|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-06-19
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 ΔΙΑΔΗΛΩΣΗ ΣΤΟ ΠΟΡΤΟ ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΑΝΕΡΓΙΑΠόρτο, 19 June 2000 (19:48 UTC+2)
Δεκάδες χιλιάδες διαδηλωτών συγκεντρώθηκαν στο Πόρτο, 35 χιλιόμετρα από το μέρος όπου γίνεται η σύνοδος κορυφής της ΕΕ, για να διαμαρτυρηθούν για την ανεργία στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ενωση.
Οι οργανωτές περίμεναν να συγκεντρωθούν γύρω στα 35.000 άτομα, αλλά σύμφωνα με το πορτογαλικό πρακτορείο ειδήσεων Λούσα έχουν συγκεντρωθεί γύρω στα 50.000 άτομα.
"Η Ευρώπη δεν μπορεί να ζήσει με 16 εκ. ανέργους και 60 εκ. φτωχούς", τόνισε ο πρόεδρος της Ενωσης των Ευρωπαϊκών Συνδικάτων που οργάνωσε τη διαδήλωση Εμίλιο Γκαμπάγκλιο και πρόσθεσε ότι "Ηρθε η ώρα να πάμε από την Ευρώπη του ευρώ στην Ευρώπη της πλήρους απασχόλησης".
 DRACHMA BECOMES DIVISION OF SINGLE EU CURRENCYFeira, 19 June 2000 (16:24 UTC+2)
The historic agreement to include Greece into the Economic and Monetary Union will make the Greek national currency (drachma) a division of the single currency as of January 1, 2001, while its parity has already been fixed at 340.75 drachmas to the euro.
The new euro bank notes will circulate simultaneously across Europe at the start of the following year.
Greece - which failed euro qualification two years ago - will now join Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Ireland and Luxembourg.
Greece's state mint is already planning to begin printing euros later this year. The head-side of the euro's eight different coins - cents, or "lepta" in Greek - will be minted with different designs in each country. Local designs include an owl (ancient symbol of wisdom), Zeus, Greek ships and national heroes and statesmen Rigas Feraios, Ioannis Capodistrias and Eleftherios Venizelos. European Commission President Romano Prodi told a press conference in Athens Friday, that Greece's accession to the EMU will top the two-day European Union summit's agenda. Prodi underlined that Greece's nominal convergence will not only benefit citizens and the local economy but will have positive effects on the economy of Europe as a whole.
Euro transactions will begin in Greece on January 1, 2001 and the new banknotes will be issued in 2002.
 IOC PRESIDENT PLEASED WITH GREECES PREPARATIONSΑthens, 19 June 2000 (17:27 UTC+2)
The president of the International Olympics Committee, Juan Antonio Samaranch expressed his satisfaction with Prime Minister Costas Simitis's recent moves in preparations for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and praised the latter's choice in appointing Yianna Daskalaki-Angelopoulos as the president of the "Athens 2004" committee.
In an interview with the "Ethnos of Sunday" newspaper, Mr. Samaranch also dismissed fears over Greece's security during the games, stating with emphasis that he is "certain that the Greek government will control the problem."
 GREECE EMERGES TRIUMPHANT, ENTERS EUROZONEFeira, 19 June 2000 (17:24 UTC+2)
The European Council approved Greece's entry into the euro-zone today, through a political decision taken on a level of heads of state and government.
The decision is to be ratified later today during a special ECOFIN meeting which will be attended by the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou.
Prime Minister Costas Simitis, obviously exuberant, stated that the result is the crowing of Greece's efforts and sacrifices.
"Greece is now stronger, has a better perspective and can move forward at a quicker pace," he stated and congratulated all those who worked towards this direction, especially the leadership of the Ministry of National Economy and Finance.
While noting that the EMU is not a panacea, the Premier stressed that the country has taken a gigantic step in "creating a better future for its citizens, in a new, competitive and dynamic environment."
"This accession will result in qualitative changes in Greek-EU relations, as it will lead to improved conditions of stability and development.
"We will be able to work towards social cohesion, real convergence with the European Union. We have taken steps, we have approximated the EU's average living standard, but we will have to continue with success," Mr. Simitis stated.
He further stressed that the adoption of the common currency holds a high political significance as Greece now is part of the European Union's tough nucleus, as a strong, democratic country, with a robust economy and international recognition, as well as a strong role in Southeastern Europe.
