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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-10-16

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 16, 1998

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PARTIES ROLL UP SLEEVES FOR SECOND ROUND OF LOCAL ELECTIONS
  • [02] PREMIER TO MEET WITH MINSTER OF NATIONAL ECONOMY AND FINANCE
  • [03] ECONOMICS NOBEL PRIZE WINNER TO ARRIVE N ATHENS NEXT WEEK
  • [04] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER FAREWELLS RUSSIA'S OUTGOING AMBASSADOR
  • [05] AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR MEETS WITH GREEK PREMIER DURING BRIEF VISIT
  • [06] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER: OUR POSITIONS ON KOSOVO HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED
  • [07] PREMIER TO LAUNCH INT/L BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN NORTHERN GREECE
  • [08] GREECE'S HELEXPO TO CO-ORGANIZE "PHILOXENIA" WITH BRITAIN'S REED
  • [09] GREEK BUSINESS DELEGATION TRAVELS TO LIBYA
  • [10] THE BASIC SIZES OF THE NEW BUDGET HAVE BEEN DETERMINED
  • [11] IMPRESSIVE GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [12] REPRESENTATIVES FROM 76 COUNTRIES WILL ATTEND THE ECONOMIC CONFERENCE IN ALEXANDROUPOLIS
  • [13] REPPAS: GREECE IS WAITING FOR THE REPORT ON THE EU FUNDING OF TURKEY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL COMMENTS ON KOSOVO
  • [15] UNITED NATIONS CELEBRATES WORLD FOOD DAY TODAY
  • [16] FOOD CRISES ARE ON THE RISE AROUND THE WORLD, ACCORDING TO THE UN
  • [17] AN AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED FOR THE OBSERVERS IN KOSOVO
  • [18] THE GREEK EMBASSY IN BELGRADE REACTED TO THE BANNING OF NEWSPAPERS
  • [19] EU: THE ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE FOR THE FARMERS WHO WERE THE VICTIMS OF NATURAL DISASTERS IS POSSIBLE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PARTIES ROLL UP SLEEVES FOR SECOND ROUND OF LOCAL ELECTIONS

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

    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.

    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. The party's Central Committee of prefectural and municipal elections has reconfirmed its decision to support candidates outside of the conservative circles.

    [02] PREMIER TO MEET WITH MINSTER OF NATIONAL ECONOMY AND FINANCE

    The Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou will be received by the Prime Minster Kostas Simitis today, in order to brief him on the basic outlines of the presently-drawn budget for the upcoming year.

    Mr. Papantoniou is expected to present the Premier with a plan of tight fiscal and revenue policy, allowing for tax reductions in order to facilitate a drop in inflation.

    The cost of reducing the special consumption tax on heating oil has been calculated into the budget, along with the automobile tax reduction scheduled for June.

    [03] ECONOMICS NOBEL PRIZE WINNER TO ARRIVE N ATHENS NEXT WEEK

    This year's winner of the Nobel prize for Economics, Dr. Amartya Sen, will be in Athens on Tuesday, October 20, in order to present an address at an event organized by the Andreas Papandreou Institute.

    The Nobel laureate, an economist from India, will speak on "The political element of economic development: a tribute to Andreas Papandreou", The event will be held at the Old Parliament Building.

    [04] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER FAREWELLS RUSSIA'S OUTGOING AMBASSADOR

    Foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos bid farewell to Russia's outgoing ambassador to Athens Valentina Matvienko, during a meeting held in Athens yesterday .

    Ms. Matvienko recently accepted her nomination as Deputy Premier in charge of social policy in Russian Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov's new government.

    Mr. Pangalos wished Ms Matvienko every success in her new duties, adding that the responsibilities she was undertaking were such that we would "not want to be in her place for even 24 hours".

    In turn, Ms. Matvienko expressed her gratitude to Mr. Pangalos personally and the Greek government and people for their friendliness.

