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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-06-08

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 8, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [Á] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] BUSH PROPOSES MILLER FOR ATHENS EMBASSY POST
  • [02] WHO CONFIRMS 20 BREAKOUTS OF CCHF IN KOSSOVO
  • [03] MINISTER DOESN'T WANT GREECE TO GO TO POT
  • [04] TURKISH BOAT CAUSES OIL SLICK IN THERMAICOS BAY
  • [05] SLOVENIAN BUSINESS DELEGATION IN THESSALONIKI
  • [06] US AMBASSADOR LAUDS GREECE FOR REGIONAL ROLE
  • [07] NATO DMs REACH NO AGREEMENT ON TURKEY
  • [08] MARC GROSSMAN ADDRESSES PSEKA CONFERENCE
  • [09] MEMORIAL SERVICE HELD FOR SLAIN U.K. ATTACHE
  • [10] GREEK PREMIER WRAPS UP VISIT TO GERMANY TODAY
  • [11] TERRORISM, ORGANIZED CRIME DRAFT BILL PASSED
  • [12] EVERYTHING POSSIBLE IS BEING DONE TO COMBAT TERRORISM
  • [13] PAN-MACEDONIAN ASSOCIATIONS' MEETING
  • [14] THE GREEK PROPOSAL FOR THE CRISIS IN FYROM
  • [15] INCREASED INFLATION IN MAY
  • [16] AN INDICTMENT WAS ISSUED ON THE SAUNDERS CASE
  • [17] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [18] THE ELECTION RESULT IN BRITAIN IS POSITIVE
  • [19] THE TURKISH EXERCISE "SEA WOLF" IS HELD BASED ON A PLAN
  • [20] PAPANDREOU: A REVISION OF THE NICE AGREEMENT IS RULED OUT
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [21] SIMITIS AND SCHRODER DISCUSSED THE EUROPEAN COURSE AND THE CRISIS IN FYROM

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] BUSH PROPOSES MILLER FOR ATHENS EMBASSY POST

    US President George Bush Jr. has proposed career diplomat Thomas Miller to the ambassadorial post in Athens, replacing Nicholas Burns.

    According to a White House announcement, Mr. Miller's appointment is subject to the approval of the Senate's Foreign Affairs committee.

    Presently serving as ambassador in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Mr. Miller would be replacing departing ambassador Nicholas Burns, who will be assigned to Brussels where he will hold the US ambassadorial post in NATO.

    A protégé of Richard Holbrooke, who once referred to him as "one of his closest colleagues", Mr. Miller is deemed an expert on terrorism issues. He served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Athens from 1994 to 1997, while during an earlier assignment to Greece (1985-87), he also served in the Embassy's political section. Moreover, he served as Special Coordinator for Cyprus (with the rank of Ambassador) from August 1997 until the Bosnia assignment.

    A member of the Senior Foreign Service at the rank of Minister Counselor, Mr. Miller joined the State Department in 1976. During most of the 1980s and early 1990s, he concentrated on the Middle East, serving twice on the Israeli Desk (once as Director), heading the Office of Maghreb Affairs, and acting as Director of the Counter-terrorism Office.

    [02] WHO CONFIRMS 20 BREAKOUTS OF CCHF IN KOSSOVO

    They World Health Organization has confirmed 20 cases of the rare Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in Kosovo, although the number of breakouts has to climb to 50 before WHO intervenes.

    At the same time, the Greek Foreign Ministry has issued assurances that no Greek troops serving with the KFOR-peacekeeping force have been inflicted with the disease, which, according to experts from the School of Medicine at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, is an annually recurring phenomenon in that area.

    Moreover, government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stressed that every precautionary measure was being taken to protect Greeks living in the area.

    CCHF, whose name indicates the locale of the first detections, is a viral disease that strikes both humans and animals.

    In humans, CCHF appears suddenly with symptoms similar to those of influenza, followed by a rash. Hemorrhage, which does not occur in all cases and can be more severe in some and less in others, begins on or about the fourth day and continues for about two weeks.

    The fatality rate is from 2-50%.

    In animals, the disease takes the form of mild fever and viremia in sheep, cattle and small mammals such as hares. A vaccine exists, but the most widespread form of control is the use of anti-tick solutions into which animals are literally dipped – a practice that causes extreme trauma and must be repeated regularly to be effective.

