|Saturday, 16 February 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-04-12
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA-5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
12/4/2001 1:11:00 μμ
 The PM's contacts with govt officialsPrime minister Kostas Simitis had a series of contacts with ministers and senior members of the ruling PASOK party on Wednesday. The object of the meetings was the government's work in the specific ministries and party matters.
Mr Simitis had successive meetings with foreign minister George Papandreou, public order minister Michalis Chrysochoidis and culture minister Evangelos Venizelos, as well as with PASOK secretary Kostas Skandalidis.
After the meeting, foreign minister George Papandreou referred to Turkey's decision to suspend 32 armament programs, saying he was hopeful for further detente in Greek - Turkish matters now. Mr Papandreou added that a similar decision the Greek government took recently, facilitated Turkey in making this decision.
For his part, PASOK secretary Kostas Skandalidis underlined, after his meeting with the prime minister, the unity and the common course of everyone in the ruling party and expressed his optimism for the future.
In the framework of contacts with government officials and party members to promote the govt's work and bring back to normal the situation prevailing in the ruling party, prime mister Simitis will also have a meeting with the speaker of the Greek parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis today and will then depart for Corfu where he will spend the Easter holiday.
 Turkey suspends armaments programsThe Turkish armed forces will suspend 32 armament programs amounting to 19.5 billion dollars.
Commenting on the issue, the Greek foreign minister George Papandreou expressed the hope for a mutual reduction of armaments as well.
Meanwhile, in Ankara, Smyrna, Mersina and Constantinople major demonstrations against poverty were held on Wednesday and demonstrators were demanding the resignation of Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit's government.
In Constantinople, 67 people were injured during incidents between police and demonstrators. Nevertheless, Ecevit's government turned down the demand for its resignation, Turkish businessmen also formulate lately. However, the Turkish prime minster left open the possibility of a government reshuffle.
 Social security reformsThe Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated on Wednesday that the government's positions on the social security will be presented on Thursday - after Easter - at the joint session of the cabinet and the ruling PASOK party executive committee. Mr Reppas reiterated that mature social security rights would not be affected.
The government spokesman also clarified that the govt had received the first part of a relative study carried out by a British firm, while he refused to comment on the views the president of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos appears to have formulated during a recent meeting with the board of the General Confederation of Greek Workers.
 Easter exodusExtra measures of the traffic police will be in force, starting today to facilitate the Easter exodus of Athenians and residents of other major urban centers to the countryside.
Airplane, train and bus tickets are sold out, while all means of transports are by 80% full.
Meanwhile, Inspection Services and services of the development ministry continue price inspections to make sure that consumers are not overcharged.
 Measures to fight droughtAgriculture minister George Anomeritis will announce today measures to deal with water shortage.
The measures are the result of a series of meetings that took place recently between the ministers of Agriculture, Environment and Public works, Interior and Aegean, on the object of dealing with the phenomenon immediately.
 Athens bourseOn the Athens stock exchange, the general share price index went slightly up by 0.43% on Wednesday, closing at 3,087.04 points.
Meanwhile, the president of the Capital Market Committee Stavros Thomadakis appeared optimistic on the upgrading of the Athens bourse, after a meeting with prime minister Kostas Simitis.
It is worth mentioning that the new revised share price index Morgan Stanley presented on Wednesday night, is preparing the ground for the upgrading of the Greek stock market into the category of developed stocked markets and this will formally take place on May 31st.
Kostas Grigoriadis, managing director of the stock broking company ''Alpha Finance Corporation'' based in New York told the Greek Service of the BBC that an upward trend was expected in the Athens bourse at least by mid-June, adding that the inflow of foreign capital is expected to be over 2 billion dollars.
 Cyprus issueBritain and the European Union (EU) are making everything possible to help in the achievement of a just and global solution to the Cyprus issue, before Cyprus' accession to the EU, backing fully the efforts the UN secretary general Kofi Annan is making to bring the two communities in contact, stated the British High Commissioner Edward Clay.
Meanwhile, The American State Department spokesman Richard Bowcher referred to a recent meeting between the American secretary of state Colin Powel and the Cypriot foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulidis in Washington last Monday.
Mr Bowcher stressed that the two ministers discussed the efforts underway regarding the resumption of UN-sponsored talks on the Cyprus dispute. He then reiterated the United States support to Mr Annan's efforts to achieve an overall solution for the Cyprus issue.
 Ethnic Greeks in Albania protest for censusIn Albania, the ethnic Greek minority is threatening to abstain from the census that began on April 1st in the country and will end this month, unless its demand on the registration of nationality and religious affiliation is not met.
Meanwhile, the Albanian prime minister Ilir Meta is promising that after the census, ethnic Greeks will also be declaring their nationality.
 New sites on the InternetOne thousand web sites to best serve the citizen and for best public access to the Internet will be created within 2001 in municipalities, prefectures, and districts, according to the programme ''Ariadni'', interior minister Vaso Papandreou presented on Wednesday.
The programme on the electronic link of all the public bodies is also expected to function within the year, while another programme creates software infrastructure in the 13 districts of the country, while the total cost of all three programs is approximately 30 billion drachmas.
 Greek-Bulgarian manpower agreementThe Greek and the Bulgarian governments signed on Wednesday an agreement on employment in the bid to settle issues pertaining to seasonal work in the two countries.
The Police Department in Orestiada issued an announcement, stressing that the agreement was endorsed in view of the spring season - when farming work starts - and concerns the employment of Bulgarian citizens to cover the needs of many inhabitants in the region of northern Evros.
 Gold factory shuts downThe operation of the gold factory of the company ''TVX Hellas'' based in Kassandra in Chalkidiki will stop, following a State Council decision, cancelling the relative acts of the State, because the dangers involved from its operation were not taken into consideration.