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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-03-10

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, March 10, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREEK PREMIER TO RECEIVE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT GLAFKOS CLERIDES

  • [02] THE CONFEDERATION OF GREEK LABORERS TO CONFER ON THURSDAY

  • [03] GREEK PM SUPPORTS DIALOGUE FOR KOSSOVO, BUT NO CHANGE OF BORDERS

  • [04] PRESIDENT OF GREECE MEETS WITH ALBANIAN COUNTERPART REIJEP MEIDANI

  • [05] MAIN OPPOSITION’S HONORARY PRESIDENT DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM PARTY

  • [06] OIL PRICES PLUNGE DOWNWARDS WORLDWIDE, LOWEST RPICES IN 4 YEARS

  • [07] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS MET WITH THE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT

  • [08] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS WILL BE IN LONDON TOMORROW FOR THE EUROPEAN CONFERENCE

  • [09] THE PROSPECTS FOR OLYMPIC AIRWAYS ARE VERY GLOOMY FOR 1998

  • [10] THE GREEK TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONSIDERS THE PURCHASE OF JORDANIAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS SHARES

  • [11] REPPAS:A SOLUTION TO THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO WILL BE FOUND THROUGH DIALOGUE

  • [12] K. KARAMANLIS: THE UNITY OF THE PARTY SHOULD BE REAL NOT FAKE

  • [13] KAKLAMANIS - MEIDANI MEETING IN ATHENS


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] CONTACT GROUP THREATENS YUGOSLAVIA WITH EMBARGO

  • [15] TIRANA SATISFIED OVER CONTACT GROUP’S DECISIONS REGARDING KOSSOVO

  • [16] GREECE, BULGARIA, ROMANIA, TURKEY, FYROM AGREE ON KOSSOVO CRISIS

  • [17] US PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY TRAVELS TO PRISHTINA

  • [18] SWEDEN’S FM: THERE IS NO COUNTRY THAT RECOGNISES OCCUPIED CYPRUS

  • [19] EU FINANCE MINISTERS’ MEET IN BRUSSELS, EMU’S THIRD PHASE DOMINATES

  • [20] CONTACT GROUP DECIDES ON KOSSOVO

  • [21] FIVE BALKAN FOREIGN MINISTERS SIGNED A JOINT STATEMENT IN SOFIA ON THE SITUATION IN KOSOVO

  • [22] THE US PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY IS EXPECTED TO PRISTINA

  • [23] BELGRADE CHARACTERIZED KOSOVO AS A DOMESTIC AFFAIR FOR FRY

  • [24] BOMB EXPLOSIONS IN TWO ALBANIAN-OWNED BARS

  • [25] JOURNALISTS WERE DENIED ACCESS TO DRENICA


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK PREMIER TO RECEIVE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT GLAFKOS CLERIDES

    Greece’s Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to receive the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides in Athens today.

    The two leaders are to discuss the island’s accession course to the European Union. The Cypriot President is to also meet with the leader of the country’s main opposition party, new Democracy’s Kostas Karamanlis and other political leaders.

    [02] THE CONFEDERATION OF GREEK LABORERS TO CONFER ON THURSDAY

    The General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) is to hold its 29th conference on Thursday in the northern Greek city Kavala.

    Over 400 leading unionists from Greece and other countries are to participate, along with government representatives from the European Union.

    The conference is to be inaugurated by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    [03] GREEK PM SUPPORTS DIALOGUE FOR KOSSOVO, BUT NO CHANGE OF BORDERS

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, who received the Albanian President Reijep Meidani in Athens yesterday, stated that the Greek government is opposed to any change in the Balkan region’s existing borders.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the "vicious circle of terrorist acts and the use of force must be broken" and added that Greece disapproves of secessionist tendencies, is opposed to terrorism and military force, while it supports sincere and substantial dialogue without preliminary conditions.

    In regards to Greek-Albanian relations, Mr. Simitis said they are characterized by steady progress and considerably contribute to peace, security and stability, while he also stressed that Greece will continue to support Albania's efforts to join Euro- Atlantic structures.

    In turn, Mr. Meidani described the situation in the region as a threat to peace and stability and asked for Greece's help and the intervention of NATO and the European Union to stop the armed attacks.

    Moreover, Mr. Meidani said Greek-Albanian relations are excellent, noting that Greece was a friend of Albania. He stressed that Albania needs Greece's support to help it implement the necessary reforms.

    [04] PRESIDENT OF GREECE MEETS WITH ALBANIAN COUNTERPART REIJEP MEIDANI

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos received yesterday the Albanian president Rejep Meidani, who embarked on an official, three-day visit to Greece.

    Following their meeting, the Greek President stated that the talks held with Mr. Meidani coincided on the need for "prudent and sensible views" to prevail in resolving the Kosovo problem.

    Mr. Meidani called on Greece, as a member of NATO and the European Union, to play its role within the framework of Euro- Atlantic structures "in order to make Belgrade stop using force and sit at the negotiating table, so that a viable and long-term solution can be found."

    Mr. Stephanopoulos said he was certain that his Albanian counterpart's visit would contribute to the further improvement of bilateral relations, while Mr. Meidani said Tirana was willing to broaden bilateral relations in all sectors and stressed the need for Greek investments in Albania.

    Stating that the Greek minority living in Albania gave additional impetus to the "brotherly and friendly" relations between the two countries, President Meidani gave the assurance that the Albanian state "will respect the minority's rights in accordance with international standards". He added that the Albanian workers in Greece were a link of friendship between the two peoples, noting that the Greek government was doing everything possible towards granting them legal status and improving their living conditions.

    Stressing that Greece was a "top priority partner", Mr. Meidani said he had ascertained this during the difficult period which Albania had gone through, citing in particular Greek assistance in consolidating democratic institutions in his country.

    Mr. Meidani also stressed the importance of Greek support for Albania's efforts to joint Euro-Atlantic structures.

    Following the talks between the Greek and Albanian presidents, a cooperation protocol was signed by Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis and Albanian Interior Minister Neritan Ceka providing for joint patrols by the border police and the Greek coast guard for a more effective policing of the two countries' sea borders.

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, and Education Minister Gerasimos Arsenis, were also present during talks, among others.

    [05] MAIN OPPOSITION’S HONORARY PRESIDENT DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM PARTY

    The main opposition party’s honorary president , New Democracy’s Konstantinos Mitsotakis has once again distanced himself from the party’s leadership.

    “I do not intend to argue with anyone, let those who without reason and reasoning push the party into catastrophe and practically grant the next election to Mr. Simitis take the responsibility upon themselves,” He stated, adding “ I will not give them an alibi or extenuation.”

    [06] OIL PRICES PLUNGE DOWNWARDS WORLDWIDE, LOWEST RPICES IN 4 YEARS

    Oil prices has plunged downwards throughout the world, sending the price-per-barrel at the lowest it has been in the last four years.

    According to the majority of financial analysts, the oil prices are expected to plummet even further, reaching the decade’s low of $12.90.

    The drop in prices is attributed to the announcement issued by Saudi Arabia that it does not intend to put a cap on its production, thereby refuting the investors’ expectation that the top oil-producing country will reduce OPEC’s production in order to support the prices.

    [07] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS MET WITH THE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT

    The governments of Greece and Cyprus steadily back the UN Secretary-General proposal and are ready to offer any assistance to UN special adviser Mr. Cordovez for the speedy resumption of the community talks in Cyprus. The above were stressed by prime minister Kostas Simitis after the meeting he had in Athens today with Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides, who also met with Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the Cyprus problem enters a critical turning point and the decisions made today will be to the benefit of the Cypriot people as well as, to the benefit of stability and peace in eastern Mediterranean. He also added that the goal is to find a fair, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem based on the UN Security Council resolutions and the Summit decisions in 1979. Mr. Simitis also expressed the hope that Turkey will contribute to the establishment of a climate of trust, peace and stability.

    The Cypriot president stated that during the meeting were reviewed both the developments in the Cyprus problem and the efforts for Cyprus’ EU accession and characterized as especially positive the cooperation between Greece and Cyprus. He also announced that in today’s meeting were reached unanimous conclusions on the issues under discussion.

    According to the decisions reached, the Cypriot government will present a generous proposal for the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the EU accession negotiations.

    [08] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS WILL BE IN LONDON TOMORROW FOR THE EUROPEAN CONFERENCE

    The European Conference of the EU candidate countries will open the day after tomorrow at London’s Lancaster House without the participation of Turkey based on the indications available.

