|Friday, 17 January 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-10-05
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA-5 THE VOICE OF GREECE
5/10/2000 10:37:19 ðì
 The cabinet meets todaySpeaking to the parliamentary group of the ruling PASOK party, prime minister Costas Simitis announced that an amendment will be worked out to speed up the judicial inquiry for crimes that cause economic and social unrest. He also reiterated that light will be fully shed to the maritime disaster off Paros with the Express Samina.
The prime minister appealed to PASOK deputies to be themselves an example to society, through their presence, their moral standards and their attitude. All these things, Mr Simitis said are very important. Finally, Mr Simitis rejected New Democracy party's proposal to set up an enquiry committee and criticized all the opposition parties for petty partisan expediency.
In Parliament yesterday evening, the prime minister replied to the questions of political party leaders about the shipwreck. Referring to the shipwreck he said that the government was determined to punish those responsible for the disaster, stressing that for the last four years no permits were issued to ships which were above four years old.
Mr Simitis also announced measures to be discussed during today's cabinet meeting for Greek shipping and the upgrading of the control services.
In reply New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis said that the government was late in announcing the new measures, while the secretary general of the Greek Communist Party (GCP) Aleka Paparigha maintained that the transportation means could not be private.
The Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress party Nikos Konstantopoulos spoke of the creation of a monopoly.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas covered fully the former merchant marine minister Stavros Soumakis regarding the letters ship-owner Gerasimos Agoudimou sent to the prime minister and stressed that he could not comment on the context of the letters and become an interlocutor with businessmen.
Meanwhile, the captain and the second mate of "Express Samina" who have been remanded in custody, remain on the island of Syros, while a judge of appeal-investigating magistrate is expected to take the case.
On a relevant development, former PASOK deputy Christos Rokofylos rejected statements yesterday according to which he would undertake the defence of the Minoan Lines.
At the same time, the search for any more bodies trapped inside the sunken vessel continue. Divers yesterday checked several cabins and would try again to check the ferry's garage. The authorities are looking into the possibility of finding trapped illegal immigrants in the trucks Express Samina carried. Efforts to restrict pollution in the sea and pump the fuel for the ferry, continue as well.
 Simitis meets Yanna DaskalakiPrime minister Costas Simitis will meet today with the president of the organizing committee "Athens 2004" Yanna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki to discuss about the preparations of the Olympic Games.
 George Papandreou on the Cyprus issueGreek foreign minister George Papandreou yesterday began a series of meetings with Cypriot political parties' leaders. Mr Papandreou described as irresponsible those who support that Greece changed its stand on a confederation solution in the framework of the UN resolutions.
Meanwhile, the Greek foreign minister will meet his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov in Athens, next week to discuss on the Cyprus dispute.
 Nicholas Burns met Kostas Karamanlis yesterdayThe American ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns and the New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis met yesterday and dealt with the Cyprus issue, developments in Yugoslavia and the USA-Greece cooperation memorandum on terrorism.
Mr Karamanlis expressed to Mr Burns his party's concern about the Cyprus dispute, after the recent text of the UN secretary general Kofi Annan and the rumours about a confederation. Mr Karamanlis reiterated his party's firm position regarding a federation solution and according to information, the American ambassador reassured him that this solution was also his country's official stand.
Finally, referring to the developments in Yugoslavia, Mr Karamanlis expressed the ND party's hope for a solution to be found to the electoral result in the first round and claimed that the opposition should participate in the second round of the elections, despite Mr Kostunica's objections, otherwise Milosevic will win the elections and will legalize his stay in power.
However, the American ambassador avoided to make any statements after the meeting.
 William Cohen will visit GreeceThe American defence secretary William Cohen will visit Greece on October 8th and 9th to take part in the 5th annual interministerial summit of states of Southeastern Europe. During his stay in Greece, Mr Cohen will have bilateral meeting with his Greek and Turkish counterparts.
 The ecumenical patriarch will visit GreeceThe ecumenical patriarch Vartholomeos will pay an unofficial visit to Greece from October 17 to 25.
The spokesman of the Holy Synod Efstathios did not rule out the possibility of a meeting between the prime minister Costas Simitis and the archbishop of Athens and all Greece Christodoulos, on the occasion of the ecumenical patriarch's visit to Greece.
 Fishermen ended the blocking of the portsFishermen blocked the ports of Kavala, Chios and Patras and the merchant sectors of Thessaloniki and Piraeus with their fishing-boats, protesting against the high petrol price and against the EU directive which forbids them to fish within two miles from the coast.
The fishermen ended the blocking of the ports a little after midnight and as a result all itineraries will be carried out normally.
Meanwhile, as of midnight, gas will be by 8.5 drachmas less per litre and diesel by 11 drachmas.