|Monday, 20 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-01-29
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 POLL FINDS MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY AHEAD OF PASOKAthens, 29 January 2001 (13:51 UTC+2)
The conservative main opposition party of New Democracy is ahead of the ruling socialist PASOK by 4.6%, according to a nationwide poll publicized today in the Athens daily "Ta Nea".
The poll, conducted by V-PRC, finds that 32.3 percent of the respondents would cast a vote for ND, whereas 27.7% would opt for PASOK. Also, 16.8% of those polled would vote for the yet-to-be-founded party of Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.
More specifically, 17.9% of ND followers would sway into Mr. Avramopoulos's party, slightly more than 16% of PASOK voters who would be willing to switch camps.
 CLARIFICATIONS BY BEGLITIS ON PAPANDREOU'S STATEMENTS CONCERNING FYROMAthens, 29 January 2001 (17:07 UTC+2)
Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis stated that Greece's support to the further development of FYROM is not linked with bilateral agreements or its accession into the European and Atlantic structures. Mr. Beglitis denied that FYROM made a verbal demarche in protest to the statements made last week by Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou speaking before the foreign affairs and defense parliamentary committee.
Mr. Beglitis also spoke of a misinformation and misconception on behalf of the journalists.
The Greek foreign ministry spokesman also stated that a mutually acceptable solution on the issue of FYROM's name will serve the interests of both countries.
 THE ALGERIAN FOREIGN MINISTER WILL BE IN ATHENS ON THURSDAYAthens, 29 January 2001 (16:59 UTC+2)
Algerian foreign minister Abdelaziz Belkasdim will be in Athens on Thursday for consultations with the Greek leadership in view of the visit of the Algerian president to Greece in October.
Among the issues under discussion will be the activation of protocols for political consultations between the two countries, the development of Greek-Algerian relations at economic and cultural level, the candidatures in international organizations, the course of the materialization of the Muslim mosque project in Athens, the EU-Algerian relations and the latest developments in the Middle East.
Also, among the issues for discussion will be the Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus issue and the developments in southeastern Europe.
 THE DOWNWARD COURSE OF THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE CONTINUESAthens, 29 January 2001 (16:55 UTC+2)
The Athens Stock Exchange continues its downward course. The general index dropped by 0.89% to 3.044,58 points, while the volume of transactions was very disappointing at 70.4 million Euro or 24.01 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 109 had gains and 218 recorded losses, while the value of 48 stocks remained unchanged.
 THESSALONIKI'S SUBWAY IS TO RECEIVE THE "GREEN LIGHT" BY THE EUROPEAN BANK OF INVESTMENTSThessaloniki, 29 January 2001 (16:52 UTC+2)
The developments concerning the funding of Thessaloniki's subway network are expected to be positive as the project meets the preconditions set by the European Bank of Investments, according to its president Phillipe Maystadt, who gave an interview to Thessaloniki's Sunday Macedonia newspaper.
Mr. Maystadt said that Thessaloniki's subway is a characteristic project of urban infrastructure and the decisions concerning its funding will depend among others, on the evaluation of all its aspects namely, the project's viability from an economic, financial and technical point of view.
 MEMBERS OF THE EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF AVIATION AUTHORITIES IN GREECEAthens, 29 January 2001 (16:48 UTC+2)
Members of the European Association of Aviation Authorities will be in Athens tomorrow at the invitation of Greek Civil Aviation Agency director Athanasios Tzoganis.
In the meeting it is expected to be discussed issues of mutual interest such as, flight regulations and security issues.
 PAPANDREOU-CEM MEETING IN THE SPRINGAthens, 29 January 2001 (16:45 UTC+2)
Foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey Giorgos Papandreou and Ismail Cem are expected to meet in early spring, possibly in March.
It should be reminded that the meeting of the two leading diplomats is pending since last October when bilateral relations were tense because of the unacceptable Turkish claims during the NATO exercise "Destined Glory" resulting to the cancellation of their meetings in Rhodes and Marmaris.
In the meeting Greek foreign minister Papandreou had in Davos Switzerland with Turkish government vice-president Mesut Yilmaz they discussed the Greek-Turkish relations and Turkey's European course, while they gave an emphasis to the issue of the materialization of an agreement aimed at avoiding double taxation. Mr. Papandreou also raised the Cyprus problem.
 GREEK HUMANITARIAN AID TO INDIAAthens, 29 January 2001 (16:41 UTC+2)
Two Greek C-130 transport aircraft will arrive in India tomorrow with medicine, blankets and tents to cover the needs of the victims in the devastating earthquake that hit country.
Already, the Greek foreign ministry is in cooperation with the ministries of defense and health for the coordination of the humanitarian aid efforts. The aid transportation cost will be covered by the Greek foreign ministry. As it was made known, the Greek foreign ministry will also offer the sum of 100 million drachmas to the International Humanitarian Cooperation Directorate Office at the order of foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou.
It should be noted that the formal visit to India by prime minister Kostas Simitis will take place on Sunday, February 4 as scheduled.
 NO SHOCK TACTICS FOR SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMAthens, 29 January 2001 (14:12 UTC+2)
Reforming the social security system is "one of the most fundamental factors in adapting Europe to the new reality and a priority for all European governments," Greece's European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs Anna Diamantopoulou stated in an interview with the Athens daily "Kathimerini".
According to the Commissioner, pension funds in their present form are facing a viability crisis and "won't be able to pay out pensions within the next 35 years." However, she stressed that under no circumstances should shock tactics be used in order to bring about change.
"We have to find a gradual process, with a consensus so that the effects will not be immediate," she said, adding that European governments will have to work out their own systems based on conditions prevailing in their own countries.
As for Greece, Ms. Diamantopoulou said that the country is faced with a more difficult task, given the irrationality of its system, since 80 percent of pensions are paid on the basis of special arrangements and only 20 percent on the basis of standard regulations.
 GREECE TO SEND HUMANITARIAN AID TO INDIAAthens, 29 January 2001 (14:01 UTC+2)
Greece will dispatch two Hellenic Air Force aircraft to transport humanitarian aid to earthquake stricken India, where the victim toll has risen to over 20,000.
The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Health are presently coordinating their efforts to send medical supplies, blankets and tents as first aid assistance, while Foreign Minister George Papandreou has also ordered the allocation of GRD100 million in funds from the Directorate of International Humanitarian cooperation.
Greece's Prime Minister Costas Simitis will conduct as planned his official visit to India on February 4.
 THE CONTACTS OF THE GREEK NATIONAL ECONOMY UNDERSECRETARY IN TIRANATirana, 29 January 2001 (17:42 UTC+2)
Greek undersecretary of national economy Yiannis Zafiropoulos, who continues his visit to Albania for a second day, met with Albanian finance minister Anastas Ankeli.
Mr. Zafiropoulos will meet this afternoon with economic cooperation and trade minister Ermelinta Meksi and state economy and privatization minister Mustafa Muci. Yesterday, he met with Albanian prime minister Ilir Meta and they discussed issues concerning the materialization of the Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans, the speedier absorption of the Greek loan for the strengthening of the Albanian social infrastructure and the best possible use of the Greek assistance.
The Albanian prime minister underlined the significant support offered by Greece to his country's efforts for growth and stabilization characterizing Greece as one of Albania's main strategic partners.