|Wednesday, 11 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-12-03
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PROTEST RESOLUTION BY 170 MAYORS FROM MACEDONIA ON THE FYROM NAMEThessaloniki, 3 December 2004 (19:06 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos stated to reporters today that a total of 170 mayors of cities in Macedonia, northern Greece have signed a protest resolution on the FYROM name calling on the UN to observe UN Security Council resolutions 817 and 845; the EU to be firm to the positions it has repeatedly declared in the past few years; the Greek political forces to keep the national front unbroken; the Greek government and the main opposition party to send the message to FYROM that it cannot be accepted in the EU under the irredentist name Republic of Macedonia; remind FYROM that its request will be examined in the first half of 2005 and that in order to become a member of the EU will have to have the approval of all member states; and finally, they call on the Greeks living in the United States and around the world to mobilize and the Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, to undertake specific initiatives.
Thessaloniki mayor Mr. Papageorgopoulos stressed that the struggle must continue to the end and that the declaration signed by the 170 mayors will be sent to all the EU leaders, the US President and the members of the US administration, the United Nations, Prime Minister Karamanlis, the leader of the main opposition party of PASOK and the political parties as well as to the Council of Hellenes Abroad.
In the protest resolution, the 170 mayors state that they are determined to defend the Greek history and national identity and that no pseudonymous name will be able to salvage the viability of FYROM in the long run because if it does not change policy it will remain a state with an expiration date while, at the same time, it will be a slow burning bomb in the guts of the Balkans.
 CHRISTOFIAS: TURKEY'S ATTITUDE IS UNACCEPTABLEThessaloniki, 3 December 2004 (18:12 UTC+2)
Turkey's attitude so far is unacceptable, pointed out Cypriot Parliament President and AKEL Party general secretary Dimitris Christofias who was declared honorary professor at Thessaloniki's Macedonia University today.
The recognition of the Cypriot Republic by Turkey is included in the Copenhagen criteria, stated Mr. Christofias, and called on Turkey to adjust to the principles and traditions of the EU saying characteristically that in the EU everybody gives and takes.
Responding to a question by a reporter on how far Turkey's behavior can go in view of the EU Summit meeting on December 17, he said that Turkey must get rid of the attitude it has since the Ottoman Empire, which was consolidated after Ataturk's revolution.
 THE PRIME MINISTER IS AGAINST EARLY ELECTIONSAthens, 3 December 2004 (16:57 UTC+2)
The government's goal is not to have early elections, stated Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis in the meetings he had today with government ministers and officials.
Minister of Health Nikitas Kaklamanis conveyed the Prime Minister's position to reporters.
The Prime Minister's statement comes one day before the meeting of the New Democracy Central Committee during which Mr. Karamanlis is expected to send messages to every direction concerning the policy he intends to follow.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 3 December 2004 (16:54 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.49% at 2670.17 points, while the volume of transactions was at 188,9 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 141 had gains and 156 had losses, while the value of 123 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT RUSSIAAthens, 3 December 2004 (16:01 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis will be on a formal visit to Russia on December 7-9. According to government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos, the Prime Minister will have meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Russian Prime Minister, the Parliamentary Assembly President, the Mayor of Moscow, Patriarch Alexios B' and members of the Greek community.
Bilateral agreements will be signed during the visit of the Greek Prime Minister to the country.
The visit constitutes an important milestone in the long course of bilateral cooperation and aims at the further improvement of bilateral relations for the benefit of both countries and both peoples, said Mr. Rousopoulos, adding that Greece strongly supports Russia's relations with the EU.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATEAthens, 3 December 2004 (15:47 UTC+2)
The statement made by Washington on the Patriarchate voices the views of the current and the previous Greek government, stated government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos when asked to comment whether the government is satisfied with the statement made by Washington on the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Regarding the statement made by Minister of Tourism Dimitris Avramopoulos on the issue of the Patriarchate, Mr. Rousopoulos pointed out that one of the issues that concern the EU is the respect of religious rights, which is a precondition for a country to become a member of the EU.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE STATUE OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT IN FYROMAthens, 3 December 2004 (15:36 UTC+2)
History is not written by chance neither by bureaucrats nor by city council decisions, stated Greek government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos.
