|Wednesday, 22 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-10-31
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 CULTURAL OLYMPIAD CHAIRMAN TO BE NAMED SOONAthens, 31 October 2000 (11:04 UTC+2)
A new chairman for the Cultural Olympiad Organization is to be appointed by the end of next week, according to Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos, thus filling the void left by film director Michalis Cacoyannis who resigned last week.
Mr. Pangalos said that he will be meeting with Prime Minister Costas Simitis to discuss the issue, albeit pointing out that there was no previous experience to work from since this was the first cultural Olympiad ever attempted.
Mr. Cacoyannis resigned on October 20, complaining of insuperable bureaucratic impediments to his work.
In a letter sent to Mr. Pangalos, the director of films such as "Zorba the Greek" and "Stella" wrote that "unfortunately, I cannot function creatively within the bureaucratic confines of a non-homogeneous and unwieldy organization such as the private company that I was called on to head."
He was referring to the Promotion of Cultural Heritage SA, a state company functioning under private law that was set up in 1997 and is intended to handle the Cultural Olympiad, a 50-billion-drachma project that is supposed to start in 10 weeks.
Apart from the 2001-2004 cultural activities, the company will also handle the opening and closing ceremonies of the Athens Games.
 THE LAST GOODBYE TO PAVLOS PETRIDISThessaloniki, 31 October 2000 (18:56 UTC+2)
Sorrowful relatives, friends, colleagues, government and political party representatives, local authorities, university students and simple people were present in the funeral of Pavlos Petridis.
The funeral service was held in the church of St. Sophia in Thessaloniki and the burial was held at the cemeteries in Panorama. The funeral of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki professor of political history and MPA board of directors president Pavlos Petridis, who died in the early morning hours last Saturday, was held at public expense
The funeral service was attended among others by former president of the republic Christos Sartzetakis, minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis, mayor of Thessaloniki Vasilis Papageorgopoulos, parliament deputies, university professors, local authorities and the son of Andreas Papandreou, Andrikos.
Funeral orations were given by Bishop Damaskinos of Iopi, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki dean Yiannis Antonopoulos, his close friend professor Vasilis Filias, Law School dean Dimitris Papastergiou, Law School department president Aris Kazakos, Pavlos Petridis' professor Dimitris Konstantopoulos, his close friend political history professor Giorgos Anastasiadis, PASOK deputy Evangelos Venizelos, who was also his close friend, and MPA general director Spiros Kouzinopoulos.
 IMPRESSIVE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF BRITISH TOURISTS VISITING GREECEThessaloniki, 31 October 2000 (17:13 UTC+2)
The British tourists appear to feel safe in Greece rejecting the predictions that were expecting a big decline of the tourist wave from Britain as a result of the recent assassination of British embassy military attache in Athens, Stephen Saunders.
According to Greek Tourist Organization director in north central and western Greece, Thomas Goutantzis, 97.841 British tourists visited the northern Greek resorts this year in the January-September 9-month period representing an increase of 54.26% compared to the same period last year.
 PAPAZOI: GREECE BACKS ROMANIA'S EUROPEAN COURSEAthens, 31 October 2000 (16:59 UTC+2)
Greek deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi expressed Greece's support to Romania's EU accession course in her meeting yesterday with Romania's undersecretary of foreign affairs, Eugen Dijmarescu, responsible for European affairs.
Ms. Papazoi pointed out that friendship and cooperation characterize bilateral relations, while she added that Greece is interested in strengthening political cooperation between the two countries within the framework of regional cooperation such as, the Tripartite Cooperation of Athens, Bucharest and Sofia, the European Initiative for the Cooperation in south-eastern Europe and the Process for the Cooperation in south-eastern Europe.
 THE BRITISH FOREIGN MINISTER IN ATHENSAthens, 31 October 2000 (16:54 UTC+2)
British foreign minister Robin Cook is on a visit to Athens today and later this afternoon he will meet with Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis.
Mr. Cook will also meet with minister of public order Michalis Chrisochoidis.
