|Saturday, 18 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-01-15
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PAPANDREOU MET WITH HIS CUBAN COUNTERPARTAthens, 15 January 2001 (18:52 UTC+2)
An agreement for political consultations between Greece and Cuba was signed today in the meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries in Athens. The two government officials also discussed the signing of agreements in the sectors of agriculture, tourism, sport, transportation and shipping.
Greek deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi and undersecretaries of national economy Yiannis Zafiropoulos and sports Giorgos Floridis will visit Cuba for this purpose, while foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will visit the country before the end of 2001.
The two foreign ministers stated after the meeting that they decided to cooperate and back non governmental humanitarian organizations active in different places of the world, like Africa and Latin America.
They also discussed issues concerning the EU-Cuban relations and Mr. Papandreou stressed that Greece not only backs the development of those relations but it will undertake specific initiatives for their further strengthening.
The Cuban foreign minister expressed his country's thanks for Greece's warm support in putting an end to the US embargo on his country, pointing out that it was among the 166 countries that voted in favor of ending this policy.
Responding to a question by a reporter, the Cuban foreign minister stated that he is not optimistic that the Cuban-US relations will normalize under the new US administration.
He also referred to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, stating that the injustice that was done in 1996 has been restored.
 REPPAS: TURKEY'S STANCE ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE IS UNACCEPTABLEAthens, 15 January 2001 (18:13 UTC+2)
The Greek government is in line with the Cypriot government initiatives and the UN has the responsibility to point out to Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash their obligation to take all indicated measures for the resumption of the talks aimed at the solution of the Cyprus problem, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas responding to a relevant question by a reporter.
The Greek government spokesman stated that Turkey's stance is unacceptable and tries to undermine the effort aimed at reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem, adding that it will not succeed in its effort to block Cyprus' EU course. Mr. Reppas concluded that the EU decision on Cyprus' accession into the European family is given.
 THE FUNERAL OF ACTOR KOSTAS RIGOPOULOS WAS HELD TODAYAthens, 15 January 2001 (16:56 UTC+2)
The funeral of famous Greek actor Kostas Rigopoulos was held in Athens today in the presence of family, friends and colleagues.
Kostas Rigopoulos died yesterday at the age of 70. He was hospitalized in an intensive care unit for the past few months after suffering a severe cerebral hemorrhage incident.
 OVER 50% OF THE GREEKS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT FOOD SAFETYAthens, 15 January 2001 (16:35 UTC+2)
Over 50% of the Greeks are concerned about food safety, according to the Greek Consumers Institute, which mentions that it occupies the first place on the list of complaints in 1998 and in 1999 with 9.104 and 16.017 complaints respectively, while the complaints recorded in 2000 were 18.135.
According to the institute, 91% of the Greeks are concerned about genetically modified food, the "mad cow" disease (81%), dioxin (85%), pesticides (81%), hormones (76%), junk-food (75%), food additives (63%), radiation (62%), pollution (60%) and fast-food (57%).
 LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 15 January 2001 (16:27 UTC+2)
Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index dropped to 4.43% at 3.167,22 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 151.27 million Euro or 51.5 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 339 recorded losses, while the value of 18 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE ALBANIAN HEALTH MINISTER WILL BE IN THESSALONIKI ON THURSDAYThessaloniki, 15 January 2001 (16:23 UTC+2)
Albanian health minister Leonard Solis will be in Thessaloniki on Thursday at the invitation of Inter-Balkan Medical Center president Georgios Apostolopoulos. The Albanian minister will be accompanied by University of Tirana medical school professors.
The goal of the visit is to promote cooperation on health issues and new technology applications in medicine.
Mr. Apostolopoulos will honor the delegation in a special ceremony that will be held on January 19 followed by a lecture on music's therapeutic properties.
The Albanian delegation will depart for Athens on January 20.
 BEGLITIS: NO DISTANCE OF VIEWS BETWEEN PAPANDREOU AND KOSTUNICAAthens, 15 January 2001 (16:20 UTC+2)
Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis denied press publications according to which, there is a distance of opinion between Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and Yugoslav president Voislav Kostunica.
Mr. Beglitis confirmed that the two men had a telephone communication in view of the visit to Athens tomorrow by Mr. Kostunica, while Mr. Papandreou also had a telephone contact with his Yugoslav counterpart Goran Svilanovic.
Among the top issues for discussion, during Mr. Kostunica's visit will be the development of bilateral relations, as well as the developments in the wider Balkan region with an emphasis on Montenegro and Kosovo, Yugoslavia's European prospect and the domestic developments.
The Greek foreign ministry also believes that the issue of the "freezing" of the Yugoslav accounts in foreign banks will be discussed very soon in the European Union and the United Nations within the framework of the lifting of the embargo and all sanctions against Yugoslavia.
High on the agenda of the talks tomorrow will be the issue of the environmental pollution in Yugoslavia as a result of the uranium depleted bombs that were used during the NATO bombings.
Mr. Kostunica will also discuss the review of certain bilateral agreements that were signed by the old regime and the Greek foreign ministry has pointed out that the new Yugoslav leadership has expressed the same wish not only as far as Greece is concerned but other countries as well.
On the issue of the withdrawal of the candidature of Alexandros Rontos for the post of the OSCE office director in Belgrade, Mr. Beglitis stated that Greece reached this decision when it agreed to back the Portuguese candidature. Mr. Beglitis denied that the decision was reached after a request by the new Yugoslav government, stressing that it was reached within the framework of an EU coordination.
 THESSALONIKI GAS DISTRIBUTION CO. EYES CLUSTERThessaloniki, 15 January 2001 (13:10 UTC+2)
The Thessaloniki Gas Distribution Company (EDA) is reportedly considering the formation of a cluster network in the natural gas sector, comprising the city's production agencies.
The project has been granted the go-ahead of ITALGAZ, which holds a 49% stake in the shares of the Thessaloniki Gas Supply Company (EPA).
According to EDA's chairman Dimitris Christodoulou, the first step towards this direction is expected to be taken imminently, with talks to be held with the Northern Greece Industrialists Association (SEVE), the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SVVE), the Prefecture, the Central Macedonia Region and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
According to Mr. Christodoulou, about 30 kilometers of Thessaloniki's natural gas network are to be constructed within the year, with the supply of natural gas expected to begin in the near future.
 20 KILLED, 224 INJURED IN 176 TRAFFIC ACCIDENTSThessaloniki, 15 January 2001 (12:38 UTC+2)
Twenty people were killed and 224 were injured in 176 traffic accidents that occurred between Friday afternoon and early Monday morning.
According to traffic police, the majority of the accidents were caused by the stormy weather sweeping the country, marked by near gale-force winds and heavy snow fall.
Storms are expected to subside in the western part of Greece as of this afternoon.
 GREEK MINISTER: ALBRIGHT PRESSED FOR DU COVER UPAthens, 15 January 2001 (12:25 UTC+2)
U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright pressed until recently that the use of depleted uranium (DU) bombs during NATO's raids in Kosovo be concealed, according to Greece's Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos.
In an interview with the Athens daily "Ta Nea", Mr. Tsochatzopoulos rhetorically wondered if the war in Yugoslavia was "worth it", while he also reiterated that the Greek government had advocated a diplomatic solution to the conflict and was opposed to the military raids.
Referring to compensation due over health injuries and environmental damage resulting from the raids, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the European Union's financial protocol for the Western Balkans (CARDS) provides for a special environmental mechanism.
He further added that the Greek government plans to table a proposal at the EU's General Affairs council on January 22, calling for a thorough action plan to deal with the repercussions of the war in Yugoslavia.