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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-02-09
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 READY FOR A DIALOGUEAthens, 9 February 2004 (12:53 UTC+2)
Greece and Cyprus are ready to recommence negotiations aiming at reaching a final solution for the Cyprus issue, so that a reunited Cyprus joins the EU on May 1, stated Prime Minister Costas Simitis and President of the Cypriot Republic Tassos Papadopoulos, immediately following their meeting at the Maximos Mansion today. PASOK's new President and Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou also participated in the meetings.
Both men greeted the initiative of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for the recommencing of negotiations and Mr. Simitis stressed that it is up to Ankara and the Denktash regime to prove that they wish to resolve the Cyprus issue in the framework of the Annan proposal with their actions.
President of ND Costas Karamanlis also met with President Papadopoulos today, in view of what he called, the new momentum developing around the Cyprus issue and its upcoming full accession to the EU.
It is a basic national goal, stressed Mr. Karamanlis, to find a just, viable and functional solution according to the resolutions and decisions of the UN and European acquis.
The Greek Cypriot side, underlined the President of ND, has repeatedly shown its good will and now the other side is obliged to leave behind its refusal and delaying tactics and to come to the table of negotiations based on the Annan proposal.
We are, he underlined, at the side of Cypriot Hellenism, in its struggle, while he noted that on national issues it is necessary to draw a united national strategy, and that is why ND insisted on the need of forming a National Council for Foreign Policy and the convening of the Council of Political Leaders under the President of the Republic.
Meanwhile, Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou repeated the necessity of a solution to the Cyprus issue, in a speech yesterday at the exhibition of the Pieridis Foundation on 3200 years of Cypriot Hellenism From Astarti to Aphrodite. He stressed that the interest of the international community must be utilized and that negotiation procedures for the resolving of the Cyprus issue must begin based on the Annan proposal.
At the same time, Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktash arrived in New York late yesterday afternoon (local time), after the invitation he also received from Mr. Annan, for the recommencing of the negotiations.
 PAPANDREOU ASSUMES PASOK'S PRESIDENCYAthens, 9 February 2004 (18:00 UTC+2)
With his commitment to respond to expectations, Giorgos Papandreou formally undertook the responsibilities of the President of PASOK from his predecessor Costas Simitis, in a ceremony held at the party's Central Offices on Charilaou Trikoupi street, in the presence of members of the Executive Office.
It is with great emotion that receive this responsibility, a responsibility which is even greater after the immense participation of citizens, countrymen, outside PASOK, in this unprecedented electoral procedure, which showed the demand for participation, the demand for citizens to have a voice, said Mr. Papandreou, shaking Mr. Simitis' hand, and added: It is an order to continue this effort, to break authoritative relations and change our movement, and as government in the near future, to form a new relationship with the citizens, with their problems. We can do these things drawing on the work you have done, our President, all these years. It gives us strength, and your continual presence, which we expect in the next phase of our work, will give us even more strength.
Mr. Papandreou and Mr. Simitis greeted all the members of the Executive Office and made statements in a very emotional atmosphere.
Mr. Simitis congratulated Mr. Papandreou and underlined: Yesterday we experienced an unprecedented political event. The citizens applauded PASOK's proposal to participate in the election of the leader of a party seeking a governmental order. Reassurance was given that citizens want open procedures, away from mechanism conflict, they want transparent procedures. Mr. Papandreou is the third PASOK President in almost 30 years since its foundation. In those thirty years, Greece has changed dramatically. We are now entering a new era. In the Greece of participation and convergence. We must open new paths, with development, justice for all Greeks and especially for the new generation and those most in need.
 KARAMANLIS DESCENT FROM NORTH TO SOUTHThessaloniki, 9 February 2004 (10:50 UTC+2)
A tour from the North to the South, was carried out on Sunday by President of ND Costas Karamanlis, who spoke at enthusiastic citizens' meetings in Thessaloniki, Katerini, Lamia and Thiva. The President of ND accused PASOK, noting that with all that's been said and heard they are convincing nobody. We are not miracle workers, noted Mr. Karamanlis, regarding the central choices of ND's program, adding that the new governing are not last minute fireworks, they are not abstract concepts, and they are not promises.
 THE SECOND TRIAL OF TERRORISMAthens, 9 February 2004 (11:26 UTC+2)
The second major trial of terrorism is beginning today, in the special courtroom of the Corydallos Penitentiary, with the five suspected ELA (Revolutionary People's Struggle) members on the stand. One of the five, Christos Tsigaridas, has taken responsibility of the organization's political actions until 1990, while the other four have denied any connection. One other suspect of the five, Michalis Kassimis, brother of the organization's alleged brother Christos Kassimis, has not been imprisoned.
 ELECTION COOPERATION BETWEEN PAPATHEMELIS AND NEW DEMOCRACYAthens, 9 February 2004 (20:58 UTC+2)
The Democratic Rebirth Party of Stelios Papathemelis will cooperate in the March 7 elections with right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy. The cooperation will be ratified formally tomorrow at noon in a meeting in Parliament between New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis and Mr. Papathemelis.
The President of Democratic Rebirth will be a candidate in Thessaloniki in the ballot of New Democracy, while two or three more Democratic Rebirth members will also be included in New Democracy ballots.
