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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-06-23

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 23, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREEK PM TRAVELS TO ARGENTINA FOR SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL
  • [02] ANNA DIAMANTOPOULOU APPOINTED AS GREECE'S EU COMMISSIONER
  • [03] TWO NEW MEMBERS OF CABINET TO BE SWORN IN TODAY
  • [04] PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE CLAIMS OF KICKBACKS FROM LITTON
  • [05] FIRST BALKAN FORUM "EUROTECH '99" IN THESSALONIKI THIS MONTH
  • [06] DEUTSCHE BANK FORECASTS TOUGH DRACHMA FOR NEXT QUARTER
  • [07] 36 CHILDREN OF SERB JOURNALISTS WILL MEET WITH THE PRESIDING BOARD OF THE ASSOCIATION OF JOURNALISTS IN MACEDONIA-THRACE
  • [08] THE UNITED STATES DO NOT SHARE ANKARA'S ALLEGATIONS OVER THE TRAINING OF KURDS IN GREECE
  • [09] "SPEEDWING" TOOK OVER THE MANAGEMENT OF OLYMPIC AIRWAYS
  • [10] LETTER BY THE HELLENIC - AMERICAN INSTITUTE ON HALBROOKE'S APPOINTMENT
  • [11] THE WORLD COUNCIL OF HELLENES ABROAD, SAE, PRESIDING BOARD WILL VISIT SOUTH ALBANIA AT THE END OF JULY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [12] FRENCH, GERMAN, ITALIAN AND BRITISH FMs IN KOSOVO TODAY
  • [13] KOSOVO COMMUNITY ASKS UN FOR PROTECTION FROM KLA GUNMEN
  • [14] GREEK-DESCENT LOCALS PROTEST LAWLESSNESS IN SOUTH ALBANIA
  • [15] GREECE RATIFIED THE EUROPEAN TREATY ON THE CONFISCATION OF CRIME PRODUCTS
  • [16] THE GREEK NATIONAL BASKETBALL TEAM WANTS ONLY VICTORY IN TODAY'S GAME
  • [17] THE TRIAL OF OCALAN WILL RESUME TODAY
  • [18] KOSOVO: 140 SERBS HAVE BEEN ABDUCTED IN THE PAST 12 DAYS
  • [19] KARAMANLIS MET WITH VALERIE GISCARD D'ESTAINT
  • [20] DRAFT RESOLUTION ON KOSOVO BY THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK PM TRAVELS TO ARGENTINA FOR SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL

    Greece's Prime Minister Costas Simitis is departing for Buenos Aires today where he will participate in the Socialist International conference to be held in the Argentine capital on June 25-26.

    Delegates from 139 socialist and social-democratic parties around the world will attend the event.

    After the end of Socialist Int/nl, Mr. Simitis will depart for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which will host the European Union- Latin America summit conference on June 28-29.

    The Premier is accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs George Papandreou, Press and Media Dimitris Reppas, alternate foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis and European parliament member Anna Karamanou.

    [02] ANNA DIAMANTOPOULOU APPOINTED AS GREECE'S EU COMMISSIONER

    Greece's undersecretary of Development Anna Diamantopoulou has been appointed by the Prime Minister Costas Simitis to represent Greece in the European Commission.

    Ms. Diamantopoulou, who is succeeding Christos Papoutsis, met with the Commission's President Romano Prodi in Bologna yesterday, with whom the Premier had consulted before her appointment. Her portfolio will be assigned by Mr.Prodi.

    Ms. Diamantopoulou was born in Kozani in 1959, and is a civil engineer. She has been a Parliament member 1996 when she assumed the post of development undersecretary.

    She has also served as prefect of Kastoria (1985-86) and secretary general of the industry ministry (1994-96). Between 1993- 94 she was president of the Hellenic Organization of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Handicrafts (EOMMEX).

    [03] TWO NEW MEMBERS OF CABINET TO BE SWORN IN TODAY

    The new undersecretaries of Development and National Economy, Yiannis Zafiropoulos and Rodoula Zisi respectively, are to be sworn in office this afternoon.

