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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (15/03/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki March 15, 1996


TITLES

  • [01] STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT CONTAINS MOTIVES, NOT TRUTH, SAYS MACEDONIAN COMMISSION

  • [02] THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE TURKISH 4TH ARMY COULD BRING THE REARRANGEMENT OF THE GREEK DEFENCE MECHANISM, STATED THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER

  • [03] THE DANE FOREIGN MINISTER CHARACTERIZED AS UNACCEPTABLE THE THREAT TO USE FORCE OR THE USE OF FORCE IN THE RECENT AEGEAN CRISIS

  • [04] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER INVITES SKOPJAN COUNTERPART TO ATHENS

  • [05] EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE MET TODAY IN IOANNINA

  • [06] ROMANIAN INDUSTRY AWAITS GREEK INVESTORS WITH OPEN ARMS

  • [07] THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION SEES FAVOURABLY THE EXPANSION OF THE GREEK NATURAL GAS PIPE-LINE TO ALBANIA AND SKOPJE

  • [08] TURKEY AND FYROM WERE ACCUSED IN THE EURO-PARLIAMENT OF ILLEGAL DRUGS TRAFFICKING AND PRODUCTION

  • [09] GREEK MILITARY DELEGATION MADE AN OFFICIAL VISIT TO TIRANA

  • [10] THE GREEK MINISTRY OF EDUCATION SENT ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO THE MODERN-GREEK DEPARTMENT IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

  • [11] PASOK LEADER WILL PROBABLY GO HOME NEXT WEEK

  • [12] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] STATE DEPARTMENT REPORT CONTAINS MOTIVES, NOT TRUTH, SAYS MACEDONIAN COMMISSION

    A recent report published by the State Department that contains data pointing to supposed human rights violations, especially of the muslim minority, and disrescpet for the local bilingual element in Western Macedonia, has caught the ire of the Macedonian Commission, calling it a biased, full of motives report.

    To begin with, even at first glance one can see that the report on key issues bows to motives instead of the truth, and there is a critical air that pre-supposes that the critic himself be impeccable," stated the Commission's members during a press conference held in Thessaloniki today.

    "If the State Department pubished a similar report on the United States, it would definitely find more human rights violations than those mentioned for our country," the Commission stated.

    Specifically, the Commission's objections to the report's references on human rights vilations refer to the fourth paragraph, where critisicm is issued at the greek police for abusing drug dealers or illegal aliens during their deportation process.

    "It is known throughout the world how the U.S. police handle drug dealers," the Commission stated. "It is known what happens in Colombia, where the american military had to intervene. We believe that the crime of drug dealing is probably the worst crime committed against society and man. Therefore, the policing of this crime should not be faced with such perfunctory criticism.

    "Regarding the issue of illegal immigrants, it leaves us to wonder why it wasn't emphasized that Greece has accepted illegal immigrants that amount to over 5% of its population, by offering them work and including them into its society.

    Moreover, the Commission ascribes the Report with an absence of historical or scientific reasoning regarding the acceptance of minorities living in Greece, while the report offers the impression that lasguage- or religious-differentiated groups constitute minorities, with a possible outcome, following other reports, these groups be called "ethnic minorities in the furure."

    In reference to the Report's reference to a "macedonian minority," the Commission is equally caustic.

    "What does it mean when government officials and courts reject various individuals or groups' claims who ask to be called 'Macedonians'? We all know that there is no such procedure in any place of the world and more so in the U.S. (where it would be as though) someone asks to be called Irish or Indian," the commission stated characteristically.

    Regarding the report's ctriticism issued at the greek governnment's refusal to recognize the slavic dialect spoken by a few thousand northern Greeks as "Macedonian" and the refusal to recognize it as a different language, the Commission's counter argument is simple and succinct:

    "That is what we all say, it is a slavic dialect, not the "Macedonian language."

    The whole report leads to a question, according to the Commsision.

