|Saturday, 14 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-03-21
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 INVESTIGATION IN THE PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEMAthens, 21 March 2005 (13:53 UTC+2)
A team of Greek Foreign Ministry specialists will be in Jerusalem today to investigate the case concerning the buying and selling of Patriarchate of Jerusalem real estate to Israelis.
The Palestinian Authority and Jordan have formed special committees to investigate the case.
Yesterday, about 100 Orthodox Arabs protested outside the Patriarchate calling Patriarch Irenaeus to resign and demanding an investigation on the Patriarchate finances.
Patriarch Irenaeus stated that this is a well-orchestrated attack against him and the Patriarchate, while a censure against him has been submitted in the Jordanian Parliament.
Greece wants the case to be investigated immediate, stated Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos who announced that a team of specialists will be in Jerusalem today.
Mr. Koumoutsakos stated that Greece condemns such actions in case the allegations are proved to be true. He said that Greece respects the self-administration of the Patriarchate and does not intervene in administrative issues, which are being regulated by the legislation on the operation of the Patriarchate and by centuries-long traditions.
 DOUBLE EUROPEAN "TEST"Brussels, 21 March 2005 (14:05 UTC+2)
Greece will take a double test in Brussels today. Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis will submit in the European Commission the three-year revised Stability and Development Program and will represent Greece in the extraordinary Eurogroup Summit to discuss the Stability and Development Pact.
On the other hand, Minister of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Prokopis Pavlopoulos will have consultations on the majority shareholder issue with the responsible European Commissioner.
The head of the government's economic staff is in Brussels since yesterday and will stay until Wednesday, March 23 to attend the proceedings of the EU Summit meeting.
 GREECE IS A FULL MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCYAthens, 21 March 2005 (18:00 UTC+2)
Greece became a full member of the European Space Agency, ESA. Research and Technology general secretary, professor Ioannis Tsoukalas stated that ESA Council President Mr. Tebner announced the decision during an ESA meeting on March 15.
Mr. Tsoukalas stated that now Greece will have an equally strong voice with the rest ESA members.
 FEBRUARY'S INFLATION WAS THE LOWEST IN THE PAST FOUR YEARSAthens, 21 March 2005 (17:03 UTC+2)
The average inflation rate in the period March 2004-February 2005 was the lowest of the past four years in spite of the speedy increase in the international oil prices, the predictions for high prices due to the Olympic Games and a wave of price hikes, stated Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas.
Mr. Sioufas stated that based on processed data provided by the Greek National Statistics Agency, the average inflation rate (3.0%) was in February 2005 at clearly lower levels compared to the same month in 2004, 2003 and 2002, meaning that in February 2005 inflation was at the lowest level in the past four years.
 THE KILLER OF THE 17-YEAROLD STUDENT IN ARTA WAS ARRAIGNED TODAYArta, 21 March 2005 (14:35 UTC+2)
Forty-four-year-old Dimitris Mazarakos was led to the Court Building in Arta, western Greece, today guarded by a strong police force in order to be arraigned.
The 44-year-old shot and killed last Wednesday 17-year-old student Christos Roumeliotis while the victim was at the bus stop at the village of Xirokampos. He told the prosecutor that he has no money to hire a defense attorney and appeared to be unrepentant for the killing of the student in cold blood.
Mazarakos fled the scene of the crime and was hiding in a mountainous region until police located and arrested him last Saturday. He told the prosecutor that he had an affair with the younger sister of the victim and that he had threatened to kill him if he did not break up with the girl.
 THE STABILITY PACT BECOMES MORE RELAXEDBrussels, 21 March 2005 (17:18 UTC+2)
The Eurogroup reached a decision to relax in principle the Stability Pact under preconditions and terms mainly political. The decision was reached in the presence of Greek Minister of Finance Giorgos Agologoskoufis. The member states will be able to cut deficit under 3% in a period larger than 12 months, which was in effect until today.
The EU Finance Ministers have reached an agreement on the reform of the Stability and Development Pact announced Luxembourg Prime Minister and EU President Jean-Claude Juncker expressing satisfaction.
The fundamental rules of the European economic and monetary policy remain unchanged, the 3% and 60% criteria were never questioned or threatened, explained Mr. Juncker, pointing out that the preventive aspect of the Pact was strengthened.
The European Summit Meeting must ratify on Tuesday evening the agreement negotiated by the Finance Ministers.
 MEETING IN BERLINBerlin, 21 March 2005 (16:52 UTC+2)
Turkey must meet the criteria set, among them the signing of the Ankara Protocol (for the customs union with the ten new EU member states) for the EU accession negotiations to get underway, stated German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder after the talks he had with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlisin in Berlin today.
Responding to a question concerning the likelihood for the process to be interrupted because Turkey has not signed the Ankara Protocol, Mr. Schroeder stated that on December 17 we undertook the commitment to launch the accession negotiations on October 3. However, Turkey must meet the preconditions set adding that there will be reports on its progress.
Mr. Karamanlis expressed Greece's support to Turkey's European prospect and pointed out that it will have to meet the European criteria.
On the issue of the FYROM name, Mr. Schroeder characterized the Athens-Skopje rapprochement procedure as important and stressed that a solution must be reached as soon as possible. He characterized as wise the position of the Greek Prime Minister who said that Greece promotes a mutually acceptable solution.
The Karamanlis-Schroeder meeting was held in a very good and friendly climate and this was pointed out by both leaders in the statements they made referring to the very good relations between Greece and Germany. They also expressed satisfaction for the agreement reached on the Stability Pact. Their positions on the issue of the EU spending were different and Mr. Schroeder stated that it is reasonable for Germany to wish to cut its economic contribution and for Greece to wish to receive more funds.
 CRUCIAL MEETINGSBerlin, 21 March 2005 (13:14 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis will have crucial meetings on the Cyprus issue and the Greek-Turkish relations.
Mr. Karamanlis meets in Berlin with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder with whom he will also discuss bilateral relations as well, while this evening he will have dinner in Brussels with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Mr. Karamanlis has made it clear that Greece supports Turkey's European course but a lot will depend on whether Turkey will meet the European criteria and has called on Ankara to sign the customs union protocol with the ten new EU member states, among them the Cyprus Republic.
Turkish newspaper Milliyet citing European politicians points out that the joint moves by Greece and Turkey will accelerate the solution of the Cyprus issue adding that the friendship shared by Karamanlis and Erdogan will contribute toward this end. The newspaper also points out that the meeting precedes the meeting Mr. Karamanlis will have tomorrow with Cypriot Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos.