|Sunday, 19 May 2013|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-04-24
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PAPANDREOU-CEM IN MIDDLE EASTAthens, 24 April 2002 (13:09 UTC+2)
Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Greece and Turkey, Giorgos Papandreou and Ismail Cem, are departing for the Middle East today, taking up diplomatic initiative. The two Ministers will have contacts with the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships tomorrow.
Mr. Papandreou and Mr. Cem will meet with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat in Ramallah and Israeli President Ariel Sharon in Tel Aviv. They will also meet their Israeli counterpart, Simon Peres.
 GREEK PLAN FOR RECONSTRUCTION COMMITTEE MEETSThessaloniki, 24 April 2002 (14:33 UTC+2)
Chaired by deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos, the first meeting of the Observation Committee of the Greek plan for the Financial Reconstruction of the Balkans, will take place tomorrow.
The meeting will take place at 12 noon at the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace, and participants include the Secretaries General of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Finances, the Environment, Planning and Public Works, Development, Transports and Macedonia-Thrace. Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis will not be participating because he will be in Athens for the Cabinet Meeting.
 DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS TO WEST BANKAthens, 24 April 2002 (13:47 UTC+2)
An emergency mission of Greek Doctors Without Border to the West Bank, in order to be as close as possible to the conflict victims, is beginning, at least for the next few months. At the same time they are fighting for a safe humanitarian passage so as to approach the victims on the West Bank. Today, the Head of the Greek Doctors Without Borders mission, Chariclea Kaltezioti, and surgeon Antonis Mihas departed for Ramallah and Bethlehem, while on April 26 the group will be reinforced by administrator Fotini Ratsiou.
In the immediate goals of the volunteers is the support of Ramallah's and Bethlehem's populations, solidarity, witnessing and offering first degree medical care and medicinal supplies to the residents, with the support of local medical structures of the Union of Palestine Medical Relief Committee, with which Doctors Without Borders has been cooperating steadily for the materialization of their programmes since 1996.
In an announcement, Greek Doctors Without Borders pointed out that even in the Gaza strip, where their programmes have been in effect since 1996, and despite the fact that it is an area that has not been under tense military encirclement, difficulty in reaching the population has created serious problems.
The International Community, through official Governments and International Organizations, has essentially remained inactive before this new humanitarian crisis that has broken out in the Middle East. Apart from some isolated actions from states and governments, which create an alibi concerning the issue of non-involvement, lax political pressures on the Israeli government have not changed the plans of the Israeli army, which continued its military operations, killing innocent civilians and almost completely destroying Palestinian infrastructure. We, Greek Doctors Without Borders, believe that the role of states and their governments should be consumed in enforcing a framework for the peaceful resolving of the issue. In contrast, Greek Doctors Without Borders do not believe in the effectiveness of state humanitarian missions, which is still the major field of action of humanitarian organizations, almost exclusively. Because only independent humanitarian organizations can act impartially, especially in a complex geopolitical environment, in contrast to state directed humanitarianism, which unavoidably adheres to state interests. That is also why we consider the recent mission of the Greek Health Ministry to Palestine, regardless of its intentions, fragmentary and merely symbolic, sending the wrong message to society, pointed out the President of Doctors Without Borders, Kostas Papaioannou.
 GREEKS IN FAVOR OF THE EUROAthens, 24 April 2002 (13:10 UTC+2)
Greeks judge the euro as beneficial for Greece's participation in the EU, they support the euro and are in favor of a joint foreign policy and defense, according to the Eurobarometer survey.
Specifically, 68% of Greeks believe that Greece's participation in the EU is good, in contrast to the 54% which is the communal average of positive replies. Also, 78% of Greeks answered positively to the question of whether accession to the EU was beneficial for Greece, while the only country to have a greater percentage than that of Greece was Ireland, with 90%.
Also, 79% of Greeks are in favor of a common currency in contrast to the 68% average of Europeans. The survey took place in October and November of 2001 in the 15 member-states of the EU, on a sample of 16,029 European civilians.
 SIMITIS-REPPAS DISCUSSED EMPLOYMENT POLICY ISSUESAthens, 24 April 2002 (19:17 UTC+2)
Issues concerning the policy on employment dominated in the meeting of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis with Labor Minister Dimitris Reppas on the occasion of the new 2002 National Action Plan in view of tomorrow's cabinet meeting.
After the meeting, Mr. Reppas characterized the developments in the effort against unemployment as positive and predicted that the unemployment course will be on the decline in the following period. In addition, he gave the assurance that the talks with the social partners will be continuous and meaningful, stressing that an effort will be made for a permanent cooperation between the state and the social partners to deal with the problem of unemployment.
Mr. Reppas also stated that for the first time next September, each country will have to present to the EU its own National Action Plan on pensions.
 FESE WORKING COMMITTEE MEETING IN ATHENSAthens, 24 April 2002 (18:48 UTC+2)
The Federation of European Stock Exchanges, FESE, Working Committee met in Athens today with the participation of European stock market representatives as well as representatives of central and southeastern European stock markets members of the federation.
The committee meets four times a year to discuss developments in international and European stock markets, as well as the effects of the under publication EU directives on the stock markets.
