|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-11-26
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 3 EUROS = 4 US DOLLARSLondon, 26 November 2004 (13:23 UTC+2)
The euro continues his upward course in the international currency markets.
This morning, for the first time since January 1999, when the single European currency was introduced in the international markets, the euro equaled 1.33 US dollars.
In Tokyo and the rest currency markets in Asia, the euro traded to 1.3295 US dollars but as soon as the London market opened the single European currency was skyrocketed to 1.3316 US dollars.
According to traders active in international markets, the cause for this development is the state budget and the balance of current transactions deficits in the United States, which are not satisfactory.
 CHANGES IN THE STRUCTURE OF THE GREEK ARMED FORCESAthens, 26 November 2004 (14:17 UTC+2)
The new structure of the Greek armed forces decided by the Council of Defense provides that the National Defense General Staff will be the only headquarters at strategic and operational level instead of the five headquarters that existed based on the previous structure of the Greek armed forces.
The issue of the Future Structure of the Armed Forces in the period of 2005-2020 was discussed in the scheduled meeting of the Defense Council.
According to a statement by the Ministry of Defense, the new structure of the armed forces will take under consideration the current threats for security and the new conditions dominating in the Greek society.
 PAPANDREOU VISITS ISRAEL AND PALESTINEAthens, 26 November 2004 (13:43 UTC+2)
Main opposition Socialist Party of PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou laid a wreath at the grave of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Ramallah within the framework of his visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories where he will have meetings with the Palestinian leadership, the PLO Chairman, the Palestinian Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister.
Yesterday, Mr. Papandreou met in Tel Aviv with the Israeli Foreign Minister and Simon Peres.
In statements he made he expressed his support to the new effort that can take place aimed at restarting the peace process, stressing that this is an opportunity that should not be missed.
Mr. Papandreou will convey the conclusions from the talks he will have in Israel and Palestine to the European Socialist Leaders Summit meeting to take place today and tomorrow in Madrid, Spain.
 MILITARY SERVICE WILL BE CUT TO 6 MONTHS BY 2008Athens, 26 November 2004 (17:47 UTC+2)
Minister of Defense Spilios Spiliotopoulos announced, after the meeting he had with representatives of the political parties youth movements, that military service will be cut gradually by the end of 2005, initially by one month, and by the end of 2008 military service in Greece will be limited to a total of 6 months.
The Minister of Defense met with the youth movements of the parties represented in Parliament. The representatives of the main opposition Socialist Party of PASOK were not present in the meeting.
Mr. Spiliotopoulos characterized the meeting as serious and useful and the discussion concerned mainly military service issues, living conditions and other rights of the draftees.
 THE ACTING GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE ARMAMENTS ISSUEAthens, 26 November 2004 (17:36 UTC+2)
Mr. Spiliotopoulos is the Minister of Defense responded acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros when asked to comment on whether Mr. Spiliotopoulos continues to enjoy the confidence of the Prime Minister.
Responding to relevant questions, Mr. Antonaros reiterated that as far as the military supplies guarantees are concerned they are two, based on the Greek legislation namely, the state and the bank guarantee.
 THE ACTING GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE TRAINING OF IRAQI MILITARY OFFICERSAthens, 26 November 2004 (17:10 UTC+2)
Acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros referred to the commitment undertaken by the Greek Prime Minister in the NATO Summit meeting according to which, Greece will train Iraqi officers jointly with other NATO member states, outside Greece and Iraq.
Mr. Antonaros added that at this time Greece is in consultation with other NATO member states.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 26 November 2004 (16:58 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.44% at 2647.06 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 135,1 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 115 had gains and 144 had losses, while the value of 157 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE PRIME MINISTER IS ON A VISIT TO EGYPTAthens, 26 November 2004 (16:41 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis left for a three-day visit to Egypt today.
Mr. Karamanlis will meet with the President and the Prime Minister of Egypt, the Patriarch of Alexandria and representatives of the Greek community.
During the visit the two government delegations will sign bilateral agreements.
Acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros stated that this is the first time in 12 years that a Greek Prime Minister visits the sensitive region of the Middle East with which Greece shares close ties.
 THE TURKISH PROVOCATION CONTINUES IN THE AEGEANAthens, 26 November 2004 (15:01 UTC+2)
The Greek National Defense General Staff announced that yesterday throughout the day a total of 6 formations of 12 Turkish F16 fighter jets committed 8 violations Air Traffic Regulations and 9 violations of the National Airspace in north and central Aegean. One of the violations took place over Greek national territory at the northeastern tip of the island of Limnos in the region of Plaka at an altitude of 14,000 feet.
Four formations were armed and engaged in a dogfight in two instances with Greek fighter jets. In all cases the Turkish fighter jets were identified and intercepted.