|Wednesday, 20 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-09-02
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, September 2, 2003
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
attributed her implication by the authorities to her relationship with D. Koufontinas. Mrs. Sotiropoulou denied having met any other defendants apart from her ex husband Savvas Xeros, and his brother Christodoulos.
Mr. Papandreou criticized ND's reaction to the package of social benefits, which is expected to be announced by Prime Minister Costas Simitis today, stressing that it would be wrong to prematurely condemn the measures that are necessary and which were th e outcome of dialogue.
In an interview to Flash Radio, the Foreign Minister pointed out that PASOK has shown that it can move and take measures, while preserving the necessary financial balances, while he added that it is not always the amount of the money, it is also the choi ces.
As far as PASOK is concerned, drawing on tomorrow's 29th anniversary since its founding, the Minister ascertained that the people demand to see the new standards from the governing party, and that it come closer to the citizen. "Radical changes and brave
initiative is necessary", he noted characteristically, adding: "We did not take the steps we should have taken. We made baby steps", and ended by saying that "we must move at a faster pace".
Participants in the discussion to be held in Thessaloniki include Mr. Loverdos, deputy Minister of Civic Affairs of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Zoran Tesanovic, assistant Minister of International Economic Relations of Serbia, Gordana Lazarevic, and deputy Minis ter of Transportations and Telecommunications of Serbia, Mjodrag Yocic.
During the discussion, the two major projects that have been proposed to the Greek Foreign Ministry to receive funding from the Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans will be presented, aiming at pointing out their importance for Bosni a-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and the Balkans in general.
After the completion of the meeting, Mr. Loverdos stated: "Our goal, on the one hand, with the reconstruction of the Common Institutions' Building in the heart of sorely tried Sarajevo, was, apart from the obvious institutional value this project would h ave, to prove that the difficult past of the Balkans has been left behind, and that in the present we are all fighting together for a better future for the region; and on the other hand, with the construction of Axis X, to reunite the Balkans by road with
central Europe and the rest of Europe, to make the Balkans part of developed Europe once again".
"We have decided to hold this discussion in Thessaloniki, the city that is the center of our Balkan Program, shortly before the opening of the International Fair, in order to point out the importance of these two projects, as well as to communicate our v ision regarding the transition of the Balkans to an open Balkan market of 65,000,000 people, to businessmen in Greece and abroad", stressed the deputy Foreign Minister.
With the adoption of this package social spending in Greece is greater than the European Union average and therefore, the distance separating social spending in Greece from other European countries has almost disappeared and convergence has been achieved , said Mr. Simitis. He also explained that the social spending announced is the result of the effective exploitation of the economic policy results.
He stated that in the second trimester of 2003 unemployment dropped to 8.9%. This percentage is the lowest recorded in the past decade and it is at Euro-zone levels.
The Prime Minister stressed that the goal of the government is a fair revenue policy and added that the wage increases meet the inflation increase.
Among the measures announced by the Prime Minister are the special social solidarity allowance increase from 110 euros to 140 euros and the increase in the pension received by the farmers from 170 to 200 euros per month. Also, the price of petrol used by
the farmers will be cut from 245 euros to 21 euros a ton.
In addition, families with children studying in a city other than that of their permanent residence will receive a grant of 1.000 euros for every child, while the families without an income will be assisted in the area of housing through the Workers Hous ing Organization.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that Mr. Simitis announced the adoption of social measures for pre-election purposes, stating characteristically that social policy should not be used to win election votes. He said that social policy, in order to be viable, it shou ld be the consequence of a steadily developing economy. Social policy should not be a bait in a pre-election period, he said.
He also said that an attempt is made to fool the citizens by using inaccuracies concerning the average income in Greece, as well as false figures concerning unemployment.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 307 recorded losses and only 40 had gains, while the value of 34 stocks remained unchanged.
The conference will be used as a means to exert pressures aimed at putting in effect the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty - CTBT.
For the treaty to be in effect it will have to be ratified by 44 countries that have nuclear weapons or the necessary know-how and technology to develop them. Twelve of these countries still have not ratified the treaty. Until now, a total of 167 countri es have signed the treaty and 104 have ratified it, among them, Greece.
The above were stated by Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis making more specific the Prime Minister's statements that were made after the governmental committee meeting.
The package is not aimed only at closing the gap between the rich and the poor but it also offers incentives for development.
the invitation of the local Greek community.
In the two-day visit to Tomsk, Mr. Geroulanos will meet with the presiding board of the Greek community and other ethnic Greek representatives, the dean of the University of Tomsk and the local governor.
About one thousand ethnic Greeks live in the region of Tomsk, while they are estimated to be less than 5.000 across Siberia.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS