|Tuesday, 15 October 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-05-28
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PLANS FOR 2004 ELECTIONSAthens, 28 May 2003 (09:06 UTC+2)
PASOK is preparing plans for the next four-year term said Prime Minister and President of PASOK Costas Simitis, after closing the works of the joint meeting of the party's Central Committee and Parliamentary Group, during which he stressed that the elections can be won or lost based on the financial expectations of the citizen, while he accused ND of being involved with business interests, aiming at toppling the government. The President of ND, Costas Karamanlis, attributed the Prime Minister's actions to panic. Government policy is going very well as far as serving local and European plutocracy is concerned, commented the KKE. The Prime Minister is looking into the mirror of authority and can't here the buzz of social reality, stated the President of the Coalition of the Left, Nikos Constantopoulos.
 VARTHOLOMEOS DENOUNCES ALL FANATICISMThessaloniki, 28 May 2003 (09:21 UTC+2)
The lifting of religious fanaticism and overcoming of religious confrontations was supported by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, during his speech at the 5th Academic Dialogue Meeting between Judaism and Orthodoxy, being held in Thessaloniki. The gratitude of SAE was expressed by An. Athens to the World Jewish Congress Chairman, Rabbi Is. Singer, for the cooperation with and support to the US.
 DISAGREEMENT IN ANKARA, VIOLATIONS OVER THE AEGEANAthens, 28 May 2003 (09:15 UTC+2)
Athens' intense discomfort was caused by the divergence between the military and political leadership of Turkey as far as the Aegean air traffic is concerned. The period of arbitrariness is over and (Turkey) must conform, stated the Prime Minister, while the issue is being discussed today by the Turkish National Security Council, where the political leadership is trying to offer its assurance that it is not under threat by the military.
 OLYMPIC AIRWAYS FACES US JUSTICENew York, 28 May 2003 (13:14 UTC+2)
Olympic Airways will appear before the US Supreme Court regarding the case of a US citizen who died in 1998 from allergic shock, during an Athens-New York flight.
The US judges will decide if the company is responsible for the death of one passenger from an asthma attack, which is due, according to the deceased's family, to second hand smoke he inhaled during the flight.
Specifically, the family of the victim, 52-year-old doctor Pete Hanson from California, supports that the cause of death was his allergic reaction to second hand smoke, and is asking for .4 million in damages.
Hanson was traveling with his family in the non-smoking section, which was only three rows away from the smoking section, with no form of division. Furthermore, the family claims that while they informed the flight attendant of the 52-year-old's problem, asking for him to change seats into one of the 11 free seats, he was not allowed to.
 THE EU COURSE OF THE BALKAN STATES WILL DEPEND ON THE MATERIALIZATION OF THEIR COMMITMENTSThessaloniki, 28 May 2003 (19:29 UTC+2)
The EU course of the Balkan states will depend on the degree of the materialization of their commitments stemming from the association agreements they have signed. Also, the EU will give a priority to the efforts made in those countries against organized crime and human trafficking, the return of refugees to their homes and social cohesion.
The Greek EU Presidency has set two issues of cross-border cooperation. The first, concerns the review of school books and the removal of hints and stereotypes regarding the so-called "bad neighbor", while the second, has to do with the restoration of cultural monuments and places of worship that were damaged in the past decade.
The above were pointed out by ambassador Alexandros Mallias, head of the Greek Foreign Ministry Balkan Affairs Department, addressing the southeastern European journalists within the framework of the seminar on Southeastern Europe and the EU: The role of the mass media, organized in Thessaloniki by the Greek Ministry of Press and Mass Media.
Mr. Mallias presented the priorities of the Greek EU Presidency in the western Balkans, pointing out that the goal of the Greek Foreign Ministry policy is to turn the Balkans into a region of cooperation where common values will dominate. He said that the countries in the region should convince that they can cooperate with each other through regional cooperation to be able to cooperate with third countries.
 EU-CANADA MEETING IN ATHENSAthens, 28 May 2003 (17:48 UTC+2)
The European Union and Canadian leadership reaffirmed in a meeting held in Athens today that their partnership has heightened meaning in the current global environment. They agreed to intensify bilateral connections at all levels in order to address pressing international challenges, strengthen transatlantic links, and deal with changes in their respective societies.
They agreed that an effective and dynamic multilateral system remains the indispensable basis for the management of global concerns. The European Union and Canada will continue to seek further ways to give expression to this commitment.
In this spirit, the leaders agreed that the European Union and Canada:
- stand ready to contribute in the framework of the relevant UNSC resolutions to the political and economic reconstruction of Iraq, working together to see that the needs of the Iraqi people are met; to this end, they welcome the adoption of the UNSC Resolution 1483, which brings an end to the sanctions against Iraq, and provides the framework to mobilise the international community in support of Iraq's reconstruction and recovery;
- call on all parties to implement fully the roadmap for the Middle East Peace Process recently published by the Quartet and take all necessary action to help bring into being the vision of two States living side by side in peace and security;
- will continue to support the endeavours of the Western Balkans countries to consolidate stability, democracy and economic development, to fight organised crime, to enhance regional co-operation and to implement necessary reforms toward European integration;
- call for a swift and viable solution of the Cyprus problem through negotiations on the basis of the UN Secretary-general's plan.
- will continue to co-operate closely in the common cause of combating terrorism;
- will work together with a view to developing a concrete and action-oriented multilateral framework that will provide timely and effective answers to problems related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
- in the same vein, express real concern about the DPRK's nuclear weapons programme, and call upon it to fulfil its international nuclear non-proliferation obligations and to abstain from any action that would aggravate the situation further;
- remain committed to the reconstruction of Afghanistan through the implementation of the Bonn Agreement in all its aspects and strongly support the role of the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul.
