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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-03-17

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, March 17, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] THE GREEK PRIME MINISTER TO MEET WITH CZECH PRESIDENT TODAY

  • [02] GREEK FM COMMENTS ON CYPRUS’S ACCESSION COURSE TO THE EU

  • [03] TAIWAN TO SEND TRADE MISSION TO GREECE TOMORROW

  • [04] FINANCE MINISTER HEADS MEETING ON THE STATE ECONOMY

  • [05] ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE PRESENTS GROWTH OF 5.6%

  • [06] THE GREEK PRIME MINISTER MET WITH THE CZECH PRESIDENT

  • [07] EUROPE IS DISPLEASED WITH TURKEY’S POSITION ON THE GREEK MUSLIMS IN THRACE

  • [08] A 23YEAROLD WILL RUN A 1.100KLM RACE FOR THE CHILDREN SUFFERING FROM CANCER

  • [09] SIMITIS: THE CHOISES OF THE GREEK GOVERNMENT PROVED RIGHT

  • [10] REACTIONS OF THE OPPOSITION ABOUT THE DRACHMA ARE INTENSIFIED


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [11] RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TRAVELS TO BELGRADE TO MEET WITH MILOSEVIC

  • [12] BRITISH TRADE MISSIONS ARRIVE IN ATHENS TODAY

  • [13] US SECRETARY OF STATE SPEAKS TO RUSSIAN COUNTERPART

  • [14] US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE TO BE RECEIVED BY FYROM’S PRESIDENT

  • [15] CELEBRATIONS FOR THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WEU

  • [16] THE UN SPECIAL ENVOY IS EXPECTED TO CYPRUS TODAY


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] THE GREEK PRIME MINISTER TO MEET WITH CZECH PRESIDENT TODAY

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, currently on a three- day, official visit to the Czech Republic, is to be received today by the Czech President Vaclav Havel.

    In his talks yesterday with his Czech counterpart Joseph Tosovski, the Greek Premier discussed Greece’s relations with the Czech Republic, the Cyprus issue, Cyprus’ EU accession negotiations and the Greek-Turkish issues.

    After the meeting, the two prime ministers gave a joint press conference. On the occasion of the talks for the Czech Republic’s accession into the EU, that are scheduled to open in two weeks, prime minister Simitis referred to Cyprus’ accession negotiations saying that no one has formally linked Cyprus’ accession with the solution of the problem, because this would have been unacceptable and would have turned Cyprus into a hostage of Turkey.

    [02] GREEK FM COMMENTS ON CYPRUS’S ACCESSION COURSE TO THE EU

    Greece’s Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said yesterday that Cyprus would be the first candidate member to complete negotiations for entry to the European Union as it fulfilled all necessary criteria.

    Addressing the Royal Institute of International Affairs on Greek foreign policy, held within the framework of "Greece in Britain" events, Mr. Pangalos also referred to Greece’s participation in the Economic and Monetary Union, which he characterized as being at the heart of Greece’s foreign and economic policy.

    "We believe that Europe's monetary union will lead our continent to a new era of prosperity and progress, and that the Euro will represent Europe's economic strength, which will be able to impose its views worldwide," he added.

    [03] TAIWAN TO SEND TRADE MISSION TO GREECE TOMORROW

    Taiwan's Council for External Trade and Development (CETPA) is sending a trade mission to Greece tomorrow to boost economic ties between the two countries.

    The delegation sent by CETPA, a non-profit organization, comprises 31 Taiwanese companies from a wide range of sectors. The group will stay until March 22 while an exhibition of their products will be held on March 10 at the Athens Hilton.

    Trade between Greece and Taiwan fell by 4.2 percent in 1997 to 187 million dollars from 195.1 million in 1996, according to CETPA statistics. Greek imports from Taiwan dropped by 39.3 percent to 17 million dollars last year from 28 million in 1996, while Greek exports to Taiwan rose by 1.7 percent to 170 million dollars from 167.1 million in 1996.

