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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-10-31

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, October 31, 2001








  • [01] 33 ADMINISTRATORS-MANAGERS IN ATTICA HOSPITALS The Ministry of Health is aiming at improving the image of hospitals, by appointing 33 administrators-managers for the area of Attica, who will sign a productivity contract, and will be evaluated every 18 months by the heads of PESY (Regional Health Syst ems), while they will be fired if they are unproductive.

    Their responsibility is to organize emergency rooms, activate the patient reception area, and in general improve the neuralgic points of the hospitals.

    Their names will be announced by the end of the year, while from the 33 administrators, 8 are doctors and the rest are economics and administration experts.

    In relation to the afternoon shifts in hospitals, Minister Alekos Papadopoulos made it clear that they will be applied, while for those reacting he said that an attempt to guide citizens is being made, and stressed that some people don't want the system to change because they've made themselves comfortable.

  • [02] ND CRITICIZES GOVERNMENT ON OLYMPIC PREPARATIONS New Democracy criticized the government on the issue of the Olympics. After the meeting of the party coordinators on the Olympics' preparations, presided over by Mr. Karamanlis, party spokesperson Thodoros Roussopoulos mentioned that there are many organ izational and coordination problems, and, more specifically, delays in the completion of works, overstepping of budgets, and a lack of transparency and coordination of responsibilities.

    Mr. Roussopoulos characteristically said that "the lack of coordination appears in the most eloquent way, a week after the reshuffling, as Ministers and Deputy Ministers joust in public over responsibilities, which are an object of desire for more than o ne of them". "Such an image shows a lack of sobriety in the government, if not more".

    He further stressed, that in the procedure of organizing things, the Budget for the works - according to data made public by the government itself - was 1,1 trillion drs., and the amount today is 2,2 trillion drs.

  • [03] ANTHRAX ADVICE FOR PARLIAMENT EMPLOYEES Instructions and advice on anthrax was given to Parliament employees by the Parliament's medical unit, firstly by recommending keeping calm, then explaining what effects anthrax has on the human body, and what to do with a suspicious parcel.

    On the written informative document it mentions that:

    "The bacteria of anthrax can cause skin, lung, and in very rare cases, gastric infections, but only after having come into contact with inflamed skin or through the respiratory system", while the fact that the illness is not contagious is particularly st ressed.

  • [04] GREEK-TURKISH CUSTOMS MEETING IN ALEXANDROUPOLI A Greek-Turkish meeting between the heads of the Customs Service of Greece and Turkey will take place on November 5 and 6, in Alexandroupoli. The meeting will take place in the framework of the initiatives taken up during the last year by the Greek Custo ms Administration, for the strengthening of relations with the neighboring country.

    The commencing of works will be declared by Deputy Minister of Economics, Mr. Ap. Fotiades. The heads of the delegations will be the general directors of the Customs Services of the two countries, Mr. Manolopoulos and Mr. Saygilioglou. Current bilateral issues of interest to both countries will be discussed, such as drug trafficking, the eradication of smuggling, exchanging experience on inspection methods and technical means, and the creation of appropriate channels of communication for the exchange of information and safe transfer of merchandise, the prevention of irregularities and the simplification of customs procedures, for the unhindered carrying out of commercial transactions.

    There will also be a mutual informing on the stage of acceptance of International Treaties, the organization of educational seminars between the two sides, while, finally, there will be a discussion on the course of Customs Unity of Turkey - European Uni on.

  • [05] PRIME MINISTER IN CONTROL OF "ATHENS 2004" "Athens 2004" is now under the strict control of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, who will be required to undergo a thorough inspection of his work and his economics. This decision was reached after yesterday's, first after the reshuffling, meeting of the Ministerial Committee, which will control the budget of "Athens 2004".

    Essentially the Ministerial Committee is fully upgraded to a supreme staff body with "Athens 2004" simply limiting the organizational responsibility.

