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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-03-31

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] NATO bombers carry on strikes in Serbia
  • [02] Russian mediatory mission fails
  • [03] Flow of refugees continues
  • [04] Kosovo crisis discussed by Greek leaders
  • [05] Anti-NATO demonstrations in Athens
  • [06] Archbishop Spyridon sends letter to American president
  • [07] Cypriot house speaker says Turkey will not risk incident
  • [08] Greek foreign undersecretary praises Greek lobby in USA
  • [09] Labour minister raises retirement lump sum bonus by 3.5%
  • [10] General secretariat for tourism at development ministry
  • [11] UNICEF radio-marathon to raise funds for vaccinations
  • [12] Council of Europe appoints representatives at Ocalan trial
  • [13] Plans to shut down reactors at Kozlodui nuclear power plant

  • [01] NATO bombers carry on strikes in Serbia

    NATO bombers carried out further air strikes on Serbian targets last night. Serbian sources report that a number of targets on the outskirts of Belgrade were hit in the NATO attacks. According to the independent news agency VETA, quoting an official at the citizens' information centre, four explosions were felt in the Yugoslav capital in the early hours of this morning. The main targets of last night's raids by NATO aircraft were Jakovo and Borca, two communities to the west and south of Belgrade, as well as Avala and Pancevo.

    The Yugoslav news agency Tanjug reported that areas south-east of Pristina had been hit where three rockets landed near the monastery at Grakanica, while four explosions occurred in the communities of Novi Badovac, Susica and Livadje, and three more in Ajvalija.

    In an interview published in the British newspaper The Times, the NATO secretary general, Javier Solana, said he was in daily contact with the leaders of NATO member states and that they were in complete agreement over the NATO operations.

    Military sources say that at the start of hostilities, the American air force had roughly 150 laser-operated air-to-ground missiles at its disposal. However, the American Pentagon spokesman, Kenneth Bacon, has expressed concern that stocks may run out.

    [02] Russian mediatory mission fails

    Meanwhile the political leaders of Germany, Britain and Italy have all rejected the latest Yugoslav proposals as an inadequate basis for a settlement of the crisis over Kosovo.

    The Russian prime minister, Yevgeni Primakov, had a lengthy meeting in Belgrade yesterday with the Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, in an attempt to break the deadlock. At a press conference later, Mr Primakov said he was not disappointed by the outcome of the talks and that he would continue with his efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis.

    President Milosevic said after the meeting that the Kosovo problem could be resolved only by political means and not through the dumping of thousands of tons of bombs.

    A statement issued by the office of the Yugoslav leadership said it was obvious that the success of Kosovo's political leaders would depend on a total stop to NATO's support for the Albanian separatists in Kosovo who were engaged in terrorism.

    [03] Flow of refugees continues

    The long trails of civilians seeking to avoid the fighting are growing by the day. According to international news agencies, 120,000 refugees have now crossed over the border into Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The government in Skopje has already announced it will take strict measures to stem the flow of refugees.

    In Athens, the interior minister, Vasso Papandreou, has announced that Greece is to send humanitarian aid to the refugees and will provide financial support to Albania and FYROM, the main destinations of those fleeing the fighting in Kosovo.

    [04] Kosovo crisis discussed by Greek leaders

    The crisis in Kosovo is to be discussed in the Greek parliament today. The debate will be broadcast live on Greek Radio.

    Meanwhile the foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, met the New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, yesterday to brief him on the latest developments in the Kosovo crisis. They both agreed on the need to promote diplomatic initiatives for a settlement of the problem.

    The issue will also be discussed at a meeting today of former prime ministers and presidents of the New Democracy party.

    [05] Anti-NATO demonstrations in Athens

    There were further demonstrations against the NATO attacks in central Athens yesterday, in which petrol bombs were thrown at the ministry of development causing damage to nearby cars and a supermarket. A silent vigil organised by several well-known artists and musicians outside the American embassy in Athens ended shortly before five o'clock this morning.

    [06] Archbishop Spyridon sends letter to American president

    Archbishop Spyridon of America has sent a letter to the American president, Bill Clinton, calling for an end to the NATO air raids so that Serbia's Orthodox Christian population and Kosovo's Roman Catholic minority may live in peace in these days of the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, an event which could make the warring sides aware that the holy days of Easter could be an opportunity for peace in the region and the cessation of violence by all factions.

    [07] Cypriot house speaker says Turkey will not risk incident

    Speaker of the Cypriot house of representatives Spyros Kyprianou has said the role of the United States in relation to Greece and Cyprus was not what it should be.

    Mr Kyprianou also estimated that Turkey would not risk any involvement in war operations or cause any kind of incident, adding that threats were a tactic followed as a rule by Turkey in moments of crisis, with the obvious aim of securing political trade-offs.

    [08] Greek foreign undersecretary praises Greek lobby in USA

    Foreign undersecretary Grigoris Niotis, who is on a visit to the USA to attend celebrations for the March 25th Greek National Day, gave a press conference in New York yesterday and referred to his contacts with American administration officials. He said his assessment was that the Greek lobby in Washington was doing a very good job on Greek issues.

    He added that after the bombings in Kosovo, president Bill Clinton had cancelled all his meetings with representatives of various ethnic communities, but had a 23 minute meeting with the Greek lobby in the Oval Office.

    [09] Labour minister raises retirement lump sum bonus by 3.5%

    Labour minister Miltiadis Papaioannou has decided that the lump sum bonus for retiring civil servants would be increased by 3.5% retroactively as of January first, 1999.

    [10] General secretariat for tourism at development ministry

    The minister of development, Evangelos Venizelos, has announced the setting- up of a general secretariat for tourism at the ministry.

    [11] UNICEF radio-marathon to raise funds for vaccinations

    A major UNICEF radio-marathon will be held in Greece tomorrow, to be broadcast by the second programme of Greek Radio, ERA-2. The aim is to raise funds amounting to 150 million drachmas for the full vaccination of 33 thousand children.

    [12] Council of Europe appoints representatives at Ocalan trial

    The Council of Europe yesterday appointed 3 parliamentarians to represent it at the trial of Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan in Turkey. The decision was made during the session of the Council's parliamentary assembly, which started in Rome yesterday and will end today.

    The trial of the leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan is expected to start on April 30th at the prison-island of Imrali where he is being held. Turkey has rejected the presence of observers but has announced that the trial will be open to the public.

    [13] Plans to shut down reactors at Kozlodui nuclear power plant

    The Bulgarian government is to work out a programme in cooperation with the EU for closing down units 1 and 4 of the Kozlodui nuclear power plant, as provided by the final text of the joint parliamentary committee of the EU and Bulgaria which convened in Brussels.
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