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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-06-19

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 19, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] GREECE READY TO SEND TROOPS TO FYROM, DM SAYS
  • [02] BALKAN EDUCATIONAL MEETING SOON IN ISTANBUL
  • [03] "CYPRUS-AEGEAN-THRACE" NULLIFYING DISTANCES
  • [04] FOUR PROSPECTIVE BUYERS FOR OA SUBMIT OFFERS
  • [05] EUROPE'S SCREENWRITERS UNION FORMED IN ATHENS
  • [06] MORE THAN 6,000 REFUGEES RESIDE IN GREECE
  • [07] OA TECHNICAL STAFF STRIKE, ONE FLIGHT PER ROUTE
  • [08] PM RECEIVED BY PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS EU SUMMIT
  • [09] BELGIUM'S ROYAL COUPLE ON A VISIT TO GREECE
  • [10] AGGRESSIVE DRIVING THE CAUSE OF MOST ACCIDENTS
  • [11] UNEMPLOYMENT IN GREECE ROSE STEADILY IN 1988-99
  • [12] REGISTRATION OF OLYMPIC GAMES' VOLUNTEERS
  • [13] STEPHANOPOULOS-SIMITIS MEETING
  • [14] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [15] CYPRUS' EU ACCESSION COURSE WILL NOT BE STOPPED
  • [16] THE IMD ON THE GREEK ECONOMY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [17] MARINOS: PILOT EU ACCESSION OF TURKEY'S EUROPEAN PART
  • [18] STATEMENT BY THE GREEK EMBASSY IN TIRANA
  • [19] THE BAN ON MEAT-AND-BONE MEALS CONTINUES

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREECE READY TO SEND TROOPS TO FYROM, DM SAYS

    Greece is ready to participate in NATO's projected international peacekeeping force in FYROM, Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, in a role that will mostly monitor the disarming of Albanians extremists in the region.

    Furthermore, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said that a relevant NATO decision authorizing such a force is to be taken tomorrow. According to reports, one Greek army mechanized battalion has been placed on stand-by in case a peacekeeping force is sanctioned.

    [02] BALKAN EDUCATIONAL MEETING SOON IN ISTANBUL

    The second educational meeting of leading officials of the Balkan countries on political and economic cooperation and development will take place June 20-23 in Istanbul, organized by the Kokkalis Program, in collaboration with Turkey's Sabaci University.

    The Istanbul meeting, which comprises the third and final part of this year's educational program that was launched in March at Harvard University in the US, will be attended by 25 prominent officials holding key positions in the political and economic sectors of their countries.

    The delegates include the government spokesman of FYROM, ministers from the Serb and Turkish governments, members of Romania's senate, and advisors of the Bulgarian president and the prime ministers of Albania and Greece.

    [03] "CYPRUS-AEGEAN-THRACE" NULLIFYING DISTANCES

    A meeting focusing on the theme "Cyprus-Aegean-Thrace: Nullifying Distances-Culture-Local Administration-Communication" is to begin today at Aigeiros, in the Rodopi prefecture.

    The organizers of the meeting are the cultural communication agencies "Poseidonio of Nicosia" and "Poseidonio of Thrace" and the municipality of Aigeiros, while the event will be sponsored by the enlarged Rodopi-Evros prefectural administration.

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Macedonia-Thrace Minister George Paschalidis have been invited to attend, while a concert will be given at Aigeiros on June 21 by well-known Cypriot composer Marios Tokas.

    [04] FOUR PROSPECTIVE BUYERS FOR OA SUBMIT OFFERS

    Four companies interested in buying a majority stake of Olympic Airways (OA) submitted their binding offers last night, thus edging closer towards the end of a months-long saga regarding the fate of Greece's ailing national air carrier.

    The four parties are the private airline company Axon (a member of the Liakounakos group), Cyprus Airways (the only international airline company to submit an offer), Golden Aviation Services (belonging to shipowner Stamatis Restis) and the Texas- based Integrated Airlines Solutions.

    Credit Suisse First Boston, a consultant to the Greek government on the sale of Olympic Airways, announced yesterday evening that the four interested parties also submitted operational and business plans.

    The bid criteria set forth by the government are that OA should operate mainly as an airline after its privatization and retain its logo retain its logo for a specified period of time. Also, the newly-built Athens airport Eleftherios Venizelos should be used as the main base for OA's aircraft.

    Moreover, the privatized firm should have the financial strength and administrative capacity to post growth as a financially viable company with long-term prospects, while state and affiliate-firm risks and commitments should be minimized after restructuring.

