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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-02-06

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, 6 February 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ADVERSE WEATHER STRIKES NORTHERN GREECE, ONE PERSON IS DEAD

  • [02] GREEK FARMERS TO BLOCK OFF NATIONAL HIGHWAY AT MALGARA SECTION

  • [03] COUNCIL OF GREEKS ABROAD TO CONVENE IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW

  • [04] GREEK MINISTER OF NATIONAL ECONOMY AND FINANCE IN LONDON

  • [05] PRESIDENT OF GREEK PARLIAMENT MEETS WITH RUSSIAN DEPUTIES

  • [06] GREEK FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY RECEIVED BY BRITISH LEADERS

  • [07] THESSALONIKI TO HOST TRANSPORTATION CONFERENCE

  • [08] SAE EMBARKS ON INITIATIVE TO RE-OPEN CHALKI THEOLOGY SCHOOL

  • [09] GREECE IS OPPOSED TO A MILITARY STRIKE AGAINST IRAQ

  • [10] EXTENSIVE DAMAGE WAS CAUSED FROM FLOODS IN EVROS

  • [11] INFLATION IN JANUARY WAS 4,4%

  • [12] OPINION POLL ON THE EXPULSION OF THE ND DEPUTIES

  • [13] GREEK TEACHERS IN ALBANIA

  • [14] G.PAPANDONIOU: GREECE WILL PARTICIPATE IN EMU

  • [15] E.VENIZELOS:CULTURAL OLYMPIAD SHOULD BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTION


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [16] TURKISH DIPLOMAT THANKS GREEK MERCHANT MARINE FOR RESCUE EFFORTS

  • [17] GREEKS AND ARMENIANS CELEBRATE THREE MILLENNIA OF FRIENDSHIP

  • [18] ANOTHER ACCOUNT OF MASS GRAVES IN CYPRUS BROUGHT TO LIGHT

  • [19] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN CYPRUS ON SUNDAY. SEVEN VIE FOR TOP SEAT

  • [20] UN, EU OFFICIALS TO VISIT CYPRUS AFTER SUNDAY’S ELECTIONS

  • [21] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN CYPRUS

  • [22] THE BLACK SEA BANK WILL BE ABLE TO OPERATE EFFECTIVELY BY 1999

  • [23] CLAUS KINKEL IN ALBANIA


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] ADVERSE WEATHER STRIKES NORTHERN GREECE, ONE PERSON IS DEAD

    One person has been killed and a series of catastrophes have taken place in northern Greece, due to the strong gale and rainfall that has stricken the area.

    Meanwhile, transportation between the cities of Alexandroupolis and Komotene is hampered by floods and falling rocks, and the Greek Railway Organization (OSE) is not going to conduct the Alexandroupolis-Ormenios route. It has been snowing since this morning in Thessaloniki.

    [02] GREEK FARMERS TO BLOCK OFF NATIONAL HIGHWAY AT MALGARA SECTION

    Greek farmers are to block off the country’s national highway for two hours today at the Malgara section. Meanwhile other farmers are to proceed to similar mobilizations at the region of Tempi, while this morning farmers blocked a section of the national highway Athens-Kalamata. The Minister of Press and Media Dimitris Reppas has reiterated that the farmers should discuss their concerns with the Minister of Agriculture Stephanos Tzoumakas.

    [03] COUNCIL OF GREEKS ABROAD TO CONVENE IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW

    The First Regular session of the newly-elected presidium of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) is to convene in Thessaloniki tomorrow and Sunday.

    One of the topics that will be discussed is the organization of Olympics for the youth living abroad and the SAE’s cooperation for the Olympic Games of 2004. The members of the presidium are to meet with the minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos.

    [04] GREEK MINISTER OF NATIONAL ECONOMY AND FINANCE IN LONDON

    Greece’s National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou embarked on is official visit to London yesterday, where he presented a speech titled "Greece in the next millennium," sponsored by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

    Mr. Papantoniou held talks with his British counterpart Gordon Brown, who told him that the positive course of the Greek economy is expected to attract the interest of British investors. According to Mr. Papantoniou, Mr. Brown expressed his government's intention to play a more active economic role in the Balkans, utilizing possibilities offered by Greece. He also spoke of the possibilities of establishing joint enterprises and developing common initiatives in the wider region.

    In his speech, Mr. Papantoniou stressed that the Greek government today enjoyed a broad political consensus for measures aimed to promote Greece's participation in Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

    "Greece is the only stable factor, a member of the EU and NATO and other international organizations in southeastern Europe.

    It is the only country which combines the advantages of a developed economy, adequate infrastructure, and political stability. It is in an excellent geographical position, and possesses the potential to expand even more its economic access to the Balkans, the Black Sea, CIS countries, the Middle East etc. It is thus a bridge between east and west, ready to accept foreign investment," he added.

