|Wednesday, 28 February 2024
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-08-23
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK FORCES LEFT FOR FYROMThessaloniki, 23 August 2001 (11:29 UTC+2)
The transfer of the first 100 Greek troops of the 525th Mechanized Infantry Battalion to FYROM, where they will participate in the NATO operation for collecting the arms of the Albanian guerrillas, with a duration of 30 days, begun this morning, at 10:00. The Greek forces left for FYROM in M-113 APCs.
The headquarters of the Greek group will be based in the city of Krivolak, at a distance of 70 km. south of Skopje, while they will report for duty next Monday. It has been decided that the weapons which the Greek military force will collect, will be destroyed in the factory of Halyvourgiki.
 ILINKA MITREVA IN ATHENSAthens, 23 August 2001 (11:29 UTC+2)
The Foreign Secretary of FYROM, Ilinka Mitreva, who is in Athens begins talks today, with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, Foreign Secretary Giorgos Papandreou, and opposition leaders Kostas Karamanlis of New Democracy and Nikos Konstantopoulos of the Coalition of the Left.
 HELLAS-SAT AGREEMENTAthens, 23 August 2001 (17:34 UTC+2)
An agreement allowing the operation of the satellite program Hellas-Sat was signed today by Greek transportation minister Christos Verelis and his Cypriot counterpart Averof Neofitou. The sponsors of the satellite program are many banks and telecommunications organizations from Greece and Cyprus, as well as many Greek Cypriot companies.
The first satellite will be sent to space on August 31, 2002 and the second on March 31, 2004 with a total cost estimated at 250 million USD.
The Hellas-Sat satellite system offers the opportunity for a wider cooperation between the telecommunications organizations in Greece and Cyprus in the transfer of information from and to central Europe.
The Hellas-Sat is a company of Greek and Cypriot interests and it is made up of Avacom Net (33.40%), OTE (25%), the Bank of Development of Cyprus (19.60%), EAB (10%) and Telesat (2%).
 CABINET MEETING ON EDUCATIONAthens, 23 August 2001 (16:39 UTC+2)
The Greek cabinet met today under prime minister Kostas Simitis and discussed mainly education issues.
Education minister Petros Efthimiou got the cabinet's approval for the ministry's plans in the next years concerning the introduction of computer science in schools, the upgrading of Technological Education Institutes and the evaluation of teaching personnel.
A reference was made in the cabinet meeting on the issue of FYROM's name. The ministers of defense and foreign affairs, Akis Tsochatzopoulos and Giorgos Papandreou, briefed the prime minister and the government ministers on the situation in the neighboring country.
 KARAMANLIS: THERE IS A NEED TO SETTLE THE ISSUE OF FYROM'S NAMEAthens, 23 August 2001 (16:08 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis expressed support to the efforts made by FYROM for a political settlement of the crisis in the country, in the meeting he had with FYROM foreign minister Ms. Ilenka Mitreva, who is on a visit to Athens within the framework of her tour of the Balkans.
After the meeting, New Democracy spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos pointed out that New Democracy and Greece want the improvement of the Greek-FYROM relations. He also stated that in the meeting with Ms. Mitreva, Mr. Karamanlis referred to the issue of FYROM's name that has to be solved and reiterated that the international community needs to become more active for positive results in the region.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS: RISK OF PROVOCATION IN FYROMAthens, 23 August 2001 (16:06 UTC+2)
Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated today that during NATO's mission in FYROM, aimed at the disarmament of Albanian extremists, it is possible that efforts will be made by the rebels aimed at undermining the agreement that was signed in Ochrid.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos also stressed that the decision to send NATO forces to FYROM should be backed both by international organizations and the Balkan countries.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that undoubtedly it will not be an easy mission, stressing that there is danger and a risk of provocation. He also added that he believes that there will be rebel units that will attempt to undermine the agreement.
 SMALL GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 23 August 2001 (16:00 UTC+2)
Small gains of 0.22% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to 2.696,98 points, while the volume of transactions was at 122.7 million Euro or 41.8 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority, 244, recorded gains and 72 had losses, while the value of 58 stocks remained stable.
 DJINDJIC WILL BE IN CORFUCorfu, 23 August 2001 (15:58 UTC+2)
Serb prime minister Zoran Djindjic is likely to visit the Ionian island of Corfu in the first two weeks of September.
