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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-12-30

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, November 30, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREECE IS NEARING ITS ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION TARGET
  • [02] SAE TO HOLD THIRD CONFERENCE AT THESSALONIKI IN DECEMBER
  • [03] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC TO VISIT PORTUGAL TOMORROW
  • [04] SAE'S INTERNATIONAL YOUTH CONVENTION BEGINS TOMORROW
  • [05] GREEK HUMANITARIAN AID OVER QUAKE ARRIVES IN TURKEY TODAY
  • [06] EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 3.7 ON THE RICHTER SCALE SHOOK ATHENS
  • [07] PAPANTONIOU: THE ECOFIN DECISION IS A SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT FOR THE GREEK ECONOMY
  • [08] REPPAS: TURKEY UNDERMINES ITS EUROPEAN PROSPECT
  • [09] THE CONFERENCE ON THE PARTHENON MARBLES OPENED IN LONDON TODAY
  • [10] EGNATIA BANK WILL EXPAND ITS ACTIVITIES TO SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE
  • [11] LOSSES OF 1.62% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [12] NOTABLE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF NEW PRIVATE CARS IN NORTHERN GREECE
  • [13] OVER 2.8 MILLION PEOPLE USED THESSALONIKI'S MACEDONIA AIRPORT IN THE FIRST 10 MONTHS OF 1999
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] FOREIGN MINISTER TRAVELS TO MOSCOW TODAY
  • [15] DEFENSE MINISTER IN BUCHAREST FOR MINISTERS COUNCIL
  • [16] GREEK AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA COMMENTS ON BILATERAL TIES
  • [17] UN SPOKESPERSON: TALKS ON CYPRUS TO BE "OPEN-ENDED"
  • [18] EU LABOR AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS COUNCIL MEETS IN BRUSSELS
  • [19] CONFERENCE ON PARTHENON MARBLES OPENS IN LONDON TODAY
  • [20] THE INTERNATIONAL OIL PRICES HAVE DROPPED
  • [21] GREECE IS ONE OF FYROM'S MOST IMPORTANT TRADE PARTNERS - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREECE IS NEARING ITS ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION TARGET

    Greece is apparently nearing its coveted accession to the Economic and Monetary Union as, following a unanimous resolution drawn by the European Union's Finance Ministers, the country meets the latest fiscal criterion, related to the size of its fiscal deficit, for accession by January 1, 2000.

    The Council ascertained that the fiscal deficit is well below the set limit and, since 1993, has been dropping at a rate surpassing all other EU member-states.

    [02] SAE TO HOLD THIRD CONFERENCE AT THESSALONIKI IN DECEMBER

    The first world youth conference of SAE will open in Thessaloniki tomorrow, followed by the forum of overseas Greek entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and overseas Greek women. on December 3-4. Over one thousand Greeks from all five continents will attend the World Council of Hellenes (SAE) Third International Assembly, to be held in Thessaloniki between December 5-8.

    The event will be opened by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and will be attended, among others, by President Costis Stephanopoulos, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and several party leaders.

    The SAE's third council will elect an 11- member presidium, while, according to reports, SAE President Andrew Athens will seek his re- election for the third time.

    [03] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC TO VISIT PORTUGAL TOMORROW

    The President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos will conduct a state visit to Portugal from December 1-4 at the invitation of his Portuguese counterpart Jorge Sampaio.

    President Stephanopoulos will be accompanied by deputy foreign minister Christos Rokofyllos.

    [04] SAE'S INTERNATIONAL YOUTH CONVENTION BEGINS TOMORROW

    The Council of Greeks Abroad will hold a two-day, World Youth Convention in Thessaloniki tomorrow where the body will elect a number of delegates that will represent SAE Youth in the Regional and World Conventions of SAE that will take place December 3-8, 1999.

    The participants will review all the proposals and suggestions submitted at the April convention, which are classified into three sections, as follows: a. Issues that can be addressed directly by the young Hellenes abroad e.g. internet networking etc. b. Issues that require the help of the Greek State e.g. university programs in Greece, and c. Issues that involve the participation of and cooperation among the young Hellenes of the N. & S. America Region and the other SAE Regions worldwide.

    [05] GREEK HUMANITARIAN AID OVER QUAKE ARRIVES IN TURKEY TODAY

    Eighteen trucks carrying another shipment of humanitarian aid from Greece for earthquake- stricken victims in Turkey are expected to arrive in the Turkish cities of Duc and Bolu tonight.

    The trucks are carrying 500 tons of medicines, 650 heaters, condensed milk, foodstuffs and clothing.

    Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou congratulated those who offered the aid and noted that this climate helps the rapprochement between the two peoples, adding however, "it is not enough for differences existing between the two countries to be resolved. It is necessary for Turkey to take specific initiatives."

    [06] EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 3.7 ON THE RICHTER SCALE SHOOK ATHENS

    Earthquake measuring 3.7 on the Richter scale shook Athens at 11:20am this morning.

