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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-05-26

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] The controversial issue of ID cards
  • [02] George Papandreou met Madeleine Albright in Florence
  • [03] The formation of an interparty committee asked Tsohatzopoulos
  • [04] Cypriot foreign minister's statements
  • [05] Simitis met Zelman
  • [06] Crucial meetings in ND party
  • [07] Konstantopoulos' statements on Olympic Games
  • [08] Measures preventing arson incidents in forests
  • [09] An earthquake measuring 5.3 degrees on the Richter scale

  • NEWS IN ENGLISH

    (THE VOICE OF GREECE - Translators Dpt.)

    [01] The controversial issue of ID cards

    In the continuing clash between the Church and state on the government's decision to remove religious affiliation from state-issued ID cards, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that the decision would be implemented in a matter of days. The move enjoys support by many political forces apart from the ruling PASOK party, but has irritated the church. Metropolitan of Piraeus Kallinikos organised a demonstration in protest at the government's decision, and other priest have also threatened to hold protest rallies. Metropolitan Chrysostomos of the western Athens suburb of Peristeri hinted that the Church should establish its own political party. Government spokesman Reppas said that the government did not want conflict on the issue, pointing out that fanatism and intolerance were not appropriate in today's society. The Holy Synod had an emergency meeting to look into details of the issue. Reliable sources indicate that the Church plans to take recourse to the Council of State, Greece's highest administrative court.

    [02] George Papandreou met Madeleine Albright in Florence

    At a meeting in Florence, Italy, on the sidelines of the spring NATO session, foreign minister George Papandreou and his American counterpart Madeleine Albright discussed about the Greek-Turkish relations and developments in the Balkans. Referring to the Cyprus dispute, the two ministers agreed that substantial negotiations should begin in the framework of the third round of proximity talks. Mr Papandreou briefed Ms Albright on the meetings he had with the Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem and reiterated that the United States would be ready to offer their help, since Greece and Turkey need their contribution. According to information, a similar statement was also made by the American secretary of state. During their meeting Mr Papandreou also explained the Greek position that Serbia's isolation was creating the opposite results of those sought by the international community and a different message should be sent to Belgrade. This point of view was well received, not only by the Balkan states but also by the American diplomacy itself.

    [03] The formation of an interparty committee asked Tsohatzopoulos

    National defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos announced the formation of an interparty committee which will examine proposals and ideas dealing with the strategy defence revision of the Armed Forces.

    [04] Cypriot foreign minister's statements

    Cypriot foreign minister Yannakis Kasoulidis said that the United States' stand on the settlement of the bi-zonal bi- communal federation remains clear. This was resulted from the meeting American president Bill Clinton had with homogeny.

    [05] Simitis met Zelman

    Prime minister Costas Simitis met with his Czech counterpart Milos Zelman who is paying an official visit to Greece. The two prime ministers signed a cooperation agreement on economy, industry and technology. Mr Simitis described the meeting as friendly and said that countries like the Czech Republic play an important role in developments in the Balkans.

    [06] Crucial meetings in ND party

    A series of crucial meetings are taking place in the New Democracy party in view of the party's extraordinary congress. The Organization Committee of the congress met while the party's Central Committee is to convene tomorrow.

    [07] Konstantopoulos' statements on Olympic Games

    The leader of the Coalition party Nikos Konstantopoulos, following a meeting with the president of the National Olympic Committee Yanna Angelopoulou - Daskalaki, said that the government is responsible for the delay and the serious organizational problems which appear in view of the Olympic Games. The Coalition party will organize a one-day meeting on the subject the course of the Olympic games at Zappion, on Monday.

    [08] Measures preventing arson incidents in forests

    In a new move that is aimed at preventing arson incidents in forests, from June 5, prefectural authorities will have the power to ban traffic in sensitive forested stretches from 9 in the evening to 6 in the morning to minimise their exposure to intentional fire. The state has also announced that hefty penalties of up to 20 million drachmas would be imposed on citizens and municipalities if they are found to have caused a forest fire due to negligence.

    [09] An earthquake measuring 5.3 degrees on the Richter scale

    A strong earthquake measuring 5.3 degrees on the Richter scale was recorded in the Ionian Sea. The epicenter of the tremor was in the sea region north of the island Lefkada, 300 kms northwest of Athens. No victims and damages were reported.
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