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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-09-30

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] ATHENS FEARS CONCEQUENCES OF N C IRAQ
  • [02] SMOKING PROHIBITED IN ALL PUBLIC SPACES
  • [03] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH IN ATHENS
  • [04] TERRORISM D.A. IN CORYDALLOS THIS WEEK
  • [05] EDUCATION FIGURES IN GREECE
  • [06] MILLIONS OF CHILDREN LIVE IN DRAMATIC CONDITIONS
  • [07] THE GREEK GOV'T ON THE SERB ELECTIONS
  • [08] BIG LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [09] CORA WEISS: IRAQ WILL NOT BECOME ANOTHER VIETNAM
  • [10] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH MET WITH PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS
  • [11] KAKLAMANIS-VARTHOLOMEOS MEETING
  • [12] THE PRIME MINISTER MET WITH TURKISH INDUSTRIALISTS
  • [13] THE AIRPORT OF KASTORIA BECOMES INTERNATIONAL
  • [14] POSITIVE PROSPECTS FOR THE GREEK ECONOMY

  • [01] ATHENS FEARS CONCEQUENCES OF N C IRAQ

    Athens, 30 September 2002 (14:00 UTC+2)

    A US attack on Iraq is considered certain by the Greek government, with the Prime Minister placing it at the beginning of the new year.

    As is mentioned in an Imerisia newspaper publication, there are government fears about consequences to the economy, as well as in how the conflict in the country's official position (if there is a UN decision, Greece will participate) and the sentiment of the Greek people, who are against the war in their majority like most Europeans, this time, will be resolved.

    At the Maximos Mansion they fully understand that the situation will be different to that in Cossovo, it will have consequences on the real economy, and thus any reactions will have a financial basis. In any case, the Danish Prime Minister and Chairman of the European Council Mr. Ramunsen, will arrive in Athens on Friday, in view of the EU Summit Meeting in Brussels on October 24, 25, which will concern both the course of the enlargement as well as the accession of Cyprus, and Iraq.

    In fact, President of the Cypriot Republic Glafkos Cleridis will arrive in Athens next Tuesday, for a final discussion on developments in the Cyprus issue.

    [02] SMOKING PROHIBITED IN ALL PUBLIC SPACES

    Athens, 30 September 2002 (11:09 UTC+2)

    Measures to limit smoking will be put into effect tomorrow. On October 1st, there must be signs posted prohibiting smoking in all health, civil, and public welfare services, schools and tutorial schools, mass transit vehicles, including ships and trains.

    By the end of November, the division into smoking and non-smoking areas must be put into effect, in restaurants and cafes, while the measure will gradually be applied in the private sector.

    [03] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH IN ATHENS

    Athens, 30 September 2002 (11:09 UTC+2)

    Patriarch Vartholomeos referred to the ties of the Ecumenical Patriarcate of Istanbul with the Greek Church, upon his arrival in Athens yesterday afternoon, for a three-day unofficial visit. Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece Christodoulos will held a dinner in his honor yesterday afternoon.

    Mr. Vartholomeos pointed out that the spiritual umbilical cord connecting the Greek people with its mother Church, could not be replaced by anything. There will always be this connection to the joy and satisfaction of both sides, said Patriarch Vartholomeos characteristically.

    On his side, Mr. Christodoulos expressed his joy on the Patriarch's visit to Athens, noting that the Patriarch is always welcome in Greece to bless us.

    On his second day in Athens today, the Ecumenical Patriarch will meet with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis at 11:30, and with the President of the Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos at 12 noon.

    At 12:45, Mr. Vartholomeos will visit the Turkish Embassy, while at 17:00 he will meet with President of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis in a downtown Athens hotel.

    Half an hour later, he will speak at the presentation of a two-volume work by journalist Titos Anastasiadis on Asia Minor, at the War Museum, and at 19:00 he will be declared honorary Doctor at the Agricultural University of Athens.

    [04] TERRORISM D.A. IN CORYDALLOS THIS WEEK

    Athens, 30 September 2002 (11:44 UTC+2)

    District Attorney on terrorism issues Ioannis Diotis, is expected to visit the Corydallos penitentiary this week.

    Information mentioned that he would meet with Savvas Xeros, suspected November 17 member, for the first time after the threats the 40-year-old terrorist launched against him in his television interview.

    During previous visits to Corydallos, Mr. Diotis showed N17 suspects a picture with a May 1 suspect.