    Setting out the Greek economy's present positive picture, Mr. Papantoniou said the country would be ready to meet Maastricht criteria in 1998-99, so as to participate in the third phase of EMU on Jan. 1, 2001. He referred to the program for the privatization of public enterprises and the efforts for reducing public expenses, as well as the restructuring and modernization of ailing utilities, particularly in the transport sector.

    "The business community in Greece is showing new dynamism, becoming more extrovert, and is efficiently utilizing the opportunities of the new markets. Business confidence was won through the stability in government and in the implementation of the macro -economic policy," he said.

    "Foreign investors also have every reason to invest in Greece, which is the country with some of the largest infrastructure projects in Europe today in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors," he added.

    [05] PRESIDENT OF GREEK PARLIAMENT MEETS WITH RUSSIAN DEPUTIES

    The President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis received the members of the Russian parliament's Russian-Greek Friendship Group yesterday, to whom he stressed the need for a security system that would include the whole of Europe.

    Emphasizing "close, friendly relations" between the Russian and Greek peoples, Mr. Kaklamanis also expressed his appreciation for Russia's assurances regarding the recent agreement signed with Cyprus for the purchase of Russian S-300 missiles.

    The Russian delegation conveyed an invitation to Mr. Kaklamanis from his Russian counterpart to pay an official visit to Moscow.

    [06] GREEK FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY RECEIVED BY BRITISH LEADERS

    Greece’s Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis paid a one-day visit to London on Wednesday, upon the invitation of Sir David Hannay, the special representative of the European Union's presidency on the Cyprus issue and the personal envoy of British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Euro-Turkish relations.

    Mr. Kranidiotis was also received by British Undersecretary of State for European Affairs Doug Henderson and the British Foreign Ministry's political director Mr. Greenstock.

    The talks focused on Cyprus' accession to the EU, the formula for the Turkish Cypriots' participation in the delegation that will hold the accession negotiations and developments in relations between the EU and Turkey.

    According to reports, the British officials expressed their interest over the proposal the government of Cyprus will submit for the Turkish Cypriots' participation in the group to conduct accession negotiations. The British officials also briefed Mr. Kranidiotis on the British presidency's intention to convene an EU-Turkey association council in May.

    [07] THESSALONIKI TO HOST TRANSPORTATION CONFERENCE

    Thessaloniki is to host the Conference of Transport and Transit Trade in Southeast Europe from June 4-6, an event organized by HELEXPO, the organizer of the Thessaloniki International Fair, in cooperation with the Department of Communications Technology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

    The event is to address legal and administrative issues pertaining to difficulties encountered in crossing borders, methods and practices associated with multimodal transport in light of new technology and the use of logistics, multimodal transport corridors and infrastructure (terminals and junctions), networks, services and international cooperation.

    Among those participating in the conference will be senior officials and representatives of European Union directorates, the ministries of transport and communications, of environment, town planning and public works, of finance, of merchant marine, universities, cultural foundations of Austria, Bulgaria, Germany and other countries and transport organizations.

    [08] SAE EMBARKS ON INITIATIVE TO RE-OPEN CHALKI THEOLOGY SCHOOL

    The Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) is to embark on a world- wide campaign aimed at having the Chalki School of Theology reopened, to be officially inaugurated on March 12 in Washington during a ceremony that will be attended by a score of US officials and international dignitaries.

    The President of SAE Andrew Athens has recently visited Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos and they made a joint visit to the Chalki School of Theology.

    Mr. Athens told Patriarch Vartholomeos that all SAE bodies will participate in the international campaign, while he also pledged that SAE will do everything in its power to assist the patriarchate in achieving economic independence. The historic school was shut down in 1973 after a Turkish government decision.

    [09] GREECE IS OPPOSED TO A MILITARY STRIKE AGAINST IRAQ

    Athens is opposed to a military intervention in Iraq and insists that the diplomatic efforts for a peaceful solution to the crisis should continue, stated in Parliament today undersecretary of defense Dimitris Apostolakis. The statement was in response to a question made by Communist Party deputy Charalambos Agourakis on the likelihood to give permission to the US forces to use the bases of Souda and Aktion in case of a military intervention in Iraq.

    Mr. Apostolakis pointed out that the minister of defense has made it clear in advance to the US side that there is no likelihood of a Greek involvement in the military operations without a previous decision by the United Nations.

    He also added that the US side has made no request for assistance to the ministries of foreign affairs and defense in case a military operation on Iraq is decided and therefore, Greece has undertaken no commitment toward the United States.

    Meanwhile, the United States are reinforcing their military forces in the Persian Gulf with 2.000 marines. The US State Department has stated that there is no plan for the use of nuclear weapons but warned that the response, in case the Iraqis use biological weapons, will be direct and devastating.

    The Japanese foreign minister made an appeal to the United States not to attack Iraq during the winter Olympics that will be held in Nagano, Japan on February 7-22. The US Secretary of Defense William Coen rejected the calls for an Olympic truce.

    [10] EXTENSIVE DAMAGE WAS CAUSED FROM FLOODS IN EVROS

    The intense snowfall in Bulgaria creates fears that the already high water level of Evros River, in north-eastern Greece, will rise even more.

    Two people were drowned in the island of Thasos in northern Aegean and in Evros, while an 80yearold man was found drowned in a water reservoir in the region of Arta, north-western Greece.

    Large farming areas have been flooded and parts of the dykes made to protect many villages in the region have been swept away. The Alexandroupolis-Ormenio railway line remains closed and many villages at the banks of Evros were evacuated.

    Heavy snow is falling in central and western northern Greece and cars move only with non-skid chains in many parts of the road network.

    [11] INFLATION IN JANUARY WAS 4,4%

    Inflation in January closed at 4,4%, compared to 4,7% at the end of December, according to the National Statistics Agency.

    Minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou expressed optimism on the future of investments in Greece. The price index in the Athens Stock Exchange went up by 2,2% at noon today.

    [12] OPINION POLL ON THE EXPULSION OF THE ND DEPUTIES

    According to the results of an opinion poll published in the newspaper “Eleftheros Tipos”, 47% of the New Democracy party followers appear to agree with the disciplinary council decision to expel a number of deputies, while 44% disagree and 8,7% did not want to respond.

    Meanwhile, 31,4% of the followers of PASOK questioned, responded that they agree with the expulsions, while 53,1% disagree and 15,4% did not give a response.

    Regardless of their party affiliation, 33,2% of those questioned said that they agree with the penalty imposed on the deputies of the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy, while 44,8% disagree and 22% refused to respond.

    [13] GREEK TEACHERS IN ALBANIA

    Greece will sign an education agreement with Albania which will include the sending of Greek teachers to the Greek minority schools.

    The above were announced in the Greek Parliament today by undersecretary of foreign affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    Mr. Kranidiotis said that the intention of the Greek state is to strengthen the cooperation with the Albanian authorities on issues of education.

    [14] G.PAPANDONIOU: GREECE WILL PARTICIPATE IN EMU

    Greek Minister of National Economy and Finance Giannos Papandoniou stressed today during a press conference in London that Greece will meet Maastricht criteria in order to participate in the Economic and Monetary Union.

    Regarding Greek economy, mr Papandoniou noted that he informed his English counterpart mr Brown on the perspectives and the role Greece would like to play in the Balkans and the areas around the Black Sea as well as on the potential cooperation with English businessmen.

    Mr Papandoniou also said that during talks he had with English companies representatives he ascertained their interest to invest on Greece in sectors such as banks, insurance and tourism.

    [15] E.VENIZELOS:CULTURAL OLYMPIAD SHOULD BECOME AN INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTION

    The main issue of the session of the Council of Ministers that was held today was the organization of the Cultural Olympiad.

    The Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos stressed that the Greek government aims at the exploitation of the potential to establish a new cultural institution which will have a future.

    Mr Venizelos said that the government’s ambition is to organize the first Cultural Olympiad in an exemplary way and also to establish a new international non-governmental organization which will be based in Greece, in ancient Olympia, so that this institutional deposit which offers the country important capabilities to communicate on an international level, remain here.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [16] TURKISH DIPLOMAT THANKS GREEK MERCHANT MARINE FOR RESCUE EFFORTS

    The Turkish Consul General in Greece, Yasar Togo, has expressed his "heartfelt thanks" to the Search and Rescue Center of the Merchant Marine Ministry for the gigantic operation launched to save the crew of a Turkish freighter which sank off the coast of Euboia in December.

    In a letter forwarded to the Center, Mr. Togo also expressed gratitude for the efforts made to find a Turkish seaman who was missing after the ship sank on December 10.

    Eleven crew members of the 996-ton "S. Ugurlu", sailing from Thessaloniki to Italy with a cargo of magnesium ore, were rescued in the operation.

    Mr. Togo wrote that "this exemplary effort" of the Search and Rescue Center and the coast guard officers of Kymi, Euboia "contributes further to the strengthening of friendly relations between Greece and Turkey".

    [17] GREEKS AND ARMENIANS CELEBRATE THREE MILLENNIA OF FRIENDSHIP

    The Greek and Armenian communities of Geneva have embarked on four-day celebrations marking the three thousand years of friendship between the two peoples, in a series of events that are to be attended by the Ministers of Culture of both Greece and Armenia.

