|Saturday, 16 November 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-03-29
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
 NATO air strikes on Yugoslavia increaseAs of yesterday powerful explosions in Pristina have marked the latest NATO air raids on Yugoslavia. According to residents of Kosovo's capital, targets within the city were also hit. In addition, the bombing of Nis airport resulted in the death of several soldiers and the injury of civilians. A military airport in Montenegro's capital was also hit.
Meanwhile, Serbian radio made reference to 5 more NATO airplanes and a helicopter being shot down--a claim that NATO has denied.
Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, after a war council in Belgrade, announced that his country will forcefully resist NATO's attacks, while the Yugoslav government has decided to place the country's total available resources at the disposal of national defense and has called on Montenegro's government to respect its legal obligations to the federation.
 International developments concerning Kosovo crisisAmerican president Bill Clinton said last night he was in favor of the continuation of the air strikes against Yugoslavia, while NATO secretary general Javier Solana did not rule out the despatch of land forces as well.
French foreign minister Hubert Vedrine stated yesterday that he supported a diplomatic initiative already underway by Russia for a peaceful solution to the Kosovo crisis.
Russian mediators have arrived in Belgrade for a meeting with president Slobodan Milosevic, while diplomatic sources are speculating on a possible meeting, in the next few days, between Mr Milosevic and Russian president Boris Yeltsin.
Last night, Israeli foreign minister Ariel Sharon said Israel was ready to send medical and humanitarian aid to Kosovo if requested.
Meanwhile, the NATO raids have triggered off a storm of reactions worldwide and the number of refugees is growing. In the FYROM, tension is mounting and there are fears attempts might be made to destabilize the region. The West continues to accuse the Serbs of ethnic cleansing operations in Kosovo.
 Greece will not participate in land operations in KosovoGreece will not participate in land forces moving against a third country, nor will it allow such forces to move through its territory, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas reiterated yesterday following a meeting of the government council for foreign affairs and defense. He said Greece insisted on the inviolability of borders and territorial integrity, and respect for international law.
Mr Reppas pointed out that the particular relations between Greece and neighboring countries should be taken into consideration in decisions concerning the crisis in Kosovo and he announced Greek diplomatic initiatives for peace in Kosovo.
He also underlined that Greece would provide help to Albania and Skopje for dealing with the expected wave of refugees.
According to reliable sources, the government council for foreign affairs and defense also discussed the contents of a reply from prime minister Kostas Simitis to a letter sent by president Bill Clinton who called on Greece to remain united with its NATO partners on the issue of the air strikes.
 Greek foreign minister meets Skopjan counterpartForeign minister Yorgos Papandreou, who met in Athens yesterday with his Skopjan counterpart, said Athens would support Skopje's demand that NATO and the EU guarantee its security. The Skopjan foreign minister said the FYROM would not allow use of its territory for ground operations against Yugoslavia.
Meanwhile, reports said that Belgrade, following the severing of diplomatic relations with the USA, has requested the Greek ambassador in Washington to represent Yugoslav interests in that country.
 Secretary of state meets Greek Orthodox leaders in USAAmerican secretary of state Madeleine Albright has called a tele-conference today of all Greek Orthodox leaders in the USA, whose head is archbishop Spyridon of America, in order to provide explanations for the continuing NATO attacks on Yugoslavia.
The Council of America's Orthodox Bishops appears determined to condemn NATO's attacks against the people of Yugoslavia and to urge the American secretary of state to find immediately a peaceful solution for Kosovo.
The archbishop of America has spoken out in favor of a solution based on respect for the dignity and the value of every human life, irrespective of religious belief and nationality.
 Commercial Bank favors Credit Bank for sale of Ionian BankAccording to a communique issued by the Commercial Bank, its management has accepted a report by the J.P. Morgan company, which has assessed a bid by the Credit Bank to be the most advantageous for the purchase of 51% of the shares of the Ionian Bank.
The Commercial Bank management's decision is expected to be submitted today to the board for final ratification.
 PASOK central committee elects secretary and executive bureauPrime minister and PASOK leader Kostas Simitis and national defense minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos had a meeting yesterday afternoon, related to today's meeting of the PASOK central committee to elect a new secretary and executive bureau.
 New Democracy leader ends tour of ThessalyOpposition New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis visited Trikala and Karditsa yesterday on the last day of his tour of Thessaly.
 Session of Democratic Social Movement's political committeeThe 12th session of the central political committee of the Democratic Social Movement took place yesterday at a central hotel in Athens, with the party's overall proposal on a unified Europe as its object. The main speaker was party leader Dimitris Tsovolas.
 Coalition leader visits IliaLeader of the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress Nikos Konstantopoulos yesterday visited the areas in the prefecture of Ilia in the Peloponnese which were hard hit by recent landslides.
 Session of Political Spring party's central councilLeader of the Political Spring party Antonis Samaras opened the third session of his party's central council with extensive references to NATO's air strikes on Yugoslavia, but also to the crucial nature of the upcoming Euro-elections.
 Unity for celebration of Kileler farmers' uprisingUnity prevailed in this year's celebration of the 89th anniversary of the Kileler farmers' uprising, in which the government was represented by agriculture minister Yorgos Anomeritis.
Addressing the gathering, Mr Anomeritis stressed that the use of EU funds for Greek agriculture and the shaping of agricultural policies were some of the government's priorities. He clarified that an increase in farming income would not come from direct subsidies, but from policies aimed at upgrading agricultural activities.