    It is characteristic that the memorandums of cooperation that were part of the Olympic Games' Organizational Committee's jurisdiction, are now in the control of the Work Administration Group, under Nasos Alevras.

    "Athens 2004" will no longer be the only organization with the privilege of directly informing the IOC of progress in the preparations to Mr. E. Venizelos, while a government staff member will participate in the meetings of the Coordination Committee dur ing the IOC tests.

    Meanwhile, with three weeks to go until the next IOC test, alternative designs for Olympic works seem to be popping out of drawers. A great impression was made by the statements of Mr. Venizelos and Mrs. Papandreou, who said that certain projects may be abandoned, if alternative designs are not adopted. Mrs. Papandreou seemed to have a negative impression of all projects in her jurisdiction, such as Kifisias Avenue, Vari-Koropos and St. Kosmas, and asked for further working on alternative solutions. Many

    of the Ministerial Committee members did not share this point of view, since they believe that the problems of these projects are not insurmountable.

  • [06] SEMINARS ON TERRORISM AND ELECTRONIC WARFARE "At least thirty countries have developed offensive programs for electronic warfare, and isolated attacks developed by hackers are a new threat to all countries". With this disconcerting point, Minister of National Defense Giannos Papantoniou declared th e commencing of works at the two-day conference on "Safety on Cyberspace and Hacking" at the War Museum. This interesting conference is being organized by the General Army Staff, in cooperation with Athens University.

    A seminar of a similar kind, "The phenomenon of terrorism and the assessment of threats", started yesterday in the amphitheater of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with opening speeches by Minister of Public Order Michalis Chrysochoides and Deputy Minist er of Foreign Affairs Giannis Magriotis.

    Mr. Chrysochoidis pointed out that confronting terrorism, which is not strictly a police issue, requires the cooperation of all of us. Furthermore, he characterized cooperation with the US as useful on dealing with this phenomenon and added that the grea test agent provocateur is the person who planned the September 11 attacks on the US.

    Mr. Magriotis stressed that international cooperation is required in dealing with illegal activities, such as organized crime and dirty money laundering, which supply terrorism. He also underlined that a military response to terrorism is not the only sol ution, but at the same time political and economic initiative must be taken to confront the underlying causes of this phenomenon.

  • [07] PAPANDREOU TRIP TO IRAN, INDIA AND PAKISTAN There is a role for Greece to play in the crisis that has broken out since the terrorist strike in the US and the bombings of Afghanistan, stated Minister of Foreign Affairs, Giorgos Papandreou, who is due to leave for Pakistan tomorrow, and then India a nd Iran, for discussions with the leadership of the three countries.

    Even a small country can contribute with its positions and propositions, and Greece and do even more, since it has always been steadfastly in favor of peace and regional cooperation, and experience from its activity in the Balkans and the Middle East.

    In an interview to Flash Radio Station, he mentioned Greece's initiatives for the discussions between different cultures and religions, and pointed out that our country is on the border of the Christian and the Muslim world, and that that is why our init iative will have effects for a long time.

    This initiative and cooperation between different cultures and religions, in the form of a representative multinational government, is what the President of Pakistan, Pervez Musaraf, proposes as a visible and viable solution, in an interview to "Ta Nea" newspaper. He stated that his country will continue cooperating with the international community in the war against terrorism, he does not believe that thew West is terrorizing the Muslim world, he is in favor of discussions with India on the resolving of

    the Kashmir issue, and expressed his wish to visit Greece, which he passed through briefly in April 2000.

    On Iran, Mr. Papandreou stated that there is strong interest in the development of its relations with western countries, especially the EU, and his talks will mainly be on that issue. Besides, starting January 1, Greece will be in two sectors (Euro, secu rity) in the EU "Troika", a fact signifying its immediate implication in terrorism issues and the developments in Afghanistan.

