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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-02-22
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PRESIDENT PAPADOPOULOS: RELATIONS BETWEEN GREECE AND CYPRUS ARE EXCELLENTThessaloniki, 22 February 2006 (19:05 UTC+2)
Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos commented that all the talk about his government's alleged discontent regarding the appointment of Mrs. Dora Bakoyiannis as head of the Greek Foreign Ministry is nonsense.
In statements he made in Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport during a stopover from Vienna on his way to Nicosia he expressed certainty that cooperation between the two governments will continue.
During his stopover he also met with Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Kalantzis.
President Papadopoulos said that Cyprus never thought that it has a say in the decisions made by the prime minister of Greece neither directly nor indirectly. He said that it is a non-existent issue and blamed the press for being dragged on.
In a brief discussion he had with reporters and responding to questions on the prospect of a new initiative for the solution of the Cyprus problem, the President of the Cyprus Republic stated that time is always ripe for a new initiative.
Referring to his imminent meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Mr. Papadopoulos said that the meeting is not the result of the known statements by Ankara saying, however, that he expects Mr. Annan to refer to them during their meeting.
President Papadopoulos stated that he does not know what measures the United States intends to take regarding the Turkish Cypriots clarifying, however, that there is no embargo against them and attributed any restrictions that might exist to the occupation by the Turkish army and the Turkish Cypriots' demand for equal participation which is not allowed by international law.
The Cypriot President reiterated that nobody wants to replace the UN in the effort for the solution of the Cyprus problem but expressed satisfaction for the fact that Nicosia's stance for more active EU participation, which is inevitable given the fact that a solution must be compatible with the European acquis, wins over more support.
Mr. Papadopoulos also said that he does not know if the recent US and British positions regarding the Cyprus issue constitute a response to the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriot side adding, however, that the United States and Britain would have been happier if the plan was accepted and will continue to support it for as long as they can.
 ΗΡΑΚΛΗΣ: ΣΕ ΚΑΝΟΝΙΚΟΥΣ ΡΥΘΜΟΥΣ ΠΡΟΠΟΝΗΣΕΩΝ ΛΑΓΟΣ ΚΑΙ ΜΟΥΡΑΤΙΘεσσαλονίκη, 22 February 2006 (18:14 UTC+2)
Την προσοχή του δοσμένη στο σαββατιάτικο εντός έδρας αγώνα με τη Ξάνθη διατηρεί, πλέον, ο Ηρακλής, έχοντας αφήσει πίσω του την ήττα που υπέστη την περασμένη αγωνιστική στην Καλαμαριά από τον Απόλλωνα.
Με ικανοποίηση ο Σάββας Κωφίδης βλέπει να μειώνονται τα προβλήματα για την επικείμενη μάχη, καθώς από σήμερα σε κανονικό ρυθμό προπόνησης κινούνται οι Παναγιώτης Λαγός και Εντβιν Μουράτι, έχοντας ξεπεράσει τους τραυματισμούς τους. Ατομικό πρόγραμμα συνεχίζουν οι Γκάρμπα Λαβάλ, Γρηγόρης Παπαζαχαρίας, ενώ θετική είναι η πορεία της αποθεραπείας στην οποία υποβάλλεται ο Μπαρκ Σεγκιρί.
Στο μεταξύ, η ΠΑΕ Ηρακλής καλείται να απολογηθεί επιπρόσθετα για τη συμπεριφορά που είχαν οπαδοί της ομάδας στον αγώνα με τον Απόλλωνα. Συγκεκριμένα, στην έκθεση της Γενικής Αστυνομικής Διεύθυνσης Θεσσαλονίκης σημειώθηκε ότι το βράδυ της αναμέτρησης εκσφενδόνισαν κάποιοι εξ αυτών αναμμένο αντικείμενο δίπλα και κάτω από την κερκίδα 6 του γηπέδου της Καλαμαριάς, με συνέπεια να εκδηλωθεί φωτιά σε πλαστικές σακούλες με γκαζόν και σκουπίδια.
Με εκπροσώπους της επιτροπής διοίκησης του Καυταντζογλείου συναντήθηκαν, εξάλλου, σήμερα εκπρόσωποι της ΠΑΕ Ηρακλής, με αντικείμενο συζήτησης τη διαφημιστική εκμετάλλευση των χώρων του γηπέδου για τα εναπομείναντα εντός έδρας παιχνίδια του Ηρακλή στην τρέχουσα αγωνιστική περίοδο.
 TWO NEW BRIGADES IN CUBA IN 2006Thessaloniki, 22 February 2006 (17:45 UTC+2)
Almost half a century after the Cuban Revolution, activists from around the world continue to flood in the red island to support the revolution of Castro, Guevara and his comrades offering volunteer work.
They make up the so-called Brigades, the missions of volunteers comprising of young men and women who believe in building the socialist Cuba as envisioned by its leader Fidel Castro. The volunteer missions work both in Havana and rural areas in Cuba helping mainly with sugarcane harvest. The activists also work as field hands, help in painting schools or in the restoration of student dorms etc. They maintain that through this contribution they come closer to the people of Cuba sharing with them their experiences and becoming familiar with their customs and traditions.
Brigades come to Cuba from many countries and Greece is one of them. In May and July young people from Greece will participate in two European missions and are scheduled to stay and work in special campsites in Cuba for three weeks. They will also have the opportunity to attend political debates, come into contact with movements and organizations, and participate in cultural activities and social work.
