|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-03-31
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE GOVERNMENT ON THE TRAGEDY IN KORYDALLOS PRISONAthens, 31 March 2006 (18:12 UTC+2)
Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros expressed the government's regret for the deaths of three inmates and the heavy injuries sustained by another inmate as a result of a fire that broke out in Korydallos Prison in Athens last night.
He also stated that Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras has cut short his visit to Brussels and returns to Athens to personally handle the case.
Mr. Papaligouras has already ordered a special inquiry on the causes of the tragedy and in order to find those responsible.
Mr. Antonaros also reminded that the government has promoted a program for the urgent construction of new correctional facilities and specifically, six prisons of increased capacity providing better living conditions for the inmates. The first such new prison facility built in the city of Trikala, central Greece, will be ready within the next few weeks.
 SIOUFAS-BRYZA MEETINGAthens, 31 March 2006 (16:28 UTC+2)
The Greek energy policy and Greece's international activity in the sector of energy were discussed in the meeting Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas had with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Matthew Bryza.
Mr. Sioufas referred to the operation of the Energy Community, the Greek-Turkish and Greek-Italian natural gas pipelines, the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline as well as Greece's position concerning the Energy Policy on Europe and the European Commission Green Paper for safe, competitive and viable energy for Europe.
Mr. Bryza will attend as an observed the Energy Ministers meeting to take place in Thessaloniki tomorrow within the framework of the Hellenic Chairmanship in office of the SE European Cooperation Process.
 STYLIANIDIS-BRYZA MEETINGAthens, 31 March 2006 (16:06 UTC+2)
Energy issues, and mainly the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline construction, were discussed in the meeting of Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis with US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Matthew Bryza.
Mr. Stylianidis stated that the Greek side briefed Mr. Bryza on the progress in the pipeline construction works and the project's importance.
He reiterated to the US government official that Greece regards as very important the participation of US companies in the construction of the pipeline due to their expertise in environmental protection.
 PAPANDREOU EXPRESSES SUPPORT TO ROMANO PRODIAthens, 31 March 2006 (15:08 UTC+2)
Main opposition Socialist Party PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou will have meetings in Italy with Romano Prodi and attend two election campaign rallies with Democrats of the Left (DS) party secretary Piero Fassino.
In an event to take place in Trieste and broadcast live on the Italian television, Mr. Papandreou and Mr. Fassino will respond to questions by journalist Maurizio Costanzo on the future of Europe and Socialism.
 THE MINISTRY OF ECONOMY IN THE F.I.N.G. BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGThessaloniki, 31 March 2006 (14:56 UTC+2)
Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis will attend the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece, F.I.N.G., board of directors meeting today.
According to official figures from the General Accounting Office, the state budget deficit dropped 79.4% in the first two months of 2006 compared to the same period last year.
The deficit in the first two months of 2005 compared to 2004 had dropped 51.5%.
The state budget revenues increased 15% and net revenues 17.8%.
 IMPETUS FOR SOLUTIONS IN CALKARome, 31 March 2006 (14:30 UTC+2)
The problems faced by the ethnic Greeks in Calka, Georgia among them, the confiscation of land without compensation, the situation in the region and cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic structures, were discussed in the meeting Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the European People's Party Congress taking place in Rome, Italy.
 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND EMPLOYMENTRome, 31 March 2006 (14:20 UTC+2)
Economic development, productivity and competitiveness should go hand in hand with the creation of new job positions and employment opportunities, social cohesion, better living standards for all people and guarantees for the protection of the environment, stressed Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis speaking in the European People's Party Congress taking place in Rome.
Such a Europe will be responsive to the concerns of its people, stated the prime minister, who underlined that the citizens will not feel alienated from the European vision, following transparent procedures and offering opportunities to all to participate in the process of policy creation and implementation.
The Prime Minister also referred to the front against terrorism stressing that a collective response is necessary. He added that this does not mean that human rights and civil liberties will be compromised. Mr. Karamanlis also said that the EU should be in a position to guarantee the respect of its external borders and territorial integrity.
The situation in the Balkans, Turkey's European course and the problems of Greeks abroad were at the centre of the talks the prime minister had on the sidelines of the EPP Congress with his Serb counterpart, the Austrian chancellor and the president of Georgia.
In the meeting he had with Serb Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica they discussed the Kosovo issue, the state union of Serbia-Montenegro in view of the May referendum and the Greek investments in the country.
With the Austrian Chancellor, who is currently holding the EU Presidency, the talks focused on the Cyprus issue and it was agreed that Mr. Schussel will be briefed on developments concerning Turkey's European course. They reiterated that Turkey should meet all its obligations toward the EU while regarding the European Constitutional Treaty, the Austrian Chancellor outlined the policy he intends to follow stating that careful steps will be made.
Mr. Karamanlis also met with the president of Georgia and discussed the problems faced by the ethnic Greeks in Calka, among them, the confiscation of land without compensation, the situation in the region and cooperation in the Euro-Atlantic structures.
 GREECE'S PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UN ON THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EASTNew York, 31 March 2006 (17:50 UTC+2)
We expect that all sides involved will display political maturity and wisdom, avoid provocative actions and rhetoric and take advantage of the opportunity so that the future of their peoples will be characterized by peace, optimism and prosperity, stressed Greece's permanent representative to the UN, ambassador Adamantios Vasilakis speaking in the UN Security Council meeting yesterday on the situation in the Middle East.
Mr. Vasilakis stated that Greece supports the intervention made by the Austrian representative on behalf of the European Union, pointing out that it is clear that recent developments in the region and specifically, the January elections for the Palestinian Legislative Council and Tuesday's elections in Israel can signal the start of a new political era in the Middle East.
He underlined that all parties involved are well aware of the challenges and opportunities created by this new era. Greece supports the continuation of the efforts aimed at reaching comprehensive, fair and viable peace in the Middle East based on the relevant UN Security Council decisions, including Resolutions 242, 338, 1397 and 1515, and the principles agreed within the framework of the Madrid Summit and the land for peace principle. He added that the two-state solution is being supported for the settlement of the Palestinian problem.
Greece's permanent representative to the UN stated that it is obvious that in order to reach an agreed solution there should be reliable interlocutors on both sides ready to approach the talks in good faith on the basis of mutual respect and recognition.
Mr. Vasilakis pointed out that the international community expects from the new Palestinian government, under the leadership of Hamas, to renounce violence, recognize the right of Israel to exist and respect all previous agreements and understandings, the Road Map included. The Palestinian government will be evaluated based on these criteria both by the international community and the Palestinian people.
In conclusion, he stressed that the new government of Israel, to be formed in the following days, is also called to meet Israel's obligations based on the Road Map and avoid unilateral actions that could forejudge the outcome of the final status negotiations making impossible the implementation of the two-state solution.
 THE MINISTER OF EDUCATION MET WITH THE ARCHBISHOP OF AMERICAWashington, 31 March 2006 (15:48 UTC+2)
Archbishop Dimitrios of America and Minister of Education Marietta Yiannakou met on the sidelines of the 5th annual conference on the Greek-US Relations organized in Washington by the Hellenic American Heritage Council and discussed the role of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and issues concerning the Greek education of the Greek American community.
Ms. Yiannakou characterized Archbishop Dimitrios as a point of reference for the further work that can be done for the benefit of the peoples in general through inter-faith dialogue and the dialogue between State and Churches.
Ms. Yiannakou also underlined that the role of the Church in the United States regarding education was always very strong and that a joint effort is being made through special programs by the Education Ministry which supports the Greek language, the schools and of course, the relation of the first, second, third and fourth generation Greeks with Greek Education and the Greek Orthodox Church.