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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-02-15
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ALL INFORMATION WILL BE SENT TO THE HAGUEAthens, 15 February 2002 (12:32 UTC+2)
When asked about the information the Foreign Ministry will pass on to the International Court of Justice on former Yugoslavia, Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Papandreou noted that the government and the Parliament have voted a law on cooperation with the Hague Court.
We were obliged to cooperate and have cooperated in supplying any evidence that was required of us, stressed Mr. Papandreou.
Mr. Papandreou also noted that all evidence discussed has been concentrated and will be transferred to the Hague. We have no knowledge of whether this information holds any incriminating evidence, he clarified.
Earlier, spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry Panos Beglitis stated that the file with evidence on bank account moves will be transferred to the International Justice Course via diplomatic routes.
 NEW MEDICAL EXAMS FOR SOLDIERS IN THE BALKANSAthens, 15 February 2002 (12:51 UTC+2)
Greek soldiers that served or are serving on military missions in the Balkans, will undergo a new set of medical examinations.
According to a publication in today's edition of the Nea, approximately 6,500 men and women will undergo tests performed by special equipment, with higher sensitivity in counting depleted uranium levels.
So far, in tests performed on Greek soldiers, no radioactive contamination of pathology with connection to radioactive elements has been detected.
 CHURCH WANTS 342 MILLION EUROAthens, 15 February 2002 (12:33 UTC+2)
The Church of Greece is contending 342,186,353 euro from the Communal Support Framework, for the materialization of 15 major works, of a mainly publicly beneficial character. The Ministry of Finance has already given the "OK" for the funding of studies for another five infrastructure works of the Church of Greece, for which communal funds of 38.1 million euro have already been approved. The Holy Synod called all metropolises to submit specific proposals regarding the works they are interested in handling within the next ten days. These 15 works mainly concern:
Constructing public welfare institutions
The promotion of ecclesiastic monuments in 7 cities and 9 metropolises, as well as the restoration of 10 ecclesiastic monuments of the Byzantine Era.
The development of modern information and telecommunication infrastructure in 3,000 central and peripheral administration units of the Greek Church.
 SIMITIS PRESENTED THE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLANAthens, 15 February 2002 (17:57 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, speaking in the country's regions council meeting at a central Athens hotel, presented the government plan on regional development and the state's convergence with the European standards both at a social and an economic level.
Mr. Simitis stated that regional development must be activated by the state to promote social cohesion and solidarity. Also, the people must undertake a general effort to achieve progress.
A special emphasis was given by the Prime Minister to the role of decentralization, stressing that it cannot be put in effect if local politics and interests dominate.
Referring to the reforms promoted by the government, he stressed that the reactions provoked by certain interests affected by the reforms in question, must be overcome.
 LOSSES AGAIN IN THE ASEAthens, 15 February 2002 (17:33 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded again today in the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index dropped to -0.25% at 2.488,78 points, while the volume of transactions was at 90 million Euro.
Of the stocks trading today, 164 recorded gains and 130 had losses, while the value of 77 stocks remained unchanged.
 SAE BUILDS A MODERN MEDICAL CENTER IN UKRAINEThessaloniki, 15 February 2002 (17:21 UTC+2)
Two years were enough for the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, to turn a vision into a reality by building a modern medical center in Mariupolis, Ukraine. SAE president Andrew Athens announced that a modern clinic with high technology equipment will be built in Ukraine within the framework of a five-year medical program.
The project is expected to be completed in September and it will cost more than US$1 million.
The program for the support of the Greeks in the former Soviet Union countries was characterized as a vision by Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannis Magriotis. The specific program is funded mainly by SAE and individual businessmen from Greece and abroad.
 THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENTS CONFERENCE OPENS IN ATHENSAthens, 15 February 2002 (17:05 UTC+2)
The strengthening of the Mediterranean states relations, the understanding of the problems they face and the strengthening of their cooperation are the goals of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliament Presidents Conference that opens in a Greek parliament hall tomorrow.
The participating parliament presidents and parliamentary delegations will meet with President Kostis Stephanopoulos and visit the Acropolis.
The parliament presidents from Greece, Egypt, Italy and Iran, participating in the conference on the Parliamentary Dialogue of the Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations, will sign a Final Declaration on Monday.
 THE PRIME MINISTER OF LUXEMBOURG WILL BE IN GREECE ON TUESDAYAthens, 15 February 2002 (16:43 UTC+2)
Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Junker will be on a formal visit to Greece on February 19 and 20.
Mr. Junker will arrive in Athens on February 19 and meet with President Kostis Stephanopoulos, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.
On Wednesday, February 20 he will lay a wreath at the Monument for the Unknown Soldier and afterwards, he will have separate meetings with right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, Coalition of the Left leader Nikos Konstantopoulos, Communist Party general secretary Aleka Papariga, Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis, Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis and Prime Minister Simitis.
On Wednesday at noon, Mr. Junker and Mr. Simitis will give a joint press conference and later Mr. Simitis will give a formal dinner in honor of his counterpart. Mr. Junker will return to his country later on that day.
 INFLATION WAS AT 4.4% IN JANUARYAthens, 15 February 2002 (16:36 UTC+2)
Inflation was at 4.4% in January, recording a considerable increase, compared to 3% in December, according to figures announced today by the Greek National Statistics Agency.
The wave of bad weather that hit Europe last month appears to be the main cause for the rekindling of the inflationary pressures in Greece and the rest of the EU member-states.
However, analysts believe that the increase of inflation is occasional and in the following months it will deescalate gradually.
According to the Greek National Statistics Agency, a considerable increase was recorded in the retail sales in the month of November. They increased by 7.5% at an annual basis compared to 4.1% in October.
 OA CRUCIAL DECISION ON MONDAYAthens, 15 February 2002 (12:39 UTC+2)
The government's decision on whether or not to sell 51% of Olympic Airways to the Australian Integrated Airlines Solutions Corporation (IASC) joint venture will be made on Monday.
The last pending issues for the success of the agreement, were put under the microscope yesterday, during a marathon meeting, between IASC staff members and representatives of the privatization consultant, CSFB. The meeting began late last night and continued into the early morning hours.
In fact, shortly before the beginning of the meeting, IASC staff members stated that they had in their possession and would submit the guarantees for the amount of 102 million euro, which will be used to increase the share-capital of the new Olympic Airways.
According to information, the only point on which the government and IASC representatives disagree, was canceling long flights. On one hand the government is asking for their erasing from the OA flight schedule, since they are considered a waste of money, while IASC holds the position that flights to New York, Bangkok and Australia will continue, and will turn a profit within the next two years.
 SAE PRESIDENCY MEETINGThessaloniki, 15 February 2002 (12:32 UTC+2)
The SAE Presidency will conduct meetings from February 16-19. The meetings will take place at the Thessaloniki Council's offices, on Komotini 2 St.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Giannis Magriotis, Secretary General of Hellenism Abroad Dimitris Dollis and the SAE Presidency, will hold a press conference on February 18 at 12 noon, on the issues which they will have discussed, and the Council's schedule for 2002 and 2003.