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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-06-17

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 17, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] KIDS WHOSE PARENTS WERE KILLED IN WAR ARRIVE IN THESSALONIKI [02[ CONSULTATIONS UNDERWAY FOR GREECE'S SHARE OF 3RD CSF
  • [03] DECEASED HIJACKER'S BROTHER THREATENS TO TAKE REVENGE
  • [04] US SPRINTER MAURICE GREEN BREAKS WORLD RECORD IN ATHENS
  • [05] 36 CHILDREN OF YUGOSLAV JOURNALISTS WILL SPEND 15 DAYS IN CHALKIDIKI AT THE INITIATIVE OF MPA
  • [06] VENIZELOS: THERE IS NO REASON FOR CONCERN IN GREECE REGARDING THE COCA-COLA PRODUCTS
  • [07] REPPAS ON THE GREEK MINORITY IN ALBANIA
  • [08] REPPAS: THE ALLEGATIONS ON TERRORISM MADE BY ECEVIT ARE UNFOUNDED
  • [09] THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH THE DUTCH PRODUCTS CONFIRMS THE DUTCH AMBASSADOR
  • [10] RETURN TO THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [11] GREEK, ROMANIAN PRESIDENTS GIVE JOINT PRESS INTERVIEW
  • [12] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TO MEET WITH BRITISH COUNTERPART
  • [13] CONSUMERS ALARMED OVER CONTAMINATED FOODS SCANDAL
  • [14] AGREEMENT REACHED ON KOSOVO TROOPS ADMINISTRATION
  • [15] US PRESIDENT CLINTON IN FRANCE, TO MEET WITH JACQUES CHIRAC
  • [16] EU TO SPEND UP TO $ SIX BILLION ANNUALLY TO REBUILD BALKANS
  • [17] UN ECONOMIC BODY: BALKAN RECOVERY TO TAKE AT LEAST 10 YEARS
  • [18] GREEK OFFICIAL TO HEAD IMF DELEGATION IN ROMANIA
  • [19] THE RETURN OF REFUGEES TO KOSSOVO WILL START ON JULY 1
  • [20] KOSOVO WILL NOT BE TRANSFORMED INTO AN INDEPENDENT STATE
  • [21] THE PATRIARCH OF SERBIA APPEALS TO THE SERBS TO STAY IN KOSOVO
  • [22] GREECE WILL PREPARE A REPORT FOR THE WEU ON THE SITUATION IN S.E. EUROPE
  • [23] MIKIS THEODORAKIS WILL BE IN BELGRADE TODAY
  • [24] THE KLA REBELS REFUSE TO DISARM
  • [25] 3.000 PEOPLE WERE KILLED AND 5.000 WERE INJURED IN THE WAR IN YUGOSLAVIA

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

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

    "We had to survive. We had to go on living..." This is how a group of children, whose parents (journalists) were killed during the bombing raids in Yugoslavia, tried to describe their ordeal.

    The 36 youngsters, children of the victims who were killed during the attack against the Yugoslav television station RTS, as well as kids of the Tanjung news agency's staff, arrived in Thessaloniki yesterday evening for a 15-day visit, at the initiative of the Macedonian Press Agency.

    Twenty-year-old Neboisa Jovanovic, whose father was killed when the RTS building was bombed was at a loss of words.

    "I really can't describe exactly how I feel. The only thing I know is that I feel anger, outrage... What can I say? How do I feel that my dad was killed?", he told the MPA.

    Neboisa experienced the horror of war "up close and personal" when he saw his life fall apart and is suddenly faced with another reality.

    "I had to pretend that nothing has changed," he said, "that I would continue to live just like I did before."

    Even now that peace has been achieved "if I could call it that" he said, it's something that leaves him untouched, since the bombings took his father away forever.

    "The most frightening thing is the sound of the siren," 19- year-old Yelena Vukovic said.

    Her parents work at Tanjung. "We were inside the shelters and we knew that we could be the next target, the person next to me or myself.

    "No one could do anything. I just told myself that at some point it would be over. I would sit and wait for the bomb to fall on me because I told myself that I, too, could be a target of the bombings."

    How did she feel when she learned that Tanjung would be one of the next targets?

    "Overall, I had a strange feeling... I cant explain it. The only thing I knew was that I didn't have the right to stop thinking and living."

    Yelena, who is studying English literature at the University of Belgrade, confided this to us: "When we entered Kumanovo (FYROM), I saw a helicopter flying above the bus. And by just saying this, I get the same feeling I had when the sirens screeched in Belgrade..."

    The 36 children will be hosted and entertained at summer camps in the Chalkidiki peninsula, an event sponsored by the Municipality of Kalamaria.