 THE PRIME MINISTER CONGRATULATED MR. PAPADIMOS FOR HIS POST IN THE ECBAthens, 24 April 2002 (18:29 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis met with the outgoing Bank of Greece governor Loukas Papadimos and congratulated him for his selection by the European Council and the responsible Euro-Parliament committee for the post of the European Central Bank Vice-President.
From his side, Mr. Papadimos briefed the Prime Minister on the annual Bank of Greece report that will be given to publicity on Monday. The report stresses that there is a need to speed-up structural changes, adopt a tight revenue policy and proceed with spending cuts. It also includes measures aimed at keeping inflation at low levels.
On the selection of Mr. Papadimos to the post of the European Central Bank Vice-President, Mr. Simitis stated that this decision is the result of Mr. Papadimos' work. He said that it is a great honor for Mr. Papadimos and Greece because it is also the result of the efforts made by Greece to become an EMU member.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 24 April 2002 (18:16 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock exchange today. The general index rose to +0.76% at 2.216,80 points, while the volume of transactions was slightly increased at 86.3 million Euro or 29.4 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 243 had gains and 78 recorded losses, while the value of 56 stocks remained unchanged.
 GREEK-BULGARIAN COMMITTEE ON THE INTER-STATE WATER BASINSThessaloniki, 24 April 2002 (18:14 UTC+2)
The first meeting of the Greek-Bulgarian Committee on the pilot project for the promotion of cooperation on the inter-state water basin exploitation was held at the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace in Thessaloniki today.
It is estimated that 40% of the earth's population lives in more than 200 inter-state water basins. The regions of Macedonia and Thrace in northern Greece are two of them as they share lakes and rivers with neighboring countries.
Greece together with other 7 European countries participates in the Iron Curtain project within the framework of the European program on the Quality of Life and Vital Resources Management. The goal is to expand cooperation on the inter-state water basins along the border line dividing East and West Europe. The eight countries participating in the specific cooperation network are Norway, Russia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Greece and Bulgaria.
 GREECE'S GROWTH RATE IS MORE THAN DOUBLE THE EU AVERAGEThessaloniki, 24 April 2002 (18:01 UTC+2)
The growth rate of the Greek economy will be more than double the EU average in 2002, according to estimates by European Commission agencies.
It is estimated that the growth rate of the Greek economy will be at 3.7% in 2002 compared to 3.5% according to last November's predictions, when the EU average of the 15 was at 1.5% compared to 1.4% in the Euro-zone countries.
In 2003, the Greek economy growth rate will be at 4.2% and will continue to be the highest in the European Union.
 THE AUSTRALIAN DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER WILL VISIT LIMNOSThessaloniki, 24 April 2002 (17:57 UTC+2)
Australian government deputy Prime Minister John Anderson is expected to visit the northeastern Aegean island of Limnos coming from Kallipolis in Turkey. Mr. Anderson attended events commemorating the Anzacs anniversary in memory of the Australian and New Zealand soldiers who were killed while landing in the Turkish coasts on April 26, 1915.
The Australian government minister and deputy Prime Minister will visit Limnos to attend the unveiling of a monument donated by the Greek-Australians and dedicated to the memory of Anzacs.
 VIGILANCE AND AWAKENING FOR THE CENTER-LEFTAthens, 24 April 2002 (14:31 UTC+2)
Extreme right-wing, racist and xenophobic phenomena are dormant, but do exist in Greek society, stressed the Secretary of PASOK's Central Committee Kostas Laliotis, after Lepen's strengthening in France.
These are signs of our times, and that is why we must be awake and vigilant, he said to Flash radio, and he noted that Europe is awakening, and with the results of the French elections, politics is back in the foreground. Referring to the Parliamentary elections to take place in France in two months, he observed that we may see the opposite of what happened in the Presidential elections. He believes that the French have a guilt syndrome and if they are awakened and regroup quickly, the center-left can regain the majority of the French people.
Concerning the stance PASOK should hold, and in general that of most European center-left parties, he underlined: There must be positive self definition. Our visions, our priorities and our policies must not be pseudonyms for neoconservatism and neoliberalism. The center-left, the modern European democratic left and with whatever name it may be known in each country, cannot govern as a synonym or a pseudonym or conservatism and the right.
The results of the French elections may be a very strong bell toll for us all, stated Minister of the Environment, Planning and Public Works Vaso Papandreou, pointing out, however, that there is no parallel between Kostas Simitis and Lionel Jospin.
In an interview to Flash radio, Mrs. Papandreou pointed out the need for PASOK to change its political speech. PASOK must take another look at its relationship to society. It must take a look at how it will inform and create the requirements for the participation of citizens in the shaping and carrying out of politics. The people believe we have forgotten them, that we do not deal with their problems. The problems are present and complex, she said.
She stressed that the political system is facing certain problems, and that the political mark of each political formation must be made clear. The unification of Europe is moving ahead without the participation of its citizens, and they are very rightly reacting, she mentioned, and added that potential for socialist and socialdemocratic parties to exercise a different policy in the framework of a unified Europe has dropped, but even the potential that does exist is not put to good use.