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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-06-25

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 25, 1998

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PRESIDENT OF GREECE EMBARKS ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO CYPRUS
  • [02] US AMBASSADOR TO ATHENS: GREECE PLAYS LEADING ROLE IN BALKANS
  • [03] TOURIST ARRIVALS SEEN RISING BY 12 PER CENT
  • [04] THE ABOLITION OF THE WAITING-LIST FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF TEACHERS HAS THE SUPPORT OF THE GREEK PEOPLE
  • [05] THE ARCHBISHOP OF ATHENS IS IN VERIA
  • [06] THE LIST WITH THE NAMES OF JEWS WITH SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS IS INCOMPLETE
  • [07] STEPHANOPOULOS: CYPRUS IS A CATALYST IN GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [08] PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS ARRIVES IN CYPRUS, WARMLY SALUTED
  • [09] HOLBROOKE TO HOLD TALKS WITH MILOSEVIC AGAIN TODAY
  • [10] BSEC PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE IN BUCHAREST
  • [11] GREECE WILL NEVER FORGET CYPRUS
  • [12] HOLBROOKE-MILOSEVIC MEETING

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PRESIDENT OF GREECE EMBARKS ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO CYPRUS

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is embarking on an unprecedented visit to Cyprus today, and the island's authorities are preparing a magnificent welcome reception for the Greek head of state.

    President Stephanopoulos is scheduled to arrive at 11 am, for a four day official visit, the first of a Greek head of state since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, in 1960.

    He will be received at the Larnaca airport by Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides. An hour later, President Stephanopoulos will be receive the "golden key" of Nicosia, given to him by the city's mayor.

    The Greek President is escorted by Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Foreign Under-Secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, Finance Under- Secretary Alexandros Baltas and other officials.

    [02] US AMBASSADOR TO ATHENS: GREECE PLAYS LEADING ROLE IN BALKANS

    United States Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns stated that Greece holds a leading part in the Balkan region.

    During the commencement ceremony address he delivered before the graduates of the city's Greek-American four-year college "Anatolia", Ambassador Burns stressed that Greece is the only country in the region that is both a member of the European Union and NATO, a country which features stability, a developed democracy and a free economy.

    The American diplomat also called on the Greek and Turkish governments to be careful so that the next generations will not continue to suffer by the same fate.

    [03] TOURIST ARRIVALS SEEN RISING BY 12 PER CENT

    The outlook for Greek tourism in 1998 is optimistic, according to the Institute of Tourism Studies and Forecasts (ITEP) and the Association of Tourism Studies and Forecasts (SETE).

    During a news conference held by the ITEP to promote the release of the fifth volume of "Greek Economy and Tourism", officials said they were expecting tourist arrivals to rise by at least 12 percent compared to last year.

    ITEP said it based the forecast on factors including the devaluation of the drachma last March, favorable economic conditions in the US and Europe, and a shift from other Mediterranean destinations to Greece.

    [04] THE ABOLITION OF THE WAITING-LIST FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF TEACHERS HAS THE SUPPORT OF THE GREEK PEOPLE

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis stated in Parliament that the abolition of the waiting-list for the permanent employment of teachers has the overall approval of the Greek people.

    The education reform does not end but it begins with the measures taken, stated Mr. Simitis and added that the goal of the government is to form a new training culture for teachers. The prime minister referred to the new role of educators which is not simply to transfer knowledge but to help the students form the ability to acquire and use knowledge.

    [05] THE ARCHBISHOP OF ATHENS IS IN VERIA

    Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece is on a visit to Veria where he will formally open the international conference on "Apostle Paul and Greece".

    A holy liturgy was held in the church of St. Antonios after the arrival of the head of the Greek Church who was welcomed by Metropolite Panteleimon of Veria, Naousa and Kambania.

    [06] THE LIST WITH THE NAMES OF JEWS WITH SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS IS INCOMPLETE

    The list with the names of the 17.000 Jews, who were lost in the Holocaust and had their bank accounts seized by the Swiss banks since World War II, is incomplete.