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis will leave for London tomorrow and it is certain that he will have bilateral talks with the rest European leaders on the course of Greece toward the Seuro” as well as, other issues.

    The European Conference in London aims at the discussion of the EU expansion to include the countries of eastern and central Europe and Cyprus. The formal negotiations on Cyprus’ accession into the EU will start on March 31 together with the negotiations that will be held with the other five candidate countries namely, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

    [09] THE PROSPECTS FOR OLYMPIC AIRWAYS ARE VERY GLOOMY FOR 1998

    The prospects for Olympic Airways appear very bleak in 1998 based on the notable drop in ticket demand in the first two months of the year.

    Specifically, the passengers preferring the domestic flights of the Greek state airline were 30% less in the month of February compared to the previous months. It is speculated that the situation will worsen in the month of March and already the company loses millions of drachmas daily.

    Next week, the Olympic Airways management is expected to present the company’s operational plan and reform program.

    [10] THE GREEK TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONSIDERS THE PURCHASE OF JORDANIAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS SHARES

    The Greek State Telecommunications Company, OTE, considers the likelihood to purchase Jordanian state telecommunications’ shares within the framework of the company’s 40% privatization. Already, OTE has installed a card-phone network in the country.

    The interest of the Greek telecommunications company is based on the good outcome and the increased profits of the Jordan Telecom, observed since the first year of its establishment and also on the growth rate recorded in the country which is about 5%.

    [11] REPPAS:A SOLUTION TO THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO WILL BE FOUND THROUGH DIALOGUE

    A solution to the crisis in Kosovo must be found through dialogue and understanding expressed by all interested sides, stressed Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas today, adding that constructive dialogue must be used as a means for the solution of the problem.

    Mr. Reppas mentioned that the declaration of principles and positions signed in Sofia by the five Balkan countries was given to publicity this afternoon. The declaration bears the names of the ambassadors who represented each country.

    [12] K. KARAMANLIS: THE UNITY OF THE PARTY SHOULD BE REAL NOT FAKE

    The leader of the main opposition party, New Democracy, Kostas Karamanlis underlined yesterday, closing the session of the party’s parliamentary group, that the unity of the N.D. should be real not fake and stressed that he would not allow “retraction and retreat”.

    After the new intervention of the honorary president of the party Konstantinos Mitsotakis, mr Karamanlis held a meeting about the developments in the party.

    The N.D. leader plans a 4-day visit, from Thursday until Sunday March 15th, to cities of Central Macedonia. Mr Karamanlis is due to visit the prefectures of Pieria, Imathia and Pella where he will address party meetings.

    [13] KAKLAMANIS - MEIDANI MEETING IN ATHENS

    Greek Parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis and Albanian president Redzep Meidani in their meeting in Athens today expressed concern over the latest developments in Kosovo.

    The Albanian president stressed the need to avoid violence and reach a democratic solution to the differences through dialogue, while he welcomed the Contact Group resolution characterizing it as a first step in the effort to avoid further bloodshed in the region.

    Mr. Kaklamanis, from his side, underlined Greece’s will to back Albania’s efforts to become member of the European institutions, stressing at the same time that the parliamentary cooperation is an important factor in the fruitful friendship between the two countries that can contribute a lot to the safeguarding of peace and stability in the region.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] CONTACT GROUP THREATENS YUGOSLAVIA WITH EMBARGO

    The six-member contact group for Bosnia, namely, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, The United States and Great Britain, has issued to the Serb President of the Federal republic Of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic a 15-day deadline to stop the Serb military’s clean up operations against Kossovo’s Albanians, otherwise his country will be faced with an embargo.

    Meanwhile, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey are expected to issue a common declaration today concerning the Kossovo crisis.

    Greece’s undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis has characterized the situation as “alarming”.

    [15] TIRANA SATISFIED OVER CONTACT GROUP’S DECISIONS REGARDING KOSSOVO

    The Albanian Foreign Minister Paschal Milo has relayed his government’s satisfaction over the decisions drawn by the six- member contact group, comprising Great Britain, Italy, France, Russia, Germany and the United States, which aim at the peaceful resolution of the crisis that has erupted in Kossovo.

    Mr. Milo characterized the common statement issued by the “six” as “an achievement of international diplomacy.”

