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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-10-13

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 13, 1998

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] SECOND ROUND OF LOCAL ELECTIONS TO BE HELD THIS SUNDAY
  • [02] FAMILY OF FLIGHT 111 GREEK VICTIM FILES $1.25 MILLION SUIT AGAINST SWISS AIR
  • [03] EU COMMISSIONER: GREECE'S GROWTH EXPECTATION IS REALISTIC, AMBITIOUS
  • [04] THE BALKAN LEADERS ISSUED A JOINT STATEMENT FROM ANTALYA
  • [05] AGREEMENT TO END THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO
  • [06] THE STAFF MEMBERS OF THE CANDIDATES FOR THE POSTS OF MAYOR AND PREFECT DECIDE ON THEIR STRATEGIES
  • [07] GREECE'S CONVERGENCE PROGRAM GOT THE APPROVAL OF THE EU
  • [08] ONE OF THE BIGGEST DRUG DEALERS IN EUROPE WAS ARRESTED IN ATHENS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [09] GREEK PREMIER'S ADDRESS IN ANTALYA SUMMIT
  • [10] SIMITIS- YILMAZ TALKS PRODUCE NO RESULTS
  • [11] ALLIANCE ALLOWS FOUR DAYS TO MILOSEVIC BEFORE FORAY
  • [12] EUROPEAN SOCIALIST PARTY'S PRESIDIUM MEETS TODAY IN BRUSSELS
  • [13] SIMITIS: THE ATMOSPHERE IN THE ANTALYA SUMMIT MEETING WAS POSITIVE
  • [14] NEW HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN TURKEY

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] SECOND ROUND OF LOCAL ELECTIONS TO BE HELD THIS SUNDAY

    The second round of the local government elections is to be held this Sunday in Thessaloniki and Piraeus as no candidate was able to win a majority during last Sunday's primaries.

    The candidates backed by the conservative opposition New Democracy are ahead in both cities. In Thessaloniki, New Democracy- backed Vassilis Papageorgopoulos won 44.3 per cent of the vote, compared to the 31.3 per cent pulled in by PASOK's Thrasivoulos Lazarides. That gives Papageorgopoulos reason to hope for the victory in next weekend's run off against Lazarides. The 15 per cent of voters who chose the Left and Progress Coalition candidate Spyros Vougias in Sunday's race will be crucial in determining the outcome of the run off.

    [02] FAMILY OF FLIGHT 111 GREEK VICTIM FILES $1.25 MILLION SUIT AGAINST SWISS AIR

    The family of Greek music teacher Chronoula Bonanou- Ikonomopoulou, who was among the victims of the Swiss Air aircraft that crashed off the Nova Scotia coast on September 3, has filed a lawsuit against the airline seeking 1.25 million dollars in damages.

    The suit, which was filed in Brooklyn's Federal Court, charges that the company failed to ensure the passengers' safety abroad Flight 111.

    [03] EU COMMISSIONER: GREECE'S GROWTH EXPECTATION IS REALISTIC, AMBITIOUS

    The European Commissioner for Finance has characterized the Greek government's development rate expectations (3.7% in 1999) as realistic, albeit ambitious.

    Yesterday, the European Union economics ministers (ECOFIN) approved Greece's 1998-2001 revised plan of convergence in order to gain accession to the economic and monetary union.

    German Finance Minister stressed that in order for Greece to attain this goal, it must accelerate its fiscal revitalization plan.

    [04] THE BALKAN LEADERS ISSUED A JOINT STATEMENT FROM ANTALYA

    The leaders of south-eastern Europe, participating in the summit meeting held in Antalya, Turkey issued a joint statement backing the UN Security Council decisions on Kosovo and calling on all the parties involved to implement the resolutions of the international organization and avoid the further escalation of the crisis.

    The south-eastern European leaders mentioned in their statement that they support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yugoslavia based on the full protection of the rights of its population in accordance with the UN Charter principle of equality, the Helsinki principles and the OSCE regulations.

    They also expressed their deep satisfaction for the new developments in Kosovo and the understanding reached, stressing that they strongly back the full implementation of the UN decisions because they can only bring peace and stability to the region.

    In the joint statement, the leaders of the south-eastern European countries expressed their support to the cooperation of state parliaments and any cooperation aimed at the stability in the region. They also called for the adoption of a good economic relations charter and regarded the case of Bosnia as a test for Europe.

    [05] AGREEMENT TO END THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO

    An agreement to end the crisis in Kosovo was reached in the meeting US mediator Richard Halbrooke had in Belgrade with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

    Based on the information available, Mr. Milosevic accepted the presence of 2.000 OSCE observers, who will oversee both the implementation of a cease fire and the negotiation procedure aimed at the autonomy of the ethnic Albanians. Those developments create a climate of optimism that the military intervention in Kosovo will be averted.

