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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-06-06

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 Thessaloniki, June 6, 2003

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] SIMITIS IN PARIS
  • [02] SCANDALIDIS: THE GREEK PRESIDENCY HAS ACHIEVED ITS GOALS
  • [03] GREECE'S BEACHES THE CLEANEST IN THE EU
  • [04] IMMENSE OPERATION FOR SUMMIT
  • [05] INTERNATIONAL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT TRAFFICKING RING
  • [06] NEW BATCH OF 280 FORGED 50 EURO NOTES
  • [07] OPEN VOTE ON LIFTING IMMUNITY IN PARLIAMENT
  • [08] PAPANDREOU: THE EU ENLARGEMENT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO LOWERING POVERTY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
  • [09] THE HUNGER STRIKE INSIDE THE CHALKIDIKI MINE CONTINUES
  • [10] ATHENS MUNICIPALITY BANNER TO THE HIMALAYAS
  • [11] BIG GAINS IN THE ASE
  • [12] PAPANTONIOU: THE EURO-ARMY IS A SIGNIFICANT FORCE
  • [13] PROTOPAPAS: IMPORTANT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT INTERVENTION ON CYPRUS
  • [14] THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION VICE-PRESIDENT TO MPA
  • [15] INFORMAL SUMMIT OF THE EU PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION MINISTERS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [16] SIMITIS-CHIRAC MEETING
  • [17] EU-US AGREEMENT ON EXTRADITION AND MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] SIMITIS IN PARIS Greek Prime Minister and President of the European Council Costas Simitis arrived in Paris last night, where was formally greeted at the Paris airport, in deviation from protocol.

    The Prime Minister will meet with French President Jacques Chirac today and the President of the Convention for the Future of Europe Valerie Giscard D'Estaing.

    The main topic at the meetings will be the issues on the agenda at the Thessaloniki Summit and issues about the future of Europe.

    Mr. Simitis will discuss issues concerning the institution of the President of the European Council and strengthening the rights and responsibilities of the European Commission, as well as EU-US relations with Mr. Chirac

    Mr. Chirac will make statements today joint statements with Mr. Simitis, also in deviation from protocol.

  • [02] SCANDALIDIS: THE GREEK PRESIDENCY HAS ACHIEVED ITS GOALS The Greek Presidency has achieved its goals and will conclude successfully at the Thessaloniki Summit, stated Minister of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization, Costas Scandalidis, late last night, in welcoming the EU Ministers and del egations of member-states and states under accession to the EU Public Administration Ministerial Meeting in Rhodes.

    Apart from the Ministers of the "25", the President of the EU Committee of the Regions, Albert Bore, will also be present, as will the Turkish Minister of Public Administration Abdulkadir Aksu, whom Mr. Scandalidis greeted warmly, stressing the potential

    for cooperation among Mediterranean countries, while he pointed out that such a meeting would have been inconceivable a few years ago.

    Mr. Scandalidis pointed out that it is especially positive for a country such as Greece, with 5,500 islands, that the Committee of the Regions would deal specifically with it, in its meeting that began yesterday morning in Rhodes with communication poten tial with distant and island regions.

    The Council's meeting will begin today with the presentation of the Greek program on the Centers for Citizen Service, followed by a speech by Mr. Scandalidis.

  • [03] GREECE'S BEACHES THE CLEANEST IN THE EU Greece has the cleanest beaches in the EU, according to the annual report of the EU on the quality of swimming waters.

    Samples were taken from 1,914 beaches where swimming is allowed, regarding microbiological and chemical parameters. The EU report concluded that the average quality of coastline swimming waters continued improving.

    Our country won the most blue flags, with 97%, while according to the report, cities with more than 150,000 residents, have already started using refuse processing units.

  • [04] IMMENSE OPERATION FOR SUMMIT The last details of the largest police operation to be organized in the history of Greece is being prepared by the relevant Ministries, on the measures to be taken at the works of the Summit Meeting, as well as on the protests to be held from June 18 to June 21 in Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki.

    The mammoth operation which is expected to be a general rehearsal for the Athens Olympics, will include the participation of 10,000 police officers from various police directions, while 2,000 firemen and soldiers will participate in the protective umbrel la to be spread to regions over the Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki prefectures.

    During the broad meeting held in the Maximos Mansion, presided over by Prime Minister Simitis, with the participation of Ministers of Public Order Michalis Chrysochoidis and Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis, all the data on the operation was looked i nto, while Mr. Chrysochoidis was given the responsibility of applying the measures.

    Information mentioned that the broader region of the Porto Carras hotel complex, the peninsula of Sithonia, where the heads of state and foreign delegations will stay during the works of the Summit, will be impenetrable and patrolled 24 hours a day, from

    land, air and sea.

