|Thursday, 22 October 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-09-16
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 OLYMPIC AIRLINES WILL BE PRIVATIZEDAthens, 16 September 2005 (13:10 UTC+2)
Olympic Airlines will be privatized based on the decision by the responsible Ministerial Committee to proceed with its privatization under the weight of the condemning EU decision.
The work and social security rights of the OA employees will be protected, stated Minister of Transportation and Communications Michalis Liapis after the committee meeting.
Minister of Finance and Economy Giorgos Alogoskoufis stated that all new facts were examined after the European Commission decision.
According to the ministerial committee, the EU decision is being examined in depth and the preconditions under which the privatization of Olympic Airlines will be allowed to continue will be considered.
The Ministerial Committee on Privatizations will meet again in the following days when a full picture will be formed regarding the investors' intentions before reaching a final decision on Olympic Airlines.
Regardless of the solution that will be chosen the work and social security rights of the OA employees will be protected while the government has already prepared a complete plan.
 CYPRUS EXPRESSES GRATITUDE TO GREECENew York, 16 September 2005 (13:53 UTC+2)
The meeting of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis with Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos on the sidelines of the UN Summit meeting was held in an excellent atmosphere. The atmosphere was equally good in the event that took place in the Cyprus Federation of America in New York when Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis were honored with the Cyprus Justice Award.
Cyprus Republic President Tassos Papadopoulos referred to Mr. Karamanlis and Mr. Molyviatis with warm characterizations underlining that Greece remains the most sincere and firm supporter of Cyprus stressing that his relationship with the Prime Minister remains stable.
The relationship with Mr. Karamanlis is based on trust and complete honesty and there was never disagreement, stressed Mr. Papadopoulos, denying relevant press reports. He also stated that he is grateful for the support offered by Mr. Karamanlis and Greece. Mr. Papadopoulos stressed characteristically that he never had before a relationship with a Greek Prime Minister like the relationship he has now with Mr. Karamanlis.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that feelings are mutual and cooperation is excellent underlining that the Greek government is committed to a fair, functional and viable solution to the Cyprus issue that will be based on the Annan Plan and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and be compatible with European values.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that the island's reunification is the ultimate goal and stressed that every new effort must be well-prepared with good chances for success. He referred, among others, to an agreed upon solution by both sides that will be ratified through referenda and will have no tight timetables.
The Cypriot President characterized Mr. Molyviatis as Nestor of diplomacy, and said that he gives him wise advice.
On his part, Mr. Molyviatis stressed that he only does his duty, adding that there is still a lot left to be done and will be done. Mr. Molyviatis underlined that he will continue to give this fight until a successful end.
 KARAMANLIS HAS A CLEAR LEAD ACCORDING TO AN OPINION POLLAthens, 16 September 2005 (14:42 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and his government appear to win the confidence of the people once again, according to an opinion poll conducted by the VPRC polling company and Athens radio station SKY on September 12-13, a few days after the Prime Minister's speech in the inauguration of the 70th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair.
However, the people appear to disapprove the economic policy implemented by the government while they are divided over the reforms plan.
The opposition appears to be in a very bad state as 83% of the people who responded to the questionnaire stated that they are displeased with it.
According to 44%, it appears that the government probably does not have a complete plan for reforms, while 36% of those asked believe that it probably has.
Regarding the government's economic policy, 51% has a negative opinion and 37% positive. Also, 59% believe that the government cannot do a lot of things in the sector of economy because it is restricted by the EU, 30% disagrees, and 11% neither agrees nor disagrees.
Mr. Karamanlis is still regarded as most fit for the post of the Prime Minister (45%), while PASOK leader Giorgos Papandreou received 23%, and neither of the two (24%).
Also, 61% responded that New Democracy would have been the winner if elections were held tomorrow, while PASOK received (14%).
