|Sunday, 23 February 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-06-03
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 A FERTILE AND ORDERLY MEETINGEvian, 3 June 2003 (09:08 UTC+2)
The Meeting of the G-8 in Evian France was characterized as fertile by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who participated in the works as the President of the European Council. Developments in international economy and the Middle East were at the center of discussions, and, as the Prime Minister pointed out, there was a free and honest exchange of views and an effort was made to find common lines in an attempt for peace and cooperation. As far as growth is concerned, Mr. Simitis said that the forecasts are that the growth rates of Europe and the US will rise significantly in the end of the year, as well as in 2004. The incidents due to the protests are under control.
 NATO HQ IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 3 June 2003 (09:09 UTC+2)
The prospects of a NATO headquarters being established in Thessaloniki was confirmed by Minister of National Defense Giannos Papantoniou, who visited the 3rd Army Corps and met with its CO, Lieutenant General Ch. Vafiadis. Earlier in a speech on European defense and the defense industry, Mr. Papantoniou stated that the construction of a powerful European defense is a strategic challenge that greatly affects that sector of the industry.
 PRESENTATION OF 2008 EXPO CANDIDACYThessaloniki, 3 June 2003 (13:10 UTC+2)
The first of the four presentations of candidate cities, among which is Thessaloniki, contesting the 2008 EXPO World Fair for 2008 will be held in Paris today.
Apart from Thessaloniki, the 2008 EXPO is being contested by the Spanish Zaragoza and the Italian Trieste, which are considered equally dynamic to the Greek candidacy.
The Greek delegation is headed by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidi, who will hold a luncheon at 13:00 (local time), both for the members of the EXPO international entrusting committee, as well as for the members of the other two delegations.
At 14:30, the presentations of the candidates will begin, with Thessaloniki as the first one, and then a press conference will be held.
In any case, in statements to the MPA, the members of the Greek delegation were optimistic as to the outcome of the first presentation, appreciating that Thessaloniki's portfolio is the most complete of all.
Prefect of Thessaloniki Panagiotis Psomiadis was certain of the flawless presentation of Thessaloniki's candidacy for the 2008 EXPO in his statements from Paris, where he will attend the presentation.
Mr. Psomiadis stressed that Thessaloniki deserves to succeed, however he underlined that without great works and infrastructure for hospitality and the comfortable transportation of the visitors, we cannot move to events of such international range. In ending, he appealed to everyone to take up their responsibilities, because, as he said, without cooperation and coordination, it is certain that we will convince no one, within and outside the Greek borders.
 HEAR NO EVIL, SEE NO EVIL...Athens, 3 June 2003 (13:59 UTC+2)
Officer of the Greek Intelligence Service Panagiotis Maragoudakis attributed the lack of special measures for the airplane which, as was later made evident, PKK Leader Abdullah Ocalan was on, to the information he was given that the airplane was transporting a Russian official. This was the testimony Mr. Maragoudakis gave today in the proceedings of the trial for Ocalan's illegal entry to Greece.
 PAPANTONIOU'S SPEECH IN STRASBOURGAthens, 3 June 2003 (20:10 UTC+2)
The need to safeguard the institutional framework and autonomy of the European Policy on Security and Defense, the basic goal of which is the support of the EU role and foreign policy, was stressed by Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou. He made the statement presenting the Greek EU Presidency work in the sector of defense in the Western European Union Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg.
He stressed that the goals set have been met, pointing out that the work of the Greek EU Presidency in the development of the European Policy on Security and Defense was recognized in the EU Defense Ministers Council in Brussels on May 19. He also said that there was agreement on a number of important issues to be examined in the Thessaloniki European Council.
Mr. Papantoniou referred to the EU-NATO agreement, which secured the EU autonomy on issues of security and defense and the first European military operation in FYROM. He announced that on Thursday he will visit Skopje accompanied by the EU High Representative for CFSP Javier Solana and the 25 ambassadors of the EU member states to inspect the operation and be briefed on the latest developments.
He referred specifically to the need for cooperation among the EU member states in the sector of armaments and the harmonizing of the policies of Research and Technology. He also mentioned the initiatives undertaken by the Greek EU Presidency for the strengthening of the relation between the European defense and the European industry.
