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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-02-16

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, 16 February 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] FARMERS TOUGHEN THEIR STANCE, TRANSPORTATION OBSTRUCTED AT TEMPI

  • [02] RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO MEET WITH THEODOROS PANGALOS TODAY

  • [03] GREEK PM CONGRATULATES CYPRIOT PRESIDENT CLERIDES ON RE- ELECTION

  • [04] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO EGYPT

  • [05] GOAT SHEPHERD STRANGLES WOLF WITH HIS BARE HANDS

  • [06] THE FARMERS MET WITH PASOK’S CENTRAL COMMITTEE SECRETARY

  • [07] THE GOVERNMENT IS OPEN TO A DIALOGUE WITH THE FARMERS

  • [08] PANGALOS-PRIMAKOV MEETING

  • [09] PROTEST RALLY AGAINST UNEMPLOYMENT WILL BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [10] GLAFKOS CLERIDES RE-ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF CYPRUS

  • [11] ALBANIA’S PRESIDENT IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW TO MPA

  • [12] BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY CONGRATULATES CLERIDES ON VICTORY

  • [13] MR. CLERIDES’ GOAL IS TO FORM A NATIONAL UNITY GOVERNMENT

  • [14] RADICAL ISLAMIC PARTY WILL BE FOUNDED IN THE TURKISH OCCUPIED PART OF CYPRUS

  • [15] TWO US SENATORS MAINTAIN THAT WASHINGTON SHOULD KEEP EQUAL DISTANCES FROM GREECE, CYPRUS AND TURKEY

  • [16] GREECE OCCUPIES THE 6TH PLACE AMONG FOREIGN INVESTORS IN BULGARIA

  • [17] THE BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER IS THE MOST POPULAR POLITICIAN IN THE COUNTRY


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] FARMERS TOUGHEN THEIR STANCE, TRANSPORTATION OBSTRUCTED AT TEMPI

    Transportation at Greece’s national highway is obstructed at the Tempi junction as the country’s protesting farmers have opened access to only one lane for the moving vehicles.

    Meanwhile, the Pan-Thessaly farmers’ co-ordinating committee are having successive meetings with the Secretary of PASOK Kostas Skandalides and the leaders of the opposition parties.

    The farmers of Serres, Imathia and Evros have withdrawn from the mobilisations.

    [02] RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO MEET WITH THEODOROS PANGALOS TODAY

    Russian foreign minister Gevgeni Primakov is to be received by Greece’s Theodoros Pangalos today, after having arrived in Athens yesterday for a formal visit that will last until February 18.

    The Russian minister will also be received by the Greek president yesterday evening , while he will also meet with prime minister Kostas Simitis, parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis and main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis.

    The talks with Mr. Primakov will concern issues such as, the situation in Iraq and the Middle East, the situation in the Balkans, the Cyprus problem and the Greek-Turkish relations.

    [03] GREEK PM CONGRATULATES CYPRIOT PRESIDENT CLERIDES ON RE- ELECTION

    Greece’s Prime Minister Kostas Simitis last night contacted the President of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides and congratulated him on his victory in the island’s presidential elections.

    Mr. Simitis conveyed his wish that close cooperation between them continues as it has on all major Cypriot national issues.

    National Defence Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos also phoned the Cypriot president to congratulate him on his re-election. President Clerides thanked the Greek defence minister and said he was looking forward to a meeting with him.

    [04] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO EGYPT

    Greece’s National Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos is to depart for an official visit to Cairo today, where he will hold talks with his Egyptian counterpart and will visit local defense industries.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will be received by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak tomorrow and also have talks with the Egyptian Foreign Minister Amir Mousa.

    On Wednesday, he is to meet representatives of Egypt's ethnic Greek community, as well as the Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa Petros.

    [05] GOAT SHEPHERD STRANGLES WOLF WITH HIS BARE HANDS

    A 23-year-old goat shepherd in a village near the city of Kavala in northern Greece, has reported that he strangled a wolf with his bare hands , when the animal attacked him last Thursday.

    According to press reports, Kostas Mihalopoulos strangled the wolf after grappling with it, although he stated that he did not want to kill the animal.

    "I've never harmed an animal, and I've never fought with a human being," Mr. Mihalopoulos said.

    The man had no knife or other weapon on him at the time. Despite his struggle with the wolf, Mr. Mihalopoulos was unharmed.

    [06] THE FARMERS MET WITH PASOK’S CENTRAL COMMITTEE SECRETARY

    The members of the farmers’ committee in Thessaly, central Greece, met in Athens today with governing socialist party of PASOK central committee secretary Kostas Skandalidis and Coalition of the Left leader Nikos Konstantopoulos. The farmers are also scheduled to have contacts with all the opposition party leaders in the country.

    Farmers’ committee member, Mr. Boutas, called for a meeting of all political party leaders aimed at persuading the government into solving as many problems as it can. The Coalition of the Left leader agreed with the suggestion for a political party leaders’ meeting and said that the prosecutions of the farmers should end.