    [06] THE STAFF MEMBERS OF THE CANDIDATES FOR THE POSTS OF MAYOR AND PREFECT DECIDE ON THEIR STRATEGIES

    The staff members of the candidates of the governing socialist party of PASOK and right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy for the posts of Thessaloniki's mayor and prefect, meet to form their pre-election strategies in view of the second round of voting on Sunday.

    The two largest parties in Greece will use all their leading members in the fight for an election victory and they have already issued calls to their members for a more united front. They also examine ways to win over the support of voters who backed other candidates in the first round. A meeting was held in PASOK's central offices in Thessaloniki last night in the presence of minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

    [07] GREECE'S CONVERGENCE PROGRAM GOT THE APPROVAL OF THE EU

    The responsible EU Commissioner characterized as realistic and ambitious the government predictions on the growth rate of the Greek economy that is estimated to reach 3.7% in 1999.

    It should be reminded that this goal of prime minister Simitis' government is included in the revised convergence program submitted to Brussels by Greece which yesterday got the approval of the European Union finance ministers.

    [08] ONE OF THE BIGGEST DRUG DEALERS IN EUROPE WAS ARRESTED IN ATHENS

    One of the biggest drug dealers in Europe was arrested in an Athens suburb today. According to the Greek police, Miguel Antonio was born in Alexandria, Egypt and is a member of the Latin American cocaine cartel.

    In 1991 he was accused of bringing 300 kilos of cocaine from Colombia to Greece, while in 1994 he was again accused of bringing to Greece 800 kilos of cocaine.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [[09] GREEK PREMIER'S ADDRESS IN ANTALYA SUMMIT

    In his address at the Summit of heads of state and governments of southeast European countries, which began yesterday in Antalya, Turkey. Prime Minister Kostas Simitis stressed the importance of promoting stability, prosperity and good neighborliness in the wider region.

    "The promotion of stability, prosperity and good neighborliness in South Eastern Europe, to the benefit of the entire region, is one of the fundamental aims of Greece's foreign policy, " Mr. Simitis said.

    "Due to its geographical location, economic development and international affiliations, my country is able and willing to work together with its neighbors in order to support their European orientation.

    "Security in Europe as a whole cannot be guaranteed without sustained economic development and mature democratic institutions in South Eastern Europe. During the present transition phase, the complex political, economic and historical background of our region requires a novel and daring approach. Nation-states have been critically undermined by either ethnic strife or political crisis and by the absence of civil society.

    "Ethnic and religious differences brought to the fore issues such as autonomy, self-determination and minorities rights, that were either ignored or suppressed by the previous regimes. The protracted war in Bosnia- Herzegovina and now the situation in Kosovo should have persuaded most of the people that violence, arbitrary partition and ethnic cleansing do not deliver lasting peace. On the contrary they nourish hatred and conflict and impede coexistence and cooperation. Dialogue, respect for ethnic religious and cultural communities, groups and minorities and protection of their rights, are the remedy.

    "A comprehensive stabilization policy in our area should, thus, be based on certain fundamental principles: respect for the territorial integrity of states and the inviolability of existing borders, according to the UN Charter and the OSCE, non- interference in internal affairs, refraining from the threat or the use of force. Equally important is the peaceful settlement of disputes between countries in the region through constructive efforts, including recourse to the International Court of Justice, in accordance with the generally recognized norms of international relations, international law and relevant international practices.

    "Greece, the only country in South Eastern Europe, which is both a NATO and EU member, has a crucial role to play in promoting these noble goals. The successful integration of the South Eastern area into European and Euro- Atlantic structures is of strategic importance to Greece. Thus, Greece will be part of the same family of countries with all her northern neighbors, for the first time since the Second World War. Furthermore, economic integration of the South East European states will greatly contribute to the well being and prosperity of the area and of Europe as a whole.

    "The development of good bilateral relations is essential but does not suffice for stability and good neighborly relations in our sensitive area. Hence, Greece has, also, actively promoted multilateral cooperation. The Crete Summit gathered together around the same table all the leaders of South East European countries, with positive results. In addition, there are today a number of regional cooperation schemes and patterns, such as the European Union's Royaumont Process on Stability and Good- Neighborliness, the US-sponsored South East European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. The existence of these numerous initiatives is a point of strength. Different interests and aims can be accommodated in an appropriate framework, featuring flexibility and efficiency, on a mutually beneficial basis.

    "However, we must not rest on these successes. On the contrary, we must work together to promote a climate of confidence and trust. We must convert our words into action. It is not enough to sign Joint Statements and depart with satisfaction from our meetings. We should endeavor to implement our decisions.

    "Regional cooperation is essential for the modernization of countries in our area. At the same time, however, during our meetings, we, the leaders of countries of South East Europe must discuss the dangerous issues affecting our region.

    "I am referring specifically to Kosovo. The Ministerial meeting in Istanbul last June proved to be a frustrating experience. We should avoid its repetition today. The dangerous situation in Kosovo is on television every day for the whole world to watch.

    "It threatens stability in the region and can destroy the fragile peace there. The humanitarian crisis would have disastrous consequences for all our countries and put an abrupt end to economic development.

