|Tuesday, 28 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-05-13
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 FLIGHT ATTENDANT FIRST SUSPECTED SARS CASEAthens, 13 May 2003 (11:34 UTC+2)
A young flight attendant from South Africa was the first suspected SARS case in Greece.
The woman arrived in Greece two days ago and stayed in an Athens hotel. Yesterday, she ran a fever and the hotel direction, taking into account that she had recently traveled to Hong Kong, notified the doctors of the Red Cross.
The flight attendant was taken by an emergency response ambulance to the hospital, where she was examined by doctors in protective masks.
The doctors found that it was necessary for the woman to be transferred to the Sismanoglio hospital, and treated in a negative pressure chamber.
There is no cause for alarm, stated Minister of Health Costas Stefanis, who supported that the mechanism worked satisfactorily, the measures taken were quite satisfactory and we hope that the course of the illness will also be satisfactory, and that we will not have any side effects from the presence of this case. As things are at the moment, this is just a suspicious case, he stated.
Mr. Stefanis added that the medical staff took all necessary precautionary measures so as to avert the spreading of the virus, if there is such a case. However, he mentioned, that there is no cause for alarm, as this is still just a suspicious case.
Meanwhile, doctors in Piraeus and Athens will go on strike tomorrow, protesting the lack of measures in dealing with possible cases of SARS.
The Union of Hospital Doctors of Athens-Piraeus, mentioned that the issue of SARS is a real threat to public health, while as he supported, insufficiencies in hospitals must be dealt with immediately with emergency funding from the state budget.
 A SAFE ISRAEL WITH A VIABLE PALESTINEAthens, 13 May 2003 (09:21 UTC+2)
The promotion of the special road map for a safe Israel and a viable Palestinian state, was characterized as completely necessary, by Foreign Minister and President of the EU Council of Ministers, G. Papandreou, who is in Israel. He also repeated the will of the EU not to miss this opportunity, and to utilize the situation in the region, which is being visited by US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Israel officially does not agree with a Papandreou-Arafat meeting, but accepts it, said Tel Aviv.
 EU MINISTERS OF AGRICULTURE IN CORFUCorfu, 13 May 2003 (12:23 UTC+2)
The Ministers of Agriculture of the European Union are meeting in Achilleon, Corfu, today, presided over by the Greek Minister of Agriculture Giorgos Drys.
Immediately following the completion of the Informal Meeting's works, the President and Greek Minister of Agriculture Giorgos Drys and the two relevant European Commissioners, Mr. Fischler and Mr. Byrne, will hold a press conference and will present the findings of the Meeting.
Farmers from various areas of Greece have traveled to the island of Corfu, where they have organized protests for today, while they will attempt to reach the area where the meeting is being hosted. Police authorities have taken strict security measures and approximately 2000 police officers are on standby.
In his speech on the opening of the informal meeting's schedule on Saturday, Mr. Drys mentioned that we are facing new challenges which oblige us to look for new horizons in order to secure the future of European Agriculture. The Commission's proposals on the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy aspire to presenting the answers to these challenges. We want to form an effective policy for the everlasting development of our agriculture. We have been exchanging ideas on the subject for a year now. At this point I believe that our ideas have matured and the time of decisions has come.
 POSTPONEMENT OF HELLAS SAT LAUNCHCape Canaveral, 13 May 2003 (09:23 UTC+2)
The launch of the Greek HELLAS SAT telecommunications satellite was postponed, as, according to initial information, there was a problem with the US launcher in Cape Canaveral. The postponement was combined with the unfavorable, for the launch, weather conditions at the scheduled time. Hellas Sat has a life span of 15 years and is a strategic choice on a political, financial and technological level.
 THE 23YEAROLD STEWARDESS HAS NORMAL TEMPERATUREAthens, 13 May 2003 (20:48 UTC+2)
The overall condition of the 23yearold foreign stewardess is characterized as very good, while based on the facts available until now she is characterized as a possible SARS case. Also, according to a statement issued by the Greek Health Ministry, the temperature of the 23yearold is normal.
The Ministry of Health also mentions that all necessary measures have been taken for the protection of the citizens ever since the outbreak of the epidemic in south-east Asia.
It assured that it will continue to offer credible, timely and scientifically documented information regarding SARS.
 PAPANDREOU: THE CHANCE FOR PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST SHOULD NOT BE MISSEDAthens, 13 May 2003 (19:13 UTC+2)
An appeal not to miss the opportunity offered for peace in the Middle East, was made by Greek Foreign Minister and EU Council of Ministers President Giorgos Papandreou after meeting today with Palestinian International Cooperation Minister Nabil Saath.
On his part, the Palestinian official stated that the success of the peace process and the road map is not a matter of optimism but a matter of determination. He added that the Palestinian side, having received US assurances, is determined to reach the final success in spite of the obstacles raised by the Israelis.
Mr. Papandreou agreed that peace in the region is not a matter of optimism but a matter of determination and reiterated that there is a need for a safe Israel and a viable Palestinian state.
The Greek Foreign Minister stated that there is close cooperation and coordination of actions with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, who had a telephone communication with him after the recent talks he had with Palestinian officials.
 THE EU WELCOMES THE REFERENDUM RESULTS IN LITHUANIA ON THE EU ACCESSIONAthens, 13 May 2003 (18:51 UTC+2)
Following the results of the national referendum on EU membership in Lithuania, the EU Presidency welcomes the decision of the Lithuanian people regarding their future as part of the European Union.
This is an important step in the established procedures for the Treaty of Accession to come into force.
