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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-01-10

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, January 10, 2000

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] FM RECEIVES US PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY FOR CYPRUS
  • [02] INNER CABINET TO MEET OVER "BALKANS SYNDROME"
  • [03] EXPATRIATE GREEKS FROM S. HEMISPHERE IN ATHENS
  • [04] STATE LONG AWARE OF DU DAMAGE TO ENVIRONMENT
  • [05] BURGLAR ENTERS HOME, FINDS BODY, CALLS POLICE
  • [06] GREECE, U.S., SIGN CRISIS MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL
  • [07] POLL: GREEKS GLOOMIEST, KOSOVARS MOST OPTIMISTIC
  • [08] GREECE CELEBRATES "YEAR OF LANGUAGE LEARNING"
  • [09] GERMAN EXPERT TO MPA: DU DETRIMENTAL LONG-TERM
  • [10] JAPANESE PREMIER ARRIVES IN ATHENS ON SATURDAY
  • [11] TRANSACTIONS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE DROPPED BY 41.4% IN 2000
  • [12] LEADING MEMBERS OF US THINK-TANKS IN THESSALONIKI
  • [13] THE TURNOVER IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS FOR THE YEAR 2000 IS EXPECTED TO REACH 2 TRILLION DRACHMAS
  • [14] INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF OA PASSENGERS IN THE LAST TWO MONTHS OF THE YEAR 2000
  • [15] MARGINAL LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [16] HARMLESS BUT OF NO NEGLIGIBLE IMPORTANCE THE DEPLETED URANIUM SHELLS
  • [17] REPPAS: THE RESULTS OF THE INITIAL RADIATION COUNTS IN KOSOVO ARE NEGATIVE
  • [18] NO CHANGE IN THE RADIATION LEVELS IN GREECE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [19] EUROSTAT: NOTABLE INCREASE IN THE RETAIL TRADE IN GREECE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] FM RECEIVES US PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY FOR CYPRUS

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou received Alfred Moses, US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, in Athens yesterday, with whom he discussed the steps that should be taken to advance the process of resolving the Cyprus problem.

    According to Mr. Moses, the United States will continue ongoing efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue.

    Mr. Papandreou thanked Mr. Moses for his efforts and expressed the wish that he will continue being active in the efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Moses and State Department Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Weston, arrived in Greece yesterday, following a one-day working visit to Cyprus. They will travel to Turkey today.

    The Foreign Minister also met with Britain's Special Representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay, with whom he discussed ways to solve the Cyprus problem, the island's European Union accession course and the issue of a Greek Cypriot who was abducted last month by Turkish troops and is being illegally held in the Turkish occupied areas of the island.

    During the meeting, both officials reaffirmed their governments' interest regarding the continuation of UN-led peace talks, aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

    [02] INNER CABINET TO MEET OVER "BALKANS SYNDROME"

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will chair an inner cabinet meeting tomorrow in order to discuss the "Balkans Syndrome", in mounting of the mounting concerns throughout Europe.

    According to government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas, the inner cabinet will also discuss other issues during tomorrow's meeting, such as the royal properties and the state's media policies.

    Today, Mr. Simitis will have separate meetings with Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Education Minister Petros Efthymiou and a delegation of PASOK deputies.

    [03] EXPATRIATE GREEKS FROM S. HEMISPHERE IN ATHENS

    A group of young people of Greek origin who reside in the southern hemisphere are presently in Greece, invited by the Expatriate Greeks General Secretariat.

    The 96 men and women, aged 18 to 25, are from Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Brazil and South Africa.

    During their 24-day stay, they will be received by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Parliament speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    [04] STATE LONG AWARE OF DU DAMAGE TO ENVIRONMENT

    Environmental pollution emanating from depleted uranium (DU) used in NATO bombs dropped on Yugoslavia last year were known to the Greek government, according to Foreign Minister George Papandreou, although he added that the state was not aware of the extent and consequences of such damage.