 TRADE TRANSACTIONS BETWEEN GREECE AND POLAND FOLLOW DYNAMIC COURSEThessaloniki, 16 September 2005 (18:54 UTC+2)
Polish Ministry of Economy and Labor director Bogdan Zagrobelny stated that trade transactions between Greece and Poland follow a course of dynamic growth during the past three years and even though they have doubled compared to 2000 they can improve further.
Addressing the 1st International Business Forum ITF held in Thessaloniki, he said that in the years 2001 and 2002 the bilateral trade transactions turnover increased by 51.5% to reach last year 336.8 million euros while regarding trade balance, Greece continued to have a small lead in 2001 but afterwards things changed.
In 2004, exports to Greece reached 174.3 million euros while the imports of Greek products to Poland were at 162.6 million euros.
Mr. Zagrobelny pointed out that according to figures provided by the Polish Information and Foreign Investments Office (PAIZ), Greek direct investments in Poland exceeded US$ 564 million.
PAIZ representative Iwona Lipska-Wrona stated that the largest Greek investment in the country is the Coca Cola 3E investment (US$ 513 million) while considerable capital has been invested by Maillis Group (37 million euros), Germanos (6.5 million euros) and Chipita (5.1 million euros).
 STRONG GREEK PRESENCE IN SE EUROPEThessaloniki, 16 September 2005 (18:30 UTC+2)
The presentations made today within the framework of the 1st International Business Forum ITF confirmed Greece's strong presence in the region of south-eastern Europe and the achievements made by the Balkan economies which are in a transitional stage.
In Serbia, three Greek firms are on the list with the 15 biggest foreign investors, while in Romania and FYROM Greek firms continue to export goods worth hundreds of millions of euros and important investments have materialized. Greece also occupies an important place in the Bulgarian market as well.
Developments during the past few years and the fact that peace has prevailed in the Balkan conflict zones as well as the course of the region's countries toward the European Union have opened new business routes creating important investment and trade opportunities.
In Serbia, according to Investments and Exports Promotion Agency (S.I.E.P.A) head Irena Posin there are three Greek firms among the 15 biggest foreign investors, Alpha Bank (152 million-euro investment), TITAN (94 million euros) and Coca Cola 3E jointly with the US parent company (100 million euros).
Romanian Ministry of Economy and Commerce European Affairs Director Olguta Marian stated regarding the Greek-Romanian economic relations that imports from Greece reached US$ 420 million in 2004 while Romania's exports to Greece were at US$ 580 million.
The priority for FYROM is the creation of a free economic zone at Bunardzik, 10 km east of Skopje, according to Minister of Economy industry affairs adviser Vencislav Arsov.
Trade transactions between FYROM and Greece showed a decline in the past five years. In the first seven months of 2005, according to Mr. Arsov, the FYROM exports to Greece reached US$ 189 million (47.7% increase compared to last year, while imports from Greece reached US$ 164 million recording an increase of 3.7%).
Leading priority for the Bulgarian government is the strengthening of small-medium sized companies with an emphasis on the 2002-2006 period stated Organization for the Promotion of Small-Medium Sized Businesses (BSMEPA) representative Svetlana Ilieva. Mrs. Ilieva referred to the GDP growth (from 4.1% in 2003 to 5.6% in 2004 having as a target to reach 6% in 2005), the efforts made to keep inflation low and the fact that unemployment was down by 6.4% within a year (from 18% in 2003 to 11.6% in 2004).
 ROUSOPOULOS ON KARATZAFERIS' QUESTION ON BARROTAthens, 16 September 2005 (17:06 UTC+2)
The issue of the meeting of European Commissioner of Transportations Jacques Barrot with businessmen in Greece concerns a question submitted to the European Parliament.
Government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos made the comment today in response to a question by a reporter regarding a relevant statement made by LA.O.S. leader and European Parliament deputy Giorgos Karatzaferis.
