|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-06-22
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 2001 BUDGET TO BE DRAFTED IN DRACHMAS & EUROSThessaloniki, 22 June 2000 (12:24 UTC+2)
Finance Undersecretary George Drys, who was in Thessaloniki yesterday, has announced that next year's budget will be drafted both in drachmas and in euros.
Mr. Drys arrived in Thessaloniki in order to brief authorities on how to spend their budgetary funds more efficiently and make savings. He also briefed tax and customs agencies over changes in the fiscal policy procedures following the country's entry in the eurozone on January 1, 2001.
"It is a fact that the convergence program has now been replaced by the stability and growth program, which cannot differ in its quality characteristics," he stated.
He further added that the replacement of the Greek currency with the euro would be definitely take place in the second half of 2002.
 GREEK FM MEETS WITH ADVISER TO UN SECRETARYAthens, 22 June 2000 (14:08 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister George Papandreou met with the adviser to the United Nations Secretary General Alvaro de Soto today, in light of the resumption of the third round of UN-led proximity talks which will be held in Geneva on July 5.
Mr. De Soto relayed the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's wish to accomplish substantive talks and negotiations between the divided island's two sides, as well as the latter's will to carry out an active role in this process.
Moreover, Mr. De Soto briefed Mr. Papandreou on his recent contacts in Nicosia and Ankara.
Neither Mr. De Soto nor Mr. Papandreou discussed the essence of the ongoing negotiations, given the news blackout presently enforced by the UN.
 LORD ELGIN JR FURIOUS OVER SUGGESTIONS THAT MARBLES BE RETURNEDLondon, 22 June 2000 (20:18 UTC+2)
Outrage shook the Elgin household following the attempts made by Michael Russel, Scottish Minister of Culture to put forward a vote calling for the Parthenon Marbles to be returned to Greece.
The current Lord Elgin, descendent of the man who originally brought the Marbles to England, vehemently defended his ancestor, claiming that he effectively succeeded in preserving the ancient Greek monuments.
"He spent years trying to save these sculptures and safely transported them to England with the approval of the Ottoman Empire ruling Athens at the time. The Marbles would have undoubtedly been destroyed had they remained in Athens, either during the war or by natural elements. They were handed over to the British Museum under the strict condition that they be displayed together. I believe that this condition should be kept" said Lord Elgin in an interview with the Scottish newspaper Dunfermline Press.
 BACOURIS RESIGNS FROM OLYMPIC 2004 COMMITTEEAthens, 22 June 2000 (20:18 UTC+2)
The General Manager of the Olympic Games 2004 Committee, Kostas Bacouris, has resigned from his position, following a joint agreement reached as a result of the Prime Minister's decision to move Mr Bacouris to another position of responsibility.
Mr Bacouris will be replaced by Petros Sinadinos, currently General Secretary of the Ministry of Commercial Shipping. The change in management comes amid sharp criticisms from the International Olympic Committee, who accused Greece of being badly prepared and behind schedule.
Dimitris Reppas, government Press Spokesman, announced that the new executive committee will be made up of Y.Angelopoulou, P,Sinadinos, S, Dapralos, K. Liaska and Marton Simitsek. The new committee board will consist of 17 as opposed to 15 members.
In response to speculations that Mr Bacouris was replaced because he "put the brakes on the preparations for the Races", Mr Reppas insisted that the reshuffling of the committee was not a personal attack on Mr Bacouris, but a step towards achieving more effective results. He added that the stepping down of the ex-General Manager was not a sign of failure, but a sign of the committee's determination to succeed.
 PAPANDREOU-DE SOTO DISCUSS CYPRUS ISSUEAthens, 22 June 2000 (18:56 UTC+2)
Discussions were held this morning between George Papandreou, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs and Alvaro De Soto, special UN envoy, in view of the third round of talks concerning the ongoing conflict between Cyprus and Turkey, due to begin on July 5th in Geneva.
The UN envoy assured the Greek Minister of Kofi Annan's wish to proceed with crucial talks and with further negotiation on both the Greek-Cypriot and the Turkish-Cypriot side. The UN Chief has also promised to play a more active role in the issue.
