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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-05-24

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 NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, May 24, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] SPORTSEXPO 2001 BEGINS IN THESSALONIKI TODAY
  • [02] GREEK PRESIDENT IN ZAGREB, MEETS WITH MESIC
  • [03] US: MANY GREEK PRESS REPORTS "FLAT OUT WRONG"
  • [04] FM: REPORTS OF US AGENTS IN GREECE ARE BASELESS
  • [05] GREEK CANADIAN CONGRESS BEGINS IN OTTAWA
  • [06] GREECE FILES MEMORANDUM OVER KING'S PROPERTY
  • [07] EXHIBITION ON PARTHENON OPENS IN ZAGREB TODAY
  • [08] PM CHAIRS DEFENSE, FOREIGN POLICY COUNCIL
  • [09] GREECE, TURKEY JOIN FORCES IN NATURAL DISASTERS
  • [10] PATRIARCH PETROS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI TODAY
  • [11] EVENT ON BYZANTINE MONUMENTS IN THESSALONIKI
  • [12] MEASURES FOR THE UNEMPLOYED AND THE POOR
  • [13] SE EUROPEAN DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETING
  • [14] GREEK-TURKISH BUSINESS CONTACTS
  • [15] GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [16] EUROFIGHTER PROGRAM POSTPONED UNTIL 2005
  • [17] THE 6TH EAWC INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
  • [18] THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN SE EUROPE
  • [19] THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA IN THESSALONIKI
  • [20] WOMEN AND MOUNT ATHOS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [21] THE GREEK PRESIDENT IS IN CROATIA

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] SPORTSEXPO 2001 BEGINS IN THESSALONIKI TODAY

    The second international Sports and Recreation Equipment and Facilities trade fair "Sportexpo 2001" is to be inaugurated in Thessaloniki today 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] GREEK PRESIDENT IN ZAGREB, MEETS WITH MESIC

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, presently on an official visit to Zagreb, met with his Croatian counterpart Stipe Mesic yesterday with whom he discussed bilateral ties and the overall situation in the Balkans.

    The President is escorted by the undersecretary of National Economy Yiannis Zafiropoulos, responsible for international economic affairs, and undersecretary of foreign Affairs Grigoris Niotis, responsible for Expatriate Greeks, as well as delegation of Greek businessmen who are to are to hold meetings with Croatian entrepreneurs and state officials.

    During his stay in Zagreb, President Stephanopoulos will also meet with Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan, with whom he will discuss the entire range of bilateral relations, with emphasis on the economic sector.

    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 tomorrow, Mr. Stephanopoulos will be given a tour of the city of Dubrovnik.

    [03] US: MANY GREEK PRESS REPORTS "FLAT OUT WRONG"

    State Department deputy spokesman Philip Reeker denied recent Greek press reports which claimed that the United States pressured Greece's visiting Foreign Minister George Papandreou into allowing US agents participate in anti-terrorism investigations in Athens.

    "What is written in the Greek press today is wrong, is just wrong, "Mr. Reeker stated yesterday during the daily briefing, adding that "we discussed aspects of the Secretary's (Colin Powel) meeting with Foreign Minister Papandreou. In fact, the Secretary himself had comments with the Foreign Minister after that meeting. He talked about our excellent relations with Greece.

    "We noted that it was a very useful and productive working lunch that they held on Monday. And, in fact, this was their third meeting. And, as you know, Greece is a very key partner in the region. They discussed issues about the Balkans and regional issues, and also discussed bilateral aspects, including terrorism, which is something that we consider as very important.

    "As the Secretary noted and Ambassador Boucher noted, following the meeting, they discussed the positive steps the Greek Government has taken to fight terrorism. And the Secretary noted that, while we are encouraged by these steps, of course they don't substitute for concrete results in the form of arrests and prosecutions. So we will continue to work with the Greeks on this." The deputy spokesman stressed that the Powel-Papandreou meeting "certainly was not contentious", adding that talks were held in a very respectful atmosphere of partnership.

