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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-12-06

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, December 6, 2001








  • [01] PAPANDREOU ON KLIRIDIS VISIT TO OCCUPIED TERROTORIES The symbolism of President Kliridis' visit to the occupied territories is especially important, and points out the potential peaceful coexistence of the two communities, state Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Papandreou.

    "It is very positive, as a first step, that a they have decided to continue a procedure in a UN framework, with the delegate of Secretary General Kofi Annan present and always in the frameworks of the decisions and resolutions of the UN", he underlined.

    Also, he pointed out that the government has every confidence in the way President Kliridis will handle things.

  • [02] PUTIN-PAPANDREOU MEETING President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin will meet with the President of New Democracy, Kostas Karamanlis, today at 7:30pm, at the Intercontinental Hotel.
  • [03] SASSON: HARSH LESSON FOR PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS Israel's attack against Palestinian targets, were characterized as self defense against terrorist attacks by the Israeli Ambassador in Greece, David Sasson, in an announcement he made from Jerusalem, where he is recuperating after surgery.

    The Ambassador explained that they were neither targeting the leader of the Palestinians, Yasser Arafat, nor Palestinian civilians, but are aiming at sending a harsh message to the factors of Palestinian Authority organizations cooperating with terrorist

    organization or show tolerance for them".

    Mr. Sasson supports that "Mr. Arafat is lying to all the free world concerning fighting terrorism, but people can now see through his illusion, and added that great Western countries such as the US and Britain have made it clear that he must choose a sid e and fight these terrorist groups "which organize themselves and flourish on Palestinian soil".

    Ending, he stressed that "Yasser Arafateither cannot or does not want to control the actions of extreme Palestinian organizations. In any case, however, as President of the Palestinians, and someone who wants to become a state leader one day, and to be c onsidered trustworthy by Israel and the global community, the responsibility falls on his shoulders", and warned that "if he cannot control the extremist organizations and the members of his own movement (Fatah, Tanzim, Force 17) which cooperate with tem in their attacks against innocent Israeli citizens, we will unfortunately be forced to".

  • [04] 161 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS HOUSED IN CHANIA The 161 illegal immigrants, out of which 5 women and 6 children, who had been wandering the Mediterranean the past few days, are now staying in Paleochora in Chania.

    The illegal immigrants were on the "Wael IV" freighter, sailing under a Syrian flag, which was spotted run aground on a rocky coast southwest off the shore of Crete. The 11 crew members of Syrian decent were arrested and will be taken to the District Att orney today.

    In the meanwhile, the Greek government is expected to take stricter measures as far as illegal immigration is concerned, and it will raise the issue at the European Union Session on December 13 and 14.

  • [05] EXTREME SECURITY MEASURES FOR PUTIN VISIT Extreme security measures have been taken in Athens, in view of the visit of the Russian President, Vladimir Putin. Approximately 3,000 police officers and traffic police men have taken up the duty of the President's safety during his stay in Greece.

    Parking and stopping will not be aloud on some main roads of the capital, while traffic from the airport to the Presidential Mansion will gradually stop.

    Also, there will be adjustments to the mass transit system routes.

  • [06] INTERNATIONAL PARAOLYMPIC COMMITTEE MEETING IN ATHENS The 9th General Assembly of the International Paraolympic Committee will begin this afternoon at the "Asteras" in Vouliagmeni, with the participation of 90 countries.

    A greeting speech will be addressed by the President of the "Athens 2004" Organizational Committee, Gianna Aggerlopoulou.

  • [07] RUSSIAN PRESIDENT PROGRAM Important financial agreements will be signed by the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, who will arrive in Athens today.

    Mr. Putin will reach the "Eleftherios Venizelos" airport at 12:45pm. At 1:30pm he will be accepted by President of the Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos, and at 3pm bilateral agreements will be signed. In total, 6 agreements concerning shipping, air transpor ts, police cooperation, justice, power and the instituting of cultural centers will be signed. At 4:40pm he will meet with the President of the Parliament, Nikos Kaklamanis, who will award him the Golden Medal of the Greek Parliament.

    Consequently, he will meet with Archbishop Christodoulos, while at 7:30pm with the leader of the Opposition, Kostas Karamanlis. Today's schedule ends with an official dinner the President of the Greek Republic will hold in his honor.

    Tomorrow at 9am, Vladimir Putin will tour the archeological site of the Acropolis, while at 11:30am he will meet with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in the Maximos Mansion.

    At 3:45pm he will meet with the Mayor of Athens, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and will receive the Golden Key to the City. At 5:10pm the Russian President will have a brief meeting with the dean of Athens University, Giorgos Babiniotis. Later in the evening (7 pm) a meeting has been scheduled with Greek businessmen.

    On Saturday, Mr. Putin, escorted by his Greek counterpart, Kostis Stefanopoulos, will arrive in Thessaloniki at 12:15pm. In the VIP lounge of the "Macedonia" airport, they will be welcomed by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace, Giorgos Paschalidis, and the n they will leave for Mount Athos by helicopter.