    She said she was leaving Greece with a "heavy heart", and promised to do all in her power, in her new post, to further develop Greek-Russian relations and for the materialization of many of the plans she did not have time to advance while ambassador to Greece.

    Ms Matvienko said there was a "new momentum" in Russian-Greek relations recently that was due to joint efforts in that direction. She said Greece would always be of "primary importance" for Russia, and called for reinforcement of the cooperation between the two countries on the international scene.

    Mr. Pangalos described Greece's bilateral cooperation with Russia as being of "strategic importance", noting that Russia's participation in several international organizations was of "decisive significance" and recalling the coincidence of views between Athens and Moscow on the Yugoslav problem.

    The Greek Foreign Minister is scheduled to visit Moscow on October 21 when he will hold talks with members of the Russian government.

    The outgoing ambassador said her government placed great importance in Mr. Pangalos' upcoming visit to Moscow, with respect to the promotion of bilateral relations as well as for reinforcing their cooperation in efforts for the resolution of international problems.

    [05] AUSTRIAN CHANCELLOR MEETS WITH GREEK PREMIER DURING BRIEF VISIT

    Austrian Chancellor Viktor Klima, whose country presently holds the European Union's rotating presidency, arrived on a brief visit to Athens yesterday where he held talks with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.

    The visit was part of a tour of all EU member-states' capitals, in view of an upcoming informal EU summit scheduled in Austria for October 24-25.

    The two men discussed the upcoming summit which will deal with the future of the European Union after introduction of the EU's common currency, the euro. The summit will also deal with issues such as the EU's role on a global level, internal security (combating crime and drug trafficking), employment, and social and foreign policy.

    Mr. Simitis said after the talks that the EU has made great achievements towards the single market. But, he added, the question remaining was "what will follow European Monetary Union and how Europe can intervene on an international level to secure stability and make progress on major issues such as employment, social policy and internal security so as to have a new European dynamism".

    In turn, Mr. Klima noted that the EU has already started accession negotiations with six candidate-countries, including Cyprus. Moreover, Mr. Klima added that the European Commission will present a progress report at the December-held EU summit in Vienna for another five nations wishing to enter the EU but not on an accession course.

    Commenting on Turkey's European prospects, the Austrian chancellor said that Ankara has failed to meet the criteria for EU accession.

    The talks were also attended by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou.

    [06] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER: OUR POSITIONS ON KOSOVO HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED

    National Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, in Thessaloniki yesterday, stated that the Greek government's positions concerning the Kosovo crisis have been confirmed.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said the Greek government has insisted the crisis in Kosovo should be approached through a political solution and the use of force should be avoided.

    He also added that he had insisted "quite emphatically, that all political efforts for a political and diplomatic solution (to the crisis) should first be exhausted."

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos reiterated that Greece welcomed and supported the agreement reached between US mediator Richard Holbrooke and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and stressed that with its stance, the country had shown itself to be "a reliable factor which guarantees its contribution to stability, peace and cooperation".

    [07] PREMIER TO LAUNCH INT/L BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN NORTHERN GREECE

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will inaugurate an international business conference to be held in the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis on October 22-25.

    Expected to attend the conference are officials from seventy six countries including ministers, ambassadors, trade attaches and bank governors.

    Among the items on the agenda are energy networks, transport, telecommunications, small and medium-sized enterprises, and peace and security in the region.

    Moreover, the event will review the prospects for a new economic area after the year 2000 spanning the Mediterranean, Balkans and Black Sea.

    Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who is also the head of the conference's organizing committee, has personally called on the delegates to forge contacts in order to help expand cooperation in the region.

    Organizing the event is the Foundation for Mediterranean Cooperation, backed by the European Parliament, the European Investment Bank, the Foundation for Mediterranean Studies and local authorities in the north.

    [08] GREECE'S HELEXPO TO CO-ORGANIZE "PHILOXENIA" WITH BRITAIN'S REED

    A Hellenic-British agreement for the co-organization and mutual benefit of the international tourist exhibition "Philoxenia" is to be signed at the end of next month.

