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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-06-22

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, June 22, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] UNSETTLED PASOK SCRAMBLES TO HOLD CONGRESS
  • [02] TWO PALESTINIANS ARRESTED OVER MONK'S MURDER
  • [03] MINISTER REISSUES DEMAND FOR MARBLES' RETURN
  • [04] EU EMPLOYMENT RATE: GREECE RANKS THIRD LOWEST
  • [05] LANDLORD-KIDNAPPER APPEARS IN COURT TODAY
  • [06] GREEK MPS IN THE C 0F E PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
  • [07] AIDS HAS KILLED 21 MILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE
  • [08] MORE LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [09] GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE MEETING
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [10] KAKLAMANIS: ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY
  • [11] THE 1ST GREEK TRADE AND CULTURE EXHIBITION IN CHICAGO

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] UNSETTLED PASOK SCRAMBLES TO HOLD CONGRESS

    Largely due to the not-so-good results of a latest poll, which found the ruling PASOK party's ratings on the decline, its congress has been moved up by six months and will now be held in the first two weeks of October, Prime Minister and party leader Costas Simitis announced himself during yesterday's Executive Bureau meeting.

    Announcing the expedition of congress, Mr. Simitis stated that the change was necessitated by a need for a stronger government, which cannot function effectively due to the prevailing uncertainty.

    "The uncertainty over PASOK's ability to confront the country's problems is prevailing, that is on whether it can handle crisis," Mr. Simitis stated, adding "the current political situation is to the detriment of the country and for this reason there is a need for a clear-cut solution. The country needs a strong and effective government."

    The prime minister attributed the current situation on several factors, such as the handling of the social security issue, the various approaches of party officials to the economic course of the country and the continual challenges posed to the governmental work from "all those that are against the modernization of the country"

    As such, he stated, these factors have led to the current conditions and the continual crisis of politics.

    The Premier stressed that the congress will be one of cohesion, unity and victory, adding that the general elections for parliament will be held at the end of the four-year government term, while local elections will take place next year, and the EU Greek presidency in 2003 are intermediate aims.

    The PASOK Executive Bureau will meet again on Wednesday to discuss procedural issues.

    The Premier's visit to China, scheduled for the upcoming week, has been postponed.

    [02] TWO PALESTINIANS ARRESTED OVER MONK'S MURDER

    Israeli security forces have arrested two Palestinians in connection to the murder of a Greek Orthodox priest one week ago, according to a press release issued by the Israeli embassy in Athens. Police are presently interrogating Ismael Daoud Hsen Radaida, 20, who has reportedly confessed to the killing, and Yasser Muhamed Abed Rabaya, 27.

    According to the press release, the two waited in ambush and opened fire against a civilian vehicle that was driven by Father Germanos Tsibouktsakis and escaped to the Arab village of Azaria.

    [03] MINISTER REISSUES DEMAND FOR MARBLES' RETURN

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos has reiterated Greece's demand for the return of the Parthenon Marbles, in a letter sent to his British counterpart Tessa Jowell.

    Congratulating Ms. Jowell on her position in the UK's new cabinet, Mr. Venizelos wrote that "at this crucial stage in the restoration program for the Acropolis, specifically the columns of the Parthenon, architectural elements are needed that are now in the British Museum."

    [04] EU EMPLOYMENT RATE: GREECE RANKS THIRD LOWEST

    Greece holds one of the European Union's lowest employment rates, ranking higher only to Italy and Spain, according to the EU's statistics agency Eurostat.

    Specifically, Eurostat found that Greece's 2000 employment index was 55.9 percent, measuring third from the bottom after Spain at 54.7% and Italy at 53.4%.

    Topping the employment rating among the EU's 15 member states are Denmark with 76.4 percent, followed by the Netherlands (72.9%) and United Kingdom (71.2%).

    At the same time, Greeks are topping the EU list in terms of working hours (40.8 hrs. per week), while the Belgian have the shortest workweek of all with 38.5 hours.

    [05] LANDLORD-KIDNAPPER APPEARS IN COURT TODAY

    A 74-year-old man in Halkidiki was charged yesterday with kidnapping the five-year-old son of an Albanian tenant who owed him 45,000 drachmas in rent.

    Constantine Halkias had rented an apartment to the Albanian family who had not paid the last month's rent after moving out.

    Halkias went to the family's new home and took the boy who was in a relative's care. When the boy's father went to Halkias's home to pay him the rent, he found his son there, eating ice cream.

    The kidnapped child's father pressed charges at the local police station.

