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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-04-17

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 17, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] GREEK WINES EARN TOP BILLING AT WORLD CONTEST
  • [02] INFORMATICS SOCIETY COMPANY TO BE ESTABLISHED
  • [03] GREEK FM ON FYROM CRISIS: IT CAN BE RESOLVED
  • [04] 18 KILLED, 283 MAIMED, IN 191 ROAD CASUALTIES
  • [05] GREEK FM: GREECE PLAYS KEY ROLE IN S.E. EUROPE
  • [06] ARSONISTS TARGET CARS OF THAI, ISRAELI EMBASSIES
  • [07] GREEKS: ALL OTHERS PULLED BY POLLS, EXCEPT THEY
  • [08] IT'S THEIR TURN, TVX STAFF BLOCK ROAD IN PROTEST
  • [09] THESSALONIKI'S JEWISH COMMUNITY HONORS VICTIMS
  • [10] THE BOMB ON AN OLYMPIC AIRWAYS PLANE WAS A HOAX
  • [11] GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [12] A PRESIDENT BUSH ADVISER AND AN OLYMPIC GAMES MEDALLIST FROM GREECE IN A FITNESS CONFERENCE
  • [13] FOUR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS DIED FROM THE COLD IN MOUNT BELLES
  • [14] A THESSALONIKI MUNICIPALITY DELEGATION WILL VISIT PLOVDIV
  • [15] THE IDENTITY OF THE BUSINESSWOMAN IN GREECE
  • [16] THE PRIME MINISTER DENIED THE GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLE SCENARIOS
  • [17] PAPANTONIOU-GIANNITSIS MEETING
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [18] TURKISH FM VISITS OCCUPIED REGION OF CYPRUS
  • [19] LETTER BY THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATIONS FEDERATION TO PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK WINES EARN TOP BILLING AT WORLD CONTEST

    Greek wines won two gold and 21 silver medals at a wine contest, which was held in Brussels last week with the participation of 29 countries from all over the world.

    The contest is the most important wine competition at an international level, while it is recognized by the European Union and supervised by the Belgian foreign ministry in cooperation with the International Wine Bureau and the International Union of Wine Experts.

    Out of a total of 3,006 samples tried by 149 tasters, five of whom were Greeks, 868 distinguished themselves and judges awarded 24 big gold medals, 186 gold and 658 silver ones.

    The gold medals were won by "Amethystos-Kava 1997" (produced by the Lazaridis estate) and "Cretan Wine-Dry White Country Wine 2000."

    [02] INFORMATICS SOCIETY COMPANY TO BE ESTABLISHED

    A "Society of Informatics" SA company is to soon be established in Greece, as part of an operation program of the 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF) which aims to provide technical support for the public sector with new informatics technologies. According to the Minister of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Vasso Papandreou, the company will implement projects aimed at the development, prosperity and quality of life of all citizens.

    On completion of the overall program, to be achieved before 2004, the public sector would become effective and friendly to the citizen, with electronic governance being the ultimate target, Ms. Papandreou stated.

    The company, having financial and administrative independence, will be undertaking its first projects over the next two months.

    [03] GREEK FM ON FYROM CRISIS: IT CAN BE RESOLVED

    Ethnic strife in FYROM, which has led to fighting between Albanian insurgents and government troops, will not spread, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou opined during an interview with the Yugoslavian news agency SENSE.

    According to Mr. Papandreou, the crisis could be resolved through joint efforts involving the European Union, the United States and countries of southeastern Europe. In respect to the Albanian question in the region, Mr. Papandreou stated that it should be resolved through the principle of the sovereignty of law. Moreover, the Greek FM stressed that during the FYROM crisis the world community demonstrated its ability to show a unified response and back political solutions.

    [04] 18 KILLED, 283 MAIMED, IN 191 ROAD CASUALTIES

    Eighteen people were killed and 283 were injured in 191 road accidents over the Easter holiday exodus that got underway on Holy Thursday, according to police reports. Unwillingness on the part of drivers to yield the right of way, as well as driving under the influence, were the two most frequently cited causes of accident.

