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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-05-25

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Simitis says &quot;no&quot; religion on ID cards
  • [02] Government moves to keep oil rises lower
  • [03] New organisation committee for Athens 2004 Games
  • [04] FM Papandreou to meet Cem, Albright in Florence
  • [05] Tsochatzopoulos satisfied with joint NATO maneuver
  • [06] Meeting on peace declaration for children in Greece
  • [07] Tremor rocks Kalamata, Crete

  • NEWS IN ENGLISH

    (THE VOICE OF GREECE - Translators Dpt.)

    [01] PM Simitis says &quot;no&quot; religion on ID cards

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis announced in parliament that citizen's religion would not appear on their new identity cards, estimated to be issued in 2003. In a telephone conversation with the PM, Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece expressed his objection to scraping religion from ID cards and warned the PM that there would be reactions which the church could not control. The New Democracy party deputy, responsible for issues related to public order and justice, Theodoros Anagnostopoulos, referring to the new ID cards, said that the government's support to abolition of one's religion from ID cards would be proof of the government authoritarian character.

    [02] Government moves to keep oil rises lower

    The new hikes in oil prices will be finally lower than expected, as refineries and oil companies have agreed to absorb part of the cost rise following a meeting with Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis. The move by the government was aimed at keeping oil increases as low as possible not to aggravate inflation The price for gasoline will go up 8.2 to 8.6 drachmas per litre, while diesel will sell 2.8 drachmas more expensive.

    [03] New organisation committee for Athens 2004 Games

    The bi-ministerial supreme supervisory committee for the Olympic Games convened, chaired by prime minister Costas Simitis. The committee decided to set up a new body, the 2004 Organization Monitoring Committee, comprising five members, to be presided by Yianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. The Prime minister said he was satisfied with the speed at which decisions were being taken in relation to preparations for the 2004 Games to be held in Athens. Meanwhile, a draft bill to be tabled by culture minister Theodoros Pangalos, covering the entire organization of the Games, is in its final stages.

    [04] FM Papandreou to meet Cem, Albright in Florence

    The situation in the Balkans, NATO's relations with the European Union and Russia, as well as with NATO-candidate countries are included in the agenda of a two-day summit of the alliance's foreign ministers which opened in Florence, Italy. On the sidelines of the meeting, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou is expected to hold a private meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem, today. Reliable sources indicate that the two foreign ministers will discuss matters relating to bilateral cooperation agreements, as well as the question of confidence building measures. Papandreou will present specific proposals to Mr Cem with the aim of arriving at a jointly acceptable formula on procedures to promote the measures, as to date, the two sides have had different approaches. Papandreou is also scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State Madaleine Albright, with whom he will discuss issues concerning Kosovo and the overall policy being implemented in relation to Yugoslavia, which Greece considers ineffective.

    [05] Tsochatzopoulos satisfied with joint NATO maneuver

    Following a meeting with the PM, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said the NATO military exercise "Dynamic Mix" was being conducted smoothly and according to plan, on all levels, with Greece's sovereign rights being safeguarded. He also described as positive the fact that was excellent collaboration between the Greek and Turkish forces taking part in the maneuver. The meeting also discussed the priorities for the country's security and defence and Tsohatzopoulos said the government's national defence council would convene after June. In response to statements made by a Turkish former chief of staff, regarding the dissolution of the Aegean force with simultaneous demilitarization of the islands, the defence minister said that Greece's position was clear: European Union accession was a unique opportunity, which, he said Turkey would want to take advantage of.

    [06] Meeting on peace declaration for children in Greece

    The "Child and Family Foundation", has organized an international meeting in Athens and Delfi at the beginning of June, to draw up a draft peace declaration for children. The meeting, says president Miariana Vardinogiannis, is expected to attract numerous dignitaries from around the world. Meanwhile, UNICEF has established "National Vaccine Days" to prevent children across the world from contracting diseases and survive in hygienic conditions.

    [07] Tremor rocks Kalamata, Crete

    A strong earthquake measuring 6 degrees on the Richter scale was recorded at 9.20 Wednesday morning in the NW Peloponnese. The epicenter of the tremor was in the sea region, 120 km from the town of Kalamata. No damage has been reported in the area or the island of Crete, where the earthquake was also felt.
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