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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-06-21

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 21, 2003

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] EU DEALS WITH BALKANS IN PORTO CARRAS TODAY
  • [02] THESSALONIKI PREPARING FOR MAJOR PROTEST MARCH
  • [03] G. PAPANTONIOU DEPARTING FOR RUSSIA TOMORROW
  • [04] EU'S LOOK AT THE BALKANS
  • [05] THE GREEK SATISFIED TURKEY
  • [06] FULLY PREPARED FOR THE PROTESTS
  • [07] ERDOGAN SATISFIED WITH EU LEADERS' APPROACH
  • [08] THESSALONIKI CENTER IMPENETRABLE
  • [09] THE EU CALLS THE BALKANS
  • [10] ERDOGAN: 12 MILES ISSUE IN EU FRAMEWORK
  • [11] BELGRADE-PRISTINA SETTLEMENT DIALOGUE
  • [12] SIMITIS ON DISCUSSION WITH ERDOGAN
  • [13] BELGRADE-PRISTINA SETTLEMENT DIALOGUE
  • [14] SIMITIS: NEW ERA FOR THE WESTERN BALKANS
  • [15] SIMITIS-BUSH MEETING ON WEDNESDAY
  • [16] BUSEK EXPRESSED SATISFACTION FOR THE EU-WESTERN BALKANS SUMMIT
  • [17] ERDOGAN VISITED THE TURKISH CONSULATE
  • [18] MESSAGE BY PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS TO TURKEY
  • [19] THOUSANDS OF PROTESTERS FLOODED THESSALONIKI
  • [20] THESSALONIKI IS A BATTLEFIELD
  • [21] JOINT DECLARATION ON THE EU-WESTERN BALKANS SUMMIT
  • [22] EXTENSIVE DAMAGE IN THE CENTER OF THESSALONIKI
  • [23] ANARCHISTS ATTACKED AN AMBULANCE
  • [24] ERDOGAN VISITED THE TURKISH CONSULATE IN THESSALONIKI
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] EU DEALS WITH BALKANS IN PORTO CARRAS TODAY The Balkans will be the main point of interest at the European Summit during today's works at Porto Carras, as the efforts of the Greek Presidency are concentrating on forming a positive atmosphere for cooperation and their future accession to the Europe an Union.

    European interest can be traced to countries of the Balkans such as Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Montenegro, FYROM, and Albania.

    The issues of Balkan countries will come to the forefront of European interest today, after yesterday's positive developments towards the adoption of a common European Constitution, which was recorded in the positive achievements of the Greek Presidency,

    along with the formulation of positions on the reconstruction of Iraq, EU-US relations, carrying out checks on Iran's nuclear program, the completion of the dynamic accession of the ten new member-states, as well as the clarifications on the beginning es sential political and social reforms in Turkey, after it applies the decisions of the Copenhagen Summit.

  • [02] THESSALONIKI PREPARING FOR MAJOR PROTEST MARCH More than 5000 police officers are on standby in downtown Thessaloniki, ready for the mass rally against globalization to be held this afternoon with the participation of thousands of protesters from Greece and abroad.

    Security has been concentrated on the areas surrounding the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace, the General Police Direction, and the US Consulate, where the police will block roads with metal panels and armored vans, in order to avert any approaches by protes ters.

    There is concern within the leadership of the Greek Police, coordinating the operation from the police HQ, with the large number of "hardcore protesters" (members of antiauthoritarian organizations), as there are fears that yesterday's confrontations wit h the police will be repeated in Thessaloniki today.

    According to the authorities' plan, there will be a strong police force around the university where these "hardcore elements" are staying, while depending on the situation in the streets during the protests, streets may be closed down.

  • [03] G. PAPANTONIOU DEPARTING FOR RUSSIA TOMORROW Minister of National Defense Giannos Papantoniou will be departing for Russia tomorrow, where he will carry out his formal visit until June 27.

    During his stay in Moscow, the Minister will meet with the President of the Russian Federation's Defense Committee, Mr. Nikolaev, as well as his counterpart Sergei Ivanov. The topic of discussions will be the bilateral defensive-military cooperation betw een the two countries, EU-Russia relations and NATO-Russia relations.

    Mr. Papantoniou will also meet with the President of Dumas in the Russian Federation, Mr. Zelezniov, as well as with the spokesperson of the Russian Federation's President, Mrs. Matvienko.

    The Minister will also participate in the opening of the International Nautical Fair being held in St. Petersburg.

