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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-12-05

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, December 5, 2001








  • [01] PUTIN: GREECE IS A STEADY BRIDGE In interviews Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been in our country on an official visit since Thursday, gave to the "Eleftherotypia" and "Vima" newspapers, he emphatically stated that Greece is a steady "bridge to the next step of the developmen t of Russian relations to the under formation security systems of Europe".

    Mr. Putin also noted that Russia and Greece are for cooperation in the power sector on a bilateral level, insinuating that he would like the Burgaz-Alexandroupoli to move, as well as furthermore cooperation on natural gas.

    The Russian leader also underlined that the "goals of our foreign policy are often the same with those of Greece" and stated that "all we have accomplished in the past few years will be promoted, and we will move towards common goals with Greece".

    Mr. Putin especially believes that with potential Greece will hold during its Presidency in the EU, the promotion of the materialization of the Common Economic Area of Europe and the preparation for the Common European Power Program materialization, whic h Russia has been processing for some time now, which includes Greece".

    President Putin is "sure that the period of the Greek Presidency will be fruitful for the development of Greek-Russian bilateral relations".

  • [02] 56.8%OF GREEKS SUPPORTS GOVERNMENT'S CRISES HANDLING More than half of Greek citizens applaud the way the Greek government handled the international crisis after the September 11 attack, according to a "Eurobarometer" survey.

    According to the survey, 56.8% of those asked answered that they strongly support, or support the government's decisions quite a lot, while 32.5% do not support them much or not at all.

    The British and the French support their government most of all (positive 86.5%, negative 12.5%) (79.1% positive, 19.1% negative correspondingly).

    The majority of European citizens (61.5%) appreciate that the crisis after the terrorist attacks should have been handled "jointly on a national and communal level", while 22.2% support measures on a communal level and 12.2% on a national level.

    Greeks and Austrians support measures on a national level more than the rest of the European population (26.6% and 24% correspondingly), while the Dutch and the Danish support more communal measures.

    The Greek and Finnish people support the sending of troops to Afghanistan less than other European citizens: only 5% of the Finnish and 5.2% of the Greek people support it, while 90.8% of the Finnish and 89.5% of the Greeks reject it.

    The Irish and the Greek support that the EU should concentrate on supporting cultural and political contacts of the Community and the Arab world, more than any other European country.

  • [03] GREEKS OF ABHAZIA ASK FOR HELP FROM MOTHER GREECE "Abhazia is in a critical situation and asked for help from Russia, while the Greeks that have stayed in this country are turning to Greece", stated the President of the Greek Association of Abhazia, "PEACE", Nikolai Pavlovits Isaakof to the Macedonian P ress Agency, during his stay in Thessaloniki.

    The situation of the Greek community of Abhazia, especially those living in mountain villages, does not look at all good. There have been victims with the latest attacks from Chechen and Georgian guerrillas. In the beginning of October, separatists abduc ted a Greek from the village of Georgievskoe, where there are still many Greek families.

    "Although we were ready to hold events with the Abhazians to celebrate the 8th anniversary of the war's end, we were not able to, because the war began again".

    Mr. Isaakof stressed: "We are not talking about conflicts, but about a real war. All the efforts made all these years for peace in the region, and good relations with Georgia have been demolished. The events in Afghanistan have brought developments here to a standstill. But I believe that when the war in Afghanistan is over, many Chechen-Muslims that went to fight will return, and there will be bloodshed in our region once more".

    According to the President of the Greeks, Mr. Isaakof, 22,000 Greeks used to live in Abhazia, but now there are only 1,600. After 1993, when the major war with Georgia broke out, the Greeks left on ships for Greece.

    In October the Board of Directors of "PEACE" sent a letter to Prime Minister Simitis, in which they describe the tragic situation on the shores of the Black Sea. They asked the Greek government to condemn the Chechen and Georgian guerrillas.

    Lastly, Mr. Isaakof stressed that he would like to contact deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Giannis Magriotis, in order to transfer the requests of the Greeks of Abhazia. "The first thing that would make life easier for us would be dealing with the Gre ek Consulate in Novosibirsk, which is closer than that in Tiblissi. Secondly, help sent should come through the Russian city Sotsi and not Tiblissi", and he stressed that "help coming from Tiblissi will never reach us".

