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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-07-30
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE ACTION PLAN ON EMPLOYMENTAthens, 30 July 2003 (14:10 UTC+2)
The National Action Plan for Employment 2003, will be presented at a special event in the Zappeion on Wednesday morning.
According to information, the National Action Plan will foresee, among other things, the instituting of part time employment in the Public sector and the extension of the maximum age of employment, beyond pension age.
Specifically, the path is opening for the permanency of those working at the KEP (Center for Service to Citizens) under contracts. As mentioned in a Ta Nea newspaper publication, deputy Minister of the Interior Nikos Bistis stressed that through ASEP (Supreme Council for Personnel Selection), 3500 positions for permanent employees will be announced, for the 1000 KEP to be functioning all over the country by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos announced on Tuesday the creation of 2,972 employment positions in DEI (Public Power Corporation). In fact he announced that a proclamation will be made in September, for permanent and seasonal staff in the Florina and Kozani units.
On the same day, Dimitris Reppas greenlighted the employment of 8000 individuals in major technical works. The OAED (Greek Manpower Employment Organization) programmes will cost 41 million euro and will be completed by the end of August.
Respectively, programmes for the employment of 5000 unemployed individuals in manufacture and tourism enterprises will be materialized in the Peloponnisos District.
Pre-electoral trade of hope for the unemployed of part time employment, was the accusal of the entire opposition against the government on Tuesday in Parliament, while New Democracy asked that an election by name be held on the related bill on Wednesday.
At the same time, with an addendum made by deputy Minister of the Interior Nikos Bistis, individuals who are unemployed due to mass lay offs will have priority in covering the positions of part time employment in the public sector.
The opposition made mention of a pre-electoral firework and that people are being hired by circumventing ASEP.
 NO FUELAthens, 30 July 2003 (09:13 UTC+2)
There is a major possibility that the market will remain without fuel, as fuel truck drivers are continuing their strike, insisting on their demand for higher transportation charges. The Minister of Finance is against any increase in the charges, and warned about dangers in inflation. A proposal for consultative information was made by Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos.
 RESERVATIONS IN PASOK'S EXECUTIVE OFFICEAthens, 30 July 2003 (09:14 UTC+2)
Reservations and concern, regarding the double ballot and the way MPs are to be elected, were expressed by the members of PASOK's Executive Office, which met in the presence of Minister of the Interior Costas Scandalidis. In any case the members agreed that PASOK's initiatives have changed the atmosphere. Mr. Simitis asked PASOK officials to give all their strength so that there is a complete dialogue on the new electoral law's composition. An informative meeting will take place in Athens, with Mr. Scandalidis as a speaker.
 KEEPING THEIR COOL IN THE CRISISAthens, 30 July 2003 (11:18 UTC+2)
A calm dialogue was proposed by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou during his meeting with Archbishop of Greece Mr. Christodoulos, regarding the problem that arose after the formal announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's position in favor of applying the provisions of Patriarchal Act of 1928, which foresees that the list of candidates for new country metropolises must be submitted to the Fanari for approval.
The meeting between the Foreign Minister and the Archbishop lasted approximately 2 hours, and the two men discussed issues concerning the political leadership and the Church.
According to Mr. Papandreou's statements after the meeting, discussions also concerned the disagreement between the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, after the letter Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos sent to Mr. Christodoulos on Monday.
In his letter, the Ecumenical Patriarch asked that the terms of the 1928 Act be activated, concerning the metropolises of Macedonia, Thrace, the eastern Aegean, Ipiros, and specifically the metropolis of Thessaloniki.
Mr. Vartholomeos asked that the list of candidates be sent to him, while, according to information, the Church of Greece refused to do so.
Mr. Papandreou characteristically mentioned that the issue was also discussed with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, while he stressed that the government respects the self-administration and independence of both institutions. He proposed a dialogue take place, calmness and sobriety, through which all problems will be resolved.
 MUNICIPALITY REPS HAVE SPLIT VIEWS AFTER MEETING WITH PRIME MINISTERAthens, 30 July 2003 (18:42 UTC+2)
A two-hour meeting was held this morning at 11am at the Maximos Mansion, between Prime Minister Costas Simitis and members of the board of the Central Association of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE).
Other participants in the meeting included Minister of the Interior Costas Scandalidis, deputy Minister of the Interior Labros Papadimas, and the director of the Prime Minister's legal office, Professor Giorgos Papadimitriou.
After the meeting, KEDKE chairman, mayor of Kozani, Paris Koukoulopoulos, stated that he was satisfied with the commitments made by the Prime Minister towards the local government representatives.
