|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-02-19
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 TASSOS PAPADOPOULOS: TOO SOON FOR OPTIMISMNicosia, 19 February 2004 (18:47 UTC+2)
The view that most of the issues raised by the Turkish side during today's first session of negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem were outside the framework set by the Annan Plan and raise fundamental provisions of the plan, the core issues, was expressed by Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos.
Asked if he was optimistic after today's meeting, he said that he could not answer such a question because one issue may not be resolved and ruin all the rest.
The Cypriot President also said that it was a useful meeting, adding that it is too soon to speak about being pleased or anything else.
 THE EU CENTER RIGHT IN ATHENSAthens, 19 February 2004 (13:41 UTC+2)
The six Prime Ministers of the EPP are in Athens for the meeting of the party's Presidency, being organized by ND. Those present are the Prime Ministers of Spain, Jose Maria Asnar, Italy, Silvio Berlusconi, the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende, Portugal, Durao Barroso, Malta, Fenech Adami, Louxembourg, Jean Claude Junker and Slovakia, Mikulas Dzurinda.
 3.3% DIFFERENCE IN FAVOR OF NDAthens, 19 February 2004 (14:15 UTC+2)
A lead of 3.3% for ND was found in MRB's panhellenic poll carried out from February 10 to 16. ND concentrated 39.6% and PASOK concentrated 36.3%, with the KKE trailing with 5.3% and the Coalition of the Left at 3%. Half the citizens believe that ND will in the elections, while one third believe PASOK will. In relation to the previous poll, the difference has increased by 0.3% in favor of ND. Tomorrow is the final day for the announcement of polls.
 GREEK DRUG FOR AIDSAthens, 19 February 2004 (12:47 UTC+2)
Hopes have been brought to AIDS patients by a new, made-in-Greece drug, which is believed to help inhibit the progress of the virus when administered in combination with other similar medication. This drug for sale in Greece and many countries abroad is the spiritual child of Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Patra Kleomenis Barlos.
 PAPANDREOU PRESENTED THE AXES OF THE ECONOMIC PROGRAM OF PASOKAthens, 19 February 2004 (20:05 UTC+2)
Taxation stability for a decade, acceleration of the real convergence of the Greek economy with the European, creation of flexible investment environment, measures against bureaucracy, association of education with the production process and independent development of regions, are the main axes of the governing Socialist Party of PASOK economic program as it was presented by party President Giorgos Papandreou speaking in Athens today before an audience of production sector representatives.
Mr. Papandreou pledged to increase the tax-free limit for wages and pensions, adopt more objective tax controls, new technologies, and a steady fiscal framework.
Mr. Papandreou called on the business world to invest in order to boost economic growth, cut deficit and create new job positions, while he announced that a new law will be passed that will facilitate the materialization of investments and attract foreign capital.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 19 February 2004 (16:41 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.59% at 2469.02 points, while the volume of transactions was at 149.1 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 65 had gains and 242 had losses, while the value of 81 stocks remained unchanged.
 MEETING OF THE EPP'S PRESIDENCY UNDERWAYAthens, 19 February 2004 (14:02 UTC+2)
The European Constitution and the European elections in June will occupy the two-day meeting of the EPP's (European People's Party) Presidency which began in Athens today.
President of New Democracy and Vice President of the EPP Costas Karamanlis stated that he is certain of his party's victory in the national elections on March 7. In a month, two new governments of our political family will win their elections, in Spain and here (Greece). Thus, the present European majority of the EPP will increase even more.
He stressed that in view of the March elections the leaders of the EPP ask for measures of greater solidarity between among the regions and the Member States, as well as the creation of new employment positions.
Mr. Karamanlis spoke of a new Mediterranean, as most of the Presidency's members are from southern European countries, and he added that the Mediterranean has changed the negative records it held in employment, entrepreneurship, innovation, etc., with the decrease of unemployment by 3%, the convergence of salaries and pensions to the EU's average within 8 to 10 years, tax relief for development, more investment and more jobs, motivation for the employment of women, young people and the long term unemployed, with the horizon beyond 2010.
Drawing on the discussions for the resolving of the Cyprus issue, Mr. Karamanlis asked for a just, viable and functional solution, in accord with European values and the obligations of an EU member state. Furthermore he was in favor of a more active role of the EU throughout the negotiation procedure.
