|Monday, 21 September 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-10-23
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 A THREAT TO THE CITIESAthens, 23 October 2003 (09:17 UTC+2)
An appeal to courts against the strike of employees in local government was made by the Ministry of the Interior, while criminal charges were pressed against all responsible parties by DA Spyros Mouzakitis and an emergency preliminary examination was ordered by Thessaloniki DA Panagiotis Ioannidis. The government with special respect, is carrying out a dialogue with the employees, but always moves strictly within the real potential of the Greek economy. Of course, when it has to protect the health of its citizens, it moves to actions, such as that of today, stated the Government Spokesperson.
 VARTHOLOMEOS LOWERS EXPECTATIONSAthens, 23 October 2003 (09:18 UTC+2)
No agreement was achieved at the meeting Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos had with the Metropolites of Piraeus Kallinikos, Dimitriada and Almyro Ignatius, and the former administrator of Mt. Athos, Aristidis Kasmiroglou, according to an announcement from the Fanari. The whole issue requires processing and a synodic decision on both sides, mentioned the statement.
 PAPADOPOULOS RETURNS TO THE PARTYAthens, 23 October 2003 (11:08 UTC+2)
His return to politics was signified for former Minister of Health Al. Papadopoulos by yesterday's meeting of PASOK's Executive Office, after which it was announced that Mr. Papadopoulos will participate with Prefect Fofi Gennimata in the group to coordinate the public dialogue for the formation of PASOK's pre-electoral program. The Central Committee is carrying out a final evaluation of all present MPs, including candidates that have proposed themselves, announced PASOK Press Spokesperson Chrysa Arapoglou.
 INSPECTING OLYMPIC PREPARATIONSAthens, 23 October 2003 (11:09 UTC+2)
The progress of Olympic preparations is being inspected by the chairman of the IOC's Coordination Committee, who is in Athens, heading an IOC delegation.
The attention of the IOC delegation was mainly concentrated on the Calatrava work, the suburban railway and the tram. During the meeting held in the headquarters of the Olympic Games' Organizing Committee, the government gave its reassurance that the works would be delivered on time.
Deputy Minister of Culture Nassos Alevras stated that the progress of the works is satisfactory, and that they will be completed according to schedule.
 DEBATE ON THE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTIONAthens, 23 October 2003 (19:51 UTC+2)
If the package of European Constitution issues is reopened we will be led to chaos, stated Alternate Foreign Minister Tasos Giannitsis outlining Greece's position and underlining the great risk for the European Union to be led to a dead end on the occasion of the Inter-Governmental Conference on the European Constitution which is underway in Rome since October 4.
In the special debate that took place today in the Greek Parliament on the European Constitution, Mr. Giannitsis stressed the need for compromise, pointing out however, that there is room only for small changes. He also speculated that the Italian EU Presidency will manage to present a compromise proposal.
 THE PROTECTION OF PRESPES IS A PRIORITY FOR GREECE-ALBANIA-FYROMThessaloniki, 23 October 2003 (19:21 UTC+2)
The fire protection of the region of Prespes Lakes, the needs and prospects, will be considered in a working meeting of the local firefighting authorities organized by the Society for the Protection of Prespes Lakes to take place on October 30 with the cooperation of PPNEA (Albania) and the municipality of Resen (FYROM).
It is the first formal meeting that takes place with the participation of representatives of the Firefighting Departments of Greece, Albania and FYROM.
The meeting will be held at the City Hall of Prespes at Lemos and the participants will deal with issues concerning emergency situations at inter-border protected regions, while a briefing will take place on the firefighting cooperation among the three countries.
The role of the European Union in the firefighting cooperation in southeastern Europe and the future prospects as well as, the cooperation of the Firefighting Departments of Greece, Albania and FYROM, aimed at drawing up a joint plan for immediate response in the case of forest fires in the region, will also be considered.
