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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-08-24
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 FIRST GREEK FORCE HAS LEFT FOR FYROMThessaloniki, 24 August 2001 (13:34 UTC+2)
At 10 this morning 157 members of the Greek Force with 75 vehicles left for FYROM, while tomorrow the last section of the 525th Mechanized Infantry Battalion will depart from the "Alesta Louka" camp in Polykastro of Kilkis.
Yesterday, the commanding officer of the battalion and a small staff group made the necessary preparations for the military force from Polykastro.
Krivolak is 80 kilometers from the Greek-FYROM border, on the road axis that connects Gevgeli with Skopje, southwest of the capital of FYROM. There is a camp of FYROM armed forces there and exercise field that the US Force also uses.
The Greek forces will set up their base in the camp. One of the buildings will be used and tents will also be set up by the force. This is the area where the guerrillas' arms will be concentrated from the various forces of the different countries that will take part in the NATO operation "essential harvest". These weapons will consequently be shipped to Greece and will be destroyed in the installations of "Halyvourgiki".
 AWARDS FOR GREEK TURKISH FRIENDSHIP FROM MPA AND ANADOLUThessaloniki, 24 August 2001 (13:35 UTC+2)
Awards to personalities who contribute to Greek-Turkish approximation, and understanding of the two have been instituted by the Macedonian Press Agency and the Turkish Anadolu Press Agency. The awards will be given every year, while the first artists to receive them will be the great Turkish artist Zulfu Livaneli, Maria Farantouri and Mikis Theodorakis. The awards will be given on Sunday night, in the framework of the great Greek-Turkish folk concert which will take place in Aristotelous Square, and will be the commencement of the "Balkan Square" events, organized by the Municipality of Neapoli. In the same event Mikis Theodorakis will officially become an honorary citizen of the municipality of Neapoli.
The commencement event of the "Balkan Square" will start with a torchlight procession. All officials and artists will be present and participate in the concert at 7:30 pm in front of Venizelos' statue at the crossroads of Aristotelous and Egnatia streets, and the torchlight procession will continue until Electra Palace where the Minister of Culture, Evaggelos Venizelos, will have a reception in their honor.
Before the beginning of the concert, the General Director of the Macedonian Press Agency and the General Director of the Anadolu Press Agency, will present Maria Farantouri and Zulfu Livaneli correspondingly, with an honorary plaque each. Honorary plaques for the two artists, for the mayor of Neapoli, Grigoris Hatzisavvas, and for the General Director of the Macedonian Press Agency will also be presented by Mayor Kousantasi Fouat Aktogan.
Concequently, Livaneli and Farantouri supported by the Mikis Theodorakis Folk Band along with Panagiotis Karadimitris and Giorgos Theodorakis, will perform famous compositions by Mikis Theodorakis and Livaneli. It should be noted that the commencement ceremony of the "Balkan Square"is being reaized with the support of the Municipality of Kousantasi, the Macedonian Press Agency, the Anadolu Press Agency and Radio Thessaloniki.
 THE PRIORITIES OF THE GREEK GOVERNMENTAthens, 24 August 2001 (13:36 UTC+2)
The governmental task, and not the congress discussions is the main preoccupation of the government, as Prime Minister Kostas Simitis pointed out after yesterday's Cabinet session.
As Mr. Simitis said the government's priorities in the upcoming period of time are these:
The constitution of the government budget
The full utilization of the 3rd Communal Support Framework
The preparation for the 2004 Olympics
The adaptation of the Euro
The preparation of the Greek presidency in the Union
The constitution of a special plan of action for employment
The promotion of privatization
The National Health System reform
The tax reform
Special attention to Educational issues
The settlement of the Insurance issue, for which Mr. Simitis stressed that the solution will be given through discussion with social bodies, after the conference with the General Confederation of Greek Workers in late September, noting that the government will be present at the meeting with a spokesperson.
 ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS ON THE CHURCH AND STATE INSTITUTIONSAthens, 24 August 2001 (17:32 UTC+2)
Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece referred today to the institutions of the Church and the State, citing Saint Kosmas the Aetolian and his preaching. Specifically, he pointed out that in the eyes of the faithful the Church is placed higher than the state.
Citing Kosmas the Aetolian, the Archbishop stated that if a person met a priest and a king on the street should greet the priest first, as he ranks higher than the king. He added that an emperor can relieve a person from the taxes he or she owes to the state but the priest can forgive his or her sins before God.
Later, clarifying his statements Archbishop Christodoulos stated that Saint Kosmas the Aetolian did not defy the institutional principles and powers existing in his times. The Archbishop stressed that himself should not be misinterpreted because he is not questioning the institutional bodies of the state. He said that he simply reiterates the words of the saints and the saints are never wrong because they are saints.
Responding to those who attribute to him a political role, the Archbishop pointed out that he feels internally content with what he is and does not want to acquire an additional identity by becoming a political leader.
 GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 24 August 2001 (16:35 UTC+2)
Gains of 1.74% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to 2.743,91 points, while the volume of transactions was 150.4 million Euro or 51.26 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 254 recorded gains and 65 had losses, while the value of 56 stocks remained stable.
 SECOND DEATH IN GREECE LINKED TO A CHOLESTEROL DRUGAthens, 24 August 2001 (16:33 UTC+2)
A second death linked to a cholesterol drug has been recorded in Greece, according to the National Drug Organization.
The drug Lipidil, 200ml, which belongs to the same category with the drug Lipobay that has already been withdrawn from the market, is likely to be responsible for the death of a 75-year-old man.
The first deadly case was the result of a combination of the drugs Lopid and Lipobay.
