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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-05-09
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 MEASURES AT THE BORDERSAthens, 9 May 2003 (09:04 UTC+2)
Greek tourist enterprises seem restrained as to the degree to which they can apply the recommendation of the Minister of Health, Mr. Stefanis, not to accept tourists from countries that have been struck by the virus of SARS. Mr Stefanis announced that administrative checks on people arriving from countries that have been struck by the virus have increased, and that hospital and airport infirmary equipment is being strengthened, while an isolation chamber has also been installed in the airport. It is up to the countries where the virus has shown itself to take measures, pointed out Mr. Stefanis. There are more than 500 victims worldwide, approximately half of them in China. The Berlusconi government responded to the possibility of SARS entering Italy by suspending the Schengen Treaty.
 WARNINGS OF DOUBLE UNEMPLOYMENTAthens, 9 May 2003 (09:05 UTC+2)
The doubling of unemployment after 2004 was foreseen yesterday by the President of the Association of Greek Industrialists, Od. Kyriakopoulos, who expressed the view that this unfortunate development can be avoided if there are structural changes within the economy. Mr. Kyriakopoulos attributed the moving of PALCO's factory to the high labor cost in Greece and foresaw that there may be other such cases.
 G. PAPANDREOU IN PALESTINE-ISRAELAthens, 9 May 2003 (12:11 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou will visit Palestine and Israel this Monday, as President of the EU.
The goal of this visit, according to statements of the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson yesterday, is to discuss the implementation of the Road Map in the light of the new developments and its publication. For the EU and the Greek Presidency, as was agreed upon at the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Rhodes and Castelorizo, what is of importance at the moment for the recommencing of peacemaking procedures in the Middle East, is the immediate application of the road map.
G. Papandreou is expected to have meetings with the political leadership of Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The way in which Athens is approaching the issue is being recorded by the Foreign Ministry's press releases, which point out that the issue of Israel's security is a serious one, and we expect the Palestinian Authority and the new Prime Minister to support the policy as he has committed to doing for the disarmament of extreme Palestinian organizations and move to a truce, as he had also supported.
 ΣΤΟ ΔΙΑΣΤΗΜΑ Ο ΠΡΩΤΟΣ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟΣ ΔΟΡΥΦΟΡΟΣΘεσσαλονίκη, 9 Μαϊου 2003 (13:13 UTC+2)
Την προσεχή Τρίτη θα πραγματοποιηθεί η ιστορική εκτόξευση του πρώτου ελληνικού δορυφόρου στο διάστημα, του Hellas Sat, ο οποίος θα βάλει τη χώρα μας και την Κύπρο στην «οικογένεια» των δορυφορικών κρατών και θα συμβάλει αποφασιστικά στη διευκόλυνση της μετάδοσης των Ολυμπιακών Αγώνων.
Ο δορυφόρος θα τεθεί σε τροχιά 39 μοιρών ανατολικά, ενώ είναι ένας από τους πιο ισχυρούς στο είδος του και έχει ευρεία γεωγραφική κάλυψη. Διαθέτοντας μάλιστα δύο σταθερές δέσμες και δύο κινητές θα καλύπτει οποιοδήποτε σημείο της υδρογείου που είναι ορατό από τις 39 μοίρες, όπως την Ευρώπη, τη Μέση Ανατολή, την Αφρική, τη Ρωσία, την Κίνα, τη νοτιανατολική Ασία και την Αυστραλία.
Παράλληλα ο Hellas Sat έχει τη δυνατότητα να αναμεταδίδει ψηφιακό τηλεοπτικό πρόγραμμα σε όλη την Ευρώπη, ενώ οι 30 αναμεταδότες που διαθέτει επιτρέπουν την εκπομπή 300 τουλάχιστον τηλεοπτικών καναλιών.
Η σχετική συμφωνία για την υλοποίηση του Hellas Sat, του πρώτου δορυφόρου ελληνικών και κυπριακών συμφερόντων που εκτοξεύεται στο διάστημα είχε υπογραφεί τον Ιούλιο του 2002 και η εκτόξευσή του προβλεπόταν αρχικά για τον Μάρτιο.
Στην Hellas-Sat συμμετέχουν η κυπριακών συμφερόντων AVACOM ΝΕΤ με ποσοστό 43,40%, ο ΟΤΕ με 25%, η Τράπεζα Ανάπτυξης Κύπρου με 19,60%, η ΕΑΒ με 10% και η TELESAT με 2%.
Με το πρόγραμμα αυτό Ελλάδα και Κύπρος μπαίνουν στην ομάδα των «δορυφορικών» κρατών, ενώ παράλληλα σπάει και το μονοπώλιο που είχε η Τουρκία στην περιοχή των Βαλκανίων και της Ανατολικής Μεσογείου σε αυτό τον τομέα.
