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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-06-18

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 18, 2003

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] THE EU IN CHALKDIKI
  • [02] NO AUDITING COMMITTEE FOR STOCK MARKET
  • [03] MANIKAS, NEONAKIS RESIGN
  • [04] 30,000 PART TIME JOB OPENINGS
  • [05] SIMITIS LETTER TO EU MEMBER-STATE LEADERS
  • [06] THESSALONIKI SUMMIT PROGRAMME
  • [07] PROTESTS WITH NO AMBULANCES
  • [08] NEONAKIS-MANIKAS RESIGN
  • [09] SIMITIS ACCEPTS RESIGNATIONS
  • [10] THE INAUGURAL SUMMIT OF EUROPEAN DIASPORAS
  • [11] PAPANDREOU: THE EU SUMMIT DECISIONS WILL BE OF HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE
  • [12] SMALL LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [13] PROTOPAPAS ON THE LIKELIHOOD OF EXTREME PHENOMENA ON THE MARGINS OF THE EU SUMMIT
  • [14] THE EPP SUMMIT OPENS IN CHALKIDIKI
  • [15] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS ARRIVED IN THESSALONIKI
  • [16] PAPANDREOU ON THE EU-US SUMMIT MEETING
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [17] MAGRIOTIS-ALIYEV MEETING NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] THE EU IN CHALKDIKI Prime Minister Costas Simitis will travel to Sithonia, Chalkidiki, today, in order to greet the leaders of the EU arriving for the Summit tomorrow, while the President of ND will be in Cassandra Chalkidiki for the Summit of the EPP, with the participatio n of 10 Prime Ministers. Protestors have already begun arriving in Thessaloniki with the hope to reach the doors of the hotel where the Summit will be held.
  • [02] NO AUDITING COMMITTEE FOR STOCK MARKET The Parliament rejected the proposal of ND for the formation of an Auditing Committee for the stock market, which was voted for by the KKE and the Coalition of the Left. Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis asked that the stock market be kept clear of political confrontations, while the President of ND repeated that "the crime at Sophocleous st. is still open". The formation of a committee was requested by Mr. Evert and Mr. Mitsotakis after reading a document indicating that PASOK MP M. Neonakis car ried out transactions worth 64 million euro. There are no indications of systematic violations, responded Mr. Christodoulakis.
  • [03] MANIKAS, NEONAKIS RESIGN Minister of State Stefanos Manikas and PASOK Executive Office member Michalis Neonakis submitted their resignations to the Prime Minister. Neither of the resignations has yet been confirmed but they are connected to the official document according to whi ch large sums of money were moved using their codes in the stock market, an issue regarding which Mr. Mitsotakis and Mr. Evert asked for the formation of an auditing committee. The document in question was presented last night in Parliament by Minister of

    Finance Nikos Christodoulakis.

    This document revealed that the turnover of their transactions was 64 million euro for Mr. Neonakis and 1.4 million euro for Mr. Manikas. It is still unknown whether their resignation was requested by Prime Minister Simitis or whether they resigned volun tarily.

    Mr. Manikas had been in charge of government relations with PASOK's parliamentary group since November 2001, while Mr. Neonakis was a member of the Executive Office, in charge of the movement's organizational issues since the October 2001 conference.

  • [04] 30,000 PART TIME JOB OPENINGS Approximately 20 to 30 thousand people, who will sign a two-year contract and will be insured with IKA, are estimated to be hired in the public sector after the approval of the new bill for part time employment, which was presented yesterday by Ministers

    of Finance, Nikos Christodoulakis, the Interior, C. Skandalidis, and Labor, D. Reppas. ND Parliamentary Spokesperson Pr. Pavlopoulos made mention of a collection of provisions. Civil servants are asking for clarifications on how the provision will be app lied.

  • [05] SIMITIS LETTER TO EU MEMBER-STATE LEADERS A letter to the leaders of the countries to participate in the Thessaloniki Summit was sent by Prime Minister and rotating President of the European Council Costas Simitis.

    In his letter, Mr. Simitis welcomed the Prime Ministers and Chiefs of State to Greece, and at the same time briefed them on the schedule of the Summit's works, as well as on the issues to be discussed.

    The full text of the Greek Prime Minister's letter is as follows:

    "I look forward with great pleasure to welcoming you on 19 and 20 June to the Thessaloniki European Council. The tour of the capitals which I have just completed gave me the opportunity to inform you of the Presidency's intentions and aims for this Coun cil and also to hear your own ideas and opinions. With this letter I should like to inform you of the course of the proceedings on the basis of the annotated agenda prepared for us by the GAERC. The proceedings of the Thessaloniki European Council will begin on Thursday 19 June at 19.00 with our customary meeting with the President of the European Parliament, Mr. P. Cox.

    At 19.30 we will continue our discussion on the subject of Immigration and Asylum in order to round off the discussions we started in Tampere and continued in Seville. The Greek Presidency places particular emphasis on the following points: - Assumption of new initiatives for effective coordination, on an operational basis, of border guard forces at the Member States' external borders. - Good cooperation by third countries in the control of immigration flows as part of their conventional relations with the EU. - Adoption of new initiatives and speeding up of t hose already existing on the subject of asylum and the social integration of immigrants. - Approval of the minimum resources required for the financing of a European Policy on Immigration.

    At the working dinner at 21.00, wee shall discuss the latest developments and the emerging prospects in Iraq and in the Middle East. At the same time, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs will have the opportunity to review developments in Iran and N. Korea

    and to have a discussion in preparation for the Solana report on European Security.

    On Friday, 20 June, between 09.00 and 12.30, the Chairman of the Convention, Mr. Giscard d'Estaing, will have the opportunity to brief us, in the presence of the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Pat Cox, on the outcome of the Convention. He wil l present the draft Constitution of the European Union. We will then discuss the Convention's proposals with the Chairman of the Convention. After he and Mr. Cox have left, we will move on to take the necessary decisions for the convening of the forthco ming intergovernmental Conference.

    During the working lunch which will follow from 13.30 to 15.00, we shall have the opportunity, together with the Foreign Ministers, to discuss the Solana report on European Security and the progress of Translatlantic Relations, ahead of the forthcoming E U - USA sumit (25/6).

    At the afternoon session, which will begin at 17.00, we shall examine the Council conclusions. I hope that our meeting will finish at 18.15.

    At 18.15 we shall assemble for the family photograph.

    At 20.00 I shall have the opportunity, together with Mr. Prodi and Mr. Solana, of meeting representatives of the three candidate countries, in order to brief them on the outcome of the Council.

    On Friday 20 June at 21.30, we shall attend the official dinner being given for the Heads of State or Government and the Foreign Ministers by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Stefanopoulos.

    On Saturday, 21 June, I shall have pleasure in inviting you to the EU - Western Balkans summit, from 09.00 to 10.30, when the adoption of the Common Summit Declaration is scheduled. The High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lord Ashdown, the S pecial Representative for Kosovo, Mr. Steiner and the Special Coordinator for the Stability Pact, Mr. Busek, will also be participating. The summit will first be addressed by the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Cox and the NATO Secretary - Gene ral, Lord Robertson.

    At 11.30, the Heads of State or Government and the Foreign Ministers, together with their spouses, will have the opportunity to take a cruise around Mount Athos, during which lunch will be taken. We will be returning the same afternoon at around 16.00.

    I shall be delighted to welcome you to Chalkidiki and look forward to achieving concrete and positive results in our discussions."

  • [06] THESSALONIKI SUMMIT PROGRAMME Prime Minister Simitis will travel to Thessaloniki and then to "Porto Carras" this afternoon, in view of the Summit, the works of which will open on Thursday at 7pm and will be completed on Friday night. On Saturday morning the EU-Western Balkan Summit w ill also be held.

    Before his departure for Thessaloniki, Mr. Simitis is having discussions with the leadership of the Foreign Ministry on the agenda of the Summit.

    The first EU member-state leaders will arrive at Thessaloniki's "Macedonia" airport on Thursday at 11am, and the last are to arrive at 5pm on the same day, and from there they will be taken to "Porto Carras" on Air Force "Chinook" helicopters, which will

    be escorted by "Apache" helicopters for security reasons. The Ministers and their associates will travel by car.

    The European leaders will be welcomed at "Porto Carras" by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    On Friday, the spouses and other members of the state leaders' escorts, will visit the archeological site of Vergina.

    On Saturday at 11:30am, the European leaders, their spouses and the members of their delegations, will take a cruise around Mt. Athos.

