|Wednesday, 29 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-03-03
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 TURKISH CYPRIOT OBJECTIONSNicosia, 3 March 2006 (13:15 UTC+2)
The Turkish Cypriot side responded negatively to the agreement between Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on the establishment of technical committees to prepare the ground for meaningful negotiations on the Cyprus issue.
An adviser to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat characterized the contacts in Paris as election campaign show.
 FLOOD WARNING ALONG EVROS RIVEREvros, 3 March 2006 (16:04 UTC+2)
An automatic water level monitoring system to operate on a 24-hour basis in order to check the Evros River flow rate will be installed both in Greece and Bulgaria. Today, the system will be installed in the region of Didimoticho, northeast Greece, and next week in Bulgaria.
Meanwhile, a state of alert is in effect in the region of Evros as waters have risen above the flood alarm level.
This morning water level at Pithio water level monitoring station was 5.78m with flood alarm level at 5.70m.
Two levee gates were opened by the responsible local authorities at Pithio plain in order to defuse the situation and as result a total of 550ha of farm land were flooded.
Also, a total of 250ha of farm land are under flood waters in the plain of Psathades as a result of the rising water level of Evros River.
 TIME FOR LEAPS IN TOURISMAthens, 3 March 2006 (15:19 UTC+2)
Minister of Tourism Fani Palli Petralia briefed Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on tourist issues in the meeting they had at Maximos Mansion in Athens today.
This tourism season is expected to be very successful, stated the minister, after the fist meeting she had with the prime minister under her capacity as Minister of Tourism, pointing out that signs are very good.
Mrs. Petralia pointed out that tourism is the country's heavy industry and stressed that there is a strategic plan to improve competitiveness and quality in the Greek tourism.
She pointed out that steps have been made during the past two years and now the time has come for leaps.
 CONTRIBUTION TO STABILITYAthens, 3 March 2006 (13:01 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis is on a visit to Kosovo today within the framework of her tour of western Balkans.
In Belgrade yesterday, Mrs. Bakoyiannis immediately after meeting with President Tadic reiterated Greece's support to the European course of Serbia-Montenegro and stressed that the issue of Kosovo is handled by Athens within the framework of the effort aimed at maintaining peace and stability in the region.
Greece is a country that can contribute effectively to the region's security and stability, added Mrs. Bakoyiannis.
The operation of a Greek observatory providing for the establishment of a research academic chair on Greece's economic relations with the region of SE Europe is inaugurated today by Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis in the London School of Economics.
 FOREIGN MINISTER BAKOYIANNIS VISITS PRISTINAPristina, 3 March 2006 (16:42 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis is in Pristina within the framework of her Balkan tour. In her meetings with Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu and opposition leader Hashim Thaci she pointed out Greece's support to the negotiations taking place in Vienna on the final status of Kosovo and the need for them to take place without pressing timetables to achieve a meaningful outcome. She also referred to the issue of security and stability in the region.
Mrs. Bakoyiannis stated that it is very important to strengthen the criteria implementation process set by the International Community and referred to the protection of the Serb cultural heritage.
Mrs. Bakoyiannis also confirmed that Greece supports the European course of western Balkans.
Mr. Sejdiu pledged that minority rights will be observed and stressed that he will seek good neighborly relations and promote Kosovo's rapprochement with the Euro-Atlantic structures.
Hashim Thaci reiterated that the will of the people for independence should be respected and appeared certain that this will happen before the end of the year.
Mrs. Bakoyiannis also met with SRSG Soren Jessen-Petersen, while she will also meet with outgoing Prime Minister Bajram Kosumi, Serbian List leader in Kosovo Oliver Ivanovic and ORA party leader Veton Surroi. Mrs. Bakoyiannis will also lay a wreath at President Rugova's grave and visit the Greek forces stationed in Kosovo within the framework of NATO.
 FOREIGN MINISTER BAKOYIANNIS VISITED SERBIA-MONTENEGROBelgrade, 3 March 2006 (14:08 UTC+2)
Serb President Boris Tadic expressed his country's wish to cooperate with the International Tribunal on former Yugoslavia after meeting with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis who visited Belgrade yesterday, second stop on her Balkan tour. Mr. Tadic added that this cooperation will benefit his country opening the way toward Europe.
