|Friday, 17 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 02-02-21
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 REACTIONS TO THE KOKKALIS CHARGESAthens, 21 February 2002 (14:06 UTC+2)
Since yesterday, the main point of discussion in political and business circles, have been the criminal charges against businessman Socrates Kokkalis.
Justice knows how it must act, underlined Minister of Justice Phillipos Petsalnikos. In generally speaking, and in this case specifically, as Minister of Justice, I would never comment on decisions of Greek Justice, especially ones that are still developing, he stressed.
We have been reading about this issue for the past 15 years. Newspapers and magazines have run stories about it, but it never leads anywhere, stated former Minister of Justice Evaggelos Giannopoulos, and asked that Justice be let to do its duty freely.
No comment, I don't think we should comment on issues Justice is dealing with, stated the Minister of National Defense, Giannos Papantoniou, while deputy Minister of Defense Lucas Apostolidis stated: It would be best to let Justice alone to do its work. Justice does not need defenders, especially ones who try to play political-party games, and blur the political climate. Greece needs stability and the Greek people need to feel stability and security, so let all these parapolitics and innuendoes cease, because it is a disease for our political life.
 NO DANGER FROM EARTHQUAKESThessaloniki, 21 February 2002 (14:05 UTC+2)
The two earthquakes 4.4 and 4.2 R west of Pylos an in the Patraic Gulf, should not worry any of the area's residents.
As announced by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki's geophysics laboratory, the first vibration was recorded at 10.41 470 km south-southwest of Thessaloniki, west of Pylos. At 11.15 the second weaker vibration followed, originating from the sea region between Rio and Nafpakto.
As seismologist of APTh, Manolis Skordilis, stated to the MPA, these two weak earthquakes are not related with each other, while there are no indications that the areas above exhibit seismic activity.
They are probably part of the area's standard seismic activity, he said characteristically.
 16 MIL EURO FOR ARCHEOLOGICAL SITESKalamata, 21 February 2002 (14:05 UTC+2)
16,140,865 euro will be expended by the Ministry of Culture, through the Community Support Framework (KPS) and the Peloponnhsos Regional Entrepreneurial Program (PEP), for the various archeological sites and monuments of Messinia.
Specifically, according to Minister of Culture Evaggelos Venizelos, the Culture entrepreneurial program incorporates the restoration of monuments and the shaping of the area around Ancient Messinia, with a budget of 4,402,054 euro, and the construction of the Kalamata Megaro Dance Hall, with a budget of 8,808,761euro. Also, in cooperation with the District, the preservation and restoration of the Castles of Methoni, Pylos, and Old Navarino, are to be incorporated in the PEP, with a budget of 2,934,702 euro.
 GOVERNMENT DECISION ON OLYMPIC AIRWAYSAthens, 21 February 2002 (19:25 UTC+2)
The government decision to create a new Olympic Airways with a private majority was announced today by Ministers of Finance and Transportation, Nikos Christodoulakis and Christos Verelis respectively, after the governmental committee meeting.
The government committee decided to restructure Olympic Airways and attract private capital estimated at 100-150 million Euro for the airline to be able to continue its unhindered operation.
Minister of Finance Nikos Christodoulakis stated that there will be increased possibilities to attract private capital through a complete, modern, profitable and effective plan of operation aimed at securing a private majority, while the state will own 49% of the stocks.
Minister of Transportation Christos Verelis stated that the efforts made to sell Olympic Airways proved that the company has to be restructured first, pointing out that significant efforts have been made recently for the improvement of the state airline operation. He stated that the restructuring program provides for personnel reductions by 2.000 employees and at the same time, he assured that there will be no layoffs.
 LOSSES IN THE ASEAthens, 21 February 2002 (18:56 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.63% at 2.394,16 points, while the volume of transactions was at 97 million Euro.
Of the stocks trading today, 108 recorded gains and 194 had losses, while the value of 71 stocks remained unchanged.
 PACKAGE OF MEASURES ON THE SECTOR OF ENERGYThessaloniki, 21 February 2002 (18:49 UTC+2)
A package of measures aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of companies, the further liberalization of the energy market, and the protection of consumers and the environment, was presented today by Minister of Development Akis Tsochatzopoulos.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos announced that the procedures in the liberalization of the natural gas market are being sped-up and at the same time, it is sought to secure fuel sufficiency through contracts with Russia, Turkey and Iran.
The Minister of Development announced the creation of an Electric Energy Stock Exchange and invited to a dialogue all private companies with an electricity production license aimed at establishing the framework of the operation of the specific Stock Exchange.
The minister gave to publicity the draft law on the further liberalization of the liquid fuel market through which will be sought to combat impure and contraband fuel through the establishment of a special control body.
 GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE MEETINGAthens, 21 February 2002 (17:53 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis referred to the telephone communication he had yesterday with Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides in the governmental committee meeting in Athens today.
Government spokesman Christos Protopapas said that Mr. Simitis stated that the impression that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is firm in his positions with certain exceptions of lesser importance was confirmed.
Mr. Protopapas underlined that in the second round of the talks that will open on March 1 an effort will be made to confirm the framework set by the UN. Such a development will be a reminder for Rauf Denktash that the community talks take place under the auspices of the UN.
Mr. Simitis and Mr. Clerides agreed that given the fact that there are no significant developments on the Cyprus problem the visit of Mr. Clerides to Athens will be postponed to take place at the end of March when the second round of talks will be completed.
 THE ELECTRONIC GAMBLING MACHINES ARE BANNED IN GREECEThessaloniki, 21 February 2002 (17:50 UTC+2)
The governmental committee decided to ban all electronic gambling machines in the meeting it had today to discuss ways to deal with the illegal gambling issue. Interior Minister Kostas Skandalidis stated that a legislative regulation will be tabled in parliament in the next 15 days.
The decision is simple, clear and unanimous. All forms of electronic gambling will be banned, stated characteristically Mr. Skandalidis.
 KOKKALIS ON THE CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST HIMAthens, 21 February 2002 (17:47 UTC+2)
Businessman Socrates Kokkalis responded to questions made by journalists on the criminal charges against him by saying that we will talk about it in time.
Mr. Kokkalis met this morning at the offices of his Intracom company with Association of Greek Industries Executive Committee President Lefteris Antonakopoulos and the Association's Board of Directors President Odysseas Kiriakopoulos and did not make any comment concerning the charges against him.
 PAPANDREOU-PAPAPETROU MEETINGAthens, 21 February 2002 (17:45 UTC+2)
Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou met in Athens this morning with Cypriot government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou.
Mr. Papandreou stated after the meeting that a historical opportunity is being presented for the solution of the Cyprus problem maintaining that Turkey should display the will.
The statements made by the Cypriot government spokesman were at the same wavelength and Mr. Papapetrou issued an appeal to the Turkish Cypriot side to display the will for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
 JOURNALISTS IN GREECE GO ON STRIKE ON MARCH 6Thessaloniki, 21 February 2002 (17:44 UTC+2)
The Journalists Associations in Greece will be on a new 24hour strike on Wednesday, March 6.
The main demands are the end of the massive layoffs and the implementation of collective work contracts. Also, the strike will be held in support of the dignity of journalists, calling for the respect of the principles of ethics aimed at the reliable, timely and free information.
The journalists warn that if the stance of the employers remains unchanged the struggle will intensify.