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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-05-05

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


CONTENTS

  • [01] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VISITS SERRES IN N. GREECE
  • [02] ALL "MUST" PROJECTS IN THESSALONIKI TO BE DONE
  • [03] MINISTER: TVX HELLAS GOLD MINE MUST OPERATE
  • [04] POPE CONDUCTS MASS IN ATHENS, DEPARTS FOR SYRIA
  • [05] GREECE'S TRANSPORTATION MINISTER VISIT GEORGIA
  • [06] ARCHBISHOP OF GREECE DEPARTS FOR RUSSIA
  • [07] PREMIER TO ATTEND ESP CONVENTION IN BERLIN
  • [08] POPE, ARCHBISHOP CONDEMN RELIGIOUS FANATICISM
  • [09] POPE MEETS WITH GREEK ARCHBISHOP, OFFERS APOLOGY

  • [01] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VISITS SERRES IN N. GREECE

    Thessaloniki, 5 May 2001 (14:28 UTC+2)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, currently on a visit to Thrace, continued his tour today with a visit to the town of Nigrita in the prefecture of Serres.

    The Patriarch officiated at a church service in Xanthi yesterday, where he also addressed the Dimocrition University of Thrace's Polytechnic faculty. In his address, Mr. Vartholomeos called for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

    During his meeting with Minister of the Interior Vasso Papandreou, Mr. Vartholomeos stated that the Patriarchate is working towards the establishment of peace between Greece and Turkey.

    This afternoon he is to visit the village of Terpni to open a new church.

    During his earlier visit to Xanthi, the Ecumenical Patriarch

    inaugurated an international painting exhibition with children's works, as well as an exhibition of rare books concerning the history of Thrace.

    His visit will conclude on May 7 in the city of Komotene and the Dadia Monastery.The patriarch returns to Istanbul on Monday after visiting Serres and the municipality of Strymon.

    A.F.

    [02] ALL "MUST" PROJECTS IN THESSALONIKI TO BE DONE

    Thesaaloniki, 5 May 2001 (14:47 UTC+2)

    All the infrastructure projects needed by the city of Thessaloniki will eventually be performed, in spite of the noted delays, according to Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

    Speaking on the sidelines of a Thessaloniki-held conference that featured the presence of the city's production, industrial and local administration sectors, Mr. Venizelos conceded that there will be delays, technical projects always have delays, but added that the Third Community Support Framework is still at the starting point.

    Stressing the city's key role, Mr. Venizelos stated that Thessaloniki should host more international events, which will provide the impetus for foreign investments, both private and public.

    A.F.

    [03] MINISTER: TVX HELLAS GOLD MINE MUST OPERATE

    Thessaloniki, 5 May 2001 (14:59 UTC+2)

    The TVX Hellas mining company's gold mine project in Halkidiki must operate, Minister of Development Nikos Christodoulakis stated yesterday.

    Addressing a Thessaloniki-held conference that featured the presence of the city's production, industrial and local government sectors, Mr. Christodoulakis stated that environmental protection is not safeguarded through a belligerent stance towards investments, but, rather, through entrepreneurial competition, modern infrastructures and the citizen's right to exercise control.

    In a recent ruling, the Council of State, Greece's highest court, ruled in favor of local residents in who are opposed to the operation of a gold mine and mill owned by TVX Hellas SA, a subsidiary of the Canadian mining company, TVX Gold Incorporated.

    With 20 votes to 7, the Council of State upheld the residents' challenges to the Olympias project, which is not currently in operation, and voted to overturn all acts of government, inter alia presidential decrees establishing the mining unit, approving environmental specifications and selecting a site for the project.

    The Council of State found that the mill's use of cyanide and arsenic for processing gold ore would endanger the environment and the health of residents. Specifically, the court found that the state had not taken sufficiently into account the impact that the processing method would have on the environment.

    The court's ruling, which is to be published in May, could have a significant effect on the project, which has been held up since 1996.

    The $248-million project aims to develop 254,000 ounces of gold on an annual basis, along with 2.3 million ounces of silver, 21,500 tons of zinc and 22,500 tons of lead over the first five years of production.

    A.F.

    [04] POPE CONDUCTS MASS IN ATHENS, DEPARTS FOR SYRIA

    Athens, 5 May 2001 (14:32 UTC+2)

    Having realized his dream to retrace the steps of Apostle Paul, Pope John Paul II concluded his visit to Athens this morning, after conducting a Mass at the indoor basketball stadium at the Olympic Center at 8 a.m. before leaving and a farewell service at 11.15 a.m.

