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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-07-12

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, July 12, 2002








  • [01] MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE CONTENDS 2008 EXPO Greece will contend the 2008 World EXPO in Thessaloniki, stated Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis, after the Cabinet meeting. The Cabinet decided to put a special ministerial committee (comprising of the Ministries of Macedonia-Thrace, Fin ance, Foreign Affairs, Development, the Environment, Planning and Public Works, Culture, and Transports) in charge of contesting the 2008 EXPO, coordinated by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace.

    The other relevant Ministers have issued a Joint Ministerial Decision, which assigned HELEXPO SA with the support of EXPO 2008 contesting actions, while a Coordination Contesting Committee (CCC) is being formed and its responsibilities are being determin ed. At the same time with the ministerial decision, an initial expense budget of 1,760,821 euro has been formed to last until the end of 2003. In addition, part of the budget will be covered by the special emergency reserve fund to be created by HELEXPO S A after the distribution of 2001 profits, close to 586,940 euro.

    The CCC consists of representatives of the: Ministries of Macedonia-Thrace, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Development, the Environment, Planning and Public Works, Culture, and Transports, Planning Organization of Thessaloniki, Central Macedonia District, Wes tern Macedonian District, Eastern Macedonian and Thrace District, Municipality of Thessaloniki, Prefecture of Thessaloniki, TIF, HELEXPO, Commercial and Industrial Chambers of Thessaloniki, FING, Aristotle University and Macedonia University.

    The Ministerial Committee is responsible for a distinguished personalities Committee, which will promote Thessaloniki's candidacy for the organizing of the 2008 EXPO in Greece and, mainly, abroad.

    The site chosen to hold the EXPO (EXPOSITE) are the facilities of the Sindos Technical Vocational Centers and at the same time the Lachanokipi area, although not chosen to hold the EXPO will be reformed.

    According to what Mr. Paschalidis pointed out the general topic title proposed for the 2008 EXPO was: "Human Networks" and three more specific subtopics will be set, from which the Thematic Parks of the 2008 will arise: "Human Technology Networks", "Huma n Cultural-Arts Networks" and "Human Knowledge Networks". Finally, a thematic kiosk has been approved, on "People - Subway - Harmony" (by the sea).

    The need to expedite the drawing up of a complete dossier on the contesting of the 2008 EXPO was pointed out by the Chairman of the Commercial and Industrial Chamber of Thessaloniki (EVETh) Dimitris Bakatselos, in a letter to the Ministers of Economy and

    Finance Nikos Christodoulakis, Foreign Affairs Giorgos Papandreou, Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos, Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis and deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos.

    In his letter, Mr. Bakatselos, after pointing out that "the government's decision to promote and support Thessaloniki's EXPO candidacy, which is fully supported by the citizens of Thessaloniki as they are represented through their local and prefecture go vernment, their financial, social and collective bodies in general", he expressed his concern because "the deadline to produce this dossier is closing in".

    For that reason as he added, "special know-how is necessary, which is not obviously available", and he proposed the government "assigns the drawing up of the dossier to an international firm with proven know-how and successful candidacies of previous EXP Os".

  • [02] XIROS EXPOSES N17 TO THE DA Unknown aspects of "N17"'s activities and function were revealed by Savvas Xiros, according to information, to District Attorney in charge of terrorism issues Ioannis Diotis. The statement of the 40-year-old bomber will continue today and it is very poss ible that it will be completed tomorrow afternoon, when his arrest warrant will be issued by the judicial authorities.

    Xiros seems willing to cooperate with the police, and information reveals that he has admitted his relation to the N17 organization. Specifically, he confirmed his participation in several of the organization's later attacks, giving detailed information on their victims and targets.

    It is expected that after his confession Mr. Xiros will be placed in a witness protection programme, taking advantage of the counter terrorism laws. As soon as he is released from the "Evaggelismos" hospital he will be transferred to a special area until

    it is his time to testify in court.

    Extreme security measures have been taken in the "Evaggelismos" hospital, while beginning Monday, Savvas Xiros may be visited freely by his parents. Yesterday his Spanish fiancee and his father visited him and confirmed his good health.

    Meanwhile, investigations concerning the tracing of the tenant of the Pagrati hide out are continuing. Investigations to find Dimitris Labropoulos, Savvas Xiros' ex-wife's husband, have also yielded no results.

    N17 is suspected of having participated in 4 unsolved bank robberies, in which 4.5 million euro was stolen.

    Officers of the counter terrorism service have reopened the files on the robberies at the Egaleo and Vyronas Postal Services, the tunneling into the Labor Bank in Kalliroi, and the Wackenhutt armored truck robbery.

    Information of "Ta Nea" newspaper mentions that according to specialists' estimations, the loot from these robberies was more than 1,600,000 euro, and the perpetrators were members of "November 17" and other terrorist organizations that cooperated with t hem. This amount does not include the valuables worth millions that the robbers stole from the Labor Bank in Kalliroi.

  • [03] THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL FORUM IN THESSALONIKI The three-day proceedings of the third preparatory meeting of the European Social Forum opened in Thessaloniki today with the participation of representatives of workers' unions from Turkey, Bulgaria, FYROM and Albania, as well as delegates representing agencies from Cyprus, Palestine and Israel.

