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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-06-16

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, June 16, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PASOK TO UNDERGO SERIES OF REFORMS, IN VIEW OF ELECTION RESULTS
  • [02] KIDS WHOSE PARENTS WERE KILLED IN WAR ARRIVE IN THESSALONIKI
  • [03] ALTERNATE FM: G8 STATEMENT ON CYPRUS IS A POSITIVE RESULT
  • [04] GREEK MARBLE FIRM FOUNDS PERMANENT EXPOSITION IN CHINA
  • [05] THE GREEK CONSUMERS WERE EATING DIOXIN CONTAMINATED FOOD PRODUCTS FOR THE PAST 5 MONTHS WITHOUT KNOWING IT
  • [06] MR. REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE INCIDENT AT THE TURKISH COAST INVOLVING A GREEK BOAT
  • [07] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH WILL VISIT ORESTIADA ON SATURDAY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [08] PRESIDENT OF GREECE CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO ROMANIA
  • [09] NATO EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR WITHDRAWAL OF SERB TROOPS
  • [10] SERBS DEPART FROM SOUTHERN KOSOVO, MEETING NATO'S DEADLINE
  • [11] BELGRADERS RUN FOR COVER AFTER MISTAKING THUNDER FOR ATTACK
  • [12] SERB PRESIDENT REJECTS RESIGNATION OF RADICAL PARTY MINISTERS
  • [13] UNHCR DEEPLY CONCERNED OVER MASS EXODUS OF SERBS
  • [14] FOCUS INITIATIVE GROUP COORDINATES HUMANITARIAN AID EFFORT
  • [15] BOVINE IMMUNE DEFICIENCY DISEASE REPORTED IN NETHERLANDS
  • [16] BULGARIA TO TRANSPORT KOSOVO REFUGEES ON RAIL VIA GREECE
  • [17] THE WARNING OF KLA TO THE RUSSIAN KFOR SOLDIERS IS A "STATEMENT OF WAR"
  • [18] THE YUGOSLAV FORCES DOWNED 61 NATO FIGHTER JETS
  • [19] ITALIAN SOLDIERS DISCOVERED A MASS GRAVE IN PEC
  • [20] THE SECOND PART OF THE GREEK FORCE HAS ARRIVED IN KOSOVO

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PASOK TO UNDERGO SERIES OF REFORMS, IN VIEW OF ELECTION RESULTS

    On the aftermath of the defeat the ruling PASOK party suffered during Sunday's European Parliament elections, Prime Minister and party leader Costas Simitis has announced that he intends to carve a series of reforms from within. These changes are to take place after the party's central committee convenes on July 9-10.

    Mr. Simitis stated that, in spite of the fact that the party fought a tough battle under unfavorable circumstances during the Euro-elections, the government will not waver from its policy on major issues such as the country's course to the Economic and monetary Union, the country's economic development and national issues. He further vowed that the government will display a higher degree of social sensitivity.

    "We are aware that we need to improve (when it comes to ) facing issues such as unemployment, agriculture, crime and quality of life," he stated.

    [02] KIDS WHOSE PARENTS WERE KILLED IN WAR ARRIVE IN THESSALONIKI

    A group of children whose parents (journalists) were killed during NATO's raids against the Yugoslav television station RTS, as well as kids of the Tanjung news agency's staff are arriving in Thessaloniki this evening for a 15-day visit, on the initiative of the Macedonian Press Agency.

    The 35 children will be hosted and entertained at summer camps in the Chalkidiki peninsula, an event sponsored by the Municipality of Kalamaria.

    The children will be in the limelight during tomorrow's welcoming event, where they will be greeted by the Mayor of Kalamaria Christodoulos Economides and the MPA's General Director Spyros Kouzinopoulos.

    As it has previously been reported, Tanjung, which is Yugoslavia's official news agency, constituted one of NATO's imminent targets. Understandably, Tanjung's staff members and their families were subject to an unfathomable psychological ordeal that lasted the full duration of the war, 2 1/2 months.

    The MPA had extended the invitation to host the small children on May 20 and while the bombings were occurring at full scale.

    The Municipality of Kalamaria rushed to embrace the MPA's initiative by undertaking the majority of the costs.

    Another lucky bunch of children will be hosted by the MPA the following month, comprising children of the Albanian Telegraph Agency's staff, as well as children of Kosovar journalists who were forced to flee their houses and seek refuge in Albanian and FYROM shelters.

