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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-11-29
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH. ERA-5 THE VOICE OF GREECE
29/11/2000 10:01:53 ðì
 Simitis met Papantoniou yesterdayPrime minister Costas Simitis yesterday met with the national economy minister Yannos Papantoniou to discuss about the course of the Greek economy.
Mr Papantoniou briefed the prime minister on the signing of the Third EU Support Framework amounting to 44.29 billion Euro (about 16 trillion drs). The national economy minister referred to the importance of these funds for the upgrading of infrastructure works during the period 2000-2006, stressing that the right use of the funds would change the country's picture within the next years. They also discussed about the course of the Athens Stock Exchange.
Meanwhile, the Committee of Monetary Policy yesterday decided to go ahead with further decrease of basic interest rates by half a point.
 Fuel prices went up by 3 drachmasDevelopment minister Nikos Christodoulakis appealed to the business world yesterday to reduce prices so as a drop in inflation could be accomplished. He presented a bill for the reformation of the oil market according to which oil companies would be able to operate privately owned stations while gas stations would be able to directly purchase oil from distilleries. This would in turn eliminate the intervention of third parties.
In the meantime, fuel prices went up by 3 drachmas as of midnight yesterday.
 Simitis gave the green light for the privatisation of OADuring his meeting with the transport minister Christos Verelis, the prime minister Costas Simitis gave the green light for the privatisation of Olympic Airways. 51 to 65% of Olympic Airways will be sold, while the official announcement will be publicized from December 10 to 15.
Meanwhile, 40 PASOK deputies are expected to submit a question in Parliament today about the course of Olympic Airways. They will ask about the future of employees.
 Simitis is paying a two-day visit to HungaryThe prime minister Costas Simitis is paying a two-day official visit to Hungary. The prime minister has already met with the opposition leader and with Greeks living in the village Nikos Belogiannnis.
Today, Mr Simitis will meet with his Hungarian counterpart, while in the afternoon he will be received by the president of the Hungarian Republic.
 Greek-Turkish relationsGovernment spokesman Dimitris Reppas yesterday said that Greece's position on the EU-Turkey partnership relationship was clear and should reflect the spirit of the Helsinki decision. He added that Greece sought nothing more than that.
Mr Reppas also left open the possibility for Greece to veto the text of the partnership relationship if the Helsinki decision was not clearly stated.
Earlier, the Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem had maintained in Brussels that the relevant text did not reflect Helsinki's conclusions and reiterated that the Cyprus dispute and Greek-Turkish relations did not consist political criteria for Turkey and could not be included in the text.
 Olympic Games 2004The four-day meeting between the Organizing Committee "Athens 2004" and the officials of the Sydney Games were concluded yesterday following vitally constructive talks from both sides.
The topic of the discussions was the sharing of the Australians experiences from the 2000 Games, which they hosted.
The "Athens 2004" committee was very pleased over the advice they received, in the closed-door meetings with the Australians.
 Royal propertyGreece does not negotiate with forces or factors contrary to the "country's interests" reiterated yesterday government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, replying to a proposal by the former king Konstantinos to negotiate the amount of compensation for the so-called royal property.
In parallel, the secretary general of the PASOK party Central Committee Kostas Skandalidis stressed that the Greek government would exhaust all constitutional and legislative in order to safeguard the interests of the Greek people.
For his part, the leader of the New Democracy party Kostas Karamanlis underlined that Konstantinos Gluxbourg should be treated as an ordinary individual, whose problem should be solved on the grounds of international law but not at the expense of the Greek state.
The leader of the Coalition of the Left Wing party Nikos Konstantopoulos described the claims of ousted king Konstantinos as provocation to democracy.
Konstantinos Gluxbourg, in an interview yesterday, explained that he claimed the Tatoi and Mon Repo properties because he felt he had the right to own two houses as all Greeks do.
 The EU Agriculture Ministers' council will meet on December 4Consumers' concern regarding the mad cow disease is growing throughout Europe while an extraordinary meeting of the EU Agriculture Ministers' Council has been set for December 4th.
However, in his speech at the Parliament yesterday, Greek agriculture minister Giorgos Anomeritis once again reassured that no case of the mad cow disease has ever been reported in Greece so far.
He also stressed that only 40 thousand tones of animal feed from meat-flour was used in Greece compared to the 1,660.000 tons of animal feed consumed annually.
 Á statue was discoveredA big statue dating back to the birth of Greek sculpture was discovered in Santorini.