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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-11-12
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 DEDICATED TO A SOLUTIONNicosia, 12 November 2004 (14:18 UTC+2)
Cypriot Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos welcomed Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who arrived in Cyprus for a two-day formal visit, by saying that we welcome with emotion, respect and love the Prime Minister of Greece.
I am visiting a modern Cyprus, member of the EU that continues to fight for a solution to the political problem, said Mr. Karamanlis, who stressed that the efforts will continue.
The talks with the Cypriot political leadership will focus on Turkey's EU accession prospect, which will be examined in December's EU Summit meeting.
 THE COST OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES REACHED 9 BILLION EUROSAthens, 12 November 2004 (13:45 UTC+2)
The cost of the Olympic Games in Athens reached 9 billion euros, according to figures presented by Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis in the meeting of the governmental committee today.
The sum of 700 million euros given to the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee and the sums spent for the construction of the Athens suburb railway and the Athens tram are not included in the 9 billion euros.
A part of the cost will be included in the 2005 state budget.
Mr. Alogoskoufis and Deputy Culture Minister Fani Palli-Petralia stressed that the Olympic Games were successful and worthwhile.
 VARIETY AND INNOVATIONThessaloniki, 12 November 2004 (13:28 UTC+2)
The 45th Film Festival in Thessaloniki will take place on November 19-28 with the participation of new creators from all over the world, Greek film directors and distinguished international cinema artists.
The festival is international for the past 13 years and according to its director Mr. Dimopoulos this year's program is one of the richest ever planned with great variety and innovation, while the films competing in the international part of the festival are focused on people and the so-called anti-heroes who try to survive in adverse conditions.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 12 November 2004 (17:05 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.33% at 2610.99 points, while the volume of transactions skyrocketed to 781,3 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 143 had gains and 142 had losses, while the value of 134 stocks remained unchanged.
 NEW NATIONAL DEFENSE GENERAL STAFF CHIEFAthens, 12 November 2004 (14:38 UTC+2)
The Government Council on Foreign Affairs and Defense appointed Vice-admiral Panagiotis Hinofotis to the post of the National Defense General Staff Chief.
Mr. Hinofotis will be promoted to the rank of admiral to be able to assume his duties in about 3 months on February 15, 2005.
Mr. Hinofotis, with a total service in the sea of 22 years, has served as a Commander, Captain, First Officer and Operations Officer in many types of warships.
Meanwhile, the current National Defense General Staff Chief general Antonakopoulos is in Brussels to attend the EU Military Committee proceedings and the NATO Military Committee Summit meeting.
 PRIME MINISTER KARAMANLIS IS ON A VISIT TO CYPRUSAthens, 12 November 2004 (13:04 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis is on a two-day formal visit to Cyprus where he will meet with the Cypriot political leadership. The main issue under discussion will be Turkey's EU accession prospect, which will be examined in December's EU Summit meeting.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Mr. Iakovou expressed certainty that Mr. Karamanlis will give his support to the policy of the Cypriot government responding to a question by a reporter on the statements made by former Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis criticizing Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos.
 GREECE AND CYPRUS PREPARE FOR DECEMBER 17Nicosia, 12 November 2004 (19:07 UTC+2)
Greece and Cyprus link Turkey's EU accession with the steps Ankara will have to make both concerning its domestic situation and in relation with the Cyprus issue, according to the statements made by Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and Cypriot Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos after their meeting in Nicosia today.
They stated that both Greece and Cyprus want to see a European Turkey as their neighbor. However, Mr. Papadopoulos stressed that in principle they see positively a date for the opening of Turkey's EU accession negotiations based on the precondition that Turkey will realize and accept that it must meet all obligations a candidate state has both toward the EU and Cyprus.
On his part, Mr. Karamanlis underlined that in the meeting they analyzed the steps Turkey must make concerning its domestic situation but mainly, the steps it will have to make in terms of its foreign policy and especially, toward the Cypriot Republic.
Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Karamanlis received many questions on the priority issues that will be raised concerning Turkey's obligations. Mr. Papadopoulos did not make any clarifications saying that such issues lose their negotiating strength and importance if developments are forejudged. He added that a decision will be made after taking under consideration all facts including the wishes and objectives of the rest EU member states.
