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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-11-17
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 COLLECTIVE NATIONAL MEMORYThessaloniki, 17 November 2004 (13:04 UTC+2)
The events on the occasion of the 31st anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic School Student Uprising will come to a conclusion this evening with the annual protest march to the US embassy in Athens and the Polytechnic School in Thessaloniki.
Politicians representing all political parties, resistance organizations, trade unions and many people laid wreaths or left a flower to the monument in memory of the victims of the student uprising in the Athens Polytechnic.
Minister of Public Order Giorgos Voulgarakis stated that a security plan has been drawn up and a total of 7,000 police officers are on duty to avert violent incidents during the march from the Athens Polytechnic School to the US embassy.
A total of 1,500 police officers will patrol the streets of Thessaloniki to help preserve order.
 EXCELLENT RELATIONS BETWEEN GREECE AND FRANCEParis, 17 November 2004 (13:33 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis stated after the meeting he had in Paris with his French counterpart Michel Barnier that Athens supports Turkey's European course but Turkey has an obligation to have good neighborly relations with Cyprus and Greece.
According to information, Paris is interested in the solution of the FYROM name issue as soon as possible and backs a European stance in favor of a mutually acceptable name.
Mr. Moliviatis characterized bilateral relations as excellent and stated that the talks he had with Mr. Barnier were positive and constructive. They discussed issues concerning the December 17 European Council meeting, the situation in the Balkans and particularly in FYROM, and the Middle East issue.
The Greek Foreign Minister has launched a diplomatic marathon on the Cyprus issue, Turkey's European course and the issue of the FYROM name in view of the EU Summit meeting.
 THE BULGARIAN PRESIDENT COMPLETED HIS VISIT TO MOUNT ATHOSThessaloniki, 17 November 2004 (13:53 UTC+2)
Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov departed from Mount Athos in Chalkidiki, northern Greece, yesterday afternoon after visiting the monastic community under adverse weather conditions.
Mr. Parvanov's visit was delayed by one day because last Monday he was unable to visit Mount Athos and remained stuck with his entourage at the port town of Ouranoupolis given the fact that boats were not allowed to leave port due to bad weather.
Yesterday, as soon as weather improved, Mr. Parvanov arrived in Athos Peninsula by boat and visited the Holy Monastery of Zografou and the Mount Athos capital of Karies where he was formally received.
Because of the weather induced changes in the plans he was unable to visit the Holy Monastery of Hilandariou and yesterday afternoon he departed from Mount Athos to return to his country.
 THE ACTING GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE INCIDENT IN ECHINOSAthens, 17 November 2004 (17:50 UTC+2)
Acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros characterized as isolated the incident that took place in Echinos, Xanthi northeastern Greece, during the shooting of a Greek television series yesterday.
Mr. Antonaros reiterated that the government's position, as well as the Greek state's position, is the total respect of the holiness of the places of worship regardless of religion.
Responding to relevant questions, he said that calm has been restored in the region and the Greek and Turkish mass media handled the incident responsibly.
 BIG GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 17 November 2004 (17:25 UTC+2)
Big gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.26% at 2644.43 points, while the volume of transactions was significant at 276,02 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 206 had gains and 81 had losses, while the value of 132 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE ACTING GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE ECOFIN COUNCILAthens, 17 November 2004 (17:08 UTC+2)
Yesterday, the ECOFIN Council praised the cooperation displayed by the Greek government in the effort to illuminate the real situation of the Greek economy, while it was also agreed that an extension should be given to Greece until 2006 to bring deficit below 3%, stated acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros.
He added that in spite of the voices heard in the country no pressures were exerted for the adoption of additional measures and no sanctions were imposed, while no problem was created regarding Greece's accession into the EMU.
Mr. Antonaros reiterated that the government goal is to reduce deficit below 3%.
 ANTONAROS: THE MESSAGE OF THE POLYTECHNIC UPRISING MUST BE SAFEGUARDEDAthens, 17 November 2004 (16:35 UTC+2)
Acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros referred to the 31st anniversary of the Athens Polytechnic School Student Uprising pointing out that the fighters of 1973 fought for freedom, democracy, human right and social justice.
Mr. Antonaros added that each citizen should contribute to the strengthening of democracy, human dignity and the broadening of social rights.
The acting government spokesman pointed out the need to collectively safeguard the message of the Polytechnic Uprising and avoid incidents, stressing that discreet security measures will be taken for the protection of private property.
 86TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREEK COMMUNIST PARTYAthens, 17 November 2004 (16:01 UTC+2)
The Greek Communist Party celebrates its 86th anniversary and the party Central Committee issued a message on the occasion.
The message refers to the course of the Greek Communist Party and its struggles, stressing that the efforts for the preparation of the 17th Party Congress to take place on February 9-12, 2005 will intensify.
 THE METROPOLITE OF XANTHI MET WITH THE MUFTIXanthi, 17 November 2004 (14:55 UTC+2)
The Metropolite of Xanthi, in Thrace northeastern Greece, met with the Mufti in an effort to defuse the tension in the town of Echinos caused yesterday during the shooting of a Greek television series inside a mosque.
Calm in Echinos has been restored but a police investigation is underway, while charges have been filed against actors and members of the television crew accused of desecration and insult targeting a place of worship.
 INDICENTS IN THESSALONIKI'S POLYTECHNICThessaloniki, 17 November 2004 (14:28 UTC+2)
Limited incidents were recorded outside the Thessaloniki Polytechnic School today when members of the United Independent Leftist Movement tried to stop members of PASP, (PASOK's student movement) and DAP (New Democracy student movement) from laying wreaths to the monument in memory of the victims of the Athens Polytechnic School Student Uprising.
Police did not intervene because the incidents took place on university grounds.
 THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS WITH HIS DUTCH COUNTERPARTThe Hague, 17 November 2004 (18:27 UTC+2)
Turkey's EU accession course in view of the EU Summit meeting on December 17 was discussed in the meeting Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis had in The Hague today with his Dutch counterpart Bernard Bot.
Mr. Moliviatis stressed that the European Council will decide if it will accept a date for the opening of Turkey's EU accession negotiations. He said that Greece is in favor of Turkey's European prospect and underlined that it is up to Turkey to meet the necessary obligations and criteria and comply with the principles and values of the European Union among which are the friendly relations an EU candidate state should have with its neighbors, in the specific case Greece and Cyprus.
The Ministers of Greece and Holland, currently holding the EU rotating Presidency, examined the text of conclusions on the final position of the 25 toward Turkey in December's Summit meeting, while they confirmed the very good level of bilateral relations.
Mr. Moliviatis will also visit Luxembourg, which will hold the rotating EU Presidency in the first half of 2005 taking over after Holland.