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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-06-14

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 14, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [Á] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] GREEK-EGYPTIANS ASSOCIATION MEETS TOMORROW
  • [02] JOURNALISTS HOLD CONFERENCE IN SAMOTHRACE
  • [03] AIRLINE STAFF DECLARE 3 STRIKES: JUNE 15, 29, 30
  • [04] EU-NATO DEFENSE COOPERATION YES, DEADLOCKS NO
  • [05] GREEK PM: PRESERVE EXISTING BALKAN BORDERS
  • [06] US, GREECE SIGN CTA FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL
  • [07] ALIEN LEGALIZATION SPURS INFLOW OF ALBANIANS
  • [08] GREECE REFUTES REPORT OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH
  • [09] SORROW, CONCERN OVER GREEK MONK'S KILLING
  • [10] OLYMPICS BUDGET SET AT 1.5 TRILLION DRACHMAS
  • [11] MINISTER: AEGEAN WON'T BE TURNED INTO A JUNGLE
  • [12] WESTERN POLICY CENTER TO US: SUPPORT G/T TIES
  • [13] OTE: THE CONVERTIBLE BOND OPENS THE DOOR TO STRATEGIC ASSOCIATES
  • [14] KARAMANLIS-GEORGIEVSKI COMMUNICATION
  • [15] A SIMITIS-BUSH MEETING IS POSSIBLE
  • [16] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [17] MOUSCHOURI AND MILVA IN THE OLYMPUS FESTIVAL
  • [18] HITIRIS ON UCK'S ACTIVITIES IN GREECE
  • [19] THE GREEK PLAN IS IN THE TRAJKOVSKI PROPOSALS
  • [20] ALBANIAN BUSINESS MISSION IN THESSALONIKI
  • [21] MEETING ON THE HOTEL INFRASTRUCTURE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [22] ALBANIAN REBELS SAID TO SUFFER FROM CCHF
  • [23] SPIROS KIPRIANOU UNDERGOES RADIOTHERAPY

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK-EGYPTIANS ASSOCIATION MEETS TOMORROW

    The Association of Greek-Egyptians is to hold its third world congress in Athens on June 15-17, in a conference entitled "Greek- Egyptian: Cultural Activity - Historical Presence and Perspective".

    The event is to be held under the auspices of the Patriarch of Alexandria and All of Africa Petros, as well as Greece's General Secretariat of Greeks Abroad and the Ministry of Culture.

    The conference will aim at highlighting the multiform presence and activities of Greeks from Egypt who continue to distinguish themselves in all sectors of social, economic and cultural life.

    [02] JOURNALISTS HOLD CONFERENCE IN SAMOTHRACE

    The ninth annual conference of Greek journalists is to begin today, at the northeastern Aegean island of Samothraki.

    The four-day event, themed "Power and the Mass Media", is jointly organized by the local municipality, the Prefecture Administration of Evros, the ministry of press and mass media, the ministry of Macedonia-Thrace and journalists' unions.

    [03] AIRLINE STAFF DECLARE 3 STRIKES: JUNE 15, 29, 30

    The federation of airline employees, OSYPA, has announced that it will conduct a 24-hour strike tomorrow, followed by a 48- hour strike on June 29 and 30.

    Their demands include the signing of a collective labor agreement, higher bonuses and more hirings.

    [04] EU-NATO DEFENSE COOPERATION YES, DEADLOCKS NO

    While NATO leaders unanimously agreed that the European Union needs to establish its own defense in cooperation with the Alliance, dissenting opinions as to the approach were expressed during the Special Summit held in Brussels yesterday.

    Greece's Premier Costas Simitis stated that it is necessary to decide on its defense in cooperation with NATO, albeit adding that this cooperation should not lead to deadlocks in decision- making.

    Moreover, he added that the view that the European Union should have its own apparatuses for implementing its decisions was met positively.

    Referring to the anti-missile protection system being promoted by the Bush Administration, the Greek Premier stated that it should not lead to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

    [05] GREEK PM: PRESERVE EXISTING BALKAN BORDERS

    The need to preserve the existing borders in the Balkan region was stressed by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis before the NATO Special Summit in Brussels yesterday, while, referring to the FYROM crisis, he underlined the need for negotiations that will lead to a consensual solution.

    The PM also expressed support for strengthening the presence of NATO and the European Union in the region, while he stressed the need for "sealing FYROM's borders with Kosovo", as well as the restriction of the activities of expatriated Albanians who support extremist organizations in FYROM.

    Furthermore, Mr. Simitis pointed out that the Greek plan on a "speedy dialogue" for a solution to the crisis has been accepted by Skopje and was adopted during the NATO Special Summit.

    The Greek plan anticipates intensive consultations for a solution to basic issues in the region in a period of ten days.

    [06] US, GREECE SIGN CTA FOR MILITARY PERSONNEL

    A Comprehensive Technical Agreement (CTA) concerning the status of U.S. military personnel in Greece and Greek military personnel in the US, was signed by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Brussels yesterday, on the sidelines of NATO's Special Summit.

    According to a US Embassy press release, the signing of the CTA "is a major step forward in the two countries' military relationship. "The agreement consolidates, clarifies and updates provisions of numerous bilateral agreements that supplemented the NATO Status of Forces Agreement and the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement of 1990. It coincides with vastly expanded military arms transfers and training between the two militaries during the last three years. With the signing of the CTA, U.S.-Greek military ties are stronger than at any time in recent memory."

    [07] ALIEN LEGALIZATION SPURS INFLOW OF ALBANIANS

    As thousands of undocumented foreigners in Greece have already scurried to apply for residency through a "second chance" program enacted by the Interior Ministry, immigrant smuggling is thriving in Albania, where organized rings are trying to take advantage of the legalization period that ends on August 2.

    According to the Albanian daily "Koha Jon", which quotes sources from both the Gjirocaster (Albania) and Ioannina (Greece) police departments, the number of illegal immigrants presently residing in border-situated villages surpasses that of the local population.

    According to the Interior Ministry's program, aliens eligible for acquiring a residence and temporary work permit must have completed at least one year of residency in Greece by June 2, when the new immigration legislation became enforceable.

    [08] GREECE REFUTES REPORT OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH

    The Greek embassy in Ankara has refuted a Turkish press report that an Italian-flagged research vessel was conducting geophysical research in the Aegean on Greece's behalf.

    In a statement forwarded to Turkey's Anadolu news agency, the Greek embassy stressed that the vessel in question, the "Sentinel", has been carrying out survey work in the Aegean since May 23 "with the sole purpose of checking out the condition of existing telecom cable nodules and the possibility of laying additional fiber optic cables, from Attica towards Thessaloniki and in the Mirtoon Sea to Crete."

    According to the Embassy's press attache Grigoris Arzoglou, the said vessel's surveys are being conducted under the supervision of Greece's state-run telecommunicationss organization OTE, and will be completed by June 21.

    "It is clear, therefore, that the work carried out by the ‘Sentinel' is totally unrelated to any ‘geophysical studies in international waters', as mentioned in Anadolu's dispatch," Mr. Arzoglou said.

    [09] SORROW, CONCERN OVER GREEK MONK'S KILLING

    Greece's Foreign Ministry has expressed its deepest sorrow and great concern at the revolting murder of Father Germanos, the abbot of the Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. George, who was shot by snipers near an Israeli army checkpoint on Tuesday.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis stated that "we appeal to all sides to take all the required measures for the arrest of those responsible for the crime and to bring them to justice."

    Father Germanos, 34, originally called George Tsibouktsakis, came to Israel in 1990 from Thessaloniki, and had lived for the past 11 years in the remote St. George's Monastery in Wadi Kelt in the West Bank.

    He was shot as he was driving from Jerusalem to his desert monastery near the West Bank town of Jericho. His car had Israeli license plates, which suggests that the attackers thought he was Israeli.

    [10] OLYMPICS BUDGET SET AT 1.5 TRILLION DRACHMAS

    The state budget for the Athens 2004 Olympics Games has been set at 1.5 trillion drachmas (one euro equals 340.750 drachmas), following a meeting between the ministers of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou and of Culture Evangelos Venizelos.

    The funds are to be primarily derived from the Third Community Support Framework (3rd CSF), as well as from state resources.

    The finalized version of the budget is to be ratified next week by the Cabinet.

