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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (13/03/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

March 13, 1996


TITLES

  • [01] THE GREEK PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO TIRANA IS A MILESTONE IN THE STRENGTHENING OF THE GREEK-ALBANIAN RELATIONS

  • [02] STATEMENTS BY THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON IMIA

  • [03] STATEMENTS BY YILMAZ AND EVERT IN A PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER THE MEETING OF THE CHRISTIAN-DEMOCRATIC PARTIES IN PARIS

  • [04] NEW DEMOCRACY LEADER SATISFIED WITH EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC UNION

  • [05] TURKISH PREMIER MESUT YILMAZ WANTS DIALOGUE WITH GREECE

  • [06] THE EU PARLIAMENT APPROVED TWO CHANGES TO ITS POSITIONS ON BORDER SECURITY GUARANTEES

  • [07] THE GREEK MINISTER OF NATIONAL ECONOMY IS VISITING CYPRUS

  • [08] THE CHIEF OF THE GREEK NATIONAL DEFENCE GENERAL STAFF WILL MAKE AN INFORMAL VISIT TO SADASKI, BULGARIA

  • [09] EXHIBITION OF GREEK PRODUCTS WILL BE HELD IN ODESSA, UKRAINE

  • [10] PKK KURDISH REBEL LEADER ISSUES WARNING TO TURKEY FROM GREEK TV

  • [11] GREECE, CYPRUS TO COLLABORATE ON DISCOVERING THE FATE OF MISSING

  • [12] INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT ON TERRORISM HELD IN EGYPT TODAY

  • [13] HILARY CLINTON WILL VISIT GREECE AND TURKEY

  • [14] U.S. PRESIDENT TO MEET WITH DEMIREL IN THE WHITE HOUSE

  • [15] EGNATIA ROAD TO BE COMPLETED BY THE YEAR 2000

  • [16] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] THE GREEK PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO TIRANA IS A MILESTONE IN THE STRENGTHENING OF THE GREEK-ALBANIAN RELATIONS

    The hope of the albanian government that Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos' upcoming visit to Tirana will be a milestone in the cooperation of the two countries, was stressed by albanian Labour and Immigration Minister Eintzel Dakli in an interview to MPA. The albanian Minister was in Thessaloniki in order to participate in the 3rd International Conference on Inter- Balkan Business Cooperation.

    Mr.Dakli said that the albanian government expects the signing of a friendship and coopeartion accord during mr.Stephanopoulos' visit which will lay the foundations for a permanent cooperation that will not be affected by any changes in government.

    Specifically, regarding the seasonal employment of albanians in Greece, he said that the albanian government has made the necessary preparations in cooperation with the greek government, while commenting on the illegal immigrants' legalization agreement which the albanian government wants to be signed mr.Dakli said that it will benefit both countries. The albanian Minister also said that the visa requirement for the greek citizens has been lifted by the albanian authorities adding that the greek side should do the same at least for the albanian businessmen.

    According to the albanian Minister, the widening of business cooperation between the two countries is the albanian government's main wish. He said that 20% of foreign investments in Albania come from greek businessmen and this percentage is indicative of their role and importance. Mr.Dakli added that studies should be made in order to determine the most prefered sectors and to win further increase of the greek investments in Albania.

    Regarding the legal framework concerning the foreign investments mr.Dakli said that the present government made a big effort for the creation of a legislative framework with up-to-date and european specifications.

    The visit by greek President Stephanopoulos, according to mr.Dakli, will be an opportunity for the discussion of the problems in the wider region. Responding to the question on whether mr.Stephanopoulos' presence in Albania during a pre- election period and the possible agreement on the legalization of illegal immigrants constitute indirect backing of the present albanian government by Greece, mr.Dakli did not make any direct correlation. He stated that it has already been clear that the albanian government is characterized by a european dimension.

    He stressed that Albania's future is linked with the West while he expressed optimism that the albanian people will support the continuation of the same policy.

    The albanian Labour and Immigration Minister characterized as positive his government's work on the issue of the operation of greek schools in Agii Saranta, Delvino and Argyrokastro. He said that the albanian law clearly provides for the procedure concerning the issue of schools reiterating that there is no intend for discriminations.

    [02] STATEMENTS BY THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON IMIA

    The report published by the newspaper "ELEFTHEROS TIPOS" according to which there is a special agreement between Greece and the United States on the Aegean islet of Imia is not based on official facts, stated Press Minister Dimitris Reppas.

    Commenting on statements made on the issue by an american official and published by the same newspaper, mr.Reppas referred to the statements made by mr.Holbrooke according to which the agreement on Imia was to return to the earlier status quo.