    The goal is to achieve the best possible preparation for the first meeting of the European Social Forum that will take place in Florence in November with the participation of representatives of movements against the Neo-Liberal Globalization, workers' un ions and social organizations.

  • [04] THE BALLISTICS EXAMINATION ON THE 17N 38-CALIBER REVOLVER WAS COMPLETED The 38-caliber revolver discovered in the hideout of the "17 November" terrorist organization at 84 Patmos Street in Athens is linked with assassinations, robberies and armed conflicts. The above were stated by Greek Police spokesman Lefteris Economou, w ho referred to the course of the ballistics comparative examinations conducted at the Criminal Investigations Office Fire Arms Laboratory.

    The 38-caliber revolver is one of the three historical guns of "17 November" and ballistics examinations will be conducted on other two 45-caliber pistols that also belong to the terrorist organization.

    According to the police statement, the 38-caliber revolver was used to shoot at a Filothei Police Station patrol car on Nov.8, 1983, in the National Bank of Greece branch robbery at Petralona and the assassination of police officer Christos Matis on Dec. 12, 1984. It was also used in the robbery at the 316 Patision Street Postal Office on Jul.13, 1988, in the assassination of prosecutor Konstantinos Androulidakis on Jan.10, 1989 and in the attack on prosecutor Panagiotis Tarasouleas on Jan.18, 1989. Based

    on the ballistics tests the revolver was used in the armed clash at Sepolia during which police officer Ioannis Papafotis was injured on Nov.20, 1991 and in the assassination of ship-owner Kostas Peratikos in Piraeus on May 28, 1997.

  • [05] GOVERNMENT MEETING ON ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION The issue of illegal immigration dominated in the meeting held today under Prime Minister Kostas Simitis with the participation of Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis, Justice Minister Filippos Petsalnikos and Interior Minister Kostas Skandalidi s.

    The meeting took place three weeks after the significant decisions reached on the issue by the cabinet. The pace followed in the materialization of the decisions reached was examined in today's meeting.

    In statements he made afterwards, Justice Minister Filippos Petsalnikos pointed out that in today's meeting no discussion was made on the investigations conducted on terrorism. The Justice Minister confirmed that the responsible authorities do their job well and with a great sense of seriousness.

  • [06] THE PROGRESS IN THE INVESTIGATION ON TERRORISM WAS PRAISED BY THE SCOTLAND YARD The developments in the efforts to break up terrorist organization "17 November" were welcomed by Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner David Veness in a press conference he gave in the residence of the British ambassador to Athens today. He also expresse d his confidence in the Greek authorities and stressed that they will manage to uproot terrorism.

    Mr. Veness pointed out that the Greek government and the Greek Police Authorities made a big step forward in their efforts to uproot this terrorist organization and they deserve to be congratulated for their success. He stressed that in spite of the very

    encouraging progress authorities are still in the beginning of a very long interrogation procedure. However, he expressed the belief of the Scotland Yard leadership that those responsible for terrorism in Greece will be punished among them, those respons ible for the assassination of British Brigadier Saunders on June 8, 2000. He characterized the cooperation between the Greek Police and Scotland Yard as excellent, stressing that crime of that kind goes beyond national borders.

    Mr. Veness praised the assistance offered by the Greek citizens in the effort against terrorism and pledged that Britain will offer its help to the Greek authorities.

  • [07] STATEMENTS BY PROTOPAPAS ON TERRORISM Terrorists cannot appear as Robin Hoods or social fighters because they are neither, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas, adding that based on the evidence that came to light it has been proven that these people have committed murders a nd robberies.

    He refused to respond to the question on whether Savvas Xiros began his confession and reiterated that the justice servants should be left alone to do their work.

    The government spokesman stated that the intervention made yesterday by the families of the victims of terrorism was moving and the government promises to respond to their demand and their cry: "Enough with Terrorism". He said that the efforts made will lead to the complete break up of "17N" and all the terrorist organizations in Greece.

  • [08] SMALL LOSSES IN THE ASE Small losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.27% at 2.137,40 points, while the volume of transactions was at 80.9 million Euro or 27.6 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 130 recorded gains and 148 had losses, while the value of 95 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [09] GREECE WILL SUBMIT AN IMMIGRATION POLICY PLAN TO THE EU A briefing was made on the immigration policy final plan to be submitted by Greece to the EU. The briefing was made in the government meeting held in Athens today under Prime Minister Kostas Simitis with the participation of Interior Minister Kostas Skan dalidis, Justice Minister Filippos Petsalnikos and Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis.

    Mr. Skandalidis clarified that a significant detailed evaluation of the effectiveness of the measures implemented against illegal immigration was also made today. He stressed characteristically that these measures must intensify and new meetings will fol low in Athens and in the prefecture of Evros. The goal for the state mechanism is to face the problem which develops into a big problem for the prefecture of Evros, in northeastern Greece and the border regions, said Mr. Skandalidis.

    Responding to the question when the illegal immigrants will be sent back, he said that this has to do with Turkey and added that the formal policy is exercised by the Foreign Ministry.


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