|Monday, 18 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-09-12
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PAPANDREOU-GUREL FIRST MEETINGNew York, 12 September 2002 (13:11 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou will have his first official meeting with the new Turkish Foreign Minister Sukru Sina Gurel tonight.
The main points of their discussion will be bilateral relations, the Cyprus issue, Turkey's progress towards EU accession and the possible US attack on Iraq.
Giorgos Papandreou will meet with US Secretary of State Collin Powel on September 16.
 FISCHER: TERRORISM IS TOTALITARIANISMAthens, 12 September 2002 (13:14 UTC+2)
Berlin's support to the US in their war against international terrorism, but at the same time its opposition to war scenarios in Iraq, were reaffirmed by German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, in interviews to Sky 100.3 radio and the Kathimerini newspaper.
In his interview, the Green minister of the Gerhard Schröder government characterized modern terrorism as a new form of totalitarianism and applauded America's intervention in Afghanistan, characteristically stating: I am a realist!
At the same time however, the head of German diplomacy is keeping a safe distance from Washington, supporting that the priority of the International Community must not be a forceful confrontation with Sadam Husein, but resolving the Palestinian issue, a problem of crucial, he believes, importance for the stabilization of the Middle East. Furthermore, Joschka Fischer appreciates that there is no evidence of connections between the Iraqi regime and Al Quaeda, and supports that a possible foreign intervention in Iraq carries a taint of colonialism.
 GREECE FOR NATO-EU AGREEMENT ON FYROMBrussels, 12 September 2002 (13:14 UTC+2)
The promotion of ad hoc agreements between the EU and NATO, in order to deploy a European rapid response force in replacement of the NATO peace keeping force in FYROM, whose mission ends on October 26, soon, was proposed by Minister of National Defense Giannos Papantoniou, to
the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament in Brussels.
While explaining the goals and priorities of the Greek Presidency for European Security and Defense Policy, Mr. Papantoniou pointed out that the main parameter for the EU's operational capabilities, is the lifting of obstacles on agreements of permanent regulations between the EU and NATO.
He stressed that the Greek Presidency aims at achieving a permanent agreement, consistent to the Seville texts, and specifically that the participation of NATO members will not be connected to issues and demands that are not related to the operations' object, and that it will secure equality and autonomy in the decision making of both Organizations.
Based on the fact that no immediate solution is visible on the issue of the Euroarmy using NATO facilities due to Turkish objections, Mr. Papantoniou proposed a temporary solution, so that the presence of an international peace keeping force in FYROM continues, at this crucial period for the country, after the September 15 elections.
At the press conference, the Greek Minister of National Defense stressed that the main goal of the Greek EU Presidency is the forming and complete functioning of a European Rapid Response Force within the next few months, i.e. covering shortages in weapon systems, means and potential, and its second parallel goal is to find a permanent agreement between the EU and NATO, while he referred to one more great goal, the promotion of cooperation on the issue of European equipment.
Finally, referring to the issue of international terrorism, he said that there are thoughts in the EU, which are expressed by the Greek Presidency, on reinforcing the European Rapid Response Force with military abilities to confront such threats.
For example, cooperation in the information sector, acquiring weapons' systems, cooperation in the sectors of communications and transfers, could contribute to the military confrontation of international terrorism. These thoughts are being promoted in the European Union and there are various texts moving in that direction, he said, adding that the Greek Presidency will fight, so that these texts are not just words, but they be put into practice, with the completion of the European Rapid Response Force's abilities, with means and weapons systems, which will contribute to the confrontation of international terrorism more effectively.
 THE DRAFT BILL ON TERRORISM WILL SUPPLEMENT THE EXISTING LEGAL FRAMEWORKAthens, 12 September 2002 (19:45 UTC+2)
The draft bill on terrorism prepared by the Justice Ministry will supplement the existing legislation aimed at its harmonization with the European laws, clarified today Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
The new stipulations included in the draft bill provide for the specific definition of terrorism, extension of the time after which a crime is erased and is no longer punishable, longer prison sentences for terrorist group leaders and prison sentences for those accommodating terrorists in any way.
 GRAVE ACCUSATIONS FOR ANGELIKI SOTIROPOULOUAthens, 12 September 2002 (18:53 UTC+2)
The Greek Police in a statement it has issued mentions that Angeliki Sotiropoulou is accused of being a member of a criminal organization, while she is also accused of explosives supply and possession and gun possession.
Forty-year-old Sotiropoulou was arrested in Exarchia, Athens this afternoon, while earlier a warrant was issued for her arrest. Sotiropoulou is the partner in life of Dimitris Koufodinas, a confessed member of the terrorist group 17 November.
 THE GREEK PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT MET WITH THE PRESIDENT OF MALTAAthens, 12 September 2002 (17:44 UTC+2)
Malta's President Guido de Marco reiterated his country's support to Cyprus' EU accession during his meeting with Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis.
