|Monday, 20 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-11-04
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 UNANIMOUS GLOBAL "YES" TO PEACEWashington, 4 November 2003 (09:19 UTC+2)
The resolution submitted by Greece on the Olympic Truce was unanimously approved by the UN General Assembly, while it foresees the ending of all hostilities from August 13 to August 29 2004, in a revival of the ancient Greek idea of Truce. If we can have peace for 16 days, then we can have peace forever, underlined Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, who proposed the resolution, in speaking to the General Assembly.
 BRIDGE OR GAP?Athens, 4 November 2003 (09:18 UTC+2)
A conciliatory four point proposal towards the patriarchate in order to bridge the gap with the Patriarchate, is being proposed today by the Standing Holy Synod in the meeting of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece. A clear position in favor of Athens was taken by honorary ND President K. Mitsotakis, whom the government accused of pouring salt on the wound. The Fanari characterized Mr. Mitsotakis position as hubris.
 PUBLIC SECTOR CLOSEDAthens, 4 November 2003 (09:19 UTC+2)
Serious problems to public administration will be caused by today's 24-hour strike proclaimed by the Civil Servants' Association with demands regarding their wages. There will also be problems in airports, as Civil Aviation Authority employees are participating in the strike. The Rio-Antirio ferry will close indefinitely after the fall out with the Minister of the Merchant Marine. The Capital Market Committee is also on strike.
 DELIVERY IN MEDICINESAthens, 4 November 2003 (12:29 UTC+2)
Only 7 pharmacies in the whole of Greece, six in Attica and one in Thessaloniki, will provide medicines whose price is more than 300 euro, to people insured with IKA. All other patients insured with IKA will receive the medicines via courier.
This was foreseen by the new IKA plan made public by the Ta Nea newspaper, causing the reactions of pharmacists. IKA Director Miltiadis Nektarios said that these reactions were due to the pharmacists interests. Only pharmacists are reacting, because they are losing the commission. The circular, which came into effect on November 1, was issued to hospitals, medical centers and IKA branches throughout the country, and the measure is expected to concern 171 medications.
According to the circular, the medicines will be provided by the IKA central pharmacy in Athens, the Piraeus branch, the pharmacies of the 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 7th Athens hospitals, and that of the 2nd Thessaloniki hospital.
Those insured with IKA who have no access to medication, they will be able to order medication through IKA branches throughout the country. After the prescription is written up, it will be sent to the main IKA offices in Athens, which will then send back the medications.
 PROTOPAPAS: THE COST OF THE STRIKES HAS NOT BEEN ESTIMATED YETAthens, 4 November 2003 (20:21 UTC+2)
The cost of the strikes has not been estimated yet. However, it should be pointed out that if some of the demands were met (like the 20% wage increase) the cost for the Greek economy would have been dramatic, stressed Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
He added that for such demands to be met the only solution would be for the country to resort to excessive borrowing, which is very negative and catastrophic.
Mr. Protopapas reiterated that the government has given significant wage increases, above the inflation rate, and there is no more room left for the Greek economy.
 THE PRIME MINISTER WAS BRIEFED ON THE AGENDA OF THE GOV'T COUNCIL ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND DEFENSEAthens, 4 November 2003 (18:28 UTC+2)
Greek Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou briefed Prime Minister Kostas Simitis on the agenda of the meeting of the Government Council on Foreign Affairs and Defense to take place on Thursday, November 6.
Mr. Papantoniou stated that he briefed Mr. Simitis on the promoted reforms in the armed forces taking place in the past two years, which will save an estimated 2.5 billion euros that could be used for a more ambitious social and development policy.
The Minister of Defense stated that the reforms in question concern the appointment of 25,000 professional soldiers aimed at making the Greek army 50% professional by the year 2005, as well as, stronger and more reliable.
 CLARIFICATIONS BY THE ARCHBISHOP ON THE CRISIS WITH THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATEAthens, 4 November 2003 (18:01 UTC+2)
Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece addressing the Church of Greece Hierarchy today referred to the issue concerning the crisis in the relations between the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The Archbishop characterized as historical and crucial the meeting and stated that the atmosphere is heavy, pointing out that the crisis erupted when the Ecumenical Patriarchate demanded to approve the list with the candidate Metropolites for the so-called new countries.
Archbishop Christodoulos stated that the crisis was not provoked by the Church of Greece, but was imposed on it. He stressed that there is a need for a solution that will back the autocephalous nature of the Church of Greece and at the same time, respond to the positions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which the Church of Greece supports.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 4 November 2003 (17:27 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.33% at 2.155,94 points, while the volume of transactions was at 163.2 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 232 recorded losses, 84 had gains and 65 remained unchanged.
 THE BULGARIAN PRESIDENT WILL BE IN ATHENS TOMORROWAthens, 4 November 2003 (17:17 UTC+2)
Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov and his wife will be on a three-day visit to Greece starting tomorrow.
Mr. Parvanov will arrive to Athens' Eleftheros Venizelos International Airport tomorrow morning on a special flight and he will meet with his Greek counterpart Kostis Stephanopoulos. He is also scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in the presence of Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou. Later in the evening, the Greek President will give a formal dinner in his honor.
Mr. Parvanov will meet with Athens 2004 Organizing Committee President Mrs. Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalakis.
He will also meet with Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis and political party leaders.
Also, he is scheduled to meet with Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece, and Athens Mayor Mrs. Dora Bakoyianni, while he will visit archaeological sites.
Mr. Parvanov will deliver a speech in the University of Athens on The present and the future of southeastern Europe and he will address a Greek-Bulgarian Forum of Businessmen.
 MITSOTAKIS ASKS FOR INTERVENTIONAthens, 4 November 2003 (13:45 UTC+2)
The need for the government to intervene in the crisis between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece, was underlined today by Honorary President of New Democracy Constantinos Mitsotakis, who noted that this is necessary, because, as he said, any acceptance of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's demandswould require a change in Greek legislature.
Mr. Mitsotakis pointed out that he is not arguing with the Patriarch whom he honors and respects. However, he also stressed that the possible rift between the Ecumenical Patriarch and the autonomous Church of Greece could cause further problems within the Greek church.
Meanwhile, the crucial meeting of the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece began today, where it is looking into the proposal for a way out of the crisis with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, a proposal which the Standing Holy Synod came to yesterday.
The Patriarchate made an announcement characterizing what is being said by some on the national parameters of the conflict within the Greek church as hubris, while it also named Constantinos Karamanlis.