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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-03-18

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, March 18, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] REVITALIZATION TO START WITH OLYMPIC AIRLINES

  • [02] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TO MEET WITH US SECRETARY OF STATE ON FRIDAY

  • [03] HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER TO ARRIVE IN ATHENS TODAY

  • [04] TAIWAN TO SEND TRADE MISSION TO GREECE TODAY

  • [05] SIMITIS-HORN MEETING

  • [06] MEETING UNDER THE MINISTER OF FINANCE

  • [07] THE DRACHMA DEVALUATION DIVIDES POLITICAL PARTIES


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [08] DEFENSE MINISTER ADDRESSES WEU’S CELEBRATION OF 50TH ANNIVERSARY

  • [09] BULGARIA’S DEFENSE MINISTER ON A THREE-DAY VISIT TO GREECE

  • [10] DIEGO CORDOVEZ IN CYPRUS

  • [11] ALBANIA, FYROM AGRE TO FIGHT ARMS FLOW TO KOSSOVO

  • [12] CONTACT GROUP OKs UN PLAN TO IMPOSE ARMS EMBARGO ON YUGOSLAVIA

  • [13] SHOCKING REVELATIONS ON THE FATE OF 14 MISSING GREEK CYPRIOTS

  • [14] A RUSSIAN OFFICIAL WILL TOUR ATHENS, NICOSIA AND ANKARA

  • [15] NEW PROTESTS IN PRISTINA

  • [16] THE SECRET SERVICES WILL BE REVIEWED BY THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

  • [17] THE CYPRIOT GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN COMMENTED ON THE CORDOVEZ STATEMENTS

  • [18] EU SUPPORTS CYPRUS OVER THE ACCESSION

  • [19] RUGOVA ACCEPTS NEGOTIATIONS WITH SERBS


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] REVITALIZATION TO START WITH OLYMPIC AIRLINES

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis has forwarded a memorandum to all of the cabinet’s ministers wherein he stresses that “the fight now is to contain inflation”, in regards to the policy to be followed after the drachma’s devaluation.

    Moreover, the Premier notes in the memorandum that employment in expected to gradually increase and admits that consumers are to be burdened with higher costs, albeit he does stress that the consequences from the drachma’s devaluation are to be marginal and short-term.

    Lastly, Mr. Simitis emphasizes that collective bargaining should proceed at sensible rates and assures that no new taxes are to imposed. He also noted that the privatization process is proceeding with expeditious rates.

    Meanwhile the national carrier, Olympic Airways, is to undergo a revitalization process that will involve a reduction on overtime, a more flexible working schedule, an increase in working hours and an end to free tickets for the staff.

    The Premier is to field questions regarding the recent devaluation of the national currency during today’s parliamentary session.

    [02] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TO MEET WITH US SECRETARY OF STATE ON FRIDAY

    Greece’s Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos is to meet with the U.S. Secretary of state Madeleine Albright in Washington on Friday.

    According to State Department spokesperson James Rubin, the two officials are to discuss Greek-Turkish relations, Cyprus’s accession course to the European Union and the latest developments in Kossovo.

    "Cyprus' accession into the EU is possibly a positive factor in resolving the (Cyprus) problem, and the likelihood of this happening would contribute to creating a favorable climate for the solution of such issues..." said Mr. Rubin, referring to the Cyprus problem.

    [03] HUNGARIAN PRIME MINISTER TO ARRIVE IN ATHENS TODAY

    Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn is expected to arrive in Athens today, where he will be received by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis this afternoon.

    The two Premiers will discuss Greek-Hungarian relations, Hungary's European Union accession talks - set to begin March 31 - as well as the central European country's NATO accession.

    Mr. Horn will be received by the President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and will meet Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis. Greek-Hungarian trade relations have surged since 1974, while several joint ventures were created in recent years. About 50 joint ventures operate in Greece, while 80 are based in Hungary.

