|Monday, 1 March 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-12-18
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, December 18, 2001
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
Mr. Simitis will also meet with the Secretary of PASOK's Central Committee, Kostas Laliotis.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Of the stocks trading today, 149 recorded gains and 167 had losses, while the value of 40 stocks remained unchanged.
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.
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
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.
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.