|Monday, 9 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-09-08
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE PRIME MINISTER'S SPEECH IN THESSALONIKI'S ITFThessaloniki, 7 September 2001 (15:08 UTC+2)
Prime minister Kostas Simitis will present his vision of the society of tomorrow speaking this evening in the opening of Thessaloniki's 66th International Trade Fair that opens its gates today.
Mr. Simitis will outline the goals of the government for a society of freedom, creation, participation, solidarity and cohesion. He will underline the achievements and the steps of progress made by the country by stating that Greece has never experienced such progress before in the past 50 years.
He will make a special reference to the single EU currency, the Euro, that will be legal tender in Greece, as in the rest EU countries starting in January, pointing out that this is one of the biggest changes in the history of the Greek economy, while he will also refer to the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
The prime minister will present the government's policy in every sector having as a goal a strong Greece, a strong economy, a strong society and a strong international position for the country. He will refer to the actions undertaken by the government for the farmers, pensioners, low wage earners and the sensitive population groups. In addition he will present a policy that will secure a continuously improving living standard that will allow every citizen to be active, enjoy support, depend on the systems of solidarity and have a minimum social income guaranteed by the state.
Mr. Simitis will also launch an attack on the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy accusing it of undermining the country's course to progress.
 SIMITIS: WE MUST RESPECT CITIZENS AND GUARD THEIR DIGNITYThessaloniki, 8 September 2001 (14:38 UTC+2)
What is often injured these days is the dignity of citizens and we must respect and guard that dignity, underlined Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, at the inauguration of the Center for Citizen Service (KEP) in Aristotelous Square, Thessaloniki.
All of us that have the responsibility of governing the country, owe the citizen to rid him of bureaucratic burdens and the procedures of Public Administration, said Mr. Simitis, and added that the creation of KEP is a sample of a different Greece.
The Prime Minister sent a clear answer to the ironic remarks as he said after the creation of the first KEP in Athens last June, according to which, its creation was nothing but a firework, while at another point he supported that the overused excuse of bureaucratic functions can exist no longer.
The Interior Minister, Vaso Papandreou, expressed her satisfaction on the functioning of the first KEP in Athens, saying at the same time that soon another four will start functioning, three in broader Athens region and one in Iraklion, Krete, while by next year, about a thousand Centers will have opened all over the country. He also stressed the need for trust between the State and the Citizen.
 OTE WILL MAKE ITS DEBUT IN BULGARIA ON SEPTEMBER 17Thessaloniki, 8 September 2001 (15:31 UTC+2)
The Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, will make its debut in Bulgaria on September 17 when its network in the country's five largest cities will be in operation. OTE's newly created subsidiary, Globul, will offer card-phone service as well as soon as it is in operation.
The above were stated by OTE president Nikolaos Manasis in the formal inauguration of the organization's pavilion in Thessaloniki's International Trade Fair.
He stated that the OTE investment in Bulgaria's mobile phone market is estimated to be 200-250 million Euro, while its international investments are estimated at US$1.5 billion.
Referring to the crisis in the telecommunications world market because of the high cost of the so-called third generation mobile phones operation, Mr. Manasis stated that the third generation mobile phones are not ready yet and their first applications will be seen after 2004.
 SIMITIS: THREE IMPORTANT EVENTS IN THESSALONIKI WILL HIGHLIGHT ITS INTERNATIONAL ROLEThessaloniki, 8 September 2001 (19:01 UTC+2)
Prime minister Kostas Simitis in his meeting today with local officials in Thessaloniki referred to three important events that will take place in the city in the following years namely, the EU Summit meeting in 2003, Thessaloniki's participation in the Olympic Games and the EXPO 2007-2008 exhibition. He also referred to the projects that will be promoted in the city aimed at making it able to host those events in the best possible way.
Mr. Simitis stated that the events mentioned earlier will highlight Thessaloniki's international role even more, a role which is already confirmed through the presence in the city of the European Reconstruction Agency, the alternative seat of the Stability Pact, CEDEFOP, the World Bank office and other international organizations.
