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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-01-19
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA 5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
19/1/2001 3:33:11 μμ
 Greece official member of the Euro-zone Finance Ministers' CouncilGreek National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou for the first time yesterday ,officially attended the meeting of the 12 EU Finance Ministers Council which convened in Brussels .
During a press conference after the meeting , the President of the Euro -zone Council ,Dinie Raider underlined that Greece's admission to the euro-zone was the result of an impressive progress achieved during the last years .
In parallel, a special report by Eurostat describes the Greek economy as dynamic, pointing out though that Greece has the highest development rate but the lowest per capita income among the countries in the Euro-zone. In the meantime , the European Community Fund has announced its decision to allocate 1,44 trillion dr. for the period 2000 - 2001 for the combat of unemployment in Greece .
According to the announcement ,strong efforts will be made in Greece for the improvement of the infrunstructure in the fields of education ,labour market and continuous training .
Also substantial efforts are being made to promote the use of computers in education ,companies and other sectors. Specifically , all schools will be equipped with computers ad teachers will be trained in the use of the informatics technology .
Finally the European Community Fund will invest on the EU member states , 60 billion euros during the period 2000-20006 to avert long term unemployment .
 Depleted uranium weaponsNational Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos stated on Thursday that the regions of Kosovo near which the Greek peace keeping forces are stationed have not been bombarded. In another development, Defence Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis repplying to a question by GCP deputy Antonis Skylakos , stressed in the Parliament yesterday that there were no indications of contamination in the region of Nea Achialos, where depleted uranium shells were used in military exercises in 1984 .
The Greek Atomic Energy Committee briefed the Foreign and Defence Affairs Parliamentary Committee on the issue of depleted uranium weapons used during the war in Yiougoslavia. Spiros Rapsomanikis , professor of the Atmospheric Pollution Department at the University of Thrace said that Greek scientists were aware of the use of depleted uranium weapons since June , 25 , 1999 .
However , the important question is whether and when the Greek goverment was informed on the issue by the Foreign Ministry advisor , Alex Rondos , head of the Greek delegation "Focus" which carried out measurements on the radiation level in South Serbia .
Meanwhile, a spokesman of the American Pentagon confirmed on Thursday that signs of plutonium were detected in the depleted uranium used in the production of ammunition and tanks , while earlier NATO had announced that there was no danger from any possible presence of radioactive uranium and plutonium elements in some depleted uranium shells .
At the same time, the Greek Parliamentary Committee of Foreign and Defence Affairs has unanonimously requested the suspension of depleted uranium weapons.
 Archibishop Hristodoulos visits KossovoArchbishop of Athens and all Greece Christodoulos will meet with the Patriarch of Serbia Paul and the leader of the ethnic Albanians Ibrahim Rougova tomorrow during his visit to Kossovo.
Firstly, Archbishop Hristodoulos will visit the Greek peace keeping forces in Pristina ,next he will go to Urosevac and lastly to the historic monastery of Gratsanitsa.
 British assistance in the combat of organised crimeFollowing his meeting on Thursday with the British Foreign Undersecretary John Batle ,Greek Justice Minister Michalis Stathopoulos stated that he accepted Britain's assistance for the combat of organised crime and terrorism .
However , Mr. Stathopoulos clarified that acceptance of the British assistance did not mean the Greek goverment's submission to pressures , describing relevant comments as unacceptable and insulting . In the meantime, according to a report by the EU's Police Service "EUROPOL"- which will be released soon - organized crime in Greece has alarmingly increased .
According to Europol's report, activities of the organised crime mainly center on drug trafficking , sexual exploitation of women , car stealing and money laundering .
This situation is partly attributed to the continuing economic and social crisis in the Balkans and to the mass wave of economic immigrants who have entered into Greece.
 Inner cabinet meeting
The course of the major projects and the policy with regards the Mass Media were the main subjects discussed during Thursday's meeting of the inner cabinet chaired by Prime- minister Costas Simitis .
The so-called royal property issue was also brought on .
However ,the goverment confirmed its position that it could not hold any negotiations with former King Konsatantine because the amount of compensation he claimed was extremely high .
 Inquiry Committee to examine illegal granting of Greek citizenshipNew Democracy party President Costas Karamanlis announced his intention to request the setting up of an Inquiry Committee to examine the issue of the illegal granting of Greek citizenship to foreigners during the last parliamentary elections .
In repply to a question on whether the ND party doubts the results of the 2000 parliamentary elections , ND party Spokesman Theodoros Rousopoulos said that data proving the alteration of the electoral body would be given to the Supreme Court Prosecutor .
Commenting , Government Spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that New Democracy was not being realistic and called it to compromise with the idea of being an opposition party .
 New provision in the Constitution - Incompatibility of profession while holding a seat in the parliamentA proposal for the introduction of a constitutional amendement providing that deputies should not exercise any other profession during their term in office has given rise to strong reactions among parliamentary deputies .
PASOK party deputy , Evangelos Venizelos and ND deputy, Yiannis Varvitsiotis have proposed that deputies should suspend any other professional activity during their term in the parliament.
Mr. Varvitsiotis also proposed an increase in the deputies' salaries and also the giving up of their seat , if appointed to a cabinet post - which is a usual practice in other countries.
The proposal mainly affects deputies who are lawyers, doctors or journalists.
 Anti-racist demonstrationAnti -racist organisations marched to the parliament on Thursday in protest against a draftbill on immigration whose debate began in the parliament on Tuesday.
 Schools without borders - significant advisory for intercultural, antiracist education"Schools without borders " is the title of a book elaborated by the Study Center of the High Schools Union -OLME- .
The book- which will be sent to all secondary education schools- is a significant advisory for intercultural and anti-racist education used in a pilot program by 44 teachers in 22 high schools .