|Wednesday, 29 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-01-30
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 IFIR'S REPORT ON THE GREEK ECONOMYBrussels, 30 January 2000 (19:23 UTC+2)
The Institute of Financial and Industrial Research - IFIR - has released its three-monthly report on the Greek economy, which stressed that the prospects of the Greek economy remain positive and are strengthened by the constant improvement of the economic conditions in the European Union and the world.
Furthermore, the report states the view that this progress would be speedier, if infrastructure changes had not been delayed.
The Institute of Financial and Industrial Research is also stressing that the recent revaluation of the Greek drachma will contribute to the reduction of inflation pressures deriving from the sliding of the drachma to the central parity and the convergence of interest rates in drachmas with the Euro interest rates en route to European Economic and Monetary Union.
Nevertheless, it is expected that inflation will drop in the first months of 2000 and Greece will meet by the letter the relative Maastricht Treaty criteria.
 DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS AGROTICA 2000Thessaloniki, 30 January 2000 (19:22 UTC+2)
Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos visited the Thessaloniki-held 16th International Exhibition of agricultural machinery, equipment and supplies, "Agrotica 2000" this morning where he was briefed on the event's course by the fairs leaders.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos expressed his certainty that the necessary steps will be taken in order to render agricultural policy a part of an overall policy of development.
According to the Minister, this policy would boost production and make agricultural products more competitive.
 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EU FOREIGN POLICYThessaloniki, 30 January 2000 (19:23 UTC+2)
The 13th international conference titled "The European Union's unified foreign policy and the European Defense Policy" is to be organized by the House of Europe-Thessaloniki on February 10-14.
The inaugural ceremony will be held at the History Center of the Thessaloniki Municipality and will feature salutations from European, political and state officials and other dignitaries.
 S. AUSTRALIAN PM VISITS ATHENSAthens, 30 January 2000 (19:23 UTC+2)
South Australia's Prime Minister John Olsen is presently conducting a two-day visit to Athens, where he was received by the Secretary General of Expatriated Greeks Dimitris Dollis.
Mr. Olson is accompanied by the executive director of South Australia's Ministry of Industry and Trade John Cambridge, the chairman of the Intercultural and National Affairs committee Vasilis Taliantzis (who is of Greek descent) and other officials.
 NATIONWIDE WAR DRILL CONDUCTED TODAYThessaloniki, 30 January 2000 (19:23 UTC+2)
A nationwide war drill was conducted today, within the framework of the seven-day "Alexandros 2000" defense exercise.
Six hundred sirens sounded at 11 am throughout the country, in a "war alert" exercise that will last for one minute.
This first ever national trial run was held by the Defense Ministry and is being organized by the Ministry of Public Order.
A central alarm went off and in turn activated alarms in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa and Patras. A remote-controlled civil defense system then automatically activated electronic sirens that are situated on the rooftops of public buildings, police stations and factories around the country.
 BULGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTER IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 30 January 2000 (19:22 UTC+2)
Bulgaria's Foreign Minister Boico Noev met with his Greek counterpart Akis Tsochatzopoulos in Thessaloniki today.
As the meeting was not official, the two ministers made no statements following their talks although, according to reports, their discussion was an update of bilateral ties between the two countries and the present situation in the Balkans.
 DEFENSE UNDERSECRETARY IN SLOVAKIAAthens, 30 January 2000 (19:22 UTC+2)
Defense Undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis is presently on a three-day visit to Slovakia, on the invitation of his Slovak counterpart Josef Pivarci.
During his stay, Mr. Apostolakis will hold talks with the leaders of Slovakia's Ministries of defense and Economics and the discussions are expected to center around issues of bilateral and multilateral interest, focusing on matters of security and military cooperation between Greece and Slovakia.
 GREEK ECONOMY TESTED TOMORROWBrussels, 30 January 2000 (19:23 UTC+2)
ECOFIN will discuss Greece's updated convergence program for the period 1999-2002 in the presence of minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou.
Mr. Papantoniou aspires to leave Brussels bringing with him the approval of ECOFIN given the fact that the Monetary Committee has already issued a positive opinion on the Greek convergence program.
Meanwhile, the consultations of OECD specialists on the current developments in the Greek economy will open in Athens tomorrow. The consultations will focus on the preservation of the macro-economic balance through the promotion of structural changes in the public sector and the economy.
The OECD specialists will stay in Greece for three days and based on the data they will collect they will draw up the international organization's report on the state of the Greek economy.
 PRESIDENT OF CYPRUS IN GENEVA FOR TALKSGeneva, 30 January 2000 (19:23 UTC+2)
The President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides is in Geneva to take part in the 2nd round of the proximity talks on Cyprus, which begin tomorrow.
The talks are expected to last up to two weeks. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will have separate meetings with President Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in the presence of special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who will take over the supervision
of the talks on Tuesday Mr. De Soto said the talks would be focusing on four core issues: security, distribution of powers, property and territory.
 GREEK AMERICANS TO HOLD ANNUAL CYPRUS CONFERENCEWashington, 30 January 2000 (19:22 UTC+2)
Greek Americans participating in the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) conference to be held in May, will meet senior US administration officials as well as leaders from both the Senate and the House.
"With the third and most crucial round of UN Cyprus settlement talks targeted for June, our meetings with America's top policy-makers just weeks before can have a significant impact," PSEKA and Pancyprian Association of America President, Philip Christopher has said.