|Tuesday, 19 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-03-23
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 BOOST TO COMPETITIVENESSAthens, 23 March 2005 (13:21 UTC+2)
The EU Summit meeting that got underway yesterday reached the decision to give a new boost to the strategy of Lisbon aimed at making the European Union economy more competitive by 2010.
In the first session of the Summit meeting yesterday, the 25 ratified formally the revision of the Stability and Development Pact to include new measures that give more freedom of movement to countries with deficits below the 3% limit of the GDP under the precondition that the violation is small and temporary.
The European press has launched a strong attack against the leaderships of the major EU economies for the decision to relax the Pact's regulations.
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis met with his Spanish counterpart Zapatero on bilateral relations and the common stance shared by Greece and Spain on the level of the 4th Community Support Framework funds.
 JORDAN SUGGESTS TRIPARTITE INVESTIGATIONJerusalem, 23 March 2005 (14:05 UTC+2)
Jordan suggested to the Palestinian Authority and Greece the establishment of a tripartite committee to investigate the Patriarchate of Jerusalem archives and find out if the allegations concerning the selling of Patriarchate real estate to Israeli investors are founded.
Meanwhile, the team of Greek specialists, who were sent to Jerusalem, continues the investigation on the issue that has arisen. The members of the committee have met with Patriarch Irenaeus and examined documents.
Patriarch Ireneaus made no formal statement on the issue.
 INTERLOCUTORY PROCEDURE ON THE MAIN SHAREHOLDER ISSUEAthens, 23 March 2005 (13:54 UTC+2)
The European Commission has activated an interlocutory procedure against Greece on the incompatibility of the main shareholder law with the European legislation.
Greece is called to give explanations within 15 days and if the European Commission is not convinced by the explanations it will suspend the payments on public works that are being given to contractors based on the specific law.
Acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros gave the assurance that the country's constitution and transparency in transactions will be protected.
Main opposition Socialist Party of PASOK leader Giorgos Papandreou stated that Greece is being defamed, while the Communist Party and the Coalition Party expressed their opposition to any change of the main shareholder law.
 PARASITES IN THOUSANDS OF KILOS OF IMPORTED NORWEGIAN CODThessaloniki, 23 March 2005 (17:16 UTC+2)
The responsible health authorities in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, found parasites in 30,000 kilos of packed salt cod imported from Norway.
The Prefecture of Thessaloniki press office announced that all procedures are underway for the return of the salt cod to the production company in Norway after consultations with the responsible authorities in that country.
 THE PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEM MUST BE RESPECTEDAthens, 23 March 2005 (16:45 UTC+2)
Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis had successive meetings today with Israeli ambassador to Athens Ram Aviram, Palestinian Authority head in Athens, Marwan Abdelhamid and Jordanian ambassador to Athens Mohammed Dawodieh to discuss developments in the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
Mr. Skandalakis stated that respect toward the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is a priority and in the meetings they reached the common conclusion that the Greek character of the Patriarchate is not being questioned.
They also agreed that there is a need to preserve the very good climate in bilateral relations.
The ambassadors welcomed the mission of the Greek Foreign Ministry group of specialists to Jerusalem and according to Mr. Skandalakis their goal is to investigate the case concerning the selling of Patriarchate real estate to Israeli investors in order to obtain complete transparency on the transactions that took place.
 DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ON SUNDAYAthens, 23 March 2005 (14:26 UTC+2)
The Daylight Saving Time measure will be in effect across the European Union on Sunday, March 27 until the last Sunday in October.
Time will change at 3 am on Sunday, March 27 and clocks will be set one hour ahead of standard time to show 4 am.
 KARAMANLIS: WE WILL DEFEND THE COUNTRY'S CONSTITUTION AND INTERESTSBrussels, 23 March 2005 (16:28 UTC+2)
The government will defend the Greek Constitution and the country's interests and will not compromise on issues of transparency and corruption, stated Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis in a press conference he gave after the EU Summit meeting in Brussels today.
On the issue created by the main shareholder law, Mr. Karamanlis stated that a dialogue exists between the government and the European Commission on the legal issue that has arisen. The Greek government wants to reach common ground but the Prime Minister refused to make any predictions on where the consultations could lead.
He observed that this dialogue is underway for the past 2 years and the disagreement between an EU member state and the European Commission is nothing new.
Mr. Karamanlis characterized Greece's financial situation as very serious and stated that the Ministry of Finance will take measures to cut public spending and broaden the taxation basis.
Regarding Turkey, he expressed the certainty that the neighboring country will sign the Ankara Protocol before October 3 when the EU accession negotiations will get underway, adding that the goal in the Greek-Turkish relations is to broaden cooperation between the two countries.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that he did not feel good hearing German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to use the name "Macedonia" instead of FYROM. However, he stated that the term was used for a number of years in most international talks blaming for that the policies of the previous governments.
The Greek Prime Minister expressed satisfaction for the EU decision to proceed with the revision of the Stability Pact. He stressed that bigger steps should be made toward the materialization of the Lisbon strategy in order to see results in economic growth and limit unemployment.
On the issue of Croatia, after the decision to postpone the opening of accession negotiations, he said that a working team will be formed to issue proposals on the next steps that need to be made.