|Sunday, 15 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-02-14
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
Last Update: 23:27 GMT+2
NEWS IN DETAIL
 PRESIDENT OF GREECE DEPARTS FOR AUSTRIA TOMORROW
Web Posted: 18:57 GMT+2Athens, 14.02.1999 (MPA) The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will conduct an official visit to Austria between February 15 and 17, this being the first visit by a Greek head of state to the Austrian capital.
President Stephanopoulos will be accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and National Economy Deputy Minister Alekos Baltas.
Mr. Stephanopoulos will hold talks with his Austrian counterpart Thomas Klestil, and Chancellor Viktor Klima, while he will also meet Austrian parliament president Heinz Fischer.
The visit is in reciprocation to the one paid by Austrian President Rudolf Kirchschleger in 1984, at the invitation of the late president Constantine Karamanlis.
A tentative schedule includes a visit to the National Library of Austria, which has the largest collection of Greek papyri and the third largest in Greek manuscripts, and to the historical ethnic Greek neighborhood in Vienna, where the Orthodox Cathedral stands.
 INTERNATIONAL BANK CONFERENCE BEGINS IN ATHENS TODAY
Web Posted: 18:57 GMT+2Athens, 14.02.1999 (MPA) A two-day international banking forum, bringing together banking unions from the Black Sea countries, Balkans and Mediterranean region, began in Athens today.
The forum, organized by the Hellenic Banks Association, includes representatives from Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, FYROM, Israel, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, Turkey, Slovenia, Romania, Palestine, Lebanon and
The Hellenic association's secretary general, Ioannis Manos, will chair the forum which represents the first such meeting in Europe to promote the activities of banking federations, exchange information and seek ways of tightening links.
 GREECE TO SIGN AGREEMENT ON EURO TOMORROW
Web Posted: 18:57 GMT+2Athens, 14.02.1999 (MPA) A memorandum of agreement on promoting Economic and Monetary Union and preparing Greece to join the euro-zone, will be signed tomorrow in Athens between the National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and officials from the European Parliament and the European Commission.
The agreement will also be signed by the vice- president of the European Parliament George Anastasopoulos and among those present will be the director general of the EU's General Directorate X (Information, Communication, Culture and Audio-Visual Sector) Spyros Pappas who will represent Audio- Visual Commissioner Marcelino Oreja and European Monetary Commissioner Yves- Thibault de Silguy.
The said memorandum expresses Greece and the European Union's willingness to undertake initiatives in implementing joint long-term information policy on economic and monetary union with the aim of informing and preparing
the public and economic and financial groups in relation to converting to euro.
 PROBLEMS CONTINUE AT STATE HOSPITALS AS DOCTORS STRIKE
Web Posted: 18:57 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 14.02.1999 (MPA) Problems, as well as patients, continue to mount at state hospitals in Thessaloniki and Athens which will operate with a skeleton staff tomorrow.
Although the Ministries of Health and Finance have announced that they will increase funds allocated for the payment of on-call duties by 11%, most of the disgruntled strikers have said that the increase does not cover the hospital needs.
Doctors in Thessaloniki will not work on shift-duty and at the hospitals' out-patient centers. Social Security Foundation doctors have also announced a five-day strike starting tomorrow.
 EDUCATION MINSTRY TO ANNOUNCE MEASURES ON MAKING UP LOST TIME
Web Posted: 18:57 GMT+2Athens, 14.02.1999 (MPA) The Education Ministry is to announce tomorrow a series of measures aimed at making up academic hours lost during the three- month long student protests, while it has also asked school boards throughout the country to provide proposals on ways to make up teaching hours lost as a result of the three-month-long student protests.
The Minister of Education Gerasimos Arsenis will also announce the dates state-wide examinations will be held for the junior and senior years in high schools.
 PREMIER CONFIDENT OF PARTY'S VICTORY AT NEXT ELECTIONS
Web Posted: 18:57 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 14.02.1999 (MPA) Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is confident that the ruling PASOK party will win the upcoming June's Euroelections and next year's national elections .
Speaking in the city of Serres, Mr. Simitis said that the party will emerge at the elections of the year 2000 having borne results and will ask for the public's vote not only for what will have been achieved but, also, in order to press on with the needed reform.
"At the onset of the year 2000, Greece will more than meet the criteria for entering the Economic and Monetary Union, on its own right," Mr. Simitis stated, stressing that the government is determined to continue with its policy "which is already bearing fruits."
Furthermore, the Premier pledged that the state will proceed to tax breaks and shrinking the work-week to 35 hours, without a cut in salaries.
In regards to foreign policy, the Premier stated that Greece is exercising an active policy, outlining the country's efforts in overcoming the Albanian crisis, as well as the hosting of the Balkan Summit in Crete.
 PREMIER ON THREE-DAY TOUR OF NORTHERN GREECE
Web Posted: 18:57 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 14.02.1999 (MPA) Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is presently on the second day of a three-day tour of Northern Greece, escorted by the Ministers of National Defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, Development Vaso Papandreou, Environment Kostas Laliotis, Health Labros Papademas, Agriculture George Anomeritis, Culture, Evangelos Venizelos, Macedonia- Thrace Yiannis Magriotis, and various undersecretaries. During his address at the city of Kilkis, Mr. Simitis launched an attack against the main opposition party of New Democracy which he accused of lacking points of view.
New Democracy's leader Kostas Karamanlis, is also conducting a visit to the Halkidiki peninsula where he is meeting with local government officials.
 EU FOREIGN MINISTERS CONVENE IN PARIS OVER KOSOVO
Web Posted: 18:57 GMT+2Paris, 14.02.1999 (MPA) The course of negotiations between Serbs and the ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo is being discussed in Rambouillet, France today by the Foreign Ministers of the European Union's member-states.
The meeting aims to serve as a briefing for those countries which are not members of the Contact Group.
 US CONGRESSMEN TO VISIT GREECE THIS WEEK
Web Posted: 18:57 GMT+2Washington, 14.02.1999 (MPA) A 12-member delegation of U.S. Congressmen will visit Greece on February 18, in order to meet with Greek government officials on political and economic affairs and defense and security issues.
The delegation, led by Nebraska Republican Douglas Bereuter, is on a six- day tour of the region and, in addition to Greece, will also visit Belgium, France, Cyprus and Turkey.
The Athens talks are expected to focus on the security situation in the eastern Mediterranean, relations between Greece and Turkey and prospects for a resolution of the Cyprus issue.
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