    [04] FINANCE MINISTER HEADS MEETING ON THE STATE ECONOMY

    Minister of Finance and National Economy Yiannos Papantoniou is currently heading a meeting on the economic situation in Greece with the participation of minister of environment, city planning and public works Kostas Laliotis, transportation Tasos Mantelis and undersecretaries of finance George Drys and development Manolis Chrysochoides.

    The government ministers are to examine the measure concerning the withdrawal of the old technology cars that is expected to be enforced in 1999.

    Meanwhile, the Governmental Committee is to convene on Thursday to draw critical decisions concerning state-owned companies.

    [05] ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE PRESENTS GROWTH OF 5.6%

    The Athens Stock Exchange has shown a dramatic increase of 5.6% today, with floor trading at 54 billion drachmas. The drachma interest rates are at yesterday’s low levels at 12%.

    According to Small Shareholders Association president Mr. D. Karagounis, this upward trend in expected to continue, but not at the same rate.

    [06] THE GREEK PRIME MINISTER MET WITH THE CZECH PRESIDENT

    Greece’s relations with the Czech Republic and the country’s course toward the EU accession were the main issues for discussion in the meeting Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis had in Prague today with Czech president Vaclav Havel.

    In statements he made afterwards, Mr. Simitis underlined that there is a common will for closer cooperation in view of the Czech Republic’s accession into the European institutions and NATO. With this meeting Mr. Simitis’ contacts with the Czech leadership have been completed.

    In statements he made to reporters in Prague, Mr. Simitis stated that the government has achieved the drachma’s participation in the European exchange rate mechanism following a plan and a specific timetable.

    Mr. Simitis stated that Greece has strengthened its position by shielding the drachma and added that it is now clear that the European partners recognize the government’s efforts and have assured that in the year 2001 Greece will be judged based on the same criteria that will be used for the countries entering first the economic and monetary union.

    The Greek prime minister characterized as positive the first reactions of the market which will determine if the undertaking will be successful.

    Meanwhile, Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos, in statements he made in London, suggested the creation of an alliance with Britain to secure that the countries not participating in the first phase of the “euro” will not be excluded from the decision-making process.

    [07] EUROPE IS DISPLEASED WITH TURKEY’S POSITION ON THE GREEK MUSLIMS IN THRACE

    The Europeans are displeased with the intense persistence of Turkey to dispute the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly control committee decision according to which, the situation of the Greek Muslims in Thrace, based on the measures taken by the Greek government, does not justify the start of legal procedures regarding the country’s international obligations.

    Diplomatic sources in the Council of Europe observed that the Turkish government has tried to create a negative climate toward Greece by exerting pressures in many occasions, maintaining that regardless of the announcements made the status of the Muslims has not changed at all.

    The Turkish allegations have been overturned both by an announcement by the Greek foreign ministry to the Council of Europe and through a presentation by a Luxembourg deputy, that welcomes Greece’s decision to abolish article 19 on nationality.

    [08] A 23YEAROLD WILL RUN A 1.100KLM RACE FOR THE CHILDREN SUFFERING FROM CANCER

    Compassion still exists in our time and this is proved by 23yearold Isaak Katsakidis, who came to Greece from Australia to run the distance from Thessaloniki to Athens and back, in support of the children suffering from cancer and leukemia.

    The young marathon runner will achieve a small feat and will become an example to all people, showing that anyone can help the children who suffer from an incurable illness.

    The starting-point for the young athlete will be the White Tower, which is Thessaloniki’s landmark, and will cover a distance of 1.100klm having as a goal to collect money for the institutions hosting children with cancer and leukemia.

    [09] SIMITIS: THE CHOISES OF THE GREEK GOVERNMENT PROVED RIGHT

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis stressed today that the hard currency policy previously followed by the government was not wrong because it contributed to the reduction of the inflation and reiterated that the government made progress which would continue.

