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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-01-31

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] A roll-call vote will take place tomorrow
  • [02] Bad weather conditions
  • [03] Simitis described as a major national wager the 2004 Olympics
  • [04] Vaso Papandreou met Italian pm Juliano Amato in Rome
  • [05] The State Department reacted to criticism by Apostolos ╩aklamanis
  • [06] Simitis meets Laliotis and Verelis
  • [07] Hospital doctors continue their strike
  • [08] Pensioners' demands

  • NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA-5 THE VOICE OF GREECE

    31/1/2001 10:21:15 ­ý

    [01] A roll-call vote will take place tomorrow

    A debate began in Parliament yesterday, on a censure motion tabled by the main opposition New Democracy party, against the national economy and finance minister Yannos Papantoniou for his handling of issues relating to the Athens Stock Exchange.

    According to parliamentary regulations, 50 signatures are required for such a motion, and the debate must be carried out within 48 hours at the latest. A roll-call vote on the motion will take place tomorrow, while a minimum of 151 votes are required to pass the motion. In addition, the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress party is in favour of the censure motion.

    Basing its arguments on pre-election statements by the prime minister Costas Simitis and the national economy minister, New Democracy party maintains that the government is collectively responsible for the massive losses sustained by small investors, as all financial forecasts were positive.

    The conservative party has attributed the bourse's ongoing downward trend mainly to the lack of a legislative framework, the non-independence of the Capital Market Committee, the government's failure to promote structural changes and its alleged intervention in the Stock Exchange.

    Meanwhile, the national economy minister Yannos Papantoniou accused the opposition ND party of irresponsibility and profane undermining policy against the government, stressing that the government's economic policy will carry on its course by backing firmly the stock exchange.

    [02] Bad weather conditions

    A strong bad weather wave coming from the West, with rain, thunderstorms and gale force south winds is expected to hit the country today.

    [03] Simitis described as a major national wager the 2004 Olympics

    At an event organized by the Athens 2004 Committee for the Olympic Games yesterday, the prime minister Costas Simitis announced the names of 24 Olympic champions, who will help to promote the volunteer program for the Athens Games.

    The prime minister described the 2004 Olympics as a major national wager that Greece will win, and pointed out that negative criticism of the organisation's efforts were not helping to create a positive climate about the Games.

    Maintaining that Greece's economy was strong enough to meet the financial needs of the Athens Olympic, prime minister Simitis called for a productive, positive and fruitful climate. It will be an unwritten contract of honour, he said, for each volunteer who assists in the endeavors.

    The opposition ND party leader Kostas Karamanlis described the 2004 Olympic Games, as a national matter and stressed that the country's image abroad depended on their successful organisation. He also expressed the hope that no one would be excluded from the volunteer program.

    The president of the Athens 2004 organizing committee Yanna Angelopoulou referred to the aims and importance of the volunteer program, noting that 60,000 volunteers would be required and a budget of 25 billion drachmas for its implementation.

    [04] Vaso Papandreou met Italian pm Juliano Amato in Rome

    The relations between Greece and Italy in the sectors of public administration, Euro-Mediterranean dialogue, European defense, illegal immigration and the Thessaloniki-based International Watch for the Balkans, were the object of discussions in Rome yesterday, between the visiting interior minister Vaso Papandreou and the Italian prime minister Juliano Amato.

    [05] The State Department reacted to criticism by Apostolos ╩aklamanis

    The American State Department has reacted angrily to criticism by the speaker of the Greek Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, in relation to its handling of the terrorism issue.

    Last Friday, during a meeting with American parliamentarians, Mr Kaklamanis had said that the US could not sit in judgement on Greece, citing terrorist attacks that had taken place in Atlanta and Oklahoma.

    In response, a State Department official told the Athens News Agency (ANA) that the US had repeatedly avoided criticizing Greece publicly about terrorism, but statements like those made by Mr Kaklamanis were damaging to cooperation between the two countries and were contradictory to the climate prevailing between the competent American and Greek authorities.

    The Greek ambassador in Washington Alexandros Filon was summoned to the State Department to convey to the Greek government the American reactions.

    [06] Simitis meets Laliotis and Verelis

    The prime minister Costas Simitis will meet at Maximos Mansion today with the ministers of environment, transport to discuss about the new international airport at Spata.

    At a press conference yesterday, public works minister Kostas Laliotis reiterated once again that the new international airport at Spata would open officially in March, but declined to specify the exact date. He added that everything would be ready on time, and categorically denied that there would be any deficiencies.

    His optimism was echoed by transport minister Christos Verelis, who emphasized that the new airport would operate flawlessly, under strict technical conditions.

    [07] Hospital doctors continue their strike

    Public hospitals will work with key personnel today, due to the strike of hospital doctors who react to the plans for reforms in the National Health System-ESY.

    [08] Pensioners' demands

    Pensioners' unions demonstrated in Athens yesterday against low pensions. The demonstrators marched to the Maximos Mansion, where they handed over a list of their demands to the minister of state Miltiadis Papaioannou and the undersecretary for social security Nikos Farmakis, while a meeting with the prime minister was scheduled to take place sometime in February.

    Amongst other things, the pensioners are demanding the basic pension of 152,000 drachmas be extended to everyone, and not only to those insured with the state system - IKA - and that pension levels be re-linked to the monthly wages of an unskilled worker. They also want the capital from pension funds to be withdrawn from the Athens stock exchange and have requested free medical care.


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