|Wednesday, 11 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-03-01
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, March 1, 2002
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
Mr. Simitis will be received in Tokyo by the Emperor of Japan and will have discussions with the political leadership, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister of the country. He will also visit Kyoto and Osaka.
The main goal of Mr. Simitis' visit to the "Land of the Rising Sun", is the development of the two countries' financial relations.
"The posters stated that the protest was to take place in support of the Palestinian Intifada, and in condemnation of the Israeli government. We should mention that a large part of the Intifada comprises of terrorist attacks against innocent people. With out wanting to downgrade the Palestinians' losses, it is a shame that we have not seen a single rally for the hundreds of innocent Israelis, among which are several young children, who have been killed in Palestinian suicide bombers and snipers at night c lubs, bus stations, super markets, and in the streets of Israel", he pointed out.
Furthermore he mentioned that the Intifada did not begin now, under the Saron government, but 17 months ago, when Ehud Barak was Prime Minister, who, as the Ambassador mentioned, made the most generous proposals for the creation of an independent Palesti nian state, with 97% of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and the partition of Jerusalem. "Yasser Arafat's answer was terrorism", he added.
Mr. Sasson pointed out that most Israelis are ready to accept the creation of a Palestinian state, but want guarantees that it will not be a hub for terrorist actions against them. "But they have their doubts. Half the Israelis killed in the past 17 mont hs, were killed by Fatah members, one of Arafat's own movements", he added.
In fact, he underlined that it would be better if protestors and political organizations supported peace in the Middle East, "instead of supporting a politically directed Intifada, which only supports the personal interests of a corrupt Palestinian leade rship, and not the real interests of the Palestinian people".
"That way, they would be able to convince all the people of the region, including the Israeli community, that they indeed support peace, and that Greece can in fact play an important role in the peacemaking procedures, instead of constantly repeating ant iquated Arab slogans".
the double pricing until June.
Meanwhile, today is the last day that banks will exchange drachma bank notes and coins. Starting Monday, however, and until 2012, drachma bank notes only, can be exchanged at the Bank of Greece. Coins can be exchanged at the Bank of Greece or public fina ncial services (DOY) until March 1st 2004.
Consequently, the drachma is, from this day on, only of interest to collectors. Moving in that direction, the Ministry of Finances announced the making of 10,000 commemorative gold drachma coins (22 carats). Their price will be 230 euro, and anyone inter ested can buy a certain number at branches of the Bank of Greece.
The businessman and his wife were admitted to the Thessaloniki Infectious Diseases Hospital for tests, but were found in good health, and are receiving precautionary a chemical treatment
The envelope with the suspicious powder was sealed and sent to the Control Center for Specia Contagious diseases in Athens.
An investigation has begun by island authorities in order to trace and arrest the perpetrators.
According to information, provision businesses have submitted price lists to the Ministry of Development with increases in the prices of detergents, alcohol drinks and dairy products.
Reevaluation is expected next week in the price of salt (3%-9.5%), olive oil (5.5%-7%) and imported dairy products (9.5%).
Consumers also express strong concern protesting against the unjustified price increases.
The top age limit will be at 45 from 50, while the Greek embassy officials will not have the right to refuse to issue or validate passports for draft-dodgers living abroad.
The new bill will be passed in parliament before Easter. The goal set by Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou is to deal effectively with the problem of draft-dodgers that has worsened lately.
Specifically, black economy in Greece reached 28.7% of the country's GDP in 2000 and was the highest among the 21 OECD countries. The second place is occupied by Italy, 27.1%, followed by Portugal and Spain 22.7% respectively and Belgium 22.2%.
The lowest black economy levels are recorded in Japan, 11.2% and Austria 9.8%, followed by the US 8.7% and Switzerland 8.6%. The average black economy rate for the 21 OECD countries was 16.7% for the period 1999-2000.
Mr. Simitis attacked New Democracy and its President accusing them of trying to capitalize on the negative climate that has been created and win the next elections.
Mr. Simitis also referred to a number of press reports on the unethical attack launched against President Kostis Stephanopoulos and the accusations concerning phenomena of corruption and the illegal gambling machines.
In the third trimester of 2001, even though women continued to occupy the top place compared to men concerning unemployment (14.9% and 6.7% respectively), the unemployment rate among them had dropped faster compared to men (1.4% for women compared to 0.3 % for men).
In statements he made, Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou announced that Greece is to be supplied with 170 Leopard armored tanks, US-Italian made C-27 transport planes and 60 self-protection systems for F-16 fighter planes.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Christos Protopapas announced that the new Coast Guard Chief is Christos Delimichalis, who is promoted to the rank of vice-admiral. Responding to a question by reporters, Mr. Protopapas stated that there was no interventio n made on the issue on behalf of the Defense Minister and the Navy Chief of Staff has not submitted his resignation.
On the energy sector, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will have meetings with his US counterpart Mr. Abraams and with 15 members of US think tanks specializing in energy issues.
On the sector of tourism, the Greek government minister will have important contacts with US tour operators in New York.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will be honored by the American Foundation For Greek Language And Culture as Man of the Year.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority, namely 289, recorded gains and 42 had losses, while the value of 41 stocks remained unchanged.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
"We have made a very generous approach on the subject, we have stated we have no interest in the legal issues involved. We are interested in the return of the marbles itself. We have made a proposition to the British Museum and the British government. Th e new Acropolis Museum will be ready - this is a commitment of mine, and of Mr. Pantermalis, which I want to repeat - before the 2004 Olympics. And with the museum there, with half the marbles in the room, with the obvious empty spaces, with these proposa ls of ours, which are the most open we have made so far, the British side must see that there is an issue. They must decide how they are going to handle it", he pointed out.
Mr. Venizelos underlined that the Greek government has not turned the marble issue into a political issue, but the claim is made in the name of the monument.
He also stressed that the Berlin exhibition should also be transferred to Athens, specifically in the National Art Gallery.