Mr De Soto also shared details of his recent trips to Lefkosia and Ankara with Mr Papandreou, during the course of the meeting.
However, no mention was made of the current negotiations concerning the Cyprus-Turkey issue or of the attempts being made to prepare the ground for the third round of talks.
 INTRACOM SIGNS INTERNET AGREEMENTS WITH TURKEYAthens, 22 June 2000 (18:56 UTC+2)
Socrates Kokkalis, President of the Intracom group today announced two significant agreements made with Turkey in the field of computers, as well as important moves aimed at expansion within the Internet.
Speaking at Intrasoft's general meeting, Mr Kokkalis also asked that private universities be founded in Greece, conveying his intention to formally present the Greek government with a proposal concerning the issue.
It was also decided that Intrasoft will offer employees 4% of its shares and together with Intracom, will enter the contests currently being held. The contest's finalists will be responsible for sponsoring and carrying out public and private projects.
The main issue dealt with by those present at the general meeting was the approval of the company's annual financial situation.
 US & UK FEAR SAFETY ISSUE DURING 2004 OLYMPICSAthens, 22 June 2000 (16:57 UTC+2)
Britain and the US have once again aired their negative views concerning the issue of safety during the Olympic Games 2004, due to be held in Athens.
Speaking on the current affairs program "the Black Box", Nicholas Burns, US ambassador to Athens and Robin Cook, British Foreign Secretary reiterated their fears of visiting the Olympics in 2004 if members of the 17th November terrorist group have not been caught.
 STEPHANOPOULOS PLEASED WITH ENTRY OF GREECE INTO EMUKilkis, 22 June 2000 (16:56 UTC+2)
Mr Stephanopoulos, President of the Democracy today spoke positively of Greece's entry into the EMU, during a meeting held in Kilkis, further stating that the country is now in a position to compare itself to that of its European counterparts.
The President of the Democracy added that this recent move has broadened our horizons and concluded his speech by saying "it is not the political parties that I wish to flatter, but the Greek nation, for its unanimity, development and level of progress."
 STATHOPOULOS DENIES PROVOKING CRISISAthens, 22 June 2000 (16:56 UTC+2)
PASOK MP's Mr Koulouris and Mr Papathemelis have set the stage for the resignation of the Minister of Justice, Michalis Stathopoulos, claiming that such a move would invalidate the issues put forward by the Church and would let it be known that, ID cards aside, the government is planning to take measures against it. When asked to comment on the matter, MP George Daskalakis pointed out that although it is a decision for the Prime Minister to take, Mr Stathoupoulos' resignation would make matters easier.
In response to the tense issue, Mr Stathopoulos firmly stated that his two colleagues have expressed personal rather than political view, "obviously believing that the recent crisis in Church-State relations should be attributed to the Minister of Justice. I do not believe that I have caused this crisis, in my opinion, it was provoked by those whose unjustified reaction to a legal action taken by the State led to public uproar."
 KING ABDULLAH II OF JORDAN HOLIDAYS IN GREECEAthens, 22 June 2000 (12:38 UTC+2)
King Abdullah II of Jordan has arrived in Rhodes for a cruise of the Greek islands with his family.
The Jordanian king and his two children arrived in Rhodes by air yesterday afternoon and boarded the British-flagged yacht Sarafsa, which sailed immediately for Lindos, where they spent last night. Queen Rania is to join them tomorrow afternoon.
According to reports, the cruise is to take in the islands of Halki, Symi, Tilos, Nisyros and Santorini. The king's visit is of a private nature and he will not be having any meetings with Greek officials.
 EU COMMISSION PRESIDENT IN ATHENS TOMORROWAthens, 22 June 2000 (12:36 UTC+2)
European Commission President Romano Prodi will arrive in Greece tomorrow in order to address a conference held by the University of Athens.
Mr. Prodi will also have talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who is to attend the conference, and with main opposition New Democracy party leader Costas Karamanlis.
 GREEK FIREMEN EXTINGUISH BULGARIAN FIRESofia, 22 June 2000 (16:57 UTC+2)
Ten Greek firemen cooperated with their Bulgarian counterparts when flames engulfed the Ali Boudous region in Rodopi at the end of last week. Sofia's daily newspaper "24 hours" maintained that the fire was caused by lightening and spread to the villages Paria and Lovtsa.
