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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-03-20

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, March 20, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] MPA'S GENERAL DIRECTOR IN THE US, MEETS HIGH-RANKING OFFICIALS

  • [02] FINANCE MINISTER ASKS FOR REFORMS IN BANKING INSTITUTIONS

  • [03] OPPOSITION REACTS TO OLYMPIC AIRWAYS REVITALIZATION MEASURES

  • [04] CYPRIOT MINISTER OF DEFENSE IN ATHENS TODAY

  • [05] GREEK FM TO MEET WITH US SECRETARY OF STATE TODAY

  • [06] SWEDISH FOREIGN UNDERSEWCRETARY IN ATHENS

  • [07] THE PROPOSAL OF THE TURKISH DEFENSE MINISTER IS CHARACTERIZED AS POSITIVE

  • [08] STEPHANOPOULOS-SIMITIS MEETING

  • [09] KOSTAS KARAMANLIS LAUNCHED TOUGH CRITICISM ON THE GOVERNMENT

  • [10] ALBANIAN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS KILLED A GREEK POLICE OFFICER IN THE REGION OF KASTORIA

  • [11] THE GREEK MINISTER OF DEFENSE MET WITH HIS CYPRIOT COUNTERPART

  • [12] THE GREEKS ARE THE HEAVIEST SMOKERS IN EUROPE

  • [13] ``NOSTIMON IMAR'' - A FOUR-LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER FOR FOREIGNERS IN GREECE

  • [14] THIRTY ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS HAVE THEIR OWN PAGE ON THE INTERNET

  • [15] THE ALBANIAN PRESIDENT WILL BE DECLARED PROFESSOR EMERITUS IN ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [16] MILOSEVIC ORDERS HIS POLICE FORCES TO WITHDRAW FROM KOSSOVO

  • [17] DIEGO CORDOVEZ MEETS WITH RAUF DENKTASH

  • [18] BULGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTER ON AN OFFICAL VISIT TO GREECE

  • [19] US DELEGATION TRAVELS TO KOSSOVO TODAY

  • [20] SERBIA'S OFFER FOR DIALOGUE IS A FARCE, SAYS RUGOVA'S ADVISER

  • [21] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER THEODOROS PANGALOS IS IN THE UNITED STATES

  • [22] MILOSEVIC REJECTS FOREIGN MEDIATION FOR THE SOLUTION OF THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] MPA'S GENERAL DIRECTOR IN THE US, MEETS HIGH-RANKING OFFICIALS

    The Macedonian Press Agency's significant role in the sector of information concerning the Balkans, expatriate Greeks and cyberspace was highlighted during Spyros Kouzinopoulos', the MPA's General Director, visit to the United States, which was conducted on the invitation of the US Agency on Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    While at Washington, Mr. Kouzinopoulos was briefed on US policy in the Balkans by the chief of the Department on Southeastern European Affairs of the State Department, Mr. Stephen Mull, as well as the State Department's officials responsible for issues related to Greece Philip Kosnett and Turkey Stephen Klemp, while he also discussed the developments in the Balkan region with officials from outstanding US organizations and foundations such as ``Freedom Forum'', "Open Society Institute", ``American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research", and ``Center for Strategy and International Studies'', the ``Committee for the Protection of Journalists'' and others.

    Moreover, Mr. Kouzinopoulos was received by the Archbishop of America, His All Holiness Spyridon, and the Metropolitan of Boston Methodius, while he also met with representatives from the most significant Greek-American organizations, such as the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE), AHEPA, and the Federations of Greek communities of Washington, Boston, New York, and Chicago, as well as the Federations of the Pan-Macedonian Union of America.

    Lastly, the MPA's General Director visited the facilities of some of the most significant newspapers in the United States, such as the ``Washington Post'', ``The New York Times'', ``Chicago Tribune'' and ``the Voice of America'' and exchanged points of view with their editors and publishers.

    Mr. Kouzinopoulos also met with the publishers and editors in chief of the Greek-affiliated newspapers ``Proini'' and ``Ethnikos Kyrix'' , as well as with the owner of the National Greek Channel of America Dimitris Kastanas.

    [02] FINANCE MINISTER ASKS FOR REFORMS IN BANKING INSTITUTIONS

    Greece's National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou has proposed changes in the working regulations currently enforced in the country's banks, in order to enable the financial institutions to meet the increasing competition stemming from the drachma's devaluation.

    Addressing a general assembly of the Union of Greek Banks, Mr. Papantoniou said the Greek currency's entry into the ERM, a result of successful government economy policy, had brought the country more than one step closer to EMU.

