|Friday, 24 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-07-01
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE EU FLAG IN ROMEAthens, 1 July 2003 (08:50 UTC+2)
With the presentation of the review to the Plenary Session of the European Parliament by Mr. Simitis, the official end has come to the six months of the Greek Presidency of the European Union, which was completed yesterday. Mr. Simitis appeared satisfied with the results of the Greek Presidency, both after the briefing of the President of the Republic and after the Cabinet meeting. Congratulations were given for the policies promoted by Athens as a Presidency, by US Secretary of State Colin Powell and High Representative for EU Foreign Policy, Javier Solana.
 WORKING TOWARDS CHANGEAthens, 1 July 2003 (09:00 UTC+2)
With tomorrow's meeting of PASOK's Executive Office, on which Prime Minister Costas Simitis had a telephone communication with the Secretary of the party's Central Committee C. Laliotis, the governing party is entering the final stretch for the changes the Prime Minister had announced for after the completion of the Presidency, both in the government and within PASOK. Information on Mr. Simitis' intentions have not leaked, but moves responding to institutional shortcomings recently made evident are expected.
 WAITING FOR THE HEAT WAVEAthens, 1 July 2003 (09:21 UTC+2)
The state is fully prepared to respond to any problems that may arise due to the expected heat wave. An emergency bulletin was published by the National Weather Service, according to which a gradual increase in temperature is expected, possibly reaching 40o Celsius on continental Greece. Over the next three days, by Saturday, the temperature will climb to 42o Celsius. All beaches are open. Major municipalities all over the countries will have air-conditioned facilities open for the public.
 CHINA ASKS FOR NO NUKES FOR KOREAAthens, 1 July 2003 (09:21 UTC+2)
Beijing's hope for the Korean peninsula to no longer hold nuclear weapons for further stability and peace, was expressed by Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, immediately following the meeting between China and the EU Troika in Athens. Mr. Zhaoxing appealed for dialogue for the resolving of the crisis. They also discussed financial cooperation, dealing with weapons of mass destruction, confronting terrorism, while Mr. Zhaxing also signed the appeal for the Olympic Truce.
 GROWTH RATE OF 3.8% FOR THE GREEK ECONOMYAthens, 1 July 2003 (18:49 UTC+2)
The goal set for the Greek economy to have a growth rate of 3.8% in the current year is still feasible based on the biannual report prepared by the Greek Ministry of Finance and given to publicity by Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis.
Regarding deficit, the goal of 0.9% at the end of 2003 remains, while it is pointed out that spending for the restoration of damages caused by bad weather is not included.
Inflation will be between 2.5% and 3%, while unemployment will record a small decline. Specifically, the unemployment rate will be at 9.1% this year compared to 10% last year, while in 2004 it is predicted to be at 8.3%.
Also, public debt will be at 99.3% of the GDP this year, compared to 100.2% predicted in the state budget. Based on the government predictions, public debt will drop to 95% in 2004.
 BIG LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 1 July 2003 (18:04 UTC+2)
Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.28% at 1.867,79 points, while the volume of transactions was at 96.6 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 174 recorded gains and 133 had losses, while the value of 69 stocks remained unchanged.
 UNEMPLOYMENT WAS UNCHANGED AT 8.8% IN THE EURO-ZONEAthens, 1 July 2003 (17:51 UTC+2)
Unemployment in the Euro-zone remained unchanged at 8.8% in May, while in all 15 EU members was marginally increased reaching 8.1% compared to 8% in April.
Based on the preliminary figures provided by the European Statistics Agency, Eurostat, the unemployed in the Euro-zone are an estimated 12.3 million people, while in the 15 EU members they are at 14.3 million.
Greece occupies the second place with unemployment at 9.6%, while the first place belongs to Spain with an unemployment rate of 11.3%. The negative picture in the Euro-zone job market is mainly due to Germany where unemployment reached 9.4%.
In May, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Luxembourg (3.6%), Holland (3.9% in April) and Austria (4.3%).
At a 12month basis, unemployment appears increased in most EU members. The biggest increase, compared to the same month last year, was recorded in Portugal (from 4.7% to 7.5%), Holland (from 2.6% to 3.9% in April) and in Luxembourg. On the contrary, unemployment at a 12month basis, followed a downward course in Greece, Italy and Finland.
