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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-02-13

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, February 13, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] NATO EXERCISE IN IONIAN SEA BEGINS THIS WEEK
  • [02] IOC'S ROGGE ARRIVES IN ATHENS ON THURSDAY
  • [03] PRESIDENT: THE GREEK WAY IS "LAST MINUTE" WAY
  • [04] GREEK FM ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO JORDAN, LEBANON
  • [05] ECOFIN RATIFIES GREECE'S STABILITY PROGRAM
  • [06] PASOK REFUTES "ILLEGAL NATURALIZATION" CLAIMS
  • [07] POUND: ATHENS HAS MADE SYSTEMATIC PROGRESS
  • [08] GREEK-TURKISH INFORMAL MEETING AT BORDER
  • [09] ALBANIAN NATIONALS CAUGHT WITH 200KG OF HASH
  • [10] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT WILL IMPLEMENT DECISIVE CHANGES IN ALL FRONTS
  • [11] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS MET WITH THE BIO-ETHICS COMMITTEE
  • [12] MEN AND WOMEN FACE PROBLEMS DURING INTERCOURSE
  • [13] THE CYPRIOT PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT CONTINUES HIS CONTACTS IN ATHENS
  • [14] MARGINAL GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [15] THE COMMITTEE AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING PRESENTED FIGURES CONCERNING SUSPECT TRANSACTIONS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [16] THE EL GRECO PAINTINGS EXHIBITION IN ATHENS ATTRACTED A RECORD NUMBER OF VISITORS
  • [17] KISSINGER KNEW ABOUT THE PLAN TO OVERTHROW MAKARIOS
  • [18] THE GREEK UNDERSECRETARY OF NATIONAL ECONOMY WILL VISIT ROMANIA

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] NATO EXERCISE IN IONIAN SEA BEGINS THIS WEEK

    A NATO naval exercise, touted as globally the most important in the anti- submarine race, is to get underway in the Ionian Sea and the eastern parts of Sicily, between February 15-28, with the participation of 12 countries, including Greece.

    Code-named "Dogfish 2001", the exercise's purpose is to showcase the Alliance's ability to conduct coordinated counter- submarine operations and it will involve a multinational force composed of surface vessels, submarines, naval cooperation aircraft and helicopters. Greece will participate with a submarine, a naval cooperation aircraft and a destroyer.

    The other participating countries are France, Germany, Britain, the United States, Spain, Italy, Canada, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal and Turkey.

    [02] IOC'S ROGGE ARRIVES IN ATHENS ON THURSDAY

    The President of the International Olympics Committee's Coordination Commission, Jacques Rogge is to arrive in Athens on Thursday, February 15, in order to assess the country's course of preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games.

    Mr. Rogge will hold talks with the president of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, Minister of Environment, Public Works and Urban Planning Costas Laliotis and undersecretary of Sports George Floridis.

    [03] PRESIDENT: THE GREEK WAY IS "LAST MINUTE" WAY

    Greeks may wait for the last minute, but when they set their mind to something they always complete the task, the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos stated in reference to criticism over delays in the preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

    The President yesterday received 14 students of Greek descent who are studying at Sydney, New South Wales and Macquarie universities in Australia.

    Addressing the students, Mr. Stephanopoulos expressed his confidence that the Athens 2004 Games will be a success, albeit he noted that "there will always be constant bickering among us."

    [04] GREEK FM ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO JORDAN, LEBANON

    Signaling the interest of Greek foreign policy in the countries of the Mediterranean, Foreign Minister George Papandreou arrived in Amman, Jordan yesterday, where he held talks with his Jordanian counterpart Abdul Ilah al-Khatib and was received by King Abdallah II.

    Presently on a one-day visit to Beirut, Lebanon, Mr. Papandreou stated that "I came to examine the ways of development of our bilateral relations and to see how we can cooperate in the sectors of the economy, commerce and investments.

    "We also wish to discuss the important problem of the peace procedure and to hear the opinion of the Lebanese on this issue, their ideas and their proposals," he added.

    Mr. Papandoure will be received today by Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq El Hariri, his counterpart Mahmud Hammud and the President of the Republic General Emile Lahud.

    [05] ECOFIN RATIFIES GREECE'S STABILITY PROGRAM

    The European Union's Council of Economic and Finance Ministers (ECOFIN) ratified Greece's stability program for the 2000-2004 period, the first since the country joined the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), stating that "Greece's stability program is consistent with the general orientations of economic policies."

    Nevertheless, ECOFIN called for an expedited rate in the country's structural reforms, with "a more determined approach".