He made the statement when he was asked to comment on the decision by the Municipality of Skopje, FYROM to erect statues of Alexander the Great, Justinian and King Phillip in Skopje and Bitola.
 ABNA DECIDED THE CREATION OF AN INTERNET PORTALThessaloniki, 3 December 2004 (15:23 UTC+2)
The need for the further strengthening of cooperation between the Balkan news agencies members of the Association of Balkan News Agencies, ABNA, stressed the participants in the ABNA General Assembly meeting held in Thessaloniki today.
In the General Assembly proceedings that took place this morning they decided the creation of an ABNA portal on the Internet to present all the news agencies in Southeastern Europe and the establishment of annual prizes for journalists who help with their news reports in the efforts for the development of inter-Balkan cooperation, peace and security in the region.
In the opening of the meeting messages were read sent by Minister of State and government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos and Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance Christos Folias, while a special reference was made to the meeting Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Nikos Tsiartsionis had yesterday with the members of ABNA and the dinner he gave in honor of the ABNA officials.
MPA General Director and ABNA General Secretary Mr. Spiros Kouzinopoulos addressed the members of ABNA and stated, among others, that in the 10 years since its founding ABNA has managed to survive in spite of the difficulties it faced from time to time. He said that ABNA promotes the high goals it has set from the beginning and its basic vision was to erase the boundaries of information.
Referring to the work done in the 10 years of ABNA's operation, Mr. Kouzinopoulos stressed that it did a significant work in the efforts against nationalism, xenophobia and racism.
Albanian News Agency General Director Frrog Cupi stated that ABNA played a leading role in pluralistic information and Balkan cooperation, mainly between the region's mass media, a fact that is recognized by the governments and the region's institutions.
Bulgarian news agency, BTA, General Director Maxim Mintchev pointed out the need to strengthen the role of ABNA through joint activities, while Turkish news agency Anadolu deputy General Director Elvan Baransel underlined the decisive role of the Association in erasing anachronistic points of view from the mass media and its contribution to the consolidation of peace in the region.
Athens News Agency, ANA, Editing Director Nikolaos Voulelis conveyed the messages of outgoing General Director and new President and General Director, Andreas Christodoulidis and Giorgos Tabakopoulos respectively, observing that ABNA is a very good mechanism of cooperation between news agencies, mass media and the peoples in Southeastern Europe.
ABNA's decisive role to the development of information in the Balkans and the peaceful cohabitation of the peoples, underlined FYROM news agency deputy General Director Djeljal Zejmeli.
The Bosnian News Agency will take over the ABNA Presidency next year and its General Director Milos Solaja praised ABNA's role and that of the Thessaloniki-based General Secretariat.
The representatives of the Balkan news agencies elected unanimously MPA General Director Spiros Kouzinopoulos to the post of the General Secretary recognizing his personal contribution and the news agency's given the fact that the Association was founded at its initiative.
The road to heal the wounds and transcend the passions and mistakes of the past, first of all, passes through the creation of a strong basis of communication, dialogue and trust between us, underlined Minister of State and government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos in his message to the ABNA General Assembly.
Greece wants to contribute with all its powers to the European integration of the Balkans, stated Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Nikos Tsiartsionis during the dinner he gave in honor of the ABNA members' General Directors. In his message stressed, among others, that the Balkan news agencies played a decisive role in the creation of a new environment in the region within the framework of the European integration, stressing that the timely, reliable and objective information, for which the Balkan news agencies work every day, contribute to the cooperation and development in the region.
Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance Christos Folias underlined that the news agencies and mass media in the region play the role of a catalyst in the promotion of the respect of political, cultural and religious diversity of different peoples.
 THE US SUPPORTS THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATEIstanbul, 3 December 2004 (14:09 UTC+2)
The United States through their ambassador to Ankara expressed their support to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The US ambassador asked from Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul that the Ecumenical Patriarchate should be respected and be allowed to function unhampered given the fact that Ankara questions the ecumenical character of the Patriarchate.
At the same time, the United States have made it clear that they recognize the Ecumenical Patriarch as the spiritual leader of millions of Orthodox Christians around the world. According to a US official statement, for years the firm US position is that the Theology School of Halki should reopen, a development placed for the United States within the framework of the protection of religious freedoms and human rights.