|Friday, 21 February 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-06-06
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 IMMENSE OPERATION FOR SUMMITThessaloniki, 6 June 2003 (12:24 UTC+2)
The last details of the largest police operation to be organized in the history of Greece is being prepared by the relevant Ministries, on the measures to be taken at the works of the Summit Meeting, as well as on the protests to be held from June 18 to June 21 in Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki.
The mammoth operation which is expected to be a general rehearsal for the Athens Olympics, will include the participation of 10,000 police officers from various police directions, while 2,000 firemen and soldiers will participate in the protective umbrella to be spread to regions over the Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki prefectures.
During the broad meeting held in the Maximos Mansion, presided over by Prime Minister Simitis, with the participation of Ministers of Public Order Michalis Chrysochoidis and Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis, all the data on the operation was looked into, while Mr. Chrysochoidis was given the responsibility of applying the measures.
Information mentioned that the broader region of the Porto Carras hotel complex, the peninsula of Sithonia, where the heads of state and foreign delegations will stay during the works of the Summit, will be impenetrable and patrolled 24 hours a day, from land, air and sea.
Also, powerful police forces will be placed at central points of Thessaloniki, as well as on major roads (the part from the airport to Neos Marmaras and the Porto Carras hotel), while security measures for buildings housing consulates, multinational corporations, banks, and other possible targets will be increased, due to the thousands of protesters to come to the city.
In fact emergency measures for shops, banks and other businesses are being taken by the owners or managers of the businesses. Over the past few days, they have begun installing metal panels and bulletproof glass and replacing their shop windows, especially in the area around the US Consulate.
 THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION VICE-PRESIDENT TO MPARhodes, 6 June 2003 (19:54 UTC+2)
Efforts are being made and steps are being evaluated but it is still too early to say if Turkey will receive a date for the opening of accession negotiations with the EU at the end of 2004, stated to MPA European Commission Vice-President Neil Kinnock. The statement was made in the southeastern Aegean island of Rhodes where the Informal Summit of the EU Interior Ministers takes place.
Referring to the European Constitution, Mr. Kinnock stated that the final text will describe "what we can and what we cannot do in the European Union".
Mr. Kinnock also praised the Greek EU Presidency for the way it handled the European issues.
 OPEN VOTE ON LIFTING IMMUNITY IN PARLIAMENTAthens, 6 June 2003 (14:32 UTC+2)
The immunity of MPs will be lifted with an open vote, with certain exceptions.
This proposal was made by the President of the Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis and was accepted by the Regulation Committee, with the exception of KKE representative Antonis Skyllakos, and is expected to be presented in the Plenary Session next week, during the discussion on changing the Regulation, and will be applied immediately following the vote.
According to the new regulation, the request to lift immunity will no longer be examined by the 50 member Public Administration and Justice Committee, but will be reassigned to a subcommittee, which will look into whether or not the charges are related to the political activity of the MP, and will accordingly make its proposal to the Plenary Session.
The subcommittee will be chaired by a Parliamentary Vice President and will include the President of the Standing Public Administration Committee and one representative from each major party.
It will be an open vote, unless the President of the Parliament or the head of the party being represented in Parliament asks for a secret vote for the MP facing charges.
 GREECE'S BEACHES THE CLEANEST IN THE EUAthens, 6 June 2003 (11:00 UTC+2)
Greece has the cleanest beaches in the EU, according to the annual report of the EU on the quality of swimming waters.
Samples were taken from 1,914 beaches where swimming is allowed, regarding microbiological and chemical parameters. The EU report concluded that the average quality of coastline swimming waters continued improving.
Our country won the most blue flags, with 97%, while according to the report, cities with more than 150,000 residents, have already started using refuse processing units.
 PROTOPAPAS: IMPORTANT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT INTERVENTION ON CYPRUSAthens, 6 June 2003 (19:26 UTC+2)
The view that the new European Parliament intervention concerning the situation in Cyprus confirms the fact that Turkey's European course passes through the solution of the Cyprus problem, was expressed by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
For the record, the European Parliament resolution calls for the immediate withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus and the solution of the Cyprus problem, while in essence the role of Turkey's National Council is being downgraded.
Europe is not willing to accept the intransigent stance adopted by Turkey, which is under pressure by establishment views and interests. This line of action, which is expressed by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash leads Turkey itself to a dead end regarding its European course. They should realize this soon and contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem, said Mr. Protopapas.
