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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-09-15

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 15, 2003

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] KARAMANLIS SURE OF ND VICTORY
  • [02] FIFTH POSITION AND IOANNIDIS RAGE
  • [03] ABSTENTION AND STRIKES IN UNIVERSITIES AND SCHOOLS
  • [04] ELECTORAL LAW DIALOGUE TO COMMENCE
  • [05] KILLINGS IN THE NIGHT
  • [06] PAPANDREOU: PASOK IS A LONG DISTANCE RUNNER
  • [07] DEFENSE WITH NO ATTORNEYS
  • [08] SIMITIS: HELLAS SAT A COMMITMENT IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE CONVERGENCE CHARTA
  • [09] NEW ELECTORAL LAW BY MID-2003
  • [10] GREECE IS THE SECOND MAJOR INVESTOR IN BULGARIA
  • [11] GREECE: SOCIAL PROTECTION SPENDING AT 27.7% OF THE GDP IN 2002
  • [12] LOSSES IN THE ASE
  • [13] PROTOPAPAS: THE GREEK GOV'T DISAGREES WITH ISRAEL'S DECISION TO EXPEL ARAFAT
  • [14] VERELIS: "HELLAS SAT" TO PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN THE COMMUNICATION OF THE DIASPORA WITH GREECE AND CYPRUS
  • [15] GREECE: ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION RESPONSIBLE FOR 40% OF DEADLY CAR ACCIDENTS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [16] PAPANDREOU VISIT TO WASHINGTON
  • [17] DEFICIT INCREASE IN THE EURO-ZONE IN 2002 NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] KARAMANLIS SURE OF ND VICTORY President of New Democracy appeared certain of his party's victory in the upcoming elections, in statements he made during a press conference in Thessaloniki. Mr. Karamanlis said he would not mimic the Prime Minister and announce pre-electoral benefits -

    as he characterized the social package, while he noted that there is consent in foreign policy, but he accused the Prime Minister of setting extortionate dilemmas. The government characterized Mr. Karamnalis views as "recital of vagueness".

  • [02] FIFTH POSITION AND IOANNIDIS RAGE The Greek national basketball team took fifth position in the European Basketball Championship, beating Serbia-Montenegro 72-64. Coach Giannis Ioannidis was enraged with the disinformation he attributed to the journalists covering the national team. Lith uania took first place, winning the final with Spain. A ticket for the Athens Olympics was also given to the Italian national team, which won in the small finals in France.
  • [03] ABSTENTION AND STRIKES IN UNIVERSITIES AND SCHOOLS University Professors are beginning their five day abstention from teaching, contesting higher wages, the incorporation of benefits to their basic salary and the immediate retraction of the of the bill for life long evaluation, while enrollment at univer sities have begun. Mobilization is being discussed, and middle and elementary school teachers will decide on their actions within the week.
  • [04] ELECTORAL LAW DIALOGUE TO COMMENCE A proposal for a dialogue on the electoral law is expected to be addressed today by Minister of the Interior Costas Scandalidis, which he will send to all parties, while the inter-party committee will convene on the same issue later this week.

    Meanwhile, the draft on property audit for politicians will be published on September 18, according to a recent statement made by Mr. Scandalidis. Regarding regional reconstruction, the Minister of the Interior is moving to the processing of the final pr oposal which is expected to be presented by the Cabinet.

  • [05] KILLINGS IN THE NIGHT Kyriaki Grigorakou, sister of Nikos and Thodoros Grigorakou, and daughter of Vassilis Grigorakou, who were all murdered three years ago in a feud between night "godfathers" in Ilioupoli, was found dead in her own car.

    The 36-year-old woman was found in the seat next to the driver's seat at 9pm, while her car was parked on the intersection of Ag. Dimitriou and Alki Argyriadi in the Brachami area.

    Although according to the police Kyriaki showed no signs of having been attacked, nor is there any other evidence pointing to criminal action. However a coroner was expected at the scene to discern a cause of death.

    The only surviving members of the Grigorakou family are now the second daughter Zoe and the mother.

