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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-07-10
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PROPOSAL OF CHANGE IN ELECTORAL SYSTEMAthens, 10 July 2003 (13:41 UTC+2)
PASOK is a force of reform that must change things, said Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas, in statements to Flash radio, regarding the government's initiatives on the modernization of Greece's political system, while he added that changes in the electoral system can come into effect in 2007 if New Democracy has a problem as regards to the 2005 Presidential elections.
Our intention is to put Greece on the path of progress and prosperity irreversibly and that has to do with the functioning of our political system. As long as we do not change it, as long as we are afraid and act conservatively, we are pushing Greece back. We cannot do such a thing, stated the Government Spokesperson.
Mr. Protopapas added that PASOK's goal is change and reform, that it is not a force of stagnancy. This is what we are coming to do. We are not a force of stagnancy, nor can we enter the rationale of the ripe fruit, which in essence rots away at Greece's political life, as New Democracy would like.
As far as the change to the electoral system and the possibility of elections in 2005 drawing on the Presidential elections, are concerned, Mr. Protopapas pointed out: Never have we played games with the institution of the President of the Republic and we have proved that over these many years, while he added that if ND's problem are possible elections in 2005, we can, during our dialogue with ND, secure in some way legal experts assure us that there is a way the fact that the electoral law we vote on comes into effect in 2007-2008.
He also stressed that the government's aim is to change the electoral system in order to place Greece's political life on a different course. For there to be a stable government and a more proportional vote. For there to be renewal, transparency and meritocracy in electing MPs and their relationships to Greek citizens.
 JOURNALISTIC CONFERENCE IN SAMOTHRAKISamothraki, 10 July 2003 (09:20 UTC+2)
The 11th Panhellenic Journalistic Conference will begin today in Samothraki. This year's event, with approximately 600 participants, is dedicated to the 2004 Olympics and the opening of the works will be declared the President of the Olympic Organizing Committee, Gianna Aggelopoulou. There will be other events at the same time with the Conference, such as a bicycle race, an art exhibit, and a concert.
 BILL CLINTON IN KOSKos, 10 July 2003 (12:25 UTC+2)
A symposium on Inter-Atlantic Relations, the reshaping of world order after September 11 problems and prospects is being organized by the Andreas Papandreou Foundation in Kos.
Former US President Bill Clinton is in Kos, in order to participate in the symposium, while he has visited the island's castle. On Greece's side, participants include Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou and Minister of the Aegean Nikos Sifounakis.
Other participants in the symposium include special US mediator on the Cyprus issue during the Clinton administration Richard Holbrook, former Turkish Foreign Minister and former Minister of Finance Kemal Dervish, as well as former Prime Minister of Portugal Antonio Guterres.
The symposium will be completed tomorrow night, during a special event to be held in the Kos castle, where its conclusions will be announced.
 RESOLUTION ON MACEDONIA BY THESSALONIKI'S PREFECTURAL COUNCILThessaloniki, 10 July 2003 (19:02 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki's Prefectural Council expressed regret for the recent agreement between the United States and FYROM in which FYROM is referred to as Macedonia.
In the resolution it is pointed out that the issue of Macedonia, which is of major national importance for Greece, is at a crucial point and the Greek government is called to avoid being inactive on the matter.
It is stressed that FYROM signed the agreement as Macedonia and not as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a name temporarily recognized by the UN, in spite of the assurances given by former US President Clinton.
The resolution mentions that the national, historical and cultural identity will be protected with the same non negotiable faith displayed by our ancestors for at least two thousand years until today. The Greek government and all national powers around the world are called to be vigilant and stop the usurpation of the name of Macedonia, based on the decision reached by the Greek political party leaders in April 1992, who had met under the late Konstantinos Karamanlis.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 10 July 2003 (18:28 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.30% at 1.990,98 points, while the volume of transactions was at 157.9 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 173 recorded gains and 147 had losses, while the value of 58 stocks remained unchanged.
 GREECE: HIGH DROWNING RATESAthens, 10 July 2003 (18:18 UTC+2)
Greece occupies one of the top places worldwide regarding the number of people who drown while swimming, as in the past 15 years a total of 4.473 people lost their lives in the Greek seas.
According to Merchant Marine figures, the victims include 3.389 men and 1.069 women, the majority of them Greeks, and 933 foreigners.
Most of the drown are individuals over the age of 65 as well as people between the ages of 30 and 45, who appear to be very confident with their abilities.
According to the Athens newspaper Kathimerini, since the beginning of 2003 a total of 121 people drown in the Greek seas, the majority of whom were elderly.
 FOUR NEW EARTHQUAKES IN THE DARDANELLESThessaloniki, 10 July 2003 (17:48 UTC+2)
Four new earthquakes, the strongest of which was measuring 5 on the Richter scale, were recorded in the early morning hours. Their epicenter was located north of the Dardanelles Straits, Turkey where an increased seismic activity is being recorded in the past few days.
According to a statement issued by Thessaloniki's Aristotle University Geophysics Laboratory, the epicenter of the tremors was located in the Bay of Saros causing panic among the people living in the Turkish city of Canakkale. An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale was recorded at 1.30am, Greek time, and was felt in the northeastern Greek city of Alexandroupolis and in other regions in the northeastern province of Thrace. Saros Bay is about 30 nautical miles southeast of Alexandroupolis.
AUT seismologist Giorgos Karakaisis stated to MPA that the region has an increased seismic activity in the past few days stressing, however, that the frequency of the tremors has dropped. He said that seismologists monitor the phenomenon closely and for the moment nothing definite can be said.
For the record, a strong earthquake measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale shook the region on July 7.
 FORMER KING KONSTANTINOS IS VISITING GREECEIoannina, 10 July 2003 (17:34 UTC+2)
Former King of Greece Konstantinos is visiting the country with his wife and children.
Konstantinos arrived in the northwestern Greek city of Igoumenitsa from Ancona, Italy this morning on board a ferryboat.
The family of the former King left immediately for Kalpaki and visited the 8th Army Division Museum. After visiting the city of Ioannina, they will go to Preveza where they will spend the night.
 SIMITIS MEETS WITH MINISTERS TODAYAthens, 10 July 2003 (12:26 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Simitis will hold a series of meetings with ministers, for the acceleration of the government's work.
The Prime Minister will have successive meetings with the Ministers of Finance, Nikos Christodoulakis, Transportations, Christos Verelis, and Development, Akis Tsochatzopoulos.
After yesterday's Cabinet meeting, Mr. Simitis announced measures to strengthen transparency in public life and invited opposition parties to a dialogue on the modernization of the political system.
The measures concerning the fiscal history check of all MPs elected after 1990 and a check into all PASOK MP stock market transactions during the 1998-2000 period. Also, limitations on stock market exchanges will be extended to MPs, Prefects, Mayors and Heads of Public Organizations.