    [07] THE GOVERNMENT IS OPEN TO A DIALOGUE WITH THE FARMERS

    The Greek government is open to a dialogue with the farmers but it will not be apathetic to extreme forms of mobilizations, stressed Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas referring to the problems with the farmers.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the Greek economy will not be able to withstand the amount of 900 billion drachmas which is necessary for the solution of the problems. He said that the government supports the dialogue but it will not yield to a form of a dialogue which will be characterized by blackmail and threats.

    The Greek government spokesman stated that all legal procedures will be followed, while he speculated that the government will not have to deal with the issue in a way that will be characterized by elements of conflict and confrontation.

    [08] PANGALOS-PRIMAKOV MEETING

    Russian foreign minister Gevgeni Primakov met in Athens today with his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos, while later in the evening he will meet with prime minister Kostas Simitis.

    Mr. Primakov and Mr. Pangalos discussed the crisis in Iraq, the Cyprus problem and the situation in the Balkans.

    Earlier, Mr. Primakov had met with Parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis who expressed satisfaction regarding the Russian government’s stance on the Cyprus problem and also, for the fact that the Russian government kept its part of the agreement concerning the installation of the Russian S-300 missiles in Cyprus. Mr. Primakov stated that the Russian Federation has very good and friendly relations with Greece.

    Mr. Primakov stated that the S-300 missile systems will be delivered to Cyprus within the time-table provided in the agreement, adding that the order will be canceled only if there is complete demilitarization of the island. In statements he made after his meeting with Mr. Pangalos, he said that the S-300 missiles are defense weapons and pointed out that a lot should be done in order to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Regarding the Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Primakov stated that Russia’s position on the issue is the same with Greece’s, while Greek foreign minister Mr. Pangalos categorically rejected the proposal made by his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem for a bilateral political meeting. Mr. Pangalos called on Turkey to accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice in The Hague saying that the only issue that can be discussed is that concerning the continental shelf. He also stressed that Greece rejects the dialogue with Ankara on the Greek-Turkish issues and said that there is no issue of an overall negotiation.

    On the likelihood of a meting with Mr. Cem, he underlined that such meetings have been held in the past and will be held in the future on the sidelines of international fora which will be attended by both countries at foreign ministers’ level.

    Meanwhile, both Mr. Primakov and Mr. Pangalos stated that they are opposed to a military intervention in Iraq and underlined that the diplomatic efforts continue. The two ministers also discussed the joint initiatives that Russia and Greece can promote in the Balkans and also, ways for the improvement of bilateral political, economic and cultural relations.

    The Russian foreign minister is also scheduled to be received by president Kostis Stephanopoulos and by main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis.

    Tomorrow, Mr. Primakov will visit the monastic community of Mount Athos accompanied by Mr. Pangalos.

    [09] PROTEST RALLY AGAINST UNEMPLOYMENT WILL BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW

    A protest rally against unemployment and the closure of industry plants in the region of Thessaloniki is scheduled to be held in a central city square tomorrow afternoon. The rally is organised by the main workers’ union.

    The real unemployment in Thessaloniki is estimated at 17%, while in the last 4 years about 2.000 people have lost their jobs when a number of businesses were forced to close.

    The workers’ unions leaders stated that the goal is to hold a large protest rally that will sensitise the people living in the city and the government to the problem of unemployment.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [10] GLAFKOS CLERIDES RE-ELECTED AS PRESIDENT OF CYPRUS

    The incumbent President of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides has been re-elected to the post, following yesterday’s second round of the presidential elections at the island, where he gathered 50.8% of the votes, as opposed to his opponent George Iakovou who amassed 49.2%.

    The declaration of the new president was made at midnight on Sunday. President Clerides was congratulated by the Greek, British and Cypriot political leaderships.

    [11] ALBANIA’S PRESIDENT IN AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW TO MPA

    The situation in Kossovo is dangerous, according to Albania’s President Reijep Meidani, who, in an exclusive interview granted to the Macedonian Press Agency’s general Director Spyros Kouzinopoulos, stated that any delay in normalizing the situation in that area includes dangers for the wider region.

    President Meidani further stressed the need for continuous pressure exerted by the international community and the assignment of United Nations observers in Prishina.

    In light of his imminent official visit to Athens, scheduled for March 9, the Albanian President assesses that the cooperation enjoyed by Greece and Albania recently is on a positive course. Referring to the stabilisation of the situation in his country, Mr. Meidani stated that, in spite of the fact the road is long, there is the political will for truly democratic reform in his country.

    Mr. Meidani, responding to the cries of the fallen former President Sali Berisha and his followers who are opposed to the presence of the Greek military force in Albania, calls on them to respond to the question if they want Albania to accede the Euro- atlantic structures, or if they wish for its continued isolation. He attributed these dissenting voices to being the remnants of an antiquated policy, a “policy of speculation”, as he dubbed it, which aims to misinform the Albanian people.

