|Tuesday, 21 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-11-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SIMITIS CONDEMNS ATTACKS IN ISTANBULAthens, 20 November 2003 (14:26 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Simitis condemned the terrorist actions that shook Istanbul today, while expressing his sorrow for the incident and the victims.
Blind violence comes from blind politics. Blind politics do not lead to solutions but to dead ends. Blind violence causes more violence and we thus move in a vicious circle, underlined Mr. Simitis, in statements he made during PASOK's political declaration.
In conclusion, he called those responsible for these actions to realize that they lead nowhere.
 PASOK DECLARATION AND BALLOTSAthens, 20 November 2003 (14:25 UTC+2)
PASOK's political declaration will be presented at 1am today by Prime Minister Costas Simitis at the Zappeion Megaro, and the issue to be most discussed over the next few days will be the named on the Movement's ballots.
During this morning's meeting of the Executive Office, the political declaration is being discussed, while the body will meet again this afternoon at 18:30, to discuss the candidacy issue. Final decisions will be made at the Central Committee's meeting tomorrow, although the issue was also dealt with last night by Mr. Simitis, Mr. Chrysochoidis, and Mr. Avgerinos, and sources mention that new candidates will surpass 40% of the names on the ballots. New candidates include individuals distinguished in the intellectual, artistic and sports sectors.
 44th INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OPENSThessaloniki, 20 November 2003 (14:26 UTC+2)
The curtains of the 44th Thessaloniki International Film Festival will open tomorrow, lasting till November 30, with more than 200 Greek and international films, new and older productions, as well as five rare films from the archive of the French Film-shelf, to be shown in the Olympion cinema and the warehouses on Pier A at the harbor.
This year's festival will open with the showing of The Blind Samurai by Takeshi Kitano at Olympion cinema. In this year's international competition section most films concern or were directed by women.
 ACCUSATIONS OF PRISONER ABUSE REJECTEDAthens, 20 November 2003 (14:24 UTC+2)
Minister of Justice Philippos Petsalnikos denied the claims that the prisoners awaiting trial for the June incidents during the Thessaloniki Summit, who are on hunger strike, are being abused.
The Minister of Justice underlined that such accusations in no way correspond to the truth, as Greece's correctional code secures the obligations and rights of all convicts completely. Also, regarding visitations, relatives and attorneys are allowed to visit the prisoners. There were even visits from relatives of the foreign prisoners, and even though individuals who are not members of the family are not allowed to visit, the prison Board allowed for friends to visit the prisoners in Thessaloniki.
These prisoners were taken from Thessaloniki to Athens so that there is constant availability of medical health at the Corydallos penitentiary hospital and no danger to their health, he pointed out.
Furthermore, he pointed out that he has appealed to judicial authorities for a fast completion of the foreseen procedures, so that if they are recommitted a trial date is set quickly.
Meanwhile, a solidarity rally for the 7 prisoners of the Thessaloniki riots will be held at 18:30 today at the Athens Propylea, followed by a march to the Parliament.
According to the doctors, the health of the 7 prisoners is critical, while fears have been expressed as they have been on this hunger strike for the past two months.
 THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ON THE TERRORIST ATTACKSAthens, 20 November 2003 (18:48 UTC+2)
The need for closer cooperation at international level in the fight against international terrorism was stressed by Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis commenting on the bloody attacks on British targets in Istanbul.
Mr. Beglitis condemned the attacks and extended the condolences of Greece to the governments of Turkey and Britain. He underlined that the problem of international terrorism creates problems of instability in the wider region and the strengthening of cooperation against international terrorism is imperative.
According to Mr. Beglitis, there is no problem with the Greek personnel of the Greek Consulate in Istanbul in spite of the fact that it is situated very close to the British Consulate, which was hit in today's attacks.
Mr. Beglitis also pointed out that the Greek government is in a state of readiness to send medical and pharmaceutical assistance to Turkey in case there is a request by the Turkish government.
