|Wednesday, 22 May 2013|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-04-19
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 DRACONIAN SECURITY MEASURES IN STORE FOR POPEAthens, 19 April 2001 (11:27 UTC+2)
Greece is to enforce draconian security measures during Pope John Paul II's visit to Athens on May 4-5, as his arrival to Greece is expected to unleash loud protests among Orthodox zealots.
In addition to heavy police escort, the 80-year-old Pontiff will be protected by sharpshooters during his address at Pnyx Hill, a location beneath the Acropolis where the Apostle Paul preached to the ancient Athenians. Security forces will also be on guard at the Vatican's embassy.
The Athens visit will fulfil the Pope's dream to retrace the steps of Pope Apostle Paul. He will be the first pontiff to visit Greece since the Great Schism of 1054, when Christianity was divided into Eastern and Western branches.
The Pope will met with President Costis Stephanopoulos, who extended the invitation for the visit during his earlier talks at the Vatican, as well as with Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
According to the itinerary, the Pope will arrive in Athens at 11:30 on Friday, May 4, on board an Alitalia airliner, and a small welcoming reception will be held at the airport.
Later, he will be visiting the Presidential Mansion where the official welcoming will be taking place, as well as the Archdiocese, before arriving at the residence of his representative in Athens where he will be staying.
He will dine with Catholic clergymen there and rest before going to Agios Dionysios Catholic Cathedral for a meeting with clergymen and monks of the Catholic Church.
At 8 a.m. on May 5, the Pope will be visiting the indoor basketball stadium at the installations of the Athens Olympic stadium where a church service will be held in Greek and Latin. The Pope's address to the faithful is to be read in Greek.
After his departure from Athens, the Pope will visit Damascus and Malta.
 WEEK-OLD MIRACLE BABY FIGHTS FOR HIS LIFE IN ICUThessaloniki, 19 April 2001 (11:38 UTC+2)
A week-old baby born without vital signs after being delivered by cesarean section from its dead mother continues to miraculously struggle for his life at the intensive care unit of Thessaloniki's Ippokrateion hospital.
The newborn boy was delivered one hour after his mother, seven months pregnant, died in a car crash last Thursday near the city of Grevena in northern Greece. Doctors at a local clinic said the baby was clinically dead and without a pulse when it was delivered by C-section, before being revived and placed on a respirator.
 NINE-YEAR-OLD GIORGI ASKALOV RETURNS TO HIS COUNTRYThessaloniki, 19 April 2001 (20:06 UTC+2)
Nine-year-old Giorgi Askalov from Minvonti, in north Caucasus will depart for his country tomorrow from Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport.
The 9yearold boy was operated on in Athens where he underwent a plastic surgery to restore his ear that was cut off by Chechen gunmen who had kidnapped him. The gunmen had cut his ear off demanding ransom in order to release him.
The boy's father Spartakos Askalov expressed his warm thanks to Macedonian Press Agency for making his son's ordeal public in May 2000. As a result a doctor from Athens expressed interest in operating on young Giorgi for free.
The nine-year-old said that he leaves friends behind and that his dream is some day to live in Greece permanently.
 A THESSALONIKI MUNICIPALITY DELEGATION IN PLOVDIVThessaloniki, 19 April 2001 (18:43 UTC+2)
A delegation of the municipality of Thessaloniki headed by city mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos is on a visit to the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv.
The delegation visited the Commerce and Industry Chamber president and earlier it toured the city.
Tomorrow, it is scheduled to meet with Plovdiv mayor Mr. Ivan Tsomakov and afterwards it will attend a special session of the city council. The delegation members will also meet with the governor of the region of Plovdiv and the managing director of the city international fair.
The delegation will return to Thessaloniki on Saturday after visiting the monastery of Batskovo.
 THE GOVERNMENT PRESENTED ITS PROPOSALS FOR THE REFORM OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEMAthens, 19 April 2001 (18:30 UTC+2)
Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis presented the basic axes of the government proposals for the reform of the social security system in statements he made today after the joint meeting of the government committee and the executive bureau of the governing socialist party of PASOK
The prime minister stressed that the public character of the social security system will be preserved, its privatization has been rejected, while its tripartite funding by the employers, employees and the state will be maintained. Also, the social security levy will not be increased, neither the overall pension age limit.