    Referring to the relations between Greece and Albania, President Meidani stated that the multifaceted and fruitful cooperation between the two neighbors is currently on the positive track. When asked if during his visit to the United States, where he met with the United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan, there was talk on assigning a UN peacekeeping mission to Albania, Mr. Meidani responded that Mr. Annan promised to assign a team of experts who will collaborate on ways to disarm those civilians who illicitly carry weapons.

    “In regards to Kossovo, we spoke of assigning a mission of the United Nations, not a force, since the current situation in the region is dangerous. We also advocated the idea of seeing a strong diplomatic presence on behalf of European organizations in order to avoid conflict,” he added. “In spite of this, a section of the Albanian press twisted all that was said. When I asked what all that nonsense was, they referred me to a German news agency, It was a set up. Luckily, there were journalists who knew of the situation.” Lastly, the Albanian President was asked on how dangerous he deems the situation in Kossovo is and he responded that “it is dangerous case, and if we do not act in a timely manner, it could materialize into something worse.”

    He added that the first step that should be done is to activate the Milosevic-Rugova agreement which was signed twenty months ago and which will create the framework for the promotion of dialogue.

    [12] BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY CONGRATULATES CLERIDES ON VICTORY

    Britain’s Foreign Secretary and current EU Council President Robin Cook last night congratulated Mr. Clerides on behalf of the EU.

    "We should now start working. The British presidency will soon have talks with the new Cyprus government to confer on important events which are expected in the coming weeks,” Mr. Cook stated, adding that “we wish to see the UN-sponsored process of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem to resume soon. We also wish to start (Cyprus') EU accession process in the best possible way on March 31.”

    [13] MR. CLERIDES’ GOAL IS TO FORM A NATIONAL UNITY GOVERNMENT

    The efforts launched today by the winner of the presidential elections in Cyprus Glafkos Clerides, which are aimed at establishing a government of national unity, are being blocked by the negative stance of the Communist party of AKEL and the centrist party of DHKO.

    Mr. Clerides reiterated in his inauguration speech that he supports the joint defence doctrine and mentioned that the basic intention of his government is to promote the EU accession negotiations.

    On the occasion of Mr. Clerides’ re-election to the presidency of Cyprus, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the Greek government and all the political powers in Greece support the Cypriot Hellenism in its effort to deal with the problems it faces.

    Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos has sent a congratulatory telegram to Mr. Clerides on his re-election.

    [14] RADICAL ISLAMIC PARTY WILL BE FOUNDED IN THE TURKISH OCCUPIED PART OF CYPRUS

    The Turkish-Cypriot newspaper “Kibris” reports that the supporters of Sheik Nazim, in the Lefka region of the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus, will soon found an radical Islamic party under the name “Our Party”. The party’s leader will be Ogai Sambikoglu and among its founding members will be the Sheik’s son.

    The party will promote the reestablishment of flogging as a form of punishment, the abolition of mixed classrooms, with male and female students and the exclusive employment of men in public jobs.

    [15] TWO US SENATORS MAINTAIN THAT WASHINGTON SHOULD KEEP EQUAL DISTANCES FROM GREECE, CYPRUS AND TURKEY

    Two US Senators, Republican Charles Percy and Democrat Clayborn Pell, who had served as chairmen in the US Senate foreign affairs committee in the past, called on the US government and US president Bill Clinton to keep equal distances from Greece, Cyprus and Turkey and to really work toward a fair and viable solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The two US Senators praised president Clinton’s initiative to send Richard Halbrooke to Cyprus as a presidential envoy and pointed out that it is essential to treat all sides in a fair way and in accordance with objective and unchangeable principles.

    [16] GREECE OCCUPIES THE 6TH PLACE AMONG FOREIGN INVESTORS IN BULGARIA

    Greece occupies the 6th place among the 15 countries with the biggest investments in Bulgaria, estimated at 4,81%.

    The Greek businessmen, who are active in Bulgaria made direct investments of 60,2 million dollars by January 14, 1998, and were able to compete with financial giants such as the United States with investments of 73,5 million dollars, according to figures provided by the Bulgarian foreign investment agency, FIA.

    At the top of the list of the direct foreign investors are Germany with 262 million dollars, Belgium with 251 million dollars, Holland with 92,6 million dollars, the United States with 73,5 million dollars and Switzerland with 68 million dollars.

    Greece occupies the first place regarding the number of direct foreign investments in Bulgaria. Specifically, Greece has made 1.279 investments, while Germany has 376.

    [17] THE BULGARIAN PRIME MINISTER IS THE MOST POPULAR POLITICIAN IN THE COUNTRY

    Bulgarian prime minister Ivan Kostov and Sofia’s mayor and former caretaker prime minister Stafan Sofianski were the most popular politicians in Bulgaria in the past month, according to an opinion poll conducted by a Bulgarian polling firm.

    It should be noted that compared to September of 1997, the popularity of prime minister Kostov has increased by 5 percentage points and reached 60%.


    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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