|Monday, 17 February 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-06-21
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE EU CALLS THE BALKANSThessaloniki, 21 June 2003 (12:04 UTC+2)
A message to the Balkans, that they will be incorporated to the EU when they meet the Copenhagen criteria, was given by the EU leaders to the region's countries, at the Summit that was completed in Chalkidiki. The leaders of the 5 Western Balkan countries, gave their view of the situation in the region. Prime Minister Simitis stated that cooperation agreements with countries in the region will follow the model of the enlargement.
 PREPARATIONS FOR MAJOR PROTEST MARCHThessaloniki, 21 June 2003 (10:37 UTC+2)
More than 5000 police officers are on standby in downtown Thessaloniki, ready for the mass rally against globalization to be held this afternoon with the participation of thousands of protesters from Greece and abroad.
Security has been concentrated on the areas surrounding the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace, the General Police Direction, and the US Consulate, where the police will block roads with metal panels and armored vans, in order to avert any approaches by protesters.
There is concern within the leadership of the Greek Police, coordinating the operation from the police HQ, with the large number of hardcore protesters (members of antiauthoritarian organizations), as there are fears that yesterday's confrontations with the police will be repeated in Thessaloniki today.
According to the authorities' plan, there will be a strong police force around the university where these hardcore elements are staying, while depending on the situation in the streets during the protests, streets may be closed down.
 BELGRADE-PRISTINA SETTLEMENT DIALOGUEThessaloniki, 21 June 2003 (13:50 UTC+2)
A dialogue will begin shortly, before July in fact, between Belgrade and Pristina, as was announced by EU Foreign Policy Spokesperson Javier Solana, after the completion of the EU-Balkan Summit held in Thessaloniki. His hope that a solution can be found this way was expressed by the President of Albania Alfred Moisiu and of Marovic of the Serbia-Monte Negro Union. I would shake the hands of the Albanian representatives of Kossovo, said Mr. Marovic. With patience, dialogue can lead to stability said Prime Minister Simitis.
 SIMITIS: THE THESSALONIKI EU SUMMIT WAS A SUCCESSPorto Carras, 20 June 2003 (22:00 UTC+2)
Today was a good day for the European Union, stated Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis to stress the success of the EU Summit meeting proceedings at Porto Carras, Chalkidiki in northern Greece.
Mr. Simitis reminded the targets set concerning the completion of the draft European Constitution, the migration and asylum policy and the EU security and defense report. He said that there was success in all these targets, while the European leaders also decided to ask the European Bank of Investments for funds for the inter-European networks, research and development.
Referring to the six-month Greek EU Presidency, Mr. Simitis said that they were six difficult months. He said that the positive thing is that the crisis over Iraq was overcome and the Greek EU Presidency gave a victorious fight for the cohesion of the EU.
European Commission President Romano Prodi and EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana thanked Mr. Simitis and Foreign Minister Papandreou and congratulated them for the job done during the Greek EU Presidency.
On his part, Mr. Papandreou stated that the European Union and the United States should hold a discussion on an equal basis and find ways to overcome the existing problems.
Mr. Simitis said that the Solana text on issues of security still needs work and Mr. Solana will continue to work on it to present it for discussion in the December 2003 EU Summit meeting.
 ANARCHISTS ATTACKED AN AMBULANCEThessaloniki, 21 June 2003 (19:53 UTC+2)
Anarchists attacked an ambulance carrying a protester with respiratory problems. The ambulance was going to Gennimatas Hospital, which is close to the university campus, and as soon as it was attacked its driver changed course and drove it to Ippokratio Hospital to the other end of the city.
According to unconfirmed information, a total of 12 individuals have been taken to hospitals, which are in a state of alert.
Meanwhile, the situation at the Aristotle University campus is explosive as the police make extensive use of teargas and police forces are reinforced.
According to information, two anarchists have been arrested. Earlier, the anarchists burned down a McDonald's and a Goody's fast food restaurants, a Eurobank and an Alpha Bank branch, a pharmacy, a bookstore, a supermarket and a number of private cars.
A police helicopter flies over the city center and watches the situation, while sporadic clashes are being reported between police and anarchists.
 EXTENSIVE DAMAGE IN THE CENTER OF THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 21 June 2003 (19:14 UTC+2)
Extensive damages were caused in the center of Thessaloniki by anarchists who have opened many fronts of confrontation with the security forces in different parts of the city.
Biblical disaster is reported in the commercial center of the city in the area surrounded by the streets of Egnatia, Agias Sofias, Iasonidou and Platonos.
According to police sources, masked protesters have spread in different parts of the city and inside the peaceful demonstrations to avoid being arrested by the police.
