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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-10-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE STATE BUDGET IN ECOFINLuxembourg, 20 October 2004 (14:16 UTC+2)
The main figures of next year's state budget will be examined by ECOFIN scheduled to meet in Luxembourg this afternoon. Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis will present the measures aimed at bringing deficit under 3% by the end of next year.
The Eurogoup and ECOFIN will also examine the fiscal situation of Germany, France and Italy, which have a deficit higher than 3% of the GDP.
 PIPELINE DEVELOPMENTS IN NOVEMBERSofia, 20 October 2004 (14:28 UTC+2)
The Russian Prime Minister stated that the issue of the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline will be examined in the imminent meeting of the tripartite committee of Bulgaria-Greece-Russia to take place in Athens in the beginning of November.
The Russian Prime Minister, who is on a visit to Sofia, reiterated that the three sides will decide on the percentage of their participation in the project, the overall cost and its economic profit.
It was the first visit of a Russian Prime Minister to Bulgaria in the past nine years.
 FIRST PRESIDENTIAL VISIT TO THE ETHNIC GREEK MINORITYTirana, 20 October 2004 (14:20 UTC+2)
Hellenic Republic President Kostis Stephanopoulos is on a historic visit to the villages of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania today.
It is the first time a Hellenic Republic President visits the region. Mr. Stephanopoulos wrapped up his contacts in Tirana yesterday with the meeting he had with Democratic Party Chairman Sali Berisha.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 20 October 2004 (17:13 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.24% at 2425.02 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 102,7 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 224 had gains and 71 had losses, while the value of 109 stocks remained unchanged.
 DEMARCHE TO ANKARA ON THE TURKISH VIOLATIONSAthens, 20 October 2004 (15:29 UTC+2)
Acting government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros responded to questions on the constant violations of the Greek national airspace by Turkish aircraft and the statements made by Turkish officials on the islets of Imia.
Mr. Antonaros reiterated the statement made by Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos that the government is aware of the incidents and that such incidents are not consistent with Turkey's European prospect or the bilateral relations' climate the two governments are trying to build.
Mr. Antonaros also mentioned that the Greek government has made diplomatic demarches to Ankara.
 OLYMPIC GREECE MADE A GOOD IMPRESSION ABROADAthens, 20 October 2004 (14:57 UTC+2)
Greece is a safe destination and a modern European country that organized technically excellent and man oriented Olympic Games. That was the response given by the citizens of five countries (United States, Britain, Spain, Germany, France) within the framework of a major opinion poll held in those countries on behalf of Athens 2004 Organizing Committee immediately after the games. The opinion poll was conducted by the joint venture of polling companies MRB, VPRC, Research International.
The results of the opinion poll show that the majority of those who answered the questionnaire got a positive impression of Greece after the games and 38.7% of the Americans expressed the wish to visit Greece in the future. The Germans are Greece's best customers regarding their intention to travel to Greece for vacation.
According to the Athens 2004, the opinion poll shows that after the success of the games Greece is upgraded compared to its tourist competitors and in the US market occupies a higher place than Spain, while in the European market competes with Italy and leaves Spain behind.
 THE GREEK MINORITY HONORED PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS AND ARCHBISHOP ANASTASIOSTirana, 20 October 2004 (18:56 UTC+2)
The Community of Mesopotami in Delvino, Albania proclaimed Hellenic Republic President Kostis Stephanopoulos and Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durres and All Albania freemen of the city.
The ceremony took place on the occasion of the visit by Mr. Stephanopoulos to the village of Dhrovjan, the place of origin of his ancestors.
 PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS VISITED GJIROKASTRTirana, 20 October 2004 (18:48 UTC+2)
Hellenic Republic President Kostis Stephanopoulos visited the Holy Monastery of St. Vasilios in the village of Bularat, Gjirokastr in Albania.
Mr. Stephanopoulos laid a wreath at the cemetery where Greek soldiers killed in WWII are buried.
The Greek President will also visit the Military Hospital in Gjirokastr built with the assistance of Greece.
 PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS VISITED THE HOLY MONASTERY OF ST. NIKOLAOSTirana, 20 October 2004 (17:45 UTC+2)
Hellenic Republic President Kostis Stephanopoulos, who wraps up his three-day formal visit to Albania later today, visited the Holy Monastery of St. Nikolaos in the region of Klcyr, near the city of Tepelen.
Near the monastery, which has been built on the ruins of older one, is located the burial site of thousands of Greek soldiers killed during WWII.
President Stephanopoulos laid a wreath at the cemetery of the Greek soldiers.
 THE PATRIARCH OF BULGARIA CELEBRATES HIS 90TH BIRTHDAYSofia, 20 October 2004 (15:50 UTC+2)
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece and Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania are among the formal guests of Patriarch Maximos of Bulgaria in the festivities for the celebration of his 90th birthday in Sofia on October 29. All Orthodox Christian Churches are expected to send representatives.
The celebrations will include a holy liturgy at the Saint Alexander Nievski Cathedral and a religious music concert.
For the record, this year is celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Sofia Cathedral and on this occasion Patriarch Alexios of Moscow and All Russia will visit the Bulgarian capital.
 COMMUNIST PARTY DEPUTY LIANA KANELLI TESTIFIED IN THE MILOSEVIC TRIALThe Hague, 20 October 2004 (17:05 UTC+2)
Greek Communist Party Parliament deputy Liana Kanelli testified yesterday in the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic in the International War Crimes Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague.
Mrs. Kanelli stated to MPA during a telephone communication that for the first time since the beginning of the trial the court's attention turned to the NATO bombings in former Yugoslavia through the testimony of a witness.
The Greek Parliament deputy and member of the International Committee for the Defense of Milosevic referred to the NATO bombing of the city of Alexinac, 30 kilometers north of Nis, on April 6, 1999 that resulted to many civilian deaths, stressing that there was no military target there, contrary to what the allied forces said to justify the action.
At this point, said Mrs. Kanelli, the judges gave her a map and told her to find Alexinac on it. She forwarded the map to Slobodan Milosevic who reacted by saying that this was not a complete map of his country and made the court authorities to bring another NATO map on which the former President of Yugoslavia found the city where one of the darkest pages of the NATO bombings in former Yugoslavia was written.
For the first time during yesterday's procedure, stated Mrs. Kanelli, a NATO document was presented in court dated April 14, 1999 where a clear reference is made to the civilian victims in Alexinac. NATO in essence admits that civilian targets were hit.
Prosecutor Jeffrey Nice said that NATO had stated on the specific incident that the target of the bombings was an artillery unit of the Serb army deployed in the city and pointed out that the alliance had admitted that certain buildings had been hit by mistake during the raid.
Mrs. Kanelli wondered why NATO's mistakes and NATO's genocide should be forgiven and added that if Milosevic had cooperated more with the western leaders he wouldn't be with the defeated but with the winners.
Responding to the question on what her opinion was about the International War Crimes Tribunal, the Greek Parliament deputy stated addressing the judges that they are 21st century witch hunting inquisitors.
When asked to comment on the NATO and US policy, she stressed that their policy is neo-nazi and anyone who is against it defends the rights of all peoples, a response that caused the reaction of Presiding Judge Patrick Robinson, according to international news agencies.
For the record, Mrs. Liana Kanelli is one of the few witnesses who agreed to testify in the Milosevic trial after the appointment of British lawyer Stephen Kay as the defense attorney of the former Yugoslav President
Most of the defense witnesses refuse to testify stating that they agree to respond to questions posed only by Milosevic who repeatedly has asked to be allowed to undertake his own defense.