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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-07-14

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, July 14, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] EXTENSIVE DESTRUCTION FROM THE FIRES ACROSS THE COUNTRY
  • [02] CHRISTODOULAKIS: NO CANCELLATIONS OF TOURIST RESERVATIONS IN GREECE
  • [03] AGREEMENTS ON THE BLACK SEA BANK
  • [04] LIVESTOCK WITH FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE ARE BEING DESTROYED
  • [05] SIMITIS: EVERYTHING HUMANLY POSSIBLE IS BEING DONE TO STOP THE INFERNO
  • [06] GAINS OF 2.03% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [07] INCREASE OF 15.4% IN THE NEW CAR SALES IN GREECE
  • [08] COMMENTS BY THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN REGARDING THE FIRES IN THE COUNTRY
  • [09] REPPAS: THE GREEK GOVERNMENT IS OPPOSED TO THE OPENING OF A NUCLEAR PLANT IN AKKUYIU
  • [10] PAPANDREOU SAYS FIRE SITUATION HAS IMPROVED
  • [11] EUROPEAN BRANCH OF IHA TO BE CONFIRMED IN 2001
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [12] THE GREEK SOLIDARITY CARAVAN FOR THE CHILDREN OF YUGOSLAVIA
  • [13] SIMITIS AND KOSTOV AT THE NEW GREEK-BULGARIAN BORDER CROSSING
  • [14] HILFE REPORT ON THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IN GREECE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] EXTENSIVE DESTRUCTION FROM THE FIRES ACROSS THE COUNTRY

    The fires burning across Greece have destroyed over 12.000 hectars of forest and farm land as well as, hundreds of houses.

    Greece has appealed for help abroad and Russia, the Czech Republic and Israel have responded to its calls for assistance.

    The big fire in the prefecture of Grevena, north-western Greece, in the region of Samarina continues and it is estimated that over 800 hectars of black pine-trees have been destroyed.

    A fire is burning on the island of Thasos, in northern Aegean which has been put in a state of emergency. Minister of Macedonia- Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis visited the island heading a delegation.

    The fires in Eges and the monastery of Akrata, in southern Greece are in progress and already 20 houses have been burned down, while thousands of hectars of forest land have been destroyed.

    In Xilokastro, the efforts of the fire-fighters are focusing on two big fronts, while the fires on the island of Chios, in Alfio southern Greece, in Metsovo and Konitsa in north-western Greece continue to burn out of control and have already destroyed over 2.000 hectars of forest land.

    [02] CHRISTODOULAKIS: NO CANCELLATIONS OF TOURIST RESERVATIONS IN GREECE

    The foreign tourist agencies have not canceled any reservations in the regions of Greece that were hit by the inferno and no foreign government has called on its nationals to cancel their trips or return to their countries.

    The statements were made today by minister of development Nikos Christodoulakis.

    [03] AGREEMENTS ON THE BLACK SEA BANK

    The agreements on two very important plans of the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) will be signed in a special ceremony that will be held in Thessaloniki on July 20.

    Specifically, signatures will be put on the Inter-Balkan Share Capital and the Memorandum of Understanding between the BSTDB and the Black Sea Studies International Center.

    The Share Capital is founded by IFC, BSTDB, Norfund, SECO, Finfund, SEAF with the assistance of USAID and the invested capital is US$ 24 million.

    The Inter-Balkan Share Capital will supply with share capital small private companies in Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and other neighboring countries.

    [04] LIVESTOCK WITH FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE ARE BEING DESTROYED

    The destruction of livestock with foot-and-mouth disease is underway in Ferres, Evros in north-eastern Greece and it is estimated that over 1.000 animals will have to be killed, while efforts are being made so that the disease will not spread to livestock in other parts of Thrace.

    Deputy prefect of Evros Mr. Michalis Kougioumtsis stated that the region is in quarantine and the movement of animals and dairy products has been banned. Mr. Kougioumtsis stated that the region of the Evros River Delta has been put off limits for everyone and all necessary measures have been taken in order to deal with the epidemic stressing, however, that the economic consequences will be serious as over 1.000 animals will have to be destroyed.

    The Farmers' Associations in the prefecture of Evros in a letter to minister of agriculture Giorgos Anomeritis accuse Turkey for the new cases of foot-and-mouth disease and suggest that the vaccination of livestock should be done in Greece as Turkey appears to be unreliable.

