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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-12-10

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, December 10, 2001








  • [01] GENOA 2001 INITIATIVE DISCUSSION A discussion on "from Seattle to Brussels" is being organized today at noon by Genoa 2001 Initiative in an ESIEA room. Among those to participate in the discussion are journalists Vasilis Moulopoulos and Kostas Sarris, the coordinator of Genoa 2001 Petro s Konstantinou, former MP Stella Alfieri, and writer Dimitris Papachristos.

    In addition, Genoa 2001 Initiative, in cooperation with 21 bodies, is organizing an antiwar rally on December 13 at the Athens University Propylea. A march to the US Embassy fill follow. In an announcement made by the Initiative, it points out its opposi tion to US and EU military campaigns, privatizations, firing and closing down, the abolishment of the welfare state, the limitation of citizens' freedoms with "Euroterror laws" and suppression.

    With the participation of workers and students antiwar committees, Genoa 2001 Initiative is organizing a bus group going to Brussels, where the Summit Meeting of the EU will take place. The unions will open the curtain on December 13 with a Paneuropean P rotest against cutbacks in the Welfare state and mass firing. On December 14 the organizations of the anti-capitalist movement will participate in an international protest against war.

  • [02] D. DOLLIS: WORLD VOLUNTEER NETWORK FOR OLYMPICS The need for new sectors of activity to be indicated for SAE as well as the creation of a World Network of Greek Abroad Volunteers in view of the 2004 Olympics underlined the Secretary General for Greeks Living Abroad, Dimitris Dollis, speaking at the 4t h World SAE.

    Specifically mentioning the discussion which will have to take place so that new sectors of action can be welcomed, he pointed out that the main goal of this attempt will be a world hellenism, united and powerful, which will, at the same time, be a power ful factor, shaping modern world developments.

    On his proposal concerning a World Network of Greek Living Abroad Volunteers of every age, independent of sex, he said that anyone willing can become a member and can be active in their place of residence.

  • [03] MESSAGE OF UNITY FROM THE 4TH SAE Unity, harmony and cooperation were the messages marked by the proceedings of the 4th World SAE yesterday afternoon.

    Minister of Development Akis Tsohatzopoulos mentioned the 6 year course of progress of SAE, and he stressed that its foundation is a historic mark Hellenism abroad. According to the Minister, the development and improvement of Greece's relations with Gr eeks all over the world, strengthens the growth potential of a joint front against the problems and challenges that the Greek people faces.

    "Our goal is the utilization of potential cooperation in the sectors of economy, and development in education, research and science".

    The 2004 Olympics are, as the Minister pointed out, a great new challenge for the whole of Hellenism, and that is why mobilization of worldwide Hellenism, the youth network, the entrepreneurs' network and the tourism network is needed. In this framework,

    Mr. Tsohatzopoulos stressed the need to cover the shortage in tourism from the US and Canada.

    SAE was characterized as a welcoming place that adds, multiplies the forces, and supports the ties of Greece to Greeks living abroad, by Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Georgios Paschalidis, who noted that this meeting would be an exchange of ideas, views a nd positions.

    "The issues covered by the convention strengthen the cooperation between the state and Greeks living abroad, based on the long lived values of worldwide Hellenism and Orthodoxy", stated the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace.

    "To the dangers of assimilation, the interruption of the historic continuance of Hellenism, the answer will be given with the consolidation of Hellenism", stressed the Vice-President of the Special Standing Committee for Hellenism Abroad of the Greek Par liamen, Takis Skandalakis.

    According to Mr. Skandalakis, the role of SAE in this struggle will be catalytic, as the moment has arrived for Greeks to mark their noble and long lived values.

