|Sunday, 21 April 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-05-03
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 CYPRUS PRESIDENT GLAFCOS CLERIDES VISITS GREECEAthens, 3 May 2001 (12:30 UTC+2)
The President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides, presently on an official visit to Greece, met with his Greek counterpart Kostis Stephanopoulos with whom he unveiled the statue of Archbishop Makarios III in Athens yesterday.
The bronze statue, which is the work of sculptor Memos Makris, was erected in a park at the intersection of Alexandras and Vassilissis Sophias avenues.
During a formal dinner, hosted in honor of President Clerides, President Stephanopoulos stressed that Greece's political leadership will make every effort to contribute to the struggle for a free and independent Cyprus, fulfilling its moral, political and contractual obligations towards the Republic of Cyprus.
Moreover, the Greek President stated that the joint defense pact between the two countries constitutes a "top national priority" for Greece.
President Stephanopoulos stated that Cyprus is presently at the European Union's doorstep and that the island's accession is a strategic goal for Greece, regardless of a prior solution to its political problem.
Greece will continue to seek a solution to the Cyprus problem which would truly consolidate peace and security in the region", the President said, adding that a solution of the political problem would undoubtedly act as a catalyst which could create a climate of trust between Greece and Turkey, and between the EU and Turkey.
In turn, President Clerides expressed hope that the international community will continue its initiative within the next few months, albeit adding that if the states that are in a position to influence Turkey's foreign policy do not exert their influence this time either, to the extent necessary, the deadlock in the Cyprus problem will remain, which would mean that the Cyprus problem would continue to adversely affect Turkey's European prospect and Greco-Turkish relations.
Moreover, the Cypriot President expressed hope that the conclusion of Cyprus' EU accession course would prove to be a catalyst on Turkey's refusal to negotiate a solution of the Cyprus problem within the parameters set out by the UN.
Today, the President of Cyprus will have talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and members of the government, as well as with the leaders of Greek political parties.
Tomorrow, the last day of his visit, Mr. Clerides will meet successively with Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos and the honorary president of main opposition New Democracy, Constantine Mitsotakis.
 THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE REACTIONS AGAINST THE POPE'S VISITAthens, 3 May 2001 (18:19 UTC+2)
The government respects the different points of view but it does not understand the reactions against the Pope's visit, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.
Mr. Reppas added that the Pontiff is the official guest of the Greek state, adding that the Greek state and the Greek people will welcome him and host him with great joy. He also said that he will be honored as the leader of hundreds of millions of Catholics around the world. Mr. Reppas expressed the belief that the picture of Greece will be the picture of a modern country with a tradition in hospitality that respects the individuals with international status, adding that such visits are an advantage for Greece.
When he was asked to comment if the government wants a reference on the Cyprus problem to be included in the joint statement issued by the Pope and Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece, he responded that this is an issue that does not concern the government, adding that the content of the talks between the two Churches does not concern the government.
 BIG LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 3 May 2001 (17:59 UTC+2)
Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.19% at 3.228,30 points, while the volume of transactions was very small at 49.13 billion drachmas or 144.20 million Euro.
Of the stocks trading today, 267 recorded losses and 66 had gains, while 45 stocks remained stable.
 GREECE AND CYPRUS CALL FOR THE RESUMPTION OF THE PROXIMITY TALKSAthens, 3 May 2001 (17:50 UTC+2)
The need for the continuation of the proximity talks on Cyprus, interrupted in November as a result of the intransigence displayed by the Turkish side, was underlined by Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis in statements he made after the meeting he had in Athens today with Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides.
Mr. Simitis expressed the view that the continuation of the dialogue can lead to the solution of the Cyprus problem and called on the Turkish Cypriot side to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem based on the UN decisions. He also reiterated that the Cyprus issue is a national priority for Greece.
From his side, Mr. Clerides expressed satisfaction for Greece's support to the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem and Cyprus' accession into the European Union, while he thanked the Greek government because it regards the Cyprus problem as a top national problem.
 LABRAKIS MURDER: HERO & VILLAIN DIE DAYS APARTThessaloniki, 3 May 2001 (14:51 UTC+2)
The hero and the villain of one of Greece's most notorious political murders died within hours of each other this week in Thessaloniki, the city where the crime took place in May of '63.
Emmanuel Hatziapostolou (aka Tiger), whose heroic act led to the arrest of those who killed left-wing deputy Grigoris Labrakis on May 22, 1963, died of cancer at the age of 72 on Tuesday, May 2, in Thessaloniki.
A short time later, the man who had been apprehended by Tiger for killing Labrakis, Emmanuel Emmanuelides, also passed away at a Thessaloniki hospital from a heart attack. He was 75 years old.
As a deputy with the United Democratic Left (EDA), Labrakis was attacked after addressing a peace rally in Thessaloniki on May 22, 1963, even though he had been warned that an attempt was to be made on his life.
