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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-06-03

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, June 3, 2003








  • [01] PRESENTATION OF 2008 EXPO CANDIDACY The first of the four presentations of candidate cities, among which is Thessaloniki, contesting the 2008 EXPO World Fair for 2008 will be held in Paris today.

    Apart from Thessaloniki, the 2008 EXPO is being contested by the Spanish Zaragoza and the Italian Trieste, which are considered equally dynamic to the Greek candidacy.

    The Greek delegation is headed by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidi, who will hold a luncheon at 13:00 (local time), both for the members of the EXPO international entrusting committee, as well as for the members of the other two delega tions.

    At 14:30, the presentations of the candidates will begin, with Thessaloniki as the first one, and then a press conference will be held.

    In any case, in statements to the MPA, the members of the Greek delegation were optimistic as to the outcome of the first presentation, appreciating that Thessaloniki's portfolio is the most complete of all.

    Prefect of Thessaloniki Panagiotis Psomiadis was certain of the flawless presentation of Thessaloniki's candidacy for the 2008 EXPO in his statements from Paris, where he will attend the presentation.

    Mr. Psomiadis stressed that Thessaloniki deserves to succeed, however he underlined that without great works and infrastructure for hospitality and the comfortable transportation of the visitors, we cannot move to events of such international range. In e nding, he appealed to everyone to take up their responsibilities, because, as he said, "without cooperation and coordination, it is certain that we will convince no one, within and outside the Greek borders".

  • [02] PREPARATIONS FOR THESSALONIKI ANTISUMMIT The Athens Committee of the "Action: Thessaloniki 2003" initiative, called for participation in the major protests to be held in Thessaloniki during the EU Summit Meeting.

    In Thessaloniki, the protestors will participate in a mobilization on Friday June 20, at 19:00, in N. Marmaras in Chalkidiki, on Saturday June 21 in the major rally at 17:00 in Thessaloniki and on Sunday June 22 in the solidarity concert for the peoples of Cuba, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and the People's Republic of Korea.

  • [03] WORKS IN VIEW OF SUMMIT MEETING A different Chalkidiki will be experienced by the citizens of Thessaloniki from June 16 to June 21. That is because the beautiful tourist region will host both the meeting of the European People's Party and the European Union Summit.

    The Thessaloniki Summit is the third to be organized by the Greek Presidency - after the ones in Rhodes and Corfu - and is expected to gather members of 38 country and international organization delegations.

    The works of the Summit will be carried out in the Porto Carras hotel complex in the Neos Marmaras area of Sithonia, while the EPP will meet in the facilities of Sani hotel, in the Sani area of Cassandra.

    Apart from the delegation members however, 4000 journalists are also expected to arrive from all over the world, in order to cover the Summit's works, as well as the protests expected to take place in view of the Summit, both in Thessaloniki, as well as on the roads to Chalkidiki.

    For the stable arrival and stay of the Greek Presidency's guests, 7000 police officers will be mobilized by the Ministry of Public Order, creating a safety ring around specific areas where the works of these to meetings will take place.

    There are already no empty rooms in Sithonia for that period, where the main body of the police officers will stay, as well as in Cassandra, which will mostly host journalists.

  • [04] HEAR NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL... Officer of the Greek Intelligence Service Panagiotis Maragoudakis attributed the lack of special measures for the airplane which, as was later made evident, PKK Leader Abdullah Ocalan was on, to the information he was given that the airplane was transpor ting a "Russian official". This was the testimony Mr. Maragoudakis gave today in the proceedings of the trial for Ocalan's illegal entry to Greece.
  • [05] T. GIANNITSIS IN STRASBURG Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Giannitsis will travel to Strasburg today, in order to participate in the works of the Works of the European Parliament's June Plennary Session, where tomorrow, he will read a Statement of the Presidency regarding the pr eparations for the Thessaloniki Summit.

    Tomorrow's discussions will include the Report of Dutch EuroMP Arie M. Oostlander (EPP) on Turkey's accessional prospects, and the question of German EuroMP Elmar Brok (EPP) on trans-Atlantic relations.

    At 17:30, Mr. Giannitsis will hold a Press Conference in Strasburg, on the progress of the Greek Presidency of the EU.

  • [06] EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE SITUATION IN ZIMBABWE The European Union has steadily monitored the situation in Zimbabwe and expressed its concern for the negative developments in the field of democracy and human rights in the country.

    The EU notes that the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai, has called for a five-day stay-away and nationwide peaceful protest marches in Zimbabwe.

    The EU, faithful to the principle of dialogue, urges both the government and the opposition to opt for this highly democratic process.

    Consequently, the EU urges the MDC and civil society to ensure that any protests be carried out peacefully. It also calls on the government of Zimbabwe to desist from any violence and respect the rights of its citizens to demonstrate and express their vi ews peacefully. The excessive use of force which characterized its response to the stay-away of March 18-19 in no case should it be repeated.

    Therefore, the EU encourages, once more, the resumption of dialogue between the political parties and reiterates its commitment to human rights and freedom of opinion, association and assembly in Zimbabwe.

    The Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Associated Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, membe rs of the European Economic Area align themselves with this declaration.