    Mr. Putin will visit the Karyes and the cloister of St. Andreas at 1:20pm, and he will have lunch at the monastery of St. Panteleimonas.

    At 5pm he will return to Thessaloniki and an hour later he will visit the church of St. Dimitrios. On Sunday, at 8:25

  • [08] AIRMAN KILLED A 28-year-old soldier of the Air Force was lethally wounded while on duty in the 110th Battle Wing n Larissa. A sworn inquiry is taking place to find out the causes.
  • [09] GRADUAL DEPARTURE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM ZACYNTHOS The gradual departure of illegal immigrants from the isle of Zacynthos began today, with the departure of 220 of the total 714 that are staying there. During their departure they were escorted by members of the Red Cross, with Centers in Thessaloniki, At hens and Larissa as their destinations.

    Tomorrow, another 70 illegal immigrants are expected to return to Turkey, as they asked. As for the rest, it is as of yet unknown how long they will stay on Zacynthos.

    The 714 illegal immigrants (496 men, 93 women and 125 children) were spotted a month ago on a rudderless ship, the "Brelner", under bad weather conditions. The residents and bodies of the island came to their aid immediately, offering food, blankets and clothing.

  • [10] MONUMENT TO PONTUS HEELINISM UNVEILED The unveiling of a monument dedicated to the struggles of the Hellenism of Pontus will be performed by the President of SAE, Andrew Athens, on December 8 (3pm) in the centrl square of Efxinoupoli (New Efkarpia area). During the ceremony, commemorative pl aques will be awarded to Mr. Athens for his help to the Hellenism of Pontus, and to the President of New Efkarpia, Mr. Nigdelis, for his contribution in dealing with the problems the residents of the area have faced.
  • [11] INCREASE IN THRACE TOURISM The number of foreign and Greek tourists in the Prefecture of Thrace this year, was double that of last year. According to information from the Tourism Direction, based in Komotini, this past summer, and especially in August, was a rosy period for the ho tels of Thrace.

    Specifically, during June, July and August, 2,315 foreigners arrived, and there were 9,738 overnight stays in hotels. Also, 17,035 Greeks arrived, and there were 53,585 overnight stays.

    During the same period, the prefecture of Thrace received 1,801 foreigners and had 4,826 overnight stays, and 16,577 Greek arrivals and 28,066 overnight stays. The prefecture of Evros welcomed 6,538 foreigners who and there were 15,281 overnight stays, w hile at the same time, 56,188 Greeks arrived and noted 148,084 overnight stays.

    The total increase is more than 50% in the prefectures of Thrace, the main being that of Rodopi, with a raise in tourism that surpasses 60%.

    According to the Direction of Tourism this increase is due to three main reasons: The upgrading of provided services, the renovations of hotels and the financially approachable deals the businessmen of the sector provided. The foreign tourists that prefe r Thrace mainly came from Germany, Holland, England, Italy, the US, Turkey and many countries from the former Eastern Bloc.

  • [12] BILATERAL AGREEMENTS SIGNED BY PUTIN AND STEPHANOPOULOS Russian President Vladimir Putin and Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos exchanged warm statements in their meeting at the Presidential Building in Athens today. They also came to the conclusion that they share the same views on the Middle East, the Ba lkans and ways to combat terrorism.

    Mr. Putin, who is on a three-day visit to Greece, stated that the Russian businesses are ready to participate in the liberalization of the energy market in Greece, while on the 2004 Olympic Games he pointed out that Russia watches closely the preparation s made and is ready to offer its assistance if it is deemed necessary. On the military cooperation issue, he pointed out that the Russian defense programs have a small participation in Greece's defense armaments and insinuated that the Russian defense ind ustries are met with an unfavorable treatment by the Greek government.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos referred to the Cyprus issue characterizing the latest developments as positive when he commented on the meeting of Cypriot President Clerides, Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash and UN secretary-general envoy de Soto that took place at M r. Denktash's residence in the Turkish occupied territories yesterday evening. However, he clarified that nobody can be sure about the outcome of the talks. Mr. Stephanopoulos also thanked his Russian counterpart on the constructive presence of his count ry in the Cyprus issue.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos and Mr. Putin signed significant bilateral agreements on the sectors of shipping, air transportation, police cooperation, justice, energy and the establishment of cultural centers.

  • [13] SMALL STATE PARTICIPATION IN HEALTH SPENDING IN GREECE The Greek state has the smallest participation in health spending compared to the rest EU member-states, based on figures that were given to publicity by the European Commission on the occasion of a proposal by Greek European Commissioner Anna Diamantopo ulou. In Greece, public spending in the health sector does not exceed 56.3%, when in Holland, which occupies the penultimate place on the list, state spending in the health sector is at 68.5%.

