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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-05-23

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 NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, May 23, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] SPORTS FAIR OPENS IN THESSALONIKI ON THURSDAY
  • [02] PM TO CHAIR DEFENSE, FOREIGN POLICY COUNCIL
  • [03] FM MEETS CIA CHIEF, TALKS TOUCH UPON TERRORISM
  • [04] GREEK PRESIDENT ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO CROATIA
  • [05] BALKANS AT HEART OF GREEK FM's TALKS IN US
  • [06] PATRIARCH PETROS IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW
  • [07] POSTAL VOTES FOR EXPATRIATE GREEKS CONSIDERED
  • [08] STATE REPORT SETS RECORD STRAIGHT ON ECONOMY
  • [09] THOUSANDS WILL VOLUNTEER TO CLEAN UP THE MED
  • [10] LIMITED INCIDENTS IN THE STUDENT PROTEST MARCH IN ATHENS
  • [11] JUSTICE MINISTER STATEMENTS ON THE STATE ISSUED ID CARDS AND CIVIL MARRIAGE
  • [12] GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [13] RESOLUTIONS ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY TURKEY
  • [14] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON TERRORISM
  • [15] IN 10 YEARS THE VACCINE AGAINST THE CANCER OF THE CERVIX
  • [16] A TURKISH FAMILY LOOKS FOR ITS ROOTS IN GREECE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [17] GREEK PARTICIPATION IN A LONDON WINE EXHIBITION

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] SPORTS FAIR OPENS IN THESSALONIKI ON THURSDAY

    The second international Sports and Recreation Equipment and Facilities trade fair "Sportexpo 2001" is to be inaugurated in Thessaloniki tomorrow by the Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos. The theme of this year's Sportexpo, organized by Helexpo, will be the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, with focus granted on several special events not widely popular to the public, such as triathlon, hockey, softball, baseball, canoe-kayak, pentathlon, archery, body building, mountain biking, martial arts and aerobics.

    Sportexpo 2001, which will conclude on May 27, is aimed at both businesses in the sector and the general public. Among exhibitors are the General Secretariat for the Olympic Games, the General Sports Secretariat, the Confederation of Athletics Unions of Greece and federations representing individual sports.

    [02] PM TO CHAIR DEFENSE, FOREIGN POLICY COUNCIL

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to chair the Defense and Foreign Policy Council (KYSEA) tomorrow, where the participants will discuss the issue of postponing several arms procurement programs. According to Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, the session will examine which armaments programs are priorities for the 2001- 2006 period, as well as which programs will be delayed in order to funnel funds allocated for the defense sector into social spending.

    The Prime Minister, who is to depart for Malta after the KYSEA meeting, will hold successive meetings today with ministers of interior, justice, defense and national economy.

    [03] FM MEETS CIA CHIEF, TALKS TOUCH UPON TERRORISM

    Greece has stepped up its efforts to combat terrorism, according to CIA Director George Tenet who met with visiting Foreign Minister George Papandreou in Washington yesterday.

    Messrs. Tenet and Papandreou discussed the progress made achieved by an international advisory committee comprising officials from Greece, Australia, France, Germany, Israel, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, set up to consult Athens on security matters for the 2004 Athens Games. Last year, these countries ratified a mutual legal assistance treaty and signed a police cooperation memorandum to enhance cooperation on law enforcement, including terrorism.

    During the State Department's daily press briefing yesterday, spokesman Richard Boucher referred to the meeting held earlier between Secretary of State Colin Powell and the Greek FM, stating that their talks also touched upon the need to keep up cooperation over Athens 2004 security issues.

    "Clearly, we think there is more that can be done in terms of the cooperation between Greece and its international partners. And Foreign Minister Papandreou was also of the view that this cooperation and what they do together is very important.

    "There is a lot of cooperation going on. In the end we're also going to be looking -- all looking for results in terms of the fight against terrorism," Mr. Boucher said.