Mr. de Marco stated that it would have been best if a political solution was found for Cyprus before its accession into the EU but this is not a precondition. He also stated characteristically, that the Copenhagen criteria have been met by Cyprus a long time ago.
Mr. Kaklamanis thanked Mr. de Marco for Malta's support in the efforts for Cyprus' EU accession and a fair solution to the Cyprus problem.
The President of the Greek Parliament expressed the belief that during the Greek EU Presidency both Malta and Cyprus and the rest candidate states for EU membership will become members of the European family.
 BIG LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 12 September 2002 (17:24 UTC+2)
Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.90% at 2.004,22 points, while the volume of transactions was at 73.2 million Euro.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 275 recorded losses, while 52 had gains and 48 remained unchanged.
 ANGELIKI SOTIROPOULOU HAS BEEN ARRESTEDAthens, 12 September 2002 (17:13 UTC+2)
Angeliki Sotiropoulou was arrested in early afternoon today. Earlier, a warrant had been issued for her arrest.
According to information, Sotiropoulou was not arrested in any of the houses where she was staying as a guest, to avoid creating a difficult situation for her 13yearold son. For this reason, she was arrested in the area of Exarchia, in Athens on her way to her lawyer.
The whole procedure for her arrest got underway by the prosecutor after the discovery of a fingerprint at the Damareos Street hideout of terrorist group 17 November that belonged to Sotiropoulou. The fingerprint was discovered on a non movable object in the apartment constituting incriminating evidence. Her fingerprints were also discovered in the Patmos Street hideout as well but they were on a book and a newspaper and therefore, they could not be used as incriminating evidence.
For the record, in the last two days Sotiropoulou was not allowed to visit in prison her partner in life Dimitris Koufodinas, who has admitted his participation in the terrorist group.
 REVENUES EXCEEDED THE BUDGET EXPECTATIONSAthens, 12 September 2002 (16:41 UTC+2)
The revenues in the first eight months of 2002 exceeded the budget's expectations as they were increased by 7.5% compared to the same period last year, according to figures provided today by Undersecretary of Finance Apostolos Fotiadis.
The upward course of revenues in the specific period is due to the 10% boost received by the VAT revenues, the income tax 6.5% increase and the overall improvement by 11.6% of the rest budget revenues.
 SIMITIS: THE OLYMPIC GAMES ARE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR DEVELOPMENTAthens, 12 September 2002 (16:07 UTC+2)
The 2004 Olympic Games planning will not be exhausted only in the period of the Olympic Games and the Paralympics, as it concerns Greece's development and sports future itself, stressed Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in his speech during his visit to the Olympic Sports Arena in Nikea, Athens.
The 2004 Olympic Games are not only a leading global sports event but constitute a significant development opportunity for Greece, said the Prime Minister. He stressed that the Olympic Games will increase the GDP, create new job positions, improve the quality of life and the picture of the Olympic events host cities and give a boost to Greek sports.
 INFORMAL SUMMIT OF THE EU JUSTICE AND INTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTERSAthens, 12 September 2002 (16:02 UTC+2)
The informal Summit meeting of the EU Justice and Internal Affairs Ministers will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark on September 13-14.
Greece will be represented by Minister of Public Order Michalis Chrisochoidis and Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos.
Mr. Chrisochoidis will depart for Copenhagen today accompanied by Greek Police senior officials.
 NEW FOUR-DAY BOYCOTT IN PROTEST TO THE FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES STEEP PRICE HIKESAthens, 12 September 2002 (15:51 UTC+2)
A new boycott, that will target exclusively the fresh fruits and vegetables and will last four days, has been announced by the Greek Consumers' Institute, INKA, in protest to the steep price hikes recorded in the sector. INKA warns that in case the prices do not drop to reasonable levels the boycott, scheduled to take place on September 16-19, will be extended.
The decision to hold a new boycott after the successful mobilization of September 3 in terms of consumer participation, was reached because the market did not get the message, according to an INKA statement.
Based on figures provided by the Ministry of Development general secretariat on commerce, the prices of most farm products were increased up to 50% yesterday compared to last week and up to 94.7% compared to last year.
 MALTA SUPPORTS CYPRUS' EU ACCESSIONAthens, 12 September 2002 (15:45 UTC+2)
Malta's President Guido de Marco expressed support to Cyprus' EU accession in statements he made after the meeting he had in Athens with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. In their meeting they examined the international situation, the situation in eastern Mediterranean, EU enlargement issues and bilateral relations.
Mr. de Marco stated that his country backs Cyprus' accession into the European Union just like Greece had supported Malta's EU accession course.
Both Mr. de Marco and Mr. Simitis backed the peaceful solution of the problems in eastern Mediterranean and called for the immediate solution of the Palestinian problem through the implementation of international law and the UN resolutions.
Specifically on the issue of Iraq, Mr. Simitis reiterated Greece's position which supports the implementation of international law and the UN resolutions, stressing that an intervention should be in harmony with international law within the framework of the United Nations.