 JOINT DECLARATION ON THE EU-WESTERN BALKANS SUMMITThessaloniki, 21 June 2003 (18:43 UTC+2)
Significant progress has been made in the fronts of stability, democracy and economic recovery in the Western Balkans in the three-year period since the Zagreb meeting as it is underlined in the statement issued after the EU-Western Balkans Summit meeting at Porto Carras.
In the statement it is clarified that it was decided to hold periodical EU-Western Balkans fora to discuss issues of common interest and review the progress made. Within this framework, the Ministers of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Interior will hold annual meetings.
In the Thessaloniki statement it is underlined that the EU confirms its unequivocal support to the European prospect of Western Balkans and recognizes that the Stabilization an Association Procedure will be the framework for the European course of the Western Balkans until their future accession into the EU.
The EU backs the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 on Kosovo and the political fulfillment of the preconditions before the recognition of UNMIK.
The viable return of the refugees and the internally displaced persons are crucial issues, while the divisions based on ethnic criteria are meanings not compatible with the European prospects.
Those participating in the Summit reiterated that organized crime and corruption are a setback for democratic stability, the state of law, economic development and the strengthening of the society of citizens in the region's states causing serious concern in the EU.
 THESSALONIKI IS A BATTLEFIELDThessaloniki, 21 June 2003 (18:38 UTC+2)
Downtown Thessaloniki turned into a battlefield this afternoon as a result of the vandalism committed by anarchists who destroyed shops and banks, and set fires putting in danger the lives of thousands of peaceful protesters and local residents.
Police forces used teargas to break up the anarchists. Thessaloniki downtown turned into a battlefield and smoke covers most of the city center.
 THOUSANDS OF PROTESTERS FLOODED THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 21 June 2003 (17:37 UTC+2)
Thousands of protesters flooded downtown Thessaloniki in one of the largest demonstrations ever held in the city. They protest against globalization and in support of a fairer world with jobs for all, peace and social welfare.
More than 5,000 police officers are in a full state of alert, while the security measures are mainly focused on the regions around the buildings of the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace and the US Consulate.
 MESSAGE BY PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS TO TURKEYKilkis, 21 June 2003 (17:24 UTC+2)
Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos sent a message to Turkey according to which, if Ankara wants the Greek-Turkish relations to be improved and its EU course to be accelerated it should comply with international law and the EU principles. Mr. Stephanopoulos sent the message during the events commemorating the liberation of the city of Kilkis and the battle of 1913. He said that Greece never was a war-loving country and always backed peace.
Referring to the European Constitution, he said that it is a significant and positive step for the future of Europe and pointed out that the draft Constitution is a good basis for further discussion.
Commenting on the fact that the Christian religion is not mentioned in the draft Constitution, he said that there are difficulties in the process of the drawing up of the European Constitution.
 ERDOGAN VISITED THE TURKISH CONSULATEThessaloniki, 21 June 2003 (16:21 UTC+2)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the house where Kemal Ataturk was born in Thessaloniki. The Turkish Consulate is housed in that building.
Mr. Erdogan arrived at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport at 3.30pm on board a helicopter. The Turkish Prime Minister was at Porto Carras, Chalkidiki where the EU Summit took place.
It is the first post-war visit to the house of Kemal Ataturk by a Turkish Prime Minister.
 BUSEK EXPRESSED SATISFACTION FOR THE EU-WESTERN BALKANS SUMMITPorto Carras, 21 June 2003 (16:08 UTC+2)
Extremely satisfied with the outcome of the EU-Western Balkans Summit is Erhard Busek, special coordinator of the Stability Pact, given the fact that today's proceedings have opened the door for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue to get underway by July.
He pointed out that the Stabilization and Association Procedure, SAP, comes out of the Summit more strengthened and enriched, while it is already underway for Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, FYROM and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Thanks to the tireless efforts by the Greek EU Presidency, the Summit seals an impressive negotiation process among the EU, the region's governments and the players involved in the strengthening of the European course of those countries. The above were stated by Mr. Busek in the press conference he gave today after the EU-Western Balkans Summit at Porto Carras in Chalkidiki.
He also pointed out that the Stability Pact could play a key-role in the acceleration of the European course of the Western Balkans especially, regarding the creation of tools of inter-regional cooperation in the five SAP states.
 ILIESCU: THE THESSALONIKI EU SUMMIT IS IMPORTANT FOR ROMANIABucharest, 20 June 2003 (21:10 UTC+2)
Romania hopes that the EU Summit meeting in Thessaloniki will have a positive effect on the country's EU accession course, stated Romanian President Ion Iliescu before he departed from Bucharest.
Mr. Iliescu stated that Romania is waiting for a confirmation of all agreed upon in Copenhagen and mainly of its target to complete the EU accession negotiations in 2004 and become an EU member in 2007.
Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase stated that the EU Summit in Thessaloniki is important because it is expected that the progress made by Romania in the negotiations with the EU will be recognized.