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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-03-30

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Nightmare in Serbia continues
  • [02] Problem of refugees from Kosovo escalating
  • [03] Reaction to air raids mounting
  • [04] Greek prime minister says military force no solution
  • [05] Church of Greece appeals for peace in Yugoslavia
  • [06] Ecumenical Patriarch urges peaceful solution to all problems
  • [07] Greek artists show solidarity with Serbs
  • [08] New PASOK secretary and executive bureau
  • [09] Alpha Credit Bank wins tender for Ionian Bank
  • [10] European Commission's spring report to be released today

  • [01] Nightmare in Serbia continues

    Serbia is still going through a nightmare, as NATO air strikes continue and thousands of people have fled from Kosovo seeking refuge in the FYROM and Albania. According to reports, at least a thousand people have been killed in the bombings.

    Yugoslav state TV reported that a NATO plane was shot down over the capital of Montenegro, early this morning. Although the plane was not identified, the network is quoting many eye witnesses.

    The military airport at Golubovci, near the capital of Montenegro, and the city of Pancevo, southeast of Belgrade, where an aviation factory is located, were bombed tonight.

    Hope now lies with the diplomatic initiative undertaken by Moscow, as Russian prime minister Yevgeni Primakov is rushing to Belgrade today. After his meeting with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic, Mr Primakov will go to Bonn for talks with German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

    American state department spokesman James Rubin has stated that the US approves of the Russian prime minister's mission to Belgrade, but will continue the air raids, if Slobodan Milosevic does not give in.

    [02] Problem of refugees from Kosovo escalating

    Skopjan deputy premier Radmilla Kyprianova has appealed to neighbouring countries to receive a number of the refugees seeking refuge in the FYROM. She stressed that the wave of refugees may destabilise the country and the broader region.

    Greek foreign minister Yorgos Papandreou announced yesterday that Greece was undertaking the initiative to send humanitarian aid to the refugees flooding the neighbouring countries.

    [03] Reaction to air raids mounting

    Meanwhile, Chinese president Ziang Zemin has sent a message to Washington and Belgrade for an immediate end to the air raids against Yugoslavia. China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has stressed that the NATO strikes are in violation of the UN charter.

    Yesterday, French president Jacques Chirac stated that the air raids required time in order to be effective and for that reason France was at the same time working on a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis.

    Reactions to the NATO air strikes and the use of military force against Yugoslavia are mounting on an international scale. The Indian government once again called for an immediate end to the NATO air attacks against Yugoslavia. An official government announcement stressed that prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpeji intended to cooperate with the non aligned states for a peaceful settlement of the Kosovo crisis.

    An anti-NATO demonstration was held in Stockholm, Sweden, yesterday, for the sixth consecutive day. In London, riot police were deployed to avert clashes between pro-Serbian and pro-Albanian demonstrators.

    Leader of the Scottish autonomists Alex Salmond described the NATO strikes as "an unforgivable madness", causing strong reaction from British foreign secretary Robin Cook.

    Commenting on the air raids against Yugoslavia, former director of the British newspaper "The Times" William Rees Mong wondered why NATO did not bomb Turkey as well, for the crime committed in Cyprus.

    [04] Greek prime minister says military force no solution

    In Athens, prime minister Kostas Simitis, addressing the PASOK central committee yesterday, said that the continuing military violence could not lead to a solution, also stressing that a dialogue aiming at a peaceful settlement of the problem should start immediately.

    President of the republic Konstantinos Stefanopoulos ruled out Greece's eventual entanglement in the Kosovo crisis. He added nevertheless that he was as worried as everyone else since no one knew what else might happen.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas also reiterated that in no case would Greece participate in NATO ground operations against Kosovo.

    Finally, a debate on the Kosovo crisis will be held in the Greek parliament at political leaders' level tomorrow.

    [05] Church of Greece appeals for peace in Yugoslavia

    In view of Easter, the Church of Greece has addressed an appeal to NATO, the UN and the EU for a ceasefire in Yugoslavia. In its announcement, which was issued yesterday, the Church condemned the air raids and called on Orthodox heads of churches throughout Europe to undertake initiatives for peace in the Balkans.

    The announcement also stressed that the Church supported the Greek government in its decision not to become involved in the hostilities in Kosovo.

    As stated by the press spokesman of the Permanent Holy Synod, Metropolitan Panteleimon of Xanthi, a 3-member delegation of the Church of Greece will visit Belgrade next week for talks with Patriarch Paul of Serbia. The Greek clergymen will also deliver financial aid and express their solidarity with the sorely tried Serbian people.

    [06] Ecumenical Patriarch urges peaceful solution to all problems

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos of Constantinople has issued a dramatic appeal for a ceasefire in Yugoslavia and the whole world and a peaceful solution to problems. He called on the rulers of the world to stop military operations and use mutual understanding and concessions to resolve peacefully all regional, international and world problems.

    Furthermore, Archbishop Spyridon of America had a telephone conversation with American secretary of state Madeleine Albright and called on her, according to reports, to stop the NATO air raids on Yugoslavia.

    [07] Greek artists show solidarity with Serbs

    Intellectuals and artists in Greece are organizing a series of events, in a show of solidarity with the Serbian people. They have called on the Greek people to participate in a silent protest demonstration outside the American embassy in Athens tonight. An anti-war concert has been scheduled for Friday, April 2nd, in Thessaloniki.

    Finally, artists in Northern Greece are preparing to stage a peace event on the border with Yugoslavia.

    [08] New PASOK secretary and executive bureau

    PASOK's new central committee re-elected Kostas Skandalidis to the post of secretary. It also elected the 11 members of the executive bureau who are: Apostolos Kaklamanis, Vasso Papandreou, Kostas Laliotis, Theodoros Pangalos, Alekos Papadopoulos, Evangelos Venizelos, Yorgos Papandreou, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Christos Papoutsis, Tonia Antoniou and Yorgos Moraitis.

    [09] Alpha Credit Bank wins tender for Ionian Bank

    Alpha Credit Bank is the winner of the tender for the purchase of 51% of the shares of the Ionian Bank, with an offer to the Commercial Bank amounting to 272 billion drachmas. The Commercial Bank's board has unanimously accepted the offer.

    National economy minister Yannos Papantoniou expressed the government's satisfaction over the positive outcome of the tender, stressing it is the largest privatisation ever to take place in Greece.

    [10] European Commission's spring report to be released today

    The European Commission's spring report is to be released today, including the prediction that Greece will join European economic and monetary union as scheduled.
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