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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-06-01

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, June 1, 1998

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] CABINET CONVENES TODAY TO EXAMINE IONIAN BANK SITUATION
  • [02] IONIAN BANK'S STRIKING STAFF INTENT ON DEFYING COURT ORDER
  • [03] STATE-WIDE EXAMS BEGIN FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS
  • [04] THESSALONIKI TO HOST TRANSPORTATION CONFERENCE
  • [05] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS OFFERS REDUCED RATES AS OF TODAY
  • [06] IMATHIA PREFECTURE OPENS EXPORTS OFFICE IN MOSCOW
  • [07] SAME-DAY VISA TO BE GRANTED TO SERB TOURISTS, BUSINESSMEN
  • [08] INTRACOM, DEFENSE MINISTRY SIGN GRD 17-BILLION CONTRACT
  • [09] GREEK, TURKISH JOURNALISTS LOOK INTO JOINT PUBLICATION
  • [10] THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT MET WITH THE GREEK PRIME MINISTER
  • [11] THE STRIKE IN THE IONIAN BANK CONTINUES
  • [12] THE "SUNDAY TIMES" REPORT CAUSED THE REACTION OF THE GOVERNMENTS OF CYPRUS AND GREECE
  • [13] ARCHBISHOP CHRISOSTOMOS OF CYPRUS IS VISITING GREECE
  • [14] THE MAYOR OF LONDON WILL VISIT THESSALONIKI
  • [15] THE AGRICULTURAL BANK OF GREECE (ATE) OPENED BRANCHES IN FIVE GERMAN CITIES
  • [16] INSIGNIFICANT THE ACCIDENT IN KOZLODUI
  • [17] UNANIMOUS DECISION BY GREEK GOVERNMENT OVER THE SALE OF THE IONIAN BANK
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [18] JUGANOVIC WINS PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN MONTENEGRO
  • [19] GREECE'S SOCCER TEAM LOSES 1-0 TO SPAIN
  • [20] PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT MEETS WITH ITALIAN, FRENCH COUNTERPARTS
  • [21] BRITAIN TAKES TURKISH THREATS OVER S-300 SERIOUSLY
  • [22] PROPOSALS FOR THE COOPERATION OF THE MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES
  • [23] BRITISH SCENARIOS ON CYPRUS
  • [24] THE BOOKS IN THE EXHIBITION ON RIGAS FEREOS ARE A TREASURE OF THE WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE
  • [25] MASSIVE FLIGHT FROM KOSOVO TO ALBANIA

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] CABINET CONVENES TODAY TO EXAMINE IONIAN BANK SITUATION

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to chair a cabinet meeting today where the participants are to examine the latest development in the Ionian Bank case whose employees have been on strike since May 11 protesting to the government's plans to privatize the financial institution.

    Referring to the SWAT team intervention to break up the gathered strikers, Greece's EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis said that "there can be no modernization with SWEAT teams."

    [02] IONIAN BANK'S STRIKING STAFF INTENT ON DEFYING COURT ORDER

    Although a Greek court ruled last week that the strike conducted by Ionian Bank's disgruntled staff is illegal and has barred its resumption, the undaunted employees are determined to press on with their protest to the privatization of the bank, continuing the strike until Wednesday.

    The Athens-based First Circuit Court ordered workers at state-controlled Ionian Bank to end the strike they have held since May 11.

    In its ruling, the Court said union leaders would be fined GRD400,000 (about $1,200) on a daily basis if the order was ignored. As for the employees, under Greek law, staff members failing to return to work after such a ruling also face the possibility of dismissal.

    In its reasoning, the Court held that the striking Ionian workers have essentially barred thousands of customers from having access to their savings accounts, since there isn't even a skeleton staff on duty to serve them.

    [03] STATE-WIDE EXAMS BEGIN FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS

    State-wide examinations are beginning today in the country's junior highs and high schools, set to last for two weeks. These are examinations that determine if a student passes on to the next grade and, for high school seniors, if he or she will graduate.

    Educational reforms are to be enforced the following academic year where students are to be tested through brief, albeit regularly-held tests.

    [04] THESSALONIKI TO HOST TRANSPORTATION CONFERENCE

    Thessaloniki is to host the Conference of Multimodal Transport and Transit Trade in Southeast Europe from June 4-6, an event organized by HELEXPO, the organizer of the Thessaloniki International Fair, in cooperation with the Department of Communications Technology of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

    The event is to address legal and administrative issues pertaining to difficulties encountered in crossing borders, methods and practices associated with multimodal transport in light of new technology and the use of logistics, multimodal transport corridors and infrastructure (terminals and junctions), networks, services and international cooperation.

