|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-05-09
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THESSALONIKI FORUM CONTINUES TODAYThessaloniki, 9 May 2000 (15:03 UTC+2)
The Seventh Annual Economic Forum is presently being held in Thessaloniki, where panelists are discussing regional business prospects and Greece's potential role in these developments.
With a focus on the social, political and economic state of the countries of southeastern Europe, the two-day forum is organized by the Association of Industries in Northern Greece and the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with the Organization for the Reconstruction of the Balkans based in Thessaloniki.
Addressing the Forum, Kenneth Ferguson of the Institute for Technological Cooperation in the Balkans (ITCB) stressed the need for market research in Southeastern Europe, while he stated that ITCB's targets are the strengthening of the private sector, Balkan business management, and provision of technological know-how.
World Bank official Oltmann Siemens, outlined the organization's role in and initiatives for the economic reconstruction of Southeastern Europe, particularly stressing the priority granted to small-to-medium sized enterprises.
 NO CHANGE ON CHURCH-STATE RELATIONS LEGISLATIONAthens, 9 May 2000 (15:02 UTC+2)
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated yesterday that the government has no plans to change extant legislation on relations between the church and the state, thereby distancing its policy from the views of Justice Minister Michalis Stathopoulos who has called for "a clear delineation of the political and ecclesiastical spheres of authority".
In an interview with the Athens daily Ethnos yesterday, Mr. Stathopoulos said that there is a form of over-protectiveness granted to the Orthodox religion by the state.
"Justice Minister Stathopoulos was expressing a personal opinion," Mr. Reppas said, adding that "the government does not contemplate changing anything in the existing framework" of church-state relations.
In his interview, Mr. Stathopoulos advocated, inter alia, the introduction of civil funerals, while he also stated his disagreement over the listing of religious belief or affiliation on one's personal identification card, arguing that this is contrary to the laws pertaining to personal data.
 KUDOS FROM ALBANIAS ECONOMY, TRADE MINISTERThessaloniki, 9 May 2000 (15:27 UTC+2)
Albania's Minister of Economic Cooperation and Trade Ermelinda Mexi congratulated Greece over its national plan for the reconstruction of Southeastern Europe.
On the sidelines of the Thessaloniki-held Seventh Economic Forum, Ms. Mexi stated that her government is especially appreciative of the Greek initiative, and hopes that bilateral cooperation will soon be developed in order to turn the plan into reality.
She also stated that Greece is among Albania's top trade allies, along with Italy and Germany.
 ENKA HOLDING GROUP TO CLOSE DEALS WITH GREECEThessaloniki, 9 May 2000 (15:03 UTC+2)
Turkey's ENKA Holding Group is about to close a number of deals with Greek construction companies, such as northern Greece's "Themeliodomi" and Mechaniki."
In an interview with the Macedonian Press Agency, ENKA's chairman Sarik Tara, who is also the chairman of the Turkish-Greek Business Council, stated that the future of economic ties between the two countries is "grand" and characterized Greece as a country far more secure than other European states.
Moreover, he assessed that in the next five-year span, and as long as the positive climate in G/T relations is maintained, the volume of bilateral economic trade could reach the 25-billion-dollar mark, a ten-fold increase from its present state of $2.5 bn, through activities expanded to the sectors of tourism, transportation, joint ventures in third countries, transportation and industry.
 MAY DAY CELEBRATED IN THESSALONIKI TODAYThessaloniki, 9 May 2000 (15:02 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki's laborers and civil servants celebrated May Day today, where trade unionists held a May Day rally before the city's Labor Center.
The president of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) Christos Papazogopoulos called on the government to take measures for the rising unemployment rate.
Civil servants held a four-hour work stoppage from 11. a.m. to 4 pm.
 PRESIDENT OF SLOVAKIA IN GREECEAthens, 9 May 2000 (15:02 UTC+2)
The President of the Republic of Slovakia, Rudolf Schuster is presently in Athens for a two-day official visit, heading a large delegation of business representatives seeking to develop trade and joint business ventures with Greek interests.
In meetings with Greek officials and members of the government yesterday, the Slovakian President was assured of Greece's support for stronger links between his country and Euro-Atlantic organizations.
He met with President Costis Stephanopoulos, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Deputy Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi.
 STUDENT CLIMBS HIGH WALL TO CHANGE HIS GRADESThessaloniki, 9 May 2000 (15:02 UTC+2)
A 24-year-old student was arrested in Thessaloniki yesterday for breaking in the city's central Polytechnic offices in an effort to change his marks.
According to the police report, a school guard noticed the student descending by mountaineering rope down a wall, and notified the authorities.
The youth was found to be carrying climbing equipment and a walkie-talkie, to communicate with an accomplice who ran off when the police arrived.
 DEFENSE MINISTER: UNIFORM SUPPORT TO BALKANSThessaloniki, 9 May 2000 (15:01 UTC+2)
Any discrimination concerning reconstruction aid granted to Balkan states is unfathomable, according to Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos who addressed Thessaloniki's Seventh Annual Economic Forum in Thessaloniki last night.
The Minister added that reconstruction efforts in the region should be cohesive and stated that "no one can hold the region's security and stability hostage."
Referring to Serbia, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the country does lack democracy, yet, he added that this is a domestic issue that should be resolved by the Serbs themselves.
 OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY BEGINS TOMORROWThessaloniki, 9 May 2000 (15:01 UTC+2)
The solemn ceremony of the Olympic Flame lighting will be held at the ruins of ancient Olympia, the cradle of the Olympic Games, tomorrow, May 10, featuring a youth choir made up of men, which marks the first time males participate in the ceremony, and new music for the priestess' dance based on ancient Greek choreography and instruments.
Following the ceremony, the flame will be sent on a voyage across Greece. A total of 550 runners will bear it over a distance of 1,695 kilometers, while a 495 nautical-mile tour of Aegean islands will be effected on board the Greek Navy gunboat Warrior.
The torch will travel to Pyrgos, Tripoli and Patras in the Peloponnese, Mesolongi, Arta, Ioannina, Kastoria, Thessaloniki, Kavala, Xanthi, Komotini and Alexandroupolis in mainland Greece, and to the islands of Samothrace, Limnos, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Syros, Tinos and Andros over 11 days.
High jump champion Lambros Papacostas will be the first runner, and world long jump champion Voula Tsiamita will bring the torch in Athens on May 20, handing over the Olympic flame to the representatives of the Sydney Organizing Committee for the ××VII Olympic Games.
The General Governor of Australia Sir William Deane will also be present.
 "EUROPE DAY" CELEBRATED IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 9 May 2000 (15:01 UTC+2)
Commemorating the 50th anniversary since the founding of the European Union, the Day of Europe is celebrated in Thessaloniki on today, by the Macedonia Carrefour of the American Farm School and the European Center of Communication, Information and Culture.
The day-long event is jointly organized by the European commission's representatives in Greece and the office of the European Parliament.
The festivities include performances by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Thessaloniki's Municipality, as well as the dance troupe of the American Farm School.