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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-01-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] FLU EPIDEMIC ALERT
  • [02] AVRAMOPOULOS DENIES RUMOURS
  • [03] GREEK AMBASSADOR TO CYPRUS ON TURKISH INTRANSIGENCE
  • [04] TURKISH CYPRIOT PILGRIMS VISIT MUSLIM SHRINE
  • [05] SPEAKER OF CYPRIOT PARLIAMENT TO UNDERGO HEART SURGERY
  • [06] ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS GREECE
  • [07] DECEMBER INFLATION RATE ANNOUNCED
  • [08] ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS ETHNIC GREEK COMMUNITIES
  • [09] STRICTER BORDER PROTECTION TO BE INTRODUCED
  • [10] NEW ATHENS SUBWAY TO OPEN SOON

  • [01] FLU EPIDEMIC ALERT

    Greek health care services are on the alert to deal with the flu virus which has hit hundreds of thousands of people throughout Europe. In Italy, 15 people have died of the virus and hospitals in Rome, Milan, Turin and Naples have admitted so many cases that people are having to occupy beds in corridors. Britain, too, is facing a shortage of hospital beds as a result of what experts have called the worst flu epidemic for the past ten years. So far, in Greece, only the usual viruses have appeared, the main symptom being a high temperature. However, doctors say these viruses are not related to the epidemic that has hit the rest of Europe.

    SIMITIS: EMU IS GOVERNMENT'S PRIORITY

    In an interview published in yesterday's edition of the newspaper, Kathimerini, the Greek prime minister, Kostas Simitis, stated that elections would not be held before Greece's admission to economic and monetary union was ensured. Meanwhile, the PASOK secretary, Kostas Skandalidis, announced after a meeting with the prime minister on Friday that the party conference would take place on 5th and 6th February to decide on the party's election platform. The main opposition New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, has also announced that his party will hold an extraordinary conference from March 31st to April 2nd, to discuss the party's policies in view of the upcoming general elections. There is also intense activity within the ranks of the Coalition, with its congress scheduled to take place at the end of January. The Coalition leader, Nikos Konstantopoulos, has called on the government to clarify the date and procedures for the elections.

    [02] AVRAMOPOULOS DENIES RUMOURS

    In an interview with the newspaper, Ethnos tis Kyriakis, the mayor of Athens, Dimitris Avramopoulos, responded to rumours about his standing for parliament in this year's general election by underlining that he was still mayor of Athens and had not declared any intention to stand for election as a New Democracy party deputy. He added that calls by the party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, for a general mobilization were not directed at him.

    [03] GREEK AMBASSADOR TO CYPRUS ON TURKISH INTRANSIGENCE

    The Greek ambassador in Nicosia, Kyriakos Rodousakis, has said in an interview with the Cypriot newspaper, O Fileleftheros, that the European Union should upgrade its representation in the monitoring of the Cyprus issue. He added that the EU should also be involved in matters following resolution of the dispute. Turkey, he said, cannot continue to ignore the Cyprus problem, because its EU candidacy is indissolubly bound up with Ankara's specific actions relating to a Cyprus solution.

    [04] TURKISH CYPRIOT PILGRIMS VISIT MUSLIM SHRINE

    Approximately 1,600 Turkish Cypriot pilgrims entered Cyprus' free zone yesterday morning in order to visit the Muslim shrine of Hala Sultan in Larnaca. The Cypriot Republic made 33 buses available for the pilgrims, which were accompanied by UN peace-keeping forces and members of the Cypriot police. Strict security measures were in force at the shrine.

    [05] SPEAKER OF CYPRIOT PARLIAMENT TO UNDERGO HEART SURGERY

    According to a medical bulletin issued on Saturday by the cardiology department of the General Hospital in Nicosia, the leader of Cyprus' Democratic Party, Spyros Kyprianou, is to undergo heart surgery in a clinic in Ohio, in the United States, in the third week of January. Mr Kyprianou has announced that he does not intend to stand for the office of president of the republic in the next elections and said he supported the candidacy of Tasos Papadopoulos, a member of his party.

    [06] ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS GREECE

    Joint action by Greece and Italy in the Balkans is among the issues scheduled for discussion by the Greek prime minister, Kostas Simitis, and his Italian counterpart, Massimo D'Alema, who arrives in Athens today on an official visit. Mr D'Alema told Greek reporters that the doors to Europe would be closed for Ankara if it failed to accept the principles of the Copenhagen agreement and resolve its differences with Athens. He described Greece's decision to accept Turkey's status as a candidate for membership of the European Union as particularly important and courageous.

    [07] DECEMBER INFLATION RATE ANNOUNCED

    The National Statistical Service is expected to announce today that inflation in December was around 2.8%. The government believes the drop in fuel prices and the winter sales which get under way today and will last until the end of February will have a favourable effect on the inflation rate. The governor of the Bank of Greece, Loukas Papadimos, has recommended restraint in public spending so that the inflation criteria for EMU may be achieved. He said the measures were necessary, as the situation concerning Greece's progress towards EMU was still uncertain. Meanwhile adjustment of the drachma exchange rate against the euro is expected to take place around the end of this month. Talks are already under way between ministry of national economy and Bank of Greece officials and EU experts.

    [08] ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS ETHNIC GREEK COMMUNITIES

    Only a few days after his visit to Athens, the Albanian prime minister, Ilir Meta, has been touring the southern Albanian provinces of Argyrokastro, Delvino and Aghii Saranda this weekend where the majority of ethnic Greeks live. Mr Meta said the Greek minority was an extremely important factor in Greek-Albanian relations and he pledged to make further efforts to ensure respect for the rights of the ethnic Greek population in Albania.

    [09] STRICTER BORDER PROTECTION TO BE INTRODUCED

    In the next few days the Greek government is to proceed with the immediate activation of border guards in an effort to deal with the growing problem of illegal immigration.

    [10] NEW ATHENS SUBWAY TO OPEN SOON

    The operation of the new Athens subway will bring relief from traffic congestion to millions of Athenians. Work on the project has been progressing at a rapid pace, and the prime minister is due to inaugurate the first section on 21st January.
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