In contrast, both the mayor of Athens Dora Bakoyanni as well as her counterpart in Thessaloniki, Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, seemed reserved. They also pointed out that there would be an announcement made by KEDKE on the meeting.
 ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΟΣ "ΕΜΦΥΛΙΟΣ" ΣΤΟ ΜΠΙΤΣ ΒΟΛΕΪΘεσσαλονίκη, 30 July 2003 (18:03 UTC+2)
Ελληνικός «εμφύλιος» στον προθάλαμο ενός Γκραν Σλαμ στο μπιτς βόλεϊ. Οι Κατερίνα Νικολαΐδου / Μαρία Τσιαρτσιάνη και οι Βίκυ Αρβανίτη / Θάλεια Κουτρουμανίδου διασταυρώνουν τα... ξίφη τους για μια θέση στο κυρίως ταμπλό του Γκραν Σλαμ του Κλάγκενφουρτ. Οι δύο ελληνικές ομάδες πέτυχαν από μια νίκη στον α' γύρο των προκριματικών και η νικήτρια της μεταξύ τους αναμετρήσεις θα προκριθεί στο Κυρίως ταμπλό των 32 ομάδων.
Ειδικότερα, οι Νικολαΐδου / Τσιαρτσιάνη πέτυχαν σημαντική νίκη επί των Κινέζων Ουάνκ / Γι με 2-0 (21-17, 21-17), ενώ οι Αρβανίτη / Κουτρουμανίδου επικράτησαν των Ριι Σέικε / Γιαμακάουα από την Ιαπωνία με 2-0 (21-18, 21-15).
Στο κυρίως ταμπλό του Γκραν Σλαμ του Κλάγκενφουρτ βρίσκονται ήδη οι Έφη Σφυρή / Βάσω Καραντάσιου βάσει της βαθμολογίας τους στην παγκόσμια κατάταξη.
 COURT DENIES C. XEROS' REQUESTAthens, 30 July 2003 (15:07 UTC+2)
The court denied Christodoulos Xeros' objection on the use of his preliminary statements and his statement to the Examiner.
The court ruled that the defendant was put under no psychological pressure, prior to or during his preliminary statements, nor was his human dignity insulted or any violence used.
In his statement to the court, Christodoulos Xeros supported that all his statements are fabricated, while he stated that he was never a member or a participant in 17 November or any other conspiratorial organization. Authority and its mechanisms show unending hatred towards fighters of the people, he said.
In support of his claim that his statements were fabricated, he said that they have been written in a characteristic police style, while he also mentioned that they included words such as commander and second in command, which would never be used by a leftist. He supported that he did not know the other defendants apart from Dionysis Georgiadis, Nikos Papanastasiou, Costas Telios and his brothers.
As far as Alexandros Giotopoulos is concerned, he said that he was forced to recognize him and also mentioned that he has been presented as bank robber, while everyone knows that he is extremely poor.
 NATIONAL PLAN AGAINST UNEMPLOYMENTAthens, 30 July 2003 (13:02 UTC+2)
The outline of the new National Action Plan for Employment (ESDA 2003), is being examined by the National Employment Committee. Its first goal concerns full employment and the other two deal with the quality and productiveness of employment and social cohesion and convergence. The outline concerns active and precautionary measures for the unemployed.
 PRIORITIES IN PART TIME EMPLOYMENTAthens, 30 July 2003 (11:18 UTC+2)
Priority in part time employment will be held by individuals who have become unemployed due to mass layoffs, according to the addition to the bill on part time employment announced in Parliament by deputy Minister of the Interior Nikos Bistis. On the handicapped, there was a further addendum concerning individuals with more than 50% incapacitation, to cover 10% of those hired. Individuals with the longest running unemployment record will hold priority to be hired.
 MUNICIPALITIES ASK FOR FINANCIAL SUPPORTAthens, 30 July 2003 (09:14 UTC+2)
The formation of an Independent Administrative Authority, which will undertake all issues concerning the financial administration of Local Government Bodies, will be proposed by the Administrative Council of the Central Association of Municipalities and Communities, to Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Mr. Simitis will be asked for emergency funding so that the municipalities respond to their obligations. The municipalities support that a major part of the funds they should be receiving, is withheld by state services.
 LIFE SENTENCE FOR PASSARISBucharest, 30 July 2003 (15:07 UTC+2)
Escaped convict from the Greek prisons Costas Passaris was condemned to life imprisonment, at his trial for the double homicide he carried out at the currency exchange in Bucharest. Passaris denied the charges, stating that he was innocent and supporting that the Romanian mafia had framed him. If he had been found innocent, Passaris would have been extradited to Greece where there are pending sentences against him.