Greenpeace unveils solar-powered school on Crete
NEWS IN DETAIL
Simitis announces public administration reforms
The government is proceeding at full speed with radical changes to public
administration in an effort to decentralise services and modernise the
state's machinery, Prime Minister Costas Simitis announced yesterday.
Speaking after a meeting with Public Adm inistration, Interior and
Decentralisation Minister Alekos Papadopoulos, and the ministry's two
undersecretaries, Lambros Papadimas and Tasos Mantelis, Mr. Simitis said
the government's programme of long and short-term measures would streamline
state serv ices.
The transfer of ministerial services and central services to the regions
will be completed within the next six months, Mr. Simitis said.
"Our pre-election announcements on Sept. 2 have now become the government's
policy statements with the programmes we will implement, and we will
proceed with commitments within a specified time limit," Mr. Simitis
"As of today (yesterday), Nov. 1, we are proceeding with the implementation
of our programme. The challenges we are faced with as a society and a
country render the restructuring of the state, the modernising of public
administration and the upgrading of prefectural and local self-administration
a top priority issue," he added.
Legislation defining the regional areas as a unified decentralised
administrative unit will be tabled in Parliament in the coming few days.
Within the next three months, Mr. Simitis added, major informatics projects
for the Social Security Foundation
(IKA), the National Health System (ESY) and other state bodies will be
approved to ensure the technological modernisation of public administration.
Also expected within the next three months is a new code of conduct for
civil servants with a new ranking system and simpler disciplinary
Moves to merge regional communities will begin within the next year in an
attempt to change the current situation of the country being divided into
"thousands of small communities which are unable to meet the basic needs of
citizens", Mr. Simitis said, adding that the process will get underway next
year and the next local elections will be held with this map.
Mr. Simitis said that medium-term measures until September 1997 anticipate
modernisation of public administration, while the modernisation of the
electoral process is also anticipated. Also included in the government's
programme for public administratio n are measures to protect citizens'
rights, with a planned bill establishing an independent "citizen's
advocate" and streamlining of electoral procedures to allow citizens to
vote in their place of residence.
Earlier, Mr. Simitis and the interior ministry's civil leadership had a
meeting with the country's 13 regional governors at the Maximos Mansion,
who were briefed on the new settlements and the radical restructuring of
regional administration and were gi ven instructions in light of the new
upgraded role they will be playing in regions.
Mr. Simitis' announcements yesterday regarding the reforming of public
administration were met with strong reservations by both the main
opposition New Democracy party and the Coalition of the Left and Progress
New Democracy spokesman Prokopis Pavlopoulos described the announcements as
being "grandilo-quent, vague and without substance," and noted that his
party will closely follow implementation of the announcements.
Synaspismos said the announcements were vague, and stressed that "they do
not substitute for the need of a comprehensive policy for modernising
public administration and decentralisation with self-administration."
Committee begins study of legalisation of illegal immigrants
Greece has the largest influx of illegal immigrants from the Balkans,
Labour and Social Security Minister Miltiades Papaioannou said yesterday,
putting the present number of illegal aliens in the country at 400,
Mr. Papaioannou was addressing the first meeting of a committee of experts
from the labour, public order and foreign ministries as well as representatives
of trade unions, employers and merchants, established to study legalisation
of illegal immigrants in Greece currently.
The committee will complete its task in four months and will propose a
draft presidential decree on the issue to the government.
According to Mr. Papaioannou, legalisation will erect a barrier against
racism and xenophobia "which dynamite to the foundations of society," while
at the same time it will serve the needs of the labour market and put an
end to the exploitation of illegal immigrants. Under the bill, illegal
immigrants will be provided with a temporary residence permit and a
temporary working permit, both renewable.
Mount Athos official denies refuge reports concerning Karadzic, Mladic
A senior official of Mount Athos' supreme administrative body yesterday
categorically dismissed press reports alleging that former Bosnian leader
Radovan Karadzic and military chief Ratko Mladic have expressed a desire or
have been invited to reside at th e Serbian monastery of Hiliandari.
Press reports claimed that Mr. Karadzic and Gen. Mladic would testify
through a satellite linkup to an International Court of Justice at The
Hague hearing from the Serb monastery located on the monastic community.
In comments to ANA, Mount Athos official Germanos said the press reports
"are completely unfounded."
According to sources in Karyes, the capital of Mount Athos, the Holy
Community has never granted refuge to individuals accused of criminal
"Karadzic and Mladic are indicted on charges of mass killings," the source
According to the sources, even if Mount Athos agreed to grant permission,
this would have to be approved by the foreign ministry, since both Mr.
Karadzic and Gen. Mladic are foreign nationals. This decision would also
have to be approved by the Ecumenic al Patriarchate.
The source added that neither the foreign ministry nor the Patriarchate
have considered the issue.
In earlier statements in Athens, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said
the government was not aware of such an issue, adding that no request for
refuge had been forwarded.
PKK leader says Kurds will continue suicide bomb attacks
The leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) yesterday gave notice to
Ankara that it would continue its suicide bomb campaign if Turkey
maintained its policy of dealing with the Kurdish issue with force. "If the
Turks continue the policy of a military solution for the Kurdish issue, the
next few days will show that each Kurd is a bomb on the head of the Turkish
state," a message from PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan read out at a press
conference in Athens stated.