    "All the data mentioned in the report, and which obviously constitute information given by the Greece-based consulates, how was it gathered? Does this not by itself prove the extreme freedom found in this land?"

    [02] THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE TURKISH 4TH ARMY COULD BRING THE REARRANGEMENT OF THE GREEK DEFENCE MECHANISM, STATED THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER

    The prospect of the withdrawal of the turkish 4th Army Corps and the rearrangement of the turkish offensive mechanism could bring about the rearrangement of the greek defence mechanism, stated greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos clarifying once again the controversial point in his interview to turkish journalist Ali Birad.

    Mr.Pangalos in an interview to journalists underlined that his interview to the turkish reporter has not been shown yet on turkish television because there is no freedom in the operation of the turkish mass media.

    Commenting on the statement made by the new turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz he characterized it as interesting but expressed reservations reminding similar statements by other turkish Prime Ministers made in the past. At the same time, he asked for a clear commitment to the political issue that has come up, within the framework of Turkey's customs union with the EU.

    Mr.Pangalos said that after the Yilmaz statements the turkish delegation in Brussels will find it hard to deny assurances to the EU that Turkey will stop using force or the threat of force, that it will finally accept the International Law and the International Court of Justice in The Hague and the procedures followed for the solution of differences. Mr.Pangalos said that if Turkey will not do this it will be clear that is making propaganda manoeuvres.

    At this point, mr.Pangalos made it clear that Greece will approve the EU-Turkey Association Council only if there is a joint position adopted by the EU member states regarding human rights and International Law. He said that Greece will approve Turkey's financing only if Ankara respects this position.

    Responding to the question if Greece will be willing to lift certain of its reservations on issues of defence in case the greek- turkish issues are brought by Turkey to The Hague, mr.Pangalos pointed out that the problem of the Dodecanese is not an issue of defence but a legal one, just like the issue of the continental shelf.

    Referring to the issue of Skopje, the Foreign Minister said that his skopjan counterpart mr.Fresktsofski has not responded yet to the invitation for a meeting in Athens. Mr.Pangalos clarified that when this meeting takes place will be discussed bilateral issues and stated that he will not raise the issue of the name which is under discussion in the UN, adding that both countries are insisting on their known positions regarding the name that will be used by Skopje.

    The greek Foreign Minister also referred to the relations between Athens and Belgrade which characterized as very good stressing that New Yugoslavia, as Greece requested, has not recognized Skopje with its constitutional name while the negotiations are in progress.

    On his upcoming trip to Albania on March 20-21, where he will accompany President Kostis Stephanopoulos, mr.Pangalos said that the two countries will sign a friendship and cooperation accord, while the draft bill on the employment of immigrants in Greece will be submitted to the responsible Parliamentary Committee by April 15th.

    Regarding the education system in Albania, mr.Pangalos said that it will also be discussed, adding that there is a plan for the opening of a private school either in Tirana or in Koritsa.

    Mr.Pangalos also said that there are plans concerning the tele-communications, road construction projects and railway connection.

    [03] THE DANE FOREIGN MINISTER CHARACTERIZED AS UNACCEPTABLE THE THREAT TO USE FORCE OR THE USE OF FORCE IN THE RECENT AEGEAN CRISIS

    Denmark's Foreign Minister Jan Petersen characterized as unacceptable the threat to use force or the actual use of force in the recent Greek-Turkish crisis.

    The statement was made after the meeting mr.Petersen had in the Parliament building with the President of the greek Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    The dane Foreign Minister pointed out that this is also the position of the European Union and added that during his meeting with mr.Kaklamanis was briefed on the problems Greece is facing.

    Referring to the crisis with Turkey, mr.Petersen said that all those problems must be made known and that everyone must contribute toward this direction while he added that from his part is willing to offer his assistance.

    The dane Foreign Minister concluded that with mr.Kaklamanis discussed the growing role of the National Parliaments in the course toward the european integration.