 PAPANTONIOU: THE EURO-ARMY IS A SIGNIFICANT FORCEAthens, 6 June 2003 (18:58 UTC+2)
The role of the Euro-army and the military aspect of the European Union was underlined by Greek Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou, in an interview on the Greek state-run television channel NET, concerning his visit to FYROM during which he inspected the CONCORDIA EU military force in Skopje.
When the whole Euro-army is in operation, it will be a significant force, said Mr. Papantoniou and pointed out that the crucial issue is whether the Euro-army will have new responsibilities beyond the peacekeeping missions and will become a real army that will protect borders. He also stressed that equally important is the likelihood of the inclusion of a clause in the European Constitution which will mention that an attack on Greece will be regarded as an attack on the whole of the EU.
Mr. Papantoniou stated that defense spending in Greece dropped from 5% to 3.5% of the GDP, adding that no further spending cuts can be adopted because of the needs the country has as a result of the threats it faces from Turkey.
On the Greek-Turkish relations, he said that the policy of the Greek side in the past few years had positive results on the issue of Cyprus. However, he predicted increased tension between Greece and Turkey because of the stance adopted by the Turkish military establishment.
 BIG GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 6 June 2003 (17:48 UTC+2)
Big gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +2.43% at 1.876,64 points, while the volume of transactions was at 173.831 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 292 recorded gains and 34 had losses, while the value of 38 stocks remained unchanged.
 ATHENS MUNICIPALITY BANNER TO THE HIMALAYASAthens, 6 June 2003 (17:32 UTC+2)
Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni gave the Athens Municipality banner to the members of the Greek mountain climbing mission that will depart on June 10 to conquer the Broad Peak on western Himalayas at an altitude of 8.047 meters.
The 10-member mission is organized by the Athens Alpine Club which already has four successful missions to mountain tops at the Himalayas with an altitude of over 8.000 meters. The mission is under the auspices of the Athens Municipality, the Culture Ministry and the Sports General Secretariat.
 THE HUNGER STRIKE INSIDE THE CHALKIDIKI MINE CONTINUESPoligiros, 6 June 2003 (17:13 UTC+2)
The commitment undertaken by the multinational company Kinross Gold Corporation could be characterized as a ray of light for the striking miners. The company pledged to support the new management and pay the sum of US million to the miners working in the mines of Chalkidiki who continue their hunger strike locked inside the galleries of the Madem-Lako mine for a fourth day.
Representatives of the miners and relatives remain outside the gallery since the first day of the mobilizations in a show of solidarity and support to the 103 striking miners.
For the record, the 500 people employed in the Madem-Lako mines were not paid for the past five months and are unable to get unemployment benefit because they were not laid off by the multinational company managing the mines.
 LOWERING POVERTY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIESAthens, 6 June 2003 (16:07 UTC+2)
The enlargement of the EU from 15 to 25 member-states will not weaken its developmental policy, on the contrary it will give it new vigor and potential, it will enlarge its role globally and will strengthen the contribution of the citizen's society's bodies to the materialization of anthropocentric programs, so as to achieve a decrease in poverty in developing countries by 50% in 2015. This was pointed out by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou in a document which was transmitted in the words of the Director of the International Developmental Cooperation Agency of the Foreign Ministry, Giorgos Philipeos, at the meeting on The future of Europe in the hands of its citizens: For a Europe that is a world power for peace, solidarity and viable development, being organized in Thessaloniki by the Greek NGO Committee for Development.
Mr. Papandreou pointed out that the population of the planet will increase by 2 billion in the next 25 years and that 97% of the increase will take place in developing countries. At the same time he stressed that in today's international juncture, the developing world, which comprises the majority of the planet, lives in conditions of poverty, while the constantly increasing social inequality will form new fields of tension, undermining international and national order.
 SIMITIS-CHIRAC MEETINGParis, 6 June 2003 (16:44 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is in Paris since yesterday where he will meet with French President Jacques Chirac.
The issues under discussion will be the institutional changes in the EU, the Constitutional Convention on the Future of Europe, the incorporation of the western Balkan countries into the EU, the problem of illegal immigration, international issues and the Euro-Atlantic relations.
Later, Mr. Simitis will meet with Constitutional Convention President Valerie Giscard d' Estaing.