The National Drug Organization accused the doctors in Greece of inadequate vigilance, as the agency was not briefed for the deaths by the attendant physicians treating the two patients.
 THE PRINCIPLES ON THE INSURANCE ISSUEAthens, 24 August 2001 (14:28 UTC+2)
The moral and just demand that future and the existing generations of working people aren't burdened with the heavy load of supporting today's and future pensioners, is what the insurance reform should be based on, as the Minister of Employment and Social Securities, Tasos Giannitsis, stressed in an interview with Kerdos economic newspaper.
Mr. Giannitsis made specific mention of the need for social rationalism to dominate, in the relationship, "today's burden - tomorrow's gain of the insured".
Setting the boundaries with 7 basic principles on which the insurance reform will have to stand, after the social discussion which will proceed it, Mr. Giannitsis estimates that the system should be based on another 5 principles.
These principles must make sure that the insurance reform does not end up as a sudden dead end to development and chopping block of any other kind of social policy, so that in case of insurance deficits and their covering, they will not have negative consequences on employment and unemployment and to the need of forming this insurance reform from the viewpoint of a policy against poverty and exclusion.
In the insurance principles are incorporated, according to Mr. Giannitsis, the need for solidarity between generations, however, based on the facts that each generation has to deal with and not based on facts that have been overcome and the huge change in the demographic facts which has been known for years.
Answering the General Confederation of Greek Workers on the unemployment reduction issue, the Minister of Employment and Social Securities, stressed that the reduction of unemployment will not solve the problem, since, even though most EU countries have an unemployment rate of under 7%, they also have an insurance problem and called all those involved to a meaningful discussion. Mr. Giannitsis ended by repeating the government's commitment for additional funding of the system.
 ONCOLOGY CONFERENCE IN THESSALONIKIAthens, 24 August 2001 (14:27 UTC+2)
With the topic, "The Multilateral Approach to Oncology and Therapy Designing", the "Aristotle" Institute is organizing the 11th Oncology Conference, from the 29th of August to the 1st of September, in the European Inter-balkan Medical Center of Thessaloniki.
The Conference is framed by three relevant seminars, "Nursing Re-establishment", "Consequences of the usage of depleted uranium in former Yugoslavia" and "Dosage, therapy design and radiation therapy".
 PRIME MINISTERS SPEECH TO CABINETAthens, 24 August 2001 (13:37 UTC+2)
A new political period, crucial to the further promotion of the governmental project was what the Prime Minister told the cabinet to be ready for, during his speech to the cabinet, which convened to discuss and program actions of the Education Ministry for the 2001-2004 period.
Specifically, the Prime Minister stated that the government must show the maximum possible decisiveness and effectiveness, must intensify its efforts and to work coordinately, to have society and the citizens in the center of its activities, avoiding the danger of becoming introvert and dealing with issues that do not occupy public opinion. Also, he asked for the fulfillment of the requirements for the final and irrevocable introduction of the country into a development and prosperity orbit.
As priorities of this new period he mentioned the preparation of the budget, characterizing "the excellent performance of the Greek economy this year, which must be continued and preserved", the promotion and materialization of the 3rd Communal Support Framework, which is the main tool in the balanced peripheral development of the country, the preparation of the 2004 Olympics, the introduction of the Euro into the Greek economy, the preparation of the Greek presidency in the EU, the promotion and backing of occupational programs and the strengthening of social cohesion, and the promotion of structural changes.
Continuing the Prime Minister mentioned the tax reform, in health and insurance, where he spoke on the promotion of discussions in the framework of the Central Committee's decisions on education.
On Balkan developments and the Greek military force in FYROM, he repeated our fixed position, that Greece must be present in the Balkans and must assist in the solution of differences and the securing of peace and cooperation in the area, while referring to the criticisms the government has had from the main opposition party, he commented that we must answer the various verbal fireworks and schemes of New Democracy with our deeds and our effectiveness. And he surmised: "We are strictly concentrated on the mission the Greek people entrusted in us and we will accomplish it."
 THE GREEK UNDERSECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS IN CYPRUSNicosia, 24 August 2001 (16:53 UTC+2)
Greek undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis will be in Cyprus on Sunday to attend the opening ceremony for the 12th World Congress of Cypriots living abroad, according to a statement issued by the Greek embassy in Cyprus.
During his visit, he will meet with Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides, Archbishop Chrisostomos of Cyprus, parliament president Dimitris Christofias, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides and interior minister Christodoulos Christodoulou.
 PAPANDREOU WILL BE IN CYPRUS ON SEPTEMBER 4 AND 5Nicosia, 24 August 2001 (16:51 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will be on a two-day formal visit to Cyprus on September 4 and 5.
According to a formal statement, Mr. Papandreou will make his visit to Cyprus after consultations held between the foreign ministries of Greece and Cyprus.
 VARTHOLOMEOS IN A CONFERENCE IN SOFIASofia, 24 August 2001 (16:38 UTC+2)
Representatives of the four main religions in southeastern Europe, the Christian Orthodox, the Roman Catholic, Judaism, and Islamism, will attend a meeting that will be held in Sofia on September 8-10 under the auspices of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, aimed at changing the education policy in the Balkans.
The announcement was made in the Bulgarian capital by author and member of the conference's organizing committee, Victor Paskov.
Bulgarian prime minister Simeon Saxe Coburg Gotha has been invited to co-chair the conference that will be held with the participation of NATO, European Commission, Euro-Parliament, Organization for Security and Cooperation in the Balkans and UNESCO officials.
The conference participants will exchange views on possible policies and plans concerning southeastern Europe.