|Tuesday, 13 April 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-01-11
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 HEIGHTENED VIGILANCEAthens, 11 January 2006 (15:28 UTC+2)
The epidemiological developments in Turkey are not good. This is not alarming for the overall epidemiological developments for the time being given the constantly changing situation on a day-to-day basis. There should be no panic, but heightened vigilance, stated Minister of Health Nikitas Kaklamanis after briefing Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on the measures taken in Greece against the bird flu together with Minister of Interior Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Minister of Rural Development Evangelos Basiakos.
Everything humanly possible has been done months ago, stated Mr. Kaklamanis.
The UN Food and Agriculture Organization warned that the bird flu can assume an endemic form in Turkey and can threaten neighboring countries, while Dr. Bochosian, head of the Regional Veterinary Agency, in Sofia stated that the killer bird flu virus is likely to hit Bulgaria within the next 30 days.
 DEPUTY PUBLIC ORDER MINISTER MARKOGIANNAKIS RESIGNEDAthens, 11 January 2006 (13:48 UTC+2)
Deputy Minister of Public Order Christos Markogiannakis resigned after the insulting comments he allegedly made about Supreme Court Prosecutor Mr. Linos.
Minister of State Thodoris Rousopoulos said that everybody has to respect justice and its servants, adding that New Democracy and its leading officials have demonstrated their respect through time.
Main opposition Socialist Party PASOK spokesman Nikos Athanasakis stated that if everything broadcast is true then it is obvious that Mr. Markogiannakis cannot remain in his post.
 MINISTERS OF PUBLIC ORDER AND JUSTICE ADDRESS THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE ON DOMESTIC AFFAIRSAthens, 11 January 2006 (17:53 UTC+2)
Minister of Public Order Giorgos Voulgarakis attributed the widespread rumors on alleged abductions of Pakistani immigrants to only a few within the Hellenic National Intelligence Service, NIS, who refuse to adjust to the national role their service is performing for the past few years. He also accused certain media of displaying irresponsible and criminal behavior.
Addressing the Parliamentary Committee on Domestic Affairs, Mr. Voulgarakis clarified that the Greek authorities engaged in investigations last summer to verify information on the activities of individuals residing in Greece linked with the terrorist attack in London. Within the framework of the investigation, identity checks were made on over 5,000 foreign nationals and over 2,000 were briefly detained for questioning but nothing alarming came up. Not the current government or any other Greek government could resort to masks, hoods and other James Bond-like methods not only for reasons of principle but because the system itself allows us to meet the goals set in a legitimate and effective manner, stated Mr. Voulgarakis.
Minister of Justice Anastasis Papaligouras clarified that there is no lack of cooperation between his own ministry and the Ministry of Public Order.
Mr. Papaligouras also stressed that Justice is independent and will do its duty without any outside interference. He said that the existing allegations will be clarified, while regarding the talk on the existence of secret agreements between Greece and other countries within the framework of the battle against terrorism he stated that he has no knowledge of that and that the existence of such agreements is unthinkable for him.
 THE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN BRIEFED REPORTERSAthens, 11 January 2006 (17:51 UTC+2)
Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos responded today to questions by reporters on the contents of the telephone communication between Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and his British counterpart Jack Straw on the issue of the Pakistani immigrants.
Mr. Koumoutsakos responded by reiterating an earlier statement issued by the Foreign Ministry stressing that it is a firm diplomatic tactic not to make public the exact contents of such talks.
The government has no information or knowledge of the allegations concerning the detention of individuals in the US base in Souda, Crete, underlined Mr. Koumoutsakos responding to another question, while referring to the impact the case of the Pakistanis had internationally he said that he is not under the impression that Greece has been exposed or that its prestige was hurt adding that there have been negative press reports in the past but later they were retracted.
Mr. Koumoutsakos characterized as very positive the orientation of the Austrian EU Presidency, the promotion of the European constitutional treaty and the further rapprochement with the SE European countries.
Referring to the SE European countries, he underlined that Athens regards their European orientation as very important stressing that first they should meet the EU criteria and adopt the necessary domestic reforms and an international policy with an emphasis on good neighborly relations.
Referring to the Greek-Turkish and Euro-Turkish relations, Mr. Koumoutsakos underlined the formula "full implementation-full membership" and stressed that Athens supports Turkey's European prospect but it does not issue a carte blanche.
The Foreign Ministry spokesman underlined that the implementation of the criteria in Kosovo is very important, adding that the settlement and stabilization of the situation in Kosovo cannot take place at the expense of regional stability.
Mr. Koumoutsakos reminded that Greece supports a solution to the Cyprus issue without pressing timetables and arbitrations and underlined that the solution process should be very well-prepared to achieve an agreed solution.
 THE BRITISH AMBASSADOR VISITED LOCAL AUTHORITIES IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 11 January 2006 (17:49 UTC+2)
British ambassador to Athens Simon Gass visited Region of Central Macedonia general secretary Giorgos Tsiotras and discussed issues of bilateral interest such as the progress of public works in the region, the development law and the existing investment opportunities.
The British ambassador expressed the British tourist interest in the region, as well as the British interest in the investment plans and the innovation zone.
During his visit to the Prefecture of Thessaloniki, the British ambassador made no statement on the issue of the arrests and questionings of Pakistani nationals. Responding to a question by a reporter he said characteristically that he has no comment on the issue.
The ambassador met with Thessaloniki Prefect Panagiotis Psomiadis accompanied by Britain's honorary consul general in Thessaloniki Sarah Edwards-Economides.
Mr. Psomiadis referred to the strong interest of Britain and the ambassador himself in the prospect of investments in the region.
The British ambassador stated that there is room for great tourist improvement in north Greece stressing that an estimated 3 million British tourists visit Greece every year. He stated that north Greece is a very important area for Britain in terms of tourist and social prospects.
 ENERGETIC ALERTAthens, 11 January 2006 (13:14 UTC+2)
Greece is in a state of energetic alert for the bird flu according to Minister of Rural Development and Food Evangelos Basiakos who clarified that there is no particular reason for concern given the fact that all necessary precautionary measures have been taken and the emergency intervention action plan is being implemented.
Meanwhile, the Kipi customs office received a backup disinfection system because there is likelihood for a problem in the special fluid supply system of the device as a result of the low temperatures in the region.
A meeting took place under the prime minister with the participation of Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Health Minister Nikitas Kaklamanis and Rural Development Minister Evangelos Basiakos on the measures adopted against the spread of bird flu.
 THE FINANCE MINISTER MET WITH THE PRIME MINISTER OF LUXEMBOURGLuxembourg, 11 January 2006 (18:16 UTC+2)
Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis reiterated the Greek government's commitment to cut fiscal deficit under 3% of the GDP in 2006. He made the statement in Luxembourg were he met today with Eurogroup President Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker.
After the meeting, Mr. Alogoskoufis stated that he had a very good cooperation with the Eurogroup President and discussed all issues to be examined by the Eurogroup during the following six-month period. He said that mainly those issues were the evaluation of the reform programs and the development and stability programs prepared by all countries.
Mr. Alogoskoufis stated that he outlined all initiatives undertaken by the Greek government aimed at cutting deficit as well as the reforms within the framework of the Lisbon Strategy. He said that he reiterated the government's commitment that deficit will be under 3% of the GDP in 2006 based on the state budget voted in parliament for Greece to be able to exit the excessive deficit process.