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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 04-11-04
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK GOVERNMENT MOVES TO AVERT THE RECOGNITION OF FYROM BY THE US UNDER THE NAME "REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA"Athens, 4 November 2004 (13:07 UTC+2)
The Greek government focuses its efforts on averting the recognition of FYROM by the United States under the name Republic of Macedonia after the information that the US State Department is ready to announce such a decision.
Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, who is in Brussels for the European People's Party Summit meeting and the EU Summit meeting, is expected to raise the issue in the meetings he will have with the European leaders.
Greek Foreign Minister Petros Moliviatis characterized this development as unpleasant and cancelled his trip to Brussels, while he telephoned President Kostis Stephanopoulos to brief him. He also contacted PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou, Communist Party Secretary Aleka Papariga and Coalition of the Left President Nikos Konstantopoulos who is in Sofia. Greek Minister of Defense Spilios Spiliotopoulos, who is in Moscow for contacts with his Russian counterpart, briefed the Russian side.
Foreign Minister Moliviatis called US Ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller to his office and issued a strong demarche.
For the record, the negotiations between Greece and FYROM on the issue of FYROM's name are in progress and were launched after the signing of the Interim Agreement.
According to information broadcast by the Athens radio station Flash, the recognition of FYROM is likely to take place within the day and is linked to Sunday's referendum in FYROM on the Albanian population rights.
 STRONG EARTHQUAKE ROCKS ANTIKITHIRAAthens, 4 November 2004 (13:49 UTC+2)
Strong earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale rocked the sea region of the island of Antikithira at 8:22 this morning causing limited damage.
The epicenter of the earthquake was located 250 kilometers southwest of Athens. The earthquake was felt in the Peloponnese, the island of Crete and the region of Athens.
Seismologists maintain that there is no cause for concern because the specific region has a high seismic activity and is regularly rocked by strong earthquakes.
 PRIME MINISTER KARAMANLIS CONGRATULATED PRESIDENT BUSHAthens, 4 November 2004 (13:37 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis sent a congratulatory telegram to US President George Bush on the occasion of his reelection and expressed the certainty that the long and close ties shared by the United States and Greece will continue to develop in the future given the fact that bilateral relations are rooted in the friendship of the two peoples.
Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Valinakis stated that the Greek government has stated that it will cooperate with the US President regardless of who is elected in office.
 THE TURKISH PROVOCATION IN THE AEGEAN CONTINUESAthens, 4 November 2004 (19:10 UTC+2)
The Turkish provocation over the Aegean Sea region continues. According to the Greek state-run television channel NET, two Turkish F16 fighter jets entered the airspace between the Aegean islands of Chios and Samos at 4:28 this afternoon and passed three times over the island of Agathonisi and one over Fourni at an altitude of 18,000-22,000 feet.
Also, a pair of Turkish naval cooperation aircraft flew over the island of Simi at an altitude of 6,500 feet.
Greek fighter jets intercepted the Turkish aircraft forcing them to leave the Greek national airspace around 5 o'clock this afternoon.
 THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN ON THE FYROM NAME DEVELOPMENTSAthens, 4 November 2004 (18:43 UTC+2)
Greece associates the FYROM name issue with the country's EU accession course after the US decision to recognize FYROM under the name Republic of Macedonia.
Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos clarified that a first response to FYROM's request for EU accession should be given by the EU in the first half of 2005, adding that this is a time framework and developments are being considered on the way.
The Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman also conveyed the EU position, which recognizes only the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia based on the statements made by the Dutch Prime Minister and EU President in his meeting with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and relevant statements by the German Chancellor.
On the next moves of the government, the Foreign Ministry spokesman stated that after the briefing of the President of the Hellenic Republic and the political parties by the Foreign Minister, the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense will convene next Wednesday to discuss the issue and the Greek government will make all necessary demarches to the United Nations.
Mr. Koumoutsakos also stated that after the Interim Agreement between Greece and FYROM in 1995 the two countries held a dialogue in New York, which in the past three years became stagnant not because of Greece's responsibility. The Greek government undertook an initiative in the past 6 months for the resumption of the dialogue. This initiative led to assurances that were given to Foreign Minister Moliviatis by the FYROM political and state leadership that the dialogue will resume.
 PREFECT OF THESSALONIKI STATEMENT ON THE FYROM NAME DEVELOPMENTSThessaloniki, 4 November 2004 (17:33 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis in a statement he made from Melbourne, Australia on the occasion of the planned recognition of FYROM by the United States under the name Republic of Macedonia mentioned that a large part of the political world in Greece displayed laxity and inertness regarding the FYROM name issue during the past decade.
