|Sunday, 26 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-10-05
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 HIGH-RANK JUDGE ON THE SHIPWRECKSyros, 5 October 2000 (11:59 UTC+2)
A high ranked judge has taken over the case of the shipwrecked "Express Samina". Public prosecutor Nikos Karadimitriou will now be responsible for handling legal procedures taken over the tragedy, with Dimitris Chondroyiannis as his deputy.
Ship mate Anastasios Psychogios was taken to magistrates in Syros to testify for a second time. Two members who had been on shift prior to the accident, Nikos Vourlos and Dimitris Tsoumas, also testified.
It is expected that the captain and his deputy will testify before the judge of appeal and will be cross-examined in order to clarify conflicting aspects of their previous statements, before being taken to a prison in Chios.
 PAPANDREOU: GREECE MUST MAINTAIN FIRM STANCE OVER CYPRUSAthens, 5 October 2000 (09:57 UTC+2)
Greek Foreign minister George Papandreou will today continue talks with political leaders of Cyprus. Following yesterday's meetings, he emphasized the utmost cooperation and understanding existing between the two countries, during this crucial phase of the Cyprus issue.
"We discussed the need to maintain a firm stance as far as Greek policy on the matter is concerned, in the face of statements made by all those participating in the negotiations, such as UN General Secretary Kofi Annan. We will be firm and very specific in our action", the Greek Foreign minister stated.
Mr Papandreou asked opposition parties of Cyprus to avoid toying with unrealistic ideas such as that of a confederation, adding that encouraging an atmosphere dominated by disputes and doubts would be unproductive.
The Greek Foreign minister will hold talks next week with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanof, during which he will raise the Cyprus issue.
 FINAL DECISIONS ON THE MODERNIZATION OF THE GREEK COASTAL SHIPPINGAthens, 5 October 2000 (18:25 UTC+2)
Final decisions on the modernization of the Greek coastal shipping were reached in the cabinet meeting in Athens today held under prime minister Kostas Simitis.
Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the protectionism status in the Greek shipping will end in 2002, while there will be no exclusive exploitation of any sea line by a specific shipping company. Also, the maximum age limit for the withdrawal of the ships will gradually drop from 35 to 30 years, while the ship inspections will intensify and an internal affairs agency will be established in the merchant marine ministry.
Responding to questions concerning the personnel changes in the ships' inspection agency, Mr. Reppas stated that they were made after a decision to reduce the service term of the ship inspectors to no more than 2 years.
The Greek government spokesman also stated that there will be an initiative for the financial support of those who survived the "Samina" tragedy.
 ABOUT 150.000 ABORTIONS ARE BEING CARRIED OUT IN GREECE EACH YEARAthens, 5 October 2000 (17:28 UTC+2)
About 150.000 abortions are being carried out in Greece each year and this fact supports the view that the Greeks can have more children but they do not want to have big families.
In spite of the fact that in the past few years the interruptions of pregnancies in Greece have been reduced the number of abortions continues to be high both among adult women and teenagers.
About 9% of all pregnancies are recorded among teenagers, while the unmarried women who give birth to children before they reach the age of 20 correspond to 10%. It should be noted that 1 in 3 pregnancies is planned and only 3 in 10 women, who are sexually active, use some form of contraception. Condoms are the third preferred method of contraception for the Greek women (15%), after the endometrial contraception methods (30%) and the pill (32%).
 GREEK SCIENTISTS LIVING ABROAD WILL ATTEND A MEDICAL CONFERENCE IN ATHENSAthens, 5 October 2000 (17:19 UTC+2)
Distinguished scientists and academicians of Greek origin from the United States, Latin America, Europe and Japan will take part in the 6th Conference of the World Hellenic Bio-Medicine Association, WHBA, that will be held in Athens on October 11-15 with the support of the Athens Medical Society sponsored by the Greek foreign ministry and the General Secretariat for the Greeks Living Abroad.
World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, president Andrew Athens will address the conference participants and will present the organization's medical program for the Black Sea countries. The keynote speaker will be New York University honorary professor John Bradimas.
 GREEK ISLANDS AND VILLAGES IN JAPANThessaloniki, 5 October 2000 (17:15 UTC+2)
The "voluntary Greek communities" that have been created in Japan promote the Greek culture and traditions. The Japanese island of Yoron with its population of 5 thousand people is the Mykonos of Japan with the characteristic windmills and the colors of the Cyclades islands complex in the Aegean. The colors white and blue dominate in the island and its main avenue was named after Mykonos.
Another Japanese island, called Sontosima, which has been twinned with the Greek island of Milos is known as the island of the olive and has an impressive park and museum where the visitor can learn all about the history of olive-oil production in ancient Greece. There are also signs in the Greek language welcoming the visitors.