 OPINION POLL ON THE POPULARITY OF THE GREEK POLITICAL LEADERSAthens, 31 October 2000 (16:47 UTC+2)
According to an opinion poll conducted by the polling company "Opinion" and published today by the Athens newspaper "Eleftherotypia", 62.1% of those questioned were in favor of the election of the country's president directly by the people.
Regarding the popularity of the political leaders, right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis tops the list followed by Coalition of the Left leader Nikos Konstantopoulos, prime minister and leader of the governing socialist party of PASOK Kostas Simitis, Democratic and Social Movement leader Dimitris Tsovolas, Communist Party general secretary Aleka Papariga and Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras.
 GAINS OF 0.94% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 31 October 2000 (16:29 UTC+2)
Gains of 0.94% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 3.797,84 points. The volume of transactions showed a notable increase reaching 89.9 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 338 recorded gains, 26 had losses and 17 remained unchanged.
 UNPRECEDENTED FEAT: 2001 BUDGET TO SHOW SURPLUSThessaloniki, 31 October 2000 (11:48 UTC+2)
An unprecedented feat in Greece's fiscal history, the 2001 state budget is expected to show a record surplus of 200 billion drachmas, a figure amounting to 0.5 percent of the GNP, thereby reducing public deficit (presently standing at 103.9%) to 98.9 percent of the GNP.
The net surplus of the 2000 budget is considered a shot in the arm for next year's coffers, already shadowed by the oil crisis and the dollar's rise.
The budget, which is to be tabled in Parliament tomorrow, will be examined by the inner cabinet today and a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, both chaired by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, the Premier's press office announced.
According to the announcement, the budget's main characteristic will be its social aspect, combined with overall economic policy.
The new budget is expected to call for a tight fiscal policy, with wage increases amounting 3.5% for salaried workers, and a 5.5 percent increase for pensions.
Meanwhile, the euro's downward slide, combined with the rising oil prices, are exerting intense inflationary pressures, driving the state to search for ways to contain market prices.
Additionally, the dollar's vertical trend is also another burden for the state's deficit, while concerns have also arisen over the course of privatizations.
 MPAS LATE PRESIDENT PETRIDES LAID TO REST TODAYThessaloniki, 31 October 2000 (11:25 UTC+2)
The late President of the Macedonian Press Agency's Board of Directors, professor Pavlos Petrides, will be laid to rest today, at 2 p.m., at the Church of Aghia Sophia in Thessaloniki. His funeral will be held at state expense.
Professor Petrides died on October 28 from heart failure, at the age of 54. He is survived by his wife Lina.
Academic, intellectual and political communities from Greece and the Balkan region have expressed in unison their profound grief over the untimely loss, as statements of condolences have been issued by a great number of leading political figures, including the Premier, intellectuals and academics.
Prime Minister Costas Simitis expressed his regret over professor Petrides' death, who, he stated, "acquainted us with many aspects of modern Greek history, especially in turbulent times."
The Minister of Press and Media and government spokesman Dimitris Reppas also expressed his profound grief over the loss of professor Petrides, "an excellent scholar characterized by a high sense of integrity". Mr. Reppas added that, under professor Petrides' guidance, the Macedonian Press Agency made significant contributions to the sector of information.
The Athens News Agency's board of directors president and general director Andreas Christodoulakis also forward his condolences to MPA, while Romania's news agency Rompress expressed its deep sadness over the loss of professor Petrides, characterizing him as "a dear and respected colleague" who provided for rewarding collaboration, both at a bilateral level and in the Balkan News Agencies' conferences.
The Secretary General of the ruling PASOK party's Central Committee Costas Skandalides characterized professor Petrides's death as an untimely loss for the academic community and civic life.
Minister of National Defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos also expressed his condolences for the loss of a man whose death leaves behind an irreplaceable void.
The leader of the main opposition party, New Democracy's Costas Karamanlis, stated that we shall remember Pavlos Petrides for his vast authorship and for his tenure as president of the Macedonian Press Agency."
Sophia Papandreou, president of the "George Papandreou Foundation" also forwarded her condolences over the death of professor Petrides, who had served as the said foundation's vice-president.
Professor Petrides taught civic and constitutional history at the Law School of Thessaloniki's Aristotle University, while he had also collaborated with the University of Vienna and numerous other academic institutions.
