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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-12-18

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

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


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, December 18, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] SIMITIS-STEFANOPOULOS MEETING
  • [02] K. SIMITIS: OLYMPIC PREPARATION SPEED UP
  • [03] INTENSIVE EFFORTS TO CLEAR "MACEDONIA" AIRPORT
  • [04] STEFANOPOULOS-SIMITIS LAAKEN DISCUSSION
  • [05] KARAMANLIS-A. ATHENS MEETING
  • [06] HAPPY ENDING FOR THE TRAPPED TRAIN PASSENGERS
  • [07] BAD WEATHER HIT MOSTLY NORTHWESTERN GREECE
  • [08] KARAMANLIS ON THE ISSUE OF THE EURO-ARMY
  • [09] MAGRIOTIS-MILLER MEETING
  • [10] THE TRANSFER OF ETBA TO THE BANK OF PIRAEUS IS SIGNED TODAY
  • [11] GAINS IN THE ASE
  • [12] PROTOPAPAS: GREECE WANTS THE EURO-ARMY ISSUE TO BE SOLVED IN THE SPANISH EU PRESIDENCY
  • [13] THE BUSH-SIMITIS MEETING ON JANUARY 10
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] FYROM-GREECE RELATIONS SATISFACTORY
  • [15] ABOUT 800 GREEK COMPANIES ARE ACTIVE IN BULGARIA NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] SIMITIS-STEFANOPOULOS MEETING President of the Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos will be informed on current political developments and, more specifically, on the Laaken EU Summit Meeting results, by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.

    Mr. Simitis will also meet with the Secretary of PASOK's Central Committee, Kostas Laliotis.

  • [02] K. SIMITIS: OLYMPIC PREPARATION SPEED UP A review of 2001 and the goals of 2002 as far as the Olympic preparations were concerned, were discussed by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, in today's meeting of the Ministerial Committee in the "Maximos" Mansion.

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis asked for the acceleration of Olympic preparations, with the setting up of construction sites for all the projects by the end of the year as the main goal.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the upcoming year is very important to 2004, and that 2002 is a great chance to enhance the feeling of trust developed with the IOC. In his review of 2001, he said that the goal of tendering the Olympic projects was attained by 95 %, and that the goal of basic constructions isted was 80% successful.

    "We are moving with perfect consistency to the schedules, full concentration on our goals and their attainment with cautious expending of funds", stated the Prime Minister.

  • [03] INTENSIVE EFFORTS TO CLEAR "MACEDONIA" AIRPORT The Civil Aviation Service (YPA) crews are doing everything possible in order for "Macedonia" airport of Thessaloniki to function, after being shut down due to the constant and heavy snowfall which started two days ago.

    In the battle against the weather five special snow plows and all available personnel have been mobilized, but the last night's snow has made the crews' job no easier, as the Asistant Director of YPA, Georgios Souladakis stated to the MPA.

  • [04] STEFANOPOULOS-SIMITIS LAAKEN DISCUSSION Prime Minister Kostas Simitis informed President of the Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos on the results of the Laaken European Union Summit Meeting, during their meeting this morning.

    Upon leaving the Presidential Mansion, Mr. Simitis referred to the issue of the Euro introduction to the Greek market.

    He pointed out the great interest of Greek citizens on acquiring the new coins in order to get better acquainted with the currency, and he observed that people are preparing, but must, at the same time, be careful, because there are those who would not " play by the rules". The success of this enterprise depends on all of us, he stressed, and underlined: It is certain that we now have more responsibilities, but we also have more capabilities, to confront these problems".

    During the discussion he had with the President of the Republic in the presence of the press, Mr. Simitis stated that there were positive and negative sides to the Summit Meeting, while Mr. Stefanopoulos expressed his appreciation that the European Union

    is not yet ready to separate itself".

  • [05] KARAMANLIS-A. ATHENS MEETING President of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis met with the President of SAE, Andreas Athens, and Alternate President Stefanos Tamvakis. During the meeting that took place in the party's central offices, and in which the Secretary of Hellenism Abroad of Ne w Democracy, MP of Lakonia Panagiotis Skandalakis, participated, they discussed the progress of SAE, the issues of Greeks living abroad, and the conclusions of the 4th World SAE , which took place a few days ago in Thessaloniki.
  • [06] HAPPY ENDING FOR THE TRAPPED TRAIN PASSENGERS The adventure of the 116 passengers of 617 passenger train traveling from Orestiada to Athens, which was immobilized last night in the community of Petrades, due to the heavy snow.

    This afternoon the operation for the passengers' transfer to the villages of Petrades was completed. Earlier, a group of soldiers from the Didimoticho army outpost which got to the territory by means of tracked vehicles. The soldiers threw food and water

    through the windows of the train, because the doors of the train were frozen shut. As discovered, all of the train's passengers are well in their health. Then the operation for their transfer to a safer place began.

    It should be noted that no means of are transfer was able to approach the area, due to the strong winds, and at some points the snow reached a height of 4-5 meters.

  • [07] BAD WEATHER HIT MOSTLY NORTHWESTERN GREECE Most of northern Greece has turned into a huge ice skating-ring as the recent snowfall of the past two days was followed by freezing temperatures even at the sea level regions. Meanwhile, over 300 villages in northern Greece continue to be inaccessible d ue to the heavy snowfall.

    The weather has started giving signs of improvement in northwestern Greece but the temperatures continue to be very low reaching even -15 degrees Celsius in certain mountain regions.

