|Wednesday, 13 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-04-23
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 KARAMANLIS: NO DISCOUNT TO THE ND PROGRAMAthens, 23 April 2004 (14:03 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis proposed that the New Democracy party congress be held in the second half of July, speaking in the party's Central Committee meeting today, the first after the election victory of March 7.
Mr. Karamanlis thanked the party officials for their efforts that led to the election victory and assured, in a categorical way, that the government will meet all its commitments. He stated that there will be no discount in the party program and stressed that the government is determined to succeed.
He said that the government upgraded the political dialogue, called a meeting of the Political Party Leaders' Council on Cyprus and added that it wants a dialogue with the political parties and production forces and a continuous and two-way communication with society.
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, referring to the Cyprus issue, reiterated the government position that the positive points in the Annan Plan outmatch the negative ones and repeated the firm principle that Cyprus decides and Greece supports.
He said that the reasons are many and concern the day after the referendum and the safeguarding of the unity of Hellenism, adding that if the result of the referendum is yes the government will encourage the implementation of the Annan Plan and if it is a no it will respect it and will do everything to keep open the prospect for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
In any case, the government is firm in the strategy for the improvement and strengthening of the Greek-Turkish relations. He added that Greece wants a European Turkey, backs its European prospect and will back every effort it makes to adjust to the European standards.
On the Olympic Games, he said that Greece will host the most successful and safe Olympics and underlined that there are delays and overshooting of the initial budgets but intensive efforts are being made to face all the problems that arise.
He said that New Democracy inherited many fiscal problems from the government of PASOK that hid the truth and presented a fictitious budget and stressed that the government will proceed with solutions without surprises or confrontations. He also said that the solution of the everyday problems of the people is a firm priority for the government.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that the EU Council of Ministers of Agriculture decision on tobacco, olive oil and cotton is the first major victory of the government, stressing that the government met its commitment to the farmers.
On the role of the Central Committee of New Democracy, he said that it will be a bridge between the government and society and at the same time, it will guarantee the distinct separation of the party and the state.
 THE REFERENDA IN CYPRUS WILL BE HELD TOMORROWAthens, 23 April 2004 (14:36 UTC+2)
Polling booths will be open at 7am tomorrow in Cyprus for the people to decide if they want the Annan Plan for the solution of the problem in the island.
The vote will last until 5pm in the afternoon and it is estimated that about 480,000 Greek Cypriots will participate in the process. The results will be announced at 6pm. The last opinion poll in the Cypriot Republic showed that 65% of the people are in favor of the no.
Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos and AKEL general secretary Dimitris Christofias expressed certainty that there will be another opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
In the interview to all the Cypriot television channels yesterday, Mr. Papadopoulos explained the reasons that led him to back a no vote and responded to the accusations launched by EU Commissioner Gunter Verheugen by stressing that he never agreed or pledged to the adoption of any solution plan.
He also said that he sent a letter to Mr. Verheugen in which he refers to the issue and thanks him for the efforts he made for Cyprus' EU accession.
The Cypriot Republic President stated that he will undertake an initiative himself for the promotion of a number of measures for the support of the Turkish Cypriots and that his interest is focused on the day after with Cyprus as a member of the EU.
Meanwhile, the EU Foreign Ministers Summit meeting will take place on April 26 and Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos will visit Athens on April 27 for talks with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and the political leadership.
 TUZMEN: THE RESULT OF THE REFERENDUM MUST BE RESPECTEDThessaloniki, 23 April 2004 (15:02 UTC+2)
The referendum result in Cyprus must be respected regardless of what it will be, stated Turkish Minister of State Kiursant Tuzmen, responsible for issues of foreign trade.
After the meeting he had with the Board of Directors of Thessaloniki's Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he stated that the result of the referendum must be respected. He said that the Greek-Turkish relations are very good and reliable adding that they will continue to improve and trade will increase, while the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean will be turned into a free trade region.
Referring to the meeting he had with the Board of Directors of Thessaloniki's Chamber of Commerce and Industry he said that it was very positive for the development of bilateral trade and the increase of investments in both sides. He also said that the Greek side requested Turkey's support to its bid to host EXPO 2008 and responded that Turkey will be active on the issue.
Thessaloniki's Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Dimitris Bakatselos stated that the cooperation potential between the two sides was discussed in detail as well as the Greek-Turkish economic relations.
 SKANDALAKIS MET WITH THE UKRAINIAN FOREIGN MINISTERAthens, 23 April 2004 (19:01 UTC+2)
Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis, responsible for issues concerning the Greeks living abroad and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Konstyantyn Gryshchencko discussed issues concerning Greece's relations with Ukraine in the meeting they had in Athens today.
Mr. Skandalakis referred to the Greek community in Ukraine, which contributes actively to the country's progress and stressed that the Black Sea Hellenism is a bridge of friendship and cooperation between Greece and Ukraine.
They also discussed issues concerning the prospects of cooperation between the European Union and Ukraine.
Mr. Skandalakis assured the Ukrainian Foreign Minister that Greece will support the European prospect of Ukraine. They also discussed issues concerning the imminent visit of Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma to Greece on May 17-20.