    Observed in western Crimea, Kersch Peninsula, Kazakstan and Uzbekistan, Rostov and Astrakhan regions of Russia CCHF is also found in Bosnia-Herzogovina, Albania, Bulgaria, Iraq, the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, western China, tropical Africa and South Africa, while those at high risk are animal husbandry workers and medical personnel.

    [03] MINISTER DOESN'T WANT GREECE TO GO TO POT

    Obviously getting more than he bargained for, Minister of Public Order Michalis Chrysochoides is opposed to an experts' report, drawn at his request, that recommends the legalization of marijuana when its use is designated for personal purposes.

    "My view is that the dilemma of decriminalization or not is not the critical issue," Mr. Chrysochoides stated, adding that "I would even say that it's a false dilemma since many drug users today are not punished by the courts, as according to the law."

    Arguing that the drug problem needs to be handled through other policies, the Minister said that the state has to embark on a nationwide anti-drug campaign that would limit the demand for drugs. The report, authored by top echelons of the Greek police force, along with criminology experts, also called for the establishment of drug-use prevention programs targeting "high-risk" groups, mobile units for emergency intervention and aid, as well as providing police with on-line information services.

    While the report did not advocate the blanket legalization of drugs, arguing that it would increase drug addiction, it did cautiously promote a "medicalization" model - allowing addicts to receive treatment on demand and, in some cases, allotments of drugs.

    [04] TURKISH BOAT CAUSES OIL SLICK IN THERMAICOS BAY

    Greek authorities have arrested the chief engineer of a Turkish vessel that caused an oil slick at Thessaloniki's Thermaicos Bay early yesterday morning.

    The oil slick, measuring 550 square meters, was caused when the Turkish vessel "CMA CGM Blida" was being refueled.

    The Turkish chief engineer, who is to appear before a Thessaloniki prosecutor today, has been fined with five million drachmas, to be paid by the vessel's parent company.

    [05] SLOVENIAN BUSINESS DELEGATION IN THESSALONIKI

    Investment and trade opportunities in Slovenia are to be showcased to Northern Greece's investors today during an event jointly organized in Thessaloniki by the city's Chamber of Industry and Commerce (EVETH) and the corresponding Slovenian chamber.

    The meeting will also be attended by Slovenian ambassador to Athens Borut Mahnic who will give an address on his country's economic situation.

    A delegation of Slovenian entrepreneurs is to also attend the meeting.

    [06] US AMBASSADOR LAUDS GREECE FOR REGIONAL ROLE

    U. S. Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns lauded Greece for its role as a basic regional power, the only European Union and NATO member-state in the region, characterizing the country as "the only steady and prospering democracy" in the Balkans.

    Addressing an event on Greece's cooperation with the U.S. in the Balkans, organized by the "Constantine Karamanlis Institute of Democracy", the U.S. Ambassador stressed the importance of the joint presence of Greek and American troops in the SFOR and KFOR forces, as well as the efforts made by the two countries governments for democratic change in Serbia.

    Moreover, he underlined that Greek foreign policy underwent a substantive turn in past years, reaching a rapprochement with Turkey on the one hand, while playing an important role in the Balkans on the other.

    [07] NATO DMs REACH NO AGREEMENT ON TURKEY

    The NATO Defense Ministers Summit concluded yesterday without an agreement on Turkey's participation in European security and defense policy and the European army.

    Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos stressed that Greece will remain steadfast to the decisions drawn at the Nice summit, concerning EU-NATO cooperation, and denied reports that allow Turkey to participate in the implementation of European security and defense policy, even though it is not an EU member-state.

    Referring to the situation in FYROM, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said that forces will be reinforced to optimally secure borders between Kosovo and FYROM.

    [08] MARC GROSSMAN ADDRESSES PSEKA CONFERENCE

    Cyprus' accession to the European Union can serve as the impetus for the resolution of the island's political problem, U.S. assistant secretary of state Marc Grossman stated during his address to the 12th annual conference of the International Coordinating Committee for Cypriot Struggle (PSEKA), presently held in Washington.

    In his taped address, Mr. Grossman also expressed the Bush Administration's support to Turkey's accession to the EU, since this would provide the country with a strong motivation to proceed to the necessary changes on matters related to human rights and democracy.

    The conference is jointly organized by the Council of Hellenes (SAE) and other Greek and Cypriot expatriates organizations, and features the attendance of approximately 100 representatives from the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Greece and Cyprus.

