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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-04-14

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


CONTENTS

  • [01] CRISIS AVERTED
  • [02] THE NIMETZ PROPOSAL IS STILL ALIVE
  • [03] DIALOGUE ON THE SOCIAL SECURITY ISSUE
  • [04] FAVORABLE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE GREEKS ABROAD
  • [05] THE GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS
  • [06] SAE PRESIDENT TO VISIT TBILISI AND TSALKA IN GEORGIA
  • [07] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION ON WESTERN BALKANS
  • [08] VALINAKIS' MEETING WITH SOLANA AND DIMAS

  • [01] CRISIS AVERTED

    Athens, 14 April 2005 (13:06 UTC+2)

    If he had left Ankara in a show of protest over the incident with the Turkish patrol boat at the rocky islets of Imia there would have been a crisis in the Greek-Turkish relations, stated Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis after the meeting he had in Athens today with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

    Instead, through the moves he made in Ankara, the incident was defused and today there is calm in the Greek-Turkish relations, said Mr. Molyviatis.

    The Foreign Minister also visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Fener yesterday and assured Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew that Greece is always by the Ecumenical Patriarchate's side.

    On the issue of FYROM, Mr. Molyviatis told reporters that for the first time the Greek side made the right move and backed the opening of negotiations on the basis of the Nimetz proposal.

    He expressed discontent for the fact that official diplomatic documents had leaked to the press and observed that this did not facilitate him while handling the FYROM issue.

    [02] THE NIMETZ PROPOSAL IS STILL ALIVE

    Athens, 14 April 2005 (13:19 UTC+2)

    The Nimetz proposal is not dead, stated Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis after the meeting he had with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis today and expressed discontent over the leak of official diplomatic documents to the press saying characteristically that it did not make things easy for him while handling the issue.

    Ruling New Democracy Party honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis stated that Prime Minister Karamanlis dared to cut the Gordian knot on the issue of the FYROM name with the sword of Alexander the Great.

    Prime Minister Karamanlis has addressed letters to the US President, the NATO secretary-general, the European Commission President, the EU President and the German Chancellor on the issue of the FYROM name.

    [03] DIALOGUE ON THE SOCIAL SECURITY ISSUE

    Athens, 14 April 2005 (13:48 UTC+2)

    Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis meets today with the leadership of the confederation of workers' unions.

    Yesterday, the Minister of Finance had announced that an initiative will be undertaken for the opening of a dialogue on the social security issue and labor issues.

    Mr. Alogoskoufis stressed yesterday that the agenda on the social security and labor issues must be drawn up jointly with the political parties and the social partners and an agreement should be reached whenever is possible.

    The Minister of Finance pointed out that the dialogue has many stages and reiterated that all the parameters of the problem will be examined through dialogue.

    [04] FAVORABLE ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE GREEKS ABROAD

    Athens, 14 April 2005 (17:58 UTC+2)

    Favorable arrangements for the Greeks living abroad and the draft dodgers will be included in the draft bill expected to be submitted to Parliament soon by the Ministry of Defense.

    Within this framework, the meaning of the characterization "permanent resident of a foreign country" is redefined. Based on the proposed new regulation, a permanent resident of a foreign country is anyone who has his residence abroad for a total of 12 consecutive years or holds a job abroad for 7 consecutive years.

    The arrest warrants for draft dodgers are being abolished while all such cases will be settled if those interested join the Armed Forces by November 30, 2006. The draft dodgers in Greece and abroad will be issued passports or the passports they already have will be validated.

    [05] THE GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS

    Athens, 14 April 2005 (16:23 UTC+2)

    Greek government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos stated that Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis decided that he had to stay in Ankara and continue the talks in spite of what was going on at the rocky islets of Imia in southeastern Aegean giving a favorable end to this incident that could have turned into a crisis.

    Mr. Rousopoulos reiterated that such incidents do not help in the improvement of bilateral relations. He said that the government tries to give solutions to the problems and regarding the specific incident the Foreign Minister handled it in a flawless manner averting its evolution into an escalating crisis.

    On the new regulation agreed by the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey concerning the timely aircraft warning in cases of violations, the government spokesman stated that the interception practice remains unchanged for the past 30 years and a provision was added for a better communication between the two sides.

