|Tuesday, 22 October 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-05-30
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ALL ENDS WELL FOR SHIP PASSENGERSSantorini, 30 May 2003 (11:56 UTC+2)
The nighttime adventure of the 163 passengers of the JET1 catamaran had a happy ending, after the vessel started taking in water last night off the shore of Santorini and transmitted a distress signal. The transfer of the passengers was completed at 05:45 after a whole night's work, and the passengers are expected to reach Piraeus harbor in the afternoon.
The passengers are being transferred to Piraeus on the Ierapetra, Olympia Countess, and Olympia Explorer, while 5 passengers and 4 crew members remained on JET1of their own free will. The catamaran is being tugged to Thira, escorted by a coast guard boat and the ELLI navy frigate.
 THE BOTTOM OF SHADY DEALINGSAthens, 30 May 2003 (09:08 UTC+2)
The government is now moving in the framework of the Prime Minister's speech at the Central Committee and Parliamentary Group of PASOK. Government Spokesperson T. Chytiris pointed out yesterday that the poll published in the Kathimerini newspaper, which indicated that ND was ahead of PASOK by 9.8 points, was carried out by a non accredited company, while he called ND to answer on which ship owner will benefit from the communal directive of one level tankers , which it was against, not being applied, and why it buried Mr. Kyrtsos' book. Minister of the Press Mr. Protopapas stated he feels vindicated after the DA's decision to file the accusations of Avriani newspaper publisher G. Kouris, while the case of former deputy Minister of Public Order staying in the villa of businessman Athanassoulis was referred to Praliament.
 EARLY RETIREMENT RETAINEDAthens, 30 May 2003 (09:09 UTC+2)
His reassurance that the government is not prepared to cut early retirement, was given yesterday by both deputy Minister of the Press T. Chytiris and deputy Minister of Labor and Social Securities R. Spyropoulos. The EU had proposed the reduction of early retirements in those member-states that spend great amounts for early retirement. The percentage of early retirement in Greece is high, but the adjustment to the 65 years age limit will come about gradually
 A STATUE OF KAPODISTRIAS IN ST. PETERSBURGSt. Petersburg, 30 May 2003 (13:40 UTC+2)
Prime Minister of Greece and President of the European Union Costas Simitis characterized the placing of a statue of Ioannis Kapodistrias in St. Petersburg's Greek Square, as an event of an especially symbolic nature, both for Greek-Russian relations as well as for St. Petersburg's European dimension.
Mr. Simitis traveled to St. Petersburg both in order to attend the celebrations for the 300th anniversary since the founding of the second largest city in Russia by Peter the Great, as well as for the EU(Troika)-Russia Summit to be held on May 31, he thanked the Greeks living in Russia for their offer of the statue of the first governor of the modern Greek state in St. Petersburg, stressing that the gesture underlines the powerful symbolism this individual had on both our peoples, the common points of our history, our ties.
The Prime Minister also expressed his certainty that the statue of Ioannis Kapodistrias will symbolize the proximity of the peoples of Greece and Russia, as well as the approach of Russia to the rest of Europe, with the personality and existence of this city as its main expression.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson Valentina Matviyenko and the Governor of St. Petersburg also referred to the personality of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the placing of the statue in the Greek Square, symbolizing the friendship and the traditional, historical and cultural ties between Greece and Russia, as well as the friendship between the two peoples, while they did not leave out the broadened cooperation between the two countries in all sectors.
The Prime Minister and the two Russian officials then placed a wreath at the foot of the statue, which was sculpted by Victor Klykof with the funding of Greek businessmen living in Russia.
 HELLENIC PETROLEUM-PETROLA MERGERAthens, 30 May 2003 (19:46 UTC+2)
Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis and Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos announced the merger agreement reached by oil companies Hellenic Petroleum and Petrola.
The Greek State will sell a total of 43.5 million Hellenic Petroleum shares (7.5 euro per share), namely 16.65% of the shares, to Paneuropean Oil & Industrial Holdings, a company in control of the majority of Petrola shares (71.9%).
The members of the board of directors will be increased to 13 from 11. Seven of them will be appointed by the Greek State, 2 by Petrola, 2 will represent the employees and 2 the shareholders.
 SMALL GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 30 May 2003 (17:54 UTC+2)
Small losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.28% at 1.707,54 points, while the volume of transactions was 161.4 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 105 had gains and 190 recorded losses, while the value of 83 stocks remained unchanged.
 HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS ON THE RISEThessaloniki, 30 May 2003 (17:46 UTC+2)
The situation in southeastern Europe became dramatic over the past decade regarding illegal human trafficking for sexual and economic exploitation.
