|Monday, 20 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-02-05
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 OLYMPIC WORKS PROGRESS PRESENTEDAthens, 5 February 2002 (13:19 UTC+2)
The President of the "Athens 2004" Organising Committee, Gianna Aggelopoulou-Daskalaki, will hold a press conference tonight at Salt Lake City, in order to present Greek preparations as far as the 2004 Olympics are concerned.
However, IOC members expressed their intense worries as far as the progress of the works in the hosting and transport sectors. These two sectors are the ones which the IOC delegates to visit Athens in April, will concentrate on.
"Our only option is to work as hard as we can", stated Gianna Aggelopoulou on the issue.
 HUMAN DIGNITY IS NOT NEWSAthens, 5 February 2002 (12:32 UTC+2)
It is everyone's responsibility to respect others' personalities and the institutions, underlined Prime Minister and President of PASOK, Kostas Simitis, after the end of PASOK's Executive Office meeting, during which current political developments were discussed.
In reference to the attack against the President of the Republic, Mr. Simitis stated that the trivialization of human dignity is not "news", and underlined that PASOK and the government will defend stable political life from any unethical attack, "no matter where it originates from, or what disguise it uses".
"Democracy is strong because it stands on the strong foundation of all Greek citizens free will. This was made evident in the past few days", he pointed out, and noted that democracy cannot be led on by any personal or other kind of interest, nor can democracy function when citizens are led by the hand.
 PROTOPAPAS ON THE TURKISH VIOLATIONSAthens, 5 February 2002 (19:00 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas admitted that there is an increase in the Turkish violations of the Athens FIR and the Greek national airspace, pointing out that the government is taking all necessary steps via the diplomatic route.
Greece's attention is focused on basic issues such as the Clerides-Denktash talks on Cyprus, Cyprus' EU accession, and the exploratory effort for the opening of a dialogue, stressed Mr. Protopapas, adding that these are the issues that bring nervousness to certain circles in Turkey.
When asked to comment on the way the Greek-Turkish issues are being handled, he stated that the Foreign Minister handles them in the most responsible and effective way in total agreement with the cabinet.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 5 February 2002 (17:29 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.99% at 2.563,22 points, while the volume of transactions was at about 102 million Euro.
Of the stocks trading today 83 recorded gains and 242 had losses, while the value of 46 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE PROGRESS IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES PREPARATIONSThessaloniki, 5 February 2002 (16:06 UTC+2)
The preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens have made significant progress but the time left is very limited. The above were stated by Athens 2004 Organizing Committee President Ms. Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalakis in the presentation of the 2004 Olympic Games preparations at the 113th International Olympic Committee Summit at Salt Lake City, Utah.
The International Olympic Committee, IOC, members were briefed on the course of the preparations and especially, on the progress made in the construction of the Olympic Village sports facilities. The Olympic Village is one of the most complex Olympic projects and construction works have proceeded quicker that expected based on the timetable.
 25 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS IN CHIOSChios, 5 February 2002 (13:40 UTC+2)
Twenty five illegal immigrants, who were aboard rowing boats, were spotted in the Kontari sea area of Chios this morning.
The illegal immigrants, who have no traveling documents, were arrested and will be taken to the Chios DA of first instance.
 COALITION PRESIDENT IN CYPRUSAthens, 5 February 2002 (12:51 UTC+2)
The President of the Coalition of the Left will visit Cyprus today, accompanied by Nikos Hountis, in charge of Foreign and European Policy, to discuss developments in the Cyprus issue and the incorporation procedure to the EU with island Officials.
Today, the President of the Coalition will meet with the President of the Cypriot Parliament, Dimitris Christofias, the Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos, the Foreign Minister Alekos Markidis, Alternate President of DISY, Panagiotis Dimitriou, Vice-Presidents of ADIK, Giorgos Lykourgos and Edwin Iosifidis, and the spokesperson for the Green Party, Giorgos Perdikis.
Tomorrow he will meet with the Cypriot President, Glafkos Kliridis, the President of the Social-Democrat Movement, G. Omirou, the President of DIKO, Tasos Papadopoulos, the President of New Horizons, N. Koutsou, the President of Joint Democrats, Giorgos Vasiliou, as well as with delegates from Turkish Cypriot parties.
 FARMERS MEET WITH THE GOVERNMENTAthens, 5 February 2002 (12:25 UTC+2)
The meeting between Minister of Agriculture Giorgos Drys and the representatives of the farmers will take place today at 2pm in Athens. The two sides will discuss the price and quantity of cotton.
After the meeting with the Minister, the farmers will announce whether or not they will remove their tractors from the highways or continue their mobilizations. In either case, during the meeting, farmers in Northern Greece and Thessaly will be blocking highways.
The leadership of the Ministry has announced that the meeting can take place in the presence of the Press , unless the farmers wish otherwise.
 SIMITIS AND NASTASE ADDRESSED A BUSINESS FORUMBucharest, 5 February 2002 (19:36 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, addressing the Greek-Romanian economic forum that was held in Bucharest, stated that he is in favor of a stable taxation system in order to avoid bureaucracy and facilitate the development of business investments. He said that all Balkan countries should end the ineffectiveness of the public sector, stressing that unclear and bureaucratic procedures and a complex taxation system are the main negative factors in the effort to attract foreign investments to the region.
