|Saturday, 14 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-05-08
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 A PROPOSAL FOR THE FUTUREAthens, 8 May 2003 (12:37 UTC+2)
The clarification that proposals to change the political system are not for the present moment and any changes the Prime Minister will make, are to take place after the completion of the Greek Presidency of the EU, was made by the deputy Minister of the Press T. Chytiris, regarding the views of the Cabinet's Secretary General S. Cosmidis, who, yesterday, stated that he was in favor of a small ministerial team of 12-14 ministers, 1 deputy minister and 1 secretary general per ministry. The Prime Minister's close cooperator, who has held the position of secretary since 1996, proposed a decrease in the number of MPs and the transformation of electoral districts to single seats.
 A HIGH COST TO LABOR AND UNEMPLOYMENTAthens, 8 May 2003 (11:57 UTC+2)
It seems as though the effort to change the decision of the PALCO company to transfer its factory from Athens to Bulgaria, leaving 500 unemployed, is a dead end. If no solution is achieved, measures will be taken for the workers, stated Minister of Labor, Mr. Reppas. The President of the Association of Greek Industrialists (SEV) Chr. Kyriakopoulos attributed the decision to the high cost of labor in Greece. Businesses are born, they grow and they die, he said characteristically.
 800 NEW ALL DAY SCHOOLSAthens, 8 May 2003 (09:10 UTC+2)
The instituting of 800 new All Day Schools (500 elementary and 300 preschool), which will increase the total of all day schools functioning to 5200, was announced by the deputy Minister of Education, N. Gesoulis, in his speech at the Labor Institute of the General Union of Greek Workers Union of Greek Civil Servants (GSEE-ADEDY). The President of the GSEE Ch. Polyzogopoulos underlined that the all day school is the basic catalyst for the upgrading of education and covering many social needs.
 PROTOPAPAS ASKS FOR COMPENSATIONAthens, 8 May 2003 (14:10 UTC+2)
A lawsuit was submitted against the Avriani newspaper and its publisher and director Giorgos Kouris and Giorgos Tsirogiannis, by the attorney of Christos Protopapas, Giannis Charactiniotis, asking for 1.5 million in compensation for moral damages, due to the newspaper's publications regarding the Press Minister's election campaign. In his lawsuit, Mr. Protopapas characterized the publications completely fraudulent and attributed them to intentions for him to undergo moral, political and social damage.
 BIANNUAL MEETING OF THE MILITARY COMMITTEE FOR THE EUAthens, 8 May 2003 (20:17 UTC+2)
The future prospects for Europe's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in relation to NATO, was the focus of discussions at the regular biannual meeting of the Military Committee for the European Union at the level of chiefs of defence that concluded in Athens today.
Greek Chief of Defence Army General Georgios Antonakopoulos briefed the Committee on the progress of current issues advanced by the Greek EU Presidency such as the EU's military capacity, ability for rapid response, capability for space applications for military purposes and common European military training.
There was unanimous consent among the EU's defence chiefs regarding the Union's military capability for carrying out a full range of conflict prevention and crisis management tasks, known as the Petersberg tasks. Participants at the committee agreed that the Union had all the necessary means for rapid response in case of emergency, which enables the materialisation of the demand for rapid action forces.
The military assessments made at the meeting are expected to be included in the conclusions of the Defence Ministers Council that will be held in Brussels on May 19.
The Committee was also briefed on the progress of the CONCORDIA operation carried out by the EU at the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) since April 1, 2003, following a request submitted to the EU by the local government, and NATO consent and provision of administration facilities.
The Athens meeting provided the forum for the maiden participation of Cyprus, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, Malta, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and the Czech Republic in the Committee, all of whom signed Accession Treaties with the EU on April 16, 2003.
The EU's defence chiefs issued a joint directive that included the meeting's conclusions and a road map for the steps to be taken before their next meeting.
 EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE DECLARATION BY THE ACCEDING, ASSOCIATED AND EFTA COUNTRIESAthens, 8 May 2003 (20:05 UTC+2)
The EU Presidency has issued a declaration regarding a declaration by 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, concerning the EU Common Position on Burma/Myanmar:
The Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia, and the associated countries Bulgaria, Romania and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area, declare that they share the objectives of Common Position 2003/297/CFSP concerning Burma/Myanmar defined by the Council of the European Union on April 28, 2003 on the basis of Article 15 of the Treaty on European Union. They will ensure that their national policies conform to that common position.
The European Union takes note of this commitment and welcomes it.
 EUROZONE: INFLATION WILL DROP UNDER 2% BY THE END OF 2003Athens, 8 May 2003 (19:22 UTC+2)
European Central Bank President Mr. Wim Duisenberg stated that there is a limited threat coming from inflationary pressures, adding that their de-escalation develops at a slower pace than initially predicted.
