|Monday, 11 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-04-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE GUARANTEES ISSUE IN CYPRUSAthens, 20 April 2004 (14:09 UTC+2)
Consultations are in progress in New York among the UN Security Council members on the resolution proposal on Cyprus submitted by the UN Secretary General and promoted by the United States and Britain.
The meticulous observance of the provisions related with security issues and the timetables included in the overall settlement is characterized of vital importance.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell had telephone communications with Dimitris Christofias, leader of AKEL, the largest political party in Cyprus and Greek opposition party of PASOK leader Giorgos Papandreou.
Cypriot Republic Foreign Minister Giorgos Iakovou is on a visit to Moscow at the invitation of his Russian counterpart.
 KARAMANLIS-ERDOGAN MEETING IN SARAJEVOAthens, 20 April 2004 (13:03 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis will meet with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sarajevo where he is expected later this afternoon to attend the Summit meeting for Cooperation in Southeastern Europe.
The Cyprus issue, the Greek-Turkish relations, Turkey's European prospect and the situation in the Balkans will be among the topics of discussion between the two Prime Ministers with a special emphasis on the developments in the Cyprus issue in view of the referenda for the approval of the Annan Plan scheduled to take place in Cyprus on Saturday.
 KARAMANLIS MET WITH THE GOVERNMENT'S ECONOMIC STAFFAthens, 20 April 2004 (14:29 UTC+2)
The course of the economy was discussed in the meeting Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis had with Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis, Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas, Minister of Environment, Land Planning and Public Works Giorgos Souflias and Minister of Transportation Michalis Liapis.
Mr. Karamanlis was briefed on the figures that are available so far and are going to be discussed in the cabinet meeting tomorrow.
According to information, the deficit was around 3% of the GDP in 2003, while in 2004 is expected to be slightly lower.
Mr. Karamanlis called for measures to cut public spending and increase revenues.
The economic staff is examining sources of revenues that will not result to increased taxation.
In the meeting they also discussed the course of inflation and ways to keep it under control.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 20 April 2004 (17:41 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose notably to +0.71% at 2466.35 points, while the volume of transactions was at 104.3 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 172 had gains and 111 had losses, while the value of 116 stocks remained unchanged.
 GOV'T SPOKESMAN: THE GREEK ECONOMY FACES MANY AND BIG PROBLEMSAthens, 20 April 2004 (17:35 UTC+2)
The Greek economy faces many and big problems and the country's living standards are among the lowest, stated Greek government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos referring to the main points of the presentation made by Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis during the cabinet meeting today.
Mr. Rousopoulos stated that the growth rate in 2003 was at 4.2% and not at 5%, according to the statements made by the main opposition party, while the prediction for 2004 is at 3.7%.
The government spokesman stated that Mr. Alogoskoufis stressed that based on the latest predictions by the European Commission growth rate in 2005 will drop to 3.3%, while at the same time he underlined the big delays in the implementation of the 3rd Community Framework of Support and pointed out the bad shape public finances are in. The government spokesman stated that public deficit in 2003 was almost double compared to the budget assessments made last December reaching 2.95%.
Based on the state budget, public deficit in 2004 was predicted to be at 1.2% of the GDP but according to the figures that are available, significant efforts need to be made for the deficit to be kept under 3% of the GDP in 2004.
Mr. Rousopoulos stated that the main axis of the government policy will be a steady and reliable macro-economic policy that will lead the country to a new era.
 THE IOC MEMBERS ARE VISITING ATHENSAthens, 20 April 2004 (17:13 UTC+2)
A 16-member strong team of IOC staff and experts, led by IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Denis Oswald, is currently in Athens, for a progress review, and to observe and advise on the current programme of test events, as the operational phase of the Games takes on greater and greater importance. Meetings held at the headquarters of the ATHENS 2004 Organising Committee (ATHOC) allowed for a review of the full scope of preparations in areas ranging from city operations to medical services. Further meetings with government ministers have been supplemented by venue tours, allowing for construction progress to be viewed first-hand.