    According to seismologists, it was an aftershock and its epicenter was in the region of Parnitha that gave the September 7 earthquake.

    [07] PAPANTONIOU: THE ECOFIN DECISION IS A SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT FOR THE GREEK ECONOMY

    Minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou stated that yesterday's decision by the European finance ministers council, ECOFIN, to lift the public deficit recommendation to Greece is a significant development for the Greek economy.

    Mr. Papantoniou stated that the ECOFIN concluded that Greece has managed to cut its public deficits and meets the main criteria for its accession into the EMU set by the European Union treaty. Therefore, the first stage for Greece's accession into the European economic and monetary union has been completed with the evaluation of its performance regarding the fiscal criteria. The minister of national economy and finance pointed out that the atmosphere in the ECOFIN meeting was festive and stressed that Greece was congratulated for its achievements in the sector of the economy.

    [08] REPPAS: TURKEY UNDERMINES ITS EUROPEAN PROSPECT

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas commented on Ankara's intransigent stance in Cyprus and the Greek-Turkish relations and stated that Turkey must respect the international law and treaties, stressing that with its stance undermines its European prospect.

    Responding to a question on the stance of the Greek government in the EU Summit in Helsinki, Mr. Reppas stated that a decision will be reached based on how things will develop.

    [09] THE CONFERENCE ON THE PARTHENON MARBLES OPENED IN LONDON TODAY

    An international conference has opened in London today during which the conclusions of British historian William St. Clair on the irreversible damages caused to the Parthenon Marbles by the cleaning methods used in the British Museum in the 1930s will be examined.

    In the conference participate archaeologists, art historians and art preservation specialists from Greece, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Britain, France and the United States. The findings of the Greek specialists, who recently examined the Parthenon Marbles and confirmed the catastrophic interventions made by the museum's art preservers will also be examined within the framework of the conference.

    [10] EGNATIA BANK WILL EXPAND ITS ACTIVITIES TO SOUTH-EASTERN EUROPE

    The Egnatia Bank Group plans to expand its activities to south-eastern Europe in the sectors of leasing and real estate mostly through the establishment of subsidiaries.

    A guarantee for the successful course of the group's plans is the impressive increase in all its economic figures in the January- September period. Specifically, its revenues were 4.8 billion drachmas compared to 217 million drachmas in the same period last year.

    [11] LOSSES OF 1.62% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The general price index in the Athens Stock Exchange closed at 5.712,96 with losses of 1.62% as it was unable to maintain yesterday's pace that led it to gains of 3.37%. However, the volume of transactions was increased compared to yesterday and reached 330 billion drachmas.

    Meanwhile, big losses were recorded in the European stock markets today. The FTSE in London had losses of 1.24%, while similar trends have been recorded in Paris with the CAC at -1.22%.

    Smaller losses of 0.87% were recorded in Frankfurt's DAX, while the MIBTEL in Milan was at -0.71%. In Amsterdam and Madrid the losses were 1.14% and 0.88% respectively. The biggest loss of 3.24% was recorded in Helsinki.

    [12] NOTABLE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF NEW PRIVATE CARS IN NORTHERN GREECE

    The number of new private cars in northern Greece was increased by 48.5% in October and reached 3.717, but an equally popular month for the purchase of new cars was September as well with an increase of 26.4% compared to the same month last year.

    The total number of new cars that was recorded in northern Greece in the January- October 1999 period was 41.927.

    Specifically, in the prefecture of Thessaloniki were registered 21.809 new cars from the beginning of the year until October, compared to 15.526 new cars that were registered in the first 10 months of last year.

    [13] OVER 2.8 MILLION PEOPLE USED THESSALONIKI'S MACEDONIA AIRPORT IN THE FIRST 10 MONTHS OF 1999

    The number of people who used Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport in the month of October increased by 26% compared to the same month last year reflecting the upward trend recorded in the past 10 months.

    Specifically, 271.400 people used Macedonia Airport in October, while a similar increase of 20.8% was recorded in September when their number was 393.500 compared to 325.700 last year. A total of 2.823.900 arrivals have been recorded in Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport from January to October 1999.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] FOREIGN MINISTER TRAVELS TO MOSCOW TODAY

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou is to travel to Moscow today where he will meet with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov. Mesrs. Papandreou and Ivanov will discuss the Cyprus issue and the situation in Kosovo.

    Mr. Papandreou is also set to meet Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during his two-day visit.

    On Thursday, the president of the European Union, Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Liponnen will be in Athens for talks.

    [15] DEFENSE MINISTER IN BUCHAREST FOR MINISTERS COUNCIL

    Greece's Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos is presently in Bucharest where he will take part in the Ministers Council for the Multi-National Europe Pact.

    The Ministers are expected to ratify the formation of a special battalion which will deal with the handling of catastrophes in the Balkans, either due to natural causes or a result of war, as in Kosovo.

