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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-06-30

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 30, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC TO VISIT LITHUANIA TODAY
  • [02] GREEK PARTIES IN UNISON CONDEMN OCALAN'S DEATH SENTENCE
  • [03] THESSALONIKI AS BASE OF BALKAN RECONSTRUCTION PLEASES ALL
  • [04] EDU CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW
  • [05] EUROPE PRESSES TURKEY TO RESCIND OCALAN'S DEATH SENTENCE
  • [06] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS STAFF TO HOLD 24-HOUR STRIKE TOMORROW
  • [07] "GODFATHER OF SOUL" TO GIVE A CONCERT IN THESSALONIKI TODAY
  • [08] THE PAPANDREOU-CEM MEETING WILL BE HELD TODAY
  • [09] PAPADIMOS: THE INTEREST RATES SHOULD BE KEPT AT 8%
  • [10] MEETING ON THE OLYMPIC AIRWAYS ISSUE
  • [11] A DRUG MADE BY ARMENIAN SCIENTISTS PROMISES TO CURE AIDS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [12] GREEK FM MEETS WITH TURKISH COUNTERPART IN NEW YORK TODAY
  • [13] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER IN IRAN TO FURTHER COOPERATION
  • [14] UN SECURITY COUNCIL TAKES INITIATIVE FOR CYPRUS TALKS
  • [15] INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY REACTS TO OCALAN'S DEATH SENTENCE
  • [16] US SECRETARY OF STATE MAY BE OUSTED, RUSSIAN PRESS REPORTS
  • [17] KOSOVO: BRITISH OFFICERS SHOOT DEAD AN ARMED MAN
  • [18] DUTY FREE SALES WITHIN THE EU TO CEASE FROM MIDNIGHT TODAY
  • [19] A 4-YEAROLD GIRL WAS RELEASED BY ITS ALBANIAN ABDUCTORS
  • [20] THE UN ADVISORY GROUP ON KOSSOVO MEETS IN NEW YORK TODAY

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC TO VISIT LITHUANIA TODAY

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is embarking on an official, three-day visit to Lithuania today, June30-July 2.

    During his stay in the capital city of Vilnius, President Stephanopoulos will meet with his Lithuanian counterpart -with whom he will sign a bilateral cooperation accord-, the Lithuanian Premier, the Speaker of the House and members of the Greek community. He will also address a business forum.

    [02] GREEK PARTIES IN UNISON CONDEMN OCALAN'S DEATH SENTENCE

    Greece's Prime Minister Costas Simitis has condemned the death sentence imposed on PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan by Turkeys's State Security Court, calling the ruling a political decision and one that served political expediencies.

    "This was a political trial. The decision is a political decision and serves political expediencies. The death sentence does not resolve any problem, it merely complicates it. We hope that Turkey will realize at last that one solution exists: Implementation of human and minority rights," Mr. Simitis stated yesterday on the sidelines of an EU-Latin American countries in Rio de Janeiro.

    Main opposition party spokesman, New Democracy's Aris Spiliotopoulos expressed his regret at the decision handed down to Ocalan, but said it was to be expected as "the end-result of a rigged trial."

    "Turkey has used the Ocalan trial to manufacture charges against Greece," he said.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) issued a statement wherein it said the decision of the Turkish court was not only aimed against the individual, Ocalan, but against the Kurdish people.

    "The Ocalan affair is being used to pursue imperialistic plans in the region," the statement read.

    A Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) statement said the death sentence after "an unprecedented parody of a trial" revealed the undemocratic face of the Turkish regime.

    Synaspismos called on the Greek government and the governments of all EU countries to immediately undertake initiatives to put pressure on Turkey to commute the death sentence, and to acknowledge the rights of the Kurdish people.

    Democratic Social Movement leader Dimitris Tsovolas said the sentence was "the result expected from such a show-trial". "(The sentence) is a stain on the civilized world and proof once again of the brutality of the state-military regime in Ankara," Mr. Tsovolas stated.

    [03] THESSALONIKI AS BASE OF BALKAN RECONSTRUCTION PLEASES ALL

    Local business leaders, regardless of political affiliation, have saluted the selection of Thessaloniki as the headquarters of the Balkan reconstruction program, noting that this is a no-miss opportunity to establish the city's role in the Balkans.

