|Monday, 20 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-01-10
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GERMAN EXPERT TO MPA: DU DETRIMENTAL LONG-TERMThessaloniki, 10 January 2001 (13:47 UTC+2)
The use of ammunition equipped with depleted uranium (DU) during NATO's bombing campaign against Yugoslavia bears long-term consequences which may not be apparent for another four-to-ten years, according to a German expert who accuses the Alliance of violating the Geneva Accord's prohibition of radioactive weapons.
In an interview with the Macedonian Press Agency, the vice-president of the Federal Commission for Radiation Protection Wolfgang Kachlain pointed out that radiation emitted from DU ammunition shells varies depending on external factors, such as temperature, pressure and soil.
Mr. Kachlain, a professor at the University of Muenster, explained that upon impact with the ground, these shells explode and release a cloud of tiny particles that can travel many kilometers. This vapor cloud can then be inhaled or contaminate the soil and enter the food chain.
He further added that if DU enters the human body, it can generate significant medical consequences, especially in the kidneys, blood and bone marrow.
According to professor Kachlain, the full consequences borne out of the use of DU ammunition will surface four to ten years from now.
 POLL: GREEKS GLOOMIEST, KOSOVARS MOST OPTIMISTICThessaloniki, 10 January 2001 (13:04 UTC+2)
Greeks are Europe's most pessimistic people -at least in regards to what's in store for 2001 -with Kosovars on the other end of the scale as the continent's most hopeful, probably because it couldn't get any worse for them than last year.
According to a 70-country study conducted by the Gallup International Association, 39 percent of Greeks believe that 2001 will be worse than 2000, 21 percent expect it to be the same and 32 percent anticipate an improvement.
In spite of the country's accession to the Monetary and Economic Union, or perhaps because of it, 49% of Greeks foresee a difficult economy ahead, although a mere 13 percent are confident that financial prosperity is just around the corner.
The plight of unemployment is the issue that concerns Greeks the most, with over half (56 percent) fearing the prospect of joblessness and 60% believing that the unemployment rate is to increase during 2001.
As for Kosovo, nine out of ten respondents said that 2001 will be a much better year than 2000.
 NO CHANGE IN THE RADIATION LEVELS IN GREECEChania, 10 January 2001 (19:07 UTC+2)
Crete Polytechnic School professor and former chairman of the Greek Atomic Energy Commission Tasos Katsanos stated that there is no change in the radiation levels in Greece. In an interview with the Chania newspaper "Chaniotika Nea", he stated that there is no concern for Crete and the Greek territory in general. According to Mr. Katsanos, the extend of the danger stemming from the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia will be determined after the scientific investigation that will be conducted there.
Mr. Katsanos blamed the different state authorities of negligence as they were aware of the issue for a year and a half and pointed out that in 15 days when the Greek Atomic Energy Commission team will return from Kosovo, where it arrived today to conduct radiation counts, it will be made known what measures, if any, must be taken.
He also pointed out that the effects of radiation on humans are the direct ones such as, nausea, internal bleeding, burns, temporary sterility or even death, while among its long-term effects are eye cataract, mental disorders, cancer and genetic deficiencies, teratogenesis etc, that take about 5 to 10 years to appear.
 REPPAS: THE RESULTS OF THE INITIAL RADIATION COUNTS IN KOSOVO ARE NEGATIVEAthens, 10 January 2001 (17:55 UTC+2)
The results of the initial radiation counts on the air and soil in Kosovo as well as the tests on the Greek soldiers who serve in the region, are negative, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.
Mr. Reppas stated that the scientific study was made by a team of atomic energy scientists headed by professor Kamarinopoulos with the cooperation of the Army's sanitary service and showed that the normal pollution levels were not exceeded. However, he pointed out that for the investigation to be completed the samples taken must be examined by special equipment in Athens. Mr. Reppas also added that the investigation will continue in Urosevac and in other Kosovo regions as well as in Bosnia.
 HARMLESS BUT OF NO NEGLIGIBLE IMPORTANCE THE DEPLETED URANIUM SHELLSThessaloniki, 10 January 2001 (17:32 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki's Aristotle University Nuclear Physics Laboratory professor Kostas Papastefanou stated that the depleted uranium shells that ended up at the bottom of the Aegean Sea, without exploding during the military exercises that were conducted in the region, are harmless but at the same time, one cannot say that they are of no negligible importance.
