|Sunday, 26 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-06-14
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 INCREASE OF 8.9% IN INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTIONAthens, 14 June 2000 (17:09 UTC+2)
An increase of 8.9% was recorded in the industrial production index last March, while in the first trimester of 2000 it was increased by 4.96% compared to the same period in 1999. The industrial production explosion recorded last March is due to the increase recorded in the secondary indexes of food, beverages, textile materials, timber, publications, oil and coal by-products, chemical products and equipment.
Based on data provided by the Greek National Statistics Agency on the month in question, the mine production general index showed an increase of 14.7% and the electricity, natural gas and water production sectors increased by 17.6%.
 THESSALONIKI HOSTS INT/L MEDICAL CONGRESSThessaloniki, 14 June 2000 (11:47 UTC+2)
An international medical congress, titled "Globalization, Peace and Health"Towards New Medicine" is to be held in Thessaloniki this Friday, June 16, at the city's Interbalkan Medical Center.
According to the Athens Medical Center's CEO George Apostolopoulos, who is also the founder and CEO of Thessaloniki's new Center, the congress is to inaugurate the Interbalkan Medical Center's scientific work, one day before its official opening.
The congress will be attended by an array of leading physicians, both from Greece and abroad, as well as officials from international organizations.
The chairman of the congress' organizing committee will be Ohio University cardiology and pharmacology professor Haris Boudoulas, corresponding member of the Athens Academy.
 THOUSANDS GATHER FOR CHURCH RALLY IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 14 June 2000 (21:10 UTC+2)
Thousands of flag-bearing Greek citizens traveled from all corners of the country to support the rally held in Thessaloniki, which called for religious faith to be included in the personal details printed on all new identity cards.
Archibishop of Athens and All of Greece Christodoulos vehemently expressed the view that certain circles were using the identity card issue as a means of attacking the Christian faith, stating that "The issue of removing religious beliefs from identity cards solely concerns the State".
The hordes of people, who arrived in over 700 coaches and thousands of cars, gathered in Thessaloniki's city centre not only entirely blocking Aristotelous Square, but also going all the way down Aristotelous Street, spreading as far as Egnatia, Nikis Avenue, and the side roads leading to the Square, Tsimiski, Ermou and Mitropoleos.
The Archibishop's speech was accompanied by constant chants of "Greece means Orthodoxy", "the youth does not want the new identity cards" and "Victory begins in Thessaloniki" amongst other slogans.
 ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS: THE ISSUE IS NOT JUST THE IDENTITY CARDSThessaloniki, 14 June 2000 (19:00 UTC+2)
Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece speaking at Aristotelous Square in Thessaloniki this afternoon before thousands of people in a rally organized by the Hierarchy of the Church of Greece, expressed the view that behind the identity cards issue are hidden the efforts made by certain circles to hurt the Christian faith itself. The rally was held in protest to a decision by the Greek government not to list religion on the identity cards.
Archbishop Christodoulos stated that the ulterior motive is to gradually distance religion from public life and used as an example the views expressed from time to time such as, to remove the phrase that refers to the Holy Trinity from the opening of the Greek constitution, to make marriage mandatory for all, to downgrade the Church and not be the prevailing one as article 3 of the constitution stipulates, the parliament members and the president of the republic should not have to take a religious oath and that the constitution must change so that the development of the students' religious conscience will not be among the goals of education.
The Archbishop stressed that it is clear to everyone that the issue is not simply the identity cards but the faith itself which the people do not want to negotiate or keep it hidden. He said that "while others do not want to mention what their religious faith is, we are proud to be what we are".
Archbishop Christodoulos also stressed that in no other place of the world people and religion are so closely linked and added that the Greek people want to know why the rush displayed in the case of the identity cards and the hatred toward the Church. He also wondered why this stubborn persistence to a decision that brings division and is not wanted or accepted by the faithful, why this contempt toward the Hierarchy of the Church and why this surprise move by the government.