    The church service was held in Greek and Latin, while the Pope's address to the faithful was read in Greek.

    Issuing an appeal for unity, the frail Pope stated that Christianity in the new millennium has to meet the demand of inclusion in all cultures.

    During his meeting at the Athens Archdiocese yesterday with the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, the Pontiff stated that "for the occasions past and present, when the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church have sinned by actions and omission against their Orthodox brothers and sisters, may the Lord grant us the forgiveness we beg of him."

    In reference to the sacking of the Byzantine Empire's capital of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade John Paul II said the that "the fact that they were Latin Catholics fills Catholics with profound regret."

    In turn, Mr. Christodoulos, who applauded the Pontiff's statement, stated that not one word of remorse has been heard from the Vatican to date over the Orthodox world's grievances. The Archbishop also referred to Cyprus' ongoing occupation by the Turkish forces, while he also warned against what he called the "de-Christianization" of Europe.

    The Pontiff and the Archbishop met later in the afternoon where they issued a joint statement at the Areios Pagos Hill at the foot of the Acropolis to visit a spot where the Apostle Paul preached to the ancient Athenians in 51 A.D.

    In the joint statement, the two church leaders condemned religious fanaticism, as well as the use of force and proselytization, both stressing that relations between Christians, in all aspects, should be characterized by integrity and wisdom.

    The statement also noted that the trend adopted by some European countries which have become secular states without any reference to religion, constitutes a retraction and denial of their spiritual heritage, adding that their strength will be devoted to having Europe's Christian roots and its Christian soul being preserved intact.

    Referring to global economy, the two Church leaders also expressed concern over the fact that economic and technological development belongs to a very small sector of humanity and it is not accompanied by a probe of the concept and value of life.

    According to the joint statement, globalisation will have harmful consequences unless globalisation of fraternity is achieved.

    The joint statement farther stressed that wars and sufferings are a daily reality for millions of people and for this reason the two Churches are committed to struggling for peace and calling, on the occasion of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, for the return of the ancient Olympic Truce.

    Archbishop Christodoulos and the Pope expressed satisfaction over the European Union's success, underlining the importance of Europe's Christian roots, which should be preserved.

    The two met again on Friday evening and, according to reports, both underlined the importance of the visit, while the Pontiff indirectly conveyed an invitation to the Archbishop to visit the Vatican.

    Specifically, when Archbishop Christodoulos reportedly appealed to the Pope to have the Vatican send relics of saints to the Church of Greece, the Pope reportedly replied "of course, come and get them yourself."

    Pope John Paul II is the first pontiff to visit Greece since the Great Schism of 1056, when Christianity was divided into Eastern and Western branches.

    After his departure from Athens, the Pope will visit Damascus and Malta.

    A.F.

    [05] GREECE'S TRANSPORTATION MINISTER VISIT GEORGIA

    Athens, 5 May 2001 (14:30 UTC+2)

    Minister of Transportation and Communications Christos embarked on an official two-day visit to Georgia yesterday, in the framework of Greece's multilateral relations in the "Traceca" program (Transport, corridor, euro, Caucasus).

    The aim of this visit is the European Union to promote an East-West transport corridor, passing through the Black Sea, Caucasus, the Caspian Sea and ending in central Asia.

    The EU considers this corridor as supplementary of existing corridors in the Greece-Georgia bilateral relations. Greece has already signed road transport agreement covering passenger and cargo.

    Mr. Verelis is expected to ask Georgian transport companies to use vehicles fulfilling EU transport standards and raising the number of transport licenses to 600. He is also expected to discuss with Georgian authorities stricter controls to combat criminal actions.

    A.F.

    [06] ARCHBISHOP OF GREECE DEPARTS FOR RUSSIA

    Athens, 5 May 2001 (14:27 UTC+2)

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos is to embark on an official visit to Russia today, heading a delegation of Metropolitans.

    Mr. Christodoulos, who will remain in Russia until May 14, will be welcomed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport by the Patriarch of All Russia Alexiy and the members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Church.

    He will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the President of the State Duma Selezhnev, Moscow Mayor Luzhkov, the Greek ambassador to Moscow and many Metropolitans of the Russian Church.

    During his stay, Archbishop Christodoulos will be visiting many holy monasteries and shrines, as well as St Petersburg's Academy of Theology, while he will also be attending receptions and commemorative events.

