|Saturday, 9 December 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-10-30
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEW IN ENGLISH.ERA-5.THE VOICE OF GREECE
30/10/2000 11:10:45 рм
 The state budget for 2001 will be tabled in Parliament next Wednesday.In an announcement issued yesterday by the Prime minister's office, the main target of the budget - apart from dealing with welfare issues and unemployment, the strengthening of social cohesion, the balance of peripheral development and the competitiveness of the Greek economy - will be to curb the soaring prices of fuel and the American dollar.
At the same time, Finance undersecretary Yiorgos Drys has stated that the repercussions from the rise of oil prices in the international markets have been limited to the least.
According to financial analysts, rapidly rising US dollar and fuel prices are hindering the government's efforts to deal with de-escalation of interest rates and the public debt. At the same time, the production cost of businesses and industries has also increased, involving possible repercussions to the Greek economy's growth rate.
However, according to reports, raises in salaries are expected to reach 2.2% in the public sector and between 2,5 and 3,5% in the private sector. Also, a part of the heating allowance is expected to be granted to the economically weakest classes in late December.
 Labour relationsIn the meeting to be held today between the General Confederation of Greek workers and the General Confederation of artisans, the two sides will focus their talks on labour relations.
Tomorrow, Labour and Social Security minister Tasos Yiannitsis will meet with representatives of the Trade Unions.
 Cyprus issueThe fifth round of the Cyprus proximity talks is to begin in Geneva next Wednesday. Subsequently, Prime minister Kostas Simitis is scheduled to meet with Cypriot President Glafkos Kleridis and the Speaker of the Cypriot Parliament, Spyros Kyprianou, in Athens on November 13 and 14 to assess the outcome of talks and to determine future steps to be taken.
In statements made prior to his departure from Nicosia on Saturday, the United Nations Secretary General's envoy Alvaro de Sotto expressed the hope that a scenario for peace would be written in the next few months between the two sides.
The US Ambassador to Cyprus Donald Badler, in an interview with the Cypriot news agency, said the US was working for a solution to the Cyprus dispute within the parameters set by the UN resolutions - a solution that would bring more security, democracy and prosperity for all Cypriots.
Mr. Badler also expressed the view that the outcome of the upcoming Presidential elections in the United States would not affect Washington's commitments in relation to efforts for a Cyprus settlement.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign undersecretary, Faruk Lologlou is presently in the occupied territories for talks with Turkish-Cypriot representative Rauf Dentkash, in view of the upcoming 5th round of proximity talks this week.
 ''Mad cows disease''An urgent preliminary inquiry has been ordered by the Athens Public Prosecutor's office, in the wake of publications mentioning that meat probably from cows infected by the "mad cow disease" has been imported in Greece.
 Important finds to shed light to ''Express Samina'' tragedyImportant finds, including the ship's log - salvaged by divers on Saturday from the "Express Samina", shipwrecked earlier this month off Paros island, are expected to shed light on the cause of the tragedy in which at least 80 people lost their lives. The divers will continue their work today in an effort to enter the engine room and the ship's garage, to check for any trapped victims.
 Maria Farandouri to give concerts in AustraliaGreek athletes won 11 medals in total in the para-Olympic Games which ended in Sydney yesterday.
In the meantime, extensive reference has been made in the Australian Press to upcoming concerts this week by well known Greek singer Maria Farandouri at the Melbourne International Festival accompanied by her orchestra, comprising both Greek and German musicians. Farandouri is scheduled to perform on October 31 and November 1 at the Melbourne Concert Hall.
In a full page interview published in the daily newspaper, "The Herald Sun", the singer said the program would be dedicated to the 75th birthday of world acclaimed Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis.