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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (29/03/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki 29 March


NEWS IN TITLES

  • [01] INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE COMES TO A CLOSE THIS EVENING

  • [02] U.S. TRAVEL ADVISORY TO BE LIFTED IN A MATTER OF DAYS

  • [03] ANKARA COVERED UP EVIDENCE ON IMIA, CHARGES TURKISH PRESS

  • [04] TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY DENIES COVER-UP CHARGES

  • [05] FYROM FOREIGN MINISTER LOOKS FORWARD TO ATHENS VISIT

  • [06] BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT RATIFIES GREEK-BULGARIAN AGREEMENTS

  • [07] ROMANIA TO FORMALLY APPLY FOR FULL NATO MEMBERSHIP

  • [08] ROMANIA SUBMITS TO BRUSSELS ITS NATO INTEGRATION DOCUMENT

  • [09] WASHINGTON TELLS BOSNIA TO CHOOSE BETWEEN IRAN AND USA

  • [10] US DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS CROATIA AND BOSNIA

  • [11] UNITED BALKAN PAGING NET AT THE END OF THE YEAR

  • [12] GREECE SHOULD APPEAR IN THE INTER-GOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE WITH A LONG-TERM STRATEGY AND SPECIFIC TARGETS

  • [13] THE US FIRST LADY REFERRED TO THE IDEAL OF THE ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY SPEAKING IN THE HELLENIC-AMERICAN CHAMBER

  • [14] THE TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY REACTS TO THE REPORT ON CYPRUS

  • [15] THE BALKAN DEFENSE MINISTERS WILL MEET IN TIRANA ON MARCH 31 TO APRIL 1ST

  • [16] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE COMES TO A CLOSE THIS EVENING

    The European Union Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) was completed early this evening, with the review of the Maastricht Treaty in Turin.

    During today's session, the European Union leaders approved an order which determines the issues that must be faced during the review of the EU accords.

    The IGC negotiations are expected to last for one year and will be carried out at the foreign ministers level.

    The greek government presented issues of a unified foreign policy and the security of the community, while, on issues regarding the changes of institutional regulations, emphasized the need of specific and specialized actions that will help Greece and the rest of EU member-states to address unemployment.

    Greece sumbitted to the IGC a memorandum titled "For a Democratic European Union with a Politcal and Social Content" which aims at consolidating a minimum level of social protection in the EU's new revised treaty with provisions included for labor relations and handicapped individuals.

    On the issue of unemployment and social exclusion, Greece's memorandum states that the two issues have "acquired dangerous dimensions, threatening the social fabric of the countries of the European Union."

    [02] U.S. TRAVEL ADVISORY TO BE LIFTED IN A MATTER OF DAYS

    The lift of U.S.-issued travel advisory for the Helllenikon airport in Athens is expected to take place in a matter of days, according to the greek Ministry of Transportation.

    In a conversation held last evening between the Greek Minister of Transportation Haris Kastanides and his american counterpart Federico Pena, the U.S. official assured the greek Minister that as soon as the greek government proceeds to the nessecary actions, such as improving the security measures of the baggage inspection points, the advisory will be lifted.

    Meanwhile, representatives of the U.S. Federal Aviation Authority met this morning with the Trasportation Ministry's General Director Mr. Konstantinides and with the Administrator of the greek Civil Aviation Authority whom they assured that they are willing to cooperate with the greek authorities for the training of inspectors of airport passengers and baggage checkpoints.

    [03] ANKARA COVERED UP EVIDENCE ON IMIA, CHARGES TURKISH PRESS

    The turkish leading newspaper "Milliyet" has charged Ankara with concealing key evidence that proved the greek sovereignty of the Imia islets.

    "Milliyet" columnist Guneri Civaoglu writes in the recently published article that the Turk Ambassador in rome had sent a telegram to the then-government of Tansu Ciller warning of the existence of documents in Rome that irrefutably proved the greek sovereignty of the Imia islets. According to the telegram, these documents could be used by Greece to support its case at the United Nations.

    According to the article, Ciller's government ordered that the coded message be concealed and destroyed.

    [04] TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY DENIES COVER-UP CHARGES

    The turkish foreign Ministry denied today that there was an attempt to destroy a coded message concerning the status of the Imia islets.

    According to the coded message, there are documents that prove that the islets belong to greek territory while the spokesperson of the turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed that there was indeed a telegram sent by the Turk Ambassador in Rome which warned of the existence of documents that present the Imia islets as part of the Dodekanese, and therefore belonging to greek territory. He, however, denied that there was an attempt made to destroy the coded message.