According to the newspaper, the participation of the Greek fireman was considered essential as strong winds had caused the fire to spread rapidly.
Our firemen were described by the Bulgarians as being decisive in putting out the flames which burnt a forest over 50 hectares in size as well as 300 hectares of land.
 TURKISH MAYOR URGES VOTERS TO MARRY GREEKSAnkara, 22 June 2000 (12:22 UTC+2)
The mayor of the Turkish city of Edremit has urged his voters to opt for a Greek bride or groom, in an effort to facilitate the presently-noted rapprochement between the two neighboring countries.
According to the Turkish daily "Hurriyet", Mayor Tudzai Kilic, who is affiliated with the Nationalist Action Party, addressed a City Council session where he noted the positive effect borne on Greek-Turkish relations by last year's devastating earthquake. He said that, since Greeks are nearer to the Turks than any other peoples, "we should marry Greek women and marry our girls with Greek men. This way we can give a greater dimension to rapprochement between the two countries."
 EURO-MED INDUSTRY MINISTERS MEET IN CYPRUSNicosia, 22 June 2000 (12:07 UTC+2)
The third Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Industry Ministers is to begin in Limassol today, where the participants will discuss promotion of investment, the development of small and medium enterprises and other related issues.
The conference will feature the participation of Industry Ministers from the European Union's 15 member-states and from the 12 countries of the Mediterranean region.
The President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides is to address the conference which is organized by the Cyprus Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism in cooperation with the European Commission and the Portuguese Presidency of the European Union.
According to an official press release, the conference is expected to promote Cyprus worldwide and to contribute to the recognition of the role Cyprus can play in facilitating the EU targets in the Mediterranean region and the broader Middle East region.
Among the keynote speakers are Cyprus' Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Nicos Rolandis, Minister of Economy and Finance of Portugal J. Pina Moura, Minister for Economic Services of Malta J. Boccini and EU Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society E. Liikanen.
 GREEK EU COMMISSIONER VISITS TURKEYAnkara, 22 June 2000 (11:47 UTC+2)
Greece's European Union employment and social affairs Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou embarked today on a two-day official visit to Turkey, the first such visit conducted by a Greek commissioner and the second by a European Commission member since Turkey became a candidate for EU last December.
Ms. Diamantopoulou will be meet with Turkey's Labor Minister Yasar Okuyan and Family and Women's Affairs Minister Hasan Gemisi. She will also address a seminar organized in Istanbul by the Economic Development Foundation on the social model and the EU's enlargement process.
Meanwhile, in a press conference earlier this week, Ms. Diamantopoulou, stated that the EU's social agenda for the next five years will be announced in Brussels on June 28 and will be ratified by an EU Summit meeting in September.
According to the Commissioner, 60 trillion drachmas will be spent over the next five years to boost levels of employment.
 GREECE HAS ITS DAY AT HANNOVERS EXPO 2000Hannover, 22 June 2000 (14:09 UTC+2)
Greece will be the honored country on Sunday, June 25, at Hannover's Expo 2000, the exposition fair that features the participation of 190 countries and international organizations.
The Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou will attend the celebrations at the fair's Greek pavilion, along with Development Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi and undersecretary of City Planning and Environment Ilias Efthimiopoulos.
The Greek pavilion covers an expanse of 1,400 sq.m. and features presentations on ancient Greek technology, as well as tourism and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
 CONCERN OVER LACK OF GREEK SPEAKERS IN AUSTRALIAMelbourne, 22 June 2000 (18:57 UTC+2)
The number of Greek emigrant students living in Victoria, Australia, who have chosen Greek language as one of their optional subjects has dropped by 29% compared to last years figures.
The figures were provided by the Australian minister of Education and Greek emigrants, when visited by Panayiotis Psomiadis, MP of the opposition party New Democracy. The Australian minister expressed fears that the drop in students opting for Greek could have worrying effects on the future of Hellenic learning in Australia.
Teachers have underlined the importance of strengthening the teaching of Greek in Australia and Mr Psomiadis has made further inquiries as to the measures that will be taken to keep the Greek language alive within Australia's Hellenic community.