  • [08] NEW LEFT CONFERENCE IN ATHENS An international meeting will be held at the Zappeion on Friday and Saturday, by the Forum of the European New Left and the corresponding eurogroup, after a proposal by the Coalition of the Left. Basic topics of the discussions to take place, which will commence with speeches by the President of the Coalition, Mr. Konstantopoulos, and the President of its eurogroup, Francine Vourge, are: The development of Europe, the "new security challenges after the terrorist strike in the US and the war in Afghanista n".
  • [09] LIFESTYLE IMPROVEMENT FOR ALEXANDROUPOLI MUSLIMS Two great interventions aiming at relieving and improving the lifestyle of sensitive social groups of the Muslim minority living in Alexandroupoli, and their essential incorporation into the city's social web, are soon to be made by the Municipality of A lexandroupoli. In the last meeting of the city council, they accepted a 340 million drs. grant from the Eastern Macedonia-Thrace Region, which the Municipality of Alexandroupoli will use for water supply, sewage, and road building works, in areas where Mu slims live.

    The Municipality of Alexandroupoli submitted a complete budget proposal of 1.850 billion drs, to the Eastern Macedonia-Thrace Region and the Ministry of the Interior. It is not yet known if all or part of the proposal will be materialized, but it is part

    of the framework of the philosophy and specifications given by the Ministry. The aforementioned amounts will be gradually saved up, and the actions will be gradually materialized over a period of 6-8 years, as foreseen by the programming for the 2002-20 08 period.

    There is no exact data on the number of Muslims living in Alexadroupoli. According to a rough count, there are about 3000 people, or 600 families. The Muslims living in Alexandroupoli are registered voters of the Municipality, with very few exceptions, a nd have the same rights and obligations Christian citizens have. They live in ground level, low quality housing, of an are of about 50-60 square meters, in housing projects which have no electricity, sewage, plumbing, etc. As far as their economic situati on is concerned, there are many problems. 705 of the men work in construction sites, 20% are land workers and 10% are workers in factories or small industries.

  • [10] BULGARIANS IN THESSALONIKI WILL VOTE Bulgaria's Presidential elections will be held this coming Sunday, November 11, and all Bulgarian citizens in Thessaloniki will vote, using the ballots set up at the Bulgarian Consulate.
  • [11] HAPPY ENDING FOR THE TURKS IN THE AEGEAN The two Turks whose sailing boat went adrift after running out of fuel while sailing 8 nautical miles away from the Fleves island.

    The boat with the Polish flag was towed to the Vouliameni marina, escorted by patrol boats.

  • [12] A PICASSO IN THESSALONIKI An abandoned, considered haunted by some, neoclassical house on Al. Svolou St. 5, which during the German occupation was used as a torture area against Greek Resistance members, was revived and turned into an amazing art area.

    It is "ΛΟΓΩΤΕΧΝΗΣ" (logotechnis), a cultural center of sorts, displaying works of art, rare antiques and furniture, unique collectors items that Greece has to present, and it will be inaugurated in two days, Friday, November 2, at 8pm.

    The opening will be followed by two important events: "The small boat", the smallest known work of art of Picasso and the only one in Greek hands, those of Thanos Evaggelopoulos, owner of the new cultural "multicenter". Also, an important piece by our gr eat artist G. Gounaropoulos will be sold, through the silent auction method, the proceeds from which will be disposed for the Society of Friends of Children with Cancer, "Storgi" (affection).

  • [13] MILLER: GREEK-US CONCURRENCE ON TERRORISM His puzzlement on the fact that there have been no arrests of "November 17" members, was expressed by the US Ambassador in Athens, Thomas Miller, in statements made to the press after a meeting with the Finance Minister N. Christodoulakis. Mr. Miller und erlined that Athens shares US opinions on terrorism, and pointed out that the September 11 terrorist strike on the US is a threat to all of us.

    "If 5.000 people had been killed in your country, you would react just as harshly", he commented, answering those who appreciate that the answer to the terrorist strike was too harsh. To those that ask for the bombings to stop, the US diplomat asked: "Wo uld the terrorists stop their activity Christmas?"