    Also, powerful police forces will be placed at central points of Thessaloniki, as well as on major roads (the part from the airport to Neos Marmaras and the "Porto Carras" hotel), while security measures for buildings housing consulates, multinational co rporations, banks, and other possible targets will be increased, due to the thousands of protesters to come to the city.

    In fact emergency measures for shops, banks and other businesses are being taken by the owners or managers of the businesses. Over the past few days, they have begun installing metal panels and bulletproof glass and replacing their shop windows, especial ly in the area around the US Consulate.

  • [05] INTERNATIONAL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT TRAFFICKING RING The Greek authorities have arrested 5 individuals in Komotini and are on the trail of an international ring that secures false passports and drivers licenses of EU member-states for a price.

    One Greek and two Turks arrested are members of the ring, while the police also arrested to illegal immigrants. As was revealed in the preliminary examination, the two Turkish traffickers secured fake Portuguese passports and driving licenses with the ai d of their accomplices in Bulgaria, in order for the illegal immigrants to travel to France, via Greece.

  • [06] NEW BATCH OF 280 FORGED 50 EURO NOTES A batch of 280 counterfeit fifty euro notes were in the possession of an Albanian citizen who was apprehended by men of the Thessaloniki police, according to which, he was intending to move them on the market.

    As was announced by the Thessaloniki Police Direction, the officers had information that an Albanian national was importing and trafficking counterfeit bills, and following an investigation they traced the 29-year-old to his home in the Chalkidiki commun ity, where the 280 counterfeit bills were found.

    According to his claims, the bills originated from Bulgaria and another Albanian gave them to him in Tirana so as to bring them to Greece.

  • [07] OPEN VOTE ON LIFTING IMMUNITY IN PARLIAMENT The immunity of MPs will be lifted with an open vote, with certain exceptions.

    This proposal was made by the President of the Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis and was accepted by the Regulation Committee, with the exception of KKE representative Antonis Skyllakos, and is expected to be presented in the Plenary Session next week, dur ing the discussion on changing the Regulation, and will be applied immediately following the vote.

    According to the new regulation, the request to lift immunity will no longer be examined by the 50 member Public Administration and Justice Committee, but will be reassigned to a subcommittee, which will look into whether or not the charges are related t o the political activity of the MP, and will accordingly make its proposal to the Plenary Session.

    The subcommittee will be chaired by a Parliamentary Vice President and will include the President of the Standing Public Administration Committee and one representative from each major party.

    It will be an open vote, unless the President of the Parliament or the head of the party being represented in Parliament asks for a secret vote for the MP facing charges.

  • [08] PAPANDREOU: THE EU ENLARGEMENT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO LOWERING POVERTY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES The enlargement of the EU from 15 to 25 member-states will not weaken its developmental policy, on the contrary it will give it new vigor and potential, it will enlarge its role globally and will strengthen the contribution of the citizen's society's bod ies to the materialization of anthropocentric programs, so as to achieve a decrease in poverty in developing countries by 50% in 2015. This was pointed out by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou in a document which was transmitted in the words of the Dire ctor of the International Developmental Cooperation Agency of the Foreign Ministry, Giorgos Philipeos, at the meeting on "The future of Europe in the hands of its citizens: For a Europe that is a world power for peace, solidarity and viable development", being organized in Thessaloniki by the Greek NGO Committee for Development.

    Mr. Papandreou pointed out that the population of the planet will increase by 2 billion in the next 25 years and that 97% of the increase will take place in developing countries. At the same time he stressed that in today's international juncture, the de veloping world, which comprises the majority of the planet, lives in conditions of poverty, while the constantly increasing social inequality will form new fields of tension, undermining international and national order.

  • [09] THE HUNGER STRIKE INSIDE THE CHALKIDIKI MINE CONTINUES The commitment undertaken by the multinational company Kinross Gold Corporation could be characterized as a ray of light for the striking miners. The company pledged to support the new management and pay the sum of US$10 million to the miners working in the mines of Chalkidiki who continue their hunger strike locked inside the galleries of the Madem-Lako mine for a fourth day.

    Representatives of the miners and relatives remain outside the gallery since the first day of the mobilizations in a show of solidarity and support to the 103 striking miners.

    For the record, the 500 people employed in the Madem-Lako mines were not paid for the past five months and are unable to get unemployment benefit because they were not laid off by the multinational company managing the mines.

  • [10] ATHENS MUNICIPALITY BANNER TO THE HIMALAYAS Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni gave the Athens Municipality banner to the members of the Greek mountain climbing mission that will depart on June 10 to conquer the Broad Peak on western Himalayas at an altitude of 8.047 meters.

    The 10-member mission is organized by the Athens Alpine Club, which already has four successful missions to mountain tops at the Himalayas with an altitude of over 8.000 meters. The mission is under the auspices of the Athens Municipality, the Culture Mi nistry and the Sports General Secretariat.

