|Sunday, 26 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-12-30
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREEK AND TURKISH MAYORS EXCHANGED WISHES ON THE EVROS RIVER BRIDGEThessaloniki, 30 December 2000 (14:51 UTC+2)
Greek and Turkish mayors, members of the Eastern and Western Thrace Network of Municipalities, met on the bridge of Evros River to exchange wishes for the New Year and offer presents to the Greek and Turkish soldiers serving at the two sides of the borders.
The two delegations visited the Customs Offices on both sides, talked with the employees and offered gifts to police and customs officers.
The Greek and Turkish mayors wished that the bridge of Evros River will become a bridge of peace, cooperation and friendship for the two peoples.
It must be noted that in the specific Network participate 16 Greek and 20 Turkish municipalities and its goal is the cooperation of the two sides in the sectors of local administration, tourism, trade, culture and environment.
 FROM THE SACRED TREES OF ANTIQUITY TO THE CHRISTMAS TREE OF TODAYThessaloniki, 30 December 2000 (16:23 UTC+2)
The roots of the Christmas tree, which is regarded as a foreign custom that came from Germany, can be traced back to the Greek ancient times, as drawings from prehistoric Crete revealed the worship of sacred trees. In those drawings the sacred tree is not isolated but coexists with the sacred double horns and the holy temples.
It also appears that in many regions in Greece people used to decorate branches of trees long before the custom of the Christmas tree was brought to the country.
 DISTINGUISHED GREEK CULTURE PERSONALITIES SPEAK TO MPA ON THE MOST SIGNIFICANT CULTURAL EVENTS IN 2000Thessaloniki, 30 December 2000 (15:52 UTC+2)
The Sydney Olympic Games, the opening in London of the new Tate Modern Art Museum, the creation of the Millennium Dome, the protests in Seattle and Prague against globalization and the opening of the Liely Kind Jewish History Museum, are among the most significant cultural events in the world for the year 2000, according to distinguished Greek culture personalities who spoke to MPA.
Also, they regard the purchase of the Kostakis Art Collection by the Greek state as the most significant cultural event in 2000 for Thessaloniki and Greece in general. In addition, among the most significant cultural events of the year in Thessaloniki are the inauguration of the Megaron Concert Building and the Royal Theater, the expansion of the Macedonian Museum of Modern Art and "The Kostakis' Collection Works of Art" exhibition.
State Museum of Modern Art director Miltiadis Papanikolaou stated to MPA that the most significant event worldwide in 2000 was the founding of the Tate Modern Art Museum in London and the Millennium Dome, while for Greece the most significant event was the purchase of the Kosatakis Art Collection by the Greek state.
Thessaloniki's Megaron Concert Building artistic director Nikos Athineos said that the inauguration of the Megaron was the most important event for Greece and Thessaloniki, while the Sydney Olympics was the most important cultural event worldwide.
Macedonian Museum of Modern Art president Xanthippi Skarpia-Hoypel referred to the Liely Kind Jewish History Museum, the exhibition of the Greek National Gallery collection in the Benakis Museum, the Kostakis Art Collection and the expansion of the Macedonian Museum of Modern Art.
Thessaloniki's Cinema Museum president Apostolos Papagiannopoulos said that this century cannot be regarded as the Golden Century of Humanity, but the last millennium was a period of awakening for all peoples who searched for values and models while realizing that there is a social conscience. He said that the protests in Seattle and Prague were the most significant actions aimed at protecting the planet from the plague of globalization. He also referred to the achievements of the Greek athletes in Sydney and the inauguration in Thessaloniki of the Megaron Concert Building, the Royal Theater and the Kostakis Art Collection exhibition.
Northern Greece State Theater artistic director Diagoras Chronopoulos stated that the year 2000 was characterized by an intense theater activity and numerous theater productions.
 INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION IN 2000 REACHED 5%Thessaloniki, 30 December 2000 (15:00 UTC+2)
The average industrial production growth rate for the year 2000 was 5%, as according to the Greek National Statistics Agency, the average increase in the January-October period was 5.49% compared to the same period in 1999.
It should be noted that even in the month of October the industrial production index rose to 4.7% compared to the same period in 1999. The rise in the specific index is very important taking under consideration the oil crisis in 2000.
 THE GREEK CONSUMERS SPENT 900 BILLION DRACHMAS ON CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR'S SHOPPINGThessaloniki, 30 December 2000 (14:56 UTC+2)
The last Christmas and New Year's shopping of the century exceeded 900 billion drachmas in Greece, where it is estimated that consumers spent 12% more on clothes, gifts and food, while the shopping spree will continue for one more day.
Most of the money spent went to gifts and especially, to children's toys.
 THE CHINESE DEFENSE GENERAL STAFF CHIEF WILL VISIT ATHENS IN JANUARYAthens, 30 December 2000 (14:53 UTC+2)
Chinese Defense General Staff Chief, general Fu Quanyou will be on a formal visit to Greece on January 2-6.
The Chinese general will meet with Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos, minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos and the leadership of the Greek armed forces.
General Quanyou will visit the Greek Navy Fleet Headquarters and the Special Forces Training Center, while he will also tour archaeological sites and museums.
 THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY ON THE INCIDENTS IN PRESEVOAthens, 30 December 2000 (14:49 UTC+2)
Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis condemned the terrorist actions taking place in southern Serbia and especially, in the valley of Presevo.
Mr. Beglitis pointed out that the situation in the region deteriorates, while the armed extremists continue their attacks in the region.
The Greek foreign ministry spokesman stated that the goal of the extremists is to challenge the continuity and durability of democratic changes in Serbia, adding that modesty and the will for dialogue on behalf of Yugoslav president Kostunica must be met with the positive support of international community.
Mr. Beglitis concluded that the coordinated action of international community is necessary for the strict implementation of the UN Security Council resolution 1244.
 A GREEK-AMERICAN LAWYER WILL SUE MOBILE PHONE MANUFACTURERS AND NETWORK COMPANIESLondon, 30 December 2000 (14:59 UTC+2)
Well-known Greek-American lawyer Peter Angelo, who recently won compensation of US$4.2 billion for people with health problems caused by smoking after suing a big Maryland tobacco company, intents to sue at least 10 mobile phone manufacturers and mobile phone network companies. The suits will be filed on behalf of patients with brain tumors, who regard those companies responsible for their health problems.
According to the London Times newspaper, Peter Angelo is among the richest Greeks abroad and is regarded as one of the best lawyers in the United States.