|Thursday, 24 September 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-09-21
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE BALKAN JUSTICE MINISTERS WILL MEET ON AN ANNUAL BASISKastoria, 21 September 2002 (15:02 UTC+2)
The Balkan Justice Ministers will meet on an annual basis, according to a decision reached in their first meeting that was held in Kastoria at the initiative of Greek Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos.
The second meeting of the Balkan Justice Ministers will be held in Romania and according to Mr. Petsalnikos all the meetings that will be held in Greece will take place in Kastoria.
In a joint statement issued after the meeting by the Justice Ministers of Greece , Romania, FRY, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Cyprus and Bulgaria they declare their commitment to act for the consolidation of the law state principles and the respect of human rights.
At the same time, they confirm the prospect of their countries' accession into Europe and stress the need to strengthen and support the Balkan countries in their accession course. They also recognize Greece's contribution, stress the need for cooperation in the area of justice and in the efforts against organized crime and underline the need to strengthen bilateral relations in the sector of Justice. Finally, they announced their decision to create contact structures between the Justice Ministries and the training programs for judges.
 BALKAN JURISTS FEDERATIONKastoria, 21 September 2002 (12:38 UTC+2)
The Balkan legal experts with the establishment of their federation want to be and must become an example of cooperation, communication, exchange of information and experience for other social categories and politicians. The above were stressed by Movement for Peace, Human Rights, Communication and Development President Konstantinos Papanagiotou in the 2nd Balkan Jurists Conference launched in Kastoria, northwestern Greece, yesterday. The proceedings will be completed today with the signing of the Balkan Jurists Federation founding charter.
Romanian Justice Minister Rodika Stanoju referred to the issues of the European jurist culture and pointed out that the EU enlargement procedure is a response to the Balkan states' desire for freedom and incorporation into the European family. She also stressed that the structural reforms in the institutions of the EU candidate states will contribute to the efforts to limit unemployment and promote political security.
She underlined that the establishment of the federation will help in the harmonization of the EU candidate states with the EU standards concerning asylum seekers, cross-border crime and illegal immigration.
Turkish Bar Associations general secretary Sahin Mengiu referred to the elements of freedom of expression in the Turkish Constitutions of the 20th century and to the restrictions imposed. He stressed that the establishment of the Balkan Jurists Federation will contribute to the improvement of the freedom expression and the respect of human rights in the region's countries.
 PM: THE PEOPLE DO NOT TRUST ND CANDIDATESKalamata, 21 September 2002 (19:49 UTC+2)
The appreciation that New Democracy has decided to turn the elections for local government into a political confrontation, was expressed by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, speaking in Kalamata. He also added that this shows that the candidate mayors and prefects of New Democracy cannot win the trust of the people.
" I would like to make an observation, regarding something I read in the press a few days ago, that New Democracy, the Opposition, has decided to change its tactics: It has decided to turn the local government elections into, as ND itself said, a political confrontation. What does that mean? That ND candidates need a crutch to stand. That they have no proposals, no capabilities and thus they have to move the confrontation elsewhere. ND came along and confessed that its candidates cannot win the people's trust", stressed Mr. Simitis.
The Prime Minister underlined that the position that "the government is confronting the Opposition" in the local government elections is at the expense of local government, it leads to party commitments, and creates a course towards a local government that can be manipulated.
"We do not want that kind of local government. We want a local government that is involved with the problems of each region", he pointed out.
 THE BALKAN JURISTS FEDERATION WAS FOUNDED IN KASTORIAKastoria, 21 September 2002 (14:43 UTC+2)
The founding charter of the Balkan Federation of Jurists was signed in Kastoria today in the presence of Balkan Justice Ministers and Undersecretaries. The seat of the federation will be in Athens.
The federation's founding charter was signed by representatives of jurist organizations from Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, Romania, Yugoslavia, Croatia, FYROM, and Moldavia within the framework of the 2nd Balkan Conference of Jurists organized by the Movement for Peace, Human Rights, Communication and Development.
Branches of the federation could be established in other countries in the region if there is an approval by its Coordinating Council, while offices of the federation could open in international organizations as well.
The Balkan Federation of Jurists is a regional association of jurists' organizations and its goal is to contribute to the efforts for the creation of a Balkan society that will be based on justice. Also, the federation will contribute to the restoration of peace, security and human rights in the region. It will back the constitutional role of the members of the judiciary and the jurists and cooperate with the responsible state authorities to achieve the goal mentioned above. It will facilitate the exchange of information on legal, social and cultural issues and contribute to the development of national legislation. In addition, it will create a legal information data bank, offer access to the EU law and contribute to the development of peace, friendship and cooperation among jurists.
 PROPOSAL FOR THE BALKAN JUSTICE MINISTERS TO MEET ON A REGULAR BASISKastoria, 21 September 2002 (13:58 UTC+2)
Greek Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos addressing his Balkan counterparts suggested that the Balkan Justice Ministers meeting should become an institution.
