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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-04-13

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, April 13, 2000

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] NEW CABINET SWORN IN TODAY
  • [02] NEW CABINET HAS BOTH OLD GUARD AND FRESH FACES
  • [03] CABINET OF RENEWAL AND EXPERIENCE
  • [04] NEW CABINET MEMBERS SELECTED ONE BY ONE
  • [05] GREATER HOMOGENEITY IN NEW CABINET
  • [06] LOCAL GROUP TO HOLD NATO PROTEST TOMORROW
  • [07] BUDGET SURPLUS REACHES GRD 225 BILLION
  • [08] SIMITIS CALLED ON THE MEMBERS OF THE NEW CABINET TO ADOPT A QUICK PACE AND SHOW DETERMINATION
  • [09] TRIPLE PRE-HISTORIC DITCH WAS UNEARTHED IN THE ATHENS- THESSALONIKI MOTORWAY WHICH IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION
  • [10] BIG LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [11] REVOLUTIONARY METHOD FOR THE PRODUCTION OF DRINKING AND HOUSEHOLD USE WATER FROM SEA WATER
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [12] GREEK-TURKISH MEDIA TASK FORCE TO CONVENE
  • [13] TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SIMITIS AND META
  • [14] THE GREEK AMBASSADOR WAS DECORATED IN SOFIA
  • [15] SWEDEN DENOUNCED TURKEY FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS
  • [16] THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE REPRIMANDED TURKEY ON THE ISSUE OF LOIZIDOU
  • [17] SAE-AMERICA CONGRATULATED SIMITIS AND KARAMANLIS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] NEW CABINET SWORN IN TODAY

    Prime Minister-elect Costas Simitis has announced the members of his new cabinet, one of "experience and renewal" as he characterized it.

    As acting Press Minister Argyris Fatouros stated, the new cabinet contains many new faces, although key portfolios, such as the Interior, National Defense, Foreign Affairs and National Economy have been retained by the previous ministers, namely Vaso Papandreou, Akis Tsochatzopoulos, George Papandreou and Yiannos Papantoniou, respectively.

    To be sworn-in today before the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, The new cabinet is as follows: Prime Minister: Costas Simitis Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister: Vasso Papandreou Undersecretaries:Constantinos Kaiserlis and Leonidas Tzanis National Defence Minister: Akis Tsohatzopoulos Undersecretary: Dimitris Apostolakis Foreign Minister: George Papandreou Alternate Foreign Minister: Elizabeth Papazoi Undersecretary: Aggeliki Laiou National Economy Minister: Yiannos Papantoniou Undersecretaries: Christos Pachtas and Yiannis Zafiropoulos Finance Minister: Yiannos Papantoniou Undersecretaries: George Drys and Apostolos Fotiades Development Minister: Nikos Christodoulakis Undersecretaries: Alexandros Kalafatis and Milena Apostolaki Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister: Costas Laliotis Undersecretaries: Elias Efthimopoulos and Athanasios Alevras Education and Religious Affairs Minister: Petros Efthimiou Undersecretary: Philippos Petsalnikos Agriculture Minister: George Anomeritis Undersecretaries: Evangelos Argyris and Fotis Hatzimihalis Labour and Social Security Minister: Anastasios Yianitsis Undersecretaries: Christos Protopappas and Nikos Farmakis Health and Welfare Minister: Alexandros Papadopoulos Undersecretaries: Dimitrios Thanos and Christina Spyraki Justice Minister: Michalis Stathopoulos Culture Minister: Theodoros Pangalos Undersecretary (Sports): George Florides Merchant Marine Minister: Christos Papoutsis Public Order Minister: Michalis Chrysochoides Macedonia-Thrace Minister: George Paschalides Aegean Minister: Nikos Sifounakis Transport and Communications Minister: Christos Verelis Undersecretary: Alexandros Voulgaris Press and Media Minister: Dimitris Reppas Undersecretary: Tilemachos Hytiris State Minister: Miltiades Papaioannou.

    [02] NEW CABINET HAS BOTH OLD GUARD AND FRESH FACES

    In the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, the Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece Christodoulos officiated the swearing-in ceremony of the new cabinet this morning.

    Featuring 18 members who have not previously held ministerial posts, and five women, the new cabinet comprises 20 ministers, 22 deputy ministers and one alternate minister.

    The previous government was composed of 41 members, 19 ministers, one alternate minister and 21 deputy ministers.

    The government's program will be officially unveiled on April 21, with the vote of confidence to follow three days later.

    [03] CABINET OF RENEWAL AND EXPERIENCE

    Prime Minister-elect Costas Simitis has characterized his new cabinet, sworn in this morning in by the Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece Christodoulos in the presence of the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, as one of "experience and renewal".

    Following the ceremony, the Premier and the ministers walked to the Parliament where the new cabinet held its first session, followed by the "change of guard" in the ministries.

    The new cabinet features the presence Mr. Simitis' close associates and other individuals who are to tackle the issues now prioritized by the government, namely the improvement of daily life and upgraded public services.

    Featuring 15 members who have not previously held ministerial posts, and five women, the new cabinet comprises 20 ministers, 22 deputy ministers and one alternate minister.

    While both Alekos Papadopoulos and Theodoros Pangalos have returned to the Parliament, as health and welfare minister the first and culture minister the second, "heavyweights" Evangelos Venizelos and Costas Skandalides are not among the ministerial rank, just as Gerasimos Arsenis (former education minister) and the octogenarian Evangelos Yiannopoulos (former justice minister).

    [04] NEW CABINET MEMBERS SELECTED ONE BY ONE

    In appointing the members of the new Cabinet, Prime Minister Costas Simitis stressed that "the criterion was the combination of experience and renewal."

    Sworn in today, the 43-member Cabinet includes former Interior Minister Alekos Papadopoulos as health minister; the Premier's former chief economic aide Anastasios Yiannitsis as minister of labor; journalist and European Parliament member Petros Efthymiou as education minister; former Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos as culture minister; Nikos Christodoulakis, formerly deputy finance minister, as development minister; and former deputy public works minister Christos Verelis as transport minister.

    Messrs. Christodoulakis and Verelis are now called on to handle the issue of deregulation in the energy, telecommunications and transport sectors. The appointment of Mr. Yiannitsis, who is not a member of Parliament, also indicates the weight expected to be given by the government to the issues of unemployment and reform in the social security system.

    The health and education ministries are also among the Premier's priorities for the next four years.

    "The popular vote has given the new government the mandate to continue effectively the course which leads to a strong Greece in the front line of the European Union," Mr. Simitis said, adding that the aim is "for a better quality of life for the Greek citizen."

    The Cabinet is a combination of eight ministers who stayed in their old positions as well as 15 new faces and another six who had served in previous PASOK governments.

    The following ministers have retained their positions: Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou, Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, Foreign Minister George Papandreou, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, Public Works Minister Costas Laliotis, Agriculture Minister George Anomeritis, Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis and Press Minister Dimitris Reppas.

    The newly-appointed Minister of Justice Michalis Stathopoulos, who, like Mr. Yiannitsis, is not a member of Parliament, is a professor of law at the Athens University. This appointment followed Evangelos Venizelos' refusal to accept any ministry other than the Development Ministry which he had headed before the elections. Mr. Venizelos was left out of the Cabinet.

    Ilias Efthymiopoulos, former head of Greenpeace-Greece, has been appointed deputy environment minister and Harvard professor of Byzantine studies Angeliki Laiou has been appointed deputy foreign minister.

    Elizabeth Papazoi has been moved from minister of culture to alternate foreign minister. The new Cabinet has five women.

    [05] GREATER HOMOGENEITY IN NEW CABINET

    The new Cabinet of the ruling PASOK party features a greater degree of homogeneity, especially in the key ministries of development, labor, economics and finance, according to the Athens daily "Express".

    The paper points to the vast renewal of the economic portfolio's staff, and its reinforcement with trusted individuals espousing the Premier's points of view, as well as the retaining of National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou at his post. Specifically, the "Express" writes, Mr. Papantoniou maintenance at his post was deemed necessary both for the country's imminent accession to the Economic and Monetary Union and for the coordination required in the sectors of labor and market liberalization.

    The appointment of former chief economic aide Anastasios Yiannitsis as minister of labor and social welfare, who is not a member of Parliament, also indicates the weight expected to be given by the government to the issues of unemployment and reform in the social security system.

