|Sunday, 20 September 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-05-16
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 AGREEMENT AGAINST EMBARGO REFUTEDAthens, 16 May 2003 (14:03 UTC+2)
Athens refuted Turkish press publications mentioning that the Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers, G. Papandreou and Am. Gul, had agreed to cooperate in order to lift the sanctions against Turkish Cypriots. "We categorically refute the information that the two countries' Foreign Ministers have agreed to cooperate in order to lift the embargo in the occupied part of Cyprus", stated Foreign Ministry Spokesperson P. Beglitis. The confrontation between the centers of authority in Ankara was brought back to the foreground by the Greek protests over the violations in the Aegean.
 SIMITIS RECEIVES PROPOSALSAthens, 16 May 2003 (08:46 UTC+2)
The Prime Minister holds the proposals of the relevant ministers and officials on the modernization of the political system, in the framework of the initiative he has announced he will take after the completion of the Presidency. Among the proposals is that for the change of the electoral law, which Minister of the Interior Mr. Scandalidis said does not exist. There are also proposals for checking into political funds on a local level. Proposals for changes in institutions and persons seem to have been made by the Secretary of PASOK's Central Committee, Costas Laliotis.
 NEW NEGATIVE PRESSURE CHAMBERSAthens, 16 May 2003 (13:46 UTC+2)
Negative pressure chambers will be constructed in 5 Attica hospitals, as well as in regional university hospitals, in order to deal with possible cases and to avoid spreading of viruses, such as SARS, according to an announcement made by Minister of Health C. Stefanis, who said that there has been a minor drop in the SARS problem globally. Mr. Stefanis said that there are no effective measures, since no matter how fully we fortify Greece, even if we isolated it, it would be very difficult to secure against the possibility of the virus entering the country.
 EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE OPENING OF NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF NEPAL AND THE MAOISTSAthens, 16 May 2003 (20:54 UTC+2)
The European Union notes with satisfaction the peace negotiations which have been opened between His Majesty's Government of Nepal and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). The EU reaffirms its support for an inclusive democratic political process and successful negotiation. Recent developments have given cause for concern and EU urges all sides to adopt a flexible approach and renounce violence.
The EU welcomes the recent public commitment of HMG/N and the CPN (Maoist) to negotiate with the National Human Rights Commission a separate Human Rights Accord. The EU views this initiative as a significant step in the peace process which will bolster confidence. The EU is willing to support the implementation of this agreement.
The EU will continue to support the Government of Nepal in its efforts to tackle poverty, discrimination and to improve governance. Successful negotiations between His Majesty's Government of Nepal and the CPN (Maoist) would provide an improved basis for future co-operation between the EU and HMG/N.
 SIMITIS-PAPANDREOU MEETINGAthens, 16 May 2003 (20:50 UTC+2)
Turkey's European course means that the country will adopt the criteria set by the European Union, including respect for international law and the good neighborly relations principle, underlined Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou after the meeting on foreign issues he had today with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.
On the occasion of the recent violations of the Greek airspace by Turkish fighter jets and the contacts he had with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul in Brussels during which the specific issue was raised, Mr. Papandreou stated that Greece's policy regarding Turkey has consistency and cohesion.
Mr. Papandreou stated that he discussed with the Prime Minister the developments in Cyprus in view of the visit of Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos to Athens. They also examined issues that will be discussed in the Thessaloniki Summit meeting, the future of Europe and the European Constitution, immigration, and the European prospects of the Balkan countries after meeting the Copenhagen criteria.
 SATISFACTION BY THE HEALTH MINISTER FOR THE MEASURES AGAINST SARSAthens, 16 May 2003 (20:47 UTC+2)
Greek Health Minister Kostas Stefanis expressed satisfaction for the measures taken in the country in order to deal with the likelihood of SARS cases.
Mr. Stefanis made the statement after the meeting he had with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. He said that the policy implemented so far and the measures taken limited as much as possible the likelihood to have a SARS case in Greece.
In the case of the suspected SARS patient reported a few days ago, Mr. Stefanis stated that all the right steps were made and the WHO was briefed as it should. He also said that all the necessary infrastructure has been secured for the country to be able to deal with the virus.
 INFLATION IN GREECE AMONG THE HIGHEST IN THE EUAthens, 16 May 2003 (19:35 UTC+2)
Inflation in Greece is the third highest among the EU member states. According to the monthly bulletin issued by the European Statistics Agency, Eurostat, inflation dropped in Greece from 3.9% in March to 3.3% in April.
Based on the Eurostat bulletin, the highest inflation among the 15 recorded in April was in Ireland (4.6%) and the lowest in Germany (1%).
At Euro-zone level, the price index dropped to 2.1% in April from 2.4% in March. In the 15, it dropped from 2.3% in March to 1.9% April.
Compared to April 2002, the largest average percentages were recorded in Ireland (4.7%), Portugal (3.8%), Greece and Spain (3.7%).