    According to the chairman of the Northern Greece Industries Association (SVVE) Vasilis Takas, this constitutes a very positive step since it grants local firms with a first-hand access to the developments in the region to be constructed.

    Nevertheless, Mr. Takas advised the Greek entrepreneurs to exercise restrained enthusiasm since the mere selection of the city as the program's headquarters "does not mean that the Greek firms will be assigned all of the region's programs".

    The General Director of the Northern Greece Exporters' Association (SEVE) Charalabos Philaderlis stated that the city's selection as the program's base will undoubtedly result in economic gains. He further added that Thessaloniki, aside from its ideal geographical position, also features the necessary infrastructure to carry out its newly-assigned role.

    [04] EDU CONFERENCE TO BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW

    The president of Greece's main opposition party, New Democracy's Costas Karamanlis, is to address the European Democratic Union conference, to be held in Thessaloniki tomorrow in cooperation with the European Popular Party and other conservative parties in Europe.

    The two-day conference will feature discussions on: The Undertaking of Initiatives for Democratization in the Western Balkans. The Present Situation in the Balkans. Common European Foreign and Security Policies. Cooperation with Russia on Matters Concerning Foreign and Security Policies. The Prospects of Cooperation between the European Democratic Union and the European Popular Party and the common action plan.

    The conference will feature the participation of party and institute representatives from United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Russia, Austria, Spain, Finland, Hungary, Cyprus, Turkey, Bulgaria, Albania, Slovakia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and FYROM.

    The event is taking place under the initiative of Mr. Karamanlis, who is also the vice-president of the European Popular Party and the European Democratic Union.

    [05] EUROPE PRESSES TURKEY TO RESCIND OCALAN'S DEATH SENTENCE

    Expressing the Greek government's disagreement with the death sentence passed on PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan by the Ankara State Security court yesterday, acting spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou stated "Turkey must prove that its justice runs in line with the practices, existing in the countries of the European Union."

    Chairman of the European Parliament Jose Maria Gil-Robles addressed a telegram yesterday evening to the speaker of the Turkish parliament, asking him to take steps to rescind the death sentence.

    The German government has also called on the Turkish leadership to rescind the death sentence passed on Ocalan.

    Interior Minister Otto Schily stated yesterday that this verdict "will obviously interfere with Turkey's accession to the European Union".

    Denmark also hopes that the sentence passed on Mr. Ocalan will not be carried out, Foreign Minister Niels Helveg Petersen told journalists yesterday. While condemning all forms of terrorism, the minister stressed at the same time that Copenhagen is opposed to capital punishment.

    A large demonstration of Kurds was held in London yesterday, where demonstrators protested against the death sentence passed on their leader.

    [06] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS STAFF TO HOLD 24-HOUR STRIKE TOMORROW

    The Federation of Civil Aviation Unions (OSPA) will hold a 24- hour strike tomorrow, protesting the handing of Olympic Airways' management control over to Speedwing, a transport subsidiary of British Airways.

    Even though the government has said that labor and social insurance rights will not be affected by the Speedwing management contract, OSPA members have declared that they intend to intensify their protests. At the same time, the national airline's new manager is to appear before the Parliamentary committee tomorrow.

    Under an existing agreement in principle, Speedwing's assignment is to make Olympic profitable, as well as transform the ailing airline into an international alliance. British Airways will also have an option to buy a 20 per cent stake in O.A.

    [07] "GODFATHER OF SOUL" TO GIVE A CONCERT IN THESSALONIKI TODAY

    Legendary singer James Brown is to strut his stuff in a Thessaloniki concert tonight, the first stop in a European tour.

    Speaking in a press conference yesterday, Mr. Brown (also known as the "Godfather of Soul") announced that he plans to retire in two years from the stage but will remain active in the producing end of show business.

    When asked about the war in Yugoslavia, the 71-year-old phenomenal entertainer stressed that he wants peace for all such troubled regions, stressing that the greatest repercussions of war fall on the children.

    [08] THE PAPANDREOU-CEM MEETING WILL BE HELD TODAY

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will meet in New York today with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem. The two ministers will discuss the issues raised in the Papandreou letter addressed to his Turkish counterpart. Deputy foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis will also take part in the meeting.

    Acting Greek government spokesman Yiannis Nikolaou characterized the imminent meeting as a positive development.

