|Tuesday, 25 February 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-06-06
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, June 6, 2003
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
The Prime Minister will meet with French President Jacques Chirac today and the President of the Convention for the Future of Europe Valerie Giscard D'Estaing.
The main topic at the meetings will be the issues on the agenda at the Thessaloniki Summit and issues about the future of Europe.
Mr. Simitis will discuss issues concerning the institution of the President of the European Council and strengthening the rights and responsibilities of the European Commission, as well as EU-US relations with Mr. Chirac
Mr. Chirac will make statements today joint statements with Mr. Simitis, also in deviation from protocol.
Apart from the Ministers of the "25", the President of the EU Committee of the Regions, Albert Bore, will also be present, as will the Turkish Minister of Public Administration Abdulkadir Aksu, whom Mr. Scandalidis greeted warmly, stressing the potential
for cooperation among Mediterranean countries, while he pointed out that such a meeting would have been inconceivable a few years ago.
Mr. Scandalidis pointed out that it is especially positive for a country such as Greece, with 5,500 islands, that the Committee of the Regions would deal specifically with it, in its meeting that began yesterday morning in Rhodes with communication poten tial with distant and island regions.
The Council's meeting will begin today with the presentation of the Greek program on the Centers for Citizen Service, followed by a speech by Mr. Scandalidis.
Samples were taken from 1,914 beaches where swimming is allowed, regarding microbiological and chemical parameters. The EU report concluded that the average quality of coastline swimming waters continued improving.
Our country won the most blue flags, with 97%, while according to the report, cities with more than 150,000 residents, have already started using refuse processing units.
The mammoth operation which is expected to be a general rehearsal for the Athens Olympics, will include the participation of 10,000 police officers from various police directions, while 2,000 firemen and soldiers will participate in the protective umbrel la to be spread to regions over the Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki prefectures.
During the broad meeting held in the Maximos Mansion, presided over by Prime Minister Simitis, with the participation of Ministers of Public Order Michalis Chrysochoidis and Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis, all the data on the operation was looked i nto, while Mr. Chrysochoidis was given the responsibility of applying the measures.
Information mentioned that the broader region of the Porto Carras hotel complex, the peninsula of Sithonia, where the heads of state and foreign delegations will stay during the works of the Summit, will be impenetrable and patrolled 24 hours a day, from
land, air and sea.
Also, powerful police forces will be placed at central points of Thessaloniki, as well as on major roads (the part from the airport to Neos Marmaras and the "Porto Carras" hotel), while security measures for buildings housing consulates, multinational co rporations, banks, and other possible targets will be increased, due to the thousands of protesters to come to the city.
In fact emergency measures for shops, banks and other businesses are being taken by the owners or managers of the businesses. Over the past few days, they have begun installing metal panels and bulletproof glass and replacing their shop windows, especial ly in the area around the US Consulate.
One Greek and two Turks arrested are members of the ring, while the police also arrested to illegal immigrants. As was revealed in the preliminary examination, the two Turkish traffickers secured fake Portuguese passports and driving licenses with the ai d of their accomplices in Bulgaria, in order for the illegal immigrants to travel to France, via Greece.
As was announced by the Thessaloniki Police Direction, the officers had information that an Albanian national was importing and trafficking counterfeit bills, and following an investigation they traced the 29-year-old to his home in the Chalkidiki commun ity, where the 280 counterfeit bills were found.
According to his claims, the bills originated from Bulgaria and another Albanian gave them to him in Tirana so as to bring them to Greece.
This proposal was made by the President of the Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis and was accepted by the Regulation Committee, with the exception of KKE representative Antonis Skyllakos, and is expected to be presented in the Plenary Session next week, dur ing the discussion on changing the Regulation, and will be applied immediately following the vote.
According to the new regulation, the request to lift immunity will no longer be examined by the 50 member Public Administration and Justice Committee, but will be reassigned to a subcommittee, which will look into whether or not the charges are related t o the political activity of the MP, and will accordingly make its proposal to the Plenary Session.
