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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-06-11

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, June 11, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] EMERGENCY LANDING AT "MACEDONIA" FOR AIR RAGE
  • [02] LOWER TAXES ARE IN STORE, ACCORDING TO MINISTER
  • [03] JOURNALISTS HOLD CONFERENCE IN SAMOTHRACE
  • [04] PSEKA SUPPORTS CYPRUS' ACCESSION TO EU
  • [05] EU FMs DISCUSS FYROM CRISIS AND EUROARMY FORCE
  • [06] ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARRESTED IN NAXOS
  • [07] MEETING ON ORTHODOXY IN PATMOS
  • [08] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [09] GREECE SEEKS DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION IN FYROM
  • [10] "EVROS-MARITZA-MERIC" COOPERATION PROTOCOL
  • [11] OA CANCELED ITS FLIGHTS TO SKOPJE
  • [12] BALKAN INTER-REGIONAL COOPERATION MEETING
  • [13] THE CYPRUS AIRWAYS TROUBLEMAKER IS FREE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [14] DISAPPOINTING GROWTH IN EURO-ZONE
  • [15] VENIZELOS' MEETINGS IN VENICE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] EMERGENCY LANDING AT "MACEDONIA" FOR AIR RAGE

    A Cyprus Airlines passenger aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing at Thessaloniki's "Macedonia" airport last week, when one of its passengers expressed symptoms of air rage and began harassing the other travelers.

    The passenger, 35-year-old Russian national Hussein Mozed Mohammed, was reportedly intoxicated on board the Moscow-Larnaca flight, and refused the crew's attempts to calm him down.

    Apprehended by airport security staff, the Russian national appeared before the Thessaloniki prosecutor yesterday, facing charges of disrupting transport systems.

    The aircraft continued its journey to Larnaca with a slight delay.

    [02] LOWER TAXES ARE IN STORE, ACCORDING TO MINISTER

    Economic reforms slated for implementation in 2003 include lower taxes, accompanied by a simpler taxation system to replace the existing labyrinthine one, according to Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou.

    In an interview with the state-owned television channel "NET", Mr. Papantoniou also stressed that there will be no new taxes for any income group, while he also announced plans to increase the portion of untaxed income and to reduce taxation for businesses.

    Specifically, the "sweeping" reforms include means to ensure fairer taxation, boost business competitiveness, and simplification of the tax system.

    In another interview with the Sunday edition of the Thessaloniki paper "Aggelioforos Tis Kyriakis", Mr. Papantoniou announced that Greece's economy is to present a whopping 10-trillion-drachma surplus by the end of the decade, indicating that these excess funds will be allocated to funding the country's ailing social security system.

    [03] JOURNALISTS HOLD CONFERENCE IN SAMOTHRACE

    The ninth annual conference of Greek journalists is to begin on Thursday, at the northeastern Aegean island of Samothraki.

    The four-day event, themed "Power and the Mass Media", is jointly organized by the local municipality, the Prefecture Administration of Evros, the ministry of press and mass media, the ministry of Macedonia-Thrace and journalists' unions.

    [04] PSEKA SUPPORTS CYPRUS' ACCESSION TO EU

    The Greek-Turkish rapprochement, as engineered by Foreign Minister George Papandreou, has to be supported and the Greek and Cypriot communities abroad have to pressure the Bush Administration into supporting Cyprus's accession to the European Union, the President of AHEPA John Economy told the Macedonian Press Agency, on the sidelines of the 12th annual conference of the International Coordinating Committee for Cypriot Struggle (PSEKA), presently held in Washington.

    Mr. Economy also indicated that times have progressed, noting that "it's the first time we hear a Secretary of State, Colin Powell, speak openly against (Turkish-Cypriot leader) Rauf Denktash."

    Former US Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke, addressing the conference through a videotaped message, referred to Mr. Denktash as "the most intransigent person" with whom he had come in contact in the region.

    Mr. Holbrooke also noted that no country outside the EU could prevent Cyprus' accession to the EU.

