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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (22/03/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Friday, March 22 1996


TITLES

  • [01] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER WARNS TURKEY: "DON'T PLAY WITH FIRE"

  • [02] COMMENTS ON THE GREEK-TURKISH CRISIS BY THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN

  • [03] ECONOMIC POWER STRENGTHENS GREECE'S POSITION IN THE BALKANS AND SAFEGUARDS NATIONAL INTERESTS, STATED THE GREEK PREMIER

  • [04] PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS MET WITH THE LEADERSHIP OF OMONIA AND THE HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION PARTY

  • [05] PANGALOS-SERREQI TALKS IN TIRANA

  • [06] THE GREEK MINISTER OF FINANCE MET WITH HIS ALBANIAN COUNTERPART IN TIRANA

  • [07] MEETING OF THE GREEK FOREIGN TRADE UNDERSECRETARY WITH THE ALBANIAN TRADE, INDUSTRY AND TRANSPORT MINISTER IN TIRANA

  • [08] GREEK PREMIER RETURNS FROM ITALY, WHERE HE HELD TALKS WITH DINI

  • [09] GREEK PRESIDENT WARMLY WELCOMED IN ALBANIA

  • [10] TRIPARTITE JUSTICE MINISTERS TO MEET IN THESSALONIKI SOON

  • [11] THE WIFE OF THE GREEK CONSUL GENERAL WAS SEARCHED IN THE CONSTANTINOPLE AIRPORT

  • [12] GREEK MILITARY TO BE ON GUARD OVER THE HOLIDAY

  • [13] GERMAN PAPER ALLEGES THAT GREECE SUPPORTS THE KURDS MILITARILY

  • [14] ECONOMIC COOPERATION BETWEEN GREECE AND CYPRUS

  • [15] GREEK AIRPORT BEEFS UP SECURITY WITH HELP FROM UNITED STATES

  • [16] U.S. SENATORS OPPOSE SALE OF ARMS TO TURKEY

  • [17] SERB PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO SKOPJE POSTPONED FOR NEXT WEEK

  • [18] IFOR TROOPS DEFUSE ETHNICAL TENSIONS IN SARAJEVO

  • [19] FRANCE WARNING ON ETHNIC CLEANSING IN SARAJEVO

  • [20] SARAJEVO - THE BEGINING OF THE END

  • [21] REPORTS ON CRIMES AGAINST SERBS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

  • [22] CYPRUS GETS NEW UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR

  • [23] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER WARNS TURKEY: "DON'T PLAY WITH FIRE"

    "Don't play with fire," was the warning issued by Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos to all those who are flirting with turkish chauvinism, in an interview published today in the russian daily "Pravda".

    In the lengthy interview, the Foreign Minister emphasized that various arguments, such as those employed by Turkey in its questioning of the Aegean islands and islets status, could have led to a third world war.

    Responding to a question regarding greek-turkish relations, Mr. Pangalos stated that Turkey behaves in a manner which attempts to prove that it is a large, regional power.

    "Turks try to impose their politics onto other neighboring countries, as well as Caucasus," stated Mr. Pangalos, "by making formal announcements regarding the fact that there are turkish peoples living in central Asia and the time has come for these peoples to be united.

    Regarding the turkish claims on the Aegean Sea islands, the greek Foreign Minister stated that the arguments employed by Ankara are "monstrous and dangerous for Europe's security."

    "Turkey announces that prior to WWII, when it was a powerless country, it had to surrender these islands to Italy, which in turn granted them to Greece," Mr. Pangalos said.

    "Imagine what could happen in the world, if other countries adopt this line of thinking, for example, Germany. If Germany has some doubts, then all of the post-war accords and agreements it has signed could be questioned on the premise that following the end of the war, it was a powerless country. It is clear that such arguments lead to third world war."

