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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 02-11-20

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Weather forecast
  • [02] Budget for 2003 tabled at Parliament
  • [03] Annan concerned with Turkish-Cypriots' delay

  • [01] Weather forecast

    Scattered cloud is forecast in all parts of the country. Early morning mist is expected. Winds southeasterly, light to moderate. In the north, temperatures will range from 7C to 18C; on the rest of the mainland from 09C to 23C; and in the islands from 12C to 22C. Temperatures in Athens between 12C and 20C; and in Thessaloniki from 12C to 17C.

    (20/11/2002 10:57:00 рм)

    [02] Budget for 2003 tabled at Parliament

    The budget for 2003, which the government gave to Parliament on Tuesday aims as deescalating drastically the public debt, curtailing public expenditure and financing the tax and social security reforms.

    The new budget also incorporates the tax relief decided within the framework of the tax reform, from which employees and pensioners will benefit 545 million euros next year, while the rest of the tax payers will benefit by 28 million euros.

    Among others, the tax free income will rise to 10,000 euros for employees and pensioners, while the tax free income with families with three children will be 20,000 euros.

    Moreover, the revenue policy will adopt a policy restraint with a 2.5% base-rise, similar to the expected inflation during 2003, while pensions of OGA and EKAS will rise by 14.67% and unemployment benefits by 5% as January 1.

    At the same time the budget sees growth of 3.8 percent, while the public debt next year is forecast to drop to 100.2 percent of GDP from 105.3 percent of GDP in 2002.

    Unemployment will drop to 9.1% of the number of workers and inflation will drop to 2.5% in December 2003.

    Presenting the budget, Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis described the new budget as another step in the course of real convergence .

    From its side, the New Democracy party commented that the government's economic policy neither leads to real convergence nor does it remove injustice and inequalities.

    Commenting on the budget, the Greek Communist party described it as one promoting anti-popular financial policy, while the Synaspismos party sees in the new budget a right-hand policy at the expense of low-income earners and with the underground economy remaining in tact.

    Finally, Democratic Socialist Movement leader Dimitris Tsovolas described the new budget as one adopting austerity.

    (20/11/2002 10:59:00 рм)

    [03] Annan concerned with Turkish-Cypriots' delay

    The United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has expressed his concern because the Turkish-Cypriot side seems that that will not observe the set deadlines, adding that the timetable constitutes a part of the plan for the solution of the Cyprus issue.

    Referring to Turkish-Cypriot Rauf Denktash's illness he said that further delay would end in loosing today's opportunity of solving the Cyprus issue.

    The Turkish-Cypriot side stated that an answer to Mr Annan's plan would be given in 10 days provided no new implications arose in Mr Denktash's health.

    Meanwhile, Prime Minister Costas Simtis concluded his contacts with political party leaders in whom he detected strong will, adding that Cyprus' accession must proceed even if the Cyprus issue is not solved by the Copenhagen Summit Meeting.

    At the same time, the European Union Foreign Ministers Council has addressed an appeal for the solution of the Cyprus issue on the basis of Mr Annan's plan by the Copenhagen Summit Meeting.

    Moreover, Guenter Verheugen, the competent Commissioner who is responsible for the European Union enlargement illustrated that although Cyprus' accession should be based on the solution of the Cyprus issue this did not constitute a condition.

    On a relative development, during their talks with the winner of the Turkish elections Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Berlin yesterday, the German Chancellor Gerhard Shroeder and Foreign Minister Yoska Fisher said that Ankara's stance on the Cyprus issue and the Euro force issue would play a decisive role in the further boosting of Euro-Turkish relations.

    European Union Commissioner responsible for Foreign and Security policy Xavier Solana adopted the same stance

    Finally, Foreign Affairs and Defence officials will meet today in Athens in view of NATO Summit meeting due to be held in Prague, while Prime Minster Costas Simtis is leaving for Chech at 14:30 today.

    (20/11/2002 11:07:00 рм)

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