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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-06-15

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 15, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PRESIDENT OF GREECE TO CONDUCT OFFICIAL VISIT TO ROMANIA
  • [02] CABINET CONVENES TODAY TO ASSESS ELECTION RESULTS
  • [03] DEFENSE MINISTER: ELECTION RESULTS REFLECT PEOPLE'S CONCERNS
  • [04] FIRST PART OF GREEK BRIGADE DEPARTS FOR KOSOVO TODAY
  • [05] HIGH SCHOOL EXAMS BEGIN TODAY, STUDENTS TESTED IN HISTORY
  • [06] GREEK DRUG ORGANIZATION: BELGIAN COSMETICS ARE SAFE
  • [07] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS STARTS FLIGHTS TO PRAGUE
  • [08] THE FIRST ANTI-AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS WILL BE DELIVERED BY RUSSIA IN AUGUST
  • [09] THE GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE MEETING IS STILL IN PROGRESS
  • [10] KARAMANLIS CALLED ON THE LEADING PARTY MEMBERS TO SHOW A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY
  • [11] GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE: THE EURO-ELECTION RESULTS WERE POSITIVE
  • [12] A BANK DIRECTOR COMMITTED SUICIDE IN POLICHRONO, HALKIDIKI
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] FOCUS INITIATIVE GROUP COORDINATES EFFORT IN BELGRADE TODAY
  • [14] US-RUSSIAN TALKS ON KOSOVO SCHEDULED FOR TOMORROW
  • [15] RUSSIA REPORTEDLY TO SEND THOUSANDS OF TROOPS TO PRISHTINA
  • [16] US PRESIDENT- RUSSIAN COUNTERPART DISCUSS KOSOVO BY PHONE
  • [17] US SECRETARY OF STATE TO MEET WITH RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER
  • [18] ALBANIA TO RECEIVE 30 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT FROM IMF
  • [19] OCALAN WARNS OF COUP POTENTIAL IN CASE OF HIS EXECUTION
  • [20] COCA-COLA AND OTHER SOFT DRINKS WERE WITHDRAWN AT THE DECISION OF THE BELGIAN MINISTRY OF HEALTH
  • [21] THE KLA WILL EXECUTE SERB SOLDIERS IF THEY DO NOT WITHDRAW FROM PRISTINA TODAY
  • [22] THE SERBS LEAVE KOSOVO BY THE THOUSANDS
  • [23] ATTACKS AGAINST THE KFOR TROOPS IN PRISTINA
  • [24] ANKARA PROTESTED TO ROME AGAINST THE DEPLOYMENT OF ITALIAN- MADE MISSILES IN CYPRUS
  • [25] THE DEADLINE FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE SERB FORCES FROM KOSOVO'S FIRST ZONE ENDS AT MIDNIGHT
  • [26] THE SEARCH FOR THE ALBANIAN ABDUCTORS OF A GREEK BUSINESSMAN AND A 4YEAROLD GIRL CONTINUES

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PRESIDENT OF GREECE TO CONDUCT OFFICIAL VISIT TO ROMANIA

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is to embark on an official visit to Romania tomorrow, accompanied by a delegation of Greek businessmen.

    During his stay in Bucharest, President Stephanopoulos will meet with his Romanian counterpart Emil Constantinescu with whom he will sign a bilateral agreement.

    On Thursday, the President will give an address at the Economic Forum and will also visit the Romanian Parliament where he will hold talks with the Speaker and vice president of the House.

    Later in the day, he will meet with Patriarch Theoktistos, while he will also inaugurate the Greek art exhibit at the National Museum of Art.

    [02] CABINET CONVENES TODAY TO ASSESS ELECTION RESULTS

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to chair a cabinet meeting today where the participating ministers and government officials are to assess the results of Sunday's European Parliament elections where the ruling PASOK party was defeated by the main opposition New Democracy.

    Mr. Simitis, who is also PASOK president, stated that the party will be judged in the elections of the year 2000.

    In a meeting held yesterday evening between Mr. Simitis and the secretary of the party's central committee Costas Skandalides, a series of restructural changes were decided upon in order to improve the government's effectiveness.

