|Friday, 22 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-04-09
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY THE MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY
Thessaloniki, April 9 (MPA)
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREECE AT A STALL, MOST OF WORK FORCE ON STRIKE TODAY
Thessaloniki, April 9 (MPA)Greece’s public and private work sectors are operating with skeleton crews, after the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) declared a 24-hour strike, which begins this morning, joined by the Civil Servants Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY). The strike has had an avalanche effect throughout Greece, with public transportation routes being scarce, while banks and internal revenue service offices remain closed. Also participating in the strike are hospital staff, teachers and professors.
Rallies are to be conducted in Thessaloniki and Athens.
 YOUNG GREEKS LIVING ABROAD TO MEET IN THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, April 9 (MPA)The representatives of Greek community organizations participating in the Council of Hellenes Abroad will meet in Thessaloniki and their three-day conference will take place from Friday, April 10 to Sunday, April 12.
In the conference, that is organized by the Council of Hellenes Abroad- Region of Europe, will take part young people aged 18-28, who are members of the organizations of Greeks living in European countries.
The conference will be under the auspices of minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos and its title will be “Thrace, the Aegean, Cyprus - The borders of the united Europe”.
Among the topics that will be examined during the conference will be the Cyprus issue, the Greek-Turkish relations, the issue of the Aegean island of Imvros and the Greek minority in Albania as well as, issues concerning human rights.
 DRAFTBILL ON O.A. TABLED IN PARLIAMENT WITH MANY MODIFICATIONS
Athens, April 9 (MPA)The draftbill concerning the revitalization of the country’s air carrier Olympic Airways was tabled in Parliament last night with a series of modifications. The new regulations call for a “freeze” in pay raises for the next three years, no more food allowances for the staff, and an increase in working hours for the flight support staff.
 SEA ROUTES AT THERMAICOS BAY TO START IN SUMMER OF ‘99
Thessaloniki, April 9 (MPA)The Ministry of Merchant Marine is to sign an agreement this month with a Greek contracting company that will supply the residents of Thessaloniki with marine transportation, alleviating the decades-long traffic congestion. The plan, which had been shelved since 1987, calls for routes that will link Thessaloniki’s greater regions, from the farthest southern point to its farthest in the north and will have the capacity to serve 25,000 people on a daily basis.
 PRESIDENT OF EUROPEAN COMMISSION ARRIVES IN ATHENS TODAY
Athens, April 9 (MPA)The President of the European Commission Jacques Santer is to arrive in Athens today for an official, five- day visit.
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", currently held in Athens by “The Economist” magazine.
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.
 17 NOVEMBER CLAIMS ATTACK ON CITIBANK, BUT REMAINS ELUSIVE
Athens, April 9 (MPA)“We decided to strike against American imperialism and nationalism for plotting against our country’s sovereign rights” reads the proclamation of the 17 November terrorist group that has been active for a great number of years but continues to remain elusive.
The group sent the proclamation to an Athens daily today, thereby claiming responsibility for the rocket attack against the Citibank branch in an Athens central district on Tuesday night. The rocket, which was fired by remote control, did not explode and there were no victims.
In the same proclamation, the terrorist group claims responsibility for the attacks against a Mac Donald’s restaurant in Athens, and at the offices of General motors, Chrysler and Opel. This group first appeared in 1975 when it claimed responsibility for the killing of 20 Greeks and foreigners. The government has strongly condemned the rocket attack, since it harmed the country's interests and undermined social stability. Government spokesperson stated that "the government steadfastly condemns such actions and is stepping up its efforts to combat them. " He added that "we condemn terrorist and criminal actions, even though in Greece such phenomena are on a smaller scale. Our country is not one in which terrorism flourishes."
 THESSALONIKI EXHIBITION OF MT. ATHOS TREASURES ENDS ON APRIL 30
Thessaloniki, April 9 (MPA)The "Treasures of Mount Athos" exhibition currently featured in Thessaloniki’s Byzantine Museum is to come to a close on April 30, having met resounding success since it opened last year. Fifteen Orthodox prelates will meet in Thessaloniki on that day in order to prepare for a church synod, scheduled for the year 2000. According to Museum figures, 650,971 visitors have visited the exhibition so far.