    Among those participating in the conference will be senior officials and representatives of European Union directorates, the ministries of transport and communications, of environment, town planning and public works, of finance, of merchant marine, universities, cultural foundations of Austria, Bulgaria, Germany and other countries and transport organizations.

    [05] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS OFFERS REDUCED RATES AS OF TODAY

    The national airline Olympic Airways is to offer reduced fares for a limited number of seats to 20 European round-trip destinations from Athens and Thessaloniki as of today.

    Specifically, fares to the following destinations will be decreased to 75,000 drachmas: Amsterdam, Budapest, Berlin; Brussels, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Zurich, Geneva, London, Istanbul, Milan, Moscow, Marseilles, Munich, Naples, Paris, Rome, Stuttgart and Vienna.

    [06] IMATHIA PREFECTURE OPENS EXPORTS OFFICE IN MOSCOW

    An office to support export activities is to be established in Moscow by the Prefecture of Imathia, with the relevant protocol to be signed within the following days when a delegation of officials from Imathia will travel to the Russian capital.

    The office will keep a daily post on the prices of the products of interest to the prefecture's exporters, as well as provide information on the markets and the consumers.

    It will be under the auspices of the trade attache of the Greek embassy in Moscow and will operate throughout the year.

    [07] SAME-DAY VISA TO BE GRANTED TO SERB TOURISTS, BUSINESSMEN

    Visas will be granted on a same-day basis to Serb tourists and businessmen wishing to travel to Greece, thus putting an end to the long waiting lines.

    Greek ambassador to Belgrade Panayiotis Vlasopoulos announced the aforementioned during a meeting held in Belgrade on the occasion of the Greek participation in the locally-held international tourism exhibit.

    Among those participating in the conference where Greece's undersecretary of National Economy Alexandros Baltas, the director of the Greek Tourism Organization's central Macedonia Office Thomas Goutrantzis and others.

    The visa allows for multiple trips to Greece during its 99- day duration of effect.

    [08] INTRACOM, DEFENSE MINISTRY SIGN GRD 17-BILLION CONTRACT

    Greece's Ministry of Defense is to be equipped with state of -the-art communication hardware, following a 17-billion-drachmas contract signed with the conglomerate Intracom.

    Intracom is to provide the Greek armed forces with 3,800 TRC- 9200 transmitter stations, whose technology is compatible with NATO's presently- enforced guidelines and allow for communication under the most adverse conditions, such as electronic warfare.

    The present agreement is the first phase of a greater purchase.

    [09] GREEK, TURKISH JOURNALISTS LOOK INTO JOINT PUBLICATION

    Greek and Turkish journalists are to discuss the possibility of undertaking joint publication initiatives, during a meeting to be held in the city of Kozani between June5-7.

    The meeting, organized by Kozani's Institute of Book and Reading, is aimed at achieving rapprochement, mutual acquaintance and exchange of views among the participants.

    Twenty-two Greek journalists have been invited to participate, along with 17 Turkish journalists.

    [10] THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE ITALIAN GOVERNMENT MET WITH THE GREEK PRIME MINISTER

    Italian government vice-president and minister of culture Mr. Valter Ventroni met in Athens today with prime minister Kostas Simitis to discuss the course and the future of the center-left and the proposal of British prime minister Tony Blair for the creation of a forum of center-left forces.

    Earlier, Mr. Ventroni had met with Greek minister of culture Evangelos Venizelos with whom he discussed issues of cooperation between the two countries in the sector of culture.

    Mr. Venizelos announced that a Greek-Italian cinema week will be organized in Greece and Italy on the occasion of the prize won by film director Theodoros Angelopoulos in the Cannes Film Festival.

    [11] THE STRIKE IN THE IONIAN BANK CONTINUES

    The strike of the Ionian Bank employees continues today, tomorrow and on Wednesday with the backing of the Greek Banks Employees' Union (OTOE), while the future of the mobilisation will be determined tomorrow by an Athens court ruling.

    Meanwhile, the meeting of the governmental committee and PASOK's political secretariat continues under the chairmanship of prime minister Kostas Simitis to discuss the developments in the Ionian Bank.

    The union sector of PASOK is also expected to meet with the participation of members of the Executive Office and under the presidency of Kostas Skandalidis.

    [12] THE "SUNDAY TIMES" REPORT CAUSED THE REACTION OF THE GOVERNMENTS OF CYPRUS AND GREECE

    The report published in the British newspaper "Sunday Times" on the likelihood of a "hot incident" in Cyprus as a result of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles that will be installed in Cyprus and the airlift prepared by the British government for the emergency evacuation of British tourists and pensioners in case of a war in Cyprus, has caused the reaction of the governments of Cyprus and Greece.

    Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos stated that the Greek ambassador to London will request explanations from the British Foreign Office regarding the publication. He said that such efforts will not have a chance of succeeding and added that the Cypriot government will do what is necessary for the country's safety and defense.

    Cypriot government spokesman Christos Stilianides stated that it is an unacceptable practice that undermines peace in Cyprus, while Cypriot defense minister Yiannakis Omirou spoke of an orchestrated effort aimed at the intimidation of the Cypriot Republic.

    [13] ARCHBISHOP CHRISOSTOMOS OF CYPRUS IS VISITING GREECE

    Archbishop Chrisostomos of Cyprus, who is on a visit Greece, referring to the "Sunday Times" report on the likelihood of a "hot incident" in Cyprus as a result of the installation of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the island, stated that the publication serves political purposes.

    The Archbishop of Cyprus met with Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos and discussed national issues and the Cyprus problem. In his statements, the Archbishop stressed that the scenarios of the British, the Americans or anyone else's should not be followed and added that the Greeks should do their duty and be interested in the protection of Hellenism and Orthodoxy in Cyprus.

    [14] THE MAYOR OF LONDON WILL VISIT THESSALONIKI

    London's mayor Lord Alderman Richard Nichols will make a formal visit to Thessaloniki on June 4 and 5 after completing his visit to Athens.

    Within the framework of his stay in Thessaloniki he will meet with local authorities and will have contacts with leading members of the business and bank community in northern Greece.

    [15] THE AGRICULTURAL BANK OF GREECE (ATE) OPENED BRANCHES IN FIVE GERMAN CITIES

    The Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATE) opened branches in five German cities to serve not only the Greek immigrants but the general public as well, in Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart and Dussendolf.

    As it was announced by the bank's management, its goal is to expand abroad and especially to the Balkans as well as, to all the countries where Greek businessmen are active.

    [16] INSIGNIFICANT THE ACCIDENT IN KOZLODUI

    Aristotle University of Thessaloniki nuclear physics professor Kostas Papastefanou speculated that the accident that occurred in Kozlodui nuclear plan in Bulgaria a few days ago was an insignificant one.

    The only sources of information are the international news agencies, as the International Nuclear Energy Committee and the Bulgarian scientists have not released any information on the accident, said Mr. Papastefanou and added that no official data are available on the amount of radiation that leaked. Therefore, he concluded that it must have been a small accident that caused a leak of such a limited amount of radiation that it was not detected not even inside the nuclear plant itself.

    According to Mr. Papastefanou, Kozlodui's four outdated nuclear reactors should have stopped operating a long time ago but the Bulgarian authorities allow their operation for economic and political reasons as they want to use the energy production capability of Bulgaria as an additional advantage for the country's accession into the European Union. Two new nuclear reactors with a total power of 2.000 megawatt are under construction. The first one will be put in operation in the year 2004 and the second one in 2007.

    [17] UNANIMOUS DECISION BY GREEK GOVERNMENT OVER THE SALE OF THE IONIAN BANK

    The governmental Committee and the Political Secretariat of PASOK confirmed, today, the government's decision to proceed with the prvatization of the Ionian Bank, in accordance with the scheduled procedure and timetable.

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis stressed, during the meeting, that the privatization of the Ionian Bank is a strategic move which has already been decided and it will not be withdrawn.

    Mr Simitis, also, asked the members of his party for political consensus concerning this issue and pointed out that the Greek government will use all legal means in order to protect the Bank's computer department and to secure the court rulings implementation.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [18] JUGANOVIC WINS PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS IN MONTENEGRO

    Parliamentary elections were held in Montenegro yesterday, where the Democratic Party of new president Milo Juganovic's Socialists, in a coalition with the Social-Democratic Party, emerged as the winner, with two-thirds of the votes having been counted.

    Mr. Juganovic is ahead of his main rival Momir Bulatovic by 16 points. . These are the fourth elections in Montenegro since the establishment of the multi-partisan system in 1989.

    [19] GREECE'S SOCCER TEAM LOSES 1-0 TO SPAIN

    Greece's Under-21 national soccer team lost 1-0 to Spain in the European Championships final, held in Bucharest last night, thus winning the silver medal.

    The Greek team played well but was unlucky since it was not granted three penalties.

    [20] PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT MEETS WITH ITALIAN, FRENCH COUNTERPARTS

    The President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis arrived in Palermo, Sicily, yesterday, where he met with the presidents of the Italian and French parliaments Mr. Violante and Mr. Fabius respectively.

    The meetings were held within the framework of improving cooperation between the parliaments of the European Union's Mediterranean countries and for the preparation of today's conference of Parliament Presidents of Mediterranean countries.

    In his address today, Mr. Kaklamanis stressed the need of establishing a permanent dialogue between the Parliaments of all Mediterranean countries, as agreed during yesterday's conference in Athens.

