|Tuesday, 28 November 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-02-01
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
 GREEK ECONOMY'S CONVERGENCE PROGRAMME APPROVED YESTERDAYThe Greek economy's convergence programme -- re-adapted to criteria set by the European Union -- was approved at yesterday's meeting of ECOFIN.
National Economy and Finance Minister Yannos Papantoniou said that a decisive step was taken towards Greece's entry into the final phase of Economic and Monetary Union.
New Democracy party described the Council's decision as renewal adding that new strict measures of fiscal and income policy are required.
 GORAN PERSON PRAISED THE COURSE OF GREEK ECONOMYThe excellent relations existing between Greece and Sweden were affirmed yesterday during a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and his counterpart of Sweden Goran Person. Mr Person publicly congratulated the Greek Prime Minster and his government in general on the growth of the country's economy, while he said that Greece will surely join EU Economic and Monetary Union.
Issues discussed between the two Prime Ministers included the expansion of the Union, with both men agreeing that there should be new decisions on the organisation and functioning of a 25-member European Union.
Referring to decisions regarding Turkey's status as a candidate country for admission into the EU, made at last Decembers' Helsinki European Council, Mr Person spoke with favourable words about Greece's stand, which virtually gave the green light for the decision.
For his part, Mr Simitis said that relations between Athens and Ankara were now on a very good level.
However, he stressed that certain moves should be made by Turkey to consolidate peace in the region.
 SIMITIS' PROPOSAL ON THE ELECTION OF THE GREEK PRESIDENTIn a letter to the speaker of the Greek Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, Prime Minister Costas Simitis officially announced the ruling PASOK party's proposal on the election of the President of the Republic.
 A MEETING ON GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONSPrime minister Costas Simitis will have a meeting today with the leaderships of the Foreign and Defence ministries to discuss Greek-Turkish relations, in view of Turkish Foreign Minister Ismael Cem's visit to Athens, on Thursday. Meanwhile the PASOK's Executive Office will convene today to discuss Greek-Turkish relations.
 CRUCIAL CYPRUS TALKS RESUMED YESTERDAY IN GENEVAThe second round of proximity talks on the Cyprus issue resumed in Geneva yesterday between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, under the chairmanship of the UN secretary general Kofi Anan.
The UN secretary general expressed his optimism that there would be some progress on the Cyprus dispute until the end of the year.
 250,000 ATHENIANS TRIED OUT ATHENS METRO YESTERDAYAbout 250,000 Athenians tried out yesterday the new Athens metro, which inaugurated on Friday.
In an interview with the new television (NET), Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Kostas Laliotis yesterday promised to find an immediate solution to the problem of parking for those commuters waiting to use the metro. Mr Laliotis said he hoped the ministry would soon be able to provide some 7,000 free parking sites in total.
Mr Laliotis added that the Syntagma-Dafni metro line would ease traffic in Athens by 300,000 cars.
 AUSTRALIANS CALL FOR THE RETURN OF PARTHENON MARBLESA four-member delegation of the Australian committee for the return of the Parthenon marbles to Greece has been in London since Saturday for consultations with the corresponding British committee and prominent personalities.
Subsequently, the Australian committee will submit a memorandum to the British Parliament today, calling for the return of the marbles, which British diplomat Lord Elgin had stolen from the Parthenon in the early 19th century.
After London, the delegation will visit Athens for contacts and talks with Greek government officials and well-known personalities in literature and the arts.