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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-10-09

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, October 9, 1998

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GOVERNMENT COUNCIL ON DEFENSE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO CONVENE TODAY
  • [02] INFLATION CLOSED AT 5.2% IN SEPTEMBER
  • [03] ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE ROCKS ISLAND OF ZAKYNTHOS
  • [04] LOCAL ELECTIONS TO BE HELD THIS WEEKEND THROUGHOUT GREECE
  • [05] GREEK TRADE GROUP IN SAN FRANCISCO FOR INTERNATIONAL FOOD FAIR
  • [06] BURGAS-ALEXANDROUPOLIS OIL PIPELINE: FEASIBILITY STUDY READY IN 1999
  • [07] ALTERNATE FM RECEIVES OSCE'S HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR MINORITIES
  • [08] GREEKS AMONG EU'S MOST AVID CONSUMERS OF MEDICINE
  • [09] DEFENDORY '98: FORMIDABLE WEAPONS ON DISPLAY IN PORT OF PIRAEUS
  • [10] AMALIA GINAKI DIED AT NOON TODAY
  • [11] BIG LOSSES WERE RECORDED IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [12] A NEW ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILE SYSTEM WILL BE INSTALLED IN GREECE
  • [13] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS WILL REITERATE THE GREEK POSITIONS IN ANTALYA
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] HOLBROOKE SHUTTLES TO BELGRADE AGAIN, WILL MEET WITH MILOSEVIC
  • [15] HELLENIC CHILDREN'S MUSEUM AWARDED: "PLAYS IT AGAIN" IN SAN FRANCISCO
  • [16] ALBRIGHT THREATENS MILOSEVIC WITH NATO'S "ACTIVATION ORDER"
  • [17] SERB VP WARNS FOREIGNERS IN YUGOSLAVIA: LEAVE BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE
  • [18] NEW MILOSEVIC-HALBROOKE MEETING
  • [19] ANNAN: A RESOLUTION ON THE GREEK-FYROM DISPUTE IS BEING PREPARED BY THE UN
  • [20] THE US AMBASSADOR TO ANKARA CONDEMNED TURKEY'S STANCE ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [21] RUSSIA: YUGOSLAVIA CAN CONFRONT THE NATO MISSILES
  • [22] THE GREEK MILITARY FORCE WILL REMAIN IN ALBANIA FOR SIX MORE MONTHS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GOVERNMENT COUNCIL ON DEFENSE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO CONVENE TODAY

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to chair a meeting of the government council on defense and foreign affairs today, where the participants will discuss the course of Greece's four-trillion- drachma armaments procurements program and the Kossovo crisis.

    Moreover, the Greek government is to announce today whether or not it will take part in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's military intervention in Kossovo.

    [02] INFLATION CLOSED AT 5.2% IN SEPTEMBER

    Inflation closed at 5.2% in September, slightly up from August's 5% rate. The Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou attribute the rise to the fact that the reduction of fuel consumption tax was not yet recorded into the index..

    Mr. Papantoniou also stated that the inflation rate will be curbed to 4.8% in October.

    [03] ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE ROCKS ISLAND OF ZAKYNTHOS

    Another strong earthquake registering 5.1 on the Richter scale rocked the island of Zakynthos at 8:12 this morning, but no damages have been reported.

    The quake had the same epicenter as yesterday's tremor which measured 5.3% on the Richter scale.

    [04] LOCAL ELECTIONS TO BE HELD THIS WEEKEND THROUGHOUT GREECE

    The country is currently in a pre-election campaign frenzy, as the first round of municipal and prefectural elections are to be held this Sunday.

    There are five candidates for the mayor's and prefect's seats in Thessaloniki.

    For the first time, European Union citizens residing in Greece will have the right to cast their vote as well.

    Voting on October 11 and 18 will take place for the first time on the basis of a sweeping council merger program.

    The Macedonian Press Agency's server will provide election updates on Sunday.

    [05] GREEK TRADE GROUP IN SAN FRANCISCO FOR INTERNATIONAL FOOD FAIR

    The Hellenic Organization of Foreign Trade (OPE) is organizing the Greek sector's participation in the international food and confection exhibition to be held in San Francisco, California on January 17-19.

    The event, "Winter Fancy Food and Confection Show 1999" is held in the United States biennially.

