|Monday, 21 September 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-12-07
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 OPTIMISM FOR SOLUTIONNew York, 7 December 2004 (11:40 UTC+2)
The talks between Greece and FYROM on the issue of the FYROM name will continue in New York on January 12 after the meeting the two sides had yesterday at the UN headquarters.
UN Secretary General special envoy Mathew Nimitz expressed optimism that the Athens-Skopje negotiations will have a successful conclusion and stressed that in the long run the recent decision by Washington to recognize FYROM unilaterally under the name Republic of Macedonia will not affect considerably the negotiations between the two directly involved sides which take place through his mediation and under the UN auspices.
According to Mr. Nimitz, the greatest effect the US decision on the issue of the FYROM name had was to draw attention to the fact that the issue remains unresolved.
Mr. Nimitz in an interview with the Voice of America expressed the belief that a new era is dawning in which the Balkan states cooperate with each other including Greece and FYROM.
He said that there is good will by all and the two directly interested countries have responsible governments and responsible opposition that work to protect their national interests and, at the same time, have a great desire to settle the issue that continues to separate them.
Mr. Nimitz avoided predictions on when the Athens-Skopje talks will be completed in the UN but stated characteristically that the issue should be resolved within months.
 KARAMANLIS VISITS RUSSIAAthens, 7 December 2004 (12:05 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis departs today for a three-day formal visit to Russia.
Mr. Karamanlis will have talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the President of the Federal Council, the Prime Minister, the mayor of Moscow and Patriarch Alexios B'.
Mr. Karamanlis will also meet with representatives of the Greek community and decorate with a honorary medal the son of Greek teacher Yiannis Kanidis killed during the terrorist attack in Beslan.
 KARAMANLIS-BALKENENDE MEETINGAthens, 7 December 2004 (14:21 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who is currently holding the EU Presidency, discussed in Athens today the second draft plan of conclusions of the Dutch EU Presidency for the EU Summit meeting on December 17.
In the draft plan there is no date for the opening of the EU accession negotiations with Turkey and according to information, the pressures exerted by the US government in favor of Ankara have affected the draft plan contents.
Mr. Karamanlis submitted to the Dutch Prime Minister the remarks of the Greek government, while Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis will meet in Brussels tomorrow with his US counterpart Colin Powell to discuss the issue.
The EU President will also visit Nicosia and Ankara for talks with the governments of Cyprus and Turkey.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 7 December 2004 (17:12 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.94% at 2688.66 points, while the volume of transactions was at 194 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 183 had gains and 104 had losses, while the value of 133 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE PRIME MINISTER ON A THREE-DAY FORMAL VISIT TO RUSSIAAthens, 7 December 2004 (16:04 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis departs for Russia this afternoon for a three-day formal visit. The contacts with the Russian leadership will focus on the strengthening of cooperation in economic sectors, such as energy.
The Prime Minister stated to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, that Moscow and Athens can further promote their cooperation in the energy sector.
He referred specifically to the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline and the prospects of the Greek-Russian cooperation in the sectors of transportation, agriculture, industry and the development of small and medium sized businesses.
 MILLER: WE SUPPORT THE NEGOTIATIONS ON THE NAMEAthens, 7 December 2004 (11:49 UTC+2)
The United States support the negotiations on the FYROM name held under the auspices of the United Nations, stated outgoing US ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller.
Mr. Miller stated that US President Bush has stressed in his letter to Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis that the US warmly supports the negotiations between the two countries and will do its best to be supportive, expressing the wish for a successful conclusion.
 THE DUTCH EU PRESIDENCY TEXT ON TURKEYBrussels, 7 December 2004 (17:44 UTC+2)
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who is holding the European Council Presidency, ruled out the likelihood of a proposal during the EU Summit meeting on December 17 for a preferential relation between Turkey and the EU.
However, there are certain changes in the new text of conclusions by the Dutch EU Presidency and some of them concern Greece and Cyprus directly. It is pointed out characteristically that the unresolved problems Turkey has with its neighboring states, if these bilateral disputes have an effect on the country's EU accession course, should be resolved through the International Court in The Hague.
Meanwhile, according to diplomatic sources from the Belgian capital, Turkey will not become a full EU member before 2014.
Regarding the Turkish workers in EU countries the text leaves open the likelihood of further long-lasting restrictions.
In case Turkey systematically violates the democratic principles of the EU, the European Commission can, at its own initiative or after a relevant request by a member-state, suggest the interruption of the negotiations.
Regarding Turkey's customs union with all the EU members, including Cyprus, the text's paragraph 19 mentions that the European Council welcomes Turkey's decision to sign the protocol concerning the adoption of the Ankara agreement taking under consideration the accession of the ten new member states.
 THE EURO-PARLIAMENT WILL CONTINUE TO USE THE NAME FYROMBrussels, 7 December 2004 (13:45 UTC+2)
European Parliament President Josep Borrell gave written assurance to Greek governing party of New Democracy Euro-deputy and vice-president of the European Parliament Antonis Trakatellis that the European Parliament and its agencies will continue to use the name FYROM.
Mr. Trakatellis sent a relevant letter to the president of the European Parliament on the occasion of the surprise and unacceptable decision, as he describes it, taken by the United States on November 4 to recognize FYROM under the name Republic of Macedonia.