|Sunday, 17 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-04-02
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE RUMORS ON THE RESIGNATION OF THE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT ARE UNFOUNDEDAthens, 2 April 2004 (21:49 UTC+2)
The rumors that circulated in Athens on the alleged resignation of Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos were denied categorically.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Giorgos Iakovou speaking to Mega television station denied the rumors and stressed that such allegations are completely unfounded.
According to the television station, a close associate of the Cypriot President has also denied the rumors.
The Greek government denied the rumors as well and government sources pointed out that there is no information or indication suggesting that President Papadopoulos has resigned.
PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou, who had a telephone communication earlier with President Papadopoulos, stated that he has no such information.
 ABOUT 2,000 PEOPLE ARE KILLED IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS EACH YEARAthens, 2 April 2004 (18:38 UTC+2)
An estimated 2,000 individuals are killed each year and 30,000 are injured in traffic accidents across the country, according to figures that were given to publicity by the Children Accidents Prevention Center on the occasion of a one-day conference it co-organizes with the Municipality of Athens.
Regarding the identity of the traffic accident victims in Greece, 6 out of 10 are car drivers, while 1 out of 3 are pedestrians or bicyclists. Greece has the highest mortality rate in traffic accidents and most victims are young males aged 15-24.
For the record, a total of 160 billion euros are spent in the European Union to deal with the consequences of traffic accidents.
 GREEKS ARE HEAVY SMOKERSThessaloniki, 2 April 2004 (18:12 UTC+2)
According to a European study conducted by Star Bank, the per capita cigarette consumption in Greece is at 3,010 cigarettes on an annual basis. Based on the calculations, the Greeks hold the record in cigarette smoking in the EU given the fact that to every Greek correspond about 8 cigarettes a day.
The constantly increasing cigarette consumption by the estimated 4 million smokers is reflected by the turnover increase recorded in the five Greek tobacco industries, which recorded an increase of 18% in 2002 reaching 437 million euros.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 2 April 2004 (17:44 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.56% at 2372.77 points, while the volume of transactions was at 102.4 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 147 had gains and 141 had losses, while the value of 108 stocks remained unchanged.
 PRIME MINISTER KARAMANLIS IS SATISFIED WITH THE DISCUSSION IN PARLIAMENTAthens, 2 April 2004 (16:45 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis expressed satisfaction for the good atmosphere during the discussion in Parliament on the developments in Cyprus and thanked all the political party leaders for their contribution.
Mr. Karamanlis responded positively to the request made by PASOK leader Giorgos Papandreou to activate the National Council of Foreign Policy and stressed that this is self-evident given the fact that New Democracy had backed its activation.
Addressing the leader of opposition party of PASOK, he stated that he has not only the right but the obligation to criticize the government, however, when this happens during crucial negotiations and when the Prime Minister is abroad, like in Lucerne, it does not help.
Responding to criticism that the government avoids to assume the political cost, he stated characteristically that if he had calculated political cost he would not be present in the negotiations.
He added that the government avoided making many statements in Lucerne and he made a statement at the end that reflected the real picture.
Mr. Karamanlis also reiterated that he regards as very important the Political Party Leaders' Council meeting chaired by the President of the Republic.
 KONSTANTOPOULOS: IN FAVOR OF A BI-COMMUNAL, BI-ZONAL SOLUTIONAthens, 2 April 2004 (16:19 UTC+2)
Coalition of Radical Left President Nikos Konstantopoulos, speaking in Parliament today on the developments in Cyprus, reiterated that there is a need for a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation solution in Cyprus with a single international identity, sovereignty and nationality.
Mr. Konstantopoulos expressed concern on the issue and stated that he will participate in the Political Party Leaders' Council meeting under the President of the Republic.
He said that the Coalition of the Radical Left Party had predicted that there were going to be pressures exerted on the Greek and the Greek Cypriot sides and stated that mistakes were made in New York because the benefits offered by the prospect of Cyprus' EU accession were overrated.
Mr. Konstantopoulos underlined that these are historic moments and added that today's developments will be considered taking under consideration that for the past 30 years there is a de facto partition of the island as a result of the invasion and occupation and the presence of the Turkish forces on the northern part of Cyprus.
 PAPARIGA: DEVELOPMENTS WERE NOT DECIDED IN LUCERNEAthens, 2 April 2004 (15:56 UTC+2)
The course of events on Cyprus was not decided in Lucerne but years ago, stated Communist Party General Secretary Aleka Papariga speaking in Parliament today during the discussion on the developments in Cyprus.
Mrs. Papariga characterized as positive the fact that the procedure in Lucerne at least was not completed with the signatures of the Greek government and the Cypriot political parties under the Annan Plan text. She also stated that regardless of the outcome of the referendums in Cyprus the Greek Communist Party will stand by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots with all its powers.
Mrs. Papariga stated that the Communist Party will express its opinion clearly, adding that if a solution is unfair and risky it is not important if it will be a viable one. She stated that the Communist Party wants a fair and viable solution within a balanced framework taking under consideration the current conditions.
The Communist Party General Secretary stated that the Lucerne procedure was nothing new and pointed out that the Cyprus issue was buried years ago. He blamed both PASOK and New Democracy because they did not raise a critical voice when they were in government or as the opposition.
Mrs. Papariga stressed that two events contributed to the de-internationalization of the Cyprus problem saying characteristically that in the G-8 meeting in 1999 it was decided that the Cyprus problem is a problem that concerns only two sides. This way, said Mrs. Papariga, the framework was created for a settlement like the Annan Plan, while today's developments were in essence launched in Helsinki in 1999.
 PAPANDREOU: YES TO THE POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS' COUNCIL MEETINGAthens, 2 April 2004 (15:15 UTC+2)
Opposition Socialist Party of PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou speaking in Parliament today characterized as positive the proposal of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis for a meeting of the Political Party Leaders' Council on the developments in Cyprus that will be chaired by President Kostis Stephanopoulos.
Mr. Papandreou also called for the activation of the National Council of Foreign Policy, the constitutionally established body, which has already operated in the past few months during the detailed discussion on the issue of the Annan Plan and the prospects for a solution in Cyprus.
The President of PASOK criticized the government and stated that he expected a more meaningful negotiation during the talks in Lucerne, adding that Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis contacted the political parties and briefed them on the developments after the completion of the negotiations. Mr. Papandreou also criticized the government for its positions, according to which the decisions are made by Cyprus and Greece backs them.
Mr. Papandreou stressed that Greece has a viewpoint and must tell the truth. He suggested calm and poise and underlined that all aspects of the Annan Plan need to be examined taking under consideration the common future of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot people, as well as the negative consequences in the case problem is not solved.
He defended the policy followed by the Simitis government on the Cyprus issue and underlined that his party will express its view with determination without considering political cost.
 THE PRESIDENT OF CYPRUS DENIED THE HURRIYET NEWS REPORTNicosia, 2 April 2004 (16:57 UTC+2)
The Cypriot Republic President spokesman denied at noon today a news report on the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.
According to the news report, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos had suggested to Turkish Cypriot pseudo-state Foreign Minister Serdar Denktash on March 30 to walk out of the talks in Lucerne together.