Mr. Papastefanou compared those shells with the Russian nuclear submarine "Kursk" that sunk a few months ago saying that they are harmless but not negligible. He said that they will suffer corrosion after tens of years at the bottom of the sea and they are expected to cause serious pollution problem to the environment, while the pollution could affect the food chain.
Regarding the effects the bombing of Yugoslavia with depleted uranium shells will have on Greece, Mr. Papastefanou said that no uranium was detected in Greece that could be traced back to the bombings of Kosovo and Yugoslavia about a year and a half ago. He also speculated that even if the uranium reaches Greece it will be non detectable because its quantity will be very small.
 MARGINAL LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 10 January 2001 (17:30 UTC+2)
Marginal losses of 0.06% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to 3.095,84 points, while the volume of transactions was at 144.02 million Euro or 49.07 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 198 recorded gains and 129 had losses, while the value of 47 remained unchanged.
 INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF OA PASSENGERS IN THE LAST TWO MONTHS OF THE YEAR 2000Thessaloniki, 10 January 2001 (16:24 UTC+2)
The number of the state-run Olympic Airways passengers, who used the Greek airline for their trips inside the country and abroad, were 1.047.000 in the last two months of the year 2000.
Specifically, in the period October 27, 2000 - January 4, 2001 the number of domestic and international flights increased by 12.1% compared to the same period last year. The number of seats offered in all flights were increased by 14.9%, while an increase of 37.5% was recorded in the number of C-Class passengers.
 THE TURNOVER IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS FOR THE YEAR 2000 IS EXPECTED TO REACH 2 TRILLION DRACHMASAthens, 10 January 2001 (16:17 UTC+2)
The turnover in the Greek telecommunications market for the year 2000 is expected to be over 2 trillion drachmas, including the revenues of the Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, but without calculating the revenues from the sales of mobile phone units.
Meanwhile, according to market experts and based on the course of the companies active in the sector, the turnover for the mobile phone companies will exceed the 800 billion drachmas mark.
It must be noted that the mobile phone subscribers are estimated be over 6 million in just 7 years after the emergence of the new technology when the domestic phone service subscribers reached the 5.800.000 mark 100 years after the operation of the first domestic telephone.
 LEADING MEMBERS OF US THINK-TANKS WILL BE IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 10 January 2001 (16:04 UTC+2)
The perspective adopted by the leading US think-tanks that examine the socio-economic developments in the Balkans will be discussed in an event that will be organized in Thessaloniki on January 12 by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the Western Policy Center in Washington.
High ranking officials and analysts of leading US think-tanks will be in Thessaloniki within the framework of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce efforts to brief the most important strategy planning international centers on the latest developments in the region.
The panel will be made up of Western Policy Center communications director Spiros Rizopoulos, US consul general John Koenig and Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce vice-president Leonidas Kouidis.
 TRANSACTIONS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE DROPPED BY 41.4% IN 2000Athens, 10 January 2001 (15:58 UTC+2)
A significant decline of 41.4% was recorded last year in the volume of transactions in the Athens Stock Exchange that dropped to 69.1 trillion drachmas compared to 117.9 trillion drachmas in 1999.
Based on figures provided by the Association of Athens Stock Exchange Members, 43.55% of the overall transactions were conducted by the ten largest brokerage firms which proves that there is a centralization tendency in the sector.
 JAPANESE PREMIER ARRIVES IN ATHENS ON SATURDAYAthens, 10 January 2001 (14:07 UTC+2)
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori will embark on a two-day official visit to Greece on Saturday, January 13, the first-ever visit to Greece by a Japanese premier, for talks on bilateral relations and regional issues.
Mr. Mori will hold talks with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis and other top government officials with whom he will discuss . Greek-Japanese relations as well as regional issues of concern to the two countries.
In 1999, Greece and Japan marked the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
According to a Japanese Embassy announcement, Mr. Mori's visit is considered very important for the further development and improvement of the relations between the two countries.
 EUROSTAT: NOTABLE INCREASE IN THE RETAIL TRADE IN GREECEBrussels, 10 January 2001 (16:09 UTC+2)
A notable increase of 8.4% was recorded in the volume of the retail trade transactions in Greece last September, according to a statement issued yesterday by the European Statistics Agency Eurostat.
The statement concerned the volume of retail sales in the European Union in the month of October 2000 but according to Eurostat there were no recorded data for the specific month in Greece.
Meanwhile, in the month of October the volume of retail trade transactions in the 11 Euro-zone countries increased by 1.0%, while the increase in all 15 EU member-states was bigger at 1.7%.