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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-02-03

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


CONTENTS

  • [01] DECISION ON OA EXTENSION TOMORROW
  • [02] GREEK SUPPORT TO THE TURKISH PEOPLE
  • [03] MINISTERIAL MEETING ON GAMBLING
  • [04] STEFANOPOULOS IN ANTIOCH PATRIARCHY

  • [01] DECISION ON OA EXTENSION TOMORROW

    Athens, 3 February 2002 (19:05 UTC+2)

    The final decision of the government on whether or not it agrees with the extension of the negotiations for the sale of Olympic Airways to the Australian IAS Association will be made tomorrow.

    The Australian association asked for the negotiations' to be extended by 15 days, and as government spokesperson Christos Protopapas stated, efforts to privatize Greece's national air transporter must not be hemmed in by dates.

    At the same time, according to Mr. Protopapas, it is the government's intention to find a secure solution, one which will not burden the Greek people and will facilitate the survival of our national air transporter.

    It should be noted that, at their general assembly, the pilots decided to participate in the venture through the Pilot and Aviation Engineers Mutual Assistance Fund.

    Their contribution to the venture is 10 million euro, 10% of the association's total capital and about 5% of the new Olympic Airways.

    [02] GREEK SUPPORT TO THE TURKISH PEOPLE

    Athens, 3 February 2002 (19:10 UTC+2)

    The support of Greece to the tried Turkish people and government, after the new earthquake in the neighboring country, was expressed by Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    At Mr. Papandeou's request, the Greek Ambassador to Ankara, Mr. Korantis, came in contact with the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the assistant deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Ilkin, and expressed the availability and readiness of the Greek government for immediate dispatch of humanitarian assistance in the region struck by the earthquake.

    [03] MINISTERIAL MEETING ON GAMBLING

    Athens, 3 February 2002 (18:44 UTC+2)

    The vast size of para-economy and the constantly enlarging participation of gambling in it, have forced the government, especially after the latest events, to react.

    According to information published in the Sunday Eleftherotypia, The Prime Minister will call a Ministerial Committee meeting on Wednesday, for the first time on para-economy, which, which , according to the calculations of the Ministry of Finances, is 38-43% of the GDP, while OOSA estimates it at 30%, placing Greece at the top of the list of countries with black money in the EU.

    At the meeting, the possibility of completely banning slot machines outside casinos. It is, however, a well known problem that there are many technical difficulties, since any machine that has a screen and 1-2 buttons, can easily be turned into a slot machine.

    Getting rid of these machines will add about 500 billion drs or1,467,351,430 euro to available income, since that is the amount that is estimated is spent on illegal gambling connected to slot machines, ending in para-economy.

    [04] STEFANOPOULOS IN ANTIOCH PATRIARCHY

    Damascus, 3 February 2002 (18:55 UTC+2)

    During his official visit to Damascus, Syria, the President of the Republic, Kostis Stefanopoulos, visited the Patriarchy of Antioch today. Mr. Stefanopoulos observed the Holy Mass in Arabic and Greek, in the company of Patriarch Ingatius.

    After Holy Mass, Mr. Stefanopoulos met with the Patriarch in the large hall of the Patriarchy. The President of the Greek Republic presented the Mr. Ignatius with a copy of St. John Kadakouzinos' Gospel.

    Yesterday's talks between the Mr. Stefanopoulos and the President of Syria Bassar al Assad at the Presidential Mansion, were characterized as constructive for the cooperation of the two countries.

    Mr. Stefanopoulos made mention of the unstable situation in the Middle East and pointed out that attacks against innocent civilians should not be made in any liberation or other kind of war. At the same time he expressed his concerns that the situation may cause tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, due to Israel's policy in the occupied Palestinian territories. Greece called both sides to lay down their arms and apply the proposals of the international community on peacekeeping and reconciliation, added the President of the Greek Republic.


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