    Mr. Zafiropoulos succeeded Anna Diamantopoulou who has been appointed to the post of Greece's European Commissioner. Ms. Zisi is replacing Alexandros Baltas who has been elected as a member of the European Parliament.

    Ms. Diamantopoulou, who is replacing Christos Papoutsis in the European Commission, will give her parliamentary seat to Roulis Kokelides. Her duties will be assigned following the meeting to be held in Buenos Aires between Prime Minster Costas Simitis and the chief of the European Commission Romano Prodi.

    [04] PROSECUTOR TO INVESTIGATE CLAIMS OF KICKBACKS FROM LITTON

    Following a report published in the U.S. daily The New York Times, which claims that the U.S. company Litton Applied Technology "paid four Greek agents $12 million in commissions in a successful effort to win a $150 million contract" in 1993, the Athens public prosecutor has ordered an investigation.

    According to the daily's report, written on June 21 and bylined by Raymond Bonner, Litton paid the bribes for the purchase of radar equipment for the Greek air force's US-made F-16 fighter-bombers.

    Litton won the 1993 contract, over stiff competition from Marconi Defence Systems Ltd, which is a unit of Britain's General Electric P.L.C., according to reports at the time.

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas said there was "no kickback affair" and called on the authors of the allegations to prove them.

    The honorary president of the country's main opposition party, New Democracy's Konstantinos Mitsotakis, and N.D. deputy Yiannis Varvitsiotis, who were prime minister and defense minister at the time, have also demanded an inquiry.

    [05] FIRST BALKAN FORUM "EUROTECH '99" IN THESSALONIKI THIS MONTH

    The first Balkan Forum "EUTOTECH '99", featuring building material, services and facilities, will be held in Thessaloniki on June 28-29 and, so far, 17 Bulgarian firms have declared their participation.

    According to Sofia press reports, Zeni Dinkova, an official from the Bulgarian Industries Association stated that the Bulgarian businessmen will have the opportunity to embark on joint ventures with their Greek counterparts in projects pertaining to Kosovo's reconstruction.

    The main theme of "EUROTECH 99" will be the Balkan region's reconstruction the "day after" the Kosovo crisis.

    Greece's Minister of Environment, Urban Planning and Public Works Costas Laliotis has been invited to address the forum which will feature the participation of at least 150 construction firms from Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, FYROM and Greece.

    The forum is being organized by the American trade, industry and scientific council of Greece and DIAGONIOS AATE-EUROTECH, in cooperation with the Exports Promotion Organization and under the auspices of the Ministries of Macedonia-Thrace and Environment.

    [06] DEUTSCHE BANK FORECASTS TOUGH DRACHMA FOR NEXT QUARTER

    The German financial institution Deutsche Bank is anticipating the Greek national currency, drachma, to remain tough foe the next fiscal quarter, based on the continuous capital inflow in the stock exchange and the bond market, with the relatively high interest rates further bolstering the Bank's optimism.

    Nevertheless, in a 12-month course the drachma's euro parity is expected to yield to GRD340, albeit the parity distance is to be lessened, according to Deutsche Bank, the moment Greece enters Euroland.

    [07] 36 CHILDREN OF SERB JOURNALISTS WILL MEET WITH THE PRESIDING BOARD OF THE ASSOCIATION OF JOURNALISTS IN MACEDONIA-THRACE

    The 36 young Serbs, children of Tanjug news agency and Serb radio and television, RTS, journalists will meet tomorrow with the presiding board of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia- Thrace.

    The children are in Greece since June 16 at the initiative of Macedonian Press Agency and they will meet with the presiding board of the association at its offices in Thessaloniki tomorrow morning.

    [08] THE UNITED STATES DO NOT SHARE ANKARA'S ALLEGATIONS OVER THE TRAINING OF KURDS IN GREECE

    US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns met with deputy foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis in Athens today. Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that Mr. Burns expressed the US government position according to which, Washington does not share Ankara's allegations concerning the training of Kurdish terrorists in Greece.