    Meanwhile, in an interview with the Athens daily "To Vima", Mr. Powell stressed that he is satisfied with the noted progress made by the Greek government over its counter-terrorism measures, albeit adding that he would like to see these measures culminate into arrests.

    "The Simitis government shares our disappointment over the fact that no one has been brought to justice over these attacks," Mr. Powell stated.

    In its annual report on terrorism, entitled "Patterns of Global Terrorism 2000", the State Department noted that Greece has undertaken a series of more stringent counter-terrorism measures during the past year.

    Specifically, the report notes that the Greek government strengthened its police counter-terrorism unit, implemented a multimillion-dollar reward program, and began drafting legislation to provide a legal basis for more vigorous counter-terrorism efforts.

    During his stay in Washington, Mr. Papandreou also concluded a series of contacts with high-ranking congressional leaders, including Greek-American senators Paul Sarbanes and Oympia Snowe.

    The Greek FM also met with vice-president Dick Cheney and US President George Bush's national security advisor Condoleeza Rice.

    [04] GREEK PRESIDENT ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO CROATIA

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos is presently conducting an official three-day visit to Croatia, at the invitation of his Croatian counterpart Stipe Mesic.

    During his stay in Zagreb, President Stephanopoulos will hold separate meetings with Mr. Mesic and Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan, with whom he will discuss the entire range of bilateral relations, with emphasis on the economic sector, as well as on the situation in the wider Balkans.

    The President is escorted by the undersecretary of National Economy Yiannis Zafiropoulos, responsible for international economic affairs, and a delegation of Greek businessmen who are to are to hold meetings with Croatian entrepreneurs and state officials.

    Greek exports to Croatia amount to .26 percent of the latter's overall import volume, while Croatian exports to Greece correspond to .13% of total imports.

    Other contacts will include representatives of the political parties of the country, while the President will also visit the University of Zagreb and the Croatian parliament.

    Prior to his return to Athens on Friday, Mr. Stephanopoulos will be given a tour of the city of Dubrovnik.

    [05] BALKANS AT HEART OF GREEK FM's TALKS IN US

    Emphasis was clearly given on the Balkan region during talks held yesterday in Washington between Greece's visiting Foreign Minister George Papandreou, his US counterpart Colin Powell, Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.

    According to Mr. Papandreou, democratic institutions should be developed and Balkan countries should be given economic backing in order to enable the U.S.' gradual withdrawal, with Greece willing to carry out a leading role in such a development. Moreover, Mr. Papandreou requested Washington's support in averting the further dismembering of Balkan states, while the need to avoid any change in borders in the region was also discussed.

    Overall, the talks ascertained the coincidence of views shared by Greece and the US on a variety of issues concerning the Balkan region.

    During a press briefing later, State Department spokesperson Richard Boucher confirmed that Messrs. Papandreou and Powell discussed the situation in FYROM at length.

    "I would say there is very much an agreement on the support for the (Skopje) government and the direction they are going, in terms of a unity government."

    In regards to Kosovo, Mr. Boucher said the two men "talked quite a bit about the longer term prospects and what we had to do over the longer term to support and help build multi-ethnic democracies in the region, which is what is going to give us the long term stability that we all look for, and the chance to withdraw troops, as a matter of fact."

    Following his White House meeting with the US Vice President, Mr. Papandreou stated that he and Mr. Cheney discussed all individual issues in Yugoslavia, Kosovo, the action of extremist groups in FYROM, as well as Cyprus' accession to Europe with or without a prior solution to the political problem.

    "We all hope for a solution before accession, but this does not constitute a precondition for the accession of Cyprus to the EU. Steadfast insistence on decisions taken at Helsinki is the main conception governing the policy of all of us," the Greek FM said.

    Moreover, he stated that "we have requested the contribution of the U.S. to the effort to have Turkey adopt European principles which will contribute substantively to the country's stability and which have particular importance for the progress of Turkish society."

