|Wednesday, 20 February 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-08-26
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
 GREECE TO PROPOSE EU AID TO TURKEYThe Greek foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, reiterated yesterday that Greece was now faced with a new reality. He said Greece was putting forward a proposal for generous EU funding to Turkey to deal with the urgent needs created by last week's catastrophic earthquake. The issue would be discussed at an informal meeting of the foreign ministers' council at the beginning of September.
The matter of the Greek veto has provoked reactions from leading members of the opposition New Democracy party. The honorary president, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, said he was in favour of a lifting of the veto and believed that this policy had achieved whatever it was going to achieve. He recommended the government go ahead with unilateral action that would improve relations between Greece and Turkey still further.
The former New Democracy party president Miltiadis Evert, however, described politicians' statements which effectively overturned the country's firm foreign policy as a national mistake and proposed that there should be inter-party agreement before the political party leaders' speeches at the forthcoming International Fair in Thessaloniki.
The former national defence minister, Iannis Varvitsiotis, said the lifting of reservations presupposed that Turkey would take steps to normalise relations with Greece.
The leader of the Democratic Social Movement, Dimitris Tsovolas, said yesterday that the country's foreign policy should not be confused with statements of solidarity and support for the Turkish people. He added that the lifting of the veto had in any case already been decided following intense pressure from the United States.
Meanwhile the situation of the earthquake-stricken population in Turkey remains desperate. Heavy rain has destroyed large quantities of the emergency food rations that were piled up in the open air, while the first signs of epidemics have begun to manifest themselves. The Turkish prime minister, Bulent Ecevit, has acknowledged the failure of the state mechanism to deal with the crisis and admitted that mistakes were made by builders, but he underlined that in his view it was not possible to apportion blame.
 GOVERNMENT TO ANNOUNCE MEASURES TO PEG INFLATIONSpeaking after a lengthy meeting with the prime minister yesterday, the national economy minister, Iannos Papantoniou, appealed to the business world to peg the price of their products and even reduce them, if possible. He said the anti-inflationary measures that should be taken had been examined, adding that the inflation rate was approximately at the levels predicted.
The government's aim is to bring it down below the 2% mark. Mr Papantoniou said the prime minister would make an announcement regarding final decisions on taxation measures in his speech at the Thessaloniki Fair.
 PRISTINA STUDENTS TO TRANSFER TO GREEK UNIVERSITIESThe education ministry has tabled an amendment allowing Greek students who were at university in Pristina and had completed at least one year of their studies to transfer, without further examination, to the corresponding department at a Greek university outside Athens and Thessaloniki.
 PRIME MINISTER PLANS TRIP TO CHINAThe Greek prime minister is to pay a visit to China from 15th to 21st September at the invitation of the Chinese government.
 GREEK GENOCIDE TO BE COMMEMORATEDThe Council of State has officially decreed 14th September as a day of national memory of the Turkish genocide of the Greeks in Asia Minor.
 AUSTRALIA TO OPEN UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT IN CRETEThe Australian Technical University of Swinburne, in Melbourne, has announced that it intends to open a department at the University of Crete. According to statements issued by university officials, it will be the first time an Australian university has opened a department in Greece. The Australians believe that as a result of the prevailing enthusiasm and great interest, the department will be in operation by 2001.
 FURTHER STOCK EXCHANGE SUCCESSESThe general share price index on the Athens Stock Exchange made a further leap yesterday, closing 3.33% up on the previous day's trading at 5,224.15 points. In the parities, the price of the $US was fixed at 312.45 drachmas, the German Mark at 166.91 drachmas and the euro at 326.46 drachmas.