|Sunday, 17 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 05-09-30
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ALL EYES SET ON LUXEMBOURGAthens, 30 September 2005 (12:25 UTC+2)
Everything will be decided on Sunday night in the extraordinary EU Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Luxembourg regarding Turkey's European course, stated Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis after the meeting he had with Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias.
Mr. Molyviatis briefed President Papoulias on the latest developments on foreign policy issues and the prospects that are being opened.
Yesterday, in the three-hour meeting of the National Council on Foreign Policy there was consensus on strategic goals and long-term objectives in foreign policy as well as disagreements and reservations on tactical moves.
 KARAMANLIS-ALOGOSKOUFIS MEETING ON THE STATE BUDGETAthens, 30 September 2005 (14:54 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis met this morning at Maximos Mansion in Athens and discussed issues concerning the state budget draft plan to be presented in Parliament on Monday.
Mr. Alogoskoufis stated to reporters that developments in the sector of economy move in accordance with the goals set in the convergence and development program, adding that deficit this year will be close to the targets set while next year it will be under 3%.
The Minister of Finance clarified that no new measures will be taken and that an emphasis will be given to limit tax evasion and cut spending.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Economy sources speculate that deficit this year will close at 3.6% compared to 6.6% last year and next year will be at 2.8%.
 EUROBANK HAS THE MAJORITY SHARES OF SERB NSB BANKAthens, 30 September 2005 (17:45 UTC+2)
Eurobank invested 41 million euros to purchase the majority shares (52.5%) of Serbian Nacionalna Tedionica - Banca (NSB).
The Eurobank Group now controls 62.3% of the bank that has a network of 70 branches around the country. Together with the EFG Eurobank AD Beograd network of 22 branches, the Eurobank Group will now have a total of 94 branches across Serbia considerably strengthening, this way, its standing in the local banking market.
 BYZANTINE ICON OF SAINT DIMITRIOS FROM THE MUSEUM OF SASSOFERRATOThessaloniki, 30 September 2005 (17:32 UTC+2)
A priceless Byzantine icon from the Museum of Sassoferrato, Italy depicting Saint Dimitrios will arrive in Thessaloniki at the initiative of the municipality of Thessaloniki and the Italian Cultural Institute in Thessaloniki to be worshiped by the faithful within the framework of the events celebrating the city's patron saint feast day on October 26 and the October 28 national holiday, when Greece entered WWII after an attack by Italy.
It is an impressive miniature, 9x6 centimeters, depicting Saint Dimitrios standing against a gold background in military garb holding a lance with his right hand and with the left a blue shield decorated with a heraldic white lion against a ground strewn with gold stylized flowers.
The icon, dating back to the 13th century, was brought to Italy by philhellenic humanists and antiquity lovers from Constantinople under unclear circumstances (before the Fall of Constantinople) and this is the second time it leaves Italy after being exhibited in New York's Metropolitan Museum.
Thessaloniki Italian Cultural Institute director Enzio Peraro spoke to ANA-MPA about the historical, cultural and religious importance of the icon. He stressed that its arrival in Thessaloniki is a gesture of friendship and respect toward Greece and the Christian Orthodox Faith and in recognition of the icon's origin.
Cardinal Bessarion appears to have given the icon to his secretary Niccols Perotti (1447). Mr. Peraro stated that it is not simply a work of art but is also an example of cooperation between the Greek and the Catholic humanists. Cardinal Bessarion was the one who allowed the revival and study of ancient texts. He was the father of the propagation of the Greek civilization to the West.
The technique followed shows skill and complexity and it should be noted that the density of tesserae fluctuates from 14 to 16 by 14 to 16 per square centimeter. The materials used are gold, marble and glass and its frame was entirely covered by gilt silver, while the technique followed is faithful to Palaiologan-period models.
Deputy mayor Charis Aidonopoulos responsible for cultural issues, stated that the arrival of the specific icon to Thessaloniki has great meaning for the city celebrating 17 centuries since the martyrdom of its patron saint. The icon of Saint Dimitrios is equally important with the lost icon of the Mother of Christ which the Byzantines used to carry about the walls of Constantinople to boost the morale of its defenders every time the city was under siege by enemy forces.
For the record, Sassoferrato is close to San Lorenzo in Campo from where the holy relics of Saint Dimitrios came to Thessaloniki.
