|Tuesday, 22 September 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-02-21
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SEAMEN'S STRIKE TO CONTINUE FOR ANOTHER FORTY EIGHT HOURSAthens, 21 February 2006 (18:19 UTC+2)
The board of directors of the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) decided to continue their strike for another 48 hours, while Minister of Merchant Marine Manolis Kefalogiannis invited the PNO leadership to a new meeting later this afternoon.
Based on the latest decision, the strike will continue until 6 am on Friday, February 24.
Meanwhile, a court in Piraeus ruled on a request of ferryboat owners and declared the PNO strike illegal and undue. However, the decision did not stop the PNO heads from deciding the extension of the strike.
The situation at the port of Piraeus is indescribable as about a thousand trucks wait for the strike to end to board the ferryboats.
Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Minister of Merchant Marine Manolis Kefalogiannis held a meeting this morning at the Ministry of Finance to discuss the seamen's strike issue.
After the meeting it was announced that the economic demands of the Seamen's Federation are being examined by the responsible agencies of the two ministries in search of ways to deal with them taking under consideration the special nature of the profession.
 MESSAGE BY PRESIDENT PAPOULIAS TO TURKEYIoannina, 21 February 2006 (17:35 UTC+2)
Turkey stands before a major dilemma: revise its policy toward Cyprus or put its EU accession negotiations course at risk, stressed Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias from the city of Ioannina where he attended the three-day celebrations for the 93rd anniversary of the city's liberation from the Turkish yoke.
Speaking in the 8th Division Officers Club during a formal dinner given in his honor, Mr. Papoulias referred specifically to Turkey pointing out that Greece supports its European prospect firmly clarifying, however, that that this is not an axiomatic position.
Mr. Papoulias stated that lately voices are being heard in support of Turkey's effort to disconnect its obligations toward the Cyprus Republic from its accession course. He stressed that diplomacy, anyway, is not about morality and justice but about power and interests. However, both Athens and Nicosia have managed to make the expansion of the customs union to include the Cyprus Republic a precondition for the upgrading of the Euro-Turkish relations. And this term will not be erased regardless of the pressures exerted, said the President. He also said that since 1974 the Cypriot Hellenism follows a course directed toward the reunification of the island based on international law and the European principles, and this is a course firmly supported by all Greeks.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis will hold a meeting tomorrow with Cypriot Foreign Minister Giorgos Iakovou followed by a press conference and a working lunch given by Mrs. Bakoyiannis in honor of Mr. Iakovou.
 TWO NEW OPINION POLLSAthens, 21 February 2006 (12:42 UTC+2)
Two opinion polls were presented yesterday by private television stations Mega and ANT1.
According to a GPO opinion poll conducted on behalf of the television station Mega, ruling party of New Democracy leads main opposition Socialist Party PASOK 1.4 percentage points (ND 35%, PASOK 33.6%) followed by the Communist Party 6.5%, LAOS 5.2% and Coalition 3.3%.
According to the opinion poll, 48% of the Greeks see Mr. Karamanlis as more fit for the post of the prime minister while PASOK leader Giorgos Papandreou has 34.2%.
On the phone-tapping issue, 49.7% believe that the mobile phone company Vodafone is responsible, 34% the government and 11.2% the judiciary.
Based on the KAPA Research opinion poll conducted on behalf of ANT1, New Democracy trails PASOK in the second election district in Athens. New Democracy has 30.25%, PASOK 31.5%, the Communist Party 8.5%, Coalition 4.5%, LAOS 4.8% and the undecided voters reach 11%.
Costas Karamanlis has the confidence of 31.6%, followed by Giorgos Papandreou 28.9%, Aleka Papariga 8.2%, Giorgos Karatzaferis 8.1% and Alekos Alavanos 1.8%.
The residents of the wider Athens region call on the government to deal with economy (66.1%), health (42.8%), wages (38%) and social welfare (28%).
 THE INNER CABINET MEETS TODAYAthens, 21 February 2006 (12:16 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will meet at Maximos Mansion in Athens today with Minister of Environment, Land Planning and Public Works Giorgos Souflias and afterwards he will preside over an inner cabinet meeting on Ministry of Finance issues. Mr. Karamanlis will also meet with Minister of Health Dimitris Avramopoulos while yesterday he met with the Ministers of Employment and Development.
The Minister of Employment stressed that they discussed issues concerning the Ministry and underlined that the goal remains to tackle unemployment and deal with the everyday problems of the Greek people stressing that the government policy is focused on development.
 PROBLEMS BY THE SAILORS' STRIKEAthens, 21 February 2006 (11:50 UTC+2)
The government has called on the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) to allow one or two ships to approach each port given the fact that there is always a skeleton staff in the case of a strike, stated government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos responding to a question on the problems created by the sailors' strike that ends tomorrow.
The PNO examines the likelihood to continue the strike launched last Thursday.
The passenger ship owners association filed a request in court to declare the strike illegal and undue.
 TRAGEDY IN PELLAGiannitsa, 21 February 2006 (11:35 UTC+2)
The autopsy on the four crew members of the Huey helicopter that crashed in the region of Melissi, Giannitsa last night will be completed at noon today.
The four bodies were brought to Thessaloniki's Papageorgiou Hospital and the autopsy is being conducted by medical examiner Mattheos Tsougas.
Meanwhile, Minister of Defense Evangelos Meimarakis is at the headquarters of the 2nd Division in Edessa and will visit the scene of the accident later this morning.
The Army General Staff announced that the army helicopter UH-1H on a scheduled nightly flight on February 20, 2006 with a four-member crew crashed in the region of Karyotissa, Pella. The causes of the crash that resulted to the tragic deaths of the crew members are still unknown and an investigation is underway.