    US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Marc Grossman, said that Cyprus' accession to the European Union is a significant development and can prove a great incentive to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Grossman also stated that the new US Administration was interested in a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem, and expressed hope that there would be better developments.

    In her address, US Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Elizabeth Jones, said that US policy in the region over the next few years was set to focus on the EU's decision to include Cyprus in its enlargement, as well as the cooperation of Greece, which will take over the presidency of the bloc in 2003.

    Featuring the attendance of approximately 100 representatives from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Greece and Cyprus, the conference was also addressed by Greece and Cyprus's ambassadors to the United States, Alexandros Philon and Erato Markouli-Kozakou, respectively.

    [05] EU FMs DISCUSS FYROM CRISIS AND EUROARMY FORCE

    Greece will veto any European Army proposal that would be contrary to its interests during today's European Union General Affairs Council, Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated.

    Speaking in reference to Ankara's insistence on participating in the nascent European forces' activities (even though it not an EU member) Mr. Papandreou further stressed that any revision of the Nice Summit decision is ruled out; the said Summit had resolved that decisions on the actions of the European force will be taken only by EU members.

    The situation in FYROM is to also be discussed by the General Affairs Council, where Greece is expected to table a "three phase" five-day plan for an immediate end to ongoing conflict and reinstatement of inter-ethnic dialogue.

    The first phase calls for the EU and the US to apply pressure on the four major parties comprised in FYROM's coalition, calling for a cease fire within 48 hours and the withdrawal of all armed groups from the conflict zones.

    The second phase calls for the initiation of high- level talks between coalition representatives who will establish the basis of the dialogue to follow.

    The third phase is that of the five-day dialogue headed by FYROM President Boris Trajkovski, which will culminate with the final text of an agreement that will be submitted to the EU.

    [06] ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARRESTED IN NAXOS

    Three crew members of the Greek towboat "Star", with 138 Kurdish illegal immigrants on board, were arrested by the Greek police when the ship suffered a mechanical failure near the Aegean island of Naxos.

    The illegal immigrants had boarded the ship at the Turkish coasts and are currently held in a school-building awaiting deportation. The Greek police is looking for two more crew members who managed to escape arrest.

    [07] MEETING ON ORTHODOXY IN PATMOS

    The 8th general assembly of the Inter-parliamentary Cooperation on Orthodoxy will be held in the Aegean island of Patmos on June 28-July 2 with the participation of delegations from 20 European countries and Greek origin parliament deputies from the United States, Canada and Australia.

    Among the speakers will be former Russian prime minister Gevgeni Primakov and Greek European Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou.

    [08] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -2.85% at 2.876,76 points, while the volume of transactions was 118.7 million Euro or 40.45 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, just 24 stocks recorded gains and the overwhelming majority namely, 331 had losses, while the value of 26 stocks remained stable.

    [09] GREECE SEEKS DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION IN FYROM

    Greece wants a political and diplomatic solution to be reached in the Skopje crisis, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, adding that dialogue is the only solution and the Greek government is opposed to any thought or any action undertaken by a group, aimed at bringing a change in the existing borders.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the situation in Skopje will be examined in the EU General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg today and Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will submit a plan aimed at defusing the crisis, while Javier Solana, head of the European joint foreign policy and policy of defense, will brief its members on the situation.

    On the rumors concerning the attacks launched against Greek businesses in Skopje, Mr. Reppas stated that the Greek government is in constant communication with the diplomatic agencies to take the necessary measures, while he also stressed categorically that there is no question of a Greek military presence in FYROM.

    Meanwhile, the EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg have issued a joint statement condemning the Albanian extremist action in FYROM and calling on all sides to display self-restraint and avoid putting the civilian population in any danger.

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou proposed to adopt a "black list" with the Albanians, who commit illegal acts, to be unable to get a permission to enter any European Union country. He also suggested that the council should allow the European Commission to determine the time in which a stability agreement will be reached between the EU and Albania to send a positive message to the Albanian prime minister for his contribution to the efforts for peace in the region.

