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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-05-29

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


CONTENTS

  • [01] UNDOCUMENTED FOREIGNERS GET "SECOND CHANCE"
  • [02] PM VOWS: MINIMUM PENSIONS GUARANTEED FOR ALL
  • [03] LOCAL WORKERS GROUP RALLIES FOR TVX OPERATION
  • [04] GREEK SHIPS SAFE, SAYS GERMAN EXPERT FIRM
  • [05] GREEK-CHINESE PROTOCOL OF COOPERATION
  • [06] GREECE'S RESPONSE TO ECEVIT'S PROPOSAL ON CYPRUS
  • [07] THE UPGRADING OF THE GREEK STOCK MARKET IS POSITIVE
  • [08] KAKLAMANIS ON GREECE'S RELATIONS WITH FRY AND MOROCCO
  • [09] BIG LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [10] EUREKO BV GOT 79.38% OF INTERAMERICAN LIFE
  • [11] GREEK BANKS CONTROL 15% OF THE BULGARIAN MARKET
  • [12] SE EUROPEAN DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETING
  • [13] "HYMN TO LIBERTY" ORIGINAL EDITION AT AUCTION
  • [14] PAPANDREOU-CEM MEETING IN BUDAPEST

  • [01] UNDOCUMENTED FOREIGNERS GET "SECOND CHANCE"

    Athens, 29 May 2001 (12:13 UTC+2)

    Undocumented foreigners who have been living in Greece for the past 12 months can now apply for residency and temporary work permits, through a second chance program enacted by the Interior Ministry.

    Illegal aliens must submit, between June 2 and August 2, their applications for legalization to the municipality or community where they are living, along with a 50,000-drachma administration fee.

    Eligible are aliens who have completed at least one year of residency in Greece by June 2, when the new immigration legislation takes effect.

    This also applies to aliens whose green or white card has expired, aliens who have taken recourse to the Manpower Employment Organization (OAED) and wish to abandon their recourse, and all those who have submitted applications for obtaining a residency permit for humanitarian reasons.

    The application must be accompanied by two recent color pictures, and a certified copy of their passport, other travel document, birth certificate, or identification card. The passport will also serve as proof of the one-year residency. In the event the alien is unable to produce a passport verifying the duration of residency, he or she must submit other proof, such as a lease or utility bills for the period in question.

    If an alien lives in a small municipality or community of fewer than 20,000 inhabitants, a decision of the municipal or community council may serve as proof of the length of residency in Greece. The family members (dependents) of the illegal alien may also submit applications for residency permits under the same procedures, provided the illegal alien has a residency permit or working permit and has lived in Greece for at least two years as of June 2.

    In terms of acquiring a permanent residency and employment permit after the six-month permit expires, another set of fees have been enacted, based on the duration that a now-legalized foreign national would request to remain in the country. Specifically, according to Article 71 of the legalization bill, a one- to two-year residency permit will cost 100,000 drachmas; 150,000 drachmas for between two to six years, and finally, 300,000 drachmas for more than six years.

    Interior and Public Administration Minister Vasso Papandreou anticipates that 300,000-400,000 undocumented foreigners will take advantage of the program.

    A.F.

    [02] PM VOWS: MINIMUM PENSIONS GUARANTEED FOR ALL

    Athens, 29 May 2001 (10:56 UTC+2)

    The government will not reduce the lowest pension levels and it will guarantee minimum levels for all workers, Prime Minister Costas Simitis vowed yesterday after the ruling PASOK party's Executive Bureau convened to prepare the Central Committee's upcoming meeting on social policy.

    According to Mr. Simitis, the decision taken at the meeting was unanimous and it concerns the social policy framework and measures aiming at improving the quality of life of all Greeks.

    The Premier stressed that the social state continues to constitute PASOK's ideological foundation and added that dialogue will take place without preconditions and on a zero basis.

    A report approved during the meeting will be released by Central Committee secretary Costas Skandalides today.

    A.F.

    [03] LOCAL WORKERS GROUP RALLIES FOR TVX OPERATION

    Thessaloniki, 29 May 2001 (13:02 UTC+2)

    A rally in support of the unhindered operation of the TVX-Hellas gold mine project in northern Greece's Halkidiki peninsula is to be organized by a local Employees and Laborers Center in Thessaloniki on June 6.

