|Saturday, 17 August 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-01-28
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 WAR POSTPONEDNew York, 28 January 2003 (11:17 UTC+2)
The international community is oriented towards a one month extension being given to the UN inspectors to complete their inspection of the Iraqi arsenal, as the US did not seem to rule out the extension and Baghdad has committed to fully cooperate once again. G. Papandreou is prepared to visit Baghdad, while Athens is pleased with the developments.
 ELECTIONS IN 2004Athens, 28 January 2003 (11:14 UTC+2)
His assurance that the next elections will be held in 2004 was given twice by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis at the meeting of the Executive Office, while he expressed his certainty that when the major works that are under construction are delivered, Greece's image will change, a fact to which he attributed ND's criticisms about poor workmanship.
 SHE HAD ALREADY TESTIFIED!Athens, 28 January 2003 (11:13 UTC+2)
President of the Athens 2004 Olympic Organizing Committee allegedly indicated two individuals from the publishing sector, in a her testimony a week ago in full secrecy on the blackmail case. DA in charge of the case, Mr. Papaggelopoulos, intends to complete the investigation soon, at least as far as threats of calling on N17 are concerned.
 GREEN LIGHT FOR EUROARMY IN FYROMBrussels, 28 January 2003 (12:06 UTC+2)
The EU Foreign Ministers decided on beginning the replacement of the NATO operation in FYROM with EU forces, during the General Affairs Council meeting.
Greek Foreign Minister and President of the Council Giorgos Papandreou characterized the decision as historic, noting that it is the first EU military operation.
In a Greek Presidency announcement it is stressed that the undertaking of the operation by the EU underlines its commitment to a stable and safe Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, which has committed to putting the Framework Agreement into full effect and is committed to making steps of progress towards an increasingly closer approach to the EU.
In fact, there was significant progress at the Council meeting on the European Defense and Security Policy. The Council adopted important documents on the further development of the European Defense and Security Policy, such as the reformed EU Drill Program and the agreement on the funding of military operations.
Meanwhile, Chief of the Greek Armed Forces General Staff, General Giorgos Antonakopoulos, is in Brussels today, in order to participate in an emergency meeting of EU Chiefs of Armed Forces.
During the meeting, NATO-EU relations and details on the replacement of the NATO peacekeeping mission in FYROM with EU troops will be discussed
 EU TROIKA-TURKEY SUMMIT AGENDAAthens, 28 January 2003 (17:58 UTC+2)
The EU-Turkey relations, the issue of Cyprus and international issues like Iraq, will be at the center of the EU Troika-Turkey ministerial meeting that will be held in Ankara on Friday.
Based on the daily agenda program, the two sides will examine among others, the EU-Turkey relations, the recent developments in the political and legislative reform promoted by Ankara, human rights freedom of expression, the abolition of torture, and cultural rights. Also, among the issues under discussion will be the pending border differences, the Cyprus issue, the Middle East, the situation in western Balkans, Afghanistan and south Caucasus.
 THE GOV'T WILL NOT TOLERATE PRESSURES BY ANYBODYAthens, 28 January 2003 (17:47 UTC+2)
The government's will for total reform in the sector of professional football, was reiterated today by government spokesman Christos Protopapas, who added that the government will not tolerate pressures coming from anybody.
Mr. Protopapas stated that an attempt was made for pressures to be exerted on Undersecretary of Sports Mr. Giorgos Lianis by the president of the Athens football team of PAO and a representative of Thessaloniki's PAOK, who used intolerable ways and behaviors.
Mr. Lianis has stressed that such behaviors cannot be accepted by the government or any of its members.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 28 January 2003 (17:07 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.31% at 1.669,97 points, while the volume of transactions was at 63.5 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 40 recorded gains and 253 had losses, while the value of 85 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE GOV'T IS NOT INFORMED OF THE TESTIMONIESAthens, 28 January 2003 (17:01 UTC+2)
The government is not informed of the testimonies given by witnesses to authorities, stressed government spokesman Christos Protopapas when asked to comment on the testimony given by Mrs. Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalakis on the blackmail case.
The case is still being handled exclusively by the prosecutor and when his work is completed he will decide whether he will start criminal proceedings. The government does not intervene in the prosecutor's work and wants light to be shed on the case, added Mr. Protopapas.
 THE GOV'T IS SATISFIED WITH YESTERDAY'S DECISION ON IRAQAthens, 28 January 2003 (16:46 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated that the Greek EU Presidency had a major success, referring to yesterday's decision on Iraq by the General Affairs Council.
