|Monday, 20 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-01-30
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREECE TO EXPEDITE AID PAYMENT TO ALBANIATirana, 30 January 2001 (12:00 UTC+2)
Greece plans to expedite the funneling of 18 billion drachmas on aid in Albania, part of the former's five-year Balkan reconstruction plan which envisages spending a total of 180 billion drachmas for the region's countries, with the money to be spent on social infrastructure, financial infrastructure and services and production.
According to National Economy Deputy Minister Yiannis Zafiropoulos, presently on an official visit to Albania, a sum of two billion drachmas was provided to Tirana in an effort to boost the country's 1998 budget, while another three billion drachmas have been provided for payment balances with the Bank of Albania.
As the Albanian Telegraph Agency reported, Greece will soon provide └lbania with GRD500 million for the construction of a building to house those who lost their homes during the "pyramid" money-making scheme. As Mr. Zafiropoulos stated, the project's total cost amounts to five billion drachmas.
 HOSPITAL DOCTORS EMBARK ON 24-HOUR STRIKEThessaloniki, 30 January 2001 (10:02 UTC+2)
Greece's hospital doctors are to embark on a second round of industrial action today, in protest to a health reform bill presently debated in Parliament.
The Federation of Hospital Doctors of Greece (OENGE) has decided to hold a 48-hour strike today and tomorrow, as well as a march to parliament today.
Hospital staff will joint the action today, with a 24-hour work stoppage, also in protest to the reforms. As such, only emergency cases will be treated at the hospitals throughout the country the next two days.
 PLUTONIUM TABLETS IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 30 January 2001 (20:05 UTC+2)
Economic Crime Enforcement Agents watching Bulgarians, who were suspects of illegal cigarettes trade, located radioactive tiles buried at the Kouri forest, 10 kilometers outside Thessaloniki.
According to Thessaloniki's police authorities, the trafficking of plutonium and americium radioactive tiles was conducted by members of the Bulgarian Mafia, who brought them to the country in order to find buyers in Greece or another European country.
No further details are available by the authorities while it was not made known if there were any arrests made. According to an announcement made by the Greek Atomic Energy Committee, the high toxicity radiation tiles were located on Friday, January 26 and members of the committee as well as scientists from the "Dimokritos" research center removed them from the area and they are currently kept at a safe place in a scientifically appropriate way.
Greek Atomic Energy Committee president Leonidas Kamarinopoulos stated to MPA that the radioactive material is kept in a safe place, while the International Organization of Atomic Energy in Vienna has already been informed. Mr. Kamarinopoulos did not rule out the likelihood for the radioactive material to be sent abroad to be examined, while in case it is declared as "lost" by any country it will be returned to it.
From his side, nuclear physics professor Kostas Papastefanou, in charge of Aristotle University Nuclear Physics Laboratory, stated to MPA that the quantity located (3 grams) is very small and does not cause concern.
The trafficking of plutonium is illegal and it is sold at a very high price. It can be used as a nuclear fuel as well as in nuclear weapons, while americium is used mainly in lighting rods.
 THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT COMMENT ON STATEMENTS MADE BY THE GREEK PARLIAMENT SPEAKERAthens, 30 January 2001 (18:57 UTC+2)
Acting Greek government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris confirmed that the United States have made a demarche to Greece in protest to the statements made by Greek parliament speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis, adding that Greek ambassador to Washington Mr. Philon has replied to it.
Mr. Hitiris stated that the Greek government does on comment on statements made by the Greek parliament speaker and added that the Greek-US relations are very good and Greece is looking forward to the further development and improvement of those relations especially, as far as the cooperation between the two countries is concerned regarding the tackling of organized crime and terrorism.
 "BLACK OUT" IN NORTHERN GREECEThessaloniki, 30 January 2001 (18:23 UTC+2)
Many power cuts were recorded in Thessaloniki since noon today as a result of a failure at a State Electricity Company sub-station in western Thessaloniki because of a thunder strike during a heavy rainfall. The power failure was restored later in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, extensive power cuts were recorded in many northern Greek regions but it was not clarified if there was a failure in the State Electricity Company center at the region of Kozani, northwestern Greece.
There was a "black out" in cities of the prefectures of Pella, Kilkis, Serres and Chalikidiki in northern Greece as well as in eastern Macedonia and in cities in the region of Thrace, northeastern Greece. The power failure was totally restored later in the afternoon.
 EUPHORIA IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 30 January 2001 (18:19 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index was increased by 3.12% at 3.139,70 points, while the volume of transactions was 133,89 million Euro or 45,6 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 323 recorded gains and 23 had losses, while the value of 29 stocks remained unchanged.
