|Sunday, 17 February 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-12-05
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH-ERA 5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
5/12/2000 10:16:48 ðì
 EU-Turkey partnership textYesterday was a ''day of historical importance'' for Euro- Turkish relations, according to Greek foreign minister George Papandreou, as at the meeting of the 15 foreign ministers in Brussels, the text on EU-turkish partnership relations was adopted, setting the prerequisites and the criteria for Turkey's strategy regarding its admission to the EU.
According to the text, within 2001, Turkey should support the UN secretary general's efforts for a settlement of the Cyprus issue within the framework of political dialogue with the EU. It also undertakes the obligation to resolve its border differences with Greece in a peaceful way, based on the Helsinki EU summit resolutions.
The Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem expressed his reservedness, stressing however that Turkey's sensitivity and views had been taken into account.
Greek national defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos said the decision of the 15 EU foreign ministers on the EU-Turkey partnership text is positive as it covers all the points the EU member countries consider necessary for Turkey's European course. Mr Tsochatzopoulos added that Turkey's course towards Europe will lead to a series of steps meant to attain European standards inside the country, as far as human rights, international law and international relations are concerned. This course, concluded Mr Tsochatzopoulos, is also backed by Greece and the other EU member states.
In the meantime, the issues of EU-Turkey partnership relation and the review of the Amsterdam treaty will be discussed today at the meeting due to be held this morning at the Maximos mansion between the president of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos and prime minister Kostas Simitis.
 Proximity talks on CyprusUpon his arrival to Larnaka airport yesterday, the UN secretary general's special adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto reiterated the UN secretary general's invitation for the continuation of the proximity talks on Cyprus in Geneva at the end of January, noting that there is enough time and he is not expecting a reply by the two sides now.
Referring to his visit to Cyprus, Mr de Soto said the visit is meant to find out the views of the interested parties and hold talks with them - if they so desire - on substantial issues.
Addressing an anti-occupation rally at the buffer zone in Mia Milia, the Cypriot president Glafkos Kliridis made it clear once again that any solution to the Cyprus issue should go along with the relative Security Council resolutions.
At the same time, the Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was noting that the decision regarding the withdrawal of the Turkish-Cypriots from the current proximity talks was made so as to avoid any deviation - as he put it - from the start by the two sides.
 EU bans meat flourThe EU agriculture ministers council met in Brussels extraordinarily yesterday and decided to ban meat flour from all animal feed in the EU countries for six months, as of January 1st, 2001. However, the use of fish flour will continue in fisheries.
In parallel, the European commission has six months time to monitor the inspections that are effected and the measures that have been taken.
The Greek agriculture minister George Anomeritis expressed satisfaction over the relative decision.
 Bulgarian president visits GreeceThe Bulgarian president Petar Stoyanov is on a two-day official visit to Greece.
Yesterday, Mr Stoyanov met with the president of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos and prime minister Kostas Simitis and discussed developments in the Balkans and the course of bilateral relations, mainly in the economy and substructures.
In statements, prime minister Simitis said Yugoslavia's democratisation was a precondition for peace and cooperation in the entire region of the Balkans.
Referring to Kosovo, Mr Simitis stressed that the issue should be dealt with and settled in the framework of the relative UN resolution, adding that Greece will grant 60 million dollars for the re-construction of the region.
The Greek prime minister, also stated that they discussed the issue of the oil-pipe Burgas-Alexandroupolis, noting that although certain issues are still pending, the issue is progressing very well.
 Financial newsSpeaking at a conference of the Greek-American Chamber yesterday, the national economy minister Yannos Papantoniou announced that the tax on the stock exchange transactions will be reduced by half, as of next year.
The cabinet will meet today and is expected to take measures in the field of the economic policy and specifically in the course of the stock exchange.
 Athens bourseOn the Athens stock exchange, the general share price index rose impressively by 4.05% on Monday, closing at 3,541.20 points, while transactions reached 130 billion drachmas.
 Bill on labour relationsThe bill on employment and labor relations, including the regulation concerning the retirement after 35 years of work in unwholesome jobs will be debated in parliament today.
However, the General Confederation of Greek Workers, announced a 24 hour strike for Thursday, demanding the withdrawal of the bill, while civil servants will also participate in the industrial action with a work stoppage, following a relative decision by the Civil Servants Union.
 No changes in educationEducation minister Petros Efthymiou, yesterday confirmed that there will be no changes in the education system until 2004, stressing that the education sector needs development.
Mr Efthymiou also announced that one trillion 226 billion drachmas will be used from the third EU Support Framework to improve second and third grade education.
 Navy celebrationsThe day of Agios Nikolaos - patron saint of the seamen - and the anniversary of the victorious naval battles of the Balkan Wars will be celebrated tomorrow - Wednesday, December 6th - by the General Navy Staff at a special event in the Navy Cadets Academy in Piraeus.
The president of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos, prime minister Kostas Simitis, government officials, the armed forces' leadership and representatives of political parties and local authorities have been invited to attend the celebration.
 Cardiology ConferenceThe 2nd International Conference on ''Ways to deal with heart diseases'' is organized by the Onasio Cardiology Center from 7th to 9th December and will examine ways of dealing with heart conditions without operation and also the establishment of heart transplants.