    [09] MEMORIAL SERVICE HELD FOR SLAIN U.K. ATTACHE

    Exactly a year after his murder, a memorial service was held in Athens this morning in honor of British Brigadier Stephen Saunders who was assassinated by the November 17 terrorist group.

    Earlier, his widow, Heather, laid a wreath near the spot where her husband was gunned down on Kifissias Avenue in Filothei.

    Held at the Athens Cathedral, the memorial service was officiated by Bishop Manktclow of the Anglican Diocese of Europe conducted the service, which was attended by Greek government and state officials, and the Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece Christodoulos.

    In an interview with the Greek service of BBC, Ms. Saunders said she believes that there is a renewed and coordinated effort to discover her late husband's assassins, albeit adding that if the crime had occurred in England then the investigations would have already borne results, given the experience of the British police.

    "Greece is still learning," she characteristically stated.

    Meanwhile, a UK Foreign Office spokesman has confirmed that a Scotland Yard report on November 17 has been handed to Greek authorities.

    [10] GREEK PREMIER WRAPS UP VISIT TO GERMANY TODAY

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to conclude his three-day visit to Germany today, where he traveled on the invitation of German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

    Messrs. Simitis and Schroeder last night discussed the FYROM crisis, Cyprus' European course, as well as Greek demands for Germany to pay reparations for atrocities carried out by German occupation troops in World War II.

    [11] TERRORISM, ORGANIZED CRIME DRAFT BILL PASSED

    Closing three days of heated debate, a controversial draft law on fighting organized crime and terrorism was passed by Parliament last night, approved by both the ruling PASOK, albeit with a few internal dissentions, and the main opposition party of New Democracy.

    Deputies from the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) ad the coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) abstained from the vote, expressing their opposition to the bill.

    Justice Minister Michalis Stathopoulos, who drafted the bill, stated that the proposed legislation enjoys the government's support, as well as that of the majority of PASOK's deputies.

    One of the most hard-line dissenters was PASOK MP Sifis Valyrakis who stressed that not only did he vote against the draft law, but views the policy and the procedures followed as being contrary to the vote of confidence that he has cast.

    [12] EVERYTHING POSSIBLE IS BEING DONE TO COMBAT TERRORISM

    Undersecretary of national defense Dimitris Apostolakis expressed the Greek government's regret for the assassination of British military attache Stephen Saunders in Athens a year ago today.

    Mr. Apostolakis gave the assurance that everything possible is being done to combat terrorism in Greece, stressing that the anti-terrorism law that was passed in parliament will strengthen the existing institutional framework.

    In the memorial service held in Athens today speeches were delivered by the widow of Stephen Saunders, Heather, the British ambassador and an Anglican bishop who performed the service.

    Present in the memorial service were also Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece, foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, public order minister Michalis Chrisochoidis, parliament deputies, representatives of religious dogmas, ambassadors, civilian and military embassy personnel.

    [13] PAN-MACEDONIAN ASSOCIATIONS' MEETING

    The 55th National Conference of the US-Canada Pan-Macedonian Association and the 8th World Conference of all Pan-Macedonian Associations will take place in Litochoro on July 12-16.

    A meeting of the Supreme Council will be held on the first day of the conference, while a presentation of the Kalas from Pakistan and a Macedonian night will also take place.

    The National Conference proceedings will open on July 13 and will end on the next day with a music concert by singer Giorgos Dalaras in the ancient theater of Dion.

    The proceedings of the World Conference of All Pan-Macedonian Associations will open on July 15 for the election of Pan- Macedonian Association officials. The conference will end on the next day with the election of the Alexander the Great Institute Intermediary Committee members and the institute's general secretary.

    [14] THE GREEK PROPOSAL FOR THE CRISIS IN FYROM

    A Greek proposal, complementary to the initiatives that were undertaken recently by the international community aimed at lifting the deadlock in FYROM and averting widespread armed conflicts in the country, will be discussed in the EU General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg on Monday.

    According to Greek foreign ministry spokesman, Panos Beglitis the proposal in question, which has the approval of the parliament political parties in FYROM wants to get a pledge from all involved sides, and mainly the parliamentary political parties in FYROM, that they will seek a mutually acceptable political solution within a strict timetable of five days of continuous negotiations.

    In the negotiations that will be chaired by the FYROM president will participate the leaders of the four political parties in the FYROM national unity government and a ten-member secretariat that will process the texts under the chairmanship of a local or foreign independent personality. A group of 10-12 legal specialists will also be present in the negotiations. The leaders of the Albanian rebels terrorist organizations will not be invited to participate in the dialogue. A limited number of high ranking EU and US officials will be invited to attend the first days of the negotiations, while Javier Solana, head of the EU joint foreign policy and policy of defense, will be present after the fourth day of the negotiations.