    Commenting on the Greek economy's future targets, ECOFIN noted "the predictions of the stability program on the increase in GDP are ambitious at the higher levels of potential."

    ECOFIN also expressed satisfaction "for the strategy of the program's fiscal restructuring which focuses on achieving first stage surpluses contributing in a substantive way to a speedy decrease in the public debt indicator, which is still very high, and the handling of the fiscal burden resulting from the aging of the population."

    The Council also calls on the Greek authorities to give particular attention to the need to reform the pensioning system and calls on them to take the fiscal consequences of the population's aging into consideration."

    Addressing a press conference following the meeting, National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou said that "if the Stability Program succeeds, then Greece will develop into the most dynamic and fastest developing economy within the EU."

    [06] PASOK REFUTES "ILLEGAL NATURALIZATION" CLAIMS

    The ruling PASOK party has dismissed as "unfounded" the charges made by opposition party deputies that the previous PASOK government attempted to "influence" the April 2000 elections by illegally naturalizing thousands of would-be voters from former Soviet states.

    After 83 main opposition New Democracy deputies called for a committee of inquiry to investigate these naturalizations, government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas promptly characterized the charges as false and stated that "this move constitutes an instigation to Greek citizens and subjects them to persecution."

    [07] POUND: ATHENS HAS MADE SYSTEMATIC PROGRESS

    There has been systematic progress made to projects for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, according to the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) vice-president and marketing Commission chairman Richard Pound who also expressed his confidence over the Greek capital's ability to host a successful Olympiad.

    In an interview with the Athens radio station Planet 104.5, Mr. Pound said that "I hope the warning issued by the IOC was sufficient and that the Greek government has realized the need to focus on the Olympic projects," adding that "it is significant for Greece and the Olympic Movement that the Games be returned to the ir place of origin and I, on my part, just as my colleagues, will do all we can for a successful outcome."

    Mr. Pound also stressed that infrastructure projects such as the airport, the new road routes, and the Olympic village are the most time-consuming and have to be planned as soon as possible, although he expressed confidence given Greece's prior experience in organizing international athletic events.

    [08] GREEK-TURKISH INFORMAL MEETING AT BORDER

    An informal Greek-Turkish meeting was held this afternoon at the border station of Kipi, following the invitation of Turkish military officials.

    The Turkish officers thanked the Greek military authorities for their conduct towards the four Turks arrested on Greek soil on February 8.

    Stressing that the four men entered Greece by mistake, the Turkish officers expressed their confidence that friendly ties between the two sides will not be upset and exchange gifts with their Greek counterparts.

    [09] ALBANIAN NATIONALS CAUGHT WITH 200KG OF HASH

    A group of 15 Albanian nationals attempted to smuggle about 200 kilos of hashish and ammunition into Greece but abandoned their plans when they were intercepted by a Greek border patrol stakeout.

    The smugglers crossed the Greek-Albanian borders near Kastoria by foot early this morning, but dropped the hashish- filled sacks and fled when they detected the border patrol.

    The border police discovered and confiscated 192 kilos of hashish stacked inside 11 sacks, along with a Russian-made machine gun and about 100 bullets.

    [10] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT WILL IMPLEMENT DECISIVE CHANGES IN ALL FRONTS

    The Greek government appears determined to implement decisive changes in all fronts within the framework of the Greek economy stability program that was approved by the Council of EU Finance Ministers that met in Brussels yesterday.

    In a press conference today, Greek minister of finance Yiannos Papantoniou made it clear that the government's intention is to promote immediate changes in economy and society. A special emphasis will be given to the fiscal reform and in this sector there will be cooperation with the British ministry of finance in order to bring the British know-how into the control systems and the evaluation of public expenses.

    There will be rapid developments in the area of tax reforms and according to Mr. Papantoniou, a committee has been formed to review and modernize the system of taxation.

    Referring to the liberalization of the electricity market, Mr. Papantoniou clarified that after February 19, when the specific market will be liberalized, private electricity providers will be able to submit their proposals to get the necessary license.

    [11] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS MET WITH THE BIO-ETHICS COMMITTEE

    The mapping of the human DNA dominated in the meeting prime minister Kostas Simitis had in Athens today with the members of the Greek Bio-ethics Committee. The meeting focused on the developments in the sector of genetics and the ethical and legal dilemmas that can arise.

    Mr. Simitis stressed that the new scientific discoveries offer a lot but at the same time, there can be hidden dangers. For this reason, said the prime minister, special rules must be enacted that will shield society and will be based on fundamental values.

    The Bio-ethics Committee representatives pointed out that they are looking for certain firm principles such as, the protection of privacy, the respect to personality and nature.

