|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-04-30
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 XEROS CONFESSESAthens, 30 April 2003 (14:48 UTC+2)
Savvas Xeros confessed his participation in the robbery of the armored truck transferring OTE funds in Piraeus in May 2001. The defendant in the 17N case admitted that he was the one who shot the employee, not his brother Vassilis. S. Xeros and D. Koufontinas characterized the 4 witnesses who testified in the case as puppets.
 ANTIWAR ATMOSPHERE ON MAY 1STAthens, 30 April 2003 (14:47 UTC+2)
Unions are calling the workforce to rallies with an antiwar atmosphere and the pension issue as their flag, in celebration of the May 1st. The General Union of Greek Workers, the Civil Servants' Union and the Athens Workers' Center are organizing rallies at 10:30 at Syntagma Square, with the participation of the Greek Social Forum and other antiwar organizations. PAME unionists have organized a separate rally at the same time, at the Pedion tou Areos (Field of Mars) park. There will also be two separate rallies in Thessaloniki.
 OTTAWA TREATY RATIFICATION PROCESS COMPLETED IN TURKEY AND GREECEAthens, 30 April 2003 (20:10 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis expressed satisfaction for the fact that in Turkey, as in Greece, the process for the legislative ratification of the Ottawa Treaty, banning anti-personnel mines, has been completed.
The two countries will submit jointly to the UN Secretariat in New York the treaty ratification instruments, highlighting through this symbolic gesture their accession into the international treaty, said Mr. Beglitis.
 EU PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE QUARTET'S ROAD MAP PRESENTATION TO ISRAEL AND THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITYAthens, 30 April 2003 (19:52 UTC+2)
The Quartet presents today to the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority a Road Map to realise the vision shared by the United States, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security. The members of the Quartet will work with the parties and key regional actors towards the implementation of the Road Map, in accordance with that vision.
The road map came at a critical juncture of the region's history and represents the best judgement of the Quartet members on how the parties can achieve peace. This initiative is a vital element of international efforts to promote a comprehensive peace on all tracks.
The road map is a starting point and a framework for action and progress. The pace of progress will depend on the performance of the parties and the commitment and good faith of both sides.
We expect that the formal approval of the Palestinian Prime Minister and his new government will help accelerate the Road Map's implementation. We also regrettably foresee that the forces of extremism and hatred will try to destabilise any progress. We call upon both parties to refrain from words and deeds that can feed extremist propaganda and to spare no effort in order to marginalise the elements of extremism and terror in their societies.
A two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, clear acceptance by both parties of the goal of a negotiated solution, and through efforts to preserve Israel's security as well as to help normalize Palestinian life and establish a peaceful and democratic Palestinian state based on UNSC Resolutions 224, 338, and 1397. In the same framework the active efforts of Israel's neighbors to support and assist both parties in achieving these goals is of key importance.
 NEW TURKISH PROVOCATION IN THE AEGEANAthens, 30 April 2003 (18:44 UTC+2)
A Greek fishing boat sailing in international waters near the island of Samothrace, in northern Aegean, was led to the Turkish coasts by a Turkish patrol boat. The Turks approached the trawler Moralis D and arrested its captain Moralis Yiannakos and the five members of its crew.
Greek trawlers arrived on the scene immediately as well as two Greek Coast Guard boats from Alexandroupolis and Samothrace.
The Turkish side maintains that the Greek fishing boat was 5 miles away from the Turkish coasts.
Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou stated that the issue should not be a cause of serious concern.
The Greek Consulate in Istanbul has been informed in order to make the necessary diplomatic moves and determine the conditions under which the incident took place.
 PAPANDREOU: THE PROPOSAL OF THE "4" ON THE EUROPEAN DEFENSE IS INTERESTINGAthens, 30 April 2003 (18:22 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister and EU Council of Ministers President Giorgos Papandreou characterized as interesting the proposal for a stronger defense cooperation of the EU countries presented yesterday by the political leaderships of France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Mr. Papandreou had a discussion on the issue with his Belgian counterpart Mr. Louis Michel last evening and pointed out that the proposals of the 4 are open for the EU member states. He also said that the proposals are expected to be discussed in the Informal meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers Council on May 2-3 and in the Thessaloniki European Council meeting in June.
 MEETING IN ATHENS FOR THE CREATION OF A EUROPEAN PARTY OF THE LEFTAthens, 30 April 2003 (17:58 UTC+2)
The creation of a European Party of the Left will be the subject of a meeting that will take place in Athens on Saturday.
The meeting is held at the initiative of a group of parties (Cyprus' AKEL, Communist Refoundation Party of Italy, United Left of Spain, the French Communist Party, Germany's PDS and the Greek Coalition of the Left). Representatives of those parties met last March and decided to jointly promote the creation of a European Leftist Movement. Other parties of the Left have also declared their intention to attend the meeting.
The issues under discussion will be the founding declaration draft and proposals for the structure and the principles of operation of the European Party of the Left.
 EU PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN CONGOAthens, 30 April 2003 (17:44 UTC+2)
The European Union underlines the importance of further progress in the peace process in the Democratic Republic of Congo in order not to lose the momentum created by the conclusion of the inter-Congolese dialogue in Sun City as well as the Luanda Agreement. In this respect, the EU recalls that Uganda committed itself in Luanda formally to withdraw its troops from Ituri (DRC) no later than March 20, 2003, a date it subsequently readjusted to April 24, 2003.
The EU considers it of the greatest importance that Uganda shows it remains committed to its engagements regarding its comprehensive withdrawal from Ituri thereby, fully complying to Security Council Resolution 1468 (2003) and contributing firmly to the success of the peace process.
First signs have been given by Uganda that it is in the process of withdrawing part of its troops from the Ituri region. Whilst welcoming this move, the EU reiterates that Uganda should honour its commitment by the immediate and complete withdrawal of all its forces. This withdrawal should be operated in an orderly manner and in full coordination with MONUC. As long as UDPF Forces are on the ground in Ituri, they will be held responsible for the security.
The European Union calls at the same time on all other parties engaged in the conflict, in the Ituri region particularly, to abstain from any action that might perpetuate or re-ignite the violence after the Ugandan withdrawal. It calls equally upon all parties to cooperate fully with MONUC to restore order and stability in the Ituri region, to guarantee access by humanitarian organisations, to ensure the safety of life and belongings of all civilians, and to monitor the activities of armed groups.
The Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Associated Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.
 THE EU ENVIRONMENT MINISTERS INFORMAL MEETINGAthens, 30 April 2003 (17:38 UTC+2)
Greek Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Mrs. Vasso Papandreou will chair the informal meeting of European Union Environment Ministers on Friday and Saturday at the southern Attica coastal resort of Lagonissi, a press office announcement of the Greek environment ministry said on Tuesday.
The Environment Ministers of Albania, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Romania and Turkey will attend the meeting that will focus on regional cooperation on environmental issues in Southeastern Europe with special attention to the management of trans-national waters, the announcement said.
At the meeting, the Greek EU presidency will seek an exchange of views as to how the enlarged EU should acknowledge viable development and the principle of incorporation as one of the bloc's key objectives toward a qualitative and healthy environment.
Mrs. Vasso Papandreou and EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstrom will hold a press conference on Saturday.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 30 April 2003 (17:29 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.58% at 1.691,52 points, while the volume of transactions was impressive at 314.8 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 219 recorded gains and 99 had losses, while the value of 57 stocks remained unchanged.