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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2004-02-03

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 Thessaloniki, February 3, 2004

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] NEW STABILIZATION
  • [02] REASSURANCE AND INSPECTIONS ON THE EXPO
  • [03] CYPRIOT LEADERSHIP ON THE RATIFICATION OF THE EU
  • [04] SUING THE SPIEGEL
  • [05] SUPPORT TO SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES
  • [06] KARAMANLIS' FINANCIAL PROGRAM
  • [07] FLORIDIS: OLYMPIC GAMES SECURE FROM ANY THREAT
  • [08] DROP OF 0.1% IN THE EURO-ZONE PRODUCER PRICES IN DECEMBER
  • [09] LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [10] THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE OPINION POLLS
  • [11] THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [12] KARAMANLIS: ND IS READY TO MAKE POLITICAL CHANGE A REALITY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY FOR CYPRUS ISSUE SOLUTION NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] NEW STABILIZATION The difference between PASOK and New Democracy has stabilized at 4%, according to the polls published yesterday, in which candidate President of PASOK Giorgos Papandreou has a steady lead on President of ND Costas Karamanlis as far as who is more appropr iate for the position of Prime Minister. There is also a major difference in favor of ND for electoral victory probability. ND satisfaction on the stabilization and PASOK satisfaction with the fact that Mr. Papandreou popularity was not harmed by the Port o Carras events.
  • [02] REASSURANCE AND INSPECTIONS ON THE EXPO The President and the Secretary General of the BIE (Bureau International des Expositions), Wu Jiammin and Vincente Gonzalez Loscertalesz are in Thessaloniki, in order to look into the city's candidacy for holding the 2008 World Expo. The BIE officials me t with alternate Foreign Minister T. Giannitsis, who gave his reassurance that Thessaloniki, apart from its long history in holding trade fairs, also has excellent infrastructures and experience in flawless preparations and carrying out of major events.
  • [03] CYPRIOT LEADERSHIP ON THE RATIFICATION OF THE EU The discussion on the ratification of the treaty for the enlargement of the EU will be held in the Greek Parliament next Tuesday, in the presence of Cyprus' entire political leadership. Nicosia's response to the proposal of Greek President of the Parliam ent Apostolos Kaklamanis, was delivered to deputy Foreign Minister Giannis Magriotis from the President of the Cypriot Parliament, Dimitris Christofias, during Mr. Magriotis' visit to Cyprus. During that visit, Mr. Magriotis had meetings with all politica l parties, while full agreement was discerned between the two sides on the Cyprus issue.
  • [04] SUING THE SPIEGEL A lawsuit for libel will be filed with German Justice by Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos, after a "Spiegel" magazine publication on irregularities in the purchasing of "Leopard" tanks by the Greek Armed Forces. "In the middle of the pre-elec tion period, an issue that has been repeatedly responded to by the Greek Government and the Minister of Defense, is being raised again, to contribute to the atmosphere of the times", mentioned Mr. Tsochatzopoulos in his statement, in which he announced hi s intention to appeal to German Justice.
  • [05] SUPPORT TO SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES Measures for further development of small and medium businesses were announced by PASOK candidate President and Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, in a meeting of small and medium business owners in Athens. The measures include a decrease in taxes on s mall and medium businesses of 5% and in urban and rural partnerships, to be united by 10%, while he foresaw a simplification of the present tax regime for small and medium businesses and the bankruptcy procedure, with a simultaneous decrease in cost and t ime for the establishment of a business.
  • [06] KARAMANLIS' FINANCIAL PROGRAM ND's financial program is being presented today by the party's President Costas Karamanlis and party officials appreciate that this will provide a new boost to his pre-election campaign. Yesterday, Mr. Karamanlis announced the participation of former Sec retary General of "Politiki Anixi" Dimitris Stamatis in the I Thessaloniki electoral district ballot, while in a speech to the youth, he
  • [07] FLORIDIS: OLYMPIC GAMES SECURE FROM ANY THREAT The return of the Olympics to their birthplace, to a safe environment and with the authentic Olympic spirit of fair play and peace, is the topic of the article of Minister of Public Order Giorgos Floridis, published in the Washington Times.

    The article pointed out the contribution of 7 countries to the Greek security plan, with an emphasis on American know how. Regarding his recent visit to Washington, the Greek Minister stated that he ascertained that the effort is joint and the level of O lympic preparation is excellent.

    Mr. Floridis believes that international cooperation significantly supports Greece's intensive efforts for the training and education of its human resources, since the Athens Olympics security plan is different from Olympics of previous years, both in it s range and its conception, in order to respond to the dangers lurking in our modern unstable international environment. To that end, stressed Mr. Floridis, Greece has processed various scenarios and methods, securing the effective confrontation of every possible threat during the peaceful holding of the games, with the investment of in the creation of infrastructure and the purchasing of means of the latest technology, at an expense of 650 million euro, which may come to 800 million euro, at least three times what was spent on the Sidney Olympics' security.

