|Tuesday, 28 January 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-05-03
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
(THE VOICE OF GREECE - Translators Dpt.)
 Papandreou-Cem meeting in New YorkGreek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus issue and the situation in the Balkans were the object of talks at the meeting between the foreign ministers of the United States, Greece and Turkey that ended in New York. The Greek and Turkish foreign ministers, George Papandreou and Ismail Cem, confirmed the wish for improvement in the two countries relations.
According to reports, during a banquet the permanent representative of the United States at the United Nations Richard Holbrook hosted yesterday to the Greek and Turkish foreign ministers, discussion focused on the Cyprus issue. Mr Holbrook referred to the American president Bill Clinton's will for a Cyprus settlement, while he did not rule out the possibility of dealing with the issue himself.
 Awards to Papandreou, Cem and Greek and Turkish rescue teamsMr Papandreou and Mr Cem received special awards from the East-West Institute, for their contribution to build up a united and peaceful Europe. In the same event, the Greek and Turkish rescue teams (EMAK and AKUT) were also presented with awards, for the mutual assistance they provided during the massive earthquakes last year in Greece and Turkey, as well as for their contribution to normalizing relations between the two countries.
 Green light for Greece's entry in the Euro zoneThe reports on the Greek economy of the European Commission and the European Central Bank will actually give the green light for Greece's entry in the Euro zone. The two reports will be released in Brussels and will be presented to Greece by the national economy minister Yannos Papantoniou. Up to now, reports say that the European Commission's report to the EU Council of finance ministers will be positive for Greece's application to join the Euro zone, as from January 1st, 2001, while the final approvement is expected to be given next month at the European Union summit in Portugal.
The European Commission's report stresses that Greece now fulfills all the five convergence criteria, but states certain reservations whether the inflation criteria can be maintained. The prime minister Kostas Simitis, upon his return from Corfu where he spent the Easter holiday, referred to Greece's prospects and appeared optimistic about the country's course, stressing that Greece would change face in the next four year term.
 Athens bourse - Probe on sudden plungeIn a probe to ascertain why the general share price index on the Athens stock exchange plunged suddenly during a speech given by prime minister Kostas Simitis on March 9th, the Capital Market Commission has noted the mass sale of shares by four stockbroking agencies and institutional investors from abroad. Stavros Stamatakis, the chairman of the commission said yesterday that the way in which orders were executed by the stockbrokers would be investigated. The opposition New Democracy party issued an announcement on the issue, describing the report as a slap to the government, and spoke of a government fiasco.
 Portuguese foreign minister visits CyprusThe Portuguese foreign minister and president of the EU Council of ministers, Haime Gama, arrived in Cyprus yesterday for talks with his Cypriot counterpart Yannakis Kasoulidis, as well as with the head of the negotiating team for Cyprus' EU accession, George Vasiliou. Mr Gama will also be received by the Cypriot president Glafkos Kliridis, while he is scheduled to meet with the Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
The Portuguese official said he hoped that there would be positive results from the Papandreou-Cem talks in New York for further activity around the Cyprus issue.
The Portuguese foreign minister's visit to Cyprus marks the beginning of a series of diplomatic visits, in view of the upcoming New York third round of proximity talks on Cyprus.
Visiting the island next will be the UN secretary general's special advisor for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto and the British envoy for the Cyprus issue Sir David Hanney.
The British High Commissioner in Nicosia Edward Klay, has stated that Britain estimates that the talks the United Nations is holding on the Cyprus dispute should aim at resolving the problem and lead to an overall solution and not to an interim agreement.
Mr Klay said that London considered the issues pertaining to security, territorial and indemnity, were extremely complicated and stressed that the European Union would support any Cyprus settlement with which the Cypriots agreed.
 Meeting between culture and finance ministersFollowing a meeting with the culture minister Theodoros Pangalos, the national economy and finance minister Yannos Papantoniou said that with a strong economy, the government would implement its policy statements and boost the culture sector. During the meeting, the two ministers discussed all the issues relating to the culture ministry's financial situation, as well as possible revenue sources for the 2004 Olympic Games to be held in Athens.
 OA re-schedules flights to LibyaOlympic Airways will link Athens with Bengaz again with three flights weekly, following the lift of the flight embargo the United nations had imposed to Libya.
 Easter exodus - Worst on recordDespite the extra measures traffic police had taken, the Easter exodus this year was one of the worst on record in terms of traffic accidents, as 50 people lost their lives and 500 others injured in 328 reported accidents from Easter Thursday up to Monday evening.