 ONE-DAY CONFERENCE ON THE GREEK-TURKISH COOPERATION AND BIOPOLITICSAthens, 9 February 2004 (20:24 UTC+2)
The one-day conference of the International Organization on Biopolitics on The Greek-Turkish Cooperation and Biopolitics. A course toward the European ideals aims at the strengthening of the Greek-Turkish friendship and the wider cooperation in the protection of the environment. The conference opened in Athens today under the auspices of Turkey's ambassador to Athens Yigit Alpogan.
In a press conference at the European Parliament offices in Athens today it was stressed that international problems are a threat to the environment and their solution demands cooperation and understanding by all nations.
The Turkish University professors, mayors and governors participating in the press conference referred to the common environmental problems faced by the two countries and stressed that they seek closer bilateral cooperation in order to deal with them, while they also referred to Turkey's European prospect.
 THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF THESSALONIKI WELCOMES THE ADOPTION OF THE JEWISH HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAYThessaloniki, 9 February 2004 (18:41 UTC+2)
The Jewish Community of Thessaloniki with a statement issued by its President David Saltiel welcomes the unanimous decision reached by the Greek Parliament according to which, the Holocaust of the Greek Jews is recognized as national anniversary.
The statement mentions that the tragic fate of the Greek Jews, who fell victims of the genocide committed by the German Nazis during WWII, is certainly known. It is stressed that a total of 29 Jewish communities existed in Greece numbering about 80,000 people until 1943.
The Jewish Community of Thessaloniki expresses its deepest thanks to the government, the opposition and all the political parties represented in the Greek Parliament for the adoption of the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Day commemorating the sacrifice of the 50,000 Jews from Thessaloniki and the 6 million Jews from all over Europe.
 KARAMANLIS WILL BE IN MADRIDAthens, 9 February 2004 (17:06 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis will be in Madrid on Friday, February 13 to attend the summit meeting of the Center Democrats International.
Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar will preside over the meeting that will be held with the participation of over 90 political party leaders from all over the world forming the Central Democrats International.
Among them will be the Prime Ministers of Portugal, Norway, Slovakia, Malta, Estonia, as well as, state Presidents and other political leaders.
This summit will be in continuation of the Central Democrats International meeting that was held in the Ionian Sea island of Corfu in 2002. Among the issues under discussion will be international affairs and issues of cooperation concerning the political parties, which are members of the Central Democrats International.
Meanwhile, New Democracy will host in Athens on February 18-19 the European People's Party presiding board meeting on the occasion of the preparations in view of the forthcoming European Parliament elections and the developments concerning the future of Europe.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 9 February 2004 (16:52 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.12% at 2417.75 points, while the volume of transactions was at 132.8 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 52 had gains and 258 had losses, while the value of 74 stocks remained unchanged.
 PAPANDREOU ASSUMED THE POST OF THE PRESIDENT OF PASOKAthens, 9 February 2004 (16:30 UTC+2)
Giorgos Papandreou assumed the post of the President of the governing Socialist Party of PASOK pledging that he will meet the expectations of the people. He assumed his duties formally today in a ceremony at the party's central offices in Athens in the presence of the Executive Bureau members.
Mr. Papandreou took over the post replacing Kostas Simitis who congratulated him stressing that participation in yesterday's vote giving to Mr. Papandreou a popular mandate was unprecedented. He said that the people approved unanimously PASOK's proposal to participate in the election of a party leader who will claim a government mandate.
The new PASOK leader stated that he is fully aware of his responsibilities and thanked Mr. Simitis on behalf of PASOK and the Greek people for everything he has done and offered in order to be more proud for Greece and more optimistic about the future.
 KARAMANLIS IN MADRID-EPP IN ATHENSAthens, 9 February 2004 (14:36 UTC+2)
President of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis will be traveling to Madrid on Friday February 13, in order to participate in the conference of the International Center Democrat association.
Prime Minister of Spain Jose Maria Asnar will preside over the conference's works, while leaders from more than 90 political parties from around the world, the members of the International Center Democrat association, will participate.
Among them are the Prime Ministers of Portugal, Norway, Slovakia, Malta, Esthonia, Presidents of the Republic and other political leaders.
Also, Athens will host the works of the Presidency of the European Peoples' Party on February 18-19 2004. Participants in the Presidency's works include President of the EPP Wilfred Martens, Vice President of the EPP and President of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis, Vice President of the European Commission Mrs. Loyola de Palacio, and others.
 HARRY POTTER'S ADVENTURES IN ANCIENT GREEKLondon, 9 February 2004 (17:35 UTC+2)
British Classics teacher Andrew Wilson translated the first book of Harry Potter into ancient Greek and said that it is the longest text to have been translated into the ancient language in 1,500 years, according to the BBC.
It took him a year to complete the project, which was commissioned by the publishers. The book will come out later this year, along with the Irish Gaelic version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
Mr. Wilson also said that the official line is that it can be used in schools to encourage people to learn Greek. He added that having got kids reading English, J.K. Rowling is quite keen to have them reading Latin and Greek.
He also said that his model for Harry Potter has been Lucian, a writer from the 3rd century AD, and stressed that writing the book had its challenges, as he had to use descriptions of the characters and the unique vocabulary used in the book in his translation.