    Speaking to the Swiss daily "Tribune de Geneve", one of the organizers of the event stated that the exiles and the common struggle against the common enemy have brought the two peoples closer.

    Armande Gespard stated also that similar events can include other nationalities such as the Kurds.

    [18] ANOTHER ACCOUNT OF MASS GRAVES IN CYPRUS BROUGHT TO LIGHT

    Another account of mass graves containing the bodies of Greek- Cypriots hostages murdered by Turks, has been reported by a Kurdish individual Ali Hak.

    In videotaped testimony, Mr. Hak stated that he buried 60 women, children and soldiers who had been murdered by the Turks, in holes dug by an excavator. The said videotape belonged to Theofilos Georgiades, who was murdered in 1994, and its content is now publicized in the Cypriot periodical “Selides”.

    According to the testimony, Mr. Hak was ordered the dig 3-4 meter-deep grave in order to throw in the bodies. Among those murdered were children seven to 11 years old and about 20-25 soldiers. He claims that he can identify the site of the graves, while he also stated that he witnessed the murders of six other persons. He also said that he didn’t report these events because he was afraid of the consequences.

    [19] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN CYPRUS ON SUNDAY. SEVEN VIE FOR TOP SEAT

    Seven candidates, the largest number ever in Cyprus’s elections history, are to vie for the presidential post during this Sunday’s , February 8, elections.

    The registered voters number 446,731, a figure that includes 18-year-olds for the first time since the modification of the island’s constitution in November of 1997.

    The number of these new voters, who are expected to play a determining role in the elections outcome, amounts to 25,402.

    Over 1,000 voting centers have been stationed throughout the island, while four specially-set up centers will serve the Greek Cypriots who live in occupied territory.

    The candidates are: Incumbent President and DISY party president Glafkos Clerides, this being the fourth time he bids for the presidential post; Independent George Iakovou, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, supported by the AKEL and DIKO parties; Former Speaker of the House and current present of EDEK Vassos Lyssarides, who vies for the post for a third time; former president of the republic George Vasiliou, who also races for the third time and is the leader of the United Democrats Party; Nikos Rolandis, former Foreign Minster and President of the Liberals Party; Alexis Galanos, former vice-president of DIKO and former Speaker of the House; Nikos Koutsou, president of the New Horizons Party.

    According to recent polls, a second round is expected to take place since none of the seven candidates is believed to gather the necessary 50% for his election.

    [20] UN, EU OFFICIALS TO VISIT CYPRUS AFTER SUNDAY’S ELECTIONS

    The United Nations special envoy for the Cyprus issue Diego Cordovez is to visit Nicosia following the island’s presidential elections, according to Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides.

    Also, following the elections, the British envoy Sir David Hannay and the United States special coordinator for the Cyprus issue Thomas Miller are to visit the island, along with the US Presidential envoy for Cyprus Richard Holbrooke.

    [21] PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN CYPRUS

    Seven candidates will run for the presidency in the elections that will be held in Cyprus on Sunday.

    The registered voters are 446.731, while for the first time after the November 1997 amendment of the Constitution, the 18yearold Cypriot citizens will be able to vote.

    The young voters, who are expected to play a decisive role in the election results, are 25.402.

    [22] THE BLACK SEA BANK WILL BE ABLE TO OPERATE EFFECTIVELY BY 1999

    The Turkish president of the Black Sea Commerce and Development Bank Mr. Ersoi Volkan speculated from Thessaloniki today that the bank will be in a position to operate effectively by the year 1999.

    Mr. Volkan was formally appointed head of the bank’s Board of Governors during yesterday’s meeting, while the Board of the bank’s Directors was scheduled to meet today. The next meeting of the Board of Governors will be held in Thessaloniki on March 14.

    Mr. Volkan stated that the fact that the bank will be based in Thessaloniki is positive both for the bank itself and for the city. He said that Thessaloniki was the right choice because Greece is the only full EU member in the Balkans, while he also stressed that the city will benefit because the operation of the bank will assist in its economic development and reorganization.

    [23] CLAUS KINKEL IN ALBANIA

    The German Foreign Minister Claus Kinkel is on a visit in Albania where he met today with the country’s Prime Minister Fatos Nano, his Albanian counterpart Pascal Milo and the Democratic Party leader Sali Berisha.

    The issues examined in these meetings were the political situation in Albania and the developments in the area, particularly in Kosovo.

    Mr Kinkel repeated that Germany supports Albania’s association with the EU and said that the Union would help Albania as soon as there is an agreement between political parties.


    Complete archives of the Macedonian Press Agency bulletins are available on the MPA Home Page at http://www.mpa.gr/ and on the U.S. mirror at http://www.hri.org/MPA/

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