Mr. Psomiadis stated that this development did not come as a surprise and underlined that the issue is national and requires the broadest possible unity. He also called on the government and the Greeks around the world to respect the decision made in the political party leaders' meeting held in 1993 under the then Hellenic Republic President Konstantinos Karamanlis.
 SIGNIFICANT GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 4 November 2004 (17:09 UTC+2)
Significant gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.26% at 2581.48 points, while the volume of transactions was 215,7 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 217 had gains and 68 had losses, while the value of 121 stocks remained unchanged.
 THESSALONIKI MAYOR: THE US DECISION IS UNACCEPTABLE AND PROVOCATIVEThessaloniki, 4 November 2004 (17:03 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos characterized as unacceptable and provocative the US decision to recognize FYROM under the name Republic of Macedonia. In a statement he has made on the issue, he mentions that this is a decision in total conflict with historical truth and the UN decisions.
The excuse that FYROM is collapsing cannot be acceptable and the name cannot be used as an adhesive plaster, points out the mayor of Thessaloniki.
Mr. Papageorgopoulos calls on the UN to protect its prestige, the EU to undertake initiatives for the protection of its members, the US to reconsider its position, the Greek government to remain firm to its positions concerning issues of national interest and the Greeks living in the United States to address the US leadership on the issue.
 THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE BURGAS-ALEXANDROUPOLIS PIPELINE IS A MILESTONEAthens, 4 November 2004 (16:06 UTC+2)
Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas expressed the warm support of the Greek political leadership and the Greek people to the materialization of the plan for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline. He said that its construction is not antagonistic to the Bosporos Straits because it will function in a parallel and complementary way.
Addressing the two-day meeting of the Greek-Bulgarian-Russian Committee on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project that was launched in Athens today, Mr. Sioufas pointed out that the materialization of the project is a milestone and will unite the peoples involved for many decades. He also maintained that the construction of the oil pipeline will contribute greatly to the strengthening of friendship, cooperation and development of the three countries
Mr. Sioufas pointed out that the goal of the Greek government is the immediate promotion of the tripartite political cooperation that will put on a sound basis the materialization of the specific project.
The Minister of Development underlined that the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline can in a way be compared with the Channel Tunnel that linked France with Britain offering to the two peoples better political and economic relations.
 COALITION OF THE LEFT WANTS A MEETING OF THE FOREIGN POLICY COUNCILAthens, 4 November 2004 (15:27 UTC+2)
The Coalition of the Left Political Secretariat characterized as a blunt intervention in the Balkans the US decision to recognize FYROM under the name Republic of Macedonia and underlined that the governments of New Democracy and PASOK are responsible because they did not solve the issue of the FYROM name through negotiations in good time.
The Coalition of the Left called for a meeting of the Foreign Policy Council stressing that regardless of the developments cooperation and friendship between Greece and FYROM should be strengthened.
 GREEK PASSENGER PLANE WAS HARASSED BY TURKISH F16 JETSAthens, 4 November 2004 (14:49 UTC+2)
The Turkish provocation escalates in the Aegean. Two Turkish F16 fighter jets harassed an Olympic Airlines passenger plane this morning en route from the island of Karpathos to the island of Rhodes in southeastern Aegean.
According to available information, the Turkish F16 fighter jets came as close as 1,000 feet to the Greek passenger plane at 9:30 this morning without causing any problems for the passengers inside the plane.
 THESSALONIKI-SOFIA EXPRESS TRAIN SERVICESofia, 4 November 2004 (16:43 UTC+2)
Minister of Transport Michalis Liapis confirmed the Greek position in favor of the express train service to link Thessaloniki with Sofia in the 6th Southeastern Europe Economic Forum that was completed in the Bulgarian capital yesterday.
He also stated that Athens wants the express train linking the two cities to be in operation in 2005.
The Thessaloniki-Sofia distance will be covered in 5 hours and 30 minutes, while the Greek part of the railway line is already ready and Athens will back Sofia in order to receive EU funding for the construction of the Bulgarian part of the project, which belongs to the European transport Corridor 4.
 PAPASTAMKOS: FYROM IS THE FORMAL NAME ACCEPTED BY THE EUBrussels, 4 November 2004 (17:47 UTC+2)
Greek Euro-deputy elected with the governing party of New Democracy and Interparliamentary Delegation to the EU-FYROM Joint Parliamentary Committee Chairman Prof. Giorgos Papastamkos stressed that the formal name acceptable by the European Union is FYROM.
He pointed out that the unilateral recognition of FYROM by the US, not taking under consideration the United Nations, constitutes a negative development. He added that a solution to the FYROM name problem can only be found within the framework of the United Nations.