    Today, Greece holds 13th place in the list of countries with investments in Hungary. Hungarian exports to Greece for 1997 totaled US$81 million, while Greek exports to Hungary during the same time period were $52.7 million. The first ever visit of a Hungarian head of state to Greece took place in 1996, while Mr. Stephanopoulos is expected to visit in 1998.

    [04] TAIWAN TO SEND TRADE MISSION TO GREECE TODAY

    Taiwan's Council for External Trade and Development (CETPA) is sending a trade mission to Greece today 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.

    [05] SIMITIS-HORN MEETING

    Prime minister of Hungary Giula Horn is on a visit to Athens and at noon today he met with Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis.

    The main topic of their discussions was the negotiations for Hungary’s accession into the European Union, while Mr. Simitis reiterated Greece’s position that the new face of the EU needs new collaborations and the acceleration of the accession procedures for the countries of the central and eastern Europe.

    Mr. Horn characterized Greece as an important stop of his tour to the EU countries.

    Regarding the crisis in Kosovo, Mr. Simitis reiterated Greece’s firm position that the tension must by defused in a peaceful and diplomatic manner, while he underlined the need for the materialization of the existing agreements and mainly, the one concerning education. Later, the Hungarian prime minister was received by Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    [06] MEETING UNDER THE MINISTER OF FINANCE

    The speedy promotion of the privatizations and the reform procedures in the public sector agencies were the main issues discussed in the meeting that was held under minister of finance and national economy Yiannos Papantoniou with the participation of transportation minister Tasos Mantelis and representatives of the state Telecommunications Company, OTE.

    Crucial decisions on the state-owned companies will be made in the Governmental Committee meeting tomorrow.

    [07] THE DRACHMA DEVALUATION DIVIDES POLITICAL PARTIES

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis, in a document he sent to all the ministers regarding the new governmental policy after the drachma devaluation, stressed that the main battle should be fought in the field of the inflation.

    A deputy Giorgos Souflias asked for a national consensus between all political parties and criticized the main opposition party of New Democracy for the appeal against the leak of the information about the drachma devaluation.

    The Greek Communist Party accused the government of antidemocratic attitude due to the prime minister’s denial to accept a proposal by the Secretary General of the Communist Party Aleka Papariga concerning a debate in parliament, under full television coverage, about the governmental decision on the drachma devaluation.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [08] DEFENSE MINISTER ADDRESSES WEU’S CELEBRATION OF 50TH ANNIVERSARY

    Greece’s Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos addressed the opening of the Western European Union’s special session held on the occasion of the 50th anniversary since the signing of the Brussels Treaty yesterday in the Belgian capital.

    In his speech, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stressed the need for Europe to undertake a unified initiative regarding the Kossovo crisis in the direction of a new balance, recognizing the human rights of the province's Albanians within the framework of New Yugoslavia.

    Moreover, the Greek Defense Minister called on Europe to send a clear message to Kossovo's ethnic Albanian leadership in support of their autonomy but not the independence of the province, while at the same time point out to that community the need to begin an unconditional dialogue with Belgrade immediately.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos, whose address focused on "The WEU's mission in the new framework of European security", referred to the background leading to the founding of the WEU and to its present role.

    "In eastern, and particularly in southeastern, Europe crises are multiplying and are succeeding each other. After the crisis in Bosnia, we had the crisis in Albania and while these two crises have not been ultimately overcome, the crisis in Kossovo has already started. In the first two of the above crises, the EU and consequently the WEU were unable to play the role corresponding to them and which all were expecting of them. They were neither able to avert them nor to stop them in time with suitable political initiatives.

    What will happen with the third crisis which has already started and which is threatening Europe? Will Europe be able to play its role this time?" Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said.

    "The continuation of joint efforts for the successful accession of the WEU to the new European security framework will depend on the decisions which we will take in the immediate future and the solutions which we will give on crucial and multifaceted is sues related to the development and utilization of the defense capabilities of Europe, as well as the determination of the peoples of Europe to undertake their own share of responsibility at a political, economic and military level on joint collective security and defense," he added.

    Also addressing the WEU's session were Belgian Foreign Minister Eric Derycke and the WEU's Secretary General Jose Cutilheiro.