The Premier also emphasized that the government will remain committed to ensuring economic stability, a prerequisite of development.
According to Mr. Simitis, the state's next target is to propel the country's growth rate to 5.5 percent, significantly higher than the present 3.5%.
After the EU cited "striking progress" in Greece's economy, Mr. Simitis stated that "we are joining the EMU on our own steam, without any terms, commitments or political negotiation."
 GREEK, TURKISH PUBLIC ENTERPRISE GROUPS MEETAthens, 19 June 2000 (16:41 UTC+2)
The Center of Greek Public Enterprises and Organizations (KEDEO) organized a two-day bilateral acquaintance meeting with the Turkish Public Enterprise Federation Turk Kamy Isletmeleri Birligi in Athens starting on Friday.
The meeting focused on issues concerning public enterprises in new market economy conditions, as well as prospects of Greek-Turkish cooperation.
 PASOK EURODEPUTY VISITS MONTENEGRO, SARAJEVOAthens, 19 June 2000 (16:40 UTC+2)
European Parliament deputy Anna Karamanou (PASOK) ha embarked on a visit to Montenegro and Sarajevo as a member of the European Parliament delegation on relations with southeastern Europe.
The delegation members will meet representatives of the democratic forces of Serbia and Montenegro, Montenegrin President Jukanovic, the head of the OSCE mission in Bosnia Herzegovina and other politicians and government officials.
The purpose of the visit is an exchange of views and an on-the-spot briefing of the European Parliament members on the political situation in the region.
 THESSALONIKIS INTERBALKAN MEDICAL CENTER OPENSThessaloniki, 19 June 2000 (16:40 UTC+2)
The Inter-Balkan Medical Center was inaugurated in Thessaloniki on Saturday night, in the presence of the last president of the former Soviet Union, Michail Gorbachev.
Also present at the inauguration were actor Peter Ustinov, who attended in his capacity of goodwill ambassador of UNESCO, the widow of late French president Francois Mitterrand, Danielle, tens of ministers from Greece and abroad, deputies, mayors and deans.
Archbishop Christodoulos expressed the wish that the Center become "a link between the peoples of the region and of our people."
On the occasion, the Thessaloniki municipality at a ceremony at the municipal council hall on Sunday afternoon, awarded Sir Ustinov and Mme. Mitterrand with the silver medal of the city.
Mr. Ustinov said he felt at home in Greece, expressing respect for the Greek people who discovered democracy. He also praised Danielle Mitterrand's work and struggles.
On her part, Mme. Mitterrand said the honor was not just for her but also for the Kurds and all the other peoples and to persons who strive without work and without official documents and to those who struggle for people who are living at the margins of society.
The G. Apostolopoulos Group project, budgeted at 30 billion drachmas, will operate on a 24-hour basis, year-round, and will offer all medical specialties (general medical, maternity, pediatric, etc). It has a capacity of 445 beds and it is build on an area of 52,000 square meters.
The center will open diagnostic centers in other Balkan countries, such as Bulgaria, FYROM and Montenegro, while, as of September, it will also offer ten three-month scholarships to medical students from Balkan countries.
The new medical center's workforce, around 1,800 doctors, medical and administration staff, will be selected from the wider Thessaloniki region.
 NATIONAL ECONOMY AND FINANCE MINISTER ON EMUFeira, 19 June 2000 (16:39 UTC+2)
National Economy and Finance Minsiter Yiannos Papantoniou, who is accompanying the Premier Costas Simitis at the European Union Summit in Feira, Portufal, stated that Greece's accession to the EMU ranks Greece among Europe's "powerful group".
The presently-held Summit is expected to endorse Greece's long awaited entry into the eurozone-zone.
"It is a great moment for modern Greek history," Mr. Papantoniou said, adding that the task should now be to protect and promote further more the country's position.
The impact on the Greek economy, Papantoniou said, would be lower prices, lower interest rates, strong currency and mainly strong growth rates.
In an interview with an Athens Sunday paper, Mr. Papantoniou stated that Greece's EMU entry signaled structural changes and a market liberalization.
 THE MOMENT GREECE HAS BEEN WAITING FOR IS HEREFeira, 19 June 2000 (16:23 UTC+2)
Today marks a benchmark in the history of Greece, as the presently ongoing European Union Summit in Portugal will officially grant the green-light for the country's entry into the European Monetary Union (EMU), which will lead to qualitative changes in Greece's economy, as well as its relations with the European Union.