    [03] STATEMENTS BY YILMAZ AND EVERT IN A PRESS CONFERENCE AFTER THE MEETING OF THE CHRISTIAN-DEMOCRATIC PARTIES IN PARIS

    Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said in a joint press conference of the Christian-Democratic Party leaders after their meeting in Paris that Turkey wants to ease off the tension with Greece and to develop a process of dialogue that will restore trust and will lead to the reconciliation of the two countries. Mr.Yilmaz also said that Turkey respects International Law, is Greece's partner in international organizations and will find some sort of a peaceful arrangement.

    Immediately after mr.Yilmaz, spoke the head of the greek delegation New Democracy party leader mr.Miltiadis Evert who referred to the 1988 Yilmaz-Papoulias agreement on confidence building measures which was not observed by Turkey and said that the greek gesture to lift the veto on Turkey's customs union with the EU found no reciprocation from Turkey which continued its provocative stand. Mr.Evert said that he agrees with mr.Yilmaz on a peaceful settlement under the condition that International Law will be respected, as well as, the international conventions concerning the region.

    On the sidelines of the Conference, mr.Yilmaz responding to a question by greek state television channel ET-1 did not rule out the possibility of bringing the Greek-Turkish dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague while he characterized as interesting the recent proposals made by greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

    Mr.Yilmaz had expressed the wish to meet with mr.Evert but the meeting did not take place because the New Democracy leader rejected the proposal.

    [04] NEW DEMOCRACY LEADER SATISFIED WITH EUROPEAN DEMOCRATIC UNION

    New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert expressed his satisfaction and enthusiasm for the course of the 17th Conference of the European Democratic Union, held in Paris today, and specifically for the participants' homophonous approval of the Union's final report that responds to the greek issues and positions.

    The document, also signed by the Turk Premier Melsut Yilmaz, was amended by New Democracy as follows:

    In the report titled "Stability and Security in the Mediterranean" Greece's and Turkey's willingness to arrive at a peaceful solution in the Aegean Sea differences is outlined. In the same chapter, it was added that "there has been noted concern regarding the continuation of Cyprus's division and there is support expressed towards the United Nations and other organizations that are working towards a peaceful settlement of the problem."

    It is also emphasized that "Cyprus' request for accession to the European Union constitutes a positive step towards this direction."

    Referring to the European Union, it is added that "as was decided at the European Council of March 6, the inclusion negotiations for Cyprus and Malta will begin after the completion of the inter-balkan Sunmmit of '96, based on the Commission's proposal and taking into consideration the Summit's results."

    Regarding the issue of european security, the report "denounced any form of security violation and aggressive act in Europe and anywhere else."

    Finally, regarding the Europe of the future, it was added that those who signed the statement "will work jointly to promote their philosophies in the areas that will secure a strong support of European Security and Stability, as well as diversion of any possibility of changing European borders through the use of military force."

    [05] TURKISH PREMIER MESUT YILMAZ WANTS DIALOGUE WITH GREECE

    The newly-appointed Turk Prime Minister Melsut Yilmaz, speaking at the 17th Conference of the European Democratic Union, suggested that Greece and Turkey should first try to determine what their differences are through dialogue, prior to seeking recourse at an international justice court, which he considers to be a last resort.

    Speaking at an official dinner given by his French counterpart Alain Juppe to honor the party leaders who are participating at this summit meeting of european democrats, Mr. Yilmaz stated that at this given point Greece and Turkey cannot come to a common assessment regarding their differences and added that if the problems are not first determined through dialogue, any solution attempts will remain vacuous.

    "We must re-activate the mechanism we created in 1989 which did not work due to the political changes in Turkey," Yilmaz said.

    "Our condition is to start a dialogue and proceed to mutual confidence building measures," the Turk Premier added, pointing out that Miltiades Evert, the leader of Greece's main opposition New Democracy party agrees with his point of views.

    The Turk Premier asked for Mr. Juppe's support regarding Turkey's inclusion to the upcoming Inter-governmental Conference, scheduled to take place in Turin, Italy.

    During his stay in Paris, Mr. Yilmaz will seek to hold meetings with Mr. Evert and Mr. Sali Besrisha.

    Mr. Yilmaz has requested that his country be included in the European Democratic Union while, responding to a journalist's question, he said that his request has been accepted and will be reviewed during the Union's following meeting, scheduled for 1997.

    [06] THE EU PARLIAMENT APPROVED TWO CHANGES TO ITS POSITIONS ON BORDER SECURITY GUARANTEES

    The European Parliament approved today the incorporation of two changes into its positions concerning the problem of border security guarantees which were expressed in view of the Inter- Governmental Conference for the revision of the Maastricht Treaty.