    On the same issue, Mr. Pangalos added that "we responded by saying that Turkey must think in a civilized manner. There is the option of the International Justice Court at The Hague. Let them ressort to court if they have claims to make. This is a civilized way to arrive at a solution. Nowadays, this -according to my opinion- is the only viable way. I would also like to say to all those who flirt with turkish chauvinism, don't play with fire."

    Regarding NATO's eastward expansion, Mr. Pangalos considers that it is a mistaken notion that such an expansion can take place by ignoring Russia.

    "I hope that such a point of view will not materialize," he said, adding "both Greece and Russia believe that any diferences can be resolved through dialogue, taking into consideration the rules of international law," the Minister said, adding that this does not only apply to the NATO expansion issue, but to Cyprus, the former Yugoslavia and the eastern Mediterranean as well.

    [02] COMMENTS ON THE GREEK-TURKISH CRISIS BY THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN

    Greece wants a joint statement to be issued by its EU partners regarding the greek-turkish crisis, stated greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas who stressed that Greece will not exercise its veto only if its three terms are met.

    Mr.Reppas stated that the region's regime is clear and indisputable, while responding to the question if there is a possibility to allow turkish "ecologists" to visit Imia, the government spokesman said that there is no such an issue.

    Regarding the incident in the Constantinople Airport on the wife of the greek Consul General, mr.Reppas stated that such actions are contrary to the rules of diplomacy and announced that the government will protest to the turkish side.

    [03] ECONOMIC POWER STRENGTHENS GREECE'S POSITION IN THE BALKANS AND SAFEGUARDS NATIONAL INTERESTS, STATED THE GREEK PREMIER

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis speaking today in Parliament on the government's economic policy focused on the issues of stabilization, development and social justice.

    The Prime Minister presented a series of numerical data based on which it is ascertained that the country is on a recovery course.

    Mr.Simitis stated that the country's economic stabilization will strengthen its position in the Balkans. He said that a responsible policy requires strategy, sacrifice and consistency in order to avoid being caught in a negative orbit and to come closer to materializing the EU convergence programme.

    He also stressed that the economy's rate of growth is 3,5 times higher compared to the period 1990-1993 and pointed out that the objectives of the government's policy are acceleration of economic growth, completion of the programme for the drop of inflation, upgrading of education and culture, and strengthening of Greece's international role in the Balkans and in Europe.

    [04] PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS MET WITH THE LEADERSHIP OF OMONIA AND THE HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION PARTY

    OMONIA's exclusive task is the promotion of the greek ethnic minority rights. This message was conveyed to the leadership of OMONIA and Human Rights Association Party during their meeting with the greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos who is on a formal visit to Albania.

    Mr.Stephanopoulos said that toward this goal the greek minority has the support of the greek and albanian governments, while he wished success to the greek minority representatives participating in the elections that will be held in Albania by the end of Spring.

    OMONIA's president Sotiris Kiriazatis expressed enthousiasm for the meeting stating that it opens a new chapter in the relations of the two countries.

    Meanwhile, after meeting with the Socialist Party vice- President mr.Pelumbi the greek President stated that Greece does not interfere with Albania's internal affairs and political life. Mr.Stephanopoulos met with members of political parties which are represented in Parliament who presented their positions regarding the greek-albanian relations.

    This afternoon mr.Stephanopoulos will visit the Skenderbei Museum in Krugia and later is scheduled to return to Athens.

    [05] PANGALOS-SERREQI TALKS IN TIRANA

    Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos in the talks with his albanian counterpart Alfred Serreqi in Tirana said that Balkan security issues can not be discussed without the presence of countries such as Serbia and Romania, while at the same time the United States have been invited to participate in the upcoming meeting of the Balkan Defense Ministers.

    The statement was made by mr.Pangalos when mr.Serreqi asked why Greece does not want to participate in the meeting which will be held in the albanian capital at the end of the month.

    Speaking to journalists mr.Pangalos said that it was also discussed the issue of the opening of a greek Consulate in the city of Koritsa, as well as, the greek government's promise to deal with the problem of certain albanian immigrants who are regarded as seasonal workers.

