to look at the stars.
Earlier, the European Parliament President had pointed out that a week ago, when the voting in the European Parliament was taking place, and today there is a tangible feeling that Europe meets history.
 PROPOSAL ON POST-WAR IRAQ BY BRITAIN, GERMANY, FRANCE AND SPAINAthens, 16 April 2003 (18:28 UTC+2)
A draft text with proposals on the role of the EU and the UN in post-war Iraq has been prepared by Germany, Britain, France and Spain, the EU members which are also members of the UN Security Council. According to information, the draft text will be presented to the rest EU members this afternoon.
The draft text underlines the EU determination to have an active contribution in the stabilization process in Iraq.
According to information, the four countries delivered the draft text to Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, who is also the President of the European Council, to present it this afternoon during the formal luncheon of the 25 EU leaders.
 THE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT'S SPEECH IN THE ACCESSION TREATY SIGNING CEREMONYAthens, 16 April 2003 (18:08 UTC+2)
Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos speaking at the EU Accession Treaty signing ceremony in Athens expressed the great joy of the Cypriot people and stated that this is a historic hour.
He expressed regret because the factitious walls of division do not allow the Turkish Cypriots to become part of the united Europe. He gave the assurance that he will make every effort to find a peaceful, operational and viable solution to the Cyprus problem that will reunite the divided people of Cyprus.
Mr. Papadopoulos pointed out that with the EU enlargement a new chapter is being opened in history and the course of the renewed Europe.
He also stated that Cyprus pledges to undertake and fulfil all obligations stemming from its accession into the European Union, adding that the Cyprus problem will not make Cyprus' presence in the EU problematic and will not stop the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
The Cypriot President thanked the Greek EU Presidency, the EU member states, the European Commission and the European Parliament for their valuable assistance in the course of Cyprus toward the EU and for the opportunity offered to Cyprus to be where it belongs historically, geographically, politically and culturally.
 THE RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITED MOUNT ATHOSThessaloniki, 16 April 2003 (17:31 UTC+2)
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov visited the Monastery of St. Panteleimon at the Monastic Community of Mount Athos in Chalkidiki, northern Greece.
He arrived from Thessaloniki aboard a helicopter and was received by the monastery's Father Superior and monks, who are Russians. He was briefed on the monastery's operation and returned to Thessaloniki.
He arrived in Athens by plane to attend the signing of the Accession Treaty by the ten new EU member states.
Later in the afternoon, he will meet with the UN Security Council members (France, Britain, Spain, Germany), and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to discuss the next day in Iraq. Tomorrow, he will attend the European Conference on the EU relations with third countries.
 THE EURO-ZONE INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION INCREASED IN FEBRUARYAthens, 16 April 2003 (17:17 UTC+2)
Marginal increase of 0.2% at a monthly basis was recorded in the Euro-zone industrial production in February, overturning speculations made by analysts who predicted a drop of 0.4%.
Compared to February 2002, industrial production in the Euro-zone increased considerably by 1.8%. In the EU of the 15, industrial production in February increased by 0.3% at a monthly basis and by 1.3% at an annual basis.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 16 April 2003 (17:08 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.40% at 1.622,54 points, while the volume of transactions was notable at 105.2 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, only 50 recorded gains and the overwhelming majority of 277 had losses, while the value of 48 stocks remained unchanged.
 GREEK PRIME MINISTER AND EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT SPEECH AT THE ACCESSION TREATY SIGNING CEREMONYAthens, 16 April 2003 (17:01 UTC+2)
Today is a historic day:
áBecause we are overcoming the division of European countries into two opposing camps, Eastern and Western Europe, a division caused by the Second World War
áBecause almost all the countries of Europe are now participating in the European Union
áBecause this unified whole is inspired by the principles and values which inspired the struggles of our societies for freedom, democracy and social justice
áBecause today it is once again affirmed that cooperation and solidarity among us has created a political and economic area with an important role in developments in the global community, an area which attracts and inspires, an area that is respected and heeded.
Today is a historic day.
Because our achievement today creates new obligations for us:
áTo see the present and the future with sincerity and creativity
áNot to settle for just managing our achievements to date, but to advance the process of unification. To give the configuration we have created a more complete form and new content
áTo give the Union greater substance vis-a-vis external policy, security and defense, so that it can play the role befitting its potential and aspirations. So that we are not simply called on to handle the situation in the aftermath of war, but have a decisive say about 'if' and 'when'
áTo serve in the international community as a pole of peace, cooperation and support to peoples.
áTo press ahead with this unprecedented experiment of a process which unifies but also endeavors to safeguard our particularities. Cooperation which binds us but also expands our freedoms. To further the experiment of many countries with different levels of economic growth and social development, which are however intertwined in a single area of freedom and democracy.
This day creates new obligations:
áTo ensure employment and prosperity for our citizens by combating unemployment, poverty and social exclusion.
áTo adjust the European social model to the new social conditions, so that our progress ensures greater social cohesion and justice.
áTo win the battle for sustainable development and put an end to the downgrading of the environment.
áTo promote a society of knowledge with responsible, informed and competent citizens. A civil society.
Here, in this place, the Agora of Athens, two and a half thousand years ago, people from different races and countries, people with different convictions, came into contact. They met one another with a feeling that they were in one of the centers of the civilized world.
Here we can realize that there is no end to history. Life will continue after today. It is up to us whether this continuation will be a history of peace, creation, cooperation and solidarity. This is what we want from the European Union.