|Tuesday, 5 December 2023|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-02-19
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 NEW IDENTITY CARDS FOR THE GREEK CITIZENSThessaloniki, 19 February 2000 (17:43 UTC+2)
The Greeks will have new identity cards before the end of the year revealed minister of public order Michalis Chrisochoidis in an interview with the Athens newspaper "TO ETHNOS".
According to the minister, the existing identity card type was safe in the 1950s but now the international networks of counterfeiters have in their possession high-tech equipment that make the falsification of such documents easy. He also said that soon will change the way in which passports are issued in order to stop all illegal transactions.
 PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS INAUGURATED PART OF THE EGNATIA ODOS HIGHWAYThessaloniki, 19 February 2000 (17:31 UTC+2)
The vision and the plan of the government of the socialist party of PASOK is always a strong and modern Greece with a viable and balanced development of its 13 regions. Greece is not and should not be only Athens and its wider region, stated prime minister Kostas Simitis in the ceremony that was held this morning for the inauguration of a 27 kilometers long part of the Egnatia Odos highway project that links the city of Komotini with Mesti in north-eastern Greece.
The inauguration ceremony was held on the bridge of Lissos River and in his speech prime minister Kostas Simitis stated that the development of the region will continue with more intense pace in the period 2000-2006 because the government has secured the necessary European and national funds.
 THE SAE MEETING ENDS TODAYThessaloniki, 19 February 2000 (17:30 UTC+2)
The first regular meeting of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, presiding board will be completed today with a discussion on the issues that will occupy it in the next two years.
SAE's presiding board will deal especially with issues of national importance while there will also be a discussion on the coordination of the efforts of the Greek community organizations abroad for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece as well as, the issue of the Genocide of the Greeks from Pontos.
Also, among the topics that will be considered in today's marathon meeting is the scheduling of certain cultural activities in the countries with Greek communities that will be discussed with the participation of minister of culture Elisavet Papazoi.
An emphasis will be given to the better exploitation of the Alexander the Great Institute that was established in Dion, northern Greece as well as the creation of a monument for Alexander the Great.
Also, there will be a discussion on the proposal by SAE's A' vice-president Kostas Pappas for the revival of the Delphi Games, the proposal by SAE of Oceania president Kostas Vertzagias for the organizing of a Culture and Arts Festival and the "Helleniad" as well as, the better participation of the Greek-Australian community in the 2004 Olympic Games.
As it was made known, SAE signed a deal with the state television station ERT3 for the production of programs that will cover the communication needs of the Greeks abroad. The foreign ministry will finance the first part of the contract with 30 million drachmas and the total spending in the next two-years, according to undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis, will reach 400 million drachmas.
 US-GREEK TECHNOLOGICAL INITIATIVEThessaloniki, 19 February 2000 (17:28 UTC+2)
The first formal meeting of the Greece-US Council which has undertaken the implementation of the initiative for the Technological Cooperation the Balkans (ITCB) will be held at Thessaloniki's Technological Park on February 21, 2000.
The US government will be represented by US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns and the Greek government by minister of development Evangelos Venizelos, minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis, ministry of national economy international economic relations general secretary Stefanos Avgouleas and research and technology general secretary Athanasios Tsavtaris.
After the end of the meeting, the US ambassador and the representatives of the Greek government in an event open to the public and the mass media will discuss the goals of the council and its significance within the overall framework of the Greek-US cooperation.
The initiative for the Technological Cooperation in the Balkans (ITCB) was agreed upon by US president Bill Clinton and Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis and was formalized in 1997 with an agreement signed by US secretary of commerce William Daily and Greek minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou. The goal of the initiative is to promote the joint Greek-US business cooperation in the region of the Balkans and assist in the transfer of technology and private business know-how to the Balkan countries.
The main goal of the council in the immediate future is to support businesses and technological programs in Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria and Romania, while it will facilitate the contacts of US and Greek organizations with their respective organizations in the Balkan states.
 SAMARAS: POLITICAL SPRING WILL NOT RUN IN THE APRIL 9 ELECTIONSAthens, 19 February 2000 (17:28 UTC+2)
Right-wing Political Spring Party leader Antonis Samaras stated that his party will not run in the April 9 parliamentary elections.
Explaining the reasons that led him to this decision, Mr. Samaras stated that political parties and politicians have adopted the positions declared by his party in 1994 regarding the implementation of revolutionary changes in institutions and more honest relations between the state and the citizens.
Mr. Samaras used as an example the election of the president of the republic directly by the people, the incompatibility of the ministerial identity with that of the parliament deputy, the abolition of the benefits of the parliament deputies, the enactment of a 15member government with permanent undersecretaries in foreign affairs and state budget, openness in public works etc.
Mr. Samaras stated that Political Spring will be absent from April's parliamentary elections, that will be characterized by meaningless slogans, irrational spending and unnatural political transfers.
 ALBRIGHT REJECTED ANY PLANS FOR A GREATER ALBANIATirana, 19 February 2000 (17:43 UTC+2)
US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who is on a one-day visit to Albania warned the country to avoid the "redrawing of borders" provocation in south-eastern Europe aimed at the creation of the Greater Albania.
Speaking before the Albanian parliament, Ms. Albright stressed that Albania should not let those who would cause conflict in the region to use it, while referring to the wish of certain circles to draw a new map in south-eastern Europe, she underlined that the efforts for the expansion of the borders constitute violent provocation and do not promote peace and stability.
Ms. Albright made it clear that the international community will not tolerate a Greater Albania, Serbia or Croatia.
 THE EU USES THE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED NAME OF FYROMStrasbourg, 19 February 2000 (17:29 UTC+2)
The agreement reached by Austrian European Parliament deputy Johannes Svoboda and French Euro-Parliament president Nicole Fontein to use the internationally recognized name of FYROM in the texts that were voted through has been accepted and that name appeared in all the formal texts that circulated in Strasbourg yesterday.
Greek Euro-deputy Christos Zacharakis, the former Greek ambassador to the United Nations who personally followed the developments on the 1995 interim accord between Athens and Skopje, stated that the EU must make it clear on the occasion of the final negotiation and signing of the stability agreement with Skopje that the issue of the name must be settled in order to meet the EU terms for the development of good neighborly relations.
Mr. Zacharakis stated that only with a complete de jure normalization of FYROM's relations with its neighbors the course of the country toward the EU will be facilitated, adding that this is the reason for the demand expressed by the Euro-Parliament, calling for the UN dialogue between Greece and FYROM to have as a result a name that will be acceptable by both countries.