 THE JUNE-NOVEMBER PERIOD IS CRUCIAL FOR THESSALONIKI'S BID TO HOST EXPO 2008Thessaloniki, 23 April 2004 (18:50 UTC+2)
Greece's national goal concerning Thessaloniki's bid to host EXPO 2008 will be judged at the diplomatic chessboard as it appears that the city has passed successfully the exhaustive tests the city's file underwent by the International Bureau des Expositions, BIE, officials currently visiting the city.
The BIE representatives, who are in Greece since Sunday, have not revealed the exact results of the evaluation of the Greek file. Their decision will be announced on May 21 when they will submit the formal findings on the three candidate cities Thessaloniki, Trieste and Zaragoza to the BIE executive committee.
Therefore, the most crucial period for Thessaloniki and its two co-candidate cities will be from June 23, when the executive committee will submit its own report to the BIE general assembly, until early November.
 MESSAGE BY THE MAYOR OF THESSALONIKI ON THE HOLOCAUST OF THE CITY'S JEWSThessaloniki, 23 April 2004 (18:25 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki is on the side of the Jewish community, stressed Thessaloniki mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos in a message on the anniversary of the holocaust of the city's Jews.
The mayor referred to the tortures and persecutions suffered by the Jews of Thessaloniki and stressed that Thessaloniki has mourned, honored and continues to honor its Jewish citizens who were so unfairly lost, the young Jews and the progressive and distinguished people who had worked hard to make the city great and prosperous.
 SPILIOTOPOULOS: READY FOR THE DAY AFTER IN THE CYPRUS ISSUEAthens, 23 April 2004 (18:10 UTC+2)
Greek Minister of Defense Spilios Spiliotopoulos in statements he made in the central Greek city of Halkida on the occasion of Saint Georgios feast, the patron saint of the Greek armed forces, stressed that the government is ready for the day after in the Cyprus issue after tomorrow's referenda in the island.
The celebrations in Halkida were held in the presence of President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.
Mr. Spiliotopoulos pointed out that the government waits for the outcome of the two referenda tomorrow and then it will be able to draw up the policy that will follow.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE CYPRUS ISSUEAthens, 23 April 2004 (17:50 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos, commenting on tomorrow's referendum in Cyprus, expressed the certainty that the Cypriot people will make the decision on how they want to live with prudence, insight and a sense of responsibility.
He also said that the referendum result will not affect the course of the Greek-Turkish relations and stressed that the firm position of New Democracy is the improvement of the Greek-Turkish relations and the support of Turkey's European prospect to which the Cypriot leadership also agrees.
Mr. Rousopoulos stated that after the referendum there will be consultations between Cyprus and Greece to determine their future moves, adding that Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos will be in Athens on Wednesday. He also stated that the support toward the Turkish Cypriots is placed within the framework of the European Union.
Called to comment on the newspaper article signed by former Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, criticizing the way the government handled the Cyprus issue, Mr. Rousopoulos pointed out that the Greek government entered the negotiations in Lucerne with a sense of responsibility and succeeded in raising the issue earlier in the Brussels Summit meeting and putting it on the agenda as well as having a statement issued both within the framework of the EU conclusions and the negotiations in Lucerne. He also stated that the Cypriot President has thanked the Prime Minister publicly for the Greek government's contribution.
 SMALL GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 23 April 2004 (17:07 UTC+2)
Small gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.23% at 2522.25 points, while the volume of transactions was at 180.1 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 153 had gains and 133 had losses, while the value of 96 stocks remained unchanged.
 TSITOURIDIS: THE MEDITERRANEAN PRODUCTS WILL RECEIVE STEADY SUBSIDIES UNTIL 2013Athens, 23 April 2004 (16:48 UTC+2)
The production web for the Mediterranean products in Greece has been saved for at least a decade, while for the same period of time the income and EU subsidies for the Greek producers of tobacco, cotton and olive oil have been secured. In certain cases subsidies will be increased.
The statement was made today by Minister of Agriculture Savvas Tsitouridis after the meeting he had with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis to brief him on the outcome of the negotiations in the EU Council of Ministers of Agriculture in Luxembourg.
Responding to the question on whether the subsidies will remain unchanged until 2013, Mr. Tsitouridis pointed out that subsidies will remain as they are and in certain cases will be higher, adding that all negative proposals were overturned and this allows for optimism even after the ten-year period.
 VALINAKIS ON THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION OPINION REGARDING CROATIA'S CANDIDACY FOR EU MEMBERSHIPAthens, 23 April 2004 (16:07 UTC+2)
On the occasion of the opinion of the European Commission regarding Croatia's candidacy for EU membership, Deputy Foreign Minister responsible for European Affairs, Mr. Yiannis Valinakis, made the following statement:
We welcome with great pleasure the positive content of the opinion of the Commission regarding the EU accession application of Croatia, which was deposited in Athens in February 2003, during the Greek Presidency. It is an historic moment for our neighboring country and an important step for the European prospects of all the countries in the Western Balkans, which Greece continues to support steadily.
At the same time it reveals the successful EU policy in the region and the progress made during the past years specifically within the Stabilization and Association Process, the upgrading of which is a basic priority of the Greek foreign policy.
The Greek government understands the remarks and conclusions of the Commission's opinion. It will require constant and intensified efforts by Croatia in order to achieve the known and specific targets pointed out by the Commission in order to achieve the goal of future integration into the European family.
We wish the government and people of Croatia success in this major effort, and confirm that Greece will continue to help them, as well as all the other countries in the region that have a future place in the European family.