    In an interview with the Athens radio station "Flash", Mre. Papandreou said that Greece was aware of devastation caused by NATO's raids against petrochemical plants in Yugoslavia, but he stressed that while Greece knew that DU ammunition was used, "we didn't know the exact details."

    The Foreign Minister added that the Demokritos Research Center has issued repeated assurances of no damage caused to Greece's environment, while he stressed that he had all along advocated a political, not military, resolution to the Yugoslavia crisis.

    According to the director of the Demokritos nuclear energy research facility in Athens There has been no change to radioactivity levels in Greece in the last 15 years, claimed Prof. Michalis Antonopoulos, director of the, during a Monday press conference. According to Antonopoulos, northern Greece has not been polluted as a result of the depleted uranium bombs used in Serbia and Kosovo, but he made it clear that pollution in the areas where such bombs fell would be very serious and called what happened in Kosovo "a crime".

    Greece intends to seek the European Union's intervention in dealing with the "Balkans Syndrome", while it plans to make specific proposals and ask for an independent fact-finding committee comprising experts from all 15 EU member-states to carry out on-the-spot research.

    In addition, Greece plans to ask that the EU's financial protocol for the Western Balkans (CARDS) provide for a special environmental mechanism and that EU 6th environmental program be used to fund actions to protect the health of the public in the area.

    Earlier this week, Mr. Papandreou had held a teleconference with Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh and suggested that the issue be discussed at the next EU General Affairs Council on January 22.

    [05] BURGLAR ENTERS HOME, FINDS BODY, CALLS POLICE

    An Athens burglar proved that he, too, is a law abiding citizen when he called police from his victim's house to report that the homeowner he planned to rob was actually dead.

    According to the medical examiner, the deceased, 80-year-old attorney Constantine Papadopoulos, was discovered in his bed where he lay dead for approximately four months. Although police haven't ruled out foul play, the badly decomposed body bore no injuries.

    The 54-year-old burglar, George Papaioannou, who has a long rap sheet, admitted to Athens police that he intended to rob Papadopoulos. Unknown if Papaioannou's honesty was rewarded with handcuffs, it remains to be seen if the gruesome "loot" will convince him to change lifestyle.

    [06] GREECE, U.S., SIGN CRISIS MANAGEMENT PROTOCOL

    A cooperation protocol on the management and prevention of crises was signed between Greece and the United States in Athens yesterday, between U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns and Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou.

    The protocol, which also calls for containing the effects of natural and man-made catastrophes, provides for cooperation between the General Secretariat for Civil Defense and the corresponding U.S. federal agency, FEMA.

    Following the signing ceremony, Ambassador Burns stated that "we can learn a great deal from each other about preparation for and response to emergency situations.

    "We are confident that, through cooperation, we can reduce the terrible social and human costs that usually accompany such disasters."

    [07] POLL: GREEKS GLOOMIEST, KOSOVARS MOST OPTIMISTIC

    Greeks are Europe's most pessimistic people -at least in regards to what's in store for 2001 -with Kosovars on the other end of the scale as the continent's most hopeful, probably because it couldn't get any worse for them than last year.

    According to a 70-country study conducted by the Gallup International Association, 39 percent of Greeks believe that 2001 will be worse than 2000, 21 percent expect it to be the same and 32 percent anticipate an improvement.

    In spite of the country's accession to the Monetary and Economic Union, or perhaps because of it, 49% of Greeks foresee a difficult economy ahead, although a mere 13 percent are confident that financial prosperity is just around the corner.

    The plight of unemployment is the issue that concerns Greeks the most, with over half (56 percent) fearing the prospect of joblessness and 60% believing that the unemployment rate is to increase during 2001.

    As for Kosovo, nine out of ten respondents said that 2001 will be a much better year than 2000.

