|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-04-22
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 RESPONSE WITH A LAWSUITAthens, 22 April 2003 (13:34 UTC+2)
Minister of the Press Ch. Protopapas announced that he would press charges against the publisher of the Avriani newspaper, G. Kouris, in response the newspaper's publication claiming that businessman N. Athanassoulis had financed his election campaign. Prime Minister Costas Simitis had given his categorical assurance yesterday that there would be no cover up of any illegality, while attributing the publications on ministers' activities in the stock market to a conflict of business interests. The Minister of Justice asked for the intervention of justice for enlargement of the charges, in a letter he sent to the Supreme Court DA.
 GARGANAS PRAISES AND RECOMMENDATIONSAthens, 22 April 2003 (09:22 UTC+2)
The Governor of the Bank of Greece, Nikolaos Garganas will present his annual report on Greece's economy at the regular general assembly of stockholders. According to information, the report will recognize the progress in the basic sectors of the Greek economy, which, however, must be further strengthened, with even more structural interventions on various fronts.
 KOUFONTINAS REMORSELESSAthens, 22 April 2003 (13:33 UTC+2)
Dimitris Koufontinas appeared remorseless as far as the crimes committed by 17N are concerned, and in answering the judge's related question, he did not hesitate to claim that 17N executed individuals responsible for crimes against the people and the country. At the same time, he attributed the lack of a warning prior to the attack on Mega TV's offices to a short circuit, and simply wondered: Do you really believe the organization wanted to kill journalists?
 THE MARKET AND THE EXODUSAthens, 22 April 2003 (09:23 UTC+2)
Market inspections are increasing in view of the holidays while at the same time measures to facilitate excursionists on their Easter trips are being increased. Hundreds of thousands of citizens are expected to take a holiday trip regardless of weather forecasts that place the improvement of the weather on Sunday. The market is on a special time schedule, while KEPKA has issued warnings to meat consumers.
 YIANNITSIS MET WITH BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE MINISTER MACSHANEAthens, 22 April 2003 (20:57 UTC+2)
Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Tasos Yiannitsis and British Foreign Office Minister Denis MacShane, responsible for European Affairs, met in Athens and discussed issues concerning the Thessaloniki Summit meeting.
They exchanged views on the conclusions of the Conference on the Future of Europe. They also expressed interest in the need to send a strong message in support of the democratization efforts and the efforts against organized crime in the Balkans. Specifically, the two sides discussed the main issues of the EU policy toward the Balkan states.
 ANDREAS LOVERDOS' INTERVIEW WITH MPA.GRThessaloniki, 22 April 2003 (19:31 UTC+2)
The Greek Plan for the Reconstruction of the Balkans is at the stage of full implementation and there is no reason for concern, assured Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Andreas Loverdos in an interview with MPA that was broadcast live on www.mpa.gr.
Mr. Loverdos referred to Greece's priorities in the development of Greek business activities in the wider Middle East region and to the draft law promoted by the government for the organizing of Economic and Trade Affairs offices in the Greek embassies.
He also referred to June's Summit meeting and the expectations of the Greek government.
On the Greek plan for the reconstruction of the Balkans, he said that 12 months after taking over the specific program, the proposals for productive investments in the Balkans, made by Greek companies, have already been evaluated. By May 27, the relevant procedure will be completed for Albania and Bulgaria because only these two countries, of the 6 countries in the Balkan program, have ratified the agreements signed. The rest, even though interested in the program, have slow procedures for the ratification of the agreement reached with Greece, said the Undersecretary.
Mr. Loverdos also stated that the procedures for the appointment of a technical adviser (the most necessary tool for the program to move ahead) will be, most likely, completed before the end of May.
He said that Greece moves ahead with the materialization of a 550 million euro program by the year 2006 for the promotion of the development of the Balkan region.
Mr. Loverdos added that there are many plans for the reconstruction of Iraq as well as the Middle East, while there are also many plans for the economic cooperation with Persian Gulf countries.
On the expectations regarding the Thessaloniki EU Summit meeting, he said that he wishes to be a quiet one without violent incidents. He also said that he wants the Greek policy to move forward in the Balkans, which is a priority of the Greek EU Presidency, adding that he also wants the policy for Europe's security to proceed.
