|Saturday, 14 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-05-12
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 DAY FOR THE MEMORY OF THE HOLOCAUSTThessaloniki, 12 May 2003 (09:08 UTC+2)
The institution of the anniversary for the holocaust of the Thessaloniki Jews as a formal national day of remembrance, was proposed by Minister of Macedonia-Thrace G. Paschalidis, in his speech following the memorial service. Speeches were made by the Ambassadors of the US, Thomas Miller, Israel, Ran Aviram, Germany, Alber Spiegel and Spain Eduardo Hunko, Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos and Prefect Panagiotis Psomiades, while the event was greeted by Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos.
 HELLAS IN SPACECanaveral, 12 May 2003 (09:01 UTC+2)
The Greek HELLAS SAT satellite will be launched tonight, shortly after midnight from Cape Canaveral in the US, in order for it to take its position at 39 degrees east, in about a week. Its lifespan is estimated at 15 years and is a strategic choice with significant advantages, on a political, financial and technological level.
 ND:NO INSTITUTIONAL CHANGES NOWLimnos, 12 May 2003 (09:03 UTC+2)
The President of ND Costas Karamanlis appeared negative in initiating a discussion on institutional changes, during his speech from Limnos, while he attributed the proposals for changes to political opportunism, to be buried in the vaults of the Maximos Mansion. Earlier, the Government Spokesperson had called Mr. Karamanlis to present his positions on the issue. The President of ND was also negative towards changes in both the electoral law and the boundaries of electoral districts.
 GENERAL DIRECTORS 10th MEETING ON CIVIL PROTECTIONKos, 12 May 2003 (19:00 UTC+2)
The General Directors' 10th Meeting on Civil Protection organized by the Ministry of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization is being held today, Monday 12th, and tomorrow, Tuesday 13th May 2003, in the island of Kos.
The Meeting is organized within the framework of the Hellenic Presidency of the EU and the participants include the heads of the competent authorities of the 15 member states, those of the 10 new member states, those of the 3 acceding countries, as well as those of the states of the European Economic Area.
On the whole, thirty (30) countries and seventy-six (76) conference members, as well as representatives of the General Secretariat of the Council and the Commission are to participate in the meeting.
The main issues that will be discussed during the proceedings of the Meeting are the following:
Setting up the conditions for a joint approach to the dangers caused by natural phenomena, as well as those caused by human intervention.
Further improvement of inter-state cooperation in Europe, in order to effectively deal with such dangers.
The proceedings of the Meeting will close tomorrow following a visit of the conference members to the island of Nisyros.
 EU DECLARATION ON INDIA- PAKISTANAthens, 12 May 2003 (18:54 UTC+2)
The EU warmly welcomes the re-establishment of high level political contact between India and Pakistan and the intention of both countries to resume full diplomatic relations and restore civil aviation links. These positive developments follow on from Prime Minister Vajpayee's 18-19 April visit to Srinagar and the telephone conversation between Prime Ministers Jamali and Vajpayee on 28 April.
The EU commends the leadership of both countries for initiating and fostering this positive trend and encourages India and Pakistan to seize this opportunity as the first step in a process of building confidence, normalising bilateral relations and resolving their outstanding differences, including Kashmir, in a peaceful way.
 EUROPEAN COMMISSION ADOPTS NEW DEFINITION OF COMPANIES BASED ON FINANCIAL SIZEBrussels, 12 May 2003 (18:46 UTC+2)
The European Commission on 8 May adopted a new definition for European enterprises on the basis of their financial size. In addition to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), one more category was added, that of ''micro enterprises'', with the intent to boost entrepreneurship, investment and growth, facilitating access to venture capital, cutting administrative burdens and increasing legal certainty.
The product of a series of consultations between the Commission and interested parties, this new category provides for a substantial increase of the financial ceilings, aimed at tackling inflation increases observed in the European zone since 1996, and at boosting productivity.
