|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-10-03
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 REVEALING VIDEO OF SHIPWRECK TAKEN BY DIVERSAthens, 3 October 2000 (10:25 UTC+2)
A video taken in the shipwrecked "Express Samina" by divers, with the aim of helping specialists determine what caused the tragedy, has provided valuable information concerning the state of the ship.
The diver's video is said to provide key information to shedding light on the incident, as it will facilitate the investigation of various elements of the ship's structure and emergency life-saving measures.
Meanwhile, the president of the Piraeus Steel Syndicate, Iordanis Pountides, revealed that the work carried out on the vessel, at a cost of 1.4 billion drachmas, was mainly in refurbishing and equipping the cabins and other passenger comforts, whereas "only maintenance and repair works were carried out on the machinery".
According to reports, only 4-5% of the aforementioned cost was spent on safety systems and the ship's machinery, whereas 70% of the money was used to refurbish the accomodation and passenger services offered on board the ship.
 GREEK AND TURKISH DEFENSE MINISTERS MEET TODAYAthens, 3 October 2000 (10:44 UTC+2)
Greek minister of Defense Akis Tsochatsopoulos will meet today with his Turkish counterpart Sabahdin Tsakmakoglou, on the sidelines of the defense exhibition Defendory 2000.
The Turkish Defense minister arrived in Athens yesterday and visited the Acropolis, accompanied by the Turkish ambassador to Athens.
 ARAB AMBASSADORS WANT GREEK INTERVENTION IN M. EASTAthens, 3 October 2000 (11:10 UTC+2)
Arab ambassadors in Athens have asked the Greek government to intervene in the new crisis to recently break out in the Middle East. A committee of the Arab Ambassadors Council will meet with Greek Foreign minister George Papandreou today, to inform him of the situation and to ask for Greek intervention, as a member of the European Union.
 THE "SAMINA" CAPTAIN AND SHIP'S MATE WERE DETAINED AWAITING TRIALSiros, 3 October 2000 (18:05 UTC+2)
"Samina" captain Vasilis Yiannakis and ship's mate Tasos Psychogios were detained awaiting trial at the joint decision of the examining magistrate and prosecutor on the island of Siros who have jurisdiction over the island of Paros where the tragic accident took place. Earlier, Yiannakis and Psychogios had completed their testimonies before the responsible authorities.
The two will remain at the Siros Port Authority facilities for a few days and as soon as the pre-trial investigation procedure is completed they will be transferred to the prisons on the island of Chios.
Next in line to give an account of what happened on the night of the tragic accident was helmsman Kasdaglis followed by trainee captain Patilas.
 SIMITIS-PAPANDREOU MEETING ON THE MIDDLE EAST AND YUGOSLAVIAAthens, 3 October 2000 (17:44 UTC+2)
The meeting prime minister Kostas Simitis had in Athens today with foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou focused on the developments in Yugoslavia and the Middle East.
It should be noted that the Arab ambassadors to Athens have requested the Greek government's intervention for the easing of the tension in the Middle East.
In statements he made after the meeting, foreign minister Papandreou stressed that the Greek government follows the situation closely and added that Greece has played a significant role in the efforts for democratic developments in Yugoslavia. He said that "we want to see Yugoslavia in the European family, we want to see it cooperate within the Balkan framework and we do everything possible to have democratic developments in Yugoslavia", stressed Mr. Papandreou.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS AND CAKMAKOGLU DISCUSSED GREEK-TURKISH ISSUESAthens, 3 October 2000 (17:29 UTC+2)
Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos met in Athens at noon today with his Turkish counterpart Sabahadin Cakmakoglu within the framework of the defense materials exhibition "Defendory 2000". The meeting of the two ministers focused on the Greek-Turkish relations and examined ways to ease the tension between the two countries within the framework of the confidence-building-measures.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos underlined that a fair solution in Cyprus, in accordance with the international law, is a basic precondition for security in bilateral relations. He also said that part of the armaments credits in Greece and Turkey can be allocated at this time to cover other needs of the two peoples.
The Turkish minister of defense expressed his condolences for the victims of the sea tragedy near the island of Paros and stressed that the good climate in the Greek-Turkish relations must be used for the solution of the differences between the two countries.
