|Saturday, 19 October 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-04-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE EIGHT-HOUR WORK DAY REMAINSAthens, 20 April 2005 (13:12 UTC+2)
Minister of Labor Panos Panagiotopoulos after the meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis today gave the assurance that the planned changes in the labor map concerning the work time will not affect the eight-hour work day, the collective work contracts, or the minimum day wage.
Mr. Panagiotopoulos attributed the relevant debate that opened in the past few days to misinformation and reiterated that the changes will take place after a dialogue and will concern issues on which other countries have already made progress. Mr. Panagiotopoulos pointed out that changes on work time were made by the previous governments as well.
 ON THE ROAD TO CHANGESAthens, 20 April 2005 (13:34 UTC+2)
Greece has a one-way street ahead, that of changes and reforms and we all have to follow it together, political forces, social partners, businesses, citizens, stated Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday addressing The Economist Conference. Mr. Karamanlis also stressed that the government works to create a friendly environment for investments and attract direct foreign investments.
Main opposition Socialist Party President Giorgos Papandreou underlined the need for democratic reforms to face the future of Europe and Euro-skepticism formed in the region while he backed Turkey's European prospect.
 WALLSTROM STATEMENT ON THE RATIFICATION OF THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTION BY THE GREEK PARLIAMENTAthens, 20 April 2005 (17:40 UTC+2)
European Commission vice-president Margot Wallstrom, responsible for institutional relations and communication strategy, welcomed the ratification of the European Constitution by the Greek Parliament.
Mrs. Wallstrom stated, among others, that the democratic and humanitarian traditions blossomed for the first time on Greek soil. Today, they are at the center of the contemporary European values, which are espoused by the European Constitution.
In addition, she stresses that it is important to mention that the Greek EU Presidency has played a very important role in the final stages of the assembly for the drawing up of the European Constitution and that the European Constitution was presented for the first time during the Greek EU Presidency in the Thessaloniki EU Summit.
 GREECE AND RUSSIA ARE STRATEGIC PARTNERSAthens, 20 April 2005 (16:45 UTC+2)
Greece and Russia are strategic partners after the signing of the political memorandum on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline, stated Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stilianidis speaking in the Greek-Russian Business Forum taking place in Athens today and tomorrow at the initiative of the Athens Commerce and Industry Chamber.
Mr. Stilianidis also underlined that the deficit in Greece's trade balance with Russia shows tendencies of improvement as the Greek exports and investments are on the rise. Mr. Stilianidis also reminded that a total of 45 Greek and 130 Greek-Russian businesses are active in Russia.
Greece, said the Deputy Foreign Minister, makes efforts to solve the problem concerning the visa requirements both for tourists and businessmen within the framework set by the Schengen Treaty. He added that bilateral relations are being promoted through a joint Ministerial Summit organized to take place in Moscow in autumn as well as a business mission to the Russian capital
 KARAMANLIS CONGRATULATED THE NEW POPEAthens, 20 April 2005 (14:43 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis sent a congratulatory letter to the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI.
He wishes that the term of the new Pontiff will be a long one, successful and full of efforts inspired by Christian ideals for the promotion of peace, social justice and human rights.
 PAPOULIAS-PRIMAKOV MEETINGAthens, 20 April 2005 (14:18 UTC+2)
Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias met today with former Russian Prime Minister Gevgeni Primakov and discussed issues concerning bilateral relations.
Mr. Primakov is currently the Chairman of the Russian Commerce and Industry Chamber and is in Athens to attend The Economist conference.
 78% REGARD GREECE AS A SAFE COUNTRYAthens, 20 April 2005 (14:10 UTC+2)
The Greeks are less insecure compared to the rest Europeans, according to a Kappa Research opinion poll presented in a conference in Athens. The Kappa Research opinion poll was conducted in the two-day period of April 15-16 on a sample of 609 people.
Based on the opinion poll, 78% of the Greek people believe that Greece is a safe country. The security forces, and mainly the Fire Department with 97%, enjoy the confidence of the majority of the people.
The Greeks are afraid of the earthquakes, the economic crisis and the Internet transactions while the overwhelming majority believes that the government must make the reduction of crime rate its priority, strengthen National Security and improve road safety.
One in three families states that one of its members has been the victim of a crime, while one in four people believe that is very likely to be themselves a victim of theft or break-in. Also, one in two stated that they feel a little or not at all safe on the city streets.
 WEAK TREMOR SHAKES THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 20 April 2005 (13:43 UTC+2)
A tremor measuring 4.1 on the Richter scale alarmed the people in the wide Thessaloniki region at 10:52 am this morning. The quake's epicenter was located 20 km north of Thessaloniki at Nea Santa, Kilkis.
Thessaloniki Aristotle University seismologist Costas Papazachos stated that the specific region often gives earthquakes of that size. He said that the earthquake was weak adding that seismologists will watch the phenomenon closely in the next 48 hours before reaching solid conclusions.