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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-04-27

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 27, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] STATE BOWS TO PRESSURE, SHELVES LABOR REFORMS
  • [02] MIRACLE BABY JOINS MOM AFTER TWO-WEEK FIGHT
  • [03] "BOTTOMS UP" FOR 6% OF GREEKS BEHIND THE WHEEL
  • [04] UNEMPLOYMENT DIPS BELOW 11%, A FIRST IN 3 YEARS
  • [05] MOMENTOUS MEMORANDUM SIGNED FOR ATHENS 2004
  • [06] AUSTRALIA, HOME TO ABOUT HALF A MILLION GREEKS
  • [07] PM TO CABINET: DON'T BE AFRAID OF POLITICAL COST
  • [08] SEMINAR OF BALKAN ENGLISH TEACHERS IN N. GREECE
  • [09] THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE GREEK ECONOMY IS SATISFACTORY
  • [10] PAPANDREOU: THE INTERNATIONAL INTEREST IN THE POLITICAL PRISONERS BRINGS RESULTS
  • [11] GAINS WERE RECORDED IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [12] OUTDOOR LESSONS IN THESSALONIKI'S ARISTOTELOUS SQUARE
  • [13] EVANGELOS MEIMARAKIS IS THE NEW DEMOCRACY CENTRAL COMMITTEE SECRETARY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [14] NEW METHOD IN BRAIN SURGERY BY A GREEK-AUSTRALIAN NEUROSURGEON

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] STATE BOWS TO PRESSURE, SHELVES LABOR REFORMS

    In an unexpected eleventh-hour move, the government announced its decision to shelve its contentious proposals on pension reform late Wednesday night, albeit failing to avert yesterday's massive strike that took place as scheduled.

    The reforms, unveiled on April 19, sparked an immediate backlash from opposition parties and trade unions which vowed to oppose any attempt to raise the retirement age, as suggested by the government.

    Urgently appealing to the trade unions for dialogue, Labor Minister Tasos Yiannitsis clarified on Wednesday that the planned reforms are not withdrawn, they are merely being set aside for the time being. The Minister also stated that the dialogue process shall have to bear fruit by the end of the year.

    However, in spite of the state's repeated and insistent pleas for dialogue, the country's main labor umbrella groups - the General Confederation of Greek Labor (GSEE), representing the private and the broader public sector, and ADEDY, the civil servants' union are adamant in their refusal to enter negotiations.

    Yesterday's protest, the largest in over 20 years according to GSEE, brought the country to a standstill. All public utilities were closed, along with state and private schools, banks, tax offices, ministries and municipal offices, while there was no public transport all day, including trains. Olympic Airways carried out only one flight per destination, while all boats were moored in port from 6 a.m. on Thursday to 6 a.m. on Friday.

    Hospitals functioned with a skeleton crew, while a news blackout covered the country as the media sector participated in the strike en masse.

    Even clerics, who are technically civil servants, stayed away from their church duties.

    Unimpressed by the state's move to shelve the reforms, GSEE has declared another mass strike for May 17.

    [02] MIRACLE BABY JOINS MOM AFTER TWO-WEEK FIGHT

    A baby born without vital signs after being delivered by cesarean section from its dead mother two weeks ago, has succumbed to its injuries at the intensive care unit of Thessaloniki's Ippokrateion hospital. The child was delivered one hour after his mother, seven months pregnant, died in a car crash that occurred during Easter week in northern Greece. Doctors at a local clinic said the baby was "clinically dead" and without a pulse when it was delivered by C- section, before being revived and placed on a respirator.

    According to the treating physicians, the premature-born child suffered a loss of intestinal blood supply caused by ischemia.

    [03] "BOTTOMS UP" FOR 6% OF GREEKS BEHIND THE WHEEL

    Six percent of Greek motorists tested for alcohol consumption were found to be driving under the influence, thus ranking the country second within the European continent according to a relevant study conducted on behalf of the European Commission.

    Slovenes lead the list with 6.6% of the tested drivers having found to be over the legal alcohol limit, while the British rank third with 3.5 percent.

    On the other end of the scale, the Fins and Norwegians no longer drink like their Viking ancestors, with a mere .19 and .17 percent, respectively, of those tested being over the legal alcohol limit.

    [04] UNEMPLOYMENT DIPS BELOW 11%, A FIRST IN 3 YEARS

    The state unemployment rate dipped below the eleven percent mark during the third quarter of 2000, a first during the past three years according to the National Statistics Service.

    Specifically, the country's unemployment rate amounted to 10.9 percent of the registered labor force, or 485,900 persons.

    In a year-to-year review, a 7.8 percent decrease was noted in the rate of the long-term unemployed.

    The plight of joblessness is hardest felt in western Macedonia (13.5%), central Greece and Eubia (12.7%), while the lowest unemployment rate was noted in the Ionian Sea islands (4.8%) and Crete (5.5%0.

    [05] MOMENTOUS MEMORANDUM SIGNED FOR ATHENS 2004

    A 140-billion-drachma Operational Plan for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games has been officially signed between Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou and the Athens Organizing committee Yianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.

    The memorandum provides for functional and aesthetic improvements to areas where Olympic events will take place - including 40 billion-worth of extra municipal personnel - a public information campaign and the setting up of volunteer teams.

