|Friday, 17 January 2020|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 03-06-26
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Weather forecastA fine and hot day is forecast for today. Winds northerly light to moderate turning strong in parts of the Aegean. Temperatures in Athens will range between 23 C to 37 C and in Thessaloniki between 22 C to 34 C.
(26/6/2003 12:22:00 μμ)
 E.U- U.S summit in WashingtonWith the aim of boosting transatlantic relations – following the tensions caused by the U.S led war on Iraq, this year s E.U- U.S summit meeting was held in Washington yesterday.
Despite differences, American President George Bush, the President of the EU Council, Kostas Simitis and the President of the European Commission, Romano Prodi agreed on the need for cooperation in the pursuing of common goals.
Bush described the meeting as very good and spoke of strategic partners relations, while Greek Prime-minister and President of the E.U Council, Simitis said that the meeting was fruitful and constructive underlining that Washington and Brussels should avoid the creation of tensions by correctly dealing over their differences
E.U Commission President, Romano Prodi underlined that the E.U and the U.S should stick together because Europe was too old and the U.S too young to be able to bring peace to the world. Prodi was offering a response to American Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld comment during the bitter Iraq war debate that France and Germany represented old Europe and that the center of gravity was shifting east.
The two sides reached a series of agreements to prevent the spreading of weapons of mass destruction, a legal assistance agreement allowing the U.S and the E.U law enforcement agencies mutual access to bank accounts in the fight against crime and terrorism and agreements on a number of trade issues – such as the opening of U.S-European aviation markets.
Divergence of views was noted on the question of genetically modified foods –which Bush wants the reluctant Europeans to accept- the ME, as Washington is pressuring the E.U to outlaw the militant Hams organisation as well as Iran s nuclear program.
Prime-minister Simitis said that Europe could not adopt the U.S approach to terrorism but this did not rule out close cooperation to the benefit of all.
Mr. Simitis also said that the American President promised to make all efforts to change Turkey s stand on the Cyprus issue .
Commenting on the legal assistance agreement reached at the E.U-US summit meeting the Greek Communist party said that it was an attack against peoples movements and basic elements of freedom while the Coalition of the Left and Progress party said it was contrary to European citizens willingness.
The President of the Parliament, Apostolos Kaklamanis described as justifiable the reactions of the left wing parties while government spokesman, Hristos Protopappas said that the legal assistance agreement did not create any problems for Greek citizens as the 1932 Greek-American agreement is still in effect
(26/6/2003 12:25:00 μμ)
 Greece suspected SARS victim tests negativeResults have come back negative from a German laboratory of medical tests , conducted on a visiting Chinese businessman, who has been hospitalised in Thessaloniki with symptoms of the SARS virus. However, only the results of antibody tests- expected in 15 days - can fully confirm or rule out SARS cases.
Health Minister, Kostas Stefanis said that even if the results were negative, the patient would remain in hospital and continue treatment for another 15 days.
Meanwhile, 9 people from the northern Greek city of Drama –who came into contact with the Chinese businessman-have been restricted to their homes as a preventive measure.
(26/6/2003 12:25:00 μμ)
 Civil servants salary 5% - 6,5% riseFinance Minister, Nikos Hristodoulakis will today announce the government s proposal for 5% to 6.5 % increase in civil servants salaries.
Mr. Hristodoulakis also announced that methods of conducting taxation checks by the internal revenue department will radically change with the introduction of a new law . Fines will be replaced by a point system and selection of businesses for spot cheks will be made on the basis of objective criteria, including the size of the enterprize, the type of business and the geographical location.
Hristodoulakis said the government wanted to relieve small and medium sized businesses of the fear of surprise checks.
(26/6/2003 12:28:00 μμ)