|Tuesday, 19 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-12-12
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE TRIAL ON THE CASE OF LITTLE BEN WAS PUT OFF TO TAKE PLACE ON MAY 10Thessaloniki, 12 December 2000 (18:26 UTC+2)
The trial of the private detective, who maintains that he had seen little Ben in northern Greece, was put off to take place in Thessaloniki on May 10. The British boy disappeared 9 years ago from the south-eastern Aegean island of Kos where he was on vacation with his parents.
Private detective Efstathios Bakirtzis maintains that Christos Kerimis, a resident of the city of Veria in northern Greece, can be seen in a video holding Ben together with other children in a gypsy settlement. Kerimis has brought a slander action against Bakirtzis.
It should be noted that in 1995, Antonis Betsios, who serves a life sentence in prison, had revealed that his cousin Christos Kerimis was holding Ben. An undercover police officer approached the gypsy settlement and videotaped a small boy with Ben's facial characteristics and soon afterwards every trace of the little boy was lost.
The parents of little Ben speak of omissions that were committed by the police authorities in the investigations for the location of their child and appear determined to file suits.
 NEW INTEREST RATE CUTS BY THE BANK OF GREECEAthens, 12 December 2000 (17:43 UTC+2)
The Bank of Greece announced intervention interest rate cuts of 0.75% limiting this way the distance from the European Central Bank interest rate to one percentage point. The final phase for the adjustment of the Greek with the European interest rates is expected to take place on December 27.
Today, was made the first of two steps toward the complete convergence of the Greek interest rates with the Euro interest rates.
 GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: THE ATTACKS ON THE NICE SUMMIT RESULTS ARE GROUNDLESSAthens, 12 December 2000 (17:22 UTC+2)
The attacks launched by the parties of the opposition on the Nice EU Summit results are groundless and are made for strictly opposition politics purposes, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, adding that the opposition is not aware of the situation in Nice where tough negotiations took place.
He characterized the Summit results as positive for the Greek interests, stating that the Greek goals have been met. He also said that Greece maintains its veto right on foreign policy, shipping and funding programs issues, underlining that Greece is interested in the course of the European Union enlargement as it includes the accession of Cyprus.
 REPPAS: THE KOSTUNICA VISIT IS PENDINGAthens, 12 December 2000 (16:57 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, responding to a question by a reporter, stated that the visit to Greece by Yugoslav president Voislav Kostunica is pending after an invitation that was extended to him by the Greek prime minister.
Mr. Reppas clarified that the visit is not expected to take place during this week.
 LOSSES OF 1.97% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 12 December 2000 (16:48 UTC+2)
Significant losses of 1.97% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 3.612,66 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 114.03 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, only 30 recorded gains, while 304 had losses and 42 remained unchanged.
 ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS LAUNCHED AN ATTACK AGAINST THE FRENCH EU PRESIDENCYAthens, 12 December 2000 (16:28 UTC+2)
Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece launched an attack against the French EU presidency.
He stated characteristically that the French side gave a fight in order to remove any reference to Christianity from the Human Rights Charter. He also said that France suffers from the 1789 revolution complex, while he stressed that Europe distances itself from Christianity and is swept by a wave of atheism.
 THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF GREECE AND FYROM WILL MEET TOMORROWThessaloniki, 12 December 2000 (16:22 UTC+2)
The formal opening of the new customs station at the Greek-FYROM borders, that was funded by the European Union, will take place tomorrow in the presence of FYROM prime minister Ljupko Geogievski and foreign minister Serzan Kerim, while also present will be Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis.
After the inauguration ceremony, the two foreign ministers will go to Thessaloniki's Hyatt Hotel where they will hold talks.
 THE TWO UN OBSERVERS ARE EXPECTED TO BE RELEASED BY TOMORROWAthens, 12 December 2000 (16:18 UTC+2)
The news coming from the former soviet republic of Georgia, where a Greek infantry captain and a Polish colonel were abducted last Sunday, is positive. As it was made known, a group of Georgian army officers contacted the abductors.
According to information, the kidnapped Greek army captain Efstathios Kokkinidis and the Polish colonel are in a good state. The Greek ministry of defense has announced that the two UN observers are expected to be released by tomorrow.
 PM STRESSES SIGNIFICANCE OF INFORMATION SOCIETYAthens, 12 December 2000 (14:02 UTC+2)
The government's vision for an information society should become a vehicle for social cohesion, Prime Minister Costas Simitis stated this morning, addressing an Athens conference organized by the ministries of Interior and National Economy.
"A community with social exclusions leads to an economy with limited capabilities of meeting the expectations of globalization," the Premier stated and stressed that the state aims to ensure that the information society will be available to all.
Mr. Simitis also stated that technological advances have improved the level and quality of relations between the state and the citizens, facilitated public service and strengthened transparency in operations and transactions.
The Premier also called on the private sector to utilize modern technology in order to promote growth and competition, while he also stressed that it is technology that has to adjust to society, and not vice versa.
 FIRST MODERN DELPHIC GAMES HELD IN MOSCOWMoscow, 12 December 2000 (13:28 UTC+2)
The first modern Delphic Games were held in Moscow earlier this month, under the aegis of alternate president of the council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Costas Pappas, who is also the President of Germany's Greek Communities Federation.
The Games featured the participation of 939 delegates and artists from 27 countries, among them Greece, China, Japan, the United States and Germany.
Addressing the closing ceremony, Mr. Pappas said that this is only the start of a great course in the name of culture, understanding among the peoples, and mutual tolerance and acceptance.
The next Delphic Games, which are to be held one year prior to the Olympics, will take place in 2003.
The Delphic Games, held in accordance to ancient Greek tradition, aim to restore and strengthen channels of communications between national and international initiatives and to create a global network for the assessment of outstanding artists.
 GREEK SINGER GLIKERIA WILL GIVE A CONCERT IN TIRANA TOMORROWTirana, 12 December 2000 (16:34 UTC+2)
The tickets for tomorrow's concert in Tirana that will be given by Greek singer Glikeria were sold out in one day.
The concert is organized by the Greek embassy press office in Tirana within the framework of a number of cultural and charity events held by the Greek embassy in the Albanian capital. The money raised from the ticket sales will be offered to the families of the police officers who lost their lives while on duty.
 PROFESSOR SPIROS SIMITIS ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENSBonn, 12 December 2000 (16:43 UTC+2)
One brother contributed as a professor to its drawing up and the other contributed as a prime minister to its ratification in the Nice EU Summit meeting. The charter of the fundamental rights of the citizens is a first step for the creation of a single constitution for all the EU member-states. The two brothers are, Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis and Civil and Labor Law Frankfurt University professor as well as computer law professor Spiros Simitis.
Mr. Spiros Simitis was also the director of the Research Center for the Protection of Personal Data in the same university and in 1998 he was appointed by the European Commission as chairman of the group of specialists on the so-called fundamental civil rights. The conclusions of this group were regarded as highly important and led Germany to suggest the creation of a relevant charter.
The group of specialists' text served as the basis for the German government proposals in the Cologne Summit in the summer of 1998, where it was decided that a new committee would undertake to prepare the final text which was finally adopted by the EU leaders in the Nice Summit.
Speaking to MPA, professor Spiros Simitis stated that this charter is the first step toward a European Constitution. The civil rights charter includes a number of rights that are already recognized by the national constitutions and the Strasbourg Convention as well as a number of new rights that reflect the changes that have taken place in society as well as today's problems.
Mr. Spiros Simitis stated that its implementation by the EU member-states is not mandatory as certain members and especially Britain, believed that this would constitute an intervention in their autonomy.