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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-10-14

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 14, 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] 1999 BUDGET FINALIZED TODAY BY GOVERNMENT
  • [03] NATO'S "DYNAMIC MIX '98 ENDS IN NORTHERN GREECE
  • [04] AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR TO ARRIVE IN ATHENS TOMORROW
  • [05] ATHENS-HELD CONFERENCE TO ADDRESS COMPUTER MILLENNIUM BUG
  • [06] GREEK GOVERNMENT SALUTES HOLBROOKE-MILOSEVIC AGREEMENT
  • [07] PANGALOS - HILL MEETING ON KOSSOVO
  • [08] OPTIMISM IN PASOK - ND WANTS TO WIN MORE PREFECTURES
  • [09] THE ECONOMIC SIZES OF THE 1999 BUDGET ARE FINALIZED
  • [10] "RIGAS VELESTINLIS" JOURNALISTS' TRAINING LAB AND JOURNALIST PRIZES
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [11] PACKAGE OF MEASURES TAKEN FOR KOSSOVO
  • [12] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER AT EUROPEAN SOCIALIST PARTY'S PRESIDIUM
  • [13] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS VISITS AUSCHWITZ IN POLAND
  • [14] MILOSEVIC AND HOLBROOKE REACH AGREEMENT OVER KOSSOVO
  • [15] UN SECRETARY-GENERAL PLEASED WITH HOLBROOKE-MILOSEVIC DEAL
  • [16] PACKAGE OF MEASURES ON KOSSOVO WAS ANNOUNCED BY BELGRADE
  • [17] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS IS OPPOSED TO A TURKISH-SYRIAN ARMED CONFLICT
  • [18] TENS OF PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN CLASHES BETWEEN TURKISH FORCES AND KURDISH REBELS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

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

    Government officials are getting ready for the second round of municipal and county elections to be held this weekend.

    While the current in New Democracy remained high, due to the fact that its candidates have the lead in most municipalities, supporters of the ruling PASOK party are standing by their policy, amid comments that the message from voters was received.

    Democratic Movement leader Dimitris Tsovolas called his supporters to vote by conscience. He said, "We should vote under the criteria of the candidate's reliability and of whether their programs are progressive or not".

    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 victory in the run off against Lazarides. The 15 per cent of voters who chose the Left and Progress Coalition candidate Spyros Vougias in last Sunday's race will be crucial in determining the outcome of the run off.

    [02] 1999 BUDGET FINALIZED TODAY BY GOVERNMENT

    The government's finance and economy staff are to finalize the state budget for 1999, in a conference headed by National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.

    Mr. Papantoniou announced yesterday that the government will press on with its austerity program, stressing that the results oft he local elections are not to affect the state's policy.

    According to reports, the state is looking to reduce the Value Added Tax on the electricity bills by 10%. Moreover, the government plans to reduce indirect taxes on cigarettes and alcoholic beverages.

    [03] NATO'S "DYNAMIC MIX '98 ENDS IN NORTHERN GREECE

    NATO'S military exercise "Dynamic Mix 1998" ended yesterday in northern Greece with the participation of the Alliance's members in Greece, Italy and Turkey simultaneously.

    Konstantinos Panagiotakis, commander of the First Army, said that yesterday's "NATO exercise aim was to keep and impose peace in a certain region, to support peacekeeping efforts". The plan of the exercise was to defend refugee camps

    [04] AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR TO ARRIVE IN ATHENS TOMORROW

    Austrian Chancellor Viktor Klima is expected to arrive on an official visit to Athens tomorrow, as part of a tour of all European Union capitals.

    Mr. Klima, who will be received by Greek Premier Kostas Simitis, currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.

    [05] ATHENS-HELD CONFERENCE TO ADDRESS COMPUTER MILLENNIUM BUG

    The Greek Management Association, in cooperation with the European Council of Management, is to host a two-day conference beginning tomorrow concerning the various ways to address the computer millennium bug in the year 2000.

    Minister of the Interior Alekos Papadopoulos and the managing director of Commercial Bank of Greece, George Michelis are to address the event, which will be held this Thursday and Friday, October 15-16, and which will be inaugurated by the British Ambassador to Athens Sir Michael Llewellyn-Smith.

    The conference will present solutions to the millennium bug applied by international corporations in sectors including industry and services.

    The bug will cause many computers to fail by reading the date 2000 as 1900 because computer software programmers have abbreviated each year to the two final digits in order to save computer memory.

    The conference is being held under the aegis of the British Embassy in Athens.

    [06] GREEK GOVERNMENT SALUTES HOLBROOKE-MILOSEVIC AGREEMENT

    The Greek government has saluted the agreement reached yesterday between Serb President Slobodan Milosevic and US presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke concerning in Kossovo

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the agreement was welcomed with a sense of relief, which, as seen by the statement issued at the end of the Antalya summit, is shared by all the countries of the region.

    "Greece hails the agreement reached by Messrs. Holbrooke and Milosevic for ending the crisis in Kossovo. In this framework, it calls on the Kosovar leadership under Mr. (Ibrahim) Rugova to proceed to the process of peace-making, and on UCK to now show the courage required by peace," he said in a statement.