    Moreover, Mr. Kaklamanis asked for greater economic support to the Mediterranean countries by the European Union and proposed the establishment of a charter of the immigrant's rights related to addressing the sure of economic immigrants.

    He also referred to the role played by parliaments in Mediterranean partnership relation.

    Prior to arriving in Palermo, Mr. Kaklamanis stopped over in Naples where he met with representatives of Greek expatriates. He briefed them on national problems, stressing the need for the utilization of all the possibilities of Greeks everywhere for the promotion of Greek causes.

    [21] BRITAIN TAKES TURKISH THREATS OVER S-300 SERIOUSLY

    According to a "Sunday Times" report, Britain is planning the biggest airlift since the World War II because of fears over war in Cyprus.

    However, the government of the Republic of Cyprus has said it is handling the situation in a responsible manner to avert any unpleasant developments.

    The "Sunday Times" report said plans provide for the evacuation of a quarter of a million people with the help of RAF planes, supported by the Royal Navy and a brigade of soldiers.

    Turkey, it adds, has warned that war will start in Cyprus if the government of Cyprus takes delivery of several batteries of S- 300 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia.

    The report quotes a source from Britain's Ministry of Defense as saying this airlift would be "bigger than the Berlin airlift" and notes that contingency plans are being made for "a worst-case scenario."

    The spokeswoman said the British Ministry of Defense "naturally follows developments in all trouble spots in the world" and explained that the job of the permanent joint force headquarters, referred to in the report, "is to prepare contingency plans for any possible event".

    Cyprus' government spokesman Christos Stylianides said "the government does not consider we are going through a period when unpleasant developments could take place for the people of Cyprus".

    The Cypriot government, Mr. Stylianides said, "wishes to convey to the people of Cyprus the message that it is handling the situation in a responsible manner to avert anything". Meanwhile Foreign Minister, Yiannakis Kasoulides, who was recently in Athens for talks with Greek government officials, said that the missiles will arrive in Cyprus unless the reasons that forced the government to order them are eliminated.

    "The people of Cyprus are facing a problem of security from the Turkish air force", he explained.

    The government has repeatedly said the missile system is a purely defensive weapon and will not be used unless Turkey launches a fresh offensive against the country.

    [22] PROPOSALS FOR THE COOPERATION OF THE MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES

    The need for joint efforts and interventions at a political, economic and cultural level to turn the Mediterranean into a region of dialogue, cooperation and development, was stressed by Greek Parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis in his speech delivered in the meeting of Mediterranean Parliament presidents that is being held in Palermo in Italy.

    Mr. Kaklamanis called for greater financial support to the Mediterranean countries by the European Union and suggested the drawing up of a charter for the rights of the immigrants.

    [23] BRITISH SCENARIOS ON CYPRUS

    After the Americans, now the British take under serious consideration the scenarios concerning the likelihood of a "hot incident" in Cyprus that will be the result of the installation of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the island.

    Britain prepares the largest airlift since World War II for the evacuation of 250.000 British tourists and pensioners from Cyprus in case of a war, according to a "Sunday Times" report.

    A British ministry of defense spokesman stated to BBC, that the "Sunday Times" report was published for sensationalism purposes and does not contribute to the efforts for the settlement of the Cyprus problem. However, he confirmed the existence of an emergency evacuation plan and stressed that such plans have been prepared for all the regions of the world where there is tension. He added that this does not mean that Britain predicts that there will be a war in Cyprus but at the same time London is not in the position to rule out such a likelihood.

    [24] THE BOOKS IN THE EXHIBITION ON RIGAS FEREOS ARE A TREASURE OF THE WORLD CULTURAL HERITAGE

    General director of the National Library of Austria Mr. Hans Marte characterized the books that are presented in Vienna, within the framework of the exhibition "Rigas Fereos, Vienna and the Greek Enlightenment", as a great treasure of the world cultural heritage. The exhibition is organized on the occasion of the 200 years since the death of Rigas Fereos.

    Mr. Marte stressed that the exhibition records the development of the Greek typography in Vienna and the historical importance of its contribution to the efforts aimed at informing the Greeks living in the Balkans on the developments in western Europe.

    [25] MASSIVE FLIGHT FROM KOSOVO TO ALBANIA

    The Albanian government issued an official statement today according to which a big number of refugees from Kosovo have crossed the border at the region of Tropoja, and entered the Albanian territory, since yesterday, seeking protection due to the tense situation in Kosovo.

    Approximately 2.000 women and children have abandoned their homes in fear of their lives. The Albanian government called on the European Union, the United States and all the international organizations to intervene actively so as to stop the "ethnic purge in Kosovo which could be the herald of a bloody war".


    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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