|Sunday, 2 October 2022|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-02-22
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 39 HOURS ARE AN IMPORTANT STEPAthens, 22 February 2002 (12:26 UTC+2)
The President of the General Confederacy of Greek Workers (GSEE), Christos Polyzogopoulos, stated, in an interview to Flash Radio, that employers' proposition to decrease working hours to 39 a week in the private sector, without a decrease in benefits, is a very important step.
Employers proposed that the working hour decrease be put into effect on 1/1/2004. Mr. Polyzogopoulos stressed that 35 hours a week should be everybody's real goal, in the framework of real convergence.
The Financial coordinator of New Democracy, Giorgos Alogoskoufis, appeared to be pleased with the 39 hours a week, noting that the agreement should be materialized.
In any case, employers' proposal for a collective contract and 4.5% raises, was turned down by the GSEE. Syndicalists are asking for initial raise of 6%. Meanwhile a meeting has been set for March 11 at the GSEVE offices.
 SE EUROPE CULTURE MINISTERS IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 22 February 2002 (12:13 UTC+2)
At 15:30, SE European Culture Ministers will meet in Thessaloniki, after the initiative of their Greek counterpart, Mr. Venizelos. The Cultural Olympics, preparation for the Olympics, the Olympic flame, common institutions and actions in the sector of cultural heritage, the theater, cinema and popular culture, are among the issues to be discussed during the meeting.
The works of the meeting will take place in the theater of the Macedonian Studies Association, while later in the afternoon a meeting between the Ministers of Culture with Prime Minister Simitis will take place in Veria, in the framework of the city's new Byzantine Museum inauguration. During the two-day visit, meetings are expected to take place between the Ministers of Culture and Sports and spokespersons for the political, sports and cultural world.
 CHEMICAL LEAK ON SHOOTING RANGEHeraclion, 22 February 2002 (12:12 UTC+2)
On January 24 there was a leak of a dangerous liquid chemical on the Crete Target Range, during the transfer of high current transformers. It is highly probable that the chemical was Clophen, a highly toxic substance.
The point where the leak took place was evacuated and the contaminated surface was covered, while the two drivers transporting the transformers, underwent medical examinations at a Crete hospital. The test results were negative.
 SE EUROPEAN CULTURE AND SPORTS MINISTERS MEETINGThessaloniki, 22 February 2002 (19:31 UTC+2)
The Balkan countries know very well what culture and war mean, and how culture can function as a bridge for peace, while very often it can also function as a cause for friction, conflicts and wars. Greek Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos welcomed with these words the nine southeastern European Culture and Sports Ministers who meet in Thessaloniki today and tomorrow.
Mr. Venizelos referred to the conflicts that erupted in the Balkan region in the past decade, as well as to the Olympic Ideal and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens maintaining that Greece can offer ideological and moral renewal to sports and Olympism.
In the southeastern European Sports and Culture Ministers meeting today were also discussed Cultural Olympiad issues, the Olympic Games preparations, the Olympic Flame that will pass through the southeastern European countries, cultural exchanges, cooperation and common actions.
The meeting attended government ministers and other officials from Serbia, FYROM, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, the Serb Republic of Bosnia, Slovenia, Albania and Turkey.
 PASOK REACTED ANGRILY TO PRESS REPORTSAthens, 22 February 2002 (18:14 UTC+2)
The press reports that came to light according to which, the governing Socialist Party of PASOK was the recipient of kickbacks from transactions between Greece and former East Germany caused the anger of the party.
The press reports on the Athens newspapers Kathimerini and Chora, maintain that PASOK was the alleged recipient of 2% of the trade transactions between former East Germany and Greece. The newspapers mention that in German Parliament documents it is stressed that in 1985 Stazi, the East Germany secret agency, had approached PASOK for this purpose through an agent under the name Wingler, Mr. Kokkalis' liaison in Athens.
In a statement issued by the PASOK press office it is stressed that these are unfounded allegations made by certain agents. They are characterized as laughable, while it is stressed that they had been published again in the past and denied categorically.