    [16] GREEK AMBASSADOR TO RUSSIA COMMENTS ON BILATERAL TIES

    Commenting on the situation in Chechnya, Greece's Ambassador to Moscow Dimitris Kypreos stated that Greece views the matter as an internal Russian affair, albeit he stressed that Russia's intention to neutralize terrorism should not result in senseless deaths among the civilian population.

    Regarding the north Caucasus, the ambassador stressed that Greece "follows the developments in the region both as a very friendly country to Russia and as a member of the European Union".

    Referring to the imminent talks to be held between Greece's visiting Foreign Minster George Papandreou and his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov, Mr. Kypreos stated that the current state of cooperation between the two countries shows that we shall continue close interaction at the political level in the new century.

    The economic cooperation "permanently and dynamically develops, despite temporary difficulties, Mr. Kypreos told the Russian news agency Itar-Tass, adding "we are united not only by political and economic issues. The rapprochement of the two peoples who have common cultural heritage and traditions is going on."

    Mr. Papandreou's visit will take place in the framework "of very close relations between Greece and Russia when the heads of both Foreign ministries hold meetings outside the framework of traditional ministerial visits. Therefore, the visits and talks have for a long time acquired a working character", according to the Ambassador.

    Moreover, Mr. Kypreos stated that the talks between the Russian and Greek FMs will be devoted to the discussion of the state of bilateral relations, as well as to the most important international problems in the light of the recent OSCE summit in Istanbul, adding that much attention will be paid to the problems of security in Europe and in the Balkans, in particular.

    He added that a legal basis had been laid for relations between Greece and Russia: agreements on investments, economic, scientific and technical cooperation, and cooperation in tourism had been signed. An agreement on avoiding double taxation is practically ready for signing. It will be followed by an agreement on shipping. Furthermore, Mr. Kypreos stated that efforts are presently underway to draft bilateral documents on cooperation of justice and law enforcement agencies in their crime fight, including on the extradition of criminals.

    [17] UN SPOKESPERSON: TALKS ON CYPRUS TO BE "OPEN-ENDED"

    The spokesman of the United Nations Secretary General Fred Eckhard stated that the Cyprus talks between Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash were scheduled to open at UN Headquarters on Friday, December 3.

    After that, Mr. Eckhard said, the schedule is open-ended, and "could go on for a week or more, depending on the two leaders who will be doing the talking and whether or not there is any progress being made."

    Mr. Eckhard noted that the UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan planned to devote as much time to the talks as possible, and Special Representative Alvaro de Soto will also be fully engaged in the meetings.

    [18] EU LABOR AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS COUNCIL MEETS IN BRUSSELS

    The European Union's Council of Labor and Social Affairs Ministers convened in Brussels yesterday, where Greece was represented by the Minister of Labor and Social Security Miltiadis Papaioannou.

    The council decided on a "European strategy for employment" which includes guidelines for employment policy in the year 2000, the 1999 joint report and the council's recommendations to member states.

    [19] CONFERENCE ON PARTHENON MARBLES OPENS IN LONDON TODAY

    An international conference is opening in London today, which will review the conclusions reached by the experts who examined the damage caused to the Parthenon marbles by the British Museum's cleaning methods.

    Greece's Culture Minister Elisabeth Papazoi stated yesterday that Greece will call for the permanent return of the Parthenon sculptures to their rightful home.

    She also released a report by Greek experts on the state of the sculptures and announced that the marbles had suffered extensive adulteration during cleaning operations at the British Museum, reversing the argument used by the museum about better restoration and maintenance conditions.

    At the London conference, British historians are expected to blame the administration of the British Museum of conspiracy, bribery and concealing information. More than 20 historians and art restorers from all over the world are to attend the conference.

    [20] THE INTERNATIONAL OIL PRICES HAVE DROPPED

    The international oil prices continued their downward trend yesterday after Iraq's announcement that it is willing to accept a new round of liquid fuel sales in exchange for food.

    From their side, the dominant oil producing countries in the Persian Gulf made it clear that they will take all necessary measures in order to face any emergency.

    As a result the oil prices slipped in London yesterday afternoon to 25.08 dollars a barrel namely, 80 cents lower than the November 22 price which was the highest of the past 9 years.

    [21] GREECE IS ONE OF FYROM'S MOST IMPORTANT TRADE PARTNERS

    Germany, Yugoslavia and Greece are the three most important trade partners of FYROM based on the volume of the trade transactions from the beginning of the year until the end of September.

    In the January-September period FYROM's exports were 858 million dollars, while its imports were 1.2 billion dollars.

    Most of FYROM's exports are channeled to the markets of the European Union mainly, to Germany and Greece. In the first nine months of the year, FYROM's exports to EU countries reached 408 million dollars, while FYROM's imports from EU countries in the same period of time were 485 million dollars.

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