 2004 MUST BE DECLARED YEAR OF SPORTS FOR EUROPEAthens, 3 October 2000 (17:00 UTC+2)
European Commissioner Viviane Reding, responsible for education and culture issues suggested that the year 2004 must be declared year of sports for Europe. The proposal was made in a meeting she had yesterday with Greek culture minister Theodoros Pangalos.
Mr. Pangalos stated that the proposal honors Greece underlining that this fact will give a special significance to the 2004 Olympic Games.
Ms. Reding also expressed the idea to give a European character to the Olympic torch-race stressing that the Olympic Flame could pass through every European country allowing every European citizen to feel that they are part of a united Europe.
 THE MERCHANT MARINE CAPTAINS' ASSOCIATION CALLS FOR A THOROUGH INVESTIGATIONAthens, 3 October 2000 (16:43 UTC+2)
The representatives of the Merchant Marine Captains' Association in a press conference they gave in Athens today called for a thorough investigation on the causes of the "Samina" tragedy stressing that the ship's crew members should not become scapegoats.
Association president Evangelos Kouzilos stated that the Greek captains do not deny their responsibilities, whenever they exist, but he hinted that the shipping company and the ministry of merchant marine as well as other state agencies also have their share of responsibilities. He said that the Greek captains have faith in the Greek justice and added that it should be left undistracted to complete its investigation away from economic and political interests.
He also pointed out that the Greek captains face very adverse weather conditions while carrying people to non existent ports.
It should be noted that all the Greek captains have submitted their resignations and authorized the Merchant Marine Captains' Association to make all necessary moves if no change is made in the safety standards on behalf of the shipping companies as well as in terms of services offered on behalf of the merchant marine ministry.
 LOSSES OF 2.42% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 3 October 2000 (16:08 UTC+2)
Significant losses of 2.42% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 4.079,77 points, while the volume of transactions was disappointing at 58.8 billion drachmas.
Market circles attribute today's losses to the bad psychological state of the investors and the absence of foreign investors.
Of the stocks trading today, just 24 recorded gains, compared to 330 that had losses and 18 which remained unchanged.
 REPPAS ON THE CYPRUS ISSUEAthens, 3 October 2000 (15:58 UTC+2)
The European Union Summit meeting decisions in Helsinki are in effect and the solution of the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for Cyprus' accession into the European Union, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.
At the same time, he underlined that development minister Nikos Christodoulakis made no such correlation during his visit to Cyprus on the occasion of its independence anniversary.
 THERE WAS NO TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SIMITIS AND CLINTONAthens, 3 October 2000 (15:48 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that there was no telephone communication between US president Bill Clinton and Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis, while Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou had a number of telephone contacts with US secretary of state Madeleine Albright.
Referring to the initiative undertaken by Mr. Papandreou and his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov aimed at reaching a solution on Yugoslavia, he stated that it is positive and can offer a way out of the situation.
 APOSTOLAKIS: DEFENSE CREATES NEW SECTORS OF INVESTMENTThessaloniki, 3 October 2000 (15:45 UTC+2)
Undersecretary of defense Dimitris Apostolakis, speaking in the 2nd International Conference of the Greek War Material Manufacturers' Association, referred to the development nature of the defense industry which can promote new production fields.
Specifically, the undersecretary of defense referred to the gains from the 1996-2000 armaments programs and pointed out that 136 armaments programs' contracts, estimated at 840 billion drachmas, were signed in the specific period of time.
The specific contracts concern construction projects, transfer of know-how, technical support and personnel training as well as, armaments supplies and services to the armed forces.
 CONFLICTING TESTIMONIES BY THE "SAMINA" CAPTAIN AND SHIP'S MATEAthens, 3 October 2000 (15:38 UTC+2)
"Samina" ship's mate Tasos Psychogios completed his testimony today and according to information, it was different from the testimony of captain Vasilis Yiannakis regarding the time at which the captain was informed of the imminent collision.
The ship's mate maintains that he informed the captain 3 miles before reaching the rocky islet, while captain Yiannakis maintains that this took place just a mile away from the scene of the tragedy.
Psychogios maintains that he was among the last to abandon the ship and helped in the rescue of passengers, while rumors say that the captain had left the ship much earlier.