    In regards to Greek press reports which claim that the US has requested the arrest of suspects and that they be taken to the US to be tried by the Department of Justice, Mr. Reeker replied that "I don't have any further details to give you of our meetings, other than to note that a number of the Greek press reports are flat out wrong."

    [04] FM: REPORTS OF US AGENTS IN GREECE ARE BASELESS

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou, presently on a visit to Washington, has strongly denied press reports according to which the United States have requested that US agents conduct anti- terrorist investigations in Greece.

    "These reports are beyond the realm of reality," Mr. Papandreou stressed, and noted that the two countries enjoy substantive and positive cooperation.

    As the refuted reports claimed that CIA director George Tenet set forth a series of demands during his recent meeting with the Greek FM, Mr. Papandreou stated that he doesn't understand how Greek journalism sometimes produces baseless reports, which are "unacceptable". Moreover, he said that the issue of combating terrorism is a priority for Greece, which has outgrown its complex of dependence with other countries.

    "Greece discusses all issues of cooperation with other countries, including the United States," Mr. Papandreou said, adding that the Greek authorities are sincerely discussing the issue with their American counterparts in order to resolve a "very real problem.

    "Without (psychological) complexes we have a substantial and positive cooperation," the Greek FM stressed.

    During his stay in Washington, Mr. Papandreou had a series of contacts with high-ranking congressional leaders, including Greek- American senators Paul Sarbanes and Olympia Snowe, while he also met with vice-president Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and US President George Bush's national security adviser Condoleeza Rice.

    [05] GREEK CANADIAN CONGRESS BEGINS IN OTTAWA

    The Greek-Canadian Congress is to hold its annual general assembly on May 25-27 in Ottawa, in order to elect a new president and board.

    The congress will also examine ways to further promote facilitate Greek-Canadian economic and trade relations.

    Established in 1982, the Greek-Canadian Congress constitutes an umbrella-organization that includes all Greek community organizations in Canada.

    [06] GREECE FILES MEMORANDUM OVER KING'S PROPERTY

    The Greek government has submitted a memorandum to the European Court of Human Rights on the issue of the confiscated property of former King Constantine.

    The state argues that, given the abolition of the monarchy, it has no obligation to compensate the former king who is demanding that the government pay 165 billion drachmas plus 3 billion in court costs.

    The Court is expected to set a date for a new hearing.

    [07] EXHIBITION ON PARTHENON OPENS IN ZAGREB TODAY

    An exhibition on "The Parthenon and the Western Frieze: Restoration and conservation" is to be inaugurated in Zagreb today, in the presence of visiting Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos.

    The event, which will run until June 17, is organized by the Greek Institute of Culture and the Mimara Museum (Ante and Wiltrude Topic Mimara Art Collection).

    It features a life-size reconstruction of the Parthenon's western frieze that was made from a 19th-century mould at the British Museum, in addition to architectural drawings, photographs and models depicting the famous Parthenon temple.

    [08] PM CHAIRS DEFENSE, FOREIGN POLICY COUNCIL

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to chair the Defense and Foreign Policy Council (KYSEA) today, where the participants will discuss the issue of postponing several arms procurement programs.

    Mr. Simitis met with Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos yesterday with whom he discussed the armed forces' armaments programs and their reconstruction.

    According to reports, it was agreed that the amount of one trillion drachmas will be saved from defense expenditures to meet other fiscal needs of the government, i.e. social spending.

    The Prime Minister will depart for Malta after the KYSEA meeting.

    [09] GREECE, TURKEY JOIN FORCES IN NATURAL DISASTERS

    Greece and Turkey have agreed to jointly establish a rapid response unit for dealing with natural disasters, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokesperson.

    The 80-member rescue team, which is tentatively identified as the "Joint Hellenic-Turkish Standby Response Unit" will comprise a force of 40 men from each country and will operate in accordance to United Nations regulations.