    The rally, which will commence in front of Thessaloniki's landmark White Tower and will culminate at the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace, is to coincide with a 24-hour strike throughout the Halkidiki prefecture.

    According to the Center, the $248-million project should not be obstructed, since it would provide a solution to the area's massive unemployment rate and will greatly boost local economy and improve living standards.

    TVX, a Toronto-based mining company, wants to expand its gold mining operations in the area and to build a processing metal plant at the Olympiada site.

    Its polymetallic gold project aims to develop 254,000 ounces of gold on an annual basis, along with 2.3 million ounces of silver, 21,500 tons of zinc and 22,500 tons of lead over the first five years of production.

    Prior to gaining the state's approval of its environmental impact report last year, TVX was subject to a series of protests and obstructive action from various local groups.

    A.F.

    [04] GREEK SHIPS SAFE, SAYS GERMAN EXPERT FIRM

    Athens, 29 May 2001 (13:01 UTC+2)

    Greek passenger ferries are safe according to Germany's largest company in the provision of tourism services and drivers' insurance (ADAC), but the same endorsement was not given to crew performance.

    ADAC conducted reviews on 22 ships in the Mediterranean, ten of which were Greek, in order to compile a safety report for tourists who plan to vacation in the area.

    A.F.

    [05] GREEK-CHINESE PROTOCOL OF COOPERATION

    Athens, 29 May 2001 (19:10 UTC+2)

    A protocol of cooperation in the sector of geothermics, mineral wealth and water resources was signed today by Greece and China during a meeting in the development ministry in Athens.

    In the meeting of Greek undersecretary of development Alexandros Kalafatis and Chinese undersecretary of natural resources Shou Jiahua were discussed issues concerning bilateral cooperation in the sector of mineral wealth and energy producing raw materials.

    The protocol signed provides for cooperation in the sectors of solid fuel, geothermics, water resources, environment, computer applications, geosciences and others.

    [06] GREECE'S RESPONSE TO ECEVIT'S PROPOSAL ON CYPRUS

    Athens, 29 May 2001 (17:46 UTC+2)

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas gave a strong response to the statements made by Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit, who suggested that a Chechoslovakia model should be considered in the case of Cyprus.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the Cyprus problem was created because of Turkey, which invaded and occupied Cypriot territory, adding that Turkey is the one that plays a decisive role in the Cyprus problem. He said that Cyprus is a UN member and the international organization has issued a number of resolutions that determine the framework for the solution of the Cyprus problem, stressing that this framework is accepted by everybody, except from Turkey.

    The Greek government spokesman said that the only solution for Cyprus is a federal state with one nationality and a single international personality and called on Turkey to respect this framework for a solution to be found.

    [07] THE UPGRADING OF THE GREEK STOCK MARKET IS POSITIVE

    Athens, 29 May 2001 (17:44 UTC+2)

    The belief that the upgrading of the Athens Stock Exchange will introduce greater stability to the market as international investors in mature markets have a more long-term horizon, was expressed today by Greek national economy minister Yiannos Papantoniou.

    In a press conference he underlined that the upgrading will bring stricter evaluation criteria of the companies trading in the stock market and this is expected to act as a protection shield for investors.

    Referring to the institutional framework, he stressed that it has already been completed and the only thing left is the revision of the monitoring system. He also said that the Common Financial Transactions Intermediary institution will be established before the end of the year and will deal with complaints lodged by the people against banks, insurance companies and the Athens Stock Exchange.

    [08] KAKLAMANIS ON GREECE'S RELATIONS WITH FRY AND MOROCCO

    Athens, 29 May 2001 (17:01 UTC+2)

    Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis and Yugoslav ambassador to Athens Dusan Vatakovic met in Athens today and reaffirmed the close relations shared by Greece and Yugoslavia.

    Mr. Kaklamanis conveyed the feelings of love and support of the Greeks to the suffering Yugoslav people and expressed the wish that the peaceful course toward the consolidation of democracy in Yugoslavia will not be undermined.

    Mr. Vatakovic thanked Mr. Kaklamanis for the economic assistance offered by the Greek parliament for the reconstruction works in the federal parliament building in Belgrade and invited Mr. Kaklamanis to visit Yugoslavia.

    Mr. Kaklamanis also received the new ambassador of Morocco to Athens Mohamed Lofti Aouad and expressed the certainty that he will contribute to the further strengthening and effectiveness of the already good relations shared by the two countries.

