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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-10-25
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA.5 THE VOICE OF GREECE
25/10/2000 3:45:42 μμ
 Patriarch Vartholomeos' visit to AthensEcumenic Patriarch Vartholomeos wound up his visit to Athens and left for Constantinople today.
Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos and the Holy Synod yesterday hosted a dinner in honour of the patriarch, which prime minister Kostas Simitis also attended.
Earlier, patriarch Vartholomeos had a meeting with prime minister Simitis and education minister Petros Efthimiou, but although the meeting was held in a good climate none of the pending issues was discussed.
Government and archbishopric circles believe that positive steps have been made regarding the relations between the State and the Greek Church.
 PM Simitis visits SkopjePrime minister Kostas Simitis will fly to Skopje today to participate in the summit meeting of Southeastern European countries.
Yugoslavia will participate in the inter-Balkan conference for the first time after the collapse of Slobodan Milocevic's regime Speaking to reporters today, before his departure for Skopje the Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit said that prime minister Simitis' presence at the Balkan summit would be an opportunity to discuss issues which create tension in the two countries relations.
 Greek-Turkish issuesAthens has rejected Turkish claims for the non-use of the air corridors over the islands of Ikaria and Limnos, stressing that the demilitarized character of the specific islands has been lifted on the basis of the Montreux Treaty .
From New York, the Greek foreign minister George Papandreou stated that Greece merely called on Ankara to comply with the common values shared with all European partners.
At the same time, Turkish Foreign minister Ismail Cem underlined that the efforts for a step by step rapprochement between Greece and Turkey would not be wasted.
The New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis criticised the government for its handling of Greek-Turkish issues and spoke of unilateral concessions.
Today, Mr Karamanlis will be received by the president of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos.
In the meantime, the recent provocative actions by Ankara has had an impact on the nine low-profile agreements signed between Turkey and Greece.
Specifically, Greek deputies - members of the Production and Trade Parliamentary Committee - called the speaker of the Greek parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis not to promote the ratification by the plenum of the parliament of the agreement providing for trade cooperation between the two countries till Turkey clarifies its stand.
Meanwhile, the EU called on Turkey to open dialogue with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe on the issue of the protection the rights of the minorities.
 The Greek president will visit the Check RepublicPresident Konstantinos Stefanopoulos will visit the Chech republic from November 14 to 16, at the invitation of his counterpart Vaclav Havel.
It is the first visit of a Greek state leader to the republic since its establishment in 1993.
 Greek economic issuesThe government's economic staff is strongly concerned over the continuous rise in the price of the dollar and the maintenance of the international oil price at around 32 dollars per barrel.
In the meantime, the imminent reduction in interest rates has affected significantly the drachma, putting pressure on the Greek currency against the euro, while inflation is expected to go over 3.5% in October .
However heating oil will go down by 4.5 dr per litter as of midnight tonight.
Development minister Nikos Cristodoulakis expressed the hope that the price of oil would soon go down.
The state budget will be tabled in parliament on November 1st, providing for a heating allowance that will be ranging between 40 to 60 thousand drachmas for low incomes and the unemployed.