    The President of the greek Parliament characterized the discussion with the dane Foreign Minister as interesting and added that he presented to him the greek positions on the Greek-Turkish differences. Mr.Kaklamanis also said that he asked him to convey an invitation to the President of the danish Parliament to visit Greece.

    [04] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER INVITES SKOPJAN COUNTERPART TO ATHENS

    Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos willl not discuss the FYROM name issue during the imminent meeting with his Skopjan counterpart Ljubomir Frctskovski to be held in Athens.

    Mr. Pangalos, who issued a formal invitation to Mr. Frctskovski this week, emphasized that the name issue is being handled by United Nations mediator Cyrus Vance and stated that the purpose of meeting with the FYROM Foreign Minister will be to hold talks on the relations between the two neighboring countries.

    "The relations between the two countries," Mr. Pangalos stated, "aside from the name issue, which is an obstacle to the establishment of normal diplomatic relations that are mutually recognized, are normal on all levels."

    Meanwhile in Skopje, Mr. Frctskovski has also expressed a desire to meet with his Greek counterpart, and he, too, stated that "consultations concerning the name issue should be set aside," adding that these "will in no way be connected to the intensive economic and political co-operation" that is being developed between the two countries.

    [05] EUROPEAN FEDERATION OF AGRICULTURE MET TODAY IN IOANNINA

    At a critical time for Greece's agriculture and while the problems farmers throughout Europe face are staggering, the Administrative Commission of the European Federation of Agriculture met today in Ioannina with representatives from 37 european countries attending.

    During today's meeting, the commercial exchange of agricultural procucts was discussed, along with the problems they create for greek agriculture.

    Specifically, the Greek vice-president of the European Federation of Agriculture Evangelos Argiris informed his colleagues on the problems greek farmers are facing, especially the blows they have received by cheese imports, mainly from Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.

    [06] ROMANIAN INDUSTRY AWAITS GREEK INVESTORS WITH OPEN ARMS

    His hope that Greek businessmen will participate in creating various greek-romanian joint ventures in Romania, expressed the general director of Romania's Ministry of Industry Trian Brinzaru, in an interview given to the Macedonian Press Agency today.

    "We are awaiting the greek businessmen with open arms," Mr. Brinzaru said characteristically and added that "Greece constitutes for Romania its most important ally in the Balkans."

    The Romanian official stated that greek business could participate in various trade sectors, such as chemicals, pharmaceuticals and arms.

    However, Mr. Binzaru stated, despite the fact the relations between the two countries are good, relatively few joint companies have been created, while the greek investments in Romania merely measure $40 million.

    Mr. Binzaru emphasized that current legislation modifications in his country make ivestments in Romania quite attractive to potential investortrs.

    "We have a new law that offers many adgantages and accommodations to those who invest more that $50 million, since during the first seven years they are not subject to taxation and are able to import equipment and first materials without any imposed tariffs," he explained.

    Regarding his country's overall economic situation, Mr. Binzaru stated that it is being stabilized, while the industrial production increased by 9.4% during 1995, a marked increase from previous years. According to mr, Binzaru, this is a result of the privatization of large plants and businesses where foreigners, as well, can buy stocks.

    [07] THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION SEES FAVOURABLY THE EXPANSION OF THE GREEK NATURAL GAS PIPE-LINE TO ALBANIA AND SKOPJE

    The European Commission sees favourably the expansion of the greek natural gas pipe-line to FYROM and Albania because a possible expansion will contribute to the economic cooperation and stability in the region.

    The Commission responding to a question submitted by Euro- Deputy of New Democracy party mr.Hatzidakis points out that such an expansion mainly depends on the will and the agreement of the interested countries, while its materialization is evaluated positively.

    Regarding the financing of such a project, the European Commission maintains that, as far as Greece is concerned, it could be examined the possibility of using funds from the European Regional Development Fund and from INTERREG within the framework of the existing regulations.

    Regarding Albania, the financing of the project could be made through the accession to the community programme PHARE, while in the case of FYROM there is no possibility of financing for the time being.