  • [04] MEETING FOR ORTHODOXY AND HELLENISM ABROAD Mr. D. Dollis, Secretary General of SAE, opened yesterday's meeting on "Orthodoxy and Hellenism Abroad", stressing the unbreakable bonds of Orthodoxy and Hellenism Abroad, characteristically stating that "Worldwide Hellenism numbers 17,000,000 in its ran ks, in more than 140 countries-homelands around the world, it has many identities, speaks many languages, has many faces. No matter what language it speaks, no matter where it is, in the North and in the South, no matter what it identity holds in its spir itual pursuits, it always has the traditions and values of the Eastern Orthodox Church as its guide.

    Then, Mr. Magriotis greeted the works of the meeting and stressed the role of the Church in the survival of Hellenism through the centuries. The church, he said, is the oldest institution, with 1800 years of history, and will continue its journey of love , light, its journey of appeasement and understanding, for centuries to come.

    The Patriarch of Alexandria and all of Africa Peter VII continued, stressing the role of Hellenism Abroad in bot the development of Greece and of their countries of residence. The Patriarch of Alexandria mainly mentioned the Hellenism of Africa, and the constant struggle for their support from the Alexandria Patriarchy, and he stressed that despite the difficulties Hellenism faces on that continent, it will survive through the missionary achievements of the Church and preserve its identity.

    The Archbishop of Tirana and all Albania Anastasios, mentioned the restructuring of the Church of Albania in the 1991-2001 decade, the struggles for peaceful coexistence with other churches, the philanthropic work of the Church in the Balkans, and the so cial programs the Church of Albania developed, such as the creation of the Diagnostic Medical Center in Tirana.

    The Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece, Mr. Christodoulos, stressed that Orthodoxy is an integral part not only of Hellenism abroad, but all Hellenism, and added that the Greeks of Asia Minor and Pontus are characteristic examples, since even when pe rsecuted from their homes, they took their faith with them.

    Finally, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew mentioned the role of the Patriarchy, saying that it has been serving Hellenism and keeping the traditions for 17 centuries.

  • [05] N. PAPADOPOULOS CONTRIBUTES TO WORLD PEACE The belief that Hellenism can contribute to the consolidate world peace and international understanding was expressed by the President of the World Parliamentary Hellenism Association, Nikos Papadopoulos, speaking at the meeting on "Orthodoxy and Helleni sm Abroad". In fact, he underlined that SAE, the World Parliamentary Hellenism Association and Hellenism worldwide can win the wager of promoting the Olympic ideal of volunteerism, contend well and the Olympic Cease-fire. Closing his speech he wished that

    worthy individuals are found to carry on with the work of the Greek pioneers abroad.

    The Secretary General of Politiki Anixi, Dimitris Stamatis, pointed out that this is the fourth year that Greeks living abroad come together to reaffirm their ties to the homeland and coordinate their action in order to benefit the Greek nation.

    Finally, the message sent by Mayor of Athens and President of KEP, Dimitris Avramopoulos, who was unable to attend the meeting, pointed out that Greeks living abroad promote Greek requests internationally. He also added that we expect Greeks living abroa d to approach the 2004 Olympics and give a different meaning to volunteerism.

  • [06] AGGELOPOULOS STARTS NEW FILM In the beginning of January, the filming of Thodoros Aggelopoulos' new film, "the weeping field", will commence, with a budget of 1.7 billion drs, and a large part of it will be filmed at the bottom of lake Kerkini.

    The first part of the trilogy the director has promised, follows the characters during the first years of their lives. From the time the young children (3 and 5 years of age) leave Odyssos, when it is conquered by the Bolsheviks (1919) and reach Northern

    Greece as refugees, until their roads part. The woman, Eleni, has the fate awaiting political refugees after the civil war, while the man leaves as an immigrant for Germany.

    "The Weeping Field" will be ready in September 2002, in time for the Venice Film Festival. By then the preparations for the next two films of the trilogy ("The Third Feather" and "The eternal return") will have moved along, and Thodoros Aggelopoulos wil l find the actors that will succeed the very young Nikos Poursanidis and Alexandra Aidini, stars of the first films.