    Mr. Rousopoulos stated, however, that actions like these at Imia do not help in the creation of good relations. He added that in spite all these, in talks held at political level the Turks have declared their intention to have a more peaceful future avoiding provocation but this remains to be seen.

    Also, the government spokesman categorically denied that there is a risk for unfavorable fait accompli for the Greek sovereign rights, pointing out that this is guaranteed by the steady policy followed by the government.

    [06] SAE PRESIDENT TO VISIT TBILISI AND TSALKA IN GEORGIA

    Thessaloniki, 14 April 2005 (15:38 UTC+2)

    World Council for Greeks Abroad, SAE, President Andrew Athens will visit Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, on April 15-22, for a series of meetings with Georgian elected officials and leaders of the Greek community within the framework of his visits that deal with humanitarian and safety issues.

    In the heart of this visit is an issue that Mr. Athens brought to international attention and has rallied world support for the Greeks living in the region, the on-going terrorist activities against Greeks primarily in 25 villages in Tsalka, a region where many have been murdered and beaten up, homes taken forcefully by squatters, and crops and buildings torched by terrorists.

    Scheduled meetings with Georgian officials include President Michael Saakashvili; Interior Minister Vano Meradishvili; Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Georgi Shicharoulidze; and Minister for Refugees/Ethnic Minorities Mrs. Eteri Astenirova. Other meetings include EU and UN officials in Georgia, and with U.S. Ambassador Richard Miles who has already sent Embassy staff to record human rights violations in Tsalka.

    We will not keep silent on the mistreatment of any Hellenes anywhere in the world this is my firm policy, Mr. Athens stated.

    On the humanitarian aspect of the visit, about 1,500 Greek families will receive free food packages purchased through SAE's aid program. This is part of a periodic distribution of staple items that has also been organized for Greeks in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Meetings will follow with the community in Tbilisi and Tsalka. Also in Tsalka, a memorial service will be held for Michael Tsamourliev, who was murdered in February by a 10-member armed gang.

    In addition, Mr. Athens and SAE Medical Affairs Director Dr. Charles Kanakis will visit medical centers included in SAE's Health Initiative that provide more than 15,000 medical services monthly to Greeks and their neighbors in Georgia. A new medical center is being planned in Tbilisi. Mr. Kanakis is also scheduled to visit the medical program activities in Greek communities in Armenia.

    [07] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION ON WESTERN BALKANS

    Strasbourg, 14 April 2005 (18:42 UTC+2)

    The European Parliament plenary session adopted a resolution on the reconstruction of Western Balkans underlining the fact that the region of Western Balkans is a high priority for the European Union.

    At the same time, it voted down the amendments urging the Council to recognize FYROM under its constitutional name (139 in favor, 398 against and 26 abstentions).

    In the debate ahead of the vote, Greek Euro-deputies Giorgos Papastamkos (New Democracy) and Panagiotis Beglitis (PASOK) had called for the European Parliament's caution on the specific issue underlining the need to display a minimum of institutional and political responsibility by rejecting an initiative that is against any sense of community solidarity.

    On Western Balkans, the European Parliament plenary session concluded, by adopting a relevant resolution, that the European integration is the region's future, pointing out that this depends to great extent on the region's countries themselves.

    Regarding Albania, the European Parliament points out that Albania's European prospect and the progress in negotiations on the stabilization agreement and the association with the EU is closely linked with the respect of minority rights.

    Specifically, Tirana is called to respect the ethnic Greek minority rights. At the same time, the European Parliament expresses concern because the political climate in Albania is problematic with tensions inside the ruling party.

    [08] VALINAKIS' MEETING WITH SOLANA AND DIMAS

    Brussels, 14 April 2005 (14:04 UTC+2)

    Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis met with EU High Representative for the CFSP Javier Solana in Brussels yesterday.

    Mr. Valinakis discussed with Mr. Solana the latest developments on CFSP issues as well as the FYROM name issue. He reiterated the need to reach a mutually acceptable solution within the framework of the negotiations taking place under the UN auspices.

    Mr. Valinakis also met with Greek European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, responsible for environmental policies and priorities, to discuss issues falling under his authority as well as issues of general European interest.


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