|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-03-29
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREECE-TURKEY: TWO COOPERATION MEMORANDUMS ON ENERGYAthens, 29 March 2002 (15:15 UTC+2)
The visit of Greek Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos to Turkey opened yesterday with the signing of two memorandums of understanding in the sector of energy. The visit takes place at the invitation of Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Zeki Cakan.
The memorandums concern the Greek-Turkish cooperation in the sectors of natural gas and electric energy and constitute two new and important steps toward the strengthening of bilateral economic ties.
The first memorandum was signed by representatives of the Greek Natural Gas Public Company, DEPA and the respective Turkish company BOTAS and concerns the transport of natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Europe and the Balkans through Turkey and Greece. The natural gas transport is expected to be launched in 2005.
The second memorandum of understanding concerns the Greek-Turkish cooperation in the sector of electric energy and was signed between the Greek Electricity Public Company, DEH and the respective Turkish company TEIAS. The project will materialize by the end of 2006.
 SIMITIS: PROPOSAL ON INTER-BALKAN COOPERATIONTirana, 29 March 2002 (14:34 UTC+2)
Greece will continue to be a warm advocate and supporter of the efforts of the Balkan countries made for their accession in the European Union and NATO. The above were stated by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in Tirana speaking in the Summit meeting of the southeastern European countries. He also outlined the common goals of the countries in the region for the consolidation of stability and peace, the promotion of cooperation and prosperity.
The Prime Minister also presented a proposal to transform the Inter-Balkan cooperation into a regional organization.
Mr. Simitis pointed out the need to deal with problems jointly, and stressed that territorial integrity must be respected, while democratic institutions and the state of law must be implemented.
Prime Minister Simitis put the Balkan countries' accession into the EU and NATO among the priorities of the Greek EU Presidency in the first half of 2003. He also announced that initiatives will be undertaken in the sectors of energy and transportation and within the framework of the efforts aimed at dealing with the problems of organized crime and refugees.
In the meeting participated Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, FYROM, Romania, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Turkey.
 PAPANDREOU-DE SOTO MEETINGAthens, 29 March 2002 (19:09 UTC+2)
The latest developments in Cyprus and the course of the direct talks between Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash were discussed in Athens today in the meeting of Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou and UN secretary-general special envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto.
Mr. Papandreou thanked Mr. de Soto for the efforts he makes on behalf of the UN secretary-general aimed at finding a solution to the problem. He also pointed out that during the meeting they evaluated the recent UN efforts in the Clerides-Denktash talks and discussed what further moves can be made on behalf of the UN toward this direction.
Mr. Papandreou reiterated that Greece backs the efforts for a solution under the UN auspices and said that a historic opportunity is being offered for the settlement of the Cyprus issue allowing all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, to live under one roof.
Mr. de Soto underlined that Greece and Turkey play a very important role by encouraging the talks that are in progress.
 THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER ON THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EASTAthens, 29 March 2002 (18:48 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou characterized as dramatic the latest developments in the Middle East. After his meeting with UN secretary-general special envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto the Foreign Minister was called to comment on the tragic events of the past 24 hours. He stated that the speedy deterioration of the situation in the Middle East is the result of the fact that the talks for the political settlement of the problem have stopped.
Mr. Papandreou stated that only a political solution will bring calm to the region, adding that military operations and violence cannot bring results. He stated that Greece condemns the military operations and the terrorist acts and stressed the need for an even greater involvement of the international community, the UN, EU and the United States.
He stated that the proposals tabled in the Arab world Summit meeting in Beirut must be exploited and made a special reference to the solution plan proposed by Saudi Arabia, adding that there are more proposals that could be implemented under the precondition that political will is present.
Mr. Papandreou announced that he had a telephone communication with the special envoy of the EU to the Middle East to discuss the developments, while he stated that his trip to Egypt, Israel and the Palestinian territories scheduled to take place next week could be postponed.
He said that he intends to visit the region but under the existing circumstances it is not certain if he will be able to meet with the Palestinian authority.
 GREEK CONCERN FOR THE DEVELOPMENTS IN THE MIDDLE EASTAthens, 29 March 2002 (17:44 UTC+2)
The serious concern of the Greek government regarding the developments in the Middle East, was expressed by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas today. Mr. Protopapas pointed out that Greece understands the demand of the Palestinians to have their own state and the demand of the people of Israel to live in safety.
The Greek government is opposed to any act that undermines peace and promotes exclusion, to any head-on collision that feeds the blood cycle, stated Mr. Protopapas, adding that Greece supports the UN and EU decisions on the issue.
 THE GOVERNMENT PROPOSAL ON THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM REFORMAthens, 29 March 2002 (16:46 UTC+2)
The complete and reliable government proposal on the social security system reform will be tabled by the end of April, according to a statement by Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis. The statement was made in the meeting he had with representatives of the Association of Greek Industries, the Social Security Fund (IKA), the commerce sector and small industries.
Absent from today's meeting was the Greek General Confederation of Labor as its presiding board decided to reject the invitation that was issued by Mr. Christodoulakis and instead call a meeting of its managing board to decide on its future stance without ruling out the likelihood of strike mobilizations.
When asked to comment on the Confederation of Labor absence, Mr. Christodoulakis expressed the belief that it will attend the talks for a reliable and viable solution to the social security system reform.
 LOYOLA DE PALACIO IN THE ASSOCIATION OF INDUSTRIES IN N.GREECE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETINGThessaloniki, 29 March 2002 (16:37 UTC+2)
The Association of Industries in Northern Greece General Assembly open meeting will take place in Thessaloniki on April 12.
The meeting will be held in the presence of European Commissioner Loyola De Palacio, Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos and Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis.
 DORA BAKOYIANNI IS THE ND NOMINEE FOR MAYOR OF ATHENSAthens, 29 March 2002 (14:37 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis announced that parliament deputy Ms. Dora Bakoyianni is the party's nominee for the post of the mayor of Athens.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that the announcement of the specific candidature signals the party's entry in the final preparations for October's local elections. He also said that the nomination of Ms. Bakoyianni is a proof of the interest of ND in local administration in view of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
Ms. Bakoyianni is 48 years old and has studied Political Science and Communication in Munich and Public Law in the Athens Law School. She was elected parliament deputy in the prefecture of Evritania in 1989, 1990 and 1993, while in 1996 and 2000 she was elected in Athens. She has served as Undersecretary to the Prime Minister's office and as Minister of Culture.
 PRESSURES FOR THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLESLondon, 29 March 2002 (15:35 UTC+2)
The pressures for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece intensified after the revelations made by the London newspaper Guardian according to which, the British Museum sold a total of 30 16th century bronze plates in the 50s and 60s.
The plates in question, known as the Benin Plates, were parts of the Nigeria art treasures.
The museum's decision was in absolute contrast with its internal regulations that forbid the breaking up of a work of art.
For the record, the British Museum maintains that the Parthenon Marbles belong to its collection and is not in a position to return them to Greece.