On the big projects, he stated that 80% of the 3rd Community Framework of Support sums will be allocated to be used in Greece's regions, while on the issue of the name of FYROM he said that Greece wants a peaceful solution to the problem.
On the Greek plan for the Reconstruction of the Balkans, he said that the sum of 180 billion drachmas will be offered to Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, FYROM and FRY in the next 5 years.
Mr. Simitis referred to the action plan for northern Greece that includes the construction of the "Egnatia Odos" road network and other infrastructure projects, the metro in Thessaloniki, the creation of more jobs, etc and pointed out that they move ahead as planned. On the "Egnatia Odos" road network, he said that a total of 460 kilometers will be ready by early 2004.
On the metro, Mr. Simitis said that according to a recent letter by the European Bank to the ministry of public works, environment and land planning the project is in the financing decisions phase and the project's construction contract will be activated as soon as those decisions are made.
Regarding the underwater tunnel, he said that the second phase of the viability study will be completed by 2002.
On the privatization of HELEXPO, he stated that trading in the stock market will not stop it from maintaining its state-run character and clarified that 25% of it will be given to private investors while the institutions' participation will be at 22%.
 REPPAS: WE ACKNOWLEDGE OUR MISTAKES BUT WE DO NOT LIE TO THE PEOPLEThessaloniki, 8 September 2001 (18:05 UTC+2)
We acknowledge our mistakes but we do not lie to the people, stated press minister and government spokesman Dimitris Reppas referring to the social security system issue, while on the state-issued identity cards he said that it is a permanently closed issue.
In an interview with MPA, on the occasion of the inauguration of its pavilion in Thessaloniki's International Trade Fair, that was broadcast live on the Internet, Mr. Reppas attributed the delays in the big infrastructure projects in Thessaloniki to the fact that certain social institutes have to give their approval in order to start materializing them.
Responding to a question on the social security system issue and the identity cards issue that continue to be active fronts for the government, Mr. Reppas said that they are two different issues stressing that the identity cards issue has closed and it can not become a topic of discussion between the State and the Church. Regarding the social security system issue, he admitted that mistakes had been made, stressing that the government recognizes its mistakes but it does not lie to the people.
Finally, Mr. Reppas praised MPA for its activities, stressing that it has earned a distinguished position and can be characterized as a pilot-news agency for all news organizations in southeastern Europe. He also said that the speedy development of MPA in the past few years is the best guarantee for a successful course in the future.
 THE PRIME MINISTER PRESENTED THE AXES OF HIS ECONOMIC POLICYThessaloniki, 8 September 2001 (17:32 UTC+2)
The government materializes the clear mandate it received from the Greek people to make Greece stable and strong in Europe and this is non negotiable. The people will not allow anyone to put in danger everything the country acquired through laborious effort. The present is not managed by using the future as a collateral. We do not raise opportunistic banners and we do not use verbal fireworks, stated prime minister Kostas Simitis in his speech at the Vellidis Conference Center in Thessaloniki this evening on the occasion of the 66th International Trade Fair.
The prime minister outlined the four main principles of the government's economic policy for a real social convergence which are, stability, development with social cohesion, business activity and productivity. He stressed that those principles are non negotiable because any divergence would mean a return to stagnation, uncertainty, and low, zero or even negative growth rates.
The prime minister stressed that battling inflation is a national affair and the main goal of the tax reform is the fairer distribution of tax burdens. On social policy, he pointed out that there can be none just through the redistribution of the national product, stressing that social policy presupposes an increase of the national product. He added that in the period 2001-2004 social protection spending will increase by 40% namely, from 10.1 trillion drachmas in 2000 to 14.3 trillion in 2004.
On the social security issue, he stated that it has to be resolved now through a meaningful dialogue with all social and productive forces.
