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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-12-12
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 NEW ROLE IN A NEW ERAThessaloniki, 12 December 2003 (10:47 UTC+2)
The second day of the works of SAE's General Assembly is opening today, with conventioneers expressing their positions and discussions on SAE's new institutional framework. The contribution of Greeks abroad to the Olympics will also be discussed. Yesterday, the President of the Republic stressed the new role SAE has been called to play. An appeal to Greeks abroad to join their strength and make Greece stronger, was addressed by Prime Minister Costas Simitis. President of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis apologized for the mistakes of the past. Messages with insinuations were sent by Christodoulos and Vartholomeos.
 THESSALONIKI'S OLYMPICSParis, 12 December 2003 (10:46 UTC+2)
A written complaint against Saragosa will be filed by Paris, Thessaloniki and Trieste at today's general assembly of the Bureau of International Expos, as the city is being accused of violating the agreement the three contesters of the 2008 World EXPO had arrived at not, to invite members of the BIE. Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Ch. Castanidis appeared optimistic on the final result, stressing the importance of the remaining time until candidacies are submitted on January 23, 2004. Saragosa is especially good candidate, while Trieste has the support of Benneton.
 EXPLOSIVE UNFINISHED BUSINESSElefsina, 12 December 2003 (11:56 UTC+2)
A powerful explosion of a homemade explosive device leveled a café in Elefsina at 4am, at the crossroads of Papagianni and Athinas streets. According to the police there were no casualties from the explosion, as the café was closed. The police have blocked all surrounding streets. The café belonged to the mother of the Nasoulis brothers, one of whom is on trial facing criminal charges, another is in prison awaiting trial for murder, and the third has been murdered.
 WORKS OF 5TH SAE WORLD CONVENTION CONTINUEThessaloniki, 12 December 2003 (11:53 UTC+2)
The works of the 5th Council of Hellenism Abroad World Convention are continuing today with meetings of Regional SAE Councils. The regions will carry out a review of their work over the past 2 years, since the last world convention, while proposals will be made for the executive law of the Constitution on SAE.
The deadline for applications for the election of SAE Vice Presidents - SAE Region Coordinators, members of Coordination Councils and the Vice President on Cypriot Abroad issues, ends at 12 noon.
While the works of the 5th SAE World Convention continue, a meeting of Greek journalists abroad on Hellenism and Olympic Communications will be held. There are 51 participants in the meeting, all journalists of Greek descent, working in foreign and Greek abroad media.
The goal of the meeting, which is being organized by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs (General Secretariat of Hellenism Abroad), Culture (G.S of the Olympic Games) and Press and the Media (GS of Information), is, with the Olympics and the contribution of Hellenism worldwide to them, to cover issues such as the final preparations, security, the Olympic Truce, and mainly Greece's communicational strategy.
Speakers on the various topics on the progress of the works and the security of the Olympics, Greece's communicational strategy and the message of the Olympic Games, and Hellenism and the Olympics, include Minister of Public Order G. Floridis, Secretary General of the Olympics of the Ministry of Culture Constantinos Kartalis, Deputy Foreign Minister of Greek Abroad issues Giannis Magriotis, Secretary General of the Ministry of the Press Dimitris Gerou, Secretary General of Hellenism Abroad Pavlos Geroulanos, and General Director of the International Center for the Olympic Truce Athens Stavros Labrinidis.
 GREEK POSITION ON CONSTITUTION DRAFTBrussels, 12 December 2003 (12:14 UTC+2)
The Greek delegation at the crucial Brussels Summit is in favor of the immediate acceptance of the Convention for the Future of Europe on the common European Constitution, despite the fact that there are points in need of improvement, while works will begin shortly in the Belgian capital.
The position to be held by Greece was outlined by Prime Minister Costas Simitis who spoke to journalists after his recent meeting with his Italian counterpart and President of the European Council, Silvio Berlusconi.
Specifically, the Prime Minister had stressed that there are differences and obstacles in the common European Constitution, but they must be overcome through discussion and negotiation as soon as possible.
There is the danger of these negotiations dragging on forever and causing rifts between European countries. They could intensify an atmosphere of separation and confrontation between countries, and that of course would be at the expense of the European Union.