    [06] PATRIARCH PETROS IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW

    Patriarch of Alexandria Petros, presently on an official visit to Greece, stressed that the Patriarchate of Alexandria and the Church of Greece enjoy excellent relations.

    Thanking the Greek Church and the Greek government for their support to the Patriarchate of Alexandria, Patriarch Petros stated that the eight bishoprics of his see became 12 during his term, while a theology school for training priests for English-speaking countries in Africa has been established in Kenya.

    The Patriarch of Alexandria is to visit Thessaloniki tomorrow where Mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos will bestow upon him the city's Golden Key.

    [07] POSTAL VOTES FOR EXPATRIATE GREEKS CONSIDERED

    Deputy Foreign Minister (responsible for expatriate Greek affairs) Grigoris Niotis has asked for cross-party cooperation in order to expedite the introduction of postal votes to Greek citizens living abroad.

    Addressing a Parliamentary committee for expatriate Greeks, Mr. Niotis stated that the right to vote by post, which is provided for under the newly-revised Constitution, should be at first implemented for those Greeks who reside in the European Union.

    Moreover, he stated that, within the next six years the parties should arrive at specific proposals regarding the degree and form of representation that expatriates in other countries should have in Greek political processes.

    "I am not a psychopath so that I would want fourth-generation Greek-Americans to elect the government in Greece, but the expatriate Greek community must be represented," Mr. Niotis said.

    [08] STATE REPORT SETS RECORD STRAIGHT ON ECONOMY

    Breaking a 25-year record, Greece's GDP growth is to jump to 4.5 per cent in 2001, while inflation is to stand at 2.7 per cent by the end of the year, according to a report published by the ministry of national economy.

    Released yesterday and entitled "Truths and Lies About the Greek Economy", the report essentially presents the key points recently outlined in Parliament by Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou.

    According to the report, the government's budget remains on target, thanks to a 10.7 per cent increase in revenue during the first four months of the year, compared to the same period of 2000, thus surpassing the eight percent increase forecast by the budget.

    The report also notes that spending for the same four-month period was increased by 3.9 per cent, while it stresses that the current budget contains no "black holes", as claimed by the main opposition party of New Democracy.

    [09] THOUSANDS WILL VOLUNTEER TO CLEAN UP THE MED

    Eleven thousand volunteers are expected to put on their gloves and turn up at the country's coastline and lakes this weekend, in order to haul away garbage in a nationwide beach clean up.

    Held for the seventh year in a row, the "Clean Up the Med" project is held concurrently in 20 Mediterranean countries between May 25-27.

    The Greek project is coordinated by the Arctouros Society.

    [10] LIMITED INCIDENTS IN THE STUDENT PROTEST MARCH IN ATHENS

    Limited incidents were recorded at noon today as soon as the university student march got underway in Athens in protest to the draft bill upgrading the Technological Education Institutes to become part of higher education.

    The incidents started a few meters past the Polytechnic School when a group of students attempted to move toward the head of the march.

    Finally, the tension defused and the march to the education ministry building continued without further incidents.

    [11] JUSTICE MINISTER STATEMENTS ON THE STATE ISSUED ID CARDS AND CIVIL MARRIAGE

    Justice minister Michalis Stathopoulos in statements he made today, after one of the regular meetings he had with prime minister Kostas Simitis, referred to the state-issued identity cards and civil marriage.

    Mr. Stathopoulos pointed out that the state has the authority on the issue of the identities and this cannot be denied by anyone, adding that the government was the one that opened the issue and the one to close it in the best possible way.

    On civil marriage, the justice minister stated that the issue was settled in 1983 and therefore, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas was right when he said that there is no civil marriage issue.

    [12] GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.58% at 3.165,52 points, while the volume of transactions was relatively increased at 175.71 million Euro or 59.87 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 69 recorded gains and 260 had losses, while the value of 49 stocks remained stable.

