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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-10-01

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at and

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY Thessaloniki, October 1, 2003








  • [01] ENDURANCE AND DISCONTENT The increases given to civil servants and pensioners based on the 2005 budget touches the on the end of the Greek economy's endurance, said Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis. The Union of Civil Servants seems disappointed and has not ruled out mo bilization. Teachers are insisting on their strike next week. Harsh criticism from the Coalition and DIKKI. The social budget has risen to more than the community average, and covers 27.1%, while 10 years ago it was 18%.
  • [02] OPEN UNIVERSITIES ARE A SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY Open universities are a social responsibility, stressed the rectors of the country's universities, who decided to ask for a meeting with the Prime Minister at their meeting. The rectors are taking a distance the university professors' strike, but at the same time they called the government to increase the funding of education. "We do not want the university students as hostages", stated Athens University Rector G. Babiniotis. Legal aid will be asked for in cutting benefits during the strike.
  • [03] STEFANOPOULOS IN MONTPELIER Greek President of the Republic Costis Stefanopoulos is in Montpelier, France, for the unveiling of the statue of Adamantios Korais, after an official invitation of the city's philhellene Mayor, George Fres.

    The statue of Korais, a copy of the statue outside Athens University, was placed in the city's central neighborhood, Antigone, formed in the 80s with the initiative of the present Mayor.

    He noted that the University of Montpelier is one of the greatest in France, from which Adamantios Korais graduated in 1788 with a PhD in medicine.

    Mr. Stefanopoulos was received at the City Hall, where he was proclaimed an honorary citizen of Montpelier, and George Fres awarded him with the city medals.

  • [04] ATHENS MEETS SCANDALIDIS - VERELIS Issues concerning Greeks abroad were the main topics of the consecutive meetings President of the Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Andrew Athens had yesterday, with Minister of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization, Mr. Panagiotis Scan dalidis, and Minister of Transportation Christos Verelis, whom he informed of SAE programs.

    At his meeting with Mr. Scandalidis, the President of SAE raised the issue of promoting procedures to apply the article of the Constitution that foresees voting by mail for Greek citizens, living abroad permanently. The Minister expressed his personal in terest in the issue, which should be immediately promoted after the national elections, so that it can be put into effect in 2008, while they also discussed the models followed by other countries of the EU on the issue. It should be noted that Greece is t he only member of the EU that has not applied vote by mail.

    Mr. Athens also expressed an intense interest in issues of Greeks abroad returning to Greece. Within two weeks SAE will submit a new report with its own proposals to the Minister, which will possibly be discussed anew in November.

    Mr. Scandalidis congratulated the SAE President on the programs being carried out, and especially the Medical Program in countries of the Black Sea and Albania.

    During his meeting with the Minister of Transportation, they discussed the problem created for Greeks living in Australia, by the interruption of Olympic Airways flights to Australia. As Mr. Verelis said, the problem has the Ministry deeply concerned, wh ile it is negotiating with Gulf Air, so that a solution can be found for the transportation of Greeks living abroad from and to Australia.

    Regarding the problem of not recognizing drivers' licenses of Greeks from South Africa, Mr. Verelis said that that problem would be solved within ten days with the announcement of a related decision.

    Mr. Athens thanked the Minister of Transportation for his decision to place the "Greek Diaspora" magazine of the Macedonian Press Agency in all Olympic Airways flights, as it includes a special SAE section.

  • [05] MIN. OF AGRICULTURE SUIT AGAINST AGRICULTURALISTS - STRIKE CAUSES DAMAGE TO GOODS The strike of civil agriculturalists and veterinarians will continue until Monday, October 6 at least, when the suit filed by the Ministry of Agriculture asking that the strike be found illegal will be tried.

    The Minister of Agriculture Giorgos Drys stated that the agriculturalists and veterinarians have not officially called a strike, and that is why there is not security personnel staff. Deputy Minister of Development Kimon Koulouris mentioned: "The extende d strike of the veterinarians can only be excessive. No one should be allowed to use consumers as victims and hostages".

    Meanwhile, the strike has caused shortages and price increases in food market of Northern Greece. The continuing strike has caused all slaughterhouses in the country to cease functioning, while all imports and exports of animal and vegetable goods have f rozen. The lack in food has caused prices to rise, while the main force of the blow was taken by farmers and fruit, vegetable, meat and poultry exporters, who made mention of immense damages, and fiscal clauses they will be forced to pay to companies abro ad since their products did not get there on time.

    Butcher shops and grocery stores in Thessaloniki are unable to secure produce and warned that if the mobilizations continue, they will be forced to close their shops.

  • [06] ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES CLOSED Several archeological sites will remain closed again today, due to the panhellenic strike of employees under contract of the Ministry of Culture.

    The strike will continue until Friday, while a protest has been organized outside the Ministry of Culture on Friday.