    Moreover, he added that "Greece congratulates the architects of the agreement, President Milosevic and Mr. Holbrooke. It draws, however, attention to how near the danger of the conflagration drew and how all margins for negotiation had to be exhausted.

    "The Greek side will make all efforts for the peace process to succeed. As in the past, Greece will participate with men and means in the organs that will be set up, particularly in the "Compliance Verifying Mission" of the OSCE, which constitutes the catalytic expression of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis' initiative last June.

    "Greece believes in the favorable outcome of this process, which also constitutes an indisputable vindication of its Balkan policy, and calls on its friends and partners in Europe and the neighboring region to join forces in this great task," Mr. Reppas concluded.

    [07] PANGALOS - HILL MEETING ON KOSSOVO

    US mediator for the Yugoslav issue Christopher Hill called for Greece's political assistance in the 50minute meeting he had with foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos held in the presence of US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Berns.

    Mr. Pangalos stated after the meeting that the Greek side will participate in the NATO military force with the powers that will be requested of it to monitor the implementation of the agreement reached.

    The Greek foreign minister stressed that the agreement includes all the elements that were pointed out by Greece a long time ago and were reiterated by him personally in the meeting he had with Albanian prime minister Fatos Nano. The details of the Greek side's participation have not been determined yet and its activities will be set by the ministry of defense.

    Mr. Pangalos underlined that the agreement creates the preconditions necessary to look for a peaceful and viable solution in the region and called on the ethnic Albanians in Kossovo to abandon any act of violence.

    From his side, Mr. Hill expressed the belief that this agreement constitutes a first step toward a political solution. He said that the implementation of the agreement will be watched closely and admitted that all sides should work very hard for peace in the region.

    The US mediator also underlined Greece's special contribution both in the region of the Balkans and in the efforts made to defuse the crisis in Kossovo.

    [08] OPTIMISM IN PASOK - ND WANTS TO WIN MORE PREFECTURES

    Optimism prevailed in the governing socialist party of PASOK leadership after the initial concern regarding the results of the second round of the local elections, while right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy has set as a target to win more prefectures and to this end it seeks greater cooperation at a local level.

    Indicative of the optimism in PASOK is the atmosphere that prevailed in the meeting of the central election committee chaired by prime minister Kostas Simitis. Immediately after the meeting, PASOK's central committee general secretary Kostas Skandalidis stated that the election results will show that PASOK and its policy are the winners and pointed out that now is the time for greater mobilization of all party members and officials in order to back the progressive candidates.

    Also, optimistic was minister of labor Miltiadis Papaioannou, while minister of education Gerasimos Arsenis, who is in Thessaloniki, stressed that according to the message he gets the second round of voting this Sunday will bring positive results for PASOK.

    [09] THE ECONOMIC SIZES OF THE 1999 BUDGET ARE FINALIZED

    The economic sizes of the 1999 budget are being finalized today by the government's economic staff in a meeting held under minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou.

    The minister announced yesterday that the austerity measures will continue and stated that the local administration election results will not affect the government's economic policy.

    According to information, the government considers the likelihood to reduce the value added tax on electricity bills from 18% to 8%, while in the immediate plans of the government is also included the indirect taxes cut on cigarettes and alcohol drinks.

    [10] "RIGAS VELESTINLIS" JOURNALISTS' TRAINING LAB AND JOURNALIST PRIZES

    A Journalists' Training Lab named after "Rigas Velestinlis" will be established by ministry of Macedonia-Thrace, the Macedonian Press Agency and the Balkan Press Center of the Journalists Association in Macedonia-Thrace, while at the same time prizes will be awarded in the memory of Rigas Velestinlis.

    The proposals for the establishment of an Inter-Balkan Journalists' Training Lab and the adoption of "Rigas Velestinlis" prizes had been made during the conference on Rigas recently held by Macedonian Press Agency in Thessaloniki and had gotten the approval of Albanian foreign minister Paskal Milo, Serb information minister Alexander Vutsic, Bulgarian undersecretary of culture Zvetozar Zekov and Albanian undersecretary of education Andrea Marto, who had attended the conference. The decision was announced today in a joint press conference by minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos, president of MPA university professor Pavlos Petridis and president of Journalists Association of Macedonia-Thrace Dimitris Gousidis.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [11] PACKAGE OF MEASURES TAKEN FOR KOSSOVO

    Belgrade has announced that it will adopt a package of measures that will lead to a solution to the political crisis in Kossovo.

    Serb President Slobodan Milosevic is expected to soon sign agreements with both NATO and the OSCE which will allow international missions into Kossovo.

    [12] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER AT EUROPEAN SOCIALIST PARTY'S PRESIDIUM

    Greece's Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos and deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis participated in the European Socialist Party's (ESP) presidium meeting held in Brussels yesterday.

    The participants examined the prospects for European socialists in light of June's European Parliament elections.

