|Monday, 14 October 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-05-02
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 RACE AGAINST TIMEBingol, 2 May 2003 (11:47 UTC+2)
An intensive effort is being made to free the 70 missing students from under the ruins of a school dormitory that collapsed during yesterday's massive earthquake of 6.4 R, that was recorded in Turkey's Bingol province, while Turkish emergency response crews have retrieved 7 children from under the ruins alive. The number of dead has reached 100, while there are 450 injured. Greece has offered 300,000 euro in aid and a C-130 aircraft is standing by at Elefsina airport to transfer food and medical supplies to Greece's neighbor. The personnel of the EMAK emergency response team is also on standby to travel to Turkey, if they are asked to do so.
 INFORMAL EU FOREIGN MINISTER COUNCIL IN CASTELORIZO TODAYRhodes, 2 May 2003 (13:24 UTC+2)
The Informal Council of EU Foreign Ministers will begin in Castelorizo today and will last until Sunday. Issues to be discussed by the Council include the situation in post-war Iraq, ways to strengthen the UN, EU-US relations following the Iraqi crisis and European Defense.
The last of the issues above is expected to monopolize the interest of the European Foreign Ministers after the meeting of the leaders of Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg on defense, held in Brussels early this week. The Foreign Ministers of the 4 countries are expected to brief their counterparts on the results of their meeting, while the discussion will concentrate on the degree to which a common European defense is achievable, and the courses that must be followed for it to be achieved.
As far as US-EU relations are concerned, the position of British Foreign Minister Jack Straw is expected to be crucial, if one takes into account that the UK always wanted to play the part of the bridge between Washington and Brussels.
It should be noted that on June 25, following the completion of the Thessaloniki EU Summit, Prime Minister Costas Simitis will travel to the US for the scheduled meeting between the President of the EU and US President George Bush. The Presidency's goal is to redefine relations, aiming at improving and restituting balances. Apart from the role of the UN and future relations, the Prime Minister stated that he and his American interlocutors will discuss issues concerning, weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, trade, as well as the protection of personal information of the two sides' citizens.
Finally, since the agenda of issues to be discussed at the informal Council is open, the works of the Convention on the Future of Europe are also expected to be discussed, especially as far as the proposal of larger countries concerning a double presidency (one President of the European Commission and one President of the European Council), a proposal to which most of the smaller countries have already reacted to, but regarding which the Presidency has not yet taken a position.
It should be noted that an especially symbolic gesture will be made by the 25 Foreign Ministers, with the short visit they will make to the Turkish shores, specifically the village of Kas, after the initiative of the Greek Presidency and the agreement of Ankara. Sources within the Foreign Ministry mention that this symbolic gesture will contribute to the effort being made to fully convince the partners that Greece and Turkey have the political will to overcome their differences.
 SIMITIS: "NO TO PRESSURE"Athens, 2 May 2003 (11:47 UTC+2)
The possibility of important decisions being made after the end of the Greek Presidency of the EU and the Spring 2004 elections, was left open by Prime Minister Costas Simitis. I do not back down because of pressures, he underlined in a written statement and clarified the course he is going to follow drawing on recent developments. In commenting, ND Spokesperson characterized Mr. Simitis as the cofounder of the corrupt regime.
 G. PAPANDREOU: NEW MOMENTUM IN CYPRUSRhodes, 2 May 2003 (11:48 UTC+2)
The approach between Greek and Turkish Cypriots was greeted by Foreign Minister and President of the EU Council of Ministers Giorgos Papandreou, who pointed out that the wish of the Cypriots to tear down the wall of the green line does not signify a recognition of the regime in Northern Cyprus in any way.
Mr. Papandreou stressed that there may be a new momentum in Cyprus with the wish of the citizens to break through the green line, but a recognition of the Northern Cyprus regime would be unacceptable to Greece and the international community. However, he believes that it signifies the need to move to a solution based on the proposal made by the international community, which could be a basis for negotiations in an effort for the reunification of Cyprus.
The Foreign Minister also pointed out that the number of Cypriots that traveled from one side of the green line to the other, proves that Greek and Turkish Cypriots can in fact live together, despite the practical difficulties. Despite the practical problems however, we have seen an atmosphere of magnificent cooperation which shows the power of the Cypriot people for reunification and for Cyprus' European course, stated Mr. Papandreou.