 THE EURO WILL STRENGTHEN THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE FARM PRODUCTSThessaloniki, 8 September 2001 (17:29 UTC+2)
The Euro will strengthen the competitiveness of the Greek agricultural products in the wider region, stressed agriculture minister Giorgos Anomeritis in a joint press conference he gave in Thessaloniki with European Commissioner Franz Fischler, responsible for agriculture and fisheries issues.
Speaking on the issue, Mr. Fischler pointed out that the circulation of the Euro starting on January 1, 2002 will not hurt the Greek farmers but on the contrary will help them in a decisive manner.
Mr. Fischler stated that his visit to Greece aims at meeting with the responsible authorities to be briefed on the problems faced by the country and discuss with them food safety issues. Also, another reason for his visit was to meet with politicians and discuss with them agriculture issues.
 160 BILLION DRS INVESTMENTS BY THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 8 September 2001 (16:56 UTC+2)
160 billion drs. is the amount the Ministry of Culture will invest in the broader area of Thessloniki during the period of 2001-2006, concentrated on 2004 and targeted at the 2007 EXPO.. The above was mentioned by Minister of Culture Evaggelos Venizelos at the inauguration of the Ministry's kiosk at the 66th TIF. Mr. Venizelos made mention of a huge investment program which is being funded by the 3rd Community Support Framework and is a challenge for Thessaloniki, and Central Macedonia in general.
"This investment is not an investment in a public work. It is an investment in our cultural heritage. It is an investment in everyday culture. It is an investment in sports, which multiplies the potential of a city, and which marks with our position on the map of large European cities even bolder letters, with exhibitions, conferences something that will be in the personality and character of Thessaloniki", said Mr. Venizelos.
He also pointed out that at that kiosk the Ministry wants to promote the areas of its activities, the cultural heritage of Greece, modern culture, sports, the preparation for the Olympics and the cultural Olympics.
 M. PARAGIOUDAKIS AT NATO CHIEFS OF STAFF MEETING IN NAPLESAthens, 8 September 2001 (16:56 UTC+2)
The Head of the General Staff of National Defense, General Manousos Paragioudakis, will participate in meeting of the Military Committee of NATO, which will take place from September 10 to September 13, in Naples and Budapest.
Target of the meeting, in which all Heads of Staff of NATO member countries will attend, is the discussion of NATO issues and other issues of common interest.
At the center of discussions will be the progress of the reconsideration of the structure of NATO power, the overall situation in the Balkans, as well as the activities of peace keeping missions and the manning of the positions of NATO headquarters.
 REPPAS: ND WANTS TO INVOLVE THE JUDICIARY IN ITS POLITICAL SCHEMINGThessaloniki, 8 September 2001 (16:36 UTC+2)
New Democracy is not interested in the fate of the Greek stock market and the investors and attempts to involve the judiciary in its political scheming, stated government spokesman Dimitris Reppas in an interview with the MPA at its pavilion in Thessaloniki's International Trade Fair that was broadcast live on the Internet.
Responding to a question on the recent charges made by right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy parliament deputy and former party leader, Miltiadis Evert and the subsequent intervention of the prosecutor's office concerning the buying and selling of stocks in the Athens Stock Exchange by a state-owned company in the pre-election period, Mr. Reppas accused ND of trying to undermine the course of the economy because the only thing it wants is to have certain profits.
Mr. Reppas also stressed that New Democracy attempts to involve members of the judiciary in its political scheming, trying to gain over on its side judges and prosecutors in an unsuccessful effort to make its political proposal reliable.
 CH. VERELIS SATISFIED FROM THE MASTER PLAN FOR "MACEDONIA" AIRPORTThessaloniki, 8 September 2001 (15:54 UTC+2)
Satisfied by the course of the master plan for the expansion of the "Macedonia" international airport, seemed the Minister of Transportation and Communications, Christos Verelis, during the opening ceremony of the Civilian Aviation Agency kiosk in the 66th TIF.
