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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-02-18

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, 18 February 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PREMIER CHAIRS MEETING ON GREEK-TURKISH ISSUES

  • [02] MEASURES FOR LOSS-MAKING OLYMPIC AIRWAYS IN TWO MONTHS

  • [03] RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS MOUNT ATHOS

  • [04] GREECE-RUSSIA SIGN INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE UN CHIEF’S VISIT TO IRAQ

  • [05] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS TO VISIT CANADA

  • [06] ALBANIAN EX-PRESIDENT UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL QUADRUPLE BY-PASS

  • [07] MEETING ON THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS

  • [08] EU SPECIALISTS ARE IN ATHENS TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF OLYMPIC AIRWAYS

  • [09] THE GOVERNOR OF THE BANK OF GREECE PREDICTED THE GRADUAL DROP OF INTEREST RATES

  • [10] THE GREEK-CANADIANS ARE REACTING STRONGLY TO THE BEHAVIOR OF THE FYROM COMMUNITY MEMBERS

  • [11] GENERAL MOTORS RECALLED 730.000 OPEL VECTRA CARS DUE TO A HANDBRAKE PROBLEM

  • [12] KARAMANLIS MET WITH THE PRIME MINISTER OF BELGIUM


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT RECEIVES GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER IN CAIRO

  • [14] THE NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE WANTS TO BUY OUT THE POSTAL BANK OF BULGARIA

  • [15] EARLY ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD IN TURKEY, ACCORDING TO THE “FINANCIAL TIMES”

  • [16] THE BULGARIAN MINISTER OF INDUSTRY WILL VISIT GREECE THIS WEEKEND


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PREMIER CHAIRS MEETING ON GREEK-TURKISH ISSUES

    The Greek government is expected to prompt Ankara to seek recourse with the International court of Justice at The Hague, in response to the proposal submitted by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ismael Cem on holding a dialogue spanning all issues pending between the two neighbors.

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to chair a ministerial conference today wherein the participants are to examine the said proposal.

    [02] MEASURES FOR LOSS-MAKING OLYMPIC AIRWAYS IN TWO MONTHS

    Following yesterday’s meeting between National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and Transport and Communications Minister Tasos Mantelis, the latter stated that measures for the revitalization of Olympic Airways are to be enacted within two months for the national air carrier and six months for the country’s remaining public utilities companies (DEKOS).

    Mr. Mantelis said the operational plans of the public enterprises would first be submitted to dialogue with staff before final decisions are adopted. Before yesterday's meeting, Mr. Mantelis said the six-month deadline given by the government for management and employees to find solutions to the problems of public enterprises (DEKOs) other than OA and the Greek Post Office (ELTA) would be adhered to.

    Before the deadline, managements will have to have submitted their programs concerning work regulations, economic revitalization and business plans.

    [03] RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER VISITS MOUNT ATHOS

    Russia’s Foreign Minster Gevgeni Primakov, currently on an official visit to Greece, visited the holy community of Mount Athos yesterday, accompanied by his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos.

    Following his meeting last evening with the minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos, Mr. Primakov stated that Greece is Russia’s hopeful and gifted fiend and added that Moscow wants to develop its ties with Athens since Greece holds a significant role in the Balkans and is active in the cooperation sector of the Black Sea region and the Mediterranean.

    Mr. Primakov said after talks in Athens yesterday with Mr. Pangalos that Greece and Russia did not consider the use of force to be expedient in the case of the Iraqi crisis, since this would have serious repercussions in the broader region. He stressed, however, that both countries agreed that the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq must be neutralized.

    [04] GREECE-RUSSIA SIGN INITIATIVE TO PROMOTE UN CHIEF’S VISIT TO IRAQ

    Greece’s Foreign Theodoros Pangalos and his Russian counterpart Gevgeni Primakov, currently on an official three-day visit to Greece, signed an initiative to promote UN secretary- general Kofi Annan's visit to Iraq, which aims at persuading Iraqi leadership to permit UN weapons inspections.