    [05] FYROM FOREIGN MINISTER LOOKS FORWARD TO ATHENS VISIT

    FYROM Foreign Minister Ljubomir Frckovski is optimisitc that his pending visit to Athens will open a "new phase" in relations with Greece.

    Mr. Frckovski, responding to the invitation forwarded by greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, stated that the meeting "will contribute to the improvement of relations between the two countries in all sectors."

    The skopjan Foreign Minister will most likely arrive in Athens next week.

    [06] BULGARIAN PARLIAMENT RATIFIES GREEK-BULGARIAN AGREEMENTS

    Bulgarian parliament ratified yesterday two agreements signed last year between Bulgaria and Greece regarding the use of the Nestos River's waters as well as the opening of three new border points and highways linking the two countries. The agreements are expected to be implemented by 1998.

    Regarding the Nestos River waters agreement, which took 20 years to be achieved, it means that Greece will be able to use 29% of the annual water quantity.

    [07] ROMANIA TO FORMALLY APPLY FOR FULL NATO MEMBERSHIP

    Romania will official apply for full NATO membership later this week, Romanian Foreign Ministry announced. Romania is expected to ask NATO headquarters in Brussels to start discussions on the country's admission. The Supreme Council for the Country's Defense has already approved a document which is mapping out an "individual dialogue" between Romania and the Alliance which will be accompanied by NATO Secretary-General's letter. Romania was the first former comunist country to sign up for NATO's Partnership for Peace program. Romania's President Ion Iliescu said that drawing up a list of favorite candidates for NATO integration could only "arouse suspicions", newspaper Jurnalul National reported. romanian National News Agency Rompres quoted the following comment of a high official of the Alliance, who declined to be named:

    "On the basis of the political commitment proven so far and of the constantly active conduct of the Romanian military in relation with NATO, Romania fully deserves to be among the first countries to join us. And a view of the not-so-distant past, leaving aside the last few decades in which virtually none of the Central-European peoples could express its real option, means that Romania has the right to want to become a member of the Alliance, a guarrantor of the stability in Europe."

    As part of an "official tour" to central and Eastern Europe in the second half of April and in early May, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana will arrive on May 3 in Bucharest.

    [08] ROMANIA SUBMITS TO BRUSSELS ITS NATO INTEGRATION DOCUMENT

    The romanian Foreign Ministry will forward this week to Brussels the document on individual dialogue regarding Romania's NATO integration, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Sorin Ducaru.

    [09] WASHINGTON TELLS BOSNIA TO CHOOSE BETWEEN IRAN AND USA

    In order to get the arms promised by Washington, Bosnian authorities will have to choose between Iran and United States, stressed in a statement for B-H media the US diplomat in charge for military support to B-H James Pardew. He also reminded that the US want full integration of the Muslim's and Bosnian Croat's army into the B-H Federation armed force, as another condition to start the US military reinforcement program for Bosnia.

    [10] US DEFENSE MINISTER VISITS CROATIA AND BOSNIA

    The US Defense Minister William Perry embarcks tomorrow on a week long tour in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania and Egypt, reported Pentagon. In Bosnia he will talk with US soldiers and officers as well as B-H Government officials.

    [11] UNITED BALKAN PAGING NET AT THE END OF THE YEAR

    "Interkopernikus", the EU programme to form a Balkan paging net, is expected to have the private telecomunication enterprise "Pikon" from Skopje as new member. Balkan paging net will be financed by the EU with $200 000 and should start operating at the end of the year. The Balkan paging net should include 6 countries: Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia, Romania and FYROM. Its capacity will be 100 000 users and it will be connected with the current net in the countries users.

    [12] GREECE SHOULD APPEAR IN THE INTER-GOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE WITH A LONG- TERM STRATEGY AND SPECIFIC TARGETS

    The need for Greece to appear in the Inter-Governmental Conference with a long-term strategy, with a spirit of constructive participation and specific targets was pointed out by greek EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis in a statement made to MPA.

    Mr.Papoutsis underlined that it is clear the Inter- Governmental Conference (IGC) is of critical importance for the future of the European Union and of course, for the future of Greece. He said that the basic question raised today is Europe's institutional development within the framework of the new european and world data.

    According to mr.Papoutsis, for Greece there should be a hierarchy of priorities based on which it will present its positions and proposals. Those priorities are the consolidation of institutional balance for the continuation of the representative participation of all the member states and the european peoples and the formation of a common foreign policy and political security which pre-suppose and the existence of political will for the development of a european defense identity.

    He said that within this framework is placed and the issue of mutual assistance in case of a threat, as well as, the issue of the monetary union and the progress toward the political unification and the social Europe.

    Meanwhile, spokesman of the greek Foreign Minister in the IGC mr.Yiannos Kranidiotis in an interview to BBC on the occassion of the Conference's opening stated that the strengthening of Europe will help Greece.