 SIMITIS SPEECH AT DEI UNIT OPENINGFlorina, 19 February 2004 (12:50 UTC+2)
The DEI Steam-electricity Plant in Florina was inaugurated by Prime Minister Costas Simitis in a ceremony carried out in the presence of Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos and local body representatives.
The 330 Megawatt power plant is considered a model for European standards and has turned Florina into a main electricity contributor after Kozani.
In his speech, Mr. Simitis referred to the development works carried out over the last few years in the Florina Prefecture, in the broader Western Macedonia region, and the Greek periphery in general. He pointed out that after two 4-year tenures a new hopeful effort will begin on March 7, with the major democratic front and appeared certain of PASOK's electoral victory.
Mr. Simitis stated that, Greece is changing to the better. There is a momentum of development all around us. We are completing a creative course of 8 years and are beginning on March 7, with the great democratic and progressive front, a new hopeful effort.
The Prime Minister attacked New Democracy, stating that the Opposition can only commit to a return to the economy, social insurance and self asserting clientele attitude of the 1990-1993.
He continued to state that Greece conquered its goal of entering the EMU, conquering a stable economy and having an above average growth rate in the EU. It achieved major national goals with the Helsinki and Copenhagen agreements and the accession of Cyprus to the EU.
The Prime Minister proceeded to list the achievements of the PASOK government in the periphery over the last 4 years.
 THE FINAL DASHAthens, 19 February 2004 (12:48 UTC+2)
Political leaders are intensifying their activities as the March 7 elections draw nearer. Mr. Papandreou visited the Ilioupoli KAPI where he announced measures for the elderly. Mr. Karamanlis visited the seat of Athens 2004, where he stressed the need to hold the best Olympics ever. Aleka Papariga spoke in Perama and called workers to punish the two major parties through the ballot. The support of the farmers, who, as he said, feel insecurity and despair by the government's bilingualism, was requested by N. Constantopoulos in Trikala.
 INITIAL AGREEMENT ON THE DEBATESAthens, 19 February 2004 (12:47 UTC+2)
An initial agreement was reached, on the televised debated between the Presidents of PASOK and New Democracy G. Papandreou and C. Karamanlis, by the two parties' spokespersons. Mr. Athanasakis and Mr. Roussopoulos found the golden section with thematic discussions, during which journalists will be free to ask questions. The convening of an inter-party committee was requested by Coalition President Nikos Constantopoulos. President of DIKKI D. Tsovolas sued television stations and poll companies.
 THE NEGOTIATIONS ON CYPRUS WILL CONTINUE TOMORROWNicosia, 19 February 2004 (18:21 UTC+2)
The first phase of the negotiations on Cyprus that opened in Nicosia this morning lasted two hours and thirty minutes and are scheduled to continue tomorrow. After the end of the talks today, the leaders of the two sides in Cyprus had a brief meeting with European Commissioner Gunter Verheugen, responsible for the EU enlargement, who does not participate in the negotiations.
In the meeting of Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot Rauf Denktash participated UN Secretary-General Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto.
After the meeting, Mr. Alvaro de Soto announced that negotiations will begin at 9:30am every day and characterized as useful and productive the talks held today.
On his part, Mr. Verheugen stated that the accession of a united Cyprus into the EU will benefit all sides and added that the talks with the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots were very good and were held in a climate of honesty. He also added that he is in Cyprus to convey the EU views and stressed that he backs all UN efforts for the solution of the Cyprus issue.
 AN EXPLOSION BEFORE THE SOLUTIONNicosia, 19 February 2004 (12:49 UTC+2)
Moderate Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat attributed the explosion at his house in Kyrenia this morning to dark minds. The bomb went off just a few hours before talks were scheduled to begin in Nicosia overseen by special UN envoy Alvaro de Soto in the final phase of the dialogue between the two Cypriot communities for the resolving of the longest standing international problem. Mr. Talat is perfectly safe. The explosion was attributed to nationalists, while it took place in an area the Prime Minister's wife uses for her experiments. His full support to the efforts of the President of the Republic was pledged by the Cypriot Government Spokesperson.