|Thursday, 23 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-06-04
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE AGENDA OF THE ECONOMYAthens, 4 June 2003 (09:10 UTC+2)
The political confrontation of the past few days concerning both shady dealings between members of the political and financial world of Greece and the ELPE-PETROLA merger, will be taken to the Plenary Session of the Parliament in a pre-agenda meeting requested by ND. The government rejected ND's proposal for an auditing committee for the stock market. According to information from the offices of both PASOK and ND, the two party leaders will speak on the issue of shady dealings only if they are provoked.
 EXAMINATION COMMITTEE DECIDESAthens, 4 June 2003 (12:00 UTC+2)
Minister of Education Petros Efthymiou called an emergency meeting of Examination Committee on the issue that arose concerning the grading of the Math exams, on which science and technology concentration seniors were tested, in the framework of the national exams. The Greek Mathematics Association made mention of a bad choice of sub-question, noting that it was not compatible with the definitions and theorems of the school textbook.
 MODERN, ATTRACTIVE, HOSPITABLEParis, 4 June 2003 (09:10 UTC+2)
The candidacies of Thessaloniki, Trieste and Zaragoza for the hosting of the 2008 EXPO were presented in Paris yesterday, at the General Assembly of the International Exhibition Bureau (BIE). Greece wants to hold an EXPO that will be modern, attractive and warm for all the countries of the world, contributing to the causes of a balanced development of the planet, a creative coexistence of all cultures, and international cooperation, pointed out Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis.
 ELPE-PTEROL MERGER BEGINNINGAthens, 4 June 2003 (12:46 UTC+2)
The first part of the merger agreement between ELPE (Hellenic Petroleum) and PETROLA will be materialized today, with 16.65% of the first company's stocks being transferred to the Latsis company group for 326 million euro.
The transfer will take place through the National Bank of the Stock Market, on the condition that all technical details are in order. In any case, today has been set as the date for the transformation, i.e. the beginning of the merger procedure, marking, at the same time, the legal expiration of Petrola.
It should be noted that yesterday the two companies' boards of directors gave the green light for the agreement, in the midst of intense reactions from the employees and workers at Hellenic Petroleum. Specifically, the workers took over the company's offices on Amalias st. forcing the Board to meet in the Athens Tower.
Meanwhile, in yesterday's meeting of the boards, a decision was made to set a financial and legal auditor and an independent valuator, who will look into the issue of exchanging old stocks with the new stocks to be issued with an increase of capital by the unified company.
In fact, in statements to the Financial Times, the Directing Consultant of ELPE, Athanassios Karachalios, stressed that the merger will allow ELPE to develop into a major player in the SE European market, with four refineries and an output of 17 million tons annually, and a combined turnover of approximately 4 billion euro.
 YIANNITSIS ON TURKEY'S EU ACCESSION COURSEAthens, 4 June 2003 (19:55 UTC+2)
The operation of a democracy in Turkey without the obstacles of the past and the interpretation of the will of the Turkish people into an administrative and judicial practice, are the two basic issues for the promotion of a candidate status for Turkey, stated Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis addressing the European Parliament Plenary Session today.
He underlined that the basic priorities for a partnership relation are the Cyprus issue and the Greek-Turkish relations.
Mr. Yiannitsis also called for Turkey's attention on a number of pending issues such as, the numerous reports on torture practices throughout Turkey, the reports of arbitrary arrests and the practice of incomunicado detention in the South East. The contradictory court decisions as regards the determination to punish perpetrators of torture, several court cases indicating that there is not yet a uniform interpretation and application of the provisions related to freedom of expression. The still restrictive regime applicable to religious institutions and communities and the full enjoyment of cultural rights by all Turks irrespective of their ethnic origin which is still not ensured.
 PAPANTONIOU WILL BE IN SKOPJE TOMORROWAthens, 4 June 2003 (19:10 UTC+2)
Greek Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou will be in Skopje, FYROM tomorrow within the framework of the inspection of the CONCORDIA Force, the first military mission undertaken by the European Rapid Reaction Force.
Mr. Papantoniou will meet with FYROM Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski, President Boris Trajkovsk, government Vice-President Musa Jaferi and Defense Minister Vlado Buckovski.
He will be accompanied by EU High Representative for CFSP Javier Solana, and the permanent representatives of the EU member states to be briefed on the EUFOR operations and the EU political actions in FYROM.
For the record, the operational readiness of the European Military Force in 2003 was a major target for the Greek EU Presidency.
 EU TRANSPORTATION-TELECOMMUNICATIONS-ENERGY MINISTERS' COUNCILAthens, 4 June 2003 (18:55 UTC+2)
The EU Transportation, Telecommunications and Energy Ministers' Council will convene in Luxembourg tomorrow, chaired by Greek Minister of Transportation and Telecommunications Christos Verelis.
