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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-10-11

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PRIME MINISTER DENIES REPORTS OF EARLY ELECTION
  • [02] OPPOSITION PARTIES CASTIGATE PRIME MINISTER
  • [03] GREEK PRESIDENT TO VISIT IRAN
  • [04] LAST DAY OF CENSUS FOR THE HOMELESS
  • [05] GREEK AMERICAN LEADER URGES ACTION TOWARDS CYPRUS SOLUTION
  • [06] GREEK DEFENCE MINISTER TO VISIT ISRAEL
  • [07] GREEK TOURISM PROMOTION CAMPAIGN
  • [08] 2000 STATE BUDGET TO BE TABLED SOON
  • [09] LOWER INTEREST RATES NEXT MONTH
  • [10] LABOUR MINISTRY AMENDMENTS FOR FARMERS AND JOBLESS
  • [11] LIBERAL PARTY'S FOUNDING CONGRESS

  • [01] PRIME MINISTER DENIES REPORTS OF EARLY ELECTION

    Addressing a national meeting of PASOK's reorganisation committees in Athens this weekend, the prime minister, Kostas Simitis, categorically denied that the government was planning to hold an early election. He said political stability was essential for Greece's entry to European economic and monetary union and he would not allow this stability to be upset. He added that the present parliament could elect a president of the republic. Mr Simitis proposed that a dialogue be held with PASOK figures outside the party, as well as with politicians who held views similar to those of PASOK. He again defended government policy on all levels and strongly criticised the opposition for what he called tactics of denial and populism.

    [02] OPPOSITION PARTIES CASTIGATE PRIME MINISTER

    Commenting on the prime minister's speech, the main opposition New Democracy party's press spokesman, Aris Spiliotopoulos, said Mr Simitis was out of touch with political reality. The Greek Communist party described the speech as an attempt "to present black as white" and deceive the Greek people, while the president of the Democratic Social Movement, Dimitris Tsovolas, said the Greek people would not be trapped by empty promises in the game of neo-liberal politics. The leader of the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress, Nikos Konstantopoulos, has accused the government of using any means at its disposal to win the next elections. He also accused prime minister Simitis of urging PASOK members to launch an attack on the left.

    [03] GREEK PRESIDENT TO VISIT IRAN

    The Greek president, Kostis Stefanopoulos, told the Iranian news agency that the Greek government had decided to permit the operation of an Islamic cultural centre and mosque in Athens. Mr Stefanopoulos begins an official visit to Iran tomorrow, accompanied by the foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, the agriculture minister, Giorgos Anomeritis, and a delegation of businessmen. The purpose of the visit is a further improvement in relations between the two countries. Meanwhile, the Greek ambassador in Tehran, Dimitris Tsikourtis, has described president Stefanopoulos' visit as a key element in Greek-Iranian relations.

    [04] LAST DAY OF CENSUS FOR THE HOMELESS

    Today is the last day of the census being drawn up of people affected by last month's earthquake in Attica. From Wednesday those made homeless by the earthquake may submit applications for government rent subsidies. The interior undersecretary, Giorgos Floridis, has publicly denied the existence of any plan for the requisitioning of 4,500 empty houses to provide shelter for the homeless. He clarified that hotels and empty homes throughout Attica would be used, through the provision of a rent subsidy. Requisitioning would take place only of plots of land, through a compulsory purchase order, in order to build schools. Meanwhile 60 schools in Attica whose buildings were damaged in the earthquake have now been repaired and are back in operation. The Athens urban transport organisation is establishing five new express bus routes from today to serve those living in the earthquake-hit areas. The new lines will operate from Athens to Menidi, Petroupoli, Perama, Agii Anargyri and Kamatero between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.

    [05] GREEK AMERICAN LEADER URGES ACTION TOWARDS CYPRUS SOLUTION

    The president of the United Greek American Congress, Andrew Athens, has called for Greeks and Greek organisations abroad to be on the alert to achieve a just and viable solution to the Cyprus dispute. He also exhorted them to write to the White House and ask the American president and members of the national security council to help in the efforts being made by the new presidential envoy to Cyprus, Al Moses. Mr Moses is scheduled to visit Ankara next Thursday. He will then travel to Athens on Saturday and Cyprus on 18th October. Mr Athens said the next seven weeks would be decisive for a Cyprus solution. He also stressed it was necessary for the US to make it clear to the Turkish leadership that it would cancel any incentives if Turkey did not comply with certain terms. Mr Athens added the terms included the re-unification of Cyprus' two regions, the return of refugees to their homes and the withdrawal of Turkish troops.

    [06] GREEK DEFENCE MINISTER TO VISIT ISRAEL

    The national defence minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, is to visit Israel on Wednesday to sign cooperation agreements in the war industry sector and the conducting of joint military exercises with the Israeli navy.

    [07] GREEK TOURISM PROMOTION CAMPAIGN

    Ten billion drachmas will be earmarked for the promotion of Greek tourism abroad in the period 1999-2000. Seven billion will be made available to the Greek Tourism Organization for its direct promotion campaign.

    [08] 2000 STATE BUDGET TO BE TABLED SOON

    The 2000 Greek state budget, which will be tabled in less than three weeks in parliament by the national economy minister, Yannos Papantoniou, provides for increased revenue to the tune of 600 billion drachmas. The increase will be effected through doubling the tax on stock exchange transactions from 0.03% to 0.06%, curbing tax evasion and a raise in the gross domestic product from 3.5% to 3.7% this year.

    [09] LOWER INTEREST RATES NEXT MONTH

    The monetary policy council is expected to lower inter-banking interest rates from 12% to 11% at a meeting on October 27th. The reduction will come into effect in November and will have positive repercussions on the market.

    [10] LABOUR MINISTRY AMENDMENTS FOR FARMERS AND JOBLESS

    The labour ministry has tabled amendments in parliament on raising farmers' pensions by 10,000 drachmas per month and providing health care for all jobless people.

    [11] LIBERAL PARTY'S FOUNDING CONGRESS

    At yesterday's founding congress of the Liberal party, Stefanos Manos was elected as party president for two years.
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