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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-10-20

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION CLASH OVER PROPOSED LOTTERY GAME
  • [02] UN SECRETARY GENERAL PLANS CYPRUS TALKS BEFORE EU SUMMIT
  • [03] ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE DOWN 0.68% YESTERDAY
  • [04] RUMANIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS ATHENS
  • [05] BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS PARTHENON MARBLES
  • [06] HOMELESS STAY IN TENTS DESPITE DOWNPOUR
  • [07] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS EMPLOYEES AGAINST NEW OPERATIONAL PLAN
  • [08] HYMN OF OLYMPIC TRUCE PRESENTED YESTERDAY
  • [09] FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER QUESTIONS EU ENLARGEMENT

  • [01] GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION CLASH OVER PROPOSED LOTTERY GAME

    The confrontation between PASOK and the main opposition New Democracy party over a proposed Olympic video-lotto is expected to come to a head today, when the relative draft bill is tabled in parliament. The New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, who described the video-lotto as a major political issue, has asked for a roll-call vote and urged deputies to veto the bill. He also accused the government of bowing to neo-feudalism and influencing mass media. The culture minister, Elisavet Papazoi, and the sports undersecretary, Andreas Fouras, told a press conference yesterday that the contract for the lottery would ensure the transparency of the project. The justice minister, Evangelos Yannopoulos, said a similar lottery was in operation in 72 countries and that the revenue would go to sports, culture and the state. He called on anyone with any evidence of illegal dealings to have recourse to justice. The government spokesman, Dimitris Reppas, said the New Democracy party belonged to an outdated era and that scandal-mongering was threatening the smooth progress of the country. He also claimed Mr Karamanlis was fabricating excuses for his party's forthcoming electoral defeat.

    [02] UN SECRETARY GENERAL PLANS CYPRUS TALKS BEFORE EU SUMMIT

    Speaking from Madrid yesterday, the foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, said the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, planned to invite the Cypriot president, Glafkos Kliridis, and the Turkish Cypriot representative, Rauf Denktash, to take part in a dialogue before the European Union summit in Helsinki in December. However, after his meeting in the occupied part of Cyprus yesterday with the American envoys in the Cyprus dispute, Al Moses and Thomas Weston, Mr Denktash reiterated his refusal to participate in direct talks with President Kliridis. Today the two American diplomats are to have further separate meetings with the Cypriot president and Mr Denktash.

    [03] ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE DOWN 0.68% YESTERDAY

    Sharp fluctuations and nervousness marked yesterday's session on the Athens Stock Exchange. There was a significant rise at the start of the day's transactions, followed by a drop which sent the general share price index down by 0.68% to close at 5,392.32 points. The national economy minister, Yannos Papantoniou, said the current fluctuations are quite normal. Prime minister Kostas Simitis, for his part, said the Greek economy will continue on its positive course. Meanwhile an announcement about a marginal increase of the inflation rate in the United States yesterday sent the Dow-Jones up by 0.97% and averted the danger of a rise in short-term interest rates. European stock markets also went up yesterday.

    [04] RUMANIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS ATHENS

    The progress of the stability pact in the Balkans and the need to proceed rapidly with its implementation - to consolidate peace and security in the region - were the focus of yesterday's talks between the Greek prime minister, Kostas Simitis, and his Rumanian counterpart, Radum Vasile. Mr Simitis reiterated Greece's support for Rumania's EU accession. He described his meeting with Mr Vasile as cordial and warm, and said it confirmed the excellent relations between the two countries. He also pointed out that more than 1,680 Greek companies were operating in Rumania today. For his part, the Rumanian prime minister described his visit to Greece and his discussions with Mr Simitis as an important step towards further improvement in bilateral relations and closer economic cooperation. He underlined that Greek enterprises could be more active and invest still more in Rumania, particularly in the sectors of infrastructure, agriculture, technology and light industries.

    [05] BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE TO DISCUSS PARTHENON MARBLES

    A British parliamentary committee is meeting to discuss the poor state of preservation of the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum and the issue of their return to Greece. In an article yesterday, the British newspaper "The Guardian" said that for the first time in two centuries the British parliament might reconsider the British Museum's right to the Parthenon marbles. For fifty years now, British Museum officials have been covering up the fact that the marbles, which were appropriated by Lord Elgin during Ottoman rule in Greece and are being exhibited at the museum since 1816, had sustained considerable damage during restoration work.

    [06] HOMELESS STAY IN TENTS DESPITE DOWNPOUR

    Despite offers by the government to provide alternative accommodation in hotels, most of the people living in tents in the earthquake-hit districts of Attica refused to leave their tents in yesterday's downpour. They said they were concerned about theft and losing their place in the queue for prefabricated homes.

    [07] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS EMPLOYEES AGAINST NEW OPERATIONAL PLAN

    Representatives of Olympic Airways employees on the company's administrative board are expected to vote today against the new operational plan for Greece's national air carrier. The plan includes proposals to sell some of its aircraft and assets, increase employees' working hours and absorb Macedonian Airlines.

    [08] HYMN OF OLYMPIC TRUCE PRESENTED YESTERDAY

    The hymn of the Olympic truce was presented at the Zappeion Mansion yesterday by the Association of Greek Olympic Champions. The music for the hymn was written by Thanos Mikroutsikos and the lyrics by Lina Nikolopoulou. It constitutes a call for a worldwide ceasefire during the period of the Olympic Games, as used to happen in antiquity. The peace hymn will be heard for the first time on 16th December at the annual award ceremony of the Olympic Champions in the Athens Concert Hall.

    [09] FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER QUESTIONS EU ENLARGEMENT

    Hungary, Poland, the Czech republic, Cyprus, Slovenia and Estonia are on the threshold of the EU and entry negotiations began a year ago. However, French foreign minister Hubert Vedrine said in an interview with the German weekly magazine "Die Welt" to be published on Monday that he was against fixing a date for EU enlargement, including the year 2003. In the interview, part of which was released last night, Mr Vedrine stressed that before enlargement the EU should perfect its institutions and only then would more countries be able to join the union. Nevertheless, at last week's EU summit in Tampere, Finland, the EU leaders accepted the candidacies of 6 more countries and decided that entry negotiations would begin in late 1999.
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