|Tuesday, 28 November 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-11-01
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH- ERA.5-THE VOICE OF GREECE
1/11/2000 10:38:18 рм
 New state budgetThe 2001 state budget - the first one in euro and the first one ever in surplus - will be tabled in parliament today, while the cabinet will approve it this morning.
According to the statements of the national economy minister Yannos Papantoniou the budget provides for the consolidation of stability, development and social justice.
As of January 1st, farmers pensions will be increased by 5,000 drs, the Pensioner's Social Solidarity Allowance (PSSA- EKAS in Greek) will be raised by 30%, while the exempted taxation limit will also be increased by 400,000 drs, Mr Papantoniou said.
Meanwhile, the public investment program will be increased by 10%, while the amount of the heating allowance to low income earners and pensioners will be announced today.
 Confidence building measures in the AegeanOn the sidelines of the conference of the North Atlantic Treaty in Budapest yesterday, the Greek and Turkish foreign ministers, George Papandreou and Ismail Cem, agreed on the implementation of Confidence building measures.
Certain measures will be examined on bilateral level, while those related to military and operational issues will be examined within the framework of NATO discussions expected to begin in Brussels next week.
 Proximity talks on CyprusThe 5th round of proximity talks on Cyprus will start in Geneva this afternoon.
The UN secretary general's special representative Alvaro de Soto will give a press conference for the opening of the procedure this morning.
The UN spokesman in Brussels said the UN secretary general Kofi Annan will not attend the opening of the talks, due to his obligations in the Middle East peace process, but will probably go to Brussels next week.
The Cypriot president Glafkos Kliridis went to Geneva yesterday for the proximity talks. Before his departure Mr Kliridis stated that he would not accept a confederation solution, but did not rule out the possibility of participating in Camp David-type talks on the Cyprus issue.
In view of his trip to Geneva, Mr Kliridis met yesterday with the American ambassador in Cyprus Donald Badler who stated afterwards that the proximity talks should continue as fast as possible.
When asked to comment on American Presidential envoy Alfred Moses' statement regarding a solution of the Cyprus issue before the end of the year, Mr Badler said he shared Mr Moses optimism, adding however that he did not know when that would happen.
 British foreign secretary in GreeceThe situation in the Balkans and EU-Turkey relations were the object of discussion at a meeting yesterday between prime minister Kostas Simitis and British foreign secretary Robin Cook who is visiting Greece.
Mr Cook also met with public order minister Michalis Chrysohoidis with whom he discussed issues related to terrorism, commerce, and the trafficking of drugs and arms.
Mr Cook will meet with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou later today.
 2004 Olympic GamesThe president of the ''Athens 2004'' organizing committee Yanna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki, yesterday briefed the Greek parliament on all the relevant Olympic Games issues, in the presence of culture minister Theodoros Pangalos, environment and public works minister Kostas Laliotis and sports undersecretary George Floridis.
After a meeting yesterday, Mr Pangalos and Mr Floridis expressed their satisfaction over the course of the Olympic works assumed by the General secretariat for Sports.
 Bill on labourAfter successive meetings the Labour minister Tasos Yannitsis had yesterday with representatives of the General Confederation of Greek Workers and employers unions, announced that amendments will be tabled in parliament providing for labour relations while dialogue on employment will continue in parallel.
Mr Yannitsis said he expects more proposals from the trade unions and is at the same time waiting for the results of the ruling Pasok party's conference on labour matters next Friday, when - as it is expected - prime minister Kostas Simitis will make an outline of the government's intention on the planned changes.
 Bill on telecommunicationsAccording to a relative bill the transports and communications ministry tabled in parliament, the monopoly of the Greek Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) in standard- type telephones will end as the year 2000 expires, while the bill provides for regulations on the operation of the free telecommunication market.
 Athens bourseOn the Athens stock exchange, the general share price index rose by 0.97% on Tuesday, closing at 3,798.85 points.