    [06] AUSTRALIA, HOME TO ABOUT HALF A MILLION GREEKS

    Australia is home to almost half a million Greeks, if one includes the Greek-Cypriot community, expatriate Greek academic Professor Anastasios Tamis stated during a presentation of his new book on the history of Australia's Greeks in Canberra.

    According to professor Tamis, who noted that 50.8 of the Greek-Australian community lives in Melbourne, this figure is derived from data released by the Australian statistics service.

    The professor also noted that there are 1,500 Greek- Australian organizations throughout the country with no umbrella or coordinating body to represent them. He also acknowledged the active interest shown in the expatriate community by the Greek government.

    [07] PM TO CABINET: DON'T BE AFRAID OF POLITICAL COST

    The government will not accept evasiveness, delays or postponement of the necessary changes in the social security sector and is not afraid of the political cost, Prime Minister Costas Simitis told the Cabinet today, in a session held on the aftermath of the furor caused by the planned reforms.

    The Premier stated that while the government could have waited until 2005 (one year after the next elections) to table the sweeping reforms, any such delay would have only caused greater havoc for workers and pensioners.

    Stressing that the problems in the social security system as it is are real, Mr. Simitis said the workers' concerns are "understood" by the government. However, he emphasized, the state will tackle the system's reform "without prejudice" underling that the government is prepared to adopt every solution that will provide genuine security for the working people.

    [08] SEMINAR OF BALKAN ENGLISH TEACHERS IN N. GREECE

    The "Balkan Symposium of English Language Teachers" gets underway in the city of Alexandroupolis, Northern Greece today, featuring the participation of delegates from Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey and Yugoslavia.

    The seminar, to be held until Sunday, April 29, is organized by the Pan-Thracian Association of English Language Teachers of Public Education, in cooperation with the Balkan Association of Instruction and Training and the municipality of Alexandroupolis.

    An international book fair will be held on the sidelines of the seminar.

    [09] THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE GREEK ECONOMY IS SATISFACTORY

    Greece occupies the 30th place on the list drawn up by the International Institute for Management Development having as a criterion the competitiveness of the economy. Greece has left behind other European Union member-states namely, Italy (32nd) and Portugal (34th).

    Fourteen places below Greece is Turkey. The list is republished on the electronic page of the Wall Street Journal and was formed based on the views of senior business executives on the competitiveness of the economies around the world.

    The United States are on the top of the list of the most competitive economies followed by Singapore, Finland, Luxembourg, Holland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Sweden, Canada and Switzerland.

    [10] PAPANDREOU: THE INTERNATIONAL INTEREST IN THE POLITICAL PRISONERS BRINGS RESULTS

    The Greek government moves and acts within the framework of the principles and preconditions of the European Union, stated foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou responding to a question by Communist Party parliament deputy Liana Kaneli on the moves made by the Greek government on the issue of the political prisoners in Turkey.

    Mr. Papandreou stated that the Greek government reaction in placed within the efforts of the European Union which through its partnership relation with Turkey forces the neighboring country to respect the freedom of expression and association, stop the torture of prisoners, abolish the death penalty and proceed with its democratization.

    [11] GAINS WERE RECORDED IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to + 0.51% at 3.264,55 points, while the volume of transactions was 186.5 million Euro or 63.5 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 99 recorded gains and 219 had losses, while the value of 60 stocks remained stable.

    [12] OUTDOOR LESSONS IN THESSALONIKI'S ARISTOTELOUS SQUARE

    An outdoor lesson with the participation of students from a number of schools will be held in Thessaloniki's Aristotelous Square this afternoon under the supervision of Michel Boiron, pedagogic adviser for the French television station TV5.

    The students will be able to view on a giant screen parts of television shows and video clips that will be used as education material for the learning of the French language or as a methodology for the learning of a foreign language with the use of the television image.

    The event is placed within the framework of the European Language Year 2001 and is a unique Greek proposal that was approved by the European Committee to take place in the first half of the year.

    The goal is to make the participants realize the excitement and pleasure a student can get while learning a foreign language.

    [13] EVANGELOS MEIMARAKIS IS THE NEW DEMOCRACY CENTRAL COMMITTEE SECRETARY

    Parliament deputy Evangelos Meimarakis was elected Central Committee secretary of the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy.

    According to the official results, Meimarakis got 320 votes and Petros Tatoulis 129, while there were 27 blank and spoiled ballot papers.

    Mr. Meimarakis stated that there are no winners or losers because everybody will cooperate to bring New Democracy to power.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] NEW METHOD IN BRAIN SURGERY BY A GREEK-AUSTRALIAN NEUROSURGEON

    Neurosurgeon Dr. Kon Fatouros at the Royal Hospital in Perth, Australia uses a new method in dangerous brain operations.

    According to the Greek-Australian newspaper "Neos Kosmos", it is an internal operation method that allows the brain to be left intact, adding that it is very effective in cases of blood vessel and central nervous system abnormalities.

    For the record, scientists from all over the world visit the Royal Hospital in Perth to learn from the Greek-Australian scientist the new method used in the brain blood vessels operations.


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