    [08] TURKEY AND FYROM WERE ACCUSED IN THE EURO-PARLIAMENT OF ILLEGAL DRUGS TRAFFICKING AND PRODUCTION

    Turkey was accused of being one of the gates through which drugs enter Europe, while FYROM was accused of being a country in which a drug production plant operates officially. The accusations were made during a discussion in the European Parliament based on a question made by greek Euro-Deputy of PASOK ms.Irini Lambraki.

    The greek Euro-Deputy asked to be informed on the moves the European Council has made in order to limit the drug-trafficking and to examine the accussations published in the european press on the activities of states neighbouring with the EU, which are backing the production of drugs and drug-trafficking.

    European Council representative italian Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs mr.Ferraris stated characteristically that it is widely known that heroin is transported through Turkey from the so- called "golden triangle".

    Mr.Ferraris also sated that the Council is studying the hammering out of a programme for 1996, while it has already undertaken initiatives aiming at stoping the drug-trafficking in the Balkans. The Council also hopes that the problem will be partly resolved through the contacts with Turkey and Maroco which supplies the drug market with canabis.

    [09] GREEK MILITARY DELEGATION MADE AN OFFICIAL VISIT TO TIRANA

    Greek military delegation, headed by vice-admiral mr.Floropoulos, made an official visit to Albania for talks on the hammering out of a Greek-Albanian military cooperation programme for the year 1996.

    The Greek and Albanian officers examined the possibilities for the promotion of bilateral cooperation in various sectors and especially in the sector of military medicine and administration.

    In statements after the meeting he had with the greek delegation, albanian Undersecretary of Defence, Alfred Moisiu referred to the improvement of the Greek-Albanian relations and pointed out the need to extend the bilateral cooperation and in the defence sector.

    [10] THE GREEK MINISTRY OF EDUCATION SENT ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE TO THE MODERN-GREEK DEPARTMENT IN THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

    With the sum of 170 thousand australian dollars the Greek Ministry of Education supported the establishment of a Modern Greek History and Civilization Department in Melbourne's La Tromb University.

    The department which received financial support from Cyprus too began its operation this year.

    [11] PASOK LEADER WILL PROBABLY GO HOME NEXT WEEK

    PASOK leader and former prime minister Andreas Papandreou is likely to exit the Onasion Cardiosurgery Center next week, according to his physicians who believe that his release will be greatly beneficial to his psychological state.

    After an informal meeting, Mr. Papandreou's physicians decided not to announce the exact date of their patient's release from the hospital until they will be absolutely certain.

    However, they believe that the former premier could return home as soon as next week, while others are more ortpimistic that Mr. Papandreou could be released on the following Wednesday.

    The physicians do not think that closing the tracheostomy is necessary, as his respiratory function is not yet stabilized. However, they maintain that his overall clinical condition is very good and believe that it will be further improved once he goes home, where he will continue to be examined by his private physician Dr. Kremastinos.

    From now on, Mr. Papandreou will have to undergo dialysis on a 48-hour basis, a process that has been simplified by the application of a fistula in his hand.

    [12] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT

    CURRENCY          FIXING      BUY         SELL
    ECU              303.0940   302.1850    304.0030
    U.S. Dollar      241.4700   240.7460    242.1940
    Deutsche Mark    163.9700   163.4780    164.4620
    UK Sterling      367.9200   366.8160    369.0240
    French Franc      47.8660    47.7220     48.0100
    Swedish Crown     35.6360    35.5290     35.7430
    Danish Kroner     42.4450    42.3180     42.5720
    Norwegian Crown   37,6720    37.5590     37.7850
    Italian Lira      15.3685    15.3220     15.4150
    Swiss Franc      203.2500   202.6400    203.8600
    Spanish Peseta     1.9510     1.9451      1.9569
    Finnish Mark      52.6800    52.5220     52.8380
    Yen              229.1600   228.4730    229.8470
    
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