    [10] PATRIARCH PETROS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI TODAY

    Patriarch of Alexandria and Africa Petros, presently on an official visit to Greece, is to arrive in Thessaloniki today where Mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos will bestow upon him the city's Golden Key.

    This evening, the Patriarch will be declared honorary professor at the School of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

    [11] EVENT ON BYZANTINE MONUMENTS IN THESSALONIKI

    An international conference entitled "Byzantine Monuments and World Heritage" is to be inaugurated by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos in Thessaloniki on May 26.

    The purpose of the event, which will conclude on June 1, is the exchange of points of view on the following matters: protection of national monuments in accordance to state legislation; issues, prospects and principles pertaining to monument manipulation, the formation of a common electronic site of Byzantine monuments under the auspices of UNESCO, etc.

    Held under UNESCO's auspices, the conference is organized by the European Center of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Studies and features the participation of 16 countries.

    [12] MEASURES FOR THE UNEMPLOYED AND THE POOR

    The national action plan on unemployment and the creation of a network against poverty and exclusion were the main issues of the talks held in the ministry of labor today.

    According to minister Tasos Giannitsis the action plan on unemployment has already been approved by the government and will be submitted to the European Commission by the end of the month. It will be financed with 900 billion drachmas coming from national funds and the 3rd Community Framework of Support.

    The programs that will materialize in the three year period of 2001-2003 concern the longtime unemployed, women, the poor households and the sensitive social groups.

    Commenting on the changes in the social security system and the Greek General Confederation of Labor demand for a pledge by the government on a three-way funding of the social security system, Mr. Giannitsis pointed out that the issue will be discussed within the social dialogue framework and reiterated that the government is in favor of an open dialogue.

    [13] SE EUROPEAN DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETING

    The armed clashes in FYROM, the situation in south Serbia, Kosovo and the Balkans in general will be discussed in the informal southeastern European defense ministers summit meeting that will be held in Thessaloniki on June 5-6.

    Their previous summit meeting was held in Skopje and they had agreed then on a declaration condemning extremist actions and offering support to the FYROM government efforts to safeguard territorial integrity and the existing borders.

    June's meeting in Thessaloniki will be attended by the defense ministers of Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, FYROM, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United States.

    [14] GREEK-TURKISH BUSINESS CONTACTS

    Over 35 Greek companies from the sector of clothing and textiles have expressed interest in signing cooperation deals with similar businesses in Turkey, according to statements made to MPA by Association of Knitwear-Clothing Companies in northern Greece general director Theofilos Aslanidis.

    For the record, representatives of 22 companies from Ismir, Turkey are already in Thessaloniki and according to Mr. Aslanidis, over 250 business meetings are expected to take place. Also, Mr. Aslanidis pointed out that Greek businessmen will visit Ismir in the fall on a similar mission.

    Managing director of the Turkish company "Inci Tekstil", Boran Sekertzi stated to MPA that the goal of the Turkish business delegation visit to Thessaloniki is to get in touch with their Greek colleagues in order to cooperate and become active in the Greek market and elsewhere.

    Turkish company "ARTI IKI" representative Murat Oztzan underlined that judging from the contacts already made with the Greek businessmen, both sides have a lot in common and cooperation between them can be very profitable.

    [15] GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Small gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.52% at 3.181,99 points, while the volume of transactions was 130.2 million Euro or 44.37 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 214 recorded gains and 111 had losses, while the value of 53 stocks remained stable.

    [16] EUROFIGHTER PROGRAM POSTPONED UNTIL 2005

    The government council on foreign affairs and defense that met today under prime minister Kostas Simitis decided to postpone the fourth generation Eurofighter fighter jet program until after the year 2005.

    In statements defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos made after the meeting, pointed out that certain programs are being postponed as the existing credit ceilings for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004 are not high enough to include those programs as well.

    The defense minister also said that because of the existing fiscal needs the armaments program of the armed forces has been adjusted and was extended from a five-year to an eight-year program to avoid any cuts in the supply of important weapons systems.