  • [07] E.VENIZELOS: THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHY SUPPORTS THE OLYMPICS The Ecumenical Patriarchy of Istanbul offers its assistance in all aspects of the 2004 Olympics and volunteerism, to the Cultural Olympics, and to the spreading of the message for peace and brotherhood. There is close cooperation with the Greek governmen t and the "Athens 2004" Organizational Committee, stated the Minister of Culture, E.Venizelos, immediately following his meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew.

    Mr. Venizelos announced that they decided to found a center for the restoration and documentation of Byzantine antiquities, which will extend and contribute not only to the region's Orthodox Churches, but everyone, because their target is to rescue cultu ral heritage, which belongs to all people.

    About the Ecumenical Patriarch, he stated that he is major international personality transmitting messages directly connected to the goal of the 2001-2004 Cultural Olympics, which is the quest for the culture of cultures. The Ministry of Culture supports

    the Ecumenical Patriarch on interreligious discussions, in the conference to take place next week in Brussels. He will organize exhibitions in European capitals on the issue and Mr. Venizelos will raise the issue at the meetings of the Cultural Ministers

    of Southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean, which will take place in January and February in Greece.

    The 1st Vice-President of the Parliament, Mr. Panagiotis Sgouridis, underlined that volunteerism is the key to the 2004 Olympics in Athens, in his speech at the 4th World SAE. For that reason, he explained, the parliament will take up initiatives in cons olidating volunteerism. It will organize exhibitions on the Olympics in the building of the Parliament, it will mobilize Greeks MPs in Australia, who have experience from the previous Olympics, and it will raise the issue at the sessions of the Teenage Pa rliament of 2002 and 2003.

  • [08] E. VENIZELOS: GREECE WILL HOST THE BEST OLYMPIC GAMES Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, speaking in the 4th World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, World Assembly in Thessaloniki, expressed the certainty that Greece will organize the most successful and technically impeccable Olympic Games in Athens in 2 004.

    He invited the Greeks living abroad to unite in the effort to organize the best Olympic Games and stated that 87% of the Olympic Games infrastructure is already ready.

    The minister admitted that there were problems and delays and that probably there will be more in the future, pointing out, however, that the most important thing is that Greece is in control, and has the knowledge and the way to solve them.

    On the crucial issue of security and the questions raised, he responded that Greece is the safest western country. He said that the International Olympic Committee, IOC, did not make things easy for Greece and stressed that Greece has a historic right to

    the Olympic Games. Mr. Venizelos also said that the Athens 2004 Olympic Games are the big bet for the true modernization of the country.

    The Culture Minister referred to the great importance of the Cultural Olympiad and added that the Western world is not the only civilized world, stressing that first we have to deal with the culture of survival (eg. the Third World poverty) and afterward s with the survival of cultures.

  • [09] KARAMANLIS: THE OLYMPIC GAMES IS A NATIONAL AFFAIR New Democracy supports and will continue to support the 2004 Olympic Games considering them an affair of national importance, stated the right-wing main opposition party leader Kostas Karamanlis, after his visit to the "Athens 2004" Organizing Committee offices in Athens where he met with its president Yianna Angelopoulou. He also said that his party will continue to exert pressures and criticism on the government, expressing the hope that the government will rise to the occasion and avoid the delays and lack in coordination in the Olympic Games preparations that were obser ved in previous years.
  • [10] THE GREEKS ABROAD PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE PROMOTION OF THE OLYMPIC IDEAL The Greeks of the Diaspora offer a great assistance in the effort to host the 2004 Olympic Games, according to Ms. Eagan "Athens 2004" Greeks Living Abroad Office Director, speaking in the 4th World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, World Assembly in Thes saloniki.

    She stated that her office responded to 2.900 e-mails in a week, stressing that it is the link between "Athens 2004" and the Greeks living abroad. She added that it has a consultative role, stressing that her office helps the Greeks abroad to solve the p roblems they face. Ms. Eagan also said that the Greek communities abroad should learn about the Olympic Games and play a leading role in the effort to host the best Olympic Games possible.