    They will be honored during today'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 the 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 group 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.

    [02[ CONSULTATIONS UNDERWAY FOR GREECE'S SHARE OF 3RD CSF

    The Greek government plans to tag fewer projects into the 3rd Community Support Framework, the so-called "Santer Package", in comparison to the "Delors Package", in order to consume the highest level of community funding, as was announced yesterday during consultations concerning the finalization the Regional Development Plan 2000-06.

    The Minister of Finance and National Economy Yiannos Papantoniou stressed that the 2000-06 RDP has to be finalized quickly in order to secure funding in the interim.

    According to reports, the European Commission has expressed satisfaction over Greece's absorption rate of the second CSF funds.

    The distribution of funds contained in the 3rd CSF will be discussed on Monday in the framework of the EU council of foreign ministers meeting as it has been shaped in accordance with the agreement reached at the Berlin summit.

    [03] DECEASED HIJACKER'S BROTHER THREATENS TO TAKE REVENGE

    The brother of the Albanian national Flamur Pisli who hijacked a Greek bus late last month and took its driver and passengers hostage , threatens to seek revenge for his death.

    According to reports, 23-year-old Edi Pisli, whose brother was killed by the Albanian authorities after having driven the bus and the hostages near Elbasan, told some of the locals at the village of Scholari, 30 kilometers east of Thessaloniki, where the bus was hijacked from, that he will soon take revenge for the tragic incident that claimed the lives of his 21-year-old brother and one of the hostages, the 28-year-old Scholari resident George Koulouris.

    The police have been alerted to these reports, as well as to Pisli's threats that he, too, will soon hijack a bus for revenge.

    The community of Scholari is being closely patrolled by police whose presence is also felt in another village in the Pieria prefecture, the home of his Greek girlfriend.

    A high-ranking police officer told the MPA that the 23-year- old Albanian has served as an officer in the Albanian army and is presently armed with automatic rifles and hand grenades.

    [04] US SPRINTER MAURICE GREEN BREAKS WORLD RECORD IN ATHENS

    US sprinter Maurice Green broke the world record in the men's 100-meter race yesterday, clocking 9.79 seconds during an international track meet at Athens' Olympic Stadium.

    The previous world record holder was Canada's Donovan Bailey, with 9.84 in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

    Yesterday's Tsiklitiria Games were part of the international grand prix circuit.

    [05] 36 CHILDREN OF YUGOSLAV JOURNALISTS WILL SPEND 15 DAYS IN CHALKIDIKI AT THE INITIATIVE OF MPA

    Thirty six children of Yugoslav journalists from Belgrade arrived in the municipality of Kalamaria yesterday and they will be its guests at the initiative of Macedonian Press Agency. The children aged 5-18 years old and their escorts will spend 15 days at the Happy Day camp in the seaside resort of Metamorphosi in Chalkidiki, northern Greece.

    The children and their escorts visited the City Hall of Kalamaria today and were received by mayor Christodoulos Economidis. He said that the municipality hosts children from Serbia for the past 6 years and after a proposal made by MPA this time decided to host children of journalists from the Yugoslav news agency Tanjug and the Serb radio and television.

    One of the escorts, mathematician Biserka Zelic thanked for the invitation that was made at a difficult time for Yugoslavia and stressed that the Serbs have very close ties with the Greek people, adding that the children will have happy times after a very hard 2.5 month period for the whole country.

    MPA general director Spiros Kouzinopoulos stated that the idea for the children to visit Greece was born one month ago when he visited Belgrade and conveyed the solidarity of the people working for MPA to their colleagues in Tanjug. Mr. Kouzinopoulos thanked the mayor of Kalamaria who accepted the proposal to host the children as well as the Hyatt Hotel where the children and their hosts spent last night.

    Daughter of a journalist Elena Bukovic, studies the Greek language in Belgrade and she expressed her deepest thanks for the hospitality, adding that it is especially pleasant to visit Greece after all the unpleasant things that happened in the past few months in her country. She said that what made the most impression was that during the war the Greek people were protesting in the streets on the side of Yugoslavia, stressing that this fact gave her people strength.

    Young Neboisa Jovanovic is trying to overcome the sorrow from the death of his father, who was one of the victims of the NATO bombing of the Serb radio and television building. He said that what gave them strength was to know that the Greek people as a whole were on their side. He said that the invitation by MPA was the best thing it could happen to them and came at the right time offering a way out of the problems in his country.

    [06] VENIZELOS: THERE IS NO REASON FOR CONCERN IN GREECE REGARDING THE COCA-COLA PRODUCTS

    There is no reason for concern in Greece regarding the problem seen in other EU countries concerning the Coca-Cola Company products.

