|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-01-25
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PRESIDENT: THE POPE IS WELCOME TO VISIT GREECERome, 25 January 2001 (11:16 UTC+2)
The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, presently on an official, four-day visit to Italy, was received by Pope John Paul II at the Vatican yesterday, the first visit ever to be made to the Vatican by a Greek president.
During their talks, Pope John Paul II reiterated his desire to visit Athens as a pilgrim in the framework of his tour of the Holy Lands.
According to a statement issued by the Holy See after the talks, "a cordial exchange of views took place on various current events with references to Europe's cultural and historical traditions. The President extended to the Pope an official invitation to visit Greece. The Holy Father thanked the President, expressing the wish that the visit will take place one day on the route followed by the Apostle Paul."
While bidding the Pope farewell, President Stephanopoulos told him in French "I am expecting you in Athens soon."
Speaking to reporters earlier in the day, the President stated that if the Pope wishes to visit Greece, "I will reassure him that he will be received with the best of feelings and with all due honors."
 ND DEPUTY RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL TODAYAthens, 25 January 2001 (13:33 UTC+2)
Main opposition party New Democracy deputy Vassilis Mihaloliakos, who survived a terrorist attack on his life on Sunday, is to be released from the hospital today.
He was targeted by terrorists who detonated a remote-controlled bomb as he was getting out of his car in front of his apartment building.
Mr. Mihaloliakos was hospitalized at Tzaneion hospital where he underwent minor surgery remove glass shards from his chest and legs.
Meanwhile, Greek and British law enforcement officials are cooperating closely in the investigation of the attack, for which no group has claimed responsibility yet. Nevertheless, police believe that the notorious terrorist group 17 November is behind the bombing, as the remote control is its typical modus operandi.
Police have determined that the plastic explosives device was placed on a 100cc Honda motorcycle which had been stolen in August of 2000.
 PAPANDREOU-DE SOTO MEETINGAthens, 25 January 2001 (19:18 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou had a 40minute meeting in Athens today with visiting UN secretary-general special envoy to Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto. Mr. de Soto is scheduled to have consultations in Nicosia and Ankara within the framework of the efforts made by the UN secretary-general for the continuation of the proximity talks on Cyprus.
The UN envoy characterized the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem based on the UN Security Council resolutions as ambitious but feasible. He clarified that this process is time consuming and presupposes perseverance and patience.
Referring to the efforts made by Kofi Annan for the solution of the Cyprus problem, Mr. de Soto stressed that they are based on UN Security Council Resolution 1250 adopted in June 1999. Responding to a question by a reporter concerning procedures, he clarified that the UN secretary-general good services mandate is broad and could include numerous methods for the diplomatic solution of the Cyprus problem.
Mr. de Soto stated that Mr. Annan will meet with the new US government which supports fully the UN secretary-general efforts as it was recently stressed by the new US secretary of state.
From his side, Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou reiterated that the Greek government supports fully the efforts for the continuation of the proximity talks based on UN Resolution 1250 for a two-zone, two-community federation. He also added that Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides has expressed his intention to participate in the proximity talks.
Finally, Mr. Papandreou stated that they discussed the Tziakourmas case and the need to restore the status quo in the regions of Strovilia and Pila in Cyprus, pointing out that the UN has a very important role in this effort.
 THE NEGOTIATIONS ON THE EUROFIGHTER JETS WILL CONTINUEAthens, 25 January 2001 (18:18 UTC+2)
The Greek government will continue the negotiations on the Eurofighter jets, announced acting Greek government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris.
The issue was discussed in the governmental committee meeting today and all its aspects, economic and military, were examined. In the meeting each committee member presented their own views on the Eurofighter choice and there were no disagreements concerning strategy.
Mr. Hitiris stated that it was confirmed that the specific policy concerning the purchase of 60 Eurofighter jets is the correct one and added that the negotiations, aimed at resetting the contract's time and at achieving new economic terms, will continue.
The delivery of the jets will start in 2006 and will be completed in 2010, while Mr. Hitiris also spoke of a bigger contract with the Greek state, adding that the final decision will be made by the governmental council of foreign affairs and defense and then the Greek parliament will be called to ratify the contract.
 STATEMENTS BY BEGLITIS ON THE POPE'S VISIT TO GREECEAthens, 25 January 2001 (17:50 UTC+2)
Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis denied today's press reports, according to which there is a distance of views between undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis and president Kostis Stephanopoulos concerning the invitation extended to the Pope to visit Greece.
Mr. Beglitis clarified that Mr. Stephanopoulos as a head of state issued a formal invitation to the Pope to visit Greece as a head of state and stressed that the details concerning the visit will be settled via the diplomatic route. Mr. Beglitis added that the Greek government is in favor of the promotion of the relations with the state entity of the Vatican.
On the objections of the Church of Greece to the Pope's likely visit to Athens, the Greek foreign ministry spokesman commented that the Greek foreign ministry is not involved in relations between religions.
 OVER 200.000 GREEKS SUFFER FROM DEPRESSIONThessaloniki, 25 January 2001 (17:25 UTC+2)
More than 200.000 Greeks suffer from depression as 15% of the elderly present such symptoms, according to scientific announcements made today on the first day of the 5th Conference of the Geriatrics and Gerontology Society in northern Greece that is being held in Thessaloniki.
