|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-03-01
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 DEVELOPMENT MINISTER VISIT TO THE USAthens, 1 March 2002 (18:09 UTC+2)
Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos will have important contacts for the strengthening of the US-Greek cooperation in the sector of energy and the attraction of more US tourists to Greece during his visit to the United States that began today and will last until Monday.
On the energy sector, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will have meetings with his US counterpart Mr. Abraams and with 15 members of US think tanks specializing in energy issues.
On the sector of tourism, the Greek government minister will have important contacts with US tour operators in New York.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will be honored by the American Foundation For Greek Language And Culture as Man of the Year.
 300 TRAVEL AGENTS FROM THE FORMER USSR IN PATRAPatra, 1 March 2002 (12:45 UTC+2)
300 travel agents are participating in the 1st Panhellenic Tourism Convention for countries of the former Soviet Union, which will end on Saturday in Achaia. The Minister of Tourism of Ukraine participated in the group that visited ancient Olympia yesterday, as guests of deputy Minister of Development, Dimitris Georgakopoulos.
In the meanwhile, in an event that took place yesterday afternoon, the area's tourism value was presented, aiming at achieving agreements on attracting tourists from the countries of the former USSR.
 GOVERNMENTAL COUNCIL MEETINGAthens, 1 March 2002 (18:12 UTC+2)
The armaments programs were the main topic of discussion in today's meeting of the governmental council on foreign affairs and defense.
In statements he made, Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou announced that Greece is to be supplied with 170 Leopard armored tanks, US-Italian made C-27 transport planes and 60 self-protection systems for F-16 fighter planes.
Meanwhile, government spokesman Christos Protopapas announced that the new Coast Guard Chief is Christos Delimichalis, who is promoted to the rank of vice-admiral. Responding to a question by reporters, Mr. Protopapas stated that there was no intervention made on the issue on behalf of the Defense Minister and the Navy Chief of Staff has not submitted his resignation.
 UNEMPLOYMENT IN GREECE DROPPED TO 10% IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER OF 2001Athens, 1 March 2002 (18:05 UTC+2)
Unemployment in Greece dropped to 10% in the third trimester of 2001 recording a small decline compared to the same period in 2000 when it was at 10.7%, according to figures provided today by the Greek National Statistics Agency.
In the third trimester of 2001, even though women continued to occupy the top place compared to men concerning unemployment (14.9% and 6.7% respectively), the unemployment rate among them had dropped faster compared to men (1.4% for women compared to 0.3% for men).
 SIMITIS-EVERT CONFRONTATION IN PARLIAMENT ON POLITICAL DIVERSIONAthens, 1 March 2002 (17:58 UTC+2)
The democratic system of government is not in any danger, democracy is strong and nothing can change the smooth course of the country and its stability, stated Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. The statement was made in response to a question by right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy former President Militiadis Evert on the recent statements concerning political diversion made by Mr. Simitis.
Mr. Simitis attacked New Democracy and its President accusing them of trying to capitalize on the negative climate that has been created and win the next elections.
Mr. Simitis also referred to a number of press reports on the unethical attack launched against President Kostis Stephanopoulos and the accusations concerning phenomena of corruption and the illegal gambling machines.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 1 March 2002 (17:50 UTC+2)
Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.42% at 2.366,02 points, while the volume of transactions was at 125 million Euro.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority, namely 289, recorded gains and 42 had losses, while the value of 41 stocks remained unchanged.
 BLACK ECONOMY GREW TO 28.7% OF THE GDP IN GREECEAthens, 1 March 2002 (17:47 UTC+2)
Greece occupies the top place among the EU and OECD countries in terms of black economy given the fact that it corresponds to a large percentage of its GDP, according to a study conducted by Linz University in Austria.
Specifically, black economy in Greece reached 28.7% of the country's GDP in 2000 and was the highest among the 21 OECD countries. The second place is occupied by Italy, 27.1%, followed by Portugal and Spain 22.7% respectively and Belgium 22.2%.
