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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-04-22

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

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


CONTENTS

  • [01] CULTURE MINISTRY RESPONDS TO IOC PRESIDENT
  • [02] TURKISH BUSINESS DELEGATION FROM ISMIR VISITED THESSALONIKI'S COMMERCE
  • [03] DIFFICULTIES IN SLEEPING HAVE 49% OF THE ADULTS
  • [04] KOSTAS SIMITIS: UNITY AND DIALOGUE FOR A STRONG GREECE
  • [05] KAKLAMANIS-ZEMIN MEETING
  • [06] THE INTER-BALKAN MEDICAL CENTER WILL OPEN IN THESSALONIKI ON JUNE 16
  • [07] BISHOP ARTEMIOS INVITED FOREIGN MINISTER PAPANDREOU TO KOSOVO
  • [08] TALKS BETWEEN GREECE AND ALBANIA ON SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT

  • [01] CULTURE MINISTRY RESPONDS TO IOC PRESIDENT

    Athens, 21 April 2000 (11:05 UTC+2)

    Responding to stinging criticism from the President of the International Olympic Committee Juan Antonio Samaranch, who stated yesterday that the Athens 2004 summer games would be in "danger" unless the Greek organizers made "drastic" changes by the end of the year, the country's Culture Ministry released a press statement stressing that it has taken Mr. Samaranch's observations under consideration.

    Moreover, the Culture Ministry stated that in order to enter the "final race" for the successful organization of the Games, it will require the input of all the national forces.

    The IOC president qualified his statement later by stating that "I cannot imagine the games will not be held in Athens."

    A.F.

    [02] TURKISH BUSINESS DELEGATION FROM ISMIR VISITED THESSALONIKI'S COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY CHAMBER

    Thessaloniki, 22 April 2000 (17:45 UTC+2)

    The visit to Thessaloniki's Commerce and Industry Chamber by a large delegation from the Ismir Chamber of Commerce was another step toward the Greek-Turkish rapprochement.

    Ismir Chamber of Commerce president Ekrem Demirtas, speaking during the visit, reminded the proposal he made to Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos according to which, Greece will be the honored country in the Ismir 2000 International Fair and characterized Thessaloniki as a lively trade center, while he revealed that the twinning of the Ismir Chamber of Commerce with Thessaloniki's Commerce and Industry Chamber had taken place in 1980.

    Mr. Demirtas also referred to the proposal made by president of the Lesvos Commerce and Industry Chamber Panagiotis Mathielis to turn two warships from Greece and Turkey into hospitals that will tour the Aegean and offer their services to the islands in need.

    Thessaloniki's Commerce and Industry Chamber president Dimitris Bakatselos pointed out that the economic relations between the two countries are at a good level and that the Greek exports to Turkey reached US$320 million in 1998, while the imports from Turkey were US$370 million. Also, Mr. Bakatselos expressed the belief that there is room for the further development of the trade and economic relations between Greece and Turkey.

    [03] DIFFICULTIES IN SLEEPING HAVE 49% OF THE ADULTS

    Athens, 22 April 2000 (17:01 UTC+2)

    A research conducted in the United States in 1995 showed that 49% of the adults periodically have difficulties in sleeping. Of them, 12% face such difficulties regularly, while all people of any age can have insomnia but most likely to suffer from this disorder are women, people over the age of 60 and people with a history of depression.

    Insomnia was the topic in a one-day conference that was held in Athens and according to psychiatry professor in the University of Athens, Mr. Soldatos the insufficient sleep can cause a number of problems such as, bad mood, memory loss, inability to concentrate, while it can be related to serious disorders such as, depression and stress and it can be a significant factor causing traffic and work place accidents.

    [04] KOSTAS SIMITIS: UNITY AND DIALOGUE FOR A STRONG GREECE

    Athens, 22 April 2000 (16:56 UTC+2)

    A strong Greece in the international scene, especially in the EU and in the globalized economy, the economic growth and competitiveness, the social state that will support the socially weak and the fight against unemployment, are the axes of the governmental work for the four-year period of 2000-2004.

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis presented the government policies speaking in parliament and stressed that the economic progress of the country and whether it will dominate in the world market developments will be based on the actions taken and Greece's prestige in the European scene.

    Greece, stressed Mr. Simitis, proved that it can become a factor of peace, cooperation and development in south-eastern Europe and stressed that for the government the first priority is to complete the course to the EMU on June 19. He said that the economic growth and competitiveness were and will continue to be the basis for the government's policies in the next four-year term.

    Mr. Simitis said that the goal is to increase the GDP by up to 4% and approach to 80% the standard of living in the EU countries by the year 2004. He said that inflation will be cut to 2%, while the public sector debt will be cut by 6 percentage points by the year 2002.

    He went on by saying that in the next 7 years will be allocated 15.7 trillion drachmas coming from the 3rd Community Framework of Support and 80% of that sum will go to the rural areas, while the taxation changes the government was committed to make will materialize soon aimed at more social justice and productivity incentives.

    Referring to the Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue, he stressed that the basic strategic target is the total exploitation of the decisions reached by the European Council in Helsinki based on Greece's firm principles and positions. On the only real dispute namely, the continental shelf in the Aegean, he said that the only way for its settlement is through the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

    On Cyprus, he said that the main goal is the promotion of its accession into the EU and the fair solution of the Cyprus problem based on the UN Security Council decisions within the framework of a two- community and two-zone federation.