 NEW MEDICINE WILL MAKE THE BY-PASS OPERATION UNNECESSARYThessaloniki, 30 January 2001 (17:55 UTC+2)
The by-pass heart operations will be unnecessary by the year 2010 as new medicine will reduce cholesterol in the blood as well as triglyceride to a lesser degree.
The main risk factors apart from artery blood high pressure, are smoking, stress and increased cholesterol in the blood. Those diseases are the main causes of death or long term handicap for people in the develop countries (60%), a fact that it is related with the way of life and the dietary habits that have dominated in those countries.
The above were pointed out by Aristotle University pathology professor Georgios Ziakas on the occasion of a medical conference that will be held in Thessaloniki on February 1-3.
 SIMITIS: THE 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES ARE A NATIONAL BETAthens, 30 January 2001 (17:53 UTC+2)
The 2004 Olympic Games are a big national bet that must be won by Greece and will attract the interest of 24 billion people worldwide, stressed prime minister Kostas Simitis in his speech on volunteerism in an event held in the Intercontinental Hotel in Athens at the initiative of "Athens 2004" Organization.
Mr. Simitis stated that 60.000 volunteers will be needed for the 28th Olympic Games in order to cover the needs of the 11.000 athletes that will come to Greece from 200 countries to compete in the 2004 Olympic Games.
The prime minister stated that the volunteerism program has a budget of 25 billion drachmas and is linked with the Olympic Education program, the Cultural Olympiad and the Olympic torch-race, adding that it will embrace the Greeks living abroad.
 MDF FERRY RAMS INTO ROCK, ALL PASSENGERS SAFEThessaloniki, 30 January 2001 (14:08 UTC+2)
A ferry boat butted into a rock at the port entrance of Folegandros island today but, even though it underwent minor damage, all ten passengers on board are fine.
The "Express Hermes", which belongs to Minoan Flying Dolphins (MDF), is presently anchored in Folegandros and will undergo inspection from the port authority.
 PM ISNT MOST POPULAR, BUT IS BEST SUITED FOR POSTAthens, 30 January 2001 (13:28 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Simitis is the man best suited for the post according to a nationwide opinion poll, even though he lags behind Athens mayor and two opposition party leaders in terms of popularity.
According to the V-PRC opinion poll published in the Athens daily Ta Nea, 32.4 percent of the respondents voted for Mr. Simitis as best suited for the premiership, followed by 26.6% who opted for the leader of the main opposition party of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis. A mere three percent voted for the secretary-general of the Communist Party of Greece (CPG) Aleka Paparega.
In terms of suitability for the premier's post, Coalition of the Left and Progress leader Nikos Constantopoulos amassed a low 1.9 percent but ranked high in the popularity scale below, just like Dimitris Tsovolas, leader of the minor opposition of Democratic and Social Movement, who may have garnered 1.4% as a potential premier, but was voted fifth most popular politician with 37.3%.
Specifically, Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, who has announced that he will soon found a new political party of self-made individuals, is leading the poll's popularity sector with 56.5 percent, and is followed by Mr. Karamanlis with 54.1% and Mr. Constantopoulos 51.4%. Premier Simitis ranks fourth with 48.1 percent.
Regarding voter loyalty, New Democracy fares better than the ruling PASOK, with 78.2% versus 67.3%, respectively.
As for the degree of losses to the mayor's new party, the poll finds that the minor opposition of Democratic and Social Movement has the highest degree of camp switches (54.5%), followed by N.D. (17.9%), PASOK (16%), Coalition (12%) and CPG (3.6%).
 GREECE PROPOSES SME FUNDS PROTECTION IN TIRANATirana, 30 January 2001 (11:46 UTC+2)
In a meeting with Albania's Minister of Economic Cooperation and Trade Ermelinda Mexi, Greece's undersecretary of National Economy Yiannis Zafiropoulos proposed the establishment of a mechanism that would protect small-to-medium-enterprises capital in Albania, in an effort to safeguard the activities of both foreign and domestic investors.
According to the Albanian Telegraph Agency, Mr. Zafiropoulos - who is presently on an official visit to Albania - announced the formation of a Center for Cooperation in the Adriatic, which will feature the participation of all Adriatic countries and whose aim will be to strengthen multilateral economic cooperation.
 UN źDISAPPOINTED╗ BY DENKTASHS STANCENicosia, 30 January 2001 (14:09 UTC+2)
The United Nations do not share the views held by Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and express their disappointment for his continual refusal to take part in the proximity talks over the Cyprus issue, according to the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto.
Mr. de Soto, who is to travel to Turkey today following his talks in Athens and Nicosia, stated that he plans to submit a detailed report to S.G. Kofi Annan.
The Special Adviser also added that the deliberations have not been completed, referring to the imminent talks he will have with Turkish Foreign Minister Ismael Cem.