Illegal human trafficking is regarded as a very profitable organized crime sector with annual gains of US-12 billion worldwide.
Based on figures provided by the International Center on Immigration Policy, a woman bought for US,500 will be sold for US0 an hour and therefore, her cost will be covered in just five hours. The above were mentioned, among others, in a seminar for southeastern European journalists organized in Thessaloniki by the Greek Ministry of Mass Media and Press.
Human trafficking involves a total of 700,000-2,000,000 people worldwide (300,000-500,000 in Eastern Europe and 170,000 in southeastern Europe).
About 90% of the women, who are victims of human trafficking, are also victims of sexual exploitation but only 35% of them are recognized as such and just 7% receive long-term assistance.
Regarding the illegal trafficking of children in southeastern Europe, the majority comes from Albania and those under the age of 12 become beggars, while the teenagers are being led to prostitution.
 OVERSTEPPING AUTHORITY IN 17N CASEAthens, 30 May 2003 (17:35 UTC+2)
The first witness to testify in today's proceedings of the 17N trial in the Louise Riancour case, was former Chief of the Police Special Forces Michalis Mavrouleas, who admitted making a mistake, although he placed the blame on Director of the Counter Terrorism Service at the time.
I made a mistake, one step too many, he pointed out characteristically. You did not make a step too many, you made one mistake too many. When you are following a car, you do not let it get away by one inch, stated Court President Michalis Margaritis.
During Mr. Mavrouleas' testimony, defendant Dimitris Koufontinas asked for the permission to speak, and upon receiving it, repeated his claims of fabrications, while he then started a dialogue with the witness, with whom it appears they found each other face to face.
 COMMENTS BY HITIRIS ON GREECE'S STANCE IN THE WAR OVER IRAQAthens, 30 May 2003 (17:23 UTC+2)
Acting Greek government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris responded to a question on today's press reports according to which, the Greek government asked the United States not to thank it in public for its stance in the war over Iraq.
Mr. Hitiris stated that Greece needs no thank you from anybody and does what it has to be done. He said that Greece's stance in the war against Iraq is known. The war coincided with the Greek EU Presidency. The stance, the actions and the results of the Greek EU Presidency actions, are known. Many positive things have been mentioned for Greece and the Greek EU Presidency, said Mr. Hitiris. He added that the Greek government needs no thank you from anybody. It backs Greece's national interests and honors its bilateral and multilateral obligations, said Mr. Hitiris.
 TOMORROW'S SOLAR ECLIPSE WILL BE PARTIALLY VISIBLE FROM GREECEThessaloniki, 30 May 2003 (17:03 UTC+2)
The dawn tomorrow will be very impressive as the first solar eclipse of the year will be partially visible from Greece by 60%. This means that a part of the sun will be covered by the moon. The phenomenon will be visible from Greece if weather allows, given the fact that it will be partly cloudy between 6 and 7 am tomorrow morning.
Assistant Physics Professor at Thessaloniki's Aristotle University Mr. Varvoglis stated to Athens newspaper TO VIMA, that the people living in northern Greece will be fortunate to watch about 60% of the solar disc being covered by the moon. The percentage of the solar disc surface to be covered by the moon will be smaller in the southern part of Greece. Mr. Varvoglis stated that Greece will be among the countries that will have the rare opportunity to enjoy a total solar eclipse in March 2006 which will be 100% visible from the southern Aegean island of Kastelorizo.
The countries to enjoy tomorrow's spectacle in its totality will be Greenland, Iceland and Scotland. The people living in those countries will be able to watch an impressive annular solar eclipse namely, the effect will be that of a thin rim of the sun's disc around the outline of the moon.
 LOVERDOS: THE SUSPENSION OF AIR-CORRIDORS OVER THE AEGEAN IS UNTRUEAthens, 30 May 2003 (16:41 UTC+2)
Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Andreas Loverdos characterized as untrue the press report on the Athens newspaper Eleftherotipia concerning the abolition of air-corridors over the Aegean.
Responding to a question on the issue, presented in Parliament by governing Socialist Party of PASOK deputy and former Foreign Minister Yiannis Kapsis, Mr. Loverdos pointed out that nothing has been decided yet on the regulations regarding the issue of air-corridors within the framework of the ICAO. He also added that the relevant discussions are still in progress.
Any decision is reached unanimously and therefore, Greece's opinion is necessary given the fact that the issues to be settled concern air-corridors within the framework of the Athens FIR.
