|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-02-02
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 DECISIVE DEVELOPMENTSAthens, 2 February 2004 (12:55 UTC+2)
Decisive developments will be taking place in the two major parties this week, in the final sprint to the March 7 elections. In PASOK an emergency Conference is expected, the works of which will start on Friday and will be concluded on Sunday with the election of Giorgos Papandreou to the party's presidency. At the same time, ND officials are preparing the financial program, to be presented by Mr. Karamanlis on Tuesday.
 MAGRIOTIS IN CYPRUSLimasol, 2 February 2004 (14:51 UTC+2)
Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Yiannis Magriotis spoke yesterday at an event organized by KISSOS-EDEK and the prefecture committee of PASOK in Limassol on the issue entitled: "Cyprus of Europe, Cyprus of Future".
During his speech Mr. Magriotis noted, among others :
"Cyprus's accession into the EU is positive evidence of the legitimate policies followed by the governments of Greece and Cyprus. Until yesterday, we spoke of national wounds and problems and today we have national successes. The future of the security and prosperity of Cyprus is within Europe. Cyprus should be integrated into all European institutions.
Answering journalist questions regarding the latest mobility of the Cyprus issue, Mr. Magriotis called the Turkish side to stop its ambiguous statements and to commit in order to solve the political problem of the island, while he also noted that the Greek and Cypriot side should continue the same policy.
"George Papandreou, who began this policy, is the person who, as Prime Minister in 2004, could seal the course for the solution of the political problem of Cyprus," concluded Mr. Magriotis.
Earlier the deputy Foreign Minister met with the Justice and Public Order Minister of Cyprus, Mr. Doros Theodorou, and discussed the problems of the repatriates and their integration procedure in the society of Cyprus among other issues.
Tomorrow Mr. Magriotis will hold meetings with Interior Minister Mr. Christou and the parliament President Mr. Christofias, as well as with the leaderships of other political parties.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS WILL SUE "DER SPIEGEL"Athens, 2 February 2004 (20:47 UTC+2)
Greek Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos will sue the German magazine Der Spiegel for libel in response to yesterday's news report on irregularities in the purchase of the Leopard armored tanks when he was Minister of Defense. The news report insinuated that those responsible were bribed in order to purchase the Leopard armored tanks.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that he intends to bring his case before the German Justice because the news report includes arbitrary and unfounded references to his name, hurting him and the government's institutional procedures of operation as well as the Greek armed forces.
 THE ND LEADER ADDRESSED YOUNG VOTERSAthens, 2 February 2004 (18:45 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis addressed young voters in Kallithea, Athens and presented his party's positions on the problem of unemployment, the upgrading of education, the use of new technologies and the support of young men and women in the job market.
Referring to the problem of unemployment, Mr. Karamanlis pledged to promote a new economic policy for a speedier and more dynamic development, accompanied by measures for the support of the unemployed.
Speaking about education, Mr. Karamanlis stated that the basic goal of New Democracy is the upgrading of public universities, the founding of non-state, non-profit universities, the upgrading of technological education and the evaluation of educational programs of studies and books.
He also referred to the changes he intends to make in the armed forces, their structure and operation, aimed among others, at reducing the military service time to gradually drop to 6 months starting in 2005.
 THE JOBLESS SHOW MISTRUST TOWARD POLITICAL PARTIESAthens, 2 February 2004 (17:56 UTC+2)
The jobless in Greece display mistrust toward political parties and 42.7% believe that no political party can deal effectively with the problem of unemployment, while 23.6% of them state that they have not decided yet which party they will back in the Parliamentary elections of March 7.
Indicative of the dominating climate are the conclusions of a research conducted by the Interview polling company on behalf of the newspaper Thessaloniki on a sample of 500 jobless.
Responding to the question which party can more effectively deal with the problem of unemployment, 17.8% backed the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy, and 15.1% the governing Socialist Party of PASOK, while 42.7% responded that no political party can deal effectively with the problem. A 10.4% of those questioned responded that another political party could find answers to the problem.
Of those questioned, 45.4% responded that they are jobless for more than a year, 47.3% believe that privatization will create new job positions, while 64.1% stated that the reduction of the employers' contribution to the Social Security Fund could help limit unemployment.
 MARGINAL GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 2 February 2004 (17:25 UTC+2)
Marginal gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.10% at 2435.11 points, while the volume of transactions was at 140.1 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 135 had gains and 149 had losses, while the value of 99 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE "DER SPIEGEL" REPORTAthens, 2 February 2004 (16:40 UTC+2)
Totally unfounded was characterized by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas the reference made by the German magazine Der Spiegel on irregularities reported in the purchase of the Leopard armored tanks. Mr. Protopapas added that there is no evidence backing the news report. He added that everything took place in total openness in accordance with the existing regulations urging those who have evidence to the opposite to present it to justice.
However, the government spokesman stated that there is an attempt to create a climate of scandal-talk and added that those attempting to revive the 1989 climate will not succeed and will be led to a dead end.
 KARAMANLIS MET WITH BOUTROS-GHALIAthens, 2 February 2004 (16:05 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis met with former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali at his party's central offices in Athens today.
After the meeting, Mr. Karamanlis stated that they had a very interesting discussion with Mr. Boutros-Ghali characterizing him as an old friend of Greece.
He said that they discussed a number of issues, among them, the need for a concrete Mediterranean policy on behalf of the EU as well as, issues concerning the Middle East and Cyprus. Mr. Karamanlis stated that Mr. Bouitros-Ghali had handled the Cyprus issue for many years and made many efforts for the solution of the political problem on the island.
Mr. Karamanlis invited Mr. Boutros-Ghali attend the Athens Olympic Games in August.
 SUPPORT TO FIGHTING DRUG ADDICTIONAthens, 2 February 2004 (12:54 UTC+2)
The need to create more curing communities and the organization of more, publicly funded, vocational training programs for people who have been cured of their addiction, was stressed by President of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis, who visited the Paremvasi addiction curing community in Rafina. Mr. Karamanlis was in favor of providing motivation to companies for the hiring of individuals who have been cured of their addiction, underlining that the problem with drugs is enormous and that responsibilities for it burden both state and country, and society.