    "We are on the threshold of EMU, the Europeans consider us already as part of the European family," Mr. Papantoniou said.

    Moreover, Mr. Papantoniou reiterated that Ionic Bank could be the country's forth financial institution to go private, following the tracks of Bank of Crete, Bank of Central Greece and the Bank of Macedonia-Thrace.

    [03] OPPOSITION REACTS TO OLYMPIC AIRWAYS REVITALIZATION MEASURES

    The national carrier, Olympic Airways, is to undergo a revitalization process that will involve a reduction on overtime, a freeze on new hires, a more flexible working schedule, an increase in working hours and an end to free tickets for the staff as the government aims to reduce the annual operational costs of Olympic Airways by 50 billion drachmas.

    Opposition party leaders accuse the government of ``failure'' and of ``selling out Olympic Airways''.

    [04] CYPRIOT MINISTER OF DEFENSE IN ATHENS TODAY

    Cyprus's Minister of Defense Yiannakis Omerou, who arrived in Athens yesterday for a two-day visit, visited the Military Academy and later attended the inauguration of the exhibition "Alexandros 2000" along with his Greek counterpart Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

    Today, Mr. Omerou will meet Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis and will afterwards hold talks with Mr. Tsochatzopoulos.

    Prior to his departure from Larnaca airport yesterday, Mr. Omerou stated that the countries which are interested in peace and stability in the region, should address Turkey since that is the country that continues with a expansionist policy.

    Referring to his talks in Athens, Mr. Omerou stated that ``it will be talks spanning all subjects and will focus on the common defense track of Greece and Cyprus, aiming at the formulation and upgrading of a deterring policy before the Turkish expansionism.''

    Moreover, the Cypriot official stated that ``the aim is to establish peace on Cyprus and the greater region, peace which will be based on respecting international law and the principles of independence, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Cypriot Republic

    [05] GREEK FM TO MEET WITH US SECRETARY OF STATE TODAY

    Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos is to meet with the U.S. Secretary of state Madeleine Albright in Washington today, as he embarks on a 10-day visit to the United States.

    The two officials are to discuss Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus problem as well as the crisis in Kosovo.

    Mr. Pangalos will also be received by US President Bill Clinton's national security adviser Sandy Berger.

    On Monday, the Greek Foreign Minister will lunch at the Greek embassy with officials from the US National Security Council, the US State Department and the Pentagon, while later he will attend a dinner hosted by US Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).

    Mr. Pangalos will also visit Chicago and will wrap up his US visit in New York, where he will observe the annual Greek Independence Day parade along 5th Avenue.

    [06] SWEDISH FOREIGN UNDERSEWCRETARY IN ATHENS

    Sweden's Foreign Undersecretary Mr. Lude met with Greek Foreign Ministry officials in Athens yesterday, after his arrival from Nicosia where he had talks with Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and the leader of the Turkish-Cypriots Rauf Denktash.

    As the talks focused on the Greek-Turkish issues, Mr. Lude stated that as a member of the Security Council and the European Union, his country is interested in the Cyprus issue and characterized President Clerides' invitation to the Turkish - Cypriots for participation in the EU-Cyprus accession talks as ``constructive.''

    Greece's alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated that the Swedish officials talks with the Greek officials also included the situation in the Balkans, especially Kossovo.

    [07] THE PROPOSAL OF THE TURKISH DEFENSE MINISTER IS CHARACTERIZED AS POSITIVE

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized as positive the proposal made by Turkish minister of defense Ismet Sezgin for the signing of a non aggression pact between Greece and Turkey. However, Mr. Reppas pointed out that this proposal will be a positive one if it does not include terms and preconditions that clash with International Law.

    When asked to comment on the proposal of Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem to his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos which suggested the opening of a dialogue at foreign ministers' level, Mr. Reppas stated that Mr. Cem can come to Greece for the Western European Union Summit organized by the Greek WEU presidency to be held in the south-eastern Aegean island of Rhodes at the end of May.

    Regarding the Athens proposal for a peace-keeping force in the Balkans, that was presented again by Ankara on the occasion of the crisis in Kosovo, Mr. Reppas characterized the proposal as a positive initiative and added that it does not matter where this force will be based, stressing that what really matters is the participation of all the Balkan countries.

    [08] STEPHANOPOULOS-SIMITIS MEETING

    The prime minister briefed president Kostis Stephanopoulos on the developments in the economy after the devaluation of the drachma and the measures announced by the minister of national economy. Mr. Simitis also briefed Mr. Stephanopoulos on his trip to the Czech Republic and the talks he had with the prime minister of Hungary.

