|Thursday, 12 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-02-13
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ANNAN ULTIMATUMNew York, 13 February 2004 (11:48 UTC+2)
The Greek Cypriot side held a constructive position throughout the talks carried out yesterday in the seat of the UN, stated Greek Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Panos Beglitis, who announced that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is prepared to submit a new compromise document to the two sides for the joint announcement. The Greek Cypriot side submitted three compromise positions and proposals, which unfortunately the Turkish side did not accept, calling on internal problems. Mr. Annan will issue a new announcement which the two sides will have to reply with a simple yes or no.
 THE BLIZZARD ATTACKSThessaloniki, 13 February 2004 (11:47 UTC+2)
A blizzared has struck most of the country, while Attica is in a state of emergency, as the snow has made movement in the streets very difficult. Anti-skid chains are required even at Syntagma Square. Schools and courthouses are closed. The El. Venizelos and 7 other airports have closed throughout Greece. The General Secretariat of Civic Protection has recommended emergency mmeasures be taken due to the dangerous weather phenomena.
 "THREAT" CLOSES US CONSULATE IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 13 February 2004 (11:47 UTC+2)
The US Consulate in Thessaloniki will remain closed today, due to a threat, as was mentioned by a US State Department Spokesperson. The US embassy to Athens will remain open and function normally. In the statements no clarification was made as to the nature of the threat or why the consulate is closed, and the message forwards all emergency calls to the US embassy to Athens.
 NEW SOLUTION TO CRISIS PROMOTEDAthens, 13 February 2004 (13:58 UTC+2)
A new initiative for the resolving of the crisis between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Church of Greece is under development. Metropolite of Alexandroupoli Anthimos, who traveled to the Fanari, and the Ecumenical Patriarch wrote up a compromise proposal. A broad meeting, however, that was carried out this afternoon in the Archbishopric, with the participation of constitution specialists, did not yield results, as there were certain obscurities in the document, so clarifications will be requested, mainly on the issues of rights and justice rules.
The plan mentioned that: The Church of Greece, a committee of which is in charge of the metropolises of the new countries, recognizing the rules and justices governing its relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, is sending the list with the vacant positions in the three Metropolises to be filled in, so that the Ecumenical Patriarchate can carry out its rights normally.
The plan did not include the phrases to be approved by or informing or references to the 1928 Act.
The Metropolite of Alexandroupoli briefed Archbishop Christodoulos of the developments in a telephone communication and the first reactions are positive. The issue is being discussed in the Archbishop's meetings with his legal consultants, while a meeting of the Standing Holy Synod is expected for a formal position to be taken.
 GIANNITSIS: NEW OPPORTUNITY FOR THE SOLUTION OF THE CYPRUS PROBLEMAthens, 13 February 2004 (20:08 UTC+2)
The developments in New York with the decision for the resumption of the talks in Nicosia on February 19 justify the tough and correct negotiating line adopted with the Cypriot leadership and President Tassos Papadopoulos, stated Greek Foreign Minister Tasos Giannitsis who said that this is a new opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
In a press conference, Mr. Giannitsis expressed the great optimism and pride of the Greek government for the outcome of the talks, so far, underlining the great contribution of Giorgos Papandreou to this effect.
According to the decision, the talks under UN Secretary General Special Adviser on Cyprus Mr. Alvaro de Soto will get underway in Nicosia on February 19 and on March 22 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will examine the remaining pending issues with the leaderships of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. In the case they are not settled they will be examined again on March 29 by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots as well as, by representatives from Greece and Turkey.
In case no mutually acceptable decisions are reached the UN Secretary General will take over to present the final proposals.
 CONGRATULATIONS BY SIMITIS TO THE CYPRIOT PRESIDENTAthens, 13 February 2004 (19:15 UTC+2)
Today's agreement for the continuation of the negotiations on the basis of the Annan Plan is a decisive turning point for the final solution of the Cyprus problem, underlined Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and added that the agreement creates the preconditions for a meaningful negotiation within a framework that will exclude procrastinations.
The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the Turkish Cypriot side this time will negotiate in good faith and pointed out that he is looking forward to the expressed will on behalf of the EU to contribute to the form of the final agreement.