    [10] "EVROS-MARITZA-MERIC" COOPERATION PROTOCOL

    The cooperation protocol for the establishment of the "Evros- Maritza-Meric" Euro-region was signed in the municipality of Trigono in northeastern Greece last Saturday by the Greek and Bulgarian Associations of Border Regions "Evros" and "Maritza" respectively.

    Proposals for the organizing and operation of the Euro-region were discussed in the special event that was held on the occasion of the signing of the protocol. Present in the ceremony was a Turkish delegation.

    [11] OA CANCELED ITS FLIGHTS TO SKOPJE

    The Greek state-run airline Olympic Airways canceled its flights to Skopje today in response to the threats launched by the ethnic Albanian rebels according to which, the Skopje Airport will be bombed.

    The OA announced that it is canceling its flights to the FYROM capital for precautionary reasons.

    The flights' cancellations were decided one day after the threats launched by one of the leaders of the ethnic Albanian rebels, who warned that they will bomb the airport and other buildings in Skopje if the FYROM armed forces continue their attacks against the rebels.

    [12] BALKAN INTER-REGIONAL COOPERATION MEETING

    A Balkan Committee within the framework of the Association of the Regional Coastal Regions of Europe will be founded in the northeastern Greek city of Kavala, where the first meeting of inter-regional cooperation in the Balkans is being held.

    A proposal that will be made by Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Region general secretary Aris Papadopoulos suggests that the Balkan Committee seat should be based in a northern Greek city.

    The goal of the committee will be to develop cooperation and initiatives for peace, cooperation, security and more job opportunities for the people living in the region.

    The decision that will be made in the Kavala meeting will be approved in the European Coastal Regions Committee general assembly meeting that will be held in Portugal in September.

    [13] THE CYPRUS AIRWAYS TROUBLEMAKER IS FREE

    A Thessaloniki court sentenced to 6 months in prison the 35yearold Syrian Mohammad Hussein Mozed, who forced a Cyprus Airways pilot to make an emergency landing at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport last Saturday.

    The plane was on its way to Larnaca, Cyprus coming from Moscow and during the flight the 35yearold, who had consumed large quantities of alcohol, harassed the other passengers and at one point he even attacked members of the crew who tried to calm him down.

    In his testimony before the court, he stated that he could not remember what happened exactly during the flight because he had consumed three bottles of wine mixed with whisky and vodka.

    The 35yearold appealed against the court decision and was released.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] DISAPPOINTING GROWTH IN EURO-ZONE

    The actual growth in Euro-zone in 2001 will be lower than predicted by the European Central Bank (ECB) showing a considerable decline, according to a research conducted on behalf of the British newspaper Financial Times, the German Financial Times and the French Les Echos.

    ECB governor Wim Duisenberg had stated that growth in Euroland will be 2-2.5% in 2001, but the research analysts do not seem to go along with this viewpoint and maintain that by the end of this year's second trimester the Euro-zone growth will drop to 1.8% on an annual basis.

    They also believe that in the third trimester it could drop even more, to 1.4%, just over the 1.3% growth rate recorded in the US economy in January-March 2001.

    Justifying their pessimism, the analysts cite isolated economic figures that came to light recently showing, beyond any doubt, a notable industrial production decline and an increasing deficit in business confidence.

    [15] VENIZELOS' MEETINGS IN VENICE

    Greek culture minister Evangelos Venizelos met yesterday with the mayor of Venice and the dean of the Venice University for talks on the cooperation of the city of Venice and the local university with the Greek culture ministry in view of the Cultural Olympiad.

    A Modern Greek Studies Department was established in Venice in 1996 based on an agreement between Paolo Costa, the then Venice University dean who is now the city mayor.

    The success of the great exhibition on the Greeks of the West at Palacco Grazzi, and the Velimezi Collection exhibition as well as, the restoration of the Venice Greek Institute Images Museum have proven that this Italian city is an ideal place for cultural events of Greek interest due to its historical and cultural ties with Greece.


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