|Thursday, 23 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-07-15
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 XIROS WILL LOOK AT PICTURES OF SUSPECTSAthens, 15 July 2002 (12:17 UTC+2)
The bandages will be removed from the eyes of Savvas Xiros within the day. Xiros had undergone an eye surgery last Friday. According to information, police officers and prosecutor Ioannis Diotis will show to him pictures of suspects.
His doctors have stated that his post-surgery condition develops smoothly but they do not rule out the likelihood of a second operation on his left eye, which was injured in the June 29 explosion that led to his arrest. For the record, a time bomb had exploded in the hands of Savvas Xiros at the Port of Piraeus in the evening of June 29.
Meanwhile, press reports mention that fingerprints of Dimitris Koufodinas were found in the 17 November terrorist organization hideout in Damareos Street in Pangrati, Athens. Police authorities continue the efforts to locate and arrest Koufodinas, who is regarded as a key-person in their investigation aimed at the break up of 17 November.
 HEATWAVE IN GREECEThessaloniki, 15 July 2002 (10:37 UTC+2)
Temperature will rise considerably in the following days, as according to meteorologists in certain regions it will reach 42 degrees Centigrade. The National Weather Bureau predicted that temperature would reach 40 degrees today, while tomorrow it will be even higher. Temperature is expected to drop on Thursday.
Meteorologists say that only in southern Aegean will blow northern 4-5 Force winds, while temperature in the mainland will reach 39-40 degrees.
The responsible Health Ministry agencies are in a state of alert to deal with the heatwave. They warn that the elderly, infants, children and those with health problems belong to the so-called sensitive population categories and will be mostly affected by the extreme temperatures. People are warned to leave home only if it is absolutely necessary. It is suggested that in order to deal with the extreme heat people should take many lukewarm showers during the day and drink a lot of water.
 GOLD MEDAL FOR THE GREEK GYMNASTICS TEAMThessaloniki, 15 July 2002 (11:09 UTC+2)
The Greek national gymnastics team won two medals, gold and bronze, on the last day of the 25th Gymnastics World Championship that was held in New Orleans, in the United States.
The program with the three ropes and the two balls performed by the Greek women team was almost flawless and gathered a total of 24.450 points. Bulgaria came second with 23.600 points and Belarus third with 23.500 points.
The Greek national gymnastics team also won the bronze medal in the final with the five ribbons in which it got 22.650 points. Ukraine came first with 23.325 points and Russia was second with 22.950 points.
 GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON: NILES STATEMENTS RIDICULOUSAthens, 15 July 2002 (17:29 UTC+2)
Government spokesperson Christos Protopapas made mention of ridiculous and foolish comments, referring to the statements of former US Ambassador to Athens, Thomas Niles, concerning connections between "November 17" and PAK and PASOK.
Specifically, the Press Minister mentioned that nobody has to deal with what a retired former foreign diplomat says seriously, and he added that the official view of the United States is expressed by Ambassador Thomas Miller.
Answering related questions, Mr. Protopapas repeated that the Constitution and all laws are being followed to the letter in all procedures, while to the question on what information they have about Dimitris Koufontinas being connected to the Secret Service, he said he could not join the recent literature. "These are scenarios that cause confusion and do not contribute to confronting terrorism", he mentioned characteristically, and ended by saying that "we are on a path that will lead to the full disruption of terrorism, but attention, hard work, responsibility and seriousness are necessary, since the ball of string has just started unraveling".
 T.NILES: PAK TRANSFORMED INTO «NOVEMBER 17»Athens, 15 July 2002 (16:00 UTC+2)
The transformation of part of PAK into "November 17" was mentioned by former US Ambassador to Athens Thomas Niles, during a radio interview with the BBC.
