|Sunday, 26 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-06-04
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 KOSOVAR BUSINESSMEN IN THESSALONIKI TODAYŌhessaloniki, 4 June 2000 (16:01 UTC+2)
A 46-member delegation of Kosovar businessmen has embarked on a three-day visit to Thessaloniki as of today, in reciprocity to a visit of Greek businessmen to Pristina in January, which was organized by the Association of Northern Greek Industrialists and the Hellenic- American Chamber of Commerce.
The delegates are interested in Greek products suitable for Kosovo's market, as well as in representing Greek firms in the tenders of international organizations promoting the work of reconstruction.
Greece's participation in the procurements of such organizations has increased from two to 20 present since the January visit.
 GREEK DEPUTIES ATTEND WEU SESSION IN PARISParis, 4 June 2000 (16:05 UTC+2)
A delegation of Greek deputies representing all parties in Parliament are departing today for Paris in order to participate in the fourth session of the Western European Union (WEU) parliamentary assembly.
The assembly will discuss issues related to the Lisbon initiative for a "parliamentary dimension to European security and defense," the consequences of transferring WEU responsibilities to the EU, the new European security architecture and implementing the new Stability Pact for Southeastern Europe.
WEU delegates will be addressed by the organization's secretary-general, EU high representative for foreign policy and defense Javier Solana, Portuguese Defense Minister Castro Caldas and French Deputy Defense Minister Jean-Pierre Masseret.
 GREEKS BETWEEN 15-24 MOST LIKELY TO BE JOBLESSThessaloniki, 4 June 2000 (17:24 UTC+2)
Young Greeks between the ages of 15-24 are three times more likely than those nearing their 50s to be remain unemployed, and are half as likely as those nearing 30 to be without a job, according to a recent study.
The Labor Institute of the General Confederation of Greek Laborers (GSEE) presented data collected by the European Commission and Greece's National Statistics Agency which confirm the alarming unemployment rate among the country's youth.
According to the European Commission, unemployment rates among the younger generations are especially high among agrarian countries. Greece ranks third (with a rate of 31 percent), led only by Italy (33%) and Spain (40%).
 GREECE EXPECTS ECOFINS «GO AHEAD» FOR EMUAthens, 4 June 2000 (17:24 UTC+2)
The European Union's Economy and Finance Ministerial council (ECOFIN) is to convene tomorrow in a session viewed as critical for Greece's coveted accession to the Eurozone as of January 1, 2001.
The European Commission's report is viewed as a "two-sided" coin, as it, on the one hand. Proposes stringent measures for the country's economy, while, on the other, it lauds Greecefor its economic achievements.
In line with the Commisison's recommendations, the National Economy Ministry will present a specific timetable for structural changes over the next two years. Policy changes are also being worked out in health, transport and employment.
The timetable of structural changes, contains the following points: deregulation of the power and telecommunications markets; privatization, within the next 8 months, of 15 state-owned enterprises, including the Commercial Bank, which is already holding negotiations with a foreign partner; freeing the market from an array of complications stemming from the intricate system of licenses required for starting any business activity; Finally, the social security system is to be reformed by the middle of next year.
The European Commission is reportedly in favor of abolishing collective bargaining, by merely adopting minimum income regulations for employees.
 GREECE PRESENT AT «WOMEN 2000» UN ASSEMBLYNew York, 4 June 2000 (17:23 UTC+2)
Greece will participate at the United Nations General Assembly on "Women 2000: Equality of genders, development and peace for the 21st century", which gets underway in New York tomorrow.
According to the Greek government's equality secretary general Efi Bekou, "Greece has participated in preparatory discussions on the text of the finalized Proclamation (five years after the Beijing Assembly) and is harmonizing itself with the other EU countries."
Greece has insisted on the inclusion of four issues: the strengthening of institutions on promoting equality, the adoption of equality in every policy, unemployment among women which amounts to 70 percent of the total percentage of unemployed and the handling of violence against women which has taken on dimensions of an epidemic, while the situation does not differ greatly from one continent to another.
 GREECE HAS BIGGEST EXPORT-IMPORT RISE IN EUBrussels, 4 June 2000 (17:23 UTC+2)
Greece showed the highest rate of increase in exports and imports among the 15 member-states of the European Union in January to February against the same period of last year, according to Eurostat. In the two-month period, Greek exports rose by 41 percent and imports by 36 percent, Eurostat reported.
Greek exports totaled 1.8 billion euros, up half a billion euros from January-February 1999. Imports were worth 4.2 billion euros, up by 1.2 billion euros.
As a result, Greece's trade deficit widened to 2.4 billion euros in January-February from 1.7 billion euros in the same period of 1999, according to Eurostat.
 BULGARIAS DEP. ECONOMY MINISTER IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 4 June 2000 (16:28 UTC+2)
Bulgarian Deputy Economy Minister Christo Michailovski was received by Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Pashalidis in Thessaloniki on Friday, where the two men discussed bilateral relations and cooperation between Greece and Bulgaria, and the economic results of this cooperation.
Following the meeting, the Bulgarian minister said that trade between the two countries had increased significantly in the first quarter of 2000 and he estimated that bilateral trade transactions could reach record levels.
According to Mr. Michailovski, infrastructure was the sector in which both sides had expressed most interest in cooperation.
In turn, Mr. Pashalidis spoke of good bilateral economic relations and referred to the importance of Balkan reconstruction. He underlined Greece's interest in this, as expressed through the Greek plan for reconstruction in the region that is being promoted by the national economy ministry with the support of the Macedonia-Thrace ministry.
 CHINESE DELEGATION ARRIVES IN CRETE TOMORROWAthens, 4 June 2000 (16:28 UTC+2)
The People's Republic of China Deputy Constructions Minister Ye Rutang and nine Chinese mayors will arrive in Irakleio, Crete, tomorrow, according to press reports.
