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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-01-10

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] NATO's decision is expected today
  • [02] A protocol cooperation between Greece and the US signed
  • [03] The Cyprus issue
  • [04] The inflation rate was 3.9% in December
  • [05] Simitis met Laliotis
  • [06] Telephone calls will be more expensive


    10/1/2001 9:42:23 рм

    [01] NATO's decision is expected today

    The European Commission decided yesterday to set up a scientific committee which will examine the dangers for health and the environment from the use of weapons with depleted uranium, while NATO's decision on the issue is expected today. The scientific committee will announce the results at the beginning of February.

    Meanwhile, NATO secretary general George Robertson will visit Sweden tomorrow to discuss the crisis broken out due to the "Balkan syndrome".

    In Athens, the government spokesman Dimitris Reppas reiterated yesterday that every possible initiative would be taken to deal with problems related to the "Balkan syndrome".

    The national defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos stressed that in late 1999, Greece had taken preventive measures to ensure the health of its soldiers serving as peace-keepers in Bosnia as well as members of doctors without borders and other Greek non-government organizations.

    Meanwhile, the development minister Nikos Christodoulakis disclosed that permanent stations would soon be installed to carry out radioactivity checks in regions where Greek soldiers of the peacekeeping forces are stationed in Kosovo and Bosnia and also in the military armament depots in Greece.

    The issue will be discussed today, at the meeting the prime minister Costas Simitis will have with the national defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos and will also be brought up tomorrow at the meeting of the Government Foreign and Defense Council.

    In a related development, the education minister Petros Efthymiou said yesterday that despite the growing health concerns in Yugoslavia about the "Balkan syndrome", unilateral measures would not be taken in relation to Greek students studying in Yugoslavia. Mr Efthymiou clarified that the government was looking into the problem which came up with bombings and whichever decision would be made on the issue, would be within the context of the government more general decisions.

    During yesterday's meeting between the prime minister Costas Simitis and the environment minister Kostas Laliotis, there were also extensive discussions on the issue of depleted uranium weapons and their effects on soldiers and civilians in the Balkans, as well as on the environment ministry's program for public works.

    [02] A protocol cooperation between Greece and the US signed

    A protocol of cooperation between Greece and the United States in specific sectors was signed yesterday by the interior minister Vaso Papandreou and the American ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns.

    Covering areas like the handling of emergency situations and curbing repercussions from natural disasters, the protocol provides for cooperation between the Greek General Secretariat for Civil Protection and its American counterpart, in relation to exchange of specialized know-how and data between the two countries.

    Under the agreement, training programs, seminars, annual meetings and conferences will take place relating to the development of cooperation programs for the relief of disaster victims.

    [03] The Cyprus issue

    The Greek foreign minister George Papandreou, the special coordinator of the US for Cyprus Thomas Weston and the American presidential envoy Alfred Moses met yesterday and dealt with the latest developments in the Cyprus issue.

    After the meeting, Mr Papandreou stressed he foresaw that cooperation on the issue would continue with the new American administration, while Mr Moses said there was no other way of resolving the Cyprus problem than the procedure of talks which the UN secretary general Kofi Anan began and the former American president Bill Clinton backed.

    In a related development, the Turkish-Cypriot representative Rauf Denktash is demanding recognition of his breakaway state as the price for attending the next round of proximity talks on Cyprus, US presidential envoy Alfred Moses said yesterday.

    However, the US and the UN insist that a comprehensive Cyprus settlement must come first. Commenting on Mr Denktash's statements, the government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the international community should examine the possibility of imposing sanctions on the Turkish-Cypriot leader. Mr Reppas described Mr Denktash's stance as negative and added that the international community could not sit back and watch Cyprus at the mercy of an occupation regime.

    A sixth round of proximity talks is due to start in Geneva at the end of January.

    [04] The inflation rate was 3.9% in December

    According to data released yesterday by the National Statistical Service, the inflation rate in December was 3.9% from 4.2% it was in November the previous year, thus sparking optimism for the government's economic staff for a further easing of inflationary trends.

    At present, prospects look good, as international oil prices are stabilizing, and the euro is strengthening against the dollar, while economic staff have forecast that inflation will be around 3.5% this month and is expected to keep falling this year.

    [05] Simitis met Laliotis

    Public works and environment minister Kostas Laliotis yesterday gave assurances once again that the new international airport at Spata would operate according to schedule, in March this year.

    Mr Laliotis made the statement, following a two-hour meeting yesterday with the prime minister Costas Simitis, the main topic of which was the new airport.

    Mr Laliotis told reporters that he had the opportunity to brief the prime minister on the ministry's programs and policies, which were crucial for development and for the quality of life. He noted that 35% of the public investments program was being realized by the ministry.

    [06] Telephone calls will be more expensive

    Telephone calls will be more expensive as of February 1st, since the board of the Greek Telecommunications Organization-OTE-decided yesterday to increase local calls from 9 drachmas to 10.5 and the fixed charges from 2.400 drachmas to 2,800.
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