|Saturday, 18 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-11-22
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK SUPPORT TO ROMANIA'S EUROPEAN PROSPECTAthens, 22 November 2001 (18:12 UTC+2)
Greece backs Romania's request for EU and NATO accession, stressed Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in statements he made after the meeting he had with Romanian president Ion Iliescu, who is on a formal visit to Athens. They discussed issues concerning bilateral relations and developments in the Balkans and the European Union. The Greek Prime Minister is scheduled to make a formal visit to Romania in February.
Mr. Simitis stated that Romania and Bulgaria are among the countries that will be included in the second wave of EU enlargement and added that Greece backs the economic support of those countries by the EU in order to be able to cover the distance that separates them from the rest EU countries.
On bilateral relations, Mr. Simitis and Mr. Iliescu praised the very good level of political cooperation between the two countries and examined the fields that need to be emphasized more such as, tourism, small-medium sized businesses and bureaucracy. On the economic cooperation it was pointed out that it can be further developed to exceed the US$1 billion mark by 2003. Mr. Simitis stated that a total of 1.900 Greek businesses are active in Romania and backed the further improvement of the economic and trade cooperation.
On the issue of the abolition of the visa requirement, Mr. Simitis stated that a joint effort must be made to limit illegal immigration, combat organized crime and consolidate a feeling of security in the Balkans On the situation in the Balkans, the Greek Prime Minister and the Romanian President agreed that there is a need for a continuous presence of the US and the EU for the region to maintain its importance.
 SIMITIS-BLAIR TELEPHONE COMMUNICATIONAthens, 22 November 2001 (18:00 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis had a telephone communication with his British counterpart Tony Blair yesterday evening and their discussion focused on international developments and the joint foreign policy of the European Union.
On the issue of Afghanistan, they agreed that a necessary precondition for positive developments is the solution of the political problem that will allow the country to have a government that offers security to the people.
Mr. Blair also referred to the meeting in London of 8 EU leaders to discuss the international developments, which provoked the strong discontent of the leaders who were not invited to participate in the meeting.
 ONE MILLION VISA CARDS ISSUED BY ALPHA BANKAthens, 22 November 2001 (18:04 UTC+2)
Alpha Bank had issued a total of 1 million visa credit cards by last September and was honored by VISA INTERNATIONAL for achieving this goal and becoming one of the main visa credit card issuers in Greece.
Alpha Bank, which has merged recently with the National Bank of Greece creating the National Bank of Greece SA, was the only bank in Greece that offered a complete line of VISA, Mastercard and American Express products.
 KAKLAMANIS-ILIESCU MEETINGAthens, 22 November 2001 (18:01 UTC+2)
Parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis expressed the full support of the Greek parliament to Romania's efforts for EU accession during his meeting with Romanian President Ion Iliescu within the framework of his formal visit to Athens.
Mr. Iliescu expressed his thanks for the reception he had in Greece and for the assistance offered by Greece to Romania's efforts to become part of the European "family".
They discussed the political developments in Romania, while it was established that bilateral relations are at a good level and the two state parliaments have a satisfactory cooperation both at bilateral, regional and European level.
 SMALL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 22 November 2001 (17:57 UTC+2)
Small losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.64% at 2.747,91 points, while the volume of transactions was at 301 million Euro or 103 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 189 recorded gains and 150 had losses, while the value of 24 stocks remained unchanged.
 PAPANDREOU WILL VISIT THE BRITISH WOMAN ACCUSED OF ESPIONAGEAthens, 22 November 2001 (17:47 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou will visit tomorrow the British woman, who is accused of espionage and is currently held in the Koridalos Prison in Athens.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis in statements he made to reporters clarified that Mr. Papandreou's visit has a symbolic character and will be held to witness himself the conditions under which she is being held. Mr. Beglitis added that the government respects the independence of the Greek Justice which has taken over the case.
He stated that there are reactions in the British mass media that have given extensive coverage to the issue and added that Mr. Papandreou as a Foreign Minister has the responsibility to safeguard the country's international image.
Mr. Beglitis also stressed that no demarche has been made on behalf of Britain regarding the arrest of the British woman and clarified that both the British embassy in Athens and the British deputy Foreign Minister, who met with Mr. Papandreou on the sidelines of the EU Foreign Ministers Council, requested to be briefed on the events that led to her arrest.
Mr. Beglitis stated that no such reactions were made by the Dutch government, adding that Mr. Papandreou intends to visit the Dutch nationals as well, who are being held in the Nafplion Prison.
For the record, the British woman and other 11 Britons together with 2 Dutch nationals were arrested while taking pictures of a restricted military area in Kalamata.
 BEGLITIS: POSITIVE DEVELOPMENTS IN FYROM FOR REACE IN THE REGIONAthens, 22 November 2001 (17:29 UTC+2)
The hope that FYROM will enter the path to peace and stability after the ratification of the August political agreement, was expressed by Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis.
Mr. Beglitis pointed out the Greek government's satisfaction concerning the recent developments in the neighboring country and commented that they will affect stability and peace in the region in a positive way.
 PAPANDREOU-GEOANA MEETINGAthens, 22 November 2001 (12:44 UTC+2)
Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Papandreou met with his Romanian counterpart, Mirtsea Geoana, last night. The main point of discussions was Romania's candidacy for accession to NATO and to the European Union, while issues of bilateral cooperation and the OASE convention, which will take place in Bucharest on December 3, were also discussed.
In statements after the meeting, Mr. Papandreou pointed out that Greece supports Romania's accession to NATO and the EU.
 PAPANDREOU-MILLER MEETINGAthens, 22 November 2001 (12:44 UTC+2)
Developments in Afghanistan and bilateral relations were what Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Papandreou and US Ambassador to Athens, Thomas Miller, concentrated on mostly in their discussions yesterday.
Mr. Miller was informed on the struggle to promote the Olympic cease-fire as well as on the developments on the Cyprus issue by Mr. Papandreou.
The US Ambassador expressed his complete satisfaction with the level of cooperation of the Greek government in the framework of the antiterrorism coalition, while, when reporters asked about Al-Quaeda members having connections in Greece, he stated he knew nothing on the matter.
 DINNER IN THE PRESIDENT'S HONORAthens, 22 November 2001 (12:43 UTC+2)
A reception in honor of the President of the Republic, Kostis Stefanopoulos, was organized by the leadership of the Armed Forces in a central Athens hotel, in the framework of the celebrations for the armed forces day.
The event was attended by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, Minister of National Defense Giannos Papantoniou, and the honorary President of New Democracy, Kostantinos Mitsotakis.
In a discussion the Prime Minister had with the political and military leadership of the Ministry of Defense, he asked for measures against illegal immigration and called the Coast Guard and the Navy to have better cooperation in order to stop the flow of illegal immigrants.
 STANDING CONFERENCE ON EU LANGUAGE PROTECTIONBrussels, 22 November 2001 (13:29 UTC+2)
The functioning of a Standing Conference of the European Union on the protection of languages, was proposed by Euro MP of New Democracy Rodi Kratsa, in a letter to the President of the European Commission Romano Prodi, and the President of the European Parliament, Nicole Fontain.
The Euro MP pointed out that language is not just a tool for communication, but a means of expression of a culture. The cultural and linguistic multiformity of Europe is part of its power and wealth. Survival of all languages is not just a matter of national pride of each people, but the essence of European consummation.