In accordance with the spirit that prevailed during the ceremony for the signing of the Treaty of Accession, the EU Presidency remains committed to bringing the enlargement process to a successful conclusion within the agreed deadlines.
 EU PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE TERRORIST ATTACK IN SAUDI ARABIAAthens, 13 May 2003 (18:29 UTC+2)
The EU Presidency strongly condemns the terrorist attack that took place in Riyadh yesterday, causing a large number of casualties among civilians of various nationalities.
It expresses its deepest sympathy to all governments and peoples and condolences to the families of the victims who suffered as a consequence of this attack.
Those responsible for this horrible and barbaric act of terrorism should be prosecuted and brought to justice.
The EU Presidency reiterates its strong and unequivocal condemnation of all forms and acts of terrorism, independently of origin, cause or motive and its unwavering commitment to the fight against terrorism.
 THE GREEKS ARE CUTTING DOWN ON THEIR SUMMER VACATIONAthens, 13 May 2003 (18:19 UTC+2)
More than half of the Greeks (six out of ten) will cut down on their summer vacation time and expenses due to the high cost of life, according to an opinion poll conducted by the KAPA Research polling company on behalf of the Tourism and Economy magazine.
Specifically, 30.7% of the 807 families participating in the poll responded that their summer vacation will last two weeks, 15.6% ten days and 10% only a week. Just 9.7% of those who responded to the questionnaire will have a summer vacation that will last more than a month, while 16.2% will take a month or three weeks.
Regarding the summer vacation expenses, the majority (22.3%) will spend 300-600 euros, 22% will spend 600-900 euros and just 9% will spend 1200-1500 euros.
Also, 48.5% of the families responded that their family budget is in a worse state this year compared to last year.
 THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT FROM S. AFRICA IS A SUSPECTED SARS CASEAthens, 13 May 2003 (17:52 UTC+2)
The flight attendant from South Africa, currently hospitalized in the negative pressure chamber at Sismanoglio Hospital in Athens, is characterized for the moment as a suspected SARS case, based on the criteria set by the World Health Organization.
Infections specialist Mrs. Eleni Giamarelou, who briefed reporters at noon today, pointed out that for a case to be characterized as a suspected SARS case it has to meet three preconditions: high fever and respiratory system symptoms (dyspnoea, breathing difficulty or cough). Another precondition is a visit to a SE Asian country by the patient within a period of ten days before the symptoms are recorded.
The flight attendant had visited Hong Kong and presented high fever on May 10, while she also had dyspnoea and cough.
However, it was pointed out that her overall condition is very good and currently she runs no fever, the chest x-rays were negative, as well as the routine lab test results. The results of the special tests, the air hostess underwent, will be announced tomorrow at noon and if they are positive the suspected case will become a so-called likely one. Even in that case, said the doctor, no one could say with certainty that it is a SARS case unless this is verified by the antibodies tests, the results of which will be out in two to three weeks.
Mrs. Giamarelou assured that there should be no panic as the young woman is in a specially formed negative pressure chamber operating without problems. She added that the chamber has also a negative pressure hall which makes it absolutely safe for the hospital employees to work without having to wear special masks and clothing. The personnel entering the negative pressure chamber wear special masks and clothing, while the sanitation conditions are fully met.
On the issue concerning the spread of the virus to the people with whom the woman patient came in contact, Mrs. Giamarelou stated that special measures have been taken by the Health Ministry and the Special Infections Control Center.
 BIG GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 13 May 2003 (17:32 UTC+2)
Big gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index rose to +1.62% at 1.732,44 points, while the volume of transactions was at 107.9 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 293 recorded gains and 30 had losses, while the value of 53 stocks remained unchanged.
 PROTOPAPAS ON THE SUSPECTED SARS CASEAthens, 13 May 2003 (16:59 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas stated that a special statement will be issued by the Health Ministry today regarding the suspected SARS case in Greece.
Responding to the question if it could cause panic to the general population or be presented in such a way that could damage tourism, Mr. Protopapas stated that there is no cause for concern. He added that the state mechanism was ready to deal with such an incident, while the special scientists were totally prepared and able to offer very detailed briefings.
We should avoid creating problems where there aren't any, stated Mr. Protopapas. He added that there should be no unjustified panic, stressing that the problem is an international one, and in Greece there is only one suspected SARS case to which the reaction of state mechanism was immediate.
 CHRISTODOULAKIS: THE STRONG EURO BENEFITS ALLBrussels, 13 May 2003 (20:32 UTC+2)
The euro-zone and the global economy benefit from a strong and stable euro, which has also assisted in checking inflation and boosting demand, Greek Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis said in Brussels yesterday after the euro-group meeting.
Mr. Christodoulakis, in a joint press conference with European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Pedro Solbes at the end of a Eurogroup finance ministers meeting, said that they expected a recovery of the European economy following the easing of geopolitical uncertainty and the drop in oil prices.
Mr. Christodoulakis also referred to the macroeconomic dialogue where representatives of the Council (Troika), the Commission, the European Central Bank and the Social Partners exchanged views on employment, social consensus and structural changes in the European economy.
Within the framework of the Convention for constitutional reforms in the EU, the 12 discussed the institutionalisation of the eurogroup and a possible extention to the Euro-zone Presidency term beyond the current six-month mandate.
Finally, with regard to fiscal developments, the group reviewed the updated stability programme of Austria and stressed the need for Germany and Portugal to meet their commitment to reduce deficit, emphasizing the speeding-up of structural reforms and the promotion of a dialogue on modernisation.