European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society Erkki Liikanen stressed the importance of SMEs in the European economy, calling them the ''key'' to entrepreneurial spirit and innovation in the EU and thus crucial to ensure the Union's competitiveness.
''Small and Medium Sized Enterprises form the backbone of the European economy. A proper definition of which enterprises are SMEs makes it easier to identify their needs and to develop efficient policies to compensate for the specific problems linked to their small size. This is vital for the competitiveness of an enlarged European Union, its growth and employment'', the commissioner said.
 ND ASKS FOR EMERGENCY PLAN FOR 2004Athens, 12 May 2003 (14:03 UTC+2)
The appreciation that the Olympic Stadium will not be ready 50 days before the commencing of the 2004 Athens Olympics was expressed by Coordinator of Educational Affairs of New Democracy Manolis Kefalogiannis, who called the government to prepare and submit a emergency plan to the Parliament, for the completion of the projects and supplies that are absolutely necessary for the Olympics to be held.
After a decision of the Hellenic Association of Amateur Athletics, the organizing of the European Track and Field Cup, which was to be held in the Olympic Athletics Center of Athens on June 19-20, 2004, was returned to the European Federation, because the stadium would not be ready, due to preparations for the Olympics, according to the statement of the relevant deputy Minister of Sports.
New Democracy called the government to:
-Finally think about its responsibilities and stop burying its head in the sand and serving the interests of select contractors, businessmen and Media owners supporting it and keeping it in power.
-Prepare and submit an emergency plan to Parliament, concerning the completion of those projects and supplies which are absolutely necessary for the holding of the 2004 Olympics.
 SIMITIS DISSATISFIED WITH SCENARIOSAthens, 12 May 2003 (13:38 UTC+2)
His sorrow for the fact that secondary issues (reshuffling, etc) are dominant in Greece while issues concerning Greece's European course and developments within the EU directly concerning the future of Greece are not, was expressed by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, during his speech at a PASOK meeting on the future of Europe.
Mr. Simitis did not hide his dissatisfaction and characteristically underlined: Issues of secondary importance, such as the reshuffling, are dominant here. They are dominant because a broad spectrum of those responsible have not realized that Greece's European course is not something deterministic, untouched, running on autopilot, as many believe, but it is important and depends on our decisions.
It is equally important to the course of Greece's economy. And as I said before, it depends on our active initiative, it depends on our participation. Passively listening to all that is happening will lead nowhere. Whoever wants to be arrogant and believe that he is not interested in the problems, will find himself in the margin tomorrow. He will be of no interest to the rest of us tomorrow, and he will be insignificant for the rest of us tomorrow.
We never want Greece to be unimportant, indifferent to the rest of us, and we have always shown a policy of active presence. This course of active presence is what we want to keep up, because this policy supplies benefits to our country and the Greek people profit from it.
 REIGN OF SECONDARY MATTERSAthens, 12 May 2003 (12:53 UTC+2)
Carrying out the Presidency is not practicing public relations, said Prime Minister Costas Simitis in his speech at a meeting concerning Europe, during which he characterized the issues being discussed lately, such as reshuffling scenarios, secondary. The path to the political unification of Europe in an immiscibly federal model is long, and it will continue after the completion of the inter-governmental convention over the next few years, stressed the Prime Minister, while noting that the present dilemma is not a choice between a national state and a unified Europe, but between a weak Europe of the 25 with ineffectiveness, friction and centrifugal powers, and a powerful Europe.
 OLYMPIC GAMES TICKETS ON SALE FROM TODAYAthens, 12 May 2003 (12:52 UTC+2)
The sale of tickets for the 2004 Olympics has begun today and will last until June 12. Those interested may find further information on how to order tickets, as well as a detailed program of the Games in all Alpha Bank branches, also offering the ticket guide free of charge.
With the submission of the ticket request, which can be carried out over the Internet at the Athens 2004 Official Website (www.athens2004.com/tickets), the way of payment must be specified. Methods of payment include cash, visa, or an Alpha Bank account.
