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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-10-30

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From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>



30/10/2001 12:22:00 μμ

Weather forecast

A mainly fine and mild day, with higher temperatures and abating winds. In Athens temperatures will range from 10-21 C and in Thessaloniki from 4-19C.

Prime-minister chairs bi-ministerial meeting today

Prime-minister Kostas Simitis will today chair a meeting of the bi-ministerial committee for the 2004 Olympic Games during which he is expected to determine the responsibilities of the seven new undersecretaries for the speeding up of preparations for the Olympic Games. Prior to the ministerial meeting, the Prime-minister will have talks with the President of the Athens 2004 organisation, Yianna Aggelopoulou Daskalaki.

New state budget focused on competiveness

Prime-minister Simitis yesterday met with Economics Minister Nikos Hristodoulakis with whom he discussed next year's state budget. Economic stability, development and strenghtening of the Greek economy's competiveness are the main axis of the new state budget. The final plan will be submitted to the parliament on November 21st. However, industrialists are demanding generous tax cuts.

Bank of Pireus takes over ETBA

According to all indications the Bank of Peireus will take over the Greek Bank for Industrial Development-ETBA-as its bid was considered the most beneficiary by the consultans agency. The decision of the government's economic staff will be announced today.

Labour Minister ready to begin dialogue on social security issue

Labour Minister Dimitris Reppas called on the presidium of the General Confederation of Greek workers to begin a dialogue on the social security issue, stressing that the negotiating table was clear of any prerequisites. Mr. Reppas intends to visit the GSSE offices, which is an action indicating his intentions. The date for the opening of the dialogue on the social security issue has not yet been determined.

Developments on U.S led attacks on Afganistan

The U.S government has issued terrorism alert warning that new attacks are expected in the U.S, prompting further anxiety amid spate of antrax attacks. American President George Bush, apparently trying to strenthen Pakistani resolve, signed legislation to lift economic sanctions imposed on pakistan after a 1999 coup that brought General Pervez Musharraf to power. The White House will also grant an additional 1 billion dollar economic aid to Pakistan. In the U.S a poll published in todays issue of the N.Y Times showed that 9 out of 10 Americans are in favour of the continuation of air-raids on Afganistan against an 8% of Americans who fully condemn the use of violence . In Britain, the U.S strongest ally in the war on terrorism, a poll published by the Guardian newspaper showed 54% of those surveyed wanted the bombing to stop for humanitarian reasons. A woman working at the Manhattan hospital is seriously ill with a suspected case of inhaled antrax while two new antarx victims were confirmed in New Jersey. The EU General Affairs Committee which met in Louxembourg yesterday focused its talks on the dramatic situation of the Afgan refugees. The 15 EU Foreign Ministers expressed their concrn over the developments in Afganistan and stressed that the struggles of the EU are towards the formation of a new political situation after the Taliban era with a policy that will lead to peace and stability in the region.

During his visit to Pakistan on Thursday,Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou will convey the EU's message for better coordination of the humanitarian aid.

Impact of September 11 attacks on Greece's tourist industry

The full impact of the September 11 attacks in the U.S on Greece's tourist industry and air transport is beginning to emerge more clearly. In his statements yesterday Transport Minister Hristos Verelis said that the national air carrier Olympic Airways is slashing 20% of its routes while about 150 personnel on international flights will belaid off. Passengers of domestic flights have dropped by 25% to 30% while the company has 800 million drs losses per month.

Meeting of National Defence Minsiter with U.S ambassador to Athens

Following a meeting yesterday with US ambassador to Athens Thomas Miller, National Defence Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said that the entire arms program decided on by the Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee would be implemented quickly and with transparent procedures. Mr. Miller underlined thst he did not represent American arms companies , but clarified that one of his main duties was to ensure their equal participation in tenders for the supply of weapons systems.

Athens stock market

A good start for the Athens stock market this week. The general index ended 0.77 percent higher at 2,388.74 points, reflecting gains in the banks sector, with turnover a low 22.6 billion drachmas or 66.4 million euros.

Industrial actions

The Pireus Labour Center has announced a 3-hour work stoppage today between 12and 3pm, in support of their demands for the punishment of those responsible for last weeks fatal accident on a tanker, in which 5 dock workers were killed . Employees of the elctric train have also announced a 2-hour work stoppage between 11-1pm while sanitation workers will begin a series of rolling strikes today , in protest against low pay and sub-standard work conditions.

Post-quake in the Aegean Sea near the island of Skyros

An earthquake measuring 5,2 on the Richter scale shook central Greece yesterday. The epicenter of the earthquake was 110 km northeast of the capital in the Aegean Sea near the islands of Skyros and Alonissos. Officials said the quake was an aftershock to the 5,8 earthquake that destroyed scores of house on the island of Skyros on July 26.

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