|Wednesday, 11 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-12-14
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 KAROLOS PAPOULIAS ENJOYS WIDE ACCEPTANCEAthens, 14 December 2004 (13:06 UTC+2)
The nomination of Karolos Papoulias for the post of the Hellenic Republic President enjoys wide acceptance by the public opinion, while the comments made by the political world representatives were very favorable.
Government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos stated that this nomination has all the characteristics dictated by the Constitution, adding that Mr. Papoulias has a long political career, experience and international prestige.
Honorary President of the governing party of New Democracy Konstantinos Mitsotakis characterized the selection of Mr. Papoulias as successful, stating that Mr. Papoulias is a moderate and a foreign policy expert.
Mr. Papoulias meets with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis today.
 RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN INTERVIEW WITH NETAthens, 14 December 2004 (13:51 UTC+2)
Optimistic that the European Council will give to Turkey a date for the opening of the EU accession negotiations appeared Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an interview with the Greek state-run television station NET.
Mr. Erdogan thanked the Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis for his support to himself personally and the Turkish people.
He added that Turkey does not want to become a burden for the EU but to remove part of the load on its shoulders.
In addition, he underlined that Ankara has given its approval to extend Turkey's customs union with all new EU member states, including the Cypriot Republic.
 THE MAYOR OF THESSALONIKI IN PARIS FOR EXPO 2008Thessaloniki, 14 December 2004 (18:15 UTC+2)
Mayor of Thessaloniki Vasilis Papageorgopoulos will be in Paris tomorrow to attend the last presentation of the candidate host cities of the international exhibition EXPO 2008.
On Thursday, December 16, the 95 member states of the International Bureau of Exhibitions will vote to choose the city that will undertake to host EXPO 2008.
Mr. Papageorgopoulos stated that he is optimistic and added that Thessaloniki's bid outmatches the other candidate cities, Zaragoza and Trieste, on many occasions.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 14 December 2004 (17:28 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.65% at 2682.00 points, while the volume of transactions was at 159,3 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 69 had gains and 230 had losses, while the value of 131 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE ARCHBISHOPRIC VOCATIONAL TRAINING INSTITUTE IN ALBANIA THREATENED WITH CLOSUREThessaloniki, 14 December 2004 (16:30 UTC+2)
The Vocational Training Institute operating with great success during the past three years in Dervisan, Gjirokastr in Albania with the support of Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania is threatened with closure by the Albanian authorities.
The Regional Education Directorate Inspector visited the institute on December 13 and delivered a letter signed by the agency's director ordering its closure by December 15 under the excuse that it is not officially recognized.
For the record, the application for the operation of the Archbishopric institute together with the file including the necessary documents had been submitted since July 2002 in accordance with the legal procedures in effect and the Ministry of Education and Science had not issued a negative response.
 OPINION POLL SHOWS NEW DEMOCRACY LEADINGAthens, 14 December 2004 (15:51 UTC+2)
Governing party of New Democracy is leading main opposition Socialist Party of PASOK by 6.4 percentage points, according to an opinion poll by the polling company Kappa Research published today by the Athens newspaper TO VIMA.
The opinion poll took place on December 5-9 before the announcement of the nomination of Karolos Papoulias by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis for the post of the Hellenic Republic President.
New Democracy received 39.6%, PASOK 33.2%, the Communist Party 6.1%, Coalition 3.2% and LAOS 3.1%.
Regarding popularity, current Hellenic Republic President Kostis Stephanopoulos has 93.5%, followed by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew 71.2%, Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece 67.9%, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis 62.2%, PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou 57.2% and Yianna Angelopoulou 42.8%.
Most popular in New Democracy is Athens mayor Dora Bakoyianni (70.9%) and in PASOK Athens-Piraeus Prefect Fofi Gennimata (64.8%).
 THE FIRST MEETING OF KARAMANLIS-PAPOULIASAthens, 14 December 2004 (15:33 UTC+2)
We discussed many issues in a friendly atmosphere and from now on, we will be in a consensus atmosphere dictated by the choice made by Mr. Karamanlis and this will be good for our country, stated Karolos Papoulias, who was nominated by the governing party of New Democracy for the post of the President of the Hellenic Republic.
The statement was made after the 45-minute meeting Mr. Papoulias had with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis at noon today.
The Prime Minister expressed joy for the favorable reception his proposal had by the people and pointed out that it shows that Mr. Papoulias is an expression of consensus.
Meanwhile, the government denied that there is an issue of speeding up the procedures for the election of the President or a likelihood of a government reshuffle.
 THE DECISION ON TURKEY WILL BE REACHED IN THE EU SUMMITAthens, 14 December 2004 (13:36 UTC+2)
The European Union Foreign Ministers decided to bring the issue of the time of the opening of Turkey's EU accession negotiations and the process to be followed to the EU Summit meeting.
Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis stated that the diplomatic efforts are expected to focus on the paragraph of the draft conclusions of the Dutch EU Presidency that refers to Cyprus and the goal is to strengthen the wording to underline the need to normalize relations between Turkey and the Cypriot Republic.
A diplomatic marathon is in progress in view of the EU Summit meeting on Friday, December 17 during which Turkey's European course will be under discussion.
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, whose country currently holds the EU rotating Presidency, called on Turkey to recognize the Cypriot Republic.
Finn European Commissioner Olli Rehn, responsible for the EU enlargement, maintained in an interview with a Belgian newspaper that the opening of negotiations is a real window of opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
The negotiation is difficult and complex. Our government continues the efforts aimed at forming the best possible text, stressed Greek government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos.
 THESSALONIKI'S BID FOR EXPO 2008Paris, 14 December 2004 (18:44 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki will give its great battle in the next two days in Paris as a candidate host city for the international exhibition EXPO 2008 together with the other two candidates, Zaragoza (Spain) and Trieste (Italy)
A large Greek delegation arrived in the French capital this afternoon headed by Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Nikos Tsiartsionis, who stressed how crucial this battle is, while he expressed the Greek delegation's restraint optimism regarding the outcome.
Mayor of Thessaloniki Vasilis Papageorgopoulos will be in Paris tomorrow to attend the last presentation of the candidate host cities for the international exhibition EXPO 2008.
On Thursday, December 16, the 94 member states of the International Bureau of Exhibitions will vote to choose the city that will undertake to host EXPO 2008.
Mr. Papageorgopoulos stated that he is optimistic and added that Thessaloniki's bid outmatches the other candidate cities on many occasions.
 HATZIDAKIS' QUESTION TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION ON THE PRINCE'S ISLAND ORPHANAGEStrasbourg, 14 December 2004 (14:38 UTC+2)
The pledge to watch closely the case of the Prince's Island Orphanage property expropriation by the Turkish state was undertaken by the European Commission according to a response by European Commissioner Olli Rehn, responsible for EU enlargement issues, to a question by Greek governing party of New Democracy Euro-deputy Kostis Hatzidakis.
Mr. Hatzidakis pointed out in his question that the decision by a Turkish supreme court to reject the ownership titles of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is unfair and a gross violation of the Treaty of Lausanne and the Greek minority rights.
The European Commissioner shares the concerns expressed by the Greek Euro-deputy and stresses that the European Commission skepticism over the fact that the Ecumenical Patriarchate, as well as the other non-Muslim religious communities, lacks legal identity has already been included in its 2004 report.