Τέλος, και αυτό που είναι ίσως το σημαντικότερο, ο HELLAS SAT θα διευκολύνει πολύ τη μετάδοση των Ολυμπιακών Αγώνων της Αθήνας το 2004, ενώ παράλληλα θα συμβάλει στη διεύρυνση της συνεργασίας της χώρας μας με την Κύπρο και με τις υπόλοιπες χώρες του κόσμου. Επιπλέον, ο δορυφόρος επιτρέπει την εφαρμογή της τηλεϊατρικής, της τηλεκπαίδευσης και της τηλεργασίας, αναβαθμίζοντας την επικοινωνία και τη λειτουργία όλων των υπηρεσιών του Δημοσίου και όχι μόνο.
Όπως ανακοίνωσε ο ΟΤΕ, η εκτόξευση του δορυφόρου έχει οριστεί για τα ξημερώματα της Τρίτης 13 Μαΐου (00:57 έως 01:31 ώρα Ελλάδος) από το Ακρωτήριο Κανάβεραλ, στη Φλόριδα, των ΗΠΑ. Θα πάρει τη θέση του στις 39 μοίρες ανατολικά σε περίπου μια εβδομάδα. Η διάρκεια ζωής του υπολογίζεται στα 15 χρόνια, οπότε και θα αντικατασταθεί από έναν νέο.
ΤΕΧΝΙΚΑ ΧΑΡΑΚΤΗΡΙΣΤΙΚΑ ΤΟΥ HELLAS-SAT
Χαρακτηριστικά Διαστημοπλοίου (Spacecraft)
Άνοιγμα ηλιοσυλλεκτών: 32m
Βάρος κατά την εκτόξευση: 3.250 kg
Ηλεκτρική Ισχύς (στο τέλος της ζωής): 7.500 W
Χρόνος ζωής: 15 χρόνια
Θέση τροχιάς: 39ο Ανατολικά
Ωφέλιμο φορτίο (Payload)
Ζώνες συχνοτήτων: 13,75-14,50 GHz uplink
10,95-12,75 GHz downlink
Αριθμός αναμεταδοτών: 30 (καθένας μπορεί να μεταδώσει πολλά ψηφιακά τηλεοπτικά Προγράμματα).
Εύρος Ζώνης Αναμεταδοτών: 36 ΜHz
Ισχύς εξόδου: 105 W
Κεραίες μετάδοσης: Δύο σταθερές μήκους 2,5 m και δύο κινητές
 CHRISTODOULAKIS: NO UNEMPLOYMENT "EXPLOSION" AFTER 2004Athens, 9 May 2003 (18:15 UTC+2)
There is no issue of an unemployment explosion after 2004, stated categorically Greek Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis responding to the predictions made yesterday by Federation of Greek Industries, SEB, President Odysseas Kiriakopoulos according to which, unemployment will be doubled in the following years estimated to reach 20%.
Referring to the SEB leadership, he said that businesses should make more investments and increase the number of the people they employ. He also said that efforts will be made to stop the closure of the Schiesser Pallas industry plant at Petralona, Athens.
On inflation, which dropped to 3.4% in April, the Minister of Finance stated that this significant decline shows that the Greek economy is moving away from the pressures created in the previous two-month period by the geopolitical uncertainty (war in Iraq), and the very bad weather conditions.
 KARATZAS: THE GREEK ECONOMY FOLLOWS A DYNAMIC COURSEAthens, 9 May 2003 (17:20 UTC+2)
National Bank of Greece President Mr. Thodoros Karatzas characterized as dynamic the course of the Greek economy speaking in the general assembly of the bank's shareholders.
The growth rate remains many times higher, compared to the rest Euro-zone countries, boosted by the steady environment as a result of the country's EMU membership and the significant structural changes made in the past decade, stated Mr. Karatzas.
He said that the current stock market value of the National Bank of Greece stocks does an injustice to the bank's performance and dynamism and does not reflect the prospects for the bank's future course.
 BIG LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 9 May 2003 (16:49 UTC+2)
Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange again today following yesterday's downward trend.
The general index dropped to -2.31% at 1.712,71 points, while the volume of transactions was at 110.3 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 86 recorded gains and 212 had losses, while the value of 57 stocks remained unchanged.
 INFLATION DROPPED TO 3.4%Athens, 9 May 2003 (16:42 UTC+2)
Inflation in Greece was at 3.4% last month, compared to 4.1% in the month of March, according to the National Statistics Agency.
The European harmonized index dropped to 3.3% from 3.9%. The de-escalation of inflationary pressures was greater than predicted, compared to the levels recorded in March, and this was mainly due to the significant drop of oil prices.
 FOREIGN STUDENTS INCREASE BY 479%Athens, 9 May 2003 (15:38 UTC+2)
An increase of 479% was noted in the past 5 years, in the number of foreign students attending Greek primary and secondary school, while at the same time, the number of Greek students decreased by 11.1%.
Specifically, according to the Ta Nea newspaper, in 1996 for every 100 Greek students in a school, there were only 3 students with foreign or repatriated parents, while in 2000, the corresponding percentage was more than twice that, touching on 6.4% with almost 90,000 foreign students.
The majority of children with foreign parents come from Albania (53,042) and are followed by children from the former USSR (24,386).
Geographically speaking, 46.6% of the children attend school in Attica, followed by 19.7% of those in Central Macedonia, 7% in Eastern Thrace and 4.5% in the Peloponnese.