    Finally, in the meeting was also mentioned and the issue of the human rights of the albanians living in Kosovo.

    On the greek-turkish issues, mr.Pangalos stated that Greece will remain firm in its position that a pre-condition for any promotion of the relations between Turkey and the European Union is the abandonment of the territorial claims by Ankara and the recognition from its part of the 1932 Greek-Italian agreements and the 1947 peace accord.

    [06] THE GREEK MINISTER OF FINANCE MET WITH HIS ALBANIAN COUNTERPART IN TIRANA

    Issues concerning customs cooperation, opening of new border crossings, road construction and permits for the opening of greek banks in Tirana were discussed in the albanian capital during the meeting of greek Minister of Finance Alekos Papadopoulos with his albanian counterpart Dylber Vrioni.

    Specifically, was discussed the problem of illegal trade, the training of albanian customs officers in Greece and the opening of two new border crossings in the region of Sagiada and Merdziani. Also, was discussed the undertaking by Greece of the construction report for the road network linking Avlona and Igumenitsa which is included in the community programme PHARE-INTEREG.

    Finally, was also discussed the promotion of the construction of the albanian road from the town of Konispoli to the greek borders, which is also being constructed and on the greek side of the borders, and the issuing of permits for the opening of branches of greek Banks in Tirana.

    [07] MEETING OF THE GREEK FOREIGN TRADE UNDERSECRETARY WITH THE ALBANIAN TRADE, INDUSTRY AND TRANSPORT MINISTER IN TIRANA

    The meeting of greek Foreign Trade Undersecretary Manolis Beteniotis with albanian Trade, Industry and Transport Minister Suzana Pavariti in Tirana was held within the framework of the greek and albanian wish for the further development of the economic and trade transactions between the two countries.

    The two ministers agreed in establishing an "open line" of cooperation between representatives of the greek and albanian economic ministries for the quick settlement of bureaucracy problems, as well as, for the promotion of European Union programmes.

    A special emphasis was given to the development of the albanian agriculture sector through greek investments, while it was also decided and the organizing of a "Greek Week" in Tirana with the participation of greek businessmen.

    Finally, mr.Beteniotis undertook the commitment to promote the greek language learning programme for albanian businessmen and for anyone wishing to work in Greece.

    [08] GREEK PREMIER RETURNS FROM ITALY, WHERE HE HELD TALKS WITH DINI

    During his one-day visit to Italy, which currently holds the European Union's rotating Presidency, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis left open the possibility of Greece exercising its veto over Turkey's funding from the European Union, to be granted within the framework of its Customs Union with the Community.

    In a press conference given after his meeting with his italian counterpart Lamberto Dini, Mr. Simitis stated that they discussed issues concerning the forthcoming Intergovernmental Conference, bilateral relations, and Turkey's claims in the Aegean Sea.

    Responding to a question by the Macedonian Press Agency on whether the Italian Presidency is in favor of a multi- speed Europe, Mr. Simitis stressed that "Mr. Dini is opposed to regulations that will block those countries which are not participating in the first phase of the economic and monetary union with the common currency."

    Responding to another question by the M.P.A. on whether the issue of Cyprus' accession to the EU was correlated to Turkey's Customs Union with the EU and the current issues troubling the greek-turkish relations, the greek Premier Kostas Simitis stated that "no such correlation was made."

    Referring to his discussion with the italian Premier, Mr. Simitis noted that "as far as the issues regarding the Intergovernmental are concerned, I believe that our views coincided on most issues."

    During his visit to Italy, Mr. Simitis also met with italian President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.

    [09] GREEK PRESIDENT WARMLY WELCOMED IN ALBANIA

    Greece does not have expansionist designs, respects the existing borders and and opposes the use of violence as a way to solve differences," was the message conveyed yesterday in an address given by greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos to the albanian parliament, in the framework of his two-day visit to Tirana.

    Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, who escorted the President in his visit to Tirana, signed a friendship accord with his albanian counterpart today, an agreement which was characterized by the greek President as a "crucial point in the greek-albanian bilateral relations and a starting point for their further establishment."

    [10] TRIPARTITE JUSTICE MINISTERS TO MEET IN THESSALONIKI SOON

    The justice ministers of Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania are scheduled to meet in Thessaloniki soon in order to coordinate legislative issues and the issue of prisoner exchange so that they can serve their sentences in their own countries.

    The meeting was scheduled on the sidelines of this week's council held in Brussels, following contacts made between the Greek Justice Minister Evangelos Venizelos with his counterparts.

    The European Union Justice Ministers meeting focused on forming a decision for unified action against racism and xenophobia, the drafting of plans and agreements for extradition and on addressing the issue of bribery concerning EU employees and civil servants in member-states.

    [11] THE WIFE OF THE GREEK CONSUL GENERAL WAS SEARCHED IN THE CONSTANTINOPLE AIRPORT

    Turkish authorities in the Airport of Constantinople searched the luggage of the wife of the greek Consul General in Constantinople mr.Stavros Likidis.

    Ms.Eleni Likidis was a passenger of the Olympic Airways Flight 322 from Constantinople to Athens and the airport authorities insisted on searching her luggage inspite of the fact that ms.Likidis herself and the OA personnel at the airport assured the authorities that she had diplomatic immunity.

    Diplomatic sources mention that the turkish authorities' actions, even though they are not in violation of any agreement, constitute improper behaviour unsuitable in diplomatic relations.

    Meanwhile, the turkish authorities started an investigation in order to be determined exactly what happened, given the fact that, as they stressed, this improper behaviour is uncommon in the Constantinople Airport.

    [12] GREEK MILITARY TO BE ON GUARD OVER THE HOLIDAY

    Greek Armed Forces will be guarding over the Aegean Sea with particular attention, especially the Imia ilsets region, in an effort to avert any potential turkish provocations during the three-day weekend marked by the greek national holiday of March 25.

    In the past, Ankara has proceeded to a series of challenges during this national greek holiday, mostly by violating greek national air space.

    This week, turkish aircraft vilolated the Athens Flight Information Region and national air space on nine separate occassions in various regions of the Aegean Sea, according to reports.

    The turkish aircraft were identified and escorted out of greek air space by greek fighter planes.

    [13] GERMAN PAPER ALLEGES THAT GREECE SUPPORTS THE KURDS MILITARILY

    Greece is once again accused of providing military assistance to the kurdish Labour Party (PKK), by an article that appeared in the german newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung written by the known for his anti-greek sentiments author Wolfgang Koydl.

    Titled "My enemy's enemy is my friend" and subtitled "Syria and Greece Support PKK", the article asserts that "Greece has unmasked sympathy for the Kurds and Ocalan frequently uses the greek mass media to conduct his interviews..."

    Despite the frequent denials, the article continues, there are strong indications that Athens, albeit not formally, supports the PKK militarily as well.

    "In Cyprus, and in numerous other smaller Aegean islands, even in the outskirts of Athens, it appears that PKK has established military training camps," stated the article.

    These new allegations constitute a rehashing of older similar reports, results of questionable origin.

    Paving the way was the german paper "Die Welt" with an article published in December of 1994 (12/2/94) which quoted sources of german secret services for the same allegations.

    Ruediger Moniak's article, titled "Greeks are Training PKK Fighters" mentioned that a PKK military camp has been established in the greek port of Lavrio and that at the port of Volos shipments full of arms are headed for Kurdistan via Syria.

    The use of turkish names for the areas of Evros and Alexandroupolis, as well as the "clarifications" that had been handed to the officials, lead the reader to believe that the "sources" are involved with the turkish MIT which in turn had made them available to the german secret service.

