|Friday, 22 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-05-28
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK FM DEFENDS G/T RAPPROCHEMENT POLICYAthens, 28 May 2001 (11:31 UTC+2)
Greece's policy of rapprochement in its relations with Turkey has resulted in substantive improvement in many sectors, according to Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who dismissed criticism of this approach as a rationale of defeatism.
In an interview with the Sunday edition of the Athens daily Kathimerini, Mr. Papandreou (who just returned from an official visit to the United States) also stressed that the Bush Administration is in favor of the Helsinki decision in regards to Cyprus's accession to the European Union.
They told me with absolute clarity that they have the Helsinki decision as a base, which does not require resolution of the Cyprus problem before entry, he said.
In reference to his meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, Mr. Papandreou stated that their talks on a personal level were very good, adding that Mr. Powell showed interest in Greece's proposal for an Olympic truce.
In regards to the Balkans, Mr. Papandreou said that US officials he had spoken to during his visit had shown interest in Greek proposals on handling the region's crisis and asked for regular contact on the matter. Moreover, the foreign minister said he believed the US would contribute to resolution of Greece's name dispute with FYROM.
 POLL: PM SHOULD LEAD, OPPOSITION SHOULD GOVERNAthens, 28 May 2001 (11:32 UTC+2)
If elections were held today the conservative main opposition New Democracy party would emerge triumphant, only it would be steered by socialist Prime Minister Costas Simitis, according to yet another opinion poll published yesterday.
The poll, conducted by Kappa Research, found that New Democracy emerged ahead of the ruling party with 29.7 percent, leaving PASOK (22.9%) behind by 6.8 percentage points.
The newly founded party of Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos (Free Citizens' Movement) ranked third in the poll with 9.1 percent, followed by: the Communist Party of Greece, 5.8 percent; the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) 2.7 percent; and the Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) at 0.9 percent.
In regards to the premier's post, Mr. Simitis amassed 31.7 percent of the votes as best candidate, followed by ND leader Costas Karamanlis, who gained 30.8 percent.
As to who would be Mr. Simitis' best successor, the poll found that Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos and Foreign Minister George Papandreou would run a neck and neck race at 24.9 and 24.8 percent, respectively.
Not surprisingly, the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos topped the popularity stakes with 89.2 percent of the vote.
 CYPRUS COMMUNISTS WIN IN PARLIAMENTARY VOTENicosia, 28 May 2001 (12:07 UTC+2)
Cyprus' communist AKEL party emerged ahead in yesterday's parliamentary elections, thus becoming the party that will most likely undertake the historic task of ratifying the island's accession to the European Union during its five-year term.
AKEL (the Progressive Party of the Working People), garnered 29,842 votes or 34.94% of the vote, followed by President Glafcos Clerides' right-wing party DISY (Democrat Rally) with 14,422 or 32.06%.
`We will continue to strive for national unity to bring about the reunification of Cyprus on the basis of Security Council resolutions and for reconciliation with the Turkish Cypriot community,'' AKEL leader Dimitris Christofias told thousands of cheering supporters outside the party headquarters.
The election was restricted to the southern Greek Cypriot government controlled part of the island. The north has been under Turkish occupation since 1974. Enclaved Greek Cypriots, who now number about 550, voted in specific polling stations in Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol and Paphos. In the aftermath of the Turkish invasion in 1974 there were about 20,000 Greek Cypriots living in occupied Cyprus.
The keenly contested elections for the island's eighth 56-seat House had a record 454 candidates, 86 of them women, representing eight parties. Six are independent.
 LETTER BY KAKLAMANIS ON THE TURKISH JAILSAthens, 28 May 2001 (18:31 UTC+2)
Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis condemned the tragic situation in the Turkish prisons and the numerous deaths of political prisoners, who are on a hunger strike in protest of the conditions in the Turkish jails, and called on the international community to take measures to stop the oppression and abuse in Turkey.
The above are mentioned in a letter by Mr. Kaklamanis addressed to his EU and Euro-parliament counterparts as well as to the presidents of the Council of Europe parliamentary assemblies.
Mr. Kaklamanis stresses that Turkey violates the basic human rights included in the UN Charter and the European Treaty on Human Rights.
 BEGLITIS ON CYPRUS' EU ACCESSION COURSEAthens, 28 May 2001 (18:10 UTC+2)
Nobody can block Cyprus' EU accession course and any threats coming from Turkey are placed within the framework of the deadlock policy it follows on the Cyprus issue.
The above were stressed by Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis commenting on press reports concerning the latest Turkish memorandum to the EU member-states regarding Cyprus' accession into the EU.
Mr. Beglitis stated that the Turkish positions concerning Cyprus' EU accession are not new. A similar memorandum with the one sent to certain EU member-states a month ago in view of the Association Council had been drawn up by Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem before the meeting in Evian.
Mr. Beglitis stated that the EU has a specific policy toward the candidate states, including Cyprus, which is based on the Helsinki conclusions. The decision of the "15" on Cyprus' unhindered EU accession course was reaffirmed in the Cyprus-EU Association Council.
