|Thursday, 21 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-08-31
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 KARAMANLIS CRITICISM ON AGRICULTURE - GOVERNMENT REACTIONSAthens, 31 August 2002 (20:13 UTC+2)
The statements of the President of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis on the problems of the agricultural sector, caused the intense reaction of Minister of Agriculture Giorgos Drys. Mr. Drys spoke of crocodile tears and micro-political exploitation of the Greek farmers' plight after natural disasters by Mr. Karamanlis.
President of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis criticized the government's financial and agricultural policy during his visit to regions struck by the bad weather in Corinth.
"Damages to agricultural produce by the recent bad weather is indeed great. And this is yet another strike on our farmers, who have watched their income decrease dramatically over the past few years", stated Mr. Karamanlis.
The President of New Democracy called the government to change its policy, pointing out that "they cannot pretend nothing is happening, they cannot abandon our farmers to deal with these problems alone, they cannot audaciously state that farmers must fend for themselves".
"Our farmers, the agricultural sector, needs support now, with actions not words", he continued. "The competitiveness of our products - which is a key to regional development - is necessary, but requires the necessary structural changes and investments in agricultural infrastructure, i.e. dams, land reclamation works, irrigation and flood control works", he said.
He further stressed that "the disgrace with farmers' Securities, which should be a support to farmers, must finally end. But the reality is the exact opposite. Because while our farmers are called to make constantly increasing contributions, when they need help from the State, then they receive its mockery", he ended.
On the other hand, Mr. Drys stated that "the disgrace is the vagueness of Mr. Karamanlis' accusations and his standing refusal to understand the problems of the agricultural world and contribute to resolve them with whatever potential his position provides him with.
The disgrace is the lack of bearing and contact with the people, of a party running after the fastest and most dangerous way to the dream of authority, without ever winning the trust of the Greek people", stressed Mr. Drys.
He noted that "Mr. Karamanlis is a bit late in taking an interest in what is happening in Greek agriculture, and what he has learned he does not know that well", and stressed that Eurostat research on agricultural income has shown that real increase in agricultural income in the last year is 2.6%, twice the average of the EU.
 CHRISTODOULAKIS: CHANGES IN WAGES AND TAXATION IN 2003-2004Athens, 31 August 2002 (13:27 UTC+2)
Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis revealed that the tax reform package will include a higher tax shelter, tax exemptions for families with children and abolition of most living criteria included in the income declaration, except from those characterized as "luxury".
In an interview with the Athens newspaper "TA NEA", Mr. Christodoulakis clarified that the Value Added Tax, VAT, on goods and services will not increase.
Mr. Christodoulakis stated that there will be more room for wage and pension increases in 2004 when the tax reform will be completed and the reform of the social security system will be underway.
On the privatization of the state-run companies, Mr. Christodoulakis stated that the state's participation in the public utility organizations will not drop under 35%.
 S.XEROS TO BE TAKEN TO CORYDALLOS NEXT WEEKAthens, 31 August 2002 (20:16 UTC+2)
Savvas Xeros will be transported to the Corydallos penitentiary, quite possibly in the middle of next week, fromthe Evagglismos hospital, where he is undergoing treatment for the 63rd day.
It should be noted that S.Xeros has asked to be put ýnt he menis wýng wýth hýs brothers, Christodoulos and Vassilis, a request which is expected to be granted.
Meanwhile, on the witness testimony front, candidate Athens mayor Dora Bakoyanni testified before Special Examiner Leonidas Zervobeakos today.
Leaving the Special Examiner's Office20 minutes later, Mrs. Bakoyanni did not wish to comment on her testimony.
 SECURITY WILL BE THE MAIN ISSUE OF THE PRIME MINISTER'S SPEECHAthens, 31 August 2002 (13:38 UTC+2)
Security will be the main issue, according to the Athens newspaper Imerisia, on which Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will focus in the speech he will deliver in the inauguration of the 67th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair.
The issue of security will concern the sector of foreign policy and the Cyprus issue that has affected the Greek-Turkish relations, the sector of health and the elderly within the framework of the social security system reform and the sector of illegal immigration and crime.
 ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS WILL VISIT GEORGIAAthens, 31 August 2002 (12:27 UTC+2)
Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece will visit the Christian Orthodox Church of Georgia on September 5-9.
He will be accompanied by Metropolites Amvrosios of Kalavrita, Dionisos of Chios and Holy Synod chief secretary Bishop Theologos of Salona.
 SAVVAS XIROS CONFESSED A BANK ROBBERY IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 31 August 2002 (12:06 UTC+2)
According to information, 17 November member Savvas Xiros confessed that he took part in a bank robbery in Thessaloniki in the summer of 2000.
In his testimony before the magistrate, Xiros mentions that the 30 million drachmas robbery took place in a National Bank of Greece branch at the center of Thessaloniki, while he also said that he is not certain if a guard was injured during the robbery.
He said that in the summer of 2000, Dimitris Koufodinas or Loukas suggested to him to go to Thessaloniki and commit a robbery because the rest of the terrorist group members were not available.
 THE 17N MEMBERS' MAIL AND TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION WILL BE CHECKEDAthens, 31 August 2002 (11:27 UTC+2)
The 15 individuals, accused of being members of the terrorist group 17 November and held in Koridallos Prison, will not have the right to privacy in mail and telephone communication.
The special ruling was issued based on the anti-terrorist law which mentions that the right to privacy in mail and telephone communication can be lifted in such cases. In addition, the same ruling will apply in the case of Alicia Romero, Angeliki Sotiropoulou, Maite Peynaud and Dimitris Koufodinas.
Meanwhile, Savvas Xiros' father in his testimony blamed his son's ex-wife Angeliki Sotiropoulou for the course he followed by saying that she was the one who brought him into contact with her friends in the anarchist circles.
 UNIDENTIFIED FINGERPRINT IN A 17N HIDEOUTAthens, 31 August 2002 (11:15 UTC+2)
The fingerprint found in the 17 November hideout at Damareos Street in Athens and in the house of 17N alleged leader Alexandros Giotopoulos in the island of Lipsi belongs to a male, a terrorist organization member, who has not been arrested yet, according to television channel ET-3.
The fingerprint does not belong to any of those arrested as 17N members neither to Dimitris Koufodinas, who is still wanted by the police.
Authorities believe that the fingerprint belongs to a 17 November member, who was close to Giotopoulos or to a member of ELA and was acting as a liaison between the two organizations.
 THE CONSUMER PRICE INDEX IS AT 2.1% IN THE EURO-ZONEBrussels, 31 August 2002 (12:46 UTC+2)
The consumer price index in the Euro-zone was at 2.1% in August, according to preliminary figures provided by the European Statistics Agency, Eurostat.
Inflation in the 12 Euro-zone countries increased in the past two months and in August was over 2% for the first time after May. In June it was at 1.8% and in July at 1.9%.
In spite of the fact that inflation was at higher levels than predicted by the European Central Bank, European Commission officials stated that they are still satisfied with the figures announced.