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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-08-27

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PRIME MINISTER TO ANNOUNCE NEW TAXATION MEASURES
  • [02] CONTINUED GREEK SUPPORT FOR TURKEY'S EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
  • [03] NO AUTONOMY FOR ORTHODOXY IN AMERICA
  • [04] GREEK AND BULGARIAN PRESIDENTS MEET
  • [05] ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE YESTERDAY
  • [06] CYPRUS COMMENTS ON HOLBROOKE'S REMARKS
  • [07] NO CHANGE IN CYPRIOT DEFENCE POLICY
  • [08] CURB ON FUEL PRICES TO BE ENFORCED
  • [09] PROTEST AT DESECRATION OF ALBANIA'S ORTHODOX CHURCHES
  • [10] GREEK BUSINESSMAN FREED

  • [01] PRIME MINISTER TO ANNOUNCE NEW TAXATION MEASURES

    A package of measures concerning tax breaks and inflation will be finalised at a cabinet meeting today and announced by the prime minister, Kostas Simitis, at the International Fair in Thessaloniki, due to open next Saturday. The government's goal this year is to increase the income of low wage-earners and pensioners with small pensions. The national economy undersecretary, Giorgos Drys, said the rises would be higher than the expected inflation and tax reductions and that the measures would demonstrate the government's social sensitivity. Although he did not give details of the measures to be announced, Mr Drys said the government had taken proposals made within the framework of the social dialogue into consideration and that they would be adopted according to the current state of the Greek economy.

    However, at yesterday's meeting between the prime minister and the board of the Federation of Northern Greek Industries, broad agreement was reached on eight main points, including the boosting of Northern Greece and Thessaloniki as the economic centre of the Balkans and increased efforts to attract international investment in the region. The members of the Federation also had a meeting yesterday morning with the opposition New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, to whom they restated their positions regarding a speeding-up of infrastructural projects in Northern Greece.

    [02] CONTINUED GREEK SUPPORT FOR TURKEY'S EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS

    The Greek foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, has briefed his counterpart in Finland - the current holder of the EU presidency - regarding Greece's proposal for emergency EU funding to Turkey to be approved. The proposal will be the subject of an all-party discussion in Athens by political party leaders. The government spokesman, Dimitris Repas, pointed out that the granting of EU funding to Turkey should be made on the basis of specific programmes and not, as he said, by issuing "blank cheques". He said the Greek proposal would be discussed at an informal meeting of the EU foreign ministers' council at the beginning of September

    . Meanwhile a second package of humanitarian aid to Turkey, worth two million euro, was released by the European Union yesterday. Greek support for the victims of the earthquake is continuing unabated. In a telephone call to his Turkish counterpart, the national defence minister, Akis Tsohadzopoulos, yesterday announced the dispatch of additional aid to Turkey. Two military planes carrying 200 large tents, chemical toilets, water storage equipment and other materials left Elefsina airport yesterday, while another 100 tents will be sent to Turkey today, providing shelter for a total of over 2,000 people. Greek Radio and the Prefecture of Xanthi, in northern Greece, are organising a concert with the popular singer, Giorgos Dalaras, in Xanthi next Monday. The proceeds from the event will be sent to the earthquake victims in Nicomedeia.

    [03] NO AUTONOMY FOR ORTHODOXY IN AMERICA

    At a press conference yesterday, the newly-elected Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America, Dimitrios, categorically denied any prospect of autonomy for the Orthodox Church of America. He said his priorities were the creation of an atmosphere of peace and harmony amongst the congregation of the Church of America, the proper functioning of the Theological School in Boston and cooperation with his predecessors, Spyridon and Iakovos. The enthronement of the new Archbishop will take place on 18th September.

    [04] GREEK AND BULGARIAN PRESIDENTS MEET

    The Greek president, Kostis Stefanopoulos, had a meeting in Athens yesterday with his Bulgarian counterpart, Petar Stoyanov, who is on an official visit to Greece. The two presidents discussed issues of concern to the Balkans generally and matters of bilateral interest in particular.

    [05] ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE YESTERDAY

    Following Wednesday's 43rd record closing for this year, the general share price index on the Athens Stock Exchange fell slightly yesterday to close 1.94% down at 5,122.57 points. In the parities, the price of the $US was fixed at 312.22 drachmas, the German Mark at 167.043 drachmas and the euro at 326.69 drachmas.

    [06] CYPRUS COMMENTS ON HOLBROOKE'S REMARKS

    Commenting on American troubleshooter Richard Holbrooke's statements during the congress of Cypriots Abroad, the new Cypriot government spokesman, Michalis Papapetrou, said the Cypriot government believed Mr Holbrooke had clearly indicated which side was the intransigent one in the Cyprus issue, and which direction American diplomacy should follow. Mr Papapetrou also said the Greek side expected the United States to put pressure on the Turkish side to participate in discussions and cooperate in the search for a solution.

    [07] NO CHANGE IN CYPRIOT DEFENCE POLICY

    The new Cypriot defence minister, Sokratis Hasikos, has said the Cypriot government's position remains unchanged regarding a strengthening of the country's defence within the framework of the joint Greek-Cypriot defence pact. He added that defence issues could not be discussed publicly, but revealed that he would shortly be visiting his Greek counterpart, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, in Athens for a mutual briefing session.

    [08] CURB ON FUEL PRICES TO BE ENFORCED

    The development minister, Evangelos Venizelos, has given oil companies, refineries and fuel retailers until Monday to implement last week's "gentlemen's agreement" curbing increased petrol prices in Athens, Thessaloniki and another 15 prefectures. On Wednesday Mr Venizelos tabled an amendment in parliament, giving the ministry the power to enforce a ceiling on the retail prices of fuel and, where necessary, impose sanctions for violations. The sanctions will take the form of steep fines ranging from 10 to 100 million drachmas for refineries and oil companies, which will be collected by the tax office.

    [09] PROTEST AT DESECRATION OF ALBANIA'S ORTHODOX CHURCHES

    Albania's Human Rights Committee has complained about the damage and desecration sustained by the country's Orthodox churches and monasteries. The protest concerns a total of 10 churches, mainly in the south of Albania. The Helsinki Committee in Albania has expressed its support for the Orthodox community but at the same time points out that the looting and destruction of Orthodox churches is detrimental to the culture of the country.

    [10] GREEK BUSINESSMAN FREED

    Albanian police mounted a huge operation yesterday to free 25-year old Greek businessman, Giorgos Laliotis, who was abducted by the Albanian mafia in Aghii Saranda three months ago. The intervention of the police resulted in the arrest of 12 people, including an associate of the victim's father.
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