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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-12-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] FINNISH PRIME MINISTER VISITS ATHENS
  • [02] GREEK PRESIDENT PAYS OFFICIAL VISIT TO PORTUGAL
  • [03] AMERICAN PRESIDENT ADDRESSES LETTER ON CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [04] NATO DEFENCE MINISTERS MEET IN BRUSSELS
  • [05] GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN COMMENTS ON SEATTLE INCIDENTS
  • [06] ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER BACKS RETURN OF PARTHENON MARBLES
  • [07] GREECE JOINS SCHENGEN TREATY
  • [08] NEW ANTI-SEISMIC BUILDING CODE
  • [09] GREEK AUSTRALIAN LIKELY TO BE PROCLAIMED "YOUTH OF THE YEAR"
  • [10] ATHENS AND PIRAEUS POISED FOR THE MILLENNIUM
  • [11] MORE THAN 800,000 FOREIGNERS WORKING IN GREEC┼

  • [01] FINNISH PRIME MINISTER VISITS ATHENS

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis met in Athens yesterday with his Finnish counterpart and president of the EU Paavo Lipponen. After the meeting the Greek prime minister stated that Greece would veto Turkey's candidacy with the Union unless a context of clear stands on peace, development and cooperation for the region was formulated at the EU summit in Helsinki. Greece's stand, Mr Simitis said, will depend on the procedure for Cyprus' admission to the EU, which must not be linked with a settlement of the Cyprus issue, as well as with Turkey's attitude on Greek-Turkish relations. For his part, the Finnish prime minister admitted that Greece's concern was justified, adding that all EU member states agreed with Cyprus' entry in the EU, as well as with the view that Turkey's candidacy should be judged on the basis of the Copenhagen criteria.

    [02] GREEK PRESIDENT PAYS OFFICIAL VISIT TO PORTUGAL

    President of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos is currently on a four-day official visit to Lisbon. Mr Stefanopoulos met yesterday with Portuguese prime minister Antonio Gutieres and discussed bilateral relations and major issues of concern to the EU, in view of the Helsinki summit and the fact that Portugal will assume the presidency of the EU on January 1st, 2000. Speaking at the official banquet hosted in his honour by Portuguese president Jorge Sabaio, president Stefanopoulos referred to Greek-Turkish relations and Turkey's European prospects. Ankara, Mr Stefanopoulos said, should show a spirit of cooperation which would allow for the settlement of the long-running problems of Cyprus and the delineation of continental shelf in the Aegean according to international law. Referring to the Cyprus issue in particular, president Stefanopoulos expressed the hope that Cyprus would soon find the position it deserved in the European Union. Today, the Greek president will visit the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Lisbon's City Hall. He will also attend a banquet the Portuguese prime minister will host in his honour, while he will inaugurate an exhibition of Byzantine icons together with the Portuguese president tonight.

    [03] AMERICAN PRESIDENT ADDRESSES LETTER ON CYPRUS ISSUE

    UN secretary general Kofi Annan is expected to convey to Cypriot president Glafkos Kliridis and Turkish Cypriot representative Rauf Denktash a letter from American president Bill Clinton on the Cyprus issue. Diplomatic circles describe president Clinton's letter as decisive for the outcome of the Cyprus proximity talks opening in New York today. Meanwhile Washington is strongly backing the EU's decision to start entry talks with Nicosia, American state department spokesman James Rubin said yesterday, commenting on Mr Denktash's statement that Cyprus' admission procedure should stop.

    [04] NATO DEFENCE MINISTERS MEET IN BRUSSELS

    The biannual inter-ministerial meeting of Nato defence ministers was held in Brussels yesterday. The ministers addressed a clear warning that ethnic cleansing operations against minorities in Kosovo should stop. They also pointed out the need for effective intervention on the part of the EU to face crucial problems in Kosovo. Greek national defense minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos expressed concern over the continuing ethnic cleansing operations in Kosovo against all non-Albanian minorities.

    [05] GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN COMMENTS ON SEATTLE INCIDENTS

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas commented on the protest incidents in Seattle against the conference of the World Trade Organization. He said protest demonstrations were a normal part of democracy and not pathological phenomena. He also described the Seattle incidents as a good lesson for those who criticized the protest demonstrations in Athens during the visit of American president Bill Clinton.

    [06] ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER BACKS RETURN OF PARTHENON MARBLES

    Italian prime minister Massimo D'Alema said yesterday he was in favour of the return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece. He was speaking at a ceremony during which a second century AD statue was returned to Libya.

    [07] GREECE JOINS SCHENGEN TREATY

    Greece will become a full member of the Schengen treaty on January 1st, 2000, according to yesterday's decision of the competent committee in Brussels.

    [08] NEW ANTI-SEISMIC BUILDING CODE

    The new anti-seismic code, which is ready and will come into effect in the year 2000, will provide for stricter construction standards to protect buildings during quakes. This was announced yesterday during a conference on safer buildings organized by the Association of Greek Civil Engineers, the Organization for Anti-Seismic Planning and Protection and the Greek Technical Chamber.

    [09] GREEK AUSTRALIAN LIKELY TO BE PROCLAIMED "YOUTH OF THE YEAR"

    Greek Australian Nikos Moraitis, who is only 17, has many chances of being declared "Australian Youth of the Year". He is a specialist in personal computers and computer software.

    [10] ATHENS AND PIRAEUS POISED FOR THE MILLENNIUM

    Athens is preparing to bid farewell to 1999 and usher in the new millennium with a multimedia show against the backdrop of the Acropolis. The port city of Piraeus is also busy making its own preparations for 2000. At a press conference yesterday, Piraeus mayor Christos Agrapidis outlined a programme of events, which will begin on December 4th and continue until January 6th, next year.

    [11] MORE THAN 800,000 FOREIGNERS WORKING IN GREEC┼

    According to a recent survey carried out by the National Labour Institute, more than 800,000 foreigners, most of them Albanians and people from other Balkan countries, as well as from Egypt, Pakistan and the Philippines are working in Greece. 43% of them have said that they wish to remain in the country. In addition, the Institute's report points out that Greece is now acquiring the characteristics of a multicultural society, a phenomenon observed in the United States, Canada and many developed European countries.
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