    As for the Development Ministry, the selection of Nikos Christodoulakis, (a close associate of both Messrs. Simitis and Papantoniou )who served as undersecretary of finance in the previous cabinet, also confirms the view that the Premier will aim at easing juxtapositions expected in the privatization process of public utilities organizations.

    [06] LOCAL GROUP TO HOLD NATO PROTEST TOMORROW

    A rally protesting the passage of NATO troops through Greece is to be held tomorrow evening in the Northern Greek city of Katerini, organized by the Anti-War Committee of Thessaloniki's Organizations.

    The Committee, whose members are to travel from Thessaloniki to Katerini in a car convoy, has announced that it "decries the police violence against the pacifists of Pieria (where Katerini is located at) who were opposed to the passage of NATO troops.

    [07] BUDGET SURPLUS REACHES GRD 225 BILLION

    Budget surplus for the fiscal year of 2000 is to reach GRD 500 billion, according to the finance ministry, with 225 billion already in the state's coffers, monies mostly derived from the Value Added Tax, the Athens Stock Exchange and business profits.

    According to the ministry, revenue was increased during the first quarter, up by 14.5% in comparison to last year's same time period. Moreover, the economy ministry's priorities for the following two-year period continue to be improved public services, tax reforms and modernization.

    [08] SIMITIS CALLED ON THE MEMBERS OF THE NEW CABINET TO ADOPT A QUICK PACE AND SHOW DETERMINATION

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis called on the members of the new government to adopt a quick pace in their work and show determination, speaking in the first cabinet meeting that was held immediately after the swearing-in of the new government, while he also reiterated his personal commitment to bring the government closer to the people and their problems.

    Mr. Simitis said that the hopes of the Greek people should not be overturned and called on the members of the government to show consistency and union of hearts in exercising their duties. He also expressed his own joy and his government's over the election victory and for the fact that a new fruitful and historical period has begun, underlining that in this new era the government will be able to do even more for the country.

    Mr. Simitis characterized the cabinet meeting as friendly and joyous and stated to journalists that all the government members feel that they have a very specific mission, stressing that the government has a responsibility to put Greece at a high place in the society of European states. He said that the new government undertakes the responsibility to form a more creative society, with a greater cohesion, in which the social state will be obvious.

    The prime minister called on the government ministers to be close to the people who want determination and tangible results in order to be persuaded that the work that is being done gives fruit. He said that through the faith that things can change the fate of the people and the country will also change.

    [09] TRIPLE PRE-HISTORIC DITCH WAS UNEARTHED IN THE ATHENS- THESSALONIKI MOTORWAY WHICH IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION

    Archaeologists were left speechless when they show the pre- historic ditch, that was unearthed during the construction work for the widening of the Athens-Thessaloniki motorway at the region of Makrichori, as it constitutes a significant finding offering valuable information on the defense system of the neolithic age.

    An additional fact that makes the finding very important is that in the prehistoric age there were no walls to protect the settlements and also the fact that inside the ditch were found seashells, stone tools and building remains of the neolithic age, while buildings dated back to the Mycenaic era were also discovered.

    The triple ditch is 1,2 meters wide and 2 meters deep. The scientists were very impressed as it was carved out of the rocks at a time when there were no metal tools. Archaeologists believe that the ditch was used mainly for the protection of the settlement and at the same time, it was used for other purposes as well.

    [10] BIG LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The Athens Stock Exchange recorded big losses of 3.14% in today's session and closed at 4.724,84 points, while the volume of transactions was 169,4 billion drachmas.

    Losses were recorded in all secondary indexes, while the parallel market and the banks had big losses of 6.67% and 3.73% respectively.

    Of the shares that traded today 19 recorded gains, 19 remained unchanged and 317 recorded losses.

    [11] REVOLUTIONARY METHOD FOR THE PRODUCTION OF DRINKING AND HOUSEHOLD USE WATER FROM SEA WATER

    A revolutionary method for the production of sterilized drinking water from sea water through the use of solar energy was discovered by Greek scientist Yiannis Markopoulos who lives and works in Austria.

    The first installation of the discovery will be financed by the European Union under the name "Hydrostation". The water produced this way includes no salt, bacteria and germs and it is chemically neutral (PH7).

