|Monday, 29 November 2021|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 01-03-29
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH ERA-5. THE VOICE OF GREECE
29/3/2001 12:31:05 μμ
 Greek foreign minister in SkopjeThe Greek foreign minister George Papandreou effected an official visit to Skopje on Wednesday and had meetings with the president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Boris Trajkovski, prime minister Ljupco Georgjevski, the former president Kiro Gligorov, the president of the country's Olympic Committee Vasil Topurkovski, the leader of the Socialdemocrats' Union Branci Cevernkovski and the leader of the Democratic party of the Albanians Arben Jaferi.
In a press conference after the meetings, the Greek foreign minister pointed out that Greece was willing to offer any kind of assistance it could, on a bilateral basis - and within the European Union (EU) and NATO framework - to help overcome the crisis in FYROM.
Mr Papandreou also stressed that the aim was not to create new countries with ethnically pure entities, neither the change of borders, because something like this would create new problems.
Concluding he stressed that Europe's experience in such matters was clear and for this reason ''we should accept the existing borders, cooperate and communicate between us.''
Meanwhile, two operations of FYROM's army are under way in an attempt to drive Albanian guerillas away from the country, while autonomists are threatening with counter attacks.
On Wednesday, a Skopjan soldier was killed and two were wounded when their vehicle hit on a mine near the border with Kosovo.
 New international airportThe new international airport ''Eleftherios Venizelos'' opened in Spata today. The first KLM flight to Amsterdam took off at 06:00 this morning, while 383 flights are scheduled in the day.
After 62 years, the lights of the old ''Hellinikon'' airport closed on Wednesday night. The opening of the new international airport is a temporary culmination, as other major projects are underway, stated prime minister Kostas Simitis.
In addition, Mr Simitis noted that the next priority is the Rio-Antirio bridge and certain parts of Egnatia Road already underway.
 Domestic developmentsPrime minister Kostas Simitis briefed on Wednesday the president of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos on current domestic and foreign policy issues.
On his way out of the presidential mansion, prime minister Simitis said the Stockholm summit was positive in the direction of social cohesion and solidarity.
Mr Simitis also expressed satisfaction over the course of the Greek economy and said that measures to fight poverty will be announced by May.
Meanwhile the cabinet meets today on the issue of poverty and also on the general fiscal policy and social protection, under the chairmanship of the prime minister.
The relative program includes, among other things, measures to support lower incomes, providing for 600 billion drachma credits which the government will promote in the next three years. It also provides for measures to support families with many children and also increase of the lower pensions of farmers.
According to information, cuts on defense expenses are being studied, so as to find the 600 billion drachmas required for the next three years.
 Defense issuesSpeaking at a joint session of the Greek parliamentary foreign affairs and defense committee and the West European Union Political Committee Assembly on Wednesday, the Greek national defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos warned that the European security would be tried and judged in the Balkans in the next 10 years.
Referring to the situation in FYROM, Mr Tsochatzopoulos reiterated that Greece does not accept violence as means to vindicate human rights, as the EU does not accept for the same reason the use of violence for the change of borders.
The Turkish defense minister Sabahtin Cakmakoglu will meet his Greek counterpart Akis Tsochatzopoulos on the sidelines of the meeting of defense minister of Balkan countries, due to take place in Skopje on April 5th.
The Turkish defense ministry issued an announcement, stressing that the meeting was scheduled following communication between the two ministers.
 Radio stations have recourse to State CouncilEight radio stations which were not given a permit to broadcast had recourse to the State Council, denouncing the procedures of receiving the relative permits and the suspension of their operation.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas rejected their allegations about attempts to gag radio stations, stressing that the government did nothing more than to apply the law.
 Developments in ND partyThe New Democracy Executive committee met on Wednesday and decided to institutionalize a post of secretary elected by the broadened central committee.
Earlier, the proposals of the ND deputies Dora Bakogianni and Dimitris Sioufas regarding the adoption of a term of office for the party's president and the change of the party's emblem were rejected.
 Law on labourThe law 2874/2000 on labour relations that was passed last December, will be in force as of April 1st.
The law provides for mass lay-offs, flexible working hours, reduced employer contributions and in general a new model of labour organisation in the private sector.
 Amendment on illegal immigrationAccording to an amendment tabled in Parliament by the Public Order ministry, does not rule out the possibility of a new wave of illegal immigrants from FYROM to Greece and provides for employing border guards to be used in areas not close to the borders as well.
 Health alertHealth and Market Services are on a state of alert across the country, in view of the Easter holidays, as dangerous lots of meet have been imported in Greece from Holland.
Meanwhile, more than 40 tons of fresh pork meat infected by the virus of the ''foot and mouth disease'' have been seized, while the Thessaloniki Foodstuff Control Center seized 35 tons, and 6 more tons were seized by the Veterinary Service in Iraklion, Crete.
 New fuel pricesA change in fuel prices is in force as of midnight Wednesday. Specifically, the price of gasoline went up 4.5 drachmas per litre and heating oil and diesel by 1.2 drachmas.
The relative rises in Greece are attributed to the fact that the euro dropped against the dollar.
 Athens bourseOn the Athens stock exchange, the general share price index dropped slightly by 0.23% on Wednesday, closing at 3,050.00 points