    He added that, so far, indications of the participation of the national currency in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism were very good and the market’s reaction particularly positive. Mr Simitis also stressed that the raise of the price index in the Stock Exchange showed people’s confidence in the government.

    [10] REACTIONS OF THE OPPOSITION ABOUT THE DRACHMA ARE INTENSIFIED

    The leader of the main opposition party of New Democracy, Kostas Karamanlis, asked high officials of his party to discuss the developments in economy with representatives of social classes.

    The former leader of New Democracy Miltiadis Evert accused the government of incompetence and asked N.D. to follow a tougher policy. He also suggested that the party should cast a vote of censure on the government.

    The Secretary General of the Greek Communist Party Aleka Papariga asked for a debate in parliament on parties’ leaders level concerning the developments in economy.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [11] RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TRAVELS TO BELGRADE TO MEET WITH MILOSEVIC

    Russia’s Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov is expected in Belgrade today where he will be received by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The two men are expected to discuss the Kossovo crisis.

    Meanwhile, the United States are threatening with new sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia if the crisis is not defused.

    [12] BRITISH TRADE MISSIONS ARRIVE IN ATHENS TODAY

    Two trade missions from Great Britain are to arrive in Athens today for a two-day visit.

    One delegation of over 26 companies plans to demonstrate specialist equipment for airport services and equipment produced in the UK, while the second will arrive from Iraklion, Crete, bringing a mini-exhibition of products and services in contract furnishings for hotels and tourist resorts.

    [13] US SECRETARY OF STATE SPEAKS TO RUSSIAN COUNTERPART

    The United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has contacted her Russian counterpart Yevgeni Primakov prior to the latter’s departure for Belgrade, in order to convince him to adopt a tough stance towards Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

    State Department spokesperson James Rubin stated that Ms. Albright is confident Mr. Primakov will get across the message we hope he will.”

    Moreover, Mr. Rubin confirmed that Ms. Albright will travel to Bonn on March 25 in order to meet with the other members of the contact group.

    [14] US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE TO BE RECEIVED BY FYROM’S PRESIDENT

    United States’ Assistant Secretary of State Strobe Talbot is to travel to FYROM today where he will be received by President Kiro Gligorov, Foreign Minister Blagoi Handjinksi and political party leaders.

    The officials are to discuss bilateral relations between the US and FYROM, as well as FYROM’s accession course to the European Union and NATO.

    [15] CELEBRATIONS FOR THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WEU

    Celebrations are being held in Brussels for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Western European Union, the six-month rotating presidency of which is currently held by Greece.

    The Greek WEU presidency and the Greek government are represented by minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos and general secretary responsible for European Affairs Stelios Perakis.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos, speaking in the meeting, underlined the need for the WEU to play a stabilizing role in south-eastern Europe.

    The meeting was formally opened by its general secretary Jose Cutillieiro in the presence of NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana, EU Commissioner Hans Van Den Broek and foreign and defense ministers of WEU’s full and associate member-states.

    In his speech, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos pointed out that the military structure of the WEU should be developed in order to play a stabilizing role to the crisis that has started to threaten peace and security in south-eastern Europe.

    The WEU was established in 1948 by Britain, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and Holland. It had a defensive role and its goal was to deal with a possible military reactivation of Germany. The goal of the WEU today is to become a leading factor of stability and cooperation.

    [16] THE UN SPECIAL ENVOY IS EXPECTED TO CYPRUS TODAY

    UN special envoy Diego Cordovez is expected to Cyprus today to activate the efforts for the resumption of the talks that were interrupted last November.

    Mr. Cordovez will have contacts with Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides and with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    On March 23, Mr. Cordovez is expected to go to Athens and the following day to Ankara. It should be noted, that the tour is being held in accordance to a UN Security Council decision requesting a report on the outcome of the contacts the UN official will have.


    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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