Good progress has been made in a number of key areas since my last visit to Athens less than three weeks ago, said IOC Coordination Commission Chairman Oswald. Then, for example, the huge steel frame was only just in place over the velodrome and now the finished roof is rapidly taking shape. With only 115 days to the Opening Ceremony, I am encouraged to see how much has been completed in such a short time, said Mr. Oswald.
ATHOC President Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki said: We are delighted to welcome the IOC to Athens, to show them first-hand the work being completed, and the operations we are putting in place. The successful sport events just held at the aquatic centrewhere new measures are being deployed to ensure excellent condition for the athletes this summerwere vital steps along the way to what promises to be a unique and historic Games. We look forward to welcoming the full Coordination Commission on 10 May and the prospect of showing them even more impressive progress at that time.
 THESSALONIKI'S BID TO HOST EXPO 2008 HAS THE SUPPORT OF THE GREEK STATE AND POLITICAL LEADERSHIPAthens, 20 April 2004 (16:58 UTC+2)
Bureau International des Exposition, BIE, officials had meetings in Athens today with Parliament President Mrs. Anna Psarouda-Benaki and the leaders of the parties represented in the Greek Parliament before they departed for Thessaloniki on the occasion of Thesaloniki's bid to host EXPO 2008. Their visit to Thessaloniki will be completed on Saturday afternoon after meeting with local authorities and officials.
Mrs. Benaki, in statements she made after the meeting with the foreign officials, expressed the support of the Greek Parliament to the collective national effort to bring EXPO 2008 to Thessaloniki.
The BIE officials also met with opposition party of PASOK leader Giorgos Papandreou, representatives of the Communist Party and Coalition of the Radical Left President Nikos Konstantopoulos.
Yesterday, the BIE officials had meetings with President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis and Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis, while Deputy Minister of Finance Christos Folias gave a working luncheon in their honor with the participation of economic officials.
The BIE officials were very pleased with the presentation of the file of Thessaloniki's bid to host EXPO 2008 that took place in Athens yesterday. Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Nikos Tsiartsionis stated characteristically during the presentation that, when there is hope, there is always success.
 THE CYPRUS ISSUE AND THE GREEK ECONOMY WERE DISCUSSED IN THE CABINET MEETINGAthens, 20 April 2004 (15:35 UTC+2)
The Cyprus issue and the Greek economy were the main subjects in the cabinet meeting held today under Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis.
According to information, the Prime Minister stressed that it is very important to be united the day after the referenda in Cyprus. At the same time, he pointed out that Greece believes that by defending Turkey's European prospect offers a service to the Cyprus issue, both medium-term and long-term.
The cabinet also examined the latest developments in Cyprus and the emerging satisfaction of the demands made by AKEL, the largest political party in Cyprus, regarding the guarantees for the implementation of the Annan Plan.
 THE 24TH ROUND OF THE GREEK-TURKISH CONTACTS TAKES PLACE TOMORROWAthens, 20 April 2004 (15:14 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos announced that the 24th round of the Greek-Turkish exploratory contacts takes place in Ankara tomorrow.
Greece will be represented in the meeting by ambassador Anastasios Skopelitis and Turkish Foreign Ministry General Secretary ambassador Ugul Ziyat.
 THE CREWMEMBERS OF THE "TASMAN SPIRIT" RETURNED TO GREECEAthens, 20 April 2004 (15:03 UTC+2)
Five crewmembers of the oil tanker "Tasman Spirit" returned to Greece from Pakistan last night on board the Greek Prime Minister's aircraft. They had been held in Pakistan for nine months after their ship run aground polluting the country's coasts.
The release of the sailors was achieved after long consultations between the governments of Greece and Pakistan. The sailors arrived in Athens accompanied by Minister of Merchant Marine Yiannis Kefaloyiannis and Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis, who went to Islamabad on Saturday to pick up the five and bring them back to Greece.