|Sunday, 17 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-04-15
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS COUNCILAthens, 15 April 2004 (15:49 UTC+2)
The Greek Presidency issued a statement after the four-hour long meeting of the Political Party Leaders Council held today under President Kostis Stephanopoulos on the developments in Cyprus and the referenda of April 24.
The statement includes a simple description of the procedure that was followed in the meeting held with the participation of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Socialist Party of PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou, Communist Party General Secretary Aleka Papariga and Coalition of Radical Left Party President Nikos Konstantopoulos.
According to the statement, the political party leaders presented their parties' views on the Annan Plan in detail and expressed their speculations on the political developments after the referendum and the decision of the Cypriot people.
During the meeting they expressed useful and important views aimed at serving the national interest. The political party leaders will present themselves to the Greek people their views on the Annan Plan, the referendum and the day after.
The statement concludes that the Prime Minister thanked the leaders of the opposition for their meaningful contribution to the drawing up of the country's foreign policy.
 DISCREET "YES" TO THE ANNAN PLANAthens, 15 April 2004 (17:05 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis adopted a stance including elements in favor of the Annan Plan reiterating, however, that Cyprus decides and Greece supports when he described the position of the Greek government after the Political Party Leaders Council meeting held today under President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.
Mr. Karamanlis pointed out that there are positive elements and difficulties in the Annan Plan. However, he stressed characteristically that the positive points could be proved to be more important than the negative ones and added that it should be examined calmly how we can make use of the positive points in the Annan Plan. He also suggested that injustices should not be allowed to stop us from having a long-term perspective, stressing that he believes deeply in the power of the European reality.
Expressing the Greek government's respect to the principle Cyprus decides and Greece supports, Mr. Karamanlis pointed out that the ultimate responsibility for the future of their country lays with the Cypriot people, underlining that Greece will respect their decisions and be by their side.
On the likely outcome of the referendum, he stated that in case of a yes Greece will support the new state in its first steps, while in the case of a no it will contribute to the continuation of the efforts for the rapprochement of the two communities.
Mr. Karamanlis defended the government stance to avoid adopting a position on the issue earlier by saying that more time had to be given to the political forces in Cyprus to present their own positions.
Referring to the Lucerne procedure, he said that it was impossible to reach an agreement but pointed out that improvements were made in certain points of the plan.
He suggested that scare-mongering should be avoided, stressing that the free will of the Cypriot people will not be served by exerting pressures and called for the preservation of the unity of Hellenism.
The Prime Minister made a special reference to the Greek-Turkish relations saying that they should be improved and strengthened. He also backed Turkey's European course.
 CLEAR "NO" TO THE ANNAN PLAN BY THE COMMUNIST PARTYAthens, 15 April 2004 (19:27 UTC+2)
Greek Communist Party General Secretary Aleka Papariga reiterated the party's stance for clear no to the Annan Plan for the solution of the Cyprus problem, in a statement she made after the Political Party Leaders Council meeting held today under President Kostis Stephanopoulos on the developments in Cyprus.
Mrs. Papariga stated that the Greek Communist Party supports a conscious no that rejects any thought or idea of nationalism and chauvinism. This no is a yes to the common interests of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, said Mrs. Papariga.
Mrs. Papariga stated that the Annan Plan creates an international protectorate in the road of oil in the Mediterranean to the Middle East, adding that this will be an even worse protectorate than those in Kosovo and Bosnia. It will be an international tripartitioned protectorate, said Mrs. Papariga.
On the Political Party Leaders Council meeting held today, she said that a true exchange of views took place.
Mrs. Papariga also expressed the support of the Communist Party to the Cypriot people regardless of the outcome of the referendum.
 PAPANDREOU CALLS ON THE GOVERNMENT TO UNDERTAKE INITIATIVESAthens, 15 April 2004 (19:09 UTC+2)
Opposition Socialist Party of PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou issued an appeal to the government to undertake initiatives at European and UN level for the implementation of what was decided in Lucerne and support the proposal for the postponement of the referenda, in a statement he made after the Political Party Leaders Council meeting held today under President Kostis Stephanopoulos.
