|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-06-18
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE EU IN CHALKDIKIThessaloniki, 18 June 2003 (11:21 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Simitis will travel to Sithonia, Chalkidiki, today, in order to welcome leaders of the EU arriving tomorrow for the Summit , while the President of ND will be in Cassandra Chalkidiki for the Summit of the EPP, with the participation of 10 Prime Ministers. Protestors have already begun arriving in Thessaloniki with the hope to reach the doors of the hotel where the Summit will be held.
 MANIKAS, NEONAKIS RESIGNAthens, 18 June 2003 (11:28 UTC+2)
Minister of State Stefanos Manikas and PASOK Executive Office member Michalis Neonakis have submitted their resignations, according to sources, after the official document presented last night in Parliament by Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis on their stock market transactions.
This document revealed that the turnover of their transactions were 64 million euro for Mr. Neonakis and 1.4 million euro for Mr. Manikas. It is till unknown whether their resignation was requested by Prime Minister Simitis or whether they resigned voluntarily.
 NO AUDITING COMMITTEE FOR STOCK MARKETAthens, 18 June 2003 (11:27 UTC+2)
The Parliament rejected the proposal of ND for the formation of an Auditing Committee for the stock market, which was voted for by the KKE and the Coalition of the Left. Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis asked that the stock market be kept clear of political confrontations, while the President of ND repeated that "the crime at Sophocleous st. is still open".
 PAPANDREOU ON THE EU-US SUMMIT MEETINGAthens, 18 June 2003 (20:22 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister and EU Council of Ministers President Giorgos Papandreou, stated from Athens that he believed Turkey's European course and the Cyprus issue will be on the agenda of the upcoming US-EU Summit in Washington on June 25.
Mr. Papandreou made the statement during a tele-conference between Washington, Brussels and Athens with questions posed by Washington-based US and European reporters to the Greek Foreign Minister in Athens, and European Commissioners Chris Patten (External Affairs) and Pascal Lamy (Trade) in Brussels.
The Greek Foreign Minister reminded a recently-reiterated US commitment for a solution of the Cyprus issue, and noted that the free movement of citizens between the two communities on the island proved that the dividing green line was collapsing.
Mr. Papandreou placed emphasis on the meeting between the EU and the heads of Western Balkan states to be held on June 22, after the conclusion of the upcoming EU Summit meeting in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on June 20-21.
With regard to the signing of an agreement between the EU and US for judicial cooperation in criminal matters, including a clause on the issue of extradition, Mr. Papandreou said the text of the agreement did not restrict, but on the contrary strenghtened, the rights of citizens, and he pointed to a stipulation in the text saying that extradition of the requested persons to the US would not take place if such persons run the risk of receiving the death penalty.
The agreement, ratified unanimously by the EU Justice Ministers in Luxembourg on June 6, will be signed in Washington on June 25 during the summit between U.S. President George W. Bush, Greek Prime Minister and EU Council President in-office Kostas Simitis, and European Commission President Romano Prodi.
At the tele-conference, Mr. Patten moved along the same lines saying that the parties on both sides of the Atlantic wanted to cooperate in the fight against international terrorism, and pointed to what he called close cooperation of the Europol with the FBI and other US security agencies.
About the forthcoming Bush-Simitis-Prodi meeting in Washington, Mr. Papandreou said it would focus on repairing transatlantic relations, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the reconstruction of Iraq, and he pointed to the experience of EU states such as Greece, Spain and Portugal, and of course the former Soviet republics, to support his point that the Union could prove very instrumental in Iraq's democratization process.
Other issues raised during the tele-conference included recent violations of human rights in Cuba and trading issues between the two transatlantic economic superpowers.
Mr. Patten noted that good US-EU cooperation was to the benefit of humanity, while Mr. Lamy, during his repeated interventions on economic and trade relations, attempted to sketch out a positive environment, saying that despite problems and differences, at the end of the day what mattered was to see the forest, not just some of the trees.
 PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS ARRIVED IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 18 June 2003 (19:44 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis stated upon his arrival in Thessaloniki on the occasion of the EU Summit meeting in Chalkidiki, that the new Constitution of Europe and the efforts against illegal immigration will be the main issues in the EU Summit meeting.
Mr. Simitis pointed out that the EU Summit will deal with the situation in the Balkans and the region's prospects for development. He also underlined the role of Thessaloniki and the significance of the fact that the EU Summit takes place here.
 THE EPP SUMMIT OPENS IN CHALKIDIKIThessaloniki, 18 June 2003 (18:51 UTC+2)
The proceedings of the summit meeting of the European People's Party, EPP, open in Chalkidiki this evening with speeches delivered by the President of the Greek right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy, the EPP President and the EPP Parliamentary Group President.
