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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-11-19
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 TRUST IN THE ECONOMYAthens, 19 November 2003 (09:20 UTC+2)
All bills of Public Welfare Companies have been frozen for six months, according to the forecasts of the 2004 budget, which was submitted to Parliament. Emphasis must be placed on the real image, pointing out the positive atmosphere and the trust in the economy, according to Prime Minister Costas Simitis who accused the opposition of trying to create an atmosphere of insecurity regarding the economy and the budget, trying to cancel the budget in order to support its claim that the economy is not going well. Growth is expected to run at 4.2%. The budget is being used as the government's propaganda tool and has very little to do with reality, stated Financial Coordinator for ND, G. Alogoskoufis.
 PAPANDREOU CONDEMNS SCENARIOSAthens, 19 November 2003 (12:54 UTC+2)
I have supported, I support and I will continue supporting the decisions of the Prime Minister and President of PASOK, C. Simitis, stated Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, who condemned the scenarios regarding his taking up the leadership of the party, as well as those who speak in his name. PASOK and AEKA will cooperate in the elections, while the deadline given to MPs to state whether they will be candidates in the elections is tomorrow, and more than 10 MPs have stated that they will not run for MPs again.
 TROUBLE FOR PASSENGERS AFTER SHIP CAUGHT FIREHeracleon, 19 November 2003 (12:54 UTC+2)
An airport mobile staircase was required for the 1.040 passengers of the Knossos Palace to disembark, as a fire broke out on board in the early morning hours. The fire was caused by a truck parked in the ship's garage. The crew quickly dealt with the fire and there were no other problems.
The Knossos Palace arrived at the Heracleon port at 06:10, but there was a problem with the platform for disembarking, and the passengers were forced to use an airport staircase brought to the port, thus making the whole procedure last several hours, causing great discomfort to the passengers. The problems were caused due to overheating to the ship's circuitry during the fire that was put out earlier
 EURO SKYROCKETINGAthens, 19 November 2003 (09:22 UTC+2)
The scenery is changing in the European, and therefore the Greek economy with the significant increase in value of the euro in relation to the dollar. The exchange rate between the common European currency and the dollar reached record highs. Economists pointed out that this development has both good and bad characterisitics.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE SUCCESSION TALKAthens, 19 November 2003 (18:19 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas cited the statements made by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou when he was asked to comment on the scenarios referring to the succession of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.
Mr. Protopapas stated that the scenarios in question are unacceptable and that the statement made by Mr. Papandreou puts an end to them He also observed that there was never a problem between the Prime Minister and Mr. Papandreou and that their relations were always excellent and very close.
Responding to relevant questions, Mr. Protopapas stated that the position of Mr. Papandreou was always clear, adding that he does his job systematically, defends the country's interests around the world and his contribution to the activities of the governing Socialist Party of PASOK is very important.
 PRESIDENT OF CROATIA SIGNS OLYMPIC TRUCEAthens, 19 November 2003 (17:53 UTC+2)
President of Croatia Stepan Mesic signed the declaration of the Olympic Truce during his meeting with Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.
In his statements, Mr. Mesic, who is carrying out a formal visit to our country, thanked Greece for its support in Croatia's efforts for European integration.
He also stated that he was impressed with Greek history, the notion of the Olympic Truce and its revival.
On his side, Mr. Papandreou said that Croatia's European prospects are important, and he characterized the EU as one of the greatest constructs of peace.
 MARGINAL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 19 November 2003 (17:36 UTC+2)
Marginal losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.04% at 2.130,53 points, while the volume of transactions was at 138.5 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 220 had gains, while 95 recorded losses and the value of 76 stocks remained unchanged.
 PAPANDREOU: THE FOLLOWING MONTHS WILL BE CRUCIAL FOR THE CYPRUS ISSUEAthens, 19 November 2003 (17:20 UTC+2)
The view that the following months will be crucial for the solution of the Cyprus issue, was expressed by Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou in statements he made after the meeting he had with US State Department special coordinator on Cyprus Thomas Weston, who stated that the two share the same views. They also discussed the recent visit of the Turkish Prime Minister to the Turkish occupied territories in northern Cyprus.
The following months will be crucial because Cyprus will become formally a member of the EU and Turkey's position on the Cyprus problem and a number of other issues will be evaluated, pointed out Mr. Papandreou. He added that Greece repeatedly has stated that it backs Turkey's European prospect, stressing that lingering problems can be faced within the European framework.
On his part, Mr. Weston referred to the importance of regular contacts, stressing that this way cooperation for the solution of the Cyprus problem and Turkey's European course is being strengthened.
 SIMITIS-MESIC ON INTER-BALKAN COOPERATIONAthens, 19 November 2003 (16:48 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and Croatian President Stjepan Mesic referred to the inter-Balkan cooperation in statements they made after their meeting in Athens today.
Mr. Simitis suggested the establishment of an inter-Balkan cooperation organization and Mr. Mesic pointed out that he is interested in the cooperation with countries of former Yugoslavia, while he observed that something, which has ended twice in blood, is impossible to be revived.
The Croatian President referred to the progress made by his country regarding its adjustment with the European Union standards and the reforms in legislation and the economic sector. Mr. Simitis praised the progress made by Croatia and assured that Greece will continue to back these efforts.
The two leaders also referred to the importance of the Ionian Road (it will link western Greece with the Adriatic and western Europe). Mr. Simitis stated that the part of the Ionian Road, which is on Greek territory, is going to be completed by 2007.
 PAPANDREOU ASKS FOR AN END TO SCENARIOSAthens, 19 November 2003 (13:07 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou moved to a categorical refutation of the scenarios being developed by a portion of the press regarding a change in the PASOK's leadership, while he expressed his certainty that PASOK will win the next elections.
In statements following his meeting with Special Coordinator for the US State Department on the Cyprus issue, Ambassador Thomas Weston, Mr. Papandreou stressed: I have proven I fully respect the institutions. I have supported, still support and will continue to support the decisions of the Prime Minister and President of PASOK Costas Simitis.
He also added that he had not authorized anyone to express his views for him, which, he said, I express myself, while he asked for the scenarios to end because we have a crucial battle ahead, which we will win.