|Sunday, 23 February 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-06-26
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 COLLABORATION WITH DISAGREEMENTSWashington, 26 June 2003 (09:02 UTC+2)
It is not possible for the EU and the US not to have common interests in security and defense, but it is impossible to reach an agreement everywhere, stated Prime Minister Costas Simitis as President of the European Council after the EU-US Summit in Washington, in an effort to bridge the gap between them, however they retained different views on crucial views. The strong EU-US ties are of essential importance to global peace and prosperity, said President Bush. Immediately after the Summit, the EU-US extradition agreement was signed. This agreement changes nothing for Greek citizens, for whom the 1932 agreement is in place.
 TURN TO THE INTERIOR AFTER THE PRESIDENCYWashington, 26 June 2003 (09:16 UTC+2)
I do not understand how it is that when I cross the border I am great, and when I am inside the border I am terrible, said Prime Minister Costas Simitis in response to a question on whether he was going to use the recipe of the Presidency on the interior. The government must turn back to issues of the interior, added Mr. Simitis. It was those same party officials that tried to undermine the efforts for a successful Greek Presidency, responded the President of ND, Costas Karamanlis.
 FALSE ALARMThessaloniki, 26 June 2003 (09:16 UTC+2)
Doctors at the Papanikolaou hospital in Thessaloniki are now optimistic in expectance of the results on the antibodies of the Chinese businessman, who was a possible SARS victim, as the result of the tests carried out in the special lab in Hamburg to locate the virus was negative. The system functioned in an exemplary fashion, stated Minister of Health Mr. Stefanis, who congratulated the staff at the Drama hospital.
 WAR AGAINST DRUGSAthens, 26 June 2003 (09:16 UTC+2)
Deterioration, both physical and mental, due to the use of drugs, is a daily proof that the effort to decrease the damage, to drop drug addictions and be re-incorporated to society, are achieved with specific goals, a lot of effort and participation from all parties, stated Minister of Health Costas Stefanis, in view of today being the international day against drugs.
 PAPANTONIOU-MATVIENKO DISCUSSED MILITARY-TECHNICAL COOPERATION ISSUESAthens, 26 June 2003 (19:04 UTC+2)
Issues of military-technical cooperation between Greece and Russia were at the center of the meeting at Saint Petersburg today between Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and representative of the Russian Federation President to the region and former Russian ambassador to Athens, Valentina Matvienko.
Mr. Papantoniou stated after the meeting that Greece regards the cooperation with Russia in the sector of defense as very important, using as an example the Russian weapons systems Greece has purchased in the past five-year period.
On her part, Mrs. Matvienko expressed the certainty that the Greek-Russian relations will continue to develop positively in the economic, political and military-technical fields.
 THE GENERAL INDEX IN THE ASE REMAINED UNCHANGEDAthens, 26 June 2003 (18:46 UTC+2)
The general index was unchanged in the Athens Stock Exchange today (0.00%) at 1.906,45 points, while the volume of transactions was at 140.4 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 103 recorded gains and 200 had losses, while the value of 73 stocks remained unchanged.
 CONSUMERS' INSTITUTE PROTEST LETTER TO NICHOLAS BURNS ON GMOSAthens, 26 June 2003 (18:34 UTC+2)
The European Consumers' Organization, BEUC, which is represented in Greece by the Consumers' Institute, INKA, sent a letter to Nicholas Burns on the occasion of yesterday's EU-US Summit meeting on the issue of Genetically Modified Organisms, GMOs.
Disappointment is expressed in the letter sent to Mr. Burns on the decision reached by the US and other states to proceed with a formal action through the World Trade Organization, WTO, against the existing suspension of moves aimed at the approval of new GMOs in the EU.
In the letter it is stressed that an effort is being made in Europe to develop a policy that will respect consumers and their ecological concerns, while it will help consumers be well-informed about the food they buy. The goal of the action undertaken is to force the EU to follow the same policies on genetically modified organisms which are in effect in other countries and this cannot be accepted, concludes the letter.
