|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-02-01
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ATTACK ON THE PRESIDENT CONDEMNED BY ALLAthens, 1 February 2002 (13:04 UTC+2)
It is especially unpleasant that my name was involved in the slot machine case. I could never have imagined that any connection could be attempted to be made between my name and any illegal or immoral activity.
My warm gratitude to the entire political world and all those who expressed their trust and appreciation to me, stated the President of the Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos, following an unprecedented attack on his person, in connection to an illegal gambling network.
Mr. Stefanopoulos is the example of morality. Whomever attacks him in the way we witnessed today, is the example of wretchedness, stated Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, after the attack made on President of the Republic during a television program on Extra TV, by journalist Spyros Karajaferis.
Mr. Karajaferis supported that Mr. Stefanopoulos' son, Ilias, owns a building in downtown Patra, which has been rented to a shady businessman, connected in the gambling underworld.
This unprecedented attack against the President of the Republic was condemned as harshly by the government, through spokesperson Christos Protopapas, as it was by New Democracy, through its spokesperson Thodoris Rousopoulos.
This unethical attack against the President of the Republic, whose morality and integrity are recognized by the entire Greek people, proves that the real target of these nests of untransparency, is the democratic stability of Greece underlined Mr. Roussopoulos, while Mr. Protopapas stated: The squalid practice of journalism displayed against the President of the Republic, is condemned by and repulses the entire Greek people, and, we believe, the entire political world.
This attack on the President, and by extent on the institution he represents, incited intense reactions from many politicians, who mentioned an attempt to blemish Mr. Stefanopoulos' name.
Every attempt to blemish the President of the Republic is unequivocally condemned by PASOK, and, we believe, all political powers, because even wretchedness has its limits, stressed the Secretary of PASOK's Central Committee, Mr. Kostas Laliotis, underlining that the Greek people have expressed and continue expressing their complete trust, limitless appreciation and deepest respect in the President of the Republic.
The President of ESHEA (Union of Daily Athens Newspaper Editors), Aristidis Manolakos, pointed out that this so called journalism is lead to the undermining of democratic institutions, this time by attacking the President of the republic through Spiros Karajaferis. It is obvious that an attempt to cause political instability is being made, and for that reason para-journalism is being used, against which the ESHEA has an open front.
The President of the Republic has worthily received the recognition and appreciation of the entire Greek people, and is enveloped by the appreciation of the entire political world. His image and his polity cannot be injured by anyone, and the defense of democratic institutions, the institution of the President of the Republic, is evidence of democratic stability and political steadiness, stated the President of the Coalition of the Left, Nikos Konstantopoulos.
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis expressed his complete support to the President of the Republic, with whom he had a telephone communication from Brussels, where was last night.
The Prime Minister was informed of the verbal attack on the President of the Republic by the Secretary of the Cabinet, Socrates Cosmides, and asked for full and immediate support of the President.
At the same time Mr. Cosmidis contacted the President of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis. The morality, honesty and integrity as well as the political and national contribution of the President of the Republic is known to the entire Greek people", stated the Secretary of New Democracy's Central Committee, Evaggelos Meimarakis.
The Honorary President of New Democracy stated, however, that the answer to a journalist cannot be demonology and insults. A substantial answer is necessary. The rule of Democracy requires it. Imagine what would happen if what occurred in Greece were to take place regarding the Queen of England, or President Bush. Think of what the reaction would be in a mature procedure.
We are a country of extremes. We have no trouble leaping from one extreme to the other. It is well known that I have always been, and still am, against the Media providing prey for an often fanatic public opinion, people who are essentially defenseless and may even be innocent. And this of course, is most true for the President of the Republic, whom, no one can doubt, would never violate any rules of morality or justice. This should not only hold true for Greece's First Citizen, but also for its last.
 PROTOPAPAS ON YESTERDAY'S SLANDER ATTACK ON THE GREEK PRESIDENTAthens, 1 February 2002 (18:56 UTC+2)
The Greek people have eyes and they can see and they can reach their own conclusions, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas referring to the slander attack on President Kostis Stephanopoulos.
Mr. Protopapas expressed the government's satisfaction for the reaction of the political world in Greece and the Greek people in general, stressing that democracy has strong defenses and any attack on its institutions is met with the universal reaction of the Greek people.
