|Tuesday, 20 April 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-01-10
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 MEASURES AGAINST BIRD FLUAthens, 10 January 2006 (11:13 UTC+2)
A total of 26 people, possibly infected with the bird flu virus, are hospitalized in Turkey while three children have died from the disease.
Greece is not threatened by the bird flu but all necessary precautionary measures have been taken and the situation is being watched as it develops both in Turkey and at global level while there is vigilance in all entry gates into the country. The statement was made by Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis responding to a question by main opposition Socialist Party PASOK parliament deputies concerning the government policy on AIDS.
According to Mr. Kaklamanis, the Operation Centers of the Health Sector Coordinating Body and the Special Infections Control Center are on a 24-hour alert since January 4, 2006 when it was formally announced that 6 people in Turkey tested positive for the H5N1 virus.
 WINTER TEMPERATURES ACROSS THE COUNTRYThessaloniki, 10 January 2006 (11:55 UTC+2)
The low temperatures and gusty winds in the Aegean Sea are the main characteristics of today's weather, according to the Hellenic National Meteorological Service, EMY.
Skies will be cloudy and temperature under 7 degrees Celsius in Macedonia and Thrace, north Greece.
Winds will be northeasterly weak to moderate, while in eastern Greece will be strong to very strong.
 THE WATER LEVEL OF EVROS RIVER IS DROPPINGAlexandroupolis, 10 January 2006 (13:57 UTC+2)
The water level of Evros River is dropping after the induced levee breach at Pithio yesterday morning and the opening of two dam gates in the same region in an effort by local authorities to avoid uncontrollable flooding.
The water level at Pithio station dropped from 6.16 meters yesterday to 5.65 meters this morning.
Meanwhile, Evros Prefect Nikolaos Zabounidis requested a meeting with the responsible authorities across the borders with Bulgaria and Turkey to examine ways to better deal with the situation.
 FOREIGN MINISTER MOLYVIATIS MET WITH BELGIAN COUNTERPARTAthens, 10 January 2006 (18:22 UTC+2)
The Cyprus issue, the future of the European Union and developments in the Balkans were among the issues discussed in the meeting Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis had with his Belgian counterpart Karel de Gucht who is on a visit to Athens.
Referring to the Cyprus issue the Belgian Foreign Minister, who visited Nicosia yesterday, pointed out that the solution of the problem is important not only for the island itself for the EU and wider region as well.
On the ratification of the Ankara Protocol by Turkey, the Belgian Foreign Minister stressed that the protocol is included in the agreement for the opening of the accession negotiations and Turkey has to comply.
Regarding the same issue, Mr. Molyviatis spoke of clear timetables and reiterated that like any other candidate state Turkey has to meet its obligations.
On the future of the European Union, Mr. Molyviatis stressed that the time of contemplation should end at some point and action should be undertaken, while he backed the revival of the European Constitutional Treaty ratification process.
Greece believes in a Europe united not only economically and monetarily but culturally and in terms of defense as well, stated Mr. Molyviatis.
On his part, Mr. De Gucht characterized as positive message the agreement reached on the EU Fiscal Prospects in 2007-2013 which, even though not ideal, unblocked the fiscal situation and created conditions that can benefit all members.
Responding to a question on the measures against the spread of bird flu and the cases recorded in Turkey, Mr. De Gucht stressed that Ankara is in full cooperation with the responsible EU agencies and Mr. Molyviatis pointed out that both the EU and Greece, as a neighboring country, are fully aware of the problem and all necessary measures have been taken.
On Greece's bid to assume the OSCE presidency in 2009 or 2010, Mr. Molyviatis pointed out that the issue is regarded as very important and is being promoted on bilateral level as well.
 THE GOVERNMENT ON MEASURES AGAINST THE SPREAD OF BIRD FLUAthens, 10 January 2006 (17:48 UTC+2)
Acting government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros referred to the EU action plan adopted in the fall of 2004 responding to questions by reporters on the measures taken against the bird flu.
Mr. Antonaros stated that all measures provided within the framework of the plan have been taken adding that it is up to the EU to decide if there is a need to implement or adopt new measures under the present circumstances. He also stated that there is absolute coordination between all responsible government ministries and the prime minister is briefed on the situation.
Mr. Antonaros stated that all trucks entering Greece from the Turkish borders are being disinfected while a ban is in effect on poultry imports from specific countries.
 PHILLIP MORRIS-PAPASTRATOS INVESTMENT OF 100 MILLION EUROSAthens, 10 January 2006 (15:46 UTC+2)
The tobacco company Papastratos, member of Phillip Morris International, will proceed with the construction of new high-tech cigarette production facilities in Aspropirgos, wider Athens area, with an overall annual production capacity of 20 billion cigarettes.
The new Papastratos facilities will cover a space of over 40,000 square meters. Construction will get underway this year and is scheduled to be completed in 2008.
