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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-09-02

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] NEW MEASURES SUPPORT AGRICULTURAL SECTOR
  • [02] ND LEADER OUTLINES PARTY'S ECONOMIC PROPOSALS
  • [03] FOREIGN MINISTER SEEKS CONSENSUS ON TURKEY'S EU AID ISSUE
  • [04] EU SUPPORT FRAMEWORK FUNDS FOR GREECE
  • [05] GREEK PRESIDENT FETES MEDAL-WINNING GREEK ATHLETES
  • [06] CYPRUS PROTESTS KILLING OF GREEK-CYPRIOT
  • [07] LORD BYRON HONOURED BY ATHENS UNIVERSITY CONFERENCE

  • [01] NEW MEASURES SUPPORT AGRICULTURAL SECTOR

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis announced a package of measures yesterday to boost farmers' incomes. The announcement was made after a meeting the prime minister had with the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture, National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and the governor of the Agricultural Bank of Greece Petros Lambrou. The package includes an allocation of 9.5 trillion drachmas for the next 7-year period to guarantee farmers' income and agricultural development, cheaper loans to farmers, an increase in pensions, settlement of debts and compensation for weather-damaged crops. Responding to the announcement, the New Democracy party charged that the government was showing a very belated interest in the agricultural sector, while the Coalition of the Left described the measures as pre-election promises.

    [02] ND LEADER OUTLINES PARTY'S ECONOMIC PROPOSALS

    The leader of the main opposition New Democracy party, Costas Karamanlis, gave a press conference yesterday, designed to present his party's proposals on economic policies. The opposition leader referred to the need for a new developmental programme and reforms in the role of the state. He placed special emphasis on economic restructuring in the public sector, expressing confidence that it was possible to cut expenditures further, which would in turn mean a surplus for the country's economy. Mr Karamanlis also proposed that certain taxes be scrapped and others lowered, and that a number of measures need to be taken to protect small investors in the prospering Athens Stock Exchange. Commenting on Mr Karamanlis' statements, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the press conference was given to conceal New Democracy's lack of policies and programmes. He also described the move as a political ploy and maintained that the positions presented were merely a repetition of the usual vague assertions.

    [03] FOREIGN MINISTER SEEKS CONSENSUS ON TURKEY'S EU AID ISSUE

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou continued his contacts yesterday with the country's political party leaders, in view of the upcoming European Union foreign ministers council in Helsinki this weekend. Yesterday morning, he met with National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, and in the afternoon, with his predecessor, Thodoros Pangalos. In statements made after the meeting, Mr Pangalos said he was against the lifting of the Greek veto on Turkey's financing from the EU's fourth funding protocol, but said other funds should be utilised to assist Turkey for humanitarian reasons. Deputy foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, in a recent interview with the American television network CNN, clarified that Greece's consent to the granting of economic aid to Ankara did not mean Athens was lifting its veto on the funding protocol. In a meantime, an EU spokesman said that the European Commission has proposed an allocation of funds amounting to 30 million euros as emergency aid to Turkey to reconstruct the earthquake-hit regions.

    [04] EU SUPPORT FRAMEWORK FUNDS FOR GREECE

    Over 15 trillion drachmas will be made available to Greece during the period 2000-2006 within the context of the 3rd community support framework, according to National Economy minister Yiannos Papandoniou. Infrastructure, education, health and agriculture will absorb the largest shares. Major development projects under way will be completed, while employment and agriculture will be boosted. Development rates of 4% will be sought through the new package while with the completion of the program, unemployment will drop to 6.5% compared to the present 10.8%. Those funds cut out for industry will be almost wholly chanelled to the support and modernisation of small-to-medium enterprises.

    [05] GREEK PRESIDENT FETES MEDAL-WINNING GREEK ATHLETES

    The president of the Greek republic, Costis Stephanopoulos, yesterday received the Greek team that won six medals at the recent World Track and Field Championships in Seville, Spain. The president said the athletes made millions of greeks very proud, and paid tribute to the sacrifices they made to attain such a high level of achievement.

    [06] CYPRUS PROTESTS KILLING OF GREEK-CYPRIOT

    The Cypriot government has lodged strong protests with the United Nations and other international organisations about the killing of 69-year-old Greek-Cypriot Stelios Harpas by a Turkish settler, in the occupied sector of the island. The Harpas family belong to the dwindling community of elderly Greek-Cypriots, out of the original population of more than 25,000, who chose to remain, after the northern third of Cyprus was occupied by Turkey in 1974. Meanwhile, there are indications that the United States, the European Union and other countries have expressed interest in a Cyprus solution, according to Cypriot foreign minister Ioannis Kassoulidis. He added that it now remains to be seen whether the international factor is determined to exert pressure on Turkey, which so far, he pointed out, has not given any sign of goodwill whatsoever. The Cypriot foreign minister said that statements about a confederation and about recognition of the self-styled state in northern Cyprus showed that Turkey did not want a solution -- on the contrary, he maintained, it was seeking a consolidation of the status quo. As long as the Turkish side sticks to this stand, the Cyprus issue cannot be solved, concluded Mr Kassoulidis.

    [07] LORD BYRON HONOURED BY ATHENS UNIVERSITY CONFERENCE

    Athens University yesterday honoured the memory of Lord Byron, an avid philhellene, who participated in the Greek revolution of 1821, against the Ottoman Empire. The opening ceremony was attended by President Costis Stephanopoulos, while the conference was addressed by Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos and the Public Works undersecretary, Christos Verelis. The conference will wind up on September 8 in Ioannina.
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