|Thursday, 25 February 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2004-02-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, February 20, 2004
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
policy to outside influence.
PASOK had won 7 seats in Thessaloniki, ND had won 5 seats, and the KKE and the Coalition each had one seat in the city. There are now 16 seats to be contended for.
In vote intention ND concentrated 39.9%, PASOK 36.8%, KKE 5.5%, the Coalition 3.2%, DIKKI 1.5%, LAOS 2.2%, and there are 7.3% who are undecided. Regarding who is most appropriate for the position of Prime Minister, 47% supported the President of PASOK an d 42.8% supported the President of ND.
The VPRC poll published in the "Kathimerini" newspaper gave ND a 4.2% lead. In vote intent ND concentrated 42.5%, PASOK 38.3%, KKE 4.4%, the Coalition 2.6%, DIKKI 1.1%, LAOS 1.3% and 2.9% are undecided. Giorgos Papandreou is considered more appropriate f or the position of Prime Minister with 45% in contrast to C. Karamanlis' 40%.
The DIMEL poll published in "Cosmos tou Ependyti" gave ND a lead of 3.4%. ND concentrated 40.8%, PASOK 37.4%, KKE 5.6%, the Coalition 3.2%, DIKKI 2.1% LAOS 1.1% and 9% were undecided.
participation in Parliament. ND has a major lead in victory probability. Young voters prefer Mr. Papandreou over Mr. Karamanlis.
Giorgos Papandreou's announcements on education include changes in the university entrance exams (aiming at decreasing student angst, the limitation of exams and the eradication of the need for extra lessons in preparation for the exams), the entrance of
students to schools and not to sections, the creation of non-state owned non-profit tertiary education institutions, the abolition of the Inter-University Center for the Recognition of Foreign Degrees, the evaluation of universities and of the Ministry o f Education, the merger of services of the Ministries of Education and of Labor in vocational training and employment, the potential choice of body and further education programs for young people, all-day secondary school and life long education for teach ers.
At the same time he announced that by 2008 all elementary schools will be equipped with informatics systems and that by 2006 55,000 teachers will be trained in new technology issues. Finally, the major school housing program will be completed by the end of 2005, so as do away with the double shifts in Thessaloniki and Athens.
The President of PASOK made a commitment that education will be first priority when he is elected. He noted that important work was carried out over the past few years, recognized that mistakes were made and promised that they would be resolved.
Mr. Karamanlis appears certain that New Democracy will be the winner in the March 7 parliamentary elections and underlined that people call for effective solutions in the numerous and big problems they face and know that only New Democracy can produce so lutions. He said that he knows that these are crucial elections, stressing that his party is optimistic and strong.
Mr. Karamanlis also said that he believes in a small and versatile government, meaning smaller number of ministries through mergers.
The leader of New Democracy stressed that his rivals are both PASOK Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and PASOK leader Giorgos Papandreou, stressing that PASOK has changed leadership but it has not changed its policy.
Of the stocks trading today, 141 had gains and 143 had losses, while the value of 104 stocks remained unchanged.
New Democracy leads with 40.2% compared to PASOK's 37.3%, Communist Party 5.3%, Coalition of Radical Left 3.4%, Democratic Social Movement 1.3% and L.A.O.S. 1.6%. A 0.5% will vote for another party, the blank vote is at 0.3%, invalid/no vote 1.6%, undeci ded 3.6% and 4.4% did not respond to the question.
Asked which party they believe will win the elections, 50.7% responded that New Democracy will be the winner compared to PASOK's 34.1%, while 15.2% responded that no one of the two major parties will win the elections.
PASOK's Giorgos Papandreou is regarded more fit for the post of the Prime Minister (43.1%) compared to New Democracy's Kostas Karamanlis (41.2%).
and Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou.
In the working lunch were raised issues concerning NATO's contribution to security in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, the transformation of NATO's capabilities, the new command structure, NATO's presence in the Balkans and the enlargement of the alliance.
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis underlined the need for NATO's presence in the Balkans, stressing that NATO's enlargement and its good cooperation with Russia and the European Union are necessary.
On his part, Mr. Scheffer referred to the NATO Summit meeting to be held in Istanbul and pointed out that the situation in Afghanistan, the Balkans and NATO's relations with Russia will be among the issues that will be raised in the meeting.
The Council is expected to deal with the preparations for the Spring Summit meeting and fiscal prospects, while the EU Foreign Ministers will discuss the latest developments in Cyprus on February 23.
The foreign relations agenda will also include among others the developments in Iran, the EU-Russian relations, the action programs for the policies on the European neighborly relations, the Middle East and the situation in Western Balkans.
Mr. Giannitsis and Mr. Powell discussed developments in Cyprus and exchanged views on the procedure followed in the talks that are in progress in Nicosia since yesterday.
Mr. Powell confirmed, one more time, the United States' interest in the solution of the Cyprus problem within the UN framework and on the basis of the Annan Plan.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
However, the Turkish Cypriot leader did not scorned Mr. De Soto's appeal that the discussions of the first day not be leaked to the press, and he proceeded to inform the press of the developments, claiming that the Greek Cypriot press was receiving infor mation and he could not leave the Turkish Cypriot people in the dark.
According to the Turkish "Hurriet" newspaper publications, Mr. Denktash stated that the Greek Cypriot side asked that the Turkish settlers that acquired the "Turkish Cypriot" citizenship not be allowed to vote. "In our Constitution we do not have what yo u call settlers. When we said that for us the citizenship stands, they told us to change our Constitution. Of course we will not accept this. Those who voted in the elections are citizens of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and will remain as such" , stated Rauf Denktash.
Furthermore, he continued that the issue of a "bizonal" Cyprus was discussed. "The Greek Cypriots", he said, "have foreseen two zones based on national discrimination. Issues of property enter this issue of zone division. We asked that a committee be for med for the restitution of the damages our people suffered from 1963 to 1974". Regarding the Annan proposal, he stressed that it includes the principal of the founding state and added that the two nationalities, and not founding state must be the base, be cause, as he supported, if the opposite occurs, Greek Cypriots will be able to travel to Turkish Cypriot territories, assume citizenship, be elected to the Senate and represent the Turkish Cypriots, thus unsettling the balance. "According to the plan", he
added, "70,000 to 80,000 Greek Cypriots will come among us and vote. The reality is that there are two equal peoples".
Mr. Denktash also stated today, that he will continue to brief the Turkish Cypriots daily, on the course of the discussions.
Soto concerning certain issues he did not disclose. Mr. Denktash said that the atmosphere was good, but there was no mobility as far as the essence is concerned. President Papadopoulos did not comment on Mr. Denktash's statements, however he did observe that the majority of the issues being raised by the Turkish Cypriot leader are "outside the plan and the plan's parameters".