 THE TOURIST WAVE TO GREECE IS ON THE RISEThessaloniki, 14 June 2000 (17:53 UTC+2)
The tourist wave to Greece in the month of April developed in a positive way as the hotel bookings by foreign tourists increased by 41.184 corresponding to a 3.92% rise, while the hotels were full up to 45.42% of their capacity compared to 43.71% in April 1999.
According to Greek National Statistics Agency figures, the tourist arrivals with chartered flights at the country's main airports namely, Athens, Rhodes, Corfu, Heraklion and Thessaloniki, that represent 70% of the arrivals in the specific category, were 304.473 compared to April 1999 which corresponds to an increase of 16.12%.
The biggest increase in arrivals (192.38%) was recorded at the airport of Corfu that received 15.040 tourists compared to 5.144 in April 1999, while the biggest decline of 25.42% was recorded at the airport of Thessaloniki.
 GAINS OF 1.16% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 14 June 2000 (17:32 UTC+2)
Gains of 1.16% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange and the general index was at 4.366,61 points, while the volume of transactions was at 119 billion drachmas.
Indicative of the market's positive picture was the fact that of the stocks trading today 305 had gains and 33 recorded losses.
 SCEPTICISM EXPRESSED BY MR. SEFIHA REGARDING BRUNNER'S EXTRADITION FROM SYRIAThessaloniki, 14 June 2000 (17:32 UTC+2)
Thessaloniki's Jewish Community president Andreas Sefiha expressed the view that the change in Syria's regime after the death of president Hafez al Assad will not contribute to the arrest of the "Butcher of Thessaloniki" Alois Brunner, who is wanted for Nazi war crimes and according to evidence, lives in Syria.
Mr. Sefiha speaking to MPA expressed the belief that in case Syria is committed to protect Brunner it will continue to respect Hafez al Assad's pledge and will not surrender him. Mr. Sefiha also expressed the wish for a change in the Syrian policy that will lead to the extradition of Alois Brunner, who has to be taken to courts even though he is 85 years old because his crimes are so many that his old age can not be used as an excuse to avoid prosecution. Mr. Sefiha referred to the example of the "Butcher of Lyon" who was brought before justice in spite of the fact that he was very old.
Brunner, now 85, is one of the leading names in the list with Nazi war criminals and lives for a number of years in Damascus, Syria. France and Germany have asked for his extradition repeatedly but president Assad had maintained that Brunner was not in Syria even though Israeli secret agents had photographed him in Damascus 3 years ago.
Brunner was one of the organizers of the holocaust of at least 130.000 Jews from Greece, the Czech Republic, Austria and France while he was also the right hand of Adolf Eichman who was in charge of the Nazi regime's "death machine".
Thessaloniki's Jewish Community president Andreas Sefiha had stated recently to Macedonian Press Agency that as far as he knows both the German and the Israeli information services have evidence proving that Brunner lives in Syria. He also said that the Syrian authorities have sheltered and continue to shelter Brunner because he helped in the organizing of the Syrian secret services.
It should be noted that the infamous war criminal lives in Damascus as "Dr. Fischer".
Brunner is wanted by the Interpol and the German government offers a DM500.000 reward for information leading to his arrest, while he is also wanted by the French authorities given the fact that he was sentenced to death twice by a Paris court when he was found guilty for the deaths of 25.000 Jews among them 250 small children at the Dransy Nazi concentration camp.
Brunner is the one who sent 19 groups of Jews from Thessaloniki to the Nazi death chambers and played a leading role in the destruction of the city's Jewish community.
 INTERBALKAN MEDICAL CENTER, NEW ERA FOR GREECEThessaloniki, 14 June 2000 (14:40 UTC+2)
The Interbalkan European Medical Center, a member of the G. Apostolopoulos Holding, S.A. group of companies, is the largest private investment in the area of tertiary level private patient healthcare to take place in Thessaloniki, and Northern Greece in general, during the last 20 years.