    [05] GREEK FM: GREECE PLAYS KEY ROLE IN S.E. EUROPE

    Greece's aim is to seek permanent stability in the Balkan region, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated in an interview with the Yugoslavian news agency SENSE, adding that the country itself will have a lot to gain.

    "We have nothing to gain if we remain geographically cut off, with strife, instability and a neighboring region that shows no growth on our backs," he said.

    Furthermore, the Foreign Minister said that "we want to see growth in the region and see Greece linked by road to Europe, so that it can sell its products in this market, a market that should respect European standards." Mr. Papandreou also stressed that Greece is in a position to help other Balkan countries in the region to undertake reform and switch to EU-oriented legislation.

    In respect to the Albanian question in the region, Mr. Papandreou stated that it should be resolved through the principle of the sovereignty of law.

    "In the future, the issue of borders among states will acquire less importance when the rights of minorities are strictly upheld," he said.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis also referred to Greece's role in the region, in statement he made from Corfu.

    "Greece has been the main player in a drive towards cooperation, stability and peace in the Balkans with the European Union and the United States also seeking the same objective," he said.

    [06] ARSONISTS TARGET CARS OF THAI, ISRAELI EMBASSIES

    Two cars belonging to the Thai and Israeli Embassies in Athens were torched during the early morning hours today, as they were parked in the Abelokipi suburb.

    A group calling itself "Revolutionary Violence Units" has claimed responsibility for the attacks by phoning to an Athens radio station.

    The culprits poured a flammable fluid on the vehicles and then set them alight, causing extensive material damages.

    [07] GREEKS: ALL OTHERS PULLED BY POLLS, EXCEPT THEY

    If polls are snapshots of election time, then ones conducted in Greece are more like abstract paintings, if judging by the results of a latest survey.

    For starters, while one in two Greeks trusts the validity of polls, the overwhelming majority believe that such indicators bear no influence on their own vote, but they do, unfortunately, affect the vote of all others.

    According to a recent survey conducted by V-PRC on behalf of the Athens daily "Imerisia", 88.3% of the respondents answered that opinion polls do not affect their vote, while 60.7% responded that all others are indeed influenced. A mere 23.5% responded that polls bear no influence on intended votes, while 15.8% were undecided.

    At the same time, 10.3 percent admit that polls do influence their vote (11.1% of whom are registered PASOK party voters and 7.7% are with the main opposition party of New Democracy).

    Another peculiarity that is "just fine" with Greeks is the bipolar phenomenon of ND prevailing in an array of recent polls gauging party popularity, with Prime Minister and ruling party leader Costas Simitis concurrently being voted as the most suitable person for the premiership. Specifically, 50.9 percent of those polled see nothing strange with the conflicting response (i.e. main opposition leading, with ruling party leader voted as best person for premier's post), although 36.1% see this result as "strange" and 13% have yet to form an opinion.

    Party followers are divided on this: 65 percent of PASOK supporters comprehend as "natural" the bipolar response, while 26.7% have trouble understanding the mechanics of the equation "ND ruling party with Simitis as PM".

    On the other hand, the majority of ND followers (51.3%) do deem it a strange leadership duo, while 39.5% of them are apparently nodding their heads in understanding and complete agreement.

    In spite of the dizzying results, the vast majority of Greeks (70.3%) agree that polls are a great tool for facilitating democracy, even though 37.8% of the respondents do not trust surveys in general.

    [08] IT'S THEIR TURN, TVX STAFF BLOCK ROAD IN PROTEST

    Workers at a TVX Hellas SA gold mine and mill in Halkidiki blocked a provincial road this morning in protest to a recent decision by the Council of State to halt the commencement of the plant's operation.

    With 20 votes to 7, the Council ruled in favor of local residents who are opposed to the gold mine project, which has yet to embark on its operation. Specifically, the Council voted to overturn all acts of government, inter alia presidential decrees establishing the mining unit, approving environmental specifications and selecting a site for the project.

    Moreover, the Council of State found that the mill's use of cyanide and arsenic for processing gold ore would endanger the environment and the health of residents. Specifically, the court found that the state had not taken sufficiently into account the impact that the processing method would have on the environment.

