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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-08-17

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] DEVASTATING QUAKE IN TURKEY
  • [02] GREEK PRESIDENT ATTENDS COMMEMORATION OF HOLOCAUST AT KOMENO
  • [03] PRIME MINISTER BACK IN ATHENS TODAY
  • [04] MORE MEASURES TO CONTROL ILLEGAL BUILDING
  • [05] GREEK STATE POISED TO COLLECT HUGE DEBTS
  • [06] MINISTER FOR THE AEGEAN TO VISIT AUSTRALIA
  • [07] GREEK ORTHODOX COMMUNITY OF MELBOURNE CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY
  • [08] CHURCH OF GREECE TO OPERATE TV CHANNEL
  • [09] OPEN UNIVERSITIES IMPLEMENT LONG-DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES
  • [10] ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE UP 1.76% YESTERDAY
  • [11] AGREEMENT FOR RETURN OF ALBANIANS TO MITROVICA
  • [12] EU COMMISSIONER SEES DIFFICULTIES IN TURKEY'S EU ADMISSION

  • [01] DEVASTATING QUAKE IN TURKEY

    A devastating earthquake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale according to the Colorado seismological centre, occurred at 03.00 a.m. today, Greek time, in north-western Turkey. The epicenter of the quake was in the city of Izmit -also known as Nicomedea- 90 km east of Constantinople on the sea of Marmara, just before the Bosphorus straits leading into the Black Sea. The toll is mounting by the minute. The latest report from the Anatolia news agency said 325 bodies have been found so far. Izmit was leveled and heavy damage has been reported in Constantinople and nearby towns.

    Latest reports said over 3 thousand people were injured and thousands more have been trapped in the rubble of collapsed buildings. Rescue teams are making superhuman efforts to find survivors. In Constantinople, chaos prevails and the power supply has been cut off, but a fire which broke out in an oil refinery in western Turkey has been put under control. A Turkish naval base on the sea of Marmara has suffered heavy damage.

    Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit told reporters 20 people were killed there and over 200 trapped in the rubble. The earthquake also rocked northern Greece, especially Thrace and islands of the north eastern Aegean, but so far there have been no reports of casualties or damage. In Athens, an emergency meeting was held at the foreign ministry to coordinate relief aid to Turkey.

    [02] GREEK PRESIDENT ATTENDS COMMEMORATION OF HOLOCAUST AT KOMENO

    President of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos yesterday attended the events marking the 55th anniversary of the holocaust of Komeno in Arta, where 317 people were executed by the German occupation troops. President Stefanopoulos said that Greece threatened no one, but neither did it intend to cede rights or forget its history.

    [03] PRIME MINISTER BACK IN ATHENS TODAY

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis will return from his summer holidays today to tackle the task of preparing the state budget of the year 2000, make final decisions on tax reforms and finalize plans for his speech at the annual international trade fair to be held in Thessaloniki next month. In his contacts with cabinet members, Mr Simitis will discuss the political initiatives to be resumed in view of the parliamentary elections in March 2000. He will also visit Albania on August 24 and 25.

    [04] MORE MEASURES TO CONTROL ILLEGAL BUILDING

    After the national cadastre, the environment ministry will table in parliament in September a draft bill on land planning with the aim of putting an end to lawless building. The relative bill also provides for important changes in zoning regulations in regions which are not included in town planning. Environment minister Kostas Laliotis has urged the prefects to speed up procedures to incorporate these regions in town plans.

    [05] GREEK STATE POISED TO COLLECT HUGE DEBTS

    Private persons, businesses and corporate organizations owe the Greek state the astronomical sum of 3 trillion drachmas. According to the data processing service, notices to pay their debts have already been sent to 500,000 debtors who risk imprisonment, a ban to leave the country, confiscation and auctioning of their assets if they do not pay up.

    [06] MINISTER FOR THE AEGEAN TO VISIT AUSTRALIA

    Minister for the Aegean Stavros Benos is to visit Australia next month to inaugurate events dubbed "Aegean Week" at Melbourne's La Trobe university organized by the National Centre for Greek studies and research from 20 to 30 September. The exhibitions entitled "Aegean - people and places" and "Aegean - Archipelago and Cyprus" will also be shown during the events. Culture minister Elisavet Papazoi will also visit Australia in September to discuss issues connected with Greece's cultural presence at the Sydney Olympic Games of the year 2000.

    [07] GREEK ORTHODOX COMMUNITY OF MELBOURNE CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY

    The Greek Orthodox community of Melbourne, Victoria, is celebrating its 102nd anniversary. It was the first Greek community to be established in Australia. Celebrations will culminate on Sunday, August 22nd, with a service at the church of the Annunciation, the oldest Greek Orthodox church in Australia.

    [08] CHURCH OF GREECE TO OPERATE TV CHANNEL

    The Church of Greece will soon establish its own TV station. Reports said it would start operating in the first half of the year 2000.

    [09] OPEN UNIVERSITIES IMPLEMENT LONG-DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES

    Open Universities are now entering a new era of development, that of long-distance learning, giving 5,500 adults free access to higher education, since its degrees are equivalent to the ones supplied by conventional universities. The programmes of studies will be announced in the first 15 days of September, while people who are interested in them may obtain the relevant information from various prefectures.

    [10] ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE UP 1.76% YESTERDAY

    On the Athens stock exchange, the general share price index yesterday went up again by 1.76 %, closing at 4,884.22. The Cyprus stock exchange is also on an upward trend after a week's closure. It went up by 9.25% while international money markets also rose yesterday.

    [11] AGREEMENT FOR RETURN OF ALBANIANS TO MITROVICA

    The international peace keeping force has announced that an agreement has been reached for the gradual return of Albanian families to the north Kosovo city of Kosovaka Mitrovica where the population is predominantly Serbian. Earlier the Yugoslav leadership had called for the immediate disarmament of the Kosovo Liberation Army and the return to the province of units of the Yugoslav army and police.

    Meanwhile the Tanjug news agency has quoted an official announcement as saying that Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic has demanded full respect of the commitments undertaken by the international peace keeping force and the UN mission in Kosovo. The announcement added that in the past two months since the despatch of the peace force to Kosovo the worst crimes have been committed against the Serbs in Kosovo.

    [12] EU COMMISSIONER SEES DIFFICULTIES IN TURKEY'S EU ADMISSION

    European commissioner responsible for EU enlargement issues Gunther Verheugen has described Turkey's entry into the EU as difficult, stressing that Ankara still has serious weaknesses in the sectors of democracy, human rights and the protection of minority groups.
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