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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-09-06

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, September 6, 2003








  • [01] A SOCIETY OF JUSTICE The goals and the priorities of the government for the next four years, crowned with the creation of a society of the citizens, a society of justice, were mentioned by the Prime Minister in his speech at the inauguration of the 68th TIF. Mr. Simitis made

    mention of a "high-risk four year term" for the economy, social convergence and national issues, and he addressed a message for the consolidation of all the people, so that national confidence can be strengthened. ND characterized the inauguration as a s tep of party propaganda, the KKE mentioned a reversal of reality, and the Coalition of the Left referred to a virtual reality of beautification.

  • [02] THE THESSALONIKI WORKS The Thessaloniki works are to be inspected today by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who is in the city for the inauguration of the 68th Thessaloniki International Fair, during which he characterized the coming four year term as "high risk" for the economy , social cohesion and national issues and he addressed a message for the consolidation of all the people, so that national confidence can be strengthened. After inspecting the Thessaloniki works, Mr. Simitis will meet with PASOK officials, while in the af ternoon he will meet with city bodies and tonight he will speak at a dinner to be held in his honor.
  • [03] TOUGH CRITICISM FROM THE OPPOSITION Greece need elections now, said President of ND Costas Karamanlis from Chalkida, while accusing the government of creating a "state of plunder". "A cover-up and reversion of reality, meaning lots of lies amidst a lot of bragging, are what the Prime Minis ter's speech at the TIF includes", communicational promotion of a virtual reality of beautification and a lack of strategy for convergence, were laid at the feet of the Prime Minister by the Coalition of the Left. The increase of the GDP is due to EU fund s, stated DIKKI. There is a long way to go to cover social inequalities, stated AEKA.
  • [04] RALLIES FOR UNEMPLOYMENT AND WORKS The issues of de-industrialization, high prices, unemployment and the acceleration of Thessaloniki's works will be raised at the rally to be organized in Aristotelous square today, shortly before the Prime Minister's speech at the TIF, with the initiativ e of the Thessaloniki Workers' Center and Thessaloniki Civil Servants Union, and the participation of the 84 bodies that participated in the meeting organized by Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos. Protest marches were carried out by officers of the police, the fire department and the coast guard in uniform. ESIEMTh is not participating in the events.
  • [05] GREAT EXPECTATIONS FOR NATIONAL TEAMS Its first victory, against one of the strongest teams in European basketball, Croatia, was obtained by the Greek national basketball team, which won after a thrilling second half with a score of 77-76. In the first half, Giannis Ioannidis' team was losin g 38-47. The Greek national football team will qualify for the final phase of the European football championship if it beats Armenia in Erevan. There was a tie for the young men's national team.
  • [06] PUBLIC ACCEPTS SOCIAL PACKAGE Citizens are especially positive regarding the measures included in the social package, while public opinion has given a clear lead of confidence to the governing party and Prime Minister Costas Simitis regarding the administration of economic issues. Sp ecifically, according to the information of the poll carried out by METRON ANALYSIS for the "Saturday Imerisia" newspaper, 61.5% of those asked, appreciated that the measures of the social "package" are a move in the right direction, while only 27.7% appr eciated that they are wrong move. Individuals with low incomes, families with low incomes and children in university, farmers and pensioners are considered the groups to benefit the most from the measures, while wageworkers, small and medium business hold ers, women/mothers who want to work, also feel a considerably satisfied. According to the poll, all those informed on the package believe that the measures contribute to the support of: the lowly-paid (56.1% to 38% who believe they do not contribute), fam ilies with low incomes and children in university (55.6% to 35.4%), farmers (55.3% to 34.3%), pensioners (53% to 41%), wageworkers (45.4% to 38.6%), women who are mothers and wish to work (40.7% to 32.7%), small and medium businesses (36.6% to 34.2%). The

    only department in which the "Simitis package" seems to be weak and could use some additions is that of the unemployed, as the majority, 43.2%, believe that the measures do not contribute to their support, in contrast to 41% who believe they do.

