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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-01-03

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PRIME MINISTER AT THESSALONIKI INAUGURATIONS
  • [02] ND LEADER VISITS EARTHQUAKE SURVIVORS
  • [03] COMFORTABLE TRANSITION TO NEW MILLENNIUM
  • [04] EMU DECISION IMMINENT
  • [05] INTERESTING NEW FACTS REGARDING DICTATORSHIP REVEALED
  • [06] SEVERE WEATHER HITS GREECE

  • [01] PRIME MINISTER AT THESSALONIKI INAUGURATIONS

    The prime minister, Kostas Simitis, inaugurated two major arts centres in Thessaloniki yesterday, the recently restored Royal Theatre building and the city's new Concert Hall. He described Thessaloniki as a model of cultural creativity and said culture was a vehicle for better quality of life and development. Attending the opening of the new Concert Hall was Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, who arrived in Greece's northern capital yesterday in return for a Christmas visit to Fanari by the minister for Macedonia and Thrace, Iannis Makriotis. The Patriarch said he was optimistic that the recent EU agreement in Helsinki would contribute to an improvement in relations between the peoples of Greece and Turkey.

    [02] ND LEADER VISITS EARTHQUAKE SURVIVORS

    The opposition New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, visited a camp in the earthquake-stricken district of Menidi yesterday morning, to convey his New Year wishes to survivors of the September tremor who are now living in prefabricated homes. Accompanied by his wife and party officials, Mr Karamanlis chatted with residents, listened to their problems and handed out presents to children.

    [03] COMFORTABLE TRANSITION TO NEW MILLENNIUM

    No particular problems were observed anywhere in the world as a result of the so-called "millennium bug", also known as Y2K, which it was feared could pose a threat to electronic systems. Initial reports from 89 countries to the International Cooperation Centre, set up specifically to deal with the problem, were all positive. However, the date change did cause limited malfunctioning of the French satellite system "Syracuse 2" as well as a number of Japanese nuclear power plants and some American public utility units. In Greece, problems were confined to a few difficulties in the operation of some electronic cash registers in a number of small businesses and the state of alert declared throughout the public sector from New Year's Eve came to an end late yesterday afternoon. Nonetheless, personnel involved with computer systems in the public sector are standing by to deal with any problems that might arise during the first two weeks of January. A mock session of the Athens Stock Exchange was successfully staged yesterday morning to check that electronic systems were functioning correctly. The Stock Exchange will be operating as normal today.

    [04] EMU DECISION IMMINENT

    The final decision on Greece's admission to European economic and monetary union will be made during January. Towards the end of the month the EU's monetary committee will re-examine the convergence programme and submit a report to the council of finance ministers known as ECOFIN, which will convene a few days later. On 8th February Greece will submit its formal application for admission to EMU.

    [05] INTERESTING NEW FACTS REGARDING DICTATORSHIP REVEALED

    The attitude of the British government towards Greece's military dictatorship as well as assessments of British diplomats regarding Andreas Papandreou and Konstantinos Karamanlis, then in exile, are among the British Foreign Office's confidential records for 1969 which were opened last Saturday after the completion of 30 years. There are also references to thoughts of the coup's military leaders concerning the possible transferral of the Ecumenical Patriarchate from Constantinople to a region in Greece or to Geneva, as well as the assassination attempt against dictator Giorgos Papadopoulos and Greece's difficult position in the Council of Europe as a result of the 7-year dictatorship. Officially, Britain called for democracy to be restored in Greece, but confidential correspondence between the Foreign Office in London and the British Embassy in Athens shows that the government of the British prime minister at the time, Harold Wilson, avoided making any moves or statements that would upset the military dictatorship for fear of damaging Britain's commercial interests.

    [06] SEVERE WEATHER HITS GREECE

    Greece is currently in the grip of a wave of icy weather, with heavy snowfalls mainly in the north of the country and gale force winds over the Aegean. In Kastoria, the temperature dropped to minus 10 degrees centigrade yesterday.
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