  • [04] EU'S LOOK AT THE BALKANS Issues related to the consolidation of peace, stability, security and cooperation in the region so that the Western Balkans can approach the European acquis are being looked into at the EU-Balkan Summit today. Efforts are being made in the Summit margin for an approach between Albanians and Kossovo Serbs, while there is the possibility of a meeting between Prime Minister Simitis and his Turkish counterpart, Mr. Erdogan.
  • [05] THE GREEK SATISFIED TURKEY A positive change in the approach of European leaders towards Turkey was ascertained by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after the end of the works of the meeting Prime Minister Simitis had with Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. Mr. Erdogan expre ssed Turkey's willingness to actively participate in the course towards the drafting of the Constitutional Treaty of the EU, and thanked the Greek Presidency for its good intentions.
  • [06] FULLY PREPARED FOR THE PROTESTS More than 5000 police officers are on standby in downtown Thessaloniki, ready for the mass rally against globalization to be held this afternoon with the participation of thousands of protesters from Greece and abroad.

    Security has been concentrated on the areas surrounding the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace, the General Police Direction, and the US Consulate.

  • [07] ERDOGAN SATISFIED WITH EU LEADERS' APPROACH A positive change in the approach of European leaders towards Turkey was ascertained by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    In a press conference held after the end of the Summit's works, Mr. Erdogan referred to the meeting Prime Minister Simitis had with Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.

    As he said, in this meeting he expressed Turkey's willingness to actively participate in the course towards the drafting of the Constitutional Treaty of the EU, and thanked the Greek Presidency for its good intentions.

    Furthermore, he underlined that his country has made very fast steps in approaching the EU, which were not taken into account at the Summit.

    Mr. Erdogan expressed his dissatisfaction with the absence of Turkish journalists from the family photograph of the EU leaders, as well as with the fact that it was not possible for Turkish MPs to observe Summit discussions.

  • [08] THESSALONIKI CENTER IMPENETRABLE Downtown Thessaloniki will be impenetrable this afternoon as the three-day protest events against globalization are coming to an end with the mass movement rally, in which thousands of protesters from Greece and abroad are expected to participate.

    According to the announcements of social organization spokespersons, there will be at least 6 rallies, at different points in town, followed by marches, while the main body of the protesters will finally reach Niki Avenue and the new seafront, where conc erts, speeches, happenings, etc. will be held tonight.

    Specifically, the Greek Social Forum will hold a rally in Democracy Square, "Action: Thessaloniki 2003" in Aristotelous Square, the GSEE (Workers' Union) and the EKTh (Workers' Center) at the statue of Venizelos, "Resistance Thessaloniki 2003" in Makedon omachon Square, and "Initiative Struggle Thessaloniki 2003" in Kamara.

    At the same time the antiauthoritarian movement "Salonika 2003" and anarchist groups staying in the AUTh will hold marches, while it is unknown if they will hold gathering rallies earlier.

    In any case, social movement spokespersons appreciate that today's mobilizations will be greater that those preceding them, as more protesters are expected to arrive in Thessaloniki early this morning.

  • [09] THE EU CALLS THE BALKANS A message to the Balkans, that they will be incorporated to the EU when they meet the Copenhagen criteria, was given by the EU leaders to the region's countries, at the Summit that was completed in Chalkidiki. The leaders of the "5" Western Balkan countr ies, gave their view of the situation in the region. Prime Minister Simitis stated that cooperation agreements with countries in the region will follow the model of the enlargement.
  • [10] ERDOGAN: 12 MILES ISSUE IN EU FRAMEWORK Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked that the issue of territorial waters in the Aegean be resolved within EU frameworks, at a press conference held yesterday in the margin of the EU Summit in Chalkidiki, according to information from the An adolu News Agency.

    In response to a journalist's question on whether Turkey will stop considering the 12 mile issue a casus belli, Mr. Erdogan responded that the issue is being discussed on a technical level between both sides, and that a discussion on a political level ha s not yet begun.

  • [11] BELGRADE-PRISTINA SETTLEMENT DIALOGUE A dialogue will begin shortly, before July in fact, between Belgrade and Pristina, as was announced by EU Foreign Policy Spokesperson Javier Solana, after the completion of the EU-Balkan Summit held in Thessaloniki. His hope that a solution can be found this way was expressed by the President of Albania Alfred Moisiu.
  • [12] SIMITIS ON DISCUSSION WITH ERDOGAN "With Mr. Erdogan we discussed the EU, the EU meeting with the Western Balkans, and what we want to do", said the President of the EU and Prime Minister of Greece Costas Simitis, in reference to the discussion that took place last night between the Presi dency and the three candidate countries, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey.

    There was no separate meeting between Prime Minister Simitis and Prime Minister Erdogan in the margin of the Summit.