 PAVLOS GEROULANOS IS THE NEW GENERAL SECRETARY FOR THE GREEKS ABROADAthens, 1 July 2003 (17:44 UTC+2)
Pavlos Geroulanos is the new General Secretary of the Greek Foreign Ministry General Secretariat for the Greeks living abroad. Mr. Geroulanos replaces Dimitris Dollis, who resigned from the post a few days ago.
Mr. Dollis took over the post of the General Secretary of the Greek Foreign Ministry General Secretariat on International Economic Relations and Development Cooperation.
 EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE RELEASE OF SIX POLITICAL ACTIVISTS IN MALAYSIAAthens, 1 July 2003 (17:18 UTC+2)
The European Union welcomes the release by the Malaysian authorities on June 1 and 12, 2003 of 6 political activists detained since April 2001 under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
The European Union also welcomes the readiness of the Malaysian government to consider the conclusions of the recent review of the ISA produced by Sukaham, the Malaysian national human rights commission, which calls, inter alia, for the repeal of the ISA and the enactment of new legislation in line with relevant UN principles and instruments. The European Union looks forward to a review of the present modalities of recourse to ISA.
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.
 PASOK EXECUTIVE OFFICE EMERGENCY MEETING TOMORROWAthens, 1 July 2003 (17:06 UTC+2)
Interest in the political initiatives announced by the Prime Minister has been concentrated on tomorrow's emergency meeting of PASOK's Executive Office.
There are many scenarios circulating, but no one seems to know what Mr. Simitis' intentions are apart from him, and everyone is waiting for him to put his cards on the table tomorrow at the Executive Office meeting (11am), regarding changes in the party and the government. The period when the reshuffling will take place is still unknown.
 CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER DISCUSSIONS WITH EU TROIKAAthens, 1 July 2003 (17:05 UTC+2)
Financial cooperation, dealing with weapons of mass destruction, the issue of North Korea, and confronting terrorism, were the main topics of discussion at the meeting Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaxing had with the EU troika.
In response to a journalist's question on North Korea, Mr. Zhaxing mentioned that China is aiming at peace and stability, and that it hopes that the Korean peninsula will not posses nuclear arms, for further stability and peace.
He also added that disagreement and differences between countries must be resolved through dialogue.
On his side, Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou expressed the satisfaction of the EU with the multilateral discussions with the US, North Korea, and China, and underlined that the EU supports a peninsula with no nuclear weapons.
The two ministers pointed out the importance of Chinese-EU relations and underlined that Athens will cooperate with Beijing, which will host the 2008 Olympics.
On his side, High Representative of the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU, Javier Solana, praised the work of the Greek Presidency.
 FOURTEEN STATE HOUSES OF REPRESENTATIVES IN THE US BACK THE GREEK POSITIONS ON THE ISSUE OF MACEDONIANew York, 1 July 2003 (20:45 UTC+2)
The Houses of Representatives in the states of Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Ohio have passed a resolution filed by the Pan-Macedonian Association of America recognizing that the ancient Macedonians were Greeks, today's inhabitants of Macedonia are of Greek origin and Macedonia is a part of northern Greece.
In total, 14 state Houses of Representatives have adopted the same resolution thanks to the efforts made by philhellene Americans and Greek-American members of state Houses of Representatives, local Macedonian Associations and other Greek-American organizations in the US.
The resolution is a good response to the falsifiers of History and it was initially passed on April 3, 2003 in the Massachusetts House of Representatives to be followed by the Houses of Representatives of California, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas.
Similar resolutions are going to be discussed soon in the Houses of Representatives of the states of New York, Florida, Virginia and Mississippi.
Massachusetts House of Representatives
Recognizing that the ancient Macedonians were Hellenes, and that the inhabitants of Macedonia today are Hellenic descendants and part of the northern province of Greece, Macedonia.