After the EU cited "striking progress" in Greece's economy, Prime Minister Costas Simitis stated that "we are joining the EMU on our own steam, without any terms, commitments or political negotiation."
The Summit got underway this morning at Santa Maria Da Feira. Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio, who presently presides over the EU's rotating leadership, will host a dinner in honor of the European Council members in Porto this evening.
The Summit will conclude tomorrow, following a ratification of the decisions to be drawn.
Among the topics to be discussed are the upcoming Intergovernmental Conference; the plan for European defense; economic issues (such as drachma's accession to the eurozone, taxation, etc.); the situation in the Balkans, with a focus on Kosovo; matters related to justice and domestic affairs; the Chart of Human Rights; food safety.
In regards to the Balkans, the European Council is to review its Balkan policy on the basis of the recent Paten-Solana report.
 FYROM: GREEK BUSINESSMEN LOOK FOR INVESTMENTSSkopje, 19 June 2000 (16:41 UTC+2)
A delegation of Greek businessmen active in Skopje, was received by the leader of FYROM's main opposition party Social-Democratic Union Branko Cervenkovski, with whom they discussed issues pertaining to expanded activity.
Companies represented at the meeting included Mytilineos, Lazaridis & Kyriakides Marbles, Hellenic Petroleum, Nikas, Aluminio, Domiki Makedonias, National Bank of Greece, Titan Cement, Kapniki Michaelides Tobacco, Alpha Bank, Pouliades Software Computers, Veropoulos super markets, Athinaiki Brewery and 3E as well as DIPEK.
Following the talks, Mr. Cervenkovski said that he was satisfied with the meeting, while he reiterated that either with the Greek liaison office's mediation or directly, "the door will always be open for them".
 ΣΤΙΣ 18 ΙΟΥΛΙΟΥ ΣΤΟ ΠΛΟΒΝΤΙΒ Η ΣΥΝΑΝΤΗΣΗ ΚΟΣΤΟΦ-ΣΗΜΙΤΗΣόφια, 19 June 2000 (10:47 UTC+2)
του Ηλια Κόστοφ
Στις 18 Ιουλίου αναμένεται να πραγματοποιηθιεί στο Πλόβντιβ (Φιλιππούπολη), η προγραμματισμένη συνάντηση μεταξύ των πρωθυπουργών της Βουλγαρίας, Ιβάν Κόστοφ, και της ΄Ελλάδας, Κώστα Σημίτη.
Στο επίκεντρο των συνομιλιών των δύο πρωθυπουργών, θα είναι η διάνοιξη των νέων μεθοριακών διαβάσεων στα βούλγαρο-ελληνικά σύνορα, όπως ανακοίνωσε στο Κίρτζαλι, ο διευθυντής του τμήματος "Διασυνοριακή συνεργασία στα πλαίσια του προγράμματος "PHARE" στο βουλγαρικό υπουργείο Περιφερειακής Ανάπτυξης και Χωροταξίας, Πλάμεν Καραστογιάνοφ.
Υπενθυμίζεται ότι η Βουλγαρία και η Ελλάδα συμφώνησαν να ανοίξουν τρεις νέες μεθοριακές διόδους στα σύνορα μεταξύ τους.
Προβλέπεται η θεμελίωση της πρώτης νέας μεθοριακής διάβασης κοντά στην πόλη Ιλίντεν να γίνει δύο εβδομάδες πριν από την συνάντηση των δύο πρωθυπουργών, ενώ η κατασκευή του μεθοριακού σταθμού κοντά στη δίοδο Μακάζα ξεκίνησε την περασμένη χρονιά. Για την κατασκευή αυτή εξασφαλίστηκαν 21 εκατ. ευρώ στα πλαίσια του προγράμματος "PHARE".
 GREEK ANTIQUITIES EXHIBITION OPENS IN SYDNEYMelbourne, 19 June 2000 (17:26 UTC+2)
An exhibition of classical antiquities opened in Sydney yesterday, part of a series of celebratory events related to the 2000 Olympiad.
The culture ministry's secretary general Lina Mendoni represented the Greek government at yesterday's official opening ceremony.
Ms. Mendoni is expected to meet with officials from Victoria State's culture ministry, museum executives and representatives of expatriate groups.