Prior to undertaking the chairmanship of MPA's Board of Directors in 1994, professor Petrides had also served as president of the National Lyrical Stage and the State School of Orchestral Art.
A distinguished scholar and academic, professor Petrides' input and guidance as the president of the MPA's board of directors was instrumental in the organization's rapid development and institutional advancement into a leading source of news pertaining to the Balkans, regional economies, and the Greek community abroad.
During the scope of his tenure, the MPA organized four successful Balkan conferences themed after regional cooperation, as well as two symposiums concerning Rigas Velestinlis and Eleftherios Venizelos-Alexandros Papanastasiou.
A prolific writer, professor Petrides authored over 40 books, the majority of which pertain to modern Greek history, particularly the European policy of Greece's first president Ioannis Kapodistrias, the civil war period (1943-50), George Papandreou and the Cyprus issue (1954-65), etc.
The MPA will honor its late president, as per a series of resolutions drawn at a special board session, which include a GRD500,000 award of ethics and integrity that will be established in his memory and will be bestowed annually upon a select member of the MPA staff.
He will be missed.
 SKELETON CREWS AT HOSPITALS AS DOCTORS STRIKEAthens, 31 October 2000 (11:05 UTC+2)
State hospitals are working with skeleton crews today, accepting only emergency cases, as doctors and nursing staff have embarked on a 24-hour strike in protest to the Health Ministry's proposed reforms in the sector.
The hospital doctors union has declared a six-hour work stoppage between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm in Thessaloniki and Athens, while the rest of the country's hospitals will be understaffed for the full 24-hour period.
 CONFIDENCE-BUILDING-MEASURES IN THE AEGEAN WERE AGREED BY PAPANDREOU AND CEMBudapest, 31 October 2000 (18:24 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou met in Budapest today with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem on the sidelines of the annual assembly of the North Atlantic Treaty. The two men, who also had a short meeting this morning within the framework of the NATO foreign ministers' summit, agreed on confidence-building-measures in the Aegean.
The relevant texts were prepared by the political directors of the Greek and the Turkish foreign ministries. The agreed upon confidence-building-measures concern specific military measures of operational nature that will be discussed exclusively within the framework of NATO as well as measures of institutional and environmental nature that will be discussed at bilateral level by the political directors of the two foreign ministries.
In statements he made, Mr. Papandreou expressed the concerns of the Greek side regarding the developments within the framework of the exercise Destined Glory, pointing out that the channels of communication must be kept open even during difficult times, while Mr. Cem stressed that the effort for progress in bilateral relations must continue.
Mr. Papandreou also had separate meetings with NATO secretary-general Mr. Robertson, Bulgarian foreign minister Ms. Michailova and Hungarian foreign minister Mr. Martoni. The scheduled awarding of Mr. Papandreou and Mr. Cem was put off.
 NINE WOMEN EURO-DEPUTIES IN JERUSALEM. RAMALLAH AND THE GAZA STRIPJerusalem, 31 October 2000 (17:22 UTC+2)
Greek governing socialist party of PASOK Euro-deputy Ms. Anna Karamanou is in Jerusalem participating in a 9-women mission representing all political groups in the European parliament. The nine women Euro-deputies decided to visit the region, which is at the center of the international attention, at their own initiative.
The goal of the visit is for the European parliament members to witness themselves the events that are taking place in the region and to contribute as much as possible to the easing of the tension playing the role of a communication bridge between the women of Israel and Palestine.
 ARCHBISHOP ANASTASIOS: THE GREEK MINORITY IN ALBANIA LIVES WITHOUT BASIC COMFORTSNew York, 31 October 2000 (17:07 UTC+2)
Many members of the ethnic Greek minority in Albania live without even the basic comforts namely, drinking water, roads and electricity, stressed Archbishop Anastasios of Albania in an interview with the New York based Greek-American newspaper "Ethnikos Kirix".
He also pointed out that in a developing society such as the Albanian, the Church has to address all the people and not just those of Greek origin.
Archbishop Anastasios also underlined that the Church of Albania is poor and called for meaningful support.