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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-03-08

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Crisis in southern Serbia
  • [02] Upcoming visit to Greece by Pope John Paul II
  • [03] Changes in immigration policy
  • [04] Report on high growth rate
  • [05] Social security system
  • [06] ND party leader in Brussels
  • [07] Inner cabinet meeting on sports
  • [08] World Women's Day
  • [09] Newly-founded political party
  • [10] Court ruling on family allowances
  • [11] Pensioners ask for a rise
  • [12] Nation-wide census
  • [13] Changes in education
  • [14] Relocation plans for Hellinikon aiport
  • [15] New rates for Russian natural gas
  • [16] Reduced fuel prices this week
  • [17] Athens bourse

  • NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA-5 THE VOICE OF GREECE

    8/3/2001 12:59:48 μμ

    [01] Crisis in southern Serbia

    Addressing the American Senate, Nato Secretary General Lord Robertson announced that the Yugoslav forces might return to a small part of the security zone between Kosovo and Skopje.

    At the same time, the United Nations Security Council is looking into measures to deal with the situation in the region. On Wednesday, two Serb soldiers died and two more were injured when their vehicle hit a mine near Presevo in Southern Serbia.

    In addition, two armed men were injured in exchange of fire with American soldiers of KFOR near the FYROM border. Furthermore, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees announced Wednesday night that 1,000 Albanians, living north- west of Skopje fled from their homes, following incidents that took place by the presence of Albanian guerillas.

    Belgrade has asked to hold UN-sponsored discussions with the representatives of the Albanians of Kosovo, while Tirana denounced the Albanian extremists actions.

    In the meantime, Greek foreign minister George Papandreou reiterated that the International community would not tolerate any actions that could jeopardize stability in the region. Greece is sending medical and telecommunications equipment to the Skopjan armed forces.

    In parallel, national defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos stressed that FYROM enjoyed Greece's unreserved political support and added that the Greek General National Defense Staff was sending aid in secondary military equipment to Skopje.

    Meanwhile, the Bulgarian Parliament is expected to ratify an agreement on the dispatch of ammunition and machinery to Skopje, gratis.

    [02] Upcoming visit to Greece by Pope John Paul II

    The Standing Holy Synod of the Church of Greece said ''YES'' on Wednesday to a visit by Pope John Paul II to Greece. Metropolitan bishop Efstathios of Sparti read the relative communique, stressing that keeping a broad mind, the Church of Greece despite its reservations it has the right to have about this visit, does not wish to formulate a refusal to meet the Roman Catholic pontiff's wish.

    The nature of the Pope's visit will be a pilgrimage and a joint committee will be set up to look into the details of the visit and also examine the participation of the Church in the various events that will take place during the Pope's stay in Athens.

    According to information, archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece will meet the Roman Catholic pontiff at the airport together with the president of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos and the country's political leadership.

    [03] Changes in immigration policy

    Interior minister Vasso Papandreou announced during the debate on the bill on immigration in the Greek parliament on Wednesday that the validity of the immigrant's ''Green Cards'' will be extended, while the penalties for those who will wish to take advantage of the immigrants living in Greece will be more strict.

    In addition, the Athens Bar Association examined - in a special event - the changes that are about to take place in the immigration policy.

    [04] Report on high growth rate

    The Greek economy's growth rate was higher in 2000 than the average European Union growth rate for the fifth consecutive year and ranged at 4.1%, according to a relative document the European Commission released on Wednesday.

    Nevertheless, It stressed that Greece must maintain the fiscal discipline, so as to achieve stability in prices and seek to increase productive and reduce unemployment.

    [05] Social security system

    Labour minister Tasos Yannitsis announced that the report of a British firm that has assumed to carry out a study on the Greek social security system will be released by the end of March.

    Meanwhile the labour ministry gave assurances that the 15 year limit regarding the consolidation of retirement eligibility will not be affected.

    [06] ND party leader in Brussels

    The New Democracy (ND) party leader Kostas Karamanlis is in Brussels and will have contacts about the prospects of institutional changes in the European Union which were decided upon at the recent EU summit meeting in Nice.

    On Wednesday, Mr Karamanlis met with the European Commission president Romano Prodi and had talks on the recent development in the western Balkans and the impact of the Turkish Economic Crisis.

    [07] Inner cabinet meeting on sports

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis will chair an inner cabinet meeting today -Thursday- on the issue of the government's policy in the sector of sports.

    A bi-ministerial meeting will follow on the issue of equality of the sexes, on the occasion of Women's Day celebrated across the world today.

    [08] World Women's Day

    On the occasion of the World Women's Day, the Women's network of the Australian Council of Hellenism Abroad organize an international conference in Sydney for March 9 to 11, in cooperation with the Greek and Greek-Cypriot Women's Organization.

    The conference is entitled ''From the Village to the World Village'' and will cover a large range of issue concerning the position and the future of Greek and Greek-Cypriot women living in Australia.

    The speakers will be from the Academic, political, business, and scientific world and also from the arts and the media.

    It is the first large conference taking place in Australia on the issue of women.

    [09] Newly-founded political party

    Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos submitted the founding declaration of his newly-established political party called ''Free Citizens' Movement'' to the Speaker of the Greek parliament and the Supreme Court of Appeal.

    [10] Court ruling on family allowances

    According the final ruling of the Special Supreme Court Wednesday night, both spouses employed in the Public Sector are eligible to a family allowance.

    [11] Pensioners ask for a rise

    During a meeting with pensioners on Wednesday, prime minister Kostas Simitis stated that the government had fulfilled its pledge to increase the low pensions of the Social Security Fund to 152,000 drachmas. However, the pensioners asked for a rise in pensions to 200,000 drachmas.

    [12] Nation-wide census

    Employees of the National Statistics Service are threatening to hold a strike from March 15 to 20, while a nation-wide census is scheduled to take place on March 18.

    [13] Changes in education

    Education minister Petros Efthymiou stated on Wednesday that the bill on the upgrading of Technological Education Institutes - TEI - will have been tabled in parliament by next Friday, March 16.

    Mr Efthymiou reiterated that the relative bill ensures the continuation of the Institutes and also the consolidation of the certificates and the graduates' professional rights.

    [14] Relocation plans for Hellinikon aiport

    The last detail for the relocation of Hellinikon airport to Spata and the plans to develop the area of Hellinikon were examined on Wednesday at a meeting under the prime minister.

    Environment minister Kostas Laliotis and culture minister Evangelos Venizelos stated that the works in Hellinikon will serve the Olympic Games and will be constructed according to the schedule. They added that the relocation will take place in February 2002 and the plant of the airplanes' maintenance will be relocated exactly one year after.

    [15] New rates for Russian natural gas

    Upon his return from Moscow on Wednesday, development minister Nikos Christodoulakis stated that the issue of the rates of the Russian natural gas - an especially important issue after the liberalization of the electric energy market and electric power production by individuals - was settled in a positive way for Greece.

    The rise in the natural gas price was fixed at 5% for the five year period 1998 - 2003, instead of 22% the Russians were asking initially.

    [16] Reduced fuel prices this week

    As of today -Thursday- fuel prices will cost less, following a drop to the international prices of crude oil. Consequently, gas will cost 4 drachmas less per litre, heating oil by 5, while diesel will drop by 2.5 drachmas per litre.

    [17] Athens bourse

    On the Athens stock exchange, the general share price index went up by 0.26% on Wednesday, closing at 3,174.21 points.
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