|Monday, 20 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-11-12
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 MAP OF GREECE CHANGINGBrussels, 12 November 2003 (12:03 UTC+2)
Enormous highways and super-modern railroad networks the construction of which was decided on by the European Commission, will completely change the map of Greece, facilitating access from Greece to the Balkans and Europe to the maximum. The decision for their construction was made yesterday by the European Commission, which selected them from a list of 56 major works in transportation, energy, communications and research, to be submitted to the December EU Summit for approval, in order for them to be carried out as soon as possible.
Of the 56 works, which are mostly inter-border in character, thus they interest 2 or more community (or outside) countries, three are of direct Greek importance.
For Greece, the immediate priority works proposed by the Commission are:
- A super-highway connecting Igoumenitsa Patra Athens Sofia Budapest. A work which started in 1996 and will continue so as to be completed by 2008 for the Athens Bulgaria connection and by 2010 for the connection from the Greek-Bulgarian borders to Sofia.
- Regarding the road rail sea axis of the Ioanian Adriatic, the Commission does not foresee the commencing of some work and does not propose any connected funding.
- On the contrary it foresees the connection for the supply and reception of electricity from and to Greece from and to the Balkans, in cooperation with Turkey, a work that will cost 50 million euro. The works will begin in mid 2004 and will be completed in 2006.
 ATHENS, OPEN AND SAFE FOR THE OLYMPICSAthens, 12 November 2003 (11:58 UTC+2)
Athens must be an open and safe city during the Olympics, stressed Prime Minister Costas Simitis, during a meeting of the Ministerial Committee this Tuesday. The Prime Minister underlined that in order for the Games to succeed, all bodies must cooperate in an atmosphere of consensus, acceptance of measures by the citizens, and their participation, as they will be the protagonists. At the same time he noted that Athens must be an open and safe city, not one that looks like it is being occupied by the army, it should promote the celebratory atmosphere of the Olympics.
 THE GREEK GOV'T CONDEMNS THE TERRORIST ATTACK IN NASIRIYAAthens, 12 November 2003 (20:55 UTC+2)
The terrorist attack in Nasiriya, Iraq that resulted to the deaths of 14 Italian soldiers was condemned in the most categorical way by Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.
Mr. Papandreou extended the Greek government's and his personal condolences, solidarity and sympathy to the Italian government and people and to the families of the victims.
 PAPANTONIOU: NO ALBANIAN THREAT FOR GREECE, MAJKO'S STATEMENTS WERE MADE ON KOSOVOAthens, 12 November 2003 (20:14 UTC+2)
There is no threat of a Greater Albania, this concerns other neighboring countries and not Greece, stated Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou addressing the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense on the new structure of the Greek armed forces.
He made the statements on the occasion of references made by Parliament deputies concerning the statements made by his Albanian counterpart Panteli Majko to the German magazine Der Spiegel on pending border issues in the Balkans.
Mr. Papantoniou stated that the pending issues Mr. Majko spoke about do not concern Greece but Kosovo, adding that there is no military threat from the north. However, he said that there is a likelihood of unpredictable developments in the Balkans and admitted that there are serious problems with organized crime and illegal immigration.
Responding to the reservations and objections expressed by many Parliament deputies over the withdrawal of armed forces from Epirus and Macedonia in northwestern Greece, he clarified that Greece is not being disarmed along its northern borders. He said that the army units in the region are being restructured.
The Greek Defense Minister stated that the Turkish threat from the east remains active in spite of the steps made with the Greek-Turkish dialogue.
He said that during the past two years two were the main issues for Greece, the Cyprus issue and the continuing unacceptable Turkish claims in the Aegean, which remain active through the Greek airspace violations by Turkish jets.
Mr. Papantoniou stated that there are two crucial deadlines that will check Turkey's willingness to constructively contribute to the normalization of the Greek-Turkish relations.
Namely, on May 1, 2004 when Cyprus will become an EU member and at the end of 2004, which is the deadline set by Helsinki for Turkey to settle the disputes with its neighbors. An assessment will be made then of Turkey's intention to contribute to the settlement of the continental shelf issue by bringing it to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, stated Mr. Papantoniou.
The procedure for the improvement of the atmosphere with the neighboring country could be reversed in the case of a pessimistic scenario and therefore, Greece has to be vigilant to deal with such likelihood.
 PAPANTONIOU ON THE ATTACK IN NASIRIYAAthens, 12 November 2003 (19:11 UTC+2)
Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou extended the condolences of the Greek government, the Greek people and his own to the Italian people for today's bloody attack on the Italian Police headquarters in the city of Nasiriya, Iraq.
He made the statement speaking to journalists in the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents in Athens.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE ARRESTED IN THE SUMMIT MEETING INCIDENTSAthens, 12 November 2003 (17:26 UTC+2)
The transfer to the Korydallos Prison in Athens of those arrested during the violent incidents in Thessaloniki last June, on the sidelines of the EU Summit meeting, was decided to protect their health because they are on a hunger strike for a long time, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas, responding to a question by a reporter.
Mr. Protopapas added that the government does not make decisions neither on the jailing of people nor on their release from custody, and pointed out that the incidents and vandalisms recorded on the sidelines of the EU Summit meeting do not honor the meaning of the words civilization and protest.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 12 November 2003 (16:54 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The immediate withdrawal of the German bank Deutsche Bank from the Eurobank shareholders led the ASE general index to losses.
The general index dropped to -0.60% at 2.160,12 points, while the volume of transactions was at 124.5 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today 171 had losses and 129 recorded gains, while the value of 89 stocks remained unchanged.
