|Wednesday, 20 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-07-23
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PASOK: MESSAGE FOR THE 26TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATING THE RETURN OF DEMOCRACY IN GREECEAthens, 23 July 2000 (19:30 UTC+2)
"The 24th of July is a landmark for modern Greek democracy, a day which brings national independence, freedom, democracy and social justice to the forefront, a day for all citizens who gave their lives to the fight against the military junta to remember". This is the message passed on by the President of the Pasok party, Kostas Simitis for tomorrow's 26th anniversary of the resoration of democracy in Greece.
The Prime Minister's message also mentions that, 26 years after the fall of the seven year dictatorship which reached a climax with the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, there is no longer a danger of a coup. Democratic institutions have been installed and strengthened and democratic laws have been consolidated, as has the popular sovereignty.
Mr Simitis stressed that Greece in the 21st century is a strong country with a healthy economy and international recognition with a stable democracy, which has succeeded in bilaterally participating in economic and monetary unions, thus securing the country's participation and solidarity within the community.
The government continued its message by promoting the even faster development, social participation and solidarity of Greece, as well as the creation of a modern and viable state, the fight against unemployment, the upgrading of education and health, the modernization of the Greek community for greater democracy and stronger institutions for the benefit of the country's citizens.
Finally, it is worth noting that "the Greece of the 21st century that Pasok and our government envisages, will be a better, fairer, more democratic and stronger Greece. Greek men and women will achieve this with unity and hard work".
 GERMAN VICTORY FOR PANATHINAIKOSKrefeld, 23 July 2000 (18:38 UTC+2)
Panathinaikos enjoyed a 1-0 victory over its opponent Fortuna Dusseldorf, during the Yayla Cup mini tournament being held in Germany, despite having lost its last match against Armenia with the same score.
The winning goal was made by Igor Sipnievski in the third minute of the match, putting the Greek team ahead of its German opponent, who is now playing in the third category of the championship.
Both 45 minute halves of the match left the "greens" looking tired, as a result of the demanding preparation training that they are currently undergoing.
The "greens" will play against Turkish team Trabzonsport on Sunday, who is expected to have 3.000 fans cheering its members on. If the Greek teams continues its winning streak, it will reach the tournament's semi-finals.
 MANAGER OF SPARTI FIRE BRIGADE DIES IN HOSPITALÁthens, 23 July 2000 (19:32 UTC+2)
The manager of the fire brigade department of Sparti, Elias Gatsios, lost his life today at the age of 48, whilst being nursed at the 401 military hospital in Athens.
Mr Gatsios, who has left behind two adolescent children, was injured on June 14th, during attempts to extinguish the fire that had escalated at Tripi Taigetou. He was struck by a falling rock and underwent a spleen removing operation shortly afterwards.
The unlucky fireman was transferred to the 401 military hospital due to the gravity of his condition, where he was put in intensive care following two more surgical operations. His death was caused by heart failure.
 26 YEARS OF GREEK DEMOCRACY: KARAMANLIS PASSES ON MESSAGEAthens, 23 July 2000 (19:03 UTC+2)
"Democracy in our country today, twenty six years after its restoration, is stronger and more solid than ever before. The parliamentary system has been permanently consolidated and no force can pull apart its democratic institutions. The contribution made by all political forces to the strengthening and expansion of democracy is indisputable and is today catholic, thanks to the great leaders during the period of political changeover, Konstantinos Karamanlis and Andrea Papandreou".
This was the essential message passed on by the President of the New Democracy opposition party, Kostas Karamanlis, for tomorrow's 26th anniversary of the restoration of democracy in Greece.
However, the New Democracy leader underlined that "forces and relations that pose a threat to the quality and basic elements of democracy, have developed recently", adding that "for this reason, new efforts must be made to strengthen state institutions".
He further stressed that the issue concerning the revision of the Constitution "is a challenge for the country's political forces".
 GREEK AUTHORITIES CATCH ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS SMUGGLERAthens, 23 July 2000 (18:40 UTC+2)
A circle involved in the transportation of illegal immigrants, currently holding twenty seven illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan in various houses in the area of Kolonou, has been caught by the Greek authorities.
Mohammed Reaz from Pakistan was arrested and charged with smuggling illegal immigrants into the country from Turkey, via Evros, in a truck. Reaz gained 1000 dollars for every immigrant he successfully smuggled into Greece.
 HOBACH TO MEDIATE IN ISSUE OF GREEK-BULGARIAN BORDER CROSSINGSSofia, 23 July 2000 (18:39 UTC+2)
General coordinator of the Stability Pact for Northeastern Europe, Bodo Hobach, has committed himself to the position of mediator in the problems surrounding the construction of the three new Greek-Bulgarian border crossings.
In a press interview held in the Bulgarian city Smolian, together with the Bulgarian minister of Finance, Mouravey Radev and the minister of Development and Land Planning, Evgeni Tsatsev, Mr Hobach announced his decision to hold talks with the Greek government from next week onwards, with the aim of solving the problems related to the opening of the three new border crossings between Bulgaria and Greece.
The Bulgarian minister of Development and Land Planning, declared that the possibility of financing the construction of two border crossings between Rudozem and Makaza would be discussed at the second Stability Pact meeting, due to be held this autumn.
 GREEK AMBASSADOR TO SOFIA COMMENTS ON EFFECTS OF SIMITIS VISITSofia, 23 July 2000 (18:33 UTC+2)
The talks held recently between Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostof and his Greek counterpart Kostas Simitis provided a good opportunity not only for the exchange of views on issues affecting both countries but also for the strengthening of stability and security in the region, according to the Greek Ambassador to Sofia, Michalis Christides.
During an interview aired on Bulgaria's state-owned radio, Mr Christides stressed the importance of broadening bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various areas and also mentioned the importance of the recent visit made by Mr Simitis to Plovdif (Philippoupolis).
When asked if "Greek-Bulgarian relations have entered a new phase of development, for the sake of achieving a unified Balkan security system, especially following the start of Bulgaria's negotiations with the European Union for candidacy", Mr Christiades replied that "Bulgaria's candidacy negotiations with the EU will naturally transform the country's relations with Greece, as Greece is not only a neighbouring country, but also a member of the European Union".
As far as Bulgaria's entry into the EU is concerned, the Greek ambassador to Sofia remarked that "not only will it benefit Bulgaria but Greece as well, as it will contribute to the strengthening of stability and security in the Balkan region, adding that "Greece wants Bulgaria to be removed from the Schengen black list as soon as possible".
According to Mr Christiades, "Greece will provide the 62 million dollars promised to Bulgaria by Mr Simitis during his trip to Plovdif, to be used for the realization of infrastructure projects".
He placed especial importance on Greek investments in Bulgaria, which "have recently exceeded the 500 million dollar mark, following the buying out of the Bulgarian United Bank by the National Bank of Greece. In his opinion "the interest held by Greek enterprises in Bulgaria is directed at all sectors, but mainly at the food, telecommunication and construction industries.
Finally, Mr Christiades stated that the "supplementary protocol made to avoid double taxation between Sofia and Athens will attract new Greek enterprises to the Bulgarian market". He also expressed the hope that "following the latest talks between the two Prime Ministers, there will be more room for close cooperation and strategic plans between Bulgaria and Greece".