Another small town named, Inazaouou is twinned with Olympia in Greece and is widely known for the naked men festival that is organized there for many years.
 LOSSES OF 1.30% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 5 October 2000 (17:06 UTC+2)
The Athens Stock Exchange general index dropped under the 4.000 points mark confirming the statements made earlier in the week by economic analysts who maintained that without a satisfactory turnover the Athens Stock Exchange will not be able to regain the lost ground and will drop to even lower levels.
The losses recorded was at 1.30% and the general index dropped to 3.954,77 points, while the volume of transactions was very discouraging at 61.8 billion drachmas.
Market circles attribute today's drop to the continuing abstention of the foreign institutional investors from the Greek stock market and to the inactivity of the domestic "players" as well as to the negative psychology observed among the investors.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS: BIG CHANGES IN THE GREEK ARMED FORCESAthens, 5 October 2000 (17:01 UTC+2)
Minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos prepares drastic changes for the Greek armed forces aimed at creating a small, flexible and at the same time effective army that will be totally adjusted to the new conditions at a world level.
In an interview with the Athens newspaper "Eleftherotipia", Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that a draft bill defining the new structure of the Greek armed forces is ready.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that by January 1, 2003 the military service in the Army will be reduced to 12 months, in the Air Force to 14 months and in the Navy to 16 months. Also, about 15.000 professional soldiers will be hired by the armed forces in the same period of time.
The wages will be increased by 16.2% and the master's degree will be a basic criterion for those who will rise to the leadership of the armed forces.
 PROTESTS BY SERBS OUTSIDE THE YUGOSLAV CONSULATE IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 5 October 2000 (16:54 UTC+2)
About 40 Serb students gathered outside the Yugoslav consulate in Thessaloniki today chanting slogans against president Milosevic and calling him to step down. The protesters expressed this way their solidarity to the democratic opposition of Serbia and its candidate in the September 24 presidential elections Voiclav Kostunica.
Among them were Theology School students, who requested a meeting with the consul general to deliver to him a petition in protest to what is going on in their country. The consul general refused to see them. The protesters also made accusations of vote rigging in the recent presidential elections.
 TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ANNAN AND PAPANDREOUAthens, 5 October 2000 (16:47 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou had a telephone communication with UN secretary-general Kofi Annan last night.
Mr. Papandreou called on Mr. Annan to confirm through a statement that the Cyprus problem will be solved based on the UN Security Council decisions. Mr. Annan expressed reservations and the issue will be discussed again.
 EU DELEGATION WILL VISIT THESSALONIKI NEXT WEEKThessaloniki, 5 October 2000 (13:18 UTC+2)
An eight-member delegation from the European Parliament's Industrial, Foreign commerce and Research committee will arrive in Thessaloniki at the start of next week.
The delegation will visit Thessaloniki on Monday and Tuesday, following an invitation by Greek eurodeputy Christos Folias and will meet with political representatives as well as with members of executives of European organisations based in the second capital of Greece.
Giles Bryan Chichester, John Purvis and Paul Rubig are amongst those due to visit Thessaloniki, as well as Eduard Beysen, Wolfgang Kreissl-Dofler and Esco Seppanen.
 SIMITIS RESPONDS TO OPPOSITION QUESTIONS OVER "SAMINA"Athens, 5 October 2000 (12:27 UTC+2)
"We recognise our responsibilities and realise that several areas are lacking, however, we will not gain anything by simply blaming the government. Everyone, from the Prime Minister to the lowest-ranking sailor has a duty to serve citizens. We are partly responsible for the "Samina" tragedy and will work towards improving the current situation".
This was the response given by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis in Parliament yesterday, in response to questions made by opposition leaders relating to the causes of the "Express Samina" shipwreck and the general situation of the Merchant Marine sector.
Mr Simitis expressed his remorse for the tragedy and for the loss of so many innocent people and recognised the rescue efforts made by fishermen and citizens of Paros, especially that of port officer Dimitris Malamas, who lost his life during the rescue operation.
"The causes of the shipwreck are being legally investigated and all efforts will be made to shed light on the matter", Mr Simitis went on to say, adding that 76 new ships will have been added to the Greek fleet between 1996 and 2001.
 GREEK PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION VISITS ROMANIABucharest, 5 October 2000 (12:52 UTC+2)
A Greek parliamentary delegation is currently on a three day visit to Romania, following an invitation by the Senate's vice-president Ulm Spineanu.
The second vice-president of the Greek Parliament Panagiotis Sgourides and MPs Emmanouil Stratakis and Nikolaos Katsaros met with members of the Senate councils of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Civil Order and National Safety.
The Greek delegation has also planned meetings with the Senate president, the president of the Romanian Parliament and the ministers of Foreign Affairs, of Defense, of Industry and of Commerce.
This official visit will further boost the already warm political, economic and social relations between the two countries.