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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2003-10-30

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, October 30, 2003

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] BASIS DEFICIT
  • [02] EARTHQUAKE WITH NO SEQUEL
  • [03] APPROACH BEFORE THE HIERARCHY
  • [04] HEALTHY AND BACK
  • [05] PREPARING FOR THE STORM
  • [06] OPEN VOTE ON MP IMMUNITY
  • [07] ANOTHER 3.5 R EARTHQUAKE IN THESSALONIKI
  • [08] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS: MORE JOB POSITIONS
  • [09] SMALL GAINS IN THE ASE
  • [10] THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA IN THESSALONIKI
  • [11] CHRISTODOULAKIS ON THE EU REPORT
  • [12] NEW VIOLATIONS OVER THE AEGEAN BY TURKISH FIGHTER JETS
  • [13] STEFANIS: ALL NECESSARY MEASURES HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO CONTAIN THE GASTROENTERITIS EPIDEMIC
  • [14] GREECE-ALBANIA-FYROM COOPERATION FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIG PRESPA LAKE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    NEWS IN DETAILS

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] BASIS DEFICIT Supplementary evidence, shooting down the European Commission's appreciation that there will be a 2.4% deficit in 2004, will be submitted by the government, which, according to Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis, "does not share the EU's forecasts ". On his side, Commissioner Solbes said that the Commission is ready to revise its data if specifics are given. The report was characterized as "a slap in the face" by ND's Head of Financial Affairs G. Alogoskoufis.
  • [02] EARTHQUAKE WITH NO SEQUEL A seismic vibration of 4.7 points on the Richter scale was noted at 23:15 last night in Thessaloniki. The earthquake's epicenter was located in Nea Mesimvria, 16 kilometers west of Thessaloniki. The vibration was felt in Edessa, Kilkis, and Katerini. Sei smologists said there was no need to worry, however they were not in a position to say if this was the main quake. No damages due to the earthquake was mentioned.
  • [03] APPROACH BEFORE THE HIERARCHY Channels of communication are still open between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Archbishopric of Greece, a few days before the meeting of the hierarchy, next Monday. Metropolites of Piraeus Kallinikos and of Dimitriada Ignatios, met with the directo r of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's office in Athens, Metropolite of Pergamos Ioannis, in the presence of former director of Mount Athos, Stavros Psycharis, and substitute director Ar. Kasmiroglou.
  • [04] HEALTHY AND BACK The twin baby girls from Thessaloniki that had been born joined at the temple region and underwent a successful separation procedure in Rome, arrived in Thessaloniki yesterday afternoon. The two little girls, arrived with their parents at "Macedonia" air port at 17:40 on a flight from Athens. The twin sisters were released from the "Jemeli" hospital in Rome yesterday morning.
  • [05] PREPARING FOR THE STORM An appeal to Districts, Prefectures, and Municipalities to take up increased preparedness measures, in order to deal with possible problems due to the upcoming wave of bad weather, was made by the General Secretariat of Civic Safety. Weather forecasts ma de mention of major intensification of winds blowing from the south (strong to very strong) and locally in eastern and southern seas (stormy to very stormy). The weather is expected to gradually improve this evening from west to south. The winds will turn

    to the west and die down.

  • [06] OPEN VOTE ON MP IMMUNITY An open vote on the lifting of ten MPs' immunity will be carried out in Parliament today. It is the first time that the new provisions on the issue will be applied, as last week's vote by raising hands did not show a clear result. Immunity is an institut ion dating back to when parliaments had a monarch against them and they had to defend the peoples' rule, which they expressed as representatives of the people, stated President of the Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis.
  • [07] ANOTHER 3.5 R EARTHQUAKE IN THESSALONIKI A small earthquake, recorded at 3.5 on the Richter scale, took place at 11:05 this morning, its epicenter in the area of Nea Mesimvria, Thessaloniki, and according to specialists, it was an aftershock of the main earthquake that was recorded last night, at 4.7 R in the same are.

    The aftershock affected the entire city of Thessaloniki and caused some worries as many Thessaloniki residents spent the night afraid of aftershocks, since the main earthquake took place at 23:15.

    According to the statements of seismologist Anastasia Kyratzi tou the Macedonian Press Agency, this morning's quake was the strongest of the aftershocks and she underlined that in these cases aftershocks are to be expected and should not cause concern.

  • [08] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS: MORE JOB POSITIONS A higher employment rate is a top priority policy for the government, stated Prime Minister Kostas Simitis after today's cabinet meeting that focused on issues concerning unemployment and the creation of more job positions.

    He pointed out that since the year 2000 unemployment dropped by 2.2 percentage points and is currently at 8.9%, while employment reached 58% of the active population. The government implements active employment policies and since the year 2000, people we re offered a total of 324,000 employment opportunities, 394,000 jobless people were offered special training and 467,000 people were able to upgrade their job training.