    However, in spite of the small state participation, the overall spending on health in Greece compared to the GDP is relatively high and as a result Greece occupies the fourth place among the "15".

    The overall health spending in Greece is at 8.4% of the GDP which is the fourth higher percentage in the European Union after Germany (10.3%), France (9.3%) and Holland (8.7%).

  • [14] MAGRIOTIS: THE GREEKS WILL MEET THE FUTURE UNITED The message that the Greeks around the world will meet the future united and win the bet that starts with the hosting of the 2004 Olympic Games, was conveyed this morning by undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis, who addressed the 4th World

    Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, Youth World Assembly meeting that opened in Thessaloniki today.

    Speaking to the young Greeks living abroad delegates, Mr. Magriotis stressed that the new generation to which the 21st century belongs will be the brightest generation ever and the 2004 Olympic Games will be the symbol of modern Greece and the vehicle th at will lead the Greeks to the broadest avenues of the future.

    SAE President Andrew Athens, addressing the young Greeks living abroad, called on them to work with all their power for the cause of the 2004 Olympiad and added that SAE's 4th World Assembly will be an assembly of decisions and actions.

    The Greek Foreign Ministry General Secretary Dimitris Dollis, responsible for the Greeks living abroad, stated that in the following days the Greeks living abroad will make the first steps on volunteerism that will lead us to 2004 and beyond.

  • [15] THE FARMERS' INCOME WILL BE SUPPORTED Greece has secured the backing of the farmers' income through annual subsidies of 1 trillion drachmas until the year 2006 within the framework of the European Council meeting in Berlin. Also, estimated funds of over 2 trillion drachmas will be channeled to farm structural programs within the framework of the 3rd Framework of Support.

    The above were stated by Macedonia-Thrace Minister Giorgos Paschalidis within the framework of the 1st Greek-Dutch Agricultural Conference organized by the Association of Industries in Northern Greece in cooperation with the Dutch Royal Embassy.

  • [16] GAINS IN THE ASE Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.92% at 2.727,98 points, while the volume of transactions was 174 million Euro or 59 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 305 recorded gains and 37 had losses, while the value of 17 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [17] GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE MEETING The governmental committee met in Athens today presided over by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis to discuss the course of the governmental work. In the meeting Interior Minister Kostas Skandalidis briefed the committee members on the dialogue he promotes fo r changes to be adopted on the electoral system and the financing of political parties. Government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated that there will be no surprises on the issue of the electoral law.

    On the US and British text on the Euro-army, that was approved by the Turkish side, Mr. Protopapas stated that it is vague and has shortcomings that can cause misinterpretations concerning the activities of the Euro-army. He added that for this reason ch anges should be made for the final text to be in agreement with the Nice Treaty principles concerning the European Union autonomy in decision making.

  • [18] THE CLERIDES-DENKTASH MEETING IS POSITIVE Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, speaking today in the governmental committee meeting, characterized as positive yesterday's meeting between Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated that Mr. Simitis stressed that a lot of work remains to be done but things are on the right track. He stated characteristically that the Greek side wants a viable and fair solution to the problem within the

    framework of the UN decisions.

    He also added that Turkey's readjusted position is the result of the pressures exerted on it by the international community and expressed the hope that Turkey will maintain this direction and a solution to the problem will be found through dialogue.

    Mr. Protopapas reiterated that the Greek government supports fully the efforts made by President Clerides and the Cypriot government.


  • [19] DISCUSSION ON THE EUROPEAN ARREST WARRANT The issue of the European arrest warrant will be discussed today on the occasion of the EU Justice and Public Order Ministers summit meeting that takes place in Brussels.

    The discussion concerning the terms, based on which the European arrest warrant will be issued, had already started before the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States and today a decision is expected to be reached on those terms after the mobi lity that was observed on the issue in the past few months.

  • [20] PAPAPETROU: GUARDED OPTIMISM ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN CYPRUS The latest developments in the Cyprus problem do not justify a feeling of euphoria but only guarded optimism, stated Cypriot government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou, pointing out that there are no signs of a change in the Turkish policy on Cyprus and ev erything will be decided when a meaningful dialogue will get underway.

    Mr. Papapetrou did not rule out the likelihood of confidence-building-measures if there are indications that there is progress in the talks.

  • [21] 14TH MEETING OF EU CANDIDATE STATES' PARLIAMENT PRESIDENTS The enlargement of the European Union without Cyprus would be inconceivable, underlined Euro-Parliament President Nicole Fontaine speaking yesterday before the EU candidate states' Parliament Presidents in a meeting they had in Brussels.

    The 14th meeting of the two sides, in which Cypriot Parliament president Dimitris Christofias is represented by former Cypriot Parliament President Vasos Lisaridis, gave to Ms. Fontaine the opportunity to present her positions on all the important issues

    with which the EU is currently concerned giving an emphasis to EU enlargement.

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