Speaking in the 1st Meeting of Balkan Justice Ministers, he pointed out that the goal of this Meeting-Forum in Kastoria is to become a reference point for the continuous communication of the Balkan legal systems and the consolidation of the law state principles in the Balkans. Mr. Petsalnikos also stated that Greece as an EU member and the EU President for the first half of 2003 feels that it has an obligation to assist the Balkan countries in their effort to become members of the European family.
He said that an independent and quality justice must be in implemented in the Balkan countries, while efforts must be made against organized crime and illegal immigration.
The issues of mutual communication among the Balkan members of the judiciary and the organizing of training seminars were also discussed in the meeting. The first informative meeting of members of the judiciary from southeastern Europe will be held in Thessaloniki on November 10-17 by the National School of Judges. Eleven countries will attend the meeting during which Greek members of the judiciary and academicians will brief them on issues like the harmonization of the EU member-states law with the European Law and the European Accord on Human Rights.
In the 1st Meeting of Balkan Justice Ministers participate Greece, Romania, FRY, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Albania represented by the responsible ministers and undersecretaries, while Cyprus and Bulgaria participate through ministry representatives.
 THE "OPINION" POLLING COMPANY ON THESSALONIKI'S MUNICIPAL ELECTIONSThessaloniki, 21 September 2002 (13:11 UTC+2)
The battle for the municipality and prefecture of Thessaloniki will be given in the second round of the elections, according to a poll conducted by the Opinion polling company which, however, shows that the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy candidates are leading their rivals. Another important element in the poll is that a large number of people refuse to say who they will vote for.
The poll is published on the Athens newspaper Eleftherotipia and was conducted on September 9-18 on a sample of 800 people over the age of 18. Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy candidate for mayor, who is also Thessaloniki's incumbent mayor, Vasilis Papageorgopoulos has 43.5%, while governing Socialist Party of PASOK candidate Spiros Vougias has 23.8%. The Greek Communist Party candidate Agapios Sahinis got 5.3% and Coalition of the Left candidate Tasos Kourakis has 1.7%. A high percentage of those questioned (24%) refused to answer.
Regarding the elections for the Prefecture of Thessaloniki, New Democracy candidate Panagiotis Psomiadis got 37.7% compared to PASOK's candidate Grigoris Hatzisavvas' 24.9%. Giorgos Rokkos, who is backed by the Communist Party and the Democratic Social Movement got 2.3%, Michalis Tremopoulos of the party Coalition of the Left got 2.2%, while a large percentage (30%) refused to answer who will be the candidate of their choice.
The undecided voters in the prefectural elections are estimated at 33%, while in the municipal elections they reach 23.3%.
 THE COST-OF-LIVING INDEX AT 3.5% IN SEPTEMBERAthens, 21 September 2002 (11:37 UTC+2)
The cost-of-living index is expected to be stuck to 3.5% for the month of September, according to the Greek National Statistics Agency. However, no final prediction can be made as significant changes are being recorded in the fuel prices which can alter the final picture.
Meanwhile, in spite of the four-day boycott on fresh fruits and vegetables their prices remained stable. If nothing changes by the end of the month the fresh fruit and vegetable prices will be higher compared to 2001 and therefore, the cost-of-living index will increase.
 PAPANTONIOU ON THE GREEK AIRSPACE VIOLATIONSChios, 21 September 2002 (11:18 UTC+2)
Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou expressed concern regarding the increase in the Greek national airspace violations by Turkish fighter jets.
The statement was made by Mr. Papantoniou in the northeastern Aegean island of Chios where the final phase of the military exercise Parmenion 2002 was completed. President Kostis Stephanopoulos also watched the military exercise.
Mr. Papantoniou stated that the Turkish Air Force is adopting a gradually aggressive stance and stressed that he wants to believe that this will not mean anything worse.
Eight Turkish fighter jet formations made an equal number of air traffic violations in the Athens FIR, which developed into ten violations of the Greek national airspace between the Aegean islands of Chios and Samos and in the region of the islands of Kos and Rhodes.
Eighteen Greek fighter jets identified and intercepted an equal number of Turkish fighter jets, while in ten instances the interception procedure developed into engagement.
 PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS WILL BE IN COPENHAGEN TOMORROWAthens, 21 September 2002 (11:11 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will depart for Copenhagen tomorrow to attend the EU Summit meeting with Asian countries.
The Prime Minister will return to Athens on Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday, the cabinet will meet to discuss the new budget plan.
 FOFI GENNIMATA IS LEADING IN THE "METRON ANALYSIS" POLLAthens, 21 September 2002 (11:09 UTC+2)
A poll conducted by the Metron Analysis polling company shows that governing Socialist Party of PASOK candidate for Athens-Piraeus Prefect, Fofi Gennimata is leading her rivals in the pre-election race. The poll results are published on the Athens newspaper Ethnos.
According to the poll, Ms. Gennimata is leading with 37.2% compared to 20.4% for right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy candidate Yiannis Tzannetakos, while Gorgos Karatzaferis of the rightist party LAOS follows with 9.5%.
Based on the opinion poll, the winner in the second round of the elections will be Ms. Gennimata with 44.4%, while Mr. Tzannetakos will get 27.1%.
The poll was conducted by ballot-box across the Athens-Piraeus prefecture on a sample of 1.200 people.