    While in Thessaloniki, Mgrs. Pangalos and Primakov yesterday contacted several European Union counterparts, namely French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel and Belgian Foreign Minister Erik Derycke, making "specific efforts" for a political solution to the Iraqi crisis.

    "From Thessaloniki airport we both communicated with Hubert Vedrine and we shall probably have contacts with other foreign ministers," Mr. Pangalos stated.

    "There is a considerable danger and let us hope that the UN Secretary General is left to do his job without needless terms and conditions which will just make things more difficult. His final efforts could, with some understanding from the other side, bring some result," he added.

    [05] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS TO VISIT CANADA

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos is to visit six Canadian cities from March 25 to June 2, this being the first time ever an Ecumenical Patriarch travels to Canada officially.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch’s stops will include Ottawa, Vancouver, Winnipeg, London, Toronto and Montreal.

    Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien will welcome the Orthodox Prelate.

    [06] ALBANIAN EX-PRESIDENT UNDERGOES SUCCESSFUL QUADRUPLE BY-PASS

    Albania’s former president Ramiz Alia is recovering satisfactorily after undergoing a quadruple by-pass operation at Thessaloniki's George Papanikolaou Hospital yesterday morning.

    The four-hour operation on the 73-year-old man was performed by the head of the hospital’s cardiology unit, Panayiotis Spyrou.

    Mr. Alia, who was admitted late Sunday night after arriving from Tirana, will remain in intensive care for two days before being moved to a hospital room to recuperate for another week.

    Mr. Alia had been in intensive care in a Tirana hospital following a heart attack he suffered two weeks ago. His traveling expenses have been paid for by an anonymous Thessaloniki businessman. He had suffered his first heart attack six years ago while in an Albanian prison.

    [07] MEETING ON THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS

    The response that will be given by the Greek government to the proposal for a political dialogue between Greece and Turkey, that was made by Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem, was discussed today in a meeting chaired by prime minister Kostas Simitis. The meeting was held with the participation of the foreign ministry leadership.

    According to information, the response to the Turkish proposal will be negative and the Greek government will point out to Ankara that it can appeal to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

    Foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos briefed the prime minister on the talks he had with his Russian counterpart Gevgeni Primakov, while in the meeting were also examined the elements that make up the explosive situation in the Persian Gulf. The Greek side hopes that the visit of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to Baghdad on Friday will be successful and will avert the likelihood of a military intervention in Iraq.

    Meanwhile, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, referring to the Turkish proposals, stated that the Greek government does not believe that at this moment the necessary pre- conditions exist for a different approach. He said that Turkey’s behavior undermines the efforts aimed at creating a calm atmosphere in bilateral relations.

    [08] EU SPECIALISTS ARE IN ATHENS TO DISCUSS THE FUTURE OF OLYMPIC AIRWAYS

    A group of European Union specialists arrived in Athens today for contacts with the Olympic Airways management in order to discuss the future of the Greek state airline.

    The EU specialists will meet with the company’s new president and they will present to him the EU views regarding the process that has to be followed for the implementation of the necessary reforms.

    It should be noted, that about a year ago the EU decided to stop the financial support of the airline.

    [09] THE GOVERNOR OF THE BANK OF GREECE PREDICTED THE GRADUAL DROP OF INTEREST RATES

    Bank of Greece governor Loukas Papadimos, speaking before the Parliament hearing committee which approved the renewal of his term to the post, predicted the gradual drop of interest rates.

    Mr. Papadimos pointed out that the conditions in the international foreign currency market will allow for the gradual drop in the interest rates and appeared optimistic regarding the course of the Greek economy. He also stressed that in order to achieve complete normalization the decrease in the interest rates should be done carefully and after taking under consideration the economic policy followed.

    The governor of the Bank of Greece also announced that a program of reforms to be implemented in the Agricultural Bank is in progress and will be completed by the end of 1999.