    [08] GREECE CELEBRATES "YEAR OF LANGUAGE LEARNING"

    Greece's Education Ministry is to host a series of events held in honor of 2001 being the "European Year of Language Learning", starting with an international competition where high school students will be called on to identify the Greek root of a word in their language.

    Education Minister Petros Efthymiou has dismissed fears that Greek will eventually be phased out as a European language, stressing that the state will try to "make our presence felt in the globalized environment."

    [09] GERMAN EXPERT TO MPA: DU DETRIMENTAL LONG-TERM

    The use of ammunition equipped with depleted uranium (DU) during NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia bears long-term consequences which may not be apparent for another four-to-ten years, according to a German expert who accuses the Alliance of violating the Geneva Accord's prohibition of radioactive weapons.

    In an interview with the Macedonian Press Agency, the vice- president of the Federal Commission for Radiation Protection Wolfgang Kachlain pointed out that radiation emitted from DU ammunition shells varies depending on external factors, such as temperature, pressure and soil.

    Mr. Kachlain, a professor at the University of Muenster, explained that upon impact with the ground, these shells explode and release a "cloud" of tiny particles that can travel many kilometers. This vapor cloud can then be inhaled or contaminate the soil and enter the food chain.

    He further added that if DU enters the human body, it can generate significant medical consequences, especially in the kidneys, blood and bone marrow.

    According to professor Kachlain, the full consequences borne out of the use of DU ammunition will surface four to ten years from now.

    [10] JAPANESE PREMIER ARRIVES IN ATHENS ON SATURDAY

    Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori will embark on a two-day official visit to Greece on Saturday, January 13, the first-ever visit to Greece by a Japanese premier, for talks on bilateral relations and regional issues.

    Mr. Mori will hold talks with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis and other top government officials with whom he will discuss . Greek-Japanese relations as well as regional issues of concern to the two countries.

    In 1999, Greece and Japan marked the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

    According to a Japanese Embassy announcement, Mr. Mori's visit is considered very important for the further development and improvement of the relations between the two countries.

    [11] TRANSACTIONS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE DROPPED BY 41.4% IN 2000

    A significant decline of 41.4% was recorded last year in the volume of transactions in the Athens Stock Exchange that dropped to 69.1 trillion drachmas compared to 117.9 trillion drachmas in 1999.

    Based on figures provided by the Association of Athens Stock Exchange Members, 43.55% of the overall transactions were conducted by the ten largest brokerage firms which proves that there is a centralization tendency in the sector.

    [12] LEADING MEMBERS OF US THINK-TANKS IN THESSALONIKI

    The perspective adopted by the leading US think-tanks that examine the socio-economic developments in the Balkans will be discussed in an event that will be organized in Thessaloniki on January 12 by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Western Policy Center in Washington.

    High ranking officials and analysts of leading US think-tanks will be in Thessaloniki within the framework of the Hellenic- American Chamber of Commerce efforts to brief the most important strategy planning international centers on the latest developments in the region.

    The panel will be made up of Western Policy Center communications director Spiros Rizopoulos, US consul general John Koenig and Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce vice-president Leonidas Kouidis.

    [13] THE TURNOVER IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS FOR THE YEAR 2000 IS EXPECTED TO REACH 2 TRILLION DRACHMAS

    The turnover in the Greek telecommunications market for the year 2000 is expected to be over 2 trillion drachmas, including the revenues of the Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, but without calculating the revenues from the sales of mobile phone units.

    Meanwhile, according to market experts and based on the course of the companies active in the sector, the turnover for the mobile phone companies will exceed the 800 billion drachmas mark.

    It must be noted that the mobile phone subscribers are estimated be over 6 million in just 7 years after the emergence of the new technology when the domestic phone service subscribers reached the 5.800.000 mark 100 years after the operation of the first domestic telephone.

    [14] INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF OA PASSENGERS IN THE LAST TWO MONTHS OF THE YEAR 2000

    The number of the state-run Olympic Airways passengers, who used the Greek airline for their trips inside the country and abroad, were 1.047.000 in the last two months of the year 2000.