    [09] BIG LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Athens, 29 May 2001 (16:34 UTC+2)

    Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -2.17% at 3.1332,41 points, while the volume of transactions was at 183.4 million Euro or 62.5 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today 67 recorded gains and 260 had losses, while the value of 53 stocks remained stable.

    [10] EUREKO BV GOT 79.38% OF INTERAMERICAN LIFE

    Athens, 29 May 2001 (16:06 UTC+2)

    The Portuguese company EUREKO BV got the majority package of INTERAMERICAN Life, the parent company of the INTERAMERICAN financial group.

    Based on the new deal that has been reached EUREKO BV, a subsidiary of the Portuguese bank Banco Comercial Portugues and the Dutch Achmea, got 54.38% of the parent company for the sum of 333 billion drachmas. EUREKO BV already owned 25% of the company.

    The buyout of the majority package of INTERAMERICAN Life by EUREKO constitutes the first buyout of a domestic company by a foreign one, which is active in the same sector.

    It should be noted that INTERAMERICAN Life controls every activity of the group namely, insurance, mutual funds and banks as well as, activities in the sector of real estate and health, through a number of subsidiary companies. INTERAMERICAN Life controls the majority package, 55%, of the brokerage firm Intertrust and 30% of Nova Bank.

    [11] GREEK BANKS CONTROL 15% OF THE BULGARIAN MARKET

    Thessaloniki, 29 May 2001 (15:35 UTC+2)

    Four Greek banks control about 15% of Bulgaria's financial sector. The "flagship" is the United Bulgarian Bank (UBB), 90% of which was bought out by the National Bank of Greece. The UBB itself controlled over 10% of the Bulgarian market. The rest 5% is controlled by the Commercial Bank, Alpha Bank and the Bank of Piraeus.

    The prospects for the further growth of Greek banks in Bulgaria are very favorable as they are regarded as reliable and serious, stated to MPA Bulgarian National Bank governor Svetoslav Gavriski.

    He stated that the percentage controlled by the Greek banks in the Bulgarian market is very good especially, if it is compared with that controlled by other countries like Turkey, which has only two banks in Bulgaria namely, Demir Bank and the state-run Ziraat Bank.

    Meanwhile, the privatization of Bulgaria's financial sector continues with a quick pace. It is indicative that 82% of its banks are already in the hands of private investors and 75% of them belong to foreign investors.

    [12] SE EUROPEAN DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETING

    Thessaloniki, 29 May 2001 (15:21 UTC+2)

    The armed clashes in FYROM and the situation in south Serbia, Kosovo and the Balkans in general will be discussed in the informal southeastern European defense ministers summit meeting that will be held in Thessaloniki on June 5-6.

    Their previous summit meeting had been held in Skopje and they had agreed then on a declaration condemning extremist actions and offering support to the FYROM government efforts aimed at safeguarding territorial integrity and the existing borders. They had decided to take measures for more intense and effective controls at the FYROM-Kosovo borders to stop the movement of armed groups and the trafficking of guns and drugs. Disagreements had been expressed on the role the Balkan Brigade should undertake within the framework of the initiatives aimed at dealing with the crisis in FYROM and the guarding of the borders with Kosovo and they decided to deal with the issue in the Thessaloniki Summit.

    As it was made known, among those attending June's meeting in Thessaloniki will be the defense ministers of Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, FYROM, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Ukraine, Turkey and the United States.

    [13] "HYMN TO LIBERTY" ORIGINAL EDITION AT AUCTION

    Athens, 29 May 2001 (13:52 UTC+2)

    On of the original editions of the Greek national anthem Hymn to Liberty, written by national poet Dionysios Solomos, is to be sold at an auction tomorrow, marking the first sale of a document printed during the siege of Mesologhi 1825.

    Only 25 copies of the Hymn to Freedom remain to date, having been rescued from the besieged city, all other original editions having been lost along with Solomos' most important work, the Free Besieged.

    The auction is to take place at 6.30 this evening at the Grand Bretagne Hotel in Athens.

    A.F.

    [14] PAPANDREOU-CEM MEETING IN BUDAPEST

    Budapest, 29 May 2001 (16:44 UTC+2)

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will meet with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem today on the sidelines of the two-day NATO foreign ministers summit meeting that got underway in Budapest today.

    The Greek side expects a positive outcome from the talks held by the two ministers.


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