    The assurance was given by minister of development Evangelos Venizelos stressing that either way the packaging in question is not produced in Greece neither is being used in the country.

    [07] REPPAS ON THE GREEK MINORITY IN ALBANIA

    The Greek government is in constant communication with the representatives of the Greek minority in southern Albania and believes that it will face no problems, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    The statement was made in response to questions made by reporters on the climate that is being created as a result of the abduction cases of members of the Greek minority by Albanian kidnappers.

    [08] REPPAS: THE ALLEGATIONS ON TERRORISM MADE BY ECEVIT ARE UNFOUNDED

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized as a joke the proposal expressed by Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit in an interview with the Athens television station MEGA Channel, calling for an investigation in Greece concerning the allegations on the training of Kurdish terrorists.

    Mr. Reppas stated that Turkey first should face its domestic problems and then export know-how, while he rejected the accusations on the alleged training of Kurdish rebels on Greek soil. The Kurdish camp in Lavrion to which Ankara refers to operates under the United Nations, while the United States have never made accusations against Greece on alleged training of Kurdish terrorists as both countries make joint efforts to counter terrorism.

    On the Cyprus issue, Mr. Reppas pointed out that Turkey has a negative stance toward the solution of the problem. He said that Greece believes that the international community will contribute to reaching a solution because Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash can not hold hostage a nation and a people.

    On the stance of the Greek government, he said that it wants to build good relations with Turkey, adding that good relations are founded on principles, rules and the respect of the territorial integrity but Turkey is not responsive.

    [09] THERE IS NO PROBLEM WITH THE DUTCH PRODUCTS CONFIRMS THE DUTCH AMBASSADOR

    Dutch ambassador to Athens, the EU delegation in Greece, the Consumers Institute as well as representatives of the Greek Veterinarian Association and the Greek Veterinary Society will give press conferences to inform consumers on the issue of the dioxin contaminated food products.

    The Dutch ambassador characterized as inaccurate and unjustified the information that cows in Holland were found to suffer from a disease similar to AIDS. He stated that the problem started from a vaccine against the flu of cattle and assured that the Dutch meat and dairy products are being checked regularly.

    On the issue of the dioxin contaminated food products, he pointed out that there is no contamination in the Dutch animal feed industry or in the animal population in general. Referring to the issue concerning the chicken that was found in Germany to be contaminated with dioxin, he said that it came from a small slaughter house at the Belgian-Dutch borders. The Dutch ambassador stressed that those were chickens from Belgium.

    [10] RETURN TO THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET

    A meeting of representatives of consumers and responsible state agencies was held in Athens at noon today. The scientists pointed out that the food chain has broken and now people are paying the price.

    They characterized as a very serious issue the hygiene and safety of foods and they stressed that there are no complete controls in all the stages of the production process. They also underlined the need for the return to the Mediterranean diet and stressed that consumers should prefer the Greek products. This fact could be a strong incentive for the development of farming and agriculture in Greece in order to be able to limit imports of food products.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [11] GREEK, ROMANIAN PRESIDENTS GIVE JOINT PRESS INTERVIEW

    The need to restore the democratic principles in Southeastern Europe, and foremostly in Yugoslavia, was stressed during a joint press interview given in Bucharest by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and his Romanian counterpart Emil Constantinescu.

    The two heads of state also referred to the excellent level of Greek-Romanian relations and the opportunities for further development in the sectors of culture, combating cross-border crime and illegal immigration.

    President Stephanopoulos stated that Greece would support Romania's efforts to embark on NATO and European Union adherence talks at Helsinki's EU summit to be held in December.

    The President stated that the Greek Republic believes Europe will not be complete unless it includes all the states on the continent, and it has the keenest interest in Romania's and Bulgaria's integration.

    President Constantinescu said the Agreement signed by the Romanian and the Greek Governments in the health domain would be followed by others in the sectors of transport, customs and agriculture.

    Their talks also touched upon the regional issues and the necessity of urgently enforcing the procedures of the Pact of stability for south-eastern Europe, which presupposes the installation of certain democratic principles in all the countries of the region, and mainly in Yugoslavia, as President Constantinescu said. He characteristically stated that the Balkans' image of a "powder-keg" should be transformed into one of a "freight container".

    In turn, President Stephanopoulos stated that he and his Romanian counterpart agreed that the EU and the United States must work harder to achieve stability and development in the Balkans.

    The President stressed that Greece had already put forward a concrete proposal relative to the development in the Balkans and the lending of European help for this area.