    [03] ALTERNATE FM: G8 STATEMENT ON CYPRUS IS A POSITIVE RESULT

    The foreign ministers of the "Group of 8" (the world's most industrialized nations plus Russia) have issued a statement regarding Cyprus, wherein they call on both sides to resume dialogue based on UN Security Council resolutions and to avoid heightened tension on the island.

    The statement, which was issued in Cologne earlier this month, has been characterized as a positive development by Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis who said that "the statement by the G8 foreign ministers constitutes a positive development and offers a new opportunity, provided the Turkish side will also respond positively, for a resumption of intercommunal dialogue under the general secretary and in the framework of the UN.

    Mr. Kranidiotis added that "the fact that the G8 session preoccupied itself with the Cyprus issue underlines that it is an exclusive international political problem for which the international community has responsibility." Mr. Kranidiotis said that a fortunate end to this process, combined with the European prospects of Cyprus, will allow all the people of Cyprus to "enjoy the fruits of an encouraging European future."

    [04] GREEK MARBLE FIRM FOUNDS PERMANENT EXPOSITION IN CHINA

    The Greek marble firm CosmoMarmara S.A. is to establish a 300 sq. m. permanent exhibition site in Shanghai, China, a first step in the company's projected expansion into markets abroad.

    CosmoMarmara S.A. comprises six marble manufacturers, seven of which are headquartered in Northern Greece, the country's marble haven, and with the eighth being active in the commercial sector, all involved in the areas of production, distribution, promotion and facility supplies.

    The firm's operational targets include improving innovation and production, increasing exports, reducing unemployment and contributing to environmental protection.

    It receives state funding of GRD286 million for the execution of investments amounting to GRD475 million.

    [05] THE GREEK CONSUMERS WERE EATING DIOXIN CONTAMINATED FOOD PRODUCTS FOR THE PAST 5 MONTHS WITHOUT KNOWING IT

    The Greeks were eating dioxin contaminated food products for the past 5 months without knowing it due to the criminal delay of the responsible bodies in Belgium in informing the European Union about the crisis, according to the Geo-technical Chamber.

    In a press conference in Thessaloniki it was also stressed that while the dioxin creates health problems to people, the so- called AIDS traced in cows (BVD) has no relation to the AIDS virus infecting humans and can not be passed on to people.

    According to president of the Greek Association of State employed Veterinarians Giorgos Tsolis the Belgian ministry of agriculture was informed on the problem on March 19, while on April 26 it was established that the problem of the dioxin food contamination was caused by animal feed produced in a specific plant. However, the Belgian government informed about it the responsible EU bodies with a delay of one month namely, on May 27.

    Mr. Tsolis stated that in the period from January to June 1999 the Greeks consumed Belgian products that could be contaminated with dioxin, while he underlined that Greece even before any decision by the EU Commission was made proceeded to the unilateral confiscation and destruction of poultry and pork meat coming from specific Belgian producers.

    [06] MR. REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE INCIDENT AT THE TURKISH COAST INVOLVING A GREEK BOAT

    If the Greek boat was carrying Pakistani and Iraqi illegal immigrants the intervention of the Turkish authorities is positive because they stopped illegal immigrants from crossing over to Greek territory, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    The comment was made concerning the incident between a Greek boat and the Turkish Coast Guard. Mr. Reppas also underlined that the Greek side is conducting the necessary investigation to determine exactly what happened.

    [07] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH WILL VISIT ORESTIADA ON SATURDAY

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos will visit Orestiada on Saturday. Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece will welcome the Patriarch at the customs station of Kastanies.

    Patriarch Vartholomeos will then officiate in a holy liturgy that will be held in Didimoticho. At noon he will attend the official opening of the YTONG ceramic tiles industry plant in the region of Neochori, Orestiada.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [08] PRESIDENT OF GREECE CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO ROMANIA

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is presently on an official, three-day visit to Romania, accompanied by a delegation of Greek businessmen, at the invitation of his Romanian counterpart Emil Constantinescu.

    During his stay in Bucharest, President Stephanopoulos will meet with President Constantinescu -with whom he will sign a bilateral agreement- as well as other state and political leaders.

    Tomorrow, 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. He will also meet with leading members of the Greek-Romanian community and with the Greek students in Bucharest.

    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.

    [09] NATO EXTENDS DEADLINE FOR WITHDRAWAL OF SERB TROOPS

    NATO has complied with Yugoslavia's request for a 24-hour extension of the deadline for the withdrawal of Serb military units from southern regions of Kosovo until mid-night, Lieutenant- Colonel Robin Clifford, spokesman for NATO force in Kosovo, has announced.

