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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-09-03

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PAPANDREOU BRIEFS POLITICAL LEADERS ON GREEK PROPOSAL
  • [02] PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES NEW ECONOMIC MEASURES
  • [03] ARCHBISHOP TO VISIT SERBIA
  • [04] CALL FOR TOUGHER UN ACTION IN THE CYPRUS DISPUTE
  • [05] BRITISH AND TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET IN LONDON
  • [06] GREEK EARTH TREMOR REGISTERED
  • [07] OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS FLY AID TO TURKEY
  • [08] BALKAN ENERGY INITIATIVE
  • [09] KYRKOS TO BE NOMINATED FOR PRESIDENCY
  • [10] SPATE OF SUMMER STORMS HITS GREECE

  • [01] PAPANDREOU BRIEFS POLITICAL LEADERS ON GREEK PROPOSAL

    The foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, had meetings yesterday with the New Democracy party president, Kostas Karamanlis, the general secretary of the Greek Communist party, Aleka Papariga, and the president of the Coalition, Nikos Konstantopoulos, to brief them on the Greek proposal regarding EU funding for Turkey, in view of the forthcoming informal meeting of the EU foreign ministers' council in Helsinki. During her meeting with Mr Papandreou, Ms Papariga said her party supported the dispatch of humanitarian aid to Turkey, while the Coalition leader accused the government of failing to take a clear stand over the issue of the Greek veto. The New Democracy party spokesman, Aris Spiliotopoulos, said his party did not disagree with the position adopted by the foreign minister, which was in any case the one adopted by the New Democracy party, but he pointed out that the move should have taken place earlier. Today Mr Papandreou will have meetings with the president of the republic, Kostis Stefanopoulos, the speaker of the house, Apostolos Kaklamanis, and the Liberal party leader, Stefanos Manos.

    [02] PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES NEW ECONOMIC MEASURES

    The prime minister, Kostas Simitis, yesterday announced a package of economic measures worth 470 billion drachmas aimed at promoting social justice and boosting the income of low wage-earners. At the end of a marathon cabinet session, the prime minister said state revenue had exceeded the government's expectations and that the time had come to help those in greatest need. The measures include a reduction of the special consumer tax on private cars and heating oil, a rise in the non-taxable income limit to 1,900,000 drachmas, abolition of the so-called objective criteria for the self-employed, and an increase in farmers' pensions and unemployment benefits. The government's general economic policy will be outlined by the prime minister tomorrow during his inaugural address at this year's International Trade Fair in Thessaloniki. The opposition has described the package of measures as serving "pre-election expediencies" and claims they are not consistent with the government's policy. The Greek Communist party described the measures as inadequate, while the Coalition of the Left characterised them as "pre-election promises".

    [03] ARCHBISHOP TO VISIT SERBIA

    Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and all Greece is to pay an official visit to Belgrade soon. Preparations are already under way for his trip. Meanwhile the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church will convene on Monday to discuss the thorny issue of the proposed visit to Greece by Pope John Paul II.

    [04] CALL FOR TOUGHER UN ACTION IN THE CYPRUS DISPUTE

    The Cypriot government spokesman, Michalis Papapetrou, said in Nicosia yesterday that the easygoing manner with which the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, dealt in his latest report with the issue of the safety of the Greek-Cypriots trapped in the northern occupied sector of the island made it easy for the occupying forces not to treat the issue with the necessary gravity and respect. Even the Turkish-Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, has admitted that the recent death of 68-year-old Stelios Harpas in occupied Karpasia was murder. Mr Papapetrou underlined that the Cypriot government held the occupying regime responsible for the safety of the Greek-Cypriots trapped in northern Cyprus. The UN, he said, also has a responsibility and the Cypriot government called upon the Organisation to show more action in this respect.

    [05] BRITISH AND TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTERS MEET IN LONDON

    After his meeting with the British foreign secretary, Robin Cook, in London yesterday the Turkish foreign minister, Ismail Cem, said the Cyprus dispute was a highly complex issue. For his part, the British foreign secretary expressed the hope that recent initiatives would lead to a commonly accepted solution to the Cyprus issue that would allow both Cyprus and Turkey to become members of the EU.

    [06] GREEK EARTH TREMOR REGISTERED

    An earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale was registered at 8.30 this morning, Greek time, with its epicentre in the Gulf of Evvia, 65 km north-northwest of Athens.

    [07] OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS FLY AID TO TURKEY

    The Union of Greek Olympic Champions flew to Constantinople yesterday with a cargo of humanitarian aid for the earthquake victims in Turkey. The Olympic medalists included Papakostas, Migiakis, Galaktopoulos, Tselili, Xanthou and Papanastasiou. Meanwhile the proceeds from ticket sales for last night's football match between PAOK and Galata-Serai are to be donated to the earthquake-stricken population of Izmit.

    [08] BALKAN ENERGY INITIATIVE

    Energy ministers from five Balkan countries - Greece, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Romania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - are to meet in Thessaloniki on 10th September to sign a declaration on the setting-up of a competitive electric energy market in south-eastern Europe and the promotion of investments in the energy sector.

    [09] KYRKOS TO BE NOMINATED FOR PRESIDENCY

    The Coalition's political secretariat has decided to propose to the party's central committee the candidacy of Leonidas Kyrkos as the new president of Greece.

    [10] SPATE OF SUMMER STORMS HITS GREECE

    Many parts of Greece have been hit in the last few days by torrential rain and thunderstorms which have caused a number of flash floods and considerable damage to property. The meteorological office forecasts that the unsettled weather will continue for the next 48 hours bringing more storms, some of them heavy, to several regions.
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