  • [14] SIMITIS-PAPANDREOU MEETING Foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou briefed Prime minister Kostas Simitis on foreign policy issues and specifically, on his tour of Pakistan, India and Iran that will be launched tomorrow. They reviewed developments in the Balkans, Cyprus and the Greek-T urkish relations, while Mr. Papandreou referred to the priorities of the Greek Foreign Ministry in view of the Greek EU presidency in the first half of 2003.

    Foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou referred to the Greek initiatives in the battle against international terrorism, stressing that every small country that wants to have a role in the international scene must have a presence, adding that Greece has expe rience both in the Balkans and the Middle East. Mr. Papandreou stated that the message he will convey during his three-day tour will be that the EU wants to have new relations with those countries, pointing out that Greece will promote its humanitarian ch aracter through its presence and the efforts made for the opening of a dialogue among the different cultures to avoid conflict.

    On the statements made by Slobodan Milosevic before the International Court yesterday according to which, Bin Laden had contacts in the Balkans and the US authorities were aware of that, Mr. Papandreou stated that he does not know anything about the evid ence Mr. Milosevic is talking about. However, he said that it is known that Bin Laden had contacts with extremist fundamentalist organizations active in the Balkans and therefore, the problem concerns Greece which participates in the efforts against terro rism.

  • [15] THE AEGEAN MINISTER WILL VISIT SPAIN Aegean Minister Nikos Sifounakis will be in the Spanish island of La Palma tomorrow to attend the proceedings of the 2nd Forum of the EU Network of Island Chambers which will be completed on November 14.

    The forum will deal with the continuous development of tourism in the European islands.

    The EU Network of Island Chambers is the island institutions supreme body, responsible for the promotion of issues concerning the EU island regions.

  • [16] COCAINE HAUL SEIZED Greek Merchant Marine officers seized a total of 206 kilos of cocaine hidden in the Greek-ownership cargo ship "Saktun" that was anchored at a remote beach outside Preveza, in northwestern Greece.

    The ship, under Tonga flag, belongs to the shipping company "Karma Shipping" and had come to Greece from Colombia via Portugal on October 8. According to information, five crew members have been arrested.

  • [17] IMPORTANT DISCOVERY AGAINST MISCARRIAGES A very important achievement by researchers in the University of Crete, in south Aegean, will help millions of women, who suffer miscarriages during pregnancy.

    The scientists located one of the fundamental mechanisms that control the implantation of the egg cell in the uterus during the initial stages of pregnancy. It is a mechanism that allows the egg cell to enter the uterus and at the same time, creates the preconditions for its survival until the pregnancy is completed. The presence or absence of a specific hormone determines whether the embryo will survive in the uterus since the first stages of a pregnancy.

    According to University of Crete Medical School professors Achilleas Gravanis and Antonis Makrigiannakis, the antagonist of the specific hormone opens the way for the creation of a more harmless contraceptive in the future and for drug induced abortions. The scientific research had started in the University of Crete in 1994 and in a few days its conclusions will be published on an international status scientific magazine.

  • [18] A GREEK FISHERMAN WAS DETAINED BY LIBYAN AUTHORITIES A fisherman from Chania, Crete in south Aegean has been arrested by the Libyan authorities.

    According to the local newspaper "Chaniotiki Eleftherotipia", his name is Yiannis Katsigarakis. He and two Egyptians were fishing in a sea region between the Greek and Libyan territorial waters last Sunday.

    Due to heavy seas in the region, he turned his fishing boat toward the port of Terna where he was arrested.

    The Greek embassy in Tripoli, Libya has confirmed the news.