"There is something strange. I do not know exactly what it is, but I believe that if we look back to 1974, when PAK transformed into PASOK, it is possible that a part of PAK transformed into "November 17". The question is what connections does this organization have with PASOK", he mentioned characteristically, and added that if the random discovery of an incompetent bomber, as he characterized Xeros, had not occurred, that discussion would not have been taking place. He expressed the belief that the scenario concerning smart terrorists and stupid police officers that cannot catch them is not true.
Niles' statements caused intense reaction from Athens. Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas made mention of a retired diplomat's foolishness. On his side the Press Spokesperson of New Democracy, Thodoris Roussopoulos, said that Mr. Niles has no official position so that ND may comment on him and asked that ND not be anything said about people who are not among its staff. President of the Coalition of the Left, Nikos Constantopoulos mentioned efforts to introduce a political crisis into Greece of 2002.
 THE SECOND FACE OF TERRORISMAthens, 15 July 2002 (15:29 UTC+2)
Three photographs of Dimitris Koufontinas, who is wanted by the authorities in the framework of the terrorism investigations, were made public by the Press Spokesperson of the Police, Lefteris Economou. One of the photographs is from Koufontinas' ID card issued in 1975 and the other two are more recent.
Mr. Economou pointed out that the Violent Crimes Special Direction is searching for Dimitrios Koufontinas, born on March 19, 1958, in Terpni, Visaltia, Serres, former resident of Varnavas, Attica, present location unknown in order to arrest him, because during the preliminary investigations it became apparent that he is directly connected to the "November 17" hideout on Damareos 23 st.
Dimitris Koufontinas, who until recently lived with the ex-wife of Savvas Xeros, Aggeliki Sotiropoulou, also went by the names Dimitris Labropoulos, Dimitris Sotiropoulos, and possibly others.
Meanwhile, District Attorney of the Supreme Court Evaggelos Kroustalakis was visited by the DA currently occupied with the November 17 case, Ioannis Diotis, who informed him of developments on terrorism investigations. High ranking officials of the Athens DA's office and the Appeal's DA's office were also present during the meeting.
According to the announcement of the Supreme Court DA, the topic of the meeting was the ongoing investigation on terrorism cases. The briefing concerned the legal procedure progress of the investigations he noted, and characteristically added that: It was ascertained that all examination procedures took place fully following the rules of Penal Legal Procedure Law, the Constitution, and the European Treaty on Human Rights.
 THE GREEK HOUSEHOLDS ARE OVER-LOANEDAthens, 15 July 2002 (14:10 UTC+2)
The repeated warnings on the risks faced by the Greek households as a result of their habit to be over-loaned had no effect, as according to the latest statistical data, the Greeks are still tempted by the possibilities offered, mainly by housing loans.
Based on data provided by the Bank of Greece, the debts to banks due to housing loans were 14.023 billion Euro in April, while the debts to special credit organizations are estimated at 3.338 billion Euro.
Meanwhile, in spite of the interest rate cuts in the bank accounts, bank deposits continue to attract the Greeks, who regard them as a safe haven. At the end of April, the bank deposits reached 102.470 billion Euro.
 THE GREEKS IN LIBYA, TUNISIA AND MOROCCOAthens, 15 July 2002 (12:03 UTC+2)
The Greeks living in Tripoli, Libya, and mostly the Greek women married with Libyans, who were studying in Greece in the 70s, call for the improvement of the operation of the Greek school in the city.
According to the newspaper Patrida, about 3.000 Greeks live in Libya today. Their Church belongs to the Metropolis of Cartagena. Also, in the region live many Orthodox Christians from countries other than Greece and the total number of Orthodox Christians is estimated at about 6.000 people.
In Morocco, which too belongs to the same Metropolis, live about 80 Orthodox Greeks, while in Tunisia the Greeks are about 100. The Greek immigration to Tunisia took place around 1500AD when the Ottoman Empire dominated in the region. In 1645AD, the Patriarch of Alexandria recognized the existence of a significant Greek community. Also, the Greeks had built the church of Saint George in Tunis in 1845AD, according to an inscription written in Greek.