    The continuous use of that water for a considerable period of time could become a natural method for the treatment of arteriosclerosis as well as, the gall-bladder and kidney stones.

    Speaking to MPA, Mr. Markopoulos stated that the installation of the equipment for the production of drinking and household use water from sea water is autonomous, shelf-sufficient and environmentally safe. It can be installed in the most remote parts of the earth ( for example, rocky islets) because it does not need to be linked to any energy network.

    The method was characterized by the European Union as "European know-how" and Mr. Markopoulos, who can not forget his homeland, decided that his discovery must be presented for the first time in Greece.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [12] GREEK-TURKISH MEDIA TASK FORCE TO CONVENE

    The permanent contact and cooperation group comprising Greek and Turkish journalists and media executives is to convene in Istanbul this weekend.

    The meeting is a follow up of a previous conference held in Athens last February.

    The Greek team includes Yiannis Tzanetakos, general director of the Greek Radio; Panos Koliopanos, general director of the radio station Flash and Alkis Kourkoulas, Athens News Agency correspondent.

    [13] TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SIMITIS AND META

    Albanian prime minister Ilir Meta had a telephone communication with Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis, according to the Albanian mass media.

    The two prime ministers emphasized that they both back the position that bilateral relations should be further promoted and improved.

    [14] THE GREEK AMBASSADOR WAS DECORATED IN SOFIA

    Bulgarian president Petar Stoyanov decorated Greek ambassador to Sofia Panagiotis Karakasis with the Stara Planina medal which is the highest distinction in Bulgaria.

    Mr. Stoyanov stated to Mr. Karakasis, who leaves Sofia permanently, that during his term he was not just the Greek ambassador to Bulgaria but the ambassador of the whole region.

    He said that Bulgaria is on the road to reform in spite of the challenges and the difficulties laying ahead, adding that the reforms will be completed and this will be done easier and quicker if the country is backed by its friends, stressing that he regards Greece as one of the best friends of Bulgaria.

    Mr. Karakasis from his side confirmed Greece's support to Bulgaria's accession into the European Union and NATO.

    [15] SWEDEN DENOUNCED TURKEY FOR THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS

    Sweden denounced Turkey for the human rights violations in the country as a Diyarbakir justice court decided to confiscate the books of Kurdish author Mehmet Uzun, who has a Swedish nationality, because they were written in the Kurdish language.

    The Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet writes that Uzun grew up in a country where the Kurdish language was banned and wrote his first texts in Turkish military prisons. The newspaper also mentions that Uzun was placed under literary ban which can not be allowed in a country that is a Council of Europe member.

    [16] THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE REPRIMANDED TURKEY ON THE ISSUE OF LOIZIDOU

    The Irish presidency of the Council of Europe reprimanded Turkey because it has unjustifiably delayed to proceed with the implementation of the European Court for Human Rights decision which ruled against Ankara's practices in the case of Greek Cypriot Titina Loizidou, who is not allowed to go to her village in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus.

    The Irish foreign minister in a letter to his Turkish counterpart calls for the immediate implementation of the decision.

    The Council of Europe expects Turkey to meet its obligations and pay the compensation awarded by the court to Ms. Loizidou as it is among the obligations of the member-states to observe the European Court for Human Rights decisions unconditionally.

    [17] SAE-AMERICA CONGRATULATED SIMITIS AND KARAMANLIS

    Vice-president of the Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, Christos Tomaras sent a congratulatory message to prime minister Kostas Simitis, pointing out the necessity for the cooperation of the two major political parties in Greece to handle more effectively the crucial issues that will be faced by the country in the next four years.

    Mr. Tomaras mentions among others that the long experience of Mr. Simitis in the governmental work, his political morality and his leadership abilities make him, according to the decision of the people, the most suitable to head the country's government. Mr. Tomaras said that the election victory is undoubtedly a significant achievement after a strong effort made by the leading members of the socialist party of PASOK aimed at presenting their work and the future policy of their party.

    In other statements, Mr. Tomaras referred to conservative opposition party leader of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis. He said that congratulations should be given to New Democracy as well which managed to increase the support of the voters and proved that it is close to the Greek society as its program appealed to the people, adding that this fact must lead its efforts to meet the people's needs.


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