|Sunday, 8 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-07-28
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 CONFESSIONS TO BE USEDAthens, 28 July 2003 (17:07 UTC+2)
The court trying the crimes allegedly committed by the 19 suspect member of the 17N terrorist group denied the motion of suspect Savvas Xeros not to take his preliminary testimonies into account, which he attributed to the use of psycho-pharmaceuticals which altered his conscience. In its announcement the court pointed out the effort made by the doctors to save Mr. Xeros' life, when he had been seriously wounded by the explosion in Piraeus. I will not testify, everything has already been decided, said Mr. Xeros and left the proceedings once again. However, he may be forced to attend.
 DEVELOPMENT AND REDISTRIBUTIONAthens, 28 July 2003 (09:11 UTC+2)
A decrease in social inequalities, the increase of workers' incomes, financial development and a healthy political system, are the Mr. Simitis' goals for the next four year term, as he stated to the Sunday Ethnos, while stressing that the PASOK of the new era is a central political power and will not turn into a party of factors. He has been Prime Minister for 8 years and now he discovers daily problems and decides to solve them?, wondered the Secretary General of ND's Central Committee Ev. Meimarakis. The Government Spokesperson made mention of statements full of irritation that showed how convincing the Prime Minister's speech was. The contacts of the Minister of the Interior Costas Scandalidis regarding the electoral law will be concluded today with his meeting with the President of the Coalition, N. Constantopoulos.
 ATHENS LAWYERS AGAINST BLAIRAthens, 28 July 2003 (11:21 UTC+2)
Legal action against T. Blair and the ministers of the British government for crimes in the war in Iraq, will be taken today at the International Criminal Court in Hague, by the Athens Bar Association. This is the first court action against British government officials and concerns 22 crimes of war, among which the killing of civilians, homicides, human rights violations, and the destruction of monuments. The clarification that the action of the ABA is not a political movement, was made by the Association's Secretary General, D. Vervesos.
 SOCIALISM WITH SIMITIS-GONZALEZAthens, 28 July 2003 (11:22 UTC+2)
A discussion on Socialism today, with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, former Prime Minister of Spain Phelipe Gonzalez, the Secretary General of the Socialist International L. Ajala, the National Secretary of Democrats of the Left of Italy P. Fasino, and French MP M. Ombrie as speakers, will be held today in the framework of the World Festival of the International Union of Socialist Youths, organized by the PASOK youth in Kamena Vourla. The discussion on peace with Foreign Minister G. Papandreou, Head of the Israeli Labor Party S. Peres, and former Palestinian negotiator F. Kadumi as speakers, was attended by 3000 people.
 CHANGES TO AUDIT LAW PROPOSEDAthens, 28 July 2003 (15:03 UTC+2)
Tough legislative changes to the audits on ministers, MPs, administrative organizations and public organizations were proposed in his interview to the Ta Nea by President of the Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, who expressed his disagreement with three points in the electoral law concerning the lists, the double ballot, and the two speed MPS.
Specifically, Mr. Kaklamanis proposed deep incisions into the law on auditing with the following measures:
a) Everybody obligated to undergo the audit, must accompany it with a statement giving up any claim to any asset not on his property list (to be passed on to the Greek state).
b) Special authority to discover and pass into the possession of the Greek state any assets not included on their audit statement
c) Financial motivation to anyone who effectively facilitates the passing of assets omitted from statements into the possession of the Greek state
d) Closed door trials and the prohibition of any publicity regarding the return of assets to the Greek state as a result of crimes against public property.
The President of the Coalition supported that corruption is not just a political disease, be a deeply social one, and stressed that in order for it to be dealt with, the 'aspirin' of ineffective auditing of hundreds of thousands of statements accumulating in Parliament and the Supreme Court is not enough.
As far as the electoral law is concerned, Mr. Kaklamanis expressed his satisfaction with the increased proportionality, since, he supported, it contributes to a more just expression of the peoples' mandate, however he disagreed on three points: The institution of the party and the parliament in general is not benefited by lists and 'two speed' MPs, meaning MPs receiving votes in prefectures and indirectly receiving votes in districts. In effect it is a transfer of the State MP institution, multiplied by five, the weaknesses of which I had underlined in 1975, during the review of the Constitution, and I believe I was vindicated. As far as the possibility of a double ballot for parties and MPs is concerned, I think it is obvious that that idea will undermine both democracy and cohesion within the party, as well as the ideological and political profile of each party.
