|Wednesday, 29 November 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-12-22
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA 5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
22/12/2000 3:17:20 μμ
 The debate on the 2001 state budget concludes todayThe debate on the 2001 state budget concludes today with a roll-call vote.
During yesterday's debate the goverment underlined the prospects it opened for the country while representatives of the opposition parties criticised the goverment selections .
In the meantime ,the European Commissioner for monetary matters ,Pedro Solbes - during a press conference in Brussels yesterday -praised Greece for its economic achievements in the past few years .
However ,at the same time ,he noted the necessity for speeding up structural changes in the economy and easing short-term interest rates .Regarding the rise in inflation .
Mr.Solbes pointed out that the other EU member states faced the same problem ,which was due maunly to increased international oil prices .
 Salary-earners in Greece pay the highest taxes in Europe .According to a report of the European Commission which will be examined in the summit meeting in Stockholm in March, Greece has the highest increase in the taxation rate of salary-earners despite reforms in the taxation system.
The same report says that Greece allocates the lowest budgets for education , unemployment ,researchand technology . Civil services , banks , and the stock market ready to operate on the new currency as from January ,2,2001 .
The National Committee headed by National Economy Minister Yannos Papantoniou this morning examined the timetable for the transition to the euro-zone .
After the meeting ,Mr.Papantoniou said that civil services ,banks and the stock market were ready to operate on the new currency as from January ,2, 2001.
Mr.Papantoniou also announced that the euro currency wouldcirculate in january 2002 .
 The situation in Turkish prisons still tenseThe situation in the Turkish prisons is still tense. Despite the international outcry,Turkish security forces stormed the Umraniye prison in Konstantinopolis where 400 inmates are still resisting .
The real number of dead is still unknown . Turkish authorities speak of 22 dead, while relatives of the prisoners maitain that there are at least 50 prisoners dead and 300 injured.
Turkish oficials said most of the prisoners who died in the raids had set themselves on fire .
Commenting on the violent incidents in Turkey , Greek Goverment Spokesman Dimitris Reppas told reporters that when Turkey resolved its problems succesfully , it would be able to enter in the EU.
Mr. Reppas stressed that Greece as well as the other European countries had every right to criticise such incidents, as they would be sitting at the same table with Turkey to make decisions concerning the future of Europe.
Violation of human rights has been repeatedly noted in Turkey said Mr.Reppas stressing that a political prisoner even faced capital punishment , tragic phenomena which did not correspond to the characteristics of a European country .
The President of the Greek Parliament has sent letters to his counterparts in the Parliaments of European countries ,the US and Canada calling them to take the initiative to defend human rights in Turkey .
Greek National Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos yesterday expressed the hope that the European Commission and the European Union will send the "right message" to Turkey, regarding the means it chose to deal with the country's political prisoners.
 International Monetary Fund and World Bank granted 13 billiondollars in economic aid to Turkey .
Despite these developments ,the International Monetary Fund and the World bank decided to grant a generous economic aid -13 billion dollars- to Turkey for the next 4-year period .
About 3,8 billion dollars are in the immediate disposal of Turkey to support its currency and promote economic reforms .
Turkey is going through a grave economic crisis lately which could result in a sky high rise in the rate of inflation .
International financing agencies have expressed fears that Turkey might go through a period of crisis similar to that of the Asian countries in 1997 .
 American report describes Cyprus as the site of moneylaundering and smuggling .
An American report which describes Cyprus as a site of smuggling and money laundering gave rise to strong reactions by the Cyprus goverment
Cypriot Goverment Spokesman ,Yiannakis Kassoulidis stateed yesterday that he would lodge a protest to the US while he met yesterday with the American ambassador to Nicosia Donald Buttler to discuss the issue .
In his interview with the television channel Mega ,Mr. Kasoulidis wondered what was the worth of such efforts to cooperate with the US when we are blamed for isues we have made so much progress.
 Athens Mayor ,Dimitris Avramopoulos was received by thePresident of the Republic on Thursday .
The President of the Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos on Thursady received the mayor of Athens ,Dimitris Avramopoulos who briefed him on his decision to proceed in forming a new political party .
Mr. Avramopoulos said that his aim was to renew the country's political life and to open new horizons of optimism for Greek society .
Repplying to reporters' questions , Mr. Avramopoulos said that the party would be founded in the middle of next year , adding that his political office wouldstart operating early next year and his associates would start preparing organisational matters and the founding declaration .
 Mr.Tsohatzopoulos in favour of the selection of the Pasokparty President directly by the base of the party .
National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos told reporters' that he supported the election of the Pasok Party President by the base of the party an opinion which is in line with a similar proposal by the Secretary of the party Kostas Skandalidis .
Mr.Tsohatzopoulos also criticised the Turkish goverment stressing that there was no european prospect for Turkey as long as such violent incidents took place .
 Archibishop Hristodoulos visited hospitals in Athens.Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece visited hospitals in Athens to assist people with health problems.
Archbishop Christodoulos also referred to the issue of the optional political oath in court, wondering why the optional inclusion of religion on the new ID cards could not be applied .
 Patriarch Diodoros of Jerusalem funeral todayThe funeral of Patriarch Diodoros of Jerusalem - his mondaine name being Damianos Karavillis - will be held today at St. Constantine church in Jerusalem .
Representatives of all the Orthodox Churches and representatives of state leaders are expected to attend the funeral.
Greece will be represented by foreign undersecretary Grigoris Niotis and Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and all Greece.
 Greek Foreign Minister was received by the President of Indiaon Thursday .
The President of India ,Koseril Raman yesterday received the Greek Foreign Minister Giorge Papandreou . The meeting took place in a very friendly atmosphere during which the Indian President stressed his willingness for the furthering of the two countries relations ,specially in the cultural sector.
Mr.Raman Narayian briefed the Greek Foreign Minister on his stand regarding Nuclear weapons and the new initiatives of the India's goverment related to Kasmir.
It should be noted that New Dehli on thursday announced the extension of the cease fire in the region of Kasmir.India's President was specially interested in the outcome of the EU summit meeting in Nice and the prospect of relations between Western European countries and the US .
On his part Mr.Papandreou briefed him on the Grek stands regarding Greek-Turkish realtions ,the Cyprus issue and the situation in the broader region of the Balcans .
Today Mr.Papandreou will meet with his Indian counterpart ,the Prime -minister and the leader of the opposition Sonia Gandi.