|Tuesday, 28 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-06-23
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 PREMIER: CONSERVATISM DOESNT BECOME USAthens, 23 June 2000 (14:08 UTC+2)
In an effort to allay fears maintained by many Greeks that the country is about to lose its national identity, Prime Minister Costas Simitis stated today that conservatism and fear for that which is new does not become the Greeks.
"The view according to which we are in danger of losing our national identity tends to forget that the nation existed even without the state-nation, which in itself has been in existence for a century," he said.
Welcoming the European Commission President Romano Prodi in a conference held by the University of Athens today, Mr. Simitis characterized his guest as an old friend who promoted cooperation between Greece and Italy, as well as a leader in the development of the European Union.
"Our ability to create ideals, forge directions, form ideas is a means to realize our dreams," Mr. Simitis stated, adding that "our country is heard, it has a voice, it participates with success when it is ahead."
Referring to Greece's recent accession to the Economic and Monetary Union, the Premier also stated that "that which seemed like an intangible dream in 1994 became reality in spite of the naysayers," he added.
"We achieved this because that vast majority of the Greek people want to put an end to commiseration and underdevelopment. They wanted and want Greece to be in the frontier of global development."
In turn, Mr. Prodi stated that the past belongs to a time best forgotten and stressed that all of Europe has to come to terms with the new reality of globalization.
He further saluted the Greek government's efforts and stated that the leaps and bounds in Greece's economic sizes enabled the country to become a member of EMU.
 NATO EXERCISE UNDERWAY IN BLACK SEA REGIONAthens, 23 June 2000 (10:45 UTC+2)
NATO's Cooperative Partner 2000 military exercise is presently underway in the western part of the Black Sea, as part of the program Partnership for Peace, featuring the participation of ten Alliance members and seven member-states of the Cooperation for Peace program.
With a total of 40 ships, 30 aircraft and 900 marines participating, the exercise comprises forces from Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, Britain and the United States, as well as forces from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Sweden and the Ukraine.
Greece is participating with a platoon of 30 marines, five paramedics, two staff officers and with ships belonging to NATO's naval forces.
 KARAMANLIS AND EU CHIEF MEET IN ATHENSAthens, 23 June 2000 (20:38 UTC+2)
Romano Prodi, European Commission President today met with Kostas Karamanlis, leader of the opposition New Democracy party, to discuss the structure of Europe in the 21st century.
Mr Karamanlis emphasized the need for an efficient Europe, that will maintain democratic representation, stressing that his party favors a federation structure allowing each country-member to maintain its national and cultural identity.
The ND leader also spoke of the importance of ensuring the smooth functioning of the EU and to this end suggested that "the entry of Cyprus into the EU be the first priority. The country's political problem should not delay the process if Cyprus meets the entry requirements otherwise."
Dealing with Europe's social problems is very important to the New Democracy party, who considers unemployment, increasing and strengthening job vacancies, social inequality, citizen protection and immigration, both legal and illegal, as being top of the agenda. In the party leader's opinion, Europe has to face the challenges presented by the 21st century, by directing environmental balance and the application of new technology.
Prodi's proposal that there be a closer rapport between Mediterranean countries was also welcomed by Mr Karamanlis.
 YIOULEKAS DEMANDS REMAINS OF WW2 SOLDIERS BE BROUGHT HOMEAthens, 23 June 2000 (19:17 UTC+2)
Konstantinos Yioulekas, New Democracy party MP, has raised the issue of locating and bringing back the remains of Greek soldiers killed in the Greek-Italian war in 1940-1941, currently found in Albania.
The MP raised the issue during a discussion with George Papandreou, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Akis Tsochatsopoulos, Minister of National Defence.
"Sixty years have gone by and Greece still hasn't located all the areas where battles were fought and where the heroic men who fought the Italians were buried. The tragic results of this are that there are still many empty graves in our country and relatives of those who were killed remain unaware of the point at which their loved ones perished. Italy on the other hand, located and transported the remains of their soldiers and buried them in their country a few years after the end of the war."
In Mr Yioulekas' opinion, there is no excuse for Greece to overlook this issue since the warring situation in Albania came to an end in 1987, and he has asked that the two Ministers concerned communicate this wish to the Albanian government in order to locate the exact points of the mass graves before beginning the process of bringing them home.
 SURVEY SHOWS GREEK RETAILERS AS BEING MOST OPTIMISTIC IN EUROPEAthens, 23 June 2000 (19:17 UTC+2)
Greek employers have proved to be more optimistic than their European counterparts as far as an increase in retail business employment is concerned, according to a survey carried out by the European Commission's Finance and Currency General Management, published yesterday in Brussels.
