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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-09-24

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, September 24, 2003








  • [01] THE YELLOW RIFT The Ministry of Transportation and Communications is ready to apply the law on obstruction of traffic, while taxi owners are preparing a major protest march against the installation of cash registers in taxis. Yesterday's meeting was a dead end. Strikes are taking place today in Patra, Larisa and Corinth.
  • [02] "TAKING CARE" OF THE FOREST The government wishes to see a final, modern settlement, of the forest area problem based on present conditions, stated Government Spokesperson Ch. Protopapas, who refuted scenarios wanting the legalization of some or the incorporation other plots of lan d, while he gave his reassurance that there are records of the areas, based on air photographs taken in 1945. The issue will be discussed by the Cabinet tomorrow.
  • [03] LOOKING FOR A WAY OUT Today's meeting of university professors, who are on strike, with the Ministers of Finance and Education, Mr. Christodoulakis and Mr. Efthymiou, as the university professors expressed their discomfort on the circular issued by the Ministry of Education, which stated that it is looking into the possibility of holding back their salary for the days they do not hold classes. University professors insist on receiving the raises they had agreed upon, 20% in two "installments", while the government is attracte d more towards a 7% increase.
  • [04] UEFA NIGHT FOR GREEK TEAMS Greek teams are being dropped onto the UEFA battlefield tonight. Greece needs good appearances and points from all teams, in order to retain sixth position in Europe, and continue to have 3 teams in the Champions' League and three in the upgraded UEFA. A t 17:30, Panionios will receive the Danish Nordsj?lland in Nea Smyrni, at 19:30 Aris will confront Zimbru in Chichenau, Moldavia, while in Touba, at 21:30 PAOK will be playing the Norse, Lyn.
  • [05] PRESIDENT STEFANOPOULOS: RADICAL REVIEW OF UN A formal dinner was held for Hungarian President Ferenc Madl, who is on a formal visit to Greece, at the presidential residence in Athens, by Greek President of the Republic Costis Stefanopoulos.

    During his speech, Mr. Stefanopoulos referred to the role the UN are called to play in modern reality. "Perhaps this organization that has offered so much to international peace needs a radical review, so that it can decisively confront modern challenges . Let us all take our responsibility", he underlined.

    He pointed out that Cyprus' accession to the EU has created promising prospects for the whole of the Cypriot people, and he expressed his hope that Turkish Cypriots will realize the great advantages their membership in the European family provides, and w ill cooperate with Greek Cypriots in finding an overall solution to the political problem.

    He noted, finally, that the new enlarged Europe must find the necessary, flexible and effective mechanisms for its course into the future and the achievement of its goals.

  • [06] SEEKING JUSTICE IN MEDICINE More than 20 doctors are facing malpractice suits, after the death of one patient and their failure to diagnose an infant with a serious condition.

    Seventeen doctors of the Ippokratio hospital in Thessaloniki were in court yesterday, with charges of causing bodily harm to the Kordakis family's infant, which was born prematurely.

    According to the parents, the infant had been hospitalized for more than two months in the hospital's neonatal ward, while the doctors did not diagnose its serious health problem in time. The small boy who is now 5 years old is partially blind in his rig ht eye and has a partial detachment of the retina in his left eye. The parents claimed in their testimony in court, that the doctors did not carry out the necessary tests with which the problem would have been found in time.

    Meanwhile, the trial of 4 doctors in Thessaloniki's AHEPA hospital will continue on Friday. The four doctors are accused of malpractice as their patient died on the operation table.

    The operation, which was carried out with the laparoscopy method, took place in May 2000, but the patient died due to loss of blood during surgery - as was mentioned in the bill of indictment - caused by a surgical instrument.

    Despite the efforts of the doctors, they could not stop the bleeding and the patient died.

  • [07] TRIAL FOR WETLAND VIOLATIONS SUSPENDED One hundred and sixty people are involved in the exsiccation and violation of public lands in the Almyra lagoon of the municipality of Avdira, Xanthi, while the trial in the case was suspended until February 2004.

    The violation was discovered approximately 6 years ago, when environmental organization representatives filed a complaint for multiple violations within the wetlands' boundaries, which are in fact protected by the "Ramsar" treaty.

    The Prefecture of Xanthi intervened and stopped all construction in the area of the exsiccated lake, which resulted in the 160 plot holders appealing to court, so that the decision is repealed and building permits are issued to them.

    The exsiccation and violation began in the mid 90's, when many people managed to mark out roads and form plots of land, which they then sold.

  • [08] THE "FIERY SWORD" OF THE GREEK POLICE The two-day inter-branch training exercise code named "Fiery Sword" commenced today. The drill is being organized by the Olympic Games security direction of the Greek Police, and is being carried out in the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee's conference c enter.

    The first day of the exercise includes presentations on the basic aspects of the new operational plan of threat confrontation (anthrax, chemical substances, etc.) by foreign specialists of the Olympic Advisory Team as well as Greek specialists.

    Tomorrow, the exercise's second day, the participants will be called to respond to the drill's demands, based on a complex simulation scenario, in an Olympic environment.

    Participants in the exercise include officers in the main security bodies of the 2004 Olympics (the Greek Police, the Coast Guard, the Fire Department, National Intelligence Agency), the Armed Forces and officials of the Olympic Games Organizing Committe e. The "Fiery Sword" is the fifth such exercise organized by the Olympic Games security direction.

    The gold medal in the 470 category in the sailing world championship being held in Cadiz, Spain, was won by Sophia Bekatorou and Emilia Tsoulfa.

    After yesterday's runs, the two Greek champions retained first place in the 470, with 21 penalty points, followed by the French, who had fallen behind with 50 penalty points and the Australians with 51.

    The two athletes have secured the gold medal, regardless of the results of tomorrow's 11th and final course in their category.

    It should be noted that this is the fourth consecutive world championship gold medal that the Greek champions have won.

  • [09] SIMITIS ON GREEK-HUNGARIAN RELATIONS The hope that Greek-Hungarian trade and financial relations can develop even more, was expressed by Prime Minister Costas Simitis after the meeting he had with Hungarian President Ferenc Madl, who is on an official visit to Greece.

    Mr. Simtis referred to the financial relations, trade transactions and business activity connecting the two countries (Hungarian busses in Greece, Greek business activity in Hungary, Hungarian tourist arrivals, etc.)

    At the same time he pointed out that beginning May 1, 2004, Hungary will be a member of the European Union and he and the President discussed their common concerns regarding the future of Europe, the Intergovernmental Conference, which will convene in ea rly October in Rome, on the European Constitution.

    They also discussed procedures for Hungary to adjust to the EU's conditions, and Mr. Simitis made it clear that the Greek government is willing to help facilitate that adjustment.


  • [10] PAPANTONIOU MEETS WITH HIS SWEDISH COUNTERPART Views on European defense and the reorganization of the army were exchanged in Stockholm today between Greek Minister of Defense Giannos Papantoniou and his Swedish counterpart Leni Bjorklund.

    As far as developments in Iraq are concerned, Mr. Papantoniou repeated the Greek position on the strengthening of the UN's role in forming stable conditions in Iraq and to return power to its people.

    Mr. Papantoniou stressed that both Ministers expressed the different positions of their countries on European defense.

    The Minister of National Defense underlined that through branching and hiring professional soldiers, a decrease in the defense budget has been achieved, and thus, 2.5 million euro can be channeled to covering social needs.

    Regarding Greeks with Swedish citizenship, Mr. Papandreou mentioned that they retain their Greek citizenship, with the same rights and obligations as the rest of Greeks.

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