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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-06-23

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, June 23, 2003








  • [01] RECORDING DAMAGES AND PUNISHMENT The government gave its reassurance that those citizens whose property was destroyed in the anarchists' attacks during the Anti-Summit protests in Thessaloniki. Crews are already recording damages and the Fire Department has estimated the total of damage s to 1 million euro. One of the 30 destroyed stores was a bookstore. Criminal charges were pressed against 27 of the 29 people arrested. There are 4 minors among the suspects. The damages were expected according to the Thessaloniki Association of Commerce .
  • [02] BALTIC SKY WITH 680 TONS OF EXPLOSIVES 680 tons of explosives and weapons were being transported on the "Baltic Sea" freight, sailing under a Comoran flag, which was located in Greek territorial waters, off the Western Coast of Etolokarnania, taken over in a Special Forces operation, and led to the Platogialo harbor in Etolokarnania. The motor ship apparently belongs to a shipping company based in the Marshal Islands, and had a crew of 7 foreigners.
  • [03] 7 YEARS WITHOUT ANDREAS A memorial service for the 7th anniversary of Andreas Papandreou's death is being organized in the I Athens Cemeteries by PASOK, in the presence of the party's President and Prime Minister Costas Simitis. A memorial with insinuations against the governme nt was held by PASOK's "left opposition" yesterday.
  • [04] REPORTER ASSAULTED BY PROTESTERS - SUSPECTS TAKEN TO EXAMINER There was tension in Thessaloniki at 8 last night outside the courthouse, when groups of young people who had gathered outside the building in solidarity to the 29 protesters who were arrested yesterday, clashed with the police.

    The incident began after a German photographer attempted to photograph approximately 150 people outside the courthouse's main door. This caused the reaction of the young people who attacked the photographer, forcing the police to intervene.

    There was a chase along the side alleys in the area and a limited use of tear gas, while the incident was over a short while later and the protesters gathered back outside the courts.

    Meanwhile, this morning, 27 of the protesters arrested by the police, accused of participating in the incidents and ensuing destruction during the Anti-Summit protests Saturday will be taken to the Examiner. The charges they are facing are: bombing, poss ession of explosive materials, construction of explosive devices (collective criminal offense), as well as major damages, resisting the authorities, illegal possession of arms (collective misdemeanor).

    Four of the 29 suspects initially arrested are minors, two of whom were facing misdemeanor charges, thus released to be tried at a later date. The other 27 suspects are being held and will be taken to the Examiner to enter their pleas. Damages at the AUTh

    This morning a committee began recording the damages done to the facilities of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki where the protesters had been hosted, the last of whom left late last night.

    After the departure of the protesters, all the schools remained locked throughout the night, while according to initial appreciations of the dean's office, the damages are concentrated in the Philosophical School, which had been squatted by anarchist gro ups, the so-called "black block".

  • [05] SIMITIS THREE-HOUR MEETING WITH BUSH A three-hour meeting is expected to take place next Wednesday in the White House between US President George Bush and Greek Prime Minister and President of the European Council Costas Simitis, in the framework of the EU-US Summit, the works of which will

    be held in Washington.

    As was pointed out in a report of the "Imerisia" newspaper from Washington, the EU-US Summit has been characterized as upgraded by US Officials and EU diplomats.

    The discussions are expected to cover the entire spectrum of issues concerning both the EU and the US.

  • [06] PAPANDREOU: WE COULD NOT HAVE HAD A BETTER SUMMIT RESULT Intense "euro-skepticism" characterizes a large portion of the British Press, as does a tendency to react to anything vaguely federal, anything supporting a united European voice, commented Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou regarding the "Economist" ar ticle that stated that the European Constitution belongs in the rubbish.

    Speaking to "Flash" radio, Mr. Papandreou said that the publication is characteristic of this "euro-skepticism" and has not special relation to the US position.

    Regarding the EU Summit in Chalkidiki, he noted that "we could not have a more effective result". On the draft of the European Constitution he observed that there are of course individual issues, on which Greece has a different view. These issues, howeve r, will be discussed in an upcoming phase of the negotiations in the framework of the Inter-Governmental Convention.

