|Tuesday, 20 April 2021|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-01-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PRIME MINISTER KARAMANLIS MET WITH CHINESE PRESIDENT HU JINTAOBeijing, 20 January 2006 (14:23 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis stated after meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao within the framework of his formal visit to Beijing that he is certain that this visit will be a landmark in the efforts to further promote bilateral relations and cooperation in many sectors for the benefit of both peoples.
Yesterday, Mr. Karamanlis signed a framework agreement with his counterpart Wen Jiabao for the establishment of a permanent Business Forum, cooperation in the sector of small and medium size businesses, the export of 60,000 tons of phosphoric fertilizers from Greece to China, cooperation between seaports and shipping companies, direct flights linking Athens and Beijing and the organizing of a Greek Culture Year in 2008 in China coinciding with the Beijing Olympic Games.
Prime Minister Karamanlis after completing his contacts in the Chinese capital characterized his visit to Beijing as a landmark in the Chinese-Greek relations.
Chinese President Hu Jintao welcomed Mr. Karamanlis by saying that he is an old friend of China and gives a special attention to the development of bilateral relations, seeing the Chinese economic growth as an opportunity for Greece.
The Chinese President characterized yesterday's meeting of the Chinese Prime Minister with his Greek counterpart as very good and referred to the strategic cooperation agreement.
In his response Mr. Karamanlis stressed that the two countries do not have the same size and population but their common element is their long history and civilization.
Referring to political issues, the Prime Minister stressed that the two countries cooperate closely in the UN Security Council and they share the same views on many issues. Mr. Karamanlis thanked the Chinese President for his stance on the Cyprus issue.
On the Taiwan issue, Mr. Karamanlis confirmed Greece's firm position in favor of the one China principle and its opposition to Taiwan's independence.
On the lifting of the EU imposed arms embargo on China, he stated that the embargo will be lifted as soon as the work on certain code of conduct elements is completed.
He backed the Chinese request to receive market economy status by the EU underlining that according to the EU legislation it is imperative that certain technical facts will have to be fulfilled followed by a relevant European Commission proposal.
The Greek government supports the dialogue on the issue and will contribute actively toward a market economy status for China as soon as possible, said the Prime Minister.
According to information, the Chinese President gave a special emphasis on maritime issues while on tourism he stated that he encourages the Chinese to travel to Greece.
The Greek Prime Minister also referred to the Greek farm products and mainly olive oil as well as to the prospects for the further strengthening of bilateral relations.
The Prime Minister has already departed from Beijing and is on his way to Shanghai where he will address a Greek-Chinese business conference.
 BELOW ZERO TEMPERATURES IN NORTH GREECEThessaloniki, 20 January 2006 (14:38 UTC+2)
Freezing temperatures are being recorded in central-west Macedonia, north Greece. Temperature dropped below zero during the night even in areas close to the sea level.
The lowest temperature was recorded in Florina minus 6C, while Kozani and Kastoria had minus 3C, Serres minus 2C and Kavala minus 1C.
In the city of Thessaloniki and the surrounding area is sunny and temperature is low with strong northerly winds recorded since yesterday afternoon.
 POLICE OPEN SAFE-DEPOSIT BOX BELONGING TO BANK ROBBERAthens, 20 January 2006 (19:01 UTC+2)
Police opened a bank safe-deposit box 28-year-old Yiannis Dimitrakis kept in his name in an Emporiki Bank branch in Athens. Dimitrakis, who is hospitalized in Athens' Geniko Kratiko Hospital, was injured from police gunfire during a shootout following a bank robbery a few days ago in the center of Athens.
According to police, the safe-deposit box contained approximately 50,000 euros.
Police believe that the money came from robberies, while the exact amount found in the safe-deposit box will be made public shortly.
 FOUR HUNDRED VETS AND THREE DIRECT INTERVENTION TEAMS ARE IN A STATE OF ALERT TO AVERT THE SPREAD OF BIRD FLUThessaloniki, 20 January 2006 (15:09 UTC+2)
Four hundred vets and zootechnicians, 200 of them coming from the military, man the responsible state agencies within the framework of the measures taken and the heightened vigilance into effect, aimed at averting the spread of the bird flu virus in Greece.
The likelihood for the bird flu to spread has become minimal but the threat is still there and the state mechanism operates in a very effective manner, stated Deputy Rural Development and Food Minister Alexandros Kontos from Thessaloniki where he visited veterinary labs.
He also underlined that during a visit yesterday by ministry officials to regions bordering Turkey it was confirmed that there is enough staff and adequate infrastructure while three ten-member direct intervention teams have been formed to mobilize immediately as soon as a suspect bird flu case is reported.
 BLOODY BANK ROBBERY SUSPECT ARRESTED IN ATHENSAthens, 20 January 2006 (14:49 UTC+2)
One of the suspects for involvement in the bloody bank robbery and shootout in the center of Athens a few days ago was arrested today.
The individual arrested is a 28-year-old close friend of Yiannis Dimitrakis who was injured when special guards pursuing him after the robbery opened fire and is now hospitalized in Athens' Geniko Kratiko Hospital.
The 28-year-old is allegedly one of the four robbers who managed to escape after the shootout.
Police spokesman Lefteris Economou is expected to give details on the case later today.