 GREECE PROPOSED THE ADOPTION OF AN ORGANIZED CRIME MAPThessaloniki, 22 April 2003 (18:43 UTC+2)
The School of Court Judges in Thessaloniki became a permanent seat for the continuous training of Balkan court judges on European Law and European Institutions' issues at the initiative of the Greek Ministry of Justice. Also, the Ministry of Public Order is moving ahead with the drawing up of a map of procedures, that can be used to combat organized crime and illegal immigration, to be presented in Thessaloniki's EU Summit meeting in June.
The above were announced by Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos and Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis, within the framework of the first meeting of the EU Troika Justice and Internal Affairs Ministers with their counterparts from western Balkans, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.
The need to develop mutual cooperation between the EU and the Balkans on issues of freedom, security and justice was stressed in the meeting. They examined the EU efforts for the promotion of regional cooperation on issues of justice and internal affairs in the Balkans as well as, measures against organized crime in the region of southeastern Europe.
Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis stated to reporters, on the sidelines of the meeting, that policies have been drawn up to deal with the problems of organized crime and illegal immigration. Also, a map of procedures will be drawn up, to be presented in Thessaloniki in June on the occasion of the EU Summit meeting.
Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos stated, on his part, that Greece has set the strengthening of the state of law institutions in the Balkan countries as a top priority given their prospect for accession into the European space of freedom, security and justice. He said that organized crime constitutes a serious threat for societies and it was agreed that the strengthening of judicial cooperation, especially in the Balkans, is necessary.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 22 April 2003 (17:33 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.49% at 1.641,09 points, while the volume of transactions was satisfactory at 75.1 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 244 recorded gains compared to 65 that had losses, while 66 stocks remained unchanged.
 CEMIL CICEK: THE TERRORISM-ORGANIZED CRIME RELATION HAS NOT BEEN ADEQUATELY STRESSEDThessaloniki, 22 April 2003 (17:25 UTC+2)
The relation of organized crime with terrorism has not been adequately stressed, stated Turkish Justice Minister Cemil Cicek speaking to MPA on the sidelines of the first meeting of the EU Troika Justice and Internal Affairs Ministers with their counterparts from western Balkan countries, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.
Mr. Cicek stated that the meeting, that takes place in Thessaloniki today, is a follow-up to last November's meeting in London on the prevention and combating of organized crime like, illegal trafficking of drugs, weapons, and people, inter-border crime as well as, the combating of corruption. He said that these issues are of vital importance for Turkey.
He stressed that he feels satisfied that today, even with a delay, certain of the crimes under discussion in the meeting, are being characterized as a threat against humanity. However, he underlined that certain of the acts which Turkey regards as crimes are not seen the same way by certain European countries and instead of extraditing to Turkey those who are regarded as criminals by Turkey they offer them protection.
Mr. Cicek said that the relation between organized crime and terrorism has not been adequately stressed and there has been no close cooperation in this area. The Turkish Justice Minister added that when terrorism becomes a policy instrument it constitutes a threat for the stability of other countries and that's why a special attention should be paid to this issue.
 GREEK HUMANITARIAN AID TO BAGHDADAthens, 22 April 2003 (17:19 UTC+2)
The first part of the Greek humanitarian aid to the people of Iraq will arrive by plane to Baghdad. Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou gave the order after all existing obstacles were overcome and briefed Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Andreas Loverdos.
The humanitarian aid had been collected days ago and pressure was exerted by the Greek government and the Greek EU Presidency to overcome the obstacles quickly for its safe transportation and distribution because the goods collected can become spoilt.
 PAYING EACH OTHER DAMAGESAthens, 22 April 2003 (15:32 UTC+2)
PASOK Secretary Costas Laliotis and New Democracy Honorary President Constantinos Mitsotakis will be called to pay each other damages on the Mayo case.
Specifically, the court trying the case ruled that Mr. Laliotis pay Mr. Mitsotakis approximately 300,000 euro for moral damages caused by slanderous claims last October, on laundering money belonging to the Mitsotakis family through the Mayo company.
At the same time, Mr. Mitsotakis was called to pay Mr. Laliotis the amount of approximately 59,000 euro for moral damages against Mr. Laliotis, due to the phrase used by the Honorary President, who stated that Laliotis is the most despicable thing I have seen in political life.