Meanwhile, Minister of the Interior Costas Scandalidis completed his rounds of meetings with political leaders on the government's proposed electoral law. This morning Mr. Scandalidis met with the President of the Coalition of the Left Nikos Constantopoulos.
Mr. Constantopoulos stated that the Coalition insists on its demand on the simple proportional vote, however it will participate in the dialogue. I expressed the standing positions of the Coalition on the need for a stable electoral system, the simple proportional vote, to Mr. Scandalidis. In the view of the Coalition it is the only democratic, organized and legalized way to reform Greece's political scene. It is necessary to reform Greece's political scene and that must come about from the institution of the simple proportionate vote. The Coalition does not support the double reinforcement of biparty majority and the limitation of the powers of the Left.
On his side, Mr. Scandalidis underlined: In the standing principle supported by PASOK and the government for stable governing of the country, in our proposal for the electoral system, we foresee the greatest possible proportionality. The approach towards the simple proportional vote makes the law more democratic, more proportional, without standing in the way of stable governing. At the same time, having done away with the related provision, pre-electoral programme convergence and ensuing, due to that convergence, government collaborations, are favored.
 CZECH CITIZEN ARRESTED FOR MANSLAUGHTERThasos, 28 July 2003 (12:29 UTC+2)
Fifty-year-old Czech tourist Ivan Erat will be taken to the Kavala Court of First Instance, as he is allegedly responsible for the death of 47-year-old scuba diver Stavros Sioutis last Friday in Thasos.
The DA charged him with involuntary manslaughter, as the Czech caused the death of the scuba diver with his speedboat. He denies any connection to the tragic accident, however area residents reported that at the time the Sioutis was lost, Erat was sailing in the area and incriminating evidence was found on his boat's propeller.
Sioutis was discovered by another scuba diver 10 meters bellow the surface of the water, who then informed the Thasos port authorities. The autopsy revealed that Sioutis' death was instantaneous.
 SPATA AIRPORT EMPLOYEES STOLE LUGGAGEAthens, 28 July 2003 (12:21 UTC+2)
A gang of employees of the Goldair Halding land service company, who are accused of stealing the luggage of passengers that had been delivered for loading, was uncovered by the police at the Eleftherios Venizelos Athens International Airport in Spata.
According to the police announcement, one company employee was initially arrested, after opening the bag of passenger bound for London, and attempted remove certain items.
Police investigations showed that the employee arrested, along with six others working at the same company, had created a gang that had carried out a large number of thefts from passenger luggage over the past two years, which they later confessed they sold.
In ensuing investigations at their homes, various items that had been stolen were recovered. Five of the other employees were arrested, while one is still at large.
 SIMITIS GOALS - OPPOSITION REACTIONSAthens, 28 July 2003 (12:11 UTC+2)
The decrease of social inequalities, the increase in workers' income, economic development, and a healthy political system, are the basic goals set by the government for the next 4 years, according to the statements of Prime Minister Costas Simitis to the Sunday Ethnos newspaper.
The Prime Minister pointed out that there will be specific initiatives on the issue of income redistribution, which he will announce at the TIF, such as pay convergence, productiveness income, competitiveness, as well as convergence in social services, health, education, public services, more jobs, encouragement of entrepreneurship and extroversion in the Greek economy.
According to Mr. Simitis, these goals depend on economic development, and that is why the government will aim at high growth rates, while he will submit a developmental proposal for each district for discussion.
Mr. Simitis' responsibilities on the present situation in the country are great. His policies have not only not solved problems, but have created even more for citizens, stated the Secretary of New Democracy's Central Committee Evaggelos Meimarakis, commenting on the Prime Minister's interview.
He has been a Prime Minister for 8 years, and now he discovers everyday problems and promises to solve them?, wondered Mr. Meimarakis, concluding that it is too late both for him and for the government.
We would like to give special thank Mr. Rousopoulos, Mr. Meimarakis and Mr. Sioufas, stated Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas, continuing to say that: With their highly irritated and almost identical statements, they have proven how successful and convincing the Prime Minister's interview today has been.
 THE XEROS FAMILY STEPS UPAthens, 28 July 2003 (09:14 UTC+2)
The Xeros family is taking the stand in the trial for the crimes allegedly committed by 19 suspected members of the 17N terrorist group. Savvas Xeros has agreed to testify only if his preliminary statements are not taken into account. If the court does not accept his request, which was discussed on Friday and the results of which will be announced today, Christodoulos Xeros will take the stand. He has also taken back his preliminary statement, attributing it to pressure he was put under by the authorities.