    Specifically, in the period October 27, 2000 - January 4, 2001 the number of domestic and international flights increased by 12.1% compared to the same period last year. The number of seats offered in all flights were increased by 14.9%, while an increase of 37.5% was recorded in the number of C-Class passengers.

    [15] MARGINAL LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Marginal losses of 0.06% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to 3.095,84 points, while the volume of transactions was at 144.02 million Euro or 49.07 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 198 recorded gains and 129 had losses, while the value of 47 remained unchanged.

    [16] HARMLESS BUT OF NO NEGLIGIBLE IMPORTANCE THE DEPLETED URANIUM SHELLS

    Thessaloniki's Aristotle University Nuclear Physics Laboratory professor Kostas Papastefanou stated that the depleted uranium shells that ended up at the bottom of the Aegean Sea, without exploding during the military exercises that were conducted in the region, are harmless but at the same time, one cannot say that they are of no negligible importance.

    Mr. Papastefanou compared those shells with the Russian nuclear submarine "Kursk" that sunk a few months ago saying that they are harmless but not negligible. He said that they will suffer corrosion after tens of years at the bottom of the sea and they are expected to cause serious pollution problem to the environment, while the pollution could affect the food chain.

    Regarding the effects the bombing of Yugoslavia with depleted uranium shells will have on Greece, Mr. Papastefanou said that no uranium was detected in Greece that could be traced back to the bombings of Kosovo and Yugoslavia about a year and a half ago. He also speculated that even if the uranium reaches Greece it will be non detectable because its quantity will be very small.

    [17] REPPAS: THE RESULTS OF THE INITIAL RADIATION COUNTS IN KOSOVO ARE NEGATIVE

    The results of the initial radiation counts on the air and soil in Kosovo as well as the tests on the Greek soldiers who serve in the region, are negative, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the scientific study was made by a team of atomic energy scientists headed by professor Kamarinopoulos with the cooperation of the Army's sanitary service and showed that the normal pollution levels were not exceeded. However, he pointed out that for the investigation to be completed the samples taken must be examined by special equipment in Athens. Mr. Reppas also added that the investigation will continue in Urosevac and in other Kosovo regions as well as in Bosnia.

    [18] NO CHANGE IN THE RADIATION LEVELS IN GREECE Crete Polytechnic School professor and former chairman of the Greek Atomic Energy Commission Tasos Katsanos stated that there is no change in the radiation levels in Greece. In an interview with the Chania newspaper "Chaniotika Nea", he stated that there is no concern for Crete and the Greek territory in general. According to Mr. Katsanos, the extend of the danger stemming from the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia will be determined after the scientific investigation that will be conducted there.

    Mr. Katsanos blamed the different state authorities of negligence as they were aware of the issue for a year and a half and pointed out that in 15 days when the Greek Atomic Energy Commission team will return from Kosovo, where it arrived today to conduct radiation counts, it will be made known what measures, if any, must be taken.

    He also pointed out that the effects of radiation on humans are the direct ones such as, nausea, internal bleeding, burns, temporary sterility or even death, while among its long-term effects are eye cataract, mental disorders, cancer and genetic deficiencies, teratogenesis etc, that take about 5 to 10 years to appear.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [19] EUROSTAT: NOTABLE INCREASE IN THE RETAIL TRADE IN GREECE

    A notable increase of 8.4% was recorded in the volume of the retail trade transactions in Greece last September, according to a statement issued yesterday by the European Statistics Agency Eurostat.

    The statement concerned the volume of retail sales in the European Union in the month of October 2000 but according to Eurostat there were no recorded data for the specific month in Greece.

    Meanwhile, in the month of October the volume of retail trade transactions in the 11 Euro-zone countries increased by 1.0%, while the increase in all 15 EU member-states was bigger at 1.7%.


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