    The court's ruling, which is to be published in May, could have a significant effect on the project, which has been held up since 1996.

    The $248-million project aims to develop 254,000 ounces of gold on an annual basis, along with 2.3 million ounces of silver, 21,500 tons of zinc and 22,500 tons of lead over the first five years of production.

    [09] THESSALONIKI'S JEWISH COMMUNITY HONORS VICTIMS

    The Jewish community of Thessaloniki is to hold a memorial service on Sunday, April 22, in honor of the 50,000 local Jews who perished in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

    An estimated 60,000 Greek Jews were killed during WWII, 50,000 of whom were living in Thessaloniki. Even after the repatriation of Greek Jews who survived the concentration camps in Poland and those who sought refuge in neutral countries, 96 percent of Thessaloniki's Jewish community had been annihilated.

    Thessaloniki had been a home to Jews since 1378, when Ashkenazi refugees from Hungary settled here.

    The population expanded in 1492, when the first Sephardim arrived from Spain. Expelled by the Catholic Church, thousands of Spanish-speaking Jews chose the religious haven of the Ottoman Empire, where all creeds were tolerated as long as they paid their taxes. Over the centuries their language developed, absorbing elements of Turkish, Greek, and other local tongues.

    At the beginning of the 20th century, Jews made up half of Thessaloniki's population, making it the capital of Judeoespanol (or Ladino) culture.

    In its announcement of next Sunday's memorial, the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki stated that "now that the nightmare of Nazism appears to be re-emerging, we hope that our innocent brothers will be the last victims of racial hate and wish that love and brotherhood will always reign in people's hearts."

    [10] THE BOMB ON AN OLYMPIC AIRWAYS PLANE WAS A HOAX

    The telephone call warning that there was an explosive mechanism on an Olympic Airways plane forced its pilot to fly it back to the Istanbul Airport from where it had taken off earlier this morning destined for Athens.

    The Boeing 737, flight 322, with 90 passengers aboard had left Istanbul this morning and returned to the city airport after a telephone call by an unidentified man. The plane was thoroughly searched for two hours and it was established that it was all a hoax.

    A few hours later the Boeing 737 left Istanbul for Athens.

    [11] GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Gains were recorded today in the first Athens Stock Exchange session after the Easter Holidays.

    The general index rose to +0.82% at 3.185,50 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 131.70 million Euro or 45 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 97 recorded gains and 218 had losses, while the value of 58 stocks remained stable.

    [12] A PRESIDENT BUSH ADVISER AND AN OLYMPIC GAMES MEDALLIST FROM GREECE IN A FITNESS CONFERENCE

    US president George Bush adviser Doug Wead and Sydney Olympic Games gold medallist Kostas Kenteris will be the guests in an event held by the "Dynamic Life" company associates that will take place within the framework of the three-day Fitness & Aerobic Conference scheduled to be held in Thessaloniki on April 20-22.

    In the 7th Aerobic, Fitness & Personal Training Conference the biggest names in the area of fitness will offer their experience in physical exercise and theory.

    [13] FOUR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS DIED FROM THE COLD IN MOUNT BELLES

    Four illegal immigrants died on Easter Day from the low temperatures and the snow, while attempting to cross the Greek- Bulgarian borders through mount Belles.

    According to the available information, the four illegal immigrants, three Georgians and a Pakistani, attempted to enter Greece coming from Bulgaria but the bad weather conditions of the past few days cost them their lives.

    The tragedy came to light when border guards in the prefecture of Serres, northern Greece, arrested eight illegal immigrants, who had lost their way and were wandering outside the village of Mandraki at a small distance from the Greek-Bulgarian borders. The illegal immigrants were in a bad state because of the cold and the lack of food. They told police that four other people, who were with them, had been trapped in rough paths and were unable to follow them.

    The Greek police searched the region and a few hours later they found a Pakistani man and three Georgians, two women and a man, who were lying dead in the snow at an altitude of 1.500m.

    [14] A THESSALONIKI MUNICIPALITY DELEGATION WILL VISIT PLOVDIV

    A Thessaloniki municipality delegation, headed by city mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos, will visit the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv next Thursday.

