|Saturday, 25 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-10-29
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 SECURITY REASSURANCEAthens, 29 October 2003 (09:14 UTC+2)
The Olympics will be safe and successful, stated the Government Spokesperson, commenting on the classified report by American specialists on security issues, presented by the To Vima newspaper, which found problems with Olympic security. The planning of Olympic Security is being carried out successfully and covers the entire country, with special attention on the prevention of terrorist threats, with excellently trained staff, stressed the Ministry of Public Order.
 CASH POWERAthens, 29 October 2003 (11:09 UTC+2)
The stock provided by DEI (Public Electricity Enterprise) was covered by 6.7 times, making the venture very successful, as the public sector concentrated 640 million euro. The price was set at 17.50 euro per stock, representing a 3.4% drop in the stock's closing price on Friday, October 24.
 GONE WITH THE WINDSThessaloniki, 29 October 2003 (09:19 UTC+2)
Strong northern winds in the Aegean and a drop in temperature throughout the country was foreseen for today by the National Weather Service. Cloudy weather and rainfall is foreseen for the western part of Greece. Rains will intensify in the afternoon and storms are expected locally. Cloudy weather is foreseen for the rest of the country with possible rainfall later in the day. Temperatures are expected between 2 and 12 degrees C in the north, 9 to 21 in the west and 6 to 18 in the rest of the country.
 UNREST IN HEALTHAthens, 29 October 2003 (11:09 UTC+2)
The walkout of Attica hospital doctors in outpatients' departments is being completed today, while it is expected to be completed tomorrow for surgeries. However, doctors will carry out a new 48-hour panhellenic strike tomorrow and on Friday, after the decision of the Federation of Greek Hospital Doctors Associations. Two more 48-hour strikes for the 4-5 and the 21-22 of November were decided by the General Council of the Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospital Employees.
 THE GREEK ALTERNATE FOREIGN MINISTER MET WITH THE FOREIGN MINISTER OF CONGOAthens, 29 October 2003 (20:56 UTC+2)
Ways for closer cooperation between the new government of the People's Republic of Congo and Greece were discussed in the meeting Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Tasos Giannitsis had with International Cooperation and Foreign Minister of Congo Mr. Antoine Ghonda Mangalibi, who is on a visit to Athens.
The talks focused on the normalization of relations with the Greeks, who were affected by the 1973 nationalizations or other actions in Congo, and ways for rapprochement aimed at their active economic presence in the efforts for the reconstruction of the country.
Also, they discussed issues concerning the reunion of family members and the regime in effect regarding the legalization of immigrants coming from Congo.
 PROTOPAPAS ON THE VIOLATION OF THE GREEK MINORITY HUMAN RIGHTS IN TURKEYAthens, 29 October 2003 (18:23 UTC+2)
The Greek people have experienced the persecutions and the fact that Turkey recognizes this reality ex post facto is a positive development because this way such a stance can be avoided in the future and such unacceptable phenomena will not be repeated, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
Mr. Protopapas made the statement when he was called to comment on the information that Turkish Foreign Ministry officials, who testified before the Turkish Parliament Human Rights Committee, admitted that the policy exercised violated the Greek minority rights.
 CHRISTODOULAKIS ON THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION PREDICTIONSAthens, 29 October 2003 (18:00 UTC+2)
The fiscal predictions on the Greek economy made by the European Commission do not agree with the Greek government predictions included in the state budget and caused Athens' reaction.
The predictions in question are included in the European Commission biannual report on the economies of the EU states.
The European Commission analysts express the view that this year's deficit in Greece will be at 1.7% of the GDP instead of 1.4% mentioned in the 2003 state budget. Also, it is mentioned that in 2004 deficit in Greece will be at 2.4% compared to 1.2%, which is the government's prediction.
On his part, the head of the government's economic staff Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, commenting on the European Commission predictions that deficit will be at 1.7% stated that they do not reflect reality because they take under consideration the upcoming elections. He added that the Greek government does not share the European Commission predictions.
