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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-06-27
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 REVIEWS AND CHANGESAthens, 27 June 2003 (09:05 UTC+2)
Political issues in Greece are entering a new period with the return of the Prime Minister from the US, where he represented the EU at the EU-US Summit. On Monday, Mr. Simitis will preside over the Cabinet meeting, which will carry out a review the Greek Presidency to be presented to the Plenary Session of the European Parliament. The initiatives the Prime Minister's initiatives within the party are expected to be made known then, while they are expected to take place in early July. There is great interest in the government's response to the possibility of ND raising an election issue.
 GOVERNMENT REJECTS EARLY ELECTIONSAthens, 27 June 2003 (14:16 UTC+2)
Elections will be held in Spring 2004, responded the Government Spokesperson to the request of ND President Costas Karamanlis for early parliamentary elections. Speaking to his party's Parliamentary Group, Mr. Karamanlis had said: I have not asked for elections, although we would have had them yesterday if it were up to us, because Greece cannot go through an extended pre-election period.
 HEAT WAVE BY MONDAYAthens, 27 June 2003 (09:06 UTC+2)
Healthcare units are fully prepared to deal with problems that may be created by the high temperatures forecast for next week by the weather service. According to an emergency forecast of dangerous weather phenomena, a gradual increase in temperature is expected to start on Monday. The arrival of the heat wave will be delayed due to the strong winds expected during the weekend.
 MICHALOPOULOS AWAITING TRIALAthens, 27 June 2003 (09:06 UTC+2)
Publisher of the Eleftheri Ora newspaper Grigoris Michalopoulos will be taken to the Corydallos Penitentiary, accused for fraud, attempted fraud and repeated blackmail against well known businessmen. Michalopoulos, who presented his case for three hours yesterday, denied the charges and is expected to submit an appeal against the decision for his imprisonment while awaiting trial. The case was revealed last summer when the Aggelopoulos couple delivered a handwritten note of the 17N victim D. Aggelopoulos to Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
 EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE ARMENIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONSAthens, 27 June 2003 (18:04 UTC+2)
The EU has taken note of the preliminary findings of the International Election Observation Mission at the recent parliamentary elections in Armenia. The EU is pleased to see that a large number of international and domestic observers, including observers of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, have monitored the elections.
Although some progress has been made since the last presidential elections on March 5, 2003, especially regarding the technical preparations, the pre-election campaign and the media coverage of the pre-electoral campaign, the EU regrets that the overall election process did not meet the international standards in a number of key aspects, whereas the Armenian authorities promised substantive improvements after the Presidential elections of February 19, 2003.
The EU is especially concerned with the reoccurrence of falsification of vote counts, the unbalanced representation in the election commissions, the intimidation of proxies and the lack of transparency in the publishing of the election results.
The EU stresses its readiness to assist the Armenian authorities in re-addressing these shortcomings in the future in cooperation with other relevant international institutions such as the OSCE and the Council of Europe.
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.
 PROTOPAPAS RESPONDED TO KARAMANLIS' STATEMENTSAthens, 27 June 2003 (17:51 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas accused right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis of launching political fireworks to create impressions and satisfy part of his in-party audience. Mr. Protopapas made the statement commenting on Mr. Karamanlis' call for early elections.
Mr. Protopapas stated that elections will be held at the end of the government term in the spring of 2004. He said that the Greek government after its recent achievements will proceed with new political initiatives and will meet its commitments toward the Greek people.
 SMALL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 27 June 2003 (17:38 UTC+2)
Small losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.26% at 1.901,48 points, while the volume of transactions was at 127.4 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 101 recorded gains and 205 had losses, while the value of 70 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE COMMON AGRICULTURAL POLICY REVISION IS A GREEK EU PRESIDENCY SUCCESSAthens, 27 June 2003 (17:10 UTC+2)
The revision of the Common Agricultural Policy is a major success for the Greek EU Presidency, reiterated today Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
Mr. Protopapas pointed out that this decision is also a success for the interests of the Greek farmers, adding that the interview of Minister of Agriculture Giorgos Drys offers further details on the issue.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON HAMASAthens, 27 June 2003 (17:00 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas was called to comment today on the pressures exerted by the US aimed at the dismantling of the Palestinian organization Hamas.
Mr. Protopapas stated in response to a relevant question, that the strategy followed is specific namely, there is a need for truce and disarmament in the Middle East, and it is outlined in the summit meeting text.
 KARAMANLIS ASKS FOR EARLY ELECTIONSAthens, 27 June 2003 (14:32 UTC+2)
President of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis asked for early elections today while speaking at his Party's Parliamentary Groups meeting.
His request for early elections was warmly greeted and applauded by the MPs, while Mr. Karamanlis underlined: I have not asked for early elections, although we would have liked to have held them even yesterday if it were up to us. The interest of Greece, however, demands a clear political scene, with no further delays. Because Greece cannot take another extended pre-election period
The time that Mr. Simitis wants to gain is time that the country will lose. That is the truth.
We do not have the luxury for tired people to proceed with pointless policies. The problems cannot wait for a 9-month pre-election period to end. The solution to the crisis plaguing the government can only be given by the citizens themselves. National interest necessitates elections now.