 GREEK CONSULATE IN BITOLA, FYROMKilkis, 26 June 2003 (17:02 UTC+2)
The opening of a Greek Consulate in Bitola, FYROM aimed at facilitating the issuing of visas for FYROM citizens who wish to visit Greece, was announced by Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Andreas Loverdos in statements he made in the northern Greek city of Kilkis.
Mr. Loverdos maintained that this way the people from the Bitola region, who are interested in having a visa issued, will avoid visiting the Greek embassy in Skopje.
The decision was reached in response to a demand expressed by Prefect of Kilkis, Mr. Evangelos Balaskas. Mr. Balaskas made it known that the people of FYROM have a hard time visiting Kilkis and its local markets, as opposed to the past, stressing that the visitors from FYROM were giving a considerable boost to the region's economic development.
 REACTIONS OF THE LEFT TO EU-US AGREEMENTAthens, 26 June 2003 (16:17 UTC+2)
I think that once again the Prime Minister is provoking the Greek people, hiding beneath the cloak of the European Presidency. He prides himself that the EU and the US will have a joint conscription in this neo-class barbarity, stressed Secretary General of the KKE Aleka Papariga, while she added that, this was not just a judicial conscription, which a very dangerous document-agreement indeed, it is the formulation of a joint strategy against the peoples of the world and their only disagreement lies in the real allocation and domination.
The adjustment of Europe to the American imperial dogmas and its participation in their warmongering plans, was marked at the meeting between the leaders of the EU and the US, pointed out President of the Coalition of the Left Nikos Constantopoulos.
The Coalition will raise the issue of the agreement that was signed between the EU and the US for discussion in Parliament on Monday, and Mr. Constantopoulos made the following statement:
Mr. Bush is enforcing himself as a triumphant emperor, the EU is sacrificing its democratic values and its institutional culture to appease him and the Greek government, through Mr. Simitis, is being transformed into an entity eager to carry out facilitations demanded by the new world order, despite the opposition of all the peoples of Europe and in contempt of all their historic and intellectual achievements."
 HEALTH OF CHINESE BUSINESSMAN IMPROVINGThessaloniki, 26 June 2003 (11:44 UTC+2)
The health of the 36-year-old Chinese businessman who had symptoms of SARS is gradually improving , but he will remain in the negative pressure chamber of the Papanikolaou hospital in Thessaloniki for two more weeks, until all medical tests are completed.
According to statements made to the MPA by the President of the II Regional Health System, Constantinos Kallergis, the patient's fever dropped this morning and his health has improved, and he pointed out that after the negative test result from the German medical center, the patient will remain quarantined for another 15 days so that all medical tests are carried out.
 BENEFICIAL REVISION FOR GREECEBrussels, 26 June 2003 (16:17 UTC+2)
The Ministers of Agriculture of the EU came to an agreement on the revision of the Joint Agricultural Policy last night, and with some radical changes to it, overcoming the obstacles and disagreements that had come up during their previous meeting. There were in fact certain benefits for Greek agricultural production.
 EU-US EXTRADITION AGREEMENT SIGNEDWashington, 26 June 2003 (11:44 UTC+2)
Greek Minister of Justice and President of the Council of EU Ministers of Justice Philippos Petsalnikos and his US counterpart John Ashcroft signed the EU-US agreements for judicial cooperation and extradition in Washington.
The agreements foresee that the crimes a citizen can be extradited for will not be set on a specific list. The state receiving the extradition request can refuse it, both due to bilateral agreements, and due to its own principles of law.
If a state receives multiple extradition requests for the same person, it has a choice regarding which it will respond to.
Also, a citizen cannot be extradited to a country where the death penalty is in effect, while it is the first time that broad protection of citizens' personal information will be provided.
Based on the agreements, extradition procedures are sped up, as many bureaucratic obstacles are being removed.