The subcommittee will be chaired by a Parliamentary Vice President and will include the President of the Standing Public Administration Committee and one representative from each major party.
It will be an open vote, unless the President of the Parliament or the head of the party being represented in Parliament asks for a secret vote for the MP facing charges.
Mr. Papandreou pointed out that the population of the planet will increase by 2 billion in the next 25 years and that 97% of the increase will take place in developing countries. At the same time he stressed that in today's international juncture, the de veloping world, which comprises the majority of the planet, lives in conditions of poverty, while the constantly increasing social inequality will form new fields of tension, undermining international and national order.
Representatives of the miners and relatives remain outside the gallery since the first day of the mobilizations in a show of solidarity and support to the 103 striking miners.
For the record, the 500 people employed in the Madem-Lako mines were not paid for the past five months and are unable to get unemployment benefit because they were not laid off by the multinational company managing the mines.
The 10-member mission is organized by the Athens Alpine Club, which already has four successful missions to mountain tops at the Himalayas with an altitude of over 8.000 meters. The mission is under the auspices of the Athens Municipality, the Culture Mi nistry and the Sports General Secretariat.
Of the stocks trading today, 292 recorded gains and 34 had losses, while the value of 38 stocks remained unchanged.
When the whole Euro-army is in operation, it will be a significant force, said Mr. Papantoniou and pointed out that the crucial issue is whether the Euro-army will have new responsibilities beyond the peacekeeping missions and will become a real army tha t will protect borders. He also stressed that equally important is the likelihood of the inclusion of a clause in the European Constitution which will mention that an attack on Greece will be regarded as an attack on the whole of the EU.
Mr. Papantoniou stated that defense spending in Greece dropped from 5% to 3.5% of the GDP, adding that no further spending cuts can be adopted because of the needs the country has as a result of the threats it faces from Turkey.
On the Greek-Turkish relations, he said that the policy of the Greek side in the past few years had positive results on the issue of Cyprus. However, he predicted increased tension between Greece and Turkey because of the stance adopted by the Turkish mi litary establishment.
For the record, the European Parliament resolution calls for the immediate withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus and the solution of the Cyprus problem, while in essence the role of Turkey's National Council is being downgraded.
Europe is not willing to accept the intransigent stance adopted by Turkey, which is under pressure by establishment views and interests. This line of action, which is expressed by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash leads Turkey itself to a dead end reg arding its European course. "They should realize this soon and contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem", said Mr. Protopapas.
Referring to the European Constitution, Mr. Kinnock stated that the final text will describe "what we can and what we cannot do in the European Union".
Mr. Kinnock also praised the Greek EU Presidency for the way it handled the European issues.
He underlined the commitment of all parties involved to issues of EU public administration, both at a national and a European level, for an easier to understand, simpler and more transparent public administration and a lasting social dialogue for the imp rovement of the services offered to the citizens.
In the informal summit participated 10 ministers and 12 undersecretaries from the 25 EU member states and the three under accession countries. They also discussed legislation issues, human resources, e-governance and the support of remote and island regi ons.
Present in the summit was Turkey represented by Public Administration Minister Mr. Aksu, who referred to the steps made by Turkey in the specific sector. Greek Interior Minister Mr. Skandalidis underlined, responding to a relevant question by MPA, that T urkey has a positive attitude clarifying that no discussion was made on bilateral issues.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
The issues under discussion will be the institutional changes in the EU, the Constitutional Convention on the Future of Europe, the incorporation of the western Balkan countries into the EU, the problem of illegal immigration, international issues and th e Euro-Atlantic relations.
Later, Mr. Simitis will meet with Constitutional Convention President Valerie Giscard d' Estaing.
The members of the council congratulated Greek Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos for the progress, completion and outcome of the negotiations made by the Greek EU Presidency.
The agreement promotes judicial cooperation with the United States in combating crime, while fully respecting human rights and the principles the European judicial civilization is based upon.