 THE CYPRUS ISSUE IS A TOP PRIORITY FOR SAEThessaloniki, 16 May 2003 (19:12 UTC+2)
The Cyprus issue was and continues to be among the top priorities of the World Council for the Greeks Living Abroad, SAE, according to statements made to MPA by SAE Vice-President and Cyprus coordinator Charis Sofoklidis, who is also President of the World Federation of Cypriots Living Abroad, POMAK.
Mr. Sofoklidis expressed satisfaction for Cyprus' EU accession and stressed that this way Cyprus met its second strategic goal as its first goal still is the adoption of a fair, viable and operational solution to the Cyprus problem.
The POMAK President stated that he backs the free movement and cooperation between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots and the implementation of human rights across the Cyprus island. He added, however, that vigilance should continue for as long as there are 35,000 Turkish troops on the island and thousands of Turkish settlers and the Turkish side continues to demand the creation of a separate state.
On the tactic followed by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to announce a partial lifting of the movement restrictions from and to the Turkish occupied northern Cyprus, he said that it is a readjustment to the new situation aimed at creating the impression of good neighborly relations in Cyprus.
Mr. Sofoklidis also said that the overnight stays in the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus and the extravagant behaviors (thankfully, of only a few of his fellow Cypriots) such as, night-club entertainment, casino visits, etc, actually confirm the Denktash point of view, who spoke of tourist visits. He also said that the financial support of the Turkish Cypriot regime encourages the continuation of the Turkish occupation.
 DISAGREEMENTS IN CHALKIDIKI ON THE FINANCING OF STRUCTURAL POLICIESThessaloniki, 16 May 2003 (18:22 UTC+2)
The 15 EU member states are divided into two camps regarding the EU GDP percentage allocated for the financing of structural policies in the Europe of the 25 in the period after 2006.
The European Commission and the Greek EU Presidency believe that the percentage should be maintained at 0.45% of the GDP or be increased, a position also backed by most member states. However, the other side, made up of Britain, Germany, Holland and Belgium, backs a decrease of the percentage in question.
The difference in opinions was made clear during the proceedings of the informal meeting of the EU Ministers of Finance and Regional Policy taking place in Chalkidiki today and tomorrow in the presence of the responsible European Commissioner, Mr. Michel Barnier.
In a press conference held on the occasion of the meeting, Mr. Barnier stressed that the obligation of the European Commission is to achieve dynamic compromise in this field.
On his part, Greek Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis, who presides over the meeting, expressed the belief that the cohesion policies will promote development not only in the countries that signed the enlargement treaty recently but the whole of the EU as well.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 16 May 2003 (17:56 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.02% at 1.750,97 points, while the volume of transactions was at 117.6 million euros.
The ASE followed the upward trend recorded in the major European stock markets today and received a boost by the well-selected investments made in the sectors of banking and textile.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 258 recorded gains, compared to 63 that had losses, while the value of 56 stocks remained unchanged.
 EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER FISCHLER WILL VISIT ATHENS ON MONDAYAthens, 16 May 2003 (16:27 UTC+2)
European Commissioner Frants Fischler, responsible for agriculture and fisheries issues, will visit Athens on Monday.
He will participate in the meeting of the Parliamentary Agriculture Committees of the 25 European Union member states, the European Parliament and the Parliaments of the EU candidate states. The meeting is organized by the Greek state Parliament.
 KAKLAMANIS' COMMENTS ON CORRUPTIONRavenna, 16 May 2003 (17:45 UTC+2)
Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis referred to the phenomena of decay and corruption observed in every country, which undermine and incapacitate every legislative effort and every institution established against organized crime.
The statements were made by Mr. Kaklamanis in the Conference of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative Parliament Presidents taking place in Ravenna, Italy.
Mr. Kaklamanis also said that things will change if the social and political forces, the intellectuals and the business world in every country stop tolerating, and in some cases, taking advantage of the phenomena of decay and corruption both at a personal and a collective level.
 CONFERENCE OF THE ADRIATIC-IONIAN INITIATIVE PARLIAMENT PRESIDENTSRavenna, 16 May 2003 (16:32 UTC+2)
Illegal trade and international terrorism were the two issues on the agenda of the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative Parliament Presidents, who met in Ravenna, Italy today.
Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis pointed out in the meeting that the risks involved in these phenomena are, at this time, at the center of the proposals under discussion in the EU within the framework of the efforts to establish an area of freedom, security and justice.
Mr. Kaklamanis gave an emphasis to the issue of terrorism, stressing that every form of terrorism or any other kind of violence is condemned unequivocally .
A tripartite meeting of the Presidents of the state Parliaments of Greece and Italy and the European Parliament was held on the sidelines of the conference. In the meeting they discussed issues concerning the cooperation of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliaments and the transformation of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliaments' Conference into a Permanent Parliamentary Assembly.