|Thursday, 23 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-03-09
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 POSITIVE RESPONSE BY THE ECONOMYAthens, 9 March 2006 (13:22 UTC+2)
The economy responds positively to the government's initiatives, unemployment rate is on a downward course while developments in inflation, in spite of the oil price hikes, are encouraging and growth rate is higher than the European average, stated Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis after the meeting he had with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis today to discuss the implementation course of the structural changes program.
The government, said Mr. Alogoskoufis, implements its program, pointing out that next week the revised stability program is expected to receive the ECOFIN approval.
 THE EUROPEAN SOCIALISTS MEET IN PRAGUEAthens, 9 March 2006 (14:32 UTC+2)
Greek main opposition Socialist Party PASOK leader Giorgos Papandreou meets today with European Commissioner Olli Rehn, responsible for EU enlargement issues.
In the afternoon, Mr. Papandreou will depart for the Czech Republic to attend the meeting of the European Socialist Party leaders to take place in Prague tomorrow.
Before the meeting, the PASOK President will meet with German Social Democratic Party President Matthias Platzeck.
 KORONIAS TESTIFIED BEFORE A PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEEAthens, 9 March 2006 (18:09 UTC+2)
Vodafone Greece did not ask, order or receive the legal software that enabled the phones to be tapped, stated Vodafone Greece CEO Giorgos Koronias testifying before the responsible parliamentary committee on the mobile phone tapping scandal that came to light last month.
A hearing is underway to help the members of parliament and the public understand how it was possible for software to be inserted into Vodafone's computers enabling the phones of at least 100 people -from the prime minister to journalists and foreign businessmen- to be tapped.
Ericsson had included the software in its systems at the request of its customers after the September 11 attacks but it was not ordered by Vodafone, pointed out Mr. Koronias.
Only Ericsson, which is the supplier, knows the software in the company's digital centers, said Mr. Koronias, while Vodafone being the provider does not have access to a source code. He also pointed out that according to Ericsson's practice, the software is not delivered to its customers (like Vodafone) but it is handled exclusively by its own authorized personnel. Vodafone was never officially aware that the legal Ericsson software enabling the phones to be tapped had been installed.
For Mr. Koronias, the main problem was who was able to make the intruder software. He said that it had to be somebody with deep knowledge of Ericsson's software environment and be able to write in assembly language which no operator can do, adding that the complexity of the program shows that it had to be someone with very high technical expertise which the Vodafone people do not have.
Mr. Koronias also spoke in detail about the steps followed from the moment his company became aware of the intruder software until the time the government was informed about it.
When it was established that the prime minister's name was on the list with the names of the individuals whose mobile phones were being tapped we concluded that this was a national security issue, said Mr. Koronias, stressing that we did our duty requesting the removal of the software to protect the rights of the subscribers but no trace was erased.
On the unfortunate event of the Tsalikidis suicide, he testified that he mentioned it to the responsible government ministers and the Supreme Court prosecutor and made himself and the company readily available to the investigators given the fact that the suicide case had coincided with the government's briefing on the phone tapping affair.
Meanwhile, chief medical examiner Filippos Koutsaftis and medical examiner Giorgos Dilernia testified before prosecutor Ioannis Diotis on the conditions of the death of Vodafone staff member Kostas Tsalikidis. Both appear to agree that his death was the result of suicide and testified that the exhumation of the body would not add anything to the investigation.
 OVER 100 SCIENTISTS TO ATTEND THE 3RD BALKAN CONFERENCE ON THE ENVIRONMENTKaterini, 9 March 2006 (15:02 UTC+2)
Over 100 distinguished scientists from the Balkans, EU and former Soviet Union countries will attend the 3rd Balkan Conference on the Environment on Sustainable Development: Theory and Action to take place at the conference center in Katerini, northern Greece, on March 13-15.
The message the conference wants to send out is for a better environment and life in the Balkans, while attempting to establish ties and promote joint cooperation actions between the Balkan states.
The 3rd Balkan Conference is co-organized by the Municipality of Katerini, the Balkan Environmental Association - B.EN.A, and the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE).
A roundtable discussion will also be held with the participation of Balkan local administration representatives and a proposal will be tabled for the establishment of a communication network and continuous cooperation between local authorities and the scientific community.
 THE HEAD OF VODAFONE GREECE TESTIFIES BEFORE A PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEEAthens, 9 March 2006 (13:55 UTC+2)
Chief executive of Vodafone Greece Giorgos Koronias testifies before a parliamentary committee today on the mobile phone tapping scandal.
Meanwhile, the Hellenic Authority for Information and Communication Security and Privacy, ADAE, findings on the Vodafone network phone tapping affair were submitted to the responsible parliamentary committee yesterday.
 DIALOGUE ON THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMAthens, 9 March 2006 (13:02 UTC+2)
The establishment of a committee to study the social security system was announced by Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis and Minister of Employment and Social Protection Savvas Tsitouridis.
As it was announced, the goal is to appoint a president enjoying the approval of all political parties while political parties and institutions will have their own representatives in the committee.
Mr. Alogoskoufis stressed that the social security problem is a long-drawn problem that concerns all Greek citizens. Mr. Tsitouridis characterized the social security issue as the biggest challenge for the Greek economy in the following years.
Mr. Alogoskoufis will have a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis at Maximos Mansion today.