    Speaking to reporters, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said that after a briefing by British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook on the agreement reached between US mediator Richard Holbrooke and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, the Presidium dealt with the proclamation of the European socialists.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said that the target of yesterday's discussion was the adjustment of European socialists to new factors and exceeding traditional structures and formations existing in the past. He said that the present dialogue showed that there are strong views by several representatives of socialist parties, including Greece, who want a traditional depositing of the principles and values of the socialist movement in Europe.

    [13] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS VISITS AUSCHWITZ IN POLAND

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos visited the WWII Auschwitz- Birkenau concentration camps yesterday as part of his visit to Poland.

    The Patriarch stated that Nazism was a "foul religion that penetrates the brain of some people".

    On Sunday the Patriarch held a joint mass with Polish Catholic clergy in Warsaw, while he later awarded Orthodoxy's highest distinction to Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and Prime Minister Jerzy Bouzek.

    [14] MILOSEVIC AND HOLBROOKE REACH AGREEMENT OVER KOSSOVO

    United States Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke and Serb President Slobodan Milosevic have reached an agreement that could lead to an end of the Kossovo crisis.

    Specifically, as per the agreement, Mr. Milosevic must take four steps: withdraw special troops from Kossovo, sign an agreement on the verification mission, sign an agreement on airborne reconnaissance over Kosovo and hammer out a ``framework agreement'' by November 9 outlining future talks with ethnic Albanians.

    Mr. Holbrooke confirmed that Belgrade is willing to allow the 2,000-strong verification mission by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The force will be supported by non-combat aircraft carrying out aerial surveillance over the Serb province.

    Mr. Holbrooke said the OSCE mission will have freedom of movement and has been given guarantees of security by Belgrade. He added that NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana is expected to fly to Yugoslavia in the next few days.

    Mr. Holbrooke said he hoped the deal would lead the way to "autonomy and self-determination" for the people of Kosovo.

    But he also warned: "We're not out of the emergency yet. We're still in it."

    President Milosevic told the nation in a television address that the accord removed the threat of military intervention. He added that "the agreements ... are entirely in accordance with the interests of our country,'' and cited`` enormous pressures that we have been exposed to.''

    [15] UN SECRETARY-GENERAL PLEASED WITH HOLBROOKE-MILOSEVIC DEAL

    United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has stated that he warmly welcomes the news of a breakthrough in efforts to end the Kosovo crisis.

    "It is of paramount importance that both sides in Kossovo honor their commitments and fully comply with the provisions of Security Council resolutions 1160 and 1199," Mr. Annan said in a statement, adding that he intends to send a mission to the region in the coming days in response to a request from the Security Council.

    The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the leading humanitarian agency on the ground in Kossovo, welcomed the report of the agreement and said it hopes that the reported agreement will contribute rapidly to reducing the level of fear which is impeding so many displaced persons from returning to their homes.

    [16] PACKAGE OF MEASURES ON KOSSOVO WAS ANNOUNCED BY BELGRADE

    The Belgrade government announced a package of measures aimed at leading to a political solution for the crisis in Kossovo.

    In the following days, Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic will sign agreements with NATO and the OSCE allowing the international organizations' missions to do their work in Kossovo.

    [17] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS IS OPPOSED TO A TURKISH-SYRIAN ARMED CONFLICT

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis in the talks he had with his Turkish counterpart Mesut Yilmaz in the Balkan leaders summit in Antalya, Turkey expressed opposition to the likelihood of a Turkish military intervention in Syria according to the Turkish newspaper "Sabah".

    In an article under the title "Terrorism was condemned in the Balkan Summit meeting" it is mentioned that Mr. Simitis stressed that such an intervention could take place only within the framework of a UN decision. Mr. Simitis, according to "Sabah", rejected the allegations of Ankara that there are PKK training camps in Greece and expressed Greece's opposition to military operations and terrorism.

    The newspaper "Milliyet", in a front page article under the headline "Simitis' promise", stresses that the Greek prime minister maintained that Greece does not back the Kurdish PKK organization.

    "Hurriyet" article writer Yaltsin Dogan, referring to the Simitis-Yilmaz talks in Antalya, characterized as unfair the position of the Greek prime minister saying that such interventions were made recently by the United States in Sudan and Afghanistan and that there is also the example of Kossovo. In the same article it is mentioned that, in response to Mr. Yilmaz's allegations that there is information on the existence of PKK camps in Greece, the Greek prime minister insisted that this is impossible and called for evidence to be presented in order to be examined.

    [18] TENS OF PEOPLE WERE KILLED IN CLASHES BETWEEN TURKISH FORCES AND KURDISH REBELS

    About 60 people were killed in the armed clashes between Kurdish rebels and Turkish forces in eastern Turkey.

    The clashes in Gevas, near the borders with Iran, were the most fierce since a truce was declared by Kurdish leader Abdulah Otsalan on September 1.

    Forty two of the dead were PKK rebels, who continue their armed struggle against Ankara since 1984.

    The recent truce was rejected by the Turkish government maintaining that the Kurds are trying to gain time in order to regroup their forces.


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