    [05] SIMITIS: EVERYTHING HUMANLY POSSIBLE IS BEING DONE TO STOP THE INFERNO

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis, who visited the fire department coordination center in Athens accompanied by minister of interior Ms. Vaso Papandreou and minister of public order Mr. Michalis Chrisochoidis, stated to reporters that everything humanly possible is being done to stop the inferno.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the state mechanism has been mobilized in the effort to put out the fires across the country, adding however that the climate conditions have not changed and new problems could be created.

    The prime minister also said that the fire department investigates whether the fires were the work of arsonists. He stressed that the country was better organized and prepared to face the summer fires than ever before but the weather conditions were unprecedented for Greece, saying characteristically that never before the weather was so hot, windy and dry.

    [06] GAINS OF 2.03% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Gains of 2.03% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 4.006,41 points.

    The volume of transactions was 77.2 billion drachmas, while 316 stocks recorded gains, 19 had losses and 29 remained unchanged.

    [07] INCREASE OF 15.4% IN THE NEW CAR SALES IN GREECE

    The new car sales in Greece rose by 15.4% in the first half of the current year and this development puts the country in the third place in Europe regarding car sales. According to the ACEA, the first place is occupied by France with 75.4%, followed by Ireland with 36.7%.

    In the car companies front the leader is Peugeot which had an increase of 12.2% in its sales, followed by Toyota and Nissan with 11.7% and 11.1% respectively.

    It should be reminded that in the first trimester of the current year the new passenger cars on the Greek roads were 83.754. In the month of March alone the new car sales reached 27.460 showing a 6% increase compared to February.

    [08] COMMENTS BY THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN REGARDING THE FIRES IN THE COUNTRY

    The state mechanism is at a general state of alert in order to face possible new fire fronts that can be created by the winds that will become stronger later in the afternoon, according to meteorologists.

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the whole state mechanism has been mobilized. Thirty fires are in progress today and no populated areas are in danger.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the government has requested assistance from abroad and the Czech Republic responded by sending 4 fire fighting aircraft, while Israel will send 2 helicopters. Assistance is also expected from the Scandinavian countries.

    The Greek fire fighting force numbers 9.500 fire fighters and 4.000 seasonal personnel, while 1.500 people be hired soon.

    The Greek government spokesman stated that there were no coordination problems and the responsible ministers made the necessary moves in order to face the situation but the extreme weather conditions did not allow the use all the fire fighting means for the efforts to be effective. He also added that Greece is the third country after the United States and Canada in terms of the fire fighting means at its disposal.

    Mr. Reppas stressed that the tourist facilities are in no danger and the tourist programs can continue without further problems, while the movement of tourists can take place as usual.

    [09] REPPAS: THE GREEK GOVERNMENT IS OPPOSED TO THE OPENING OF A NUCLEAR PLANT IN AKKUYIU

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas responding to a question by a reporter stated that the Greek government is opposed to the opening of a nuclear plant in Akkuyiu, Turkey that will produce electric power.

    Mr. Reppas stated that Greece was opposed to the use of atomic energy from the beginning and has appealed to international organizations citing among others the risks behind the opening of such a plant in a region with intense seismic activity.

    The government spokesman stated that Greece will continue to make representations and reports both to the countries involved in the construction of the plant and to international organizations.

    [10] PAPANDREOU SAYS FIRE SITUATION HAS IMPROVED

    Today saw an improvement in the intensity of the fires which have been raging through Greece for the past ten days, according to a statement issued by Vasso Papandreou, Interior minister, following a meeting at the fire brigade headquarters.

    During a speech aired by the radio station "Flash", Ms Papandreou stressed that all forces, not only the fire brigade, have been mobilized to deal with the problem, further adding that the Armed Forces, local governments and hospitals have also been mobilized.

    "The situation is better today as far as weather conditions are concerned, but tomorrow's change in temperature will create extreme conditions" maintained the Interior minister, noting that the expected change of wind direction is expected to make the extinguishing project more difficult. The Interior minister also mentioned that although "some of the fires were caused deliberately, we can't talk of an organized plan. Some of the fires were caused by the weather conditions, some by negligence on the part of the citizens".

    Finally, Ms Papandreou stressed that this years action plan for the extinguishing of the fires was much better than last year's.