European Commission President Romano Prodi presented a Commission Communication to further strengthen EU-Canada relations, as part of the review process agreed at the December 2002 Ottawa Summit. The document provides food for thought leading to decisions at the next EU-Canada Summit in December on how to make the relationship more forward-looking and action oriented. Canada is also conducting its own concurrent review of the relationship.
In the present global economic climate, the leaders confirmed their shared belief that further liberalisation of trade and investment is even more important in promoting economic growth and prosperity. In this context, the European Union and Canada:
- pledged to give priority to the completion of the Doha Development Agenda negotiations by the end of 2004 with an ambitious and balanced outcome;
- to this end, they agreed to work closely together to ensure a successful WTO Cancun Ministerial Conference, and strong forward momentum in all areas of the Doha mandate, including progress on the development aspects of the negotiations, and the launch of negotiations on trade facilitation, transparency in government procurement, investment and competition;
- re-affirmed their commitment to develop a new bilateral Trade and Investment Enhancement Agreement (TIEA), and issued a report on progress achieved since their Summit in Ottawa last December.
- agreed to a joint action plan toward a regulatory co-operation framework with the aim of preventing unnecessary barriers to trade and investment, and welcomed the joint EU/Canada seminar on regulatory co-operation in Brussels on June 26, "Enhancing Partnership and Dialogue";
- welcomed the initialling of a new agreement on wine and spirits, and expressed their wish to carry the process forward to conclusion and ratification on both sides of the Atlantic;
- expressed appreciation for the useful contribution made by the Canada Europe Roundtable for Business (CERT), to enhance bilateral trade and investment;
- with regard to Canada's request for WTO consultations concerning the status and treatment of applications for the approval of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in the EU, Canada and the EU set out their different positions.
Discussions covered, inter alia, the economic, scientific, social, and political aspects of the issue as viewed by each side.
Leaders welcomed progress being made on expanding the exchange of students and young workers between the EU and Canada. They noted in particular the potential offered by building on existing and new agreements, programmes and other pilot projects, as well as the opportunities for new links between Canadian and European higher education institutions, students and scholars arising from the forthcoming Erasmus Mundus programme.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 28 May 2003 (17:34 UTC+2)
Big gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.97% at 1.708,08 points, while the volume of transactions was at 110.3 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 306 recorded gains compared to 34 that had losses, while the value of 38 stocks remained unchanged.
 PRODI: THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION DRAFT TEXT LACKS VISIONAthens, 28 May 2003 (17:26 UTC+2)
European Commission President Romano Prodi stated that the draft text of the European Constitution presented by the Constitutional Convention Presidency is lacking vision and ambition.
In a joint press conference within the framework of the EU Troika-Canada Summit Meeting in Athens, Mr. Prodi characterized the European Constitution draft text as disappointing. He stressed that it does not offer solutions to the problems created by the Nice Treaty and constitutes a kind of a setback, for example in the issue of majority vote.
Mr. Prodi said that he wants to warn the Convention members that it is unacceptable to fall victims and hostages to a text that does not offer solutions and threatens to paralyze Europe.
 GREEK ACTIVISTS IN EVIAN FOR G-8 MEETINGAthens, 28 May 2003 (15:45 UTC+2)
Greek activists, members of the Stop the War Alliance and Initiative Genoa 2001, will participate in the protests to take place in Evian, on the French-Swiss borders, drawing on the Meeting of the G-8 Group, which US President George Bush will participate in.
The protestors of the two movements will depart tomorrow at 13:30 on busses from Athens for Evian, with No to the G-8 of War as their slogan.
 CHRETIEN-SIMITIS MEETINGAthens, 28 May 2003 (15:45 UTC+2)
Developments on an international level and EU relations with Canada were discussed this morning by the Prime Ministers of Greece and Canada, Costas Simitis and Jean Chretien, the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, High Commissioner of the EU on Joint Foreign and Defense Policy and Commissioner on Foreign Affairs Chris Patten.
Specifically, the situation in North Korea, Afghanistan and Iraq were looked into, while the issue of the agreement for free trade between Canada and the EU was also raised.
There had been an earlier private meeting between the two Prime Ministers on bilateral relations. The two countries will also be the topic of discussion at the meetings Mr. Chretien will have this afternoon with the Greek political and state leadership.
 CHRETIEN: ISOLATED SARS CASES IN CANADAAthens, 28 May 2003 (15:44 UTC+2)
Prime Minister of Canada Jean Chretien responded to questions from the press at an press conference held today, in the framework of his visit to Athens for the EU-Canada Summit. Mr. Chretien stated that the recent cases of SARS recorded in Toronto are isolated incidents.
 TURKEY MUST RESPOND TO ITS OBLIGATIONSAthens, 28 May 2003 (15:44 UTC+2)
We (Greece) and the EU will wait for Turkey to respond to its obligations, stated Prime Minister Costas Simitis, in statements he made at the press conference following his meeting with his Canadian counterpart, Jean Chretien.
The Head of the Turkish Armed Forces repeated Turkey's well known old positions. In the European Union we have discussed the issue and made decisions. We have decided that by 2004 these issues must be resolved. Thus, the EU and Greece will continue our relations with Turkey steadily, waiting for Turkey to respond to its obligations.
 OIL TANKER SANK A BOAT-RESTAURANT IN BOSPOROSIstanbul, 28 May 2003 (17:00 UTC+2)
An oil tanker under Greek flag sank a boat-restaurant in Bosporos and crashed on three others anchored along Istanbul's European coasts.
The oil tanker, Polisini-I, sailed off course last night and ended up at the narrowest point of the Bosporos Straits. It collided with four boats used as restaurants and one of them sank this morning.
According to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, the oil tanker continued its course until it was stopped by the Turkish marine police at the entry of the Marmara Sea.