    [05] EUROPE'S SCREENWRITERS UNION FORMED IN ATHENS

    Screenplay writers from throughout Europe signed a pan- European sector union agreement in Athens yesterday, aiming to promote and safeguard their rights, uphold copyright laws, as well as preserve the continent's cultural identity.

    The newly-formed union comprises the national unions of France, England, Italy, Spain, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Portugal, Ireland, Iceland and Belgium.

    The event was sponsored by the Audiovisual Media Institute, as part of its activities for the scientific support and coordinating activity for the Greek audiovisual media sector.

    [06] MORE THAN 6,000 REFUGEES RESIDE IN GREECE

    A total of 6,653 individuals recognized as refugees resided in Greece as of December 31, 2000, according to data released yesterday by the Greek Refugee Council.

    In light of tomorrow's World Refugee Day, an open event is to be held in downtown Athens tomorrow evening, aiming at sensitizing the general public on refugee issues.

    The event is being jointly organized by the United Nations' Refugee High Commission (UNHCR), the Greek Refugee Council, the Social Labor Foundation, the Greek Red Cross and the International Social Service.

    [07] OA TECHNICAL STAFF STRIKE, ONE FLIGHT PER ROUTE

    Only one flight per destination, both domestic and international, is to be carried out today by national carrier Olympic Airways as its technical staff are holding a one-day strike, held over institutional and financial demands.

    The strike, which began at midnight, was ruled legal by an Athens court.

    Passengers wishing to travel with Olympic Airways today, should first check with OA at 966-6666, a company announcement said.

    [08] PM RECEIVED BY PRESIDENT TO DISCUSS EU SUMMIT

    Following a meeting held this morning at the Presidential Mansion, both the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simtiis expressed their concern over the violent anti-globalization protests held in Gotenborg, on the sidelines of the recently-held European Union Summit.

    According to Mr. Simitis, the Summit "showcased the EU's dynamism, as well as the existing hurdles."

    In response to President Stephanopoulos' lament over the clashes noted outside the Summit's premises, Mr. Simitis stated that "violence is unacceptable; the problem exists and we have to address it.

    "We want Europe to be closer to its citizens and meet their needs," he stated.

    [09] BELGIUM'S ROYAL COUPLE ON A VISIT TO GREECE

    Belgium's King Albert II and Queen Paola arrived today on a three-day visit to Greece, where they are to meet with the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos this afternoon.

    In the evening the royal couple will be received by the President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, while in the evening they will be the honored guests at a dinner hosted by President Stephanopoulos.

    They will travel to Thessaloniki on Thursday where, upon their arrival, they will be transported via helicopter to the Vergina archaeological site.

    Following an afternoon meeting with the Minister of Macedonia- Thrace, King Albert and Queen Sofia will be given a tour through Thessaloniki's landmark Aghia Sophia Church and will depart for Brussels in the evening.

    [10] AGGRESSIVE DRIVING THE CAUSE OF MOST ACCIDENTS

    The number of fatalities resulting from traffic accidents rose by 60 percent during the period 1980-97, while the resultant social and economic annual toll amounts to 200 billion drachmas.

    According to the Minister of Transportation Christos Verelis, aggressive driving runs rampant in Greece, where rude gestures, speeding, horn honking and driving while talking on a cell phone are deemed as ordinary behaviors.

    A strategic plan program concerted by six ministries (Public Works, Transport, Health, Public Order, Interior and National Finance) aims to reduce the country's high traffic fatality rate by 20% within the next five-year period.

    The Public Order Ministry will make improvements in traffic policing services, the system of registering accidents, supervision and firefighting services, while it will also focus on preventing driving under the influence of alcohol and will enforce the use of seat belts for drivers and helmets for motorcyclists.

    The Health and Welfare Ministry is preparing a pilot project for counting road fatalities in five municipalities, epidemiological research on physical and mental harm caused by accidents, and an innovative first-aid center for road accident victims.

    The Public Works Ministry will improve signposts and anti- skid surfacing, and inspect road construction.

    The Transport Ministry will be responsible for driver's education and car maintenance.

    [11] UNEMPLOYMENT IN GREECE ROSE STEADILY IN 1988-99

    The rate of unemployment rose steadily throughout all of Greece's regions during the 12-year period of 1988-99, according to the European Commission, which based its findings on comparative data provided by Eurostat, the European Union's statistical service.

    According to the data, Greece's unemployment rate rose from 7.7% in 1988 to 11.7 percent in 1999, with Western Macedonia especially affected as the corresponding rates for this region rose from six percent in 199 to 14.6 12 years later.

    [12] REGISTRATION OF OLYMPIC GAMES' VOLUNTEERS

    The importance of volunteerism for the success of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games is pointed out by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, North and South America Division and through its site on the Internet (www.saeamerica.org) it offers specific information and a registration form for those interested.

