|Tuesday, 5 December 2023|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-02-20
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK AIDS RESEARCHERS MAY BE ON VERGE OF BREAKTHROUGHAthens, 20 February 2000 (19:58 UTC+2)
Greek AIDS researchers have developed a new technique which may lead to better diagnostic procedures and, consequently, therapies for HIV-infected individuals, according to a study published recently in the British medical journal The Lancet.
The study "Effect of recent thymicomigrants on progression of HIV-1 disease" focuses on the thymus, a small gland close to the heart responsible for producing "T-cells", which are involved in the immune function.
According to one of the study's authors, Angelos Hatzakis, of the Athens University Medical School, T-cells are central to the direct immune system and to healing virally infected cells.
To date, there has been no way of measuring the thymus which many scientists believed stopped functioning after the age of 30. However, newer studies showed this not to be the case and in fact, indicated that the thymus may be active after the age of 30, although its function is quite reduced, Hatzakis said.
As it has been reported, the study is based on the specimens and clinical data of 131 hemophilia patients followed for 16 years, and on a novel technique measuring the concentration of recent thymic emigrants (RTE) in the peripheral blood.
A decreasing concentration of RTE is associated with faster progression to AIDS and death. This association is independent of HIV-1 viral load, CD4 cells and age at seroconversion, currently considered the known important determinates of AIDS and mortality.
The study found that RTE values are to a large extent lower in HIV-1 infected individuals compared to uninfected individuals of the same age. Also, it was discovered that the rate of RTE decline is approximately nine-fold higher in HIV-1 infected individuals who developed AIDS compared to long-term non-progressors.
 POLITICAL SPRING WON'T RUN IN ELECTIONSAthens, 20 February 2000 (19:57 UTC+2)
The leader of Political Spring Antonis Samaras has announced that his party will not enter the April 9 general elections, adding, however, that the party continues to exist as a "live" political body.
Speaking in a press conference, Mr. Samaras accused the two major parties, ruling PASOK and main opposition New Democracy (ND) of creating a climate of political tension, while he also accused economic vested interests for "forcing his party out of current political developments".
 RARE MOSAIC DISCOVERED IN MACEDONIAThessaloniki, 20 February 2000 (19:57 UTC+2)
A rare large mosaic depicting horse races has been unearthed in the ancient town of Philippoi in eastern Macedonia, according to archaeologists who presented its details in Thessaloniki.
The mosaic measures 10x4 meters and is estimated at being from the second half of the third century AD. It was during excavations under professor of Byzantine Studies at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki Georgios Gounaris, who presented the details at the annual conference on archaeological
work in Macedonia and Thrace.
 SEX, VIDEOTAPES AND THE LAWAthens, 20 February 2000 (19:57 UTC+2)
The government has condemned a recent spate of media allegations of sexual misconduct involving a number of well-known artists.
"Media investigations in the private lives of citizens are to be condemned as they cause general confusion and a climate of suspicion, and undermine the base of society and of the political system." government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated.
Stressing that the situation cannot be tolerated, Mr. Reppas urged the National Radio and Television Council to apply the relevant law.
"The law provides for fines of up to 500 million drachmas and a temporary or permanent suspension of media programs or licenses," he said.
Moreover, Mr. Reppas said that the Council of State is currently reviewing a draft presidential decree on the protection of privacy, which would harmonize Greek legislation with the European.
 NATURAL DISASTERS CONFERENCE IN ATHENSAthens, 20 February 2000 (19:57 UTC+2)
Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou is to chair a Europa network international conference concerning natural and technological disasters in Athens tomorrow, which will feature the participation of representatives of the Council of Europe's 24 member-states.
The two-day conference will focus on promoting measures aimed at coordinating actions and mutual assistance and the development of new initiatives to protect citizens from major natural and technological disasters.