He announced that by the end of 2002 the new air station of "Macedonia" will have been auctioned, the budget of which is 100 billion drs. This statement followed statements made last August on the expansion of the airport (cost 79 billion drs.), for the new goods station (cost 5,5 billion drs.) and for the unification of the areas of the terminal (2,6 billion drs.).
Referring to the course of the works, Mr. Verelis pointed out that works have already begun on the parallel runway of 10/28, while the radar system is fully functional. Finally, the upgrading of the “blind” ILS landing system is complete.
 VERELIS: 1.5 TRILLION DRACHMAS IN THE GREEK TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKETThessaloniki, 8 September 2001 (15:34 UTC+2)
Investments of 1.5 trillion drachmas are expected to be made in the following years in the Greek telecommunications market for 3G applications and new telecommunications forms. The above were stated by transportation and telecommunications minister Christos Verelis on the sidelines of the inauguration of the Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, pavilion on the grounds of Thessaloniki's International Trade Fair.
He stressed that the liberation of the telecommunications market has already brought profits of 270 billion drachmas to the state, while the entry of new players and the establishment of the independent regulatory authority guarantee clarity and competitiveness.
Mr. Verelis stressed that OTE, with a total of 16.500.000 customers and being the largest telecommunications company in southeastern Europe, can promote successfully telecommunications issues around the world. On Hellas Sat, he said that OTE participates in the successful Greek-Cypriot attempt to launch a Greek satellite placing Greece in the club of the 26 countries which have a satellite in space.
 BAUCHER STATEMENTS ON CYPRUSWashington, 7 September 2001 (15:12 UTC+2)
All parties should do their maximum to back the UN in its efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, stressed US State Department spokesman Richard Baucher commenting on the statements made by UN special envoy Alvaro de Soto on the resumption of the Cyprus talks on September 12 under the auspices of the UN, which were rejected by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
Mr. Baucher reiterated that the United States continue to back the UN secretary-general efforts and the UN special envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto.
Responding to the question if the US position has changed concerning a two-zone, two-community federation in Cyprus, the US State Department spokesman stressed that Washington supports the UN efforts toward this direction.
 BAUCHER: THE US POSITION ON THE FYROM NAME ISSUE IS THE SAMEWashington, 7 September 2001 (15:10 UTC+2)
There is no change in the US position on the issue of the FYROM name, stated US State Department spokesman Richard Baucher yesterday responding to a question by reporters.
Called to comment on the recent report by the US newspaper "Washington Post" according to which, US president Bush assured FYROM president Boris Trajkovski that his country will be recognized under the name "Republic of Macedonia", Mr. Baucher responded that he has nothing new to say on the issue as he is not aware of any change.
For the United States, the official name of this country is Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, stressed Mr. Baucher adding that the issue of the name is under discussion.
 «ACHILLOPOULIA» THIS NOVEMBER IN CAIROAlexandria, 7 September 2001 (09:30 UTC+2)
The Mitropolite of Dimitriada, Ignatios Georgakopoulos, the Prefect, Mr. Panos Skotiniotis, the Mayor of Volos, Mr. Kyriakos Mitros, will honor the "Achillopoulia" events with their presence, which will take place in Cairo, from November 22 to November 30.
According to the "Neo Fos" newspaper, on November 24, spokespersons of the prefectural and local governments will arrive in Alexandria, where they will be present in the in the ceremony for naming the new Patriarch of Alexandria and all of Africa, Petros the 7th.
It is noted that with a unanimous decision of the Prefect Council of Magnisia, the Greek Community of Cairo will soon have an office in Volos and its functioning is expected to strengthen the ties of the Prefectures' local government with the Greek Community of Cairo, which will be represented by Mr. Ioannis Kanaris, one of the founding members of "Achillopoulia", who has in the past served as Communal Delegate. The office of the Greek Community of Cairo will be housed in the Greek-Italian Chamber of Commerce in Volos.