Through this decision, he added, it is proven that beyond the existing differences, Europe can have its own single position on the issue, while it is also proven that the efforts of the Greek EU Presidency have results. Mr. Protopapas stated that the Greek EU Presidency will continue its efforts and develop new initiatives whenever it is possible.
 CONFERENCE ON ENTERPRENEURSHIP IN THE EUThessaloniki, 28 January 2003 (16:18 UTC+2)
A European Conference on the Green Bible on Enterpreneurship will be held in Thessaloniki on February 13 within the framework of the EU Presidency.
The conference will be opened by Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos and will be closed by European Commissioner Erki Liikanen. The conference will include three sessions to present the Greek Bible figures, the challenges for the EU enterpreneurship, the positive initiatives for businesses, and the boosting of enterpreneurship through education.
Two working groups will meet to examine the lifting of the obstacles for businesses (access to funds-businessmen support) and the reduction of risks in the strengthening of enterpreneurship.
 SIMITIS: THE PLANNED WAR IN IRAQ IS ALREADY AFFECTING DEVELOPMENTSAthens, 28 January 2003 (16:15 UTC+2)
The view that the planned war in Iraq has already affected developments in the European economy, was expressed by Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. Mr. Simitis met today with the Union of Industrial and Employers' Confederations of Europe, UNICE, Presiding Board and on Friday he will meet with European Syndicates Confederation, CES, representatives.
In the meeting with the UNICE Presiding Board they discussed issues such as, the cost of a likely war in Iraq for the European economy and its effect on competitiveness, inflationary trends and the development of the European economy. Those issues will be under discussion in the EU Spring Summit in March.
The stock markets follow a downward course and investments are slow, stated Mr. Simitis. Referring to the efforts of the Greek EU Presidency, he said that the goal is to create a common European line and this was achieved yesterday.
In the following days, Mr. Simitis will have telephone communications with UN President George Bush, French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.
 GREEK-BULGARIAN MEMORANDUM ON OIL PIPELINEAthens, 28 January 2003 (13:20 UTC+2)
The memorandum of cooperation to be signed in Athens tomorrow by Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos and Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development Valentin Cherofski, is expected to bring the three implicated sides closer to the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline.
This inter-state agreement is appreciated to be an important step in the project's promotion, as it has come to formally disperse the clouds that loomed from the Bulgarian side, stopping the whole undertaking (in which the third partner is Russia). Apart from the pipeline, the two sides will look into more general matters of bilateral and regional cooperation, while they will discuss issues regarding the construction Greece-Bulgaria border stations.
Besides, the issue of the oil pipeline will be raised with the opportunity of the visit of a Bulgarian delegation of Burgas, headed by Mayor Johan Konstantinov, to Evros, which yesterday. Apart from the pipeline, the two sides will discuss the connection of the Alexandroupoli-Burgas harbors.
 ŇU PRIORITIES IN WESTERN BALKANSBrussels, 28 January 2003 (11:37 UTC+2)
Their support to the European orientation of Western Balkan countries was repeated in Brussels yesterday by the Foreign Ministers of the EU, in the framework of General Affairs Council's meeting, stressing however that the region's countries will have to show their political will with tangible actions and their full commitment to meeting the requirements and conditions for gradual development and tightening of their relations with the EU.
They also pointed out that each country's progress towards the EU depends on their individual performance in their efforts to materialize the necessary reforms.
The Greek Foreign Minister and President of the Council, Giorgos Papandreou, briefed his EU counterparts on their recent visit to the Western Balkans (January 13-15), pointing out that the Greek Presidency will emphasize issues such as supporting the efforts to secure stability and strengthen democratic institutions, instituting a new political forum between the EU and the Western Balkans, and further strengthening the Stabilization and Association Agreement.
He pointed out, in fact, that the specific agreement is a basic element of European policy in the region and added that it can be enriched from the successful example of the enlargement procedures.
Mr. Papandreou stressed, at the same time, that the Greek Presidency will work towards the promotion of regional cooperation and will be concerned with a large number of regional issues, among which is the battle against organized crime and corruption, the return of refugees and infrastructure and energy issues. It is also deemed of the essence that there is full cooperation with the International Criminal Court on the side of former Yugoslavia. The EU Foreign Ministers underlined their support to the general approach of the Presidency and moved to the submission of ideas.
After the meeting, Mr. Papandreou expressed his satisfaction with the Council's support to the Greek Presidency's decision for further development of the Union's relations to Western Balkan countries
Today's very useful discussion, is a bearer of positive developments, both for the countries of the region, as well as for the EU he underlined, while at the same time he expressed his expectations that there will be great progress in the coming months leading to the Summit Meeting in Thessaloniki in June.