    [03] DEFENSE MINISTER: ELECTION RESULTS REFLECT PEOPLE'S CONCERNS

    National Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos conceded that Sunday's European Parliament election results were indeed unfavorable for the ruling PASOK party, however adding that PASOK can win the national elections of 2000 because it has proved that it can successfully promote its major interests and needs both in the European Union and the establishment of peace and security in the region.

    He criticized the main opposition party New Democracy which he said, despite having won first place in the Euroelections, is unable to create a popular majority which can only be created by the sector of the left, the sector of reform and the sector of progress.

    [04] FIRST PART OF GREEK BRIGADE DEPARTS FOR KOSOVO TODAY

    Greek troops participating in the peacekeeping force assigned to Kosovo embarked on their mission early this morning.

    The 501 motorized infantry battalion in Giannitsa, the first part of the Greek brigade to go to Kosovo, comprises 450 volunteer commissioned officers and professional soldiers and 50 reservists. It includes M113 armored personnel carriers, and VPL battle support vehicles. Many of its members have served in the Greek contingents of the peace forces in Bosnia and Albania. The battalion is expected to be deployed in southern Kosovo, in the U.S. sector and based in Gnilane.

    [05] HIGH SCHOOL EXAMS BEGIN TODAY, STUDENTS TESTED IN HISTORY

    High school juniors throughout Greece were tested on the arduous subject of history today, the first exam in a two-week series that will deem their advance to the senior class.

    The exam's topics were announced simultaneously in all schools through the state-television program of ERT. The students will have a three-hour opportunity to write essays and answers.

    [06] GREEK DRUG ORGANIZATION: BELGIAN COSMETICS ARE SAFE

    A team of dermatologists and other experts from the Greek Drug Organization (EOF) found yesterday that cosmetics manufactured in Belgium do not contain cancer-causing dioxins.

    The first vice-president of EOF George Daratsanos stated yesterday assurances had been received from the Belgian cosmetics manufacturers, as well as from the competent European Union authorities, ruling out the possibility of animal tissues tainted with dioxin having been used in the preparation of cosmetics or suntan oils in Belgium.

    [07] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS STARTS FLIGHTS TO PRAGUE

    Greece's state-owned airline Olympic Airways, started flights to Prague, as of yesterday, in cooperation with Czech Airlines.

    The airline has scheduled daily flights from Athens to Prague, except on Wednesdays. One route departs at 6 a.m. local time on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and another at 4:40 p.m. on Monday, Friday and Saturday.

    "Prague is a destination with growing tourism and its position in the geographical triangle Vienna-Budapest-Prague allows travelers to visit two or three cities in one trip," a spokesperson for the Greek airline company stated.

    [08] THE FIRST ANTI-AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS WILL BE DELIVERED BY RUSSIA IN AUGUST

    Russia will start delivering 21 Tor-M1 anti-aircraft missile systems to Greece by mid August within the framework of the agreement that was signed in December. This was confirmed today by ministry of defense armaments general director Yiannis Sbokos in statements he made to Macedonian Press Agency.

    The systems will be delivered in three phases with Russian An- 124 aircraft and the process will be completed in 15 months after the first payment is made.

    The total cost of the purchase is 526 million US dollars and the first installment had been made in May, while the sum will be paid off in August 2000.

    [09] THE GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE MEETING IS STILL IN PROGRESS

    The Greek political parties hold meetings to assess the results of the Euro-parliament elections. The governmental committee meeting is still in progress presided over by prime minister Kostas Simitis. The governing socialist party of PASOK executive bureau will meet this afternoon, while the central committee will meet on July 9 and 10.

    Minister of environment, public works and land planning Kostas Laliotis pointed out that PASOK has lost a battle but it will win the war. Undersecretary of labor Christos Protopappas stressed that the unity within the party should be safeguarded and initiatives that could bring political gains should be undertaken toward every direction.

    [10] KARAMANLIS CALLED ON THE LEADING PARTY MEMBERS TO SHOW A SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY

    Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy election committee which met under party leader Kostas Karamanlis assessed the Euro-parliament election results. Mr. Karamanlis congratulated the members of the committee, while he expressed the belief that New Democracy could have had even better results in certain prefectures.

