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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (19/03/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki March 19, 1996


TITLES

  • [01] STATEMENTS BY THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS

  • [02] THE EUROPEAN COURT WILL WRITE OFF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION'S CASE AGAINST GREECE ON THE COUNTERMEASURES IMPOSED AGAINST SKOPJE

  • [03] THE RESULTS OF MR.PANGALOS' VISIT TO RUSSIA WERE POSITIVE

  • [04] FORMER FRENCH PRIME MINISTER EDITH CRESSON WILL VISIT THESSALONIKI ON MARCH 21ST

  • [05] NORWAY'S MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND SHIPPING MET TODAY WITH THE GREEK SHIP OWNERS

  • [06] NOBELIST POET ODYSSEAS ELYTIS WILL BE BURIED TODAY

  • [07] PREMIER TO PROMOTE A STRONGER GREECE AT THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL

  • [08] MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER WANTS A FEDERATED EUROPEAN UNION

  • [09] POLITICAL SPRING LEADER WANTS TO MAINTAIN UNANIMITY IN THE EU

  • [10] GREEK PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT ROME ON MARCH 21

  • [11] GREEK FARMERS TO ORGANIZE COUNTRY-WIDE PROTESTS TODAY

  • [12] U.S. AMBASSADOR TO FYROM APPOINTED YESTERDAY

  • [13] BOSNIAN LEADERS MEET IN GENEVA

  • [14] HELSINKI WATCH FINDS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN ALBANIA


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] STATEMENTS BY THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS

    The crisis in the relations with Turkey will continue to exist for as long as Ankara does not respect the International Law and creates problems in its relations with Greece. The above were stated by greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas responding to questions on the issue created recently near the islet of Imia in south-eastern Aegean when a greek shepherd unsuccessfully tried to go ashore.

    Mr.Reppas said that the shepherd did not approach the islet because he was afraid of the turkish warships sailing nearby. He said that the presence of turkish warships is used for the intimidation of greek citizens, while he also confirmed that Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos informed US Ambassador to Athens Thomas Niles on Turkey's behaviour.

    Mr.Reppas denied the claims made by the turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman on the existence of an agreement between Greece and Turkey according to which, the greek and turkish shepherds will put their goats out to grass on the islet of Imia based on a rotation principle.

    The greek government spokesman stated that there is no such an agreement adding that there was no contact on the issue between the two countries on any level.

    Responding to other questions he said that there are no grey areas and that the government does everything to defend the country's sovereign rights over the region, the national interests and the interests of the greek citizens. Mr.Reppas also stated that soon the government will announce measures aiming at helping the greeks who live in the region.

    [02] THE EUROPEAN COURT WILL WRITE OFF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION'S CASE AGAINST GREECE ON THE COUNTERMEASURES IMPOSED AGAINST SKOPJE

    Within the next few hours the European Court is expected to ratify its final decision with which it will write off from its register the European Commission's case against Greece concerning the economic and trade countermeasures imposed by Athens agianst Skopje.

    After the European Commission's decision to interrupt the procedure against Greece, the European Court concluded that there is no reason to keep the case open any longer.

    The European Court ruling is expected to be formally ratified this afternoon.

    It should be reminded that the European Commission had asked from the Court in Luxemburg to found Greece guilty and to order the immediate lifting of the embargo imposed against FYROM maintaining that this was contrary to the regulations of the European legislation and to the European Union treaties.

    According to press information, the European Court's ruling is in favour of Greece even on the issue of the legal expenses and therefore, they will be paid by the European Commission.

    [03] THE RESULTS OF MR.PANGALOS' VISIT TO RUSSIA WERE POSITIVE

    Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos ended his two-day visit to the russian capital after meeting with the President of the Russian Lower House of Parliament (Duma) and with the Patriarch of Moscow Alexios B'.

    The results of the visit are being regarded as satisfactory while the governments of Greece and Russia had the opportunity to ascertain the high level of bilateral relations which will continue through the exchange of visits by the Prime Ministers of the two countries.