 GREEK POLICE CONCERN OVER THE REAPPEARANCE OF THE "CHRISTOS KASSIMIS" TERRORIST GROUPAthens, 12 November 2003 (16:41 UTC+2)
There is skepticism in the Greek Police after an explosive device was found outside a Citibank branch in the region of Zografou in Athens. The device was finally, destroyed by Athens Police bomb experts using the controlled-explosion method.
It is the third such incident since the summer. The terrorist group Christos Kassimis claimed responsibility through an anonymous telephone call to a newspaper.
The Christos Kassimis terrorist group acted as an ELA (Revolutionary People's Struggle) branch in the period 1977-79 by planting explosive devices in police patrol cars and companies of German interests.
 MITSOTAKIS WILL LEAVE THE HOSPITAL TOMORROWAthens, 12 November 2003 (16:28 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis will leave the Evangelismos Hospital possibly tomorrow. His condition is improving and he is in a good psychological state.
He has received numerous get well telephone calls from Parliament deputies and had a number of visits. He is briefed on the developments from the newspapers. Mr. Mitsotakis was admitted in the hospital with dehydration symptoms caused by a viral gastroenteritis.
 115% PRE-TAX PROFIT FOR HELLENIC PETROLEUMAthens, 12 November 2003 (14:01 UTC+2)
The consolidated profit before tax of Hellenic Petroleum for the nine month period from January to September 2003, was 252.8 million against 117.4 for the same period last year, increased by 115.4%.
Consolidated EBITDA reached 264.5 million in 2003 against 236.6 million in the previous year, representing an increase of11.8%, while capital expenditure and net investment totaled 162.9 million, against 94.5 million in 2002.
The Chairman of the Board of Hellenic Petroleum, Mr. George Moraitis, commented: « So far, with nine-month profit growing by more than 115%, we have had one of our best seasons ever. This remarkable performance comes as a direct result of our ability to take full advantage of the positive trend in international refining margins by effectively increasing our refining production and the sales from our domestic and international marketing network. Over this period, we have delivered on our strategic goals and have further strengthened our competitive position in Greece and abroad.
The performance of the individual business segments of HP was as follows:
In refining, the total net production volume for the period increased, reaching 9.5 million tons. The corresponding refining sales volume also followed this positive trend and totaled 10.6 million tons.
In marketing, the consolidated domestic and international sales volume was 3.6 million tons, reflecting an increase of 16.3% compared to 2002. The growth in sales volume resulted in the increase of the marketing segment's contribution to the Group results (profit before tax) to 24.4 million, from 17.8 million in 2002 (.: 37.1%).
An important milestone for the Group was the successful launch in the third quarter of 2003 of the new generation Kinitron® products produced by HP under EU 2005 specifications.
In petrochemicals, sales reached 291 thousand tons, up by 23.4% compared to the previous year.
In the context of delivering on its strategic goals the Group has achieved significant milestones, the most important of which are listed below:
The further strengthening of the competitive position of the Group in Greece after the successful absorption of Petrola Hellas S.A.
The expansion of the marketing network of EKO in SE Europe, with the consolidation of the acquired networks in Cyprus and Montenegro and the operation of new petrol stations in Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania and Georgia.
The development of E&P activities in Montenegro, Albania and Libya.
The efficient operation of the fully integrated polypropylene production plant, resulting in the strengthening of the Group's presence in the petrochemicals market.
The completion of 30% of the construction of the 390MW gas fired combined cycle power generation plant in Thessaloniki (North Greece).
The acquisition and operation of a double hull carrier for oil products, which resulted in a significant decrease in transportation costs and enhanced transportation safety.
The preparation for the early producing in 2004 of the new environmentally friendly fuels in compliance with the EU 2005 specifications.
 GREEK EURO-DEPUTY QUESTION ON THE BULGARIAN POSTAGE STAMPBrussels, 12 November 2003 (18:19 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy Euro-deputy Stavros Xarhakos submitted a question to the European Commission on the circulation in Bulgaria of a postage stamp depicting part of the monastic community of Mount Athos in northern Greece and specifically, the monastery of Zografou.
Mr. Xarhakos points out that in spite of the protests made by the Greek side, Bulgaria refuses to withdraw the stamp from circulation maintaining that it was issued in June 2001 when the Kostov government was in office and its withdrawal could cause the reaction of the opposition.
Mr. Xarhakos asks the European Commission if Bulgaria's behavior toward an EU member state is appropriate for an EU candidate state. He also asks the European Commission how it will react to avert the circulation of the specific stamp and make Bulgaria realize that its course toward the EU is not compatible with tactics like the one already mentioned.
 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT MANIFESTO ON DISABLED PEOPLEBrussels, 12 November 2003 (13:57 UTC+2)
The adoption of a resolution and a manifesto describing the expectations and priorities of the disabled movement, marked the completion of the Meeting of the European Parliament's Plenary Session for Disabled People yesterday in Brussels, in the Presence of the President of the European Parliament Pat Cox.
Following a two-day debate and a fruitful exchange of views, the delegates adopted a resolution on the follow-up to European Year 2003 and a manifesto for the forthcoming European Parliament elections, including the following key demands:
- the need to adopt new horizontal legislation that will protect disabled people from discrimination, in all fields of life, a request that already has the support of the European Parliament;
- the new EU Constitution to ensure that all legislative measures on non-discrimination against disabled people are adopted by qualified majority voting instead of the current unanimity system;
- to make next year's EP elections more accessible for people with disabilities and disabled candidates.