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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-09-02

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 2, 2003

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] 1.3 BILLION SOCIAL "DIVIDEND"
  • [02] THE GOVERNMENT IS COPYING US, ND RESPONDS
  • [03] DENYING THE LEADERSHIP
  • [04] POSITIVE RESULTS FROM PARIS TRACK MEET
  • [05] G. PAPANDREOU: RADICAL INTERVENTION NECESSARY IN WELFARE STATE
  • [06] A PATH CONNECTING US
  • [07] 1.7 BILLION EURO FOR CONVERGENCE
  • [08] PACKAGE OF SOCIAL MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE PRIME MINISTER
  • [09] KARAMANLIS COMMENTED ON THE PRIME MINISTER'S ANNOUNCEMENTS
  • [10] BIG LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [11] MAGRIOTIS WILL VISIT VIENNA
  • [12] CHRISTODOULAKIS: THE "PACKAGE" REACHES 2.36 BILLION EURO COUNTING THE INCREASES IN WAGES AND PENSIONS
  • [13] THE GENERAL SECRETARY FOR THE GREEKS LIVING ABROAD VISITS SIBERIA
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] 1.3 BILLION SOCIAL "DIVIDEND" The government's decisions on strengthening the weaker social strata will be announced today by Prime Minister Costas Simitis after the Cabinet meeting. The measures foresee increases for those working in the public sector and the retired. The time for t he harvest has come, the time of the social "dividend", stated Minister of Finance N. Christodoulakis, who, following his meeting with the Prime Minister, gave his assurance that any decisions made will not overstep the Greek economy's limits. "More emplo yment, more competitiveness, more solidarity", said Mr. Christodoulakis.
  • [02] THE GOVERNMENT IS COPYING US, ND RESPONDS The government is copying us as far as the convergence charta is concerned, said President of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis, in a speech in the Municipality of Ambelokipi in Thessaloniki. The government's only contribution against unemployment is havin g decreased it within PASOK, after filling ministry offices with highly paid consultants, said Mr. Karamanlis, who characterized the Prime Minister, "the driver of the train of delay". Today he will attend the events for the 59th anniversary of the Chorti atis holocaust.
  • [03] DENYING THE LEADERSHIP The testimony of the alleged leader of 17N Alexandros Giotopoulos, marks the continuation of the trial for the crimes allegedly committed by the 19 suspect members of 17N. In her testimony, Mrs. Aggeliki Sotiropoulou denied having any relation to 17N and

    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.

  • [04] POSITIVE RESULTS FROM PARIS TRACK MEET One gold, from Mirella Maniani in the javelin, one silver from Tasoula Kelesidou in the discus, and two bronze medals, one from Katerina Voggoli in the discus and one from Periklis Iakovakis in the 400 meter hurdles, were the outcome of the Greek track t eam's participation in the world championship in Paris. These results are seen as especially positive and have created expectations for good results at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
  • [05] G. PAPANDREOU: RADICAL INTERVENTION NECESSARY IN WELFARE STATE The view that radical intervention is necessary in the welfare state and that PASOK is a movement with social sensitivities and faith in that sector, was expressed by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    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".

  • [06] A PATH CONNECTING US A meeting for the fine tuning of the last details concerning the discussion of the "Greek Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans: Axis X - Reconstruction of the Common Institutions' Building", which will take place in the framework of the 68 th Thessaloniki International Fair, on Thursday, September 4, was held today, presided over by deputy Foreign Minister Andreas Loverdos.

    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.

  • [07] 1.7 BILLION EURO FOR CONVERGENCE Cheap petrol and tax breaks for farmers, an increase in IKA pensions, which, along with the EKAS assistance benefit, will reach 552 euro a year, a 1000 euro annual allowance for university students and a decrease in tax indexes for small and medium busin ess holders, are among the government's measures supporting weaker social strata, announced by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who stressed that the government is aiming at strengthening the periphery and a steady fiscal policy. The measures also foresee r aises for those working in the public sector and pensioners. "Radical changes and brave initiative are required", stated Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou earlier.
  • [08] PACKAGE OF SOCIAL MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE PRIME MINISTER A 1.7 billion euros social measures package was announced by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis after the governmental committee meeting today.

    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.

  • [09] KARAMANLIS COMMENTED ON THE PRIME MINISTER'S ANNOUNCEMENTS Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis accused the Prime Minister of unreliability and of making an effort to bribe consciences. He made the statement on the occasion of the 1.7 billion euros social measures package an nounced today by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. Mr. Karamanlis stated that Mr. Simitis remembered what he had forgotten for 8 years and now makes the same promises.

    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.

  • [10] BIG LOSSES IN THE ASE Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -2.11% at 2.150,48 points, while the volume of transactions was considerable at 206.1 million euros.

    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.

  • [11] MAGRIOTIS WILL VISIT VIENNA Greek Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis leaves for Vienna today to represent Greece in the Conference to Facilitate the Entry into Force (EIF) of the CTBT taking place on September 3-5.

    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.

  • [12] CHRISTODOULAKIS: THE "PACKAGE" REACHES 2.36 BILLION EURO COUNTING THE INCREASES IN WAGES AND PENSIONS The social and development policy package announced today by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is estimated at 2.36 billion euro if the sum of 835 million euro, that will be given for increases in public sector employees' wages and pensions, is added to the initial package of 1.495 billion euro.

    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.

  • [13] THE GENERAL SECRETARY FOR THE GREEKS LIVING ABROAD VISITS SIBERIA General Secretary for the Greeks living abroad Pavlos Geroulanos leaves tomorrow for the Siberian city of Tomsk to attend the formal inauguration of the Greek Language and Culture Center at the city's Polytechnic School. Mr. Geroulanos visits the city at

    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


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