  • [13] BELGRADE-PRISTINA SETTLEMENT DIALOGUE A dialogue will begin shortly, before July in fact, between Belgrade and Pristina, as was announced by EU Foreign Policy Spokesperson Javier Solana, after the completion of the EU-Balkan Summit held in Thessaloniki. His hope that a solution can be found this way was expressed by the President of Albania Alfred Moisiu and of Marovic of the Serbia-Monte Negro Union. I would shake the hands of the Albanian representatives of Kossovo, said Mr. Marovic. With patience, dialogue can lead to stability said Prime

    Minister Simitis.

  • [14] SIMITIS: NEW ERA FOR THE WESTERN BALKANS His certainty that a new era has begun for the Western Balkans was expressed immediately after the EU-Western Balkan Summit, which was held in Porto Carras with the participation of the leaders of Albania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia-Kossovo, and

    FYROM.

    It was the second meeting, following that in Zagreb, and as Mr. Simitis said, the EU's goal is for countries of the Western Balkans to become members of the EU as long as they meet the criteria. We need, he said, a strong effort from the countries of the

    Western Balkans, and the EU has decided to contribute to that effort. Thus, the EU has agreed to contribute further financial assistance worth 200 million euro during the 2004-2006 period. Besides this amount, the funds allocated to the Western Balkans f rom 2000 to 2007 reach 5 billion euro.

    The President of the European Commission Romano Prodi underlined that the economic assistance that had been asked for was greater, and added that the amount 200 million euro may be increased if the countries show that they are moving to the reforms they

    have committed themselves to.

    Mr. Simitis stressed that the EU considers the formation of a special agreement for stability and cooperation in these countries necessary.

    Mr. Prodi pointed out that the procedure of European Integration will not be completed if the Western Balkans do not become members of the EU. The EU enlargement is a path of no return and he welcomed the Western Balkans to the European Home. He also ref erred to the need for development in regional cooperation and the confrontation of problems such as returning refugees, fighting organized crime and the formation of a market suitable for investments.

    The High Representative of the EU on Foreign Policy and Defense issue, Javier Solana, praised the great importance of a dialogue before July, between Belgrade and Pristina in order to overcome the problems in their relations.

  • [15] SIMITIS-BUSH MEETING ON WEDNESDAY The upgraded, as far as US officials and EU diplomats are concerned, EU-US Summit, is to be held on June 25 between President of the EU and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and US President George Bush.

    According to an "Imerisia" newspaper publication, the discussions will last more than three hours and will cover all issues concerning America and Europe.

  • [16] BUSEK EXPRESSED SATISFACTION FOR THE EU-WESTERN BALKANS SUMMIT Extremely satisfied with the outcome of the EU-Western Balkans Summit is Erhard Busek, special coordinator of the Stability Pact, given the fact that today's proceedings have opened the door for the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue to get underway by July.

    He pointed out that the Stabilization and Association Procedure, SAP, comes out of the Summit more strengthened and enriched, while it is already underway for Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, FYROM and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

    Thanks to the tireless efforts by the Greek EU Presidency, the Summit seals an impressive negotiation process among the EU, the region's governments and the "players" involved in the strengthening of the European course of those countries. The above were

    stated by Mr. Busek in the press conference he gave today after the EU-Western Balkans Summit at Porto Carras in Chalkidiki.

    He also pointed out that the Stability Pact could play a "key-role" in the acceleration of the European course of the Western Balkans especially, regarding the creation of "tools" of inter-regional cooperation in the five SAP states.

  • [17] ERDOGAN VISITED THE TURKISH CONSULATE Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the house where Kemal Ataturk was born in Thessaloniki. The Turkish Consulate is housed in that building.

    Mr. Erdogan arrived at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport at 3.30pm on board a helicopter. The Turkish Prime Minister was at Porto Carras, Chalkidiki where the EU Summit took place.

    It is the first post-war visit to the house of Kemal Ataturk by a Turkish Prime Minister.

  • [18] MESSAGE BY PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS TO TURKEY Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos sent a message to Turkey according to which, if Ankara wants the Greek-Turkish relations to be improved and its EU course to be accelerated it should comply with international law and the EU principles. Mr. Stephanop oulos sent the message during the events commemorating the liberation of the city of Kilkis and the battle of 1913. He said that Greece never was a war-loving country and always backed peace.

    Referring to the European Constitution, he said that it is a significant and positive step for the future of Europe and pointed out that the draft Constitution is a good basis for further discussion.

    Commenting on the fact that the Christian religion is not mentioned in the draft Constitution, he said that there are difficulties in the process of the drawing up of the European Constitution.

  • [19] THOUSANDS OF PROTESTERS FLOODED THESSALONIKI Thousands of protesters flooded downtown Thessaloniki in one of the largest demonstrations ever held in the city. They protest against globalization and in support of a fairer world with jobs for all, peace and social welfare.