    Mr. Nikolaou stated that Mr. Kranidiotis went to New York at the invitation of Mr. Papandreou. According to Mr. Nikolaou, Mr. Kranidiotis was accompanying prime minister Kostas Simitis to Latin America and left for the United States in view of the meeting of the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey.

    [09] PAPADIMOS: THE INTEREST RATES SHOULD BE KEPT AT 8%

    Loukas Papadimos recommended to the commercial bank governors to keep the interest rates at 8%.

    The governor of the Bank of Greece pointed out that any decline in the loan interest rates will have a negative effect on inflation as it will boost consumption. It is estimated that inflation this month will close at 2.1-2.2%.

    [10] MEETING ON THE OLYMPIC AIRWAYS ISSUE

    A meeting on the issue of Olympic Airways was held in Athens at noon today with the participation of transportation minister Tasos Mandelis and minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou, while also present was the chairman of British Airways.

    Mr. Mandelis stated that the decision to give the management of the OA to a foreign company was aimed at overcoming the deadlock and helping Olympic Airways to acquire strength and new prospects in order to survive in the international market. Mr. Mandelis reiterated that all the relevant procedures were totally transparent.

    The foreign manager of OA will appear before the responsible Greek parliamentary committee tomorrow in order to assume his duties.

    Meanwhile, the OA employees have announced a 24-hour strike for tomorrow and as it was made known, there will be only one flight to each destination.

    [11] A DRUG MADE BY ARMENIAN SCIENTISTS PROMISES TO CURE AIDS

    A drug discovered by Armenian scientists managed to cure 48 AIDS patients and its use has already been approved by the Armenian state pharmacology committee.

    Russian press reports confirm that a number of AIDS patients, who have received the medicine, have been cured from the deadly virus.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [12] GREEK FM MEETS WITH TURKISH COUNTERPART IN NEW YORK TODAY

    Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou will hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Ismael Cem in New York today, where they will discuss a series of matters tabled by Mr. Papandreou in his letter to Mr. Cem. Greece's alternate Foreign Misnter Yiannos Kranidiotis will also take part in the Meeting. Greek government acting spokesperson Yiannis Nikolaou stated that if Turkey allows room for agreement on cooperation in the sectors of organized crime, drug trafficking and illegal immigration, then Greece has no reason not to sign the said agreements.

    [13] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER IN IRAN TO FURTHER COOPERATION

    Greece's Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, presently on an official visit to Iran has announced that representatives of Greece, Iran and Armenia will meet in Athens on July 12 within the framework of the three countries' efforts to further cooperation.

    Following talks with his Iranian counterpart, Vice-Adm. Ali Shamkhani, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that cooperation between the three countries was based on the fundamental principles of international law and their interest in peace, security and cooperation between peoples.

    He added that Greece and Iran were broadening their bilateral possibilities for defense and military cooperation, while "bearing in mind the international framework which applies to the implementation of such forms of cooperation".

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos arrived in Tehran on Monday for a four- day official visit, the first to Iran by a European Union defense minister since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

    He was received yesterday morning by Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and also had talks with Parliament President Ali Akhbar Nuri.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will travel to Isfahan today to visit an aircraft manufacturing center.

    [14] UN SECURITY COUNCIL TAKES INITIATIVE FOR CYPRUS TALKS

    The United Nations Security Council has asked the secretary- general Kofi Annan to call on the leaders of Cyprus' two communities to conduct negotiations in the fall, aiming at the restart of talks. The council also approved another resolution renewing the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus, (UNFICYP), for six months until December 15.

    [15] INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY REACTS TO OCALAN'S DEATH SENTENCE

    European government and international organizations have strongly reacted to the Turkish State Security Court decision to sentence PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to death by hanging.

    Ankara has rejected international pressure to commute his sentence to life imprisonment. Additional security measures have been drawn both in Turkey and elsewhere, in fear of potential episodes by the Kurds. PKK has threatened to broaden the war into Turkey's western regions.

    [16] US SECRETARY OF STATE MAY BE OUSTED, RUSSIAN PRESS REPORTS

    US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright may be dismissed already this summer for mistakes in the US policy regarding Yugoslavia, a Russian influential newspaper reported today, liking the US official's forecasts about an early collapse of the Milosevic regime from the air strikes to the revelations of Nostradamus.

