|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-07-29
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PRICE MAXIMUM AND STRIKEAthens, 29 July 2003 (09:14 UTC+2)
The Ministry of Development will respond with the setting of a price maximum, if the great price variations recorded in petrol stations throughout the country, but mainly in the tourist regions of Crete and the Dodecanese where prices of up to 82 cents have been recorded, are not ended. The fuel market is expected to face serious supply problems, due to the strike already begun by fuel truck drivers, who are demanding greater transportation charges. Fuel salesperson spokespersons estimate that if the strike continues, problems will increase over the next 2-3 days.
 FURTHER PRIVATIZATIONSAthens, 29 July 2003 (11:33 UTC+2)
The government's privatization programme is being enlarged as EYDAP, the water supply and sewage company, was added to the list of companies to be privatized. The Privatization Committee announced a competition to find a strategic partner, to whom 20.3% of the company's stock will be transferred.
Specifically, as was announced yesterday by Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis, 10.3% of the 20.3% to be privatized is in the possession of the state and 10% is in the possession of the Agricultural Bank. With the sale of 20.3% of EYDAP, the Public sector will own 50.1%. The competition is expected to be announced before the end of August, with Pireos Bank and the Salmon Brothers as consultants, while the entire procedure will have been completed by December.
At the same time, the merger of the Postal Savings Bank with Attiki Bank is moving along, and decisions are expected next week, after meetings Mr. Christodoulakis will hold with the administrations of the TSMEDE (Engineers and Public Works Contractors Pension Fund) and the Technical Chamber.
 PATRIARCHAL INTERVENTION FOR THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 29 July 2003 (09:15 UTC+2)
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos asked Archbishop Christodoulos that the list with the candidates for the metropolis of Thessaloniki be sent to the Fanari for approval, in accordance with the Synodic and Patriarchal act of 1928, which is in effect in all 36 metropolises of the New Countries. The Patriarchate, which is making use of this clause for the first time, is reserving the right to propose candidates. The Archbishop will meet with Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou, while a Holy Synod meeting may be called.
 THE REALISTIC UTOPIA OF SOCIALISMAthens, 29 July 2003 (09:16 UTC+2)
Our vision is to materialize a realistic utopia, said Prime Minister Costas Simitis in his speech at the World Festival of the International Union of Socialist Youths in Kammena Vourla, in which he accused the traditional Left of being in complete denial of reality and the Right of uncritically accepting it. If we continue this way, victory is ours, said Mr. Simitis to the youths that greeted him. The Prime Minister is resorting to the easy solution of polarization of yesterday in order to describe tomorrow, according to ND.
 KASTANIDIS PROPOSES BALKAN OMBUDSMANThessaloniki, 29 July 2003 (14:38 UTC+2)
The institution of the Balkan Ombudsman was proposed today by Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Haris Kastanidis, at the meeting of the Consulting Committee of the Public Administration Center of the United Nations, which was held in a central Thessaloniki hotel.
According to the Minister, there are problems of bureaucracy and mismanagement in democracies of the West, and even more so in the Balkans and the former Commonwealth, which are in a transitory state towards new forms of administration.
The idea I warmly support as Minister of Macedonia-Thrace, is that following the example of Europe and the European Ombudsman, a Balkan Ombudsman should be formed, one assisted in its work by special aides, with specialized relevancies. A Balkan Ombudsman seated in Thessaloniki.
The Minister praised the Center's role and the work carried out by the General Director of the UN Mr. Bertucci, on issues regarding administrative reforms, underlining that the work being done is of the utmost importance and that it offers invaluable assistance to countries going from closed economies to the economy of the market.
The Center's Director Mr. Theodoros Tsekos pointed out that the main challenges faced by countries in this transitory state, placing these countries in 3 categories: Those faced by countries under EU accession, the countries of the Western Balkans, and the countries of the Commonwealth Independent States that was formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Regarding the priorities of the Center, Mr. Tsekos underlined the research and development of databases on each country's Public Administration characteristics, the drafting and further developing the Public Administration ethics code, while incorporating in it civil servants' rights and obligations towards citizens and providing consultative services to organizations in each country.
He also emphasized the development and materialization of training and Human Resource development programmes in public services, in the spread of actions for the upgrading of public administration in each country, as well as the application of electronic information and government in order to simplify public sector procedures and resolve problems related to providing services to citizens.
 XEROS NOT ORDERED BACK TO COURTAthens, 29 July 2003 (13:08 UTC+2)
Savvas Xeros will not to be forced back into the courtroom where the trial for the crimes allegedly committed by the 19 suspect members of the 17N terrorist organization is being held, according to the decision made by the court. The reading of excerpts from Savvas Xeros' preliminary statements during his hospitalization at the Evaggelismos hospital began immediately following the announcement of the decision, and Xeros will only be brought into the courtroom if clarifications are necessary.
 SAVVAS' CONTRADICTIONSAthens, 29 July 2003 (09:15 UTC+2)
The possibility of Savvas Xeros being forced to the courtroom so as to answer the questions of his fellow defendants, whom he has implicated in his preliminary testimony, which he later revoked, is being examined by the court trying the crimes allegedly committed by the 19 suspect members of the 17N terrorist organization. Savvas Xeros' request for his preliminary statements not to be taken into account, since he claims they were due to drugs that affected his conscience, was denied.
 LIFE SENTENCE PROPOSEDBucharest, 29 July 2003 (11:12 UTC+2)
A life sentence was proposed by the Bucharest DA in the court trying infamous Greek criminal Costas Passaris, who is accused with double homicide and armed robbery at a currency exchange in the Romanian capital. Passaris insisted on his innocence and told the court that the evidence in the case are clear but can be misinterpreted.