|Monday, 27 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-12-29
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE DRAFT BILL ON THE PROFESSIONAL ARMY IN GREECE IS READYAthens, 29 December 2000 (18:48 UTC+2)
The draft bill, that was prepared by the Greek ministry of defense on the creation of a professional army in Greece, is ready and it will be presented in parliament in January, while the intention of defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos is to put it in effect in the spring, according to the Athens newspaper "Ethnos".
It is estimated that about 15.000 men and women, 18-26 years old, will be called to offer their services to the Greek armed forces and the appointment of professional soldiers will cut the length of their service by two months next year.
 THE MPA IS LISTED AMONG THE BEST GREEK SITES ON THE INTERNETThessaloniki, 29 December 2000 (18:34 UTC+2)
The Greek magazine "Computer For Everybody" writes in its January 2001 issue, which is at the newsstands today, that Macedonian Press Agency, MPA, has one of the best sites on the Internet.
The magazine mentions that it is a serious site dedicated to news reporting and grades MPA as excellent concerning its speed, navigation and structure, while his completeness and directness were graded as very good.
The comparative test with the best news sites includes MPA, in.gr, eone.gr, iboom.gr, thea.gr and pan.gr, as well as the sports sites sportnet, sportline and sportnews and the economic sites reporter.gr and naftemporiki.
Specifically, the magazine writes that the MPA site predisposes the user in a positive way from the first moment. It also mentions that the MPA site is dedicated to news reporting reminding an on-line magazine. It is stressed that the visitor is impressed by the fact that the site is available to two more languages in addition to Greek namely, English and Russian.
Among the historical issues presented in the MPA site are "The role of Albania in the Greek Civil War", "Travelogue in Mount Athos" and the "Macedonian Struggle and the role of Tito" giving to MPA an education identity as well.
 THE FINDINGS ON THE CAUSES OF THE "FALCON" AIR ACCIDENT BECAME PUBLICAthens, 29 December 2000 (16:49 UTC+2)
The findings on the causes of the air accident involving the Greek prime minister's "Falcon" aircraft in which deputy foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis and other 7 people were killed in September 1999 became public today.
According to the findings that have already been sent to the prosecutor's office, the accident is attributed to human error due to the insufficient knowledge and training of the two pilots. Also, there are responsibilities that belong to the Olympic Airways Civil Agency and specifically, to the department of technical maintenance because the automatic pilot alarm light failure was not noticed.
Also, it is mentioned in the findings that there are inadequacies in supervising on behalf of Olympic Airways as the shortcomings mentioned were not spotted in time to avoid the tragic accident.
 THE LEADING ITALIAN MAFIA MAN WAS SENTENCED TO 19 MONTHS IN PRISONThessaloniki, 29 December 2000 (16:32 UTC+2)
Leading Italian Mafia man, 52yearold Franscesco Prutedino, who was tried in absentia in a Thessaloniki court today, received a 19month prison term and a 500.000drachmas fine accused of having a forged passport in his possession.
The Italian was wanted by the Interpol and was arrested in Thessaloniki on December 22 accused of illegal cigarette and weapons trade, murder, extortion and other offenses. He is held in the Diavata Prison outside Thessaloniki and did not appear in court for unknown reasons.
As it was made known, he will be held in a Greek prison until his extradition to Italy.
 GAINS IN THE LAST ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE SESSION OF THE YEARAthens, 29 December 2000 (15:46 UTC+2)
Small gains of 0.34% were recorded today the last Athens Stock Exchange session of the year creating good expectations for 2001.
The general index was at 3.388,86 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 112.35 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 160 recorded gains, 184 had losses, while the value of 21 remained unchanged.
 THE GREEK UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILL VISIT PRISTINAAthens, 29 December 2000 (15:38 UTC+2)
Greek undersecretary of defense Dimitris Apostolakis will be in Pristina on January 3 to visit the Greek troops deployed in Kosovo within the framework of the peace-keeping forces.
Within the framework of his visit to Pristina, Mr. Apostolakis will meet with the KFOR commander and the deputy civilian administrator in Kosovo.
 THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER CONGRATULATED THE NEW SERB PRIME MINISTERAthens, 29 December 2000 (15:33 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou sent a congratulatory message to new Serb prime minister Zoran Jinjic on the occasion of the assumption of office.
In his message, Mr. Papandreou congratulated Mr. Jinjic for his election victory and underlined that it consolidates democracy in the country, while it confirms the will of the Serb people to move ahead with the changes necessary to safeguard their course toward the European family. Mr. Papandreou also stressed that the country will have the undivided and friendly support of Greece and the Greek government.