Mr. Christodoulakis also stated that the European Commission concluded that the government will raise its spending in 2004 because of the economic claims made in view of the 2004 elections but the government does not intend to proceed with spending not included in the social measures package.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 29 October 2003 (17:08 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.22% at 2.107,92 points, while the volume of transactions was at 122.9 million euros.
The gains recorded with the opening of today's session actually disappeared when strong pressures were exerted on the State Electricity Company stocks.
Of the stocks trading today, 172 recorded losses and 118 had gains, while the value of 71 stocks remained unchanged.
 STRENGTHENING TOURISMAthens, 29 October 2003 (15:47 UTC+2)
Measures to strengthen tourism were decided on by the ministerial committee presided over by Prime Minister Costas Simitis. The main axes of the decisions made were the strengthening of the Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT) and the General Secretariat of Tourism of the Ministry of Development, the development of entrepreneurship in the tourist sector and the utilization of the Olympics for the promotion of Greece's tourist product.
As the Prime Minister said, Greece has strong comparative advantages when compared to other countries as far as tourism is concerned, and he characteristically mentioned the Olympics as well as elements such as cultural heritage, natural beauty environmental variety and the excellent climate. He pointed out that Greece's natural comparative advantages must be promoted and that these actions must be coordinated.
Presenting the decisions of the ministerial committee on an administrative level, Mr. Simitis pointed out that there will be greater specialization by EOT in issues of promotion, advertisement, public relations and statistical research. In that framework a special branch dealing with marketing will be formed. On its side the General Secretariat for Tourism of the Ministry of Development will be responsible for drafting and materializing the tourism strategy.
In the framework of entrepreneurship development in the tourist sector, Mr. Simitis announced facilitations for investment materialization in Greece on behalf of business groups. He also underlined the need to develop the institution of tourist residences and strengthening of investments in golf courses, health centers, agro-tourism infrastructure, etc. Regarding the above, he mentioned, there is a special provision in the developmental law.
Finally, in reference to the Olympics, he stressed that it will also be a great event for Greece's tourism, both because visitors will arrive in Greece from all over the world, and because current tourist infrastructure will be upgraded. For this to happen, supply must be increased, especially in quality and quantity, and this development must be harmonious, added the Prime Minister.
 MEASURES FOR TOURISM AFTER 2004Athens, 29 October 2003 (14:53 UTC+2)
Tourists must be satisfied in order to visit our country again, said Prime Minister Costas Simitis, surmising the principles on tourist policy that the ministerial committee came to. Mr. Simitis stressed that tourism must be strengthened in order to continue bear fruits after the 2004 Olympics.
 "HERCULES' LABORS" IN MOSCOWAthens, 29 October 2003 (14:30 UTC+2)
Hercules' Labors, an event sponsored by the Cultural Olympics, will be presented on November 6 and 7 in the Olibiski Stadium in Moscow, during a three hour program directed by Boris Krasnov.
The show combines historic and mythological elements, modern technology, hundreds of extras, actors, athletes, stuntmen and dancers.
The event deals with mythology, specifically the Labors of Hercules, his conflict with monsters and his victories over evil.
The show will require a 58-meter stage, representing a temple to Zeus, while it will be surrounded by giant screens playing parts of the program. In the middle there will be a golden statue of Zeus and there will be two choirs to the sides.
 SIMITIS ELECTED VICE PRESIDENT OF THE SOCIALIST INTERNATIONALSao Paolo, 29 October 2003 (16:02 UTC+2)
Greek Prime Minister and President of PASOK Costas Simitis was reelected Vice President of the Congress of the Socialist International, during the works of the third and final day of the 22nd Congress of the Socialist International being carried out in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
The position of Vice President has also been held by German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, while leader of the Turkish Republican Peoples' Party Deniz Bajkal was also elected Vice President for the first time.