|Sunday, 22 September 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-05-23
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PROTECTIVE MEASURESAthens, 23 May 2003 (09:10 UTC+2)
Measures for the continuation of the insurance and healthcare coverage of employees who were fired from businesses that recently went bankrupt and motives towards businesses for absorption of the employed were announced by Ministers of Finance, N Christodoulakis, and Labor, D. Reppas, while they denied that there is a problem with increase in the retirement limit. ND called the government to take its responsibilities, tell the Greek people the whole truth and inform it of what they intend to do. Questions were submitted in the parliament by Communist Party MPs. Society is crying out against unemployment, expensiveness and the pillaging of paychecks, said the President of the Coalition of the Left Nikos Constantopoulos.
 ONE IN, ONE OUT FOR TERRORISMAthens, 23 May 2003 (09:16 UTC+2)
A deadline to prepare his testimony has been given to 42-year-old Costas Avramidis, who is accused of participating in 17N with the nickname Costas the Pontian. His attorney stated that Mr. Avramidis denies the charges and made mention of a rocky foundation for the indictment and a persecution due to political beliefs with shady evidence. The request for release from prison of, Christos Tsigaridas, a suspect in the ELA terrorist case, was accepted with a bail of 20,000 euro, while he will have to regularly visit the police.
 SOROS CONGRATULATES GREEK PRESIDENCYAthens, 23 May 2003 (14:10 UTC+2)
The international market guru, George Soros, CEO of the Soros Fund Management, is prepared to move to the creation of a second chapter in business participation, which will invest in Southeastern European countries.
In the framework of the new fund, attention will be paid to telecommunications, cable television, and consumer product enterprises, as was revealed today by Mr. Soros, during his speech at the World Economic Forum conference, which is being held in Athens for the first time (in the presence of 2 Presidents of Republic, 5 Prime Ministers, 20 Ministers and 300 businessmen from 31 countries).
Furthermore, Mr. Soros invited the international business community to invest in Southeastern European countries. He underlined that the WEF must send a clear message at the Thessaloniki Summit, to be held in June, for a more active participation of the EU in economic development in Southeastern Europe, as well as in taking initiatives in strengthening cooperation among the region's countries.
Regarding the role of Greece in the broader region, Mr. Soros stressed the Greek Presidency, characterizing it as successful and creative, especially during such a difficult period, when the war in Iraq had caused so much tension between the EU and the US, as well as among EU member-states.
 CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER IN GREECE NEXT WEEKMontreal, 23 May 2003 (15:00 UTC+2)
Prime Minister of Canada Mr. Jean Chretien will be visiting Greece next week, in the framework of his tour of three European countries.
The Canadian PM, as is mentioned in the Greek-Canadian Report newspaper, will visit Athens, which is the first stop in his tour of Europe, on May 28, in order to participate in the Canada-Europe Union Summit, to be held in the Greek capital.
After Athens, Mr. Chretien will travel to St. Petersburg, the Russian capital, in order to participate as the Head of a Canadian delegation to attend the 300th anniversary of the city on the 30th and 31st of May.
 HUMANITARIAN AID TO IRAQ FROM GREECE AND CYPRUSAthens, 23 May 2003 (19:57 UTC+2)
Humanitarian aid from Greece and Cyprus for the people of Iraq will depart tomorrow on board a Greek C-130 transport plane.
Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Andreas Loverdos stated that the military aircraft will leave from Greece tomorrow morning with final destination Amman, Jordan and a stop in Larnaca, Cyprus to receive the humanitarian aid collected there.
The humanitarian aid will be forwarded from Jordan to Iraq by car. The aid includes 5 tons of food and medicines collected by the Prefecture of Attiki and 10 tons of humanitarian aid collected by the Archbishopric of Cyprus.
 "THE SAINT OF ISMIR" CONCERT WILL BE PERFORMED IN THE PRESENSE OF THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHThessaloniki, 23 May 2003 (19:36 UTC+2)
The Saint of Ismir concert will be performed in Thessaloniki on May 28 in the presence of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos. The concert is organized by the Federation of Refugee Unions in Greece, the Macedonia-Thrace Imvros Association and the Istanbul Association in northern Greece.
The concert will be held to raise funds for the restoration of the only Christian Orthodox church preserved in Ismir after the 1922 disaster in order for the faithful to be able to attend the holy liturgy, especially in major feasts and religious holidays. The Ecumenical Patriarchate will send priests to other Christian monuments in Asia Minor too, with the approval of the Turkish State.
