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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (08/03/1996)

From: Macedonian Press Agency <mpa@philippos.mpa.gr>

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki 8 March 1996


TITLES

  • [01] FYROM ISSUE ENTERS FINAL STAGE WITH COMPOUND NAME LIKELY

  • [02] GREEK GOVERNMENT HAS THE INITIATIVE ON THE FYROM NAME ISSUE

  • [03] GREEK MERCHANT MARINE MINISTER RESPONDS TO TURKISH BAN RUMORS

  • [04] YOU TAKE THE HAGUE INITIATIVE, SAYS GREEK GOVERNMENT TO TURKEY

  • [05] GREECE WILL NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TURKEY, ATHENS REITERATES

  • [06] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER SPEAKS ABOUT SKOPJE, TURKEY AND ALBANIA

  • [07] GREEK PRESIDENT IN LISBON TO ATTEND TOMORROW'S SWEARING-IN CEREMONY OF NEW PORTUGUESE PRESIDENT

  • [08] SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER MET TODAY WITH MR. PANGALOS IN ATHENS

  • [09] THIRD BALKAN BUSINESS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI

  • [10] PASOK LEADER STILL HOSPITALIZED, CONDITION IMPROVES STEADILY

  • [11] THERE IS PROGRESS ON CYPRUS ISSUE, SAYS U.S. PRESIDENT

  • [12] RESOLUTION TABLED TO THE EURO-PARLIAMENT CONDEMNS THE RECENT STATEMENTS BY DENKTASH

  • [13] CHERNOBIL INCIDENT WAS LOCAL, NO RADIATION INCREASE WAS RECORDED

  • [14] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] FYROM ISSUE ENTERS FINAL STAGE WITH COMPOUND NAME LIKELY

    Greece and FYROM appear to enter the straight line for the settlement of the one-time Yugoslav republic's name, most likely leaning in the direction of a compound name.

    According to diplomatic sources, the compound name is considered to be a compromise solution that may dileneate from the initial positions guarded by both sides, and may not be the most popular option for the leaders of both countries. However, the same sources concede that such option could lead to the stabilization of relations between Greece and FYROM during a time that both neighbors need to be surrounded by allies.

    Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos has warned that if an agreement on the name is not reached, there is a possibility that the US mediator Cyrus Vance will resign his mandate, thereby allowing Skopje to be recognized by the name it used in its constitution, and dropping the temporary FYROM name completely.

    Briefing the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, the Minister of Press and Media Dimitris Reppas stated that delegations of both countries plan to meet again on April 14 with Mr. Vance and submit specific proposals that will be mutually acceptable.

    Meanwhile, during the April 9 Washington meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and US President Bill Clinton, the Greek Premier will make his positions on the issue known to the American leader.

    [02] GREEK GOVERNMENT HAS THE INITIATIVE ON THE FYROM NAME ISSUE

    Referring to the recent development on the five-year-old Skopjian name issue, the Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stated that Greece has the initiative on the FYROM issue and will do whatever is necessary in order to arrive at the best solution.

    Mr. Reppas stated that no proposal has so far been presented to the Greek side regarding the possibility of a compound name.

    During the last round of talks, held in New York and mediated by Cyrus Vance, both Greece and FYROM persisted on their respective positions regarding the name of the one-time Yugoslav republic.

    [03] GREEK MERCHANT MARINE MINISTER RESPONDS TO TURKISH BAN RUMORS

    Greece's Merchant Marine Minister Kosmas Sfiriou expressed his hope that the recent Turkish threats to boycott Greek shipping are in acordance with international law and in line with Ankara's commitments to the OECD.

    According to Turkish press reports, Ankara is threatening to ban Greek vessels from transporting freight to and from Turkish ports, if Greece presses on with its veto of Turkey's European Union funding.

    "We hope that the official position of the turkish government will be within the framework of international law and that Ankara does not adopt such threats..." Mr. Sfiriou stated.

    The Merchant Marine Minister added that if the Turkish government proceeds to act on these threats it would provoke international reactions "and, of course, the reaction of the Greek side."

    [04] YOU TAKE THE HAGUE INITIATIVE, SAYS GREEK GOVERNMENT TO TURKEY

    Greek government spokesperson and Minister of Press and Media Dimitris Reppas reiterated today the Cabinet's known position that "Turkey will have be the one to undertake the initiative to resort to the International Justice Court at The Hague."

    Mr. Reppas added that if Turkey does seek recourse to The Hague, then Greece is willing to respond accordingly.

    When asked to comment on yesterday's statement made by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos who said that Greece should take the initiative to address the International Court on the Imia issue, Mr. Reppas responded that "the government does not comment on statements made by the President of the Republic."

