|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-05-14
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREECE TO CHANGE ITS TACTICS FOR MARBLES RETURNAthens, 14 May 2000 (17:39 UTC+2)
The Greek government plans to adopt new principles and a new approach in its effort to have the Parthenon Marbles returned from the British Museum, according to the Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos, who met yesterday with members of the British committee supporting the Greek claim.
Mr. Pangalos stated that the first new principle was that the issue was not a difference between the Greek and British governments but concerned the two countries' cultural and representative institutions.
The second principle was that the issue was not one of administering justice.
"Third, the Marbles are an issue of cooperation between the British and Greek peoples, and one of European cooperation in the context of the new era.
"And fourth, we consider that the issue of ownership is secondary. What is important is where the Marbles are and on this we possess a catalytic argument, namely the undisturbed cohesion of the work of art called Parthenon. Its break-up and rupture by Lord Elgin at the time (early 19th century) was an act of barbarity and its vandalism can be no longer tolerated," he said.
The Culture Minister added that the new Acropolis museum, which was essential for the exhibition of the Marbles in Athens would be ready before the Athens Olympics of 2004.
 US ISSUES CONGRESSIONAL REPORT ON GREEK ELECTIONSWashington, 14 May 2000 (17:37 UTC+2)
The United States Congressional Research Service has released a report analyzing Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis' early call for elections, the climate during the pre-election period, and result of the election and the aims of the Greek government for the future.
According to wire services, the report stated that Mr. Simitis decided to forge ahead with early elections, since he believed that the success of the government in securing the criteria for entry to the European Monetary Union (EMU) would aid PASOK to remain in power.
The report added that this assessment vindicated Simitis, adding, however, that the narrow victory of PASOK strengthened the position of main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis within his party.
Regarding the government, the report said that Simitis re-appointed the basic government team, while he appointed close associates and technocrats to realize the government's agenda on domestic issues.
The report predicted that the government would continue its efforts at Greek-Turkish rapprochement, would contribute to stability in the Balkans and will move even closer to the European Union via the EMU and the European Policy of Security and Defense.
Finally, the report noted that Greek-US relations are warm, but occasionally problematic because of differences regarding the future of Yugoslavia, "anti-American terrorism in Greece" and other issues of lesser importance.
 STATE SETS OUT ECONOMIC POLICY PRIORITIESAthens, 14 May 2000 (17:40 UTC+2)
The Greek government has set out three priorities in its economic policy for the period 2000-2001, which include speedier structural reforms, implementation of all pre-election pledges for social benefits and completion of negotiations for the country's EMU membership.
Plans presented by National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou where unanimously approved during a cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
Mr. Papantoniou said that the ministry will move rapidly to abolish all market structures hindering competition and all bureaucratic procedures, including opening up certain state-licensed professions, currently under discussion by the ministry.
Furthermore, he also stated that the government will promote all structural reforms needed to open up monopoly markets in energy and telecommunications and implement its privatization program.
Lastly, the Minister stated that the government is expected to formally complete negotiations on the country's EMU membership at an EU summit in Lisbon, June 19.
 NEW RULES FOR STOCK CLOSING PRICES AS OF TOMORROWAthens, 14 May 2000 (17:40 UTC+2)
The new rules for the calculation of closing stock prices at the Athens Stock Exchange will go into effect tomorrow, May 15.
For shares listed on its main market, closing prices will be the weighted average price realized in the last 10 minutes of trade.
According to press reports, the exchange has said that "if there are no transactions during the last 10 minutes, the calculation time of the closing price is doubled to 20 minutes."
Under present rules, closing stock prices were calculated based on trades during the last 30 minutes.
 UNIONS THREATEN WITH STRIKE OVER WAGESAthens, 14 May 2000 (17:40 UTC+2)
Labor Ministry officials are to meet with the president of the General Confederation of Greek Workers' (GSEE) Christos Polyzogopoulos tomorrow in order to discuss the signing of the new collective labor contract.
The GSEE president has recommended that pay rises both this year and in 2001 be 3.5 percent, almost one percentage point higher than the inflation rate. While his proposal has been approved by representatives of GSEE's unionists affiliated with the two major political parties, PASOK and New Democracy, employers' organizations insist that salary increases be limited to 2.5 percent this year and 3 percent next year, with a further corrective rise of 0.5 percent should inflation exceed two percent this year and 2.5 percent in 2001.
 O.A. SEES GROWTH IN INTERNATIONAL PASSENGER TRAFFICAthens, 14 May 2000 (17:39 UTC+2)
Greece's national air carrier Olympic Airways has reported passenger traffic growth of 13.8 percent in its international flights during the first quarter of this year, as compared with the same period in 1999.
According to reports, about 80 percent of total flight operating revenues came from international flights.
Meanwhile, Olympic's chief executive Rod Lynch said recently that he expected 1999 losses to top $58.8 million with a profit unlikely before the end of 2001.
 GREEK HOMEOPATH TO RECEIVE GOLD MEDAL IN HUNGARYAthens, 14 May 2000 (17:38 UTC+2)
The head of the International Academy of Homeopathic Medicine on the island of Alonissos, George Vithoulkas, is to receive the Gold Medal of the Hungarian Republic from the country's president on May 16 in recognition of his work.
The ceremony is to take place in the Hungarian Parliament and is timed to coincide with the annual International Homeopathy Congress which takes place in Budapest this year. It is the latest in a number of international honors bestowed on Mr. Vithoulkas. In January he was awarded the Gold medal of the Indian Health Ministry, the first ever given to a homeopath.
 PRESIDENT OF GREECE VISITS ISRAEL, PALESTINEAthens, 14 May 2000 (17:38 UTC+2)
The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos is to conduct an official visit to Israel and Palestine between May 14-18.
The President will meet with Israel political and state leadership, while he will also hold talks with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.