  • [11] "THE ATLAS OF THE DIASPORA" PRESENTATION The "Atlas of the Greek Diaspora" guide book that will be presented today, within the framework of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, World Assembly, includes the history of the Greek Diaspora and immigration.

    The history of the Greek Diaspora is included in the two volumes of the book, through a presentation of the experience and successes of the 7 million Greeks living in 140 countries around the world.

    Its presentation will take place in the presence of government ministers, parliament deputies, and SAE president Andrew Athens.

  • [12] THE TAX REFORM WILL BE COMPLETED IN 2002 The assurance that the tax reform will be completed in 2002 was given by Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis in his opening speech in the 12th Annual Conference of the US-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce.

    In his speech, Mr. Christodoulakis stated characteristically that the privatization program will proceed with a quicker pace in 2002.

    He underlined that the strengthening of competitiveness and the speeding-up of development, aimed at increasing the number of job positions, are the top priorities for the government's economic staff. He stressed that the crucial point is the further lib eralization of the markets and the strengthening of competitiveness, while the relevant draft law will be presented in Parliament in January 2002.

    On the Olympic Airways issue, he said that there must be solutions that are reliable and viable, stressing that the airline's privatization will become a reality and that the goal is to have absolute clarity in the procedure that will be followed as well

    as, healthy financing.

    For the record, the draft law on the strengthening of business activities will be presented in parliament next week.

  • [13] THE GOVERNMENT BACKS THE HEALTH SECTOR REFORM EFFORTS The government backs the reforms in the sector of health, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas when asked to comment on whether Health Minister Alekos Papadopoulos enjoys the absolute confidence of the Prime Minister.

    The government spokesman stated characteristically that the government supports the efforts made to have the right reforms, stressing that the efforts must succeed because they are for the benefit of the Greek people.

  • [14] SIGNIFICANT LOSSES IN THE ASE Significant losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.56% at 2.661,96 points, while the volume of transactions was at 125 million Euro or 43 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 58 recorded gains and 279 had losses, while the value of 21 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [15] PROTOPAPAS ON THE ROAD BLOCKADES BY THE FARMERS The road blockades are not a fair form of mobilization, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas, because it creates problems in the economic and social life. Mr. Protopapas expressed the hope that the voice of reason and responsibility will


    He also stressed that satisfactory solutions have been given to the problems of the farmers and those solutions are the final ones because the EU decisions cannot change.

  • [16] THE EURO-ARMY WILL BE DISCUSSED IN BRUSSELS Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou will give a battle in Brussels today to defend the Greek views on the issue of the Euro-army in a formal dinner that will be given within the framework of the EU Foreign Ministers General Affairs Council.

    The above were stated by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas responding to a question on the text-proposal submitted by the United States and Britain on the issue.

    Greece wants changes to be made on the text to comply with the principles of the Nice Treaty on the autonomy of the European Union in decision making.

  • [17] THE SAE PRESIDENT ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THE WORLD ORGANIZATION The proceedings of the 4th World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, World Assembly continued in Thessaloniki for a second day today with the speeches of the 11-member SAE Presiding Board.

    In his speech, SAE President Andrew Athens referred to his vision and the significant activities undertaken by the world organization in every continent focusing on the Medical Program in the countries of the former Soviet Union.

    He said that SAE founded five Medical Centers that offer free medical assistance and medicines to the Greeks in the former Soviet Union countries and their neighbors.

    The trade and culture are the new sectors of strong interest for SAE responding to a demand expressed by many Greeks, while the materialization of a strategic plan is in progress in cooperation with the Association of Exporters in Northern Greece.

    He also referred to the activities of the five SAE networks, namely, businessmen, culture, scientists, women and youth, stressing that their work is very important as they open another path toward the activation of the Greek communities around the world.


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