|Thursday, 14 November 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-09-20
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA 5 THE VOICE OF GREECE
20/9/2000 1:40:02 μμ
 New York talks on CyprusAfter his meeting in Brussels with the High representative of the European Union responsible for foreign policy and security issues Xavier Solana, the Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem confirmed the good climate and the progress noted at the New York talks with the Greek foreign minister George Papandreou regarding the process of the confidence building measures.
The Greek and Turkish foreign ministers will meet anew on the island of Rhodes on October 18 and in Marmarida on the 19th with the aim to strengthen the two countries bilateral relations on the level of tourism.
Earlier, the Turkish-Cypriot representative Rauf Denktash had stated in New York that he was in favour of a federation, but through a confederation solution.
In response to a question whether there will be significant progress in the present round of proximity talks on Cyprus, the UN secretary general Kofi Annan stated that they were trying to, but could not say that they were there now.
 Athens bourseOn the Athens Stock Exchange, the general share Price index rose on Tuesday by 0.43%, closing at 4,164.06 points.
 Vote on privatizationsIn a roll call vote in Parliament yesterday, the Greek deputies voted for a provision regarding the privatizations of the Greek Post Office, the Greek Telecommunications Organisation and the Sports Organisation.
The ruling Pasok party and the New Democracy party voted for the provision, while the Greek Communist Party and the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress party voted against.
PASOK deputies Kritikos, Papathemelis and Katseli did not vote, while New Democracy deputy Sotiris Chatzigakis voted against.
 No changes in the election system for mayorsInterior minister Vaso Papandreou reassured that the system for the election of mayors would remain the same. Mrs Papandreou made the statement after her meeting with the administrative committee of the Central Committee of Municipalities and Communities.
The two sides opened a discussion about the new system of administration of the metropolitan centres of Athens and Thessaloniki and about the Local administration's charter in the 21st century.
 New record in oil pricesUnrest continues in the international markets due to the soaring fuel prices. The price of crude scored a new record in London, reaching $34.90 per barrel, despite the fact that OPEC left open the possibility of a new increase of the oil production before November.
The International Monetary Fund estimates that the low levels of oil reserves and the production of crude oil- almost to the limit of the producing capacity of oil producing countries- might lead to a further rise of the already high oil prices, giving a blow to development and pushing inflation upwards worldwide.
On the contrary, OPEC's secretary general Rilwanu Luckman stated that he expects oil prices to drop, and gave assurances that the cartel would provide the market with more oil, if necessary.
Meanwhile, the development ministry, refineries, petrol companies and gas stations decided to ''freeze'' fuel prices next week as well with the aim to achieve stability in the oil market.
Meanwhile, extreme pressure is being exerted to the Greek economy following the rise of the US dollar against the euro and the soaring fuel prices due to the tension in the Middle East.
After a meeting chaired by prime minister Kostas Simitis yesterday, national economy minister Yannos Papantoniou left open the possibility of boosting the low salaried-an issue that will be dealt with together with the budget.
Mr Papantoniou ruled out the possibility of reducing fuel taxes, or an increase in taxi or public transport fares. He added that initiatives were expected within the framework of the International Monetary Fund and ECOFIN, which are due to meet next week in Prague and Brussels respectively.
 Statistics on EU funds to GreeceAccording to statistical data released by the European Committee responsible for financing European Union member states, Greece benefited most in 1999 as compared with the other European Union member states, receiving funds amounting to 3.2% of the Gross National Product.
Specifically, Greece's net revenue from the European Union was 3.75 billion euro (1.26 trillion drachmas) in 1999.
 Sydney OlympicsIn an interview with the press, Greek Sports undersecretary George Floridis presented the Greek state's viewpoint of the Olympic Games. Mr Floridis referred to Greece's presence in the Sydney Olympics and referred to the opening ceremony there, stating that the Greeks felt proud since the Olympic anthem was sang by the choir of the Greek-Orthodox Archbishopric of Australia successfully.
The Sports undersecretary referred to the important role the Greeks living abroad played in the organisation of the Games in Sydney and expressed the conviction that the Greeks of the Diaspora would boost their support to the Greek athletes in the coming days since more of them would take part in the Games.
Meanwhile, Greek athlete Ioanna Chatziioannou offered Greece A bronze medal in weight-lifting, in the 63 kilo category. The Greek athlete had gone to Sydney facing several injury problems and winning a medal seemed impossible.
Athlete Nikos Kaklamanakis continues his effort in wind- surfing and is very close to winning a medal, since he was in the 5th place yesterday.
 Revision of the ConstitutionThe revision of the provision of the Constitution regarding the election of a President of the Greek Republic is not expected to take place, since New Democracy party insisted yesterday on its stand for the election of a President by the Greek people instead of PASOK's proposal for his election in Parliament.
 ND party pre-congress meetingNew Democracy Executive committee met yesterday under the chairmanship of the party's leader Kostas Karamanlis and dealt with the party's pre-congress procedures and Greek national issues.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that he intended to request a meeting with the Greek President Konstantinos Stefanopoulos to brief him- as he said- on the alarming developments in Greek national issues.