    A similar, smaller scale bout of anti-greek sentiment was encountered in last August's issue of the weekly Der Spiegel (8/14/96) which referred to a report by the Service of Constitutional Protection (Verfassungschutz) according to which "there are suspicions that Greece provides economic and logistical support to the PKK."

    [14] ECONOMIC COOPERATION BETWEEN GREECE AND CYPRUS

    The decisions recently made in Nicosia for the economic cooperation between Greece and Cyprus are entering the phase of materialization.

    A few days after the visit by greek National Economy Minister Yiannos Papantoniou to Cyprus the cypriot government has assigned to the Planning Agency to make the decisions more specific and to hammer out a timetable for their implementation.

    For this reason, the Agency's head mr.Simeon Matsis is in Athens in order to have contacts with high officials from the economic ministries for the materialization of the targets that have been set.

    [15] GREEK AIRPORT BEEFS UP SECURITY WITH HELP FROM UNITED STATES

    Greek and american experts are working together in an effort to improve security at the Athens "Elliniko" airport, according to the chief of the U.S. Department of Transportation Federico Pena.

    "The Department is certain that through the use of combined efforts, the security problem at the Athens airport will be solved," noted Mr. Pena in a written statement.

    The Transportation Department Chief stated that the Elliniko airport does not fulfil all of the international security specifications, especially regarding the area of electronic baggage checks. These specifications have been set by the international Organization of Civil Aviation.

    Olympic Airways is currently the only foreign airline that conducts direct flights from Athens to the U.S.

    The United States have also discovered insufficient security measures at the international airports of Lagos, Nigeria, and Colombia's Bogota.

    [16] U.S. SENATORS OPPOSE SALE OF ARMS TO TURKEY

    Nineteen United States Senators, led by greek-american Paul Sarbanes have sent a letter to President Bill Clinton through which they are asking the U.S. government not to proceed with the sale of state-of the-art Super Cobra helicopters to Turkey.

    The letter mentions Turkey's threatening behavior in the Aegean Sea, its continuing occupation of Northern Cyprus and turkish raids against the Kurdish population.

    According to the letter, selling these Super Cobra helicopters could be interpreted as U.S. acceptance of these actions.

    The Senators also voiced their concern over the recent transfer of equipment from Turkey to the occupied part of Cyprus and referred to statementns made by turkish officials that the implementation of the Law of the Sea convention by Greece would constitute a causus belli.

    In light of Turkish president Suleiman Demirel's forthcoming visit to the White House, the Senators have asked the U.S. President to convey their concerns to his turkish counterpart.

    [17] SERB PRESIDENT'S VISIT TO SKOPJE POSTPONED FOR NEXT WEEK

    Serb President Slobodan Milosevic has postponed a visit to FYROM scheduled for this week, according to FYROM newspapers.

    While no reason was given for this cancellation, well informed sources in Skopje state that the Serb leader might visit FYROM next week. Milosevic and FYROM President Kiro Gligorov are expected to announce mutual recognition of FYROM and rump Yugoslavia.

    [18] IFOR TROOPS DEFUSE ETHNICAL TENSIONS IN SARAJEVO

    IFOR defused two days ago violents controversies between Serbs and their Muslim and Croat neighbors in Dobrinja (suburb in Sarajevo). Gunfire and explosions had been reported. The Dayton boundary line between "B&H Federation" and Serb territory runs right through the middle of two apartment buildings while disputes abounded as to which side owns what. In Sarajevo, on March 19, British peacekeepers prevented government and Croatian troops from entering two barracks that both sides were claiming. The Dayton demarcation line attempts to divide what once was an ethnically mixed territory, however, the problem of a fair division still remains. According to the Dayton agreement, a joint commission had to prepare territorial exchanges by mutual consent, but no agreement has been reported until now.

    [19] FRANCE WARNING ON ETHNIC CLEANSING IN SARAJEVO

    Voiced by its Foreign Minister, France expressed dissatisfaction over the developments in Bosnia.