    His view was that it would be better if there was a direct election of the President of the European Council.

    Mr. Papandreou greeted the statement of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that he doubted if there was harassment of an Olympic Airways commercial flight by Turkish fighters, but in such a case he would condemn it. This statement,

    he said, expresses a spirit in Greek-Turkish relations.

  • [07] "BALTIK SKY" SAILORS ARRESTED The 7 foreign crew members of the small freight ship "Baltik Sky", flying a Comorran flag and carrying 680 tons of explosives and hundreds of thousands of detonators, will be taken to the DA this afternoon after being arrested by the Coast Guard last nig ht.

    Soldiers will transfer the explosives off the boat to a safe location. The "Baltik Sky" is not a Greek interest ship. The authorities are investigating all possibilities in the origin of the cargo, while the captain and all crew members were arrested.

  • [08] SIMITIS, MINISTERS, LALIOTIS STATEMENTS AT A. PAPANDREOU MEMORIAL The memorial for founder of PASOK and former Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou was held in the presence of present Prime Minister and President of PASOK Costas Simitis, the President of the Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, ministers, PASOK officials and his widow, Dimitra Papandreou, at the I Athens Cemetery.

    In his statement, Mr. Simitis said that the venture for Change that A. Papandreou began is still a challenge today, and he noted that: "We recall Andreas Papandreou to our memory today, the man who began the great venture towards Change. This venture has

    defined Greece over the past few years, this venture is still a challenge for all of us today, because Greece must adjust to the changes in Europe, in the global scene. Because Greece must always be ready to play a leading part, to face challenges, to be

    effective, to be convincing. We showed this at the Chalkidiki Summit, we will show it in the years to come."

    PASOK's unity is granted and our consolidation around C. Simitis is self evident, pointed out PASOK Secretary Costas Laliotis, who stated: "A. Papandreou is the great absent party but has a continuous presence in our hearts, our thoughts, our feelings, o ur memories, the memory of the Greek people for his vision and his ideas and his creative work, for Greece, for the people and for a modern society with a human face. PASOK, from 1974 to this day, from its foundation, initially with A. Papandreou and then

    with Mr. Simitis, was, and still is, a hopeful and victorious Movement. A Movement of change, modernization, reform, constant renewal of ideas and people, because it expresses and represents popular powers that constitute an existing current in the major ity. Since a lot has been said and written, I would like to reassure everyone that the unity of PASOK is granted and its consolidation around the country's Prime Minister and the President of the Movement is self evident, along with the trust of us all an d the political and moral solidarity that is granted."

    Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos underlined: "The citizens that came here today feel the irreplaceable presence of Andreas Papandreou. His legacy leads to an authentic and primary relationship between PASOK and the citizens. And was placed, a s it was formed by Andreas Papandreou , on a course of national strategy which aims at creating a peaceful Greece, a Greece of development, with solidarity, with cohesion."

    Deputy Minister of the Press Tilemachos Chytiris stated: "Andreas Papandreou was a political leader whose presence and politics changed Greece. Since then, from 1981 onwards, Greece entered a new orbit, and Greeks came to know essential, real democracy a nd progress. For many of us, A. Papandreou was also a man, a friend, a man who loved and embraced everyone, a sentimental man, a lively man, a man who had in his mind and heart all Greeks and his homeland, which he served to the very last moment. We will remember him always. For us politicians these must not be the last words, they must be our daily actions".

  • [09] EXPLOSIVE SKY Six hundred and eighty tons of explosives and weapons were on board the small freight "Baltik Sky" - flying a Comorran flag - which was located in Greek territorial waters off the coast of Etolokarnania, captured by the special forces and taken to the "P latogialos" harbor. The motor ship apparently belongs to a shipping company based in the Marshal Islands, and had a crew of 5 Ukrainians and 2 Azerbaijanis who have been arrested. The ship had departed from Tunisia a month ago, while it had changed crews in Istanbul.
  • [10] THE BEST POSSIBLE RESULT "We could not have had a more effective result", stated Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou regarding the Chalkidiki Summit, while he attributed the reactions to the proposal of the European Constitution to British euro-skepticism, and characterized the statements made by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan condemning the harassment of the Olympic Airways commercial flight by Turkish fighters, as indicative of the new spirit in Greek-Turkish relations, even though Mr. Erdogan questioned whether it occurred or


  • [11] EUROFINANCING FOR ABNA The intention of the Foreign Ministry to Finance the Association of Balkan News Agencies (ABNA) was expressed by deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos, while at the same time he announced the approval of 5 proposals submitted by Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mo ntenegro, Bulgaria and Romania by the Organization for the Reconstruction of the Balkans.

