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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-03-01

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 Thessaloniki, March 1, 2002

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] MR. SIMITIS DEPARTS FOR JAPAN TOMORROW
  • [02] ISRAELI AMBASSADOR ON PALESTINIAN SUPPORT RALLY
  • [03] FAREWELL LITTLE DRACHMA
  • [04] ANTHRAX SCARE IN VOLOS
  • [05] ANCIENT MOSAIC BARBECUED
  • [06] THE GOVERNMENT IS WORRIED BY THE REEVALUATION OF GOODS
  • [07] FAVORABLE REGULATIONS FOR DRAFT-DODGERS
  • [08] BLACK ECONOMY GREW TO 28.7% OF THE GDP IN GREECE
  • [09] SIMITIS-EVERT CONFRONTATION IN PARLIAMENT ON POLITICAL DIVERSION
  • [10] UNEMPLOYMENT IN GREECE DROPPED TO 10% IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER OF 2001
  • [11] GOVERNMENTAL COUNCIL MEETING
  • [12] DEVELOPMENT MINISTER VISIT TO THE US
  • [13] GAINS IN THE ASE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] VENIZELOS: ACROPOLIS MUSEUM WILL BE READY ON TIME NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] MR. SIMITIS DEPARTS FOR JAPAN TOMORROW Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is beginning his official 6-day visit to Japan, accompanied by alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Gianitsis, deputy foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos and an important number of businessmen.

    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.

  • [02] ISRAELI AMBASSADOR ON PALESTINIAN SUPPORT RALLY The Israeli Ambassador to Athens, Mr. David Sasson, made mention of the Greek people being mislead by the Arabs, in statements he made on the support rally for the Palestinian people, which took place last night.

    "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".

  • [03] FAREWELL LITTLE DRACHMA Starting today, the drachma is a thing of the past, since all transactions in Greece will take place exclusively with the use of the euro. Also starting today, pricing will only be in euro, with the exceptions of certain large franchises, which will keep

    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.

  • [04] ANTHRAX SCARE IN VOLOS A 60-year-old businessman in Almyros, Volos, received an envelope which he thought may contain anthrax spores.

    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.

  • [05] ANCIENT MOSAIC BARBECUED Vandals struck the archeological park of Kos last night. The broke down the door, wrote slogans on the floors and columns, and had a barbecue on the famous mosaic depicting the "Abduction of Europe".

    An investigation has begun by island authorities in order to trace and arrest the perpetrators.

  • [06] THE GOVERNMENT IS WORRIED BY THE REEVALUATION OF GOODS The reevaluation of basic goods and services causes concern to the government after yesterday's final farewell to the drachma, which is now replaced by the Euro in all transactions.

    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.

  • [07] FAVORABLE REGULATIONS FOR DRAFT-DODGERS Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou announced favorable regulations for the 14.650 Greek draft-dodgers.

    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.

  • [08] BLACK ECONOMY GREW TO 28.7% OF THE GDP IN GREECE Greece occupies the top place among the EU and OECD countries in terms of black economy given the fact that it corresponds to a large percentage of its GDP, according to a study conducted by Linz University in Austria.

    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.

  • [09] SIMITIS-EVERT CONFRONTATION IN PARLIAMENT ON POLITICAL DIVERSION The democratic system of government is not in any danger, democracy is strong and nothing can change the smooth course of the country and its stability, stated Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. The statement was made in response to a question by right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy former President Militiadis Evert on the recent statements concerning political diversion made by Mr. Simitis.

    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.

  • [10] UNEMPLOYMENT IN GREECE DROPPED TO 10% IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER OF 2001 Unemployment in Greece dropped to 10% in the third trimester of 2001 recording a small decline compared to the same period in 2000 when it was at 10.7%, according to figures provided today by the Greek National Statistics Agency.

    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).

  • [11] GOVERNMENTAL COUNCIL MEETING The armaments programs were the main topic of discussion in today's meeting of the governmental council on foreign affairs and defense.

    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.

  • [12] DEVELOPMENT MINISTER VISIT TO THE US Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos will have important contacts for the strengthening of the US-Greek cooperation in the sector of energy and the attraction of more US tourists to Greece during his visit to the United States that began today an d will last until Monday.

    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.

  • [13] GAINS IN THE ASE Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.42% at 2.366,02 points, while the volume of transactions was at 125 million Euro.

    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

  • [14] VENIZELOS: ACROPOLIS MUSEUM WILL BE READY ON TIME From Berlin, where he was present at the opening of the "Hellenistic Classical Culture - Ideal or Reality" exhibition, which will be held by the Martin Gropious Hall until June 2, 2002, Minister of Culture Evaggelos Venizelos announced his commitment tha t the Acropolis Museum will be ready before the 2004 Olympics, in order for it to hold the Parthenon Marbles.

    "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.


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