    The Albanian Minister also added that this is a “significant document that illustrates not only the international community’s commitment to Kossovo, but also our government’s’ right choices for the solution of the problem.”

    Referring to the deadline issued by the contact group to the Serb President Slobodan Milosevic, Mr. Milo stated that it was the best possible solution at the given phase and added that “this is the first time that the international community is seriously committed to Kossovo.”

    Moreover, he added that the Albanian government will continue its efforts to resolve the issue with peaceful means and he granted heightened emphasis to the start of a dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade, in the presence of an international mediator who, as Mr. Milo stated, could be a representative of the contact group.

    [16] GREECE, BULGARIA, ROMANIA, TURKEY, FYROM AGREE ON KOSSOVO CRISIS

    In a meeting held in Sofia yesterday, five Balkan countries, namely Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and FYROM,- agreed on a joint declaration on the Kossovo crisis, to inaugurate closer cooperation between Balkan states in jointly dealing with regional problems.

    FYROM participated in the group of five after the Greek government’s proposal. According to reports, the declaration's text is in favor of granting broad autonomy to Kosovo, which is inhabited mostly by Albanians, but within the internationally recognized borders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, stressing that the five nations were against altering borders in the region.

    Moreover, the five also proposed that a 1996 educational agreement between then Serb president Slobodan Milosevic and ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova be implemented immediately.

    At the same time they expressed regret at the violent repression of several peaceful demonstrations in Kosovo, while also condemning the use of terrorism as means to attain political goals.

    The five Balkan countries called on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the leaders of Kosovo's Albanians to begin talks to settle the problem, while underlining the need for respect for ethnic Albanians' human rights.

    The declaration ends by addressing an appeal to the United States and the European Union to contribute in preserving stability in the Balkans, stressing that the five nations were counting on their support in finding a solution to the Kosovo problem.

    [17] US PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY TRAVELS TO PRISHTINA

    The United States presidential envoy for the former Yugoslav countries Robert Gelbard is expected in Prishtina today where he will hold talks with the leader of Kossovo’s ethnic Albanians Ibrahim Rugova.

    Meanwhile, international pressures are mounting on Serb President Slobodan Milosevic to peacefully resolve the Kossovo crisis.

    [18] SWEDEN’S FM: THERE IS NO COUNTRY THAT RECOGNISES OCCUPIED CYPRUS

    Sweden’s Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm Wallen has stated that "there is no country that has recognized the occupied part of Cyprus as an independent country, " adding that "...as a result, Rauf Denktash has not been recognized as the leader of a country or as a president and this must be understood by the Turkish Cypriots."

    Sweden is currently a United Nations Security Council rotating member and Ms. Wallen’s statement was a reply to possible UN Security Council reactions should Mr. Denktash make such requests.

    Ms Wallen added that although the European Union wants the Turkish Cypriots to be included in Cyprus' accession talks, Mr. Denktash will under no circumstances take part as the leader of an independent country.

    [19] EU FINANCE MINISTERS’ MEET IN BRUSSELS, EMU’S THIRD PHASE DOMINATES

    Greek Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou participated in the European Union’s Finance Ministers' Council (ECOFIN), held in Brussels yesterday, which paved the way for a session to be held on May 2 and which will decide on the list of countries which will first adopt the EU’s common currency, the Euro.

    Speaking to reporters, Mr. Papantoniou said he intended to ask the "15" to ensure that countries which will join the Euro at a later date be considered on equal terms as the first group of members.

    Moreover, the "15" also decided yesterday to look into possible distortion of the principles of free competition in the Union, arising from unequal taxation treatment of firms.

    Greece, Spain, and Portugal submitted their reservations on the Commission's interpretation of legislation regarding its competence to cut funding from the regional fund to one member- state when it finds mistakes in financial management.

    [20] CONTACT GROUP DECIDES ON KOSSOVO

    The six-member “contact group”, comprising Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States, convened in London yesterday where it decided to assign a mission of a mediation group to Kossovo, headed by Spain’s former Premier Felipe Gonzales, while it also requested the assignment of a group from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

    The “contact group” is to organize an immediate meeting of officials from the countries that border with Kossovo in order to discuss the consequences of the domestic conflict and its potential spill over throughout the Balkans, while it will also request that the UN Security Council impose a world-wide embargo on Yugoslav arms purchases, a measure to run concurrently with the European embargo.

