|Wednesday, 27 January 2021|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-05-11
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH
(THE VOICE OF GREECE - Translators Dpt.)
 FM Papandreou meets with PM SimitisThe Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou had a meeting with the Prime Minister Costas Simitis to brief him on the results of his talks in New York with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Mr Papandreou also briefed the prime minister on the results of the informal EU foreign ministers council held in Azures, while the two men also discussed the future steps in the country's foreign policy.
 Olympic Flame lit at ancient OlympiaThe ritual for the lighting of the Olympic Flame was performed with pomp and ceremony at ancient Olympia. Quite unexpectedly, however, because of the cloudy conditions the flame did not ignite in the mirrored bowl and eventually the flame which was lit during practice run on Tuesday was used instead. During the lighting ceremony, the national anthems of Greece and Australia were heard.
The flame is due to arrive in Sydney on September 15, where the 27th modern Olympic Games will be held this year. Before reaching Australia, the Olympic torch will cross 13 countries and the Pacific.
In his address, chairman of the Greek Olympic Committee, Lambis Nikolaou spoke of the significance of the torch ceremony, saying its message of friendship, peace and brotherhood of nations was intended to reach the far corners of the world, as it was a message that concerned the balanced development of the body and the spirit, in combination with the cultivation of virtues.
Australia's governor general William Dean expressed his deep gratitude to the Greek people and the Olympic games organising bodies, saying that the Games which were born in Greece were an enormous gift to the world and showed the great spiritual value of Greece and the Greeks to the whole world.
 ND party disturbed by MP Karatzaferis' expulsionThere is mounting concern in the ranks of the main opposition New Democracy Party, following party leader Costas Karamanlis' decision to expel party MP Yiorgos Karatzaferis from the ND parliamentary group due to unfavorable comments he made regarding the party's leadership.
For his own part, commenting on Mr Karamanlis' action, ND honorary president Constantinos Mitsotakis warned that if ND stopped being a democratically organised party it had no chance in getting into power.
New Democracy deputies Yiannis Varvitsiotis and Yiannis Kefaloyiannis refused to participate in the disciplinary committee. Meanwhile, Mr. Karatzaferis insisted on his views, demanding the withdrawal of the party's spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos.
At the same time, questioning his leader's decision, Mr. Karatzaferis maintained that he still remained a New Democracy deputy. According to an announcement by the speaker of parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, Mr. Karatzaferis belongs to the group of independent deputies.
 Left Coalition holds decisive meetingsThe Political Secretariat of Left Coalition party is meeting today, while the party's central committee will convene this weekend, to examine party policies and decide on its future course. Both sessions are regarded crucial for the Coalition's future presence in Greek politics.
Party leader Nikos Constantopoulos yesterday presented a uniting text, but the party's so-called modernizers are said to have remained firm on their own positions.
 Papantoniou says no additional EMU-related measures to be takenNational Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou met with Governor of the Bank of Greece Loukas Papadimos to examine Greece's monetary policy in view of the country's admission to the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Their talks focused on the continuing rise of the US dollar and its impact on the Greek economy. After the meeting, Mr. Papantoniou ruled out the possibility of new measures for the incorporation of the drachma in the Euro zone, while the Governor of the Bank of Greece predicted further drops in interest rates in the second half of 2000.
 Ankara pleased with Greece's participation in NATO maneuverThe Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed Ankara's satisfaction with Greece's decision to participate in a NATO military exercise, due to take place from May 20 to June 10.