    North and South America-SAE coordinator Christos Tomaras underlined that the Olympic Games in Athens are a source of pride for every Greek as, once again, they will show to the world the Greek civilization's spirit and ideals.

    [13] STEPHANOPOULOS-SIMITIS MEETING

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis and president Kostis Stephanopoulos in their meeting in Athens today expressed concern regarding the protests against globalization and the violent clashes between protesters and police in Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the Gothenburg Summit showed the European Union potential and the existing difficulties. He said that violence in unacceptable, adding that the problem is real and it has to be faced, while he stressed that we need a Europe closer to its people, a Europe that will meet the people's needs.

    In statements he made to reporters after the meeting with president Stephanopoulos, the prime minister stressed the need for the government to continue with the policy it has followed in the past years. He explained that this became clear during the contacts he had in Brussels and Sweden and pointed out that what is needed is a policy that will safeguard economic stability and intense growth rates, while at the same time he pledged that social policy will expand.

    Regarding foreign relations, he said that the fruitful policy of peace and cooperation will continue, because it has given a special prestige to Greece and this is apparent based on the latest developments in the Balkans and the discussion on what should be done in FYROM in which Greece had a leading role. Mr. Simitis added that Greece will have a presence and participation in the procedures that will hopefully lead to a solution.

    [14] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Small losses were recorded again in the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index dropped to -0.37% at 2.832,97 points, while the volume of transactions was disappointing at 99.74 million Euro or 33.987 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 142 recorded gains and 179 had losses, while the value of 61 stocks remained stable.

    [15] CYPRUS' EU ACCESSION COURSE WILL NOT BE STOPPED

    Cyprus' EU accession course cannot be stopped stated government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, stressing that Cyprus meets the EU accession preconditions.

    He also added that Cyprus' negotiations have made considerable progress compared to other EU candidate states and expressed the belief that it will be among the first that will become European Union members.

    [16] THE IMD ON THE GREEK ECONOMY

    Greece ranks six places higher on this year's Institute of Management Development (IMD) list compared to 1997. The list is drawn up based on the overall economic performance of 49 countries. Greece occupies the thirtieth place on the specific list that is included in the annual IMD competitiveness report reflecting the trends recorded in 49 countries in the last five years.

    However, according to the report, Greece is two places lower on the IMD list based on the macro-economic evaluation of the domestic economy.

    The main goal of the report is the comparative evaluation of the participating countries based on their ability to offer an environment where businesses can develop under the most favorable terms.

    According to the IMD report, among Greece's basic defects are its weak exports, while a warning signal has been given concerning unemployment and the direct stock investments abroad.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [17] MARINOS: PILOT EU ACCESSION OF TURKEY'S EUROPEAN PART

    A proposal for a pilot EU accession of Turkey's part that belongs to Europe provided that the necessary preconditions will be met (among them, the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Cyprus) was expressed by right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy Euro-deputy Yiannis Marinos in a question to the EU Council of Ministers and the European Commission. Mr. Marinos made the same proposal for Russia as well in case it requests to become an EU member.

    Mr. Marinos cites figures provided by a Turkish news agency according to which, 97% of the Turkish territory belongs to Asia and only 3% to Europe. The Greek Euro-deputy wonders if the EU tendency to include in it countries that do not belong to the European continent in their entirety means that it will expand to the coasts of the Far East becoming neighbors with China or Japan.

    [18] STATEMENT BY THE GREEK EMBASSY IN TIRANA

    In a statement that was issued by the Greek embassy in Tirana press adviser Efthimios Aravantinos and published by the Albanian newspaper "Sekuli" it is stressed that the goal of Greek ambassador Dimitris Iliopoulos' visit to south Albania was to see for himself how the Greek assistance to Albania is being used, adding that the visit was held within the framework of undersecretary of national economy Yiannis Zafiropoulos' visit to Albania.

    It is stressed that during his visit to south Albania the Greek ambassador had the opportunity to meet with local authorities, parliament deputies and candidates and discussed with them issues concerning the management of the assistance and the progress made in the projects under construction.

    In the same statement it is stressed that the Greek ambassador, respecting the Albanian constitution, did not appear in any political rally, neither backed any candidate.

    [19] THE BAN ON MEAT-AND-BONE MEALS CONTINUES

    The European Commission decided to extend the ban on the use of meat-and-bone meals for cattle within the framework of the measures against the "mad cow" disease.

    The ban, which also concerns the imports and exports of meat- and-bone meals, was imposed in early 2001 after the first "mad cow" disease cases in Germany and Spain, and it was scheduled to be lifted on July 1.

    As it was announced, it will be extended indefinitely but it will always be under revision.


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