|Wednesday, 23 October 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-02-17
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 VENIZELOS: THE STATEMENTS MADE BY ROGGE ON THE 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES WERE CAREFUL AND ACCURATEThessaloniki, 17 February 2001 (15:41 UTC+2)
The belief that the problems, the mistakes and the omissions in the organization of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games will be overcome was expressed by culture minister Evangelos Venizelos, while commenting on the press conference that was given in Athens yesterday by International Olympic Committee, IOC, vice-president Jacques Rogge, he said that his statements were careful and very accurate.
Mr. Venizelos responding to questions by journalists expressed the belief that the Olympic Games preparations are on the right track.
 PAPANDREOU: IT IS IMPERATIVE TO SETTLE THE ISSUE OF FYROM'S NAMEAthens, 17 February 2001 (15:44 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou described as "imperative" the need to settle the issue of the name of FYROM insinuating that the two sides are moving toward a compromise solution.
Mr. Papandreou in essence said that the solution that is being sought can not satisfy the aspirations of the past on behalf of FYROM referring indirectly to the efforts made by FYROM to keep the name "Macedonia".
The Greek foreign minister, responding to a question tabled in parliament yesterday by governing socialist party of PASOK deputy Stelios Papathemelis, said that the efforts made by the Greek and the FYROM side for the settlement of the issue concerning the name that will be used by FYROM, are aimed at reaching a final solution -if it will be ever reached- that will not create new problems or new issues that will need to be resolved. He also denied that there is any serious development on the issue of the name of FYROM, pointing out that the rumors heard on the opposite are just guesses.
Mr. Papandreou stated that the efforts made are aimed at reaching a solution that will serve the mutual interest without using blackmail but through the willingness to cooperate. He also said that it is to the interest of both countries to realize that this chapter must close for the creation of a new Balkan reality.
 THE OLYMPIC TORCH FOR THE WINTER SPECIAL OLYMPICS WAS LIT TODAYAthens, 17 February 2001 (18:21 UTC+2)
The ceremony during which the Olympic Torch for the 7th Winter Special Olympics was lit took place in Athens today in the presence of many dignitaries.
The ceremony was held in the presence of sports undersecretary Giorgos Floridis, right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos and UNESCO good-will ambassador Marianna Vardinoyiannis.
 INCREASE BY 10% IN THE NUMBER OF ITALIAN TOURISTS IN GREECEThessaloniki, 17 February 2001 (15:39 UTC+2)
An increase of 10% is expected in the number of Italian tourists, who will visit Greece in the current year, as it is estimated that over 750.000 Italians will choose Greece for their vacations.
Greek Tourist Organization, EOT, general secretary Mr. Yiannakopoulos after the contacts he had within the framework of the international tourist fair BIT 2001 in Milan agreed on the materialization of tourism development programs from south Italy to Greece.
The main tourist destinations in Greece preferred by Italians are the Cyclade Islands, Crete, Rhodes, Athens and the Ionian Islands.
 NIOTIS MET WITH THE AMBASSADOR OF ISRAELAthens, 17 February 2001 (15:36 UTC+2)
Undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis met with Israeli ambassador to Athens R. Curiel.
In the meeting they discussed the issue of the succession in the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. A special emphasis was given to the autonomy of the Patriarchate and to the policy of principles that is being followed by the two governments. Mr. Niotis reiterated the Greek government's strong interest for the preservation of the Greek-Orthodox character of the Patriarchate for historical and cultural reasons.
Mr. Curiel also briefed Mr. Niotis on the latest developments in Israel and the course of the peace dialogue in the Middle East.
 PAPAZOI: THE GREEK-SLOVENIAN RELATIONS ARE EXCELLENTAthens, 17 February 2001 (15:33 UTC+2)
Greek deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi met in Athens with Ljubljana mayor Viktorija Potocnik, who is on a visit to Greece.
Ms. Papazoi stressed that bilateral relations are at an excellent level and referring to the EU accession course of the country reiterated Greece's support to its effort. Ms. Papazoi expressed satisfaction for the strengthening of ties at a region and city level as it is proven by Ms. Potocnik's visit and underlined that the priority is to bring Europe close to the people.
