|Sunday, 17 November 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-03-17
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
Today's ERA News OnlineWednesday, 17th March, 1999
 European Commission's resignation causes concern worldwideThe repercussions of the most serious crisis to break out in the European Union since its inception are still not clear, following the resignation of the entire European Commission.
Despite speculation that Jacques Santer might retain the presidency, the German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, and the British prime minister, Tony Blair, agreed last night that the name of Mr Santer's successor should be announced at next week's EU summit in Berlin.
The current president of the EU, Chancellor Schroeder, who is visiting Vienna and Athens as part of his tour of European capitals in preparation for the Berlin summit, is expected to discuss the issue today with the Austrian chancellor, Viktor Klima, and the Greek prime minister, Kostas Simitis.
At the same time, the leaders of the European Parliament's political groups have unanimously pointed out the need for the speediest possible replacement of the present European Commission in which, they say, neither the European Parliament nor the public has any confidence.
The American finance undersecretary, Stewart Eisenstadt, yesterday expressed Washington's concern at the Commission's resignation because of the many outstanding trade issues with the United States.
 Government expresses confidence in Greek EU commissionerThe government spokesman, Dimitris Reppas, described as positive the fact that the Greek commissioner, Christos Papoutsis, was not implicated in the charges of mis-management leveled in the committee of experts' report against many of the other commissioners, and he expressed the government's confidence in Mr Papoutsis.
For its part, the New Democracy party estimates that the resignation of the European Commission presages an institutional and political crisis and should be dealt with as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, the development has shaken European money markets, the euro dropping in its parity with the US dollar. At the same time, the Dow Jones index broke through the 10,000 points mark shortly after Wall Street opened for business.
 PASOK party congress opens tomorrowWith the PASOK congress due to open tomorrow, there have been feverish deliberations in the ranks of the ruling party. The political secretariat and executive bureau met yesterday, under the chairmanship of the prime minister to discuss the final details of the congress.
In the context of constitutional reforms, the executive bureau will propose an increase in
the number of central committee members from 150 to 180, and a reduction in the number of executive bureau members from 17 to 11.
The central committee secretary, Kostas Skandalidis, has expressed his optimism concerning party unity at the congress.
The national defence minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, said the congress was an opportunity for a convergence of views, while the national economy minister, Iannos Papantoniou, pointed out that no party official, however senior, could dispute the Greek government's development policy.
 New Democracy party leader winds up visit to USAThe New Democracy party president, Kostas Karamanlis, wound up his 10-day visit to the United States with a meeting with the American defence secretary, William Cohen, in Virginia yesterday, during which he underlined the stabilising role played by the United States in Greek-Turkish relations.
Speaking earlier at the Fletcher University in Boston, Mr Karamanlis extended the hand of friendship to Ankara, on condition that Turkey respected international treaties and abandoned its threats against Greece.
Mr Karamanlis did not leave from Montreal last night on an Olympic Airways flight to Athens because the flight was cancelled when the airliner broke down.
 Economy minister says EU credits absorbed at fast paceThe national economy minister, Iannos Papantoniou, has said that by the end of this year Greece will have absorbed 80% of the credits allocated to this country from the 2nd European support framework, representing the sum of 7 trillion, 200 billion drachmas. He added that the current public works programme was the largest in Greece for the past 100 years.
Mr Papantoniou pointed out that Greece was making very good use of EU credits and among the 15 EU states occupied fourth place in the allotment of credits and fifth place with regard to their absorption.
 16% increase in higher education institution entrantsThe education minister, Gerasimos Arsenis, has announced that one in two candidates sitting the examinations for entrance to higher education establishments in Greece this year will be admitted, as the number of entrants goes up by 16%. Overall, 71,000 candidates will be admitted compared with almost 62,000 last year. Of these, 34,520 will enter university and the rest technical institutes.
 Teachers discuss problems with Greek colleagues in GermanyThe problems faced by the Greek schools in Germany and by teachers and students of the Greek community overseas have been discussed at a meeting of teachers' representatives from all over Germany with representatives of the Greek teachers' federation in Frankfurt.
The impact of the new measures in secondary education on the operation of schools was also discussed.
 Olympic Games' return to Greece the only solutionThe leader of Australia's labour party has commented on the latest developments in the bribery scandal involving the International Olympic Committee by saying the Olympic Games would be saved only if they returned to Greece.
He added that if the Greek government and the IOC helped financially, the Olympic Games could be held on a permanent basis in the country which gave birth to them, namely Greece.
 Greek feta not the only feta cheeseGreece has lost the right to the exclusive use of the name feta cheese for Greek products only after the European Court decided to reverse a previous decision on the issue by the European Commission.
 Results of Coalition elections for Euro-election candidatesThree-day elections within the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress for candidates to the Euro-elections have indicated that Euro-deputies Alekos Alavanos and Michalis Papayannakis are the first two in party members' preference.
 Justice minister hospitalizedJustice minister Evangelos Yannopoulos is undergoing tests in hospital where he was urgently admitted yesterday suffering from partial obstructive ileus. Doctors are hoping to avoid an operation.
 Cooperation between Greek and Rumanian state radiosThe working visit to Greek State Radio by a 5-member team from Rumanian State Radio has been completed.
The group consisted of members from various sectors who, with the help of the international relations management of Greek Radio and "The Voice of Greece" in particular, collected material and conducted interviews on a variety of subjects with emphasis on the economic and the musical/artistic reality of contemporary Greece.
The material will be used in a number of productions of Rumanian radio on Greece.
 23rd Avenue in New York renamed to honour Patriarch23rd Avenue in the mostly Greek Astoria district of New York was renamed Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos Avenue during a special formal ceremony at the New York Town Hall on the occasion of celebrations for the Greek national holiday of March 25th.
The renaming of the avenue, which passes in front of the Patriarchal monastery of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou, was decided by special decree on March 12th by the city's municipal council.