|Tuesday, 21 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-03-28
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 DRAFT LAW ON RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCESAthens, 28 March 2006 (16:30 UTC+2)
The inner cabinet gave the green light to the Minister of Development to promote a draft law to speed up licensing procedures and reform the electric energy production from renewable energy sources.
Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas spoke about a new reality and a landmark in the production of electric energy from geothermal sources, wind farms, photovoltaic systems and hydroelectric stations.
The draft bill simplifies the licensing procedures, the guaranteed market price is increased five-fold and the market time expands from 10 to 12 years while the licensing deadlines are being reduced and the special levy for the local administration organizations hosting such companies is raised to 2.5% in the first five years and reaches 3% after the first five-year period.
 CAMPAIGN TO BAN ANIMAL ACTS IN CIRCUSESThessaloniki, 28 March 2006 (17:27 UTC+2)
International and local animal rights organizations call for the banning of animal acts in circuses as the only way to put an end to their torture. In order to promote their cause they launched an information campaign in Greece concerning the brutal training methods used and the terrible living conditions for circus animals.
The main tool of the campaign organized by the international organization Animal Defenders International, ADI, in cooperation with the Greek Animal Care Fund and other 50 animal rights organizations in Greece is a revealing film with violent scenes from a circus in Europe secretly videotaped by ADI members.
The footage shows the beatings, the deplorable living and transport conditions, the daily suffering and the restriction of the animals as well as the inadequate safety measures for circus visitors-spectators mainly in the case a wild animal escapes.
The traveling circus is a leftover of the past and does not contribute, in any way, to the rescue or training of the animals or the respect they deserve. Violence is hidden behind the glitter of the circus and everything happens in the name of entertainment. It is time for this to stop, stated in a press conference ADI campaigns director Tim Phillips.
Argos animal rights organization legal adviser Despina Doulgeris stated that no special license is necessary for a traveling circus to operate in Greece apart from that issued by local municipalities while no inspections are being made.
In the wider region of Thessaloniki, the prefecture and all municipalities, with the exception of the community of Efkarpia, do not allow the operation of travelling circuses.
According to figures provided by animal rights organizations, 4 to 5 traveling circuses visit Greece annually coming mainly from Italy and through them a total of 200 wild animals reach Greece under unknown living conditions.
 DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER STYLIANIDIS TO VISIT YEREVANAthens, 28 March 2006 (14:07 UTC+2)
Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis will be on a formal visit to Yerevan, Armenia on March 29-30.
The 4th Greek-Armenian Joint Inter-Ministerial Committee meeting will take place during the visit as well as the signing of the bilateral economic cooperation protocol. Also, a memorandum of understanding will be signed by the Federation of Greek Industries, SEV, and the association of manufacturers and businessmen of Armenia.
The Deputy Foreign Minister will have talks with Armenian President Robert Kocharian, Prime Minister Andranik Margarian, Minister of Agriculture Davit Lokian, Minister of Commerce and Economic Development Karen Chishmaritian, Deputy Foreign Minister Arman Kirakosian and Patriarch Karekin II of Armenia.
Mr. Stylianidis will also visit Scholl 132 in Yerevan, the construction of which was funded by Hellenic Aid, the Foreign Ministry's International Development Cooperation Directorate, and he will lay a wreath at the Monument of Genocide.
 BOOST TO RENEWABLE ENERGYAthens, 28 March 2006 (12:09 UTC+2)
The inner cabinet meets under Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis today to discuss the issue of the renewable energy sources.
Earlier, Mr. Karamanlis was scheduled to have a meeting with Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas.
 BANK STRIKEAthens, 28 March 2006 (12:02 UTC+2)
The federation of bank employees unions, OTOE, declared a 24-hour strike today against the law amendment on the Emporiki Bank employees' social security issue to be voted in parliament today.
The bank employees, who have a meeting with ruling party of New Democracy Central Committee secretary Lefteris Zagoritis, have also requested a meeting with Minister of Finance and Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis who reiterated yesterday that the deadline for the accession into the Single Bank Employees Pension Fund ends at the end of March.
The government guarantees the vested interests of the bank employees whose pension funds showed deficits, stated Minister of Employment and Social Protection Savvas Tsitouridis.
 PROMOTION OF THE GREEK ECONOMY IN THE UNITED STATESNew York, 28 March 2006 (13:31 UTC+2)
The role Greece can play and intends to play as a crossroads for the transfer of energy to Europe was promoted by Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy Christos Folias in a meeting he had in the US State Department with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Mathew Bryza.
He also met with US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Anthony Wayne to whom he presented the new developmental law and discussed the prospects of American investments in Greece.
Mr. Folias will address the Woodrow Wilson Institute in Washington today on Greek Investments, Economic Policy and Regional Stability and later he will attend a luncheon organized by the American Chamber of Commerce. He will also visit the Department of Commerce and meet with the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for market issues.
On Wednesday, Mr. Folias will attend a luncheon with Greek senior officials in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund and then he will meet with officials from the Federal Agency for Small-sized Enterprises. He is also scheduled to attend a reception given by Greek Ambassador to Washington Mr. Mallias in honor of the delegates participating in the 5th Annual Greek-US Business Conference organized in the US capital by the Council for Greek-American Heritage. On Thursday, he will attend the proceedings of the conference and will be the main speaker in a luncheon at the Capitol Hill on Greece: Investments as a tool of stability in the Balkans.
On Friday, Mr. Folias will be in New York to speak about the investment opportunities offered in Greece in a conference organized by the Columbia Business School Alumni Club with the participation of Greek, American and Turkish businessmen.
 NEW MOMENTUM ON CYPRUSNew York, 28 March 2006 (11:26 UTC+2)
There is a new momentum on Cyprus after the meeting of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan with Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos stated Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis after her meeting with Mr. Annan in New York.
Ms. Bakoyannis stated that it is time for the two partners to agree on this effort and move forward, reiterating the known position that we cannot bear another failure. She stressed that the well-prepared new effort, without pressing new timetables, and without prearranged decisions will be the best solution possible.
On the FYROM name issue, Ms. Bakoyannis stated that she had, one more time, the opportunity to present the Greek positions to Mr. Annan.