    According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, Mr. Clifford pointed out that this decision by NATO was motivated by technical complexities which hindered the Serb units from leaving the Territory before Wednesday morning.

    [10] SERBS DEPART FROM SOUTHERN KOSOVO, MEETING NATO'S DEADLINE

    The deadline for the withdrawal of Serb troops from southern Kosovo and Prishtina expired at midnight last night and, according to reports, there have been no major problems so far. Nevertheless, the withdrawal of the Serb troops has caused concern among Kosovo's Serbs who are abandoning the region by the thousands.

    At the same time, British Lt. General Mike Jackson has called on the Serb civilians to remain and plead that both sides display self-restrain.

    [11] BELGRADERS RUN FOR COVER AFTER MISTAKING THUNDER FOR ATTACK

    When a strong thunderstorm broke out in Belgrade last night, many of the locals - who had survived 78 days of NATO bombings - ran for cover after mistaking the tempest for a military strike.

    According to the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, the successive lightning resembled the fire of Yugoslavian air defenses, while thunder was similar to explosions of NATO bombs. Many city districts were once again covered by darkness, just like during the air strikes, as electricity supplies were cut off .

    The outpour of rain brought in a monthly norm of precipitation in a course of two hours, causing a great number of floods.

    Municipal authorities are presently working hard to cope with the situation while the electrical supply is being gradually restored.

    [12] SERB PRESIDENT REJECTS RESIGNATION OF RADICAL PARTY MINISTERS

    Serb President Milan Milutinovic has refused to accept the resignation of 15 government ministers of the ultranationalist Radical Party (SRS) of Vojislav Seselj, according to a statement published by Yugoslavia's Tanjung news agency.

    Mr. Seselj, Serbia's leading hardliner, and his party quit the government on Monday, accusing Belgrade of "betraying" Kosovo.

    The SRS has 82 out of 250 seats in the Serb parliament.

    The statement said that under the state of war, which was imposed in Yugoslavia the night of March 24 when NATO began its air campaign, Milutinovic can order all government members to remain at their post because it is "vital" for Serbia.

    [13] UNHCR DEEPLY CONCERNED OVER MASS EXODUS OF SERBS

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) yesterday expressed its deep concern over the exodus of thousands of Serbs from Kosovo.

    The UN agency said it was witnessing the same pattern of displacements of Serbs seen in Western Slavonia in December 1991, in the Krajina and August 1995 and in Sarajevo after the 1995 Dayton peace agreement.

    According to a UN press report, The High Commissioner's Special Envoy, Dennis McNamara, discussed the outflow of Serb civilians with Lieutenant General Michael Jackson, the commander of the Kosovo Force (KFOR), who confirmed that his troops would do their best to provide security for all of Kosovo's citizens, but stressed that under the circumstances, there was unfortunately a limit to what could be done.

    In an effort to stabilize the situation, UNHCR is also talking to the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and to the Serb leadership in Kosovo. However, the agency said tensions were high and there were likely to be more departures.

    Serbs arriving in Montenegro say they fear reprisals and are uncertain of their future in Kosovo. UNHCR is using both local radio and international networks to send out the message that KFOR troops will provide security to all people regardless of ethnicity.

    UNHCR estimates 13,000 Serbs have crossed into Montenegro since Thursday but it is not known how many Serbs are crossing directly into Serbia. The Serb population of Kosovo is estimated at between 100,000 and 200,000 people.

    At the same time, UNHCR reported a rush of refugees returning to Kosovo from neighboring countries. People in cars, tractor trailers and on foot were lined up at the borders of Albania and FYROM.

    UNHCR estimates more than 3,000 refugees in vehicles and an indeterminate number on foot crossed back into Kosovo yesterday. At least one mine explosion on the Kosovo side of the Blace border crossing killed one returnee and injured another. Three people from Albania were also injured in a separate mine explosion.

    [14] FOCUS INITIATIVE GROUP COORDINATES HUMANITARIAN AID EFFORT

    Officials from the four countries comprised in the Focus initiative (Greece, Russia, Switzerland and Austria) met in Belgrade yesterday, with the participation of Yugoslav government representatives, in order to coordinate the content and size of the humanitarian aid to Yugoslavia.

    Following the meeting, Russia's Minister for Emergency Situations said that "we got a full picture of the destroyed and damaged infrastructure, energy and health care sites. We will give priority to their restoration."

