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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-06-24

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 24, 2003

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] EXPLOSIVES ON A CRUISE
  • [02] EU-US SUMMIT IN WASHINGTON
  • [03] KROUSTALAKIS DENIES POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT
  • [04] 20 OF THE 27 SUSPECTS TO BE TAKEN TO THE EXAMINER
  • [05] SIMITIS HOLDS LUNCHEON IN HONOR OF G. BUSH SR.
  • [06] S. AFRICAN FOREIGN MINISTER SIGNS OLYMPIC TRUCE
  • [07] SUDANESE CHEMICAL COMPANY TO RECEIVE "BALTIC SKY" EXPLOSIVES
  • [08] EXPLOSIVES ON CRUISE
  • [09] EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT
  • [10] COMPENSATION FOR THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY ANARCHISTS IN THESSALONIKI
  • [11] MORE LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [12] MEETING OF THE MAYORS OF ALEXANDROUPOLIS AND HASKOVO
  • [13] THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION ON THE EU-US SUMMIT MEETING
  • [14] A REAL SUSPECT SARS CASE IN GREECE
  • [15] PROTOPAPAS COMMENTED ON THE SHIP WITH THE EXPLOSIVES
  • [16] TSOCHATZOPOULOS MET WITH THE ITALIAN MINISTER ON EU POLICIES
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [17] OPEN LINE WITH MOSCOW NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] EXPLOSIVES ON A CRUISE Investigations are continuing with international cooperation for the location of the would be recipient of the 680 tons of explosives being transferred by the "Baltic Sky", which was seized off the shore of Etolokarnania by the special forces. Charges ha ve been set against the 7 crew members. A Tunisian company announced that it had sold the explosives to a Sudanese company with no military goals. Its course through the Aegean still cannot be explained from May 12 onwards, when it left Tunisia reached Is tanbul and returned to the Aegean.
  • [02] EU-US SUMMIT IN WASHINGTON Prime Minister C. Simitis will be traveling to Washington today, heading the EU delegation on its way for the annual Summit with the US. "Express your views honestly", advised the US President's father, also President during the 1989-1992 period, who din ed with Prime Minister Simitis in Athens yesterday. Diplomatic circles in Washington characterized the visit as upgraded, while in its framework, an EU-US judicial conscription agreement will be signed.
  • [03] KROUSTALAKIS DENIES POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT Supreme Court DA Ev. Kroustalakis categorically refuted connections between his latest interventions in the Kokkalis case and former Examiner Constantina Burbulia, and his political ambitions after leaving the agency after the end of June. I have no pol itical ambitions. No political relations to anyone said Mr. Kroustalakis, who added that "when judicial rulings are not accepted by society it inevitable for the prestige of justice to be discredited".
  • [04] 20 OF THE 27 SUSPECTS TO BE TAKEN TO THE EXAMINER Twenty of the 27 suspects arrested during the incidents at the Anti-Summit protests charged with participating in the destruction of downtown Thessaloniki, will be taken to the Thessaloniki Examiner today.

    The suspects asked for a postponement yesterday, and were given one until today, while another 7 suspects will be taken to court tomorrow to enter their pleas.

    All 27 suspects are accused of resisting the authorities, damages, illegal possession - use of arms, while a date of trial was set for two minors accused of participating in the incidents, who were then set free.

  • [05] SIMITIS HOLDS LUNCHEON IN HONOR OF G. BUSH SR. Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis held a luncheon in honor of former US President George Bush Senior, who is visiting Greece on holiday.

    Also present at the luncheon were Theodoros and Gianna Aggelopoulou (President of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee), Nikos Kourkoulos, and Marianna Latsis, on whose yacht Mr. Bush is staying, Dolly Goulandri, academician Grigoris Skalkeas, Foreign Mi nister Giorgos Papandreou and his wife.

    Mr. Simitis will meet with US President George W. Bush in Washington on Wednesday, in the framework of the EU-US Summit.

    According to information, the former US President urged the Prime Minister to point out all EU-US cooperation issues on Wednesday's meeting, and to speak openly on all subjects.

  • [06] S. AFRICAN FOREIGN MINISTER SIGNS OLYMPIC TRUCE The distinguished personalities declaration in support of the Olympic Truce was signed by the Foreign Minister of South Africa, Dr. Nkosazana D. Zuma.

    In statements, Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou expressed his appreciation of the work carried out by the South African government in the framework of the African Union, which cooperated with the Greek Presidency of the EU.

    Furthermore, he referred to the ties between Greece and South Africa, due to the large Greek community living there, as well as to South Africa's struggles for democracy and human rights.

    "On the 2004 Olympics, we thought that if we could revive the truce and if there could be peace for 14 days, then it is possible for there to be peace forever", pointed out Mr. Papandreou.

