|Sunday, 17 November 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-09-22
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA 5 VOICE OF GREECE
22/9/2000 10:36:00 ðì
 President Stefanopoulos briefed by George PapandreouThe president of the Greek republic Kostis Stefanopoulos was briefed yesterday by the foreign minister George Papandreou on foreign policy matters.
In statements made later, the foreign minister responded to opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis' request for a meeting of party leaders, by pointing out that he was always available for official briefings on foreign policy issues.
He accused Mr Karamanlis of being too general and vague in his criticisms of the government and called on ND to be more responsible and more specific. Mr Papandreou also referred to criticism directed at him from circles in Cyprus, holding him responsible for the negative situation in the ongoing proximity talks and calling on him to resign.
The foreign minister noted that the Greek government was dealing with a national tragedy in Cyprus and that an attempt was being made to create problems between Athens and Nicosia.
In the meantime, the foreign ministry spokesman Panayotis Beglitis expressed the view that the attacks on Mr Papandreou were being orchestrated by circles which in the past had covered up anti-democratic incidents.
 ND party leader launched attack against the governmentFollowing a meeting yesterday with the president Stefanopoulos, New Democracy partly leader Kostas Karamanlis launched a strong attack against the government for its handling of national issues and called for the immediate convening of a council of political party leaders.
Mr Karamanlis expressed his intense concerns to the president of the republic about foreign policy developments, which he described as negative.
At the same time the ND leader warned that his party would not accept accomplished facts at the expense of the country's national rights and condemned the government's foreign policies on Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus issue and Balkan matters.
 Proximity talks on Cyprus are extendingIn New York, the 4th round of proximity talks on Cyprus is extended till the middle of next week, as the UN secretary general's special envoy for Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, is seeking greater convergence as much as possible.
Meanwhile, the American ambassador in the United Nations met with the Cypriot president Glafkos Cleridis, while the American ambassador in Nicosia gave assurances that the Washington's stand on the Cyprus issue has not changed.
 Government is making efforts to face oil crisisThe government is examining the possibility of implementing measures to support lower income groups, if the dollar and fuel prices continue to soar. If given the green light, the measures will be taken within the context of the new state budget for next year.
Prime Costas Simitis warned that harsh penalties will be imposed on anyone found to be exploiting the current situation by profiteering.
Meanwhile, concern prevails on international markets, as oil prices exceeded 37 dollars a barrel in New York trading and the dollar reached the record price of drachmas 406.7.
In Luxembourg, the 15 EU transport ministers could not reach agreement on the adoption of a common fuel policy. The only agreement reached was on the establishment of a European forum, within the next few months, which will undertake to arbitrate problems arising in the industrial sector.
 European day without automobiles today"A red light for cars, green light for citizens is the main slogan for today, when for the first time, Athens will implement the European day without automobiles. The whole commercial triangle in the city centre will be closed to vehicles from 9 am to 4 pm. Some other municipalities have said they will ban cars up to midnight. Another 60 municipalities throughout the country plan to join Athens in barring vehicles today.
During the ban, public transport will be free of change for commuters, who will also be encouraged to use bicycles or to walk. The environment and public works ministry, which is participating in the programme, has organised a series of concerts and other cultural events, in collaboration with municipal authorities.
 Kedikoglou expelled by PASOK Parliamentary GroupDeputy Vasilis Kedikoglou was expelled by the PASOK Parliamentary Group following prime minister Costas Simitis' decision.
 Athens bourseOn the Athens Stock Exchange, the General Share Price Index fell yesterday (Thursday) by 1,51%, closing at 4,040.61 points.