    Mr. Karamanlis called on the leading members of the party to show a sense of responsibility in the course toward national elections. Mr. Karamanlis will continue his tour of the country during the summer.

    [11] GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE: THE EURO-ELECTION RESULTS WERE POSITIVE

    The governmental committee met in Athens today presided over by prime minister Kostas Simitis to assess the Euro-election results, while later in the afternoon there will be a meeting of the governing socialist party of PASOK executive bureau. The members of the governmental committee characterized the result as positive for the party in spite of the fact that the goal set, namely to be the election winner, has not been met.

    Responding to a relevant question by reporters, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the goal of the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy in this election race was to bring about a change in the political scene which however, has not been achieved and for this reason the government believes that the election result was positive. He also said that New Democracy does not have an advantage of power as the citizens cast a protest vote against the policy followed by the government but they did not cross the line over to the other side and maintain their ties with PASOK.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the likelihood to change the main goals of the government was not raised in the governmental committee meeting but it was stressed that there is a need to become more effective and continue to move on the same direction by making improvements and adjustments.

    [12] A BANK DIRECTOR COMMITTED SUICIDE IN POLICHRONO, HALKIDIKI

    A bank director who, according to police was one of the victims of an investment and loan-shark ring active in Thessaloniki, killed himself in his summer house at the seaside resort of Polichrono, in Chalkidiki northern Greece.

    Vasilis Siatras, aged 50, was the director of the Credit Bank branch in the municipality of Neapolis in Thessaloniki and according to police, he was found dead this morning by his wife and daughter. The victim committed suicide by drinking insecticide because he was facing financial problems.

    The 50yearold bank executive had financial transactions with the representative of ALKI brokerage firm in Thessaloniki, who was arrested last week when the financial scheme the firm was involved in was uncovered and was revealed that tens of local residents had fallen victims.

    Siatras is included in a list of 133 individuals who had trusted to the brokerage firm representative large sums of money to make investments. Based on the list, the bank director was supposed to win the sum of 110.000.000 drachmas through the transactions he had with the brokerage firm representative.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [13] FOCUS INITIATIVE GROUP COORDINATES EFFORT IN BELGRADE TODAY

    Officials from the four countries comprised in the Focus initiative (Greece, Russia, Switzerland and Austria) are to meet in Belgrade today, with the participation of Yugoslavia, in order to coordinate the content and size of the humanitarian aid to be provided to the region.

    Experts from the aforementioned countries are to assess the needs for humanitarian aid in Yugoslavia and the distribution of the goods.

    [14] US-RUSSIAN TALKS ON KOSOVO SCHEDULED FOR TOMORROW

    The Russian and U.S. defense ministers, Igor Sergeyev and William Cohen respectively, are to hold talks on the Kosovo issue on Wednesday, June 16 in Helsinki, the Russian news agency Itar- Tass reported.

    Quoting military and diplomatic sources, Itar-Tass also reported that the two men will hold a telephone conversation this evening.

    [15] RUSSIA REPORTEDLY TO SEND THOUSANDS OF TROOPS TO PRISHTINA

    Russia is preparing to send between 5,000 and 7,000 paratroops to Kosovo in the next three or four days, flying them into the airport of Prishtina which is currently in the hands of a Russian force, the Ria-Novosti news agency reported.

    Quoting Serb sources in its dispatch from Belgrade today, Ria- Novosti said that once they arrive in Pristina, flying via Ukraine and Bulgaria in Ilyushin-76 transports, the troops would be deployed in the southern Serbian province as part of the international KFOR peacekeeping force.

    The report said that Bulgaria had given its permission for the Russian aircraft to use its airspace.

    However Bulgaria's BTA news agency reported yesterday that Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadejda Mikhailova had told Moscow that its request would not be granted until an accord was reached between Russia and NATO on a unified command for the peacekeeping force.

    An aide to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Andranik Migranian, on Sunday called the lack of an immediate Bulgarian reply a "hostile act" in an interview with the private Bulgarian radio Express.

    Also yesterday, Romania rejected a Russian request to use its airspace for flights to Kosovo, arguing that previous UN Security Council approval would be needed for such a decision.