The EPP Presiding Board meeting will be held tomorrow followed by a presentation of an International Democratic Union book on Sri Lanka funded by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.
The enlarged EPP summit meeting will take place with the participation of the Prime Ministers of ten EU countries namely, the Prime Ministers of Holland, Italy, Portugal, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Slovakia, Estonia, and Malta and the German Chancellor. Present will be the European Commission Vice-President and the Democratic Alarm Party President from Cyprus, as well as the leaders of the center-right parties making up the opposition in EU member states and EU acceding countries.
 PROTOPAPAS ON THE LIKELIHOOD OF EXTREME PHENOMENA ON THE MARGINS OF THE EU SUMMITAthens, 18 June 2003 (18:16 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas expressed concern responding to a question on the likelihood of violent incidents caused by extreme elements during the EU Summit meeting in Thessaloniki.
Mr. Protopapas stressed that it will be unacceptable if the protest demonstrations turned out to be violent and reiterated that all necessary measures should be in effect to protect the city and the local residents.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 18 June 2003 (18:00 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.23% at 1.950,44 points, while the volume of transactions was at 199.108 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 176 recorded gains and 150 had losses, while the value of 37 stocks remained unchanged.
 PAPANDREOU: THE EU SUMMIT DECISIONS WILL BE OF HISTORICAL IMPORTANCEAthens, 18 June 2003 (17:35 UTC+2)
The issues that will be discussed in the EU Summit meeting in Thessaloniki were characterized as historical by Greek Foreign Minister and Council of Ministers President Giorgos Papandreou in a press conference after the meeting he had in Athens today with Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis.
Responding to a question by a reporter, Mr. Papandreou characterized the members of the organizations and movements expected to arrive in Thessaloniki, as Greece's and Thessaloniki's guests, and called on them to present their views even through demonstrations. At the same time, he asked them to respect the Greek hospitality and refrain from violent actions.
 THE INAUGURAL SUMMIT OF EUROPEAN DIASPORASThessaloniki, 18 June 2003 (17:20 UTC+2)
Leading figures from every field will gather together for the first time in a summit of European Diasporas. The Summit is being held under the auspices of Greece's EU Presidency and in parallel with the Thessaloniki European Council on June 19-21.
The Summit will gather together 60 personalities from current and future Member States who live outside their country of origin as citizens of a wider European Diaspora and are active in the areas of politics, media, business, civil society, academia, the arts, sports, science and others. Participants include: Jim Gianopulos, Chairman, Fox Filmed Entertainment; Soprano Karita Mattila; Georges Ugeux, Senior Managing Director International, New York Stock Exchange; Otto Zich, Chairman, Sony Europe Management Committee; and Sister Leena Deevy, director of the Irish Immigration Center in the US; Lord Alfred Dubs, head of the Labour Party in the House of Lords; and Olympic Gymnast Nadia Comaneci.
Summit participants, nominated by the EU Foreign Ministers, will explore Europe's emerging identity; offer insights into how Europe's institutions might interact more effectively with Europe's global citizens; and draw on their experiences to help guide policy on such issues as transatlantic relations and the integration of immigrants - one of the Greek EU Presidency highest priorities.
Those Europeans who have pursued lives and careers outside their countries of birth are uniquely valuable in helping us forge Europe's emerging identity, said Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, who is convening the Summit. What they have done on an individual level - bridging cultures while rethinking and maintaining their own - is what an expanding Europe is seeking to do on a collective level.
The Summit will culminate in the creation of a European Diasporas Task Force, which will be charged with developing recommendations on how the EU can strengthen relations with European diasporas and draw on their experience and knowledge. The Task Force, on which Mr. Papandreou will serve as honorary chair, will hold its first meeting on June 21 in Thessaloniki. It aims to present its report to the Irish EU Presidency in the spring of 2004.
The Summit aims to:
-Create the notion of a European Diaspora and highlight its achievements, from the contributions its members have made to their host communities, to the support they have offered to their native countries, to their role in building multicultural, global communities all over the world;
-Honour leading members of this diaspora, who hopefully will form the nexus of a network that can enhance Europe's presence in the world and initiate an enduring dialogue between Europe and its diaspora communities worldwide;
-Highlight to European publics the ways in which immigrants benefit their host societies.
Summit participants will also have the opportunity to meet with EU leaders participating in the Thessaloniki Summit in Porto Carras.
 SIMITIS ACCEPTS RESIGNATIONSAthens, 18 June 2003 (17:09 UTC+2)
The resignations of Stefanos Manikas from the position of Minister of the State and Michalis Neonakis from PASOK's Executive Office were accepted by Prime Minister Costas Simitis. In his letters to the two PASOK officials he thanked them for their contribution to the work of the government and PASOK, and expressed his appreciation that they will continue to contribute to PASOK.