    Responding to the question on whether US agencies pressure the Greek authorities to do blood tests to individuals who are suspects for terrorist actions in Greece, Mr. Reppas responded that he is not aware of such a request.

    [09] "SPEEDWING" TOOK OVER THE MANAGEMENT OF OLYMPIC AIRWAYS

    The minister of transportation announced in parliament today that the management of Olympic Airways will be taken over by "Speedwing", a subsidiary of British Airways.

    Mr. Mandelis stated that "Speedwing" will manage Olympic Airways for a period of 30 months and will have the obligation to make the Greek national airline carrier viable and reliable at an international level. Also, the company will undertake to make Olympic Airways a strategic alliance member which, however, will be selected by the Greek government. British Airways will be given the option to acquire 20 percent of the Olympic Airways capital share.

    Mr. Mandelis assured that job positions in Olympic Airways as well as the company's economic progress will be safeguarded.

    [10] LETTER BY THE HELLENIC - AMERICAN INSTITUTE ON HALBROOKE'S APPOINTMENT

    The Greek-American community organization Hellenic - American Institute with a letter to US Senate foreign affairs committee chairman Jessie Helms expressed its concern over the imminent appointment of Richard Halbrooke to the position of the permanent representative of the United States to the United Nations, while his appointment is currently examined by the US Senate.

    The letter questions Mr. Halbrooke's unbiased implementation of international law and doubts whether he accepts the real nature of the Cyprus problem as a problem of invasion and illegal occupation. Also, doubts are expressed on whether he accepts the territorial status quo in the Aegean as defined by international law and if he is willing to implement the international law and the American principles with regards the violation of human rights by Turkey.

    The letter calls on the committee to ask Mr. Halbrooke to express his stance on those issues clearly and if the responses he offers are not satisfactory to consider rejecting his appointment.

    [11] THE WORLD COUNCIL OF HELLENES ABROAD, SAE, PRESIDING BOARD WILL VISIT SOUTH ALBANIA AT THE END OF JULY

    The presiding board of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, will visit south Albania at the end of July, on the occasion of the big aid programme for the Greek community that will be underway there. The proposal had been made last year by the Council of Hellenes Abroad in Australia.

    SAE of Australia chairman Mr. Vertzagias stated that the members of the Greek minority in south Albania should return to their homes and their communities must be revived.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [12] FRENCH, GERMAN, ITALIAN AND BRITISH FMs IN KOSOVO TODAY

    The foreign ministers of Great Britain, Germany, Italy and France will visit Kosovo today where they will meet with the KFOR chief Lieutenant-General Mike Jackson. United Nations Secretary-General has asked for the enforcement of the demilitarization of the Kosovo Liberation Army agreement. United States President Bill Clinton appeared skeptical over the potential of rapprochement between Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo.

    [13] KOSOVO COMMUNITY ASKS UN FOR PROTECTION FROM KLA GUNMEN

    Citizens of the Kosovo community of Gor have sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, asking for protection against Albanian terrorists.

    As the Russian news agency Itar-Tass has reported, the letter states that gunmen from the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) are trying to seize control of the territory.

    They attack villages, shelling them from all kinds of arms and driving the local population from their homes.

    "Community citizens have to resort to self-defense to protect their children and property," the letter states, adding "that may amount to large-scale armed clashes, which will pose a threat to stability in that Kosovo region."

    The letter demands that international KFOR units be sent to the community to prevent the bloodshed.

    The Gor community is situated in a remote mountainous region of Kosovo on the border with Albania. Its residents are Serbs converted to Islam. They have always been loyal to Serb authorities, but also had no conflicts with KLA gunmen arriving from Albania.

    The conflict erupted after Yugoslav security forces left the region.

    [14] GREEK-DESCENT LOCALS PROTEST LAWLESSNESS IN SOUTH ALBANIA

    A remonstrance signed by 600 Albanian citizens of Greek descent has been submitted to the Greek and Albanian authorities, who are protesting the situation in Southern Albania and are calling for the restoration of law and order in the region.