    With those changes is satisfied Greece's objective for the creation of a security framework in the light of the recent crisis in the Aegean. This way the European Parliament's advocacy is safeguarded but those changes are still nothing more than suggestions to the governments of the EU member states given the fact that the European Parliament plays no decisive role on this issue.

    The first change was tabled on behalf of the Socialist Group by Euro-Deputies Tsatsos, Di Giovanni, Rothley, Scheffer and Mayer and mentions that the European Union safeguards its territorial integrity and the security of its external borders.

    The second change which was tabled on behalf of the European Popular Party by Euro-Deputies Brock, Gill-Romples and Martens refers to the principle of solidarity among the EU member states even toward international developments and threats or provocations against its external borders.

    Meanwhile, the change tabled by Euro-Deputy of the greek party Coalition of the Left mr.Alekos Alavanos on behalf of the United Left, in which was included the greek demand for defence assistance, was rejected.

    [07] THE GREEK MINISTER OF NATIONAL ECONOMY IS VISITING CYPRUS

    Greece and Cyprus will sign agreements on trade and joint investments in new markets such as the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

    For this reason greek Minister of National Economy Yiannos Papantoniou will arrive in Nicosia this evening. Mr.Papantoniou will be received by Cypriot President Glafkos Kliridis and will have talks with Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou and other members of the cypriot government.

    According to press information, mr.Papantoniou will discuss with the cypriot government issues concerning bilateral economic cooperation and ways for its further development. Also, will examine the prospects of cooperation on the existing or new sectors inside and outside Greece and Cyprus.

    During his four-day visit to Cyprus, as a guest of Finance Minister Christodoulou, mr.Papantoniou will meet with the heads of the cypriot Commerce and Industry Chamber and the Employers and Industrialists Federations.

    [08] THE CHIEF OF THE GREEK NATIONAL DEFENCE GENERAL STAFF WILL MAKE AN INFORMAL VISIT TO SADASKI, BULGARIA

    Chief of the greek National Defence General Staff Wing- Commander Athanasios Tzoganis will make an unofficial visit to Sadaski, Bulgaria on March 15th to meet with his bulgarian counterpart General Tsvetan Totomirov.

    His visit's aim is the reviewing of the course of last year's Military Cooperation Programme and the signing of an equivalent programme for this year.

    Also, will be examined new ways for the expansion of the military cooperation between the armed forces of the two countries and will be discussed issues of mutual interest concerning developments in the wider Balkan region.

    [09] EXHIBITION OF GREEK PRODUCTS WILL BE HELD IN ODESSA, UKRAINE

    Exhibition of greek products organized by HELEXPO- Thessaloniki's International Trade Fair will be held in Odessa, Ukraine on March 21 to 25.

    Among the products presented in the exhibition will be clothes, shoes, furniture, hospital equipment, toys, foods, etc.

    The exhibition will give the opportunity to the greek businessmen to promote their products in a region which is a significant market for the 52 million ukrainian consumers.

    It should be mentioned that the greeks living in Odessa today are about 100 thousand.

    [10] PKK KURDISH REBEL LEADER ISSUES WARNING TO TURKEY FROM GREEK TV

    The leader of PKK Kurdish guerrillas Abdullah Ocalan granted an interview to the greek television station SKY on Monday and made a few resounding statements, part of which was that his rebels would bomb Turkish tourist resorts if Ankara did not cease its attacks against the Kurdish separatists.

    Warning tourists to stay away from Turkey, Ocalan stated that "if there is no ceasefire on the part of Turkey, tHen we will have all-out war and all weapons will be used. The tourist locations are for us the most important war zones," he said.

    Saying that an attack by Turkey on PKK bases and Kurdish villages was imminent, Ocalan warned that the rebels' military preparations are capable of facing "this upcoming war pushed by Turkey.

    "The Kurdish fighters are ready to answer to the Turks. Until now our struggle got halfway, but now the true battle will take place," he stated.

    Ocalan added that the Kurds are subject to daily genocide.

    "They want us wiped out," he said. "We can't open a school, we can't even sing our songs."

    He accused the West of arming Turkey which in turn used these weapons on the Kurds.

    "The West created a monster which they must now confine," Ocalan said referring to Turkey.

    The Kurdish rebel leader appealled to Washington to intervene and end the Kurdish genocide.

    "If the U.S. is honest than it must apply on the Kurds the same policy it applied in Bosnia, the Middle East and South Africa," he said.