Earlier, he had noted that accumulated dead ends, the people's discomfort, the sense of the end bearing near, have created a serious governmental crisis that cannot be confronted with compromises and Summit truces, nor with inter-party blackmails.
In his speech Mr. Karamanlis launched a head on attack against the government in all sectors. He spoke of inadequacy of the government and an inability to govern. The government is not functioning as a single body and the Ministries are functioning as dukedoms, he said.
On ND he stated that it has a complete governmental reform programme and that it is ready to obtain tangible results in its first six months of government. At the same time he called his MPs to constantly be vigilant. He reminded them of an earlier statement he had made, that the duties each one of the MPs has concerns the period until the elections and it does not forejudge the position they will undertake in the case of an electoral victory.
 EUROPE'S LARGEST PLANETARIUMThessaloniki, 27 June 2003 (14:15 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki will acquire a Center for the Dissemination of Science and a Museum of Technology in the first half of 2004, giving it's visitors the potential to get acquainted with this new technology.
The Center is already under construction in the area of Thermi, and it will be unique on a European scale, since it will have the largest and most modern digital planetarium on the continent, with a diameter of 30 meters, a virtual reality simulator, a cosmo-theater, a digital cinema with a 400 square meter concave screen, and 6000 square meters worth of exhibition grounds, where an ancient Greek technology exhibit will be hosted.
The construction is taking place on an area of 48,000 square meters, and its structures will cover 14,000 square meters, while it will cost 30 million euro. At the same time it can be used for academic purposes by medical students, who will be given the chance to observe a surgical procedure in every detail in the virtual reality simulator.
 GREECE INSISTS IN THE CONTINUATION OF THE TALKS FOR THE NAME OF FYROMNew York, 27 June 2003 (20:33 UTC+2)
Greece will not accept a formal name other than Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, FYROM, and insists in the continuation of the talks within the framework of the United Nations to find a solution to the problem concerning the name of the neighboring country, stated Greek Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos responding to a question after delivering a speech in New York. He also underlined that mistakes were made in the way the issue was handled mainly under the pressure of the supporters of nothing.
He said that opportunities were lost in the past, adding that when he was serving as Undersecretary for the Greeks Living Abroad he was visiting Australia with Parliament deputies from all political parties in Greece to persuade the Australian government to characterize the people of FYROM as Slavomacedonians.
Some years ago instead of seeking their characterization as Slavomacedonians we insisted in saying nothing, said Mr. Petsalnikos, while other countries recognize them as plain Macedonia. Therefore, the efforts should continue to avoid the formal adoption of the name Republic of Macedonia, said Mr. Petsalnikos, adding that if talks continue a solution is likely with the adoption of a name that will not create confusions.
 PETSALNIKOS: VISION AND CONSISTENCY FOR A BETTER GREECENew York, 27 June 2003 (18:55 UTC+2)
Vision, consistency, definition of goals and hard work will secure a better tomorrow for Greece and its people, said Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos speaking in an event organized in New York by the Association of Kastorians Omonia in cooperation with the Pan-Macedonian Association of America and the Federation Greek Associations of Metropolitan New York.
Mr. Petsalnikos underlined the huge importance of the contribution of Greece's children living all over the world.
He said that Greece faces the 21st century with self-confidence and optimism and this is the result of hard work and effort by the Greek people and the Greek communities abroad.
Mr. Petsalnikos referred to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and stressed that holding flawless Olympic Games is a goal that will be achieved with the contribution and presence of the Greeks living abroad.
 PETSALNIKOS: GREECE IS A MODEL STATE OF LAWNew York, 27 June 2003 (18:29 UTC+2)
No Greek citizen runs the risk of being extradited to the United States based on the two agreements of judicial assistance between the EU and the US signed in Washington by the Greek EU Presidency. Also, no third country citizen, wanted by the US judicial authorities, will be at risk of being extradited if there is a likelihood to receive the death penalty by a US court. The clarifications were made by Greek Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos on the sidelines of a speech he delivered in New York on Greece in Europe - Greece in the World.
On the court trial of the alleged terrorist group 17 November members, Mr. Petsalnikos said that the procedures followed so far were impeccable.
On the agreements on extradition and mutual judicial assistance signed by the EU and the US in Washington on Wednesday, Mr. Petsalnikos said that the negotiations were completed during Greece's EU Presidency term and were the fruit of a unanimous decision by all 25 EU member states.
Mr. Petsalnikos stated that the agreements signed establish a modern, clear and effective framework for the EU and US cooperation in the efforts against international crime with absolute respect for the institutional characteristics of the European legal system.
 NO COMPENSATION AFTER 59 YEARSBonn, 27 June 2003 (09:20 UTC+2)
The Carlsoui Court rejected the complaint of four Greeks claiming damages for the death of their parents during the Distomo slaughter of 1944. The court ruled that there is no legal basis for the German state to pay damages to private persons, when in the 60s it paid 115 million marks as damages to the victims of the nazi occupation, as the law in 1944 foresaw damages for violations of war laws to governments, but not to private individuals.