 SIMITIS: THE FIRST STEP FOR THE RECONSTRUCTION OF IRAQ IS THE LIFTING OF THE EMBARGOAthens, 23 May 2003 (19:05 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis characterized the UN Security Council decision to end the economic sanctions against Baghdad as the first step for the opening of the procedure for the reconstruction of Iraq.
Responding to questions by reporters after the meeting with his Irish counterpart Bertie Ahern in Dublin today, Mr. Simitis stressed that it is a very important first step. He said that it is a positive development, as the UN will play a significant role in the process for the reconstruction of Iraq based on what the EU had suggested.
The Greek Prime Minister underlined that efforts should get underway as soon as possible to help the Iraqi people organize a new state and their country's economy in order to combat poverty and achieve development.
 EU PARLIAMENT PRESIDENTS' CONFERENCEAthens, 23 May 2003 (18:21 UTC+2)
Two were the basic issues discussed in the annual Parliamentary Conference taking place in Athens within the framework of the Greek EU Presidency in view of the Constitutional Assembly that will complete its work during the Greek EU Presidency.
Those issues were the role of the European Parliaments in relation to the Constitutional Assembly and the role of the national Parliaments in the enlarged Europe.
All the speakers were in favor of the strengthening of the role of the national Parliaments, as well as the strengthening of their cooperation with the European Parliament.
In the Conference, held for the first time in the presence of the EU acceding countries, participated 40 presidents of legislative bodies and European Parliament President Pat Cox.
Opening the proceedings, Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis gave an emphasis to the major challenges of today and especially, those concerning the enlarged Europe, after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on New York's Twin Towers.
The 25 Parliament Presidents of the enlarged Europe as well as the Presidents of the Parliaments of the EU candidate countries of Romania and Bulgaria and the European Parliament President were received by Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos.
 LOSSES AGAIN IN THE ASEAthens, 23 May 2003 (17:36 UTC+2)
The downward trend dominated in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.54% at 1.690,93 points, while the volume of transactions was at 103.7 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 89 recorded gains and 221 had losses, while the value of 67 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE STRENGTHENING OF THE EURO IS A BOOMERANG FOR THE EUThessaloniki, 23 May 2003 (17:14 UTC+2)
The long desired strengthening of the euro toward the US dollar appears to gradually turn into a boomerang for the EU as the continuous upward course of the single European currency toward the US currency develops into a visible threat for the competitiveness of the exports of the united Europe. The value of the euro skyrocketed to 1.18 US dollars this morning.
Most vulnerable to the developments will possibly be the exports of the EU countries with less competitive economies, among them Greece, according to statements made to MPA by Greek Organization for Foreign Commerce Managing Director Dimitris Mardas.
If the scenarios concerning the decline of competitiveness for the European exports are confirmed, the effects will not be the same for all exporting products and will depend on factors of quality and characteristics, clarified Mr. Mardas.
Most affected will be the industrial products of average and low quality for which the main defining factor is their price. Less affected will be the products for which the main defining factor is their characteristics. Such products are, for example, the high quality and technology products, said Mr. Mardas.
Asked to comment on whether the responsible EU authorities, and specifically the European Central Bank, can intervene to reverse the trend, he said that when a currency becomes international, like in the case of the euro, interventions could take place in cooperation and coordination with other central banks. Therefore, the trend will change only if there are coordinated interventions at central banks' level or if the market itself rationalizes the situation.
 EDITORS LOOK FOR TRANSLATORSThessaloniki, 23 May 2003 (15:34 UTC+2)
A proposal for the co-publishing of books between Balkan and Southeastern European publishers, as well as funding the publication of new books through European and national programmes, was submitted today at a two-day meeting of Greek and Balkan publishers being organized in Thessaloniki by the National Book Center, where the initiative of the Balkan Translation Center and the organizing of the 1st International Book Fair, which will be held in May 2004 in the TIF, was first presented.
 SIMITIS-BLAIR MEETINGLondon, 22 May 2003 (19:17 UTC+2)
The agenda of the Thessaloniki Summit Meeting and the international developments were the main issues under discussion in the meeting Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis had in London with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
In statements he made after the meeting, that lasted over an hour, Mr. Simitis said that the Europe of the "25" must move forward regardless of the different views existing inside the EU.
On the Cyprus issue, Mr. Simitis said that the resumption of dialogue is meaningless if Turkey does not change its position.
In the meeting they also discussed the changes in the sectors of security, defense and common foreign policy promoted by the under formation EU Constitution to which Britain is opposed.
The Greek Prime Minister also pointed out that relations between Europe and the United States are very good.