    Those interested should submit their application by October 15. For more information they may contact OPE's offices in Thessaloniki or Athens.

    [06] BURGAS-ALEXANDROUPOLIS OIL PIPELINE: FEASIBILITY STUDY READY IN 1999

    The feasibility study of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil and natural gas pipeline will be ready by the end of 1999, as the two contracting companies, German ILF and US-based Brown & Root, have been selected.

    These study, whose cost amounts to more than one million dollars, will be conducted in two phases, one by each company.

    The pipeline will have the transport capacity of 30-35 tons of crude oil which will be delivered to Burgas from the Russian port Novorosisk with tankers. In turn, the crude oil will be transport to Alexandroupolis via a subterranean pipeline whose length surpasses 280 kilometers.

    The project is budgeted at $688 million, although the figure will be closer earmarked once the first phase of the study is completed.

    [07] ALTERNATE FM RECEIVES OSCE'S HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR MINORITIES

    Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou met with the High Commissioner for ethnic minorities of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Max van der Stoel, in Athens yesterday.

    The two men discussed human rights issues and also reviewed the situation in the Balkans in light of the latest developments in Yugoslavia.

    They agreed that efforts should be directed towards finding a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Kossovo.

    [08] GREEKS AMONG EU'S MOST AVID CONSUMERS OF MEDICINE

    Greeks are among the EU's most avid consumers of medicines, averaging 21 packets annually per person, although ranking still far behind the French who consume a whooping 38 packets head, and led by the Germans who average 22.

    On the other end of the spectrum, the Dutch and the English average only eight packets per head.

    The data were presented yesterday at a news conference held by the Federation of Self-managed Health Funds, in light of today's international conference on The Effectiveness of Pharmaceuticals, held in Athens.

    In Greece, 33 percent of spending on health is used on medicine: Germany spends only 20 percent on medicine.

    According to the European Commission's latest report on health in Europe, which was presented at the Health Conference, spending on health as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the past 30 years has almost doubled and today ranges between an average 5-10 percent in EU member states. The Commission report projects that aging populations in Europe will bring the cost of spending up to 3.0 percent of GDP over the next few decades.

    In Greece, health spending is estimated at 8.3 percent of GDP, but spending on private health care brings the percentage up to 8.5 percent.

    Furthermore, the report says one in five Europeans will die prematurely from cancer, heart conditions and accidents, with eight million suffering from Alzheimer's disease by 2000.

    Scientists are also concerned about the growing tolerance to antibiotics due to excessive and unnecessary use.

    [09] DEFENDORY '98: FORMIDABLE WEAPONS ON DISPLAY IN PORT OF PIRAEUS

    A score of representatives from the world's defense industry are currently attending the 10th Defendory international exhibition of conventional weapons at the Piraeus Port Authority.

    This year's event marks a 45% increase in comparison to 1996, and also marks the 20th year since the relevant initiative was taken by the institute of Industrial Exhibitions, and which is organized under the aegis of the General Directorate of Weaponry, Ministry of National Defense.

    Defense Ministers from 15 countries have been invited to attend the event which, as is the consensus opinion, is highlighted by Russia's impressive presence.

    Russian Defense Minster Igor Segieyev visited Defendory '98, thereby illustrating Moscow's interest in developing substantial defense relations with Greece as a prospective bidder.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, representatives from Russia's main export authority in the defense sector (Rosvoorouzhenie), stressed that they are interested in the upgrading of Greece's defense systems, such as BMP-1 armored vehicles, as well as in selling anti-aircraft missile systems, such as the S-300.

    Both the Greek and the Cypriot sectors have expressed their interest in the anti-aircraft system SA-15 (TOR), which belongs in the SHOR category.

    Other systems on display include Britain's Challenger 2E, the US Μ-ΙΑΙ Abrams and Northrop Grumman, the French Leclerc and the German Leopard.

    [10] AMALIA GINAKI DIED AT NOON TODAY

    Amalia Ginaki, the tragic victim of the bloody hostage incident with the wanted Greek-Romanian criminal Sorin Matei at the center of Athens 16 days ago, lost the battle with death at noon today.

    The 25yearold left her last breath when her heart stopped beating after two weeks in the intensive care unit of the Red Cross Hospital. The condition of Amalia Ginaki had deteriorated in the past few days as besides the septicemia and the failure of many of her vital organs, yesterday she had an extensive haemorrhage, very low blood pressure and concentration of fluid in her abdomen.