    Specifically, Mr. Diotis showed the picture to Patroclos Tselentis and Sotiris Condylis, who, according to information, stated that they knew nothing, but seemed willing to cooperate with the authorities.

    Meanwhile, the trial for the N17 suspects will probably begin in the Spring of 2003.

    On the judiciary front, the Athens Bar Association has called 6 attorneys to appear before its disciplinary council, in order to explain their recent television appearances regarding the N17 case.

    Specifically, on Wednesday, attorneys Io. Stamoulis, A. Karamanolis, K. Kourkoulos, and Tentolouris, will appear before the Athens Bar Association Disciplinary Council. At the same time, it is quite possible that disciplinary action will be taken against attorneys Per. Stavrianakis and F. Asimakis, who are accused of improper behavior regarding practicing their duties, as well as of illicit professional promotion and advertisement. Disciplinary prosecution ex officio has been taken against them.

    [05] EDUCATION FIGURES IN GREECE

    Thessaloniki, 30 September 2002 (19:24 UTC+2)

    The education figures in Greece are sweeping. Greece is above the OECD countries' average in every education level, stated Education Minister Petros Efthimiou, within the framework of his visit to the Greek Language Center in Kalamaria, Thessaloniki.

    Greece tops the list with the EU countries concerning higher education attendance, as 58% of the young people, ages between 18 and 21, attend a university school. Also, 82% of the children between the ages 15 and 19 attend high school or Technical Education Institutions, compared to the United States with 78%.

    [06] MILLIONS OF CHILDREN LIVE IN DRAMATIC CONDITIONS

    Thessaloniki, 30 September 2002 (18:50 UTC+2)

    Ten million children under the age of 18 make up half of the overall refugee population in the world, other 10 million die each year even though this could be averted, 100 million do not go to school and 150 million suffer from malnutrition.

    Poverty, exclusion, discrimination, violence, abuse and the exploitation of children remain unsolved problems. These shocking facts were presented by UNESCO's goodwill ambassador, Marianna Vardinoyianni in her opening speech delivered in the international conference on Modern Societies Multicultural coexistence The position of the child organized in Thessaloniki by the Institute on the Child and the Family under the auspices of UNESCO.

    Addressing the conference, Education Minister Petros Efthimiou pointed out that a characteristic example of a specific policy is the University of Ioannina program on the education of gypsy children who live as nomads. He also said that Greece is the only country since 1990 in which 10% of the school students are foreigners coming from 26 countries.

    Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos stated in his address that Greece faces a very serious problem in the reception of economic immigrants and refugees. He stressed that initiatives should be undertaken on the issue of the children at a national and international level.

    [07] THE GREEK GOV'T ON THE SERB ELECTIONS

    Athens, 30 September 2002 (17:49 UTC+2)

    Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas refused to comment on the Serb election results on the grounds of non interference in the domestic affairs of a foreign country.

    However, he expressed the Greek government's satisfaction over the fact that the elections were held smoothly.

    [08] BIG LOSSES IN THE ASE

    Athens, 30 September 2002 (17:24 UTC+2)

    Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today following the same course with the main indexes in the big European stock markets. The unfavorable effects that put into motion the downward course were the negative international climate, the likelihood of a war in Iraq, the merger scenarios concerning construction companies and the rumors on the fate of the Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, investment in Romania.

    The general index dropped to -2.41% at 1.837,52 points and the volume of transactions was 119 million Euro.

    Of the stocks trading today, only 21 recorded gains compared to 325 that had losses, while the value of 28 stocks remained unchanged.

    [09] CORA WEISS: IRAQ WILL NOT BECOME ANOTHER VIETNAM

    Thessaloniki, 30 September 2002 (16:58 UTC+2)

    Iraq will not become a new Vietnam but it is certain that there will be an occupation regime unlike the case of Vietnam. The view was expressed by well-known peace activist Cora Weiss, International Office for Peace and The Hague Appeal for Peace President, on the sidelines of the international conference on Modern Societies Multicultural Coexistence The place of the children held in Thessaloniki.

    She stressed that it is very dangerous to have war in a world with 30.000 nuclear weapons and unprotected radioactive materials.

    Ms. Weiss reminded that the Greek Foreign Minister had stated during his visit to New York last week that we should wait for a UN Security Council decision. Saddam Hussein is not a good man, said Ms. Weiss, but we cannot destroy the people of Iraq, which is an oil producing country, and therefore, we should find another way to deal with the problem. She also pointed out that initiatives have been undertaken by civilians and politicians aimed at preventing the war.