 GREECE IS THE TOP TOURIST DESTINATION FOR THE CHINESEAthens, 30 September 2005 (14:39 UTC+2)
Greece is the most favourite tourist destination for the Chinese, based on the responses received by VOYAGE magazine, the most popular tourist magazine in China, to the question which is the best tourist destination in Europe for the Chinese.
In the vote participated tourist editors and magazine readers characterized by rich travel experience around the world.
They had to select the best destination among all countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. Based on the vote results, Greece ranked first with 80% of the responses, followed by France 60%, while Italy came third.
The prize offered by the magazine received Greek ambassador to China Mr. Mikis Kampanis accompanied by Press Adviser and head of the Greek Tourist Organization, EOT, in Beijing Mr. Stelios Korkidis.
 PONTIAN ORGANIZATIONS CALL FOR THE RECOGNITION OF THE GENOCIDE OF THE PONTIAN GREEKS BY TURKEYThessaloniki, 30 September 2005 (14:05 UTC+2)
The World Council of Pontian Hellenism and the Greek Federation of Pontian Associations with letters addressed to the European Parliament President and the heads of political groups in the European Parliament request that the genocide of the 353,000 Greeks from Pontos (Black Sea) be recognized by Ankara as a precondition for the promotion of the Euro-Turkish relations.
In the letters they point out that a precondition in order to build a peaceful future is to recognize and admit past mistakes to avoid ever repeating them again. They stress that the recognition of the genocide by Turkey will be a proof of its intention to become a true member of the European family.
They also request a public debate to be held in the responsible European Parliament committee during which the representatives of the Pontian organizations will have the opportunity to present facts that document the genocide.
 PASOK POLITICAL COUNCIL MEETINGAthens, 30 September 2005 (12:38 UTC+2)
Main opposition Socialist Party PASOK Political Council meets today under the presidency of party leader Giorgos Papandreou to discuss issues concerning the upcoming municipal and prefectural elections.
The party's National Council proceedings will get underway on Saturday at noon after the Political Council meeting ends.
 THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH MET WITH THE ROMANIAN PRESIDENTIstanbul, 30 September 2005 (15:46 UTC+2)
Romanian President Traian Basescu, who is on a formal visit to Turkey after an invitation by Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and discussed issues concerning the Christian Orthodox Faith and Europe.
Mr. Basescu stated after the meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch that they discussed issues concerning the Christian Orthodox Faith alone, and the Christian Orthodox Faith as part of Europe in continuation of the talks they had in Bucharest and added that the Christian Orthodox Church can offer considerable assistance to the country on its way to the United Europe.
The Romanian President also discussed with the Ecumenical Patriarch the role religions can play. He said that they agreed that religions like Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism have a very important role to play for peace among nations because Churches are more credible than politicians.
 STATE REFOUNDATION AND HUMAN-CENTERED DEVELOPMENTChicago, 30 September 2005 (13:24 UTC+2)
Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas referred to state refoundation and human-centered development addressing a scientific symposium on Technology and Development in Greece organized by the World Council for Greeks Abroad, SAE, in Chicago and stressed that a new development model is being built and an economy of opportunities is being created.
Mr. Sioufas referred to the emerging opportunities in Greece and the new environment underlining the big effect the Athens Olympic and Paralympic Games had on the improvement of Greece's image. He also added that Greece proved that it has the means, the human power and the potential to successfully complete major, difficult and complex projects.
Mr. Sioufas also presented specific ideas and projects that are already underway for the creation of a state with high potential and capable of offering better services to people and businesses.
He referred to the establishment of a new human-centered development model. A model that will be business-friendly, attractive to foreign direct investments, dedicated to constant improvement of competitiveness in the sector of economy, and open to the creative cooperation between the state and private sectors.
Mr. Sioufas also referred to the promotion of international energy projects by opening immediately the electric energy market and the natural gas market, stressing with an emphasis that Greece is being included in the major international oil, natural gas and electric power networks materializing major energy projects such as the Greek-Turkish natural gas pipeline, the Greek-Italian underwater natural gas pipeline and the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.
He also made a special reference to Greece's geopolitical position as the gateway to Europe for the countries of eastern Mediterranean, the Middle East, Asia and North Africa.
Mr. Sioufas also said that the founding treaty of the Energy Community in SE Europe will be signed in Athens in mid October to establish a complete regional market with mutual benefits for all the countries in the region.
Finally, Mr. Sioufas congratulated and thanked the Greek Americans for everything they do for Greece and particularly SAE President Andrew Athens.