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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-12-14

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, December 14, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] 17 NEW PRISONS
  • [02] ANTIWAR RALLY IN ATHENS
  • [03] EUROARMY: TOP OF THE SUMMIT MEETING AGENDA
  • [04] GREECE WILL DO ANYTHING FOR PASSARIS' EXTRADITION
  • [05] SMALL GAINS IN THE ASE
  • [06] ND WANTS EXPLANATIONS ON THE NATIONAL LAND REGISTRY PROJECT
  • [07] PROFITS OF 200 BILLION FOR THE PUBLIC ELECTRICITY COMPANY
  • [08] MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE-"ATHENS 2004" COOPERATION CONTRACT
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [09] GREEKS NOT AQUAINTED WITH EURO
  • [10] EUROARMY: TOP OF THE SUMMIT MEETING AGENDA
  • [11] GREECE DISAGREED WITH THE BELGIAN PROPOSAL ON THE EURO-ARMY NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] 17 NEW PRISONS 17 new penitentiaries and three drug rehabilitation centers will be erected throughout the country by 2006, as announced by Minister of Justice Filippos Petsalnikos.

    As he stressed, this gigantic project is moving along at a rapid pace, since the responsible national council approved the special planning framework.

    The new penitentiaries will have a total capacity of 4,760 and the three drug rehabilitation centers, will be able to accommodate 900, while the total budget for this undertaking is more than 131 billion drs. It should be noted that with the materializat ion of this project, 10 other prisons will gradually be stop being used in: Korydallos in Trikala, Tripoli, Kerkyra, Alikarnassos, Chalcida, Ioannina, Volos, Neapoli, Lasiuio and Chania.

    Drawing on the meeting of the "15" Ministers of Justice in Brussels, during which the European arrest warrant as finalized and the definition of terrorism was agreed on, Mr. Petsalnikos underlined that the changes in Greece's Penal Law will be minimal, s ince, as he said, most offenses are already foreseen in Greek legislature, and in fact carry a hefty penalty. He also stated that Greece will move to a definition of terrorism based on the decision-framework of the EU.

    The Minister announced that new regulations are being promoted to fight racism and xenophobia, and stated that important changes will be made in the Judicial System in the Courts of First Instance.

  • [02] ANTIWAR RALLY IN ATHENS An antiwar rally was organized in Athens by the "Genoa 2001" Initiative and the Workers Fighting Front.

    About 1,000 protesters started at 7pm from the Athens Propylea and walked down Panepistimiou and Vas. Sophias Streets, and reached the US Embassy.

    The march was peaceful and there were no incidents, apart from some paint thrown at the offices of the European Union by the protesters.

  • [03] EUROARMY: TOP OF THE SUMMIT MEETING AGENDA Thousands of worker union members are protesting in Brussels while the Summit Meeting of Europe's 15 has commenced, international developments are being discussed, and the steps of the EU following the circulation of the Euro are being decided upon.

    The Euroarmy and illegal immigration are the top issues of discussion at the Laaken Palace in Brussels at this time.

    This morning's session we be concluded with the discussion on the operational readiness of a European Rapid Response Force and security and defense policies of the EU, at the basis of the Belgian Presidency's proposal, which is trying to secure Greek con sent on a compromise formula on the Euroarmy issue.

    The issue was discussed at a working dinner last night held by the Belgian Prime Minister and the President in Office of the European Council Guy Verhofstadt, at which he was accompanied by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and Foreign Minister Giorgos Papan dreou.

    Yesterday, before leaving for Laaken, Mr. Papandreou informed the responsible committee of Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Parliament, of the Euroarmy issue, and assured its members that that "Greece will reject any text that does not safeguard its so vereign rights".

    All the parties characterized the British proposal unacceptable, asking for its rejections, while New Democracy accused the government of being slow to respond.

    The Euroarmy issue was also raised by President of New Democracy Mr. Karamanlis, at the meeting of the European People's Party, in Brussels, stressing that securing Greece's security as a country, is an issue of immense national importance.

  • [04] GREECE WILL DO ANYTHING FOR PASSARIS' EXTRADITION The Greek government will do anything for the extradition of Passaris, assured Minister of Justice Philippos Petsalnikos from Thessaloniki, during a visit to the city's Courthouse.

    On whether Passaris' extradition to Greece is possible, Mr. Petsalnikos stated: "we are doing all we can for him to be turned over to Greece and we will insist on his extradition".

  • [05] SMALL GAINS IN THE ASE Small gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.25% at 2.571,71 points, while the volume of transactions was at 210.5 million Euro or 71.7 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 163 recorded gains and 142 had losses, while the value of 50 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [06] ND WANTS EXPLANATIONS ON THE NATIONAL LAND REGISTRY PROJECT Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy asked the government for explanations on the case of the National Land Registry project.

    New Democracy members maintain that the recent results of the meeting Minister of Environment, Land Planning and Public Works, Vaso Papandreou had with the responsible European Commissioner, Michel Barnier unfortunately confirmed the accusations made by New Democracy on the way the government held the National Land Registry project.

    According to ND, Greece will have to pay fines for the mismanagement of funds, while the EU participation in the funding of the project will be reduced from 75% to 50% and the procedures followed will be overseen by an independent committee of specialist s.