On the future of Kosovo, Mr. Tadic was against its partition and reiterated the Serb position in favor of territorial integrity, the respect of the rights of the Kosovo Serbs and the protection of the Serb monuments.
On the new Prime Minister of Kosovo Agim Ceku, onetime UCK leader, Mr. Tadic even though he appeared reserved saying that it is not useful to have so many generals in politics, stressed that the Serb side does not judge the Albanian choices and will negotiate with anybody.
However, he set as a precondition for the progress of negotiations the adoption of direct talks with the Albanian side. Referring to the imminent referendum on the future of Serbia-Montenegro, the Serb President called on OSCE to safeguard the democratic procedures adding that political forces should respect the outcome no matter what it will be.
Mrs. Bakoyiannis reiterated Greece's support to the European course of Serbia-Montenegro and stressed that the issue of Kosovo is treated by Athens within the framework of the effort to preserve peace and security in the region.
Mrs. Bakoyiannis underlined the need for a solution that will be the result of an agreement between the two sides adding that history has shown that imposed solutions are not viable. The Foreign Minister stated that she is against pressing timetables in the effort to reach a solution and characterized as self-evident the respect of minority rights.
She also welcomed the agreement on the Montenegro referendum and pointed out the need to safeguard the process democratically and place it under the EU monitoring so that the result will not be contested. Greece is a country that can contribute effectively to the region's security and stability, said Mrs. Bakoyiannis.
Mrs. Bakoyiannis also met with Foreign Minister of Serbia-Montenegro Vuk Draskovic and expressed to him Greece's support to the effort made by Serbia-Montenegro to overcome the obstacles on the way to European structures.
Greece is an old and tried friend of Serbia-Montenegro, stated Mrs. Bakoyiannis, pointing out that the European prospect is a prospect of stability and economic prosperity for the Western Balkan peoples.
On his part, Mr. Draskovic stressed that his country must work to solve all the problems that block its European prospect and reiterated the need to protect the legitimate rights of the Kosovo Serbs.
Within the framework of her contacts in Belgrade, Mrs. Bakoyiannis also met with Serbia-Montenegro President Svetozar Marovic and Prime Minister of Serbia Vojislav Kostunica.
 THE MINISTER OF FINANCE ON THE GREEK ECONOMYLondon, 3 March 2006 (17:38 UTC+2)
The growth rate of the Greek economy will reach 3.8% in 2006, predicted Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis addressing the conference organized by the British-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce in London.
On the Athens Stock Exchange, Mr. Alogoskoufis said that in 2005 the inflow of capital by foreign investors reached 5.2 billion euros a fact that reflects their confidence in the prospects of the Greek economy. In addition, in the first two months of 2006 there was an inflow of 1.1 billion euros by foreign investors.
Referring to the 2006 privatizations program, the Minister of Finance said that it includes the total privatization of the Emporiki Bank, the further privatization of the Agricultural Bank of Greece, ATEbank and the trading in the stock market of the TTBank and DEPA.
The Minister of Finance was the main speaker in the conference on Greece, your strategic partner in SE Europe: Investment prospects and business opportunities attended by representatives of the business community in London.
 DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER KASIMIS VISITS THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATEIstanbul, 3 March 2006 (18:27 UTC+2)
New Deputy Foreign Minister Theodoros Kasimis visits the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the great institutes of the Greek community in Istanbul.
The Deputy Foreign Minister said after the talks he had with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew that the effort made by the Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarch himself to promote the ecumenical character of the Patriarchate activities is being appreciated and Greece will always assist this great effort that helps the multicultural society at a global level.
After meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch, Mr. Kasimis stated that he regarded as his obligation to make Istanbul the first place he visits outside Greece, in his new capacity as Deputy Foreign Minister.
The Ecumenical Patriarch gave a formal dinner in honor of Mr. Kasimis and his associates.
Mr. Kasimis said after the meeting that the Patriarchate should function within the framework of the Turkish Republic without obstacles blocking its social and religious activities.
Mr. Kasimis also visited the Baloukli Hospital and the Zoodochos Pigi Monastery at Baloukli outside the Byzantine walls of the city.
The Greek Deputy Foreign Minister accompanied by Greek consul general in Istanbul Alexis Alexandris also visited the three great education institutes of the Greek community. Namely, the Great School of the Nation (Meghali tou Ghenous Scholi), the Zografion Lycee and the Zappion Lycee.