According to information, Mr. Djindjic wishes to attend this year's events on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the arrival of the Serb fighters to Corfu, who were exiled after they were defeated by the Austrian forces in WWI.
 PAPANDREOU-MITREVA MEETINGAthens, 23 August 2001 (15:38 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will request immediate European Union economic assistance for FYROM in the council meeting of the "15" that will be held in a few days in Belgium, while he will also promote a meeting of donor countries for the same purpose. That issue and the latest crucial developments in FYROM were discussed in the meeting he had in Athens today with his FYROM counterpart Ilenka Mitreva, who is on a formal visit to Greece within the framework of her tour of the Balkan countries to brief their leaderships on the situation in her country.
Mr. Papandreou assured his FYROM counterpart that Greece supports her country's territorial integrity and believes that there is no room for new changes in the Balkans, while it is also in favor of the peaceful settlement of the crisis through political means. He condemned terrorism and every effort to settle differences through the use of force, while he promised to continue to contribute to the efforts aimed at overcoming the crisis.
He also told Ms. Mitreva that Greece will send 400 soldiers to FYROM within the framework of the NATO force and called on everybody to contribute to the disarmament procedure and observe the peace and political agreement signed by the political parties in FYROM.
Both Mr. Papandreou and Ms. Mitreva stressed that good bilateral relations help in the solution of the FYROM name issue, pointing out however, that the procedures for its settlement continue to take place within the framework of the UN.
Ms. Mitreva thanked the Greek government for its support and referred to the August 13 political agreement, saying characteristically that Greece's contribution through the deployment of 400 soldiers is very significant and FYROM expects that the NATO forces will be able to disarm the paramilitary forces, creating the necessary preconditions for peace in FYROM and peace in the region allowing the refugees to return to their homes. However, she stressed that if necessary her country's security forces will defend every inch of its territory.
Referring to the international community, she stressed that it knows exactly in what way it has to act to ease the tension and eliminate such extremities. Finally, she characterized the EU economic assistance to FYROM and the meeting of the donor countries as highly important.
 GREEK SCOUTING PARTY DEPARTEDPolykastro, 23 August 2001 (15:09 UTC+2)
Ôen Greek soldiers, in two jeeps, departed this morning from Polykastro in Kilkis, for the military base of Krivalak in FYROM, in the framework of the Greek military mission..
Originally, 30 soldiers were set to depart in two outfitted Stigers and a jeep, but for so far unknown reasons, a last moment decision was made for the advance party to be smaller. Thus, the rest of the force will leave tomorrow.
In total, 350 Greek officers and sergeants and privates will depart to take part in operation "Essential Harvest".
The departure ceremony for the Greek military force that will take part in the NATO operation, took place this morning in the "ALESTA LOUKA" camp in Polykastro of Kilkis where the 525th Mechanized Infantry Battalion is stationed. The spokesperson for the government and the military was the Commander of the 2nd Military Corps, Lieutenant General Athanasios Galinos., who made mention of the importance of the NATO mission in keeping the peace and peripheral cooperation in the Balkans. He characterized the members of the Greek force in Skopje (ELDYS) as ambassadors of the armed forces and called them to do their duty in the same outstanding way they have done so far in Albania, Bosnia and Kossovo The Greek force in Skopje is composed of 350 officers, sergeants and privates and their transfer to the neighboring country will commence in sections from tomorrow and will continue on Saturday.
 ALCOHOL ALLOWANCE LIMIT LOWEREDAthens, 23 August 2001 (11:54 UTC+2)
The alcohol percentage in a person's bloodstream, in order to be allowed to drive, has been dropped from 0,5% to 0,24%, stated the Minister of Transportation, Christos Verelis, and continued "alcotests are a means which should be used often and scholastically" and "we must lower the body count from car accidents, which reach 2.000 a year".
Also new measures in the driving code have been introduced for illegal parking, where the license plates will now be removed for 20 days instead of 40, while the violator will be able to receive his license plates immediately by paying the triple amount of the fine which at the moment is 21.000 drs.
 ILS-2 SYSTEM IN «MACEDONIA» AIRPORTAthens, 23 August 2001 (11:41 UTC+2)
Fog will no longer present a problem in the "Macedonia" Airport of Thessaloniki, as in the coming week the ILS-2 system will be installed, giving an end to the delay of flights. The Prime Minister was informed of this yesterday by the Minister of Transports in a meeting they had for about an hour.