 GREEK HUMANITARIAN AID FOR IRAQ TO SYRIAAthens, 3 June 2003 (19:27 UTC+2)
The fourth part of the humanitarian aid collected for the Iraqi people by Solidarity, the non-governmental organization of the Greek Church, was sent to Syria yesterday. The, over 400 tons, humanitarian aid is made up of bottled water and food and it will be kept at a warehouse in Latakia, Syria for a couple of days before it is forwarded to Iraq.
Solidarity has already collected a total of 1.392 tons of humanitarian aid for the Iraqi people made up of food, water, personal hygiene items and clothing.
 AGREEMENT FOR ORGANIZED SOLIDARITY IN THE EUAlexandroupolis, 3 June 2003 (18:56 UTC+2)
The proceedings of the informal meeting of the EU Developmental Cooperation Ministers launched in Alexandroupolis, northeastern Greece, yesterday were completed today with the obvious satisfaction of the 25 delegations attending.
The delegations examined issues of development policy in the enlarged EU of the 25, as well as the problems faced mainly by the ten new members regarding their economic contribution and the development aid to third countries stemming from their obligations as a result of their EU accession.
The delegations agreed on the need for an EU that will be organized and will show solidarity offering resources to its new members. Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus and Malta, finally agreed to participate in the process after expressing doubt on whether they will manage to meet their financial obligations concerning development assistance.
Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Andreas Loverdos stated in a press conference that it was proved there is a need for an organized solidarity within the EU and the arguments regarding the club of the rich and the club of the poor countries were overturned. He said that the EU is organized and transfers funds to the countries in need and reminded that the EU occupies the top place at a world level concerning development aid programs (55%).
 PROTOPAPAS ON THE HELLENIC PETROLEUM-PETROLA AGREEMENTAthens, 3 June 2003 (18:19 UTC+2)
The Hellenic Petroleum-Petrola agreement totally meets the interests of the Greek State, stressed Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
He added that the new oil company will operate dynamically in the region, boost the competitiveness of the Greek economy and allow the inflow of several hundred millions of euros to the state budget to be used to boost development and social policy.
 UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE EURO-ZONE IS AT 8.8%Athens, 3 June 2003 (17:37 UTC+2)
Unemployment in the Euro-zone remained unchanged at 8.8%, according to European statistics agency, Eurostat, figures included in its preliminary report.
The highest unemployment rate was recorded in Spain at 11.4% and the lowest in Luxembourg and Austria, at 3.5% and 4.3% respectively.
The European agency report does not include the figures on Britain, Italy and Greece, according to press reports.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 3 June 2003 (17:28 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.63% at 1.779,98 points, while the volume of transactions was at 125 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 206 recorded gains and 88 had losses, while the value of 84 stocks remained unchanged.
 PROTOPAPAS: THE TURKISH FOREIGN POLICY IS ISOLATEDAthens, 3 June 2003 (17:17 UTC+2)
The Turkish foreign policy is completely isolated and the Turkish generals, through their policy of violations, try to direct us to a secondary front and miss the primary issue which is, the application of pressure by the international community for the solution of the Cyprus issue within the UN framework.
The statement was made by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas in response to a relevant question by a reporter. In addition, he reiterated that the Turkish intransigence has put Turkey's European course at risk.
 EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON AFGHANISTANAthens, 3 June 2003 (16:50 UTC+2)
The European Union welcomes the decision taken on May 20 by the National Security Council of the Afghan Transitional Administration to request all governors to remit all customs receipts to Central Government, and to ensure that all their activities are in conformity with the law and the policies of the Central Government.
The Union considers that these requirements adhere to the spirit of the Bonn Agreement and can play a crucial role in the process of rebuilding the Afghan Nation and consolidating the financial resources as well as the political authority of the central Government across the country. The Union congratulates President Karzai for this initiative and appreciates the sense of responsibility displayed by Afghan political leaders who supported it.
The European Union fully supports the Afghan Transitional Administration in the next steps needed to ensure swift and complete implementation of the decision. In particular, the Union supports the ATA in its legitimate action towards exerting full control over the collection of National Customs Revenues.
The Union urges all actors to comply with the decision in order to guarantee the smooth continuation of nation-building.
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 Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area align themselves with this declaration.