After many months of negotiation, certain US requests were not incorporated in the agreements, such as the extradition of native citizens of a country, extradition for political crimes and crimes that are covered by the statue of limitations.
Specifically regarding the citizens of Greece, Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas pointed out that the extradition agreement is not bilateral between Greece and the US, but applies to EU-US relations, and will thus not be ratified by the Parliament.
The Government Spokesperson also added that this EU-US agreement will create no problems for Greek citizens because the agreement of 1932 is still in effect, according to which Greece has the choice of not extraditing a foreign citizen to the US if he is threatened with the death penalty.
 SIMITIS: EU DETERMINED TO FIGHT TERRORISMWashington, 26 June 2003 (11:32 UTC+2)
The EU has every interest in applying international law rules and is determined to participate in the war on terrorism, stressed Prime Minister Costas Simitis during the Press Conference he held for Greek journalists after the end of the EU-US Summit in Washington.
Mr. Simitis noted that the Cyprus issue was discussed at the Summit. According to the Prime Minister, he pointed out to President Bush that they should move to discussions based on the plan of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, on which there must be certain negotiations and adjustments, because Cyprus is the future of the EU. He also added that Mr. Bush recognized that the Turkish side must change its position.
Mr. Simitis referred to the contribution of the Greek Presidency to overcoming the crisis in EU-US relations due to the war in Iraq.
He also added that the world after the war in Iraq is not safer, stressing that certain problems have been solved, but others have been created. There are always dangers and that is why it is our obligation to fight them, he mentioned.
Furthermore, he appreciated that there will be a solution on the issue of the Joint Agricultural Policy.
When asked if he will apply the recipe of the Greek Presidency on the interior of the country, Mr. Simitis noted: I do not understand how I am alright when I cross the border, and terrible when I return to Greece.
In ending, he noted that after the end of the Greek Presidency he will concentrate on the interior of the country. Six months are enough. I have been abroad for at least 3 months. I am the Prime Minister of Greece and I must work on my country with my associates. The government worked hard on its goals for 6 months and must turn back to interior matters, he underlined.
 CONSTRUCTIVE TALKS IN THE EU-US SUMMIT MEETINGWashington, 25 June 2003 (22:23 UTC+2)
Talks at the EU-US Summit in Washington were described in glowing terms by the participants US President George Bush, the President of the European Council Kostas Simitis and European Commission President Romano Prodi who used terms such as constructive, fruitful and excellent.
Speaking at a joint press conference after the talks, Mr. Bush referred to the historical and strong ties between the EU and the USA, while Mr. Simitis underlining the common will for cooperation spoke of the interdependence of the two poles, which is vitally important for the global economy.
By way of indication he referred to the agreement signed on mutual judicial assistance to combat criminal activity, the joint statement on the non-dissemination of weapons of mass destruction, the emphasis placed on the implementation of the road map for peace in the Middle East, the commencement of cooperation in the area of air travel, the joint research initiative to produce energy from hydrogen and efforts for the successful outcome of the Doha trade round, regarding which, Mr. Prodi observed, Community consultations must first be held concerning the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.
Acknowledging that the EU and US do not share absolutely identical views, Mr. Simitis said that friendship requires discipline in the handling of our differences and efforts to seek those areas which unite us.
Replying to questions, Mr. Bush reiterated his steadfast position that organisations such as Hamas must be dismantled and the international community must soon take action in this direction, by cutting off their funding for example. On the issue of Iran, Mr. Bush noted that the free world demands that Iran complies, while Mr. Prodi noted that the dialogue with Iran is now deepening.
Replying to a question on the European perspective of shaping a common defence, Mr. Simitis said that such a development was in the interests of both sides, adding that it was a great mistake to give a dimension of rivalry to the European initiative.
In this respect, Mr. Simitis referred to the precedent of cooperation set by the replacement of NATO forces with European forces in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which may be repeated some time in the future in Bosnia-Herzegovina. On this point, Mr. Simitis underlined the importance of respect for international law and UN Security Council resolutions.