Whereas, Philip of Macedonia, his son, Alexander the Great, and his tutor, the Philosopher Aristotle, were born and raised in the northern province of Greece, Macedonia; and
Whereas, the language and culture of ancient Macedonians, the ancestors of the inhabitants of northern Greece today, were Hellenic; and
Whereas, the Macedonians, like the rest of the Hellenes in antiquity, believed in the 12 Gods of Olympus and participated with their fellow Hellenes in the Olympic Games; and
Whereas, Pella, the palace where Alexander the Great was born, and Vergina, the burial site of the Macedonian Kings, are all located in northern Greece; therefore be it
Resolved, that the Massachusetts House of Representatives recognizes that the ancient Macedonians were Hellenes, and that the inhabitants of Macedonia today are Hellenic descendants and part of the northern province of Greece, Macedonia; and be it further
Resolved, that the history of ancient Macedonia has been Hellenic for three thousand years and continues to be so today; and be it further
Resolved, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded by the clerk of the House of Representatives to the Consul General of Greece for distribution to the leaders of the appropriate Hellenic-American organizations in Massachusetts.
 SIMITIS, PRODI, COX INTERVIEWStrasbourg, 1 July 2003 (17:15 UTC+2)
His appreciation that the during 6 months of the Greek Presidency of the European Union, the view many EU member states held regarding European problems changed to a great degree, was expressed by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, during a press conference he held with the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, and the President of the European Parliament, Pat Cox, formally closing the Greek Presidency.
Mr. Simitis stressed that he ascertained how fragile the unity of the EU really is from a series of issues, from the war in Iraq to the draft of the constitutional treaty, and how necessary dialogue is, in order for the issues of joint foreign policy and political security, the administration of Europe and dealing with problems such as immigration and asylum to move forward.
Extremely profitable, was the characterization given to the result of the Greek Presidency by the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, who stressed that dialogue within the EU should continue on this basis. Extremely favorable comments on the Greek Presidency were made by the President of the European Parliament Pat Cox, who stressed that the Greek Presidency redeemed the image of a powerful leading position on the side of a small country.
When asked about the upcoming Italian Presidency of the European Union, Prime Minister Costas Simitis appreciated that it will be very good and upon being called to give some advice to the new President of the European Union, Silvio Berlusconi, he stressed that constant understanding with all partners is necessary on all issues.
Mr. Prodi was asked about the criticisms made in the European press regarding Mr. Berlusconi's person and his ability to lead the European Council at a time when there are pending judicial appeals against him. I believe that the Italian Presidency will be an especially cooperative presidency and as successful as the Greek Presidency, said Mr. Prodi, who appreciated that there will be no problem, since, as he said, institutional bodies can deal with such problems when they arise.
 SIMITIS: COMPROMISES ARE NECESSARY FOR SOLUTIONSStrasbourg, 1 July 2003 (17:10 UTC+2)
Compromises are necessary in order for problems in the European Union to be solved, underlined Prime Minister Costas Simitis, during his rejoinder as President of the EU at the European Parliament.
He referred to the various views and approaches on various issues, and used the 10 new member-states, which are mainly Eastern European countries with fears of previous regimes and in search of security, as an example.
In order to stress the importance of compromising, he made mention of the draft of the European Constitution, which he said was a good compromise. On the course of the EU in general, he observed that it will evolve in steps, small or large, and it is not possible for goals such as its federal functioning and forming a common foreign policy to be achieve immediately. The Greek Presidency gave a creative direction to the way issues were handled in the EU.
As far as EU policy on immigration and asylum is concerned, he stressed that more steps must be made in order to achieve the decisions of the Summit Meeting in Chalkidiki. Regarding Javier Solana's report on security issues, he pointed out that it must be discussed and that it rightly refers to dangers, such as weapons of mass destruction and the need to prevent situations.
 PRODI PRAISES GREEK PRESIDENCY-SIMITISStrasbourg, 1 July 2003 (17:07 UTC+2)
President of the European Commission Romano Prodi praised the Greek Prime Minister during his rejoinder at the meeting of the European Parliament. In fact, Mr. Prodi used an ancient expression meaning that the way one practices one's authority shows his nature, in order to underline that the way the Presidency was carried out points out Mr. Simiti's nature.
 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT CONGRATULATES SIMITIS-GREEK PRESIDENCYStrasburg, 1 July 2003 (17:06 UTC+2)
Congratulations were given from all sides to the Greek Presidency and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis during the discussion held today in the European Parliament on the review of the 1st half of 2003, during which Greece held the Presidency of the European Union.
The speakers referred to the successes of the Greek Presidency and the way it handled especially difficult situations, such as the war in Iraq, while at the same time they made observations on the moves that should be made in the immediate future, as far as the draft of the Constitution, a common foreign policy, relations with the US, and a common policy on immigration and refugees are concerned.