|Saturday, 14 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-12-01
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 TWO-MONTH EURO-DEADLINEAthens, 1 December 2004 (14:01 UTC+2)
The EU gives a deadline of two months to Greece to prove in what way it will cover the deficits, according to information concerning the letter by European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia to be received today by Greek Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis.
Mr. Alogoskoufis submitted the European Statistics Agency report to Parliament and reiterated his position in support of the economic data records.
Former Prime Minister Kostas Simitis launched a strong criticism concerning the practice.
The autumn report by the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development predicts for Greece growth rate of 3.25% in 2005 and 3.5% in 2006.
According to an EU source, the Spanish European Commissioner is absolutely satisfied with the cooperation he has with the Greek government which began last March. He believes that before March there was no picture of the real fiscal situation in the country, adding that now there is a good picture of its fiscal situation and a great progress has been made toward the right direction.
In the final text of its report to the Council of the EU Ministers of Finance and the European Parliament on Greece's fiscal figures, the European Commission mentions that Greece's accession into the EMU is not being questioned and that the goal is not to bring the issue to the European Court but to avoid similar cases with that of Greece in the future.
 THE DIALOGUE BETWEEN GREECE AND FYROM RESUMESAthens, 1 December 2004 (14:28 UTC+2)
The dialogue between Greece and FYROM on the issue of the name resumes within the framework of the efforts aimed at finding a mutually acceptable solution.
The Greek Foreign Ministry announced that the Permanent Representatives of the two countries will meet in New York next Monday with UN Secretary General special envoy Mathew Nimitz.
In view of the meeting, the Greek Foreign Ministry reiterated yesterday Greece's firm position in favor of a meaningful and not ostensible dialogue to settle this only pending issue in the overall good bilateral relations between Greece and FYROM.
According to information, the United States wish the issue to be resolved by the EU Summit meeting on December 17.
 THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE TO VISIT BRUSSELSAthens, 1 December 2004 (17:19 UTC+2)
Minister of Justice Anastasis Papaligouras will visit Brussels tomorrow to attend the EU Justice and Internal Affairs Ministers Council. Tomorrow's council meeting will be the last under the Dutch EU Presidency.
In the Council of Ministers will be discussed issues of judicial cooperation, as well as issues of EU cooperation with the western Balkan countries against organized crime and corruption.
 MARGINAL GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 1 December 2004 (17:03 UTC+2)
Marginal gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.04% at 2655.95 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 152,2 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 132 had gains and 153 had losses, while the value of 135 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE BALKAN NEWS AGENCIES MEET IN THESSALONIKI ON DECEMBER 3-4Thessaloniki, 1 December 2004 (16:04 UTC+2)
The General Directors and representatives of all national news agencies in southeastern Europe will meet in Thessaloniki on December 3-4 to attend the Association of Balkan News Agencies, ABNA, General Assembly meeting. The host of the General Assembly meeting will be Macedonian Press Agency, the founder of the Association.
During the 10 years since the founding of ABNA important initiatives were undertaken for the development of inter-Balkan cooperation, the peaceful cohabitation of the peoples, the democratic principles and the pluralistic information in the Balkan Peninsula.
In the ABNA General Assembly meeting will be discussed at the proposal of the General Secretariat important issues for the improvement and development of cooperation of the news agencies in the region such as, the operation of an Internet portal, the establishment of inter-Balkan journalist prizes, the development of joint business activities etc.
The ABNA members are ANA and MPA from Greece, ATA from Albania, Anadolu from Turkey, BTA from Bulgaria, Rompress from Romania, Tanjug from Serbia-Montenegro, MIA from FYROM, and SRNA from Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Slovenian news agency STA, the news agency FENA from Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Moldavian MOLDPRES will attend the meeting as observers
 THE GREEK MINISTER OF TOURISM VISITS THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATEIstanbul, 1 December 2004 (16:58 UTC+2)
The meaning of ecumenism is not decided by the political agenda, it is a historical phenomenon that stems from the past and traditions, stressed Minister of Tourism Dimitris Avramopoulos during his visit today to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Fener, Istanbul, according to the Turkish news agency Anadolu.
Mr. Avramopoulos, who is visiting Turkey at the invitation of Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Erkan Mumcu, stated that the goal of his visit is the further improvement of bilateral relations.
He also said that a tourist agreement is to be signed next year for the two peoples to learn each other better.
After his meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Mr. Avramopoulos stated that the Patriarchate can constitute a positive link in bilateral relations because of its history. He also appeared optimistic for the future of bilateral relations in spite of the problems that appear from time to time and pointed out with an emphasis that the Patriarchate is a spiritual institution that stays away from politics.
 TURKEY QUESTIONS THE ECUMENICAL CHARACTER OF THE PATRIARCHATEAnkara, 1 December 2004 (15:02 UTC+2)
The Turkish government presidency questions once again the ecumenical character of the Patriarchate.
The Turkish government presidency secretary with an urgent circular to all the Turkish state officials invited to attend the dinner given by the US ambassador to Ankara on the occasion of the visit of the Patriarchate Officials coming from the United States, asks them to reject the call because on the invitation is mentioned that the dinner will be under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
 THE EURO-PARLIAMENT FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE ON TURKEY'S EUROPEAN PROSPECTBrussels, 1 December 2004 (17:53 UTC+2)
The report by Dutch Euro-deputy Eurlings on Turkey's European prospect and the imminent decision on the opening of accession negotiations was passed in the Euro-Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee today with 50 votes in favor, 18 against and 6 abstentions.
A total 480 riders had been submitted for changes in the rough draft of the report concerning the negotiation procedure, the Copenhagen criteria, human rights issues, reforms in Turkey's legislative framework, economic policy and a number of important social issues.
Of special importance were the riders concerning the Cyprus issue, the Greek-Turkish relations and the protection of minority rights in general and the rights of the Greeks in Istanbul, Imvros and Tenedos in particular.
After the vote, Greek governing party of New Democracy Euro-deputy Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos, who had submitted a number of riders on the above mentioned issues expressed satisfaction for the outcome of the vote.
The report will be forwarded to the European Parliament plenary session in Strasburg to be voted and then it will be sent to the EU Summit meeting of December 17.