    The statement was made to MPA in an exclusive interview by Ms. Hadassa Ben-Itto, Israeli Supreme Court judge and arbitrator of the Zurich-based Claims Resolution Tribunal which examines the files of the bank accounts of Jews, who were the victims of the Nazis.

    Several thousands of Jews filed applications claiming the bank accounts of the Holocaust victims that were seized by Swiss banks, after the publication of the list with the names of 17.000 Jews by the Swiss Bank Association last October.

    The Tribunal that is made up of a judge and 15 arbitrators was formed at the end of 1997 to examine the files of the Holocaust victims' bank accounts in Swiss banks as the Swiss courts have no jurisdiction over the case. The 15 arbitrators come from different countries and among them are judges, financial advisers and Law professors The first 5 arbitrators were appointed at the end of 1997 by the Board of Directors of a special fund based in the United States and the other 10 last April. Already, they have started examining the files prepared by the Swiss Legal Aid Agency.

    Ms. Ben-Itto reminded that until recently the Swiss banks, following the confidentiality principle, did not give information on bank accounts that remained inactive since 1945 unless the depositors had died and their heirs were able to bring adequate proof. In the case of the Jews, who were Holocaust victims the proof of death through a death certificate was impossible because almost all of them died in Nazi concentration camps and in gas chambers and their deaths were not reported. In 1997, Switzerland decided to lift the confidentiality principle concerning those accounts and the Swiss Bank Association published a list with the names of 17.000 Jews with Swiss bank accounts.

    Ms. Ben-Itto stressed that this is just one list of names in which there is no mention of the banks in which the accounts were deposited neither the account numbers and the sums of money deposited. The lawful beneficiaries of the bank accounts got a 6- month deadline to file an application claiming the accounts, which was extended for another 6 months and it is possible to be extended again.

    The arbitrators have a difficult task as they are called to examine if the beneficiaries are lawful, decide if there are many heirs claiming an account, if the beneficiaries are close or distant relatives of the depositor, while they will also have to decide on the amount of money each beneficiary will receive.

    [07] STEPHANOPOULOS: CYPRUS IS A CATALYST IN GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos was received with great honours today in Cyprus where he was offered the highest prestigious distinction of the Cypriot Republic, the "Great Necklace" of the battalion of Makarios III by the Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides.

    Mr Stephanopoulos stressed that Greece supports Cyprus' struggle and expressed the hope for a fair, functional and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Stephanopoulos described Turkey's attitude as inadmissible and added that Cyprus could be a catalyst in Greek-Turkish and EU- Turkish relations. The president of the Hellenic Republic, also, visited the Archdiocese of Cyprus.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [08] PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS ARRIVES IN CYPRUS, WARMLY SALUTED

    The arrival of the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos to the island of Cyprus, the first official visit conducted by a Greek president since the founding of the republic of Cyprus in 1960, has been characterized by the locals as a "historic, rare, magnificent and singular event".

    President Stephanopoulos arrived at the airport of Larnaca this morning at 11 and received a jubilant and warm welcome by church, government and state officials as well as simple folk.

    One hour later, Mr./ Stephanopoulos was bestowed with the golden key of the capital city, Nicosia by its mayor Lelos Demitriades. The Cypriot government spokesperson characterized the visit as an "exceptional event" and stressed that it contains multiple symbolisms."

    At President Stephanopoulos welcoming ceremony held at the airport, the president of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides stated in his address:

    "Your presence in Cyprus, our friend, Mr. President, I believe forwards a very significant message to various directions. The message is that Greece, a guarantor power of the Republic of Cyprus, is here, with us in the same entrenchment. This is the first time the Cypriot Hellenism has the honor to welcome Greece's head of state. And your visit is taking place during the most critical, perhaps, period for the Cyprus issue, after the Turkish invasion."

