|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-04-03
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 OPTIMISM FOR AGREEMENTAthens, 3 April 2006 (13:31 UTC+2)
The Greek General Confederation of Labor, GSEE, and the employers' organizations are to have a new meeting today aimed at signing the 2006 collective bargaining agreement.
The employers suggest a 9.8% overall wage increase by the end of the next two-year period, while GSEE suggests a one-year contract and a 5.5% wage increase retrospective to January 1, 2006.
Minister of Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Minister of Employment Savvas Tsitouridis expressed the belief that there can be a positive conclusion in the negotiations.
 WARNING TO ANKARAAthens, 3 April 2006 (13:49 UTC+2)
The goal is to make cooperation stronger in view of a number of developments and the new momentum created, stated Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis after meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in view of her first formal visit to Nicosia tomorrow as foreign minister.
In an interview with the Cypriot newspaper Fileleftheros, Ms. Bakoyannis stressed that Athens' support to Turkey's European course is not a given and reiterated that Turkey will become an EU member after implementing the European acquis.
 THE NATURAL GAS PIPELINE REACHES KOMOTINIAlexandroupolis, 3 April 2006 (14:26 UTC+2)
Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas is to inaugurate today the opening of construction works for the Komotini-Alexandroupolis natural gas pipeline in the Industrial Area of Komotini, northeast Greece.
The pipeline is built by the Greek Public Gas Corporation within the framework of the Greek-Turkish natural gas pipeline linking the Greek Natural Gas Transfer System with Turkey's and the goal is to become part of the EU interstate energy transfer networks.
 GOVERNMENT COMMENTS ON THE AGB SCANDALAthens, 3 April 2006 (19:16 UTC+2)
Government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos stated today that legislation should be enacted ensuring that TV ratings are reliable adding that the state's cooperation with everybody involved is necessary.
The AGB, Greece's only television ratings company, is accused of presenting false viewing figures and two of its top executives and a shareholder are being accused of fraud and of making false declarations regarding their relations with advertising firms.
The government spokesman stated that it is obvious that a unilateral imposition of measures by the state cannot bring the desired results. For this reason, the suggested solution is to establish a non-profit company consisting of representatives of the advertising sector as well as associations of opinion poll and market research companies.
 NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE ANNOUNCES THE PURCHASE OF TURKEY'S FINANSBANK SHARESAthens, 3 April 2006 (18:48 UTC+2)
The National Bank of Greece (NBG) announced today the purchase of 46% of the Turkish Finansbank common shares and 100% of its preferred shares from Fiba Holding for $ 2.774 billion.
NBG Chairman and CEO Takis Arapoglou stated that Finansbank is the ideal strategic partner for the expansion of the National Bank of Greece to the Turkish market as it has the right size with a 5.2% market share in loans, 208 branches and over 1.7 million active customers as well as the necessary dynamism and experienced management.
 INVITATION TO SALI BERISHA TO VISIT THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 3 April 2006 (16:07 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis extended an invitation to Albanian President Sali Berisha to visit Thessaloniki during the ceremonial meeting he had with Albanian Ambassador to Athens Vili Mionaroli and Albanian Consul General in Thessaloniki Tomak Nini.
The meeting focused on bilateral relations, the assimilation of the Albanian immigrants into the Greek society and the activities of Greek businessmen in the neighboring country.
 EARTHQUAKE OF MAGNITUDE 4.8 IN ZAKYNTHOSZakynthos, 3 April 2006 (14:38 UTC+2)
An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale was recorded at 4am today in the Ionian Sea island of Zakynthos.
The earthquake is characterized by scientists as small and nothing out of the ordinary taking under consideration the region's seismicity.
According to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Geophysics Laboratory, the earthquake was recorded at 4am and its epicenter was located 15km south of Zakynthos.
 PAPOULIAS-MUBARAK MEETINGCairo, 3 April 2006 (18:16 UTC+2)
Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias met with his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak in Cairo today wrapping up his two-day visit to Egypt.
The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere and lasted almost 2 hours, much longer than originally planned. The two presidents reconfirmed the excellent level of bilateral relations.
They referred to regional issues focusing on their interest in the Middle East on which they shared the same views. They agreed that a new impetus should be given to the peace process and all involved parties should display self-restraint and avoid acts of violence. They also discussed the situation in Iraq and Iran.
Regarding the Greek-Egyptian relations, they concluded that they develop in a very satisfactory manner after Prime Minister Karamanlis' formal visit to Cairo a year-and-a-half ago and agreed that economic relations have strengthened considerably.
President Mubarak referred specifically to the contribution of the Greek community in Egypt, stressing that Egypt wants the Greek investments.
Mr. Mubarak concluded that the Greeks are a bridge of friendship between the two countries.
President Papoulias invited his Egyptian counterpart to formally visit Greece and Mr. Mubarak accepted the invitation promising that he will be in Athens soon while he also expressed satisfaction about his meeting with Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos in early May.
 PRESIDENT MUBARAK MET WITH THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH AND THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIACairo, 3 April 2006 (16:26 UTC+2)
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria met in Cairo earlier today with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
The spirit of religious tolerance dominates in Egypt, commented the Ecumenical Patriarch in the meeting he had with the Egyptian President with whom he discussed the Ecumenical Patriarchate's initiatives on inter-faith dialogue and the protection of the environment. The Ecumenical Patriarch also briefed Mr. Mubarak on the conference to be organized in the Amazon region in Brazil.
Patriarch Theodoros of Alexandria thanked the Egyptian President because Egypt cares about the Patriarchate.
The meeting was held in a very cordial atmosphere.
 PRESIDENT PAPOULIAS ADDRESSED THE GREEK COMMUNITY IN ALEXANDRIAAlexandria, 3 April 2006 (15:43 UTC+2)
Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias expressed great joy for being in the historic city of Alexandria and the country of Egypt addressing yesterday the members of the Greek community.
Mr. Papoulias praised the presence of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Alexandria highlighting the strong ties the Ecumenical Patriarchate shares with the Patriarchate of Alexandria through the centuries.
The presence of the official Greek state in the inauguration of the Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin and the Patriarchate Building in Alexandria is a proof of the great respect, the tangible interest and the feelings of sincere love the Greek state and the Greek people as a whole have for the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Greek community in Egypt and the country of Egypt, a great friend of Greece, stated Mr. Papoulias.
The Greek spirit and the Greek Orthodox Church added Mr. Papoulias, blossom when they operate under an ecumenical prospect away from fanaticism and fruitless religious, cultural and historical confrontations.
He expressed the wish that the time when peace and cooperation will prevail in the sorely tried Middle East is close explaining that for Greece the continuous activation toward this direction is a main priority.
Mr. Papoulias congratulated the Onassis Foundation for its contribution to the restoration of the church and pointed out that with the restoration of the Patriarchate Building the Patriarchate of Alexandria will meet the demands of the inter-Christian and inter-faith meetings adding that the Eastern Orthodox Church has already played a very important role in those dialogues with notable initiatives undertaken by the Ecumenical Patriarchate always in consultation with the Greek Orthodox Churches.
President Papoulias thanked the Egyptian side for the continuous interest, pointing out that the meeting he is scheduled to have today with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will give a new boost to the excellent bilateral relations.