|Tuesday, 18 December 2018|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-01-26
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 WEATHER IMPROVES GRADUALLYThessaloniki, 26 January 2006 (13:41 UTC+2)
Weather in Greece improves gradually but freezing temperatures and 24-hour frost conditions will continue to be recorded across the country.
The Civil Protection General Secretariat cautions drivers and pedestrians to be very careful to avoid accidents during the next 24 hours.
Cars using most of the national and provincial road network need snow chains.
The electricity network in the Ionian island of Cephalonia is gradually restored while many mountain and island regions are still without electricity.
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis expressed his support yesterday to the people facing problems because of the bad weather stressing that the state mechanism had taken all necessary measures. He added, however, that there were incidents that was impossible to be avoided.
Main opposition Socialist Party PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou and the Communist Party called for heating allowance for the people with low income.
 JACK STRAW IN ATHENSAthens, 26 January 2006 (13:54 UTC+2)
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw will be received by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in Athens this afternoon and tomorrow he will meet with main opposition Socialist Party PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou.
Mr. Straw will be in Athens on a working visit that is not part of a special mission on the Cyprus issue, stated government spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos.
The Cyprus Republic government has criticized the aim of Mr. Straw's visit to Cyprus and the way it took place.
 LAST GOODBYE TO RUGOVAPristina, 26 January 2006 (14:20 UTC+2)
Thousands of people are expected in the capital of Kosovo, Pristina, for the funeral of President Ibrahim Rugova.
Albanian President Alfred Moisiu and EU High Representative of CFSP Javier Solana paid the last tribute to Ibrahim Rugova.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson will head the US delegation.
Serb President Boris Tadic requested to attend the funeral but the Rugova family rejected his request.
Greece will be represented by Aegean and Island Policy Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis.
 PAPANDREOU'S COMMENTS AFTER MEETING WITH FOREIGN MINISTER MOLYVIATISAthens, 26 January 2006 (16:09 UTC+2)
Turkey has undertaken specific obligations toward the European Union. It tries to avoid these obligations in exchange with an indirect de facto recognition of the northern part of Cyprus, the occupied part, stated main opposition Socialist Party PASOK President Giorgos Papandreou after meeting with Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis.
Mr. Papandreou stated that such proposals cannot be accepted and called on the government to make all necessary moves particularly toward the EU which must guarantee that Turkey will materialize all its obligations without deviations. He stressed that the Cyprus issue is an international problem, a problem of invasion and occupation of an independent state.
 PRESIDENT PAPOULIAS VISITED PERUGIAPerugia, 26 January 2006 (17:51 UTC+2)
Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias continues his formal visit to Italy for a third day and today met with the mayor of Perugia. President Papoulias was also declared doctor emeritus of philosophy in the University of Perugia celebrating its 700th anniversary.
Tackling unemployment and dynamic development are the main challenges for the European Union, stressed the President speaking in the special ceremony held in the university.
In his speech on "European Union - Challenges and Visions", Mr. Papoulias placed a special emphasis on the need by the EU to adopt a realistic policy combining a strong social European model, development and macroeconomic balance.
Referring to the EU foreign relations, he observed that the 21st century world order should be based on international law and the broad democratization of international relations and not on a unilateral strategy of selective actions.
Referring to the Cyprus issue, Mr. Papoulias stated that it should be solved based on UN decisions and resolutions and EU principles and expressed the wish that the UN Secretary General process will resume soon. He stated that it is a fundamental EU obligation to contribute in a meaningful way to the end of the illegal occupation of an EU member state by Turkey, stating that this is a reality that hurts the deepest European values.
On terrorism, Mr. Papoulias pointed out that societies are determined to defend themselves effectively without putting at risk constitutional dictates and human rights.
On the institutional future of the EU after the rejection of the European Constitution in France and Holland, the President underlined that institutional dialogue should highlight political goals adding that any effort is doomed to failure without the meaningful participation of the European citizens.
Meanwhile, the deans of the Universities of Perugia and Ioannina, in north-west Greece, signed a Protocol of Cooperation on issues of education.
After Perugia, President Papoulias visited the monastery of Saint Francis in Assisi.
Next stop for President Papoulias and the Greek delegation accompanying him will be Venice.
 PRESIDENT PAPOULIAS' VISIT TO ITALY CONTINUESRome, 26 January 2006 (15:22 UTC+2)
Hellenic Republic President Karolos Papoulias' visit to Italy continues. Yesterday, he had separate meetings with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who gave a formal dinner attended by government ministers Marietta Giannakou and Nikos Tsiartsionis and deputy ministers Petros Tatoulis and Panagiotis Skandalakis. Mr. Papoulias also met with Italian center-left leader Romano Prodi and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini.
In the meeting with Mr. Berlusconi they discussed bilateral relations and stressed the need to further promote cooperation in the sectors of economy, trade and culture. They also discussed the situation in the Balkans, developments in Europe, and Turkey's EU accession course, while Mr. Papoulias briefed the Italian Prime Minister on the Cyprus issue and the Athens-Ankara relations.
Former European Commission President Romano Prodi stressed to Mr. Papoulias that the election campaign period in Italy is tough adding, in statements he made to reporters, that they also discussed the situation in the Mediterranean, the future of Europe, Turkey's accession course, the Cyprus issue and the situation in the Balkans (particularly the Kosovo issue and the fluid situation in the post-Rugova era).
Romano Prodi pointed out in his statements that there is a need for a common peace policy and development in the Mediterranean because the region becomes again a reference point for international economy. Mr. Prodi stated that we have to take advantage of Asia's new economic development that knocks on the door of Europe in the Mediterranean, adding that Greece, Spain, Italy and France should proceed with the development of a new policy in the region to create a new political and economic situation.
Gianfranco Fini stated to reporters that he and Mr. Papoulias discussed the scenarios in progress in the Middle East and the Balkans and not the latest Turkish proposals on Cyprus. He said that the Middle East and the Balkans are two regions close to the borders of Italy and Greece and are of strategic importance for both countries.
Asked to comment on his position on the issue of Kosovo, he said that Kosovo can become independent in the future but under specific terms linked with the guarantees Pristina has to give, adding that these terms have to be in absolute compliance with the necessary guarantees set by the international community. He stressed that he referred to the right of the Serbs to return to their homes and the total respect to the preservation of a multiethnic Kosovo.
Meanwhile, Minister of Education Marietta Giannakou met in Rome with her Italian counterpart and reached agreements on education issues.
Yesterday afternoon, the President inaugurated an exhibition of Cycladic Art masterpieces. The exhibition will be open to the public until February 26.
Yesterday evening, President Papoulias gave a formal reception at a Rome hotel and today will visit Perugia to be declared doctor emeritus of philosophy on the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the University of Perugia.