 GOV'T SPOKESMAN: GREECE IS VIGILANTAthens, 20 November 2003 (18:11 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis sent a letter of condolences to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemning the terrorist attacks in Istanbul.
In his letter, Mr. Simitis stressed that the international struggle against terrorism is necessary to be intensified. He also underlined that international cooperation in the fight against terrorism is more necessary today than ever.
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas responding to a relevant question, stressed that Greece is vigilant after the terrorist attacks in Istanbul and in view of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
 KARAMANLIS' LETTER OF CONDOLENCES TO ERDOGANAthens, 20 November 2003 (17:41 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis extended his condolences and support to the Turkish people and the families of the victims of the attacks on British targets in Istanbul in a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Mr. Karamanlis stressed that such acts are criminal and heinous and have the total and categorical condemnation of the international community.
He also pointed out that violence and any kind of fanaticism, as well as the cultivation of fear, will never be able to become the means for achieving any objective.
 PAPANDREOU: TODAY'S ATTACKS ARE ACTS OF BLIND VIOLENCE AND BARBARITYAthens, 20 November 2003 (17:25 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandrepou characterized today's terrorist attacks in Istanbul as acts of blind violence and barbarity targeting innocent people. He stated that the terrorist attacks in Istanbul are condemned in the strongest way.
Mr. Papandreou extended the condolences of the Greek government to the government and the people of Turkey as well as to the government and the people of Britain.
 TWO MEMBERS OF THE GREEK COMMUNITY IN ISTANBUL ARE AMONG THE INJUREDAthens, 20 November 2003 (17:09 UTC+2)
Two members of the Greek community in Istanbul were slightly injured in the terrorist attacks today, according to the Greek state-run television station NET citing statements made by the Greek Consul General in the Turkish city.
They are, lawyer Vasilis Karamalis, who had a few stitches and is out of danger and Nikos Vafiadis, who runs a shop across the street from the British Consulate building. Mr. Vafiadis was treated and was allowed to go home.
 THE TERRORIST ATTACKS IN TURKEY AFFECTED THE ASEAthens, 20 November 2003 (16:37 UTC+2)
The European stock markets were also victims of the terrorist attacks in Istanbul today, while the Athens Stock Exchange was affected as well and the general index recorded significant losses.
The general index dropped to -1.15% at 2.106,11 points, while the volume of transactions was at 129.8 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 289 had losses and only 35 recorded gains, while the value of 65 stocks remained unchanged.
 COOPERATION PROTOCOL BETWEEN THE HEALTH MINISTRIES OF GREECE AND ARMENIAAthens, 20 November 2003 (16:09 UTC+2)
A protocol of cooperation between the Health Ministries of Greece and Armenia has been signed within the framework of international relations and inter-state agreements in the sectors of environment and health.
The Health Ministries of Greece and Armenia will exchange views and their responsible agencies will coordinate activities in sectors of mutual interest.
 SIMITIS: ELECTIONS IN APRIL OR MAYAthens, 20 November 2003 (15:55 UTC+2)
Elections will be held in April or May at the end of the government's four-year term in accordance with the Constitution, stated Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis while presenting the basic directions of the governing Socialist Party of PASOK agenda in Athens.
Mr. Simitis pointed out that the breaking away of parliament deputies from PASOK or their refusal to run in the elections will not hurt the party.
The Prime Minister stated that the 2004 parliamentary elections will determine whether Greece will continue its economic development with safety or its course to progress will be interrupted by the Right which will place it back on the margins of Europe.
Mr. Simitis stated that PASOK is the Left of responsibility and belongs to the great wave of European democratic Socialism, adding that its strategic goals are firm.
The directions presented by Mr. Simitis are a foretaste of PASOK's agenda for the period 2004-2008 which will be ready by the end of January. A dialogue on those directions will be held within PASOK and the society of citizens.
The directions in question are based on three axes namely, the plan on social and European convergence, the plan on the renewal of public life and the plan on effective governance.