|Friday, 24 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 06-03-15
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 FORMER PRIME MINISTER GEORGIOS RALLIS DIED TODAYAthens, 15 March 2006 (16:49 UTC+2)
Former Prime Minister Georgios Rallis died today at the age of 88 from heart problems.
The descendant of a political family, both his father and grandfather served as prime ministers of Greece, Georgios Rallis was elected to parliament for the first time in 1950 with the People's Party while the last time he ran for parliament was in April 1990.
Georgios Rallis was appointed government minister for the first time in 1954 and served in a number of ministries before becoming prime minister on May 10, 1980 until October 21, 1981.
As a Foreign Minister, he handled the process for Greece's accession into the then European Economic Community.
 EVROS AUTHORITIES IN STATE OF ALERTAlexandroupolis, 15 March 2006 (13:21 UTC+2)
The Evros River water level has dropped today but local population along the river banks is still in a state of fear as a result of the situation in the area during the past 48 hours and with the flood risk still running high.
Over 25,000 hectares of cultivated land are covered by water across the Evros region, while the state mechanism and the responsible agencies are still in a state of heightened readiness.
At Pithion water level monitoring site, the Evros River water level was at 6.58m this morning with alarm level at 5.70m.
 EXHIBITION OF BYZANTINE AND POST-BYZANTINE ICONS FROM ALBANIA IN THESSALONIKIThessaloniki, 15 March 2006 (14:32 UTC+2)
The five century history of the unknown Orthodox Albania is being told by the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine icons from the Christian Orthodox communities in Albania exhibited in the Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki.
The exhibition of icons displayed in Greece for the first time was inaugurated yesterday evening by Culture Ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos and his Albanian counterpart (general director of the Albanian Ministry of Culture and Sports) Armando Bora. Also present, were the Thessaloniki Museum of Byzantine Culture director and the director of the National Museum of Medieval Art in Korce, Albania where the icons were being kept.
The exhibition is the conclusion of a successful cooperation program in which participated Thessaloniki's Byzantine Culture Museum, the European Center for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments and the National Museum of Medieval Art in Korce. The program began in 2000, lasted five years and concerned the restoration of icons, training of icon restorers, transfer of know-how and scientific research.
A total of 88 icons from the Korce museum collections were restored in the Byzantine Culture Museum laboratories with the participation of Albanian scientists in certain stages of the restoration having the opportunity to train on new restoration methods in order to be able to restore the rest of the icons kept in their museum estimated to be about 6,500.
A total of 72 restored icons, the majority of them large, will be presented in the exhibition that will be open until June 12. They date from the 14th to the 19th century.
Digital technology is being used in order to link the icons with their natural environment -the monasteries and churches where they come from- and special screenings are being held showing where the painters used to work and their course throughout southeast Europe from Cyprus to Venice to the Danube regions and featuring icon restoration methods and stages.
 GEORGIOS RALLIS DIED TODAYAthens, 15 March 2006 (18:01 UTC+2)
Georgios Rallis, who died today at the age of 88, was born in Athens in 1918 and studied Law and Political Sciences in the University of Athens. He was fluent in French, English and German.
He descended from an old political family with notable presence in the contemporary Greek political history. His father Ioannis Rallis served as prime minister in 1943 like his grandfather Dimitrios Rallis who served as a prime minister 6 times, the first in 1893. His mother, Zaira, was the daughter of Georgios Theotokis and sister of Ioannis Theotokis who both served as prime ministers in 1903 and 1950 respectively.
He first appeared in the Greek political life in 1950 when he was first elected to the Greek Parliament as a member of the People's Party and was first appointed a minister in 1954 in the government of Alexandros Papagos. He joined Constantine Karamanlis when he formed the National Radical Union, ERE, and was a minister in the Karamanlis administrations until 1963.
After the military coup of 1967 Rallis was arrested and sent into exile on the island of Kasos. He stayed in exile until the restoration of democracy in 1974.
In 1974, Rallis was among the leading members of the newly founded political party of New Democracy and served as Minister to the Prime Minister's Office in the National Unity government. In 1976-1977, as Education Minister he oversaw the educational reform, the institution of the Dhimotiki as formal language in schools, and the reform of the school curricula. In 1978, as the Foreign Minister he participated in the negotiations for Greece's accession into the then European Economic Community, EEC.