    [13] RESOLUTIONS ON THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY TURKEY

    The members of the Greek Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense with a unanimous resolution call on the Council of Europe to demand from Turkey to implement immediately the European Court for Human Rights decision that found Ankara guilty of human rights violations in Cyprus. In the resolution it is also mentioned that Turkey should be informed on the sanctions that will suffer in case it does not meet its obligations.

    Former government minister Theodoros Pangalos speaking before the committee stated that in case Ankara does not comply then based on international treaties it will cease to be a Council of Europe member and a candidate for accession.

    In addition, 182 deputies from every political party represented in the Greek parliament addressed a letter to Euro- parliament and the European state parliaments calling for their immediate and decisive intervention in the Turkish government to put an end to the inhumane behavior targeting the political prisoners, who are on a hunger strike and their relatives.

    [14] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON TERRORISM

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that no demand has been tabled by the United States on the issue of terrorism, pointing out however, that the issue was included in the agenda of the talks between Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

    Mr. Reppas, when asked to comment on the statements made by Mr. Powell in an interview with the Athens newspaper "Vima", stated that the outcome of the efforts made to counter terrorism were not as effective as expected because terrorism is an international plague.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the government has the will to continue the effort against terrorism, adding that the effort made is continuous and systematic and there is constant cooperation with responsible foreign agencies. He also gave the assurance that the Athens 2004 Olympic Games will be safe.

    [15] IN 10 YEARS THE VACCINE AGAINST THE CANCER OF THE CERVIX

    A vaccine against the Human Papillomavirus, HPV, which is the basic cause of the cancer of the cervix of the uterus, has been created by scientists but it will take a decade before it is tested on humans.

    This vaccine has a proven record of success in the prevention or remission of lesions linked with HPV in lab animals. This success has led to attempts for the production of a vaccine against HPV which could prevent the virus associated diseases that appear in humans.

    The developments concerning the vaccine in question and issues concerning the precautionary examination using the HPV-test in combination with the Pap Test will be presented in the 5th Scientific Meeting on the prevention and timely diagnosis of gynecological cancer that will be held in Thessaloniki on May 25- 27.

    In a press conference today on the occasion of the meeting it was stressed that HPV is transmitted through sexual intercourse. For men, things are easier as the virus can disappear by itself after 2-3 years, while in women the infection can cause cancer of the cervix of the uterus.

    [16] A TURKISH FAMILY LOOKS FOR ITS ROOTS IN GREECE

    Twenty five members of a historic Turkish family are in Greece looking for their roots in Grevena, northwestern Greece.

    It is the Mollaogulari or Molaleyler family which numbers 5.000 members has a history that goes back to four centuries and its starting point is Grevena.

    The family's ancestor Molla Ali was born in Grevena in 1657 and was the town mufti. The family lived in Grevena until 1924 when it was forced to go to Turkey because of the population exchange that took place between Greece and Turkey.

    Today, the family's 5.000 members are scattered in the Turkish cities of Istanbul, Ankara, Eskisehir, Prusa, Nigde, Aydin, Denizli, Burdur and Isparta and countries like the United States, France and Germany.

    The 25 members of this family, who have arrived in Greece today, will spend the night in the city of Kavala, in the northern part of the country and tomorrow will be in Thessaloniki. On Friday, they will be in Grevena where a welcoming event will be held in their honor in the prefecture building and the City Hall.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [17] GREEK PARTICIPATION IN A LONDON WINE EXHIBITION

    The 20th International Wine-Beverages Fair in London, in which Greece is one of the participants, ends tomorrow. The fair is an annual event and one of the biggest wine exhibitions in the world. This year there are over 1.000 exhibitors, producers and distributors, from 30 countries.

    The Greek wine imports to Britain follow an upward trend in the past few years. Britain is a significant market for wine imports with promising future prospects as the British consumer, who was mainly a beer consumer, now shows a preference for wine. For this reason, there is a big competitiveness among the wine producing countries to increase their share in this new market, as both the price and ad campaign affect the consumer's decision to a great degree.


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