  • [06] PAPANDREOU: PASOK IS A LONG DISTANCE RUNNER "Costas Simitis will be present and we will all fight the battle for the elections together", stated Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, commenting on the scenarios that want Prime Minister Costas Simitis moving to the European Union.

    He appreciated that the elections will be held at the end of the four-year term, and until then the government has a significant period of time to continue and complete a major project covering the whole country.

    In an interview to the "Ethnos" newspaper, he stressed that the social measures announced by the Prime Minister, respond to the governmental program, and he underlined: "Major businesses and banks are not the only ones contributing to the production of n ational wealth. Farmers, small and medium businessmen, civil servants with children studying away from home, even pensioners all contribute. PASOK, as government and as a party, has the obligation to socially and financially defend all these social strata . And that is what we are doing."

  • [07] DEFENSE WITH NO ATTORNEYS The trial of the 19 suspected members of the "17 November" terrorist organization is being carried out with no defense attorneys. There was no prearranged understanding for the absence to the attorneys, pointed out Mr. Giotopoulos' attorney, Mr. Chrysich opoulos. The court ordered that V. Jorjatos be removed from the courtroom, as he was interrupting prosecution attorney Mr. Anagnostopoulos.
  • [08] SIMITIS: HELLAS SAT A COMMITMENT IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE CONVERGENCE CHARTA The role of the Greek Cypriot satellite HELLAS SAT in Greece's course towards digital convergence with technologically developed countries, was underlined by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, in statements he made at the event for the delivery of the satell ite transmitters of the Greek civil service.

    "Greece is strengthening its presence in a highly competitive field, that of space", said Mr. Simitis, and he stressed that related policies are a commitment on the side of the government in the framework of the Convergence Charter, which was presented a

    few days ago.

    "In August 2004 this satellite will send images of the Olympics all over the world", stressed the Prime Minister, and made more specific mention of the role a communications satellite would have in a series of more modern services in the field of communi cations. Mr. Simitis pointed out that Greece's positive image in the world is being strengthened, since, as he said, the satellite that was recently put into orbit was a decisive step for our country to become a member of the society of information and th e society of knowledge, more quickly.

  • [09] NEW ELECTORAL LAW BY MID-2003 A more proportional allotment of seats is foresee by the new electoral law, for which the possible scenarios were sent to the parties by Minister of the Interior Costas Scandalidis, who made it clear that the government is prepared to vote on the law by the end of November if there is no response from the other parties. The law foresees double ballots and a breaking down of the large electoral districts, Athens I and II, the rest of Attica and Thessaloniki I. Meanwhile, almost all PASOK MPs have submitte d their stock market transaction statement. Five MPs responded via mail, stating that they had no transactions.
  • [10] GREECE IS THE SECOND MAJOR INVESTOR IN BULGARIA Greece was at breathing distance from the No 1 foreign investor in Bulgaria on March 2003 "threatening" Germany, which is the major investor in the Balkan country, and leaving behind economic powers, like the United States and France.

    Specifically, the direct Greek investments that took place in the first trimester of the year in Bulgaria brought the total Greek invested capital in the country to US$634.3 million compared to Germany's US$637.6 million.

    Until the year 2000, Greece was usually at the third or fourth place on the list of the major foreign investors in Bulgaria, according to the electronic data base of Bulgaria's Foreign Investments Organization.

  • [11] GREECE: SOCIAL PROTECTION SPENDING AT 27.7% OF THE GDP IN 2002 Social protection spending in Greece reached 27.7% of the GDP in 2002 and according to Greek Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, this had as a result for Greece to reach and possibly exceed the European average in this area.

    Citing the Greek National Statistics Agency figures given to publicity today, Mr. Christodoulakis pointed out that social protection spending records a steady increase in the past few years.

    He added that in 2001 spending in this sector was at 27.2% of the GDP, while in the year 2000 it was at 26.1% of the GDP. Based on the latest available figures, (concerning the year 2000) social spending in the European Union was at 27.3% of the GDP.