Mr. Simitis stated that the transition to the new condition will be gradual to avoid injustice and sudden changes. He also clarified that there will be no change for those who are already receiving pension and for those who have secured their pension rights.
All those who have 40 years of social security will have the right to receive pension without reaching a specific age, which was not in effect until today, stated Mr. Simitis. He also called on political parties, workers and the responsible agencies to participate in a dialogue on the government proposals.
 THE HEALTH CONDITION OF ACTOR DINOS ILIOPOULOS HAS DETERIORATEDAthens, 19 April 2001 (17:35 UTC+2)
The health condition of actor Dinos Iliopoulos, who is hospitalized in the Central Clinic of Athens for the past week, has deteriorated.
According to his doctors, his health condition is not good as both of his lungs have suffered an infection.
Since early this morning, Dinos Iliopoulos is sedated and is linked to a breathing machine. The next 48 hours are regarded as crucial for the development of his health condition.
 THE 86TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDEThessaloniki, 19 April 2001 (16:47 UTC+2)
Events in memory of the victims of the Armenian genocide will be held in Thessaloniki on Sunday and Tuesday on the occasion of the 86th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
In April 1996, the Greek parliament adopted April 24 as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day. Eighty-six years ago an estimated 1.5 million Armenians were massacred by the Young Turks' government, while those who survived were forced to abandon their homes and scatter around the world.
 APPLICATIONS FOR GERMAN WAR REPARATIONSThessaloniki, 19 April 2001 (16:23 UTC+2)
The individuals, who have the right to demand war reparations from the German funds established for the victims of forced labor, those who suffered property damages, etc, during World War II, must submit their applications to the responsible offices at Greece's prefectures to be conveyed to the International Organization of Immigration.
The German law according to which, seven organizations among them the International Organization of Immigration will pay compensation to former slave-workers, forced labor workers and victims of the Nazi period injustice, has been put into effect on August 12, 2000.
 LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 19 April 2001 (15:46 UTC+2)
Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.91% at 3.285,96 points, while the volume of transactions was 286.05 million Euro or 97.473 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 108 recorded gains and 208 had losses, while the value of 58 stocks remained stable.
 THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY IS CRITICAL OF THE CEM STATEMENTSAthens, 19 April 2001 (15:37 UTC+2)
Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis was very critical of the statements made by Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem during his recent visit to the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus. Mr. Beglitis said that Turkey must change its policy and realize that the Cyprus issue is not the hostage of the Turkish policy.
Mr. Beglitis stated that the statements made by Mr. Cem display the self-entrapment and dead end faced by the Turkish policy in the Cyprus issue. He said that the European Union with the Helsinki decision has formed a clear framework for Cyprus' EU accession and no country can block its course. Mr. Beglitis added that Turkey's course to the EU is linked with the policy it will follow on the Cyprus issue.
 GREECE: CYPRUS NOT HOSTAGE TO TURKEY'S POLICYAthens, 19 April 2001 (14:20 UTC+2)
Cyprus is not hostage to Turkey's policy, the spokesperson of Greece's Foreign Ministry Panos Beglitis stated, adding that Ankara ought to shift its position.
Mr. Beglitis was responding to statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismael Cem who, during his visit to the island's occupied territory yesterday, warned that Cyprus accession to the European Union will be a highly priced success that will bring new suffering to the local Turkish and Greek communities.
Mr. Beglitis stated that the European Union, following the Helsinki Summit, has formed a clear framework for Cyprus' accession to the EU, and no country can impede this process.
Mr. Beglitis also stressed that Turkey's EU orientation is closely associated with the policy it intends to follow in respect to the Cyprus issue.
 INFLATION IN THE EURO-ZONE WAS 2.6% IN MARCHBrussels, 19 April 2001 (15:45 UTC+2)
Inflation in the Euro-zone remained at 2.6% in the month of March, maintained at the same levels with February, according to figures provided by the European Union statistics agency, Eurostat. In all EU member-states inflation was 2.3%.
In the same period last year, inflation in the Euro-zone was 2.1%, while in all EU member-states it was at 1.9%.
Last month's largest inflation percentages were recorded in Portugal (5.1%), Holland (4.9%) and Ireland (4.1%), while the lowest inflation was recorded in France (1.4%), Sweden (1.7%) and Austria (1.9%).