    [10] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH MET WITH PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS

    Athens, 30 September 2002 (16:51 UTC+2)

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, who is on a visit to Athens, met with President Kostis Stephanopoulos in the presidential building.

    President Stephanopoulos stated that the Greek people recognize the Ecumenical Patriarch as the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christians.

    The Patriarch thanked Mr. Stephanopoulos for everything he has done for the Greeks living abroad, who in their majority belong to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    [11] KAKLAMANIS-VARTHOLOMEOS MEETING

    Athens, 30 September 2002 (16:47 UTC+2)

    Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis met with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos today and their 20minute meeting focused on the ecological activities of the Patriarchate. The Patriarch visited the Greek Parliament after accepting an invitation by its President.

    Mr. Kaklamanis underlined the great initiative undertaken by the Ecumenical Patriarch for the protection of the environment and the Ecumenical Patriarch responded that he had the opportunity to brief Mr. Kaklamanis on the ecological activities of the Patriarchate. He said that Mr. Kaklamanis assured him that he watches those initiatives with great interest. The Ecumenical Patriarch thanked the Greek Parliament President for his moral support.

    [12] THE PRIME MINISTER MET WITH TURKISH INDUSTRIALISTS

    Athens, 30 September 2002 (16:45 UTC+2)

    Turkish Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Association, TUSIAD, President Tuntzai Ozihlan thanked the Greek government for the support it offers to Turkey's European course in the meeting he had with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.

    A number of different issues were discussed in the meeting that lasted almost an hour and the TUSIAD president characterized the talks as very useful and constructive.

    From his side, Greek Industries Association President Odysseas Kiriakopoulos, who was also present in the meeting, stated that the TUSIAD members visited Greece in view of the Greek EU Presidency and after Turkey's application for EU accession negotiations. He added that the Turkish businessmen are in favor of their country's European orientation.

    [13] THE AIRPORT OF KASTORIA BECOMES INTERNATIONAL

    Kastoria, 30 September 2002 (16:40 UTC+2)

    The new Aristotle runway of the Kastoria Airport was inaugurated today by Minister of Transportation Christos Verelis and Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos.

    The new 2.700 meters long and 45 meters wide runway enables the Airport of Kastoria to receive large and fully loaded airplane types, like Boeing and Airbus. The extension works of the runway began 2 years ago and the project's construction budget reached 15 million Euro.

    The Airport of Kastoria used to serve only domestic flights and now it has turned into an international airport offering direct flights to European, Asian and African countries.

    Speaking in the inauguration ceremony, Minister of Transportation Christos Verelis stated that the goal for Greece is to have over 30 international airports in order to be able to serve international air transportation. Minister of Justice Philippos Petsalnikos referred to the great significance the Kastoria International Airport will have for the prefecture of Kastoria itself and northwestern Greece in general.

    [14] POSITIVE PROSPECTS FOR THE GREEK ECONOMY

    Athens, 30 September 2002 (14:45 UTC+2)

    The prospects of the Greek economy for 2003 are especially positive, supported Minister of Economy and Finance Nikos Christodoulakis, who, however, admitted that inflation is still higher than the Eurozone average and that continues to worry us.

    Greeting the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Mr. Christodoulakis spoke about financial developments in Greece, stressing that the Greek economy is still doing well and despite the international financial deceleration, Greece's real GDP is expected to increase by 3.8% this year.

    Mr. Christodoulakis explained that the structural reforms are mainly concentrated on liberalizing and improving the functioning of markets by limiting, among other things, the role of the state, and by adopting a clear and transparent legal and regulatory framework in which markets will function.

    The telecommunications sector, continued Mr. Christodoulakis, has been fully liberalized since 2001 and there has been progress in the invigoration of competition in electricity production, sea transports, the bank and tourism sector, and other financial sectors.

    He foresaw that income from privatization this year will surpass 1.5% of the GDP, one of the highest percentages in the EU in the last few years, and he noted that a bill will be voted on concerning important tax reforms. Mr. Christodoulakis stated that important measures have been taken in cooperation with social partners, to improve future pension obligations.

    The Greek Minister underlined that the structural reforms, fiscal discipline and high public investment in infrastructure works and Olympic projects with the cooperation of vigorous private investment, is expected to contribute to a steady high growth rate for the next few years, and a rapid convergence to the living standards to the EU average.


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