|Friday, 13 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-01-23
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 STATE OF ALERTThessaloniki, 23 January 2006 (13:51 UTC+2)
A state of alert is into effect in Greece in view of the bad weather expected to hit the country. Traffic moves without problems in most of the national and provincial road network in the prefectures of north and west Macedonia, north Greece, in spite of the deterioration of weather conditions and the temperature plunge expected during the day by the Hellenic National Meteorological Service, EMY.
Snow chains are necessary for cars using the Ioannina motorway through Nestorio, Florina through Vitsi and the Florina-Aminteo motorway.
In Thessaloniki, the Hortiatis-Agios Vasilios intersection closed because of the snow.
Ice covered parts of the Asvestochori-Hortiatis road in the early morning hours today.
Traffic police suggested caution to drivers using the national and provincial road network in the early morning hours because of ice patches on the road created as a result of the combination of rainfall and low temperatures.
Snow began to fall just before noon in the center of Thessaloniki where temperature is 0C.
 WINTER SALES WITH LONGER WORKING HOURSThessaloniki, 23 January 2006 (14:20 UTC+2)
Winter sales are underway today in Greek retail stores scheduled to last until February 25.
The Consumer General Secretariat and consumer protection organizations advise buyers to check the quality and prices of goods during the sales season and report any speculation incidents they may notice.
The Consumer General Secretariat calls on consumers to report any problems they come across to, like factitious discounts, faulty products etc, to the telephone line 1520 from 8am to 10pm.
 THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF RUSSIA AND SPAIN TO VISIT ATHENS IN FEBRUARYAthens, 23 January 2006 (18:55 UTC+2)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is expected in Athens in the first half of February for talks with Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis.
Also, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos is expected in Athens on February 7 for talks with his Greek counterpart.
 WEAK EARTHQUAKE IN LEFKADALefkada, 23 January 2006 (17:38 UTC+2)
A weak earthquake of magnitude 4.2 was recorded at 11.39 am today in the region of the Ionian Sea island of Lefkada.
The tremor's epicenter was located 280km northwest of Athens, west of the island of Lefkada.
 GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY CONDOLENCES OVER THE DEATH OF IBRAHIM RUGOVAAthens, 23 January 2006 (17:36 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos extended the Foreign Ministry's condolences over the death of Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova.
Mr. Koumoutsakos expressed the wish that this sad incident will not have any negative effect on the sobriety and moderation needed to deal with the process in progress aimed at defining the future status of Kosovo.
 THE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ON THE SEECP MEETINGAthens, 23 January 2006 (17:23 UTC+2)
The South East European Cooperation Process (SEECP) ministerial meeting opens at Zappion building in Athens tomorrow.
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will address the meeting held with the participation of SEECP Foreign Ministers and representatives of the Austrian EU Presidency and the Stability Pact.
All SEECP member states will be represented by their Foreign Ministers except from Turkey and Romania.
The meeting's agenda will include the strengthening of political dialogue between the countries in the region, the promotion of regional cooperation, the Stability Pact work, the European prospect of the SEECP countries, the appointment of a liaison between the SEECP countries and the EU and current developments mainly in Kosovo.
Responding to a question on whether there will be a meeting between Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and his FYROM counterpart Ilinka Mitreva on the sidelines of the SEECP meeting, Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos was negative. He pointed out that there will be an opportunity to exchange views during the formal luncheon.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman clarified that the FYROM name issue is under discussion within the framework of the process underway in New York and the Greek positions are known and clear.
 THE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ON THE BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY VISIT TO ATHENSAthens, 23 January 2006 (16:49 UTC+2)
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who will be on a working visit to Athens, will meet on Thursday with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis.
They will discuss bilateral relations, the Cyprus issue, the future of the European Union and cooperation in the UN Security Council.
On the fact that Mr. Straw will not be received by Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos during his visit earlier to Nicosia, Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos stressed that communication and cooperation between Athens and Nicosia on all issues is continuous and given.
Called to comment on Mr. Straw's persistence to meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat at the so-called presidential office in the occupied territories, Mr. Koumoutsakos stated that Mr. Straw's visit to Cyprus takes place according to the British Foreign Office with main goal the promotion of bilateral relations. Therefore, it should take place in a way that the declared, mainly by the British side, goal will be met. It should be proved in action that it is a visit that improves relations rather than creating new problems where there weren't any in the past, said Mr. Koumoutsakos.
On the objections raised on the issue by the Cyprus government, the Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman stated that certain sensitivities on aspects of the visit were strongly and correctly expressed and are fully shared by the Greek side.
He reminded the declared position by the British High Commission in Nicosia that the British policy remains firm and unchanged in favor of the recognition of one government in Cyprus, that of the Cyprus Republic.
Meanwhile, Mr. Koumoutsakos confirmed the Turkish daily Milliyet news report according to which, the Turkish government will table a proposal for the resumption of the talks for the solution of the Cyprus issue within the framework of the United Nations.
Mr. Koumoutsakos stated that according to available information, the Turkish side will table a number of thoughts tomorrow concerning the resumption of the process on Cyprus adding that this is a unilateral move.
He clarified that any thought, likelihood or proposal for a solution to the Cyprus problem is not linked with the obligation Turkey has undertaken as a candidate for accession country, according to formal EU documents, to implement the Customs Union Protocol with Cyprus.
 PRIME MINISTER KARAMANLIS TO MEET WITH BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY STRAW ON THURSDAYAthens, 23 January 2006 (15:17 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will address the SE European Cooperation Process (SEECP) Foreign Ministers Summit at Zappion Building in Athens tomorrow morning.
Also, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is scheduled to meet with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who will be on a visit to Greece, on Thursday afternoon.
Government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos responding to a question on the fact that Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos will not meet with Mr. Straw during the latter's visit to Nicosia stated that the Greek government is in constant contact and communication with the Cypriot government on all issues.
 POLITICAL MOBILITY ON CONSTITUTION-ELECTIONSAthens, 23 January 2006 (14:03 UTC+2)
Ruling party of New Democracy Political Council meets today under the presidency of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to examine the issues of constitutional revision and municipal and prefectural elections.
Mr. Karamanlis kept open the government reshuffle date.
We are dealing with an ungoverned government, a government out of focus, preoccupied with its own problems and interests and not with solving the problems of the people, stated main opposition Socialist Party President Giorgos Papandreou.