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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-04-11
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA-5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
11/4/2001 11:02:00 рм
 Inflation 3% in MarchMorgan Stanley Capital International announced yesterday the MSCI Greece Index with two new companies, Pireaus Bank and Panafon Vodafone. 23 companies were written off. The new Index will be representing from May 31 2001 the Greek values on the indices of well known money markets.
In the meantime, as the National Statistics Service announced, developments in the Greek economy are positive, as in March inflation dropped to 3% from 3.5% in February.
However, despite the fact that the inflation rate dropped significantly, the government's economic staff is ready to act in order to avert possible inflation pressure.
At the same time, fuel prices will rise as of midnight. Specifically, petrol will be sold by 5 drachmas more per litre, a litre of heating oil by 2 drachmas more and diesel oil in drachma cheaper.
 Regional development plans for Epirus, Crete and the islandsEuropean Union Commissioner responsible for regional policy Michel Barnier, signed in Brussels on Tuesday 11, business projects of the Third EU Support Framework for Greece for the period 2000 - 2006. They are regional development plans concerning Epirus, Crete, the islands of the northern and southern Aegean, the mainland and western Greece, Thessaly, the Peloponese, western Macedonia and the Ionian islands.
The total sum of the EU credits amounts to 5.8 billion euros - 1,975 trillion drachmas - while 2.6 billion euros (884 billion drachmas) will be available from Greece's national budget.
 Health upgrading, government's priority says SimitisPrime minister Kostas Simitis met on Tuesday with Health minister Alekos Papadopoulos and regional heads of the country's health system and requested them to intensify the government's work in the sector of Health.
Mr. Simitis stated that the upgrading of the Health System was one of the government's priorities and this in the framework of improving the quality of the citizen's everyday life.
It should be noted that Mr. Simitis' meeting with National Defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos on April 20 is expected with great interest, since the Mr. Tsochatzopoulos is opposed to cutbacks in Greece's armaments program.
In tandem, the Secretary of the Central Committee Costas Scandalides had important meetings yesterday.
Today, the Prime minister is to meet with the President of the Capital Market committee Stavros Thomadakis.
 Upgrading of Technological Institutes will proceedAfter a meeting with Prime minister Kostas Simitis on Tuesday, Education minister Petros Efthymiou stated that the bill on the incorporation of Technical Institutions into tertiary education would proceed, as it was useful for the Education system and acceptable by the majority of the people.
 Measures for the environmentPrime minister Simitis met with the minister of Aegean Nikos Sifounakis and was briefed on the measures concerning the environment, in view of the tourist season and also on the issue of maintaining the architecture in the islands of the archipelago.
The strong problem of drought certain Aegean islands face especially in the summer months and the measures the Aegean ministry will take to deal with it were also discussed at the meeting.
 Stephanopoulos meets with General Confederation of Greek WorkersThe President of the Republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos met on Tuesday evening with representatives of the General Confederation of Greek Workers, in view of the planned social dialogue on social security reforms.
President Stefanopoulos re-confirmed his support to the stands of the Confederation on the issue, while the government is expected to make its final decision next week.
 Papandreou supports non-change of borders in the BalkansDuring his interview with NET TV channel yesterday, Foreign minister Yiorgos Papandreou reiterated Greece's fixed positions for no changes of the borders in FYROM and in general in the Balkans.
Referring to FYROM, Mr. Papandreou stated that the time had come for a final agreement to be reached as regards the name of that country, an agreement that would be viable for both sides.
 Greek correspondents visit Ecumenical PatriarchGreek correspondents from Brussels recently visited Constantinople at the invitation of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos who expressed to them the view that the Church of Greece should take initiatives to appease reactions that would probably come from part of the faithful during the visit of Pope John Paul II to Greece on March 4.
"We should not be fundamentalists or quaint our attitude" said Patriarch Vartholomeos, while referring to the relations with the Church of Greece, he stated that there was no substantial reason for crises and problems between the two churches.
In the meantime, the holy community of Mount Athos in Greece has issued an announcement objecting to the Pontiff's visit, calling at the same time on the faithful to make efforts to ensure its annulment. The announcement is also criticizing the Holy Synod for approving the Pope's visit without first convening a meeting of the hierarchy of bishops.
 Urban center residents begin their exodusThe residents of major city centers are expected to travel by all transport means despite the adverse weather conditions to celebrate Easter in the countryside.
Olympic Airways, the Greek Railways, Buses and shipping have scheduled extra lines to meet the needs of the travelers, while traffic police was forced to take extra measures on Tuesday to facilitate motorists.
Meanwhile, the president of the company ''Athens Airport'' Charis Stamatopoulos briefed prime minister Simitis on Tuesday on certain problems in the operation of the new international airport in Spata ''Eleftherios Venizelos''. Nevertheless, no particular problems are expected in the scheduled flights during Easter.
 OTE to float another 15% of its sharesThe Greek Telecommunications organization (OTE) will float another 15% of its shares to the stock exchange, apart from the 49% it has already floated.
"This is a decision of the government", the managing director of OTE Nikos Manasis said to trade unionists who occupied the room of the organization's board, in protest.
 1,44% rise in the Athens Stock Exchange yesterdayOn the Athens Stock Exchange, the climate was especially positive at the session on Tuesday and the General Share Price Index rose by 1.44%, closing with 3,073.88 points.