|Monday, 27 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-04-06
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 WAGE INCREASE CEILINGAthens, 6 April 2006 (13:37 UTC+2)
Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis after the meeting he had with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis appeared optimistic for the signing of a two-year collective wage agreement in the public utility companies, DEKO, that show deficit without the activation of the legislative intervention option.
Mr. Alogoskoufis briefed the prime minister on the ministerial committee decision for a wage increase ceiling of 3% in 2006 and 4% in 2007 in the companies in question.
The Minister of Finance had stated yesterday that the goal is to ensure their economic reform and operation for the benefit of both the employees and the people.
 THE IRISH ECONOMIC MIRACLEThessaloniki, 6 April 2006 (18:46 UTC+2)
Ireland places the diptych research and development (a total of 646 million euros were invested in research groups in 2000-2006) at the center of its economic policy for the next few years.
The goal is to maintain the growth rate that turned the once poor Ireland into the favorite European base of transatlantic capital (600 US firms established their European headquarters there creating 90,000 jobs) and a destination country for 70,000 economic immigrants annually.
The Irish economic miracle that brought to the country in 2004 a per capita GDP equal to 130% of the European average of the 15 (from 64% in 1974), was presented by Irish Trade Minister Michael Ahern in Thessaloniki yesterday in an event organized by the Hellenic American Chamber in the presence of Deputy Minister of Economy Christos Folias.
Innovation support was, according to Mr. Ahern, one of the seven axes of success for the so-called Irish model. The other six were: young population-the rapidly developing job market, considerable inflow of foreign investments, the right way to manage structural funds resources, social consensus, the opening to international trade of goods and services and the dedication to innovative and realistic government policies.
It should be noted that in 2005, Ireland broke the 2 million people in the labor force barrier in a total population of 4 million. An estimated 1 million jobs were created in the period 1991-2005.
 TRANSPORT MINISTER LIAPIS VISITED ALBANIAAthens, 6 April 2006 (17:51 UTC+2)
Transport Ministers of Greece and Albania, Michalis Liapis and Lulzim Basha respectively, reached an agreement for the liberalization of road transportation both for goods and people in a meeting held in Tirana today.
On air transportation, they agreed to promote cooperation in certain sectors such as air traffic management, training in certain important air transportation sectors, flight safety, airport security etc. They also signed a bilateral agreement on the sectors of postal service and electronic communications.
During his visit to Tirana, Mr. Liapis met with Albanian deputy prime minister Mr. Rusmajli and Archbishop Anastasios of Albania.
 DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER STYLIANIDIS IN THE ECONOMIST CONFERENCEAthens, 6 April 2006 (17:26 UTC+2)
Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis addressing the Economist conference in Athens outlined relations with Turkey in the economic, trade and energy sectors.
Mr. Stylianidis said that market cooperation strengthens the political effort made by the governments for a meaningful rapprochement creating pressures toward the right direction inside both countries.
On bilateral trade transactions, he said that Greek exports to Turkey in 2005 increased 36.4% while imports dropped 2.7%. However, in spite of the positive development reflected by the decline of the trade balance deficit, that dropped 53.6% compared to 2004, trade balance continues to be on the negative side for Greece.
On investments, he said that an upward trend is being recorded in the Greek investments to Turkey during the past five years. A total of 46 Greek firms have been activated in Turkey and 9 Turkish in Greece. The overall invested Greek capital is approximately US$ 65 million.
To this picture is added the new National Bank of Greece strategic investment concerning the purchase of Turkey's FinansBank.
Mr. Stylianidis also said that a total of 585,000 Greek tourists visited Turkey in 2005 increased by 100,000 compared to 2004.
He also referred to the road transportation projects under construction and the improvement of the coastal shipping service between the two countries.
Mr. Stylianidis pointed out the strategic importance of bilateral cooperation in the sector of energy -electricity and natural gas- adding that Greece wants to cooperate with Turkey in the sector of renewable energy sources and Greece's know-how can help toward this direction.
 DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER VALINAKIS ADDRESSED THE ECONOMIST CONFERENCEAthens, 6 April 2006 (16:18 UTC+2)
Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis addressing the Economist conference in Athens said among others that Turkey should proceed with domestic reforms and change its behavior, particularly, in its relations with its neighbors.
Tangible initiatives have to be undertaken for the protection of the non Muslim minorities, the recognition of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the reopening of the Halki Seminary, said Mr. Valinakis. On the continuing military activities in the Aegean, he said that this is a behavior that does not help the joint efforts aimed at easing the problems.
The Deputy Foreign Minister referred to casus belli saying that threats of war are incompatible with EU participation. On Cyprus, he said that the total normalization of Turkey's relations with its neighbors passes through the issue of Cyprus and the need to undertake a new and well-prepared initiative for a final and viable solution is obvious, adding that the implementation of the additional protocol of the Ankara Agreement cannot be associated with other issues.
Mr. Valinakis said that the goal is to see our region transform into a peaceful and prosperous region of Europe. He said that Greece will have multiple benefits because such a prospect will transform the regions now bordering the under accession countries into bridges of cooperation with their neighbors to the north and the east.
 SIOUFAS MET WITH TURKEY'S MINISTER OF STATE KURSAD TUZMENAthens, 6 April 2006 (15:13 UTC+2)
Bilateral relations in the sectors of trade and energy were discussed in the meeting Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas had with Turkey's Minister of State Kursad Tuzmen, responsible for foreign trade issues, who visited Greece to participate in the Economist conference.
In the meeting, they discussed business activities in the two countries and concluded that there is room for further development.
Mr. Sioufas underlined that he has a close cooperation with his Turkish counterpart Energy Minister Hilmi Guler and expressed the wish that Turkey will become a member of the Energy Community soon, the founding treaty of which was signed in Athens in October 2005 in the presence of the Greek Prime Minister and the Turkish Energy Minister.
 TESTIMONIES BEFORE THE PARLIAMENT'S TRANSPARENCY COMMITTEEAthens, 6 April 2006 (14:02 UTC+2)
The Prime Minister's Office director Yiannis Angelou testifies before the parliament's Special Permanent Committee on Institutions and Transparency on the phone tapping affair.
Vodafone Hellas CEO Giorgos Koronias and Ericsson Hellas CEO Bill Zikos have also been summoned to testify face-to-face on the questions that have arisen after the testimonies they gave separately before the committee last month.