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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-12-23

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENT STEFANOPOULOS HONOURED BY PARTY SUPPORT
  • [02] TALKS BETWEEN GREEK AND ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTERS
  • [03] CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO GREEKS OF THE DIASPORA
  • [04] US DEMOCRAT BACKS RETURN OF PARTHENON MARBLES TO ATHENS
  • [05] CHANGES PREDICTED IN COURSE OF CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [06] SPATE OF COLD WEATHER HITS GREECE
  • [07] NEW YEAR STANDBY AT GREEK HOSPITALS
  • [08] GREEK-AUSTRALIAN MEMORIAL TO BE CONSTRUCTED
  • [09] GREEK-AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECT DESIGNS MELBOURNE SKYSCRAPER

  • [01] PRESIDENT STEFANOPOULOS HONOURED BY PARTY SUPPORT

    The unexpected statement in parliament two days ago by the New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, that his party would vote for Kostis Stefanopoulos as president of the republic has changed the political landscape and interest has now shifted to when the elections will be held. Through this surprise move, Mr Karamanlis attempted to dissociate his party from the election of a president of the republic and let the prime minister, Kostas Simitis, take responsibility for the date of the elections. Mr Karamanlis briefed President Stefanopoulos yesterday on his party's decision to back his re-election. President Stefanopoulos said he felt honoured that the two major parties supported his candidacy. Most New Democracy party deputies have welcomed the decision, although the party's honorary president, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, initially expressed his displeasure. However, he issued a statement yesterday indicating his acceptance of the decision and commenting merely that what was done, was done. The mayor of Athens, Dimitris Avramopoulos, described the New Democracy party's decision to back President Stefanopoulos' re-election as positive. Mr Avramopoulos, who is a former member of the main opposition New Democracy party, said he had personally adopted this position three months ago, but added that while holding the office of mayor he did not wish to be a member of any political party. The government spokesman, Dimitris Reppas, has also described Mr Karamanlis' move as a positive development. He said the government viewed Mr Karamanlis' decision as a vindication of its own policies, but added that it was based on petty partisan criteria which he claimed was equal to accepting defeat. Mr Reppas said the elections would take place after the government had completed its four-year term in office.

    [02] TALKS BETWEEN GREEK AND ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTERS

    The prime minister, Kostas Simitis, had talks yesterday with his Albanian counterpart, Ilir Meta, at which they discussed further progress in bilateral relations and Albania's incorporation in the Euro-Atlantic structures. Mr Simitis said the cooperation between the two countries was very good. He added that both countries were pressing for speedier progress towards implementation of the stability pact in the Balkans. He announced that an agreement had been signed with Albania for assistance in its budget and that the two sides had decided to sign a tourist agreement. Mr Simitis added that issues relating to Albanians working in Greece were also discussed, and he committed the Greek government to securing the best possible framework for Albanian workers in Greece. The Greek prime minister also made it clear that as far as Greece was concerned, the so-called Tsamides property issue did not exist. For his part, Mr Meta praised the upgrading of relations between the two countries and said there would be a further strengthening of economic and trade cooperation between Greece and Albania. He claimed the Greek minority in Albania enjoyed all its rights and added that efforts would be made to deal with a number of outstanding problems.

    [03] CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO GREEKS OF THE DIASPORA

    The president of the republic, Kostis Stefanopoulos, has issued a message to Greeks living abroad, with his best wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Mr Stefanopoulos said the progress of the Greek communities worldwide, the preservation of the Greek language and traditions and the unity being hammered out under the auspices of the church and the Greek communities abroad were a major contribution to, and hope for, the future of Hellenism.

    [04] US DEMOCRAT BACKS RETURN OF PARTHENON MARBLES TO ATHENS

    In the United States, New Jersey Democrat Donald Pane has sent a letter to the newspaper, the Washington Post, announcing his intention to table an amendment in the Senate in favour of the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece. In the amendment, Mr Pane will call for the return of the Marbles to the Acropolis within the next four years so that when the world watches the Olympic Games in Greece in 2004, it will also see the Marbles returned to their place of origin.

    [05] CHANGES PREDICTED IN COURSE OF CYPRUS ISSUE

    The Cypriot foreign minister, Ioannis Kassoulidis, has again expressed his belief that there are changes afoot in the Cyprus dispute, but said it was too early to make any appraisal a possible shift in Turkey's position. He pointed out that Greece had won a diplomatic battle and that Turkey realised Helsinki was just one step on a very long road.

    [06] SPATE OF COLD WEATHER HITS GREECE

    Heavy snowfalls in the prefectures of Kozani, Florina, Kastoria, Imathia, Pella and Evritania have caused major problems for traffic on national and provincial highways in Northern Greece. Ferry services to the Aegean islands have been cancelled because of gale force winds in the region. Thessaloniki was blanketed in snow all day yesterday and the city's airport was closed for several hours. The wave of severe weather is expected to spread south today.

    [07] NEW YEAR STANDBY AT GREEK HOSPITALS

    Hospitals throughout Greece will be on call on New Year's Eve to deal with any problems that might arise as a result of the so-called "millennium bug" in computer systems. Over 100 appliances used for medical purposes will be put temporarily out of action as a precautionary measure.

    [08] GREEK-AUSTRALIAN MEMORIAL TO BE CONSTRUCTED

    Work is expected to get under way in February on the erection of a Greek-Australian memorial next to the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, known as the Shrine of Remembrance, in the centre of Melbourne. It is thought that the unveiling of the Greek-Australian monument, which is intended as a tribute to the 841 Australians who died fighting in Greece during the Second World War, will take place during the celebrations for the anniversary of the Battle of Crete in May 2000.

    [09] GREEK-AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECT DESIGNS MELBOURNE SKYSCRAPER

    The municipality of Melbourne and the ministry of planning in the state of Victoria have approved the construction of the Eureka Tower on the banks of the River Yarra in the city centre. The building, which will be the highest in the southern hemisphere and has a direct connection with the construction of the Golden Gates at Balarat, will be designed by the renowned Greek-Australian architect Nondas Katsalides.
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