    In spite of Russia’s reservations, the contact group also decided to ban the issuance of visa to high-ranking Yugoslav officials, including ministers and any individuals who are viewed as responsible for the violence in Kossovo will be stripped of foreign aid in commerce and investments, while foreign capital is to “freeze” within ten days if the situation is not normalized.

    Moreover, the decision reads an appeal to Yugoslavia’s President Slobodan Milosevic wherein he is asked to proceed to immediate and productive measures that will put an end tot he violence and ask for his commitment to reach a political resolution for Kossovo through dialogue.

    Moreover, Mr. Milosevic is asked to allow the Red Cross’s international committee access in the area, along with the contact group’s representatives.

    “If Mr. Milosevic promotes the specific measures, we shall review the decision we have adopted, however, if he does not do so, and the situation in Kossovo continues as it is today, we shall proceed to further measures,” the contact group warns in its announcement.

    [21] FIVE BALKAN FOREIGN MINISTERS SIGNED A JOINT STATEMENT IN SOFIA ON THE SITUATION IN KOSOVO

    Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos, Bulgarian Nadezda Michailova, FYROM’s Blagoi Hanziski, Turkey’s Ismail Cem and Romanian Andrei Plesu signed a joint statement in Sofia today expressing their concern over the situation in Kosovo and the likelihood for the crisis to spread in the region.

    The five foreign ministers also expressed the readiness of their countries to take all the necessary steps in order to avert such a development in the region of south-eastern Europe.

    Specifically, the ministers underlined that the first step is the opening of an essential dialogue between the Serb authorities and the ethnic Albanians, while they expressed their regret for the repressive measures taken by the Serb police and called on the organizations of the Albanian community to reject the use of force.

    They also stressed that the basic human rights of the Albanian-speaking population in Kosovo should be respected completely and called for the immediate and full implementation of the education agreement, while at the same time, they underlined that any solution to the problem in Kosovo should respect the existing borders.

    [22] THE US PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY IS EXPECTED TO PRISTINA

    US presidential envoy to former Yugoslavia Robert Gelbard is expected in Prisitina today for talks with the leader of the Albanians in Kosovo Ibrahim Rugova, if the weather conditions improve.

    Meanwhile, former Spanish prime minister Felipe Gonzales, who was called by the Contact Group to mediate for the solution of the problem in Kosovo, stated that his mission will take place if Belgrade cooperates. Mr. Gonzales was the OSCE envoy to Belgrade from the end of 1996 to early 1997.

    In Washington, the White House expressed the hope that the implementation of sanctions on Yugoslavia will persuade president Milosevic to end the bloodshed in Kosovo.

    The Albanian government, through its foreign minister Paskal Milo, expressed satisfaction for the decisions the Contact Group countries reached in their meeting in London and characterized their joint statement as a breakthrough of international diplomacy.

    [23] BELGRADE CHARACTERIZED KOSOVO AS A DOMESTIC AFFAIR FOR FRY

    The issue of Kosovo was characterized by Belgrade as an internal affair for the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia one day after the warning issued by the Contact Group to Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw his forces from the region within 10 days.

    Kosovo was calm today and the local authorities declared a national mourning for the people killed in the clashes with the Serb police.

    [24] BOMB EXPLOSIONS IN TWO ALBANIAN-OWNED BARS

    Bomb explosions damaged two bars owned by ethnic Albanians in the town of Pec, west of Pristina this morning. According to the Yugoslav news agency Tanjug, the owners were regarded to be Belgrade “supporters”.

    The explosions also damaged a car parked nearby but no injuries were reported. According to the news agency report, the two bars were open in the days declared as “days of mourning” for the ethnic Albanians killed in Kosovo.

    [25] JOURNALISTS WERE DENIED ACCESS TO DRENICA

    Journalists were denied access to the region of Drenica in Kosovo where the funerals of the ethnic Albanians, killed in the recent armed operations of the Serb forces in the region, were scheduled to take place.

    According to the French news agency, police stopped 20 journalists and television crews, who were on their way to the village of Sirbica, with the excuse that there was a traffic accident ahead and the road was closed.

    The funerals were scheduled to be held today but it is possible to be postponed because of the very bad weather in the region. According to a human rights group, 53 bodies have been returned to Sirbica but many of the victims have not been identified yet by their relatives and their burial is not allowed.


    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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