    [16] US PRESIDENT- RUSSIAN COUNTERPART DISCUSS KOSOVO BY PHONE

    Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his U.S. counterpart Bill Clinton had a telephone conversation yesterday where they continued their discussion of issues concerning the deployment of an international peacekeeping force in Kosovo.

    According tot he Russian news agency Itar-Tass, Messrs. Yeltsin and Clinton agreed to intensify bilateral dialogue, including between the military, in order to work out mutually acceptable solutions connected with the further peacekeeping operation.

    To this end, the two sides will continue their contacts, including via diplomatic channels. The presidents agreed that their defense ministers will meet within days.

    President Yeltsin reportedly blasted threats to Russian peacekeepers from the Kosovo Liberation Army and KLA's provocations despite the deployment of the international peacekeeping force. He stressed that such provocative actions force Serbs and representatives of other ethnic groups out of the province, endangering the entire settlement process.

    President Clinton showed understanding for the Russian leader's concerns and called for strict compliance with corresponding U.N. Security Council resolutions.

    In connection with the upcoming G-8 summit in Cologne on June 20, the two presidents expressed their interest in a thorough exchange of views on topical issues of Russian-American relations in various areas.

    [17] US SECRETARY OF STATE TO MEET WITH RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

    U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Defense Secretary William Cohen will leave "shortly" for Helsinki, Finland, for talks with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, over Russia's participation in the international Kosovo peacekeeping force (KFOR).

    Ms. Albright told reporters yesterday that they intend to "work out the longer-term issues about the participation of Russians in KFOR."

    She also noted the necessity of uniform command over the peacekeeping mission in the Serb province.

    [18] ALBANIA TO RECEIVE 30 MILLION DOLLAR GRANT FROM IMF

    The International Monetary Fund has announced a 30 million dollar Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility for Albania.

    According to the French news agency AFP, IMF directors commended Albanian authorities for restoring macroeconomic stability following the 1997 financial disturbances, sparked by the collapse of pyramid schemes.

    They noted in a statement that in 1998, "output rebounded from its earlier losses, inflation was significantly reduced, and international reserves were kept at a reasonably comfortable level."

    Albania's prudent macroeconomic policies and progress in key structural reforms had led to these successes, the IMF said.

    The IMF said it also recognized the flood of Kosovar refugees had placed enormous strain on the country, but that "with sufficient external support, the crisis need not derail Albania's recovery."

    The directors also stressed it was critical for Albania "to observe the highest standards of transparency in accounting for expenditures and funding connected with the Kosovo crisis."

    [19] OCALAN WARNS OF COUP POTENTIAL IN CASE OF HIS EXECUTION

    PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is presently incarcerated by the Turkish authorities at Imrali island, has warned of a potential coup in case he is executed.

    In a statement conveyed through his attorneys to the "Ozgur Politika" daily, Mr. Ocalan said that he has fallen victim to conspiracy which targets Turkey as well and expresses his concern for the outcome by stressing that his destruction will be a trap which will lead to a flare-up of chauvinism. He added that there is the possibility of a coup taking place, which would result in bloodshed.

    [20] COCA-COLA AND OTHER SOFT DRINKS WERE WITHDRAWN AT THE DECISION OF THE BELGIAN MINISTRY OF HEALTH

    All the Coca-Cola Company products were withdrawn from the Belgian market at the decision of the minister of health.

    Over 15 million bottles and cans of Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite and other products of the company were removed from the shelves when it was established that about 100 children were taken to hospital with strong pains in the stomach and head after consuming those products.

    A company representative announced, according to the BBC radio, that lab tests have been made which, however, did not show a presence of any toxic substance in those products, pointing out that Coca-Cola consumption does not pose any threat to public health.

    [21] THE KLA WILL EXECUTE SERB SOLDIERS IF THEY DO NOT WITHDRAW FROM PRISTINA TODAY

    Kossovo Liberation Army, KLA, rebels will start executing Serb soldiers if they do not withdraw from Pristina by midnight. The statement was made by KLA commander Sali Mustafa, who is stationed in Kossovo's regional capital, in an interview he gave to the British newspaper "The Daily Miror".

