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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-11-09
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 AUSTRALIA WILL SUPPORT THESSALONIKI'S BID TO HOST EXPO 2008Melbourne, 9 November 2004 (13:52 UTC+2)
Australia will support Thessaloniki's bid to host the International Exhibition EXPO 2008, according to statements made by Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia Peter Costello in the inauguration of the new wing of the St. Anargiri Greek Orthodox College in the Greek community of Oakley in Melbourne.
According to the Australian minister, his country will gladly support Thessaloniki's bid given the fact that Greece has displayed its capabilities in the best possible way when it became the host of the Athens Olympic Games last summer.
The statement by the Australian government minister was made in response to the request made by Oakley Greek community president Leonidas Tsogas, who called on the Australian government to support Thessaloniki's bid to host EXPO 2008.
 NEW INDICTMENT FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE TERRORIST GROUP 17NAthens, 9 November 2004 (12:55 UTC+2)
Prosecutor Antonis Mitis called for the indictment of 42yearold Kostas Avramidis under the accusation of participating in the terrorist group 17 November.
According to the prosecutor, Avramidis was in contact with the terrorist group members based on the fact that his fingerprints were found on the book Urban Warfare, which they used.
The prosecutor also proposes that Avramidis should not be accused of being an accessory before the fact because the scanned 17 November leaflets found in his computer are not regarded as sufficient evidence on which to base such a charge.
 PAPASTAMKOS: FYROM IS THE FORMAL NAME ACCEPTED BY THE EUAthens, 9 November 2004 (18:29 UTC+2)
The formal name acceptable by the European Union is FYROM, stresses in a written statement Greek Euro-deputy elected with the governing party of New Democracy and Interparliamentary Delegation to the EU-FYROM Joint Parliamentary Committee Chairman Prof. Giorgos Papastamkos.
Mr. Papastamkos points out that the unilateral recognition of FYROM by the United States under its constitutional name, without taking under consideration the UN, is a negative development. The formal name acceptable by the EU is FYROM.
He stresses that the dispute between Greece and FYROM on the name issue must be solved through dialogue, adding that the Greek government in the past few months had launched initiatives toward this direction aimed at reaching a solution.
Mr. Papastamkos also mentions that an agreement for the solution of the name issue will contribute to the strengthening of security and stability in the wider Balkan region and expresses the wish that FYROM will enter a constructive dialogue for a mutually acceptable solution.
 SOLANA TO VISIT ATHENSAthens, 9 November 2004 (17:31 UTC+2)
EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, CFSP, Javier Solana will be in Athens after his visit to Skopje and according to press information, he will meet with Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis.
Speaking to Greek journalists in Skopje, FYROM Prime Minister Hari Kostov characterized as a historic event the recognition of FYROM by the United States under the name Republic of Macedonia and called on Greece to support his country's course to the Euro-Atlantic institutions.
He stressed that this move by the United States is not directed against Greece and referred to the trade relations with Greece stressing that it is a major trade partner and investor in his country.
Mr. Kostov also underlined that his country has no territorial aspirations against Greece.
 BIG LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 9 November 2004 (17:14 UTC+2)
Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.93% at 2577.82 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 120,7 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 121 had gains and 168 had losses, while the value of 125 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE ACTING GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE FYROM NAME ISSUEAthens, 9 November 2004 (17:10 UTC+2)
The government will insist in the efforts aimed at finding a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of the FYROM name within the UN framework, stated acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros. Responding to the question if Greece will exercise its veto power on FYROM's EU course, he left such likelihood open saying that Greece will use all the weapons it has.
Mr. Antonaros said that the Political Party Leaders Council is likely to meet if there is a new development in the negotiations held under the auspices of the UN.
Referring to the meetings Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis will have on Thursday with the political party leaders, Mr. Antonaros said that according to his opinion, no specific name will be discussed and that this initiative undertaken by the government is aimed at briefing the political party leaders on the plans the Foreign Ministry has on the specific issue.
Regarding today's visit to Skopje by Mr. Javier Solana, Mr. Antonaros stated that Mr. Solana will convey the EU positions.
 US CONGRESS DELEGATION MET WITH THE GREEK PARLIAMENT PRESIDENTAthens, 9 November 2004 (16:38 UTC+2)
Greek Parliament President Anna Psarouda-Benaki stated, addressing a delegation of US House Representatives on a visit to Athens, that the Greek Parliament is looking forward to the further promotion of cooperation with the US House of Representatives, adding that certain clouds that appeared recently in bilateral relations will not constitute an obstacle to traditional cooperation.
The Parliament President also stated that Greece supports the resumption of dialogue for a fair and viable solution in Cyprus within the framework of the UN resolutions and the EU decisions, while it also supports Turkey's EU accession, which will have to respect the European acquis.
Referring to the recent Olympic Games held in Athens, she pointed out the excellent way in which they were organized.
