|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-07-18
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 MORE PROPORTIONAL SELF RELIANCEAthens, 18 July 2003 (09:05 UTC+2)
Representation, transparency and stability are secured, according to Prime Minister Simitis, by the changes in the electoral law, which were presented yesterday. Mr. Simitis was accused of disrespect towards the principles and rules of democracy by President of ND C. Karamanlis, who also accused him of insecurity and opportunism. The proposals were rejected by the KKE, the Coalition and DIKKI, which all asked for simple proportional elections. In the framework of the dialogue, the new structure of electoral districts, the choice of districts to be broken down and the possibility of electing a number of MPs in major districts without crossing them(selecting the name on the ballot), will be looked into.
 VOLUNTARY OPENING AND DRAFT PROPOSALAthens, 18 July 2003 (09:14 UTC+2)
The final resolving of the procedure to open the stock market codes of PASOK MPs will be discussed today, amidst the disagreement of PASOK's parliamentary group members, who stated that they were insulted by the questioning of their honesty, which they see in the regulation. A draft was proposed for the opening both of MP codes and for state officials who handled public money, was submitted by ND.
 MARKET UNDER THE MICROSCOPEAthens, 18 July 2003 (09:14 UTC+2)
The aid of consumers so that the effort to control prices can be strengthened, was requested by deputy Minister of Development K. Koulouris, who pointed out the agreement reached by bottled water producers for a price indicated on the product. One invoice, from the field to the market, was announced by Minister of Development, Akis Tsochatzopoulos. He warned that store owners who do not comply will have their permits revoked.
 OPENING THE CODESAthens, 18 July 2003 (15:39 UTC+2)
A request for PASOK MPs to state all their stock market transactions by September 15, which will be confirmed by the stock market committee within two months, will be sent on Tuesday by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, while a decision was made to broaden the audit to all those who handled public funds, while the regulation of the audit with a law proposed by ND was rejected.
 NEW ELECTORAL LAW WITHIN 2003Athens, 18 July 2003 (15:39 UTC+2)
The draft on the new electoral law is expected to be submitted to Parliament in November, while the question of when it will come into effect depends on the course of the discussion between the government and the opposition, pointed out Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas. The goals of this change, as were pointed out by Mr. Simitis, are representation, transparency and stability. No to a pre-election dialogue on the electoral law from the President of ND Costas Karamanlis, who accused the Prime Minister of insecurity and opportunism, while the KKE took a similar position. The Coalition of the Left and DIKKI insist on a simple proportional vote, but will participate in the dialogue.
 MINISTERS ON NEW ELECTORAL LAWAthens, 18 July 2003 (15:15 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou characterized ND's position regarding the electoral law as opportunistic. In statements following his meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Mr. Papandreou called ND to a dialogue and repeated that any changes to be made to the electoral law will come into effect after 2005, so that they have nothing to do with the electoral procedure of 2004 or the elections for the President of the Republic. In fact he pointed out that the government's goal is the upgrading of political life, credibility, and greater participation on the part of the citizens.
At the same time, clarifications were made regarding the electoral law by the Minister of the Interior Costas Scandalidis. The Minister pointed out that the government is open to dialogue on when the law would come into effect.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of ND's Central Committee, Evaggelos Meimarakis, speaking to Athens 9.84 radio station, accused the government of trying to disorient public opinion from major social issues with the changes to the electoral law. He made mention of hypocritical behavior on the side of the Prime Minister, and stressed that the electoral law issue has closed for New Democracy.
 ELECTORAL LAW ISSUE HAS CLOSED FOR NDLefkada, 18 July 2003 (15:15 UTC+2)
The issue of the electoral law has closed for New Democracy, underlined President of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis this afternoon, speaking in Lefkada.
Drawing on the proposals made by the government to change the electoral law, Mr. Karamanlis made mention of a parody, games and disorienting approaches, and he stressed that the government's tricks do not concern the citizens who have other problems to deal with, such as corruption, poverty, price increases, education, insecurity and the broadening of social and regional inequalities.
It is ridiculous, to say the least, to claim that it is enough to change the electoral law in order to deal with corruption, said Mr. Karamanlis and added: It is opportunistic to remember the electoral law when they are sure they are going to lose the elections.
