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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-09-03

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] GLOBAL AGREEMENT ON VIABLE DEVELOPMENT
  • [02] NOT ONE EURO ON THE MARKET
  • [03] S. XEROS IN THE SAME CELL AS HIS BROTHER
  • [04] SMALL GAINS IN THE ASE
  • [05] NEW PROTESTS BY THE FARMERS IN GREECE
  • [06] THE CONSUMERS' MOBILIZATION FROZE THE GREEK MARKET
  • [07] SIMITIS: THE REFORM GUARANTEES TAX EQUITY
  • [08] SEVENTY PERCENT OF THE CITIZENS FEAR EXPENSIVENESS
  • [09] GEOTHERMICS WILL BE USED IN THE MACEDONIA AIRPORT HEATING AND COOLING
  • [10] TOURIST DROP IN N. GREECE
  • [11] PASSARIS' TRIAL IS UNDERWAY IN ROMANIA

  • [01] GLOBAL AGREEMENT ON VIABLE DEVELOPMENT

    Johannesburg, 3 September 2002 (12:32 UTC+2)

    Greek positions on the issue of viable development were presented at the plenary session of the Johannesburg Summit Meeting, by Minister of the Environment Vasso Papandreou.

    She pointed out the need to have a substantial global agreement, with binding time schedules, a specific action plan and the necessary application tools, expressing the belief that the procedure achieving the goals of the Rio World Summit 10 years ago, is rather slow.

    This vicious circle must break. Great inequalities in wealth create problems in the economy, exhaust natural resources and unavoidably lead to conflict. Globalization must benefit everyone. Equal access to natural resources is a necessary condition for viability to become reality, she stressed, adding that achieving balance between the environmental, social, and financial pillar, must be the final result of the Johannesburg Summit.

    We cannot just accept that 2 billion people on the planet are living in conditions of complete poverty. Better living conditions, adequate food, clean water, energy sources that are reliable and friendly towards the environment, must be available to all, and for that reason specific goals must be set, she said, while at the same time stressing that the environment must be taken into account, because the downgrading of the environment contributes to keeping poor societies hostage to poverty and disease.

    The Minister of the Environment underlined that Greece considers that the application plan, at which the Summit will arrive, must recognize the value of reinforcing the institutional framework for viable development on an international, national and local level, and that it should include both the environmental as well as the social dimension.

    Greece takes its obligations and commitments towards the international community into account seriously. We have constituted the strategy for viable development and we are in the process of applying it. I assure you that in the first half of 2003, during the Greek Presidency of the EU, we will closely cooperate with out partners for the materialization of the Johannesburg decisions, pointed out Mrs. Papandreou.

    [02] NOT ONE EURO ON THE MARKET

    Thessaloniki, 3 September 2002 (12:32 UTC+2)

    Not one euro on the market is the slogan prevailing today, with consumers having declared a 24-hour boycott on commercial stores and Public Services, reacting to expensiveness this way.

    The panhellenic boycott has been organized by the Consumers Institute (INKA), with the participation of the Greek Consumers Association, in cooperation with 55 organizations from all over Greece.

    INKA is calling consumers not to spend a single euro on the market today, while it also asked them to drop their power switches for 2 minutes symbolically and avoid telephone calls.

    Protest rallies against expensiveness will also be organized all over the country today. In Thessaloniki, at 7pm at the Venizelos statue, PAME has organized a rally, while an hour earlier, the Workers Fighting Front has organized a rally for the same reason in

    [03] S. XEROS IN THE SAME CELL AS HIS BROTHER

    Thessaloniki, 3 September 2002 (12:32 UTC+2)

    Savvas Xeros has been placed in the same cell as his brother, Christodoulos Xeros, since yesterday. The 40-year-old was taken to the Corydallos penitentiary after 64 days of hospitalization at the Evaggelismos hospital.

    Savvas Xeros will remain in the same cell as his brother until he is fully healed. Xeros has serious hearing and seeing problems according to the police, and they had to repeat their orders several times.

    Meanwhile, the authorities have located the man who harbored Dimitris Koufontinas during the first few days after the Piraeus bombing. The man has already testified, however after police investigations no trace of Koufontinas was found.

    [04] SMALL GAINS IN THE ASE

    Athens, 3 September 2002 (17:14 UTC+2)

    Small gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.24% at 2.104,62 points, while the volume of transactions was at 68.5 million Euro.

    Of the stocks trading today, 168 recorded gains and 139 had losses, while the value of 67 stocks remained unchanged.

    [05] NEW PROTESTS BY THE FARMERS IN GREECE

    Thessaloniki, 3 September 2002 (17:07 UTC+2)

    The farmers in Greece took to the streets again today opening a new circle of mobilizations in view of the speech of the Prime Minister on the occasion of the inauguration of the 67th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair. The first to take their tractors to the streets were the farm producers in northern Greece who lined up their tractors at the Malgara toll posts, outside Thessaloniki. However, there have been no road blockades yet.

