|Friday, 24 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-02-24
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 24 February 2004 (10:19 UTC+2)
The pre-election period of the March 2004 elections has entered the week of the major rallies in Thessaloniki. The first sep will be made by President of the Coalition of the Radical Left Nikos Constantopoulos in the Velidio Conference Center today. Mr. Papandreou will be the main speaker at the meeting to be held tomorrow at Aristotelous Square, on Friday Mr. Tsovolas will speak at the Nikolaos Germanos conference center of the TIF, while Mr. Karamanlis will speak in Aristotelous Square on Sunday. A KKE meeting will be held Monday with Aleka Papariga speaking, and on Wednesday, G. Karatzaferis will speak at the statue of Alexander the Great.
 DEBATE FOR TWOAthens, 24 February 2004 (10:39 UTC+2)
The televised debate between Mr. Papandreou and Mr. Karamanlis will be held on Thursday, and will be broken down into 5 thematic discussions and one free topic, which will last a total of 1.5 hours. The decisions for the debate between the two sides caused an intense reaction from the parties of the Left, which accused PASOK and ND of trying to exclude them. Harsh language from Papariga and Tsovolas, letter from Constantopoulos to Papandreou and Karamanlis. Four thematic discussions with the participation of all parties will be carried out. Satisfaction was expressed in PASOK and ND with the agreement.
 GREAT WORKS WITH EUROPEAN SUPPORTNicosia, 24 February 2004 (10:44 UTC+2)
The readiness of the European Union to assist the UN Secretary General, in the framework of the efforts for the resolving of the Cyprus issue, was repeated yesterday in Brussels by the 25 Foreign Ministers, while negotiations for a solution are continuing between the two communities in Nicosia today at a leader level. Discussion of the major issues will begin on Tuesday, stated Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.
 ELA TRIAL INTERRUPTEDAthens, 24 February 2004 (10:47 UTC+2)
The trial of the five suspect members of the ELA terrorist organization will continue tomorrow in the special courtroom of the Corydallos Penitentiary. It should be noted that the court has overruled all objections made by the defense, a fact that has caused the dissatisfaction of the five defendants. The Athens Bar Association asked that the records of the trial be typed up and published.
 KARAMANLIS CALLED FOR THE INTERVENTION OF THE PAKISTANI PRESIDENTAthens, 24 February 2004 (20:45 UTC+2)
Greek right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, under his authority as the Vice-President of the European People's Party, sent a letter today addressed to Pakistani President Musharraf calling for his personal intervention for the release of the Greek sailors held in Pakistan and their return to Greece for humanitarian reasons.
He also refers to the recent resolution adopted by the European Parliament plenary session and mentions the meeting he had recently in Brussels with the families of the detained sailors, crewmembers of the tanker ship Tasman Spirit. Mr. Karamanlis stated that the issue is not only a bilateral one but it also concerns the EU-Pakistani relations.
Mr. Karamanlis briefed Greek Foreign Minister Tasos Giannitsis calling on him to make all necessary moves and exert all necessary pressure on the Pakistani authorities for the repatriation of the Greek sailors.
 VENIZELOS ON THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLESAthens, 24 February 2004 (20:15 UTC+2)
The return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum to Greece sounded like a utopia 20 years ago but today it gains ground and it is seen by the international public opinion as a prospect which, if materialized, it will satisfy the sense of rightfulness.
It is a cultural call expressed by world heritage, stated Greek Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos in a press conference he gave in Athens today on the occasion of the great photo exhibition on the Parthenon Marbles held at Megaron Music Building.
The exhibition will be inaugurated this evening by President Kostis Stephanopoulos and will remain open for the public until March 28.
Mr. Venizelos expressed satisfaction for the results of an opinion poll according to which, over 70% of the British, who responded to the questionnaire, are in favor of the Greek proposal for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.
 ROGGE GAVE PUBLIC ASSURANCES FOR HIGH QUALITY OLYMPIC GAMES IN ATHENSAthens, 24 February 2004 (17:46 UTC+2)
International Olympic Committee, IOC, President Jacques Rogge gave public assurances that the IOC has confidence in Athens expecting it to organize high quality Olympic Games. He made the comment addressing the 14th General Assembly meeting of the National Olympic Committees from all over the world, taking place in the Greek capital.
Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos formally opened the proceedings of the general assembly meeting.
Assurances over Greece's readiness to host high quality Olympic Games were also given by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos pointing out that the city of Athens and Greece itself are ready to host the 2004 Olympic Games.
 THE GREEK RESCUE TEAM IS READY TO HELP IN MOROCCOThessaloniki, 24 February 2004 (17:31 UTC+2)
The Greek Rescue Team is in a state of readiness in order to leave on a mission to Morocco to help the people hit by a devastating earthquake in the early morning hours today.
An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck northern Morocco at dawn today killing at least 300 people.
 SIGNIFICANT LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 24 February 2004 (16:50 UTC+2)
Significant losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.76% at 2422.01 points, while the volume of transactions was at 170.4 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 25 had gains and 299 had losses, while the value of 64 stocks remained unchanged.
 IRREGULARITIES IN THE MUNICIPALITY OF ATHENSAthens, 24 February 2004 (16:06 UTC+2)
Dimitris Avramopoulos characterized the report of the Deloitte & Touche international company of sworn accountants, auditing the municipal corporation Tehnopolis while he was mayor of Athens, as a pre-election ploy. The report, according to today's Eleftherotypia newspaper, mentioned that there were no financial reviews and a large number of omissions. The issue's stirring up serves pre-election interests, underlined the Municipality of Athens in an announcement.
An announcement of Mr. Avramopoulos' political office noted that the entire issue fell through and that it has absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Avramopoulos as Mayor of Athens at the time. It is clearly a procedural discrepancy due to the fact that Tehnopolis was in a transitory phase, from a municipal gas corporation to a new municipal cultural organization. The fact that the administrative audit showed not one cent was missing is unequivocal proof, stressed the announcement.
According to the announcement issued by the Municipality of Athens, the municipal authority of Dora Bakoyanni, from the first moment it took over the Municipality of Athens, aimed at full and complete transparency and information of all institutional factors on financial issues.
According to the Deloitte & Touche report, there were unclear points in the way funds collected from citizens' donations for the support of the church of St. Nikolaos in New York, which was destroyed during the September 11 attacks.
The corporation has not entered in its books a large number of documents concerning donations for the church of St. Nikolaos in New York, as well as the withdrawals made from those accounts, of a total of 374,987 euro, pointed out the report.
The Deloitte & Touche accountants noted cases where municipal works were assigned to private parties without underbidding competitions. It is noted that in several cases, the agreements and invoice audits from the transactions between the municipal authority and the private bodies, are missing