|Wednesday, 16 October 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-12-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 INTENSE BUDGET DEBATEAthens, 20 December 2004 (12:53 UTC+2)
The 2005 budget debate that opened on Saturday evening continues in the Parliament's plenary session and will be completed at midnight on Wednesday with an open vote.
Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis accused main opposition Socialist Party of PASOK main speaker Giorgos Floridis that instead of apologizing to the people exercises nihilistic criticism. Mr. Floridis had accused the government of defaming the country, while Mr. Alogoskoufis characterized as very disappointing the fact that PASOK insists in practices and views condemned by the Greek people.
According to Parliament President Mrs. Anna Psarouda-Benaki, the Parliament television channel will broadcast across Greece and almost all over the world as efforts are being made to broadcast to the United States and Australia.
 WEIGHTLIFTER LEONIDAS SABANIS WAS INDICTED FOR USING BANNED NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTSAthens, 20 December 2004 (13:59 UTC+2)
Two Athens prosecutors issued an indictment against weightlifter Leonidas Sabanis today.
He is accused of using banned nutrition supplements during the Athens Olympic Games in order to improve his performance.
The weightlifting champion refused to make any comments after the prosecutors' decision maintaining that he has confidence in the Greek justice.
For the record, Sabanis had won the bronze in weightlifting but he tested positive to testosterone and the medal was removed.
Also, the prosecutors issued an indictment against anybody that could be responsible for anti-doping control at Olympic Stadium concerning the destruction of an anti-doping test sample of US cyclist Hamilton, who had tested positive in the first anti-doping control while the second sample was destroyed.
 THE BUS HIJACKERS ARE DETAINED AWAITING TRIALAthens, 20 December 2004 (13:20 UTC+2)
The two young Albanian nationals, who hijacked a bus in Athens and held 23 passengers hostage for 19 hours, are detained awaiting trial, according to a decision reached today by the examiner and the prosecutor.
The two apologized for their action and stated that they are sorry, stressing that they did not want to hurt anybody and the only thing they wanted was to get the ransom of 1 million euros and return to Albania to open their own business.
 INAUGURATION OF THE VERIA-POLIMILI SECTION OF "EGNATIA ODOS" MOTORWAYVeria, 20 December 2004 (18:18 UTC+2)
Minister of Environment, Land Planning and Public Works Giorgos Souflias inaugurated today the 26-kilometers long Veria-Polimili section of Egnatia Odos motorway in northwestern Greece, which was given to traffic.
The project is very important for the region of western Macedonia, northern Greece, as motorists will be able to get from the city of Veria to the town of Polimili in 12 minutes instead of 45 minutes they needed until now through the Kastania section of the national motorway.
The Veria-Polimili section of Egnatia Odos motorway is made of 12 tunnels and 14 bridges and initially will be used only by private cars while buses and trucks will use the old road of Kastania.
In a press conference in Veria, Mr. Souflias stated that the Egnatia Odos motorway linking Igoumenitsa (western Greece) with the prefecture of Evros northeastern Greece will be completed by the year 2008.
Also, Mr. Souflias stated that by July 2005 at the latest things will clear up regarding Thessaloniki's metro and underwater tunnel.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 20 December 2004 (17:11 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.97% at 2731.27 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 182,1 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 98 had gains and 195 had losses, while the value of 127 stocks remained unchanged.
 KARAMANLIS: ECONOMY AND EVERYDAY LIFE THE GOV'T PRIORITIESAthens, 20 December 2004 (15:39 UTC+2)
The economy and everyday life issues are the priorities of the government, stressed Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis in the lunch he gave for the journalists today.
He refused to comment on the criticism made by Hellenic Republic President Kostis Stephanopoulos on the European Union regarding the negotiations with Turkey in the Brussels EU Summit meeting and pointed out that Mr. Stephanopoulos had a successful term in the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic and has set high standards for his successor.
Regarding the likelihood of a government reshuffle, Mr. Karamanlis did not make any revelations.
 MITSOTAKIS: THE EU SUMMIT MEETING RESULTS ARE POSITIVEAthens, 20 December 2004 (13:12 UTC+2)
Governing party of New Democracy honorary President and former Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis stated that the outcome of the EU Summit meeting in Brussels is positive.
He said that he is happy because Cypriot Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos displayed realism and a sense of responsibility, while he appeared optimistic concerning the Greek-Turkish relations and stressed that developments in the Cyprus issue are very likely.