    [15] INCREASED INFLATION IN MAY

    Inflation in Greece was 3.6% in the month of May, according to a formal announcement by the National Statistics Agency. The price hikes in fuel, fruits, vegetables and airplane tickets contributed to the increase of inflation which continues to cause headaches to the government's economic staff.

    Specifically, last month's inflation was increased by 0.1% compared to April (3.5%) imposing the adoption of measures aimed at achieving the government's goal for a 2.7% price index by the end of 2001.

    [16] AN INDICTMENT WAS ISSUED ON THE SAUNDERS CASE

    Athens prosecutor Giorgos Gerakis issued an indictment on the case of the assassination of British military attache Stephen Saunders who was killed in Athens one year ago today.

    Specifically, an indictment was issued for manslaughter, illegal possession and use of weapons, theft and the establishment of a gang.

    The prosecutor also asked for an official translation by the foreign ministry of all English texts included in the legal papers as the case is now assigned to a magistrate.

    The indictment was issued by the prosecutor after a careful study of the information gathered on the case by the anti- terrorist agency.

    [17] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -075% at 2.951,05 points, while the volume of transactions was disappointing at 106.41 million Euro or 36.26 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, just 55 recorded gains and the overwhelming majority namely, 277 had losses, while 49 stocks remained stable.

    [18] THE ELECTION RESULT IN BRITAIN IS POSITIVE

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized as positive the election result in Britain and the victory of the Labor Party.

    He said that the victory of prime minister Tony Blair and his party creates the best preconditions for Britain and bilateral relations and for Britain's presence in the European Union.

    [19] THE TURKISH EXERCISE "SEA WOLF" IS HELD BASED ON A PLAN

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas referred to the Turkish Navy missile-boat that was seen southeast of the Aegean island of Astipalea and pointed to the statement made by the Greek Navy General Staff according to which, the vessel was spotted 16 miles off the costs of the island and therefore, it was outside the Greek territorial waters.

    Responding to the question if there was a violation of the Greek territorial waters, Mr. Reppas stated regarding the Turkish Naval exercise "Sea Wolf 2001", which is underway, that everything is being done based on the plan submitted by Ankara and there is no problem.

    The incident came to light when a fisherman from Astipalea reported to the Coast Guard this morning that a Turkish missile- boat was near the Greek islets in the specific region. Fisherman Kiriakos Hatzidakis reported that the missile-boat was coming from the west and was directed toward the southeastern Aegean island of Rhodes. Earlier, the same fisherman had spotted a frigate of unknown nationality that was patrolling 2 nautical miles south of the islet of Sirna.

    [20] PAPANDREOU: A REVISION OF THE NICE AGREEMENT IS RULED OUT

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou in statements made in parliament today, stated that any revision of the Nice agreement, that specifically determines the framework of the European Union member-states' relations with their partners in NATO which are not EU members, is ruled out.

    He said that the associated members cannot become equal with the EU member-states in the European security and defense decision making. Mr. Papandreou stated that this is not an issue that concerns only the Greek-Turkish relations, stressing that it is an issue between the European Union and NATO.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [21] SIMITIS AND SCHRODER DISCUSSED THE EUROPEAN COURSE AND THE CRISIS IN FYROM

    The European course and the situation in the Balkans with an emphasis on the crisis in FYROM, were the issues that dominated in yesterday's meeting of Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis with German chancellor Gerhard Schroder in Berlin.

    Mr. Simitis stated that he delivered a memorandum on the crisis in FYROM to Mr. Schroder which Greece has already submitted to the European countries and includes the Greek initiative for the settlement of crisis in the country.

    On the European course, Mr. Simitis stressed that the developments on the EU enlargement issue will be discussed in the Summit in Gothenburg, Sweden next week. He said that they agreed that enlargement should proceed in accordance with the timetables set after settling certain issues that have arisen such as, the continuation of the EU policy on regional convergence.

    Responding to questions by reporters, Mr. Simitis stated that they also discussed the Cyprus issue, the Greek-Turkish relations and the issue of the war reparations for the Nazi victims. On the WWII reparations, he said that the Greek government is waiting for clarifications by the Greek courts before making any proposals to Germany on how the issue can be faced.


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