  • [07] K. SIMITIS: STRESSING REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND CONVERGENCE Regional development is a top priority in governmental policy, since the country's real convergence passes through regional convergence
  • [08] KARAMANLIS: MR. SIMITIS CANNOT ERASE THE PEOPLE'S MEMORY A new harsh wave of criticism was launched by President of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis, drawing on the announcements of Prime Minister Costas Simitis. In a speech this morning at the Evoia Chamber of Commerce, he stressed that the measures announced by Mr. Simitis are in no way a redistribution of wealth, and characteristically said that the greatest redistribution of wealth that has been carried out in Greece during all the years that PASOK has been in government, are the thirty billion drachmas (88 .041.085 euro) that were lost in the stock market. The President of ND underlined that the Prime Minister and the government cannot erase the memory of the people, while drawing on the upcoming "Charta of Convergence", he characterized it a "charta of abe rration". "Mr. Simitis is trying to play the role of the protector of the ones he has led to this aberration", noted Mr. Karamanlis.
  • [09] PROTOPAPAS: ND CONTINUOUSLY SLIPPING FROM REALITY The joint exhibition space of the Macedonian Press Agency (MPA) and the Athens News Agency (ANA) in the ground floor of kiosk 16 of the Thessaloniki International Fair, was inaugurated today by Minister of the Press and Government Spokesperson Christos P rotopapas. While inaugurating the stands of the two Greek press agencies, Mr. Protopapas also held a briefing for the journalists that attended, harshly criticizing ND policy.

    The Minister of the Press commented both on the polls published today, as well as on yesterday's speech of ND President Costas Karamanlis, as well as regarding the statements made by ND Press Spokesperson Thodoris Rousopoulos, regarding the Presence of t he Prime Minister at the TIF.

    Regarding the polls, which, as he said, record a great acceptance for the social measures announced by the PM, while they underlined a significant lead of Mr. Simitis over Mr. Karamanlis, Mr. Protopapas stressed that ND is disturbed by the measures. "Whi le with these measures Greece is converging with the EU, it is proven that ND is turning away all the more from reality".

  • [10] PROTOPAPAS: ND IS LOSING TOUCH WITH REALITY Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas inaugurated the pavilion shared in Thessaloniki's 68th International Trade Fair by Macedonian Press Agency, MPA, and Athens News Agency, ANA.

    Mr. Protopapas commented on the public opinion poll made public today, the speech delivered in Halkida yesterday by right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis and the statements made by ND spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos on

    the presence of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in Thessaloniki's ITF.

    Referring to the opinion polls, which record great public acceptance of the social measures announced by the Prime Minister while they also show that Kostas Simitis is leading Kostas Karamanlis in popularity terms, Mr. Protopapas stated that ND is annoye d by the measures.

    He said that when Greece is on a convergence course with the EU through the measures announced, ND appears to more and more lose touch with reality.

    Referring to the speech delivered yesterday by Mr. Karamanlis he said that the ND President promotes a dead end policy.

    Responding to the statements made yesterday by ND spokesman Thodoris Rousopoulos on the radio and television ads and the Prime Minister's presence in the ITF, the government spokesman stated that ND is consumed in a costly "gray" publicity race.

    Regarding the opinion polls, Mr. Protopapas referred to the one conducted by "Metron Analysis", published by the Athens newspaper "Imerisia" today, in which it is pointed out that 61.7% of the people believe that the social package announced moves on the

    right direction.

    He also referred to the opinion poll conducted by the "Kappa Research" polling company, which will be published on the Thessaloniki newspaper "Angelioforos" tomorrow. The specific opinion poll records a popularity increase for Mr. Simitis compared to Mr.

    Karamanlis based on the responses given to the question who is the fittest for the post of the Prime Minister.