In May 1980, when Constantine Karamanlis became Hellenic Republic President, Rallis was elected leader of the New Democracy party and succeeded Karamanlis as Prime Minister. During his tenure Greece rejoined the military wing of NATO from which it had withdrew in 1974 after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. The following year, however, he was defeated at elections by Andreas Papandreou's PASOK party, and resigned as party leader.
On June 19, 1987 he disagreed with New Democracy leader Constantine Mitsotakis, left the party and sat for a time as an independent parliament deputy but on October 1, 1989 responding to an open invitation by the New Democracy leader he stated that he places himself to the party's service.
On August 22, 1994, after the reform of the New Democracy party mechanism under the leadership of Miltiadis Evert he was given the right of extraordinary participation at his own initiative in the party's new Political Council. In January 1997, he served as Organizing Committee president of the 4th New Democracy Party Congress.
 PRIME MINISTER KARAMANLIS MET WITH HIS BELGIAN COUNTERPARTAthens, 15 March 2006 (14:58 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis met with his Belgian counterpart Guy Verhofstadt at Maximos Mansion in Athens today and discussed the course of the European Union and the Cyprus problem.
Mr. Karamanlis underlined that the two countries share a long friendship and have a harmonious cooperation on bilateral issues. He also said that in the meeting they referred extensively to European issues and the new challenges faced by the European Union.
On the European constitution, Mr. Karamanlis stated that the concerns of the European citizens should be taken under consideration. He also said that they discussed issues concerning the EU enlargement, the Lisbon strategy, the Balkans, Cyprus and Turkey's European prospect as well as other international issues.
The Belgian Prime Minister, who has recently submitted proposals on the future of Europe, said that the two countries face the idea of European integration under the same perspective and referred to the economic and social governance underlining that the countries with common monetary policy can contribute to the future of Europe and the European integration. Mr. Verhofstadt also said that they discussed issues of the next summit meeting to be held next week, while he stressed that a discussion was held on Cyprus as well.
Belgium, said Mr. Verhofstadt, has a strong interest in Cyprus pointing out that it is time to look for a solution within the UN framework. He also said that cooperation and understanding between the two communities on the island are necessary.
On the future of Europe, Mr. Verhofstadt stated that the countries supporting European integration can make the difference.
 FISCAL ADJUSTMENT VINDICATEDAthens, 15 March 2006 (13:41 UTC+2)
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in a statement he made on the evaluation by ECOFIN of the program for the stability and development of the Greek economy stressed that the credibility of the Greek economic program was confirmed one more time at European level while the important results of its implementation are already apparent.
Mr. Karamanlis stated that the fiscal adjustment is vindicated and that the government has followed a strategy that yields fruit adding that the people for the first time after many years can be optimistic that serious effort ensures a better future for all.
Minister of Finance Giorgos Alogoskoufis pointed out that with its decision the ECOFIN confirmed that the Greek stability program is credible and the government has strictly implemented the 2005 state budget.
 PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTOR STRIKEThessaloniki, 15 March 2006 (13:06 UTC+2)
The public and private sectors are on a 24-hour strike protesting against unemployment, high prices and the social security issue, while calling for the signing of a collective work contract.
The strike is expected to be felt especially in the transportation sector.
The public and private sectors will face problems as a result of the strike in which participate civil servants, bank employees, public utility companies (DEKO) employees, teachers, professors, doctors and hospital staff.
The strikers will hold two rallies in Thessaloniki while journalists participated in the strike mobilization with a four-hour work stoppage.
 GREEK DEMARCHE TO BULGARIASofia, 15 March 2006 (18:32 UTC+2)
Greek ambassador to Sofia, Prokopios Mantzouranis called on the Bulgarian authorities to take all necessary measures to restrict the water volume entering Greece through the rivers of Ardas, Evros and Erythropotamos and other inter-border rivers.
Following instructions issued by Minister of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Mr. Mantzouranis briefed the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry on the dramatic situation, the problems and damages caused in the prefecture of Evros, northeast Greece, as a result of the recent extensive floods.
The Greek ambassador with a demarche delivered yesterday to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry requested that the release of river waters ending up in Greece should be suspended for at least 24 hours.
The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry stressed that it realizes completely the gravity of the situation in the prefecture of Evros and does everything possible to satisfy the Greek request.
It was also pointed out that there is strong political will on behalf of the Bulgarian side to deal with the flood phenomenon on a more permanent basis because its effects on the local population are immediate and devastating.
According to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, this important issue has already been discussed by the foreign ministers of Greece and Bulgaria in a telephone communication they had.