    The organizer of Thessaloniki's international trade fair HELEXPO will co-operate with Great Britain's Reed in order to further promote the Greek exhibition abroad and will bring technological know-how to Greece.

    Among the first results of the said agreements is the publication of the "Travel Weekly" periodical, which will be distributed by HELEXPO in Greece, the Balkans, Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean.

    [09] GREEK BUSINESS DELEGATION TRAVELS TO LIBYA

    A Greek business delegation is to travel to Libya on October 22-27, on a six-day trade mission organized by the Arabic-Hellenic Chamber of Trade and Development, in cooperation with the Libyan Embassy in Athens and the Chambers Association of Jamahiria.

    The participants will explore sectors concerning irrigation systems, electronics, containers, clothing, medical and pharmaceutical products, fruits and vegetables, tobacco, etc.

    [10] THE BASIC SIZES OF THE NEW BUDGET HAVE BEEN DETERMINED

    The basic sizes of next year's budget have been determined in a meeting prime minister Kostas Simitis had in Athens today with minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou.

    As it was pointed out, the priority of the government is to curb inflation and to this end the economic policy will remain unchanged but the direct and indirect taxes will be "frozen", the public services rates will be reduced and the food and household items prices will remain "frozen" for at least a six-month period.

    [11] IMPRESSIVE GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The general price index in the Athens Stock Exchange showed impressive gains today and closed with a 6.37% rise.

    Speaking about the increase in the Greek stock market, the minister of national economy and finance pointed out that the effort made internationally aimed at dealing with the global economic crisis appears to have results.

    Considerable gains were recorded in all the European stock markets after last night's cut in the US interest rates.

    [12] REPRESENTATIVES FROM 76 COUNTRIES WILL ATTEND THE ECONOMIC CONFERENCE IN ALEXANDROUPOLIS

    Representatives from 76 countries will present their views on "the viable prospects of the new economic space after the year 2000" in the 3rd conference which is organized in Alexandroupolis, north-eastern Greece, on October 22-25. The official opening of this important event, organized by the Institute for the Cooperation in the Mediterranean, will be made by Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis.

    The countries participating in the conference will be represented by government ministers, diplomats, presidents of economic chambers and bank directors.

    [13] REPPAS: GREECE IS WAITING FOR THE REPORT ON THE EU FUNDING OF TURKEY

    Greece should adopt a wait-and-see stance until the exact contents of the EU report on the EU funding of Turkey are made public, according to statements made by Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, who clarified that there is a tendency to bend Greece's veto.

    It should be reminded that the EU funding of Turkey after Greece's veto is by-passed is being sought after through the new proposal of Dutch EU commissioner Hans Van Den Broek that was presented before the European Commission.

    Mr. Hans Van Den Broek's proposal, that was discussed yesterday by the representatives of the EU commissioners' offices, will be submitted to the EU commissioners and then to the Council of Ministers.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL COMMENTS ON KOSOVO

    NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana has stated that during his visit to Belgrade he stressed upon the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic that he must immediately withdraw the troops and police forces from Kosovo.

    Moreover, Mr. Solana warned Mr. Milosevic of the serious consequences born by a possible Serb attack against NATO‘s reconnaissance aircraft which will be monitoring the developments in Kosovo.

    [15] UNITED NATIONS CELEBRATES WORLD FOOD DAY TODAY

    The battle for world food security will be won only when women and men have equal access to productive resources, according to the Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Jacques Diouf.

    At a press conference held in light of today's World Food Day, Mr. Diouf urged the international community to enact measures that would promote equality between women and men.

    The UN official said the theme "women feed the world" had been selected to "pay tribute to the significant role of women in agriculture, fisheries and forestry and their enormous contribution to household and national food security."

    In many countries, Mr. Diouf noted, the production of staple food, cash crops and livestock relied heavily on women's labor.

    "Most of their back- breaking work is unpaid, or grossly underpaid," he said.