Bilateral cooperation agreements will be signed during the conference between Greece and Russia and Ukraine. The countries participating in the conference are Russia, Armenia, Algeria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Georgia, FYROM, Spain, Italy, Malta, Morocco, Monaco, Ukraine, Portugal, Moldova, San Marino, Turkey, Germany, Switzerland, Japan and Cyprus.
 GREEK COMMISSIONER:EUROPE HAS TO AID THE POORAthens, 20 February 2000 (19:57 UTC+2)
Greece's Social Affairs Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou stressed the need for the European Union to help its poor and fight social exclusion, addressing a conference on "European Identity in a Global Economy" in Sidra.
"The 65 million Europeans living in poverty and not benefiting from economic development should not escape our attention," Ms. Diamantopoulou stated, adding that "Europe has the potential, perhaps more than any other political and economic entity in the world, to offer a productive and cohesive society in the face of rising globalization."
"We wish to fight social exclusion and we can do this by combining competitiveness with social cohesion," she added.
 US-GREEK COUNCIL ON BALKANS IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 20 February 2000 (19:56 UTC+2)
The initial meeting of the Initiative for Technological Cooperation in the Balkans (ITCB) joint United States-Greek Council will be held tomorrow, February 21, in Thessaloniki.
ITCB aims at promoting U.S.-Greek joint business ventures in the Balkans, as well as the transfer of technology and private sector expertise to the region's countries.
The two governments will be represented by U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Burns, Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yiannis Magriotis.
The creation for ITCB was originally proposed by U.S. President Bill Clinton and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and was formalized in 1998, with the signing of a relevant agreement by U.S. Commerce Secretary William Daley and Greek National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.
 NATO CHIEF IN GREECE THIS WEEKAthens, 20 February 2000 (19:56 UTC+2)
NATO secretary-general George Robertson will visit Greece on February 23, bringing a recommencement of NATO initiatives for the creation of Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) between Greece and Turkey, as well as talks on the latest developments in the Balkans.
In his meeting with Mr. Robertson, Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos will stress the need to implement the Papoulias-Yilmaz agreement of 1988 on CBMs between Athens and Ankara, which he has characterized as "an excellent basis for discussion.".
The developments in Kosovo and Montenegro are also expected to come high on the agenda of Robertson's meeting with Greek officials. Officials will examine the work of the KFOR multinational force and its prospects, as well as the rising tensions in Montenegro.
 GREEK ECONOMY MINISTER IN LONDON TOMORROWAthens, 20 February 2000 (19:56 UTC+2)
Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou is to visit London tomorrow, February 21, in an effort to attract the inflow of foreign capital at the Athens Stock Exchange.
The Minister is scheduled to meet with his British counterpart Gordon Brown as well as with the London Stock Exchange president and the British deputy foreign minister. Mr. Papantoniou will be accompanied by the governor of the National Bank of Greece Athanasios Karatzas and the president of the Alpha Credit Bank Group Ioannis Kostopoulos.
 BUSINESS DELEGATION IN BULGARIAThessaloniki, 20 February 2000 (19:55 UTC+2)
In an effort to promote economic cooperation between northern Greece's region of Thrace and Bulgaria, the Prefectural Local Administration of Rodopi-Evros is organizing a business mission to Haskovo and Plovdiv, Bulgaria, on February 25-27.
The Greek delegates are to meet with Bulgarian investors and authorities.
 GREEK-AUSTRALIAN LITERATURE CONFERENCE AT RMITCanberra, 20 February 2000 (19:55 UTC+2)
The Greek Australian Archive Museum and Learning Center, RMIT, is currently organizing the "Third Conference on Greek-Australian Literature" to begin tomorrow.
The three-day conference, funded by the Australia Council, will contribute to the analysis of the past, review of the present, and appraisal of future trends. The conference is assisted financially by the Australia Council, the Federal Government's Arts Funding & Advisory Body.
The first such conference organized by RMIT in 1986 was "Greek-Australian Literature: Literature in the making"; the second, in 1992 (also funded by the Australian Council), was titled "Greek-Australian Literature: the Traditions Continue".