    [10] THE GREEK-CANADIANS ARE REACTING STRONGLY TO THE BEHAVIOR OF THE FYROM COMMUNITY MEMBERS

    The FYROM community in Canada, in violation of the terms of the agreement it has reached with the Canadian government and in its effort to achieve diplomatic recognition, it has placed signs with the name “Republic of Macedonia” both outside the building housing FYROM’s embassy in Ottawa and at the FYROM consulate in Toronto, according to a report published in the New York based Greek-American newspaper “Proini”.

    The newspaper mentions that many Greeks living in Canada have protested to the Greek embassy against the actions of the FYROM community members.

    [11] GENERAL MOTORS RECALLED 730.000 OPEL VECTRA CARS DUE TO A HANDBRAKE PROBLEM

    The car industry General Motors recalled 730.000 Opel Vectra B cars that were built last July because of a flaw in their handbrakes.

    General Motors decided to recall the specific car model in order to change the faulty handbrake. In Greece, over 4.500 of those cars have been sold.

    [12] KARAMANLIS MET WITH THE PRIME MINISTER OF BELGIUM

    Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis appeared determined to materialize the party congress decision to turn a new page in the ND history.

    In a party event held in Brussels, he stated categorically that he will not allow phenomena such as those that led to the expulsion of 6 Parliament deputies to happen again. Mr. Karamanlis met with the prime minister of Belgium and they discussed matters of EU interest.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [13] EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT RECEIVES GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER IN CAIRO

    Greece’s Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, currently on an official visit to Egypt, was received by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo yesterday.

    During their talks, both men agreed that Iraq’s strongman Saddam Hussein should accept a UN Security Council resolution for a continuation of inspections for weapons of mass destruction. The two also agreed that the US should in no case proceed with a military intervention, as diplomatic possibilities were still in place.

    "An invasion would create more problems in the Middle East than it would solve," Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said.

    They also discussed current bilateral issues and the consequences of the Turkish-Israeli military agreement, stressing that Ankara functioned as a destabilizing factor in the eastern Mediterranean.

    The Defense Minister’s visit ends in Alexandria today, as he is scheduled to meet with Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and All Egypt Petros.

    [14] THE NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE WANTS TO BUY OUT THE POSTAL BANK OF BULGARIA

    The tenders placed by the National Bank of Greece and the other participants in the international competition for the buyout of the Postal Bank of Bulgaria are expected to be evaluated today by the responsible state stabilization agency.

    The other contenders are the Japanese brokerage firm “Nomura” and the US insurance company AIG.

    In statements he made to the Bulgarian press, the director of the branch of the National Bank of Greece in Bulgaria Mr. Christos Katsanis characterized his bank as the most suitable candidate for the privatization of the Bulgarian Postal Bank.

    [15] EARLY ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD IN TURKEY, ACCORDING TO THE “FINANCIAL TIMES”

    The British newspaper “Financial Times” predicted that early elections will be held in Turkey as a result of the coalition government’s inability to deal with the scores of domestic and external problems plaguing the country.

    The report presents the problems faced by the fragile government coalition, while it mentions that the most important of those problems is the high inflation that has reached 101,6%. Economic analysts speculate, that Turkish prime minister Mesut Yilmaz will not be able to bring inflation down to 50% which is his declared target.

    The Turkish Bank of Investments director Demir Yiatriv regards as necessary the adoption of a comprehensive austerity measures package in order to curb inflation. According to the “Financial Times”, this presupposes a wide consensus and a strong one-party government that will not be under the constant fear of upcoming elections.

    [16] THE BULGARIAN MINISTER OF INDUSTRY WILL VISIT GREECE THIS WEEKEND

    Bulgarian government vice-president and minister of industry Alexander Boskov will visit Thessaloniki this weekend, heading a delegation of representatives from 20 businesses active in the sectors of communication, tourism, textile and food as well as, the Stock Exchange and the Pariz fair.

    The Bulgarian mission will meet on Saturday afternoon with the president of the Industries Association of Northern Greece and with Greek businessmen with investments in Bulgaria.

    The Greek side will present to the Bulgarian minister the problems faced by the Greek businesses in Bulgaria, while the Bulgarian delegation will outline the course of privatizations in Bulgaria and the new legislation on investments.


    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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