The investment amounts to 30 billion drachmas (privately financed) and includes the purchase of 90,000 square meters of land in eastern Thessaloniki, construction of a building of 52,000 square meters, and the outfitting with modern equipment.
According to company reports, turnover and profits are projected as follows:
2nd 6-months 2000 Revenues of 7.5 billion with Profits of 800.0 million
2001 Revenues of 26.3 billion with Profits of 4.5 billion
2002 Revenues of 32.0 billion with Profits of 6.2 billion.
The facility is equipped with the necessary infrastructure allowing for telemedicine communications between the Interbalkan European Medical Center and the Group's diagnostic centers located in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.
It also provides direct transportation links between the Interbalkan European Medical Center and Balkan capitals using the hospital's transport capability to serve patients.
 INTERBALKAN MEDICAL CENTER IS STATE-OF-THE-ARTThessaloniki, 14 June 2000 (14:39 UTC+2)
George Apostolopoulos, founder and president of the Athens Medical Center, who had declared 15 years ago that "no Greek should seek medical care abroad", is now realizing an ambitious dream that has culminated into a tremendous project, one with national, social, cultural, and scientific importance.
Covering an area of 52,000 square meters, the facilities of the Interbalkan European Medical Center include general and special surgery departments, intensive care units, recovery areas, diagnostic laboratories, and emergency care services.
Specifically, it offers a total of 445 nursing beds for general, obstetrical/gynecological, and pediatric patients; 60 intensive care beds (adult, pediatric, and neonatal), with the special capability of treating extreme trauma cases, burn patients, and patients requiring long-term care, as well as, patients seeking hemodialysis treatment; 27 fully-equipped surgical suites, eight of which have radioactive shielding; ten delivery rooms, 12 recovery rooms.
Moreover, it features highly specialized solid organ and bone marrow transplantation units, molecular biology, prenatal care, rehabilitation, etc. It also has a special radiotherapy unit, utilizing open radioactive sources) the only such unit in Thessaloniki, as well as two modern digital cardiac catherization units (biplane), designed specifically for the detection and diagnosis of congenital heart disease in newborns and children.
The facilities include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging unit (MRI 1,5 Tesla) with highly specialized applications, including bloodless cardiac catheterizations for patients at high risk with traditional invasive cardiological techniques.
- Magnetic resonance imaging unit (open type), the only one in Thessaloniki, for patients suffering claustrophobia.
- 3 high-resolution CT Scanners.
- Non-invasive lithotripsy unit.
- Nuclear Medicine capability with 2 Ă cameras, color Doppler ultrasound, laser, etc.
- Radiotherapy Center with 2 linear accelerators 20 and 6 MV of the latest technology, simulators designing radiotherapy treatment.
The center also has an urgent outpatient care clinic and routine ambulatory care clinics with all medical specialties, examination/office areas for cooperating physicians, resuscitation rooms, and an ambulatory surgery clinic (1-Day Clinic).
The Center, which is equipped with a helipad, also has two state-of-the-art conference/seminar amphitheaters (Vergina with 400 seats and Pella with 350 seats), with direct audio-visual link to the surgical suites.
 STATE ADAMANT, DECISION ON IDs IS A «DONE DEAL»Athens, 14 June 2000 (14:04 UTC+2)
The government's decision to bar the mention of religious affiliation from the state-issued identity cards is final, Prime Minister Costss Simitis stressed most categorically last night during the PASOK party's Executive Bureau session.
During the same meeting, former minister Evangelos Venizelos criticized both Justice Minister Michalis Stathopoulos and the chairman of the Authority for the Protection of Personal Data Constantinos Dafermos for their handling of the issue.
When Mr. Venizelos stated that the government conducts talks with every union or special interest group, but not the Church, the Premier sharply retorted that the state is not in joint-governance with the church.
 GREEK MDs INVENT DEVICE FOR SPINAL CONDITIONSThessaloniki, 14 June 2000 (13:31 UTC+2)
A new transplant device used in treating spinal conditions has been invented by a group of doctors from the neurosurgery clinic of Thessaloniki's Aristotle University and will be presented at the "Neurosurgery of 2000" conference in Thessaloniki on Friday.