  • [04] 4 ROBBERIES WITH A SYRINGE Using the needle of a syringe, a 19-year-old drug addict committed 4 robberies against small store owners, stealing small amounts of money and other items he needed to procure his fix.

    Konstantinos Mamoutis was later arrested by the police and identified as the perpetrator by his victims. As the police announced, on November 16 the 19-year-old robbed a bakery, a book store, and an electronic repair store, in East Thessaloniki, within a

    few hours, using the needle of his syringe as a threat, stealing in total 40,000 drs. On the same day he unsuccessfully tried to rob a convenience store on October 28th St.

    Also, on November 29 he forced a pharmacy owner to give him 6,000 drs., his mobile phone, and a box of pills.

  • [05] MANHUNT FOR KIDNAPPERS AND $1 MILLION RANSOM The Greek Police has begun a manhunt for the arrest of the kidnappers of a 34-year-old businessman from Piraeus, who was being held hostage for more than 2 months, and was set free yesterday afternoon, after his father paid the $1,000,000 ransom.

    The 34-year-old was kidnapped on Tuesday, October 2, as he was leaving his company building in Piraeus and heading to his home in Ekali. On the way, unknown parties blocked his way, immobilized him and took him to an unknown location.

    The kidnappers initially asked for a 1 billion drachma ransom, but after negotiations, they settled for $1 million. Yesterday morning the abductee's father left the money in a specific point in Athens, and at 6:30pm, the kidnappers set the 34-year-old fr ee in a deserted area in Pallini. From there he took a taxi and returned to his home in Ekali, from where he was led to the Attica Police Direction to give a statement.

  • [06] 4TH WORLD SAE DEDICATED TO 2004 OLYMPICS The 4th World SAE being organized from December 6-12 2001 at the "Ioannis Vellidis" Conference Center, is dedicated to the 2004 Athens Olympics.

    On December 10 the first volunteer meeting of 300 Greek youths living abroad will take place, in the framework of the Common Understanding Memorandum signed between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and "Athens 2004".

    According to the Secretary General of Greeks Living Abroad, Dimitris Dollis, the aim of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat of Greeks Living Abroad, is the creation of a world network of volunteers, which will be active in spreadi ng the Olympic ideal, Greek culture and the image of modern Greece in their receiving countries, as well as for the arrival of 5,000 Greek living abroad volunteers during the Olympics.

  • [07] SIMITIS: POSITIVE STEPS IN THE CYPRUS ISSUE Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis stated that positive steps are being made toward the solution of the Cyprus problem. He made the statement referring to the outcome of yesterday's meeting of Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides with Turkish Cypriot lead er Rauf Denktash as well as, to the meeting they will have this evening at the Turkish occupied territories of northern Cyprus and the resumption of the Cyprus talks in January.

    He expressed the hope that the Turkish Cypriot side has changed its policy, has a different view on the solution of the Cyprus problem and is ready to adopt constructive solutions. Mr. Simitis stated that President Clerides is always ready to consider ev ery constructive solution within the framework of the UN decisions.

  • [08] GOVERNMENT DECISIONS ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION The ministerial committee that met today under the presidency of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis discussed the issue of illegal immigration.

    Mr. Simitis expressed the view that the problem of illegal immigration will intensify and the government adopted a number of actions to deal with the issue in an effective way.

    Based on figures presented by Mr. Simitis, an estimated 150.000 people are expected to cross illegally Greece's land borders by the end of the year, while a total of 10.000 people, who had entered Greece through its sea borders, have been deported this y ear.

    After the meeting, the Prime Minister announced the government decisions that include, the reform of the existing legislation on asylum seekers, the granting of nationality, border protection, the widening of the deportation agreements on illegal immigra nts and the adoption of initiatives within the framework of the European Union.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the Interior Ministry will be responsible for the policy on those issues.

  • [09] KARAMANLIS WILL VISIT FYROM AND YUGOSLAVIA Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis will visit Yugoslavia on December 11-12 within the framework of the European Popular Party initiative on democracy in western Balkans, of which he is in charge.

