|Monday, 29 November 2021|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-03-15
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA 5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
15/3/2001 12:51:20 μμ
 Worldwide alert on ''foot and mouth'' diseaseIt seems that the foot and mouth disease is turning into a worldwide epidemic, as new cases have been detected in Argentina, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The spreading of the disease is causing great concern in Europe and across the world, whole the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization is warning of a world threat and the European Union (EU) Standing Veterinary Committee has taken extra measures to deal with the disease.
The United States (US) and five other countries have closed their borders to meat and dairy products, while strict inspections are carried out at the borders of Germany with France. Meanwhile, the Greek authorities are on the alert, and decided that all imports of meat products would from now on require the approval of the Agriculture ministry central service.
 Amendment on repatriated GreeksAccording to an amendment tabled in parliament on Wednesday by interior minister Vasso Papandreou, repatriated Greeks from abroad who have proof of their Hellenic nationality will be allowed to change their names and surnames into Greek ones.
 PASOK Executive Office meetingDuring a meeting of the ruling Pasok party executive office on Wednesday, prime minister Kostas Simitis announced his intention to run for the presidency of the ruling PASOK party at its congress in 2002 and if elected to lead the next general elections.
After the session, the prime minister pointed out the need for the party's renewal which - as he said - did not aim to get rid of certain persons and promote others and then urged for a coordinated dialogue in unity that would culminate at the party's congress. In addition, Mr Simitis announced the unanimous decision of the executive office members to present their views on issues pertaining to the ruling party's enlargement and renewal.
According to information, interior minister Vasso Papandreou stressed at the meeting that she was ready to set her resignation at the prime minister's disposal, while the rest of the members of the body adopted Mrs Papandreou's stand.
National defence minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos assessed that from the moment discussion about the party's enlargement began, PASOK suffered a damage and pointed out that what was required was renewal of policy and not of persons.
Finally, merchant marine minister Christos Papoutsis criticised government officials and Eurodeputies who do not belong to the movement and criticize the government for its options.
 Planned social security reformsLabour minister Tasos Yannitsis announced that the government's proposals on the social security system would be released in early April, adding that a dialogue would follow with the social bodies.
Meanwhile, the issue has triggered-off strong reactions in trade unions, in view of the convention of the General Confederation of Greek Workers which starts today - Thursday, as all the sectors are expected to express their opposition to the promoted proposals.
 Report on inflationThe annual report of the Bank of Greece foresees that inflation will drop to 3% at the end of the year and to 2% in 2002. The report is further underlining the need for a more strict fiscal discipline, by holding back salaries and also by speeding up structural changes.
The governor of the Bank of Greece Loukas Papadimos handed the report to the speaker of the Greek parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis on Wednesday, stating among other things that he was optimistic about the course of the inflation rate.
 Nation-wide censusIt is expected that the nation-wide census will take place as planned on March 18th and without any problems, as according to a recent court ruling, the strike the employees of the National Statistics Service had announced to hold today, was illegal and undue.
 Memorandum on Road Axis ''10''A ministerial meeting will take place in Thessaloniki today in the presence of transport minister Christos Verelis, on the issue of upgrading and improving the road axis ''10'', which is crossing Yugoslavia and is the basic exit of Greece's trade transports. The ministers of Greece, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Bulgaria, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia and Austria will sign a relative memorandum at the meeting.
 Education reformA meeting on Wednesday between the leadership of the education ministry and university rectors on the issue of upgrading the Technological Education Institutes (TEI), by equating them with Higher Education ones was unsuccessful.
The rectors insist on evaluating the TEI's prior to their entry in the Higher Education, while education minister Petros Efthymiou stated he was determined to table the relative bill without any changes, by Friday at the latest.
 Constitutional revisionThe revision of the Constitution brings radical changes to the way the Greek parliament is functioning. The relative institutional changes are meant to upgrade the role of deputies, said PASOK speaker Evangelos Venizelos, while the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party stated that the changes were pointing at the right direction.
The Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress and the Greek communist party expressed their objections to the relative constitutional changes, while the speaker of the Greek parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis said the changes were necessary.
 Construction permits and pensionsSpeaking at the National Council of Administrative Reforms, on Wednesday, interior minister Vaso Papandreou announced that construction permits will be issued within 10 days and pensions within two months.
Mrs Papandreou also announced that a new way of drawing up the state budget is being studied in cooperation with the finance ministry, so that the salaries of the employees and credits to services may depend on their performance.
 New airport ''Eleftherios Venizelos''A plane of Aegean Airlines landed without any problem on Wednesday at Eleftherios Venizelos airport. The managing director of the company ''International Athens Airport'' Mr Matias, stated immediately afterwards that the new airport is completely ready and that it will operate in complete security.
 Anti-terrorism lawGovernment spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated on Wednesday that the government had requested and would use the political parties' proposals on the anti-terrorist law and pointed out that there was no question of revoking or changing the letter and the spirit of the law.
Mr Reppas also made it clear that the specific legislation had no relation whatsoever with the corresponding legislation of the former Mitsotakis government and newspaper directors would in no way be imprisoned.
 World Consumers DayOn the occasion of the World Consumers Day celebrated today, the president of INKA - the Consumers Institute - Charalambos Kouris gave a press conference on Wednesday on the security of foodstuff. Mr Kouris advised consumers to be especially careful in the consumption of dairy products and alcoholic drinks.
 Changes in fuel pricesAs of today, heating oil will cost by 7.3 drachmas less and diesel by 2.4 drs, while the price of super will go up by 1 drachma.
 Athens bourseThe latest significant losses in Wall Street and all the other European stock markets, affected the Athens stock exchange as well, where the general share price index noted losses of 5.19% on Wednesday.