    "The security program is surrounded by an information and communication network which will provide continuous round-the-clock data about the Games for the benefit of any interested person or organization throughout the world whose citizens we, in Greece,

    await with pride and the promise of an unforgettable experience", he added. "Our dedication to security is compatible with the full enjoyment of the occasion. Our security shield will not create a police environment. Rather, it will ensure the unspoiled recollection of the history and message of the Olympics in a demonstration th at a small country like Greece can provide meaning and glamour to the values of athletic contest and fraternity", continued the Minister of Public Order.

    "Intelligence confirms Greece is not a terrorist target", said Mr. Floridis. "It is a structured and uniquely stable democracy in the Balkans and Southeastern Mediterranean region. Greece also is centrally involved in the effort for peaceful globalizatio n, as symbolized by the ever-growing response to the U.N.- supported Olympic Truce campaign. The Games provide an opportunity for Greek society and the Greek economy to show their dynamism and commitment to success", he stressed.

    "The major public works designed for the Olympics will change not only the present but the future profile of our country. The new Athens airport is the most technologically advanced in the region (and has just been named "Airport of the Year" by the Brit ish Transport Management Institute). There are also new national motor highways, modernized seaports and many other responses to the country's long-term needs.

    With 45,000 police and all the Armed Forces on the alert, Greece next August will, of course, be the hot place to visit. We will be ready and anxious to be generous hosts and to provide our visitors, surrounded as they will be by the evidence of Greece's

    glorious past, with a living and brotherly experience they will not soon forget", he concluded.

  • [08] DROP OF 0.1% IN THE EURO-ZONE PRODUCER PRICES IN DECEMBER A marginal drop of 0.1% in the Euro-zone producer prices was recorded in December, compared to the previous month, while in the European Union they remained stable.

    For the record, the producer prices index in the 12 countries was increased by 0.1% in November, while in the 15 states it was increased by 0.3%. In both cases, prices have increased by 1% compared to December 2002.

  • [09] LOSSES IN THE ASE Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today, which was affected by the negative climate that dominated in the European markets.

    The general index dropped to -0.76% at 2416.56 points, while the volume of transactions was at 160.1 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 75 recorded gains and 239 had losses, while the value of 69 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [10] THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE OPINION POLLS Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas expressed satisfaction over the messages coming from the governing Socialist Party of PASOK election campaign.

    Called to comment on the outcome of the recent opinion polls, he reminded that they record the effects of a specific conjuncture and added that with the election of the new PASOK President next Sunday the party will enter the finishing stretch to the ele ctions in a dynamic manner.

    Mr. Protopapas pointed out that all opinion polls show that PASOK's future President Giorgos Papandreou is leading in popularity and is the one people trust.

  • [11] THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE It is obvious that there is great mobility regarding the Cyprus problem, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas when asked to comment on the forthcoming meeting of US President George Bush and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and reminded t hat the Greek Cypriot side has declared its readiness to take part in talks.

    Mr. Protopapas expressed the wish that the intentions of the Turkish side will prove to be as sincere. He said that if the Turkish side's intentions prove to be sincere talks are going to be underway based on the Annan Plan.

    Mr. Protopapas stated that he wanted to remind the statements made by Giorgos Papandreou yesterday on the issue of the procedures followed, stressing that his statements were important because through the talks and negotiations on Cyprus a positive clima te of trust will be created that will give the opportunity for a continuation of the efforts.

  • [12] KARAMANLIS: ND IS READY TO MAKE POLITICAL CHANGE A REALITY Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis stated that his party is ready to make a reality the major political change society demands. He made the comment in the presentation of his party's economic program today.

    Mr. Karamanlis underlined that New Democracy proposes to every social group and every citizen a contract of honor on the policy of the next four years, which will be clear and totally binding.

    He criticized the government for the economic policy it has followed, stressing that it increased public debt by 85 billion euros and created secret debts of at least 15 billion euros, as well as secret unemployment.

    Mr. Karamanlis stated that the cause of those problems is the "State-Party", adding that it is now obvious that the system of power, the "System of PASOK" is unable to respond to the demands of the New Era and promote the necessary reforms, while it has also lost the ability of management.

    He said that New Democracy is aware that the economic problems it will inherit are many and serious but there are solutions, as well as resources. Mr. Karamanlis added that his party knows what the problems are and it knows the solutions to the problems.

    He also stressed that New Democracy aims at an annual growth rate of over 5%.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] INTERNATIONAL MOBILITY FOR CYPRUS ISSUE SOLUTION The Cyprus issue is on the daily agenda of today's meeting between US President George Bush with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in the White House, while American diplomacy has been mobilized in order for new developments to take place. Foreign Minister

    Giorgos Papandreou had a long telephone communication yesterday with Mr. Annan, who informed him of the contacts and communications he has had with President of the Cypriot Republic Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


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