 COOPERATION OF THE BALKAN FIRE DEPARTMENTSSofia, 17 February 2001 (18:10 UTC+2)
The cooperation of the Balkan states in fire prevention and fire-fighting is being activated. Fire-fighters from Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey will participate in joint exercises that will be held at the Bulgarian border city of Svilengrand at the end of March, while Bulgarian and Romanian fire-fighters will participate in joint exercises in the Danube River city of Ruse on February 28.
The above was announced yesterday when a joint Bulgarian and FYROM fire-fighting exercise took place at the city of Sadanski, 20 kilometers from the Greek-Bulgarian borders. The exercise was observed by officials from Thessaloniki's Fire Department and Yugoslav officials.
 GREEK AID FOR THE ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION OF THE BALKANSBucharest, 17 February 2001 (15:22 UTC+2)
Greek undersecretary of national economy Yiannis Zafiropoulos speaking in an event in Bucharest before about 300 representatives of Greek businesses active in the Romanian market announced the creation of an International Economic Affairs National Council that will undertake to assist the Greek businesses that are active abroad.
Mr. Zafiropoulos said that the council will be inaugurated in June coinciding with a world conference of Greek-origin businessmen that will take place in Athens. The conference will be held in cooperation with the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, under the auspices of president Kostis Stephanopoulos.
The International Economic Affairs National Council will be responsible among others for the materialization of the 5-year US$185 billion Greek plan for the reconstruction of the Balkans concerning Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, FYROM and Romania.
The Greek plan for the reconstruction of the Balkans concerns the public and private infrastructure, the strengthening of private investments, the backing of small and medium sized businesses and the creation of a mechanism for the better access of small-medium sized businesses to the banking system.
Responding to a question by MPA, Mr. Zafiropoulos said that the Greek plan for the reconstruction of the Balkans will assist the Greek businesses that are being active in Romania, as a pre-condition for the construction of public works and private investments is to be undertaken by companies in which the Greek capital will correspond to 51%. Mr. Zafiropoulos stated that this way a favorable climate is being created for the activation of Greek businesses in the wider region.
 THE GREEK RECONSTRUCTION PLAN FOR THE BALKANS IS IMPLEMENTED IN ROMANIABucharest, 16 February 2001 (19:11 UTC+2)
Greek undersecretary of national economy Yiannis Zafiropoulos, who was on a formal visit to Bucharest, discussed with the new Romanian government the promotion and implementation in Romania of the Greek plan for the reconstruction of the Balkans as well as, the speedier absorption of the economic assistance offered by Greece to this country.
Mr. Zafiropoulos met with Romanian prime minister Adrian Nastaze, the ministers of foreign affairs and finance and the government general secretary.
The Greek undersecretary of national economy stated to MPA that an agreement was reached for the creation of a joint committee of specialists to register the selected projects and renew the US$100 million credit offered to Romania by Greece. Also, Mr. Zafiropoulos stated that there was an agreement to draw up a training program for public administration officials.
Romanian prime minister Nastaze called for Greece's assistance for the training of officials, who will undertake to manage EU programs and prepare Romania's accession course into the European Union. He also called for Greece's assistance in the drawing-up of a new legislation on private investments in Romania.
 THE US-CANADA PAN-MACEDONIAN ASSOCIATION ON THE FYROM NAMENew York, 16 February 2001 (16:16 UTC+2)
The US-Canada Pan-Macedonian Association in a statement it has issued expressed its firm position that FYROM must not take the name "Macedonia" referring to the latest press reports in Athens and Skopje.
Pan-Macedonian Association president Nina Petropoulou pointed out that the Macedonian conscience and identity, the history of Macedonia and especially, its name constitute historical and cultural heritage that can not be disputed.
She also pointed out that the name that will be accepted by Greece it is imperative to distinguish the state of FYROM and its people from Macedonia and the authentic Macedonian hellenism.
Ms. Petropoulou stressed that FYROM faces serious internal political and social problems, adding that Greece is the only neighboring country that does not claim parts of its territory and can back it financially. She said that this is a unique opportunity for pressures to be exerted on behalf of the Greek side for Greece to be historically vindicated, stop FYROM's irredentism and bring calm to the region.