 SEV PRESIDENT'S FEARS ON UNEMPLOYMENTAthens, 9 May 2003 (11:40 UTC+2)
Reactions were caused by the statements of SEV (Association of Greek Industries) President Odysseas Kyriakopoulos during an interview yesterday, when he expressed his fears that if the proper measures are not taken for Greece's economic policy, unemployment could reach 18%-20%.
His claims were characterized as arbitrary by the President of the GSEE (General Union of Greek Workers), Christos Polyzogopoulos, who attributed it to an effort being made by industrialists to gain more privileges.
As Mr. Kyriakopoulos said, "supporting entrepreneurial action with the creation of the necessary infrastructure and the forming of the required economic environment, is the only "shield" which will and must be able to stand tall for the protection of Greece's economy, from phenomena such as the departure of Shciesser Pallas". He further stressed that the main goal is to form new comparative advantages and support competitiveness, since the age of a cheap labor force as a comparative advantage for the Greek economy is upon us.
Pointing out that the government must move faster, as far as modernizing the business environment and training human capital is concerned, the President of SEV noted that if this does not become the case we will not be able to cover our losses from closing down businesses and then unemployment would rise to 18%-20%.
 ATHENS REFUTES DISPUTE WITH NICOSIAAthens, 9 May 2003 (11:12 UTC+2)
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Panagiotis Beglitis refuted Cypriot press publications today, which mentioned a divergence of views between Athens and Nicosia on developments in the Cyprus issue.
The issue is being discussed with the Cypriot leadership on a regular basis, Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou has an open channel of communication with his counterpart Mr. Iakovou, President Papadopoulos and the other political powers of Cyprus, stressed Mr. Beglitis.
The Cypriot side will appreciate all the conditions being formed, so that it can take its own initiatives. It is up to the Cypriot Republic to take initiatives connected to the resolving of the political problem. We have a very good level of cooperation and coordination with the Cypriot Government and President Papadopoulos.
We recognize the leading role of Nicosia in appreciating and evaluating conditions, so as to take the required initiatives, he added.
 ECOFIN MEETING IN BRUSSELS ON TUESDAYBrussels, 9 May 2003 (19:32 UTC+2)
The ECOFIN Council will convene in Brussels on May 13 and the EU Finance Ministers will examine the preliminary draft plan of the EU budget for the year 2004.
They will also discuss the general direction of the economic policy, the Stability and Development Pact, the stability programs, economic and fiscal effects of the aging population, international financing, taxation and VAT.
The Council will deal with the macro-economic dialogue at political level on May12, followed by the Euro group meeting.
 SIMITIS AND MEDGYESSY DISCUSSED THESSALONIKI SUMMIT ISSUESBudapest, 9 May 2003 (18:45 UTC+2)
The issues that will be examined in the European Council meeting in Thessaloniki in June were discussed in Budapest today by Greek Prime Minister and European Council President Kostas Simitis and Prime Minister of Hungary Peter Medgyessy. The talks focused on the conclusions of the European Assembly, the operation of the European Commission, the way its president is elected and the decision-making process it follows, the rotating presidency system, immigration issues and ways to deal with illegal immigration.
Mr. Simitis characterized as fruitful the discussion with Mr. Medgyessy and congratulated Hungary for its EU accession. On the future of Europe, he commented that the EU should decide which institutions will keep in the following years.
On his part, Mr. Medgyessy gave a special emphasis to the issues concerning the operation of the EU and referred specifically to the issue of immigration saying that a common immigration policy is necessary, while the guarding of the EU borders with third countries should be upgraded.
Asked to comment on the post-war Iraq, Mr. Simitis stated that in the present phase Europe is against the deployment of a European force or a UN force in the region.
On Hungary's stance on the issue of Iraq, Mr. Medgyessy expressed his country's wish to participate in a peacekeeping force, pointing out that in order for this to happen a two-thirds Parliamentary majority is necessary and for this reason the government continues its talks with the opposition.
 KARAMANLIS-SCHUESSEL DISCUSSED EUROPEAN ISSUESVienna, 9 May 2003 (17:46 UTC+2)
Greek right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel discussed European issues in Vienna today within the framework of the meetings Mr. Karamanlis has with European leaders on the future of Europe.
Austria and Greece are two countries with a long history and important ambitions on the common European future, said Mr. Karamanlis. He added that we should be careful to avoid turning the discussion opened on the structural changes in the EU into a field of controversy and feud.
Mr. Karamanlis stressed that it is important for medium-sized countries, like Greece and Austria, to play their own role to bridge the gap between the big and small countries in the EU.
 EU TROIKA-CANADA POLITICAL DIRECTORS CONFERENCEBrussels, 9 May 2003 (16:26 UTC+2)
A video-conference of the political directors of the EU Troika and Canada will take place in Brussels and Ottawa on May 13.
The political directors will examine bilateral relations, the Summit meeting preparations, the situation in Iraq, Middle East, Korea, and western Balkans as well as issues concerning the European Policy on Security and Defense, the strengthening of the multilateral arms control and disarmament, the UN Human Rights committee etc.