 MINISTER SUES NEWSPAPER PUBLISHERAthens, 22 April 2003 (14:34 UTC+2)
Minister of the Press and the Media Christos Protopapas will file a lawsuit against Giorgos Kouris, Avriani newspaper publisher, for an article published therein, claiming that businessman N. Athanasoulis financed Mr. Protopapas' election campaign.
Mr. Protopapas characterized Mr. Kouris as a liar and a sycophant, stressing that it is not the first time that he has used such methods, and noted that he has a long sheet with 17 convictions. He has attempted to mar dozens of PASOK officials at different times of their political course, he stressed, adding: I will not submit to Mr. Kouris' moral and political blackmail. That is clear and you must know it very well. And Mr. Kouris must understand this well. We know that Mr. Kouris will continue this mudslinging war. I do not care how long he drags it on.
On his own position, the Minister stated that he would reach the end of the line, characteristically stating: I will go to the end because I owe it to PASOK, I owe it to the citizens who trust me, I owe it to my family. He also pointed out that he addressed the Press today from his position as a minister and as an MP.
 PROTOPAPAS' INTERVIEW WITH CUMHURIYETAnkara, 22 April 2003 (20:08 UTC+2)
The need for the solution of the Cyprus problem based on the UN resolutions, is stressed by Greek Minister of Press and Mass Media and government spokesman Christos Protopapas in an interview with Turkish newspaper CUMHURIYET, clarifying that Ankara's road to the EU passes through Cyprus.
Mr. Protopapas stated in the interview that Greece regards Turkey's EU accession as useful for everybody and underlined that the road to the EU membership will be affected by the policy Turkey will follow in the case of Cyprus.
Regarding the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem, Mr. Protopapas stated that they should move within the framework of the UN and added that proposals for a solution in Cyprus that are outside the UN are nothing more than a waste of time.
He also said that the UN Secretary General plan for the solution of the political problem in Cyprus constitutes the basis for talks that will lead to the settlement of the issue.
On the Greek-Turkish relations and Greece's expectations, he said that Greece wants to have a close cooperation with Turkey and when this is achieved bilateral relations will be developed further.
The Greek Minister of Press and Mass Media pointed out that certain progress has been made toward the solution of bilateral problems, through the meetings of the technical committees from Greece and Turkey and the regular contacts of the Undersecretaries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries. He said that talks should continue between the two sides aimed at bringing the issue of the continental shelf to the International Court in The Hague clarifying that this was confirmed by the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey during their meeting in Belgrade.
Mr. Protopapas characterized as a positive development Turkey's decision to have no active participation in the war against Iraq, while referring to the priorities of the Greek EU Presidency he underlined the emphasis given to the adoption of a common foreign and security policy.
 FURTHER DISPROVAL OF EARLY ELECTIONSHelsinki, 22 April 2003 (14:43 UTC+2)
Elections will be held in spring 2004, stated Prime Minister Costas Simitis from Helsinki, where he held a meeting with Finnish Prime Minister Anneli Jaattenmaki in the framework of the preparations for the June Summit, in response to a Finnish journalist's question, on whether there will be early elections in Greece.
 SIMITIS CONTRADICTS EARLY ELECTIONSHelsinki, 22 April 2003 (14:42 UTC+2)
The preparations for the Thessaloniki Summit, institutional reforms in the European Union, controlling the immigration wave towards Europe and the EU-US Summit, were the topics discussed in Helsinki today by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his Finnish Counterpart Anneli Jaattenmaki. In fact, a Finnish journalist asked Mr. Simitis when elections will be held in Greece. He answered that there will be no early elections, and repeated that they will take place as planned, in Spring 2004.
Specifically, the Prime Minister stressed that he and Mrs. Jaattenmaki discussed changes in the institutional structure of the EU, so that the community can respond to its international obligations and the new reality of the 25 member-states. As he pointed out, following the Thessaloniki Summit the member-states will be given a 3-4 month period to discuss the changes in their national parliaments. As far as controlling the immigration wave is concerned, he stressed that the EU must support the countries whose boarders are most burdened, as they are also the outer boarders of the EU.
Finally, regarding the EU-US Summit in Washington this June, the Greek Prime Minister noted that its goal will be to discuss all issues that have been raised lately, such as the Iraq issue, dealing with international terrorism and controlling weapons of mass destruction.
Prime Minister Simitis will depart for Stockholm this afternoon.