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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-11-19
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH THE VOICE OF GREECE
19/11/2001 10:47:00 рм
 NEWS HEADLINESPrivatisations and new set of tax measures to be anounced by the government in the near future Simitis to brief Stephanopoulos today PASOK Executive Bureau to meet today Leadership vacuum in Afganistan creates concern Farmers protesting on low product prices and cust of subslidies Lighting of the Olympic Games torch in Olympia today Diamantopoulou proposes English as second official language in Greece Europe adopts single arrest warrant
 Privatisations and new set of tax measures to be anounced by the government in the near futureNational Economy minister Nikos Christodoulakis will table at Parliament a new bill regarding privatisations at the beginning of January. At the same time according to the minister, a new set of tax changes will be introduced next March. These changes will be related to the taxation of real estates. Meanwhile, the 2002 budget is to be table at Parliament on Wednesday with changes on the targets of the fiscal policy.
Finally, Labour minister Dimitris Reppas has anounced that there will be no changes on pensions for those who will retire by 2006, adding that the government intends to find a formula so as to create motives enabling these people to continue working until 2006.
 Simitis to brief Stephanopoulos todayPrime minister Costas Simitis is meeting with the President of the Hellenic Republic Constantinos Stephanopoulos at 12:30 local time to brief him on all developments in all issues of interior and foreign policy and then at 14:00 he is meeting with PASOK Secretary Costas Lalitiotis.
 PASOK Executive Bureau to meet todayPASOK' s Executive Bureau first meeting following the party' s Congress, will concentrate today on the adoption of a new strategy in view of the Parliamentary elections in 2004 and the municipal and prefectural elections in 2002. In the meantime New Democracy party' s new body for the party's planning is meeting at noon today.
 Leadership vacuum in Afganistan creates concernThe sides involved in the Afganistan crisis are concerned with the settting up of a government that will cover the leadership vacuum created in that country.
In the meantime, United Nations high negotiator Frantsesc Ventrel forsees elections in Afganistan in 2.5 or 3 years.
At the same time, Kunduz was pounded last night. According to information, 1,000 people lost their lives, while the hemmed Taleban are refusing to surrender to the Northern Alliance.
Finally, Defence ministers of the 15 are meeting in Brussels today to discuss about the boosting of security in the European Union.
National Defence minister from his side has ruled out the dispatch of a Greek soldiers in Afganistan and even of a peacekeeping force.
 Farmers protesting on low product prices and cust of subslidiesFarmers in Thessaloniki and Trikala are protesting, in reaction to the low prices of their products and to the abolishing of subsidies for tobacco from the European Union.
From his side, the Agriculture minister has called on the farmers to present their demands, while the European Union Agriculture Committee is meeting in Brussels today to examine the prices of agricultural products.
 Lighting of the Olympic Games torch in Olympia todayIn an interview, New Democracy party Costas Karamanlis appeared certain that Greece will stage the best Olympic Games, expressing his concern at the same time for the delays on Olympic projects and the high cost of the projects.
On a relative development, the countdown for the start of the Winter Olympic Games which will be held at Salt Lake City in the United States from February 8-24, 2002, begins at Ancient Olympia on Monday noon with the lighting of the Olympic Games torch.
Thalia Prokopiou, who was also the high priestess at the torch lighting ceremony for the Olympic Games in Sydney, will light the torch and forward it to the first runner, Lefteris Fafalis, 25.
The Olympic torch will reach Kalavryta at 16.40 where it will remain until Tuesday morning. Its arrival at the Panathinaiko Kallimarmaro Stadium is scheduled for 21.45 the same day. It will remain there until December 3 when the president of the Greek Olympic Games Committee, Lambis Nikolaou will hand it over during a special ceremony to the representative of the Organising Committee of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.
 Diamantopoulou proposes English as second official language in GreeceEuropean Union Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou proposed the instituting of English as a second official language in Greece, in an interview to the "Kathimerini" newspaper.
Mrs. Diamantopoulou stressed that the issue of multilingualism will directly be brought up in the European Union, and pointed out that after the enlargement Greece must prepare in time and institute English as a second official language. To those who express fears of losing cultural and national heritage from such a measure, she answers that learning to speak English as well as Greek will not hurt Greeks.
 Europe adopts single arrest warrantThe establishment of a single European arrest warrant speeding-up the extradition procedures for suspects of terrorism was decided in principle in Brussels on Saturday by the Justice Ministers of the "15".
According to the agreement, the suspects will be extradited within 60 days of the request or in 10 days in case there is an agreement by the suspect.
There are 28 offenses that justify the issuing of a European Arrest Warrant among them, terrorism, trafficking of prostitutes, corruption, fraud, laundering of crime products, premeditated murder, and trafficking of illegal immigrants.