    "We would like to wish you good luck on the Olympics. South Africa will be here with its athletes. We hope to win some medals, but even if they do not, they will definitely enjoy the experience. We hope that this tradition will continue and that there wi ll be a Truce, not only during those 14 days, but forever", stated the South African Foreign Minister.

  • [07] SUDANESE CHEMICAL COMPANY TO RECEIVE "BALTIC SKY" EXPLOSIVES A representative of a Sudanese chemical product company told the BBC that the large cargo of explosives located yesterday by the Greek authorities was to be delivered to his company.

    Isam Bakri Halifa, of the Integrated Chemicals & Development Company, stressed that the cargo of 680 tons of explosives was going to be used for a peaceful cause.

    However, there are still questions regarding the amount of cargo, as well as the wandering of the "Baltic Sky" in international waters.

    Meanwhile, the ship's 7 crew members will be taken to the Examiner to enter their pleas, after he set charges for possession and transportation of explosives, with intention of delivering them to a third party for illegal activities.

    The assistant DA also set charges of instigation against the foreign company that owned the boat, "Alpha Shipping INC", based in the Marshall Islands, and misdemeanor charges against the 7 sailors for violating laws concerning navigation.

  • [08] EXPLOSIVES ON CRUISE Investigations are continuing with international cooperation on the international connections of the Baltic Sky cargo ship, which was seized by the special forces and was found carrying 680 tons of explosives. Charges have been set against the 7 crew mem bers. A Tunisian company announced that it had sold explosives to a Sudanese company with no military purposes, a fact confirmed by the Sudanese Minister of the Interior, who expressed his discomfort with the way Athens handled things, but did not respond

    as to why the ship had been wandering the Mediterranean for two months carrying the cargo with it. The 7 crew members were taken to the DA.

  • [09] EU PRESIDENCY DECLARATION ON THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT The EU presidency issued a declaration regarding a declaration by the Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic and Slovenia, and the associated countries Bulgaria and Romania a nd the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area, concerning the EU Common Position on the International Criminal Court.

    According to the EU Presidency declaration the Acceding Countries Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic, and Slovenia, and the associated countries Bulgaria and Romania and the EFTA countries,

    members of the European Economic Area, declare that they share the objectives of Common Position 2003/444/CFSP on the International Criminal Court defined by the General Affairs and External Relations Council on June 16, 2003, on the basis of Article 15 of the Treaty on European Union. They will ensure that their national policies conform to that common position.

    The European Union takes note of this commitment and welcomes it.

  • [10] COMPENSATION FOR THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY ANARCHISTS IN THESSALONIKI Sixty shop-owners in Thessaloniki's city center who saw their properties being damaged by vandals in last Saturday's violent incidents caused by anarchists on the occasion of the anti-globalization demonstrations, will be compensated within the next few days.

    The above were stated by Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis who added that in the rest ten cases of heavily damaged shops, specialists will have to assess the damage before their owners receive compensation.

    Mr. Paschalidis reiterated that the main priority during the difficult times of the violent demonstrations was to protect human lives, adding that the material damage caused was limited.

  • [11] MORE LOSSES IN THE ASE Losses were recorded again today in the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index dropped to -0.34% at 1.881,27 points, while the volume of transactions was at 147.5 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 237 recorded losses and 81 had gains, while the value of 57 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [12] MEETING OF THE MAYORS OF ALEXANDROUPOLIS AND HASKOVO Mayor of Haskovo in Bulgaria and Local Association of Haskovo region Municipalities President Georgi Ivanov and Rodopi-Evros Enlarged Local Administration President Mr. Hatzopoulos met with Mayor of Alexandroupolis Mr. Alexandris in Alexandroupolis today .

    The goal of the visit is the best possible preparation of proposals in view of the inter-border program Interreg 3 in order to have full preparedness.

  • [13] THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION ON THE EU-US SUMMIT MEETING The European Commission on Monday said both Europe and the United States wanted to further their cooperation in spite of recent strained ties. The statement was made in view of the EU-US Summit that opens in Washington tomorrow.

    "The EU and the US cooperate on an even wider range of areas, broadening and deepening the transatlantic partnership. Even though relations have recently gone through a period of strain, both sides are firmly committed to demonstrating that the EU and t he US have a relationship that works and produces concrete results with direct positive effects for our citizens, and also jointly take up global and regional challenges," according to the European Commission statement.

    The European Commission mentions that international issues such as the Middle East, Iraq, international terrorism, the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, judicial cooperation as well as trade and economic relations between the EU and the U S will be discussed during the upcoming summit.

    The summit will begin with a private meeting between US President George W. Bush, European Commission President Romano Prodi and Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.

    Discussions are expected to focus on coordinating actions between the two sides on implementing the road map of the quartet (the EU, UN, US and Russia) for peace in the Middle East.