 OECD ISSUES BI-ANNUAL REPORT ON GREECE
Brussels, April 9 (MPA)The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released its bi-annual report on Greece’s economy, according to which, it will continue to improve far into next year if the government presses on with structural changes and contains salary raises. According to the report, the inflation rate decreased by two percentage points in 1997 and the public deficit fell to 4 per cent of GDP during the same year, compared to 7.5 per cent in 1996. Moreover, the report noted that the external balance deficit - 4 per cent of GDP in 1997 compared to the 2.5 per cent in 1995 - resulted in a 14 per cent devaluation of the drachma at its incorporation into the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) last month. The OECD advises the Greek government to continue structural changes in the job market and the public sector, which present a considerable deficit, and adds that the danger of a recession will be decreased if the 1998 budget is effectively applied.
 PREMIER IN PARLIAMENT, DEFENDS STATE POLICY ON O.A.
Athens, April 9 (MPA)Greece’s Prime Minister Kostas Simitis addressed the Parliament yesterday, during talks on the drafdtbill to restructure the country’s airline, Olympic Airways.
"Our decisions today will determine whether the national air carrier will be there tomorrow, or whether it will be replaced by other airlines," the Prime Minister stated. Mr. Simitis stated that if the current state of affairs was preserved, this would "lead to the company's closure with mathematical precision". He dismissed the main opposition party’s fervent objections to the bill by stating that New Democracy was more interested in harming ruling PASOK, rather than contributing to the country’s progress.
 OLYMPIC FLIGHTS IN EASTER WEEK TO PROCEED AS SCHEDULED
Athens, April 9 (MPA)In spite of the current turmoil, all Olympic Airways flights scheduled for the Easter holiday next week will be carried out as scheduled, according to Olympic Airways chairman Theodoros Tsakiridis. Mr. Tsakiridis stated that those Olympic airways workers who had accepted the new general regulations will be required to stop all protest activity as of tomorrow. "If Olympic is to meet the financial demands of the workers then they will have to contribute to the company's development," he said, adding "I believe that they will meet this request".
 ECONOMY AND FINANCE MINISTER: WE ACHIEVED 95% OF AIMS
Athens, April 9 (MPA)the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou stated today that after the reforms adopted last night in Parliament, 95% of the state’s targets for the national air carrier’s revitalization have been achieved. Mr. Papantoniou explained that the reforms are to save the state 47 billion drachmas.
 INTERCITY TRAIN, ZORBA THE GREEK, LINKS THESSALONIKI- SKOPJE
Thessaloniki, April 9 (MPA)The pilot operation of an express intercity train inaugurates Greek Railway Organization’s Thessaloniki- Skopje route today. The train, named appropriately “Zorba the Greek”, departed from Thessaloniki at 11 am, transporting a Greek delegation headed by the Minister of Transportation and Communication Tasos Mantelis. Taking part in the delegation are other government officials as well as leaders from the business communities of Greece and FYROM. The event coincides with the Railway Organization’s (OSE) festivities commemorating the 125-year anniversary since the grounding of the railway connection between the two cities. The new train service is part of OSE’s program to create express routes between Greek and other Balkan cities, including Istanbul, Belgrade and Sofia.
 TEN-YEAR-OLD GOOD SAMARITAN RETURNS LOST WALLET TO POLICE
Thessaloniki, April 9 (MPA)In sharp contrast to the latest barrage of negative reports, news of a ten-year old good Samaritan, son of Albanian illegal workers, was a delightful change.
Simir Lardi, who has been living with his parents in Thessaloniki for the past three years , found a wallet containing the owner’s driver’s license, identification, fifteen thousand drachmas and other personal items, and right away turned it over to the police. He did this without accepting the reward. “My parents taught me to return anything I find that doesn’t belong to me,” the second-grade student said. His Mom, a 31-year-old teacher who now works as a cleaning woman, must be very proud of her son.
The same day, 23-year-old Vagel Redi, also from Albania, turned over to the police a wallet containing 5,800 drachmas which he found in a bus.
 “RIGAS FEREOS” ASSOCIATION OF GREEKS IN SERBIA CELEBRATE
Belgrade, April 9 (MPA)The Association of Greeks in Serbia “Rigas Fereos” outlined its two basic aims, that is the maintenance of Greek cultural traditions and the Greek language, during a celebration held at Belgrade’s city hall. The event was attended by the Greek ambassador to Belgrade Panayiotis Vlassopoulos, as well as the Cypriot ambassador Andreas Skarparis.
Saluting the event, the Greek ambassador stated that the Association will contribute to the strengthening of the lengthy friendship enjoyed by Greeks and Serbs.
Moreover, he referred to upcoming events honoring the bi-centennial anniversary since the death of Rigas Fereos.
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/