Head of the US Congress delegation Greek-American US Congressman Michael Bilirakis characterized as unfortunate event the surprise recognition of FYROM by the US government, particularly the procedure followed, and expressed the warm thanks of his colleagues for the excellent hospitality offered to them by Greece, while he congratulated Greece for hosting excellent Olympic Games.
 THE FOREIGN MINISTER BRIEFED THE PRESIDENTAthens, 9 November 2004 (15:41 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis in statements he made today after meeting with Hellenic Republic President Kostis Stephanopoulos expressed the wish for self-control and cooperation to deal with the issue of the FYROM name.
Mr. Moliviatis briefed the President on the developments concerning the issue of the FYROM name and the current foreign policy issues.
The Foreign Minister also stated that on Thursday he will brief the political party leaders on the issue.
 THE PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT EGYPTAthens, 9 November 2004 (15:19 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis will visit Egypt on November 26-28 at the invitation of his counterpart Ahmed Nazef.
Acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros stressed that this is the first visit to Egypt by a Greek Prime Minister after many years. He pointed out that bilateral relations will be revived and regional developments will be discussed during the visit.
 CONSENSUS BY THE GREEK POLITICAL PARTIES ON THE FYROM NAME ISSUEAthens, 9 November 2004 (15:04 UTC+2)
The discussion held last night in the Greek Parliament at political party leaders' level displayed the political forces' decision to reach a consensus on the issue of the FYROM name.
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis speaking in Parliament pointed out that there is a need for consensus, pledged that there will be a dialogue and continuous briefing of the political forces, while he called for self-control and seriousness to achieve the best possible results.
Opposition Socialist Party of PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou agreed on the need for consensus, stressing that this does not mean that the government will receive a blank cheque. He called for a meeting of the Political Party Leaders Council and a special discussion in Parliament to draw up a joint strategy on the issue of FYROM.
Communist Party secretary Aleka Papariga spoke in Parliament about the overall strategy the United States follow in the Balkans, while Coalition President Nikos Konstantopoulos stated that the decisions reached in the previous Political Party Leaders Council should change.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Petros Moliviatis will brief the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense on Wednesday, while on Thursday he will meet with the opposition party leaders.
Meanwhile, the government leaves open the likelihood to accept a composite name for FYROM and government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos stated that in such a case the country's stance will be determined by the Political Party Leaders Council that will meet under the President of the Republic.
According to an opinion poll conducted by the Kapa Research polling company in Skopje on behalf of the Greek television station ANT1, 53.4% of the people refuse to change the name Republic of Macedonia in exchange for their country's EU membership, while 33.7% believe that they are the descendants of Alexander the Great.
 US CONGRESSMAN ANDREWS' LETTER TO POWELL ON THE FYROM NAMEWashington, 9 November 2004 (18:41 UTC+2)
US Congressman Rob Andrews (D-NJ) after contacts with the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) sent a letter to US Secretary of State Colin Powell regarding the FYROM recognition by the US under the name Republic of Macedonia.
In his letter expresses concern and states that this action is insulting to the Greek-American community, while he asks Secretary of State Powell to provide him with an articulation on the rationale behind this policy decision.
Mr. Andrews has time and time again, in many legislative capacities, supported a name for FYROM that does not incorporate the word Macedonia. Mr. Andrews understands that it is not in the US interests to recognize FYROM in this way because it has the potential to destabilize the region, which would adversely affect US interests, according to AHI Executive Director Nick Larigakis.
The full text of Mr. Andrews' letter has as follows:
I write to express my concern regarding the recent announcement that the United States will be referring to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as Republic of Macedonia from this point forward. This reversal of US policy is detrimental to the ongoing negotiations between Greece and FYROM, and will only serve to create greater divisions between these two nations.
It is my belief, and the belief of many Greek and Greek-American citizens, that the name Macedonia properly belongs to Greek culture. The US decision to refer to FYROM as the Republic of Macedonia is insulting to the Greek community, and appears to accomplish nothing aside from creating further divisiveness. Language was included in the FY2004 omnibus appropriations bill urging the State Department to use the proper name for this Balkan nation, thereby allowing Greece and FYROM to reach their own agreement on use of the Macedonian name. However, despite this urging, a unilateral decision has now been made which gives the appearance that the United States had sided against our Greek allies.
I thank you for taking the time to review this correspondence, and ask that you please provide me with an articulation of the rationale behind this policy decision.
 RHODE ISLAND STATE SENATOR RAPTAKIS DENOUNCES THE US DECISION ON FYROMWashington, 9 November 2004 (17:47 UTC+2)
Rhode Island State Senator Lou Raptakis is denouncing a decision by the US government to recognize the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as the Republic of Macedonia a move, which damages the UN-sanctioned efforts by Greece and FYROM to conduct bilateral talks to resolve the issue of how the republic will be named.
For whatever reason, the State Department has embarked on a course of action which will only strain ties between the United States and Greece, a NATO ally which deserves better treatment than this, said Mr. Raptakis.
Through this one, ill-considered action, the Bush administration is allowing FYROM to hijack the very nature of what it means to be Macedonian and damaging the cultural identity of Macedonians.