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Athens News Agency: News in English, 02-05-28
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From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>
 Greek premier hails NATO-Russia accord as the 'official' end of the Cold War28/05/2002 22:52:30
ROME (ANA) A historic accord between the Atlantic Alliance and Russia, setting up a 20-member NATO-Russian Council, was signed in Rome on Tuesday in the presence of the 19 NATO leaders and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Speaking during the signing ceremony, United States President George W. Bush said the day signalled the end of the Cold War, while NATO Secretary-General Lord George Robertson described the agreement as a 'revolution' that had turned an enemy of the West into an ally.
Addressing the gathering, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said the day marked the official end of the Cold War and the rebirth of hope and welcomed the new relations between the Alliance and Russia.
The Greek premier referred to the very destructive consequences of the Cold War for Greece, which had been particularly hard hit by the negative aspects of the conflict and also isolated from the rest of the Balkans, a region where Hellenism had prospered for two centuries.
The fall of 'real existing socialism' had allowed the old bridges and ties to begin to be rebuilt, he added, but it had taken more than 10 years in order to say that an era was over and a new one was beginning.
 Public order minister presents Olympic Games security personnel arrangements28/05/2002 22:51:19
The security of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games is part of Greece's security, which is a priority for the public order ministry and it is the greatest challenge for the country to balance security measures with the everyday life of citizens, Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoidis said on Tuesday during his address to journalists of Greek origin employed in the mass media around the world.
The minister stressed that following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, security issues changed dramatically and so Greece aimed at establishing wide cooperation schemes for the success of the security planning.
Those security cooperation schemes are to be established both on a national and an international level, the minister said, adding that one such scheme is the Olympic Counseling Group, which is composed of representatives from Australia, France, Germany, England, the United States, Spain and Israel.
This group will bring together the elements of experience, technology and information, he said.
''The human resources are the most important element for success in providing security services for the Athens Olympic Games,'' the minister said.
Chrysohoidis said that about 50,000 people will work for the success of the Games' security aspect, saying that 24,111 Greek police officers will be employed along with 1,467 coast guard officers, 1,524 of the fire department, 7,048 men of the armed forces, 6,021 security volunteers and 5,053 private company security personnel.
The minister said that 133.9 billion drachmas were allocated for the Greek police force's work, while another 80.9 billion drachmas will be allocated for technical infrastructure projects.
 Parliament Committee OKs ratification of Kyoto Protocol28/05/2002 22:50:03
Parliament's Economic Affairs Committee on Tuesday voted in favour of ratifying the Kyoto Protocol for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions - with the exception of the committee member for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) who said the treaty was a 'joke' that allowed countries and industry to continue large-scale pollution.
Environment Minister Vasso Papandreou told the Committee that Greece had to reduce its total greenhouse gas emissions 25 per cent by the 2010 deadline.
Unless measures were taken, greenhouse gases would increase by 35 per cent in 2010 and by 55 per cent in 2020, she added.
The Kyoto Protocol calls for the world's developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions relative to levels in 1990 by the year 2010.
Papandreou reported that heat-trapping gases emitted by Greece rose by 14 per cent between 1990-1999, then jumped to 23 per centin 2000 due to extensive forest fires.
Asked whether Greece risked fines or other penalties for failing to meet the demands of the Protocol, the minister stressed that Greece preferred to implement measures to reduce greenhouse emissions rather than buy 'pollution rights' from other countries, such as Russia or the Ukraine.
Greece, along with Italy, are the only two European Union countries that have not yet ratified the Kyoto Protocol, with the deadline for ratification closing on May 31.
 Greece's population increases due to immigration, Eurostat says28/05/2002 22:48:51
BRUSSELS (ANA - B. Demiris) - Greece's population is increasing marginally, the numbers of Greeks, however, are on the decrease, a Eurostat report on demographics for 2000 said.
According to the report, on January 1st, 2001 the population of Greece was 10,564,700 residents up from 10,542,800 in 2000, this marginal increase, however, was do to immigration, since deaths outpaced births in 2000.
Greece, Italy, Germany and Sweden were the four European Union member-states that experienced more deaths than births in 2000 and in all four the population increase was exclusively due to immigration.
Eurostat also noted that the population of the Union rose by one million people, reaching at 377,507,900 residents in 2001. According to the same report, 680,000 new immigrants arrived in Europe during that year, accounting for 64 per cent of the population increase.
Italy, Great Britain and Germany were the main destinations of immigrants, as they received about 60 per cent of all immigrants to enter the Union.