 KARATZAFERIS VISITS THE ANA-MPA PAVILIONThessaloniki, 16 September 2005 (16:25 UTC+2)
LA.O.S. political party leader and European Parliament deputy Giorgos Karatzaferis visited the Athens News Agency-Macedonian Press Agency pavilion today within the framework of his tour of the 70th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair.
Mr. Karatzaferis was welcomed by MPA general director Spiros Kouzinopoulos who briefed him on the activities and services provided by the two national news agencies soon to be merged.
During his visit, Mr. Karatzaferis made statements that were broadcast live on the Internet concerning his party's positions on the government's economic policy and current issues.
 THE LA.O.S. LEADER VISITS THE THESSALONIKI ITFThessaloniki, 16 September 2005 (16:10 UTC+2)
The renaming of the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair into Macedonia International Trade Fair suggested LA.O.S. President and European Parliament deputy Giorgos Karatzaferis in a meeting he had today with the ITF managements.
He stated that it appears that the solution to the FYROM name issue will be Republic of Macedonia-Skopje for Greece and Republic of Macedonia for the rest of the world and proposed to rename the Trade Fair in order to have something left reminiscent of Macedonia.
He also suggested the city's airport to be moved to the western part of the city and the ITF to be moved to where the Macedonia Airport is now.
In a press conference he gave, he referred to the Olympic Airlines issue and accused the German company operating Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport of being responsible for OA's bankruptcy by raising the sum it pays each year to have the right to use the airport from 7 million euros it was when the Athens airport was at Hellinikon to 65 million euros at Eleftherios Venizelos.
He also accused European Commissioner Jacques Barrot of making the OA burial his personal crusade and stated that Mr. Barrot had visited Greece 3-4 days before the decision on the OA was issued. He refused to reveal more information and stressed that he is waiting for Mr. Barrot's response to the question he has submitted.
 PAPANDREOU TO VISIT THE THESSALONIKI ITF DURING THE WEEKENDThessaloniki, 16 September 2005 (15:08 UTC+2)
Main opposition Socialist Party of PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou is the last political party leader to visit this year's Thessaloniki International Trade Fair during the weekend.
Mr. Papandreou will arrive at Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport on Saturday afternoon at 4 pm and he will be welcomed by PASOK followers.
At 8:30 pm, he will be the main speaker in the formal dinner at the Ioannis Vellidis Conference Center held in the presence of production forces representatives, academicians and representatives of student councils. Afterwards, he will join the PASOK Youth Movement at a party in the municipality of Neapoli.
At 10:30 am on Sunday, he will meet with the managements of the two ITF companies, at 11 am with workers' representatives and afterwards, he will visit ITF pavilions.
At 1 pm, he will give a press conference at the Ioannis Vellidis Conference Center, while at 3 pm is scheduled to attend a luncheon with PASOK party members at Macedonia Pallas Hotel.
 KARAMANLIS: GREEK EDUCATION IS A PRIORITY FOR THE GOVERNMENTNew York, 16 September 2005 (16:46 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis addressed representatives of the Greek-American community in a reception given yesterday by the Greek consul general in New York and stressed that the government has an honest intention, the political will and a specific plan to deal with the problems of the Greek-Americans in the most effective way.
Mr. Karamanlis expressed interest in the new generation of Greek-Americans pointing out that the improvement of the Greek education offered is a major priority for the government.
He said that the Greek-Americans are the best ambassadors of Hellenism and contribute to the strengthening of bilateral ties. With you, it feels like home no matter how far from Greece, stated Mr. Karamanlis.
 KARAMANLIS-BERISHA MEETINGNew York, 16 September 2005 (14:08 UTC+2)
The meeting Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis had with his Albanian counterpart Sali Berisha on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York was held in a good atmosphere.
Mr. Karamanlis and Mr. Berisha exchanged invitations for state visits and discussed issues concerning bilateral relations.
It was the first meeting Mr. Karamanlis had with Mr. Berisha after the latter was elected Prime Minister.
During the meeting, a special reference was made to the ethnic Greeks living in south Albania.