    President Stephanopoulos, who is accompanied by a delegation of Greek businessmen, 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.

    The Greek president will be awarded the Star of Romania, the highest distinction of that country.

    [12] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TO MEET WITH BRITISH COUNTERPART

    The Cyprus issue will be among the topics to be discussed between Britain's Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou during the latter's working visit to London today.

    The meeting will be held this evening at 6:30, while it will be preceded by talks between Mr. Papandreou and Britain's Defense Secretary George Robertson.

    [13] CONSUMERS ALARMED OVER CONTAMINATED FOODS SCANDAL

    Commensurate with the list of unfit-for-consumption foodstuffs, the European consumers' concern keeps growing, this time over the discovery of a dioxin-contaminated chicken in Germany.

    Since the specific chicken had been slaughtered in the Netherlands, Dutch press reports speculate that thousands of contaminated poultry could have been exported.

    Meanwhile, more than 80 persons suffered poisoning in France after consuming Coca-Cola soft drinks, according to an announcement issued by the French Consumers Protection Agency.

    European Union inspectors are accusing the Belgian authorities of not having stringently enforce the ordered measures for dioxin-contamination protection.

    [14] AGREEMENT REACHED ON KOSOVO TROOPS ADMINISTRATION

    United States Defense Secretary William Cohen and his Russian counterpart Igor Sergeyev, who met in Helsinki, have reached an agreement pertaining to the organization of the Kosovo-assigned troops' administration.

    The talks will resume today with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. NATO' s Defense Misters are to meet in Brussels tomorrow in order to draw a cohesive assessment of the development and assignment of the peacekeeping force in Kosovo, as well as Russia's role therein.

    [15] US PRESIDENT CLINTON IN FRANCE, TO MEET WITH JACQUES CHIRAC

    United States President Bill Clinton, who is presently on an official visit to France, is to meet with his French counterpart Jacques Chirac today with whom he will discuss the Kosovo problem and the task of bringing stability to the Balkans.

    As the French news agency AFP reported, US National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said that cooperation between the United States and France during the NATO strikes "had worked well."

    Mr. Clinton would be updating Mr. Chirac on the talks taking place in Helsinki between US Defense Secretary William Cohen and his Russian counterpart Igor Sergeyev on the Russian deployment of troops in Kosovo.

    "The president will also note the importance to continue with the implementation of the settlement of the Kosovo crisis in particular with the return of refugees and the need for assistance in southeastern Europe," Mr. Hammer added.

    He was also expected to note "the appropriateness of the EU taking the lead" on that front. "But we do need to do our share", the spokesman added.

    [16] EU TO SPEND UP TO $ SIX BILLION ANNUALLY TO REBUILD BALKANS

    The European Union expects to spend five to six billion euros (5.2 to 6.2 billion dollars) a year in aiding the reconstruction process of the Balkans, European Commission chief Romano Prodi stated today.

    As the French news agency AFP reported, Mr. Prodi told the German daily Die Welt that "it's a lot of money, but it is not impossible."

    The Europeans would not be facing up to their responsibilities if they did not supply the necessary funds," Mr. Prodi said, adding that the Balkans were a major test for the EU.

    "Only the European Union can ensure long-term stability" for the region, the EC chief said, adding that a decision-making body must be set up if progress was to be made.

    [17] UN ECONOMIC BODY: BALKAN RECOVERY TO TAKE AT LEAST 10 YEARS

    A United Nations economic commission warned yesterday that rebuilding the Balkans economy will take at least 10 years, saying the conflict in Kosovo had aggravated an already serious situation.

    "Ten years is an optimistic assessment," Yves Berthelot, head of the UN's Geneva-based Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), told a press conference.

    "The situation in the Balkans was already poor before the conflict (over Kosovo). The war has simply aggravated a difficult situation," he added.

    He refused to put a cost figure on reconstruction without precise details of how much damage had been caused.

    According to the French news agency AFP, EU and World Bank experts are due to travel to Kosovo in the near future to make an initial assessment, although Brussels has already put out a provisional figure of three billion dollars for Serbia alone.

    Mr. Berthelot said the region was already poor even before fighting began in Kosovo in March. Average earnings were only around 50 percent of the level of central European countries such as Poland, Hungary and the then Czechoslovakia in 1990.

    But, he warned that ostracizing Yugoslavia and President Slobodan Milosevic might aggravate the situation further. Because of Serbia's strategic position and close economic ties with its neighbors, regional reconstruction could be jeopardized if Serbia itself did not recover.

