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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2002-09-19

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, September 19, 2002

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] IOC DELEGATION IN ATHENS TODAY
  • [02] APPEAL AGAINST INTERNET CAFE ACQUITTAL
  • [03] 1 OUT OF 3 GREEKS WANTS A NEW HEALTH SYSTEM
  • [04] DAILY VISITATION FOR SOTIROPOULOU&SON
  • [05] EXECUTIVE OFFICE MEETING
  • [06] THE FIXED LINE PHONE NUMBERS CHANGE AGAIN
  • [07] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER WILL MEET WITH DE SOTO ON MONDAY
  • [08] EARTHQUAKE SHOOK WESTERN PELOPONNESE
  • [09] THE CABINET MEETING FOCUSED ON THE PRICE HIKES IN THE GREEK MARKET
  • [10] THE ASE IS PLUMMETING
  • [11] NEW MEASURES AGAINST PRICE HIKES
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [12] KARAMANLIS-VERHEUGEN MEETING
  • [13] THE TERRITORIAL ISSUE TO BE DISCUSSED IN THE DIRECT TALKS ON CYPRUS NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] IOC DELEGATION IN ATHENS TODAY A delegation of the International Olympic Committee, headed by Gilbert Felli, is visiting Athens today, in order to inspect the Olympic Projects underway.

    They will inspect construction projects, Olympic functions and the hospitality program.

    The regular visit of the IOC's Coordination Committee, headed by Dennis Oswald, is scheduled to take place in early November. During that visit, Olympic progress in all sectors will be inspected.

    Meanwhile, works for the Olympics continue, and yesterday the Olympic Boxing Center was officially presented, with Ministers of the Environment, Planning and Public Works and Culture, Vasso Papandreou and Evaggelos Venizelos, present.

    In statements to the press, the Minister of Culture expressed his belief that the Olympic Boxing Center will be an excellent site and will welcome approximately 8,500 people, while he added that a post Olympic use for the site has been secured.

    "The Olympics are a real modernization plan for the entire country, they concern all municipalities of Attica and Greece. Everything we say is put into practice in cooperation with local government, when there is a local government that knows how to make

    specific and applicable proposals", stressed Mr. Venizelos.

    On her side, Mrs. Papandreou underlined that the Olympic works in Peristeri will contribute to the area's sports infrastructure.

  • [02] APPEAL AGAINST INTERNET CAFE ACQUITTAL An appeal against the recent acquittal of two Internet Cafe owners was made by the appeals' DA.

    Last week, the Thessaloniki three-member Magistrate's Court acquitted two Internet Cafe owners, considering the new law "banning entertainment games on the Internet" unconstitutional.

    The appeal provoked the reaction of the Union of "Northern Greece Internet Cafe Owners", who announced that they will press charges against public services that own computers with entertainment programs as part of their software package.

  • [03] 1 OUT OF 3 GREEKS WANTS A NEW HEALTH SYSTEM Greeks have a serious problem or are greatly disappointed with the National Health System (ESY), according to the "Hmerisia" newspaper, to such a degree, that 3 out of 10 Greeks believe it cannot be improved and must be completely reconstructed. In contr ast, only 3 out 100 believe that Greece's health system is functioning so well that it does not require any changes.

    When other Europeans state that the problems they are most concerned with are unemployment and crime, Greeks are worried - at least it is at the top of their list - about the ESY.

    This impressive result points out the dissatisfaction of Greeks with the ESY's effectiveness, and is a result of European research carried out by the Eurobarometer in cooperation with the London School of Economics. It should be noted that the research w as completed recently, in fact when terrorism, specifically "November 17", was the main issue in the news.

    Unemployment and crime are still the two most important problems for Europeans, while Greece's number one problem is its Health System.

    Specifically, Greeks are worried about Greece's National Health System at 13.2%, in contrast to the European average, which is 9.6%.

    It is characteristic that 4 out of 10 Greeks support that the health system should be the first priority of the government's budget, when the average in Europe is 3 out of 10.

  • [04] DAILY VISITATION FOR SOTIROPOULOU&SON The authorities are seriously considering allowing "November 17" suspect awaiting trial Aggeliki Sotiropoulou, daily visitation rights with her underage son. Sotiropoulou, Koufontinas' companion, has been incarcerated in a special Corydallos cell, since Wednesday morning. Aggeliki Sotiropoulou and Dimitris Koufontinas are expected to submit a request for joint access to the courtyard within the next few days.

    Meanwhile, police investigations aiming at locating more N17 member suspects have yielded no results. The evidence from the hideouts has been analyzed, however nothing of importance that could form charges against new suspects has been found.

  • [05] EXECUTIVE OFFICE MEETING The possible attack on Iraq, the Cyprus issue, and interior issues were discussed at the meeting of PASOK's Executive Office meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.

    According to information, the members of the Executive Office characterized the Iraq issue crucial, and pointed out that the US are preparing a one sided intervention, something Greece, as well as other EU countries, disagrees with, seeking a solution in

    UN frameworks.

    The result of the Swedish elections, where the Social Democrats won, was also considered important. As far as the German elections are concerned, they mentioned that outcome of the battle between the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats is still uncertain.