    [11] MINISTER: AEGEAN WON'T BE TURNED INTO A JUNGLE

    "The PASOK government will not allow the Aegean Sea to be transformed into a jungle," Minister of Merchant Marine Christos Papoustis stated in Parliament yesterday, adding that the state will not permit economic interests to hold the islanders hostage.

    In a House debate on the deregulation of passenger shipping, Mr. Papoutsis outlined the Ministry's draft bill, which aims at opening up Greek routes to competition, thereby allowing for greater state intervention. The bill also calls for the establishment of a ports and port policy general secretariat and the conversion of port authorities into SA companies.

    The draft legislation sets the framework for the coastal shipping sector after Greece allows foreign competition on local routes as of October 31, 2002.

    While the EU deadline was January 1, 2004, the ministry expedited the end of cabotage following the sinking of the Express Samina ferry last September, and took a number of measures aimed at achieving greater security.

    [12] WESTERN POLICY CENTER TO US: SUPPORT G/T TIES

    The United States should actively support the rapprochement of Greek-Turkish relations, Western Policy Center's executive director John Sitilides stated during his testimony before the US House of Representatives committee on foreign affairs' subcommittee on Europe.

    According to a dispatch from the "Voice of America", Mr. Sitilides was one among three experts who participated in a house debate on US policy in the eastern Mediterranean and the handling of relations with Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.

    In addition to Mr. Sitilides, the discussion included testimonies by RAND independent think-tank analyst Ian Lesser, and former US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus (in the early 1990s) Nelson Ledsky.

    Mr. Sitilides said that, after a gradual re-determination of its national interests, Greece had, in the past decade, developed very good relations with the US, while he also referred to Greece's positive role in the Balkans, the country's economic growth and the increased attention given by the Greek government to confronting terrorism.

    In regards to the course of the Greek-Turkish rapprochement and the need for a Cyprus solution, Mr. Sitilides stressed the need for continued US involvement in the efforts for a Cyprus solution but also US encouragement of Turkey's accession to the EU and promotion of a dialogue with the Greek and Turkish armed forces aiming at a reduction of their arms stockpiles.

    [13] OTE: THE CONVERTIBLE BOND OPENS THE DOOR TO STRATEGIC ASSOCIATES

    A 15% of the Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, will come to the hands of a foreign strategic associate in the future as this part of the company will be offered by the Greek state through the issuing of a convertible bond.

    However, in order for this likelihood to become a reality a sine qua non precondition is the improvement of the situation in the international telecommunications market, according to OTE managing director Mr. Nikolaos Manasis in an interview with MPA.

    OTE's investment planning will focus on mobile phone companies as far as the southeastern European markets are concerned said Mr. Manasis, adding that no new investments will be made in domestic phone networks. Mr. Manasis stated that this strategy has an immediate implementation in the Balkans where the organization's investments are targeting a specific geographic region of 65 million consumers.

    Within this framework, OTE will seek to acquire an additional 15% of the Romanian Telecommunications Organization, ROMTELECOM, while it examines the likelihood to increase its participation in the COSMOROM mobile phone company. For the record, OTE has bought out 35% of ROMTELECOM and has its management.

    Meanwhile, any decisions on the organization's investment planning in the Serb market will be made by the end of 2001. Also, OTE examines the likelihood to invest in the Turkish mobile phone market where exploratory contacts are already being made.

    [14] KARAMANLIS-GEORGIEVSKI COMMUNICATION

    A request for international military intervention in FYROM was expressed by the country's prime minister Ljupco Georgievski in a telephone communication he had with Greek right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, who is in Gothenburg, Sweden to attend the European Popular Party summit meeting.

    Mr. Georgievski referred to the role of the peacekeeping force (KFOR) in Kosovo, stressing that apart from guarding the FYROM-Kosovo borders it can undertake to maintain order.

    [15] A SIMITIS-BUSH MEETING IS POSSIBLE

    Greek undersecretary of press and acting government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris did not rule out the likelihood of a meeting between Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis and US president George Bush to be held on the sidelines of the EU summit meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Mr. Hitiris stated that such a meeting is not scheduled to take place but short meetings of leaders are usually being held on the sidelines of the summit.

    [16] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Significant losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -1.58% at 2.853,55 points, while the volume of transactions was 165.72 million Euro or 56.46 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, the majority namely , 284 had losses and 57 recorded gains, while 40 stocks remained stable.

