|Saturday, 18 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-02-27
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 TAX REFORM DISCUSSION IN MARCHAthens, 27 February 2002 (13:41 UTC+2)
The discussion of the tax reform to commence in late March was announced by Minister of Finances Nikos Christodoulakis, after his meeting with the Prime Minister.
Specifically, on the participation plan for insurance companies in the handling of the reserve funds, Mr. Christodoulakis stated that the issue will be resolved in the under vote bill. He characterized the reform under discussion as completely compatible with European models. Meanwhile the President of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) disagrees with this reform, and he stressed that the Confederation will not accept such interventions, while he supported that the government is under pressure because 35 insurance companies are on the brink of bankruptcy.
 POLICE PERJURY NEVER REACHES THE COURTROOMAthens, 27 February 2002 (13:37 UTC+2)
Just 8 perjury cases of police officers, of the 292 cases that have been recorded in the last 2 years, where criminal charges were pressed, ever reached the courtroom. The Head of the Internal Affairs Department of the Greek Police presented this information in Parliament.
This is due to the many months of delay until the cases get to court. According to arrest records, the officer arrests for perjury increased by 118% in 2001, and were mainly regarding offenses such as violation of duty, false certification and bribery.
These phenomena are usually observed at immigration services and passport checkpoints.
 ALBANIAN ARRESTED WITH 4 TONS OF HASHISHThessaloniki, 27 February 2002 (13:55 UTC+2)
The 40-year-old Albanian who was arrested late last night by customs officers in Kakavia, while trying to transport nearly 4 tons of cannabis in an empty tank-truck, is expected to be taken to the District Attorney today. The name of the driver was not announced.
Apart from the drugs, police found a loaded AK-47 Assault Rifle, two clips of bullets and a marble stele with various relief carvings on it, in the driver's booth.
 PAPANDREOU-OMIROU: TURKEY MUST DISPLAY POLITICAL WILL FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF THE CYPRUS ISSUEAthens, 27 February 2002 (19:05 UTC+2)
The need for Turkey to display the necessary political will for the settlement of the Cyprus issue, was underlined by Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou and Cypriot Parliament Defense Committee President Yiannakis Omirou in the meeting they had in Athens.
Mr. Papandreou and Mr. Omirou examined the developments in Cyprus since the opening of the direct talks between Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash as well as Cyprus' EU accession course.
Mr. Papandreou stated that there are no tangible results from the first round of the Clerides-Denktash talks and pointed out that there is a need to take advantage of the historic chance for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Mr. Omirou stated that the Greek Cypriot side will enter the new round of talks with the same political will for the solution of the Cyprus problem but in case no solution is found it will not be an obstacle for Cyprus' accession into the European Union.
On the reinforcement on behalf of Ankara of the armaments of the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus, Mr. Papandreou stressed that those moves are being watched by the European Union, while Mr. Omirou stated that such moves undermine the whole climate.
 SIMITIS: THE GOVERNMENT GUARANTEES THE COUNTRY'S DEMOCRATIC COURSEAthens, 27 February 2002 (18:30 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis appeared determined that his government will serve its full four-year term in statements he made after the governing Socialist Party of PASOK Executive Bureau meeting. In the meeting were examined issues concerning the Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus problem, the Greek EU Presidency and other issues of foreign affairs.
The Prime Minister when asked to comment on the political diversion references he has made, stated that he wanted to send the message to the Greek society that the government and the party of PASOK are vigilant and guarantee the country's democratic course.
Presenting the government's four goals in the period before 2004, Mr. Simitis referred to the true economic and social convergence in the new reality created by the Euro. He also referred to the settlement of the Greek national issues concerning Cyprus, Cyprus' accession into the EU and the relations with Turkey, the successful 2004 Olympic Games and the promotion of Greece's position in Europe.
 THE PRESIDENT AND THE PRIME MINISTER OF THE SERB REPUBLIC OF BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA MET WITH THE THESSALONIKI MAYORThessaloniki, 27 February 2002 (18:24 UTC+2)
Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina President Mirko Sarovic, Prime Minister Mladev Ivanic, Metropolite Nikolaos of Sarajevo, Culture Minister Mitar Novakovic, Health Minister Milorad Balabac, and Religious Affairs Minister Disan Aydel met in the City Hall today with Thessaloniki mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos.
The mayor of Thessaloniki stressed that there is great potential of cooperation at the local administration level within the framework of the consolidation of peace in the Balkans. He also issued an appeal to the business world to become more active in the area of cooperation.