  • [11] SIMITIS: ELECTIONS IN THE SPRING OF 2004 Elections will be held in Greece in the spring of 2004, stated Prime Minister Kostas Simitis speaking in a luncheon with government and party leading officials in Thessaloniki at noon today.

    Mr. Simitis stressed that until then a lot need to be done, adding that the government has completed many projects and there are more to be presented. He added that the governing Socialist Party of PASOK will have to give its battle with self-confidence and determination.

    On the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy, Mr. Simitis stated that it will not leave the battle without a fight and will use every means to create a grim atmosphere. Within this framework, it will exploit groups of workers that have unwise

    demands, said the Prime Minister.

    On his part, PASOK Central Committee Secretary Michalis Chrisochoidis stated that the governing party has assumed a combat disposition and the major issue is to explain to the people the social package announced by the Prime Minister, while at the same t ime, complete the reconstruction of PASOK.

  • [12] INVESTMENT PROGRAM FOR THE COUNTRY'S REGIONS Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis presented the government's investment program for the country's regions until the year 2008 in the formal dinner given this evening within the framework of Thessaloniki's 68th International Trade Fair.

    The Prime Minister stated that a new production system will be completed in the country through this program with an emphasis on the regions. In the future, this program will be further supported by resources used today for the construction of the Olympi c projects.

    The first axis of the program is the promotion of part of the public and private investments in the country's regions. The second axis is the funding of projects in the country's regions through state budget funds and the 3rd Community Framework of Suppo rt.

    Specifically, the Prime Minister stated that the government proceeds with the establishment of Investors' Support Centers in every prefecture. He said that already 5 such centers are in operation and the goal is for every prefecture in the country to hav e similar centers by next year. Entrepreneurship and Development Centers will be established in each one of the country's 13 regions to coordinate the initiatives financed by the 3rd Community Framework of Support, support small-medium sized businesses an d promote employment. Finally, Venture Capital will be used to finance high risk investments in the country's regions.

    Mr. Simitis stressed that regional development is a top priority in the government's economic policy as the country's true convergence passes through regional convergence. He added that the government wants the country to achieve convergence with the Eur opean Union without leaving parts of it or regions behind because they face problems in following the procedure leading to higher living standards. He underlined that the government policy is directed toward all geographic parts of the country because all

    regions have significant production and employment capabilities which are unexploited.

    On the occasion of the criticism launched by right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy regarding the government policy on the country's regions, Mr. Simitis stressed that the results of the government choices are visible in the Greek society and stated that regional inequalities in Greece tend to become smaller.

  • [13] CYPRUS ASPIRES TO BECOME A COMMERCIAL BRIDGE LINKING THE EU WITH THE MIDDLE EAST Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Giorgos Lillikas stated that the goal of the Cypriot government is to promote Cyprus into a regional center of services that will function as a bridge linking the EU with the Middle East in the area of i nvestments and trade.

    Within this framework, the main goal is the creation of an applied technology park in Cyprus a prospect that has already tempted foreign investors, according to statements made by the Cypriot Minister in the general assembly meeting of the Central Ass ociation of Greek Chambers in Thessalonki.

    Mr. Lillikas pointed out that the accession into the club of the "25" constitutes a historical challenge and a major bet for Cyprus given the fact that it leaves the protectionist economy for the open market economy.

  • [14] VOTE INTENTION IS NOT AFFECTED BY SOCIAL MEASURES The measures included in the "social package" announced recently by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis do not appear to have an effect on the preferences of the electorate in spite of the fact that the measures announced are regarded as necessary by the Greek

    society. The above are recorded in an opinion poll published today by the newspaper "O Kosmos tou Ependiti".

    Regarding the effect the measures will have on the economic situation of the people and their behavior in the elections, 55.9% believe that their economic situation will not improve in any way, while only a small improvement is expected by 22.5% of the p eople who responded to the opinion poll questionnaire.

    Also, 71.7 % stated that the social measures announced will have absolutely no effect on their vote intention.


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