    After the meeting, the prime minister stated that the participation of the drachma in the European exchange rate mechanism proves that Greece can take part in the procedures that will follow and that the EU partners recognize the success of the policy adopted by the Greek government.

    [09] KOSTAS KARAMANLIS LAUNCHED TOUGH CRITICISM ON THE GOVERNMENT

    Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy Central Committee met today under party leader Kostas Karamanlis. The ND president launched tough criticism on the government and characterized as a lie the position that the devaluation of the drachma had been planned.

    Mr. Karamanlis stated characteristically that the devaluation was imposed by the markets and wondered who will assume the responsibility for the businesses that have borrowed money in foreign exchange.

    [10] ALBANIAN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS KILLED A GREEK POLICE OFFICER IN THE REGION OF KASTORIA

    The residents of the border regions in Kastoria, north- western Greece are alarmed and angered by the cold-blooded murder of a Greek police officer, who was shot by Albanian illegal immigrants at dawn today.

    The 31 year old police officer, who was a father of two small children, aged 6 and 7, was shot once in the neck and was instantly killed, while attempting to search a truck with a fellow officer.

    The bloody incident that reveals in the most tragic way the danger faced not only by the residents of the border regions in northern Greece but by police officers as well, took place in the community of Ammoudara, near Argos Orestikon in Kastoria.

    Strong police forces participate in a manhunt that was launched in north-western Greece for the arrest of the criminals.

    [11] THE GREEK MINISTER OF DEFENSE MET WITH HIS CYPRIOT COUNTERPART

    Cypriot minister of defense Yiannakis Omirou met in Athens today with his Greek counterpart Akis Tsochatzopoulos. At the center of their talks were the Cyprus issue, Cyprus' EU accession course and mainly, the defense shielding of the island-state.

    In their discussion, the Turkish intransigence was also pointed out as Ankara calls for the recognition of the Turkish Cypriot regime in the Turkish occupied northern part of the island and reinforces its occupation forces.

    Earlier, Mr. Omirou was briefed by Greek undersecretary of foreign affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis on the prospects opened for Cyprus' EU accession negotiations. The prospects for Cyprus' accession are optimistic but there will be certain difficulties that can be dealt with through vigilance and cooperation between Greece and Cyprus, said Mr. Kranidiotis.

    Mr. Omirou stated that Cyprus' defense goals are being formed in absolute relation with the political environment under formation, while he added that within this framework he has briefed Mr. Kranidiotis on the reinforcement of the Turkish occupation forces by Ankara.

    [12] THE GREEKS ARE THE HEAVIEST SMOKERS IN EUROPE

    The Greeks smoke the most cigarettes in the European Union compared to the citizens of the rest EU states, according to a research made by the European Commission. The report under the title ``From the crib to the coffin'' gives detailed facts on the lives, the habits and the deaths of the 370 million citizens of the European Union.

    Based on the research, part of which was presented by the BBC, the Greeks smoke on the average 3.012 cigarettes a year, while the French are the biggest wine lovers and the largest percentage of suicides is being recorded in Finland.

    [13] ``NOSTIMON IMAR'' - A FOUR-LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER FOR FOREIGNERS IN GREECE

    The four-language newspaper ``Nostimon Imar'' that is directed to foreigners living and working in Greece, who come mainly from central, eastern and southern Europe, as well as, the former Soviet Republics and all over the world has been published in Thessaloniki.

    The first issue of the newspaper has four pages with texts written in Greek, English, Russian and Georgian and among others it includes information on the ``green card'', a short presentation of the history of the Greek Constitution and issues concerning the recording of immigrants in Greece.

    The newspaper's goal is to inform the foreigners on their rights and the way they can deal with the different problems that come up during their stay in Greece.

    [14] THIRTY ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS HAVE THEIR OWN PAGE ON THE INTERNET

    Internet is being put at the service of nature and the protection of the environment thanks to a new homepage that will be shared by 30 environmental organizations in Greece.

    At the address, www.forhnet.gr/volunteersfornature, the Internet user will be able to find information on the network Volunteers and Natural Environment both in English and in Greek.

    [15] THE ALBANIAN PRESIDENT WILL BE DECLARED PROFESSOR EMERITUS IN ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY

    Albanian president Redjep Meidani will be declared professor emeritus in the Physics Department of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in a formal ceremony that will take place on March 27.

    After the ceremony, the Albanian president, who is also a physics professor in the University of Tirana, will give a lecture under the title ``From liquid crystals, through biological applications, to the problems of the public, social and political life''.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [16] MILOSEVIC ORDERS HIS POLICE FORCES TO WITHDRAW FROM KOSSOVO

    The President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic has order the Serbian police forces to withdraw from Kossovo, in order to avoid the imposition of new sanctions.

    Nevertheless, Belgrade's concessions have not fully satisfied the United States envoy Robert Gelbard. Currently, the situation in Kossovo remains tense, in spite of the diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis.

    [17] DIEGO CORDOVEZ MEETS WITH RAUF DENKTASH

    The special envoy of the United Nations secretary-general Diego Cordovez has stated that his efforts concern the finding of a common ground between the island's two communities, following a meeting he had yesterday with the self-called leader of the Turkish-Cypriots Rauf Denktash.

    Moreover, Mr.Cordovez stated that once he meets with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides he will submit a relevant report to the United Nations secretary-general.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Denktash once again proved his intransigence by demanding that his enclave be recognized as a ``state'' before restarting talks between the two communities.

    [18] BULGARIAN DEFENSE MINISTER ON AN OFFICAL VISIT TO GREECE

    Bulgaria's Defense Minister Georgi Ananiev has embarked on a three-day visit to Greece at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Akis Tsochatzopoulos, with whom he met yesterday afternoon and discussed European and Euro-Atlantic integration, regional security and the development of bilateral military relations.

    The two officials discussed the issue of the multinational force of quick intervention that is to develop in the Balkan region, an initiative taken by the Greek side which proposed that its headquarters be established in Thessaloniki. However, Turkey has counterproposed that the headquarters of the said force be stationed in the city of Adrianoupolis, near the borders of Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria.

    Msgrs. Ananief and Tsochatzopoulos agreed that the decision should be drawn at the Balkan defense undersecretaries meeting that will be held the following month at Tirana.

    [19] US DELEGATION TRAVELS TO KOSSOVO TODAY

    A 15-member delegation of United States officials, headed by three congressmen, is to arrive at Kossovo today where they will meet with Albanian leaders and will overview Sunday's unofficial elections in the region.

    Also today, the leader of Kossovo's Albanians Ibrahim Rugova is to host a dinner in honor of the delegates

    Tomorrow., the delegation is to meet with political leaders and members of human rights groups while they also hope that they will be allowed to visit vi9llates that have been subject to Serb police operations.

    [20] SERBIA'S OFFER FOR DIALOGUE IS A FARCE, SAYS RUGOVA'S ADVISER

    The invitation for unconditional dialogue issued by Serb President Slobodan Milosevic to Kossovo's Albanians, has been characterized as a ``farce'' by Hemail Mustafa, the adviser of the leader of Kossovo's Albanian community Ibrahim Rugova.

    Yesterday, the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Milosevic called on Kossovo's Albanian leaders to engage in dialogue with the Serb authorities and said that he personally, as president of Serbia, is to vouch for these talks which must be based on the principle of safeguarding the country's territorial integrity and whose agenda will include the issue of granting autonomy to Kossovo within the framework of Serbia.

    However, Mr. Mustafa stated that ``this is a ridiculous effort of the Serb regime to mask its propaganda in a new wrapping,'' adding that this is merely an effort on behalf of Mr. Milosevic to mislead the public opinion before the deadline set forth by the contact group for resolving the Kossovo crisis -March 25- expires.

    [21] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER THEODOROS PANGALOS IS IN THE UNITED STATES

    Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos will meet in Washington today with his US counterpart Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

    The Greek-Turkish relations, Cyprus' EU accession course and the latest developments in Kosovo will be at the center of the talks.

    [22] MILOSEVIC REJECTS FOREIGN MEDIATION FOR THE SOLUTION OF THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO

    Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic categorically opposes any foreign mediation for the solution of the problem in Kosovo.

    In a statement to the Belgrade newspaper ``Politika'', Mr. Milosevic mentioned that the foreign ministers of France and Germany suggested yesterday the mediation of former Spanish prime minister Felipe Gonzales but he rejected the proposal saying that Belgrade will not accept the internationalization of the Kosovo problem.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Milosevic has appointed Vlatan Kutlesic, one of the four deputy prime ministers of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, to be his representative in the talks between the Serb government and the Albanian-speaking majority in Kosovo. According to information reported by the Belgrade news agency BETA, the moderate leader of the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo Imrahim Rugova is also expected to appoint the members of the delegation that will represent the ethnic Albanian side in the dialogue with Belgrade.


    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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