    In his reply address, the President of the Hellenic Republic stated:

    "Cyprus is for Greece a matter of foremost significance, Greece identifies with Cyprus in its effort to support the Cypriot people's struggle for the restoration of freedom, for the attainment of independence and the national integrity of the Cypriot Republic.

    "All of the country's political forces, the Greek people throughout, have the unisom, the unshakable, the unyielding fervency to support this struggle. I am not a messenger of aggressive or hostile messages. I shall leave this task to others, who, devoid of support from international law, who by continuously violating the lawful world order from 1974 to date, want to mask these shortcomings of theirs by expressing, at every opportunity, by expressing this kind of threats, this kind of slogans.

    "I've come here as a messenger of peaceful, friendly sentiments of cooperation and brotherhood. Cyprus must become a place of prosperity for all, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, and this can be achieved in one way only: When the decisions and resolutions of the United Nations Security Council are accepted. When lawfulness operates again in Cyprus When a unified state will be able to exist, a bi-communal, bi-zonal federated state, which will accede - and this is completely certain- the European Union."

    [09] HOLBROOKE TO HOLD TALKS WITH MILOSEVIC AGAIN TODAY

    Newly appointed U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke is to arrive in Belgrade today for talks with Serb president Slobodan Milosevic.

    During his visit to Prihstina yesterday, where he met with the leader of the ethnic Albanians Ibrahim Rugova, Mr. Holbrooke also met with two members of the Kossovo Liberation Army.

    State Department spokesperson James Rubin commented on Mr. Holbrooke's visit to the Balkans and stated that the US are cooperating closely with the Contact Group countries on the diplomatic monitoring efforts.

    "We'll get together and develop a diplomatic monitoring mission so that experts can get access to the region, make independent judgments as to what's going on there, and be in a position to report to us what's going on there," Mr. Rubin said.

    "The Contact Group has laid out a series of requirements for a serious discussion," he said, adding that "Ambassador Holbrooke is trying to advance that goal."

    [10] BSEC PARLIAMENTARY CONFERENCE IN BUCHAREST

    A Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) pact parliamentary representatives' two-day conference began yesterday in Bucharest with the signing of a common declaration, including an account of BSEC's accomplishments over the last five years.

    The three-member Greek delegation, comprising PASOK parliamentarians Maria Arseni and Apostolos Foteiades, as well as main opposition party deputy Athanasios Nakos, stressed that the main target of the BSEC parliamentary assembly is to expand and further the cooperation among the member-countries.

    Ms. Arseni told the Macedonian Press Agency that Greece submitted a number of modifications regarding the combat of cross- border crimes, arms and drugs smuggling, and illegal immigrants traffic and exploitation. These amendments were widely accepted by the BSEC members.

    BSEC members include Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and the Ukraine.

    [11] GREECE WILL NEVER FORGET CYPRUS

    The wall of Nicosia is a shame not only for those who have built it but for those who tolerate it as well, stressed Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos in his speech responding to the welcome speech delivered by the mayor of Nicosia in a formal ceremony in Cyprus. He underlined that the wall does not only divide Cyprus but separates Turkey from Europe and that Europe will stop at this wall if the other side does not change its attitude and practice.

    Upon his arrival at the airport of Larnaka, Mr. Stephanopoulos stated that Greece does not forget Cyprus and it will be on its side to defend legality.

    Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides pointed out that the visit of Mr. Stephanopoulos is a message to every direction that Greece and Cyprus fight on the same side for a fair and peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem.

    [12] HOLBROOKE-MILOSEVIC MEETING

    Newly appointed US ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke held a meeting, in Belgrade, today, with the Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

    Mr Holbrooke underlined the resemblance between the Kosovo situation and the "wild West" and the situation in Bosnia during the war and stressed that Kosovo is a part of Yugoslavia.

    Referring to the meeting he had yesterday with representatives of the "Kosovo Liberation Army", he pointed out that it was accidental and it lasted 30 minutes noting that the meeting did not have a dialogue character as mr Holbrooke just heard their comments over the developments in Kosovo


    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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