92% of Greek employers in the retail business have foreseen an increase in employment in their field, during 2000 and 2001, the main reasons being the increase in demand, the introduction of new technology and the reduction in employment costs. Belgium and Great Britain follow close behind with 69% and 54% respectively, whilst the remaining 12 EEC members remain decidedly pessimistic.
According to the survey's averages, only 28% of all European employers foresee an increase in employment in the retail sector.
 BACOURIS TO DISCUSS COMPENSATION WITH COMMITTEEAthens, 23 June 2000 (19:17 UTC+2)
Kostas Bacouris, ex-General Manager of the Athens Olympic Games 2004, is set to discuss the compensation package that he will receive from the Olympic Committee, which is expected to be based on his initial contract.
Mr Reppas, Press and Media Minister, insisted that the removal of Mr Bacouris, who earned 5 million Greek drachmas a month whilst General Manager of the Olympic Committee, came following a joint agreement based on the condition that the latter would be moved to another position.
 ΣΠΗΛΙΩΤΟΠΟΥΛΟΣ: Ο ΚΥΒΕΡΝΗΤΙΚΟΣ ΕΚΠΡΟΣΩΠΟΣ ΑΣΚΕΙ ΑΝΤΙΠΟΛΙΤΕΥΣΗ ΣΤΗΝ ΑΝΤΙΠΟΛΙΤΕΥΣΗΑθήνα, 23 June 2000 (19:02 UTC+2)
Ο κυβερνητικός εκπρόσωπος ξεπέρασε κάθε προηγούμενο ασκώντας αντιπολίτευση στην αντιπολίτευση, δήλωσε ο εκπρόσωπος τύπου της Νέας Δημοκρατίας Αρης Σπηλιωτόπουλος, απαντώντας στις δηλώσεις του Δημήτρη Ρέππα ότι η αξιωματική αντιπολίτευση υπονόμευσε την προσπάθεια για ένταξη στην ΟΝΕ.
Ο κ. Σπηλιωτόπουλος ισχυρίζεται ότι ο κυβερνητικός εκπρόσωπος δεν περιορίζεται πλέον στην προσπάθεια κακοποίησης της αλήθειας, αλλά επιχειρεί - με απόλυτα αβάσιμους ισχυρισμούς- να αντιστρέψει τελείως την πραγματικότητα και αποπειράται να εμφανίσει την κυβέρνηση ως κατήγορο, εκεί που είναι πολιτικά κατηγορούμενη.
"Ισχυρίζεται, ανάμεσα στα άλλα, ότι η Νέα Δημοκρατία υπονόμευε την προσπάθεια ένταξης στην ΟΝΕ και υποστήριζε ότι θα ενταχθούμε κατόπιν διαπραγματεύσεων. Λησμονεί στην προπαγανδιστική προσπάθεια εκβιασμού και εξαπάτησης των Ελλήνων από την ηγεσία της κυβέρνησης η οποία, καθ' όλη τη διάρκεια της προεκλογικής περιόδου ισχυρίζονταν ότι ακολουθούν κρίσιμες διαπραγματεύσεις της οποίες, τάχατες, μόνο αυτή θα μπορούσε να κάνει; Λησμονεί ότι μόλις πρόσφατα ο αρμόδιος υπουργός ομολόγησε ότι δεν χρειάζονταν οι διαπραγματεύσεις που προανήγγελλαν; ", τονίζει ο κ Σπηλιωτόπουλος.
Οι θέσεις της Νέας Δημοκρατίας, προσθέτει ο εκπρόσωπος του κόμματος, όχι μόνο δεν συνιστούν υπονόμευση-όπως ανεύθυνα ισχυρίζεται η κυβέρνηση-αλλά αποτελούν τον άξονα της μοναδικής πλέον πολιτικής κατεύθυνσης. "Και εκείνο το οποίο επιβάλλεται δεν είναι απλά και μόνο να υιοθετηθούν από την κυβέρνηση, αλλά και να υλοποιηθούν το ταχύτερο δυνατό, με απόλυτη διαφάνεια. Δρόμος άλλος από τη φιλελεύθερη πολιτική, με κοινωνική αλληλεγγύη και ανθρωπιά δεν υπάρχει".
 «MEDIA & REPATRIATED GREEKS» MEETING TO BE HELDAthens, 23 June 2000 (17:06 UTC+2)
A meeting is being held next Tuesday with the theme "The media and repatriated Greeks from countries of the former Soviet Union" at the Divani Caravel hotel in Athens.
The meeting is being sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the General Secretariat of Hellenic Emigration and is the first in a series of events geared at informing the general public of the aims which repatriated Greeks from countries of the former Soviet Union are working towards achieving. Moreover, it marks the beginning of extensive research into crucial homogenous issues through the press, radio, television and electronic media.