    Discussions between the two delegations will follow and will be completed with a working luncheon. The meeting between the delegations will begin with a presentation by the Greek EU Presidency of the results of the Thessaloniki EU Summit, primarily conce rning the EU's draft Constitution and the strategy on common defence and security policy.

    Issues such as Iraq, Afghanistan, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, transport security, judicial cooperation and probably the "Galileo" programme and the issue of the International Criminal Court will also be discussed at the m eetings.

    Talks during the working luncheon will centre on trade and economic issues, such as the forthcoming ministerial conference within the framework of the World Trade Organization in Mexico, trans-Atlantic cooperation in the framework of dialogue on economic

    markets, research regarding the energy sector and negotiations concerning the air transport sector.

    Agreements on mutual judicial assistance and extradition between the EU and the US will also be signed at the US Justice Department on the same day by US Attorney General John Ashcroft and Greek Justice Minister Filippos Petsalnikos.

  • [14] A REAL SUSPECT SARS CASE IN GREECE The existence of a real suspect SARS case in Greece was confirmed by Health Minister Kostas Stefanis in a press conference this afternoon.

    The suspect case is a 36yearold Chinese marble dealer who comes from a province in China regarded as innocent as far as SARS is concerned. He traveled to Europe on June 15 and visited Frankfurt, Milan, Rome and Graz and on June 21 he arrived in Athens. F rom there, he went to the northern Greek city of Kavala and to another northern Greek city, the city of Dramas where the first symptoms of the disease were detected. Mr. Stefanis stated that the country's health services system was notified immediately as

    if it was a positive SARS case and the Chinese man was taken to Thessaloniki's Papanikolaou Hospital where he was placed in a negative pressure chamber.

    The initial tests came out positive but due to the gravity of the situation samples will be sent to Hamburg to be reconfirmed. The final confirmation of whether this is a SARS case will come with the detection of virus antibodies in the blood after 15 da ys. The Chinese patient has also presented slight breathing difficulties without a cough, while the x-ray results were negative and the CAT scan results show no pneumonia.

    Mr. Stefanis pointed out that in the case of the Chinese businessman the epidemiological background is questionable because the city Xiamen in the province of Fujian was characterized by the WHO as a SARS innocent region for many months now. Also, starti ng today China has been declared innocent region and every restrictive measure against the syndrome has been lifted.

    Referring to the way the issue is being handled by the Greek health authorities, Mr. Stefanis stressed that the system operated in an impeccable manner since the beginning in spite of the reassuring evidence.

    He also made it known that the Chinese businessman was traveling together with a colleague who was hospitalized for precautionary reasons and has no symptoms of the syndrome.

  • [15] PROTOPAPAS COMMENTED ON THE SHIP WITH THE EXPLOSIVES "The Greek government does not understand why the Sudanese government is protesting. There was a violation of international and state legislation. A ship with a dangerous cargo entered the Greek territorial waters illegally without earlier warning." The above were stated by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas commenting on the statements of the Sudanese Foreign Minister.

    Responding to relevant questions on the case of the ship that was carrying huge quantities of explosives, Mr. Protopapas said that he is not aware what was the target of the ship's mission and observed that for unknown reasons it was wandering in the Med iterranean for the past month. He also added that there was cooperation and mutual briefing on the issue between the Greek law enforcement authorities and foreign authorities and agencies. The operation got underway when the ship was in Greek territorial waters and it was established that it was not near a populated area to avoid putting human lives at risk.

  • [16] TSOCHATZOPOULOS MET WITH THE ITALIAN MINISTER ON EU POLICIES Greek Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos met with Italian Minister of EU Policies Roco Bitilione in view of Italy's EU Presidency.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stressed that the Italian EU Presidency undertakes the responsibility to manage issues that were examined by the Competitiveness Council, issues of domestic market, business competitiveness, issues concerning industry, research, and t echnology and the efforts aimed at exploiting research for a more competitive production and economy.

    Referring to the priorities of the Italian EU Presidency, Mr. Bitilione stressed that competitiveness is the major issue. He pointed out that the Competitiveness Council should give a long-term overall evaluation to the European Council both from a micro -economic point of view and concerning the capability of the European system to create new jobs and prosperity.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will be in Rome on July 12 in the first meeting of the Italian EU Presidency with the Competitiveness Council.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [17] OPEN LINE WITH MOSCOW An open line of communication with Russia, as regards Turkish violations over the Aegean, which he characterized as "a dangerous turn in Turkish foreign policy", was agreed on at the meeting Minister of Defense Giannos Papantoniou had in Moscow with the country's Prime Minister, M. Cassianof . The meeting was also occupied with Russia's relations to the EU and NATO, dealing with international terrorism, the Cyprus issue, while Mr. Papantoniou called Russia the 20th member of NATO.
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