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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-04-04
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA.5- THE VOICE OF GREECE
4/4/2001 2:14:33 μμ
 Former US President praised Greece's safety levelFormer US President George Bush , who visited Athens as the keynote speaker of the Economist's international conference , praised Greece for its level of security and the course of preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games characteristically saying that he felt absolutely safe in Greece .
Mr.Bush had a series of contacts with the country's political leadership , he met with President Kostis Stefanopoulos ,ND party President Kostas Karamanlis , Foreign Minister George Papandreou and the Mayor of Athens Dimtris Avramopoulos .
 Greek and Bulgarian Prime-ministers reconfirmed the goodrelations between the two coutries
During their meeting in Thessaloniki yesterday , Greek Prime-minister Kostas Simitis and his Bulgarian counterpart Mr Kostof agreed that inviolability of borders was a vital prerequisity for stability in the Balcans and reconfirmed the good neighbourly relations between Greece and Bulgaria .
However , they both expressed concern over the crisis in FYROM .
European Union High Commissioner on foreign policy and political security issues , Xavier Solana also referred to developments in FYROM after his meeting in Athens with Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.
Mr. Solana said that the Community had proposed the opening of political dialogue in FYROM with the participation of the political parties not included in the government coalition.
The Greek Foreign minister also met with the Albanian Prime minister Ilir Meta, who had earlier met with the Serbian Prime minister Zoran Zizic.
Mr. Papandreou praised the Albanian government's stance during the recent crisis in FYROM, while Mr. Meta dennounced the actions of Albanian extremist groups and stressed the need for cooperation between all countries in the region for peace and stability in the Balkans.
Prime-minister Costas Simitis today will meet with European Union High Commissioner Xavier Solana, the Albanian Prime minister Ilir Meta and the Serbian Prime- minister Zoran Zizic who are in Greece to participate in the Economist's international conference - taking place in Athens .
 Parliament vote the revision of the constitutionThe 300 Greek deputies will vote on the revision of the constitution on Friday.
Pasok party deputy , Evangelos Venizelos ,expressed the belief that the majority of the parliament will vote in favour of article #57 regarding the incompatibility of exercising one's profession while holding a seat in parliament .
However , he said he did not know the official position of the ND party
 Measures to boost social policyPrime-minister Costas Simitis , on Thursday is expected to announce a series measures aimed to boost social policy.
National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou announced on Tuesday that the cost of the new measures would mount up to at least two hundred billion drachmas with the aim to help low income groups , specially pensioners and the unemployed.
Among the measures promoted are the family allowance to both spouses, a rent allowance and finally an allowance to mothers with a third child.
 Pasok interparty dispute continuesIn the meantime , the interparty dispute over cutbacks in defence spending to combat poverty continues .
In their speeches at the Economist conference both Mr.Papantoniou and Mr.Tsohatzopoulos remained firm on their positions with the Defence Minister stating that expenditures on the defence program boost the development of the economy and with National Economy Minister responding that social policy could not be materialised through words
 K.Mitsotaks calls ND members to return to the partyIn a interview with a television channel yesterday , ND party honorary President Konstantinos Mitsotakis said that Giorgos Suflias return to the ND should be followed by the return of Stefanos Manos , Nikos Kakkalos and Andreas Andrianopoulos.
However ,he categorically objected to the return of Antonis Samaras .
Mr.Mitsotakis described as successful the ND party's 5th congress but underlined that the party's program should be made more specific .
In reference to Dimitris Avramopoulos party , Mr.Mtsotakis expressed the belief that the Pasok party would suffer the major losses .
 The situation at the new international arport improvedThe chaotic situation of the past few days appears to have improved considerably at the international airport in Spata, with only some short delays - due to Olympic Airways' recent decision to radically reduce the number of flights .
Environment minister Costas Laliotis, who left from the airport for Kavala, made a public apology to allair travellers who had been negatively affected by last week's flight cancellations and long delays
 Pope John Paul will officiate at the indoor basketball courtin Marussi
During his visit to Athens on May 4-5 , Pope John Paul is most likely to officiate a service at the indoor bascet court in Marussi following aproposal by Cardinal Tutsi .
The Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church examined the issue yesterday .
However, a spokesman of the Holy Synod said that the Public Order Ministry and representatives of the Vatican had last word ,letting be understood that the Greek Orthodox Church has no objections .
 Talks between the Greek Church and the Ecumenic Patriarchatewill begin in Fanari on Thursday
Discussions between representatives of the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate will begin in Fanari on Thursday .
The Press spokesman of the Permanent Holy Synod ,Metropolitan of Sparta Efstathios said that all issues were open for discussion since there was no agenda.
It is known that the Patriarchate's relations with the Metropolis of certain countries is the basic issue pending in the relations between the two churches .
 Part of Egnatia Highway openPart of the Egnatia Highway , of 26 km lenght opened to traffick yesterday .
 Parliament debate on compound interestThe parliament will hold a debate on the amendment regarding compound interests .
 Oil prices upAs of midnight tonight , the price of gasoline will go up by 8 dr per litter , heating -oil by 1 dr per litter while the price of diezel oil remains unchaged .
 Athens stock marketThe General Share Price Index of the Athens Stock Exchange dropped by 2,16% on Tuesday to close at 2.966,65 points.
 Weather forecastThe National Meteorological Service has forcast for today fair weather in most parts of the country .
Local cloud patches and light rains and moderate to strong northerly winds are expected in the islands of the Eastern Aegean.
The temperature in Athens will range from 8 to 16 degrees Centigrate, in Thessaloniki from 4 to 16 degrees and in the rest of the country from 5 to 19 degrees.