  • [11] BIG GAINS IN THE ASE Big gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +2.43% at 1.876,64 points, while the volume of transactions was at 173.831 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 292 recorded gains and 34 had losses, while the value of 38 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [12] PAPANTONIOU: THE EURO-ARMY IS A SIGNIFICANT FORCE The role of the Euro-army and the military aspect of the European Union was underlined by Greek Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou, in an interview on the Greek state-run television channel NET, concerning his visit to FYROM during which he inspecte d the CONCORDIA EU military force in Skopje.

    When the whole Euro-army is in operation, it will be a significant force, said Mr. Papantoniou and pointed out that the crucial issue is whether the Euro-army will have new responsibilities beyond the peacekeeping missions and will become a real army tha t will protect borders. He also stressed that equally important is the likelihood of the inclusion of a clause in the European Constitution which will mention that an attack on Greece will be regarded as an attack on the whole of the EU.

    Mr. Papantoniou stated that defense spending in Greece dropped from 5% to 3.5% of the GDP, adding that no further spending cuts can be adopted because of the needs the country has as a result of the threats it faces from Turkey.

    On the Greek-Turkish relations, he said that the policy of the Greek side in the past few years had positive results on the issue of Cyprus. However, he predicted increased tension between Greece and Turkey because of the stance adopted by the Turkish mi litary establishment.

  • [13] PROTOPAPAS: IMPORTANT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT INTERVENTION ON CYPRUS The view that the new European Parliament intervention concerning the situation in Cyprus confirms the fact that Turkey's European course passes through the solution of the Cyprus problem, was expressed by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.

    For the record, the European Parliament resolution calls for the immediate withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus and the solution of the Cyprus problem, while in essence the role of Turkey's National Council is being downgraded.

    Europe is not willing to accept the intransigent stance adopted by Turkey, which is under pressure by establishment views and interests. This line of action, which is expressed by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash leads Turkey itself to a dead end reg arding its European course. "They should realize this soon and contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem", said Mr. Protopapas.

  • [14] THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION VICE-PRESIDENT TO MPA Efforts are being made and steps are being evaluated but it is still too early to say if Turkey will receive a date for the opening of accession negotiations with the EU at the end of 2004, stated to MPA European Commission Vice-President Neil Kinnock. T he statement was made in the southeastern Aegean island of Rhodes, where the Informal Summit of the EU Interior Ministers takes place.

    Referring to the European Constitution, Mr. Kinnock stated that the final text will describe "what we can and what we cannot do in the European Union".

    Mr. Kinnock also praised the Greek EU Presidency for the way it handled the European issues.

  • [15] INFORMAL SUMMIT OF THE EU PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION MINISTERS The political unification of Europe depends on the administrative convergence of the EU member states, stressed Greek Minister of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Kostas Skandalidis, presenting the conclusions of the informal summit o f the EU Public Administration Ministers taking place in the Aegean island of Rhodes.

    He underlined the commitment of all parties involved to issues of EU public administration, both at a national and a European level, for an easier to understand, simpler and more transparent public administration and a lasting social dialogue for the imp rovement of the services offered to the citizens.

    In the informal summit participated 10 ministers and 12 undersecretaries from the 25 EU member states and the three under accession countries. They also discussed legislation issues, human resources, e-governance and the support of remote and island regi ons.

    Present in the summit was Turkey represented by Public Administration Minister Mr. Aksu, who referred to the steps made by Turkey in the specific sector. Greek Interior Minister Mr. Skandalidis underlined, responding to a relevant question by MPA, that T urkey has a positive attitude clarifying that no discussion was made on bilateral issues.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [16] SIMITIS-CHIRAC MEETING Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is in Paris since yesterday where he will meet with French President Jacques Chirac.

    The issues under discussion will be the institutional changes in the EU, the Constitutional Convention on the Future of Europe, the incorporation of the western Balkan countries into the EU, the problem of illegal immigration, international issues and th e Euro-Atlantic relations.

    Later, Mr. Simitis will meet with Constitutional Convention President Valerie Giscard d' Estaing.

  • [17] EU-US AGREEMENT ON EXTRADITION AND MUTUAL LEGAL ASSISTANCE The EU Justice and Home Affairs Council unanimously approved the text of the EU-US agreement on extradition and mutual legal assistance in a meeting in Luxembourg today. The agreement will be formally signed in Washington on June 25 in the EU-US Summit m eeting.

    The members of the council congratulated Greek Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos for the progress, completion and outcome of the negotiations made by the Greek EU Presidency.

    The agreement promotes judicial cooperation with the United States in combating crime, while fully respecting human rights and the principles the European judicial civilization is based upon.


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