    [05] GREECE WILL NOT NEGOTIATE WITH TURKEY, ATHENS REITERATES

    Greece will not engage in an "all-out" dialogue with Turkey reiterated today the Greek government's spokesperson, in light of statements made yesterday by Turkey's newly-appointed Premier Mesut Yilmaz who called on Greece to participate in a dialogue spanning all issues regarding the relations between the two countries.

    "Turkey's position on promoting a Greek-Turkish dialogue has been expressed numerous times in the past," Mr. Reppas said.

    "We believe that there can be a dialogue regarding specific issues which of course will promote the stabilization of the two countries' relations and the development of friendship and collaboration between the two nations," the government spokesperson stated.

    However, he added, this dialogue cannot be extended to issues that concern Greece's territorial sovereignty. Mr. Reppas also said that solving the Cypriot issue would be a good start towards the stabilization of the Greek-Turkish relations.

    [06] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER SPEAKS ABOUT SKOPJE, TURKEY AND ALBANIA

    Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said that the time for decisions has come regarding the issue of the name that will be used by FYROM, responding to questions by reporters on the issues that were discussed in the meeting he had with President Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Simitis.

    Mr.Pangalos said that the government will reach a decision on the issue of FYROM's name after consultations with the political party leaders.

    Clarifying the content of his interview to a turkish TV station, mr.Pangalos said that he made no proposal to Turkey adding that obviously Greece can not disarm the islands because they must be protected. Mr.Pangalos stressed that within the framework of a de-escalation of the tension and of a certain solution of the differences with Turkey, given the fact that the turkish 4th Army Corps will be dissolved, Greece could talk on a de-escalation and disarmament because as he said "Greece has no intention to maintain an army without a reason".

    Responding to the question if President Stephanopoulos' upcoming visit to Tirana on March 21 and 22 is a pre-election campaign gift to President Berisha he said that the trip had been decided a long time before the albanian elections were scheduled.

    [07] GREEK PRESIDENT IN LISBON TO ATTEND TOMORROW'S SWEARING-IN CEREMONY OF NEW PORTUGUESE PRESIDENT

    Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos is expected to arrive late this evening in Lisbon accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Romeos, representing the greek government.

    The greek President will represent Greece in the swearing-in ceremony of the new Portuguese President Jorge Fernando Branco de Sampaio which will take place in Lisbon tomorrow.

    [08] SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER MET TODAY WITH MR. PANGALOS IN ATHENS

    Swedish Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen, on a working visit in Greece, met in Athens today with her greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos. Ms.Wallen was also received by greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    The talks between the two Foreign Ministers focused on issues concerning the Maastricht Treaty revision, the future of the European Union and bilateral issues.

    Ms.Wallen stressed that the two countries have excellent relations and that her visit contributes to their further improvement on issues of economic cooperation, culture and political understanding.

    Also, the two Foreign Ministers discussed the situation in Russia and the Balkans with special emphasis on Bosnia, where Sweden and Greece contribute to the implementation of the peace process.

    Ms.Wallen expressed interest on the issues concerning Greece and its neighbours, both Skopje and Turkey, and also wished for peaceful solutions offering her country's assistance.

    The two Ministers responding to a question by a reporter stated that within the framework of the European Union Greece found in Sweden a supporter of the greek national issues as it happened and with other EU partners.

    Sweden within the framework of the political solidarity has backed Greece, said ms.Wallen while regarding the recent Greek- Turkish dispute she said that it must be resolved based on International Law and with the help of the International Court of Justice adding that between two neighbouring countries there is also the option of a dialogue for the solution of differences.

    Finally, on the occassion of the International Woman's Day ms.Wallen stated that women must work together in all the sectors where they function adding that the problem with the Cypriot and Kurdish women is part of the world problem concerning women as victims of armed conflicts wherever they may happen.

    [09] THIRD BALKAN BUSINESS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI

    The third Balkan Business Conference, to be held in Thessaloniki on Monday and Tuesday, will attract more than 200 businessmen from Greece and other Balkan countries and will feature speeches from the Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev.

    In his speech, Mr. Simitis is expected to outline the government's targets and strategy for peace in the sensitive region of the Balkans.

    Organized by the Association of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE), the Macedonia-Thrace Bank and the Hellenic-American Chamber, the conference will also be attended by high-ranking government officials and diplomats from the Balkans.

    Foreign guest speakers will include the U.S. and Russian Ambassadors to Greece Thomas Niles and Valery Nikolayenko respectively, Alternate Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Dontso Konakchiev, Romanian Deputy Prime Minister Mircea Cosea, Albanian Labor Minister Etzalk Dagli and Bulgarian Industry Under-Secretary Plamen Dimitrov.

    Greek speakers will include Ministers Pangalos, Petsalnikos, Vasso Papandreou, Kastanides, Tsohatzopoulos and main opposition party leader Miltiades Evert.