  • [07] SIMITIS: PENSION INCREASES Significant increases in pensions, much greater than those of the employed and civil servants, were promised by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, during his speech at the center for the elderly in Agia Varvara.

    Mr.Simitis visited the center in view of the Day of the Elderly and presented the government's actions in favor of the elderly, which have been part of his policy so far, as well as the program for the next four years (2004-2008).

    The elderly must not be marginalized by society, said the Prime Minister. He mentioned the "Help at Home" program, which he noted is being applied to a satisfactory degree and is being extended. The Units will increase from 800 at the present to 1100 by the end of the year.

    The Prime Minister was warmly received by hundreds of elderly people at the center. He talked with them and listened to their requests.

  • [08] VARTHOLOMEOS RETURNED THE LIST Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos returned the list of candidates for the Holy Metropolis of Thessaloniki to the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, refusing to accept it as a means of information in violation of the Patriarchal Act of 1928, which foresa w the approval of the list of candidates for new countries. In response, Archbishop Christodoulos called the Hierarchy to take a position on the issue.
  • [09] NEWCOMER ORGANIZATION CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY The "Metamesonyktia Slalom" (Slalom After Midnight) organization claimed responsibility for the attacks that took place yesterday in the early morning hours in several Athens areas.

    The organization left a declaration in a garbage can near the Eleftherotypia newspaper offices. The note, among other things, mentioned how the attacks were in support of the 7 youths that have been imprisoned for the events that took place during the pr otests against the Summit Meeting that took place in Thessaloniki in June, while they also expressed their solidarity to the defendants in the "17 November" and "ELA" trials.

    The explosions were noted outside the homes of New Democracy MP Giorgos Voulgarakis, professor Giorgos Veltsos, as well as the offices of local New Democracy and PASOK organizations.

    A few hours later, an incendiary device exploded outside the house of journalist Anna Panagiotarea.

  • [10] UNEMPLOYMENT AT 8.8% IN THE EURO-ZONE Unemployment in August remained at 8.8%, the highest level of the past 3.5 years in the Euro-zone, according to the European Statistics Agency, Eurostat.

    A total of 12.4 million people are unemployed, while based on a report by Dow Jones Newswires, economic analysts were expecting unemployment to reach 8.9%.

    According to Eurostat, the highest percentage (11.4%) was recorded in Spain and the lowest (3.8%) in Luxembourg. It is pointed out that based on the revised figures of the European Statistics Agency, unemployment in the Euro-zone was at 8.8% in June and July.

  • [11] PROTOPAPAS ON MILLER'S LETTER TO PAPANDREOU Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas confirmed today the information published by a newspaper concerning a letter by US Ambassador Thomas Miller to Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou on the prospects of the European security.

    Mr. Protopapas stated that a similar letter has been sent to the rest European governments by the US Ambassadors in Europe. On the Greek position regarding the contents of the letter, Mr. Protopapas said that Greece has a clear policy on European securit y issues in accordance with relevant EU decisions.

  • [12] PROTOPAPAS: NO 17N ACTIVITY Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated that there is no activity by terrorist group "17 November" and the recent bomb attacks should not be associated with it, stressing that the terrorist group in question is on trial.

    Mr. Protopapas pointed out that there is a difference between combating terrorism and the activities of certain brainless and foolish individuals who want to state their presence through attacks with improvised explosive devices.

    Mr. Protopapas reiterated that the police authorities are doing their job and proceed with all necessary investigations that will lead to the arrest of those responsible. He also pointed out that right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy Parliame nt deputy Giorgos Voulgarakis, whose house was attacked, will continue to be guarded.

  • [13] LOSSES IN THE ASE Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.38% at 2.012,14 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 80.9 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 220 recorded losses and 90 had gains, while the value of 73 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [14] YIANNITSIS' VISIT TO CROATIA Alternate Foreign Minister Tasos Yiannitsis will depart tomorrow for a two-day visit to Croatia. He will have talks with the country's Foreign Minister and the Alternate Foreign Minister. Mr. Yiannitsis will also be received by the Croatian President and

    the government Vice-President.

    In the talks will be examined bilateral political and economic relations, the further development of cooperation in the tourist sector and the preparations for the visit of the Croatian President to Athens next month as well as Croatia's EU accession pro spects.

  • [15] POVERTY IN THE BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION COUNTRIES The representatives of 11 member states of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization reached the conclusion that poverty is the basic problem in the region as a result of the economic crisis and unemployment while there is a need to combat the phen omenon through economic cooperation and the association with the EU.

    The above were concluded within the framework of the 21st meeting of the Cultural, Educational and Social Affairs Committee of the Organization's Parliamentary Assembly launched in Thessaloniki today.

    The Parliament deputies representing the 11 BSEC countries discussed the dimensions of the phenomenon and adopted a plan of recommendations and proposals aimed at dealing with the problem. The plan will be presented for approval to the State Parliaments of the organization's member states and the responsible committee in the Euro-Parliament.


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