  • [07] EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON AFGHANISTAN The European Union welcomes the decision taken on May 20 by the National Security Council of the Afghan Transitional Administration to request all governors to remit all customs receipts to Central Government, and to ensure that all their activities are in conformity with the law and the policies of the Central Government.

    The Union considers that these requirements adhere to the spirit of the Bonn Agreement and can play a crucial role in the process of rebuilding the Afghan Nation and consolidating the financial resources as well as the political authority of the centra l Government across the country. The Union congratulates President Karzai for this initiative and appreciates the sense of responsibility displayed by Afghan political leaders who supported it.

    The European Union fully supports the Afghan Transitional Administration in the next steps needed to ensure swift and complete implementation of the decision. In particular, the Union supports the ATA in its legitimate action towards exerting full cont rol over the collection of National Customs Revenues.

    The Union urges all actors to comply with the decision in order to guarantee the smooth continuation of nation-building.

    The Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, the Associated Countries Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, membe rs of the European Economic Area align themselves with this declaration.

  • [08] PROTOPAPAS: THE TURKISH FOREIGN POLICY IS ISOLATED The Turkish foreign policy is completely isolated and the Turkish generals, through their policy of violations, try to direct us to a secondary front and miss the primary issue which is, the application of pressure by the international community for the solution of the Cyprus issue within the UN framework.

    The statement was made by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas in response to a relevant question by a reporter. In addition, he reiterated that the Turkish intransigence has put Turkey's European course at risk.

  • [09] GAINS IN THE ASE Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.63% at 1.779,98 points, while the volume of transactions was at 125 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 206 recorded gains and 88 had losses, while the value of 84 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [10] UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE EURO-ZONE IS AT 8.8% Unemployment in the Euro-zone remained unchanged at 8.8%, according to European statistics agency, Eurostat, figures included in its preliminary report.

    The highest unemployment rate was recorded in Spain at 11.4% and the lowest in Luxembourg and Austria, at 3.5% and 4.3% respectively.

    The European agency report does not include the figures on Britain, Italy and Greece, according to press reports.

  • [11] PROTOPAPAS ON THE HELLENIC PETROLEUM-PETROLA AGREEMENT The Hellenic Petroleum-Petrola agreement totally meets the interests of the Greek State, stressed Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.

    He added that the new oil company will operate dynamically in the region, boost the competitiveness of the Greek economy and allow the inflow of several hundred millions of euros to the state budget to be used to boost development and social policy.

  • [12] AGREEMENT FOR ORGANIZED SOLIDARITY IN THE EU The proceedings of the informal meeting of the EU Developmental Cooperation Ministers launched in Alexandroupolis, northeastern Greece, yesterday were completed today with the obvious satisfaction of the 25 delegations attending.

    The delegations examined issues of development policy in the enlarged EU of the "25", as well as the problems faced mainly by the ten new members regarding their economic contribution and the development aid to third countries stemming from their obligat ions as a result of their EU accession.

    The delegations agreed on the need for an EU that will be organized and will show solidarity offering resources to its new members. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus and Malta, finally agreed to participate in the process after expres sing doubt on whether they will manage to meet their financial obligations concerning development assistance.

    Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Andreas Loverdos stated in a press conference that it was proved there is a need for an organized solidarity within the EU and the arguments regarding the club of the rich and the club of the poor countries were ov erturned. He said that the EU is organized and transfers funds to the countries in need and reminded that the EU occupies the top place at a world level concerning development aid programs (55%).

  • [13] GREEK HUMANITARIAN AID FOR IRAQ TO SYRIA The fourth part of the humanitarian aid collected for the Iraqi people by "Solidarity", the non-governmental organization of the Greek Church, was sent to Syria yesterday. The, over 400 tons, humanitarian aid is made up of bottled water and food and it w ill be kept at a warehouse in Latakia, Syria for a couple of days before it is forwarded to Iraq.

    "Solidarity" has already collected a total of 1.392 tons of humanitarian aid for the Iraqi people made up of food, water, personal hygiene items and clothing.

  • [14] PAPANTONIOU'S SPEECH IN STRASBOURG The need to safeguard the institutional framework and autonomy of the European Policy on Security and Defense, the basic goal of which is the support of the EU role and foreign policy, was stressed by Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou. He made the statement presenting the Greek EU Presidency work in the sector of defense in the Western European Union Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg.

    He stressed that the goals set have been met, pointing out that the work of the Greek EU Presidency in the development of the European Policy on Security and Defense was recognized in the EU Defense Ministers Council in Brussels on May 19. He also said t hat there was agreement on a number of important issues to be examined in the Thessaloniki European Council.

    Mr. Papantoniou referred to the EU-NATO agreement, which secured the EU autonomy on issues of security and defense and the first European military operation in FYROM. He announced that on Thursday he will visit Skopje accompanied by the EU High Represent ative for CFSP Javier Solana and the 25 ambassadors of the EU member states to inspect the operation and be briefed on the latest developments.

    He referred specifically to the need for cooperation among the EU member states in the sector of armaments and the harmonizing of the policies of Research and Technology. He also mentioned the initiatives undertaken by the Greek EU Presidency for the str engthening of the relation between the European defense and the European industry.


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