    [17] THE 6TH EAWC INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

    Euro-American Women's Council, EAWC, chairwoman Loula Alafoyiannis stated to MPA, within the framework of the organization's 6th international conference on Women, technology and e-trade in the new millennium, that it was former First Lady Hilary Clinton who urged her to undertake the initiative to create this organization.

    Ms. Alafoyiannis also pointed out that this non profit organization has as a goal the international promotion of Greek culture and tourism, adding that all these years it has contributed to the development of greater understanding and the creation of business opportunities through the establishment of a strong network of new strategic options for women in Greece and other countries as well. The Euro-American Women's Council has also managed to collect the sum of US$200.000 for scholarships abroad that were granted to Greek students.

    The main speaker in the conference that opened in Athens yesterday with the participation of over 150 women from Greece, Europe and the United States was undersecretary of development Ms. Milena Apostolakis.

    The 7th EAWC conference will be held in Malaysia in 2002.

    [18] THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN SE EUROPE

    A new model of cross-border cooperation with the concurrent development of the appropriate leadership skills through education and experience exchange programs directed to distinguished women in southeastern Europe, is being promoted by the "Seelida" movement.

    The initiative was launched in Sofia in 1998 by Ms. Stoyanova, the wife of the Bulgarian president, with the participation of all the wives of southeastern European presidents and prime ministers and former US First Lady Hilary Clinton.

    The program's coordinator in Greece Ms. Aliki Mitsakos stated to MPA that the movement in question aspires to bring women in contact with non governmental organizations in SE Europe for a constructive dialogue aimed at the development and enactment of a network of women politicians, entrepreneurs and heads of local non governmental organizations that will have as a main goal the strengthening of trust.

    An education program will be held in the foreign ministry auditorium in Athens on May 25-26 within the framework of the "Seelida" activities. The program will be attended by 60 women from 10 countries.

    [19] THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA IN THESSALONIKI

    Thessaloniki mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos honored Patriarch Petros of Alexandria and All of Africa with the city's golden key.

    The mayor speaking in a ceremony held in honor of the Patriarch stated that his visit has a special importance and underlined the great missionary work of the Patriarchate in the sensitive region of the African continent.

    Patriarch Petros underlined the ties that exist between the cities of Thessaloniki and Alexandria since the times of Alexander the Great, who gave his name to the Egyptian city.

    The Patriarch honored Thessaloniki's mayor Mr. Papageorgopoulos with the Cross of the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

    [20] WOMEN AND MOUNT ATHOS

    The government has not raised and does not intend to raise an issue regarding the fact that women are not allowed to the monastic community of Mount Athos, in Chalkidiki northern Greece.

    The above were stated by Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas when he was called to comment on the initiative that was undertaken by governing socialist party of PASOK Euro-deputy and the party's equality of the sexes sector secretary Ms. Anna Karamanou.

    Meanwhile, right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy spokesman Theodoros Rousopoulos characterized any discussion on the issue as uncalled-for and harmful.

    Responding to a relevant question, he pointed out that the monastic community in Mount Athos is unique in the world and any discussion aimed at lifting its special status, which is solidified and more than 1.000 years old, is thoughtless, ignorant of history, uncalled-for and harmful.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [21] THE GREEK PRESIDENT IS IN CROATIA

    Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos continues the contacts with Croatia's political leadership in Zagreb within the framework of his formal visit to the country. Mr. Stephanopoulos met with his Croat counterpart and political party leaders.

    In his statements stressed that there is a need to safeguard stability in the Balkans, adding that the existing borders must be preserved. Mr. Stephanopoulos underlined that the extremist elements act autonomously in the region without the support of any country or political force in the Balkans. He also stressed that Greece plays the leading role in the efforts aimed at the development of the countries in the region in order to acquire a European prospect.

    When Mr. Stephanopoulos was asked about the issue of the FYROM name in an interview with the Croatian state television, he stated that any agreement on a name that will include the term "Macedonia" will not be approved by the Greek parliament. He also expressed the hope that soon there will be results in the issue of the name.


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