    "We should not forget that our countries, Yugoslavia's immediate neighbors, are most affected both by the crisis in Kosovo and by any punitive measures of the international community. I use every opportunity to drive this point home to Greece's partners in the European Union and NATO.

    "The Antalya Summit provides an excellent venue for a significant step forward. This is the only multilateral forum where the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia fully participates on an equal footing with the other countries of the area. It should therefore use this forum to express its views so that we can have a substantial discussion on Kosovo and achieve progress.

    "I further believe that European Integration could not be complete without the participation of South East European countries, based on the very same principles that helped to establish and develop what is today the European Union."

    [10] SIMITIS- YILMAZ TALKS PRODUCE NO RESULTS

    The meeting held last evening between Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and his Turkish counterpart Mesut Yilmaz has been characterized as friendly and useful, albeit unproductive.

    The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Antalya-held Balkan Summit.

    Mr. Yilmaz reiterated his country's wish to conduct a dialogue with Greece spanning all subjects, while Mr. Simitis once again stressed that Ankara should seek recourse for its differences with the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

    [11] ALLIANCE ALLOWS FOUR DAYS TO MILOSEVIC BEFORE FORAY

    NATO's permanent representatives in Brussels have granted Serb President Slobodan Milosevic with a four-day grace period before the Alliance conducts an air strike against military forces in Yugoslavia. The move comes in the wake of extensive talks held between Mr. Milosevic and US envoy Richard Holbrooke who returned to Belgrade from Brussels early this morning. Mr. Holbrooke said that there are optimistic signs of the Serbs backing away.

    [12] EUROPEAN SOCIALIST PARTY'S PRESIDIUM MEETS TODAY IN BRUSSELS

    Greece's Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis is currently in Brussels where he will participate in the European Socialist Party's (ESP) presidium meeting today.

    The participants will examine the prospects for European socialists in light of June's European Parliament elections. Also on the agenda are developments in the Balkans, including Kosovo.

    Mr. Kranidiotis will present Greece's positions regarding Kosovo.

    [13] SIMITIS: THE ATMOSPHERE IN THE ANTALYA SUMMIT MEETING WAS POSITIVE

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis, in a press conference after the end of the second meeting of the Balkan leaders in Antalya, Turkey, stressed that the summit was successful but pointed out that no concrete results can be expected from such meetings.

    At the same time, the Greek prime minister stressed the important role played by Greece in the Balkan region and pointed out that 3.500 Greek businesses have a notable presence there.

    On the Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Simitis said that in his meeting with Turkish prime minister Mesut Yilmaz he reiterated that the issue of the continental shelf can be resolved in the International Court of Justice in The Hague and if the Turkish side believes that there are other differences too, Ankara should also bring them to The Hague as soon as possible.

    The prime minister underlined that his Turkish counterpart raised the issue of the Kurdish PKK as well as, the issue of the Turkish-Syrian relations and pointed out that Turkey will intervene in Syria if Damascus does not comply. Mr. Simitis responded to Mr. Yilmaz that he does not believe in interventions that are not based on the decisions of international organizations and the UN Security Council and expressed the hope that Turkey will realize that the road to understanding and cooperation with the European Union passes through international regulations, stressing that problems today are being resolved through institutional procedures.

    Mr. Simitis responded negatively to the question if there is a timetable regarding the confidence-building-measures in the Aegean, adding that agreement has been reached on certain points.

    The prime minister praised the atmosphere in which the summit meeting in Antalya was held, stressing that it brought closer together the countries in the region in spite of the existing problems and differences which will slowly be resolved. Mr. Simitis said that the situation is not heaven-like but gave the assurance that the situation in south-eastern Europe is much better today than it was one and a half year ago.

    On the multi-national force and whether Greece will participate in it, Mr. Simitis said that the likelihood is being examined positively, while foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos pointed out that the establishment of a multi-national force was a proposal made by Greece two months ago in Yugoslavia, adding that Greece will participate in the force with specially trained observers, who will be both political and military observers.

    Finally, the prime minister referred to the joint statement issued by the Balkan leaders and especially to the issue of Kosovo using as an example the fact that even though Albania and Yugoslavia have different views on Kosovo they agreed on the joint statement and on the need for a peaceful solution, the implementation of the UN decisions and a wider autonomy for Kosovo.

    He also referred to the European prospect of the whole Balkan region and stressed that it is very important for the Balkan leaders to meet and exchange views.

    [14] NEW HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN TURKEY

    The list of human rights violations in Turkey was long last month. Prison sentences were imposed to Islamist mayor of Istanbul Tagip Erdogan and Labor Party leader Dogu Perintsek.

    Based on a Human Rights Association report on last month's violations, 7 people lost their lives in mystery attacks, 1.375 were placed under police custody, 29 were tortured, 17 journalists were assaulted and the issues of 26 newspapers and magazines were confiscated based on a State Security Court decision.

    Also, 12 searches were conducted in buildings that belong to political parties or cultural centers and 22 members of political parties or cultural centers employees were placed under police custody.


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