    [09] BULGARIA’S DEFENSE MINISTER ON A THREE-DAY VISIT TO GREECE

    Bulgaria’s Defense Minister Georgi Ananief is on a three-day official visit to Greece, where he will be received by Greece’s Foreign Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos in Athens.

    The two officials are to discuss issues conceding the European and Euro-Atlantic fulfillment, as well as the development of bilateral relations in the sector of defense.

    [10] DIEGO CORDOVEZ IN CYPRUS

    The special envoy of the United Nations secretary-general Diego Cordovez has forwarded a message to both communities of Cyprus wherein he states that the UN are quite concerned over the situation on the island, but at the same time warned that the international community’s patience could be exhausted and its interest could wane.

    Upon his arrival at the airport of Nicosia, Mr. Cordovez stated that one of the aims of his visit is to assist the two sides in finding a formula that will solve the issue and to convince them to take advantage of the international interest displayed at the specific time.

    According to the UN official, “the foreigners are more interested in solving the Cyprus issue than the Cypriots themselves.”

    [11] ALBANIA, FYROM AGRE TO FIGHT ARMS FLOW TO KOSSOVO

    Albania and FYROM agreed last night to fight cross-border arms smuggling to avoid fueling the ongoing unrest opposing ethnic Albanians to Serb authorities in the troubled Serb province of Kossovo.

    Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano called on greater cooperation between the two countries in fighting arms trafficking to "avoid fueling the conflict" in the neighboring Kossovo region, his spokesman Den Blushi said.

    Mr. Nano spoke during a meeting with FYROM’s Interior Minister Tomislav Cokrevski aimed at discussing the illegal trade in arms stolen during Albania's rebellion last year.

    Last December, Tirana admitted that it had only recovered around 30 percent of the hundreds of thousands of weapons looted during its months of civil unrest ignited early in 1997 by the collapse of bogus financial schemes.

    Up to 80 people were killed in Kossovo earlier this month in a Serb police crackdown on Albanian separatists, in a province where 90 percent of the population is ethnic Albanians.

    "We don't want these weapons to be the cause of destabilization of the region," Albanian Interior Minister Neritan Ceka said after meeting Mr. Cokrevki.

    Mr. Cokrevski also appealed for greater control during the talks on security cooperation, according to a statement by the Albanian interior ministry.

    "We're worried and we ask the Albanian police do everything possible to stop the trafficking," Cokrevski said.

    The two interior ministers agreed to set up a joint committee of experts to examine the issue, as well as other points discussed Tuesday concerning the smuggling of illegal drugs and immigrants.

    [12] CONTACT GROUP OKs UN PLAN TO IMPOSE ARMS EMBARGO ON YUGOSLAVIA

    The six-nation "Contact Group" has agreed to a draft UN resolution providing for an arms embargo against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, western diplomats said yesterday.

    The diplomats said the 15-member Security Council is likely to take up the draft resolutiontoday, which aims at halting ethnic violence in Serbia's predominately-Albanian province of Kossovo.

    The Contact Group nations, including Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States, reached agreement on a text late Monday, following delicate negotiations with Moscow, which is traditionally allied with the Serbs.

    The UN discussions followed a Contact Group meeting in London on March 9 which asked the UN Security Council to consider imposing an international embargo on weapons and on equipment used against internal repression.

    The diplomats said the draft resolution would impose the arms embargo, while a new sanctions committee would determine what materiel should be targeted as equipment used to repress the Albanian majority.

    China is not a Contact Group member, but holds veto power in the Security Council as a permanent member. Beijing last week said that the Kossovo events were an internal matter for Belgrade.

    [13] SHOCKING REVELATIONS ON THE FATE OF 14 MISSING GREEK CYPRIOTS

    Cypriot businessman Michalakis Kyprianou, who lives in Canada, made shocking revelations on the fate of 14 missing Greek Cypriots.