    According to FAO, women have limited rights -- and in some cases no rights - - to own the land they farm. Their social privileges can be restricted and they often have little or no access to credit, training and the technology needed to improve agricultural productivity. Most of the women among the ranks of the world's food producers have no voice in matters that concern their household's livelihood. Making their cases heard is not merely a matter of justice, said Dr. Diouf. "If food security for all is to become reality, decisions that affect future generations must be based on the perceived needs and priorities of these women today."

    [16] FOOD CRISES ARE ON THE RISE AROUND THE WORLD, ACCORDING TO THE UN

    The United Nations food agency, World Food Program (WFP), has reported that food crises are on the rise around the world.

    In light of today's World Food Day, the United Nations reported that many more people in the world are suffering from malnutrition and hunger, compared to merely one year ago.

    WFP has had to greatly increase its food aid to millions of people due to the increase in natural disasters, economic emergencies and man-made catastrophes, said Catherine Bertini, the Executive Director of WFP.

    The United Nations food agency attributed the increase in the number of the food crises to devastating floods and drought caused by the El Nino phenomenon in Africa and Asia, the economic down- turn in Southeast Asia, and the wars and civil strife in parts of Africa and the Balkans.

    Ms. Bertini said it was now more important than ever to bring the "hunger agenda" to the attention of the international community. She added that this year's crises were an indication that people could be thrown into a "hunger trap" in a moment's notice, whether by the usual culprits of war and weather or by the seemingly less probable problems of economic recession and instability.

    The head of WFP said she was, at the same time, concerned about the ongoing plight of more than 800 million people around the world who are chronically undernourished as a result of abject poverty. She stressed that irrespective of the causes of hunger, continued assistance would be necessary to stabilize the situation of the most vulnerable people.

    WFP has responded to emergencies around the world by expanding the number of its operations. Its major programs include provision of food assistance to people in the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Korea, Bangladesh, the People's Republic of China, Kosovo, Albania and Indonesia.

    [17] AN AGREEMENT WAS SIGNED FOR THE OBSERVERS IN KOSOVO

    The OSCE president signed an agreement in Belgrade today guaranteeing the freedom of movement for the 2.000 international observers who will be sent to Kosovo with the mission to secure the safe return of the ethnic Albanian refugees to their homes.

    Yugoslavia faces the threat of NATO air strikes if its forces are not withdrawn from Kosovo by tomorrow.

    [18] THE GREEK EMBASSY IN BELGRADE REACTED TO THE BANNING OF NEWSPAPERS

    Strong reactions were caused inside Yugoslavia and abroad after the decision of the Serb authorities to ban the circulation of 3 newspapers arguing that their reports on the developments in Kosovo spread panic and create a sense of defeat among the people.

    Yesterday, the Serb government banned the circulation of the independent Belgrade newspaper "Nasa Borba", while in the previous days it had also banned the newspapers "Danas" and "Dnevi Telegraph". The Serb ministry of press has called on all the Yugoslav mass media to help with their reports to preserve the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of the country.

    The Greek embassy in Belgrade issued a statement, stressing that such actions are unacceptable and are not justified as they were made after the crisis was significantly defused. In the statement it is added that Greece, currently holding the presidency of the Council of Europe which fights for the protection of human rights and the freedom of the press, hopes that those measures will be lifted immediately.

    [19] EU: THE ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE FOR THE FARMERS WHO WERE THE VICTIMS OF NATURAL DISASTERS IS POSSIBLE

    The way the Greek government will handle the issue will determine whether the farmers, who were the victims of natural disasters, will receive financial assistance, stated EU agriculture commissioner Mr. Fischler responding to a question made by opposition right-wing New Democracy Euro-deputy Kostis Hatzidakis regarding the damages suffered by the vineyards in the island of Crete, in southern Aegean as a result of last July's heat wave.

    According to Mr. Fischler, a number of regulations in the EU legislation provide for the economic assistance of farmers in case of natural disasters. The EU commissioner stated that the same applies to livestock farmers as well.


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