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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-08-21
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA-5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
21/8/2001 3:04:00 μμ
Planned social measures
Debate on privatizations
Greek flights are effected normally today
Signatures for ID cards
Britain plans to lend the Parthenon Marbles to Greece
Fuel prices will drop againAthens bourse
 Planned social measuresA package of social benefits for the three-year period 2002-2004 will be finalized on Wednesday at a meeting of the government s financial team and prime minister Kostas Simitis.
The measures which aim to improve the government s social profile in the context of the Stability program s strict fiscal framework will be announced by the Prime Minister at the 66th Thessaloniki International Trade Fair on September 8th. After a meeting with Prime Minister Simitis yesterday, the Secretary of the ruling PASOK party Kostas Skandalidis stated that the Prime Minister was open to changes in policy and adjusting moves which however, would not be reversing the country s European prospects.
In a message meant for the International Trade Fair, Mr. Simitis stressed that the Greek economy s extrovert orientation and its constant and greater connection with the globalized economy, were conscious options. Today, Prime Minister Simitis will meet with representatives of the Federation of Greek Industries of Northern Greece.
 Debate on privatizationsSpeaking in the Greek Parliament, development Minister Mr. Christodoulakis described privatizations as the necessary pivot for developmental procedures during a debate on the relative bill. As far as the Skaramanga shipyards are concerned, Mr. Christodoulakis pointed out that their privatization was the government s top priority, as the enterprise is not profitable for many years.
Referring to the issue of the workers he said that measures of social support will be provided for employees who will remain without a job. The issue of the Skaramanga shipyards was also discussed at a meeting yesterday of the New Democracy (ND) party under its leader Kostas Karamanlis, who stressed that the government was bargaining away the shipyards instead of privatizing them.
The ND decided to vote against the relative bill, as it disagrees with the terms of the shipyards privatization. Meanwhile, the Pan-Hellenic Workers Federation of oil products, the Greek refineries and the Chemical Industry continue their 48-hour repeated strikes, reacting to the governments decision to cede the majority of the company s shares to individuals.
 Greek flights are effected normally todayAll flights across Greece will take place normally today, after air traffic controllers suspended their planned working stoppage.
 Signatures for ID cardsThe number of signatures gathered by the church on the request for a referendum on the issue of the religious affiliation on ID cards, surpassed 3.000.000. This was mentioned by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece on his visit to the convent Anatoli Agias in Larisa yesterday. The Archbishop pointed out that until now the Church did not announce the number of signatures gathered so as not to involve itself in political confrontations. "Everything the church has done so far, has done it with a lot of prayer and a lot of attention because it does not want to disconfirm the hopes of our people, it does not want to seem thoughtless", he added.
 Britain plans to lend the Parthenon Marbles to GreeceCulture Minister Evangelos Venizelos left open the possibility of the return of the Parthenon Marbles from Britain, in the form of a short-term lending lease. Mr. Venizelos went ahead with the relative statement on the occasion of a recent article in the British newspaper "Guardian", according to which the British Museum is negotiating with the Greek authorities the temporary lending of the sculptures to Greece, during the 2004 Olympic games. Mr. Venizelos denied that such negotiations were taking place on government level.
 Fuel prices will drop againSignificant reductions are expected in fuel prices this week, as according to information the price of gas and diesel will drop by 3.5- 4 drachmas per liter, starting on Wednesday at midnight.
 Athens bourseOn the Athens Stock Exchange the basic exchange index closed at 2,687.05 points on Monday, with losses of 0.23%. The volume of transactions came to 84.06 Euro, with 116 stocks recording profits, 186 recording losses and 72 remaining stable.