    The complete programme of the works is as follows: Thursday, June 19 19.00: Opening session of the European Council, devoted to Immigration (EU financing of programmes and infrastructure works, protection of external borders, problems concerning illegal immigration etc.) 20.15: Press Conference of the Greek Presidency

    -Dinner ("coin du feu"), during which the discussion will focus on the Middle East question, the Iraq situation, the issue of weapons of mass destruction and the fight against international terrorism. Friday, June 20 09.00: Presentation of the conclusions of the Convention on the Future of Europe, by its President, Mr. Valery Giscard d'Estaing. "Tour de Table" with interventions by the delegations of the "25". Exchange of views on all "open" institutional questions ( institutionalisation of the post of full-time E.U. President and Foreign Minister, how they would be elected, number of Commissioners, voting). Conclusions of the discussion, to be presented by the President of the European Council, Prime Minister of Gre ece, Mr. C. Simitis. 12.30: Joint Press Conference by the President of the European Council, Mr. Costas Simitis, the President of the Commission of the European Union, Mr. Romano Prodi and the President of the Convention on the Future of Europe, Mr. Valery Giscard d'Estaing. 13.30: Lunch, during which the discussion will focus on:

    trans-Atlantic relations and the agenda of the E.U. - U.S.A. Summit, to be held in Washington, D.C. on June 25, 2003.

    The European Union's High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security, Mr. Xavier Solana's presentation of the text of European Security Strategy, on the basis of the mandate he was given by the Foreign Ministers, during their Informal Meeting at Cast ellorizo. 17.00: Family photo 17.30: Discussion of Draft Conclusions 19.30: Presidency Press Conference 20.00: Meetings of the Greek Presidency with the 3 candidate-countries (Bulgaria, Romania. Turkey) 21.30: Dinner hosted by the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. C. Stephanopoulos Saturday, June 21

    8.30 - 9.00: European Union - Western Balkans Summit Conference (of Heads of State and Government and Foreign Ministers), with the participation of the Representative for Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lord Alsdoun, the U.N. Special Envoy for Kosovo, Mr. M. Stein er and the Special Coordinator of the Stability Pact, Mr. E. Busek. 09.00-10.30: Adoption by the European Council of the Thessaloniki Declaration on the promotion of the Western Balkan countries' European vocation. The message anticipated is that of E.U. accession of Western Balkan countries by 2006. 10.30: Presidency Press Conference 12.00: Departure of delegations for a short boat-trip to Mount Athos. Return scheduled for 15.30-16.00.

  • [07] PROTESTS WITH NO AMBULANCES The employees at the emergency response medical units (EKAV) are determined to continue their mobilizations even during the Thessaloniki Summit. Thessaloniki and Chalkidiki are in danger of being left without ambulances, as the EKAV will only have securi ty personnel available and will only assist in emergency cases.

    The EKAV will provide one ambulance per medical center in Chalkidiki, to respond only in emergency cases, while the Polygyros hospital has two ambulances of its own which are independent of the EKAV.

  • [08] NEONAKIS-MANIKAS RESIGN Minister of State Stefanos Manikas and PASOK Executive Office member Michalis Neonakis submitted their resignations form their positions to the Prime Minister. The resignations are connected to the document according to which large sums of money were mov ed using their codes in the stock market, an issue regarding which Mr. Mitsotakis and Mr. Evert asked for the formation of an auditing committee. Mr. Manikas had been in charge of government relations with PASOK's parliamentary group since November 2001, while Mr. Neonakis was a member of the Executive Office, in charge of the movement's organizational issues since the October 2001 conference. They will both retain their positions as MPs and stated that they will seek legal retribution.
  • [09] SIMITIS ACCEPTS RESIGNATIONS The resignations of Stefanos Manikas from the position of Minister of the State and Michalis Neonakis from PASOK's Executive Office were accepted by Prime Minister Costas Simitis. In his letters to the two PASOK officials he thanked them for their contri bution to the work of the government and PASOK, and expressed his appreciation that they will continue to contribute to PASOK.

    In his letter to Stefanos Manikas, the Prime Minister noted the following:

    "I received your letter of resignation, dear Stefanos, which I accept. I thank you for your constant effort and contribution to the work of the government. I believe that you will continue to contribute to the party as you have done so far".

    In his letter to Michalis Neonakis, he mentioned:

    "Dear Michalis. I received your letter of resignation from the Executive Office. I thank you for your continuous effort and contribution to PASOK's daily struggles. I am certain that you will continue to contribute with unabated zeal".