    As the NATO air raids denied hot water and central heating o almost one million residents of the Yugoslav capital and the authorities ask for the assistance to the restoration of a thermal power plant in Belgrade by winter.

    The supply of medicines, including pain-killers, was another item on the agenda. Their shipment was hindered by the fact some of the medicines contain narcotic substances. The Russian Ministry for Civil Defense and Emergencies will ship the medical supplies to Belgrade tomorrow.

    [15] BOVINE IMMUNE DEFICIENCY DISEASE REPORTED IN NETHERLANDS

    European consumers now have more cause for concern over what they put in their mouths, as hundreds of cows in the Netherlands are reportedly infected by a deadly disease that has symptoms similar to AIDS.

    According to a report issued by the Netherlands Ministry of Agriculture, the bovine immune deficiency disease first broke out in February, when authorities ordered the slaughter of 1,500 cows at 12 Dutch farms.

    Six thousand Dutch cattle breeders have reported to state veterinarians that their animals have fallen ill by the disease which may have been caused by expired inoculations performed in 1998.

    The sickness represents no threat to dairy products, a spokesman for the Netherlands Agriculture Ministry stressed.

    The confederation of Dutch cattle-breeders believes that the disease is not a new development and maintains that it has to do with the inoculation against other bovine illnesses. Meanwhile, the confederation has blocked large quantities of beef destined for exportation to Greece.

    [16] BULGARIA TO TRANSPORT KOSOVO REFUGEES ON RAIL VIA GREECE

    Officials from Bulgaria's Railway Organization (BDZ) have embarked on negotiations with their counterparts from Greece's Railway Organization (OSE) regarding the route to be followed by two Bulgarian trains that will transport refugees from FYROM to Kosovo via Greece.

    According to the Sofia daily "24 Hours", the vice-president of Bulgaria Evgeni Bakargiev announced in Skopje earlier this week that Bulgaria is willing to provide two trains for the transport of refugees from FYROM to Kosovo.

    However, there is a hitch since there is no direct railway route between Bulgaria and FYROM as the railroad section between the cities of Giesevo and Kumanovo has yet to be constructed.

    Whether and when the two Bulgarian trains will set off for FYROM will be determined with OSE's cooperation but it is anticipated that 4,000 Kosovars will return home this way on a daily basis, with the overall number of returnees expected to surpass the 270,000-mark.

    [17] THE WARNING OF KLA TO THE RUSSIAN KFOR SOLDIERS IS A "STATEMENT OF WAR"

    A Russian foreign ministry spokesman characterized as a "statement of war" against the Russian forces the warning issued by the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, rebels.

    Earlier, the ethnic Albanian separatist rebels of the KLA had warned that the Russian soldiers of the KFOR will be regarded as enemies.

    [18] THE YUGOSLAV FORCES DOWNED 61 NATO FIGHTER JETS

    The Yugoslav army downed 61 allied fighter jets, 30 unmanned spy aircraft, 7 helicopters and 238 missiles during the NATO air strikes campaign, according to Yugoslav armed forces general staff chief, general Dragoljub Oidanic.

    The Yugoslav army chief stated on the occasion of the Yugoslav Armed Forces Day that the resistance displayed by the Serb army and the Serb people will be the object of study for war analysts and stressed that in spite of the fact that in the past 2.5 months over 21.700 tons of explosives ended up on Yugoslavia the morale and unity of the people, the political leadership and the army remained high and managed to defeat an opponent who was 676 times more powerful in financial terms.

    The general stated that the successful handling of the crisis by the military command and the use of well-tried strategies minimized the losses in manpower and military equipment.

    [19] ITALIAN SOLDIERS DISCOVERED A MASS GRAVE IN PEC

    Italian soldiers of the peacekeeping force in Kosovo discovered a mass grave with 120 bodies near the town of Pec in western Kossovo, according to the Italian news agency Ansa.

    The mass grave was located in the village of Korenica and the Serbs are allegedly responsible for the killings. Italian soldiers also found other four bodies in a field and four more among them, a small child were found in a house.

    The mass grave was discovered based on information from the Kosovo Liberation Army rebels, according to the Italian news agency.

    [20] THE SECOND PART OF THE GREEK FORCE HAS ARRIVED IN KOSOVO

    Other 450 Greek soldiers, part of the Greek force that is being deployed in Kosovo, have crossed the FYROM-Kosovo borders.

    The first Greek soldiers of the 501 mechanized battalion arrived in Urosevac yesterday. The soldiers camped last night next to a US brigade and today they will set up the Greek military camp.


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