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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-02-27

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


CONTENTS

  • [01] UNEMPLOYMENT DEBATE IN PARLIAMENT
  • [02] GREEK-ALBANIAN AGREEMENT ON THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN
  • [03] NEW PAPADOPOULOS-ANNAN MEETING
  • [04] GENETICISTS ASPIRE TO RAISE AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY TO 200 YEARS
  • [05] EMOTIONAL INAUGURATION OF THE GREEK SCHOOL IN CHEIMARRA

  • [01] UNEMPLOYMENT DEBATE IN PARLIAMENT

    Athens, 27 February 2006 (13:19 UTC+2)

    A discussion on unemployment, not included in the agenda, takes place in parliament this evening after a proposal by Coalition President Alekos Alavanos who speaking in Chania, Crete yesterday, accused the government of implementing a policy leading to the breakdown of society. He also accused the main opposition Socialist Party PASOK of consenting to the major government policies and the Communist Party of trying to exploit politically the social struggles.

    Meanwhile, the prime minister holds today his first meeting with newly elected ruling party of New Democracy Central Committee Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis who is expected to receive the guiding lines defining the party's moves and priorities in view of the municipal and prefectural elections.

    [02] GREEK-ALBANIAN AGREEMENT ON THE PROTECTION OF CHILDREN

    Tirana, 27 February 2006 (15:05 UTC+2)

    An agreement on the protection and assistance of children who are the victims of trafficking and exploitation was signed in Tirana this morning by Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and Albanian Deputy Interior Minister Iva Zajmi in the presence of US ambassador Marcy Ries, Stability Pact representative Veniamin Karakostanoglou, Greek ambassador to Tirana Pantelis Karkabasis and Greek Prosecutors' Association President Sotiris Bagias, the latter's presence carrying strong symbolism according to the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister.

    Mr. Stylianidis stated that the agreement is a significant step in the effort to deal with one of the most heinous crimes, the trafficking of children, and added that it can be a model agreement for other countries as well, a fact also pointed out by Mrs. Zajmi

    The Albanian Deputy Minister of Interior presented the international dimension of the initiative by saying that Greece is a member of the EU and NATO and Albania is a country wishing to become a member of the EU and NATO.

    The Greek Deputy Foreign Minister thanked the US humanitarian aid and cooperation agency, USAID, for the close cooperation with Hellenic Aid (the relevant agency of the Greek Foreign Ministry) and the know-how it has offered to Greece.

    According to the agreement signed, the children will have a temporary sponsor until they return to Albania while the Greek authorities will be able to monitor the course of the children after their return to Albanian soil.

    The goal of the agreement is for the children to be incorporated into the Albanian society and not return to Greece as victims of exploitation.

    [03] NEW PAPADOPOULOS-ANNAN MEETING

    Nicosia, 27 February 2006 (13:25 UTC+2)

    Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos departed for Paris where tomorrow afternoon he will have a meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

    In statements he made at Larnaca Airport, President Papadopoulos stated that in tomorrow's meeting there will be a comprehensive discussion on the Cyprus issue and ways to resume the talks will be examined.

    President Papadopoulos reiterated that the talks should be well-prepared and pointed out that the Greek Cypriot positions have been delivered in their entirety to the United Nations months ago.

    [04] GENETICISTS ASPIRE TO RAISE AVERAGE LIFE EXPECTANCY TO 200 YEARS

    Thessaloniki, 27 February 2006 (14:10 UTC+2)

    Scientists aspire to raise the average life expectancy of humans to 200 years. Thanks to the achievements made by medical science and after the considerable decline of embryo and child mortality rate a notable percentage of the human population reaches the age of 85 easily, while in the Stone Age only 20% of the total population managed to reach the age of 35. Also, the number of people over the age of 100 is on the rise both in Europe and the United States. Particularly, in the United States it is estimated that today's 72,000 centenarians will number 324,000 in 2030 and 834,000 in 2050.

    The 200-year goal does not appear to be a science fiction scenario given the fact that aging, according to biologists-geneticists is due to one or more genes which if decoded and the interaction between them is established the result will be a beneficial effect on the bio-psycho-social atrophy of the aging syndrome process. This could also lead to the elixir of life which is a feasible goal, stressed Aristotle University of Thessaloniki pathology professor emeritus and academic Achilleas Tourkantonis on the occasion of the 6th Geriatrics and Gerontology Society in N. Greece Conference to take place in Thessaloniki on March 1-3.

    The demographic ageing of population is a global phenomenon and has taken up explosive dimensions in the past few years. According to UN figures, in 1995 the people over the age of 65 numbered 328 million and in 2025 they are expected to be over 828 million. In the EU member states, like Greece, the number of people over the age of 60 making up today 20% of the total population will correspond to 26% of the total population in 2020 with a notable increase in the number of people over the age of 80.

    [05] EMOTIONAL INAUGURATION OF THE GREEK SCHOOL IN CHEIMARRA

    Cheimarra, 27 February 2006 (17:48 UTC+2)

    Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis inaugurated the Greek school in Cheimarra, Albania and the water supply reservoir at the village of Drimades both projects funded by the Greek Foreign Ministry International Development Cooperation Directorate, Hellenic Aid, and pledged that a school will also be built in the town of Sarande.

    The goal is to keep the minority here, said Mr. Stylianidis, who stressed that the Greek minority in Albania serves as a bridge of friendship and cooperation between the two peoples and helps Albania approach the EU.

    Albanian Deputy Minister of European Integration Albert Gajo, who escorted the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister in his tour, thanked him for the Greek contribution expressed through the construction of new projects resulting to the improvement of living conditions for the people of both Greek and Albanian origin.

    Schools are an important initiative for the education and European orientation of children, said Mr. Gajo and expressed the belief that Greece supports the European prospect of Albania. In Cheimarra, the Greek Deputy Foreign Minister inaugurated the old school building which was restored and expanded after receiving funds of 60,000 euros from Hellenic Aid.

    The project was undertaken by the non governmental organization Porefthentes associated with the Archbishopric of Albania and the bilingual elementary school will open for the students in September.

    The building dates back to 1870 and is located in the surroundings of the church of Agioi Pantes which was serving the faithful until 1946.

    The Greek and the Albanian Deputy Ministers were welcomed by a large crowd, Cheimarra mayor Vasilis Bolanos and parliament deputy Spyros Petsis.

    The schoolyard was decorated with flags of the EU member states and Greek folk songs could be heard from the loudspeakers.

    The reopening of the school was a dream of decades, said Mr. Stylianidis addressing the gathered crowd, among them many older people who had studied in that school and were overwhelmed with emotions. Some of the elderly cried that they had been waiting for this hour for fifty years.

    The Greek Deputy Foreign Minister stated that the Greek Foreign Ministry plans to proceed with the construction of more schools, churches and water supply reservoirs and improve infrastructures and living conditions to help the region come closer to the EU.

    In Drimades, a few kilometers away from Cheimarra, Mr. Stylianidis inaugurated the 320,000-euro water supply reservoir serving a total of 400 households.

    A similar 380,000-euro project was approved for the neighboring village of Gilekates.

    Mr. Stylianidis conveyed the warm wishes and feelings of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis and stressed that the people in the region will not be forgotten.


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