|Monday, 22 April 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-04-08
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 LAST GOODBYE TO THE POPEAthens, 8 April 2005 (13:02 UTC+2)
About 6 million people attend the funeral service for Pope John Paul II under strict security measures. The Italian authorities have issued an appeal to the faithful to avoid gathering in Rome for the funeral.
Over 200 state leaders, among them, Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias and Cypriot Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos, as well as, tens of religious leaders, among them, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Christodoulos attend the funeral. China will not be represented.
The Pope's will was made public yesterday and according to it he seriously considered resigning in 2000 when he reached 80.
 CONTACTS AND CONSENSUSAthens, 8 April 2005 (13:50 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis has contacts with political party leaders to brief them on foreign policy issues, among them, the issue of the name under which FYROM will be formally recognized.
Yesterday, acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros left open the likelihood for a meeting of the Political Party Leaders' Council if it is deemed necessary.
Main opposition Socialist Party President Giorgos Papandreou stated that we are waiting for the government initiatives and the constructive stance of the FYROM government. Communist Party general secretary Aleka Papariga stated that the party's stance remains the same.
 IMMORTAL VOICEAthens, 8 April 2005 (14:05 UTC+2)
Popular Greek singer Grigoris Bithikotsis, known as the "Sir" of the Greek popular music, died in Athens yesterday afternoon after being hospitalized for the past four months in a serious condition.
He served the Greek popular music for over five decades and before his cooperation with Mikis Theodorakis he had sung songs written by Markos Vamvakaris, Vasilis Tsitsanis, Giorgos Mitsakis, Yiannis Papaioannou and Akis Panou.
 THE CZECH DEFENSE MINISTER TO VISIT GREECEAthens, 8 April 2005 (17:12 UTC+2)
Czech Minister of Defense Karel Kuhnl will be on a formal visit to Greece on Monday, April 11 after an invitation by his Greek counterpart.
They will discuss bilateral military and defense-technical cooperation, armed forces reorganization, international operations and NATO issues. After the meeting they will give a joint press conference.
 PAPOULIAS-PARVANOV MEETINGAthens, 8 April 2005 (17:06 UTC+2)
The meeting of Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias with his Bulgarian counterpart Georgi Parvanov will take place in Thessaloniki on Monday, April 11. The meeting was initially scheduled to take place today but it was postponed because both Presidents went to Rome to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul II.
The meeting is described as informal and coincides with the signing in Sofia of the political memorandum for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.
 FOREIGN MINISTER MOLIVIATIS ON THE ARINC STATEMENTSAthens, 8 April 2005 (17:00 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis characterized as a significant step toward the opening of a new period in the Greek-Turkish relations the proposal made yesterday by Turkish General Assembly President Bulent Arinc to lift the casus belli declared years ago by the Turkish National Assembly against Greece.
Mr. Moliviatis added that the goal of his imminent visit to Ankara and his meeting there with his Turkish counterpart is to affirm the will for the further improvement of relations. He stressed that the statement made by Mr. Arinc, as broadcast by the mass media, is a significant step toward this direction.
 THE UN MEDIATOR PROPOSED THE NAME "REPUBLIKA MAKEDONIJA-SKOPJE" FOR FYROMAthens, 8 April 2005 (16:39 UTC+2)
The name Republika Makedonija-Skopje, written in Cyrillic alphabet and untranslated, is proposed by UN special mediator Matthew Nimetz for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, FYROM, in the negotiations taking place in New York on the issue. The announcement was made today by Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis after completing his contacts with the political party leaders to brief them on the issue.
Mr. Moliviatis stated that the Nimetz proposal includes other parts as well that need to be clarified. He said that this proposal does not meet Greece's wishes fully but it is a basis for negotiation, adding that the government seeks the greatest possible consensus on the major foreign policy issues.
The Foreign Minister stated that Greece is willing to enter negotiations with a positive and constructive attitude and expressed the hope that the other party will do the same to find a mutually acceptable solution.
Mr. Moliviatis stated that a solution that will lead to the complete normalization of bilateral relations will facilitate the course of the neighboring country toward the Euro-Atlantic institutions and strengthen stability and cooperation in the region.
 THE GREEK GOV'T ON THE CASUS BELLIAthens, 8 April 2005 (15:45 UTC+2)
Acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros was called to comment on the proposal made yesterday by the President of the Turkish National Assembly to lift the casus belli declared years ago against Greece.
Mr. Antonaros stated that the government wants to know the exact content of the statements made by the Turkish officials and then express its position.
He reminded that Foreign Minister Moliviatis will be in Ankara on April 12-13 for talks with his Turkish counterpart on international and bilateral issues.
 A BASIS FOR NEGOTIATIONAthens, 8 April 2005 (14:52 UTC+2)
Athens regards as a basis for negotiation the proposal submitted by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz for the recognition of FYROM under the name Republika Makedonja-Skopje, written in Cyrillic alphabet and untranslated.
Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis clarified that the specific proposal, which has other parameters as well, does not satisfy Athens while earlier he had briefed the political party leaders.
Main opposition Socialist Party of PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou stated that the government must continue the efforts for a mutually acceptable solution, the Communist Party stance on the issue has not changed, stated Communist Party general secretary Aleka Papariga, while former Coalition President Nikos Konstantopoulos supported a composite name solution. Ruling party of New Democracy honorary President Konstantinos Mitsotakis characterized the proposal as positive.