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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-05-15

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, May 15, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] OLYMPIC TORCH PASSES THROUGH THESSALONIKI
  • [02] UNIONS THREATEN WITH STRIKE OVER WAGES
  • [03] GREEK HOMEOPATH TO RECEIVE GOLD MEDAL IN HUNGARY
  • [04] NEW RULES FOR STOCK CLOSING PRICES AS OF TODAY
  • [05] PRESIDENT OF GREECE VISITS ISRAEL, PALESTINE
  • [06] ARCHBISHOP PROPOSES REFERENDUM ON ID CARDS ISSUE
  • [07] WORLD COUNCIL OF PEACE MOVEMENTS ENDS IN ATHENS
  • [08] MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY MEETS IN THESSALONIKI
  • [09] INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE IN THESSALONIKI
  • [10] CANADIAN BUSINESS MISSION IN THESSALONIKI
  • [11] GAINS OF 2.29% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [12] THE AUTHORITY FOR THE PROTECTION OF PERSONAL DATA IS AGAINST THE REGISTERING OF RELIGION ON IDENTITY CARDS
  • [13] REPPAS ON THE IDENTITY CARDS ISSUE
  • [14] TOURIST COOPERATION BETWEEN CORFU AND SARANTE
  • [15] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH WILL INAUGURATE THE ECCLESIASTICAL MUSEUM IN ALEXANDROUPOLIS
  • [16] REPPAS ON THE VISIT OF THE GREEK PRESIDENT TO ISRAEL
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [17] GREEK PRESIDENT SPEAKS TO "JERUSALEM POST"
  • [18] DEFENSE MINISTER IN PORTUGAL FOR WEU CONFERENCE
  • [19] HOBACH: YUGOSLAVIA IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE FOR THE BALKANS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] OLYMPIC TORCH PASSES THROUGH THESSALONIKI

    Continuing its voyage through Greece, the Olympic Flame passed through Thessaloniki last night, where an official ceremony was held before the city's landmark White Tower.

    Officials from Greece's and Australia's Olympic Committees and a large crowd of locals greeted Olympic champion Ioannis Melissanides who received the torch from Voula Patoulidou.

    A total of 550 runners are to bear the torch over a distance of 1,695 kilometers. The torch has already traveled to Pyrgos, Tripoli Patras, Mesolongi, Arta, Ioannina, Kastoria and Thessaloniki. It will now move forward to Kavala, Xanthi, Komotini and Alexandroupolis in mainland Greece, and to the islands of Samothrace, Limnos, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Syros, Tinos and Andros.

    World long jump champion Voula Tsiamita will bring the torch in Athens on May 20, handing over the Olympic flame to the representatives of the Sydney Organizing Committee for the ××VII Olympic Games.

    [02] UNIONS THREATEN WITH STRIKE OVER WAGES

    Labor Ministry officials are to meet with the president of the General Confederation of Greek Workers' (GSEE) Christos Polyzogopoulos today in order to discuss the signing of the new collective labor contract.

    The GSEE president has recommended that pay rises both this year and in 2001 be 3.5 percent, almost one percentage point higher than the inflation rate. While his proposal has been approved by representatives of GSEE's unionists affiliated with the two major political parties, PASOK and New Democracy, employers' organizations insist that salary increases be limited to 2.5 percent this year and 3 percent next year, with a further corrective rise of 0.5 percent should inflation exceed two percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2001.

    Meanwhile, the Labor Minister is to unveil today an action plan concerning employment, while a study for the viability of the insurance system will be assigned to a foreign organization by the end of the week.

    [03] GREEK HOMEOPATH TO RECEIVE GOLD MEDAL IN HUNGARY

    The head of the International Academy of Homeopathic Medicine on the island of Alonissos, George Vithoulkas, is to receive the Gold Medal of the Hungarian Republic from the country's president tomorrow, May 16, in recognition of his work.

    The ceremony is to take place in the Hungarian Parliament and is timed to coincide with the annual International Homeopathy Congress which takes place in Budapest this year. It is the latest in a number of international honors bestowed on Mr. Vithoulkas. In January he was awarded the Gold medal of the Indian Health Ministry, the first ever given to a homeopath.

    [04] NEW RULES FOR STOCK CLOSING PRICES AS OF TODAY

    The new rules for the calculation of closing stock prices at the Athens Stock Exchange will go into effect today, May 15.

    For shares listed on its main market, closing prices will be the weighted average price realized in the last 10 minutes of trade.