    [11] BIG LOSSES WERE RECORDED IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    A very negative climate prevailed in the Athens Stock Exchange since this morning. Downward trends were observed since the start of today's transactions and the general price index closed with a loss of 3.14%.

    On the contrary, the European stock markets managed to cover a considerable part of their losses, as the extremely low share prices have attracted the strong interest of investors.

    [12] A NEW ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILE SYSTEM WILL BE INSTALLED IN GREECE

    The governmental council of foreign affairs and defense approved today the installation of a new small and long range anti- aircraft missile system that can effectively protect Greece's security and territorial integrity.

    Specifically, Greece will purchase long range "Patriot" missiles from the United States and small range missiles from France and Russia. Also, a decision was made on the purchase of 5 US training aircraft, 10 fire-fighting aircraft and 4 Navy destroyers.

    The announcement on the decision reached was made by prime minister Kostas Simitis, while minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos pointed out that the Greek armed forces proceed with the improvement of the level of their defense adequacy and ability.

    On the situation in Kosovo, the prime minister underlined the interventions made by Athens to the EU countries and NATO for a political solution and wished for positive results to be reached through the last minute mediation. Mr. Simitis stressed that NATO can use the Greek military installations but it will have no further accommodation.

    [13] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS WILL REITERATE THE GREEK POSITIONS IN ANTALYA

    The second summit meeting of heads of states and governments from south-eastern Europe will be held next Monday and Tuesday in Antalya, Turkey in a climate of uncertainty due to the global economic crisis, the increased concern over the developments in Kosovo and the crisis in the relations between Turkey and Syria.

    On the sidelines of the summit in Antalya, Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis will meet with his Turkish counterpart Mesut Yilmaz. Mr. Simitis, according to information, will point out that the toughening of the Turkish policy and the pro-conflict policy followed by Ankara do not help neither toward the restoration of the Greek-Turkish relations nor toward progress in the Balkans.

    Mr. Simitis will stress that Greece is in favor of the talks in NATO on confidence-building-measures in the Aegean which were proposed again by NATO secretary-general Javier Solana. The prime minister will also reiterate his positive response to the continuation of the talks held by the committee of experts which was formed by Greece and Turkey.

    According to information, Mr. Simitis will also point out to Mr. Yilmaz that the proposals made by Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, on the establishment of a con-federation in Cyprus, are unacceptable.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] HOLBROOKE SHUTTLES TO BELGRADE AGAIN, WILL MEET WITH MILOSEVIC

    US special envoy Richard Holbrooke will travel to Belgrade again today in order to meet with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The meeting is taking place under a cloud of NATO threats that it will conduct air strikes against Serb targets, unless Mr. Milosevic withdraws the Serb forces from Kossovo.

    Today's meeting was approved at the Contact Group's meeting held in London.

    [15] HELLENIC CHILDREN'S MUSEUM AWARDED: "PLAYS IT AGAIN" IN SAN FRANCISCO

    The Hellenic Children's Museum has been chosen to receive a 1999 International Partnership Among Museums (IPAM) award, granted by the American Association of Museums, which will enable it to participate in an Art Museum in San Francisco.

    The two museums will jointly develop an educational program titled "Play it Again", which will feature toys made from recycled materials.

    The Children's Museum, a collaboration between the Municipality of Athens' Cultural Organization and the Hellenic Children's Museum(HCM), sent a collection of toys to San Francisco which were exhibited at the International Children's Art Museum, along with the toys created by San Francisco children.

    The exhibition will return to Athens this month to be displayed at the Children's Museum. The goals of the "Play it Again" program are to reproduce new toys using "recycled materials", to invent new toys using recycling materials and to communicate with other children on the basis of the toys, without using language.

    Since the IPAM program was established in 1980, the HCM is the first museum in Greece selected for participation.

    [16] ALBRIGHT THREATENS MILOSEVIC WITH NATO'S "ACTIVATION ORDER"

    As NATO stands ready to authorize bombing of the Serbs for their military actions in Kossovo, following yesterday's Contact Group meeting in London, United States Secretary of State Madleine Albright sternly warned Serb President Slobodan Milosevic that in case he fails to fully comply with the Contact Group's will, the consequences will be very severe.

