|Tuesday, 21 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-11-24
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SIMITIS: THE BALKAN PROSPECT IS PEACE, STABILITY AND EUROPEAN ORIENTATIONAthens, 24 November 2003 (16:18 UTC+2)
The Balkan peoples and states share one prospect, namely, peace, stability and European orientation, stated Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis speaking in Thessaloniki's Commerce and Industry Chamber today where he presented the basic axes of Greece's Balkan policy, as well as detailed figures on the course of the materialization of the Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans.
Peace and stability in the Balkans cannot exist without the European orientation of the countries in the region, stated Mr. Simitis, sending the message that the strong Greece of the 21st century exploits its power for the consolidation of peace and stability in the Balkans, in order to stop ethnic conflicts and combat organized crime, as well as in order to give a boost to the region's economies and materialize their European orientation.
He stressed that Greece works for Romania's and Bulgaria's accession into the European Union and has ratified the stabilization and association agreements among the EU, Croatia and FYROM, while it also promotes the talks for the drawing up of a similar agreement between the EU and Albania.
Mr. Simitis stated that until 1999 Greece was a country that received aid and today is one of the developed countries in the world. As a result of this impressive development, it has become one of the 22 OECD countries and a member of the Development Assistance Committee financing projects for the reconstruction of the Balkans.
The Prime Minister characterized as speedy and effective the development of the Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans and cited the satisfaction expressed by the President of Bulgaria, the Prime Minister of Romania and the President of Serbia-Montenegro. The main part of the Greek Plan is made up of major public infrastructure projects corresponding to 79% of the overall program and already, 23 of those projects have been approved.
The Greek Plan is estimated at 550 million euros, concerns a total of six countries (Serbia-Montenegro, FYROM, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania) and will be completed in 2006.
 PAPANTONIOU: NO PARTICIPATION OF NATO FORCES IN THE SECURITY OF THE OLYMPIC GAMESAthens, 24 November 2003 (17:51 UTC+2)
No NATO forces will participate in the security of the Athens Olympic Games, stated Greek Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou in the northwestern city of Grevena. He made the statement to deny the rumors according to which, NATO forces, at electronic umbrella level, will be involved in security issues during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
Mr. Papantoniou also clarified that the Greek forces, which are responsible for the Athens Olympic Games security, will cooperate with foreign agencies and foreign forces, both NATO forces and third country forces, to assure a flow of information and a system of protection that will be in a position to offer protection from any possible threat.
Mr. Papantoniou assured that the Greek government takes all necessary measures for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games to be the safest games ever held in the history of the Olympic Games.
Referring to the recent attacks in Istanbul, he said that there is a high degree of readiness in the armed forces at security level, pointing out, however, that there is no special indication that Greece is a specific target.
 TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SIMITIS AND SCHROEDERThessaloniki, 24 November 2003 (18:57 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis had a telephone communication with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder this morning to discuss this afternoon's ECOFIN meeting during which it will be discussed whether Germany will implement the Stability Pact and if the European Commission will impose sanctions on the country in the case it won't.
Mr. Simitis made the statement during his speech in Thessaloniki's Commerce and Industry Chamber and pointed out that the Greek government has undertaken a mediation initiative. According to this initiative, the European Commission should impose no direct measures on Germany before watching the situation for some time.
This was the content of the telephone communication between the Greek Prime Minister and the German Chancellor. Mr. Simitis stated that this fact shows that things change and Greece plays a new role in Europe. For the record, Germany does not want to implement the Stability Pact because it faces economic problems.
 OTAR IOSELIANI ON THE SITUATION IN GEORGIAThessaloniki, 24 November 2003 (18:27 UTC+2)
I respect Shevardnadze and I do not know what will happen tomorrow in my country, stated 44th Thessaloniki Film Festival International Committee Chairman Georgian film director Otar Ioseliani responding to a question by MPA.
The so-called velvet revolution was well organized by the opposition and the popular uprising was nothing but a scheduled event as I have heard, stated the world known film director.
He stated that according to the information he has from his fellow countrymen and associates in Georgia and France, the protesters came with buses to the capital of Tblisi from the Georgian provinces and each of them had received 25 dollars to participate in the revolution.
Mr. Ioseliani said that he is very concerned about the future of Georgia, a country at the crossroads between the West and the East, where many political-economic interests are at stake. He stressed that in the past few years, life for the people in Georgia has become very difficult. He stated characteristically that an average pension is just 7 dollars and the World Bank efforts to support the national currency gave no results.
Mr. Ioseliani lives and works in Paris since 1982 and today he keeps distances from the events taking place in his country, which he has praised through his sensitive and poetic work.
He added that it is easy to criticize Shevardnadze but it is hard to find a solution with a good prospect for the people of Georgia.
 BEGLITIS ON THE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS IN HIMAREAthens, 24 November 2003 (17:19 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis characterized as a positive development the fact that the central Supervisory Committee announced as the new mayor of Himare the Human Rights Union Party, KEAD, candidate Mr. Bolano. He stated characteristically that this decision is a positive development following the unacceptable approach and acts of violence and tampering that occurred in the second round of the elections.
Mr. Beglitis also referred to Albania's European prospects, stressing that Greece will remain firm in its support of Albania's European prospects under the basic precondition that the neighboring country will work for the respect of the democratic principles which constitute the European criteria for its course.
 SATISFACTORY GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 24 November 2003 (16:46 UTC+2)
Satisfactory gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.84% at 2.135,27 points, while the volume of transactions was at 97.1 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 103 had losses and 195 recorded gains, while the value of 85 stocks remained unchanged.
 BEGLITIS ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN GEORGIAAthens, 24 November 2003 (16:40 UTC+2)
The need to observe the democratic rules and procedures in Georgia for the country to be able to be soon on the road to political stability respecting the will of the Georgian people, was stressed by Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis, commenting on the latest developments in the country.
The European Union and Greece back the territorial integrity of Georgia and this is a basic precondition for the overall regional stability in the Caucasus region, added Mr. Beglitis.