    According to the farmers' representatives, the tractors will remain in the streets and city squares until Friday, September 6 when farmers from all over Greece will participate in a protest rally in Thessaloniki that will take place without their tractors. The rally will be held at the same time with the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair inauguration by the Prime Minister.

    The basic demand raised by the farmers is to be compensated for the damages they suffered last winter, while they will also protest against the new cotton production cuts.

    [06] THE CONSUMERS' MOBILIZATION FROZE THE GREEK MARKET

    Athens, 3 September 2002 (16:44 UTC+2)

    The market boycott, organized in Greece today by the Consumers' Institute, INKA, with the participation of the Greek Consumers Union and in cooperation with 55 consumer organizations in protest to the price increases in goods and services, appears to be very successful. Based on the initial figures provided by INKA, the consumers' boycott in the supermarkets and grocery stores reached 65%-70%, while in the wholesale market turnover dropped by 85%.

    Specifically, the effects on the sales volume in the food stores were translated into losses of 67.29% by 1:30pm, while in the open-air markets the losses were at 82.31%.

    INKA has called on consumers to make absolutely no purchase today while at the same time, consumers were asked to turn off the electricity switches for 2 minutes at 10pm. They were also called to avoid making any telephone calls during the same time in a show of protest to the price increases.

    [07] SIMITIS: THE REFORM GUARANTEES TAX EQUITY

    Athens, 3 September 2002 (16:23 UTC+2)

    The promotion of tax equity, the strengthening of low incomes and the operational cost cuts for small and medium sized businesses, were promised by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis when he presented the measures included in the third package of the tax reform after the government committee meeting.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the measures aim at the strengthening of the economically weaker tax payers. The measures provide for the increase of the tax shelter to 10.000 Euro for the wage earners and pensioners, to 12.000 Euro for families with two children and to 20.000 Euro for families with three children and more. Also, many of the special taxes will be abolished except from the so-called luxury.

    The Prime Minister clarified that the overall cost for the materialization of all those measures will reach 1.4 billion Euro and corresponds to 1% of the GDP, adding that this way convergence with the rest EU economies will be achieved.

    [08] SEVENTY PERCENT OF THE CITIZENS FEAR EXPENSIVENESS

    Athens, 3 September 2002 (15:21 UTC+2)

    The high prices for goods and services, especially after the adoption of the Euro, became a nightmare for the Greek households, based on the opinion poll conducted by the polling company Kapa Research on August 23-29 on behalf of the Athens newspaper To Vima.

    A total of 70.6% of the research sample believes that the prices have increased excessively, while 72.3% back today's consumer boycott and 58.2% responded that they will probably participate in the market embargo held today at the initiative of the Consumers' Institute, INKA.

    It is impressive that 86.2% responded that with the adoption of the Euro they spend more for their everyday needs and only 11.5% believe that they spend as much as they used to.

    [09] GEOTHERMICS WILL BE USED IN THE MACEDONIA AIRPORT HEATING AND COOLING SYSTEM

    Thessaloniki, 3 September 2002 (15:03 UTC+2)

    The geothermic fields located in the region of Neo Risio, Thessaloniki will be used in the new facilities of Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport which claims a European first.

    According to the newspaper Macedonia, the use of the geothermic fields will be extended to the heating and cooling system of the airport that will be ready for the public in 2006.

    Based on estimates, the new heating and cooling system will cost 40% less compared to the method used today in similar building complexes.

    [10] TOURIST DROP IN N. GREECE

    Thessaloniki, 3 September 2002 (12:31 UTC+2)

    This year was hard on tourism in Northern Greece, where there was a drop in the number of tourists, from 3%-30%.

    The largest decrease was recorded in the number of German tourists - 30% - who, due to the euro and the floods, preferred cheaper destinations (Turkey-Bulgaria), or stayed in their country.

    British arrivals remained at the same level, while there was as small increase in the number of Scandinavians.

    There was a small number of tourists from Serbia and FYROM due to problems with visas, while weekend excursions of Greeks were lessened due to bad weather.

    According to information on foreign arrivals of the Thessaloniki airport for the January July period, there was a 9% drop due to the decrease in the number of steady flights abroad.

    [11] PASSARIS' TRIAL IS UNDERWAY IN ROMANIA

    Bucharest, 3 September 2002 (18:23 UTC+2)

    The trial of Greek criminal Kostas Passaris got underway in a Bucharest court in Romania today with the examination of witnesses. A total of 15 Romanians have been called to testify in court.

    Among them was Gabriel Melinte, who was unable to appear in court today. He is the man accused by Passaris as being the actual culprit of the double murder and armed robbery in a currency exchange office in Bucharest on November 24, 2001.

    The first witness, Vladimir Christian testified that he was passing by the currency exchange office on the evening of November 24 with a friend when he saw two individuals, a man holding a gun and a woman. He also said that later, he heard two gun shots and ran to the closest Police Station to report the incident. However, he was unable to identify Kostas Passaris in court as being the man he had seen on the crime scene.

    Passaris appeared in court in a good mood and when he was asked why he was smiling he responded that he had a very good day.


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