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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-11-08
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEW IN ENGLISH ERA-5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
8/11/2001 11:30:00 рм
 NEWS HEADLINESAthens to re-examine its policy on illegal immigrants More operations needed in Afganistan says Blair The government rejects Niles' allegations on terrorism issue The government revises its original growth target The Bank of Cyprus holds exhibition on the history of the drachma EU Financial ministers say financial situation in Greece is positive Greek consumers have to work harder says INKA Greece wins one gold and two silver medals in weighlifting with Natasa Tsakiri
 Athens to re-examine its policy on illegal immigrantsHealth ministry officials are visiting the island of Zakynthos today to check whether any of the illegal immigrants hosted there should be transferred to hospitals in Athens. Merchant Marine minister Yorgos Anomeritis stated that the cases of illegal immgrants wishing to get political asylum would be examined, while the rest would be sent back to their homeland. Today, seven Turkish traffickers are to appear before the Public Prosecutor. The 1200 illegal immigrants spotted on Sunday on the rudderless "Brelner" in bad weather conditions, have found temporary refuge on the island. The women and the approximately 230 children have been housed in hotels and the men are remaining in the island's indoor athletics court. In the meantime, during an inter-ministerial meeting to be held next week, the trasfer of illegal immigrants will be turned from an indictable offence to felony. On a relative development, Athens is exerting pressure to Ankara for a deal that will be supporting the return of illegal immigrants back to their homeland. The issue was raised to the Turkish Foreign minister Ismail Cem, who is going to have successive meetings with Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign minister Yorgos Papandreou. Mr. Papandreou stated that Mr. Cem's visit would be an opportunity for the review of Greek-Turkish relations and the examination of the course of imlementation of bilateral agreements signed between the two countries.
 More operations needed in Afganistan says BlairIn a joint Press conference with the American President George W. Bush yesterday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair stated that the air attacks are not enough for beating the Taleban, anouncing additional operations. Meanwhile, the American Airforce hit targets in Kabul and northern Afganistan yesterday. Presently, heavy fighting is taking place between the Northern Alliance and the Taleban at Mazar-e-Sharif. At the same time, Washington is taking measures against individuals and organisations that are suspected to be involved in the financing of terrorists. In Britain, flights above big nuclear plants were banned for fear of terrorist attacks. A scientist working for the Vietnamese government has revealed that after examination, the white powder detected at BP consortium in Ho Tsi Minch was identified as anthrax bacteria. Finally, the United Nations has said the national airline of Afghanistan, Ariana, has effectively been put out of business by the air strikes. The airline was already struggling to survive after UN sanctions, introduced to pressurise the Taleban into handing over Osama Bin Laden, forced it to stop flying overseas two years ago. The air strikes have reportedly damaged several aircraft-Boeings and Antonovs, as well as putting a stop to its domestic flights. In Athens, an antiwar demostration is going to take place at Syntagma square at 6pm by Public Service employees and the Athens Labour Centre. Similar mobilisations are to take place in Thessaloniki and Patras.
 The government rejects Niles' allegations on terrorism issueThe government has rejected the allegations of the former American Ambassador in Athens Thomas Niles that politicians have connections with the terrorist organisation 17 November, pointing out that Mr. Niles is not speaking on behalf of the American government. Government spokesman Mr. Protopapas stated that there is no pressure exerted on behalf of the current US ambassador Thomas Miller on the issue of possible arrests linked with terrorist acts and reiterated that anyone with evidence on terrorist cases at their disposal must present them to the Greek justice immediately. When called to comment on whether the Greek government has indications that the US government is displeased with Greece's stance on the issue of terrorism, he responded that there is no such indication.
He also predicted that even if Mr. Niles was called by the Greek justice to testify he would not do it, adding that the same stance was adopted by other US officials as well who had been called to testify in the past.
 The government revises its original growth targetThe government is to revise downward its original growth target for 2001 to 4.1 percent from 4.6 percent, and for 2002 to 3.8 percent from 4.0 percent, National Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said on Wednesday. Christodoulakis was speaking after a meeting with the Prime Minister on the content of talks by European Union finance ministers, and on the budget for next year, which is destined for parliament on November 21. In addition, a growth target of 3.8 percent will be adopted for 2002 against 4.0 percent, sources said. The move would mean further cuts in spending of about 100 billion drachmas against forecasts in the draft budget in order to cover a slowdown in revenue from the anticipated deceleration in growth.
Christodoulakis attributed the downward revision to a global slowdown that he said would not show signs of easing until the second half of 2002.
 The Bank of Cyprus holds exhibition on the history of the drachmaThe Bank of Cyprus is to hold an exhibition on the history of the drachma from 1821 to the present that begins on November 10 and runs until the end of February. The exhibition is to be held at the bank's headquarters in Athens, located in Alexandras Avenue, Ambelokipi. It then travels to Thessaloniki and Ioannina in the north. The drachma will be abolished in February, following its phased replacement by the euro from January 1.
 EU Financial ministers say financial situation in Greece is positiveThe Financial ministers of the European Union, expressed their satisfaction to their Greek counterpart at the Ecofin Council in Brussels.
In their statements the 15 stressed that the financial situation in Greece is positive, pointing out at the same time the need for achieving a surplus of primary products in the national budget. Financial Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, underlined that the target of the Greek economy is still the convergence with the rest of the European conomies.
 Greek consumers have to work harder says INKAThe Greek consumers will have to work double than the German citizens to be able to purchase 100 kinds of food and drinks according to a research conducted by the Consumer Institute, INKA. The gap between the Greeks and the rest European consumers (Germans, Britons, Italians and French) is at 102% regarding the number of hours they have to work to be able to afford certain consumer goods, while the gap in the wages earned is at 165%. For example, the Greek consumer in order to afford 100 kinds of food and drinks has to work over 96 hours, while the Germans need just 48, the French 57, the Italians 69 and the Britons 57 hours and 10 minutes. To be able to afford 10 kinds of electric appliances the average Greek consumer must work 226 days at the office or the building site, whereas the Germans need just 102 days, the British 108, the French 126 and the Italians 170.
The Germans are at a better position compared to the rest Europeans as they have to work 179 days in order to be able to afford a total of 185 consumer goods, followed by the Britons (200), the French (218), the Italians (301) and the Greeks (360).
 Greece wins one gold and two silver medals in weighlifting with Natasa TsakiriNatasa Tsakiri won a gold and two silver medals in weightlifting competitions in Atallia, Turkey yesterday.