    [06] GREEK MPS IN THE C 0F E PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY

    A 13member parliamentary delegation will leave for Strasbourg on Sunday to attend the proceedings of the 3rd Part of the 2001 Summit of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly that will take place on June 25-29.

    In the proceedings will be discussed, among others, the abolition of the death penalty in the Council of Europe observer- status countries, issues concerning the organization's Bank of Development, the trafficking of children in eastern Europe as well as, the obligations and commitments Turkey has undertaken before the Council of Europe.

    [07] AIDS HAS KILLED 21 MILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE

    Almost 5 million new AIDS cases were diagnosed last year and over 21 million people have died from the virus so far, while 36 million have the disease and are fighting for their life.

    The figures were presented by UN information center director Maria-Luisa Chavez in a press conference on the UN special session on AIDS that is scheduled to be held in New York on June 25-27.

    According to the UN officials, the coordination of pharmaceutical companies and private institutes is necessary for cheaper medicines.

    [08] MORE LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    More losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.48% at 2.786,39 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 140.9 million Euro or 48.013 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 105 recorded gains and the overwhelming majority namely, 209, had losses, while the value of 67 stocks remained stable.

    [09] GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE MEETING

    The governmental committee met today to discuss the course of the government work one day after the governing socialist party of PASOK Executive Bureau decision to move up the party congress by five months in order to take place in early October.

    According to information, prime minister Kostas Simitis stated in the lengthy Executive Bureau meeting yesterday that the government is undermined by leading party members and threatened to resign in case his proposal to move up the party congress was rejected. Meanwhile, members of the Executive Bureau made insinuations concerning the government ministers who are not parliament deputies.

    The prime minister stressed that the procedures in the party of PASOK and its congress constitute a social procedure and not just an in-party affair.

    On the Gothenburg EU Summit results, Mr. Simitis stated that Greece must continue to play a leading role in the Balkan situation.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas ruled out today the likelihood of a government reshuffle and pointed out that there is no question of corrective moves as well.

    Mr. Reppas pointed out that the government has a constitutional and political mandate to continue with its work until the next elections and added that the prime minister stressed to the Executive Bureau yesterday that the government will continue its course until 2004.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [10] KAKLAMANIS: ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY

    The countries that still have the death penalty should suspend the executions immediately and proceed with the necessary procedures for its abolition, stated Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis in the 1st International Conference of Parliament Presidents on the abolition of the death penalty.

    Speaking in the conference that was held in Strasbourg by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe in cooperation with international non governmental organizations, Mr. Kaklamanis underlined the inconsistency between words and deeds in the United States.

    He made a special reference to Turkey, the only country member of the Council of Europe, that maintains in its legislation the death penalty even though it seeks to become a member of the European Union. Mr. Kaklamanis pointed out that Turkey, in spite of the obligations it has undertaken, has not adopted measures for the protection of human rights, as it was stressed recently in the Gothenburg summit meeting and considering the situation in the Turkish jails. He also pointed out that it violates human rights in Cyprus where the Turkish occupation of the northern part of the island continues.

    Mr. Kaklamanis had the opportunity to present his views in separate meetings he had with his counterparts with whom he discussed issues concerning the Euro-Mediterranean Conference that will be held in Athens next October organized by the Greek parliament. Meanwhile, a meeting of the parliament presidents of Egypt, Spain, Tunisia and Greece is scheduled to take place in Athens on June 30.

    [11] THE 1ST GREEK TRADE AND CULTURE EXHIBITION IN CHICAGO

    Preparations are underway for the 1st Hellenic Trade and Culture 2001 exhibition in Chicago, United States organized by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, in cooperation with Chicago's World Trade Center (WTCC), the Association of Importers in northern Greece, the Hellenic-American Chamber (AHCC) and the Greek Center of Investments.

    The first part of the exhibition (trade / investments) will take place at Chicago's Merchandise Mart exhibition center on November 5 and 6 and the second part (cultural) will be held in November and December

    The exhibition will function as a bridge for the Greek businesses that want to become active in the US market using as a vehicle the Greek-American community and it is estimated that it will play a catalyst role in the promotion of cooperation between Greek and American companies.

    The cultural dimension of the event will contribute even more to the promotion of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. An exhibition on trade in southeast Mediterranean in antiquity will be held within the framework of the event and it will include over 300 exhibits dated back to 1600-600 BC. Also, among the basic ingredients of the cultural dimension of the exhibition will be a Greek Film Festival and a number of lectures on Hellenism and Greek civilization.


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