Minister of Development Dimitris Sioufas congratulated the company for choosing Greece to materialize this investment within the framework of the new Developmental Law. He also expressed the wish that the company will continue to absorb a large part of the Greek tobacco production. Mr. Sioufas stated that the government supports entrepreneurship and creates a friendly environment for foreign investments through the new Developmental Law, the new taxation law, the new law on manufacturing businesses permits etc.
According to Laurent Boissart, Papastratos managing director, the 100-million-euro investment is for Phillip Morris International a great opportunity to further expand its business activity in Greece and an expression of the company's long-term commitment to have a business presence in the Greek market highlighting its confidence in the potential of the Greek economy.
 NEW BSTDB VICE PRESIDENT FINANCEThessaloniki, 10 January 2006 (13:38 UTC+2)
Ms. Sophia Kassidova was appointed Vice President Finance of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, BSTDB, following a proposal by the Bulgarian government. Ms. Kassidova took up her duties as of January 9, 2006, upon expiration of the term of office of Mr. Plamen Petrov.
The banking career of Ms. Kassidova began in 1995 when she assumed responsible positions at the Ionian Bank of Greece (Sofia branch) and at Hex Capital (Czech Republic). In 1997 she joined the Bulgarian National Bank as a Chief Expert in International and Multilateral Financing department. In 1999, she moved to the State Savings Bank of Bulgaria as a Project Manager. From 2000 to 2001, she was in charge of the Bulgarian and the Balkans coverage at the Credit Suisse First Boston Bank in Czech Republic.
In 2001, Ms. Kassidova was appointed Deputy Minister of Economy of Bulgaria in charge of the EU accession negotiations and relations with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on trade and macroeconomic policy issues. In 2003, she assumed duties of Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications responsible for the EU accession negotiations and management of large-scale projects financed by EIB and EU. She has also served as Chair of the Managing Board of the Sofia Airport and Chair of Supervisory Board of Biochim Bank (Bulgaria). From March 2002 to April 2003, Ms. Kassidova served as Co-Chair of Working Table 2 (Economic Reconstruction, Development and Co-operation) of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe. From 2002 to 2005, she represented Bulgaria on the Board of Directors of the BSTDB.
Ms. Kassidova has a Masters degree in International Banking and Financial Services from the University of Reading (UK), and a Masters diploma in Economics from the University of the State of New York & CEU.
She is the author of several publications in the field of foreign investments, privatization and SMEs.
Ms. Kassidova speaks Bulgarian, English, Russian, Czech and Spanish.
 NO AFTERSHOCK ACTIVITY IN THE KYTHIRA REGIONThessaloniki, 10 January 2006 (12:45 UTC+2)
Minimal to non existent is the aftershock activity in the region between the island of Kythira, south of Peloponnesus, and Crete where the powerful earthquake of magnitude 6.9 was recorded last Sunday at noon rocking the eastern Mediterranean Basin.
According to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Geophysics Laboratory, the aftershocks recorded since Sunday were very few proving that the powerful earthquake did not come from a depth close to the earth's surface. The strongest aftershock measured 4 on the Richter scale and was recorded in the same region, south of Kythira, at 7.04' yesterday morning while other 3 smaller aftershocks have also been recorded.
Aristotle University Geophysics Laboratory seismologist Manolis Skordilis pointed out that no neighboring faults have been activated because the earthquake came from a relatively large depth beneath the earth's surface as opposed to the devastating earthquake of magnitude 7.6 that rocked Turkey in August 1999 when a number of neighboring faults were activated.
 EARTHQUAKE OF MAGNITUDE 4.3 IN CEPHALONIAThessaloniki, 10 January 2006 (12:16 UTC+2)
An earthquake of magnitude 4.3 was recorded at 10.10' this morning and its epicenter was in the sea region west of the Ionian island of Cephalonia.
According to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Geophysics Laboratory, the earthquake's epicenter was located 350 kms northwest of Thessaloniki and no aftershocks were recorded.
For the record, an earthquake of 4.5 on the Richter scale was recorded last Saturday in the same region. According to a statement made to ANA-MPA by Aristotle University seismologist Manolis Skordilis, the area gives many earthquakes and the latest tremors do not constitute indication of heightened earthquake activity.
He also stated that today's tremor is highly unlikely to be related to the Kythira earthquake because of the great distance between the two epicenters and also because the Kythira earthquake came from a relatively large depth beneath the earth's surface.
 SECOND MEETING ON THE NEW WORK CONTRACTAthens, 10 January 2006 (11:39 UTC+2)
The Greek General Confederation of Labor, GSEE, and employers' representatives will have a second meeting on the new National Collective Work Contract today.
GSEE demands that the positions expressed in the previous meeting by Federation of Greek Industries, SEV, President Ulysses Kyriakopoulos be withdrawn because, according to the labor unions, they lead to the complete downgrading of the national and other sector work contracts. GSEE also accused the employers' side of taking liberties and exploiting the government policy appearing in the negotiations with positions leading to the overthrow of inviolable conquests of the workers.