|Monday, 1 March 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-12-21
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, December 21, 2001
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
"The Christmas and New Year holidays always bring me the great joy of addressing my warmest wishes and expressing my deepest feelings of love for the whole Greek people.
The new homes you have created with hard work around the world, in welcoming countries, are an unending source of pride for your motherland who ceaselessly watches over her children with satisfaction, as they prosper and succeed., with their national ide ntity intact and their love for Greece bursting with life."
In its announcement the European Union pointed out how much the sum may be decreased if they are able to cover an area broader than 8,440 sq. m. within I the two next years. In fact, the amount will be reexamined depending on the results of the independe nt study of the works performed by specialists.
Commissioner M. Barnier pointed out that the European Commission is dedicated to continue the funding of the 3rd Communal Support Framework, but on new bases. "The way by which the Greek authorities began their programs of the 2000-2006 period and are tr ying to apply new regulative demands for control, observation and evaluation, is very encouraging. We may, justifiably, be certain about the future, but of Greece's regional policy, also", he stressed.
"In hearing distance of wars, in the climate of horrible terrorism, in daily uncertainty, the constant alienation from morality and the reversal of life's values, the angelic voice will be heard again this year, from distant Bethlehem, announcing the wel l known message that there is now a Savior."
ND spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos, when asked about the specific issue, stated: "New Democracy had pointed out the issue in time. We will study the content of the file and, in the framework of parliamentary procedures do what is in the best public in terest.
The parliament received the findings before they were given to publicity and in the text it is mentioned that the illegal entry to Greece of a large number of foreigners is an indisputable fact.
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy parliament deputies are expected to call for an investigation on the issue by an inquiry committee.
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated that the conclusions of the document raise serious questions on the existence of political expediency based both on the time of the document's release and its contents.
The amount of money that will have to be returned was determined based on the data provided by the Greek authorities, according to which only 30% of the goals set by the specific project will be completed in 2003.
The 32 million Euro will be returned in 2002 and the rest of the sum in 2004. However, according to a statement issued by the European Commission, the return of the rest of the money will be reconsidered based on the results of the independent study cond ucted by specialists to evaluate the work already done on the project.
Of the stocks trading today, 58 recorded gains and 277 had losses, while the value of 24 stocks remained unchanged.
According to statements made by Development Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, after a meeting with the Public Gas Company management, three subsidiaries of the company will be activated in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace in Central Macedonia and in eastern-cen tral Greece and Evia.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that a precondition for the widening of the role of the Public Gas Company is its link with the European regional gas production and transportation networks.
There are laws on the rights of the citizens and of course there are the responsible agencies that deal with terrorism in a serious and responsible way, concluded the Greek government spokesman.
Public Order Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis announced that a new draft bill will be submitted to parliament providing for a renewed Greek Information Service to meet the new needs of the country, adding that its head will have to appear before the respo nsible parliamentary committee for an annual hearing.
Health Minister Alekos Papadopoulos stated that he wants more funds for the qualitative improvement of the public health system adding, however, that he realizes that there are difficulties in the distribution of funds which, unfortunately, always seem t o be insufficient and no matter how much is done for the improvement of the public health system it always appears to be too little. Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated that there is a need to create a climate of security and social justice for the Greek citizens, adding that there is also a need for the promotion of social cohesion which is a precondition for the count ry's economic success and a way to overcome social inequality. Undersecretary of Finance Christos Pachtas stated that Greece throughout its postwar history never had a zero foreign exchange risk and this has been achieved through the EMU. He said that Greece never had so many funds for projects and investments that c an allow it to cover the distance separating it from the rest European countries.
The discussion was scheduled to continue in parliament later this afternoon with the speeches of the Prime Minister, the main opposition party leader and the leader of the Coalition of the Left party, as well as government ministers.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
In the margin of the meeting, Mr. Papantoniou had in private meetings with Mr. Cakmakoglu, as well as with the Bulgarian Minister of Defense, Nikolai Avramof.
"What is crucially important and will shape the future is dealing with the most basic of the problems that separate us, especially Turkish claims in the Aegean and Cyprus and as far as the removal of these claims and the smoothing out of our relations is
concerned, based on international Law and international treaties", stated Mr. Papantoniou.
The Turkish Minister of Defense proposed a new direct line of communication between him and Mr. Papantoniou on significant issues.
The Balkan brigade, in which Greece is also participating with one mechanized infantry battalion and one battalion from the engineer corps. The Ministers of Defense decided that the Balkan brigade will undergo an earthquake drill in December of 2002 in G reece, so that the readiness of the force in case of natural disasters, can be tested.