    According to the newspaper, Sali Mustafa is a terrorist who has already executed the Serb police chief and his power is on the rise.

    "The Daily Mirror" points out that KLA's power in Kossovo increases constantly and NATO appears weak to react, a fact which caused the mass exodus of the Serbs, who are the targets of the Kossovo rebels.

    [22] THE SERBS LEAVE KOSOVO BY THE THOUSANDS

    Scenes that remind of the NATO bombings which forced thousands of ethnic Albanians to flee their homes are being witnessed in Kosovo. This time, the refugees are the Serbs as they fear that they will be the targets of reprisals by Albanian refugees, who are returning to their homes and by Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, separatists who arrive in the cities and the villages of the province.

    Based on evidence provided by international and humanitarian organizations, over 10.000 Serbs have abandoned Kossovo since the signing of the peace agreement.

    According to a BBC radio report from Prizren, "while the ethnic Albanians spent most of the night celebrating their liberation, a small number of Serbs who were still in the town sought refuge in a church. German KFOR troops were guarding outside the church to prevent possible reprisals, while frightened women with babies in their arms and many elderly people were awaiting for the NATO forces to escort them outside the city in safety".

    [23] ATTACKS AGAINST THE KFOR TROOPS IN PRISTINA

    The Russian troops participating in the peacekeeping force were attacked in Pristina today by unidentified individuals, according to NATO's press service.

    Specifically, it is mentioned that antitank rockets were launched against the Russian force, while unconfirmed information speaks of howitzer use.

    It should be noted that Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, representatives had stated that they will not guarantee the safety of the Russian soldiers characterizing the presence of the Russians in Pristina as "undesirable".

    An attack was also launched today by KLA against British soldiers, according to the representative of the British force in Pristina.

    [24] ANKARA PROTESTED TO ROME AGAINST THE DEPLOYMENT OF ITALIAN- MADE MISSILES IN CYPRUS

    The installation of Italian-made "Aspide" missiles in Cyprus have caused the strong reaction of the Turkish government.

    The Italian newspaper "Sole 24 Ore" in a report under the headline "Missiles in Cyprus. Ankara protests" maintains that a new missile crisis emerges in Cyprus. According to the newspaper, Turkey has protested formally to the Italian foreign ministry against the imminent installation of Italian-made "Aspide" missile systems. Based on Greek Cypriot press sources, the missiles will arrive on the island in August.

    Ankara is calling on Italy to assume its responsibilities alleging that peace and stability is being threatened.

    [25] THE DEADLINE FOR THE WITHDRAWAL OF THE SERB FORCES FROM KOSOVO'S FIRST ZONE ENDS AT MIDNIGHT

    The deadline for the complete withdrawal of the Serb forces from Kosovo's first zone will end at midnight. At a diplomatic level, Russian prime minister Sergei Stepasin stated that all the misunderstandings between Russia and the United States concerning the Russian troops that will participate in the peacekeeping force in Kosovo will be resolved by the end of the week.

    Russian minister of defense Igor Sergeyev will have a telephone communication this afternoon with his US counterpart William Kohen on the situation in Kosovo.

    [26] THE SEARCH FOR THE ALBANIAN ABDUCTORS OF A GREEK BUSINESSMAN AND A 4YEAROLD GIRL CONTINUES

    The manhunt conducted by Albanian police for the arrest of the abductors of 24yearold Greek businessman Giorgos Laliotis and 4yearold Sofia Voga, who were kidnapped 9 days ago, have yielded no results yet.

    The Albanian abductors of the little girl want the sum of 50 million drachmas in order to free her, while the ransom for Giorgos Laliotis is 500 million drachmas.

    Today, 250 Albanians working in the business of Laliotis' father in Delvino will hold a protest march in the city, calling for more intense investigations for the location of the perpetrators. They are worried that the family of the 24yearold will sell its business in order to collect the ransom money and they fear that as a result they will lose their jobs.

    The pro-government newspaper "Zeri i Populit" maintains, citing public order ministry sources, that the Albanian police is close to locating the abductors of young Laliotis.


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