|Sunday, 17 February 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-04-25
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
(THE VOICE OF GREECE - Translators Dpt.)
 The Greek government got a vote of confidenceIn parliament, the government got a vote of confidence with 157 votes in favour and 141 against. The deputies of Pasok Anastasios Choremis and of the Greek communist party Orestis Kolozof abstained from the ballot due to illness. The prime minister Kostas Simitis stated afterwards that the government was setting out under the most favourable auspices. Mr Simitis added that it was a long-term government and would use this time to fulfill its work.
Closing the three-day debate, the prime minister accused the ND party of its constantly negative stand and of cultivating exaggeration consciously. The opposition New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis stressed that the government majority voted the policy statements which were merely a patch-work of pre-election pledges and old promises. He also said that his party would insist on the principle of consensus on the basis of institutions and would keep checking the government's work, strictly, responsibly and effectively.
The honorary president of the New Democracy party Konstantinos Mitsotakis said the meaning of consensus in the new parliament was the mandate the Greek people gave to the two major parties.
The interior minister Vaso Papandreou said that a national dialogue would take place on the electoral system.
 Plans for the 2004 Olympic GamesTaking the floor in parliament yesterday, the culture minister Theodoros Pangalos announced that an informal interparty committee would be set up to monitor the course of the works for the 2004 Olympic Games, stressing that in the next few days a letter would be sent to the parties regarding the appointment of their representatives. Mr Pangalos said he was certain that the organization of the 2004 Olympic Games would be excellent, while after his meeting with the prime minister yesterday he announced that he will have meetings with the representatives of the International Olympic Committee.
 Developments in Greek economyThe governor of the Bank of Greece Loukas Papadimos, during today's general assembly, asked for the speeding up of infrastructure changes in the economy, as well as the economic policy's re-orientation with the aim to obtain stabilization of prices and maintain the incomes on the same level. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank is expected to release its report regarding Greece's application for admission to European Economic and Monetary Union.
 Developments in the Cyprus issueIntense activity is taking place around the Cyprus issue, as the Cypriot foreign minister Yannakis Kasoulidis is expected in Athens for talks with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou. According to reports, the visit was believed necessary, in view of Mr Papandreou's trip to the United States next week, where he will have contacts with his counterparts of the US Madeleine Albright and Turkey Ismail Cem. In his statements, the Cypriot minister underlined that Cyprus would never accept Turkey's stands about the recognition of two states, or an acceptance of two state entities and a confederation. Meanwhile, the Cypriot president Glafkos Kliridis will have talks in Athens on May 19th, with the prime minister Kostas Simitis, in view of the third round of proximity talks on Cyprus, scheduled to open in New York on May 23rd.
 Optimistic views on Greek-Turkish Cooperation ConferenceThe messages of the Turkish press on the report of the Greek- Turkish Cooperation conference held in Athens on April 21st and 22nd, are positive. Jumhuryiet writes that the business world is satisfied from the recent trip to Athens and points out that the Turkish businessmen are optimistic about the contacts they had with their Greek fellow-businessmen. Who said we are enemies, writes the Turkish newspaper Sabah, underlining that the report played an important role in the improvement of the two countries' relations.
 Kosovo Serbs satisfied from their visit to GreeceThe Serbs of Kosovo returned satisfied from the contacts they had in Athens recently with the Greek foreign minister George Papandreou. Bishop Artemios who is the president of the Serb National Council of Kosovo stated that Mr Papandreou expressed on behalf of the Greek government, Greece's support for a peaceful settlement of the Kosovo issue in framework of the Security Council resolution 1244.
 Events marking the Armenian genocideIncidents occurred in Athens and Thessaloniki, during the protest marches of the Armenian Youth of Greece to the Turkish embassies, held on the occasion of the 85th anniversary of the genocide of the Armenians by the Turks, when 1,5 million people lost their life. Certain demonstrators burnt a Turkish flag. Following this incident, the Greek ambassador in Turkey Ioannis Korandis was summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry, while the ministry spokesman said Ankara would lodge an official protest with Athens on the incident through the Greek ambassador. In Nicosia, the Armenians honoured the memory of the victims of the genocide against the Armenian nation by the Turkish state. A memorial service was held in the Armenian church yesterday morning, while a special ceremony for the anniversary of the genocide took place in the School for the Blind last night. Also, the Cypriot political parties issued announcements condemning the genocide.