    The bad weather hit mostly the prefectures of northwestern Greece where snow is over one meter high. In the prefecture of Kozani about 100 villages continue to be snow-bound most of them at the province of Voion, while the road networks of Kozani-Thessal oniki, Kozani-Ioannina and Kozani-Larisa have closed due to the snow.

    Hundreds of villages in northern Greece, in Thrace and in the prefectures of Dramas, Kavala and Serres are snowbound, while the airports of Kavala and Alexandroupolis continue to be closed for a third day. Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport opened today af ter being closed because of the snow and ice on the runways since Sunday afternoon.

  • [08] KARAMANLIS ON THE ISSUE OF THE EURO-ARMY The government was caught sleeping on the issue of the Euro-army and in an issue of major national importance such as this, it found itself isolated with its back against the wall, stated characteristically right-wing main opposition party of New Democra cy leader Kostas Karamanlis. The statement was made by Mr. Karamanlis after the meeting of his party's Political Council in which the European policy on security and defense was discussed.

    Mr. Karamanlis accused the Prime Minister of acting in a spasmodic way at the last minute and as a result he was unable to impose the obvious.

  • [09] MAGRIOTIS-MILLER MEETING Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis met with US ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller.

    They discussed bilateral and international issues, while a special reference was made to the events in memory of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attack on the United States that were held within the framework of the 4th World Council of Hellene s Abroad, SAE, World Assembly that took place in Thessaloniki earlier this month.

    Mr. Magriotis pointed out that events will be held on the occasion of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games in regions of the United States with organized Greek communities, while both sides stressed the need for the activation of the Thessaloniki based technolo gical cooperation agreement in the Balkans.

  • [10] THE TRANSFER OF ETBA TO THE BANK OF PIRAEUS IS SIGNED TODAY The contract for the transfer of the Hellenic Industrial Development Bank, ETBA, to the Bank of Piraeus is expected to be signed today. The contract concerns the sale of 57.8% of ETBA to the Bank of Piraeus for the sum of 173.8 billion drachmas correspon ding to 5.1 Euro per stock.

    The merger procedures are expected to be launched after the transfer of 57.8% of the state-owned stocks, according to the initial announcement made by the Ministry of Finance.

  • [11] GAINS IN THE ASE Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.59% at 2.578,06 points, while the volume of transactions was at 147.5 million Euro or 50.3 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 149 recorded gains and 167 had losses, while the value of 40 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [12] PROTOPAPAS: GREECE WANTS THE EURO-ARMY ISSUE TO BE SOLVED IN THE SPANISH EU PRESIDENCY Greece hopes that the issue of the Euro-army will be resolved during the Spanish EU Presidency in a way that will safeguard the interests of the EU member-states, and in the specific case, the interests of Greece, stated Greek government spokesman Christ os Protopapas. The statement was made when he was called to comment on the Spanish press reports, expressing the Spanish government's discontent on Greece's handling of the issue of the Euro-army in the Laeken EU Summit meeting.

    Mr. Protopapas stated that the wording of the British-US initiative was against the interests of the EU because a third country was allowed to intervene to the EU peacekeeping missions. He reiterated that the Greek government wants to safeguard its natio nal interests fully, stressing that this is its obligation toward the Greek people.

    He also stated that the British side made an effort for the text, that was signed by Britain, the US and Turkey, to be accepted and underlined that "this piece of paper" will not be accepted by Greece if certain changes are not made.

    Responding to the question if Greece lost in Laeken everything it had gained in Helsinki, Mr. Protopapas was negative pointing out that for a year now Greece gives a fight for the issue to be settled in the right way, stressing that such allegations weak en the efforts of the Greek side.

  • [13] THE BUSH-SIMITIS MEETING ON JANUARY 10 Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will meet with US President George Bush in Washington on January 10, according to a statement made today by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.

    He stated that the meeting is being held at the invitation of the US president and the schedule of Mr. Simitis' visit will be announced in the following days.

    Responding to the question if the issue of the Euro-army, which is under "negotiation" according to US ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller, will be raised in the Bush-Simitis meeting, he stated that the word "negotiation" is not the appropriate one and ad ded that in such meetings many issues are being discussed.

    He reiterated that the position of the Greek government is the one expressed in the Laeken Summit meeting and based on this position, the establishment of the Euro-army must proceed in a way that will safeguard fully the Greek national interests.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] FYROM-GREECE RELATIONS SATISFACTORY Their satisfaction for the relations of Greece and FYROM, was expressed by Greece's Ambassador in Skopje, Giorgos Kaklikis, and the Foreign Minister of FYROM, Slobodan Chasule, during their meeting today.

    During the meeting, the political situation in FYROM, the implementation of the framework-agreement and the governments actions to resolve the crisis, were discussed. The two officials pointed out the importance of the FYROM donor meeting, while Mr. Chas ule thanked the Greek Ambassador for the efforts he made to improve the relations of the two countries.

  • [15] ABOUT 800 GREEK COMPANIES ARE ACTIVE IN BULGARIA The contribution of the Greek capital to the economic development of Bulgaria was pointed out by Greek embassy to Sofia economic and commercial affairs adviser Mr. Parnassos in statements published by the Bulgarian newspaper "Standart".

    Mr. Parnassos stated that 800 branches of Greek companies are active in Bulgaria creating 70.000 job positions and investing about US$600 million.

    The volume of trade transactions between Greece and Bulgaria, which is on the rise, it is estimated at US$800 million.


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