    According to press reports, the exchange has said that "if there are no transactions during the last 10 minutes, the calculation time of the closing price is doubled to 20 minutes."

    Under present rules, closing stock prices were calculated based on trades during the last 30 minutes.

    [05] PRESIDENT OF GREECE VISITS ISRAEL, PALESTINE

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos is presently on an official, four-day visit to Israel and Palestine, the first visit abroad since he was re-elected to the post.

    The President, heading a business delegation, will meet with Israel's political and state leadership, while he will also hold talks with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Among the matters to be discussed are the Middle East situation, bilateral military and economic cooperation, as well as issues pertaining to technology and education.

    [06] ARCHBISHOP PROPOSES REFERENDUM ON ID CARDS ISSUE

    Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece has proposed that a referendum be held on the inscription of religion on one's identification card.

    The president of the authority responsible for the protection of personal data Konstantinos Dafermos stated that the inscription of the religion on the identity cards is illegal and anti- constitutional.

    [07] WORLD COUNCIL OF PEACE MOVEMENTS ENDS IN ATHENS

    The World Council of Peace Movements closed in Athens yesterday, when 200 representatives from 44 countries ratified a resolution and elected an Executive Committee.

    By decision of the Executive Committee, the headquarters of the World Peace Council will be transferred to Athens from Paris.

    A proclamation ratified under the title "Global action against the new world order for a 21st century of peace, security and growth" lists the conference's views on the eradication of nuclear weapons and substantive disarmament, the struggle to overturn the new world order, the struggle against NATO and military blocs and foreign bases all over the world.

    [08] MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY MEETS IN THESSALONIKI

    Addressing his party's political and social council meeting in Thessaloniki yesterday, New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis stressed the need for a new form, which would be in tune with the modern requirements of political consensus.

    Referring to the recent dissension felt within the party's ranks, Mr. Karamanlis warned that those seeking to weaken the party's activity would not succeed.

    [09] INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CONFERENCE IN THESSALONIKI

    The most recent developments and the problems faced by the economies which are in a transitional state will be examined in the 1st International Economic Conference organized in Thessaloniki by the Association of Economic Universities in south- eastern Europe (ASECU) in cooperation with the University of Macedonia.

    The Conference will be held on May 24-27, 2000 and it will be under the auspices of Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos. It will be attended by distinguished personalities and scientists from the sectors of education, economics and finance.

    The association of Economic Universities in south-eastern Europe was founded in Thessaloniki in November 1996 at the initiative of the University of Macedonia and it is made up of thirty universities from Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, FYROM, Cyprus, Romania and Turkey. An additional 18 universities have expressed interest to become members of the association and already the necessary procedure is underway.

    The basic goals of the association are, the promotion of cooperation among the Economic Universities of south-eastern Europe, the study of the socio-economic development in those countries, the organizing of scientific conferences and the publication of scientific magazines.

    [10] CANADIAN BUSINESS MISSION IN THESSALONIKI

    A business delegation from Canada headed by parliament representative and parliamentary secretary of the country's industry ministry John Kannis, who is of Greek origin, is on a visit to Thessaloniki.

    The delegation visited this morning minister of Macedonia- Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis and later in the afternoon met with businessmen from northern Greece at Thessaloniki's Commerce and Industry Chamber.

    The goal of the meetings which were held in the presence of the Canadian ambassador to Greece is to examine the potential for the further economic and trade cooperation between Greece and Canada.

    [11] GAINS OF 2.29% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The Athens Stock Exchange closed with gains of 2.29% today at 4.686,75 points, while the volume of transactions was at satisfactory levels at 236.47 billion drachmas.

    The increased volume of transactions was received with satisfaction by those who maintain that the increased turnover is a guarantee for the positive course of the stock market.

    [12] THE AUTHORITY FOR THE PROTECTION OF PERSONAL DATA IS AGAINST THE REGISTERING OF RELIGION ON IDENTITY CARDS

    The authority for the protection of personal data that met today decided against the registering of religion on the identity cards. It also decided that the occupation of the ID bearer, and the name of the spouse should not be written on the identity cards, while the citizens' fingerprints should not be depicted on them.

    Authority for the protection of personal data president Konstantinos Dafermos stated that religion must not be registered on the identity cards to avoid any phenomena of unfair treatment. He also said that the fingerprints express criminal activity and they should not be on the identity cards, while the fingerprint records kept by the police must be destroyed. Regarding the occupation of the ID bearer, he said that it is a personal information that can change at any time.

    It should be noted that based on a law passed in 1997 this decision is binding for the state and it should be implemented in a period of 2 to3 months.

