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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-02-21
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA 5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
21/2/2001 9:34:54 рм
 Summit meeting in FYROM on FridayBalkan leaders and European Union officials will meet in FYROM on Thursday and Friday to discuss the issue of safety in the region due to the violence prevailing in Kossovo and the Southern part of Yugoslavia.
FYROM President Boris Troyianofski' representative, stated relevantly that Presidents and high officials from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Yugoslavia, Bosnia and FYR0M would meet in Skopje on February 23, while Croatia would participate as an observer.
Participating from the European Union will be high representative on Foreign policy and Political Safety Xavier Solana, European commissioner on Foreign Affairs Cris Paten as well as Bodo Hobach, the coordinator of the Stability Pact. Additionally, it is expected that NATO representatives will be taking part in the summit meeting.
Other issues to be examined at the meeting will be economic cooperation and stability in the region and mainly the situation in the Southern part of Serbia.
 Simitis hopes Inter-Balkan summit to ease tension in the regionDuring his meeting with the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, Prime minister Costas Simitis expressed the hope that the Inter-Balkan summit meeting in Skopje on Thursday and Friday would ease tension prevailing lately in Albania and Montenegro.
Immediately after the meeting, the Prime Minister referred to the Greek economy and to the government's aims, saying that the interest shown by private investors in the production of electrical power and the construction of new hotels indicated their confidence in the economy. He stated that "the economy was dong well and was moving on steadily".
Mr.Simitis also emphasized that the government was strengthening its relations with neighbouring countries, consolidating Greek interests, working towards a solution to the Cyprus issue and promoting peace and stability in the Balkan region.
 Papantoniou optimistic about Greek economyNational economy minister Yannos Papantoniou said on Tuesday that the government's economic staff would endeavour to find a balance between the interests of borrowers and those of Banks, in a new legislation to be tabled in Parliament in March. He made the comments after a meeting with PM Simitis on the issue of compound interests.
Mr. Papantoniou also said that the Greek economy was doing well moving ahead on steady pace. He also referred to the interest shown by investors in the electrical energy sector and the construction of hotels, adding that proved their confidence to the Greek economy.
In the meantime, the National Statistical Service has announced that inflation dropped to 3,4% in January from 3,9% in December.
 0,94% rise of General Share Price Index yesterdayThe General Share Price Index of the Athens Stock Exchange rose slightly yesterday by 0,94% closing at 3.271,14 points.
 The General Confederation of Greek Workers supports the reform of the Social Security SystemThe General Confederation of Greek Workers has notified the government about its proposals on Social Security, one of the most crucial issues of concern to the government and the workers.
According to a relative study carried out by the Confederation's Labour Institute, there would be no problems in the Social Security Funds, if their reserves had not been drained, also involving great tax evasion.
The Confederation is in favour of holding a dialogue to re- shape the Social Security System, pointing out that boosting the state financing, the administrative cleansing of the funds and also fighting tax evasion and black labour, are imperative for the survival of social security.
 European Court decides on EU workers' paid leaveThe European court has announced that the workers in EU member countries are eligible to a paid leave, from the moment they start working and not after the lapse of a determined minimum working time in the same company.
 No concern for environment from Olympics construction works says VenizelosThe minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos and Environment minister Costas Laliotis do not share the concern of archaeologists as regards the repercussions to the environment from the construction of the Olympic rowing site in Schinias.
Culture minister Evangelos Venizelos stated that the area is an eco-system by euphemism.
Nevertheless, the specific work will be the object of a meeting on Wednesday between the Culture minister and representatives of the Archaeological Society.
 New Democracy party blames Public Order and Justice ministriesWhile there is no trace of the escape convict Constantinos Passaris, New Democracy party blamed the Ministries of Public Order and Justice for the situation in the penitentiary system and on crime.
 Upgrading of Omonia squareLandscaping works in Omonia and the surrounding area, which will commence in the next days, will end in August and will cost 2 billion drachmas.
According to Environment minister Costas Laliotis changes will include the preservation of building facades, the widening of streets, the pedestrianizing of streets and the removal of all illegal advertisement signs.
 Papandreou visits AustriaDuring his two-day official visit to Austria on March 4 and 5, Foreign minister Yiorgos Papandreou will discuss with the Austrian leadership about a series of issues of common interest
 Increasing interest of Italians to visit Greece in 2001According to the exhibition of the International Money Market of Tourism in Milan, the number of tourists to visit Greece in 2001 will rise.
Secretary General of the Greek Organisation of Tourism Evgenios Yiannakopoulos, who visited the exhibition and had contacts with Italian tourist officials, concluded that there is a continuous interest of Italians to visit Greece.
It should be noted that 70 Italian travel organisations have hosted information regarding Greece in their programmes.