    Mr. Loverdos, speaking at the opening of ABNA's General Assembly, underlined the problems the Greek Foreign Ministry faces daily, due to distorted or lacking information that reaches Greece from its neighbors. The deputy Foreign Minister pointed out that

    a news base which will provide a correct information must be created, and added that that cannot be done through private news agencies. That is why it asked ABNA to submit specific proposals in that direction over the next few days, so that they may be f unded by the Foreign Ministry.

    Mr. Loverdos also referred to the results of the EU Summit held in Chalkidiki, stressing that the return of European interest to the Balkans was praised by the entire EU. He mentioned that the EU chose a partnership with 5 Balkan countries and that stabi lity and connection agreements have already been signed with Croatia and FYROM. He added that the course of Western Balkan countries was organized and includes obligations that must be kept.

    Regarding the Greek program for Balkan Reconstruction, he announced the approval of 5 proposals submitted by Balkan countries:

    The project for repair of the Social Institutions building in Sarajevo, which will host all the countries Parliaments. Two million euro were set aside towards that project.

    The project for the reconstruction of the Public Health Institution in Montenegro.

    The modernization in the Los harbor in Bulgaria.

    The funding of Tahis in Bulgaria.

    The provision of 1.5 million euro for technical support to the Romanian Ministry for European Affairs.

  • [12] EXTENSIVE INVESTIGATIONS ON BALTIC SKY Extensive investigations are underway regarding the case of the small freight ship "Baltic Sky", flying a Comorran flag and carrying 680 tons of explosives and hundreds of thousands of detonators. The ship was located in Greek territorial waters off the western shore of Etolokarnania, while its 5 Ukrainian and 2 Azerbaijani crewmembers were arrested.

    According to the Minister of Merchant Marine, Giorgos Anomeritis, the ship had been in the Mediterranean for a month, with the dangerous cargo it was transporting, and had not reached its destination.

    Information mentioned that it had set off from Tunisia and was headed to some port in Africa, but somehow ended up in Istanbul. There it changed its crew and was finally found at sea off the coast of Etolokarnania. The same sources mentioned that the Gre ek Coast Guard authorities had had the ship under surveillance since Friday, while they had alerted judicial authorities which were on standby.

    The Mayor of Astakos, Etolokarnania, pointed out that the ship had lost its way and had stopped in the Astakos gulf asking for supplies.

    Mr. Anomeritis gave his assurance that there is no danger from the cargo, as the materials have been separated and the proper understandings have been carried out for its transfer. At the same time he made mention of increased security measures and stric t checks on all suspicious ships or ships on the black list sailing in Greek or Mediterranean waters. "Locating a cargo such as this reflects the possibilities for every ship, not just those on the black list", he said characteristically.

    Meanwhile, the crew members are facing criminal charges concerning the cargo as well as its possible use, and the way it had been placed in the ship.

    The case is being watched closely by the Russian media, as they believe that the explosives maybe the kind used lately in Grozni, Chechnya.

  • [13] ELLINIADA: A CELEBRATION OF HELLENISM Elliniada aspires to become a celebration of Hellenism around the world. It will be held in Thessaloniki for the first time on June 25-29 with the support of the Greek Foreign Ministry and the General Secretariat for the Greeks Living Abroad, the Ministr y of Culture and the World Council for Greeks Abroad, SAE.

    The program of Elliniada was presented in a press conference today. A total of 380 young Greeks from all over the world will participate in the sports and cultural event.

    Culture Minister Evangelos Vanizelos pointed out that Elliniada is a celebration of spots and culture for the young Greeks living abroad in view of the 2004 Olympic Games.