Mr. Simitis stated that he wants to congratulate the representatives of the Greek Cypriot and the Greek side and especially, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos who handled issues with courage and effectiveness.
 PAPANDREOU: POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT ON CYPRUSAthens, 13 February 2004 (18:57 UTC+2)
Greek governing Socialist Party of PASOK leader Giorgos Papandreou stated that this is a positive development on Cyprus commenting on the fact that the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side have accepted UN Secretary General Kofi Annan statement and will participate in talks on Cyprus that will get underway in Nicosia on February 19.
Mr. Papandreou pointed out that it appears that the term set by the Greek side has been accepted namely, the process on Cyprus to take place within the framework of the EU given the fact that Cyprus is a member of the EU. He also expressed the view that the whole process will conclude to a final negotiation in March for the Cyprus problem to be closed.
 ATHENS' "E. VENIZELOS" INT'L AIRPORT WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL 8PMAthens, 13 February 2004 (17:40 UTC+2)
Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport will remain closed until 8pm this evening, according to a statement issued by the responsible airport officials.
The statement mentions that due to the heavy snow, which continues to fall since the early morning hours and the low visibility, under 100 meters, no passenger plane flights are being held since 6:10am this morning. The measure will continue to be in effect until 8pm in the evening. The situation will be assessed again in the following hours, but according to the national weather bureau, no improvement in the weather conditions is predicted before 8pm.
 GREECE HAD THE SPEEDIEST GROWTH RATE IN THE EU IN THE 3RD TRIMESTER OF 2003Athens, 13 February 2004 (17:14 UTC+2)
The Greek economy had the speediest growth rate among the 15 EU member-states in the 3rd trimester of 2003, according to the European Statistics Agency, Eurostat.
Specifically, according to Eurostat figures, the Greek economy grew in the 3rd trimester of 2003 by 5% compared to the same period in 2002 and by 1.8% compared to the 2nd trimester of last year.
The GDP in the 15 EU member-states increased in the 3rd trimester of 2003 by 0.6% compared to the same period in 2002 and by 0.4% compared to the 2nd trimester last year.
For the record, Eurostat has no figures yet on the growth rate in Greece during the 4th trimester of 2003.
 SMALL LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 13 February 2004 (16:40 UTC+2)
Small losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.24% at 2462.53 points, while the volume of transactions was at 136.2 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 152 had gains and 136 had losses, while the value of 96 stocks remained unchanged.
 ANNAN ULTIMATUMAthens, 13 February 2004 (14:08 UTC+2)
The Greek government, in full harmony with the Greek Cypriot side, has set important parameters for the continuation of negotiations, aiming at the resolving of the Cyprus issue, and hopes that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will take them into consideration, stated PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou, speaking to NET state television. The Greek Cypriot side submitted three compromise positions and proposals, which unfortunately the Turkish side did not accept, calling on internal problems. Mr. Annan will issue a new announcement which the two sides will have to reply with a simple yes or no.
 POSITIVE RESPONSES BY PAPADOPOULOS AND DENKTASHNew York, 13 February 2004 (18:38 UTC+2)
Cypriot Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and the delegations from Greece and Turkey delivered their positive responses to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
All four sides responded positively and accepted the framework, the timetables and the form of the solution as they are defined in Mr. Annan's statement.
The talks on the solution of the Cyprus problem will be based on the Annan Plan and will get underway in Nicosia on February 19.
The Greek side has contacted UN Secretary General Special Adviser on Cyprus Mr. Alvaro de Soto and stated that it accepts the Annan statement that was delivered earlier to the interested parties, according to Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis.
He added that the main targets supported by the Greek side were met after tough negotiations. The first target was that the arbitration will be held on the basis of the Annan Plan and the second was the reference to the EU role.
 NEW MEETING IN NEW YORKNew York, 13 February 2004 (11:47 UTC+2)
Negotiations on the Cyprus issue in New York have been completed, with the Turkish Cypriot leader departing first, stating that the Greek Cypriot side rejected the Turkish proposal. We are continuing discussions, stated Tassos Papadopoulos. A letter is expected from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to the two Cypriot communities, Athens and Ankara, on the continuation of the efforts for the resolving of the problem by the time the Cypriot Republic is accessed to the EU. We must achieve a viable and functional solution said Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who briefed the President of the Republic and the President of ND.