Labrakis, a champion at the Balkan Games several times, as well as a doctor and professor at Athens University, was run down in the middle of the rally by a tricycle and fatally wounded by Emmanuelides' truncheon blow.
Emmanuelides, who was immediately captured by Tiger, an eyewitness to the scene, was sentenced to 8.5 years in prison for his part in the killing, but gained early release under the 1967-74 dictatorship. His co-perpetrator Spyros Godzamanis, who had been driving the tricycle, was also released early after being sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment.
In the ensuing years since his conviction, Emmanuelides persistently stated that it was not he who hit Labrakis, claiming that the deputy was already on the ground by the time he approached with the tricycle.
Labrakis' death on May 27, 1963, caused the Greek public consternation and despair; Half a million people accompanied Lambrakis in Athens to his grave, crying: Lambrakis lives! (Lambrakis zi! = ęZ).
The assassination was the subject of Costas Gavras' film "Z," whose music score was written by noted composer Mikis Theodorakis and featured Yves Montand in the part of Labrakis.
 IOC VP SATISFIED WITH PROGRESS OVER 2004 GAMESAthens, 3 May 2001 (13:38 UTC+2)
Visiting International Olympics Committee vice-president Jacques Rogge expressed his satisfaction over progress made in Greece's preparations for the 2004 Games in Athens.
Following his talks with the Minister of Environment, City Planning and Public Works Costas Laliotis, Mr. Rogge said he was "very happy" with the progress in infrastructure works and Games projects in the time elapsing since his previous visit.
Moreover, he stated that he is certain the deadlines and initial plans on the infrastructure works and five sports venues would be met, adding that no problems should arise if the ministry continued at the same pace.
In turn, Mr. Laliotis said that the timetables agreed with the IOC were being "strictly adhered to" and everything would be in place in January 2004.
 GREECE IN RUSH MODE FOR POPE'S IMMINENT ARRIVALAthens, 3 May 2001 (13:37 UTC+2)
Feverish preparations are presently underway in Greece, in light of tomorrow's arrival of Pope John Paul II who will be visiting at the invitation of the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.
The Pontiff will not be transported in the well-known glass-covered pope mobile, nor will he kiss Greek soil upon his arrival a traditional gesture he performs when visiting a new country instead, he will be handed an olive branch and flowers at Athens' airport.
Pope John Paul II will be greeted at the airport by Foreign Minister George Papandreou, while, immediately afterwards, he will be meeting with the president, Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis and main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis at the presidential mansion.
The state is to enforce draconian security measures during the Pope's stay in Athens. In addition to heavy police escort, the 80-year-old Pontiff will be protected by sharpshooters during his address at Pnyx Hill, a location beneath the Acropolis where the Apostle Paul preached to the ancient Athenians. Security forces will also be on guard at the Vatican's embassy.
The Athens visit will fulfil the Pope's dream to retrace the steps of Pope Apostle Paul. He will be the first pontiff to visit Greece since the Great Schism of 1056, when Christianity was divided into Eastern and Western branches.
According to the itinerary, the Pope will arrive in Athens at 11:30 tomorrow morning, on board an Alitalia airliner, and a small welcoming reception will be held at the airport.
Later, he will be visiting the Presidential Mansion where the official welcoming will be taking place, as well as the Archdiocese, before arriving at the residence of his representative in Athens where he will be staying.
He will dine with Catholic clergymen there and rest before going to Agios Dionysios Catholic Cathedral for a meeting with clergymen and monks of the Catholic Church.
At 8 a.m. on Saturday, the Pope will be visiting the indoor basketball stadium at the installations of the Athens Olympic stadium where a church service will be held in Greek and Latin. The Pope's address to the faithful is to be read in Greek.
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos will be present alongside the visiting pontiff on three occasions the first during John Paul's visit to the Athens Archbishopric, followed by their joint appearance at the foot of the Acropolis. Finally, Mr. Christodoulos will visit the Pope at the residence of the Vatican's representative in Athens the same evening, May 4.
After his departure from Athens, the Pope will visit Damascus and Malta.
 ECONOMY MINISTER MEETS WITH US COUNTERPARTWashington, 3 May 2001 (13:02 UTC+2)
Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou, presently on an official visit to the United States, met with his US counterpart Paul O'Neil yesterday with whom he discussed opprtunities for US-Greek cooperation in investments in the Balkans and combating money laundering.
Following their talks, Mr. Papantoniou told reporters that the discussion covered many issues of bilateral, European and world interest on the course of the economy and its prospects.
I referred to developments in the Greek economy, the fact that we have very strong growth in the region of five percent both this year and in coming years in a framework of stability and low inflation, he said.
"Our overall contribution to issues concerning international tax policy, which also concerns money laundering and the control of various offences taking place on an international scale was also discussed. On this issue, both countries, and the euro zone countries in particular, are making considerable efforts to enable us to avert and deal a blow at such phenomena," he added.††
According to Mr. Papantoniou, the US views Greece as a very strong partner in the southeastern European region because they have ascertained that Greece plays a leading role in the Balkans and in the entire region and exercises a very positive influence also in relation to developments in Turkey."
 ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS IN THRACEThessaloniki, 3 May 2001 (12:12 UTC+2)
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos is presently on a five-day tour of northern Greece, visiting the Bishopries of Xanthi, Serres and Nigrita, which fall under the patriarchate's jurisdiction.
The municipality of Sapes was the Patriarch's first stop where he received a warm welcoming by local authorities and residents.
Mr. Vartholomeos was proclaimed an honorary citizen of Sapes and was given the Gold Key to the city.†
We shall keep this Gold Key in memory of our visit to the municipality and of the residents who have love, a peaceful disposition and a conciliatory stance towards all," the Patriarch said.
The Ecumenical Patriarch also visited the municipality of Aigeiros where he was also proclaimed an honorary citizen and given the Gold Key of the city.
The next stops in his tour will be Xanthi and Serres, while his visit will conclude on May 7 in the city of Komotene and the Dadia Monastery.†
At the Bishopry of Xanthi, the Patriarch will attend events commemorating Saint Theofanis, while at the Bishopries of Serres and Nigrita he will inaugurate a new cathedral.
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos will not be meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, due to his scheduled preparations for the Pope's imminent arrival to Athens.
 RESPONSIBILITY CLAIMED OVER BOMB AT MP's OFFICEAthens, 3 May 2001 (11:56 UTC+2)
A group self-dubbed Children of November has claimed responsibility for yesterday's firebomb explosion outside the offices of a main opposition New Democracy (ND) deputy Dimitris Sioufas.
The blast, which caused extensive property damages but no injuries, occurred at Mr. Sioufas' empty offices, while the explosive device comprised three camping gas canisters.
The group, which claimed responsibility through a phone call to the Athens daily Eleftherotypia, has in the past targeted a parliament deputy's office, as well as the parliament president's political office.
Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas condemned the attack, which he characterized as an indication of the anti-democratic and inhumane mentality of the perpetrators.
 UNEMPLOYMENT DROPPED TO 8.4% IN THE EURO-ZONE IN MARCHBrussels, 3 May 2001 (17:14 UTC+2)
Unemployment dropped by one percentage point to 8.4% in the Euro-zone in March compared to the same period last year, according to the European statistics agency "Eurostat".
Unemployment in the Euro-zone in the month of March was also down by 1% compared to February of the current year but it is almost two times higher compared to the unemployment rate in the United States which is at 4.3%.
Based on the "Eurostat" figures, the highest unemployment rates were recorded in Spain (13.5%), Finland (9%) and France (8.6%), while the lowest were recorded in Luxembourg (2.3%) and Holland (2.5%).
The European Union statistics agency estimates the unemployed in the Euro-zone in the month of March at 11.5 million people, while in the whole of the EU they are about 13.4 million.
 THE POPE'S REPRESENTATIVE ON THE PONTIFF'S VISIT TO ATHENSLondon, 3 May 2001 (17:10 UTC+2)
The opening of a dialogue for the settlement of the differences between the Greek Orthodox Church and the Catholics will be one of the main goals of tomorrow's visit to Greece by Pope John-Paul B', according to his representative Joaquin Navarro-Valls in an interview with the Greek service on the BBC.
On the dispute that has erupted because of the Greek Orthodox Church's wish for a reference to Cyprus' EU accession course to be included in the joint declaration by the Pope and Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece, he said that no reference should be made to political issues unless they have a religious dimension.
 THE GREEK ANTIQUITIES MUSEUM IN MELBOURNE HAS CLOSEDMelbourne, 3 May 2001 (17:57 UTC+2)
The Greek Antiquities Museum, housed in Melbourne's Immigration Museum, has closed according to a statement made in the state parliament yesterday by multi-cultural affairs shadow minister Helen Shardey.
According to the Greek-Australian newspaper "Neos Kosmos", Ms. Shardey characterized the closing down of the museum as a big failure of the Bracks government and Steve Bracks' himself, who had discussed the issue during his visit to Greece last year.
The newspaper attributes the shutting down of the museum to disagreements between its management and Greek culture ministry officials concerning the number of exhibitions it will host during the year, their preparation and promotion.
The museum was inaugurated on November 9, 1998 by the then Victoria prime minister Jeff Kennett and Greek culture minister Evangelos Venizelos.
 THE 2ND ASIA-AFRICA SAE YOUTH CONFERENCE OPENS TOMORROWJohannesburg, 3 May 2001 (17:25 UTC+2)
The 2nd Asia-Africa World Council for Greeks Abroad (SAE) Youth Conference opens tomorrow and will last until
May 6. The conference will be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the largest concentration of Greeks in the region.
The conference will deal with issues concerning education, environment, culture and volunteerism.
Also, there will be a presentation of the volunteers' program by the "Athens 2004" Organization and elections will be held for the new Asia-Africa Youth Coordinating Committee.