  • [19] BIG GAINS IN THE ASE Big gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +3.59% at 2.468,26 points, while the volume of transactions was 159.59 million Euro or 54.38 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 316 had gains and 23 recorded losses, while the value of 40 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [20] FIVE WERE INJURED IN A TRAIN ACCIDENT The Enoi-Thiva railway line in central Greece remains closed since 6am this morning as a result of a train collision at the Enoi train station.

    As it was made known, five passengers were injured when the Thessaloniki-Athens cargo train violated a stop signal and crashed into the Chalkida-Athens passenger train.

  • [21] THE PRIME MINISTER VISITED THE STATE MINT Prime Minister Kostas Simitis visited the state Mint in Athens today in view of the Euro's circulation on January 1, 2002 as legal tender in Greece and the rest EMU countries.

    Mr. Simitis stated that Greece promotes its European prospect and social goals in a decisive manner, while he underlined the decisive importance of the involvement of citizens, businessmen and bank officials in the efforts for a smooth transition to the new single EU currency.

    He said that the single European currency expresses the firm will of the European peoples to unite their forces, bridge their differences and build together a society of development and progress, justice and security, cohesion and solidarity.

    Mr. Simitis also said that the Euro expresses the will of the Greek people and the socialist government of PASOK to promote the country's modernization.

  • [22] VLADIMIR PUTIN WILL VISIT GREECE IN DECEMBER Russian President Vladimir Putin will be on a formal visit to Greece in the first ten days of December. It will be the first visit ever of a Russian President to Greece. Mr. Putin will be accompanied by his wife. The Russian head of state will also make a one-day visit to Thessaloniki and the monastic community of Mount Athos in Chalkidiki, northern Greece.
  • [23] PROTOPAPAS: GREECE IS A SAFE COUNTRY Greece is a democratic and safe country with a specific constitutional and legal framework that safeguards law and order, while measures are being taken against terrorism and organized crime, stated government spokesman Christos Protopapas, when asked to

    comment on the statements made by the US ambassador on the issue of terrorism after the meeting he had with the Minister of Finance.

    The Minister of Press and Mass Media also stated that the measures taken by the Greek government are the result of close cooperation with responsible agencies from other countries and the United States.

  • [24] PROTOPAPAS: THE ECONOMIC POLICY WILL NOT CHANGE The government's economic policy will not change, stated government spokesman Christos Protopapas when asked to comment on yesterday's statements by Minister of National Economy and Finance Nikos Christodoulakis.

    Mr. Protopapas stated that the government will give an emphasis to the competitiveness of the Greek economy to be able to face competition in international markets.

    He said that a special emphasis will be given to competitiveness through the five points outlined by Mr. Christodoulakis. Namely, tax reform, market liberalization, privatization and mergers, exploitation of the 3rd Community Framework of Support funds, development law review and strengthening of the investment climate.

  • [25] GREECE WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE MILITARY OPERATIONS IN AFGHANISTAN Government spokesman Christos Protopapas denied categorically that an attempt is made at a military camp in the central Greek city of Volos to form a unit that will be placed under NATO's orders to be used in the military operations in Afghanistan.

    The Minister of Press and Mass Media stressed that Greece will not participate in the military operations in Afghanistan.


  • [26] THE DOCTORS OF THE WORLD VISIT AFGHAN REFUGEE CAMPS Greek Doctors of the World visited Afghan refugee camps on Afghan territory yesterday to distribute humanitarian aid under very difficult access conditions.

    Living conditions for the 7.000 people, who sought refuge in the "Maikiki" camp, have deteriorated further as a result of the sharp temperature drop and the wind storms in the region. The "Maikiki" refugee camp is under Taliban control and is situated in

    Afghan territory, 30 kilometers away from Afghanistan's borders with Iran.

    The Greek Doctors of the World arrived at the refugee camp with the cooperation of the Red Crescent. They escorted their truck with 60 square meters of humanitarian aid that will be distributed to the refugees in the following days.

    A precondition for the aid distribution was for the Taliban to give guarantees that the humanitarian aid will reach the refugees and not armed groups.

    Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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