The president of the Serb Republic stated that the delegation visits Thessaloniki after its visit to the Monastic Community of Mount Athos. He also said that there is great room for cooperation between the two sides and referred to the key-location of the Port of Thessaloniki. In addition he pointed out that a lot can be done on the occasion of Greece's EU presidency in the first half of 2003.
 SIGNIFICANT LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 27 February 2002 (18:14 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.12% at 2.379,95 points, while the volume of transactions was at 99.17 million Euro or 33.79 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 282 recorded losses and 52 had gains, while the value of 23 stocks remained unchanged.
 INTERNATIONAL CONSUL OF INVESTORS TO BE ESTABLISHED IN FYROMThessaloniki, 27 February 2002 (18:10 UTC+2)
The International Consul of Investors in FYROM is expected to be established gradually in the following month as at the end of March the 17 participating Greek companies will cosign its founding act, according to an announcement in Thessaloniki today by the Association of Industries in Northern Greece President Dimitris Simeonidis.
The name of the soon-to-be-established institution reflects the intention of its founding members to gradually attract other foreign investors as well. According to the association President, the Skopje based consul could develop into a chamber.
The consul's goal is to solve quickly the problems faced by the participating companies in their investment campaigns in the FYROM market.
 KARAMANLIS MET WITH THE RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO ATHENSAthens, 27 February 2002 (17:41 UTC+2)
Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis met with Russian ambassador to Athens Michael Botsarnikov in the party central offices in the Greek capital.
In the meeting were discussed issues concerning bilateral relations, the dialogue process in Cyprus and energy issues. Mr. Karamanlis reiterated the ND firm position on the further improvement of bilateral cooperation in all sectors. Mr. Karamanlis and Mr. Botsarnikov also examined new proposals on Russia's cooperation with NATO and the issue of the common European policy of defense and security.
Mr. Karamanlis underlined that New Democracy regards as very significant Russia's international role especially, in the region of southeastern Europe.
 MEETING ON INTER-BORDER COOPERATIONOrestiada, 27 February 2002 (14:14 UTC+2)
A two day-meeting on the "Promotion of Greek-Bulgarian-Turkish Inter-Border Cooperation", will take place on March 2-3, organized by the Tradesmen and Professional's Association of New Orestiada, with the participation of Chamber representatives of Thrace, as well as the Chambers of Edirne, Haskovo and Plovdiv.
The meeting's schedule includes introductions to the presentation of the ITERREG III Program and the MEDA Program, both of which concern inter-border cooperation. Also to be analyzed are the utilization prospects of International Franchising by Greek Bulgarian and Turkish entrepreneurs and the presentation of the web site of the Professionals-Tradesmen Association of New Orestiada and the District.
 ATHENS HOTELS TO BE MODERNISEDAthens, 27 February 2002 (13:38 UTC+2)
Modernization programmes, of a total budget of more that 501 million euro, have been materialized by 96 of the 175 hotel units participating in Athens 2004.
This was underlined by the President of the Hotel Owners Association of Athens (EXA), Mr. Sp. Divanis, stressing that hotel businessmen responded to the preparation planning in view of the 2004 Olympics, in contrast to the State and the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, which are delaying important works and initiatives they had announced, for the utilization of the Olympics in tourism, in Athens and all of Greece.
Hotel infrastructure in Athens, according to Mr. Sp. Divani, is adequate to cover the needs of the Olympics, while concerning new investments in hotels, the EXA President underlined that if tourism infrastructure in the Attica region does not improve, and the "pie does not have more pieces", many businesses will not survive the post-Olympic period.
The delays in infrastructure works, affect general recovery in - especially after the September 11 events - tourism in the broader Attica region, which is expected to decrease by 20% in 2002, compared to 2001.
Apart from delays in initiatives, advertisement and infrastructure works, stressed the EXA President, the crises in the US market, flight cutbacks made by many airlines, as well as the cancellation of significant conferences and exhibitions, due to many venues closing for modernizing and renovations, have also contributed to this decrease in tourism.
 NEW AMBASSADOR OF GREECE IN CROATIAZagreb, 27 February 2002 (18:02 UTC+2)
Croatia's president Stipe Mesic referred to the good level of relations between Greece and Croatia during the ceremony for the presentation of the credentials of Greece's new ambassador to Zagreb Dimitris Vidouris. Mr. Mesic also pointed out that the policy followed by the two countries is a factor of stability and peace in the region.
Mr. Mesic accepted an invitation issued by Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos to visit Greece and stressed that his country wants Greece to participate in its privatization programs.
Mr. Vidouris expressed Greece's interest in Croatia's privatization programs, adding that Greece watches Croatia's European prospect with a strong interest and wishes to help the country in its course toward the European Union.