    The Contact Group comprises the United States, Russia, France, Germany, Italy and Britain.

    "There is no deadline, but we've made it clear that time is running out. Time is all but gone," Ms. Albright said, adding that "we expect that there will be action in the next few days," referring to the NATO "activation order" — the last step before air strikes are launched.

    [17] SERB VP WARNS FOREIGNERS IN YUGOSLAVIA: LEAVE BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE

    Foreigners who live in Yugoslavia and whose countries could take part in a potential air strike by NATO against Serbia have been warned by Serb vice-president Voiclav Seseli to leave the country immediately "before it's too late."

    Meanwhile, the "Kossovo Liberation Army" announced today through Prishtina's Albanian press that it is declaring a truce as a sign of support to the efforts exerted by the international community to face the catastrophe born on Kossovo.

    Throughout Belgrade, local authorities have plastered signs on the walls guiding the residents on the protection measures that need to be taken in case of a NATO air strike.

    Also, foreign diplomats have left Belgrade, following instructions from their embassies.

    The Association of Greeks in Serbia "Rigas Fereos" has also issued an announcement stating that " the threats launched against Serbia are unacceptable and do not contribute to a peaceful solution in the region's problems."

    Nevertheless, in spite of these threats, the announcement also adds that Greeks residing in the country will not leave.

    [18] NEW MILOSEVIC-HALBROOKE MEETING

    US envoy Richard Halbrooke will meet again today with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

    According to information, the US official will present to Milosevic the 6 conditions set by the international community among them, the immediate end of violence and the simultaneous withdrawal of all the security forces and heavy weapons from Kosovo.

    [19] ANNAN: A RESOLUTION ON THE GREEK-FYROM DISPUTE IS BEING PREPARED BY THE UN

    A resolution on the solution of all the unresolved issues between FYROM and Greece is being prepared by the United Nations in cooperation with the special mediator in the Greek-FYROM dispute, Mr. Cyrus Vance.

    The above statement was made by UN secretary-general Kofi Annan in an interview to the Skopje magazine "M-EXPRES". Mr. Annan stressed that even though no complete agreement has been reached it is to the benefit of the two neighbors to find a mutually acceptable solution and a way to co-exist.

    On the issue of Kosovo, the UN secretary-general underlined that measures should be taken immediately for the sheltering of the refugees in order to avert a humanitarian disaster in view of the winter ahead. He also mentioned that the UN Security Council has demanded the end of the hostilities and the peaceful solution of the dispute through consultations.

    [20] THE US AMBASSADOR TO ANKARA CONDEMNED TURKEY'S STANCE ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE

    The US ambassador to Ankara speaking in the 19th conference of US-Turkish organizations in the United States that was held at a Washington hotel yesterday, condemned Turkey's stance toward the US efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem. The US ambassador stressed that Washington is disappointed because Ankara does not support enough the US efforts aimed at bring the two sides to the negotiating table.

    The ambassador of the United States made it clear that the White House will not stop the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem, stressing that the risks are great. He also pointed out that as time passes the solution of the Cyprus problem will become harder, adding that the status quo is not stable neither moves toward a good direction for the Turkish or the Turkish Cypriot interests.

    [21] RUSSIA: YUGOSLAVIA CAN CONFRONT THE NATO MISSILES

    Yugoslavia can confront the "Tomahawk" missiles in an effective way in case of a NATO attack, according to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, citing statements made by a high ranking army official.

    The Russian official, who requested to remain anonymous, maintained that the Yugoslav army has the active and passive defense mechanisms to either destroy or lead away the missiles flying at a low altitude.

    Meanwhile, according to press reports on the "London Times" newspaper, Slobodan Milosevic's security forces have been supplied with up-to-date Russian ground-to-air missiles which can be very effective in the case of NATO air strikes.

    [22] THE GREEK MILITARY FORCE WILL REMAIN IN ALBANIA FOR SIX MORE MONTHS

    The Albanian parliamentary committee of foreign affairs decided on the extension of the Greek military presence in Albania for 6 more months.

    In exclusive statements to MPA, committee member and Parliament deputy Luan Rama pointed out that the decision was made taking under consideration the fact that certain projects that are underway with the assistance of the Greek military force must be completed.

    Mr. Rama denied the allegations coming mainly from the opposition according to which, the decision is linked to the existing situation in Albania.


    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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