In his letter to Stefanos Manikas, the Prime Minister noted the following:
I received your letter of resignation, dear Stefanos, which I accept. I thank you for your constant effort and contribution to the work of the government. I believe that you will continue to contribute to the party as you have done so far.
In his letter to Michalis Neonakis, he mentioned:
Dear Michalis. I received your letter of resignation from the Executive Office. I thank you for your continuous effort and contribution to PASOK's daily struggles. I am certain that you will continue to contribute with unabated zeal.
The two PASOK officials had earlier sent their letters of resignation to the Prime Minister, in which Michalis Neonakis made mention of a battle to make impressions causing misunderstandings. He also noted that yesterday's finding of the Stock Market Committee did justice to his struggle for his honor and reputation and stressed that he would not resign from his right to defend himself against those conspiring against him, with an ulterior motive of harming PASOK.
On his side, in his resignation letter Stefanos Manikas underlined that the transparency and legality of his actions has been proven and he added that he would pursue moral vindication.
 MAGRIOTIS-ALIYEV MEETINGBacu, 18 June 2003 (19:19 UTC+2)
The high level of relations between Greece and Azerbaijan was confirmed in the meetings Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis had in Bacu today with the country's Foreign Minister, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and the Economic Development Minister.
According to information, given the fact that no statements were made after the meetings, the three Azeri government officials praised the interest expressed by the Greek EU Presidency in their country. This interest was expressed through different initiatives, such as the proposal for the appointment of an EU mediator for the countries of the south Caucasus and the promotion of the process for those countries to be granted new EU neighboring states' status.
Also, Mr. Magriotis will be received by Azerbaijan's President Heydar Aliyev and the country's Vice-President. Later on, he will give a press conference before departing for Greece.
 SIMITIS-BERLUSCONI MEETINGRome, 17 June 2003 (21:57 UTC+2)
President of the European Council, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis underlined the significance of the fact that for the first time in the EU, Greece and Italy had submitted at the beginning of the year a joint programme of the two presidencies for the entire year. He was speaking in Rome, last stop on his tour of EU capitals in preparation for the Thessaloniki European Council.
In statements after a meeting with his Italian counterpart, Silvio Berlusconi, Mr. Simitis stressed that the Greek Presidency agrees with its successor the Italian, that the Intergovernmental Conference should begin in October and end before May 1 at the latest and the new Treaty be signed in the period from May 1 to June 15, i.e. before the next European elections.
Mr. Simitis also underlined his absolute agreement with Mr. Berlusconi that a joint policy should be implemented to combat illegal immigration, backed by EU funds.
Replying to questions, Mr. Simitis described the draft Constitution as a good compromise under the present conditions, while observing that the Constitution, which we shall agree to, is a solution that will have an effect for a certain period of time. Europe will take further steps later.
Mr. Berlusconi, replying to a question on his recent visit to Israel, clarified that he had accepted an invitation from Israeli Premier Ariel Sharon and that he had taken the opportunity to invite Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas to Rome.
Lastly, replying to a question on the fact that his visit to Rome coincided with Berlusconi's summoning to appear before a Milan court, Mr. Simitis referred to the self-evident rule according to which, there is a lawful government in each country, with which the EU and the Presidency have relations.
 MAGRIOTIS' CONTACTS IN ARMENIA AND GEORGIAYerevan, 17 June 2003 (21:41 UTC+2)
Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian expressed satisfaction for the initiatives undertaken by the Greek EU Presidency concerning his country. He made the statement responding to a MPA question after the meeting he had in Yerevan today with Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis, who is on a visit to Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency.
Mr. Oskanian expressed the wish for his country to be able to become an EU member sometime in the future.
Mr. Magriotis stressed that one of the Greek EU Presidency priorities was the strengthening of relations with the three countries of south Caucasus.
He also met with the presiding board of the Federation of Greek Associations in Armenia and discussed the programs promoted by Greece for the Greeks living in the area, certain of which are in progress in the sectors of health, education and culture.
In Georgia, Mr. Magriotis met with Foreign Minister Iraklis Menagarisvili in Tblisi today and referred to the significant steps made by the Greek EU Presidency in the EU relations with the countries of south Caucasus.
Mr. Menagarisvili stated responding to a question made by MPA that he is grateful for the efforts made by Greece concerning his country and its European future. He also thanked Greece for the 200,000 euros offered for the restoration of the damages caused by the earthquake that hit his country.
Mr. Magriotis will meet this evening with members of the Greek community and tomorrow he will visit Bacu, the capital of Azerbaijan, last stop of his three-day tour of the region.