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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-12-09

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] STATEMENTS ABOUND ON ISSUE OF TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACY
  • [02] NEW REGULATIONS ON COMPOUND INTEREST
  • [03] INFLATION NOT TO AFFECT INTEREST RATES
  • [04] SCHOOLCHILDREN STAGE PROTEST DEMONSTRATIONS
  • [05] WORLD COUNCIL OF HELLENES ABROAD SESSION ENDS IN THESSALONIKI
  • [06] CHURCH OF GREECE TO ACCOMMODATE VOLUNTEERS FOR 2004 OLYMPICS

  • [01] STATEMENTS ABOUND ON ISSUE OF TURKEY'S EU CANDIDACY

    At the close of an inner cabinet session yesterday, prime minister Kostas Simitis said Turkey's EU candidacy would lead to problems and tension, unless clear positions were formulated at the EU summit in Helsinki on relations between Turkey and the European Union and between Turkey and Greece. Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas made it clear that the Greek reply on the Turkish candidacy would be "yes" or "no" depending on Greece's European partners and Ankara. Both the president of the European Commission, Romano Prodi, and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder are in favour of the nomination of Turkey as a candidate country for accession to the European Union. But chancellor Schroeder remarked that the Turkish candidacy would be the most difficult problem to be raised at the summit. European commissioner responsible for EU enlargement Guenther Verheugen has estimated that Turkey is not ready to join the EU. For his part, Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem has warned that a negative reply to Turkey's application for candidacy might lead to confrontation with Greece. He also said that Turkey would not accept special conditions for its candidacy, adding he was against disconnecting Cyprus' EU entry from a Cyprus settlement. The European Court of Human Rights yesterday condemned Turkey for dissolving the Freedom and Democracy party.

    [02] NEW REGULATIONS ON COMPOUND INTEREST

    A legislative act on compound interest for bank loans will be tabled in parliament next week, prime minister Kostas Simitis has announced, clarifying that for new loans compound interest would be calculated on a 6-monthly basis, while interest on debts from older loans would not exceed a certain amount. Nine New Democracy party deputies yesterday tabled an amendment on abolishing the current compound interest regulations, while leader of the Democratic Social Movement Dimitris Tsovolas said the government's decisions on the settlement of debts were pre-election schemes.

    [03] INFLATION NOT TO AFFECT INTEREST RATES

    The increase of the inflation rate to 2.6 percent in November cannot possibly affect the necessary de-escalation of interest rates, national economy minister Yannos Papantoniou has said. He added however that it was up to the Bank of Greece to decide when interest rates would start going down.

    [04] SCHOOLCHILDREN STAGE PROTEST DEMONSTRATIONS

    Thousands of high school students, teachers, parents and party representatives yesterday staged rallies and marches in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras and other major cities in protest at educational reforms. In parliament, justice minister Evangelos Yannopoulos rejected a demand by the Greek Communist party and the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress to withdraw a controversial legislative act allowing prosecutors to press charges against pupils occupying school buildings. The New Democracy party said it was against extreme forms of protest action in the education sector, but also accused the government of hypocrisy and called for dialogue on the issue.

    [05] WORLD COUNCIL OF HELLENES ABROAD SESSION ENDS IN THESSALONIKI

    The third session of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad ended in Thessaloniki yesterday with the election of a new 11-member presidium. A press conference will be given today at the offices of the Council in Thessaloniki on the results of the session and the new presidium's action plan for the next two years. The new presidium will convene this afternoon with the participation of foreign undersecretary responsible for issues of Greeks abroad Grigoris Niotis and the parliamentary inter-party committee for Greeks abroad.

    [06] CHURCH OF GREECE TO ACCOMMODATE VOLUNTEERS FOR 2004 OLYMPICS

    The Church of Greece has decided to participate in a programme for the accommodation of 50 thousand volunteers who will help with the organization of the Olympic Games of the year 2004 in Athens. The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece made the decision yesterday in response to a proposal from the culture ministry. It sent letters to Attica prefecture metropolitan churches requesting information on the number of volunteers for which each church would be able to provide accommodation.
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