    Mr.Kranidiotis pointed out that if the foreign policy is based on a number of values, such as the respect of existing borders, the peaceful solution of differences, the promotion of human rights and democracy then the greek interests will be served and the country's negotiating position will be strengthened in the handling of threats and dangers coming from Turkey.

    According to mr.Kranidiotis, Greece's strong cards in the IGC will be reason, International Law, the need for Europe to move ahead and play its new role and also the fact that decisions are being made uninanimously.

    Responding to the question if is possible the safeguarding of Greece's borders within the framework of the EU and with which countries could be established or strengthened alliances, mr.Kranidiotis said that Greece's borders could be safeguarded, if not at this moment, then next year within the framework of the negotiation.

    [13] THE US FIRST LADY REFERRED TO THE IDEAL OF THE ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY SPEAKING IN THE HELLENIC-AMERICAN CHAMBER

    To the ideal of the Athenian Democracy which was the model for the western world, referred US First Lady Hillary Clinton speaking today in the Hellenic-American Chamber in Athens.

    There is not a sector of modern life, stressed ms.Clinton, that has not been influenced by ancient greek architecture, play- writing and Philosophy and also by the distinguished doctors, legislators and orators of the Ancient world.

    Ms.Clinton made a special referrence to the "Epitaph" by Pericles written in 431 BC in which were praised the values of Democracy as a system of government that serves the majority of the people. Democracy, pointed out ms.Clinton, has its shortcomings but still remains the most equitable system of government, while at the same time, it constitutes a hope for peace and economic prosperity in the world.

    The US First Lady gave a special emphasis to the family institution and to the equality of the sexes, saying characteristically, that when a society invests on women it helps the children, the families, society and the nation.

    Ms.Clinton also spoke about her experience during the visit to Bosnia by saying that she saw what happens to a society when the democratic ideal is lost, when people lose their compassion, when their rights as citizens are being denied, when tolerance, civilization and respect are being replaced by oppression, barbarism and violence.

    Ms.Clinton made her speech in front of greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos, the Education Minister, the greek Prime Minister's wife, the mayor of Athens, academicians and other dignitaries, and in conclusion she said that she feels privileged to attend tomorrow's official ceremony of the lighting of the Olympic Flame expressing the hope that when the torch will be lit from the sun's rays it will rekindle the hope for Democracy and humanity all over the world.

    [14] THE TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTRY REACTS TO THE REPORT ON CYPRUS

    The turkish Foreign Ministry reacts to the report on Cyprus submitted to the European Union Council by special representative to Cyprus Italian Ambassador Federico di Roberto. A statement issued by the turkish Foreign Ministry accuses the italian Ambassador of going beyond the limits of his authority.

    According to the statement, the italian representative was appointed as EU representative to Cyprus within the framework of the fact finding mission and as Turkey had been informed, he was going to be limited in listening to the views of the two sides and in conveying them to the EU Presidency. The statement adds that within this framework he was welcomed in Ankara and Nicosia.

    The report, mentions the statement, is biased against the turkish-cypriot side adding that the efforts by UN Secretary- General, aiming at finding a solution, continue and there is no anticipation for the adoption of a new timetable or any intervention in the existing EU procedure. The statement concludes that the report submitted by mr.Di Roberto does not present reality and is far from the efforts aiming at the solution of the problem.

    [15] THE BALKAN DEFENSE MINISTERS WILL MEET IN TIRANA ON MARCH 31 TO APRIL 1ST

    The Defense Ministers of the south Balkan states will open in Tirana on March 31st and will be completed on April 1st.

    The meeting takes place after an initiative by the albanian government within the framework of the efforts it undertook for the establishment of regional security, according to Tirana's radio station.

    The radio station also reported that in the meeting will participate Turkey, FYROM, Bulgaria, Italy and the United States.

    [16] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT

    CURRENCY          FIXING      BUY         SELL
    ECU              302.6800   301.7720    303.5880
    U.S. Dollar      241.0200   240.2970    241.7430
    Deutsche Mark    163.3300   162.8400    163.8200
    UK Sterling      367.5500   366.4470    368.6530
    French Franc      47.9120    47.7680     48.0560
    Swedish Crown     35.9700    35.8620     36.0780
    Danish Kroner     42.3320    42.2050     42.4590
    Norwegian Crown   37.6280    37.5150     37.7410
    Italian Lira      15.3580    15.3120     15.4040
    Swiss Franc      202.5000   201.8920    203.1080
    Spanish Peseta     1.9422     1.9364      1.9480
    Finnish Mark      52.0800    51.9240     52.2360
    Yen              226.1350   225.4570    226.8130
    
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