|Wednesday, 25 November 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-02-10
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 BALKAN UNIVERSITIES' NETWORKThessaloniki, 10 February 2006 (14:27 UTC+2)
Eleven Balkan university rectors laid the foundations for the creation of a Balkan Universities' Network during a special event held in Thessaloniki today at the initiative of Thessaloniki's Aristotle University.
Initially, a total of 10 Balkan universities will participate in the network (the universities of Tirana and Gjirokaster in Albania, the University of Sofia in Bulgaria, the Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, FYROM, the University of Iasi in Romania, the universities of Belgrade and Novi Sad in Serbia-Montenegro and the University of Canakkale in Turkey) while on behalf of Greece participate Thessaloniki's Aristotle University and Macedonia University with the prospect to expand the network to include more universities.
The Balkan Universities' Network protocol will be signed later this afternoon. The network's goal is to undertake actions facilitating cooperation in the sector of education, and exploit the participating universities' knowledge and experience. Within this framework, the network's members will hold meetings and annual conferences, form working groups and organize cultural events.
 DISCONTENT IN ATHENS AND NICOSIAAthens, 10 February 2006 (14:04 UTC+2)
The statements made by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw according to which, the Cyprus government is responsible for not reaching a solution to the Cyprus issue, have caused discontent in Athens and Nicosia.
Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis stressed that if there is a certain isolation of the Turkish Cypriots it is due to the occupation (of northern Cyprus).
Christos Papoutsis from main opposition Socialist Party PASOK responsible for Foreign Policy, Security and Defense issues stated that many questions are being raised concerning the way London approaches the European lawfulness, the European treaties, the European acquis and relations with the EU member states.
 INVESTIGATION CONTINUES ON THE PHONE-TAPPING CASEAthens, 10 February 2006 (13:42 UTC+2)
The meeting of Vodafone managing director Giorgos Koronias with the Communications Privacy Protection Authority on the phone-tapping affair that rocks the country lasted more than 2 hours.
The brother of the Vodafone high ranking employee Kostas Tsalikidis, who has committed suicide, testified before prosecutor Diotis investigating the case.
Opposition Coalition Party leader Alekos Alavanos stated that in a meeting held with the participation of a senior government official and representatives of all mobile phone companies a decision was reached for preparations for the tapping of over 30,000 mobile phones from each company.
 NO REASON FOR CONCERN ABOUT THE SUSPECT BIRD FLU CASESThessaloniki, 10 February 2006 (13:26 UTC+2)
The responsible authorities across the country are in a state of alert after the three suspect bird flu cases detected in swans in the regions of Thessaloniki and Katerini.
Samples have already been sent to Britain and laboratory test results are expected within 8 days at the latest.
There is no reason for concern and people should not panic, stated deputy prefects of Thessaloniki and Pieria commenting on the suspect bird flu cases in swans spotted in the regions of Stavros and Nei Epivates, Thessaloniki and Paralia Katerinis, Pieria.
Meanwhile, the precautionary measures in the region of Evros, northeast Greece are still into effect.
 GREEK-BULGARIAN BABY TRADE NETWORKSliven, 10 February 2006 (16:20 UTC+2)
An illegal network selling babies to Greece was dismantled by the police of the east Bulgarian city of Sliven, according to a press conference given by local police commander Christo Grigorov.
According to general Grigorov, during the past two years a total of 13 cases have been solved involving babies sold to individuals in Greece, while 5 people were arrested yesterday, among them, the network's two masterminds.
In exclusive statements to ANA, the Bulgarian official expressed satisfaction on behalf of the Bulgarian police for the fruitful cooperation with their Greek colleagues on the specific case and in combating other organized crime activities.
The police officer in charge of the investigation, who requested to remain anonymous, stated that the babies were sold by their poor gypsy mothers for 500 to 5,000 euros.
According to the same source, in certain cases the network loaned money to their victims with outrageous interest rates and then forced them to sell their babies to Greece to pay off the loan.
In the past 6 years, most of the babies were sold in the Greek cities of Athens, Volos, Katerini and Larisa and investigation continues, according to the Bulgarian police official.
The network's members face up to 8 years in prison, stated the responsible prosecutor, according to whom the mothers do not face prosecution based on the Bulgarian law.
 KARAMANLIS-MERKEL MEETING IN BERLINBerlin, 10 February 2006 (18:59 UTC+2)
The meeting of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis with German Chancellor Angela Merkel will take place in Berlin next Wednesday, February 15 according to an official statement issued by the German government mentioning that the talks will cover bilateral issues and issues of European and international policy.
The official statement also mentions that the private talks of the two leaders will last 15 minutes followed by a press conference and a meeting of the state delegations.
 THE PATRIARCHATE OF ALEXANDRIA ON THE PROPHET MOHAMED CARICATURESAlexandria, 10 February 2006 (14:48 UTC+2)
The press office of Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Theodoros II issued a statement on the occasion of the publication of caricatures of Prophet Mohamed.
The statement mentions that the Patriarchate is following with sorrow and concern the tension caused in the Muslim world after the publication of Prophet Mohamed cartoons in certain European newspapers.
The statement continues by mentioning that freedom of expression is respected, as is the freedom of the Press to publish all views uncensored. However, to exercise this right in a responsible manner acts offending the religious values and sensitivities of others should be avoided.