    [10] PASOK LEADER STILL HOSPITALIZED, CONDITION IMPROVES STEADILY

    The treating physicians of former Premier Andreas Papandreou noted today that ttheir patient is still suffering from respiratory problems and, as a result, did not proceed with the closing of the tracheostomy.

    According to today's medical bulletin, issued by the Onasion Cardiosurgery Center, Mr. Papandreou's health condition is developing smoothly and today he underwent an intensive program of physiotherapy and kinesiotherapy.

    [11] THERE IS PROGRESS ON CYPRUS ISSUE, SAYS U.S. PRESIDENT

    In his bi-monthly report on Cyrpus submitted to Congress, United States President Bill Clinton states that the efforts exerted by the United Nations to solve the Cyprus issue are inter- related to the island's European Union accession.

    For this reason, Mr. Clinton states in the report's accompanying letter, his government will try to secure a close collaboration between the UN and the US for the settlement of the issue.

    In the report, which covers the time period of December 95- January 96, President Clinton notes that during the recent visit to Cyprus by US mediator Richard Beatty, there was a progress noted, albeit small, which provides the base for the continuance of the American initiative when the region's conditions improve.

    "We are certain," wrote Mr. Clinton in his report, "that if the parties involved in the dispute are ready to participate with seriousness and flexibility we will be able to proceed to active negotiations and to a finalized settlement by the creation of a two-zone, two-community federation."

    [12] RESOLUTION TABLED TO THE EURO-PARLIAMENT CONDEMNS THE RECENT STATEMENTS BY DENKTASH

    With a resolution tabled to the European Parliament which will meet next week in Strasbourg the Joint EU-Cyprus Parliamentary Committee President mrs.Mehtilt Rote and greek Euro- Deputy of the governing party of PASOK mr.Yiannos Kranidiotis condemn the recent statements made by Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on the execution of 1.619 Greek-Cypriots after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

    The draft resolution maintains that responsible for the fate of those still missing in Cyprus is Turkey based on the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their protocols, the 1907 Hague regulations and the international common law.

    Turkey is called to cooperate with honesty and good will in order to be determined the fate of all those missing by suppling the necessary information and evidence on each and everyone of them to the responsible UN Committee.

    The resolution calls for the termination of the destruction of the cultural heritage in the turkish occupied territories in Cyprus while the Cypriot Archaeological Agency should be allowed to visit the archaelogical sites and the churches in the occupied territories.

    As a result of the initiative undertaken by mrs.Rote and the greek Euro-Deputy the European Parliament Presidents Conference decided that the issue of the missing Greek-Cypriots must be discussed in the European Parliament in Strasbourg next Wednesday with the participation of European Commission and EU Italian Presidency representatives.

    [13] CHERNOBIL INCIDENT WAS LOCAL, NO RADIATION INCREASE WAS RECORDED

    The serious incident in the Chernobil nuclear plant was local, according to Aristotle University Nuclear Physics professor mr.Konstantinos Papastephanou.

    The incident that was brought to light by the Ukrainian News Agency occured on November 17 and caused serious damages in the equipment department and in parts of the No1 nuclear reactor. The Ukrainian News Agency also mentioned that at least one worker received radiation equal to the annually admissible level.

    Prof.Papastephanou stated to MPA that there was no accident but a "serious incident" based on the international scale for the valuation of nuclear accidents.

    Its valuation as "Grade 3" which corresponds to "serious incident" shows that it was a local incident which was possibly restricted inside the nuclear plant. Mr.Papastephanou also stated that the International Atomic Energy Committee recorded no radiation increase in the atmosphere.

    Mr.Papastephanou added that both the Ukraine and the International Atomic Energy Committee have demanded the closing down of the 16 graphite reactors operating today in the former Soviet Union countries, but this has not happened yet due to economic and mainly energy supply reasons.

    [14] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT

    CURRENCY          FIXING      BUY         SELL
    ECU              302.4000   302.0410    303.8590
    U.S. Dollar      241.5200   240.7950    242.2450
    Deutsche Mark    163.4000   162.9100    163.8900
    UK Sterling      369.2600   368.1520    370.3680
    French Franc      47.6760    47.5330     47.8190
    Swedish Crown     35.4800    35.3740     35.5860
    Danish Kroner     42.3010    42.1740     42.4280
    Norwegian Crown   37.5510    37.4380     37.6640
    Italian Lira      15.4700    15.4240     15.5160
    Swiss Franc      200.8080   200.2060    201.4100
    Spanish Peseta     1.9424     1.9366      1.9482
    Finnish Mark      52.6040    52.4460     52.7620
    Yen              228.9450   228.2580    229.6320
    
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