    The Thessaloniki municipality delegation will meet with Plovdiv mayor Ivan Tsomakov and will attend a special city council session. It will also meet with the governor of the region of Plovdiv, the managing director of the city fair and with members of the Commerce and Industry Chamber of Plovdiv, while it will also visit the monastery of Batskovo. The delegation will return to Thessaloniki on Saturday.

    [15] THE IDENTITY OF THE BUSINESSWOMAN IN GREECE

    The basic characteristics of the businesswoman in Greece are presented in a study conducted by the municipality of Sikies in Thessaloniki. The results of the study, that was conducted in Italy, Slovakia, Estonia and Bulgaria as well by other institutes, within the framework of the European program for inter-regional cooperation, AWAKE, are very important.

    Based on them, most of the businesswomen use their own capital, work long hours, have no free time, face marital problems and do not use modern technology.

    Also, according to the available data provided by the study that was conducted on 300 businesses that belong to women, they are active mainly in the sector of services, trade and manufacturing. Most of them are private and not family businesses.

    About 70% of the businesses are new ones and the businesswomen use their own capital without resorting to loans. The profit is below average but the women are generally satisfied with their course and progress.

    Their age is between 25 and 45 and 58% of them are university or college graduates. Of them, 68% are married and 59% had no family influence that led them to be involved in business. About 48% of them work 40-60 hours a week and the rest of them longer.

    Negative relations with their husbands and children have 73% of the women. They have no free time to be involved in public life and face health problems. The 3/4s of these women fear competition and technology is almost unknown to the overwhelming majority of them, while those who use it are in a better position.

    The results of the study are almost the same in Italy, Slovakia, Estonia and Bulgaria and the basic problem is the absence of coordinated actions and the lack of funds to support the new businesswomen.

    [16] THE PRIME MINISTER DENIED THE GOVERNMENT RESHUFFLE SCENARIOS

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis denied the government reshuffle scenarios in statements he made in the island of Corfu today where he spent the Easter Holidays.

    The prime minister stated characteristically that government reshuffle scenarios circulate almost every two weeks and they are nothing more than groundless rumors aimed at raising obstacles to the work of the government.

    Meanwhile, undersecretary of press Tilemachos Hitiris stated on the occasion of the opening of the social dialogue on the reform of the social security system, that the government faces the issue within the framework of its policy on stability and development. He said that there is no cause for alarm, stressing that there would have been problems after a few years if the government hadn't dealt now with the social security system. He said that the goal is for every Greek to have a pension in the next 50 years.

    [17] PAPANTONIOU-GIANNITSIS MEETING

    The main goal of the government is to promote social justice through the changes that will be adopted in the social security system, underlined national economy minister Yiannos Papantoniou after the meeting he had today with labor minister Tasos Giannitsis.

    The head of the government's economic staff pointed out that during the meeting he had with Mr. Giannitsis they exchanged views on the issue of the social security system, adding that all the existing proposals will be discussed in the responsible government bodies.

    From his side, Mr. Giannitsis stated that the measures that will be taken will not hurt the citizens' trust in the social security.

    Meanwhile, a meeting on the national action plan on employment will take place in the national economy ministry building tomorrow.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [18] TURKISH FM VISITS OCCUPIED REGION OF CYPRUS

    Turkey's Foreign Minister Ismael Cem is presently on a three- day visit to Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, the first such visit in a year since Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash quit the UN-led peace talks on Cyprus, demanding a change in the basis of conducting them, a claim officially endorsed by Ankara.

    Mr. Cem will meet with Turkish-Cypriot officials and Mr. Denktash with whom he will discuss the Cyprus issue, as well as the dire financial situation of the occupied region.

    [19] LETTER BY THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATIONS FEDERATION TO PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS

    The Florida Associations Federation in a letter to Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos expressed concern regarding the Greek government intention to remove the term genocide from the presidential decree that recognizes September 14 as Asia Minor Hellenism Genocide Memorial Day.

    The Federation underlines, among others, that this is unacceptable at a time when other states, regardless of Turkey's historical course, recognize genocides. It is stressed that the Greeks, victims of genocides themselves, are trying to replace the word genocide with another expression that will suit Turkey.


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