|Sunday, 17 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-09-14
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 EU AXE FALLS HEAVY ON OLYMPIC AIRLINESAthens, 14 September 2005 (15:08 UTC+2)
The European Commission decided today that a series of subsidies through which the Greek state had financially supported the national airline Olympic Airlines were in contrast with the European Community Law.
This decision puts an end to a probe launched on March 16, 2004 aimed at finding out if the subsidies given by the Greek state since December 2002 were illegal or in accordance with European Community Law.
The privatizations committee is expected to meet in Athens to examine the situation.
The statement also reminds a condemning decision for Olympic issued in 2002 according to which, the airline had to return a total of 160 million euros to the Greek state.
The exact amount that will have to be repaid to the Greek state at this point will be set when the decision is implemented.
Fears had been expressed repeatedly that if ordered to repay the aid, Olympic could be effectively forced to close down after 48 years in operation. Greece has tried many times to sell the airline but all four attempts have failed.
Government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos stated that measures will be taken for the Olympic Airlines employees to make sure that they will not be left jobless.
Regarding the likelihood for Greece to appeal to the European Court of Justice after the Commissioners College decision was released, Mr. Rousopoulos had stressed that all necessary moves will be made after the decision is thoroughly studied.
 KARAMANLIS HAD A TWENTY-MINUTE MEETING WITH ANNANNew York, 14 September 2005 (13:20 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had a twenty-minute meeting with UN secretary-general Kofi Annan in the UN headquarters in New York in the early morning hours today soon after his arrival in the city.
In statements he made after the meeting with Mr. Annan, the Prime Minister stressed that the UN summit meeting will be underway with the participation of 170 state leaders and heads of governments. The goal of this very important meeting is to assess-review the implementation of the UN Millennium Development Goals statement adopted in 2000 as well as, a number of issues concerning the UN reform.
Mr. Karamanlis also reminded that Greece is a non permanent member of the UN Security Council for the two-year period 2005-2006.
He stated that he will attend the UN Security Council meeting at state leaders and heads of governments' level to discuss issues concerning the combating of terrorism and the prevention of conflicts in Africa.
He also said that he had the opportunity with Mr. Annan to exchange views on the Cyprus issue, the FYROM name issue and issues concerning the UN reform.
Later, Mr. Karamanlis will attend the formal reception given by US President George Bush in honor of the leaders who participate in the UN Summit meeting.
 THE VISITING ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH IS WARMLY RECEIVED BY THE PEOPLEEdessa, 14 September 2005 (13:56 UTC+2)
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and his entourage made up of 45 Metropolitan Bishops headed by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece are warmly received by the people during their visit to central and west Macedonia in northern Greece.
First stop of the visit was the northwestern city of Edessa where thousands of people gathered to welcome him.
Today, he will co-officiate with the Archbishop in the Agia Skepi church in Edessa and attend the inauguration of the Old People's Home in Edessa as well as the opening of an art exhibition on Asia Minor.
Later this evening, he will be declared honorary citizen of Edessa.
Addressing the people of Edessa at the city's main square, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew send a message to all those who doubt the Greek character of Macedonia saying that Mother Church does not forget the struggle against the counterfeiters of the church and national history who tried to subject the Greek Macedonia to their unlawful and devious plans.
He pointed out that the truth of Christ and History was victorious and now the Prefecture of Pella, as well as the whole of Macedonia, is a part of the Greek state while as a church area is under the spiritual supervision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
The Ecumenical Patriarch characterized the role of the Patriarchate heavy like a crucifix and called on the faithful to help in the effort made for the Ecumenical Patriarchate to be able to deal successfully both with its problems and obligations.
 NATIONAL REFORMS PROGRAM 2005-2008 DRAFT PLANAthens, 14 September 2005 (16:01 UTC+2)
Minister of Finance and Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis presented the draft plan of the National Reforms Program 2005-2008.
The five priorities set by the government concern restoration of fiscal balance, increase of productivity, improvement of business environment, creation of more job positions and promotion of actions to reinforce social cohesion.
Mr. Alogoskoufis stated while presenting the draft plan that these priorities are a response to all those who maintain that the government proceeds without a plan, compass and goals. He stressed that the government has specific goals that aim at economic growth and improved living standards.
