|Friday, 24 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-10-01
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 CRUCIAL WEEK COMING UP FOR OAAthens, 1 October 2000 (13:38 UTC+2)
Next week will be crucial in determining the fate of the Greek national airline Olympic Airways, as future steps to be taken by the Greek government will be decided, with the aim of making OA more attractive to international buyers.
Greek Transport and Communications minister, Christos Verelis, will meet with the European Union Commissioner for transport issues, Loyola de la Palacio. Ms de la Palacio has already examined the proposals made by the ministry for splitting the company into two, to create one profitable subsidiary and one to deal with existing debts.
 CONDOLENCES OF GREEK-US COUNCIL FOR "SAMINA" VICTIMSAthens, 1 October 2000 (13:27 UTC+2)
Members of the Greek-American Council of North America extends its sympathies to all those involved in the tragic "Samina" shipwreck, and expresses its remorse for the unfair loss of so many lives and for the horrific experiences recounted by the survivors.
"The members of the Greek-American Council of North America offers its support for those involved in the national tragedy and expresses its deep condolences to the families of the tragedy's victims", said the Council's president, Theodoros Spyropoulos.
 "DE GAULLE AND KARAMANLIS" SEMINAR TO BE HELDAthens, 1 October 2000 (12:26 UTC+2)
"De Gaulle and Karamanlis" is the title given to the two day seminar organised by the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute, as part of its collaboration with the De Gaulle Institute in France.
The contribution of both political figures in the re-establishment of their countries in the aftermath of World War II will be examined during the seminar, as will their ideologies concerning the Constitution and their handling of power.
Mr Z Fouaillet and A. Larkan are amongst the French institute's representatives who will speak at the seminar, together with N. Alivazatos, G.Alogosoufis and Eleni ARveler-Glikatsi, amongst others. A round table discussion will also be held on the topic "France and Greece as Mediterranean members of the European Union today".
 REPPAS EXPRESSES SUPPORT OF PAPOUTSIS OVER SHIPWRECKAthens, 1 October 2000 (11:55 UTC+2)
Greek government representative, Dimitris Reppas, expressed his full support of the country's Commercial Shipping minister, Christos Papoutsis, in the face of recent calls for the latter's resignation from his duties as minister. "The government and the country cannot be deprived of a good minister because of an accident that he was not involved in", Mr Reppas said.
He went on to accuse the opposition New Democracy party of taking advantage of the "Express Samina" tragedy, saying that "empty words are not useful at a time of crisis. Greece has been tried by other catastrophes and the government has shown that it is capable of leading the country to a better future. The truth is that the minister of Commercial Shipping took certain initiatives immediately after the elections to protect the citizens and at the expense of private interests. I do not believe that the government and the country should lose a good minister because the application of new policies has coincided with an accident in which he was not involved".
 PAPOUTSIS ANNOUCES 7 MAJOR CHANGES IN SHIPPINGThessaloniki, 1 October 2000 (11:16 UTC+2)
Details of the "Samina" shipwreck will all be disclosed, according to Greek minister of Commercial Shipping, Christos Papoutsis, who also added that he will go ahead with 7 major changes that will open a new chapter in Greek shipping.
Mr Papoutsis expressed his shock at the unfair loss of so many people. As far as calls for his resignation are concerned, he replied that "the Prime Minister did not let me even think of making such a move. I have his absolute support. My resignation would be an easy solution, especially for a minister who has been in his position for only five months, such as myself. I have chosen the difficult path, the path of committment to the fact that all responsibility will be attributed and all guilty parties will be punished.
The Greek minister of Commercial Shipping stressed that an attractive framework for investment in shipping will be created, which will contribute to the fleet's renewal. However, a stable legal framework must be created in order to guarantee public interest and healthy competition.
The 7 changes outlined by Mr Papoutsis include: The liberalization of the sea transport market and the introduction of more direct routes from various Greek ports to the islands. Another plan is the renewal of the Greek fleet, the enforcement of stricter checking procedures and the improvement of crew training and equipment.
 CYPRUS CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE TODAYAthens, 1 October 2000 (10:35 UTC+2)
Cyprus is celebrating 40 years since the declaration of independence on the island, with the participation of a Greek delegation. Representing the country's government will be Greek Development minister, Nikos Christodoulakis and the undersecretary of Defence, Dimitris Apostolakis, who held talks with Cypriot minister of Defence, Socrates Chasikos, yesterday.
Representing the Greek New Democracy party at the celebrations will be party leader Costas Karamanlis, shadow secretary of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Dora Bakoyianni, international relations secretary Yiannis Valinakis and the party's press representative, Theodoros Roussopoulos. Mr Karamanlis is expected to hold talks with Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and the country's other political leaders later on in the day.
 DEATH TOLL OF SHIPWRECK REACHES 76Athens, 1 October 2000 (10:18 UTC+2)
Divers recovered the bodies of two more passengers who were on board the "Express Samina" ferry, bringing the death toll to 76. One body was that of the ship's accountant Ioannis Margonis and the other that of passenger George Chatzis. According to the ministry of Commercial Shipping, five more people are still believed to be missing.
The ship's captain and three crew members, all accused of felony, will now plead their case before magistrates in Syros. The contribution of two specialists has also been requested, in order to investigate the causes of the shipwreck.
Meanwhile, the ministry of Commercial Shipping has drawn 65 ferries out of service after control checks proved that they fail to meet common safety standards.
 KARAMANLIS: GREECE WILL STAND BY CYPRUSLarnaca, 1 October 2000 (12:19 UTC+2)
Greece will always stand by the side of the Cypriot nation and will remain committed to achieving a free and unified Cyprus, based on decisions taken by the UN, according to the leader of the Greek New Democracy party, Costas Karamanlis.