Mr. Papandreou criticized the government for the stance it has adopted in the Cyprus problem and defended the stance adopted by PASOK.
Regarding the Political Party Leaders Council meeting, he pointed out that a sincere exchange of views took place and pointed out that the Cypriot people know how hard he has worked himself for Cyprus, its EU accession and the solution of the Cyprus problem. He added that he wants the Cypriot people to know that he will always be by their side regardless of the outcome of the referendum.
The President of PASOK criticized the government because it did not launch consultations before the Lucerne meeting, adopted a neutral position and did not express its position on the issue of the referendum timely. He also criticized it by saying that it created a climate of defeatism and promoted the dogma Cyprus decides and Greece supports.
He defended his party's choices by saying that PASOK adopted a responsible position, which is confirmed by the stance that appears to be forming. He said that he is happy because it appears that a wider consensus is being formed and a strong majority of the political forces is in favor of a positive stance toward the Annan Plan.
Mr. Papandreou also stated that PASOK evaluated the positive and the negative points in the Annan Plan and especially, evaluated Cyprus' EU course, adding that the stance adopted by the party should not be interpreted as a pressure. He said that PASOK has presented its stance for the Cypriot political parties to evaluate it positively or negatively.
 THE COALITION OF THE RADICAL LEFT PARTY CALLS FOR THE POSTPONEMENT OF THE REFERENDAAthens, 15 April 2004 (17:46 UTC+2)
Coalition of the Radical Left Party President Nikos Konstantopoulos expressed his party's total support to the position expressed by the AKEL Party in Cyprus calling for the postponement of the referenda on the Annan Plan for a few months. Mr. Konstantopoulos made the statement after the Political Party Leaders Council meeting held today under the President of the Republic to examine the developments in Cyprus.
Mr. Konstantopoulos stated that his party supports the initiative and position of AKEL seeking the postponement of the referenda and stated that if they were postponed for a few months, people could be better informed and certain points could be corrected related with the functionality of the Annan Plan.
Mr. Konstantopoulos called on the government to undertake initiatives to satisfy the postponement request.
Referring to the Annan Plan, Mr. Konstantopoulos said that it is not the worst compared to those proposed in the past and added that it has its positive and its negative points, includes risks, as well as previsions that can develop a positive momentum.
On the solution of the Cyprus problem, he reiterated that it must be a solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with a state entity and an international identity. No diplomatic solution under the current conditions could bring things back to where they were before 1974. No diplomatic solution can underestimate or downgrade the situations that have been created, he stated characteristically.
 SMALL GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 15 April 2004 (17:10 UTC+2)
Small gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.19% at 2445.20 points, while the volume of transactions was at 100.6 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 132 had gains and 147 had losses, while the value of 120 stocks remained unchanged.
 RESCUE OF SIX FRENCH CLIMBERS TRAPPED IN A RAVINEAthens, 15 April 2004 (14:40 UTC+2)
Six French climbers were rescued in the mountainous region of Iti in Lamia, central Greece. The six climbers, three men and three women, were trapped in a ravine and according to the rescue crews they are in a good shape.
The French climbers were trapped in the ravine yesterday morning because they miscalculated the volume of the water.
 URANIUM DEPOSITS IN NORTHERN GREECEThessaloniki, 15 April 2004 (13:37 UTC+2)
Significant uranium deposits estimated at 10,000 tons were located by the Geological and Mineral Research Institute in the prefectures of Drama and Serres, as well as in other regions in northern Greece.
According to a study, conducted by the institute and presented within the framework of the 10th International Conference of the Greek Geological Society, the subsoil in Greece and the underwater regions in the Aegean Sea hide large uranium deposits which can be used by Greece in the case of a world energy crisis.
The uranium deposits in Drama, Serres and other regions in northern Greece are estimated at 10,000 tons, while the confirmed uranium deposits are 1,525 tons.