  • [12] LOSSES IN THE ASE Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index plunged to -1.69% at 2.047,66 points, while the volume of transactions was at 94.1 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 316 had losses and 21 had gains, while the value of 46 remained unchanged.

  • [13] PROTOPAPAS: THE GREEK GOV'T DISAGREES WITH ISRAEL'S DECISION TO EXPEL ARAFAT Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas expressed the Greek government's disagreement regarding the decision by Israel to expel Yasser Arafat, characterizing it as a mistake.

    Mr. Protopapas reiterated that Yasser Arafat is the legal representative of the Palestinian people and Israel's decision puts the peace process at risk. He called on all sides to undertake a commitment to materialize the "road map" and assume their respo nsibilities. Mr. Protopapas pointed out that the Palestinian authorities should control the organizations that engage in terrorist acts and Israel should avoid putting the region at greater risk through its decisions.

  • [14] VERELIS: "HELLAS SAT" TO PLAY A MAJOR ROLE IN THE COMMUNICATION OF THE DIASPORA WITH GREECE AND CYPRUS The first Greek telecommunications satellite is a fact. Hellenism has its own neighborhood in space. Greece and Cyprus are cohabitants in the "Hellas Sat" satellite, at 39 degrees East and at an altitude of 36.000 kilometers over the equator.

    Greek Transportation and Telecommunications Minister Christos Verelis made the statement speaking in an event on the occasion of the delivery of the first Greek-Cypriot satellite that took place today at the ministry building in the presence of Prime Min ister Kostas Simitis and Cypriot Transportation Minister Kiriakos Kazamias.

    Mr. Verelis stressed, among others, that the goal of "Hellas Sat" is to become the major means of communication between the Greeks living abroad, Greece and Cyprus. He also said that it is expected to play a decisive role in the 2004 Olympics when it wil l cover the needs of numerous foreign radio-television networks and telecommunications organizations.

    Mr. Verelis said that it is a Greek satellite built by Greek companies and its major owner is the Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE. He also stressed that the satellite was designed by Yiannis Karras, himself a Greek living abroad.

    The satellite will cover the telecommunications needs in Greece, Cyprus and other 25 countries in the region and it will include telephone communication applications, Internet, telemedicine, defense and digital television.

  • [15] GREECE: ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION RESPONSIBLE FOR 40% OF DEADLY CAR ACCIDENTS A 5% of the deaths of individuals, aged 15-29, worldwide is attributed to the consumption of alcohol, while in Europe one in four deaths of individuals belonging to the same age group is attributed to alcohol.

    In Greece, 40% of the deadly car accidents are attributed to alcohol abuse, while the annual per capita alcohol consumption reached 8.9 litres in 1999.

    The figures mentioned above were given to publicity today during the opening of a two-day conference in Athens on the social, psychiatric and genetic dimensions of alcoholism and toxic drugs addiction.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [16] PAPANDREOU VISIT TO WASHINGTON Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou began his two-day visit to Washington today. During his visit he will meet with his US counterpart, Colin Powell, as well as National Security Advisor Contoleezza Rice and other US officials.

    The main issues to be discussed include the security agenda of the Olympics as well as issues of bilateral relations and regional and international policies.

  • [17] DEFICIT INCREASE IN THE EURO-ZONE IN 2002 An increase was recorded in the deficits of the European Union member states deficits in 2002, while public debt dropped slightly, according to official figures provided by the European Statistics Agency given to publicity today.

    Specifically, public deficit in the Euro-zone countries increased to 2.2% of the GDP compared to 1.6% in 2001, while for the 15 member states increased from 0.9% to 1.9%. Germany (3.5%) and France (3.1%) have the biggest public deficit, while Finland (4. 2%) and Luxembourg (2.5%) have the biggest public surplus.

    In the Euro-zone countries, public debt is at 69% of the GDP while in Greece, Belgium and Italy is at 100%. A total of nine member states were able to bring their public debt down in 2002.

    In the Euro-zone countries, public spending in 2002 was at 48.3% of the GDP and revenues at 46.1%. The relevant figures for the member states were at 47.4% and 45.4% respectively.


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