Mr. Simitis stated that about 70% of the Romanian exports end up to EU countries and stressed that the target of Greece and Romania is to increase bilateral trade transactions to reach US$1 billion.
Romanian Prime Minister Adrian Nastase stated that the goal of his country is to attract more foreign investments and create the necessary conditions for the development of the small and medium sized businesses. He also expressed the determination of the Romanian government to promote privatization. The Romanian Prime Minister stated that his government wants to persuade foreign investors that Romania is a stable country that can offer an attractive business environment.
 SIMITIS-NASTASE MEETINGBucharest, 5 February 2002 (18:23 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, had a one-hour meeting with his Romanian counterpart Adrian Nastase in Bucharest and the two leaders discussed Romania's efforts to become a member of the EU and NATO, as well as, issues concerning the Greek-Romanian bilateral economic relations.
Prime Minister Simitis stated that Romania's accession into NATO is necessary because it will contribute to the region's stability and improve economic and security cooperation. He said that for this reason a meeting will be held in Istanbul with the participation of the Foreign Ministers of Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey.
Mr. Simitis stated that Romania should open negotiations in 2002, adding that the Greek EU Presidency in the first half of 2003 will help significantly in the negotiation progress. He pointed out that economic cooperation between the two countries is at a very good level but it should expand further and agreed with Mr. Nastase to follow closely the Balkan Reconstruction Plan concerning investment planning in Romania. The Greek Prime Minister stated that Athens will allocate over US$ 70 million to specific programs agreed by both countries.
From his side, the Romanian Prime Minister thanked Mr. Simitis for his visit characterizing it as a proof of the consolidation of cooperation between the two countries and added that Greece plays a very important role in the Balkans.
Mr. Nastase stated that Greece plays a significant role in the EU and his country can learn from it, while he also pointed out that Bucharest hopes that Athens will help his country in its effort to become a NATO member.
The Romanian Prime Minister stated that the US$ 70 million aid to his country will be a great help and added that they also discussed the visa issue for the Romanians in order to have easier access to the European countries.
Mr. Nastase stressed the need for cooperation among the Foreign and Interior Ministries of the two countries to avoid any problems as a result of the illegal migration of Romanians to Greece, adding that a specific number of Romanians should be allowed to work in Greece.
 GREECE BACKS ROMANIA'S ACCESSION INTO THE EU AND NATOBucharest, 5 February 2002 (15:51 UTC+2)
Romania will have Greece's support in its effort to become a member of the EU and NATO, according to statements made by Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis after the meeting he had with Romanian President Ion Iliescu.
Mr. Simitis stated from Bucharest that Romania's accession into the EU will contribute to the region's stabilization, while he also stated that he backs Romania's positions both toward the US government and the EU leaders.
According to the Greek Prime Minister, Greece's position on the issue will be further strengthened during its EU presidency in the first half of 2003.
From his side, the Romanian President stated that bilateral relations are an example of mutual trust and stability and characterized Greece as one of Romania's most important trade partner.
 TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN GREECE AND ROMANIA AT US$ 1 BILLIONBucharest, 5 February 2002 (15:43 UTC+2)
Romanian President Ion Iliescu, in statements he made after the meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in Bucharest, expressed the hope that transactions between Greece and Romania will reach the US$1 billion mark. Currently bilateral transactions are at US$700 million.
The economic gravity of the Greek delegation visit is obvious by the group of businessmen accompanying the Greek Prime Minister.
The visiting businessmen participate in the economic forum that takes place in Bucharest today and is a chance for them to get acquainted with the Romanian business world.
 SIMITIS IN BUCHARESTBucharest, 5 February 2002 (12:28 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis arrived in Bucharest this morning, accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister, Tasos Giannitsis and deputy Ministerw of Foreign Affairs, Andreas Loverdos, and Press, Tilemachos Hytiris.
Mr. Simitis will be received with the President of Romania, Ion Iliesku, and Prime Minister Adrian Nastaze in order to discuss the situation in the Balkans.
The Prime Minister is also being accompanied by several Greek businessmen, since among the issues at hand is that of strengthening financial cooperation between our two countries.
 KARAMANLIS MET IAN DUNCAN SMITHLondon, 5 February 2002 (12:30 UTC+2)
President of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis is in Edinburgh today, where he will meet with the Head of the Scottish Conservative Party, Malcolm Rifkin.
Tonight, the head of the Greek Opposition will speak at Edinburgh University on political developments in Balkans while yesterday he met in London with the newly elected Leader of the Conservative Party, Ian Duncan Smith.
The goal of this first introductory meeting, which took place in the House of Commons, was to develop relationships between the two parties, which are both members of the European People's Party.
Mr. Karamanlis presented Greece's national issues to the Head of the Conservative Party, with Cyprus' incorporation to the EU in the first group of candidate countries as the main one.
Before departing for Edinburgh, Mr. Karamanlis visited the British Museum and Director Robert Anderson gave him a tour of the room in which the Parthenon marbles are kept. "It is a good time to have the marbles returned where they belong, with the Olympics nearing. We are making a commitment to work hard in that direction", stated Mr. Karamanlis, and added that this issue is not one concerning just Greece and Britain, but the whole world, because all the world admits that the marbles are not where they belong.