    The remonstrance, which has also been forwarded to world organizations accredited to Tirana, has been signed by 64 businessmen, 190 store-owners, 300 teachers and others.

    [15] GREECE RATIFIED THE EUROPEAN TREATY ON THE CONFISCATION OF CRIME PRODUCTS

    Greece ratified the European treaty concerning the laundering, investigation and confiscation of crime products. The ratified text was delivered to Council of Europe general secretary Daniel Tarchis by Greece's permanent representative to the European organization, ambassador Dimitris Konstas.

    The treaty is aimed at limiting all forms of crime including illegal arms trade, terrorist activities, fraud and especially, drug-trafficking. At the same time, it is aimed at improving the international cooperation among the member states of the Council of Europe and other countries such as the United States, Canada and Australia.

    In Greece, the European treaty will be in effect on October 1, 1999.

    [16] THE GREEK NATIONAL BASKETBALL TEAM WANTS ONLY VICTORY IN TODAY'S GAME

    The Greek national basketball team wants only victory over the Lithuanian team this evening in order to be included in the next phase of the European Championships in France after the unexpected defeats it has suffered from the national teams of Germany and the Czech Republic.

    The game against Lithuania will begin at 9:45pm this evening, while earlier this afternoon the Czech Republic will play against Germany.

    [17] THE TRIAL OF OCALAN WILL RESUME TODAY

    The trial of Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan resumes at the prison-island of Imrali in Turkey today after a 15-day recess.

    The hearing process started with a 2-hour delay as due to the adverse weather conditions and the heavy seas in Marmara it was impossible for the boat with the lawyers of Ocalan, the foreign observers and journalists present in the trial, to approach the island.

    [18] KOSOVO: 140 SERBS HAVE BEEN ABDUCTED IN THE PAST 12 DAYS

    At least 140 Serbs and Montenegrans, who are permanent residents of Kosovo, have been abducted in the past 12 days by ethnic Albanian rebels.

    According to Pristina information center "Media Centar", the abductions of Serbs are an everyday phenomenon in the region of the town of Urahovac, west of Pristina as in the past two weeks armed ethnic Albanians have abducted about 40 Serbs.

    According to eye witnesses in the town of Pec and the village of Gusica, ethnic Albanian rebels arrested 32 Serbs and led them to an unknown direction. In Urosevac, in south Kosovo, armed ethnic Albanians abducted 20 Serbs from a convoy a few days ago, while abduction cases were also recorded in Oblic, 10 kilometers west of Pristina.

    Yugoslav news agency Tanjug sources mentioned that the bodies of 6 Serbs, who had been abducted on June 16 from Oblic, were located near the village of Mazgut, west of Pristina yesterday. According to eye witnesses, the victims had been tortured.

    [19] KARAMANLIS MET WITH VALERIE GISCARD D'ESTAINT

    Greek right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis met in Paris today with former French president Valerie Giscard D'Estaint. They discussed European issues and made special references to the personality and work of Konstantinos Karamanlis.

    Mr. Giscard D'Estaint referred to the strong friendship between him and the late leader, while Mr. Karamanlis characterized the former French president as a big friend of Greece and a leader with a vision and immense contribution to the restoration of democracy in Greece.

    [20] DRAFT RESOLUTION ON KOSOVO BY THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

    The Council of Europe parliamentary assembly political committee adopted a draft resolution condemning the attacks and threats against the Kosovo Serbs and the Russian troops of the international peacekeeping force, KFOR, as well as the atrocities committed by the Yugoslav forces in Kosovo, while it issues an appeal to the Yugoslav people to back the democratic reforms in the country and urges the Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, to avoid acts of reprisal.

    In the draft resolution is expressed satisfaction over the fact that the Yugoslav authorities have accepted a political solution, while the G-8 agreements are being welcomed and an emphasis is given on the way economy and institutions in Kosovo and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in general, will be rebuilt.


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