    More than 5,000 police officers are in a full state of alert, while the security measures are mainly focused on the regions around the buildings of the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace and the US Consulate.

  • [20] THESSALONIKI IS A BATTLEFIELD Downtown Thessaloniki turned into a battlefield this afternoon as a result of the vandalism committed by anarchists who destroyed shops and banks, and set fires putting in danger the lives of thousands of peaceful protesters and local residents.

    Police forces used teargas to break up the anarchists. Thessaloniki downtown turned into a battlefield and smoke covers most of the city center.

  • [21] JOINT DECLARATION ON THE EU-WESTERN BALKANS SUMMIT Significant progress has been made in the fronts of stability, democracy and economic recovery in the Western Balkans in the three-year period since the Zagreb meeting as it is underlined in the statement issued after the EU-Western Balkans Summit meetin g at Porto Carras.

    In the statement it is clarified that it was decided to hold periodical EU-Western Balkans fora to discuss issues of common interest and review the progress made. Within this framework, the Ministers of Justice, Foreign Affairs and Interior will hold ann ual meetings.

    In the Thessaloniki statement it is underlined that the EU confirms its unequivocal support to the European prospect of Western Balkans and recognizes that the Stabilization an Association Procedure will be the framework for the European course of the We stern Balkans until their future accession into the EU.

    The EU backs the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 on Kosovo and the political fulfillment of the preconditions before the recognition of UNMIK.

    The viable return of the refugees and the internally displaced persons are crucial issues, while the divisions based on ethnic criteria are meanings not compatible with the European prospects.

    Those participating in the Summit reiterated that organized crime and corruption are a setback for democratic stability, the state of law, economic development and the strengthening of the society of citizens in the region's states causing serious concer n in the EU.

  • [22] EXTENSIVE DAMAGE IN THE CENTER OF THESSALONIKI Extensive damages were caused in the center of Thessaloniki by anarchists who have opened many fronts of confrontation with the security forces in different parts of the city.

    Biblical disaster is reported in the commercial center of the city in the area surrounded by the streets of Egnatia, Agias Sofias, Iasonidou and Platonos.

    According to police sources, masked protesters have spread in different parts of the city and inside the peaceful demonstrations to avoid being arrested by the police.

  • [23] ANARCHISTS ATTACKED AN AMBULANCE Anarchists attacked an ambulance carrying a protester with respiratory problems. The ambulance was going to Gennimatas Hospital, which is close to the university campus, and as soon as it was attacked its driver changed course and drove it to Ippokratio Hospital to the other end of the city.

    According to unconfirmed information, a total of 12 individuals have been taken to hospitals, which are in a state of alert.

    Meanwhile, the situation at the Aristotle University campus is explosive as the police make extensive use of teargas and police forces are reinforced.

    According to information, two anarchists have been arrested. Earlier, the anarchists burned down a McDonald's and a Goody's fast food restaurants, a Eurobank and an Alpha Bank branch, a pharmacy, a bookstore, a supermarket and a number of private cars.

    A police helicopter flies over the city center and watches the situation, while sporadic clashes are being reported between police and anarchists.

  • [24] ERDOGAN VISITED THE TURKISH CONSULATE IN THESSALONIKI Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the house of Kemal Ataturk where the Turkish Consulate is housed in Thessaloniki. He left a little before 6pm without problems.

    In his statements stressed that he came as an ambassador of peace and that he is happy with the fact that his visit coincides with the completion of the extremely successful Greek EU Presidency.

    Responding to a question whether he wants to send a message to the Turkish military with this visit, he said that the military played a significant role in the modernization of Turkey since the first years of the founding of the Turkish republic. He said

    that Ataturk was the head of the military and the military did everything it could for the implementation of democratic reforms when the country made the transition to democracy. He added that now there is absolutely no problem with the functioning of de mocracy in Turkey.

    Asked to comment if there is a special significance to the fact that he went from Chalkidiki to Thessaloniki on board a Greek army helicopter, he said that lately there is a very positive atmosphere in the Greek-Turkish relations. There is an enthusiasm for peace between the two governments and the people even though there are negative impressions from time to time.

    Mr. Erdogan stated that his country proceeds with the adoption of a series of reforms and stated characteristically that a few days ago a law was passed on the 6th harmonization package with the EU and another law on the 7th package is expected to be pas sed on August 1. He said that these reforms are not made just because Turkey wants to become an EU member but because it wants to improve the living standards of the Turkish people.

    He said that in the meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis they did not discuss the Aegean issue, which will be discussed by committees of technocrats.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


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