|Saturday, 22 February 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-06-02
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, June 2, 2003
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
in favor of this change, 232 in favor of "Coalition of the Left", 9 blank and 3 abstentions.
Kalenteridis stated that Ocalan's arrest was damaging to Greece, both in the short and in the long run, however he added that Commander Naxakis, who coordinated the entrance operation did not intend to harm Greece.
Although there is still a long way to go for the goals to be achieved, the development of economic indexes per state confirms that essential progress has already been made, as was made clear at the 4th Black Sea Business Day in Thessaloniki.
Characteristic examples of the progress made in the economy of the region's states are Bulgaria and Russia, as arose from the speeches of Bulgaria's Deputy Prime Minister Nikolai Vasilev and Russian Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Ivan Matero f.
During the meeting, the Greek Minister of Development, Akis Tsochatzopoulos stressed that "regional integration is a necessary intermediate stage for the steady accession of the region's countries to the global economic environment. The political will fo r cooperation, aiming at regional economic integration, must be a main priority."
During his greeting at the meeting, the works of which will continue until this evening, the Minister also pointed out that the promotion of connections of the region's states with inter-European transportation and energy networks must be yet another pri ority.
"Today, the region is behind in competitiveness and growth", underlined Mr. Tsochatzopoulos, and added that in order to achieve progress, special attention must be paid to the enlargement of inter-state cooperation, the development of alliances between t he public and private sector, and national policies for the promotion of -competitiveness and the reinforcement of small and medium businesses.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Every step for understanding is positive and on that side so is the G8 Meeting with its enlarged composition, he said. Despite the fact that the Iraqi crisis has been overcome and oil prices have dropped radically, exiting the recession is still the prim ary priority globally, and the appreciation is that there will be improvements in the second half of 2003. At that point Mr. Simitis underlined that leaving the economic recession behind is not just a US, EU and Japanese affair, but that other countries m ust also join and contribute to the "game".
An announcement was made at the Meeting that the US will offer $1 billion and the EU will offer 1 billion euro to battle AIDS.
Help towards underdeveloped or developing countries also occupied the Meeting, and the President of Brazil proposed taxes on armaments.
Mr. Simitis said that special attention must be paid to the sector of education, in addition to the backing provided for infrastructure.
In response to a journalist question, he stressed that the G8 Meeting is not attempting to bridge the gap that was created between the EU and the US, due to the military attack on Iraq.
President of the European Commission Romano Prodi and President of the European Union Costas Simitis held a joint press conference in Evian.
Specifically on the EU-US relations' problem, the Prime Minister stated that although some newspapers wrote that Europeans and Americans were going to bury the hatchet at this meeting, he considered this a very narrow definition. "First of all there are not just Europeans here. There are Japanese, the President of China was here today. At this point I would like to say that I had discussions with the President of Brazil Mr. Lula, the President of Egypt, Mr. Mubarak, on the Palestinian issue, as well as w ith the UN Secretary General, Mr. Annan, on the Cyprus issue. So this is a venue for broader discussions", stated the President of the European Union.
In reference to a question on the breach in EU-US relations due to the Iraq crisis, the Greek Prime Minister commented: "If we want to be honest, the breach you speak of, arises in relation to varying understandings of NATO's role, regarding interatlanti c relations, regarding the policing or not of the EU, and cannot be overcome by such a meeting, if there is one. But such meetings assist in toning down tensions".
In response to a question on whether the positions of Mr. Bush and Mr. Chirac would send an optimistic message for economy, Mr. Simitis stated: "First of all, since I had a discussion with Mr. Bush in St. Petersburg, and I was present in discussions Mr. Bush had with other leaders, I witnessed no atmosphere of enmity or hostility. It was a very friendly atmosphere, as Mr. Prodi just mentioned. Now, as far as global economy is concerned, all appreciations point at the second half of 2003 recording an impr ovement.