    He also said that the strengthening of Greece's defense is necessary for the more effective promotion of the goals of the Greek foreign policy.

    Regarding the Olympic Games, he said that the holding of a perfect Olympiad is the first priority of the government, while on the fight against unemployment he said that it will be based on three axes namely, development, employment and reduction of inequality. He said that 1 trillion drachmas will be allocated for the training of employees on new technologies and pledged that thousands new jobs will be created.

    On education, Mr. Simitis said that it is one of the main priorities of the government and any reforms will be made after a meaningful dialogue.

    On health, he said that the basic axes will be to counter poverty and isolation, the reform of the National Health System, the upgrading of the health services and welfare and the modernization of the social security system, adding that the social budget in the four-year period of 2000-2004 will be 45 trillion drachmas.

    He said that new hospitals will open before the end of the year and about 8.000 beds will be added to the National Health System, while 5 helicopters and 2 small aircraft will be available to transport patients.

    On the farmers, Mr. Simitis said that the sum of 9.5 trillion drachmas from the 3rd Community Framework of Support will be allocated to strengthen their income, as well as the agricultural production, infrastructure, competitiveness and the development of the rural areas.

    On the review of the constitution, he stated that new constitutional rights will be enacted and for the first time the independent public authority will be consolidated. The social state principle will be established and the election of the president of the republic will not threaten the parliament with dissolution. The clarity in the economic affairs of the political parties and candidates as well as the public life in general will be consolidated, while the internal and external independence of the judicial system will be strengthened.

    Mr. Simitis also announced measures aimed at countering crime such as, the increase of police foot patrols, the increase of the police force by 5.000 men and the reinforcement of the forces guarding the borders.

    The prime minister also referred to the improvement of transportation through the construction of new road networks, while on the public administration he said that it will be in a constant reform.

    [05] KAKLAMANIS-ZEMIN MEETING

    Athens, 22 April 2000 (14:43 UTC+2)

    The common views shared by the two countries on the current big international issues and the very close friendly and historical ties between them were underlined by Chinese president Ziang Zemin, who is on a visit to Athens, and Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis in their meeting that took place this morning at the parliament building within the framework of the formal contacts of the Chinese leader in Greece.

    Mr. Kaklamanis pointed out that the visit will contribute to the further strengthening of the close cooperation relations between the two countries, while from his side, the Chinese president praised the ancient Greek civilization and the long history of the two countries, stressing that the basic principles and values on which the world civilization is based were born in Greece.

    Mr. Kaklamanis expressed Greece's thanks for the positive stance of China on issues concerning the Cyprus problem and underlined the close cooperation at state government and parliament levels within the framework of international organizations.

    [06] THE INTER-BALKAN MEDICAL CENTER WILL OPEN IN THESSALONIKI ON JUNE 16

    Thessaloniki, 22 April 2000 (14:43 UTC+2)

    Medical Group of Athens president Giorgos Apostolopoulos announced yesterday that the Inter-Balkan Medical Center will open its gates in Thessaloniki on June 16-17.

    Speaking in the inauguration of the Group's pavilion in the 5th International Exhibition on Health, Mr. Apostolopoulos stressed that the new and modern hospital will have a capacity of 455 beds and the two-day opening ceremony will be attended by international personalities of the political, scientific, business and artistic world.

    The hospital will have intensive care units for adults (21 beds), heart patients (11beds), children (6 beds) and newly-born (16 beds).

    [07] BISHOP ARTEMIOS INVITED FOREIGN MINISTER PAPANDREOU TO KOSOVO

    Athens, 22 April 2000 (14:42 UTC+2)

    Bishop Artemios who, together with Reverend Father Savvas and Serb local institutions representative Mr. Trajkovic, was received today by foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou in Athens invited him to visit Kosovo.

    During the meeting, Mr. Papandreou presented specific measures for the normalization of the situation in Kosovo and the peaceful co-existence of Serbs and Kosovars.

    The foreign minister after the outlining of the government policy by prime minister Kostas Simitis will meet with opposition conservative party of New Democracy honorary president Kostantinos Mitsotakis to discuss issues concerning the Balkans.

    [08] TALKS BETWEEN GREECE AND ALBANIA ON SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT

    Tirana, 22 April 2000 (14:43 UTC+2)

    Greek ambassador to Tirana Alexandros Mallias met with Albanian government vice-president and minister of labor and social issues Ms. Makbule Tsetsu to discuss the implementation of the agreement between Greece and Albania on seasonal employment which was signed in 1996 but has not materialized.

    According to a spokesman of the Albanian minister, Mr. Mallias has stated that the time has come for the implementation of the agreement, while Albanian labor and social issues ministry sources have mentioned that the agreement on seasonal employment will benefit only the Albanian workers who live in Albania and not the Albanian immigrants in Greece.

    It was also made known that Mr. Mallias suggested a visit by Ms. Tsetsu to Greece to meet with the undersecretary of foreign affairs and the ministers of public order and labor because those three ministries have a direct relation with the procedures for the legalization of the Albanian immigrants and the seasonal employment of Albanians in Greece.


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