|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-11-18
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 BUDGET TIMEAthens, 18 November 2004 (12:55 UTC+2)
The 2005 state budget, aimed at cutting deficit below 3% of the GDP, is submitted to Parliament today by Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis, while talk continues on the causes that led to the downgrading of the country's credit receiving ability a fact attributed by the government to the false figures of the past and by the opposition to the economic figures inspection.
Before the state budget is submitted the cabinet will meet to approve the final text.
Yesterday, Mr. Alogoskoufis stated categorically that Greece is not under the supervision on the EU on the economy and assured that there will be no penalties imposed on Greece by the European Union.
The measure used by Mr. Alogoskoufis and New Democracy for the Greek economy is the measure of Prokroustis, stated main opposition Socialist Party of PASOK spokesman Nikos Athanasakis.
 LETTER BY THE US PRESIDENT TO THE GREEK PRIME MINISTERAthens, 18 November 2004 (16:08 UTC+2)
US President George Bush sent a letter to Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis underlining that the sole purpose of the decision of his administration to recognize FYROM under the name Republic of Macedonia was to improve stability in the country.
However, he stressed that the United States will continue to support the United Nations efforts for a solution to the issue of the name and will respect any solution that will result from the negotiations.
President Bush's letter was in response to the letter sent by Prime Minister Karamanlis congratulating him for his reelection to the US Presidency and in it the US President expressed the wish that Greece and FYROM (he used the name Macedonia) will reach an agreement soon and focus on the materialization of common goals in the Balkans.
Finally, the US President congratulated the Greek government for the success of the Olympic Games in Athens.
 GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER LETTER ON THE ISSUE OF THE FYROM NAMEAthens, 18 November 2004 (13:41 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis sent a letter on the issue of the FYROM name to the UN Secretary General and the EU Foreign Ministers.
According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos, Mr. Moliviatis called on the UN Secretary General to encourage the will of the two sides for dialogue to find a mutually acceptable solution and stressed that this move will contribute to stability in the wider region.
The Greek Foreign Minister also underlined to his European counterparts the European dimension of a solution given the fact that FYROM has applied for EU accession.
Mr. Koumoutsakos also announced that Mr. Moliviatis will visit Madrid on Tuesday within the framework of his contacts in European capital cities in view of the December 17 Summit Meeting in which Turkey's European prospect will be examined, as well as its EU accession course.
 LAND MINES INSIDE THE BUFFER ZONE IN CYPRUS ARE REMOVEDNicosia, 18 November 2004 (13:16 UTC+2)
The de-mining of the National Guard minefields inside the buffer zone in Cyprus is launched today within the framework of the European program Partnership for the Future.
The de-mining operation is being funded with 2,5 million euros and the project is undertaken by the companies Mines Advisory Group (MAG) and ArmorGroup Services selected by the United Nations, the effort coordinator.
The Turkish Cypriot side stated that it looks at the issue in a positive way and already has responded positively to the UN, while a relevant agreement is to be signed very soon.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 18 November 2004 (17:03 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.47% at 2632.01 points, while the volume of transactions was at 192 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 130 had gains and 160 had losses, while the value of 129 stocks remained unchanged.
 MOLIVIATIS-RICE TELEPHONE COMMUNICATIONAthens, 18 November 2004 (16:58 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis had a telephone communication with Condoleezza Rice, who will be the US Secretary of State in the new Bush administration.
Mr. Moliviatis congratulated her for her appointment to this crucial and very important post and wished her success to her work.
The talk was held in a very friendly atmosphere and Mrs. Rice agreed with the Greek Foreign Minister that their cooperation will continue and be further strengthened in the same good climate, a fact expected to be confirmed during Mr. Moliviatis' visit to Washington early next year, possibly in January.
 SIX PEOPLE DIE EVERY DAY IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS IN GREECEThessaloniki, 18 November 2004 (16:19 UTC+2)
On the average, six people die every day in traffic accidents in Greece and 75% of the deaths are caused by heavy head injury.
In spite of the progress made in the past few years both in Greece and internationally in the treatment of such injuries death rate is high reaching 35-40%.
The treatment of people suffering from multiple injuries will be among the issues to be discussed in the 20th Medical Conference of the Armed Forces taking place in Thessaloniki.
 NEW TURKISH PROVOCATION IN THE AEGEANAthens, 18 November 2004 (15:51 UTC+2)
New Turkish violation was recorded in the Aegean today and this time, a dogfight took place that escalated to an extreme point.
Turkish fighter jets violated the Athens FIR and the Greek national airspace south of the northeastern Aegean island of Limnos and Greek fighter jets attempted to intercept them.
The fighter jets were engaged in a dogfight and the Turkish pilot used the flare-bomb launch system, which was very dangerous at the given time because the two aircraft were very close to each other at a distance smaller than 300 meters.
 INDICTMENTS AGAINST KENTERIS-THANOU-TZEKOSAthens, 18 November 2004 (15:16 UTC+2)
Indictments were issued against Greek Olympic champions Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou, as well as their coach Christos Tzekos on the anti-doping case that came to light during the Athens Olympics.
The three are accused of obstructing anti-doping control tests during the Athens Olympic Games and in the cases of Tel Aviv and Chicago as well as of giving false testimony to the authorities on the alleged motorcycle accident in the evening of August 12.
Christos Tzekos is accused of supply, import, possession, production, storage and trade of banned substances, as well as of trading nutrition supplements containing pharmaceutical substances without a license by the responsible state agency.
Kenteris and Thanou are also accused of being accomplices to false certification and violation of duty charges faced by seven Athens KAT Hospital doctors, while certain of them are accused of perjury because they testified on the alleged motorcycle accident.
In addition, five eyewitnesses of the motorcycle accident, in which the two sprinters were allegedly involved, are also accused of perjury.
 OVER 17,000 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WERE ARRESTD IN N. GREECEThessaloniki, 18 November 2004 (14:31 UTC+2)
A big wave of illegal immigrants crosses Greece's northern borders entering Macedonia and Thrace in the past few months and according to a news report on the Thessaloniki daily Angelioforos today, tens of thousands have already been arrested while many more wait in Istanbul and other Turkish regions near Evros River for their turn to cross it before its water level rises.
The human smugglers try to bring as many illegal immigrants as they can on Greek soil before the weather conditions become unfavorable. Based on statistic evidence, a total of 17,383 illegal immigrants of different nationalities were arrested in the prefectures of Evros, Dramas, Kilkis, Thessaloniki and Kastoria in the past 10 months.
In Kilkis, a total of 2,005 illegal immigrants were arrested from early January until late October 2004 compared to 2003 when throughout the year the arrests were 1,887. According to the police, most of the illegal immigrants, almost 90%, come from Albania.
The Greek police clarified that caravans of illegal immigrants from Iran, Iraq, India, even African countries, flock to Istanbul where already thousands of people wait for their turn to cross the Greek borders illegally.
According to the newspaper, in the region of the city of Alexandroupolis alone a total of 6,000 illegal immigrants were arrested in the period of January-October 2004, while in January-December 2003 those arrested for entering Greece illegally were 6,032.
According to information, the human smugglers take the illegal immigrants to abandoned houses, stables and warehouses outside Turkish villages where they are abandoned until their turn comes to cross the borders.