  • [07] PROFITS OF 200 BILLION FOR THE PUBLIC ELECTRICITY COMPANY Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos in statements he made in Thessaloniki today, predicted that the Public Electricity Company will have profits of 200 billion drachmas in 2002, while in the next four-year period its profits will multiply.

    The fact that the company trades in the Athens Stock Exchange and in the London stock market opens new prospects for it as the economic-production giant in Greece, stated Mr. Tsochatzopoulos.

  • [08] MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE-"ATHENS 2004" COOPERATION CONTRACT Minister of Agriculture Giorgos Dris signed a contract of cooperation with the "Athens 2004" Olympic Games Organizing Committee for the materialization of actions concerning the Olympic Games.

    Based on the contract, the Ministry of Agriculture will cover a number of development actions concerning, dietary issues, stray animals etc as well as, issues that have to do with the Olympic Games in the period 2001-2004.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [09] GREEKS NOT AQUAINTED WITH EURO Only 37% of Greeks feel that they are "very well or well informed" on the Euro, while 63% state that "not well or badly informed", according to the results of the special publication of the "Euro-barometer" community survey, on the degree to which Europe an citizens are informed on the new currency.

    Apparently, the Finnish are the most well informed, since 91% feel they are "well or very well informed" and 8% feels "not well or badly informed". Italians are also not well informed, with 48% stating that they are well or very well informed and 52% not

    well or badly, as well as the Portuguese, for whom the percentages are 52% and 48% resectively.

    72% of Greeks and 70% of Austrians are aware that the Euro will begin circulation on January 1st 2002. These are the lowest scores on the issue in the Eurozone on knowledge of the circulation date.

    Also, Germans and Greeks are less aware of anyone else of how long there will be simultaneous circulation of the Euro and the national currencies of each country: only 3% of Germans and 31% of Greeks knew that both currencies will circulate for the first

    8 weeks of 2002.

    Finally, 77% of Greeks and Portuguese knew that from January 1st 2002, the Euro will be accepted in all other countries of the Eurozone

    The survey took place from November 15-26 the 12 member-countries of the Eurozone, on a sample of 6,539 European citizens. 500 people were asked in Greece.

  • [10] EUROARMY: TOP OF THE SUMMIT MEETING AGENDA Thousands of worker union members are protesting in Brussels while the Summit Meeting of Europe's 15 has commenced, international developments are being discussed, and the steps of the EU following the circulation of the Euro are being decided upon.

    The Euroarmy and illegal immigration are the top issues of discussion at the Laaken Palace in Brussels at this time.

    This morning's session we be concluded with the discussion on the operational readiness of a European Rapid Response Force and security and defense policies of the EU, at the basis of the Belgian Presidency's proposal, which is trying to secure Greek con sent on a compromise formula on the Euroarmy issue.

    The issue was discussed at a working dinner last night held by the Belgian Prime Minister and the President in Office of the European Council Guy Verhofstadt, at which he was accompanied by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and Foreign Minister Giorgos Papan dreou.

    Yesterday, before leaving for Laaken, Mr. Papandreou informed the responsible committee of Foreign Affairs and Defense of the Parliament, of the Euroarmy issue, and assured its members that that "Greece will reject any text that does not safeguard its so vereign rights".

    All the parties characterized the British proposal unacceptable, asking for its rejections, while New Democracy accused the government of being slow to respond.

    The Euroarmy issue was also raised by President of New Democracy Mr. Karamanlis, at the meeting of the European People's Party, in Brussels, stressing that securing Greece's security as a country, is an issue of immense national importance.

  • [11] GREECE DISAGREED WITH THE BELGIAN PROPOSAL ON THE EURO-ARMY The Greek side disagreed in the Laaken EU Summit with the proposal submitted by the Belgian EU presidency on the Euro-army, while Prime Minister Kostas Simitis pointed out that the Greek sovereign rights must be safeguarded, and procedures must be adopte d that will not cause friction.

    On the British-Turkish text that gives to Turkey veto power on the Euro-army operations in the Aegean and Cyprus, Mr. Simitis pointed out that Greece disagrees with results that come from negotiations held outside the existing institutions and do not sec ure the EU autonomy in decision-making.

    The Prime Minister suggested that the establishment of the Euro-army must proceed but relations with third countries, that are NATO members but not EU members, like Turkey, should be examined during another EU presidency.

    Referring to yesterday's dinner given by the Belgian EU presidency, Mr. Simitis stressed that Greece expressed proposals for changes and modifications on the Euro-army text. Mr. Simitis stated that the changes suggested by Greece would have made the text

    clearer not allowing for any misinterpretations. After that, the Belgian EU Presidency made new proposals but again the Greek side rejected them.

    Mr. Simitis stated that a new proposal will be made by the Belgian side tomorrow morning and if Greece is not satisfied it will again disagree with the text.

    In the Laaken EU Summit were also examined issues concerning Afghanistan, the situation in the Balkans and the tension in the Middle East. The Greek side maintained that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is the only legitimate representative of the Palest inian side and therefore, Greece cannot agree with a policy that attempts to push him aside and leave him outside the procedures aimed at settling the crisis.

    On the situation in Afghanistan, the Belgian EU Presidency suggested the deployment of an international peacekeeping force. Mr. Simitis stated that Greece agrees in principle with the proposal but stressed that the UN should clarify the target of the mis sion.


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