    New programs concerning 154,000 people will be launched in November, while special measures will be implemented for specific population groups. A total of 25,000 part-time positions will be available in the public sector in the following months, while em ployers will be offered incentives to hire unemployed women with children.

    The government's goals are to bring unemployment down to 6% by the year 2008, for women down to 8% while, at the same time, increase employment on an annual basis by 1.5% (2% for women).

    The government has a strategy on employment, stated the Prime Minister and stressed that the increase in the employment rate is associated with the preservation of the high growth rates. Unemployment in Greece follows a steady downward course whereas in the rest European Union it has an upward tendency.

  • [09] SMALL GAINS IN THE ASE Small gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +0.38% at 2.115,86 points, in spite of the fact that the volume of transactions was very small until the last minutes of today's session when it skyrocketed from 80 m illion euros to 541 million euros.

    Of the stocks trading today, 145 recorded gains and 128 had losses, while the value of 108 stocks remained unchanged.

  • [10] THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA IN THESSALONIKI Patriarch Petros of Alexandria and All of Africa will be in Thessaloniki in the next few days to attend the scientific symposium on "Christian Macedonia. Thessaloniki-Alexandria" organized by the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki's Aristotle Uni versity and the Foundation on National and Religious Issues within the framework of the cultural events "Dimitria 2003".

    The goal of the conference is to promote the historical and cultural profile of the two cities, while presenting personalities who strengthened the ties between the cities of Alexandria and Thessaloniki through the Patriarchate of Alexandria.

    During his seven-day visit to Greece, the Patriarch of Alexandria will also attend the celebrations held by the Association of Greeks from Egypt on the occasion of the anniversary of its establishment.

  • [11] CHRISTODOULAKIS ON THE EU REPORT Greek Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis referred to the European Commission report in the cabinet meeting today.

    Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas underlined the government's satisfaction for the fact that the report recognizes that in a difficult time for Europe, when low growth rates are being predicted even an increase in unemployment in some Europe an states, Greece will continue to have high growth rates and create more job positions.

    However, Mr. Christodoulakis added that there is disagreement between the speculations made by the government and those made by the European Commission in the calculation of deficit. According to the Finance Minister, the European Commission calculations

    are not based on correct and precise figures, as there is an underestimation of revenues and an overestimation of spending.

    In conclusion, the government spokesman stated that the Greek government believes that the issue will be resolved before the budget is submitted. He also said that the European Commission recognizes the government's speculation that growth rate in 2004 w ill be at 4% and reminded the criticism the government had received earlier regarding that speculation.

  • [12] NEW VIOLATIONS OVER THE AEGEAN BY TURKISH FIGHTER JETS Seven formations of Turkish fighter jets made eight violations of the air traffic regulations inside the Athens FIR, which developed into 20 violations of the Greek national airspace over the region of central and eastern Aegean, according to press infor mation.

    In all instances, the 18 Turkish fighter jets were identified and intercepted by Greek fighter planes. As it was made known, four of the Turkish jets, identified and intercepted by Greek fighter jets, were armed.

  • [13] STEFANIS: ALL NECESSARY MEASURES HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO CONTAIN THE GASTROENTERITIS EPIDEMIC All necessary measures have been taken to deal with the gastroenteritis epidemic that broke out on board the British cruise ship "Aurora", stated Greek Health Minister Kostas Stefanis. The Greek authorities have decided to allow the cruise ship to sail i nto the port of Piraeus.

    It is an epidemic caused by the Norovirus, which is usually reported on cruise ships.

    Mr. Stefanis stated that the ship left Southampton, England on October 20 with 1,900 British passengers and 837 crewmembers.

    The outbreak of the epidemic was reported on Friday, October 24 and it is regarded as a typical Norovirus epidemic. It is believed that the epidemic started from a family of passengers and according to the ship's captain there are 430 patients on board t he cruise ship.

    Mr. Stefanis stated that the patients are isolated in their cabins, while there is no self-service in the dinning room and the cruise ship was disinfected since October 20.

  • [14] GREECE-ALBANIA-FYROM COOPERATION FOR THE PROTECTION OF BIG PRESPA LAKE The Firefighting Departments of Greece, Albania and FYROM laid the foundations for their cooperation aimed at the protection of the Big Prespa Lake basin, a region widely known for its natural beauty and biodiversity.

    In a meeting held at the Prespa Town Hall today the representatives of the Firefighting Departments of the three countries considered forest firefighting plans, the existing needs and the prospects for cooperation.

    The meeting was organized by the Society for the Protection of Prespes in cooperation with the Municipality of Prespes, PPNEA (Albania) and the Municipality of Resen (FYROM), financed by the Greek Foreign Ministry International Development Cooperation Ag ency.

  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


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