It was stressed that the problem of depression is more intense in those who have to live in homes for the elderly, where one in four suffers from serious depression.
According to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki sports medicine professor Asterios Deligiannis the elderly can benefit from the systematic physical exercise as it has favorable effects on the heart and the muscles, adding that the systematic exercise also slows down the aging process and improves the psychological state of the people, while it also offers an improved quality of life.
 THE GREEK PORK MEAT IS SAFE ACCORDING TO A VETERINARY PROFESSORThessaloniki, 25 January 2001 (17:09 UTC+2)
There is no problem with the Greek pork meat, points out Aristotle University of Thessaloniki veterinary professor Spiros Kiriakis in his interview with the Athens radio station "Planet", while referring to the use of antibiotics and hormones on farm animals he underlined that a problem for public health can be created only if they are not used in the right way.
He also said that the issue created in Germany and Austria where antibiotics and hormones were found to be used on pigs was the result of the fact that there is no veterinary control in the German and Austrian farms because it is regarded as very costly.
 THE 17TH AGROTICA EXHIBITION OPENS IN THESSALONIKI ON JANUARY 31Thessaloniki, 25 January 2001 (16:50 UTC+2)
The 17th AGROTICA International Exhibition opens in Thessaloniki on January 31 with the participation of 1.135 direct and indirect exhibitors from the agricultural sector in Greece and abroad.
In the exhibition, under the theme "The 3rd community support framework and the agricultural sector", five countries namely, Albania, Bulgaria, Italy, Poland and Spain participate formally, while the foreign exhibitors come from 33 countries.
The 17th AGROTICA will last until February 4 and covers a space of about 29.000 square meters.
 HUMANITARIAN AID TO KAZAKSTAN FROM THE SAE OFFICE IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 25 January 2001 (16:09 UTC+2)
Humanitarian aid worth 35 million drachmas or US$94.000 will be sent to the former soviet republic of Kazakstan by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, office in Thessaloniki.
The humanitarian aid includes 1.000 blankets donated by the Greek ministry of health as well as, furniture (tables) donated by the international organization HORINET (International Network for the Redistribution of Bio-medical Hospital Equipment). The recipients of this aid will be the Greek community of the village of Panfilov.
 GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 25 January 2001 (15:53 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index increased by 1.16% at 3.068,16 points, while the volume of transactions was relatively small at 146.08 million Euro or 49.77 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 240 recorded gains and 76 had losses, while the value of 41 stocks remained unchanged.
 PAPANDREOU-GILMAZ MEETING IN DAVOSAthens, 25 January 2001 (15:48 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will meet with Turkish government vice-president Mesut Yilmaz in Davos Switzerland on Saturday afternoon.
The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the forum on the reconstruction of the Balkans that will be attended by the presidents of FYROM, Slovenia, Croatia and Bulgaria.
 CHRISOCHOIDIS-GIONI MEETING IN IOANNINAIoannina, 25 January 2001 (15:41 UTC+2)
Greek public order minister Michalis Chrisochoidis will meet with his Albanian counterpart Ilir Gioni in Ioannina, northwestern Greece tomorrow. Mr. Gioni will be accompanied by the Albanian police chief and other public order ministry officials.
In the meeting will be examined issues of mutual interest.
 KAKLIKIS: GREECE WILL HELP FYROM IN ITS EFFORT FOR NATO AND EU ASSOCIATIONSkopje, 25 January 2001 (18:43 UTC+2)
Head of the Greek-FYROM liaison office in Skopje Mr. Giorgos Kaklikis in an interview with the Skopje radio station denied the rumors reported by FYROM mass media according to which, Greece will block the country's NATO and EU association efforts. Mr. Kaklikis said that Athens will be the one to help FYROM in this effort.
Meanwhile, in a Skopje radio station correspondence from Athens it was confirmed that Greece's friendly stance toward FYROM has not changed and the statements made by Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou before a parliamentary committee were misinterpreted.
 FORCES OUTSIDE THE BALKANS WANT THE BREAK UP OF YUGOSLAVIABelgrade, 25 January 2001 (16:34 UTC+2)
The concern that developments will be more intense in Yugoslavia and Kosovo as forces outside the Balkans want the further dismemberment of the Yugoslav Federation was expressed by Greek Communist Party general secretary Ms. Aleka Papariga in statements she made after the meetings she had in Belgrade today with Serb Socialist Party vice-president Zivadin Yovanovic and party secretary Zoran Angelkovic.
Ms. Papariga stated that Yugoslavia is necessary for peace in the Balkans, stressing that the establishment of a joint Balkan front against NATO and any military intervention in the region is also necessary. It was agreed that the Serb Socialist Party and the Greek Communist Party can make their relations even closer and undertake joint initiatives with other political forces for a coordinated action in the Balkans. Also, the Serb Socialist Party expressed its support to the creation of an anti-NATO Center in Thessaloniki and the undertaking of international initiatives.
Ms. Papariga also said that the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague must be dissolved, stressing that it is a NATO representative and mechanism.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS WILL ATTEND THE 37TH SECURITY POLICY CONFERENCE IN MUNICHMunich, 25 January 2001 (15:51 UTC+2)
Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos will attend the 37th security policy conference organized by the Herbert Quant Stiffung Institute that will be held in Munich, Germany on February 2-4.
The conference, that will be presided over by institute president Dr. Horst Teltschik, is expected to be attended by government officials from all over the world.