In the meeting will be discussed issues concerning the GALILEO system, air transportation, road and tunnel safety.
The Greek EU Presidency will brief the European partners on the progress made on the specific issues and will seek to complete negotiations among the member states on most of those issues to reach decisions as soon as possible.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE INITIATIVES UNDERTAKEN BY THE CYPRIOT FOREIGN MINISTERAthens, 4 June 2003 (18:39 UTC+2)
The Greek government backs the initiatives undertaken by Cypriot Foreign Minister Mr. Iakovou on the recent developments at Strovilia concerning the violations made by the Turks aiming to alter the region's status. The statement was made by Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas in response to a question by a reporter.
Called to comment on the statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul that there are no violations of the airspace because Greece should restrict itself within 6 miles, Mr. Protopapas reiterated that Turkey follows its typical tactic. Namely, it creates secondary issues to keep away the publicity lights and pressure resulting from the primary issue which is the solution of the Cyprus problem.
 DIAMANTOPOULOU: AGREEMENT ON THE ASYLUM ISSUE IS DIFFICULT BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLEThessaloniki, 4 June 2003 (18:11 UTC+2)
The likelihood for the EU to reach an agreement on the issue of immigrants in the Thessaloniki Summit Meeting based on the preliminary work already done by the Greek EU Presidency, was not ruled out by Greek European Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou, responsible for employment issues. She made the statement to mpa.gr, adding that the EU member states have conflicting views on the issue.
The European Commission will present a package on immigration in the Thessaloniki Summit which will include the common policy on asylum, the protection of borders and the electronic control system, the repatriation of immigrants, their social integration and programs for the financial support of their countries.
The Greek European Commissioner also referred to the inability of the EU Labor Ministers' Council that met in Luxembourg yesterday to reach an agreement on a directive regulating temporary employment.
She also stated that labor market inspection is necessary, adding that very often the laws are being violated even though there is a specific institutional framework at a European level.
Commenting on the turn made by certain businesses to countries with a lower labor cost, like the EU candidate states or the former Soviet Union states, she pointed out that the phenomenon cannot be reversed. She added that Greece cannot compete with those countries but it can turn to other sectors of the economy, like high technology and services.
 BIG GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 4 June 2003 (17:14 UTC+2)
Big gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +3.35% at 1.839,69 points, while the volume of transactions skyrocketed to 228,3 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 290 recorded gains and 43 had losses, while the value of 45 stocks remained unchanged.
 THE JUSTICE MINISTER WILL BE IN LUXEMBOURGAthens, 4 June 2003 (16:54 UTC+2)
Greek Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos will be in Luxembourg tomorrow to preside over the EU Justice Ministers Council to be held on June 6.
In the Council will be discussed, among others, issues concerning the EU-US negotiations on extradition and justice courts' cooperation and the framework-decision on the implementation of the ne bis in idem principle. Also, the Council's Regulations Draft on jurisdiction, the execution of court decisions on disputes between former spouses concerning parental care and the Schengen negotiations with Switzerland.
Also, Mr. Petsalnikos will propose the adoption of common rules for the protection of personal data.
 YIANNITSIS REVIEWED THE RESULTS OF THE GREEK EU PRESIDENCYAthens, 4 June 2003 (16:28 UTC+2)
Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis in a press conference on Tuesday reviewed the results of the 22 weeks of the Greek European Union Presidency.
The alternate foreign minister referred to four major entities in which developments were registered during the Greek EU Presidency.
In the sector of enlargement with the signing of the Accession Treaty in Athens on April 16, the 10 new acceding countries have already started expressing their positions, he said.
On political developments, Mr. Yiannitsis stated that the Iraq issue prevailed during the Greek EU Presidency, noting that although at first there were differences of views, Europe proceeded in joint statements in February and March. At the end of the war in Iraq, Yiannitsis observed, we are seeing the efforts for bridging the differences of the member countries but also the development of a broader consideration for joint foreign and defence policy.
The Middle East was another major issue during the Greek EU Presidency. The Road Map is a development for which the Union made a great effort in order for it to become a reality and now it is exerting pressure for its implimentation, Mr. Yiannitsis said.
He also referred to other political fields where the EU's presence is stronger, such as the Euro-Mediterranean Conference, relations with Russia, the western Balkans and third countries.
On institutional reforms, the minister remarked that the Convention for the Future of Europe will soon conclude its sessions and submit its proposals at the EU summit in Thessaloniki.
In the sector of ad hoc individual issues, Mr. Yiannitsis referred to a series of reforms and decisions, such as the funding of the enlargement, the status of EU employees, the issue of security in maritime transport, the Stability Pact and the Common Agricultural Policy.