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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-10-18
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH - ÅÑÁ5 THE VOICE OF GREECE
18/10/2000 10:49:42 ðì
 Concern over lack of Democracy in AlbaniaDuring a meeting of the Parliamentary committee for Foreign and Defence Affairs held yesterday, the Greek Foreign minister Yiorgos Papandreou left open the possibility for measures to be taken against Albania. These measures could include the freezing of Greek and European economic programmes.
From his side however, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas and Alternate Foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi pointed out that the European perspective of the neighboring country depended on the respect of the Greek minority's rights. Additionally, Mr. Reppas stated the latest developments at the elections in Cheimara, would be discussed during the next European Union ministerial meeting.
In the meantime, the mission of the observers of the Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe publicized the prelimenary results regarding the municipal elections in Albania. Among other things, the text states that committees of the Greek minority in Cheimara were threatened in some cases, while in three electoral centres the results were biased.
The criticism of the observers of the Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe was received by government cadres in Albania with no special reaction, since it seems they do not wish any further friction in Greek-Albanian relations.
However, it should be noted that the Albanian newspapers reacted to the Greek minority's report on the municipal elections. Besides, Prime minister Costas Simitis' proposal for a conference among the leaders of countries of South-Eastern Europe, during which the latest developments in Yugoslavia would be discussed, was accepted and the conference will be held on October 25th.
New Democracy party deputy and regional head on Foreign Affairs Dora Bakoyianni denounced the violation of the Human Rights of the Greek minority in Albania, as well as use of violence. Mrs. Bakoyianni said that the violation of the human rights and the use of violence in Albania were beyond imagination during the elections of October 15, and this in front of the very eyes of Greek deputies and international observers.
 Israeli-Palestinian agreementIsrael and the Palestinians reached an agreement on several points during the summit meeting held in Sharm El Sheih in Egypt.
According to the agreement, violence in the Palestinian territories must end, an investigation committee must be formed which will examine the recent bloodshed, while the negotiations must resume again within the framework of the peace process.
American President Bill Clinton, who took part in the conference, announced that the United States with the cooperation of the United Nations Secretary General Koffi Anan, would proceed with the two parties to the formation of a committee which would examine the recent developments and avert their repetition in the future.
From its side, within the framework of the agreement signed with the Palestinians, Israel ordered the withdrawal of its troops from Nablus in the West Bank and the re-opening of the airport in Gaza.
However, sporadic clashes continued between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers in the West Bank and the Gaza stripe in the night, while today American Secretary of State Maudeline Albright will meet with the Syrian President Basar Al Asad in Ryadh, Saudi Arabia.
 Oil prices stable but highThe Israeli-Palestinian agreement for truce in Palestine, as well as the Saudi Arabian Petrol minister's statement regarding his country's intention to increase oil production before the meeting of OPEC member-countries on November 12, contributed to the stabilization of oil prices.
However, oil prices continue to be high, a development which has affects inflation.
A pressure has been observed on the EURO with the US dollar and the oil prices rising, developments which were discussed in Luxembourg during yesterday's meeting of the 12 countries of the Euro-zone.
During the meeting, the European ministers expressed their concern over the developments in the Middle East. However, they agreed that there was no need for measures to be taken for the protection of the EURO.
In the meantime, National Economy minister Yiannos Papantoniou underlined that inflation in October would reflect the rise of oil prices and would be within the expected limits of the Greek government and in comparison to the average inflation in the European Union.
 Simitis to brief StephanopoulosPrime minister Costas Simitis will brief President Constantinos Stephanopoulos on political issues today, while from tomorrow he will begin briefing ruling PASOK deputies.
 Greek forces continue participating in ''Destine Glory''The Greek forces will continue to participate in the NATO military exercise "Destine Glory", which is taking place in Turkey, following the decision of the Alliance to reject all Turkish demands and allow the use of all air corridors over the Aegean.
Referring to the issue, Defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated that the issue was settled after long negotiations, attributing the first orders to Turkey's plans. He pointed out that the Greek war planes as of today, would fly as planned from the areas Turkey questioned.
In the meantime, preparations for the military exercise "Nikiphoros" have begun in Cyprus. The exercise is expected to be upgraded in comparison to last year and will take place in combination with the military exercise "Toxotis and Vergina" of the Greek Armed forces, in which the Greek Navy and Airforce will participate.
Defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos and Chief Army of Staff Manousos Parayoudakis will watch the last phase of the exercise. Additionally, the Greek army forces will use for the first time the Russian anti-aircraft system "Tor M-1"
 Varholomeos visits AthensEcumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, who is beginning a visit to Athens today, is scheduled to meet with Prime minister Costas Simitis, Foreign minister Yiorgos Papandreou, Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos and other top political, religious and social officials.
Ecumenical Patriarch will also visit the Metropolis of Peristeri and Megaris as well as the Metropolis of Thebes and Lebadia.
 New itineraries in the AegeanThe green light for 28 permits regarding new itineraries in the Aegean for Crete and Rhodes was given by Merchant Marine.
The measure was taken in an attempt to boost competition in navigation.
New Democracy party expressed its satisfaction over the decision.
In the meantime, yesterday, the Australian and German ambassadors in Greece expressed their governments thanks to the fishermen of Paros who helped the passengers of "Express Samina" during their visit over the spot where the tragic accident happened.
The ambassadors threw a wreath in the sea to honor the passengers lost in during the accident. In tandem, expert-divers carried out an autopsy in sunken "Express Samina" yesterday.
 First inter-border centre founded in GreeceOn October 23, Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiorgos Pachalides will found the first Greek inter-border commercial centre. The centre, which will be located in Promachonas, will amount to 3,5 billion drachmas and will be ready in summer 2001 and function next autumn.
The project aims at boosting Greek exports to neighboring Balkan countries and at creating a common market with no mediators so that the products sold will be cheaper.
 General Share Price Index drops by 1,75% yesterdayThe General Share Price Index of the Athens Stock Exchange fell yesterday by 1,75%, closing at 3724,26 points.