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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 03-10-31
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 BATTLING UNEMPLOYMENTAthens, 31 October 2003 (09:00 UTC+2)
The increase of employment is a high priority policy for the government, stated Prime Minister Costas Simitis, immediately following the Cabinet meeting, on unemployment and employment issues. He pointed out that from 2000 to this day, unemployment has dropped by 2.2% and is now at 8.9%. At the same time, employment has risen to 58%. With the convergence charta, the government has the following goals: The decrease of unemployment to 6% by 2008 and to 8% for women, and the increase of employment by 1.5% each year, 2% for women.
 WALK BACK INAthens, 31 October 2003 (09:20 UTC+2)
The future of their mobilizations will be decided on today by university professors around the country, who are moving in to the 7th week of their walkout. The decisions of primary associations that have joined the Panhellenic Federation of Teaching and Research Staff Associations are proposing the end to the walkout, while the rectors asked for the intervention of Prime Minister Costas Simitis, so that a way can be found out of the dead end in the universities.
 AURORA LEFT PIRAEUS WITH MEDICATIONSAthens, 31 October 2003 (12:41 UTC+2)
The British luxury cruiser, Aurora, which was sailing the Adriatic left the Piraeus harbor, after docking due to an outbreak of gastroenteritis. The ship remained docked for about an hour for food supplies. The owner has asked for Greek subscription in the matter and had already sent specialists to Athens. No passenger left the ship since none required to be taken to the hospital. There was full mobilization of the Greek authorities to deal with any possible consequences on the lives of Greek citizens.
 SEARCHING FOR BIN LADEN ON A GREEK SHIPKunsan, 31 October 2003 (12:41 UTC+2)
The South Korean authorities found nothing suspicious during their search on Greek ship, after they received information that it may be transporting Al Quaeda members. A search was carried out on the ship for forged passports or illegal arms, without finding anything out of the ordinary, stated local authorities. The Athena ship, under a Panama flag, docked at the Kunsan harbor, while it belongs to the Greek Petrobulk Maritime company.
 THE PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA MET WITH THE ARCHBISHOP OF ATHENSAthens, 31 October 2003 (19:42 UTC+2)
Patriarch Petros the 7th, of Alexandria and All of Africa met in Athens today with Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece.
They discussed issues concerning the Patriarchate of Alexandria in which Archbishop Christodoulos expressed strong interest, stressing that he will help as much as possible, mainly the missionary work done by the Patriarchate of Alexandria.
On the tension in the relations between the Church of Greece and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, they agreed that it should be resolved through dialogue.
Patriarch Petros arrived in Thessaloniki this afternoon to attend the Symposium on Thessaloniki-Alexandria held within the framework of the cultural events Dimitria 2003.
 PROTOPAPAS: MRS. ANGELOPOULOU DENIED PRESS REPORTS ON HER GREEK PRESIDENCY CANDIDATUREAthens, 31 October 2003 (19:28 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas was called to comment on press information according to which, Athens 2004 Organizing Committee President Mrs. Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalakis intends to be a candidate for the Greek Presidency.
Mr. Protopapas cited earlier statements made by Mrs. Angelopoulou when she denied the press report carrying the information.
 GOV'T SPOKESMAN: THE INFORMATION ON SIMITIS' ANTI-JEWISH POLICY IS ABSURDAthens, 31 October 2003 (19:15 UTC+2)
The information according to which, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis appears to exercise anti-Jewish policy and encourages the hatred against the Jews is absurd, stated Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas.
He added that the Prime Minister and the government are far away from such racial discriminations.
 THE GOV'T SPOKESMAN REGARDING THE AIRCRAFT CARRIER "CLEMENCEAU"Athens, 31 October 2003 (18:56 UTC+2)
Greek government spokesman Christos Protopapas denied information according to which, the mothball aircraft carrier Clemenceau will moor in a Greek shipyard.
Mr. Protopapas stated that based on the information at his disposal, the ship in question was about to be sold to India or Pakistan and was looking for a shipyard to get rid of the toxic wastes which apparently are on board.
Currently, the ship is off the port of Syracuse due to the bad weather conditions and is looking for a shipyard. No request has been made to come to Greece and certainly, Greece does not wish for such a request, stated Mr. Protopapas.
 RUSSIAN INVITATION FOR GREEK INVESTMENTS IN THE TOURIST SECTORThessaloniki, 31 October 2003 (18:18 UTC+2)
Russia is looking for Greek partners interested in participating in investments concerning hotel buyouts or construction in Russia, as well as activities concerning the tourist exploitation of old monasteries, stressed Russian Undersecretary of Economic Development and Commerce Vladimir Strzhalkovsky.
The Russian official pointed out the considerable shortcomings in his country as far as tourist infrastructure is concerned (mainly hotels), pointing out that this reality creates the right environment for the activation of foreign investors in the specific sector to cover the existing void.
In a press conference given on the occasion of Russia's participation in the Philoxenia 2003 Tourist Exhibition in Thessaloniki as the honored country, he stated that tourist sector activities have entered a recovery course since the year 2000 for both countries as opposed to previous years.
Specifically, the flow of tourists between the two countries increased by 30% in the past two years with the wave of arrivals toward Greece to be much bigger. For example, a total of 133,000 Russian tourists visited Greece last year, compared to the Greek arrivals to Russia that did not exceed 25,000.
Based on initial estimates for the current year, the number of Russian tourists visiting Greece reached 152,000 at the end of September, while by the end of 2003 their number is expected to approach 160,000, stated the Russian official.
 THE MINISTERIAL MEETING EXAMINED THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SOCIAL PACKAGEAthens, 31 October 2003 (16:53 UTC+2)
The issue of the implementation of the social measures announced by the government namely, the so-called social package, was examined in detail in the ministerial meeting held today under Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.
The Prime Minister, stated Minister of Press and government spokesman Christos Protopapas, clarified that all necessary measures will be taken for the social package to be implemented fully by January.
According to Mr. Protopapas, the Prime Minister was satisfied with developments so far. He also added that a special discussion was held in the ministerial meeting on the new job positions in the public sector.
 GAINS IN THE ASEAthens, 31 October 2003 (16:33 UTC+2)
This week's trading in the Athens Stock Exchange closed with gains. The general index rose to +0.25% at 2.121,06 points, while the volume of transactions was relatively high at 224 million euros.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority of 229 recorded gains and 72 had losses, while the value of 80 stocks remained unchanged.
 OCTOBER'S INFLATION AT 2.1% IN THE EURO-ZONEAthens, 31 October 2003 (16:32 UTC+2)
Inflation in October remained stable at 2.1% in the Euro-zone, based on the initial estimates made by analysts of the European Statistics Agency, Eurostat. Analysts were expecting inflation to drop to 2% compared to 2.1% in September.
Also, Eurostat announced that in September the producer's price index in the Euro-zone recorded no change compared to August, while on an annual basis it was increased by 1.1%.
 PAPANDREOU MEETS PRESIDENT OF CHILESantiago, 31 October 2003 (13:30 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou was received by President of Chile Ricardo Lagos, during the Greek Minister's visit to the country.
Mr. Papandreou took a tour of the historic Presidential mansion, where President Salvador Aliente was killed. The Greek delegation was shown the special display room of the mansion by the Chilean President, who opened it especially for the occasion.
Mr. Papandreou then met with President of the Parliament Isabelle Aliente, daughter of Salvador Aliente, who gave him a picture of her father with Chilean Nobel winning poet Pablo Neruda.
We have hurt for Chile, we have had the same experiences, we have sung their songs, read their poems and dreamt their dreams, state Mr. Papandreou.