    Mr.Pangalos and his russian counterpart Yevgeni Primakof supported the expansion of cooperation in the economic sector, including the materialization of agreements on the supply of russian natural gas and the completion of the negotiations for the agreement concerning the construction of an alumina industrial plant in Greece. Also, they confirmed their interest in the promotion of the plan for the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipe-line and the establishment of the "Trans-Balkan Pipe-line" company with the participation of Greece, Russia and Bulgaria.

    They also agreed that in the immediate future will be held the first meeting of the joint inter-governmental committee on economic, industrial, and science-technical cooperation.

    The russian side expressed gratitude to Greece for its firm support, both on governmental and parliamentary level, regarding Russia's membership in the Council of Europe.

    The two Ministers underlined that the maintenance of the present situation in Cyprus is unacceptable and reaffirmed their support to a just and viable solution to the problem which will be based on the relevant UN resolutions and will safeguard the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Cypriot Republic.

    [04] FORMER FRENCH PRIME MINISTER EDITH CRESSON WILL VISIT THESSALONIKI ON MARCH 21ST

    Former French Prime Minister and member of the European Commission responsible for education, training, youth, human resources, research, technology and science ms.Edith Cresson will be in Thessaloniki on Thursday, March 21st.

    Ms.Cresson will preside over a seminar on vocational education in EU member states organized by the European Center for the Development of Professional Training (CEDEFOR) which is based in Thessaloniki since September.

    The French Prime Minister will be in Athens tomorrow and will meet with Labour Minister Evangelos Yiannopoulos, Education Minister Giorgos Papandreou and Development Minister Vasso Papandreou.

    [05] NORWAY'S MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND SHIPPING MET TODAY WITH THE GREEK SHIP OWNERS

    Norway's Minister of Transport and Shipping ms.Crete Knundeen visited the offices of the Greek Ship Owners' Association in Athens and discussed with representatives of the sector issues of common shipping interest.

    In the meeting participated Norway's Ambassador to Athens Bjorn Barth and the Embassy's political advisor ms.Rita Westvik.

    Among the issues discussed was the shipping policy followed by those two countries and by the European Union, safety issues and the continuing negotiations on shipping within the framework of GATT.

    [06] NOBELIST POET ODYSSEAS ELYTIS WILL BE BURIED TODAY

    As was his last wish, laureate poet Odysseas Elytis will be buried in a deep, Christian silence, without obituaries or eulogies read from dignitaries.

    The burial will take place today at Athens First Cemetery in a small family ceremony. The renowned poet died yesterday at his home in Athens from a heart attack. He was 85 years old.

    Elytis was bestowed with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1979 for his poem "To Axion Esti" which was accepted by the Swedish Academy as "one of the 20th century literature's most concentrated and richly faceted poems."

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos, the Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, the President and founder of PASOK Andreas Papandreou, as well as an array of other intellectuals and artists have expressed their profound sadness for the poet's death.

    [07] PREMIER TO PROMOTE A STRONGER GREECE AT THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL

    The Greek government is under no illusions regarding the difficulties it might encounter at trying to promote its goals during the European Union's Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), scheduled to take place in Turin, Italy at the end of the month.

    According to yesterday's parliamentary address given by the Greek Premier Kostas Simitis, Greece's proposals at the IGC are might not coincide with the views held by the other EU countries-members.

    From the Parliament's podium, the Premier emphasized that the country's national strategy aims at a strong Greece that "participates in the on-going developments and determines its future.

    "There are countries-members which have quite different points of view from us," Mr. Simitis stated, adding "however, we will fight for our goals, we will struggle. We want to be present, to influence the developments, since we must work for a better Europe in which Greece can be stronger, where Greece can play a more decisive role, where its input can be improved, in order to upgrade its citizens' living standards," the Premier stated.

    The Premier maintained his principle of unanimity on issues affecting vital national interests of member-states.

    [08] MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER WANTS A FEDERATED EUROPEAN UNION

    In his parliamentary address, Miltiades Evert, the leader of Greece's main opposition party New Democracy stated that the ultimate target of the European Union's Intergovernmental Conference should be a federal unionization of Europe where every country-member will maintain its integrity intact.

    Mr. Evert requested that the Greek defense and foreign policy targets be further clarified and stated that they must aim at securing the EU's external borders as well as those of the countries that compose the EU , with guarrantees and respect afforded to the International Law and International Accords, and finally, at the recognition and respect of the rights of and obligations to communal solidarity.