The lowest black economy levels are recorded in Japan, 11.2% and Austria 9.8%, followed by the US 8.7% and Switzerland 8.6%. The average black economy rate for the 21 OECD countries was 16.7% for the period 1999-2000.
 FAVORABLE REGULATIONS FOR DRAFT-DODGERSAthens, 1 March 2002 (17:45 UTC+2)
Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou announced favorable regulations for the 14.650 Greek draft-dodgers.
The top age limit will be at 45 from 50, while the Greek embassy officials will not have the right to refuse to issue or validate passports for draft-dodgers living abroad.
The new bill will be passed in parliament before Easter. The goal set by Minister of Defense Yiannos Papantoniou is to deal effectively with the problem of draft-dodgers that has worsened lately.
 THE GOVERNMENT IS WORRIED BY THE REEVALUATION OF GOODSAthens, 1 March 2002 (17:43 UTC+2)
The reevaluation of basic goods and services causes concern to the government after yesterday's final farewell to the drachma, which is now replaced by the Euro in all transactions.
According to information, provision businesses have submitted price lists to the Ministry of Development with increases in the prices of detergents, alcohol drinks and dairy products.
Reevaluation is expected next week in the price of salt (3%-9.5%), olive oil (5.5%-7%) and imported dairy products (9.5%).
Consumers also express strong concern protesting against the unjustified price increases.
 ANCIENT MOSAIC BARBECUEDKos, 1 March 2002 (13:52 UTC+2)
Vandals struck the archeological park of Kos last night. The broke down the door, wrote slogans on the floors and columns, and had a barbecue on the famous mosaic depicting the Abduction of Europe.
An investigation has begun by island authorities in order to trace and arrest the perpetrators.
 ANTHRAX SCARE IN VOLOSVolos, 1 March 2002 (13:00 UTC+2)
A 60-year-old businessman in Almyros, Volos, received an envelope which he thought may contain anthrax spores.
The businessman and his wife were admitted to the Thessaloniki Infectious Diseases Hospital for tests, but were found in good health, and are receiving precautionary a chemical treatment
The envelope with the suspicious powder was sealed and sent to the Control Center for Specia Contagious diseases in Athens.
 VENIZELOS: ACROPOLIS MUSEUM WILL BE READY ON TIMEBerlin, 1 March 2002 (15:41 UTC+2)
From Berlin, where he was present at the opening of the Hellenistic Classical Culture Ideal or Reality exhibition, which will be held by the Martin Gropious Hall until June 2, 2002, Minister of Culture Evaggelos Venizelos announced his commitment that the Acropolis Museum will be ready before the 2004 Olympics, in order for it to hold the Parthenon Marbles.
We have made a very generous approach on the subject, we have stated we have no interest in the legal issues involved. We are interested in the return of the marbles itself. We have made a proposition to the British Museum and the British government. The new Acropolis Museum will be ready this is a commitment of mine, and of Mr. Pantermalis, which I want to repeat before the 2004 Olympics. And with the museum there, with half the marbles in the room, with the obvious empty spaces, with these proposals of ours, which are the most open we have made so far, the British side must see that there is an issue. They must decide how they are going to handle it, he pointed out.
Mr. Venizelos underlined that the Greek government has not turned the marble issue into a political issue, but the claim is made in the name of the monument.
He also stressed that the Berlin exhibition should also be transferred to Athens, specifically in the National Art Gallery.
 MAGRIOTIS TWO-DAY VISIT TO LONDONLondon, 1 March 2002 (12:45 UTC+2)
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Giannis Magriotis, is beginning his two-day visit to London today.
Among others, he will meet with Presidents of Hellenism abroad bodies, as well as the British Committee for the return of the Parthenon Marbles. Mr. Magriotis will also visit Greek schools in London and will speak at an event to take place in the Hellenic Centre, on: "The Olympic Spirit and Youth Volunteerism"