According to the head of the ECB, inflation in the Euro-zone will drop under 2% no sooner than the end of the year.
Also, Mr. Duisenberg backed the ECB decision to leave its interest rates unaffected, pointing out that more information is needed concerning the effects of the recent developments, especially in the foreign exchange markets.
 PROTOPAPAS ON THE PALCO COMPANYAthens, 8 May 2003 (19:02 UTC+2)
The view that there is still room for the PALCO company management to reconsider the situation, was expressed by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas pointing out that the responsible Labor Minister works toward this direction aiming to persuade the company change its decision.
For the record, the undergarment company has decided to relocate to Bulgaria where labor cost is much lower.
On this occasion, Mr. Protopapas referred to the problems caused by globalization. He pointed out that there is a need to create our own comparative advantages and competitiveness because this will be our own long-term and firm response to the problems arising as a result of the opening of markets due to globalization.
Commenting on yesterday's statement by the main opposition party of New Democracy, Mr. Protopapas pointed out that the Pireli tires industry plant did not leave the area of Patras when the party of PASOK was in power but when Prime Minister of Greece was Konstantinos Mitsotakis of New Democracy.
 INFORMAL COUNCIL OF EU SPORTS MINISTERSAthens, 8 May 2003 (18:10 UTC+2)
The EU Sports Ministers and their colleagues from acceding states met in Athens today in the presence of the responsible European Commissioner at the initiative of the Greek EU Presidency.
The EU Sports Ministers, in continuation of their meeting in Brussels on February 25, discussed the developments in two issues of major interest.
Specifically, they discussed the place of Sports in the EU law and order and the future European Constitution. Also, they discussed the coordination of the EU member states' actions against doping after the adoption by WADA of the new anti-doping code in the Copenhagen Conference.
 BIG LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 8 May 2003 (17:27 UTC+2)
Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.80% at 1.749,95 points, while the volume of transactions was at 99 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, just 32 recorded gains and the overwhelming majority of 300 had losses, while the value of 43 stocks remained unchanged.
 EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE OUTCOME OF THE APPEAL BY DATUK SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM AGAINST HIS CONVICTIONAthens, 8 May 2003 (16:55 UTC+2)
The European Union, which has continued to monitor closely the case, notes the decision of the Malaysian Court of Appeal to uphold the conviction and sentence on August 8, 2000 against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The European Union recalls its earlier statements voicing deep concern about the fairness of the legal proceedings and expresses its disappointment that the verdict has been upheld.
The Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Associated Countries Bulgaria, Romania and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area align themselves with this declaration.
 THE GREEK HEALTH MINISTER ANNOUNCED MEASURES AGAINST SARSAthens, 8 May 2003 (16:49 UTC+2)
Preventive measures aimed at averting the spread of the SARS virus in Greece were announced by Greek Health Minister Kostas Stefanis.
Specifically, individuals arriving in Greece from high risk countries will fill out a special form stating if they have any suspicious symptoms. If such symptoms exist the individuals will be led to specially equipped areas to undergo specific medical tests.
Isolation chambers will be created in all Greek hospitals where individuals with SARS will be taken to avert the spread of the virus.
The Health Minister pointed out that there is no SARS case in Greece and issued a recommendation to hotel owners to avoid making bookings for tourists coming from countries affected by the virus such as, Hong Kong, China and Singapore. A similar recommendation was made to conference organisers and everyone in close contact with tourists. Mr. Stefanis reiterated that according to the World Health Organisation, the SARS infection in China has not reached its highest point.
 SIMITIS: INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM IS STILL A THREATVilnius, 7 May 2003 (21:24 UTC+2)
Terrorism is still a threat and we have to be very careful, stated Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis from Lithuania during a joint press conference with Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas.
Called to comment on the recent joint statement by the G8 Justice and Internal Affairs Ministers, that terrorism is still a global threat, and on the Spanish Prime Minister's proposal to the UN Security Council suggesting that the international organization should draw up a list with the terrorist organizations active around the world, Mr. Simitis stated that terrorism continues to be a threat but he sees no reason for a new list to be drawn up.
He said that the EU has decided on a list with terrorist groups and he sees no reason, for the moment, for a new list to be drawn up.
Mr. Simitis stated that terrorism continues to be a threat and we should be very careful. He added that we should not think that things have changed because of Afghanistan and the developments there.
He pointed out that terrorism has its roots to economic problems and to ideological factors, while certain fronts are still open (like the Israeli-Palestinian issue).
He said that efforts will be made to reactivate the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians for the road map that was presented by the UN, the EU, the US and Russia to be implemented by both sides.