The event's official opening will take place at 9 am and will be followed by a speech on the theme "Shaping public opinion and its contribution to welcoming repatriated Greeks from countries of the former Soviet Union", due to be made by Telemachus Chitiris, deputy Press and Media Minister.
Liana Kanelli, MP and editor of the magazine "Nemesis", Konstantinos Tsarouchis, journalist at the radio station "Sky", Lazaros Chatzinakos, journalist and editor assistant at the newspaper "Makedonias" and Romolo Gandolfo, journalist and ex-manager of the newspaper "Athens News" are amongst the numerous journalists expected to attend the event.
 G/T POLITICAL CONSULTATIONS HELD IN ANKARAAnkara, 23 June 2000 (14:47 UTC+2)
Political consultations between Athens and Ankara are presently underway at Turkey's Foreign Ministry, chaired by the Greek Foreign Ministry's political director Anastasios Skopelites and Turkey's deputy Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yigit Alpogan.
The two delegations are to discuss a wide range of regional and international issues, such as the situation in the Balkans and the Middle East, as well as European Security and Defense Initiative (ESDI).
The first round of such consultations was held last November at the level of foreign ministry deputy undersecretaries from the respective countries.
 SURPRISE: ALPHA SLASHES LOAN INTEREST RATESAthens, 23 June 2000 (14:34 UTC+2)
In a surprise move four days after Greece's official entry to the eurozone, Alpha Bank today announced major cuts in its interest rates for consumer and personal loans, lowering them by over seven percentage points as of Monday.
According to bank officials, consumer and personal loan rates will fall from 17 to 9.75 percent, a 7.25 percent cut, a move amounting to an adjustment of drachma rates to the level of euro rates, six months in advance of Greece's participation in EMU.
Greek consumers and borrowers stand to benefit from this move as other banks are expected to follow suit, in order to maintain their standing in an increasingly competitive market.
According to sources, the National Bank of Greece is already preparing a counter-attack, and will soon announce lower consumer loan rates.
 UK EMBASSY STAFF MEMBER ATTEMPTS SUICIDEAthens, 23 June 2000 (14:29 UTC+2)
A staff member of the British embassy in Athens attempted suicide today, after reportedly being despondent over the loss of his friend Stephen Saunders who was murdered June 8 by the November 17 terrorist group.
According to early reports, 60-year-old Anthony Danford, an English national who is married to a Greek, swallowed a large amount of barbiturates in an attempt to put an end to his life. He is presently hospitalized at Athens' Evangelismos hospital.
 DIAMANTOPOULOU IN ANKARA TO DISCUSS EQUAL RIGHTSAnkara, 23 June 2000 (17:06 UTC+2)
Women in Turkey do not have equal rights in political, financial and educational matters, according to claims made by Anna Diamantopoulou, member of the European Commission responsible for employment and social politics, during a news conference held in Ankara.
Ms Diamantopoulou upheld the view that Turkish women have a long way to go before gaining equal rights in all aspects of their lives, adding that the creation of new policies is needed for the implementation of laws.
Social reforms, standards and developments regarding women were mainly discussed during the meeting, at which Yasar Okuyan, Minister of Labour and Social Security and Hasan Gemici, State Minister were present.
The "improvement of social dialogue" between all those concerned was described by Ms Diamantopoulou as being of utmost importance, if progress in the area of equal rights is to be made.
 GREECE & TURKEY HOLD ENVIRONMENT MEETINGAnkara, 23 June 2000 (17:06 UTC+2)
The Environment Working Group held its second meeting in Ankara, as part of a Greco-Turkish agreement calling for the protection of the environment.
Figen Ok, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official present at the meeting said that since the two countries currently have similar problems in this area, there would be future scope for cooperation.
Hayrettin Karaca, Chairman of the TEMA Association stated that Turkish soil was suffering from erosion and that more emphasis was being placed on dealing with this problem as a result.
 G/T AGRICULTURE COOPERATION PROTOCOL SIGNEDAnkara, 23 June 2000 (12:40 UTC+2)
Greece's and Turkey's agriculture ministers, George Anomeritis and Husnu Yusuf Giokalp respectively, signed a general cooperation protocol on agricultural issues in Ankara yesterday.
During the signing ceremony, Mr. Anomeritis stated that Turkey will gain from Greece's experience as a member of the European Union and added that Athens can guide Ankara in its accession course to the European Union.
In turn, Mr. Giokalp stated that ties of cooperation between Greece and Turkey are gradually growing in nearly all sectors, stressing that this is a very positive development in the two neighbors' relations.
The agricultural protocol calls for the exchange of practical and scientific information in the sector, as well as in regards to the EU's common agricultural policy.