Speaking at Larnaca airport shortly after his arrival in Cyprus, Mr Karamanlis stated that "unfortunately 40% of the island continues to be under Turkish occupation and this alone forces us all to never forget our debt towards Cyprus, in the creation of a free and unified country, based on UN decisions".
 FIVE CHURCHES IN KERASUNDA HAVE BEEN TURNED INTO BARNSIstanbul, 30 September 2000 (17:01 UTC+2)
The residents of the village of Tsakrak in Kerasunda, Turkey have turned five Christian churches into barns. The Turkish newspaper "Cumhurriyet" writes that the churches were destroyed by treasure hunters because they are not protected.
Head of the tourism agency in the specific region Mehmet Giuktsel stated to the newspaper that as in all the rural regions in the country the historic monuments were not protected. However, he added that within the framework of a special program under preparation the historic monuments that need protection will be promoted.
 GREEK PRESS AWARD TO A TURKISH JOURNALISTAnkara, 30 September 2000 (15:39 UTC+2)
One of the most prestigious Greek press awards that of "Konstantinos Kalligas and European Orientation" will be received this year by Turkish newspaper "Hurriyet" correspondent in Brussels Zeinel Lule.
The Turkish newspaper writes that he is the first Turkish journalist ever to be honored with this award.
 THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION CALLS FOR CLARIFICATIONS ON THE SEA TRAGEDY IN THE AEGEANBrussels, 30 September 2000 (15:25 UTC+2)
The European Commission asked formally for clarifications by the Greek government on the "Samina Express" sea tragedy, while it also asked for proofs that all the clauses included in the relevant community directives regarding the safety of domestic sea transportation have been strictly observed.
The French European Commission transportation general director at the orders of the responsible European Commissioner sent a letter addressed to Greece's permanent representative in the European Union ambassador Agathoklis dated September 28. In the letter it is clarified that even though no one wants to prejudge the causes of the accident the EU wants to be certain that all the clauses of the relevant European Community legislation have been observed.
Meanwhile, 14 more people are still missing after the sinking of the "Samina Express" last Tuesday night, just 2 nautical miles from the port of the Aegean island of Paros. Those people were not on the ship's passenger lists but their names were reported by their relatives. Among them are 11 Greeks, 1 Spaniard, 1 Russian and an Albanian. The total number of those who were rescued is 456, while the death toll has risen to 74.
 FLORIDES: GREEK VISIT TO SYDNEY WAS SUCCESSFULSydney, 1 October 2000 (13:27 UTC+2)
Greek undersecretary of Sport, George Florides, expressed his satisfaction with both the country's athletic and political presence in Sydney, during the Olympic Games.
"We will return to Greece with 13 medals and 39 Olympic champions. This great success belongs mainly to the athletes but also to their coaches and to the people who stood by their side during their training. I would like to express my honest congratulations to our athletes for their strong presence in the Games, however we should not only take the medals won into consideration, but also the good rankings achieved by Greek athletes". Mr Florides went on to say that "we will be returning to Greece with our heads held high, as we achieved our greatest Olympic success in Sydney. We proved that our success in Atlanta was not a question of luck and we will continue to aim even higher".
As far as his visit to Sydney was concerned, the Greek Sports undersecretary stated that "we have gained many experiences, which will be useful for the organisation of the 2004 Olympic Games. Organisation plans vary from city to city. There is no general rule for organising events: we can gain experience and apply it to the specifications of each city. If Athens repeats what took place in Sydney, it will fail. The world athletic movement does not expect Athens to copy Sydney, it expects it to organise Games, which will be connected to the city's history and culture".
Mr Florides also met with the vice president of the International Olympics Organisation, Jacques Rogge, who is "responsible" for the organisation of the Games in Athens. Mr Rogge made it clear that taking the Games away from Athens was never an issue, as has been claimed in the Australian press on several occasions.
 AVRAMOPOULOS WILL NOT BE A CANDIDATE IN THE 2002 MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN ATHENSSydney, 30 September 2000 (15:02 UTC+2)
Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos in a press conference he gave in Sydney today stated that he will not be a candidate in the 2002 municipal elections in Athens.
Referring to the "Athens 2004" committee and the fact that he does not participate in it, Mr. Avramopoulos explained that he reached this decision because he respects the government's decision, pointing out that the committee's members can be successful and effective. Suggesting, however, that there must be unity and coordination.
He also stated that he has sent a letter to the prime minister suggesting that all festivities scheduled to take place in honor of the Greek Olympic champions must be postponed and be replaced by a humble ceremony out of respect for the "Samina Express" victims and their families.
 A GREAT DAY FOR GREECE TODAY - ONE SILVER AND TWO BRONZE MEDALS IN SYDNEYSydney, 30 September 2000 (14:39 UTC+2)
Another great day dawned for Greece in the Sydney Olympics today where the Greek champions won one silver and two bronze medals.
World champion in the women's javelin Mirela Tzelili breaking the Greek record twice won the silver medal with a throw of 67.51meters.
The gold went to Norway's Trine Hattestad with a throw of 68.91meters and the bronze was won by Cuba's Osleidys Menendez with a throw of 66.18meters.
Earlier, Greece had celebrated two more bronze medals. The first came from the wrestling event in the men's 54kg category won by Amiral Kartanov, while the second was won in the women's group competition in gymnastics.
Kartanov won the bronze just 2 seconds before the end of the game. His opponent was Belorus' Kodoev. The last Olympic bronze medal in wrestling was won by Greece 12 years ago by Babis Holidis.
In Women's Group-All Around Final Greece won the bronze medal with 39.283 total points. The gold went to Russia with 39.500 points and the silver was won by the Belarus team also with 39.500 points.