He also said that the resignation of President Stephanopoulos was never considered.
 BIG INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF VISITORS IN AGROTICAThessaloniki, 1 February 2002 (18:27 UTC+2)
The 18th International Farm Fair Agrotica 2002 continues in Thessaloniki for a third day. Yesterday, a total of 7.949 people visited the fair and 265 of them were commercial visitors from 17 countries.
Government ministers and political party leaders have also visited the fair that will close its gates on February 3.
 THE GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON OLYMPIC AIRWAYSAthens, 1 February 2002 (18:17 UTC+2)
The government is looking for a safe solution for Olympic Airways, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas, adding that this solution should give the sense of stability, continuity and responsibility.
He said that the priority is to find a safe solution for Olympic Airways, to rescue the national airline and lift the burden of debts off the shoulders of the Greek people.
 NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE MEETING ON THE EUROAthens, 1 February 2002 (17:49 UTC+2)
The withdrawal of the drachma proceeds in a satisfactory pace as ¾ of the drachmas that used to be in circulation have been withdrawn. Also, the Greeks appear to be well accustomed with the single European currency and they deal with it in a positive manner as more than half believe that it will boost the Greek economy.
Only one in 100 Greeks was not supplied with Euro by January 30, according to figures presented in the National Coordinating Committee on the Euro meeting that took place in the presence of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.
Based on figures provided by Bank of Greece governor Loukas Papadimos, 73% of the drachmas were withdrawn by January 30, while 76% of the overall currency circulation in Greece is in Euro.
 MARGINAL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 1 February 2002 (17:44 UTC+2)
Small losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.04% at 2.595,71 points, while the volume of transactions was at low levels at 94.5 million Euro.
Of the stocks trading today, 120 recorded gains and 195 had losses, while the value of 56 stocks remained unchanged.
 KARAMANLIS WILL VISIT BRITAIN TOMORROWAthens, 1 February 2002 (17:43 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis will visit Britain tomorrow until February 6.
During his visit to Britain, he will meet with Foreign Minister Jack Straw, and opposition leader Ian Dunkan Smith, while he will also visit the British Museum and he will meet with the Shipping Cooperation Greek Committee.
The New Democracy leader will visit Scotland where he will meet with Scottish Conservative Party leader and former British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind. He will also speak at the University of Edinburg on the course of democracy in western Balkans within the framework of the initiative he has undertaken on behalf of the European Popular Party.
 VARVITSIOTIS IS THE NEW VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD ORGANIZATION OF POETSThessaloniki, 1 February 2002 (17:41 UTC+2)
Greek poet Takis Varvitsiotis became vice-president of the World Organization of Poets that was founded in Marakesh in 1984 by a group of world famous poets.
The rise of Takis Varvitsiotis to the high post of the vice-president of the World Organization of Poets proves once again that his poetry enjoys international recognition.
 MILLER: GREECE AND TURKEY DO NOT NEED MEDIATORS ANYMOREAthens, 1 February 2002 (17:36 UTC+2)
US ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller expressed satisfaction for the upgrading and acceleration of the Greek-Turkish dialogue and in an interview with the Athens newspaper Eleftheros Tipos he pointed out characteristically that Greece and Turkey do not need mediators anymore. He added that the risk of an Imia type crisis is much smaller now.
Mr. Miller also said that the United States have always backed the efforts made by Greece and Turkey for the settlement of their differences.
On the content of the dialogue between the two countries, the US ambassador pointed out that it concerns exclusively Greece and Turkey and underlined that the Greek government has made its positions clear.
When asked to comment on the issue of terrorism and the likelihood of tangible results in the effort to combat the phenomenon, Mr. Miller avoided to make any predictions and stressed that a big effort must be made for the results to speak for themselves.
 KARAMANLIS IN GERMANY TODAYAthens, 1 February 2002 (12:00 UTC+2)
President of New Democracy, Kostas Karamanlis is visiting Germany today. In the afternoon he will meet with the Prime Minister of Bavaria and Chancellor nominee, Edmund Stoiber, and then he will have meetings with representatives of the Greek communities.
Tomorrow, Mr. Karamanlis will depart for his four-day trip to the UK. Among others he will also meet the British Foreign Secretary in London, and will then travel to Scotland.