    [11] GREECE, CYPRUS TO COLLABORATE ON DISCOVERING THE FATE OF MISSING

    Significant initiatives that aim at shedding light into the fate of the missing Cypriots will be presented to international and european organizations by a collaborative effort by the Cyprus House of Representatives and Hellenic Parliament, according to the Cypriot Speaker Alexis Galanos.

    Upon his return from Athens, Mr. Galanos outlined that the tactics followed by the initiatives will aim at re-placing the responsibility of these crimes back on to Turkish occupational forces, and not on "unruly militants", as Turk-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has done.

    Co-ordinating this effort will be Greek parliamentarian Alexandros Magakis and, from the Cypriot side, the then-president of the Commission on Refugees and the Missing.

    [12] INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT ON TERRORISM HELD IN EGYPT TODAY

    The "Summit of the Peacemakers" has turned into a landmark conference, gathering 29 world leaders who aim to promote the Middle East peace efforts, recently upset by suicide bombings that claimed 61 lives last week.

    The Summit is co-chaired by U.S. President Bill Clinton and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and among those attending are the Russian President Boris Yeltzin and King Hussein of Jordan.

    [13] HILARY CLINTON WILL VISIT GREECE AND TURKEY

    The first lady of the United States ms.Hilary Clinton will visit Greece to attend the Olympic Flame ceremonies while earlier will make a visit to Turkey.

    According to the turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, ms.Clinton will make a private visit to Ankara and Constantinople on March 27 to 29.

    From the US Embassy in Ankara was announced that it will be a visit of amiability during which ms.Clinton will be received by turkish President Demirel. The US Embassy also added that the US President's wife afterwards will visit Athens to attend the Olympic Flame ceremonies.

    Turkish newspaper "Hurriyet" writes today that the White House has decided that ms.Clinton should visit Turkey for reasons of balance between Greece and Turkey, but the US Embassy Press Office refused to comment on this estimation.

    [14] U.S. PRESIDENT TO MEET WITH DEMIREL IN THE WHITE HOUSE

    United States President Bill Clinton plans to grant priority status to the Cyprus issue during his imminent meeting at the White House with his Turk counterpart Suleiman Demirel on March 29.

    Mr. Clinton, who has repeatedly brought the issue to the Turkish side, is expected to reiterate that, following the overcome of obstacles brought about by the absence of a government in Turkey, Ankarta must cooperate in order to "enter a substantial process" that will lead out of the current impasse while, concurrently, will strengthen Turkey's ties with Europe.

    Aside from the Cyprus issue, another priority issue on the meeting's agenda will be the recent Aegean Sea crisis and Mr. Clinton is expected to reiterate his appeal for finding a peaceful solution to the Greek-Turkish differences.

    Also, during the next 40 days, the U.S. President is expected to meet with the Greek President and Prime Minister at the White House abd he will issue an invitation to Turkey's new Premier Mesut Yilmaz.

    [15] EGNATIA ROAD TO BE COMPLETED BY THE YEAR 2000

    Thessaloniki, March 13, (M.P.A.)

    Egnatia Road, the mammoth transport project that will link Europe with the East, is earmarked to be completed by the year 2000, according to its project managers.

    Speaking at the Balkan Business Conference, recently held in Thessaloniki, Ian Mills, the Director of Highway Projects for Brown and Root Ltd., stated that so far 128 kms have already been completed, out of a total of 681 kms. Currently, 130 kms are under construction, another 285 kms have funds allocated, while the remaining 138 kms have no funds allocated.

    However, Mills stated that "it is hoped that the growing international interest in the private financing of transport infrastructure can be mobilized to support completion of the missing links."

    Egnatia Road starts at the western Greek port of Igoumenista and ends at the northern border of Alexandroupolis, a gateway to Bulgaria and Turkey.

    According to Mills, the rate of construction and expenditure for the already-funded part of the road is six kms per month amounting to 16 billion drachmas.

    [16] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT

    CURRENCY          FIXING      BUY         SELL
    ECU              302.9260   302.0170    303.8350
    U.S. Dollar      241.3150   240.5910    242.0390
    Deutsche Mark    163.9300   163.4380    164.4220
    UK Sterling      367.6200   366.5170    368.7230
    French Franc      47.8620    47.7180     48.0060
    Swedish Crown     35.5200    35.4130     35.6270
    Danish Kroner     42.4300    42.3030     42.5570
    Norwegian Crown   37.6950    37.5820     37.8080
    Italian Lira      15.4300    15.3910     15.4830
    Swiss Franc      203.4900   202.8800    204.1000
    Spanish Peseta     1.9500     1.9441      1.9559
    Finnish Mark      52.7590    52.6010     52.9170
    Yen              229.2350   228.5470    229.9230
    
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