 GREEK AND TURKISH CYPRIOTS TOGETHERAthens, 30 May 2003 (13:40 UTC+2)
Organizations of Turkish Cypriots living in Turkey will participate for the first time in the 8th Regular Conference of the Federation of Cypriot Organizations of Greece (OKOE) to be held over the weekend in Athens. These organizations participate in the special conference on the peaceful and viable solution of the Cyprus issue and the approaching of the two communities once again.
In statements to the MPA, the Vice President of OKOE and the Global Federation of Cypriots Abroad (POMAK), Costas Stamataris, pointed out that in this first meeting Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot organizations will be given the chance to exchange ideas and views, and expressed his certainty that there will be a joint resolution-declaration concerning their homeland, Cyprus.
 THE GREEK EU PRESIDENCY WANTS TO UPGRADE THE EU-RUSSIA RELATIONSSt.Petersburg, 30 May 2003 (18:49 UTC+2)
Bilateral relations and new ways of cooperation between the EU and Russia will be considered in tomorrow's EU-Russia Summit meeting to take place in St. Petersburg, chaired by Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis.
Mr. Simitis in a press conference in St. Petersburg reiterated the need to upgrade the EU-Russia relations and underlined that the Greek EU Presidency will do everything possible toward this direction.
Mr. Simitis stated that efforts have been made for the improvement of the EU-Russia relations in the sectors of foreign policy, security and defense policy, economic cooperation and cooperation in the sectors of justice and public order, as well as in the sector of technology and culture.
He mentioned that the Russian tariffs are high and this blocks the presence of EU companies in Russia as well as the European imports. Mr. Simitis also stated that among the issues that have to be considered, are those that concern the EU regarding its relations with the rest of the world, like the protection of the environment in combination with the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.
Mr. Simitis pointed out that in Russia and the former Soviet Union there is a huge issue regarding nuclear wastes and the production of electricity from nuclear energy. He also said that the EU has agreed to finance Russia for the destruction of its nuclear warheads.
He said that in the EU-Russia Summit will also be discussed issues that will concern measures against organized crime, immigration (immigration control and measures against illegal immigration), the agreement for the repatriation of illegal immigrants, the lifting of the Schengen agreement restrictions, and the easier movement of Russian citizens to the European Union.
Mr. Simitis also said that under discussion will be international issues as well, like the situation in Iraq, the promotion of peace in the Middle East, the situation in western Balkans, the Cyprus problem, the situation in Moldavia, the issue of Kaliningrant and the implementation of the agreement with Lithuania.
 GREEK ASSOCIATIONS OF RUSSIA TO SIMITISSt. Petersburg, 30 May 2003 (11:55 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Simitis met with the Presidents of Associations of Greeks Living in Russia yesterday in St. Petersburg.
Addressing the representatives of the Greeks living in Russia, the Prime Minister stressed his happiness at being there and having the opportunity to exchange views and information on the problems faced by the Greek community in Russia and the former Soviet Union.
Mr. Simitis underlined that the Greek state is aware of the problems Greeks living in that region face, and stated that Greece is working for solutions through specific measures and programmes in order to achieve:
- Schools teaching Greek
- Preserving the Greek language, traditions and customs
- Taking initiative in helping Greeks in difficult situations, such as that in Abchasia.
- The promotion of cultural progammes connecting Greeks in Russia with Greece
- Facilitating travel from Russia to Greece.
 SOLANA PRAISES SIMITISLondon, 30 May 2003 (11:16 UTC+2)
He has proven his abilities. The common sense he is disposed by, his constructive way of working, his ability to succeed in achieving consent between the member-states, a position that I like very much, stressed High Commissioner for Foreign and Defense Policy of the EU, Javier Solana regarding Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, while he mentioned the possibility of Mr. Simitis being appointed to one of the highest positions within the EU. However, Mr. Solana was not aware of whether Mr. Simitis was going to run for any position within the EU.
 THE GREEK PRIME MINISTER AT THE UNVEILING OF THE STATUE OF KAPODISTRIASSaint Petersburg, 29 May 2003 (21:55 UTC+2)
An event of a special symbolic significance for the Greek-Russian relations and the European dimension of the city of Saint Petersburg, was characterized the unveiling of a statue of Ioannis Kapodistrias at the city's Greek Square. The statement was made by Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis, who attended the unveiling ceremony.
Mr. Simitis is visiting Saint Petersburg to attend the ceremonies on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the founding of the city and for the EU-Russia Summit meeting to take place on May 31. He thanked the Greeks in Russia for the statue of the first governor of the Greek State and stressed that their gesture highlights the strong ties between the Greek and the Russian people.