    [11] EUROPEAN BRANCH OF IHA TO BE CONFIRMED IN 2001

    The building used by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) is considered to be the most appropriate for the European Branch of the Inter-Parliamentary Hellenism Association for foreign ministers with Greek roots to be based in. However, the final decision relating to the creation of this office and of the central office will be made during the Global Association's next General Meeting, due to be held in Greece in 2001. The memorandum of articles for this branch will also be discussed, as well as issued concerning immigrant policy, drugs and Athens 2004 publicity. Nikos Papadopoulos, Dimitrios Yiannaros, Alexander Sarondev and Yiannis Kesisoglou, all members of the Association, are currently holding a conference with Grigoris Niotis, Mr Kyrko and Mr Pappa, all representatives of the Greek government's inter-parliamentary committee for emigrated Greeks and with the president of the SAE Europe Angelos Aslanides.

    During a press interview held after the conference, Nikos Papadopoulos, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Association of Hellenism and Swedish Social Democrat Party MP, stated that the cooperation of the Association with the Greek Parliament and with SAE was discussed. He further mentioned that it was decided to name the objectives for the next General Meeting and to publish the memorandum of articles that would be agreed upon during the Meeting.

    Grigoris Niotis, President of the Greek government's inter- parliamentary committee for emigrated Greeks, mentioned that the matter of voting for Greeks living abroad was also discussed, adding that the fact that these Greeks cannot vote by post pushes them further away from the country. He also stated that this matter would be discussed in Parliament. Mr Niotis maintained that Greek ministers with foreign roots suggested introducing voting by letter following the example shown by the governments by which they themselves were elected.

    Furthermore, Mr Niotis mentioned that the issue of activating friendship groups in countries where Hellenes are elected was also discussed, to bridge countries together.

    Angelos Aslanides, President of SAE Europe, invited ministers abroad with Greek roots to contribute to discussions concerning unemployment and health in Greece experienced by immigrants and how they can be solved.

    Finally, Alexander Sarontev, a Ukrainian MP with Greek roots, stated that there are seven members of parliament with Greek roots in his country and that he himself has already started trying to promote the Olympic Games.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [12] THE GREEK SOLIDARITY CARAVAN FOR THE CHILDREN OF YUGOSLAVIA

    Extensive coverage was given by Belgrade's mass media to the delivery of economic assistance by representatives of the humanitarian organization Greek Solidarity Caravan to orphan children of the war in Yugoslavia, who lost their parents in the NATO bombings.

    The program of this organization concerns 500 children from Serbia, who will receive DM 50 on a monthly basis from Greek families-donors with which the children will be able to communicate.

    Greek ambassador to Belgrade, Mr. Vlassopoulos, who attended the ceremony for the delivery of the assistance, referred to the cooperation existing between the two traditionally friendly countries and stressed that this initiative is an indication of love and solidarity on behalf of the Greek people toward the people of Yugoslavia.

    [13] SIMITIS AND KOSTOV AT THE NEW GREEK-BULGARIAN BORDER CROSSING

    Prime ministers of Greece and Bulgaria Kostas Simitis and Ivan Kostov will inaugurate the construction works at the "Iliden" border crossing, linking Gotse Deltsev with Dramas, possibly on Tuesday, according to a report on the Sofia newspaper "Standard".

    The newspaper cited Bulgarian ministry of regional development and land planning sources according to which, the new border crossing at the Greek-Bulgarian borders will be constructed by the Greek company "Proodeftiki", it will cost 8.940 million Euro and will be financed by the EU program "PHARE".

    The newspaper also mentions that the Greek prime minister is possible to raise the issue of the buyout of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Organization (BTK) by the Greek-Dutch joint venture of OTE-KPN.

    [14] HILFE REPORT ON THE ECONOMIC SITUATION IN GREECE

    The report of the London based HILFE Studies and Predictions company includes positive opinions on the political and economic situation in Greece.

    The report underlines, among others, that Greece's accession into the EMU constitutes a formal recognition of the efforts made by the Greek government to improve the Greek economy.

    On the 2004 Olympic Games, it mentions that they offer to Greece the chance to project a positive image internationally, while the report also mentions that prime minister Kostas Simitis relies on experienced associates like minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou and foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    The report mentions that the government will have to accelerate the structural changes program following a more aggressive policy on the privatization of state companies, while at the same time, the social character of its economic policy will be strengthened through significant investments in sectors such as, health and education.

    Prime minister Simitis' experience and sense of responsibility secured a victory for PASOK in the last parliamentary elections with a marginal lead and this was a personal victory of Mr. Simitis himself. The new government secured a continuation in the sectors of economy and foreign policy, while at the same time it was reinforced with new technocrats, points out the report,

    HILFE also mentions that the rapprochement between Greece and Turkey is expected to continue taking under consideration the economic benefits the two sides will enjoy.


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