A 17-year-old female PKK guerrilla, dressed to look pregnant, detonated a
bomb she carried, killing herself and four others in a suicide bomb attack
on an elite police force headquarters in the southeastern Turkish city of
Adana last week -- the third such attack since July. The Kurdish National
Liberation Front's representative for Balkan countries, Chevded Amed, said
that the latest three attacks, all by Kurdish women, had taken the Kurdish
resistance struggle into a new phase.
Parliament approves formation of investigation committee on controversial Floisvos casino licence
Parliament decided with a majority vote last night to form an investigation
committee to examine possible responsiblities of former Tourism Minister
Dionysis Livanos concerning the Floisvos casino licence.
One hundred and fifty deputies voted in favour of the forming of such a
committee, while 116 voted against, with 11 blank ballots cast and two
abstentions. Twenty-one deputies were absent from the vote.
Earlier in the debate, the government committed itself to having the
committee's work brought to a speedy conclusion, while main opposition New
Democracy claimed that adequate indications exist on the misconduct of the
former tourism minister.
Greece, FYROM negotiations to resume on Wednesday
Negotiations between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
(FYROM), which are to be resumed on Wednesday under the auspices of the
United Nations, are expected to enter a phase of clarification.
An ANA dispatch from the United Nations yesterday quoted diplomatic circles
as saying that there is no longer any reason for delay, underlining that
all time and procedural limits have narrowed, and that the subject of the
talks has almost been exhausted.
The same circles estimate that it will appear in Wednesday's meeting, and
on the basis of FYROM's expected answer, whether there are hopes for an
agreement on the issue of the republic's international name or whether
negotiations will be needed for othe r possible approaches to be used.
Venizelos discusses Greek-Italian cultural issues with Italian counterpart
Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and his Italian counterpart and
government vice-president, Valter Veltroni, discussed yesterday in Rome the
organisation of a series of Greek-Italian cultural events, said an ANA
dispatch from Italy.
Events include an Italian film festival within the framework of the 1997
Thessaloniki film festival and a symposium of Italian and other European
intellectuals in Thessaloniki on the subject of "Culture of the Third
Study: Greeks must work more hours than other Europeans to buy same products
The difference in work hours needed by the working Greek to buy food and
other consumer goods is larger compared to corresponding figures for other
European countries, according to an announcement yesterday by the
Consumers' Institute (INKA).
Giving an example, INKA said that to purchase 185 products a worker in
Greece must work for almost a year, while a German worker only 179
Specifically, a worker in Greece has to work 95 hours, 46 minutes to buy
100 types of foodstuffs, while 57 hours, 10 minutes are required in Britain,
58 hours in France, 48.5 hours in Germany and 69 hours, 12 minutes in
To buy 50 household and personal care products, a worker in Greece must
work 53 hours, 15 minutes, while the average in the other European
countries ranges from 30 to 43 hours.
INKA further points out that a persisting phenomenon is a major difference
in prices for standardised goods from one city to another and one store to
Olympic holding cooperation talks with other int'l airlines
Olympic Airways is conducting talks with foreign airline companies
concerning strategic cooperation that will reportedly offer OA's passengers
more routes and destinations, an OA official said yesterday.
OA's assistant general director Stavros Daliakos told reporters at the 12th
"Philoxenia" exhibition that OA had already begun talks with carriers in
North America, Australia, Indonesia and India.
"Olympic is entering the international arena of alliances, albeit belatedly,
" Mr. Daliakos said, adding: "These agreements will be the central axes of
OA's overseas policy, and aim at being able to transfer passengers around
the world within Olympic's n etwork as well as with other airlines' craft."
OA's general manager Iordanis Karatzas said that similar agreements would
be concluded with central and eastern European countries, with Thessaloniki
taking on the role of the Balkans' major transit point for these destinations.
Greece's national carrier has already signed cooperation agreements with
Hungary's Malev and Bulgaria's Balkan, and is in the process of concluding
agreements with airlines in Romania, Yugoslavia, Armenia and Ukraine.
Greenpeace unveils solar-powered school on Crete
Greece's first solar-powered school was presented yesterday to the public
by the international environmental organisation Greenpeace. The school, in
the village of Goudoura, Crete, is considered an important step in
developing the use of solar en ergy in Greece.
Through the solar energy system installed in the school, Greece's Public
Power Corp. (DEH) will be able to store energy when there is not enough
Greenpeace funded the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment and installation
of the system, as part of its campaign to promote alternative sources of
Sunny to partly cloudy with local showers in several parts of the country.
Partly cloudy in Athens with temperatures ranging from 12-19C. Sunny and
mild in Thessaloniki with temperatures from 4-16C.
FOREIGN EXCHANGE (Buying)
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383.706, Irish punt 384.896, Cyprus pd 512.864, French franc 46.188, Swiss
franc 187.672 Belgian franc 7.566, German mark 155.828 Finnish mark 52.110,
Dutch guilder 138.979 Danish Kr. 40.618, Swedish Kr. 35.966, Norwegian Kr.
36.922, Austrian Sh. 22.166, Italian lira (100) 15.557 Yen (100) 207.378
Spanish Peseta 1.851, Portuguese Escudo 1.545.