    In Skopje, Mr. Karamanlis will have meetings with FYROM Prime Minister Ljupco Georgievski, the country's President Boris Trajkovski, Albanian Democratic Party President Arben Jaferi and Social-democratic Union President Branko Tservenkovski.

    During his visit to Belgrade, he will meet with Federal Republic of Yugoslavia President Voislav Kostunica and afterwards he will visit Kosovo to meet with Kosovo's Democratic Union President Ibrahim Rugova.

    On December 13, Mr. Karamanlis will be in Brussels to attend the European Popular Party Summit meeting.

  • [10] EU COMMUNICATIONS MINISTERS COUNCIL MEETING The European Union Communications Ministers will meet in Brussels tomorrow to discuss telecommunications services issues. Greece will be represented by Undersecretary of Transportation and Telecommunications Spiros Vougias.

    In the council meeting a special emphasis is expected to be given to the EU directive proposal on telecommunications concerning the new normative framework of the telecommunications sector which is expected to be implemented on January 1, 2003.

    In the meeting's agenda is also included a directive proposal for the processing of personal data and the protection of private life in the electronic communication networks and services.

    Also, the EU Communications Ministers will discuss the security of networks and information as well as, the "eEurope 2002" EU initiative which was launched in December 1999 aimed at the direct electronic link of the European states.

  • [11] GAINS IN THE ASE Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.76% at 2.703,08 points, while the volume of transactions was at 152.37 million Euro or 51.92 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 238 recorded gains and 75 had losses, while the value of 54 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [12] TURKEY'S POSITION ON THE EURO-ARMY HAS NOT BEEN ADOPTED The main position of the Turkish side namely, to be allowed to participate in the EU decision making process with a right to exercise its veto power when EU infrastructures are being used has not been adopted in the British and US initiative, stated Gree k government spokesman Christos Protopapas, when he was asked to comment on the US and British text concerning the Euro-army.

    He said that the Euro-army can be a positive development and reiterated the Greek government's position that the creation of the Euro-army must be within the framework of the Nice Summit decisions. Mr. Protopapas stated that the Greek side will defend th e national interests in the best possible way and added that the issue will not be discussed in the NATO Foreign Ministers Council tomorrow as the establishment of the Euro-army is a European Union issue.


  • [13] CLERIDES-DENKTASH DINNER Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides responding positively to an invitation by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is expected to attend a dinner later this evening at Mr. Denktash's house in the Turkish occupied territories in northern Cyprus. It will be

    the first visit to the northern part of Cyprus by Mr. Clerides after the invasion of the Turkish forces in 1974.

    Meanwhile, the first face-to-face meeting of Mr. Clerides with Mr. Denktash in four years ended in Nicosia yesterday with an agreement for direct talks aimed at the solution of the Cyprus problem. Mr. Denktash admitted in a statement to BBC that the fact

    that the EU has made it clear that Cyprus will become an EU member, with or without a solution, made him to request yesterday's meeting with the Cypriot President.

    UN secretary-general special envoy Alvaro de Soto, who was present in the Clerides-Denktash meeting, stated to journalists that the UN secretary-general will invite both leaders to direct talks. According to Mr. de Soto, the talks will open in a UN build ing in Cyprus in mid January, they will have an open agenda and no preconditions.

  • [14] KARAMANLIS-DUIZENBERG MEETING Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis met in Frankfurt today with European Central Bank president Vim Duizenberg.

    Mr. Karamanlis stated that he had a very useful discussion with Mr. Duizenberg, stressing that this is a very important moment for the EU with the adoption of the single currency, the Euro. He stated characteristically that the preparation period has end ed and the adjustment period has begun.

    Mr. Karamanlis stated that the goal is to make Greece's economy more competitive.

  • [15] IRENE PAPAS IS THE "WOMAN OF EUROPE" FOR 2002 Greek actress Irene Papas was elected "Woman of Europe" for the year 2002. She got 22 votes from the award committee which is made up of European personalities, Euro-deputies and journalists. The second place was occupied by Cypriot psychologist Stella K iriakidou who got 11 votes.

    The voting took place in the Belgian Senate in the presence of many distinguished personalities. The "Woman of Europe" award is annual and among the candidates this year were women from the EU candidate states as well.

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