|Saturday, 19 September 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-03-03
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SOLUTIONS WITH EUROPEAN PROSPECTBelgrade, 3 March 2005 (14:14 UTC+2)
The two peoples must decide on their future taking under consideration the stability in the region and the road that leads to the European goal, stated Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis yesterday referring to the proposal by Montenegro to break up the union with Serbia.
Today, Mr. Karamanlis has talks in Belgrade and Pristina, while in Croatia yesterday he underlined that Greece's strategic goal is the promotion of the European prospect of the region's countries in order to turn the region from the European powder-keg, it used to be, into a European neighborhood.
Serbia's European prospect and developments in Kosovo were at the center of the meeting Prime Minister Karamanlis had with his Serb counterpart Vojislav Kostunica in Belgrade today within the framework of his Balkan tour.
The Prime Minister stressed that Serbia must get the place it deserves in the European Union and that Belgrade's participation in the efforts for the solution of the Kosovo issue will contribute decisively to the region's stability and security.
 STABLE BUT DIFFICULT THE SITUATION IN EVROSAlexandroupolis, 3 March 2005 (13:38 UTC+2)
Stable but difficult is the situation in the region of Evros River. Yesterday, the river broke its banks at Lavara and as a result 50 houses were flooded and 200 were evacuated. According to reliable information, Minister of Defense Spilios Spiliotopoulos is expected to visit the region today.
Greek army special forces helped the local residents to move to safety.
The National Defense General Staff announced that the special units and means provided by the Xenokratis emergency plan drawn up to deal with floods and snowfall are in a state of readiness.
The prefecture of Evros remains in a state of emergency for a third week while the responsible agencies of the Eastern Macedonia-Thrace Region, the prefecture of Evros, as well as the local municipalities and the army forces stationed in the region have been mobilized to deal with the situation.
 STRATEGY OF CHANGES FOR PASOKAthens, 3 March 2005 (14:41 UTC+2)
The proceedings of the 7th PASOK Party Congress open in Athens this afternoon.
The congress' theme is We change PASOK to change Greece and a total of 5,898 delegates will participate in the proceedings. The elected delegates are 4,484, 69% male and 31% female.
In his speech Socialist Party of PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou will outline a strategy of changes and reforms concerning the everyday life of the citizens, while he will also present the party proposals on major issues such as public administration and education and insist in the need for PASOK's deep renewal.
Among the foreign guests in the congress are Socialist International President Antonio Gutierres, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and former Turkish Foreign Minister Ismael Cem representing the Popular Republican Party.
 "MY NUMBER ONE" IN EUROVISIONAthens, 3 March 2005 (18:54 UTC+2)
The song "My number one", lyrics by Natalia Germanou and music by Christos Dantis, was the people's choice and the choice of a special committee formed to decide which will be the song to represent Greece in this year's Eurovision song contest.
The 50th Eurovision song contest will be held on May 21 in Kiev, Ukraine.
The three songs that competed yesterday to represent Greece were "Let's get wild" (Douglas Carr), "My number one" (Dantis-Germanou) and "OK" (Christodoulos Siganos Valentino Giorgos Papadimitriou). The song "My number one" received 66.47% of the votes cast by the television viewers.
The song will be performed by Helena Paparizou.
 KARAMANLIS VISITED THE GREEK FORCE IN KOSOVOAthens, 3 March 2005 (17:49 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis highlighted the contribution of the Greek Force in Kosovo to the consolidation of a climate of security in the region and the promotion of Greece's leading role in the Balkans during his visit to the Greek Force in Kosovo (ELDYKO).
Mr. Karamanlis stressed that Kosovo is a crucial catalyst for the common vision shared by all Balkan peoples and expressed the belief that the region can become a European neighborhood.
He also congratulated the members of the Greek Force in Kosovo who are called to meet their mission's demands under very tough conditions.
 STEPHANOPOULOS-NANO MEETINGAthens, 3 March 2005 (17:36 UTC+2)
Hellenic Republic President Kostis Stephanopoulos received Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano at the Presidential Building in Athens at noon today.
Mr. Nano is in Greece to attend the Socialist Party of PASOK Congress that opens in Athens this evening. Tomorrow, Mr. Nano will meet with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis.
 KARAMANLIS: EUROPEAN INTEGRATION IS INCOMPLETE WITHOUT SERBIA-MONTENEGROBelgrade, 3 March 2005 (17:00 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis sent a message of support and hope to the people of Serbia-Montenegro speaking in Belgrade and stressed that their future is with the European Union, adding that Greece stands by their side in their effort to meet this goal.
After his meeting with Serbia-Montenegro President Svetozar Marovic in Belgrade, Mr. Karamanlis stated that the process of the European integration will be incomplete for as long as Serbia-Montenegro is not included.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that they discussed developments in bilateral relations as well as issues concerning the European prospect of Serbia-Montenegro, regional developments and the issue of Kosovo.
On the issue of Kosovo, the Prime Minister stated that Greece's position is clear and he will repeat it during his visit to Pristina in the next few hours. He said that at this stage attention should focus on meeting the preconditions set by the international community. He added that in spite of the efforts made so far it is obvious that the course toward meeting the preconditions set is not satisfactory.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that immediate effort has to be made for the safety of the non Albanian communities and specifically the Serbs living in Kosovo, adding that immediate measures need to be taken for the creation of security conditions allowing the return of thousands of Serb refugees. Measures need to be taken for the restoration of churches and cultural monuments, said Mr. Karamanlis, stressing that the incidents recorded last March are a dark spot.
Kosovo's future status must be the result of dialogue and result from peaceful procedures in order to be compatible with the UN Charter, the Helsinki Final Act and the 1990 Paris Charter. In other words, said Mr. Karamanlis, it is all about respect of international law, as it is guaranteed by the UN, and protection of regional stability. Therefore, any talks and developments should take place within the framework of the United Nations, while the close cooperation of the EU with the United States and Russia is necessary for the solution of the problem.
Belgrade must participate in the process including the talks and the decisions on the future status of Kosovo. Consensus will contribute to the region's stability, said Mr. Karamanlis, adding that the European prospect of Serbia-Montenegro as well as Kosovo, as it was launched in the Thessaloniki Summit Meeting in June 2003, can and should act as a catalyst.
The protection of regional stability and the neighboring countries is an essential parameter. Greece, which will take over the Inter-Balkan Cooperation (S.E.E.C.P.) Presidency in May, will work systematically toward this direction.
Kosovo will be safe only when all Kosovars, regardless of ethnic origin or religion, will live free, peacefully and without fear. A society based on fear, is a potential source of concern and insecurity, stressed Mr. Karamanlis.
 DISCONTENT AT THE US IN NICOSIANicosia, 3 March 2005 (15:57 UTC+2)
The US State Department report on the human rights situation in Cyprus caused the strong discontent of the Cypriot political leadership.
Cypriot Parliament President Dimitris Christofias stated that the report gives the impression that the United States continue to follow the punitive policy they adopted after the referenda and upgrade the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state. Cypriot government spokesman Kypros Chrisostomidis characterized the report as unfair in many points.
Cypriot Justice Minister Mr. Theodorou stated that he has pointed out the untrue points included in the report to the government spokesman to issue an even tougher response.