    [18] GREEK OFFICIAL TO HEAD IMF DELEGATION IN ROMANIA

    A delegation of officials from the International Monetary Fund, headed by Greece's Emmanuel Zervoudakis, is presently in Romania in order to negotiate the details of a new stand-by agreement.

    Speaking to journalists, Mr. Zervoudakis expressed his optimism for the development of the negotiations, albeit he said that he is completely certain if there will indeed be an agreement between Romania and the IMF.

    According to Romanian press reports, the main topics of discussion will be the budget deficit and private investors credits.

    [19] THE RETURN OF REFUGEES TO KOSSOVO WILL START ON JULY 1

    The operation for the return of the ethnic Albanian refugees to Kossovo will start on July 1. The decision was reached yesterday in a meeting held in Skopje with the participation of representatives of the United Nations, NATO, and the governments of Albania and FYROM.

    In the meeting it was pointed out that there is a need for the necessary conditions to be secured for the safe return of the refugees, the distribution of humanitarian aid and their medical care when they return to their homes. The operation will be coordinated by the UN High Commission offices in Tirana and Skopje.

    [20] KOSOVO WILL NOT BE TRANSFORMED INTO AN INDEPENDENT STATE

    Kosovo will not be transformed into an independent state as a redrawing of the borders could be a threat for the European security, stated NATO secretary-general Javier Solana.

    He also ruled out the likelihood for the partition of Kosovo and expressed the belief that in three months the disarmament of the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, rebels will be achieved, maintaining that KLA should be turned into a political party and participate in the rebuilding of the region.

    [21] THE PATRIARCH OF SERBIA APPEALS TO THE SERBS TO STAY IN KOSOVO

    Head of the Serb Christian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Pavle issued an appeal to the Serb population not to leave their ancestral homes in Kosovo.

    The head of the Serb Church stated that himself will stay in Kosovo for a long period of time in an effort to stop the wave of Serbs who abandon the region.

    [22] GREECE WILL PREPARE A REPORT FOR THE WEU ON THE SITUATION IN S.E. EUROPE

    The plenary session of the Western European Union parliamentary assembly assigned to Greece and France to prepare a report on the way the situation develops in south-eastern Europe.

    The political committee assigned the preparation of the report to Greek parliament deputy and vice-president of WEU parliamentary assembly Mr. Micheloyiannis and French socialist party parliament deputy Mr. Durrieu. The two deputies will visit Belgrade, Pristina, Sofia, Skopje and Tirana and the report they will draw up will be discussed in the WEU parliamentary assembly plenary session in Paris next December.

    [23] MIKIS THEODORAKIS WILL BE IN BELGRADE TODAY

    Greek music composer Mikis Theodorakis will be in Belgrade today and on Saturday afternoon he will give a concert for the residents of the Yugoslav capital.

    According to the Yugoslav news agency Tanjug, the residents of Belgrade are expected to offer a warm reception to the Greek music composer as they know that he was on the side of the people of Yugoslavia from the start of the NATO bombing reacting strongly to the policy followed by the United States.

    The proceeds of the concert will be used to offer humanitarian aid to the people of Yugoslavia.

    [24] THE KLA REBELS REFUSE TO DISARM

    The Kossovo Liberation Army, KLA, rebels refuse to disarm and their leadership stated that it will turn from an armed organization into a regular army.

    Hasim Taci, the so-called "prime minister" of the temporary government in Kossovo, stated to the news agency "Kosovapress" that KLA will not surrender its weapons and after peace is restored it will be transformed into a regular army for the protection of Kossovo.

    Also, regional KLA commander in Pristina Mustafa Remi rejected the UN demand calling for the disarmament of the rebels and stated that their goal is to turn the KLA into the army of the independent Kossovo.

    [25] 3.000 PEOPLE WERE KILLED AND 5.000 WERE INJURED IN THE WAR IN YUGOSLAVIA

    About 3.000 people were killed, among them 642 soldiers, and 5.000 were injured in the war in Yugoslavia, according to Valedin Sergeyev, representative of Russian mediator Victor Chernomyrdin.

    Mr. Sergeyev pointed out that this number is being confirmed both by Belgrade and by NATO.

    In a press conference he gave today, Mr. Chernomyrdin stated that the NATO bombing made the situation in Kossovo worse than it was before. Based on facts he presented, the NATO bombing destroyed about 50 industrial plants, 18 electricity production plants, 6 airports and 18 churches, while 2 million people lost their jobs because of the war.

    NATO conducted a total of 12.000 attacks and used about 10.000 bombs and 3.000 missiles against Yugoslavia.

    Mr. Chernomyrdin stated that Russia never agreed with the methods applied by Belgrade pointing out, however, that the tactic used by NATO was also incomprehensible.


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