 MINISTERIAL MEETING UNDER PRIME MINISTER SIMITISAthens, 23 October 2003 (19:12 UTC+2)
Issues concerning the Muslim minority, immigrants, repatriated Greeks and special population groups such as, the gypsies, were discussed today in a ministerial meeting under Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.
It was announced that within the next 10 days the ministerial committee will meet again to examine issues concerning citizenship, special identity cards for the repatriated Greeks, housing and employment programs, education issues, social integration, sports and cultural issues as well as, the issue of the legalization of foreigners.
Undersecretary of Press Tilemachos Hitiris stated after the meeting that the introduction of the Turkish language as a secondary language in the nursery schools of the Muslim minority is being considered, as well as its introduction as a foreign language in the Muslim minority high schools curriculum. The likelihood to admit a number of Muslim minority students in the technological institutes, to correspond to 0.5% of the total number of students admitted each year, is also being considered.
To the question if the government makes those moves in view of the elections, Mr. Hitiris responded that the government implements that policy for years.
On the issue of the Albanian high school student, Interior Minister Kostas Skandalidis clarified that nationality and citizenship are given based on a specific institutional framework. He pointed out that the parents of Odiseas Tsenai came to Greece in 1996 and therefore, they are in Greece less than 7 years. According to the law, they should be residents of Greece for at least 10 years before they can request to be given Greek nationality.
The Interior Minister stated on the nationality issue that no exceptions are being made, neither it is given for humanitarian reasons, while he made it clear that the law should be applied. I cannot violate the law. It is unthinkable, added Mr. Skandalidis.
 THE GOV'T WELCOMES THE INITIATIVES AIMED AT DEFUSING THE CHURCH CRISISAthens, 23 October 2003 (17:47 UTC+2)
There was no government involvement in the initiatives displayed yesterday for the rapprochement of the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, stressed Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
Mr. Protopapas stated that these are individual initiatives aimed at defusing the crisis and are welcomed by the government.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 23 October 2003 (17:10 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.65% at 2.092,19 points, while the volume of transactions was at 106.6 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, 303 recorded losses and only 32 had gains, while the value of 50 stocks was unchanged.
 ROUSSOPOULOS: GOVERNMENT RESPONSIBILITIES FOR RUBBISHAthens, 23 October 2003 (17:04 UTC+2)
New Democracy Press Spokesperson Thodoris Roussopoulos laid the blame at the feet of the government on the issue of the garbage piling up due to the strikes of municipal employees.
In his statement he underlined that it is the government's responsibility that Athens, and other cities in Greece, are up to their necks in rubbish. Public health is at risk. The already burdened environment, is being degraded even more. The citizens' quality of life is being lowered. Greece's image is being hurt irreparably, if one takes into account that we are going to host the Olympics in just a few months.
The government cannot wash its hands of it, laying the blame on local government and the employees. It is its own responsibility that the Liosia rubbish heap is closed once again. It is its own responsibility that it has not promoted an effective waste handling system. New Democracy has repeatedly raised the issue of a waste-processing factory in Liosia which would solve the problem, in Parliament. This is the government's fault.
 TIME CHANGES ON SUNDAYAthens, 23 October 2003 (17:03 UTC+2)
Clocks will turn backwards one hour on Sunday, October 26 to show 3:00am instead of 4:00am.
The measure will be in effect until March 28, 2004 and it is mandatory for all European Union member states.
 MONUMENT TO FALLEN JEWSThessaloniki, 23 October 2003 (15:15 UTC+2)
President of the Republic Costis Stefanopoulos will unveil the monument to the Greek Jews killed in the 1940-1941 war, at 12 noon this coming Monday, October 27, in the Jewish cemetery in Stavroupoli.
President of New Democracy Costas Karamanlis will also attend the unveiling ceremony.
According to information from the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki 12,898 Greek Jews enlisted in that war, of whom 343 were officers. The casualties were 513 dead and 5,743 wounded. The 50th and 63rd regiments mainly consisted of Jews from Thessaloniki and other regions of Macedonia.