At the same wavelength, the Greek Prime Minister stated that the EU is based on specific rules, criteria, and standards of behavior and therefore, Turkey has to meet certain preconditions according to the recent European Commission report. This means that every country that wants to become an EU member has to accept those rules and adopt European practices, said Mr. Karamanlis.
The Cypriot Republic President referred, among others, to the recognition of Cyprus by Turkey, the issue of the individuals still missing since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the issue of the Greek Cypriots inside the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus and the operation of the High School in Rizokarpaso.
Mr. Karamanlis referred to the steps Turkey will have to make regarding its foreign policy behavior, domestic issues concerning its democratization course, the role of the military factor, human rights and the equal treatment of different religious beliefs.
On the Cyprus issue, Greece and Cyprus reiterated that they want the continuation of the efforts aimed at the solution of the problem within the framework of the Annan Plan if the necessary changes and improvements are made to make it functional and viable.
Mr. Karamanlis and Mr. Papadopoulos underlined the excellent level of relations between Greece and Cyprus and characterized as brotherly the relations between the two peoples. The Cypriot President expressed again his gratitude for Greece's support to Cyprus, while the Greek Prime Minister referred to the solidarity, cooperation and mutual understanding in bilateral relations.
 GREECE'S EFFORTS FOR THE SOLUTION OF THE CYPRUS ISSUE WILL CONTINUENicosia, 12 November 2004 (16:02 UTC+2)
Cypriot Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos expressed the gratitude of the Greek Cypriots for the support they had from Greece, during the formal reception of Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis upon his arrival at Larnaca Airport today.
Mr. Papadopoulos stated that during the cooperation so far with all the Greek governments and especially with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, he can personally confirm that Greece has done a lot, some of them known and others not, to support the Greek Cypriots and the people of Cyprus in general in their effort to become part of the EU and in the major issue of the survival of Hellenism.
He also stressed that he is looking forward to a new period of superb cooperation and expressed the wish that a fair and viable solution will be found in Cyprus with the help of Greece.
Mr. Karamanlis, who is on a two-day formal visit to Cyprus, stated that he is visiting a modern Cyprus, a Cyprus that is a full member of the EU and continues to fight for a fair, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem.
He pointed out that in the contacts he will have in Cyprus will be discussed the developments in Cyprus and other issues within the framework of the EU with an emphasis on the Summit meeting next December. He gave the assurance that the efforts of Greece for the solution of the Cyprus problem within the framework of the UN will continue.
Mr. Karamanlis added that the accession of the Cypriot Republic into the EU is a historic turning point in the history of the island. It has created new security conditions, new conditions for the development of Cyprus and new conditions for the solution of the political problem and the reunification of Cyprus, said Mr. Karamanlis.
 PAPANDREOU MET WITH ERDOGAN-GUL IN CAIROCairo, 12 November 2004 (16:51 UTC+2)
Main opposition Socialist Party of PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou had a ten-minute meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Cairo after the funeral service for Yasser Arafat.
PASOK spokesman Nikos Athanasakis stated that the President of PASOK expressed strong concern regarding the tension in bilateral relations as a result of the Turkish violations in the Aegean.
They also exchanged views on the European Council to be held in December and Mr. Papandreou reiterated that Greece supports Turkey's European prospect but solutions have to be found on the Greek-Turkish issues and the Cyprus problem.
 FAREWELL TO ARAFATCairo, 12 November 2004 (12:35 UTC+2)
The world community bid farewell to Yasser Arafat a personality that changed the course of his people through his intervention.
The funeral service took place in Cairo under tight security measures and in the presence of fifty foreign delegations from around the world.
Arafat died in a Paris military hospital yesterday and his body was flown to the Egyptian capital for the funeral service, where it was received with honors reserved for heads of state.
Arafat's body is due to be buried before sunset, in the grounds of the Ramallah compound in which he was confined by Israeli forces for more than two-and-a-half years.
The Greek government was represented in the funeral service by Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis, while also present were PASOK Party President Giorgos Papandreou and Coalition President Nikos Konstantopoulos as well as Communist Party Euro-deputy Thanasis Pafilis.