 THE GREEK NATIONAL DEFENSE GENERAL STAFF CHIEF IN RUSSIAAthens, 15 July 2002 (11:35 UTC+2)
Greek National Defense General Staff Chief, General Giorgos Antonakopoulos will be on a formal visit to Russia on July 16-21.
During his visit, he will meet with his Russian counterpart to discuss issues of bilateral military and defense-technical cooperation between the armed forces of Greece and Russia.
General Antonakopoulos will also visit military installations and military material industry plants.
 THE OECD ON PRIVATIZATION IN GREECEAthens, 15 July 2002 (11:26 UTC+2)
The activities in the privatization sector in the following years are expected to focus on the smaller OECD member-states, among them Greece. This is the conclusion reached by the organization's economists, which is reflected on the report on the tendencies that will dominate in the international markets and the world economy in 2002 and in the near future.
On Greece, the report makes a special reference to the government plans to accelerate procedures. It points out that scheduled for privatization in 2002 is the Greek Postal Service, while share packages of the Agricultural Bank of Greece, the Hellenic Petroleum and the Tourist Real Estate Company will also be sold.
 THE EU MINISTERS OF AGRICULTURE ON THE JOINT FARM POLICYAthens, 15 July 2002 (10:52 UTC+2)
The European Union Ministers of Agriculture will meet in Brussels today to review the Joint Farm Policy.
Greece and other southern European countries react strongly to the proposals made by the European Commission which, among others, include a 3% annual subsidies cut, maintaining that the farmers' income will be affected negatively. In reaction to the proposals, the European farmers' confederations are ready for mobilizations.
Meanwhile, the Farm Policy National Committee will meet in Athens next Friday and Minister of Agriculture Giorgos Dris will brief the political parties on the developments.
 CYPRUS: THE JULY 15, 1974 COUP ANNIVERSARYNicosia, 15 July 2002 (14:51 UTC+2)
Sirens were heard across the free Cyprus at 8:20am today, at the time when the July 15, 1974 coup took place.
Political parties and organizations were scheduled to hold rallies and events in every city of the free Cyprus today condemning the coup and the Turkish invasion.
Cypriot government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou stated that on the occasion of the 28th anniversary of the coup against President Makarios the Cypriot government condemns that treasonous act that offered the opportunity to Turkey to invade Cyprus.
Cypriot Parliament President Dimitris Christofias stated that the political crisis in Turkey is an additional negative fact with an uncertain outcome in relation to Turkey's stance in the Cyprus problem and Cyprus' imminent EU accession.
 GREECE DOES NOT ACCEPT THE SHRINKING OF THE JAPBrussels, 15 July 2002 (19:48 UTC+2)
The proposals of the European Commission on the intermediate revision of the Joint Agricultural Policy (JAP) were characterized as non-satisfactory by Minister of Agriculture Giorgos Drys, speaking at the EU Ministers of Agriculture meeting in Brussels, where negotiations on the Community's new agricultural policy have begun.
Greece, stressed the Minister, is not about to accept any plan foreseeing the shrinking or gradual abolition of the JAP, nor is it going to accept ideas aiming at its partial or complete denationalization.
Mr. Drys underlined that viable agricultural development will be achieved with measures that will orient production towards the viable qualitative development of rural areas.
At the same time, the proposed disconnection of aid and subsidies from the production of agricultural products must not lead to the destruction of the European model of agriculture.
Referring to the agricultural aspect of EU Enlargement, Mr. Drys underlined that it should be funded by additional funds and not with expense cutbacks from the existing community budget. The JAP must not be held hostage of the Enlargement, nor must the Enlargement be held hostage of the JAP.
As far as the effects of the EC proposals on Greek agricultural products is concerned, the Greek Minister of Agriculture noted that the Commission punishes hard wheat harshly and selectively and without convincing reason, and has unfavorable treatment in store for rice. Greece, he pointed out, rejects all efforts to weaken and disorganize the Joint Markets Organizations, concerning products which are of vital interest to the Southern European Union.