He stressed that the National Reforms Program reflects the determination and commitment of the Greek government to accelerate the pace of structural reforms and speed up the materialization of the Lisbon strategy goals, adding that the reform initiatives and actions promoted by all government ministries follow the same direction.
The National Reforms Program was made public for all interested forces to have the opportunity to state their views. After a discussion is held in the responsible Parliament committees the program will be submitted to the European Commission by October 15.
It specifically refers to the opening of the energy market, the improvement of business environment, the telecommunications market, transportations, the strengthening of domestic market, the society of knowledge, investments in human capital, environmental protection etc.
 ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH STATEMENT ON THE POPE'S VISIT TO THE FENEREdessa, 14 September 2005 (18:10 UTC+2)
The Fener and the Vatican are ready for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Istanbul on November 30 on the occasion of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's patronal feast.
In statements he made to reporters during his visit to northern Greece, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stated that he is waiting for the formal acceptance of his invitation, adding that everything is ready between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Vatican. In case the visit does not take place during the patronal feast of November 30 then it can take place at another time. The Pope is always welcomed, stressed the Ecumenical Patriarch.
Responding to the question if the Pope will visit Hagia Sophia, the Ecumenical Patriarch stated that in previous visits the Popes had visited Hagia Sophia and reminded that Pope Paul IV in 1967 had kneeled and prayed during his visit.
Referring to the Pope's imminent visit, he pointed out that it will give a boost to dialogue and contribute to the efforts made for the creation of a more favorable climate between the two Churches.
 MORE BRITISH AIRWAYS FLIGHTS FROM THESSALONIKI TO LONDONThessaloniki, 14 September 2005 (17:22 UTC+2)
The weekly number of British Airways flights on the Thessaloniki-London route increases in view of the winter season while the British airliner has made a new offer to its Thessaloniki costumers.
Specifically, the Thessaloniki-London round trip ticket will cost 140 euros.
The specific offer is good for trips to take place from September 15, 2005 until March 31, 2006, while bookings should be made from September 15 until October 15, 2005.
For those who wish to try the Club Europe product and travel business class on British Airways the round trip is at 780 euros.
Beginning on October 30, 2005 weekly flights will increase from 4 to 5 (everyday except on Thursdays and Saturdays). Departure from the Thessaloniki Macedonia Airport is set at 15:35 and arrival at London's Gatwick Airport at 17:15. This way, travelers can continue their trip to British destinations like Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and others more easily.
 THE COALITION PARTY PRESIDENT VISITS ITFThessaloniki, 14 September 2005 (15:37 UTC+2)
Coalition Party President Alekos Alavanos was impressed by the activities undertaken by the two Greek national news agencies during his visit to the Athens News Agency-Macedonian Press Agency pavilion in the 70th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair.
Mr. Alavanos, whose interview was broadcast live on the Internet, was briefed on the services provided by the two news agencies, which are close to a merger, by MPA general director Spiros Kouzinopoulos.
 THE COMMUNIST PARTY GENERAL SECRETARY VISITS THE ITFThesasloniki, 14 September 2005 (15:18 UTC+2)
Communist Party general secretary Aleka Papariga will visit the 70th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair this afternoon and have meetings with the managements of the ITF and HELEXPO. Mrs. Papariga will also visit exhibition pavilions.
Later in the evening, she will be the main speaker in an event organized by the Communist Party at the Municipality of Skydra Cultural Center at the Prefecture of Pella in northern Greece.
Tomorrow morning, Mrs. Papariga will have separate meetings with representatives of Olympic Airlines and the Civil Aviation Agency as well as with Thessaloniki Macedonia Airport personnel.
 KARAMANLIS MET WITH ANNANNew York, 14 September 2005 (12:55 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had a twenty-minute meeting with UN secretary-general Kofi Annan in the UN headquarters in New York today immediately after he arrived in the city to attend the UN summit meeting to be held with the participation of 170 state leaders and heads of governments.
The Prime Minister stated that in the meeting they discussed the Cyprus issue, the FYROM name issue as well as issues that have to do with the United Nations reform.
Later, Mr. Karamanlis will attend a formal reception given by US President George Bush in honor of the foreign leaders participating in the UN summit meeting.