The PASOK statement underlines that it is clear that certain centers attempt to defame PASOK and undermine the country's political life.
It is stressed that PASOK always had open economic resources and its economic affairs were characterized by total clarity.
 KAKLAMANIS MET WITH YOUNG SCIENTISTS FROM SE EUROPEAthens, 22 February 2002 (17:46 UTC+2)
The significant role that can be played by the young scientists from southeastern Europe in the improvement of communication and cooperation among their peoples, was stressed by Greek Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis. Mr. Kaklamanis received 22 post graduate students from southeastern European countries participating in the post graduate studies program of the Athens University Law School Political Department.
The Greek Parliament President called on the young scientists to work for the improvement of bilateral relations and become good-will ambassadors to cover the existing void which, from time to time, is being exploited by powers outside the Balkan region serving their own interests.
 SIMITIS: I HAVE ONLY ONE INTEREST IN MIND, THE INTEREST OF THE COUNTRYVeria, 22 February 2002 (17:39 UTC+2)
Nobody can undermine, side-track, and forge the government's work, values and course, stated Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, speaking in the city of Veria, in northwestern Greece, this evening. The Prime Minister referred to the corruption issues that came to light and clarified that he is committed only to the interest of the country and nothing else.
Mr. Simitis attacked right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy by saying that it is backed by different power centers and added that the government work is not affected by any judgement except from the judgement of the Greek people.
He also pointed out that as it became obvious by the illegal electronic gambling machines issue any corruption phenomenon will get the strong response of a strong society.
The Prime Minister also referred to the agriculture policy as well as to local elections issues.
 LOSSES AGAIN IN THE ASEAthens, 22 February 2002 (17:32 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.78% at 2.351,66 points, while the volume of transactions was at 101.2 million Euro.
Of the stocks trading today, 299 recorded losses and only 32 managed to have gains, while the value of 41 stocks remained unchanged.
 PROTOPAPAS ON THE CHARGES AGAINST SOCRATES KOKKALISAthens, 22 February 2002 (17:27 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas denied press reports according to which, the Prime Minister knew in advance about the charges filed against businessman Socrates Kokkalis after a meeting he had with a member of the judiciary.
Mr. Protopapas stated regarding the destabilization plans that appear systematically that the Prime Minister will address the issue in detail in an important speech this evening.
 THE GOVERNMENT IS DETERMINED TO FIND THE RIGHT SOLUTION FOR OAAthens, 22 February 2002 (17:20 UTC+2)
The government is determined to find the right solution for Olympic Airways that will allow the state-run airline to be viable without placing a burden on the Greek people, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas reiterating an announcement issued yesterday by the Ministries of Transportation and Finance.
Mr. Protopapas stated that the whole issue must be examined taking under consideration the climate of crisis that was created by the September 11 terrorist attack.
The Greek government spokesman stated that this is the beginning of a new course for Olympic Airways.
 SIMITIS ON THE FUTURE OF AGRICULTUREThessaloniki, 22 February 2002 (17:10 UTC+2)
The future of agriculture can be found in the production of high quality products, stressed Prime Minister Kostas Simitis during his visit to an agricultural products processing plant outside the city of Veria, the first stop of his two-day tour of the prefectures of Imathia and Pella in northern Greece.
Speaking to the plant employees, Mr. Simitis stated that the plant began its operation when he was Minister of Agriculture and in spite of the initial problems it managed to recover.
Mr. Simitis stated that Greece occupies the top place in the world in the exports of canned peaches and the specific plant proves that with an effort and a plan all difficulties can be overcome.
 PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 22 February 2002 (12:47 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis arrived at Thessaloniki's "Macedonia" airport at 11:45 this morning, heading a large governmental team.
He was greeted by Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis, Imathia MP of PASOK Moschos Gikonoglou, EuroMP Giannis Koukiadis, and the Chief of the District of Central Macedonia, Ilias Liakopoulos. A short while later, Mr. Simitis departed for Imathia.