    Elliniada will be held every two years in Thessaloniki, the capital city of the Greeks living abroad.

  • [14] THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON MR. SIMITIS' VISIT TO THE US Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will depart tomorrow for Washington, under his authority as the European Council President, to attend the regular EU-US Summit meeting.

    Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated that the meeting of the Prime Minister with US President Bush creates certain expectations given the fact that we are in the beginning of a new era in the EU-US strategic partnership relation after th e recent tensions of the past few months.

    In the talks Mr. Simitis will have with the US President will be examined among others, the developments in Iraq and the Middle East, the non proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the efforts against terrorism, the development of the "Galileo" Pr oject and the results of the EU Summit in Thessaloniki.

    Also, the Greek Prime Minister will discuss all the issues examined within the framework of the European Council, among them the Cyprus issue.

  • [15] THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON ERDOGAN'S STATEMENTS "The positions of the Turkish side concerning the width of the territorial waters and airspace are known and the comments I have made in the past are in effect", said Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas, when he was called to comment on the st atements made by the Turkish Prime Minister. Mr. Erdogan has stated that there are no Greek airspace violations committed by the Turkish fighter jets, while he will not accept the expansion of territorial waters to 12 nautical miles.

    Mr. Protopapas stated that the stance of the Turkish side during the EU Summit in Thessaloniki was very careful and cited a newspaper article written by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul according to which, his country wants close relations with the EU, thanking the Greek EU Presidency for its stance.

    The European course of Turkey is necessary for Turkey itself and the southeastern European region in general, said the Greek government spokesman, adding that it passes through the abolition of the "green line" diving Cyprus and the settlement of the Cy prus problem.

  • [16] LOSSES IN THE ASE Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.96% at 1.887,62 points, while the volume of transactions was at 122,4 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 208 recorded losses and 111 had gains, while the value of 56 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [17] EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT IN LIBERIA The European Union welcomes the signing of a ceasefire agreement in Ghana on Tuesday, June 17 between the Government of Liberia and representatives of rebel groups Lurd and Model.

    The EU urges the parties to fully comply with the ceasefire agreement and co-operate constructively with the ECOWAS mediator and the representatives of Liberian political parties and civil society in order to reach a sustainable peace agreement for Liber ia. The European Union reiterates its strong support for ECOWAS efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the Liberian crisis and its commitment to support a comprehensive peace agreement for Liberia.

    The European Union reminds the signatories of the ceasefire agreement of their obligation to respect international humanitarian law, ensure that humanitarian initiatives are protected and allow access to territory under their control for humanitarian act ors.

    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, members of the European Economic Area, align themselves with this declaration.

  • [18] PROTOPAPAS ON THE EU SUMMIT MEETING OUTCOME Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas referred to the congratulations given to the Greek EU Presidency and Prime Minister Kostas Simitis by all the EU leaders, stressing that the EU Summit was very important because an effective boost was given to the process for the adoption of a European Constitution.

    Mr. Protopapas also referred to the decision on illegal immigration saying that the decisions reached opened the door to additional policies in the future.

    He also referred to the opening made by the EU to the Western Balkan states, pointing out that it is the first time the issue was raised in a formal EU Summit, proving the EU Presidency's interest in the Western Balkans and the further support of the reg ion's economic development and stability.

  • [19] BUDAPEST GROUP MINISTERIAL MEETING ON THE PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION The Greek Ministry of Public Order will host the Budapest Group Ministerial meeting in cooperation with the International Center for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD-Vienna) within the framework of the obligations of the Greek EU Presidency in the sec tor of the EU external relations.

    The meeting will take place at the southern Aegean island of Rhodes on June 25-26, chaired by Undersecretary of Public Order Pantelis Tsertikidis.

    The meeting is a follow up to earlier relevant meetings. It is placed within a wider cooperation framework including 45 countries and international organizations.

    The goal of the meeting is to find ways to deal with illegal immigration in a wider area outside the EU through the adoption of recommendations for the strengthening of international cooperation, especially at an operational level, and the harmonization of legislation.


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