    The two PASOK officials had earlier sent their letters of resignation to the Prime Minister, in which Michalis Neonakis made mention of a battle to make impressions causing misunderstandings. He also noted that yesterday's finding of the Stock Market Com mittee did justice to his struggle for his honor and reputation and stressed that he would not resign from his right to defend himself against those conspiring against him, with an ulterior motive of harming PASOK.

    On his side, in his resignation letter Stefanos Manikas underlined that the transparency and legality of his actions has been proven and he added that he would pursue moral vindication.

  • [10] THE INAUGURAL SUMMIT OF EUROPEAN DIASPORAS Leading figures from every field will gather together for the first time in a "summit of European Diasporas". The Summit is being held under the auspices of Greece's EU Presidency and in parallel with the Thessaloniki European Council on June 19-21.

    The Summit will gather together 60 personalities from current and future Member States who live outside their country of origin as citizens of a wider European Diaspora and are active in the areas of politics, media, business, civil society, academia, th e arts, sports, science and others. Participants include: Jim Gianopulos, Chairman, Fox Filmed Entertainment; Soprano Karita Mattila; Georges Ugeux, Senior Managing Director International, New York Stock Exchange; Otto Zich, Chairman, Sony Europe Manageme nt Committee; and Sister Leena Deevy, director of the Irish Immigration Center in the US; Lord Alfred Dubs, head of the Labour Party in the House of Lords; and Olympic Gymnast Nadia Comaneci.

    Summit participants, nominated by the EU Foreign Ministers, will explore Europe's emerging identity; offer insights into how Europe's institutions might interact more effectively with Europe's global citizens; and draw on their experiences to help guide policy on such issues as transatlantic relations and the integration of immigrants - one of the Greek EU Presidency highest priorities.

    "Those Europeans who have pursued lives and careers outside their countries of birth are uniquely valuable in helping us forge Europe's emerging identity", said Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, who is convening the Summit. "What they have done on an individual level - bridging cultures while rethinking and maintaining their own - is what an expanding Europe is seeking to do on a collective level".

    The Summit will culminate in the creation of a European Diasporas Task Force, which will be charged with developing recommendations on how the EU can strengthen relations with European diasporas and draw on their experience and knowledge. The Task Force,

    on which Mr. Papandreou will serve as honorary chair, will hold its first meeting on June 21 in Thessaloniki. It aims to present its report to the Irish EU Presidency in the spring of 2004.

    The Summit aims to: -Create the notion of a "European Diaspora" and highlight its achievements, from the contributions its members have made to their host communities, to the support they have offered to their native countries, to their role in building multicultural, global

    communities all over the world; -Honour leading members of this diaspora, who hopefully will form the nexus of a network that can enhance Europe's presence in the world and initiate an enduring dialogue between Europe and its diaspora communities worldwide; -Highlight to European publics the ways in which immigrants benefit their host societies.

    Summit participants will also have the opportunity to meet with EU leaders participating in the Thessaloniki Summit in Porto Carras.

  • [11] PAPANDREOU: THE EU SUMMIT DECISIONS WILL BE OF HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE The issues that will be discussed in the EU Summit meeting in Thessaloniki were characterized as historical by Greek Foreign Minister and EU Council of Ministers President Giorgos Papandreou in a press conference after the meeting he had in Athens today with Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis.

    Responding to a question by a reporter, Mr. Papandreou characterized the members of the organizations and movements expected to arrive in Thessaloniki, as Greece's and Thessaloniki's guests, and called on them to present their views even through demonstr ations. At the same time, he asked them to respect the Greek hospitality and refrain from violent actions.

  • [12] SMALL LOSSES IN THE ASE Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.23% at 1.950,44 points, while the volume of transactions was at 199.108 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 176 recorded gains and 150 had losses, while the value of 37 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [13] PROTOPAPAS ON THE LIKELIHOOD OF EXTREME PHENOMENA ON THE MARGINS OF THE EU SUMMIT Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas expressed concern responding to a question on the likelihood of violent incidents caused by extreme elements during the EU Summit meeting in Thessaloniki.

    Mr. Protopapas stressed that it will be unacceptable if the protest demonstrations turned out to be violent and reiterated that all necessary measures should be in effect to protect the city and the local residents.

  • [14] THE EPP SUMMIT OPENS IN CHALKIDIKI The proceedings of the summit meeting of the European People's Party, EPP, open in Chalkidiki this evening with speeches delivered by the President of the Greek right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy, the EPP President and the EPP Parliamentar y Group President.