The device, called PARM , is placed between two vertebrae - replacing a disk - and is the result of long years of research on animals, in cooperation with the hospital's veterinary clinic. Its advantage is that it remains in place without slipping, unlike its predecessors.
According to Dr. Philip Tsitsopoulos, associate professor of neurosurgery at the Aristotle Univeristy of Thessaloniki, PARM is "the most modern means of access to endocranial injuries."
Other new techniques to be presented at the conference include "minimal invasive neurosurgery," which has been developed for endocranial operations that are on the increase due to the rise in the number of road accidents.
 ONLY 44.1% OF THE EU CITIZENS SUPPORT TURKEY'S MEMBERSHIPNicosia, 14 June 2000 (17:54 UTC+2)
Just 44.1% of the European Union citizens support Turkey's accession and the rest view the violation of human rights as the biggest obstacle to its European Union membership.
The opinion poll that brought the results mentioned above was conducted last November by the International Research Institute INRA, in cooperation with Bilesim International, its representative in Turkey.
 CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX YOUTH CONFERENCE IN ISTANBULIstanbul, 14 June 2000 (17:14 UTC+2)
A world conference on the young people in the Church of the 3rd Millennium is organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate to take place in Istanbul on June 18-25. The Christian Orthodox conference is under the auspices of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and is placed within the framework of the celebrations for the 2000 years since the birth of Christ.
The conference will be attended by youth representatives from all the Patriarchates, the Orthodox Theology Schools and Academies, International Church Organizations and International Cultural Institutions.
In the conference will be examined issues concerning the clergy and the monastic life, the mother tongue of those living abroad, the challenges presented by the 3rd millennium, the problems of drugs and AIDS, environmental protection, social justice and human rights, unemployment, war and peace and the experience of the young members of the Orthodox Christian Diaspora.
 THE DEPOSED KING OF GREECE APPEALED TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS COURTStrasbourg, 14 June 2000 (17:32 UTC+2)
The deposed King of Greece Konstantinos appealed to the European Court for Human Rights asking for a ruling that will force the Greek authorities to return to him the property expropriated by the Greek state.
The deposed King maintains that the expropriation of his estate violates the right to property which is protected by the European Treaty for Human Rights. The Greek authorities maintain that the property claimed by the deposed King was never the property of the former royal family but it was assigned to it during the time it was in power.
The European Court for Human Rights is expected to issue its ruling on the case in the next few months.
 THE JEHOVAH WITNESSES CONSENT TO BLOOD TRANSFUSIONNew York, 14 June 2000 (17:14 UTC+2)
The Jehovah Witnesses with a decision marking a 180 degrees change in the policy they were following until now allow the blood transfusions in life threatening situations without risking to be excommunicated.
The decision in question was taken in a secret meeting of the New York based 12member world administrative council of the Jehovah Witnesses and was characterized as a "small adjustment" that comes after decades of strong criticism made by the international mass media and many humanitarian organizations regarding the cases of children who were led to death or got very close to dying because of the blood transfusion ban.
However, the Jehovah Witnesses spokesman in Britain stated that the rejection of blood transfusion is still a "fundamental value" for them.
 JEHOVAHS WITNESSES ACCEPT BLOOD TRANSFUSIONSNew York, 14 June 2000 (14:45 UTC+2)
Jehovah's Witnesses will from now on accept blood transfusions in life threatening cases, thereby overturning the denomination's former negative stance on the procedure, without facing excommunication.
According to the New York Times, the decision to allow blood transfusions was taken during a secret meeting of the religious community's 12 governing members who characterized the change as a "slight adjustment".
The decision follows decades of adverse publicity about adults and children who have died or came close to death because the life-saving blood transfusion was forbidden by their faith.
One case in point came to last week when a Jehovah's Witness who had lost five pints of blood in a machete attack, renounced his faith just before he lost consciousness so that he could accept a blood transfusion.