The Chinese delegation will arrive at the Nikos Kazantzakis airport in Irakleio at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning on board an Olympic Airways flight.
The Chinese officials will be visiting the archaeological site at Knosos, the traditional village of Arolithos, the Irakleio prefecture, the museum and the municipality of Arhanes.
 THESSALONIKI HOSTS TRANSPORTATION SYMPOSIUMThessaloniki, 4 June 2000 (16:01 UTC+2)
Over 350 delegates from 33 countries are expected to attend the 15th International Symposium on the Theory and Practice of the Economy of Transportation that will be held in Thessaloniki on June 7-9.
The Symposium, held in Thessaloniki for the first time, is an initiative of the European Conference of Transportation Ministers which is a forum of transportation ministers from 39 European countries.
The Greek delegation will be made up of 120 members, while other countries represented by large delegations will be France (31) and Belgium (19). There will also be delegations from Albania, Australia, Austria, Germany, Poland, Russia, Spain, Britain and Turkey.
 PLANS TO IMPROVE ROAD SAFETY EFFECTED ON JUNE 15Ōhessaloniki, 4 June 2000 (16:01 UTC+2)
Surveillance radar will be set into effect at four sites along motorways as of June 15, according to Ńublic Ļrder Ģinister Ģichalis Chrysohoidis.
Mr. Chrysochoidis, who is visiting Ōhessaloniki, also stated that more extensive monitoring equipment will be installed, while regional police headquarters will be given greater autonomy to conduct their own operations.
The government has vowed to tackle Greece's high rate of fatal road accidents, through a campaign to improve road quality and emergency health services, bolster the traffic police and monitor dangerous stretches of the national road network.
Some 2,000 people - the highest number in the EU after Portugal - are killed every year in an estimated 20,000 accidents, according to government figures. A further 30,000 are injured.
According to government studies, aggressive driving, drunk-driving, excessive speed and the drivers' failure to use seat belts have been pinpointed as the main reasons for the high road fatality rate.
 TRANS-BALKAN PIPELINE CONSTRUCTION BEGINS IN 2001Sofia, 4 June 2000 (17:24 UTC+2)
A U.S. company has announced that it will start construction next year of a $1.13 billion Trans-Balkan pipeline linking Bulgaria's Black Sea port of Burgas with Albania's Adriatic port of Vlore.
Laying the 900-kilometer (560 mile) pipeline across Bulgaria, FYROM and Albania will take up to four years, said Ted Ferguson, president of the New York-based AMBO Corp., which will build the pipeline.
The facility will have a daily capacity of 750,000 barrels of crude oil, which will be supplied by tankers from Russia to an oil terminal near Burgas, Mr. Ferguson said.
Under the project, financed by an international consortium, the bulk of the Russian oil is to be loaded onto 300,000-ton tankers in Vlore and reach, at lower cost, consumers in northwestern Europe and on the U.S. east coast, he said.
 GREEK FM SHOWN THE MARBLES AT BRITISH MUSEUMLondon, 4 June 2000 (16:02 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou has accepted the British Museum's invitation to tour a new hall which houses the Parthenon Marbles.
The invitation comes a few days before the Greek FM's scheduled appearance before a House of Commons bipartisan committee examining the issue of the exquisite Sculptures.
Mr. Papandreou is accompanied by Culture Ministry Secretary-General Lina Mendoni and Jules Dassin, who is also to address the committee on behalf of the Melina Mercouri Foundation, which is named after his late wife who campaigned for the Marbles' return.
 JOINT DECLARATION ISSUED AT BERLIN CONFERENCEBerlin, 4 June 2000 (14:48 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Simitis met briefly with US President Bill Clinton with whom he reportedly discussed Balkan and regional issues.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of an international, Berlin-held summit titled "Progressive Governing in the 21st Century". Which focused on efforts to better manage a global economy to the benefit of all.
The conference constituted the first time that the central-left forces and the social democrats searched for a cohesive strategy in the new era's problems.
Addressing a news conference after the conference, the Greek Premier stated that the participating leaders agreed that the state should combine with market forces to create full employment and social justice. He further added that efforts for achieving a common view will continue, and a new meeting such as the current one in Berlin would be held in two months from now in Lisbon, although he did not rule out Greece being the host country.
Mr. Simitis stated that the conference dealt with the repercussions of globalization and keeping them in check, economic stability and growth in a new economic environment, the information society, education, social cohesion and justice.
He further added that issues were pondered, such as the new quality of life and the authorities developing -- for example those of the mass media and information, and referred to the international financial concerns that were taking decisions on the people's standard of living -- genetically modified products and biotechnology... things that the people were not asked to approve.
"We need more autonomy for the citizens, and unobstructed development. And it is very positive that we sit together, share our experiences and exchange views in order to find a common stance on the problems that concern everyone," Mr. Simitis said.
"We are at a stage of searching, because the end of ideologies has not come, but rather the end of solutions founded on a single rule, such as the class struggle, for example," he added.
The conference closed with a joint declaration that read as follows:
"We believe market economies must be combined with social responsibility in order to create long-term growth, stability and full employment."
Of the state's role it said: "It must maintain stability in macro-economic policy, supporting sound public finances and a firm stance against inflation; it should also promote financial market stability, transparency and fair competition."
Politicians should help "improve the institutional framework in which financial markets operate, in terms of the adoption of efficient regulation, supervising and accounting, codes of conduct, principles of sound corporate governance.
"The state should not only check the excesses of financial markets but ensure wealth being created by new technologies like the Internet is fairly distributed."
There was agreement in the summit on the need for a "fair sharing of responsibility between the public and private sector".