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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-05-18

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Europarliament votes on Greece 's eurozone admission
  • [02] Bill to be prepared on 2004 Athens Olympic Games
  • [03] Simitis, Papandreou look at forest fires, ID cards
  • [04] President Stefanopoulos meets Arafat, ends Mideast visit
  • [05] Cyprus issue
  • [06] Military exercise ends in Cyprus with no hassles
  • [07] Pilots blamed for fatal air accident


    (THE VOICE OF GREECE - Translators Dpt.)

    [01] Europarliament votes on Greece 's eurozone admission

    Athens gets a positive result from the voting in the European Parliament on Greece's entry to the Euro zone, as all political groups stated they would cast a positive vote during the debate of the Greek economy and its impressive growth in the European body in Strassbourg. Euro-Deputies from all political sides replied in a convincing way to German Christian Democrats' reservations over the strength of the Greek economy. In the meantime, according to data released by the EU statistics service, Eurostat, Greece's inflation stood at 2.1% in April, while the annualized rate was 2% in the same month. This is seen as a dramatic improvement compared to March's inflation rate, which stood at 2.8%. The annual inflation rate of the 11 countries belonging to the Euro zone reduced from 2.1% in March to 1.9% in April.

    [02] Bill to be prepared on 2004 Athens Olympic Games

    The interministerial supreme supervisory committee for the preparation of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games convened under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Costas Simitis, and with the participation of the president of the National Olympic Committee "Athens 2004", Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki. During the meeting it was decided that a special draft bill be drawn up and tabled in Parliament, in order to take care of all legal loopholes relating to the timely preparation of the 2004 Olympic Games, to be held in Athens. The bill will also provide for a pre-agenda debate in parliament on the issue, on May 31st.

    [03] Simitis, Papandreou look at forest fires, ID cards

    Interior Minister Vaso Papandreou and PM Costas Simitis met to discuss matters pertaining to the Interior Ministry. A main focus of the meeting was the preparation of tomorrow's cabinet meeting on the coordination of the state services to deal effectively with the danger of forest fires during summer. Simitis and Papandreou also examined the controversial issue of the identity cards and according to information, it was decided to continue the cooperation between the relative ministries, in order to make a decision that would be compatible with the European Union decisions on the new travel document which will be valid for all EU member countries. In the next few days, Mrs Papandreou will also meet over the same issue with the Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, Justice Minister Michalis Stathopoulos and the Foreign Ministry spokesman.

    [04] President Stefanopoulos meets Arafat, ends Mideast visit

    The president of the Greek republic Constantine Stephanopoulos was warmly received by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Bethlehem, indicative of the endeavors on both sides to disperse the slight unexpected chill created in Greek-Palestinian relations earlier in the week. According to reliable sources, Arafat briefed president Stefanopoulos on the current status of the Israeli- Palestinian talks and expressed the view that it would not be easy to settle all issues by September, despite pressure exerted by US President Bill Clinton and the goodwill demonstrated by the Palestinian side. Regarding the Greek position on the issue of Jerusalem, diplomatic sources have indicated that it complied with United Nations and European union decisions - that is, that the city, claimed by both sides, was a separate entity, for which there should be an agreement, following bilateral negotiations.

    [05] Cyprus issue

    Tsochatzopoulos sets Cyprus dispute high on the agenda The meeting of the chiefs of the General Navy Staff of Nato member states belonging to the southern wing continues in Kavouri. In the meeting, the Greek national defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos raised the issue of a Cyprus settlement, as the first priority for Greece's interests. Tsochatzopoulos met with the PM Kostas Simitis and together with Foreign Minister George Papandreou, discussed the confidence-building measures in the Aegean, in the spirit of the Papoulias-Yilmaz memorandum.

    [06] Military exercise ends in Cyprus with no hassles

    Greek airforce jet fighters flew over the free parts of Cyprus, in the framework of the joint military exercise code-named "Vergina-Toxotis" of the Greek armed forces and the National Guard of Cyprus. The aim of the Vergina-Toxotis exercise is to control the operational capability and readiness of the Athens and Nicosia General Staff, within the framework of the Single Defence Doctrine between Greece and Cyprus. The exercise will end today with more flights by the Greek jet fighters over Cyprus, while Greek war ships taking part in the exercise are in the region between Rhodes and Cyprus. A spokesman for the General Greek Airforce Staff has stated that there was no harassment by Turkish jet fighters during the flight of the Greek planes taking part in exercise concerning Cyprus.

    [07] Pilots blamed for fatal air accident

    The public prosecutor has filed charges of manslaughter and bodily harm, resulting from negligence, against the pilot and co-pilot of the prime minister's Falcon jet, which plunged in mid-air last year in Romania, killing seven people aboard, including the Deputy Foreign Minister Yannos Kranidiotis. The two pilots have been accused of bad judgement in handling the plane, causing it to plunge out of control several thousand metres without prior warning. In accordance with the prosecutor's report, the accident was caused by excessive speed when the jet prepared to land in Bucharest and accidental blockage of the automatic pilot.

    According to information by Greek state Radio (ERA), the chairman of the Greek committee of experts that has been set up to investigate the causes of the accident, air-harbour master Yiannis Charalambakis has already received the Roumanian Committee's report and will submit his observations in the next few days, after which the final report will be made.

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