 PAPANDREOU: THE CREATION OF A EUROPEAN FOREIGN POLICY AND DEFENSE DOGMA IS NECESSARYRhodes, 2 May 2003 (18:41 UTC+2)
The need for Europe to form its own strategic dogma on issues of foreign policy and defense, was pointed out by Greek Foreign Minister and EU Council of Ministers President Giorgos Papandreou.
He added that the issue of the common European defense will be raised at the initiative of the Greek EU Presidency in the informal EU Foreign Ministers meeting launched in Kastelorizo today.
The Greek EU Presidency opens this dialogue and launches this effort which, of course, will take time to be completed, said Mr. Papandreou adding that a first important step is the meeting in Thessaloniki where the first discussion at Summit meeting level will take place.
He underlined that the United States have expressed concern over the initiative by France, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg regarding the EU defense, adding that himself does not share the concerns expressed.
 THE MACEDONIA-THRACE JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION ON THE WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAYThessaloniki, 2 May 2003 (18:00 UTC+2)
The faith and persistence in the principles of democracy, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the unhindered dissemination of ideas and information, are stressed by the Macedonia-Thrace Journalists Association on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day celebrated tomorrow.
In a statement issued by the association it is stressed that at a time of electronic over-information, journalists around the world continue to be the target for the mighty and for those pulling the strings of information in oppressive regimes.
 KARAMANLIS WILL BE IN BRUSSELS ON MONDAYAthens, 2 May 2003 (17:37 UTC+2)
Greek right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy President Kostas Karamanlis will be in Brussels on Monday to attend the proceedings of the European People's Party Presiding Board and the reception ceremony for the new European Parliament members.
Mr. Karamanlis will depart for Vienna on Thursday afternoon and the following day he will meet with the Austrian Chancellor.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 2 May 2003 (17:07 UTC+2)
Big gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.73% at 1.720,75 points, while the volume of transactions was satisfactory at 104.9 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 264 recorded gains and only 53 had losses, while the value of 58 stocks remained unchanged.
 DECLARATION ON e-GOVERNANCE IN THE EU AND SE EUROPEAthens, 2 May 2003 (16:52 UTC+2)
The establishment of effective e-Governance is necessary to meet the Lisbon goals. The above is stressed in the joint declaration of the EU Ministers of Communications and Transportation, the EFTA countries (members of the European Economic Area), the EU acceding countries, the Associated Countries and the SE European countries. The joint declaration was issued on the sidelines of the international conference on Tools for the e-Governance in the EU and its SE European neighbors.
In the declaration they stress the importance of the establishment of pan-European services for the Society of Information and the adoption of common criteria for the operation of those services.
Taking under consideration the absence of telecommunications infrastructure in certain SE European regions, the ministers agreed that the services should get underway through on-line and conventional telecommunications channels for improved information and accessibility.
On e-Governance, the ministers stress that internal reorganization is necessary namely, changes in the structures and work organizing, training and work conditions.
They also agree that effective e-Governance can improve services, strengthen societies, increase productivity and social welfare and strengthen democracy.
 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTS' EUROPEAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEES CONFERENCEAthens, 2 May 2003 (16:07 UTC+2)
The 29th Conference of the European Affairs Committees of the EU member states, the EU acceding countries and the European Parliament will take place in Athens on May 5-6. The conference participants will be addressed by Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou and Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis.
The conference proceedings will be opened by Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, while the foreign delegations will be formally received by Greek Parliament European Affairs Committee Chairman Dinos Vrettos.
 THE GREEK DOCTORS OF THE WORLD IN TURKEYThessaloniki, 2 May 2003 (16:05 UTC+2)
A six-member mission of the Greek Doctors of the World left today for the region of Bingol of southeastern Turkey that was hit yesterday by an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale to determine the needs of the people and offer assistance.
The mission will arrive in Bingol by car and carries medical and pharmaceutical material and blankets.
Head of the mission will be the organization's vice-president and head of the Thessaloniki branch surgeon Eleftheria Parthenopoulou.
 EU ISLAND CHAMBERS MEETINGAthens, 2 May 2003 (15:57 UTC+2)
The 4th Island Chambers Network General Assembly meeting opens in the northeastern Aegean island of Chios tomorrow with the participation of 150 representatives of 27 European chambers.
The goal of the meeting is the activation of the Amsterdam Treaty decision and article 101 of the Greek Constitution concerning the special character of the island regions.