Cuba supports the work of the brigades, told to ANA-MPA Cuban ambassador to Athens Hermes Herrera who pointed out that the Cuban Institute of Friendship Among the Peoples (Instituto Cubano de Amistad con des Pueblos) coordinates activities at global level while the Greek-Cuban Associations in Thessaloniki and Athens are responsible for the volunteer work coming from Greece. The brigades have an open agenda. Their content is political, cultural, ecological and will always be characterized by volunteer work in different fields, he stressed.
Asked to comment on the likelihood of a visit by Cuban President Fidel Castro to Greece, after the invitation extended to him to visit the monastic community of Mount Athos, Mr. Herrera responded that it is hard to say because he does not travel often. He said that he can confirm that the Cuban President has been invited and that he would like to come close to the Greek reality.
 THE 23RD INFACOMA OPENS TOMORROWThessaloniki, 22 February 2006 (16:51 UTC+2)
The 23rd Infacoma, the international exhibition of building materials, opens in Thessaloniki tomorrow and will be inaugurated by Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Kalatzis.
In the exhibition participate a total of 1,116 exhibitors from Greece and other 35 countries.
A two-day conference on "Real Estate - New Era" will open on Friday within the framework of the exhibition and among the issues to be discussed will be: strategies for better management of real estate in Greece, development of shopping centers-parks, major challenges for real estate companies, the real estate market in central and eastern European countries and the effects of taxation on the sector.
 UNDERSEA TUNNEL CONSTRUCTION TO GET UNDERWAY IN SEPTEMBERThessaloniki, 22 February 2006 (16:28 UTC+2)
Construction work for Thessaloniki's undersea tunnel will get underway in September. It is the second major public project to be constructed in the city after the much desired city metro the construction of which will be launched in May to be completed in 2012.
According to Minister of Environment, Land Planning and Public Works Giorgos Souflias, who visited Thessaloniki today, the European Commission is expected to give the green light for the undersea tunnel in March or early April.
The construction contract is expected to be signed in May to be ratified by Parliament in July and construction work for the undersea tunnel will begin in the fall. It is estimated that up to 90,000 motorists will use the undersea tunnel daily.
The two major public projects, the city metro and the undersea tunnel together with the expansion of Macedonia Airport 10/28 runway will cost an estimated 1.7 billion euros.
 EARTHQUAKE OF MAGNITUDE 4.4 IN THE DODECANESEThessaloniki, 22 February 2006 (14:47 UTC+2)
An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale was recorded this morning in the sea region between the islands of Karpathos and Kasos, southeast Aegean, alarming local population.
According to Aristotle University Geophysics Laboratory, the earthquake was recorded at 7.37 am and its epicenter was located 608 km southeast of Thessaloniki.
The epicenter of the tremor was located at the eastern tip of the Hellenic Arc and seismologists watch the phenomenon closely.
 THE COURSE OF MAJOR PUBLIC WORKS IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 22 February 2006 (14:13 UTC+2)
Minister of Environment, Land Planning and Public Works Giorgos Souflias meets with Thessaloniki Mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos at the Thessaloniki City Hall today to discuss issues concerning the major public works to be constructed in the city.
Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis characterized as positive the announcements concerning the construction of the city metro but he expressed reservations regarding the underwater tunnel mainly concerning the likelihood of toll fees for motorists.
Main opposition Socialist Party PASOK issued a statement mentioning that there is a dismal situation in the sector of public works while in the past this field was the steam engine of development.
 MOBILIZATION ON THE CYPRUS ISSUEThessaloniki, 22 February 2006 (13:59 UTC+2)
Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Kalatzis will welcome to Thessaloniki Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos at 1.55pm today. President Papadopoulos will make a stopover at Macedonia Airport for an hour on his way to Nicosia coming from Vienna.
A US State Department spokesman commented on a Washington Times news report according to which, the United States are getting ready to inaugurate direct trade relations with the northern part of Cyprus. According to the US official, the US tries to take measures aimed at limiting the economic isolation of that part of the island in order to stop being hurt by the rejection of the Annan Plan.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Giorgos Iakovou is in Athens.
 THE GOVERNMENT CALLS THE STRIKING SEAMEN BACK TO WORKAthens, 22 February 2006 (13:35 UTC+2)
The striking seamen will have to return to their posts on ships under Greek flag as of 6 am today, according to a government decision. The Ministry of Merchant Marine stressed in a statement that there is no more room for dialogue left.
The government decision was rejected by the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) that has decided to continue the strike in the ports of Piraeus and Patras where the ships will be allowed to dock but not set sail.
Meanwhile, a Piraeus court declared legal the strike mobilization of the seamen rejecting a request to declare it illegal and undue submitted by the passenger ship owners.
Most of the islands face serious problems in supplies, while the first ships have set sail from Crete.
The government will discuss all reasonable demands but not while being under pressure, stated Minister of Finance and Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis.
 GREEK AUSTRALIANS CALL ON JOHN HOWARD TO REJECT THE TURKISH PROPOSALMelbourne, 22 February 2006 (15:12 UTC+2)
Representatives of the Greek Australian community reacted strongly to the Australian government decision to back the new Turkish proposal for the solution of the Cyprus issue.
In letters addressed to Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign Minister Alexander Downer they call for the government's attention to the fact that the so-called new action plan promoted by Turkey is anything but new. It is a repetition of the plan submitted by the Turkish Foreign Minister on May 30, 2005 and rejected by the Greek Cypriot side.
The Greek Australian community representatives call on the Australian government to honor its commitments and not recognize the Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state in the northern part of Cyprus.