    [12] MEN AND WOMEN FACE PROBLEMS DURING INTERCOURSE

    Men have erection problems and women have orgasm problems, 56% and 34% respectively, according to a special center in Thessaloniki's Aristotle University. Based on figures announced in a press conference, the special telephone center operating since February 14, 1999 has received a total of 7.546 calls.

    According to the figures given to publicity, 77% of the calls were made by men and 23% by women. Most of the calls (62%) were made by married men, unmarried (36%) and divorced (2%). The most common problem for men was erection (56%), ejaculation (24%), other problems (16%) and reduced sexual desire (4%).

    Most of the women (34%) faced orgasm problems, other problems (40%), reduced sexual desire (16%) and pain during intercourse (10%).

    The average age of the callers was 51.

    [13] THE CYPRIOT PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT CONTINUES HIS CONTACTS IN ATHENS

    Cypriot parliament president Spiros Kiprianou, who is on a formal visit to Greece, met in Athens today with president Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    In the meeting dominated the developments concerning the solution of the Cyprus problem. It should be noted that the Turkish Cypriot side is unwilling to participate in the talks held on Cyprus within the framework of the United Nations and wants the recognition of two states in Cyprus.

    Mr. Kiprianou stated that the solution providing for the creation of two states is unacceptable. He also stressed that the Cypriot government wants the reunification of Cyprus and the adoption of a solution based on the UN Security Council resolutions.

    Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis will meet with his Cypriot counterpart tomorrow.

    [14] MARGINAL GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Marginal gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index was increased by 0.01% at 3.196,18 points, while the volume of transactions was 176.56 million Euro or 60.162 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 151 recorded gains and 187 had losses, while the value of 30 stocks remained stable.

    [15] THE COMMITTEE AGAINST MONEY LAUNDERING PRESENTED FIGURES CONCERNING SUSPECT TRANSACTIONS

    Committee Against Money Laundering chairman, Court of Appeals assistant prosecutor Panagiotis Nikoloudis appeared before a special parliamentary committee today and based on the figures he presented, a total of 706 complaints that had to do with money laundering cases had been submitted last year.

    Only 27 of them was proved that had to do with money laundering activity based on concrete facts. They were brought before the prosecutor and the confiscated property of the people involved in those cases reached 4.3 billion drachmas.

    Mr. Nikoloudis stated that the situation in Greece, regarding the solution of the problem at an international level, is relatively satisfactory compared to other countries, pointing out that there are still certain obstacles that have to do not only with Greece but with the administration structure of other countries.

    He also referred to four specific cases concerning the laundering of Russian Mafia money that came from the New York Bank in which former Russian president Boris Yeltsin was allegedly involved. He stated characteristically that the Greek side did its own investigating and reached a certain point but since there was no prosecution of suspects in Russia nothing further could be done on behalf of the Greek side.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [16] THE EL GRECO PAINTINGS EXHIBITION IN ATHENS ATTRACTED A RECORD NUMBER OF VISITORS

    Last year's exhibition of El Greco paintings in Athens tops the list with the most visited exhibitions that was presented by art magazine "The Art Newspaper".

    According to statistical figures, the exhibition was visited by a total of 629.572 art lovers namely, an average of 7.000 visitors on a daily basis.

    [17] KISSINGER KNEW ABOUT THE PLAN TO OVERTHROW MAKARIOS

    New revealing facts on the Turkish invasion of Cyprus are included in a book by British journalist Christopher Hitchens.

    According to Hitchens, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who lives permanently in New York, must be tried and found guilty of the crimes he committed against Cyprus, Chile, Vietnam and other countries when he served as White House National Security Adviser and US Secretary of State.

    He also points out in his book that Henry Kissinger was aware of the plan to overthrow and assassinate Archbishop Makarios in July 1974 and when the British suggested to undertake military action to avert the Turkish invasion of the island the then US Secretary of State stopped them.

    [18] THE GREEK UNDERSECRETARY OF NATIONAL ECONOMY WILL VISIT ROMANIA

    Greek undersecretary of national economy Yiannis Zafiropoulos will visit Romania on February 15-16.

    He will have contacts with Romanian deputy foreign minister Christian Kolteanu to brief him on the Greek Plan for the Reconstruction of the Balkans based on which, Albania, Bulgaria, FYROM, Serbia-Montenegro, Kosovo and Romania will received an economic assistance of 180 billion drachmas in the period 2000- 2005. Romania will receive a total of 24 billion drachmas.

    Mr. Zafiropoulos will also address an audience of Greek businessmen active in Romania during a special event.


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