|Saturday, 18 November 2017|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-11-10
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE DEFENSE MINISTERS OF GREECE, ALBANIA AND FYROM ON BALKAN COOPERATIONAthens, 10 November 2003 (18:14 UTC+2)
The strengthening of Balkan cooperation, mainly in the military sector, and Greece's support to the accession of Albania and FYROM into the Euro-Atlantic structures, were discussed in the meeting Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou had with his counterparts from Albania and FYROM, Panteli Majko and Vlado Butskovski, in the northwestern Greek city of Kastoria.
In statements he made after the meeting, Mr. Papantoniou reiterated that Greece regards the strengthening of Balkan cooperation as very important and referred to the support offered by Greece to the efforts of the two countries to become members of NATO and the European Union.
On NATO, he said that there is significant progress in the harmonization of the defense structures of the two countries and their accession course into the Alliance and reiterated that the Greek military staffs are able to offer both know-how and personnel to assist the armed forces of Albania and FYROM in their reorganization effort which is underway.
They also discussed the overall security situation in southeastern Europe and according to Mr. Papantoniou, there was progress made in this sector both in Albania and FYROM but the presence of the international community in the region is necessary, always in agreement with the Balkan governments.
Mr. Papantoniou briefed his counterparts from Albania and FYROM on the recent decision by the Government Council of Foreign Affairs and Defense to reduce the number of military forces in Macedonia and Thrace, northern Greece and change their orientation from forces able to wage war, into forces that can contribute to facing threats like, illegal immigration and organized crime.
The Albanian Defense Minister stated that the government council's decision is an indication of the cooperation atmosphere in the region, which is necessary for the whole Balkan region in order to become part of the EU and NATO.
The FYROM Defense Minister made similar statements welcoming the government council decision, saying that it is an indication of the friendship that is being born.
They decided to hold this tripartite meeting once a year for an even greater cooperation in the military sector, while a military cooperation agreement was signed by Greece and Albania on military training in joint exercises, seminars and know how offered from Athens to Tirana for a quicker adjustment of the Albanian armed forces to the European and NATO structures.
 ESTIMATED 250,000 ABORTIONS ANNUALLY IN GREECEAthens, 10 November 2003 (16:10 UTC+2)
An estimated 250,000 abortions take place in Greece annually, the highest number of abortions recorded in a European country.
Based on the available figures, 40,000 abortions concern teenage girls, while a 20% increase was recorded last year among unmarried women.
At the same time, an increase is recorded in the use of the so-called, morning after pill. Scientists suggest caution to avoid abuse, while they point out that it does not protect from the sexually transmitted diseases.
 PAPANTONIOU ON THE SPIEGEL NEWS REPORTAthens, 10 November 2003 (19:41 UTC+2)
The assurance that the Greek agencies and security and information services are vigilant in order to be able to face any threat linked with the Olympic Games, was given by Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou. The statement was made when he was called to comment on a press report published by the German magazine Spiegel according to which, Albanian extremists prepare an armed movement in northern Greece during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
Mr. Papantoniou stated that he has not read the specific press report, adding that Greece will host the safest Olympic Games ever.
 IMMIGRANTS' SERVICE CENTER TO OPERATE IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 10 November 2003 (17:17 UTC+2)
The first Immigrants' Service Center in Greece will be in operation in Neapolis, Thessaloniki beginning on January 1, 2004.
Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis stated that this center is going to process electronically the requests made by Greek immigrants. This way the Greeks living abroad will avoid the bureaucratic procedures and will be able to get the certificates or documents they need through e-mail or simply by contacting the center.
The Greek Foreign Ministry, added Mr. Magriotis, plans in cooperation with the Institute of Greek Scientists living abroad a meeting of Greek scientists, who live abroad, to take place in Thessaloniki on December 6-7 within the framework of the World Council of Greeks Abroad, SAE. Also, another meeting of Greek businessmen living abroad will be held on December 10-11 in cooperation with the Association of Exporters in Northern Greece.
 MARGINAL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 10 November 2003 (16:43 UTC+2)
Marginal loses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.08% at 2.193,17 points, while the volume of transactions was 96,4 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 197 had losses, 115 recorded gains and 70 stocks remained unchanged.
 MITSOTAKIS WAS ADMITTED IN EVANGELISMOS HOSPITALAthens, 10 November 2003 (16:37 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy honorary President Konstantinos Mitsotakis was admitted in Evangelismos Hospital in Athens today suffering from a viral infection since last Thursday.
According to medical sources, his fever is down but he suffers from dehydration, characterized as one of the side effects of the infection. His personal doctor decided that it would be better for him to be admitted in a hospital in order to be watched more closely.
 GREEK-TURKISH COOPERATION TO DEAL WITH EARTHQUAKESKomotini, 10 November 2003 (16:23 UTC+2)
The Municipality of Komotini in cooperation with the Turkish city of Yalova materialized a European program aimed at dealing with earthquake-caused disasters. The Turkish city was hit in August 1999 by an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale. Its epicenter was located at the Sea of Marmara.
It is a European program funded by the European Union with the sum of 3.6 million euros and materializes with the participation of universities and other agencies. The program includes exchange of information, cooperation on rescue issues, psychological support of the people living in areas hit by natural disasters, etc.
Representatives of the Municipality of Komotini, which is the first Greek municipality that materializes a European program in cooperation with Turkey, met with their counterparts in Yalova to consider the activities they will undertake.
 MEETING OF THE DEFENSE MINISTERS OF GREECE, FYROM AND ALBANIAKastoria, 10 November 2003 (15:47 UTC+2)
Greek Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou meets today with his counterparts from Albania and FYROM, Panteli Majko and Vlado Buskovski, at the Big Prespa Lake. The meeting will be followed by three-day talks in the northwestern Greek city of Kastoria.
Greece and Albania are expected to sign a bilateral defense cooperation agreement in the sector of training, the exchange of operational experience and modern defense know-how.
 TWO-DAY VISIT TO ROMANIA BY THE GREEK DEFENSE MINISTERBucharest, 10 November 2003 (15:57 UTC+2)
Greek Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou will be on a two-day formal visit to Romania today and tomorrow to sign a bilateral military cooperation agreement.
Mr. Papantoniou will meet this afternoon with his Romanian counterpart Ioan Mircea Pascu, while tomorrow he will have a meeting in Parliament with Romanian Defense, Public Order and National Security Committee Chairman Mr. Razvan Ionescu.
The Greek Defense Minister will also meet with Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase, Foreign Minister Mircea Geoana and Romanian President Ion Iliescu.