He said that Turkey must realize that it cannot hold Cyprus hostage by using threats and have no regard for the fact that they turn against the EU which has formed this policy.
On the election results in Cyprus, Mr. Beglitis said that they concern the Cypriot people and the Cypriot political parties. However, he expressed the certainty that the Cypriot parliament with its new composition will continue and accelerate the collective efforts for Cyprus' unhindered EU accession course.
 TONS OF URANIUM IN SERRES AND CHALKIDIKIThessaloniki, 28 May 2001 (17:25 UTC+2)
It appears that the subsoil in the region of eastern and central Macedonia, in northern Greece, hides hundreds of tons of uranium especially, in the regions of Serres and Chalkidiki.
The uranium deposits in the Serres basin are estimated today at 600 tons putting the region at the top of the list with the regions where the specific mineral can be found. However, the region's potential concerning the quantity of the uranium found there is not totally clear yet in spite of the notable research efforts that have been made for the complete mapping of the uranium deposits.
 ANKARA'S MEMORANDUM TO THE 14 IS UNACCEPTABLEAthens, 28 May 2001 (17:11 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that Ankara's memorandum on Cyprus' accession into the European Union addressed to the 14 EU leaders is unacceptable, unethical and anti-European.
The Greek minister of press stated that Turkey's negative stance on Cyprus is not expressed for the first time, adding that this and other similar documents addressed to the EU or other organizations by the Turkish leadership have no practical effect on Cyprus' EU accession.
Mr. Reppas stated that Turkey with the policy it follows is not only turning against Cyprus or Greece but against the EU as well and in effect, it turns against itself. He said that all the EU countries have praised the effort and progress made by Cyprus within the framework of the EU accession procedure and this proves that the EU has made its decisions and has an autonomous policy that leads to Cyprus' accession.
 THE EU COUNCIL OF MINISTERS ON THE BALKANSAthens, 28 May 2001 (15:58 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou leaves this afternoon for Budapest where the EU Council of Ministers will meet on May 29-30.
The meeting will focus on the latest developments in the Balkans with an emphasis on FYROM, Kosovo, south Serbia, Presevo and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Another issue that will be discussed by the 15 EU foreign ministers is the NATO-EU relations within the framework of the developments in the joint foreign policy and policy of defense in the light of the Nice conclusions.
 BEGLITIS ON THE US DIPLOMAT ACTION IN SKOPJEAthens, 28 May 2001 (15:49 UTC+2)
Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis stated that the US ambassador's action to mediate for the signing of an agreement between Albanian political parties and Albanian extremists is very negative for developments in FYROM.
He underlined that this can create conditions that could undermine the political dialogue procedure that is in progress in FYROM.
He also said that it is clear both in Greece and the EU that such a practice cannot be justified, adding that all Albanian political parties should act realistically and contribute to political dialogue.
 REPPAS ON THE ELECTION RESULTS IN CYPRUSAthens, 28 May 2001 (15:38 UTC+2)
The election results in Cyprus reflect the will of the sovereign Cypriot people, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas referring to the outcome of the Cypriot elections.
Mr. Reppas added that all political forces in Cyprus do their part for the solution of the country's problems namely, the solution of the Cyprus problem and the country's accession into the European Union.
 LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 28 May 2001 (15:30 UTC+2)
The game played by the domestic and foreign institutional investors in view of the Athens Stock Exchange upgrading next Thursday had a negative effect on the Greek stock market.
Losses of -0.64% were recorded today and the general index dropped to 3.201,83 points, while the volume of transactions was at 189.2 million Euro or 64.45 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, just 49 had gains and 281 recorded losses, while the value of 50 stocks remained stable.
 CYPRUS AIRWAYS, OUTSIDER, FITTEST SUITOR FOR OAAthens, 28 May 2001 (14:09 UTC+2)
In view of the unclear bids submitted by the bidders for a majority stake in Greece's ailing national air carrier Olympic Airways, Cyprus Airways has emerged as the fittest of the three since it has submitted a comprehensive business plan, albeit coupled with a low bidding price.
The two other bidders are private Greek airline Axon, which belongs to the Liakounakos Defense Group, and a group headed by Greek shipowner Stamatis Restis.
 SPORTEXPO A SUCCESS, WITH UNEXPECTED TURNOUTThessaloniki, 28 May 2001 (13:55 UTC+2)
The second international Sports and Recreation Equipment and Facilities trade fair "Sportexpo 2001" surpassed all turnout expectations, attracting a crowd of 14,077 persons, a mighty figure when compared to last year's 4,491.
Out of the total number of visitors, 186 were trade representatives from Greece, Yugoslavia, FYROM, Romania, Ukraine and Turkey.
The event featured 169 exhibitors from Greece and abroad, a marked increase from 1999's 143. The countries represented were Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, United States, Japan, India, Spain, Italy, Canada, Korea, Great Britain, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden.
The theme of this year's Sportexpo, organized by Helexpo, centered around 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.
Among exhibitors were the General Secretariat for the Olympic Games, the General Sports Secretariat, the Confederation of Athletics Unions of Greece and federations representing individual sports.