    Mr. Kyprianou revealed that the 14 live in an Arab country neighboring to Cyprus which, as he said, “does not have friendly relations with Cyprus” and that they are being protected by Greeks, who live there. He also announced that very soon he will have in his possession photographs that will be shown on an international television channel. He also said that he knows the names of the 14 missing Greek Cypriots, and responding to the question why they have not contacted their relatives, he said that “they are being afraid of the Turkish secret services”.

    The revelations made by Mr. Kyprianou were not disputed by president of the Pan-Cypriot Committee of Relatives of the Missing Nikos Theodosiou, who pointed out that they need to be examined immediately.

    The whole issue came to light by Father Chrisostomos, president of the National Struggle Committee on the Missing.

    [14] A RUSSIAN OFFICIAL WILL TOUR ATHENS, NICOSIA AND ANKARA

    Russian foreign ministry representative to Cyprus Vladimir Tsizov will visit Athens, Nicosia and Ankara on March 30 to April 6.

    Mr. Tsizov will be in Greece on March 30 and 31 and on April 1 he will be in Nicosia for talks with the political leaderships of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots.

    A Russian foreign ministry spokesman stated that Moscow is determined to make its own dynamic intervention for the solution of the Cyprus problem and therefore, a visit to Cyprus by Russian deputy foreign minister Alexander Avteyev is not ruled out.

    [15] NEW PROTESTS IN PRISTINA

    New protests were held by ethnic Albanians in the capital, Prisitina and in other Kosovo towns today. The demonstrations were organized by the Youth Association of Ibrahim Rugova’s Democratic Alliance of Kosovo.

    The protest rally in Pristina lasted about 30 minutes and ended peacefully without violent incidents.

    [16] THE SECRET SERVICES WILL BE REVIEWED BY THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

    The democratic review of the secret services in Europe and the protection of the private and social life of the citizens will be at the center of the talks that will be held in the meeting scheduled to take place on March 24, organized by the Council of Europe Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee.

    The meeting will be attended by the Chiefs and Directors of the world’s largest secret services. In the discussion will also be examined how compatible with human rights are certain methods used by the secret services.

    One of the goals that will be set by the European organization is the establishment of a control body responsible for the systematic review of the activities of the secret services in Europe, which will be patterned upon the Canadian Security Intelligence Review Committee.

    [17] THE CYPRIOT GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN COMMENTED ON THE CORDOVEZ STATEMENTS

    The Cypriot government’s belief that the international factor can not leave pending a crucial issue, such as the Cyprus issue, was expressed by its spokesman Christos Stilianides, who commented on last night’s statements made by UN Secretary-General special adviser Diego Cordovez.

    Mr. Cordovez had underlined in his statements that the foreigners are more interested in the solution of the Cyprus problem than the Cypriots themselves. Commenting on the statement, Mr. Stilianides stated that the Cypriots have repeatedly proved their frustration and interest in the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The Cypriot government spokesman stated that his government believes that the international factor plays a very serious role in the solution of the Cyprus problem and expressed the wish that the procedure for the solution of the problem will continue through the consultations Mr. Cordovez will have with Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    [18] EU SUPPORTS CYPRUS OVER THE ACCESSION

    The European Commission which set today the fiscal framework of the European Union for the period 2000-2006 suggested the grant of 45 billion ECUS to finance the pre-accessional strategy of the EU.

    This sum of money will be granted to candidate states of central and eastern Europe and, after pressure by the Greek commissioner Christos Papoutsis, today’s resolution gives also Cyprus the potential to benefit from these grants.

    The European Commission noted that the grants would be offered starting the year 2000 and that they aimed at helping candidate countries to adjust to the EU terms concerning particularly the sectors of transport and environment.

    [19] RUGOVA ACCEPTS NEGOTIATIONS WITH SERBS

    The special US envoy for the Balkans Robert Gelbard notified today, after the meeting he had with Ibrahim Rugova, that the leader of Kosovo ethnic Albanians intended to form a team for negotiations with Belgrade.

    Mr Gelbard expressed his satisfaction over mr Rugova’s decision to form within the next few days an advisory team which will include several Albanian leaders in order to hold negotiations with the Yugoslav government.


    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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