|Wednesday, 20 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-04-08
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY
Thessaloniki, April 8 (MPA)
NEWS IN DETAIL
 CONSTRUCTION OF THESSALONIKI’S METRO TO START THIS YEAR
Thessaloniki, April 8 (MPA)After the European Commission gave the “green light” yesterday, the Greek government is confident that the construction of Thessaloniki’s metro project will get underway before the end of this year.
According to a draft plan submitted by the Municipality of Thessaloniki, based on which the bidding for the project was declared, the underground will start from the city’s railway station and will end at one of its farthest regions, Nea Elvetia. The tunnels’ length will be about eight kilometers, while the time needed to travel from end to end will be 14 minutes.
 OLYMPIC AIRWAYS DRAFTBILL HEARD IN PARLIAMENT YESTERDAY
Athens, April 8 (MPA)The draftbill containing the proposed changes to be implemented on the structure of the national air carrier Olympic Airways was heard in Parliament yesterday evening where it became apparent the juxtaposition between the two sides is not about to end.
Meanwhile, the O.A. staff held a 24-hour strike yesterday, while the situation at the country’s airports continuous to be chaotic. The bill will be voted on tomorrow.
 FORMER GREEK PRESIDENT KARAMANLIS TO UNDERGO MEDICAL EXAMS
Athens, April 8 (MPA)Former Greek president Konstantinos Karamanlis, who was hospitalized yesterday at Athens’ "Hygia" Hospital for a respiratory viral infection, is to undergo medical examinations today.
The 91-year-old ex-president is accompanied by his personal physician who appeared confident that Mr. Karamanlis will be well.
 “ECONOMIST” MAGAZINE TO HOLD ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION IN GREECE
Athens, April 8 (MPA)The London-based "Economist" magazine will organize its second roundtable discussion with the Greek government today and tomorrow, titled "Welcoming a New Business Era" and will feature an address by the European Commission President Jacques Santer.
The conference is to focus on issues concerning the Greek economy in light of the economic and monetary union, the role of the euro in the global economy and the contribution of the Olympic Games towards the overall development of Greece. Issues regarding NATO enlargement and its repercussions onto Greece will also be examined.
The Economist's conference will also be addressed by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Juan Antonio Samaranch, former US Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, main opposition New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, other party leaders, ministers, bank governors, members of the diplomatic corps and businessmen.
 PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COMMISSION ARRIVES IN ATHENS TOMORROW
Athens, April 8 (MPA)The President of the European Commission Jacques Santer is to conduct an official visit to Greece between April 9-13.
During his stay in Athens, Mr. Santer will meet with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, as well as with the leader of the country’s main opposition party, New Democracy’s Kostas Karamanlis. The Commission’s president will also be the keynote speaker at an international conference on "Greeting a new Business Age", to be held in Athens by “The Economist” magazine tomorrow.
Mr. Santer will also visit the island of Crete, where he will meet with representatives of local authorities and producers. This will be Mr. Santer's third official visit to Greece since assuming the top seat of the Commission in January 1995.
 COUNTRY’S COMMERCIAL PORTS CLOSE FOR 48-HOUR STRIKE
Athens, April 8 (MPA)Greece’s dockworkers are to embark on a 48-hour strike today, protesting the government’s privatization plans, essentially paralyzing all of the country’s commercial ports. Also, the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) will be taking part in the 24-hour nationwide strike called for tomorrow by the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE, “in protest to the government's policy of one-sided austerity and abolition of vested rights which is aimed at the people and the workers, " according to their announcement.
 NORTHERN GREECE’S TOURISM OFFICIALS ON SCHENGEN PACT
Thessaloniki, April 8 (MPA)Tourism officials and agents in northern Greece have welcomed the foreign ministry’s recent messages concerning the issuance of visas tourist agents said they considered messages by the foreign ministry regarding visas issued in the framework of the Schengen Pact. After a conference organized by the Federation of Tourist Offices and HELEXPO regarding the Schengen Pact’s repercussions on tourism, Union President P. Bamidis and board member Erofili Pantelidou said that since Greece started implementing the Schengen Pact, the beginning of this year, a decrease in tourist arrivals is being observed mostly from Russia, other former Soviet republics and Balkan countries due to bureaucratic red tape and staff shortages at Greek embassies and consulates. As such, they proposed a deviation in the Pact for reasons of national interest, specifically Article 5, Paragraph 2, which the foreign ministry is to take into consideration.