    "All that we have done, including our 51 dead soldiers, was not done to have the war renewed one day but to achieve reconciliation of the three ethnic communities," said Herve De Charette referring to the war-torn Sarajevo.

    The french Foreign Minister expressed his concern over the situation in Sarajevo where almost all Serb residents have run away from the city after their five municipalities came under the Muslim-Croat Federation control. "Those people have left because they were pushed from all sides," De Charette said in an interview with French Radio.

    De Charette warned the international community by saying "I am concerned today because the reality is not what it should be. This is the last stage of ethnic cleansing and separation. I am appaled. The situation is not what we want. I am therefore making a warning to the international community".

    [20] SARAJEVO - THE BEGINING OF THE END

    U.N. Spokesman in Sarajevo Alexander Ivanko harshly condemned the Muslim-Croat Federation for tolerating and ecouraging looting and threatening of Serbs in Sarajevo's municipality Ilidza. Ivanko said that most of the estimated 10,000 Serbs who had lived in the parts of Sarajevo, now handed by the Muslim-Croat Federation, are planning to leave.

    "Two Federation policemen were seen laughing and ecouraging Muslims when they were verbally insulting Serbs and trying to force them to leave their houses," Ivanko said.

    According to the Associated Press, more than 100 complaints had been filed with International Police monitors and U.N. workers in Ilidza since the transfer of power on March 12.

    "Whenever we go to the Bosnian (Muslim) Government or the Federation authorities and complain, nothing is done. I think the facts are pretty much clear," Ivanko said. He expressed concern over the mass leaving of Serbs from parts of Sarajevo: "All of them want to leave. Nobody wants to stay. If this pattern continues, Sarajevo will probably cease being a multi-ethnic city".

    [21] REPORTS ON CRIMES AGAINST SERBS IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

    In a extensive report from Belgrade entitled "We Serbs, Victims of Violence" the Milan daily Corriere Della Sera referred to a book of testimonies on crimes committed against Serbs in Bosnia- Herzegovina.

    Edited by Serbian writer Milivoje Ivancevic, "A Chronicle Of Our Graveyard" presents in a systematic order more than 10,000 crimes committed by Croats or Muslims against Serb civilians in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    "Serbs were blamed and accused in a cynical propaganda war which was followed by horrors of war. How can one explain the fact that reports on Serb crimes and Serb ethnic cleasing were given maximum publicity in the world, while the same reports by the Serb side on crimes by Muslims and Croats quickly disappeared," Ivancevic told Corriere Della Sera.

    Attempting to explain the injustice, the italian newspaper wrote "after so many colossal propaganda lies, Serbia itself was unable to resist them sufficiently by the end of the war."

    [22] CYPRUS GETS NEW UNITED STATES AMBASSADOR

    Kenneth Brill is the new United States Ambassador assigned to Cyprus, according to an announcement released today from the White House.

    Mr. Brill, a career diplomat, had previously served at the U.S. Embassies in India, Jordan, Ghana, as well as at the State Department's central operations.

    He will replace Richard Bowcher.

    [23] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT

    CURRENCY           FIXING      BUY         SELL
    ECU               302.700    301.7920   303.6080
    U.S. Dollar       241.8750   241.1490   242.6010
    Deutsche Mark     163.4880   162.9980   163.9780
    UK Sterling       371.1000   369.9870   372.2130
    French Franc       47.6600    47.5170    47.8030
    Swedish Crown      36.4930    36.3840    36.6020
    Danish Kroner      42.3200    42.1930    42.4470
    Norwegian Crown    37.6050    37.4920    37.7180
    Italian Lira 100   15.4325    15.3860    15.4790
    Swiss Franc       202.0440   201.4380   202.6500
    Spanish Peseta      1.9452     1.9394     1.9510
    Finnish Mark       52.5700    52.4120    52.7280
    Yen 100           226.3000   225.6210   226.9790
    
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