After the deadline for the submission of requests, June 12, the tickets will be sent out, while if the number of requests surpasses the number of available tickets there will be a lottery using a computer program, ensuring the validity and transparency of the procedure.
All those who order tickets will receive a confirmation letter with the distribution of the tickets, by September 2003.
 NATIONAL DAY IN MEMORY OF HOLOCAUSTThessaloniki, 12 May 2003 (11:14 UTC+2)
The memory of the 50,000 Jews killed 60 years ago in the nazi death camps was honored at a ceremony held in the Monastirioton Holy Synagogue, with the initiative of the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki.
Ministers of Development, Akis Tsochatzopoulos, Culture, Evaggelos Venizelos, Macedonia-Thrace, Giorgos Paschalidis, the Ambassadors of the US, Thomas Miller, Israel, Ran Aviram, Germany, Alber Spiegel and Spain Eduardo Hunko, Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos and Prefect Panagiotis Psomiades, all attended the ceremony.
Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis was the central speaker at the event, and supported the institution of a the anniversary for the Holocaust of the Jews as an official national day of remembrance in Greece.
He referred to the Holocaust of the Jews of Thessaloniki, and in relation to messages for the present, he observed: The great lesson is for us to learn to accept each other. And it is unacceptable that in our city, a short time ago, there were desecrations of monuments that show us that we must still fight against racism and xenophobia. Through understanding the events that led to the Holocaust, we have consolidated a Community of Peace. And that is why, at the present, all European countries are reacting to the idea of war so intensely.
Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos addressed a greeting, and characterized the Holocaust of the Jews as a premeditated crime and a supreme hubris against humanity.
Minister of Culture Evaggelos Venizelos told the press that Thessaloniki remembers, is sad, ponders and has the ability to turn memory and sorrow into an active political criterion, through which we understand what is happening and what should not be happening in the world.
The US Ambassador said that he came to Thessaloniki to honor the memory of the 50,000 Jews that were killed.
In his statement, the Prefect pointed out that Thessaloniki does not forget. The people of Thessaloniki remember and shout out against ever again finding before us the modern curse of genocide.
The President of the Jewish Community of Thesslaniki, David Saltiel, said that we must remember the Holocaust, we must teach it to our children if we want to avoid it happening again. He stressed that the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki, with a letter to the government and the Parliament, has asked that the anniversary of the Holocaust be instituted as a national day of memory.
A written greeting was sent by the Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece Christodoulos.
 US READ MESSAGES FOR CYPRUSNew York, 12 May 2003 (12:52 UTC+2)
Visits to Athens, Ankara and Cyprus have been planned within June, by special coordinator of the State Department on the Cyprus issue, Thomas Weston, according to his statements to the GreekNews newspaper.
The population movement on Cyprus is not a solution to the island's division and to the complicated questions concerning property, security, convergence of the Turkish Cypriots with the terms of the accession, which will be answered in an overall resolving of the problem, said the US official among other things.
In response to questions on recent developments with the opening of the line of confrontation, he mentioned that although a first look reminds one of Berlin, in 1989 the content was different.
The US Ambassador appreciated that another factor that contributed to the disappointment of the Cypriot people, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, was the failure to resolve the issue at the Hague and called the leaderships of the two communities to take these messages into account and find away to resolve the problem. The US diplomat does not believe that it is possible to disrupt the channels of communication that have been opened, and supported that the events taking place are not isolated and temporary. He attributed these developments to many factors, among which are US diplomacy and UNFICYP.
Mr. Weston disagreed with the view that the events have surpassed the plan of the UN Secretary General, and expressed his belief that the people of Cyprus will do everything possible to improve the conditions on the island and find an overall solution, while he avoided making forecasts as to when discussions will be repeated. He simply noted the various references of the recent Annan report, which were supported by the Security Council.
Mr. Weston expressed his satisfaction with the very few problems apart from those of a technical nature that were created during the recent population movement on both sides of the confrontation line, and congratulated the people of Cyprus.