    During the meeting it was stressed that the situation in Turkey is fluid and it was pointed out that Greece would continue its efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue.

    Furthermore, it was underlined that the effort to eradicate terrorism will continue all the way, and the tactics followed by N17 suspects, trying to give their actions a political role, were castigated.

    Inflation was characterized as serious problem, since it is 1.5% higher than the EU average. It was noted however that there would be a gradual decrease of inflation, as long as there are no surprises, such as an attack on Iraq, which would have signific ant effects on oil prices.

    Finally, it was stressed that state mechanisms must be mobilized to retain price levels.

  • [06] THE FIXED LINE PHONE NUMBERS CHANGE AGAIN The fixed line phone dialing numbers will change again in Greece on November 3 and 0, which is the first digit in all fixed line phones in the country, will be replaced with the number 2. Also, the first digit for the mobile phones, which is also 0, will

    be replaced with the number 6 starting on January 19, 2003.

    There will be no change in the three digit emergency phone numbers. Also, there will be no adjustment period and those who make calls by using the old system will listen to a taped message that will inform them of the change.

  • [07] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER WILL MEET WITH DE SOTO ON MONDAY Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou will meet with UN secretary-general special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto in Athens on Monday, September 23.

    Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis stated that this meeting is being held in a very important period for the Cyprus problem. He pointed out that it is placed within the framework of the intense consultations between UN secretary-general Kofi

    Annan and his adviser in view of the new meeting Mr. Annan will have with Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in New York on October 3-4.

  • [08] EARTHQUAKE SHOOK WESTERN PELOPONNESE An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale was recorded in western Peloponnese, south Greece, at noon today.

    According to the Athens Observatory and the University of Patras Seismology Laboratory the epicenter of the earthquake was at a sea region, 5 kilometers south of Vartholomio between Kilini and Zakynthos at a depth of 22 kilometers.

    The earthquake was felt in the prefecture of Ilia and the Ionian Sea islands. No damages were reported.

  • [09] THE CABINET MEETING FOCUSED ON THE PRICE HIKES IN THE GREEK MARKET The issue of the price hikes recorded in the Greek market dominated in the cabinet meeting held today under Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. The Prime Minister referred to the international situation in general and characterized it as unfavorable, while he

    predicted that the situation will deteriorate as the United States most likely will invade Iraq. However, he underlined that the Greek economy will withstand the shock waves.

    Statements on the decisions reached by the government aimed at dealing with the price hikes will be made by Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

    The cabinet also discussed the suggestion concerning the issuing of 1 and 2 Euro bank notes.

  • [10] THE ASE IS PLUMMETING The Athens Stock Exchange continues its uncontrollable downward course under the weight of the atmosphere of desertion that dominated in the European stock markets.

    The general index recorded significant losses today and dropped to -1.57% at 1.868,74 points, while the volume of transactions was at 117 million Euro.

    Of the stocks trading today, the majority of 227 recorded losses and 81 had gains, while the value of 67 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [11] NEW MEASURES AGAINST PRICE HIKES The measures against price increases on which Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis and Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos have agreed upon were approved in today's cabinet meeting. The course of the Greek economy under the weight of the ne gative international developments and the price increases on staple products were also discussed in the meeting.

    The cabinet approved the issuing of invoices by producers, while there will be suggested prices for water and other 40 consumer goods and the Competitiveness Committee will become more active. Among the goods that will have a suggested price will be oliv e oil, cheeses, dairy products and pasta.

    There will be stricter controls in the distribution of farm products, the economic crime police will intensify its inspections and a Price Watch for about 190 products and services will be established. Also, it was decided that the prices of products and

    services will be publicized at a local level.

    The European Commission approval, which is expected to be issued in the first 10 days of October, is a necessary precondition to implement the suggested price measure.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [12] KARAMANLIS-VERHEUGEN MEETING EU enlargement and the relevant report to be submitted to the European Committee on October 9, were the issues discussed at the meeting between President of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis and relevant Commissioner for the EU enlargement, Gunter Verheuge n.

    "It is well known that we warmly support the enlargement prospect, as a major step for the final reunification of Europe. And of course the accession of 10 new member-states, including the Republic of Cyprus, is a decisive step in the direction towards E uropean completion. An accession which must take place according to agreements, without exclusions, footnotes, and last minute exceptions", stated Mr. Karamanlis.

    "It is, also, certain, that as the European family enlarges, there will be problems which must be faced. I would like to note that the issues of funds and decision making must be dealt with in thoroughly. In any case, we believe that the goal for the EU is real convergence. We believe that the citizens of Greece and Cyprus are allowed and must have the prosperity and security that other EU citizens enjoy", he added.

  • [13] THE TERRITORIAL ISSUE TO BE DISCUSSED IN THE DIRECT TALKS ON CYPRUS The direct talks on Cyprus will proceed with the territorial issue, as the talks on the executive and legislative powers of the central state were completed today.

    According to information by the Cypriot News Agency, CNA, the territorial issue will be discussed in the two remaining meetings before the new meeting UN secretary-general Kofi Annan will have with Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot l eader Rauf Denktash in New York on October 3-4.

    Meanwhile, UN secretary-general special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto will visit Athens and Ankara to meet with the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey.


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