|Wednesday, 23 September 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-03-17
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 STRIKE AND PROBLEMSThessaloniki, 17 March 2005 (15:25 UTC+2)
Problems were created in areas of the public and private sector as both private and public employees held a 24-hour strike protesting against high prices, the social security issue, the low income and high unemployment.
Transactions were held with difficulty in banks, the Public Electricity Company, DEH, the Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, and Post Offices.
The wider region of Athens was without public transportation and no trains were running across the country from 12pm until 4pm. Olympic Airlines held a flight per destination, while hospitals and health centers operated with skeleton staff.
Work stoppages were held by the journalists associations as well as elementary and high school teachers, while universities and archaeological sites remained closed.
 KARAMANLIS-JUNCKER MEETING IN BRUSSELSBrussels, 17 March 2005 (16:18 UTC+2)
The 4th Community Support Framework, the Lisbon strategy, the Stability and Development Pact issues and the EU-Turkey relations were among the issues discussed in the meeting Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis had with Luxembourg Prime Minister and EU President Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels today.
On the 4th Community Support Framework, Mr. Karamanlis stated that Greece supports the European Commission proposal on the Lisbon strategy, he said that further steps should be made toward financial stability while referring to the Euro-Turkish relations he called on Turkey to prove that it intends to comply with European acquis.
 THE NEW PASOK NATIONAL COUNCIL SECRETARYAthens, 17 March 2005 (15:40 UTC+2)
Euro-deputy Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou was elected yesterday to the post of main opposition Socialist Party of PASOK National Council Secretary after receiving a positive vote by 81.4% of its members.
After her election she stated that the goal is to bring PASOK back on a winning course and put in practice the slogan that by changing PASOK we change Greece.
A total of 280 of the 288 National Council members voted for the election of the new Secretary. Forty-eight ballots were blank and 4 spoilt.
 TWO TREMORS RECORDED IN THE ISLAND OF SAMOSSamos, 17 March 2005 (15:53 UTC+2)
The seismic activity in the sea region between the eastern Aegean island of Samos and the Turkish coasts progresses smoothly. The two earthquakes measuring 4.3 and 4.4 on the Richter scale that rocked the region this morning alarmed local residents. The tremors were felt in the islands of Samos, Ikaria, Patmos, Fourni and the Asia Minor coasts.
According to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Geophysics Laboratory seismologist Manolis Skordilis, no major fault passes east of Samos that could give a catastrophic earthquake and the only strong earthquake was recorded in the region in 1955 and measured 6.5 on the Richter scale.
 AGREEMENT ON THE COMMUNITY SUPPORT FRAMEWORKBrussels, 17 March 2005 (15:09 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis after meeting with European Commission President Mr. Barroso expressed his agreement with the European Commission proposal to channel into the 4th Community Support Framework 1.24% of the EU GDP and not 1% as suggested by the 6 richest countries.
It is a well-balanced proposal given the fact that the proposed budget is the smallest possible that guarantees the common goals of the EU, safeguards the success of the enlargement, promotes European cohesion and competitiveness and deals effectively with the problems and challenges that arise from the different level of development of the 25 EU member states, stated Mr. Karamanlis.
Mr. Karamanlis, who visited Brussels yesterday, sent a message to Ankara to sign the customs union protocol that includes Cyprus soon.
Mr. Karamanlis stressed that Greece supports Turkey's European prospect, stressing that Turkey like all the candidate states must meet all criteria and the specific preconditions set every time for every step of progress they make.
Mr. Karamanlis discussed with Mr. Barroso the majority shareholder issue reiterating the positions of the Greek government that the law in question stems from article 14 of the Greek Constitution and stated that the Greek government officials are at the European Commission disposal for any further discussion.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that the progress made aimed at meeting the Lisbon targets both at a European and a national level is not satisfactory. He added that the Greek position is that from now on efforts should focus on the promotion of the single market, the creation of more job positions and the strengthening of the European economy competitiveness without downgrading the social dimension and without undermining the environment protection and the viable development.
 A US CONGRESS COMMITTEE CRITICIZES TURKEY'S STANCE TOWARD THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATENew York, 17 March 2005 (16:55 UTC+2)
The US Congress Committee on Security and Cooperation in Europe exerted strong criticism on the Turkish government for its stance toward the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The committee criticized Ankara for hampering the operation of the Patriarchate, undermining its Ecumenical character and violating the rights of the Greek Orthodox Church.
It was also pointed out that Turkey's behavior on the issue of the Ecumenical Patriarchate is not consistent with its wish to become a member of the EU.
The committee also pointed out that both Bill Clinton and George Bush in their visits to Turkey in 1999 and 2004 respectively had asked the Turkish political leadership to allow the reopening of the Theology School of Halki, while at the same time it cited the criticism made on Turkey's behavior included in the annual US State Department reports concerning human rights and religious freedoms.