|Saturday, 16 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-04-06
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BASED ON PROGRAMAthens, 6 April 2005 (12:52 UTC+2)
The European Commission will approve today the updated Stability and Development Program for the Greek economy which covers the period 2004-2007.
It is believed that after the approval the pressures exerted lately on Greece will deescalate as the measures taken recently by the Greek authorities aimed at correcting the excessive deficit are found to be satisfactory in general.
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis expressed optimism regarding deficit reduction and economic development.
Meanwhile, Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis has announced new privatizations.
 THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT TURKEYAthens, 6 April 2005 (13:56 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis will visit Turkey on April 12 and 13 at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul.
During the visit, the two Foreign Ministers will have talks on issues of bilateral cooperation to further promote and strengthen bilateral relations. They will also exchange views on regional and international issues.
 THE JUSTICE MINISTER IN HELSINKIAthens, 6 April 2005 (19:34 UTC+2)
Greek Justice Minister Anastasis Papaligouras will be in Helsinki tomorrow to represent Greece in the 26th Annual Conference of the Council of Europe member states' Justice Ministers.
They will discuss, among others, the quest for a legal solution to the overcharging problems faced by the people, the social mission of the Criminal Justice administration system and the adoption of a new Charter for the European Correctional System.
The Helsinki Conference is held within the framework of the preparatory meetings in view of the Council of Europe Summit meeting to take place in Warsaw in May with the participation of Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis.
 GREEK-ITALIAN COOPERATION MEMORANDUM ON SEA TRANSPORTATIONAthens, 6 April 2005 (19:20 UTC+2)
Greece and Italy signed a cooperation memorandum on inter-European transportation networks and sea avenues. The Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine and the Italian Ministry of Infrastructures and Transportations signed the memorandum representing the governments of the two countries.
The memorandum mainly concerns the participation of as many seaports as possible in the inter-European transportations networks and the construction of major infrastructure projects to improve the Greek seaports.
At the same time, efforts will be made to promote short distance shipping lines and combined transportation in the Mediterranean region, while Greece's role in the wider region will be strengthened.
 GREECE TO SIGN COOPERATION AGREEMENT ON TOURISM WITH AZERBAIJANAthens, 6 April 2005 (19:05 UTC+2)
Greek Minister of Tourism Dimitris Avramopoulos is to sign a tourism sector cooperation agreement with his Azeri counterpart on the occasion of his two-day formal visit to Azerbaijan.
Mr. Avramopoulos departs today and during his visit to Azerbaijan will also have talks with other leading state and political officials.
The Greek Tourism Minister will also visit New Delhi, India to attend the World Travel and Tourism Summit proceedings to take place in the country on April 8-10.
 SEISMIC ACTIVITY IN CHALKIDIKIThessaloniki, 6 April 2005 (14:51 UTC+2)
Three weak earthquakes were recorded in the region between Stagira and Arnea, Chalkidiki, northern Greece.
According to Thessaloniki's Aristotle University Geophysics Laboratory the first two quakes (3.6 and 3.9 magnitude) were recorded last night while the third quake was of 3.8 magnitude and was recorded in the early morning hours today.
The epicenter is located 66 kilometers east of Thessaloniki at the Varvara fault. A strong earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale was recorded in the same region on May 4, 1995 and was felt in Thessaloniki as well.
 "GREEN LIGHT" BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSIONAthens, 6 April 2005 (14:41 UTC+2)
The European Commission gave the green light to the revised Greek Stability and Development Program for the period 2004-2007 ascertaining the adoption of effective measures by the Greek government aimed at reducing deficit below 3% in 2006.
However, in a statement issued by the European Commission is stressed that additional measures might be necessary within the framework of the 2006 budget to bring deficit under 3% of the GDP.
European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, responsible for economic and monetary affairs, congratulated the Greek government today for the strict implementation of the 2005 budget and the additional measures announced.
According to the statement issued today by the European Commission, the 2004-2007 Greek Stability Program predicts that the Greek deficit will drop to 3.7% of the GDP in 2005 and 2.9% in 2006 after rising as high as 6.1% last year.
The fiscal strategy is based on a combination of measures aimed at increasing revenues and reducing expenses to achieve a primary surplus of 0.7% of the GDP in 2005.
However, the European Commission believes that there are risks for the current year and the following ones and calls on Greece to implement the necessary permanent measures to ensure that the excessive deficit will be corrected by 2006.
The updated stability program aims at a deficit of 2.9% of the GDP in 2006. Public debt is expected to drop under 105% of the GDP in 2007.
 AGREEMENT ON THE GREEK CHARACTER OF THE PATRIARCHATE OF JERUSALEMAthens, 6 April 2005 (13:35 UTC+2)
All three parties involved (Jordan, Israel, Palestinian Authority) have pledged that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem will remain Greek, stated Deputy Foreign Minister Panagiotis Skandalakis, who characterized the shielding of the institution of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem as an issue of national importance.
The Greek character of the Patriarchate and the Greek origin of the Patriarch of Jerusalem are of primary importance, stated the Deputy Foreign Minister.
In an interview with the Athens radio station "Flash", Mr. Skandalakis, who is about to visit the region for contacts with Palestinians, Israelis and Jordanians, spoke about the Pariarchate of Jerusalem related events, pointing out that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem must remain above individuals and personal ambitions.