    [13] REPPAS ON THE IDENTITY CARDS ISSUE

    The proposal of Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens to hold a referendum on the issue of the registering of religion on identity cards was rejected today by the Greek government through its spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    The minister of press said that the state does not face such an issue and underlined that it does not move toward this direction. Commenting on the statements made by Archbishop Christodoulos, Mr. Reppas stated that everyone is free to express their opinion. He also added that the Greek people gives the mandate to the government it elects to handle the issues whether they are political or other.

    [14] TOURIST COOPERATION BETWEEN CORFU AND SARANTE

    Tourists from the Ionian island of Corfu will have the opportunity to visit Sarante in Albania three times a week for one- day excursions during the tourist season, according to Albanian tourist agency "Shkendija Travel" president Spiro Antzeli.

    According to Mr. Antzeli, a total of 150 tourists have already visited Sarante from Corfu in the past two weeks using ferry-boats, while in the following weeks similar trips will be made every Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

    Based on the agreement signed between tourist agencies in Albanian and Corfu, it is estimated that Sarante will be visited by about 6 thousand western tourists during the current tourist season.

    [15] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH WILL INAUGURATE THE ECCLESIASTICAL MUSEUM IN ALEXANDROUPOLIS

    The Ecclesiastical Museum in Alexandroupolis will be inaugurated by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos on May 21. The collection of the restored and enriched museum includes today more than four hundred relics, worship objects and works of high religious art, icons, holy vessels etc, dated back from the 16th to the 20th century.

    The objects exhibited in the museum come from the region of Evros in north-eastern Greece and have been gathered in the past 30 years under the care of Metropolite of Alexandroupolis Anthimos.

    [16] REPPAS ON THE VISIT OF THE GREEK PRESIDENT TO ISRAEL

    The Greek-Palestinian relations are at a very good level, they have a history, a heritage of many years, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, responding to a question on the decision to cut by one day the visit of Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos to Israel.

    Mr. Reppas underlined that cutting the duration of the visit does not affect the level of bilateral relations.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [17] GREEK PRESIDENT SPEAKS TO "JERUSALEM POST"

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, presently on an official visit to Israel, gave an interview to the Jerusalem Post, where he stated that a "climate of mutual confidence" should exist and that relations with Israel constitute an "essential element of our policy in the region."

    Furthermore, the Greek President appealed for "the building of structures of collective security and development which should be based on respect for international law, peaceful means of resolving differences and respect for human rights and the environment."

    The Israeli Foreign Ministry announced that "the visit, which constitutes the heightening of a process for closer relations between Greece and Israel, should constitute the cornerstone for the continuation of the development of a dense network of ties."

    The President is accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi, Deputy National Economy Minister Yiannis Zapheiropoulos and a group of Greek businessmen.

    Today, President Stephanopoulos will meet with Israeli President Ezer Weizman, visit the Knesset later and afterwards participate in an economic forum of Greek and Israeli businessmen. He will also meet with Prime Minister Ehud Barak and the mayor of Jerusalem.

    On Wednesday he will visit Bethlehem, cathedrals and monasteries and then the Palestinian territory where he will meet the President of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat.

    [18] DEFENSE MINISTER IN PORTUGAL FOR WEU CONFERENCE

    Minister of National Defense Akis Tsohatzopoulos is presently in Portugal where he will attend the two-day conference of the Foreign and defense ministers of the Western European Union and the Armament Group of Western Europe which opens in Porto today.

    The summit will address Western European Union issues related to the development of the European Security and Defense Identity and the Common European Political Security and Defense, as well as with the conclusions from the joint exercise of the Western European Union and NATO, code-named Crisex 2000.

    [19] HOBACH: YUGOSLAVIA IS OF VITAL IMPORTANCE FOR THE BALKANS

    The view that the climate of conflicts in the Balkans will continue until Yugoslavia decides to participate in the international efforts for stability in the region, was expressed by special coordinator of the Stability Pact in the Balkans Bodo Hobach.

    The key-role of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in the region is recognized both in the economic and political sector, stressed Mr. Hobach, pointing out at the same time that if Yugoslavia does not take part in the international efforts a lasting stability will not be possible in the region.

    Mr. Hobach stated in a conference on south-eastern Europe that is being held in Tokyo that the policy followed by Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic has destroyed the economic and political culture of Yugoslavia. The aggressive nationalism, the despotism and the persistence to stay in power at all costs have covered south-eastern Europe in the past decade with blood, hatred and disaster, said Mr. Hobach and added that such actions can not and will not be tolerated.


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