    [17] MOUSCHOURI AND MILVA IN THE OLYMPUS FESTIVAL

    The Olympus Festival celebrates its 30th year taking up a more musical rather than theatrical character with the participation in its events this year of leading names from the world of music such as, Nana Mouschouri, Giorgos Dalaras, Haroula Alexiou and Italian singer Milva.

    The festival will open on July 8 with a concert by Nana Mouschouri and will close on September 1.

    Starting next year, the festival will attempt an opening to the Balkans and already a meeting is scheduled to take place with directors of other Balkan festivals for the signing of a cooperation protocol.

    [18] HITIRIS ON UCK'S ACTIVITIES IN GREECE

    The Greek authorities know everything on anything that takes place in Greece and take all necessary measures, stated acting government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris responding to the question if the security authorities are aware of the alleged UCK activities in Greece and the information concerning fund-raising campaigns that are allegedly being held.

    Mr. Hitiris refused to respond to the question concerning the measures that are being taken by the Greek authorities, stating that this is the responsibility of the authorities, while he added that certain measures are confidential.

    [19] THE GREEK PLAN IS IN THE TRAJKOVSKI PROPOSALS

    The plan that was presented in the NATO summit meeting in Brussels yesterday by the Greek government, concerning the handling of the crisis in FYROM, was included in FYROM president Trajkovski's proposals that will be put into effect, stated undersecretary of press and acting government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris when he was asked if the Greek plan was accepted by the rest EU members.

    The undersecretary of press also stated that a meeting of the FYROM political party leaders will be held in Ochrid today to decide on the procedure that will be followed, while comprehensive talks will be held on June 20-24 and for this purpose NATO secretary-general George Robertson and European joint foreign policy and policy of defense chief Javier Solana will visit Skopje.

    [20] ALBANIAN BUSINESS MISSION IN THESSALONIKI

    A large business delegation from the Commerce and Industry Chamber in the city of Lezhe in Albania will visit Thessaloniki's Commerce and Industry Chamber on June 19 for contacts with local businessmen.

    The members of the Albanian delegation are mainly interested in the import and trade of building materials, while they also have expressed interest in the construction of public and private buildings.

    [21] MEETING ON THE HOTEL INFRASTRUCTURE

    The issue of hotel infrastructure in the region of Athens, which is necessary to cover the hospitality needs in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, was discussed in the meeting held today in the ministry of environment, public works and land planning with the participation of minister Kostas Laliotis, culture minister Evangelos Venizelos, minister of development Nikos Christodoulakis, representatives of "Athens 2004" organizing committee and hotel owners.

    The hotel owners' representatives pointed out that the Athens 2004 needs can be covered by the existing hotel units if their upgrading proceeds. They also expressed the wish that the presence of foreign business groups in Greece will be limited.

    In addition, the government ministers mentioned above had a meeting with "Athens 2004" representatives and the committee that has undertaken the Olympic village construction.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [22] ALBANIAN REBELS SAID TO SUFFER FROM CCHF

    Albanian rebels located at the village of Aracinovo reportedly suffer from Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), as visibly attested by photographs maintained by FYROM's secret service agents.

    According to the Skopje daily "Dnevnik", these rebels infiltrated Skopje from Kosovo, where CCHF breakouts have already resulted in the deaths of four individuals, while 27 others are being treated in various hospitals.

    Skopje's Infectious Diseases Clinic has warned that CCHF could easily be transmitted into FYROM, given the high number of locals who travel back and forth to Kosovo.

    As of last week, the World Health Organization had confirmed 20 cases of the rare disease in Kosovo, although the number of breakouts has to climb to 50 before WHO intervenes.

    CCHF 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.

    [23] SPIROS KIPRIANOU UNDERGOES RADIOTHERAPY

    Cypriot health minister Frixos Savidis stated today that the doctors treating former Cypriot president Spiros Kiprianou are trying to trace back the course of the metastatic cancer that was diagnosed at the right side of his pelvis.

    When he was asked to comment on the state of Mr. Kiprianou's health, Mr. Savidis stated that he expects more information today and added that Mr. Kiprianou undergoes the advisable radiotherapy treatment.


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