    As the Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta article, which cites its sources in Washington, states that "In Washington they are talking that a certain reshuffle will take place in the State Department leadership before this autumn. President Bill Clinton has reportedly found a worthy replacement to current Secretary of State Madeleine Albright."

    It said that although the United States officially continue to attribute to themselves all the successes in solving the Kosovo crisis, "a different viewpoint exists in Washington and it comes from the very top".

    The daily said the first victims were CIA deputy director Jack Downing and head of the CIA Eurasian department John Bender.

    The US president's entourage "does not conceal that the beginning of combat actions in Yugoslavia was a clear mistake of the Department of State. Madeleine Albright convinced Clinton that the bombing of Yugoslavia will have no political consequences for the United States.

    "Her forecasts about an early collapse of the Milosevic regime after the beginning of air strikes resembled the revelations of Nostradamus, rather than a sober view of an experienced politician", the newspaper said, adding that Clinton received "one-sided" reports based on sources in the Kosovo Liberation Army and the opposition to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

    "Clinton was convinced to start the military action", the paper said.

    However, the policy collapsed and the air strikes yielded no immediate result.

    "The actual collapse of the American (and in essence of personally Albright's) scenario of the settlement of the Kosovo conflict may result in a defeat of the Democratic party at the next presidential elections", the daily said, adding that the Republicans can take advantage of the "vulnerability of the current administration".

    [17] KOSOVO: BRITISH OFFICERS SHOOT DEAD AN ARMED MAN

    British soldiers, acting in self-defense, shot dead an armed man in the town of Liplian, 15 kilometers away from Pristina, according tot he Russian news agency Itar-Tass.

    According to reports, the British KFOR soldiers opened fire when they saw a man brandishing a pistol, emerging from the corner of a building.

    The man pretended to be aiming at a soldier, who was nearest to him. The British had to open fire, a spokesman for the British KFOR contingent said, adding that they acted in strict accordance with instructions.

    [18] DUTY FREE SALES WITHIN THE EU TO CEASE FROM MIDNIGHT TODAY

    Duty-free sales for travelers within the European Union will cease from midnight today, although some outlets are absorbing taxes in order to maintain prices in spite of reduced profit margins.

    In fighting abolition, the duty-free industry had warned the EU that thousands of jobs would be lost, in the shops, in airlines and ferry companies which draw profits from such sales, and in some of the supplying industries such as the whisky industry.

    The strategy's slogan will be "A different name but the same price", and instead of "duty-free", the new system will be known as "travel-value".

    However, the arrangement cannot be applied to alcohol and tobacco which are subject to both excise duties and value-added-tax and the prices of these products in EU airports will rise by ten percent in general. Experts predict a revenue drop from this sector which currently accounts for one-third of duty-free turnover.

    The decision to abolish duty-free sales was drawn by the European Union member states in 1991 to allow the industry time to adapt.

    Under the duty-free system, travelers have been able to buy tax-free alcohol, tobacco and other goods at border points between EU countries in the same way as travelers between other countries may obtain goods tax free.

    Those traveling outside the European Union will still benefit from duty-free sales.

    [19] A 4-YEAROLD GIRL WAS RELEASED BY ITS ALBANIAN ABDUCTORS

    The 4yearold Sofia Voga, who had been abducted 25 days ago by Albanian kidnappers from her grandparents' house in the village of Kakavia in south Albania, was released today.

    The kidnappers freed the little girl and handed her over to her uncle after her parents paid a ransom of 20 million drachmas.

    Initially, the kidnappers had asked for the sum of 50 million drachmas but they agreed to lower the price when they were convinced that the parents of the girl were unable to collect the money.

    The girl was handed over to her uncle by 5 armed masked men in a remote area near the Albanian city of Sarante.

    [20] THE UN ADVISORY GROUP ON KOSSOVO MEETS IN NEW YORK TODAY

    The first meeting of the advisory group "Friends of the general-secretary on Kossovo", established by UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, will be held in New York today.

    The meeting will be held at a foreign ministers level with the participation of Greece, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Holland, Russia, Turkey, Britain, the United States as well as the European Union, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Islamic Conference Organization.

    Mr. Annan stated in an interview with the London "Financial Times" that he will announce the name of the UN administrator in Kossovo by the end of the week.


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