 HARVARD TO HOST BALKAN CINEMA FESTIVAL
Boston, April 8 (MPA)Harvard University is to host the first Balkan Cinema Festival, co-organized and financed by the Socrates Kokkalis program, Harvard's Southeastern Europe Society and the John Kennedy faculty of the school. Six films are to be screened between April 10-12, namely "The Time of the Gypsies", "Round Up", "Blind Chance", "The Oak", "Eskiye" and "Balkanizater". Also, a discussion will be held titled "the Serb Deadlock: The Policy of Nationalities in the Past Decade."
 GOVERNMENT AMENDS DRAFTBILL ON OLYMPIC AIRWAYS
Athens, April 8 (MPA)In its efforts to push the tabled legislation on the revitalization of Olympic Airways, the government last night amended key parts of the draftbill. The provision abolish all previous collective bargaining agreements while labor regulations will be abolished once the related laws are published in the government gazette, instead of by decision of the company's board, which means that the provisions currently in force are extended. Moreover, Transportation and Communications Minister Tasos Mantelis, withdrew a stipulation which bound OA employees to state within five days whether or not they accept the new labor regulations.
 DEVELOPMENT MINISTER TO INAUGURATE TOURIST PANORAMA ‘98
Athens, April 8 (MPA)The Minister of Development Vaso Papandreou is to inaugurate this year’s "Tourist Panorama", the largest exhibition concerning domestic tourism, in Athens today. About 600 exhibitors are expected to take place in the exhibition which aims at bringing tourist enterprises and local tourist destinations into contact with the public. The exhibition will last until Sunday and will be open to the public.
 BOYCOTT ON MEAT AND FRESH PRODUCE SUCCESSFUL SO FAR
Thessaloniki, April 8 (MPA)The first day of the nationwide boycott on meat and fresh produce declared by the Consumer Institute (INKA) has been successful as over than 17 percent of Greeks around the country refused to buy these items in protest of their price rises and profiteering outbreaks. According to INKA, the five-day boycott that began on Monday has been highly successful so far, with some areas reporting a consumer participation rate of 38 percent . A survey showed that nine out of ten Greek consumers agree with the boycott and seven out of ten believe the results would have a positive effect on prices.
 GREEK PREMIER TRAVELS TO BULGARIA NEXT WEEK
Sofia, April 8 (MPA)Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to conduct a two-day visit to Bulgaria on April 14-15, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Theodoros Pangalos and Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou
Mr. Simitis will be received by the Bulgarian President Petar Stoyanov and his Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Kostov.
According to Bulgarian press reports, the two premiers will discuss regional security, while the foreign ministers of Greece and Bulgaria (Nadejda Michailova) will discuss Bulgaria’s candidacy for accession to the European Union.
 GREECE’S STANCE ON THRACE’S MUSLIMS IS IRREPROACHABLE
Strasbourg, April 8 (MPA)The review committee of the Council of Europe’s parliamentary assembly has hailed the Greek government’s decision to abolish Article 19 of the citizenship code as a “highly significant development.”
As such, the committee opted not to proceed into as “review process: for the conditions of the Muslim population residing in western Thrace, thereby rejecting Turkey’s insistent claim. Committee members traveled to various regions of Thrace and met numerous times with members of the Greek parliament prior to deciding not to proceed with further checks. The Committee’s chief Guido de Marco, a former minister in Malta, wrote in his review that “experience showed that democratic changes can be achieved through constructive dialogue, without setting forth any other process.” In regards to other countries, the C of E committee is making recommendations to the Czech republic, Lithuania and Albania, while it will embark on a review process for Lethonia. Moreover, it will adopt “report plans” for the situation in FYROM, Bulgaria, the Ukraine, Moldavia, Russia and Croatia. Interestingly so, nothing is mentioned for Turkey, in spite of the fact that in 1995 the plenary session of the C of E had decided to cancel Turkey’s participation in the organization in the case that this country failed to meet the relevant criteria within a specific time period.
Complete archives of the Macedonian Press Agency bulletins are available on the MPA Home Page at http://www.mpa.gr/ and on the U.S. mirror at http://www.hri.org/MPA/