The President of the New Democracy repeated that the only solution for the country is to carry out early elections, since, as he stressed, the country could not take a nine-month extension of the pre-electoral period that has been declared by the government.
In fact, he accused the government of a regimist and anti-democratic notion that they are the only ones entitled to govern Greece, while he characterized the stock market, inflation, the additional interest rates, unemployment, the inadequacy of the social state and the situation in the central administration and the broader public sector, as wounds for Greece.
Speaking about the ND's positions, he mentioned that the country needs a new vision, an aggressive economic policy, a deep tax reform, real fiscal improvement, a consolidated policy for structural changes and a new dynamic policy in the agricultural sector.
 PROTOPAPAS STATEMENTS ON NEW ELECTORAL LAWAthens, 18 July 2003 (15:14 UTC+2)
The draft of the new electoral law will be submitted to Parliament in November, while the date on which it will come into effect will depend on the course of the discussion between the government and the opposition.
In statements Government Spokesperson Christos Protopapas made to Flash Radio this morning, he supported that if the dialogue ends in an agreement, the new electoral law will come into effect after Spring 2005.
On the contrary, if New Democracy does not participate in the dialogue, Mr. Protopapas avoided referring to when the draft may be put into effect. I do not understand why New Democracy is refusing to discuss the issue, since the 2004 elections will be held under the present electoral law. This is what we want. In 2004 we will hold elections with the present electoral law. Thus, where is the electoral interest and why is New Democracy refusing to discuss? underlined the Minister of the Press.
 UNACCEPTABLE PUBLICITY TO CONJOINED TWINSThessaloniki, 18 July 2003 (11:50 UTC+2)
The showing of the picture of the conjoined twins, born in Thessaloniki, on various televisions stations' news casts, is the main topic of the letter of the Personal Data Protection Authority to the director of the Ippokratio General Regional Hospital of Thessaloniki.
The Protection Authority considered the way a portion of the press dealt with the issues concerning the conjoined twins impermissible, because it seriously violates the personal data of the minors and their parents. It essentially asked to learn by whom, when and how and with whose permission were the pictures that circulated taken (if they are of course of the specific conjoined twins), and whether there was a leak concerning the identity of the parents.
The letter mentioned that on television newscasts pictures of infants were shown, which may well concern the specific infants. The Authority asked the administrator of the hospital to inform it of whether this has actually happened, and, if so, then what actions has the hospital moved to regarding this violation of personal data.
 PROPOSALS ON ELECTORAL SYSTEM CHANGESAthens, 18 July 2003 (11:49 UTC+2)
The restructuring of the electoral districts, with the prospect of them corresponding with the country's administrative districts, the breaking up of major electoral districts into smaller ones, the opportunity of citizens to vote separately for the party and the MP and the allocation of 80% of the Parliament's seats based on the simple proportional vote, are the basic directions of the government's proposals for the change of the electoral system, which was presented by Prime Minister Costas Simitis after the long meeting of the governmental committee. The minimum for parties to enter the Parliament is still 3%.
The Prime Minister stressed that the proposals will be an object of dialogue and called parties to participate in it with a sense of responsibility.
He also noted that the date when the new electoral system will come into effect would also be an object of the dialogue. He proposed the new electoral system come into effect after 2005, in order for it not to be connected to the election of the President of the Republic.
He also added that in the framework of the dialogue they will also look into the new structure of the electoral districts, the selection of the districts to be broken up and the possibility to elect a number of MPs in major districts without individual votes.
In fact, he underlined that the government's proposals were decided on with the real representation of popular will, the securing of governmental stability and the guarantee of transparency in mind.
In response to opposition criticism, he pointed out that the proposals have no hidden micro-party relations.
 TIF TO OPEN UNDER BLACK FLAGS?Thessaloniki, 18 July 2003 (11:40 UTC+2)
Mayor of Thessaloniki Vasilis Papageorgopoulos left the possibility of mobilizations open, if, as he said, the government continues not to pay the instituted funds to local government. If the government continues with the same tactics, downgrading the institution of Local Government and by extent of Thessaloniki itself, we will welcome Prime Minister Simitis at the opening of the TIF with black flags.