    The EPP Presiding Board meeting will be held tomorrow followed by a presentation of an International Democratic Union book on Sri Lanka funded by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.

    The enlarged EPP summit meeting will take place with the participation of the Prime Ministers of ten EU countries namely, the Prime Ministers of Holland, Italy, Portugal, Luxembourg, France, Spain, Slovakia, Estonia, and Malta and the German Chancellor. Present will be the European Commission Vice-President and the Democratic Alarm Party President from Cyprus, as well as the leaders of the center-right parties making up the opposition in EU member states and EU acceding countries.

  • [15] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS ARRIVED IN THESSALONIKI Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis stated upon his arrival in Thessaloniki on the occasion of the EU Summit meeting in Chalkidiki, that the new Constitution of Europe and the efforts against illegal immigration will be the

    main issues in the EU Summit meeting.

    Mr. Simitis pointed out that the EU Summit will deal with the situation in the Balkans and the region's prospects for development. He also underlined the role of Thessaloniki and the significance of the fact that the EU Summit takes place here.

  • [16] PAPANDREOU ON THE EU-US SUMMIT MEETING Greek Foreign Minister and EU Council of Ministers President Giorgos Papandreou, stated from Athens that he believed Turkey's European course and the Cyprus issue will be on the agenda of the upcoming US-EU Summit in Washington on June 25.

    Mr. Papandreou made the statement during a tele-conference between Washington, Brussels and Athens with questions posed by Washington-based US and European reporters to the Greek Foreign Minister in Athens, and European Commissioners Chris Patten (Extern al Affairs) and Pascal Lamy (Trade) in Brussels.

    The Greek Foreign Minister reminded a recently-reiterated US commitment for a solution of the Cyprus issue, and noted that the free movement of citizens between the two communities on the island proved that the dividing "green line" was collapsing.

    Mr. Papandreou placed emphasis on the meeting between the EU and the heads of Western Balkan states to be held on June 22, after the conclusion of the upcoming EU Summit meeting in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on June 20-21.

    With regard to the signing of an agreement between the EU and US for judicial cooperation in criminal matters, including a clause on the issue of extradition, Mr. Papandreou said the text of the agreement did not restrict, but on the contrary strenghtene d, the rights of citizens, and he pointed to a stipulation in the text saying that extradition of the requested persons to the US would not take place if such persons run the risk of receiving the death penalty.

    The agreement, ratified unanimously by the EU Justice Ministers in Luxembourg on June 6, will be signed in Washington on June 25 during the summit between U.S. President George W. Bush, Greek Prime Minister and EU Council President in-office Kostas Simi tis, and European Commission President Romano Prodi.

    At the tele-conference, Mr. Patten moved along the same lines saying that the parties on both sides of the Atlantic wanted to cooperate in the fight against international terrorism, and pointed to what he called close cooperation of the "Europol" with th e FBI and other US security agencies.

    About the forthcoming Bush-Simitis-Prodi meeting in Washington, Mr. Papandreou said it would focus on repairing transatlantic relations, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the reconstruction of Iraq, and he pointed to the experien ce of EU states such as Greece, Spain and Portugal, and of course the former Soviet republics, to support his point that the Union could prove very instrumental in Iraq's democratization process.

    Other issues raised during the tele-conference included recent violations of human rights in Cuba and trading issues between the two transatlantic economic superpowers.

    Mr. Patten noted that good US-EU cooperation was to the benefit of humanity, while Mr. Lamy, during his repeated interventions on economic and trade relations, attempted to sketch out a positive environment, saying that despite problems and differences, at the end of the day what mattered was to "see the forest, not just some of the trees".

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [17] MAGRIOTIS-ALIYEV MEETING The high level of relations between Greece and Azerbaijan was confirmed in the meetings Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis had in Bacu today with the country's Foreign Minister, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs and the Economi c Development Minister.

    According to information, given the fact that no statements were made after the meetings, the three Azeri government officials praised the interest expressed by the Greek EU Presidency in their country. This interest was expressed through different initi atives, such as the proposal for the appointment of an EU mediator for the countries of the south Caucasus and the promotion of the process for those countries to be granted new EU neighboring states' status.

    Also, Mr. Magriotis will be received by Azerbaijan's President Heydar Aliyev and the country's Vice-President. Later on, he will give a press conference before departing for Greece.


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