    [09] POLITICAL SPRING LEADER WANTS TO MAINTAIN UNANIMITY IN THE EU

    Antonis Samaras, the President of opposition party Political Spring, is in favor of maintaining the principle of unanimity in the European Union, supporting that the time has not come yet to proceed to the majority rule principle.

    In his Parliamentary speech given yesterday evening, Mr. Samaras also asked that a united co-ordinating body be created in Athens in order to closely follow the upcoming Intergovernmental Conference discussions, and to have the ability to draw quick and judicious decisions regarding Greek policy-making.

    [10] GREEK PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT ROME ON MARCH 21

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will make a one-day visit to Rome on March 21, as part of Greece's efforts to keep its European allies abreast of its positions.

    Mr. Simitis will travel to Italy again on March 29 in order to participate in the European Union's Intergovernmental Conference, scheduled to take place in Turin.

    [11] GREEK FARMERS TO ORGANIZE COUNTRY-WIDE PROTESTS TODAY

    Greek farmers will organize a country-wide rally today, beginning in Athens where they will surround the Ministry of Agriculture's building and demand immediate solutions to their problems.

    This afternoon, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will meet with the Presidium of PASEGES and is expected to announce a package of measures for the farmers and livestock breeders.

    As part of their protests, the farmers plan to block sections of the national highway.

    [12] U.S. AMBASSADOR TO FYROM APPOINTED YESTERDAY

    Christopher Hill is the United States Ambassador to Skopje as of yesterday, announced the State Department.

    According to the announcement, Mr. Hill is knowledgeable on issues concering the Balkans and central Europe and, prior to his appointment, he had been involved in the application of the Dayton Accord to Bosnia.

    [13] BOSNIAN LEADERS MEET IN GENEVA

    Amidst a climate of skepticism, the leaders of the three sections of Bosnia met yesterday in Geneva in an American-made effort to bolster the trouble spots of the Dayton Accord.

    Despite objections expressed by Russia and many European countries, the United States government summoned the leaders of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia in Geneva in an effort to convince them into fullfilling the terms of the Dayton-signed Accord.

    Serb President Slobodan Milosevic, his Croatian counterpart Franjo Tudjman and Bosnian acting President Ejup Ganic met separately with the Bosnian Contact Group and reviewed a document that reports the nine-points related to the Croat-Moslem federation, the release of war prisoners, the maintenance of Sarajevo's multi-ethnic character, the Bosnian territorial integrity and the division of power among Serbs, Croats and Moslems.

    [14] HELSINKI WATCH FINDS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN ALBANIA

    The annual report of the Helsinki-Watch Human Rights Committee has found the Albanian government guilty of continuous human rights violations, part of which are limiting the citizens' freedom of expression and subverting justice.

    The report emphasizes that "despite the substantial progress noted during the past five years, the single-party notion is still adopted by the majority of the country's new leaders."

    This ideal, which is characterized by the Helsinki Committee as a "stalinist" one, is the cause of delay in the country's procession to democracy.

    The reports enumerates violations such as "courts being manipulated against opposition parties, the main opposition leader in prison after being subjected to a mock- trial, government interefering with the courts, selecting incapable individuals who, after followng six-month long seminars, are considered to be judges, the law regarding genocide that aims at distancing from the political world those who oppose the governments' ideology."

    The report also refers to the Greek minority living in Albania and notes that "although a small progress has been made in greek-albanian relations, many problems still remain, such as the teaching of the greek language at school and the creation of new classes at the schools of Argyrokastro, Aghion Saranta and Delvino."

    Moreover, there are references made to the problems created in the past during greek-albanian protest rallies, the obstacles journalists encounter and the governmental seizure of television footage.

    The Helsinki Committee demands the "respect of the minority's right to develop and express its national, cultural, religious and language identity."

    The Albanian government, the report states, must be especially sensitive to the need of teaching the mother tongue, to providing the neccessary number of classes and properly trained teachers, along with the need of appropriate programs and school books, so that constitutional rights are met."

    In a separate chapter, the report refers to the difficulties Albania's Orthodox Church is facing, specifically the obstacles the Archbishop Anastasios must overcome in his effort to fulfil his mission, as well as the issue of returning church property assets.

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