|Tuesday, 28 November 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-01-12
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA-5 THE VOICE IN GREECE
12/1/2001 1:28:28 μμ
 Developments on the issue of weapons with depleted uranium . Greece has not been affectedThe Greek Prime - minister Costas Simitis accused NATO of not providing sufficient information regarding the possible dangers from the use of weapons with depleted uranium. He also called on the alliance to release all available data and to cooperate with International bodies so that light could be shed on the issue.
During yesterday's meeting of the inner cabinet, exclusively on the subject of the " Balcan syndrome ", Mr. Simitis announced the suspension of the use of ammunition with depleted uranium until the scientific investigation procedure was completed. However, Mr. Simitis stressed that Greece has not been affected according to radiation counts conducted on a 24-hour base in 25 stations across the country.
In the meantime, the Greek government has decided that the Greek soldiers of the peace keeping force would not be recalled from Kosovo as their presence there was necessary to protect Greece's national interests but the Greek Government Spokesman clarified that their stay would depend on the results of the scientific research. The subject of the depleted uranium weapons will be discussed today in the Parliament at the " Prime-minister's hour.
In parallel, Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, head of a delegation of deputies, today will fly to Kosovo to psychologically support the Greek forces there.
On his part, Archbishop of Athens and all Greece Christodoulos has requested a permission to visit the Greek army base in Pristina.
On a relative development, NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson assured that the alliance would cooperate with scientific committees in order to find out whether the use of depleted uranium bombs had any effects on the health of soldiers and the environment.
Finally, political organisations staged demonstrations in Athens and Thessaloniki in protest against the " Balcan syndrome".
Serbia's Health Ministry announced that civilians did not run any danger as counts in 250 regions by the Nuclear Institute Vinkas did not show increase in radiation levels. However, radiation levels 9 to 1100 times higher than the natural radiation level were recorded in 4 regions in South Serbia and 1 region in Montenegro.
Meanwhile, a city in Fyrom announced its intention to file a suit against NATO regarding possible contamination of a lake providing the area around with drinkable water.
 ND party supports Turkey's European prospects under certain termsIn an interview with Greek reporters' in Berlin - where the meeting of the European Popular party is taking place, the President of the ND party Kostas Karamanlis said he was in favour of Turkey's European prospects but under certain terms.
Mr.Karamanlis repeated that the ND party insisted on the adoption of a moratorium regarding the use of ammunition with depleted uranium while he described his talks with former Turkish Prime - minister Mesut Gilmaz as ethical without special political content at this stage.
 Cyprus President Glafkos Kleridis contrary to any changes in procedures of the proximity talksThe President of the Cyprus Republic Glafkos Klerides told the British special envoy on the Cyprus issue Sir David Hannay that he would not accept any effort for the differentiation of the Cyprus proximity talks or a change of stance towards the Turkish-Cypriot representative Rauf Denktash.
Following Denktash-Hannay's meeting yesterday Cypriot Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou stated that Mr. Hannay agreed that there was no question about any change in procedure regarding the proximity talks, adding that the American and British administrations continued their efforts from the point of conclusion of the fifth round of proximity talks.
However, the British envoy stressed that Mr. Alvaro de Sotto would have the final word on the efforts.
 New draft bill providing for Greece's compliance with decisions of the European Human Rights CourtPrime minister Costas Simitis met with Justice Minister Michalis Stathopoulos yesterday with whom he discussed issues related to justice, the course of trials regarding important issues in Greece, as well as former CIA leader's denial to testify against the 17 November terrorist organisation.
Mr. Stathopoulos pointed out that major trials such as that of the sinking of the passenger ship Dystos -in danger of bewing written off due to slow investigation pace -was proceeding.
He also referred to a new draft bill providing for Greece's compliance with decisions of the European Human Rights Court.
Specifically, the minister stated that in the future civilians who had been imprisoned and then found not guilty would have to be compensated. Additionally, penalties of civilians who are found not guilty by the Human Rights Court will be written off from their criminal record.
Mr. Stathopoulos also briefed the Prime minister as regards former CIA leader Wesley Klark's refusal to testify to the Greek courts following his press conference last summer during which he had stated that some government members had information about the terrorist organisation November 17. He also said that the Greek side would insist that Mr. Klark testified.
Finally, replying to reporters' question on whether Greek civilians who believed that their health was affected by the bombings in Yiugoslavia could take recourse to Greek courts asking for compensation Mr.Stathopoulos clarified that there was no such provision so far as the issue was new.
 Giorgos Theodorakopoulos Chief General of the Navy Staff, Giorgos Antonakopoulos Chief General of the Army StaffThe Council of Defence and Foreign Affairs announced yesterday that Lt.Admiral Giorgios Theodorakopoulos was appointed Chief of the General Army Staff while the Commander of the 4th Army Corp Giorgos Antonakopoulos was appointed Chief of the General Army Staff .
 Sports Undersecretary will not resignSports undersecretary Giorgos Floridis yesterday denied rumours about his resignation, on the occasion of the replacement of the Sports Secretary General Yannis Sgouros.
Following a meeting with Prime- minister Simitis at the Maximos Mansion yesterday evening, Mr. Floridis said that the Prime- minister will appoint the new secretary general.
 Reforms in the National Health SystemHealth minister Alekos Papadopoulos appears to be determined to proceed with reforms of the National Health System.
During yesterday's debate of the relevant draft bill by the Parliamentary Committee, he reiterated that the new bill do not allow University doctors employed in the National Health System to have private surgeries.
 Athens stock marketOn the Athens stock market yesterday ,the general share index recorded a sharp rise of 6.98% to close at 3,311,87 points.
 Mediterranean conference of journalistsThe works of the 3rd conference of Mediterranean journalists on the subject " Journalists' solidarity at the era of globalisation " opened in Athens today.
The participants will also discuss about the new technologies available to journalists and the freedom of press.
 Weather forecastThe National Meteorological Service forecasts for today local fog in the morning hours and high temperature.
The temperature in Athens will range from 6 to 18 degrees Centigrade and in Thessaloniki from 2 to 16 degrees.