|Sunday, 17 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-04-12
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 POLITICAL AGREEMENT FOR THE BURGAS-ALEXANDROUPOLIS OIL PIPELINESofia, 12 April 2005 (12:46 UTC+2)
Greece, Russia and Bulgaria sign a political agreement in Sofia today for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.
The Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline will be 285 kilometers long and is expected to cost about 750 million euros becoming a supplementary gate and an alternative way through for the 100 million tons of Russian oil that cross Bosporus every year.
The joint venture Hellenic Petroleum and the Latsis-Kopelouzos Groups will participate in the project's construction on Greece's part, while the likelihood of participation of other companies is open according to the interest expressed.
The agreement will be signed by the responsible ministers of the three countries and will mark the completion of negotiations that lasted 12 years and the opening of talks aimed at settling important details.
The construction of the project will last about 2 years and its annual capacity will be 35 million tons of oil.
The Russian side will participate in the construction of the project with the companies Transneft, Stroytransgas, Yukos and ÔÍÊ-ÂÑ while the Bulgarian side will participate probably with the company Neftochem.
 STEPS TOWARD NORMALIZATIONAthens, 12 April 2005 (13:23 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis, who is on a visit to Ankara, in an interview with the Turkish news agency Anadolu characterized as an important step toward the normalization of the Greek-Turkish relations the proposal by Turkish National Assembly President Bulent Arinc to lift the casus belli.
Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in an interview with the Athens daily TO VIMA stated that Greece and Turkey can regard themselves as partners, while he also said that an effort is made to reach a solution leading to the reopening of the Theology School of Halki.
Mr. Gul also said that the move by the Turkish National Assembly President to support the lifting of the casus belli in case of an expansion of the Greek territorial waters in the Aegean displays the feelings of the Turkish National Assembly and the Turkish people.
 THE ACTING GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE NIMETZ PROPOSALAthens, 12 April 2005 (17:19 UTC+2)
Acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros stated that Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis briefed the Prime Minister and the cabinet like he had to regarding the UN mediator Matthew Nimetz proposal on the name of FYROM.
Regarding the Nimetz letter, Mr. Antonaros reiterated that it is a text and not an agreement. It includes the UN mediator's proposals which if accepted by both sides will be the basis for negotiation.
Responding to the question if the Greek side intends to exercise its veto power blocking FYROM's accession into the EU and NATO in case there is no solution to the name issue, Mr. Antonaros pointed out that the adoption of a mutually acceptable solution on the name issue will improve bilateral relations, strengthen stability in the region and have a favorable effect on the FYROM efforts to become a member of the EU and NATO.
Mr. Antonaros added that the third countries for the first time after years since the opening of negotiations have the opportunity to see who is a reliable interlocutor and which country is willing to hold meaningful negotiations.
The acting government spokesman stressed that at this moment, initiatives are in the hands of Mr. Nimetz who has imposed a black out on public statements on the issue. He said that Greece waits for Mr. Nimetz, who is having the contacts with the two sides, to present his stance.
 THE ACTING GOV'T SPOKESMAN ON THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTIONAthens, 12 April 2005 (16:38 UTC+2)
We have adopted a clear position on the issue of the European Constitution ratification. The government does not believe that there will be a reason to hold a referendum after the expected ratification of the European Constitution by the Parliament. The above stated acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros when asked to comment on the demand to hold a referendum expressed by the three political parties of the opposition represented in Parliament.
Mr. Antonaros reminded that the previous governments had stated that there is no reason for a referendum and referred to the statement made by former Prime Minister Costas Simitis in 1998 according to which, Greece's firm policy is that issues concerning international treaties are ratified not through referendums but through procedures provided by Parliament. He concluded that such initiatives serve other purposes and there is no reason for the people to go to the polls for a third time in 14 months.
 THE EU IS SATISFIED WITH THE GREEK MEASURESAthens, 12 April 2005 (15:20 UTC+2)
Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who is currently holding the EU Finance Ministers Council Presidency, expressed satisfaction regarding the efforts of the Greek government aimed at reducing the fiscal deficit under 3% of the GDP. He made the statement in a press conference on the occasion of the Eurogroup meeting last evening.
Meanwhile, European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, responsible for monetary affairs, stated that Greece has complied with the European decisions.
Specifically, Mr. Juncker stated that the Greek government makes serious efforts aimed at cutting deficit, stressing that Greece responds to the recommendations made by the Council during the previous months.
He reiterated the view of the Council and the European Commission that no new supplementary measures are needed pointing out that the intention of the Greek government is to take additional measures only if this is deemed necessary.
European Commissioner Almunia stated that there is determination on behalf of the Greek government to execute the 2005 budget adding that apart from the strict implementation of the 2005 budget he expects new measures for the year 2006.
 SKOPJE REJECTS THE NIMETZ PROPOSALAthens, 12 April 2005 (14:44 UTC+2)
The letter by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz on the name under which FYROM will be recognized was given to the Greek political parties under the precondition to respect its confidential nature.
The FYROM Prime Minister insisted yesterday in the solution of the issue on the basis of the double formula.
No issue of consensus was raised over the text, stated Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos.
The President of the World Council for Greeks Abroad, SAE, stated that any decision made by Greece will have the support of the Pan-Macedonian Associations and Federations.
No comment by Skopje on the meeting of UN mediator Nimetz with FYROM ambassador to the UN Mr. Dimitrov.
According to statements made by acting government spokesman Vangelis Antonaros, Athens believes that Skopje will not accept the proposal.
 "GREEN LIGHT" TO THE STABILITY PROGRAMAthens, 12 April 2005 (14:09 UTC+2)
The ECOFIN Council is expected to give a green light to the revised stability and development program for the Greek economy, which got the European Commission approval on April 6.
The program is expected to win more European Union praises especially for the tax measures announced recently aimed at putting public debt under control.
The ECOFIN will examine the negotiating framework for the new funds coming from the Community Support Frameworks for the period 2007-2013 as well as the taxation of bank accounts and the special consumer taxes on alcoholic beverages.
 TURKISH PATROL BOAT NEAR IMIAAthens, 12 April 2005 (13:35 UTC+2)
A Turkish patrol boat violated the Greek territorial waters today approaching the rocky islet of Imia in the Aegean Sea at 9 am. The patrol boat was initially at a distance of several hundred meters but later it came as close as 500 meters.
Until 1 pm the Turkish boat remained immobilized at a small distance from the islet under the watchful eyes of the crewmembers of a Greek Coast Guard vessel and a Greek Navy ship.
 HISTORIC MEMORANDUMSofia, 12 April 2005 (17:39 UTC+2)
Greece, Bulgaria and Russia cosigned the Political Memorandum on the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline in Sofia, Bulgaria today.
Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas signed the Political Memorandum on behalf of Greece and stressed that this is a historic moment in the relations of Greece, Bulgaria and Russia.
The Russian Minister of Industry and Energy and the Bulgarian Minister of Regional Development, Land Planning and Public Works were the other two cosignatories. The ceremony was held in the presence of the Bulgarian Prime Minister.
The Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline will be 285 kilometers-long and it is estimated to cost about 750 million euros serving as a supplementary gate and an alternative way through for the 100 million tons of Russian oil that cross Bosporus annually.