|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-11-10
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PAPANTONIOU: 12-MONTH MILITARY SERVICE IN GREECE STARTING IN 2003Athens, 10 November 2001 (16:20 UTC+2)
A number of measures were announced by Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou, who stated that military service in Greece will be reduced by 2 months annually starting this year in order to be limited to 12 months by the year 2003.
Speaking to the Athens newspaper "TA NEA", Mr. Papantoniou stated that the economic allowance received by the Greek soldiers will be increased, the living conditions in the military camps will be improved, while Vocational Training Centers will be established in every military camp.
Responding to the question if additional Greek forces will be sent to the Balkans, the Minister of Defense stated that the issue is under discussion and preparations are being made by Greece. He also clarified that Greece is firm in its decision not to send Greek forces to Afghanistan.
Mr. Papantoniou stated that the issue of security after the terrorist attacks on the United States has developed into a major concern for the people all over the world.
Referring to the Turkish threat, Mr. Papantoniou stated that Greece should be ready for any eventuality because it is possible for Turkey to adopt a stance with initiatives that could create threats for Cyprus and Greece when the time for Cyprus' EU accession will come closer.
 FAYE DUNAWAY: GREECE MEANS A LOT TO METhessaloniki, 10 November 2001 (17:05 UTC+2)
Greece means a lot to me. If I was invited to go to France I wouldn't go, stated actress Faye Dunaway, who is in Thessaloniki as the formal guest of Thessaloniki's 42nd Film Festival. The famous actress overcame her fear as a result of the terrorist attack on the United States and decided to come to Greece, saying that she was aware of its civilization and wanted to visit the country for the past four years. Referring to the developments after the terrorist attack, she stated that everybody must be vigilant and unite forces against this evil which is worse than Hitler and is hiding behind the pretext of religion.
Responding to the question, what she would say to the young Afghan woman director participating in the Film Festival, she said that she would ask her what are her political beliefs and if she is satisfied with the Taliban regime. Ms. Dunaway stated that she would go to Afghanistan herself if this wouldn't create further problems.
She stated that the star-system has changed and that Hollywood's golden era has ended, stressing that it was characterized by the magic of love, whereas things now are less romantic.
Speaking about her experience as a film director in "Yellow Bird", she said that she loved that film very much and added that during her career she had the opportunity to work with excellent film directors.
Responding to the question how hard it is to work with Balkan directors, she referred to her cooperation with Kusturica saying that his work reminds of Fellini, while she stressed that he has the sense of the fantastic.
Speaking about the new film on the life of Maria Callas, she said that it will be the best work she has ever made, while she also referred to her favorite films, "Bonnie and Clayde", "The Network", "Chinatown" and the "The Diary of a Model".
She also referred to the loneliness of the public figures by saying that she has opted to be alone at this period of her life because she needs it.
Faye Dunaway characterized Greece as an incredible country and referring to Elias Kazan she stated that she was lucky to meet him, adding that he had created the American acting school almost by himself and made some of the best films in the history of cinema.
 VENIZELOS ON THE FYROM NAME ISSUEThessaloniki, 10 November 2001 (18:06 UTC+2)
The view that nothing has changed in the Greek policy on the FYROM name issue, was expressed by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos in Thessaloniki.
Mr. Venizelos stressed that there are specific procedures that are being followed, adding that the goal is to safeguard stability, and peace in the Balkans, preserve the existing borders, and protect the neighboring state, which has faced very intense challenges in the past few months and everybody have realized how important is to preserve the status quo.
 THE GRAND BRETAGNE HOTEL WILL BE CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONAthens, 10 November 2001 (17:52 UTC+2)
The Grand Bretagne Hotel in Athens will suspend operations for about a year and a half for renovation work to take place. The goal is to create a true 5-star hotel of very high standards, while maintaining its historical style and image.
The hotel is expected to be in partial operation in the first trimester of 2003, while by mid 2003 it is expected to be in full operation. The renovation cost is estimated at 67 million Euro (23 billion drachmas).
This historical hotel opened in 1874 and is closely linked with the history of the nation and the city of Athens. Heads of state, international celebrities and guests of royalty, who have shaped the political and social face of Greece, have enjoyed the gracious surroundings of this landmark hotel.
After the renovation is completed the Grand Bretagne Hotel will have a total of 328 "keys" namely, 252 rooms, 74 suites and 2 presidential suites and it will be included in the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. Luxury Collection, among some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
The owner company is the largest group in the area of hotels and tourist facilities worldwide with 725 hotels in 80 countries and a personnel of 12.000 employees.
 GREECE TRIUMPHED OVER TURKEY IN THE UEFA EUROPEAN UNDER-21 CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY-OFFIoannina, 10 November 2001 (17:20 UTC+2)
The Greek Under-21 National Football team triumphed over Turkey 3-0 yesterday in a match within the framework of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs. The match took place in the northwestern Greek city of Ioannina.
Over 12.000 fans of the Greek team watched the game. The follow-up match in Turkey is expected to be easier for the Greek team coached by Andreas Michalopoulos and it is expected to qualify for the next phase.
 SOLBES: GREECE WILL BE THE FIRST TO RECOVER IN THE EUAthens, 10 November 2001 (16:17 UTC+2)
The much desired recovery will come to Greece first, given the fact that the growth rate will continue to be more than double compared to the Euro-zone. The recovery in Euroland is estimated to start in the second half of 2002, while the waiting period for Greece will be smaller.
The above were stated by European Commissioner Pedro Solbes, according to Gerasimos Thomas, press representative of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner.
Based on a report on the Athens newspaper "Imerisia", the economies of the "15" will have a growth rate of 1.5% this year and in 2002, while the final predictions will be presented when the bimonthly European Commission report will be published on November 21.
 AGAINST THE WAR 80% OF THE GREEKSThessaloniki, 10 November 2001 (16:15 UTC+2)
Terrorism cannot be defeated by war, according to 80% of the Greeks, who responded to countrywide opinion poll conducted by the Opinion polling company on behalf of the Athens newspaper "Eleftherotipia". Based on the opinion poll results, 6 out of 10 Greeks disagree with the way the United States defend themselves after the September 11 terrorist attack.
Over 80% believe that the war was launched to satisfy the interests of the West, only 29.6% believe that bin Laden is responsible, while 28.2% believe that those responsible are the US secret agencies.
To the question if the war in Afghanistan is an effective means to combat terrorism, 80% responded negatively and 15% positively.