|Friday, 17 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-02-21
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SIMITIS AND PAPANDREOU PREPARED THE GREEK PRESENCE IN SKOPJEAthens, 21 February 2001 (15:09 UTC+2)
Prime minister Kostas Simitis and foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou discussed the plan for peace and stability in the Balkans that it is expected to be presented by the Greek side in the Inter-Balkan Summit Meeting that will be held in Skopje tomorrow.
Mr. Papandreou characterized the summit meeting as a big opportunity for the promotion of inter-Balkan cooperation. He also stressed that the new prospect of the Balkans after the developments in Yugoslavia will be discussed in detail.
Responding to the question if there will be a development on the issue of the name that will be used by FYROM, he clarified that nothing like that is expected and reiterated that the dialogue on the issue continues within the framework of the United Nations.
 THE DRAFT LAW ON ORGANIZED CRIME IS BEING PROCESSEDAthens, 21 February 2001 (18:43 UTC+2)
The new draft law against organized crime and terrorism is being processed and it is expected to be completed in March in order to be tabled in parliament, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas when he was called to comment on a press report concerning the investigation on the assassination of British brigadier Stephen Saunders in Athens last summer by the terrorist organization "17 November".
Mr. Reppas stated that the draft law in question will include regulations for the improvement of police effectiveness when dealing with serious crimes.
 1.500 YOUNG GREEKS WHO LIVE ABROAD WILL VISIT GREECE IN THE SUMMERThessaloniki, 21 February 2001 (17:30 UTC+2)
The prospects of the World Council of Greeks Abroad, SAE, in the 21st century, its reorganization and the new networks that will enrich the organized intervention of the Greeks living abroad to the international environment will be discussed in the SAE presiding board meeting that is being held in Thessaloniki, stated Greek undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis.
Regarding the participation of Greeks living abroad to the 2004 Olympic Games volunteers program, Mr. Niotis stated that a cooperation agreement has been cosigned by the foreign ministry and the "Athens 2004" Organization, adding that the feasible target is to attract 5.000 young Greeks living abroad.
Mr. Niotis also referred to the 1 billion drachmas hospitality program for the Greeks living abroad. Within its framework Greece will be visited by about 1.500 young Greeks from different countries this summer.
 REPPAS ON THE ISSUE OF THE NAME OF FYROMAthens, 21 February 2001 (16:11 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, responding to a question by MPA on the likelihood for a final settlement between Greece and FYROM concerning the name that will be used by this country, stated that a final agreement on the issue during the Inter-Balkan Summit meeting in Skopje is ruled out.
Prime minister Kostas Simitis will meet with his FYROM counterpart on the sidelines of the summit meeting and it is possible that they will discuss the issue of the FYROM name.
The Greek prime minister is also likely to have a meeting with Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit within the framework of his bilateral contacts.
It should be noted that in the meeting Mr. Simitis had yesterday with president Stephanopoulos he stressed the need for the improvement of the Greek-Turkish relations.
 LOSSES WERE RECORDED IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 21 February 2001 (15:56 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to 2.42% at 3.191,84 points, while the volume of transactions was very small at 49.6 billion drachmas or 145.7 million Euro.
Of the stocks trading today, just 24 had gains and 324 recorded losses, while the value of 20 stocks remained stable.
 THE GREEK STUDENTS CONSUME ALCOHOLIC DRINKSThessaloniki, 21 February 2001 (15:43 UTC+2)
A big percentage of the Greek 16yearolds have consumed alcoholic drinks compared to their age-mates in other European countries, according to a research conducted by the Council of Europe ESPAD Group in 1999.
Based on the specific research, 94% of the Greek students stated that they have consumed alcoholic beverages during the past year compared to 83% in the rest European countries. Also, 42% of the Greek students have stated that they have gotten drunk compared to 52% in other European countries.
Equally impressive is the fact that 65% of the 2.205 Greek students, who responded to the questionnaire, said that it is very easy to find cannabis, while 18% stated that this drug can be found even on the school grounds.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS: ALBANIA MUST SAFEGUARD THE GREEK MINORITY RIGHTSIoannina, 21 February 2001 (15:33 UTC+2)
Minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who is on a visit to the northwestern city of Ioannina, sent a message of good neighborly relations, peace and cooperation to Albania, while at the same time he called on its government to safeguard the rights of the Greek minority.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos attended the festivities for the 88th anniversary of the liberation of Ioannina and referred to the problems faced by Epirus, which is regarded as the poorest region in the European Union, pointing out that additional measures must be taken for its development and the elimination of inequalities.
 GREEK-AMERICAN JOHN NEGROPONTE IS THE NEW US PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE IN THE UNWashington, 21 February 2001 (17:10 UTC+2)
US president George Bush chose Greek-American diplomat John Negroponte to be the new US permanent representative to the United Nations.
Outgoing US permanent representative to the UN Richard Halbrooke characterized Mr. Negroponte's appointment as an excellent choice, stressing that he is a fine diplomat and his selection proves that president Bush regards the international organization as a very significant post.
The new US permanent representative has served in difficult embassies and specializes in issues concerning Greece and Cyprus. During his term in the US Consulate in Thessaloniki after the fall of the dictatorship he had the chance to study the problems in the Aegean and Cyprus.