 Greenpeace to attend world conference on the environment in Johanesburg28/05/2002 22:37:06
In view of the international conference on the environment which will be held in Johanesburg from August 26 to September 4, the environmental pressure group Greenpeace has called for action to secure the planet's future.
''The steps for a viable future are crystal clear. Political courage is required for their adoption and implementation,'' the director of the organisation's Greek office, Nikos Haralambidis, said on Tuesday.
He said that Greenpeace will attend the conference, while expressing fears that it may be turned into ''an international trade fair.''
Haralambidis said the United States, Canada and Australia were undermining every substantial decision and that they did not hide their desire to exclude ''the annoying voices'' of the non-governmental organisations from the sessions and hold the international community hostage.
 Conference on modern slave trade in Thessaloniki28/05/2002 22:33:58
The international conference on ''The Trafficking of People'' opened officially in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, on Tuesday night with the participation of 60 representatives from 14 countries.
The conference, organised by the UNESCO Centre for Women and Peace in Balkan countries and the Stability Pact's Thessaloniki office, is aimed at sensitising citizens, governments and non-governmental organisations on the phenomenon of the modern slave trade.
According to Deputy Health and Welfare Minister Elpida Tsouri, ''the modern form of slavery, which constitutes a direct affront for human dignity, is presenting an upward trend in Greece.''
She referred to the ministry's supportive programmes for persons who have been victims of exploitation and added that to confront the phenomenon of the modern slave trade action by the state is not enough and the activation of society is necessary as well.
UNESCO Centre President Kaiti Tsitzikosta presented data according to which half a million women a year are transported in Europe illegally, while the turnover of this illegal ''trade'' is estimated at eight billion dollars.
 Court rules seamen's May 29 strike illegal28/05/2002 19:17:53
The merchant marine ministry said on Tuesday that that a 24-hour strike called by seamen on passenger ships for May 29 was illegal, and ferries would run normally.
Earlier in the day, a Piraeus court had ruled the walkout illegal following a petition filed by employers' trade groups.
In separate action, seamen are to launch rolling 48-hour strikes beginning on June 11, the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation said.
The strike call is for seamen on all categories of ships to press for a timescale from the government for an increase in seamen's pensions to 80 percent of wages before retirement, and a rise in supplementary pensions to total 30 percent of the main pension.
The federation's leader, John Halas, told a news conference that seamen also wanted a doubling of one-off welfare allowances, and the creation of a seamen's unemployment fund.
 Interest in volunteerism increasing in ATHOC website28/05/2002 19:17:34
Volunteerism is the top web, regarding interest, in the Athens 2004 Organising Committee's (ATHOC) website, while the Americans and Greeks, from a point of view of nationality, use it most for authoritative information on all issues linked to preparation for the 2004 Athens olympic Games.
Statistics on the website's use show an impressively increasing international interest in the Athens Olympiad, the main characteristic being the longer staying of each visitor in the www.athens2004.com.
On the question of nationality - and apart from the Americans and Greeks - the Australians, Germans and British are showing the greatest interest in the Games.
 Weather Forecast: Mostly sunny on Wednesday28/05/2002 17:37:20
Mostly sunny weather is forecast most parts of the country with cloud in the north, turning to showers or storms. Winds variable, moderate to strong. On the northern mainland, temperatures will range from 14C to 24C; on the rest of the mainland from 15C to 28C; and in the islands from 17C to 26C. Sunny in Athens, with temperatures between 16C and 28C. Light cloud in Thessaloniki, with temperatures from 15C to 24C.
 Greek stocks end moderately higher on Tuesday28/05/2002 16:41:20
Greek stocks ended Tuesday's session slightly higher reflecting renewed buying interest for medium capitalisation stocks in the Athens Stock Exchange.
The general index surpassed the 2,300 level to end 0.19 percent higher at 2,302.83 points, with turnover a low 84.5 million euros.
The IT Solutions, Publication and Cement sectors scored the biggest percentage gains of the day (1.46 percent, 1.22 percent and 0.73 percent, respectively), while the Retail, Insurance and Base Metals sectors suffered the heaviest losses (0.84 percent, 0.62 percent and 0.59 percent).
The FTSE/ASE MID 40 index rose 0.37 percent, the FTSE/ASE SmallCap 80 index ended 0.15 percent higher and the FTSE/ASE 20 index for blue chip and heavy traded stocks edged 0.10 percent up.
Broadly, advancers led decliners by 158 to 128 with another 73 issues unchanged.
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