    A.F.

    [07] PREMIER TO ATTEND ESP CONVENTION IN BERLIN

    Athens, 5 May 2001 (14:27 UTC+2)

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to attend the European Socialist Party Convention in Berlin on May 6-8, according to government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    Mr. Simitis will depart for Berlin tomorrow, heading a ruling PASOK party delegation that will also include Central Committee Secretary Costas Skandalidis.

    According to Mr. Reppas, discussions at the meeting will include a proposal made by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder on making the European Union a federalized entity.

    A.F.

    [08] POPE, ARCHBISHOP CONDEMN RELIGIOUS FANATICISM

    Athens, 4 May 2001 (22:36 UTC+2)

    In a joint statement signed and read at the the Areios Paghos hill in Athens today, the place where Apostle Paul preached Christianity, Pope John Paul II and Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, condemned religious fanaticism, as well as the use of force and proselytization, both stressing that relations between Christians, in all aspects, should be characterized by integrity and wisdom.

    The statement also noted that the trend adopted by some European countries which have become secular states without any reference to religion, constitutes a retraction and denial of their spiritual heritage, adding that their strength will be devoted to having Europe's Christian roots and its Christian soul being preserved intact.

    Referring to global economy, the two Church leaders also expressed concern over the fact that economic and technological development belongs to a very small sector of humanity and it is not accompanied by a probe of the concept and value of life.

    According to the joint statement, globalisation will have harmful consequences unless globalisation of fraternity is achieved.

    The joint statement farther stressed that wars and sufferings are a daily reality for millions of people and for this reason the two Churches are committed to struggling for peace and calling, on the occasion of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, for the return of the ancient Olympic Truce.

    Archbishop Christodoulos and the Pope expressed satisfaction over the European Union's success, underlining the importance of Europe's Christian roots, which should be preserved.

    "We condemn any resorting to force, proselytisation and fanaticism in the name of religions. We insist, in particular, on relations between Christians, in all of their aspects, to be characterized by integrity, wisdom and knowledge of relevant issues," the statement said.

    We are watching that the scientific and social development of man is not accompanied by a probe into the concept and value of life which, in any case, is a gift of God, nor by a corresponding appreciation of the unique dignity of man. We ascertain with anxiety that wars, massacres, torturing and sufferings constitute the daily nightmarish reality for millions of our brothers.

    We are committed to struggling for peace all over the world, respect for life and the dignity of man and solidarity for all who are in need.

    "We are watching attentively and with concern the process of globalisation with the hope that it will provide gracious fruit.

    "We are satisfied with the success and progress of the European Union. The unification of the European world into one state entity, without peoples losing their conscience, national tradition and religious identity, was the vision of its leaders," it added.

    A.F.

    [09] POPE MEETS WITH GREEK ARCHBISHOP, OFFERS APOLOGY

    Athens, 4 May 2001 (22:35 UTC+2)

    Pope John Paul II, presently on an official visit to Greece, offered an apology to the Orthodox Christians for the sins of action and inaction committed by the Catholics over the course of the centuries.

    During his meeting at the thens Archdiocese with the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, the Pontiff stated that for the occasions past and present, when the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church have sinned by actions and omission against their Orthodox brothers and sisters, may the Lord grant us the forgiveness we beg of him."

    In reference to the sacking of the Byzantine Empire's capital of Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade John Paul II said the that the fact that they were Latin Catholics fills Catholics with profound regret.

    In turn, Mr. Christodoulos, who applauded the Pontiff's statement, stated that not one word of remorse has been heard from the Vatican to date over the Orthodox world's grievances. The Archbishop also referred to Cyprus' ongoing occupation by the Turkish forces, while he also warned against what he called the de-Christianization of Europe.

    The Pontiff and the Archbishop met later in the afternoon where they issued a joint statement at the Areios Pagos Hill at the foot of the Acropolis to visit a spot where the Apostle Paul preached to the ancient Athenians in 51 A.D.Pope John Paul II is the first pontiff to visit Greece since the Great Schism of 1056, when Christianity was divided into Eastern and Western branches.

    Tomorrow morning, the Pope will officiate at the Athens Olympic stadium's indoor basketball facility. The indoor stadium has a capacity of 18,000 people and their selection was made with great care for security reasons. The Pope is expected to sing hymns in Greek. After his departure from Athens tomorrow, the Pope will visit Damascus and Malta.

    A.F.


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