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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-06-20

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 20, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] NEW POLL GIVES NEW DEMOCRACY HANDS DOWN WIN
  • [02] BALKAN EDUCATIONAL MEETING IN ISTANBUL
  • [03] BELGIUM'S ROYAL COUPLE MEETS WITH PRESIDENT
  • [04] GREEK FM RECEIVES BELGIAN COUNTERPART MICHEL
  • [05] PAPANTONIOU SATISFIED WITH THE ECONOMY
  • [06] EGYPTIAN PASSENGER SHIP TOWED TO SHORE
  • [07] GREECE RANKS 55TH ON FIFA'S LIST
  • [08] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [09] PAPANDREOU: MESSAGE ON THE WORLD REFUGEE DAY
  • [10] SAMARANCH-"ATHENS 2004" COOPERATION
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [11] NATO DECIDED TO SEND TROOPS TO FYROM
  • [12] GREEK-AUSTRALIAN REACTION ON FYROM
  • [13] FRANKFURT 2001: NEW ROADS TO ITHACA FOR THE GREEK BOOK

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] NEW POLL GIVES NEW DEMOCRACY HANDS DOWN WIN

    The main opposition New Democracy party is leading the ruling PASOK party by 8.9 percent in a recent opinion poll, while ND leader Costas Karamanlis has for the first time edged Premier Costas Simitis on the question of who would be the best prime minister.

    According to an MRB poll that was published yesterday, 34.9 percent of the respondents said they would vote for the conservative ND party in the next elections, while 26 percent opted for the socialists' PASOK. Moreover, 8.9% of those polled said they would cast a vote for the Movement of Free Citizens (KEP), which is led by the Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos, followed by 5.6% for the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), 3.4% for the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) and 1.9% for the Democratic Socialist Movement (DHKKI).

    As for who is deemed as most suitable for the post of prime minister, Mr. Karamanlis came first with 39.3%, followed by Mr. Simitis with 37.1 per cent.

    ND also won hands down as the party most likely to win an election - regardless of which party the respondents would themselves vote for - with 51.3 per cent forecasting an ND victory against 26.9 per cent expecting victory for PASOK.

    Apart from most suitable for prime minister, respondents also chose Mr. Karamanlis over Mr. Simitis as the more popular political leader, with 41.7 per cent.

    However, Mr. Avramopoulos, whose popularity as political leader was assessed for the first time, topped the list with 45.6%, while Synaspismos leader Nikos Constantopoulos received 36.3%. Mr. Simitis ranked fourth with 32.8%, followed by DIKKI leader Dimitris Tsovolas (30.1%), Liberals Party leader Stephanos Manos (22.1%), KKE leader Aleka Papariga (14.7%) and Political Spring leader Antonis Samaras (10.9%).

    As expected, President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos had a steady popularity rating of 77.8 per cent, while the popularity of Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos rose to 74.8 per cent and that of Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos to 71.7 per cent.

    Also a first in the MRB poll, ND cadres appeared to have overtaken their PASOK counterparts in general popularity, with George Souflias (55.3%) and Dora Bakoyianni (51.4%) occupying the two top slots, followed by Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos (47.6%) and Foreign Minister George Papandreou (47.2%).

    Next in line were Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis (40.8%), Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos (40.1%), ND spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos (39%), ND deputy Prokopis Pavlopoulos (37.7%), Interior Minister Vasso Papandreou (37.3%) and ND MP Vyron Polydoras (37%).

    The government's image was described as "positive" by 20.8 per cent of respondents, compared to 28.5 per cent last December, while it was seen as "negative" by 65.3 per cent compared with 56.5 percent in December.

    ND's image was described as positive by 29.3 per cent, compared with 25.9 per cent last December, and negative by 53.4 per cent compared with 55.1 per cent in December 2000.

    Mr. Karamanlis also took the lead over the Prime Minister on confidence in handling economic issues and foreign policy (37.5 per cent) and social issues (36.9 per cent). Mr. Simitis amassed 31.2 per cent for the handling of economic and foreign policy issues and 23.9 per cent for social issues.

    On which party would be best to handle the social security issue, ND fared far better than PASOK, with 30.6% and 20.5%, respectively.

    [02] BALKAN EDUCATIONAL MEETING IN ISTANBUL

    The second educational meeting of leading officials of the Balkan countries on political and economic cooperation and development is to get underway in Istanbul today, organized by the Kokkalis Program, in collaboration with Turkey's Sabaci University.

    The three-day 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] BELGIUM'S ROYAL COUPLE MEETS WITH PRESIDENT

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos yesterday received the King of Belgium Albert II and Queen Paola, who are presently on a three-day official visit to Greece, the first ever such visit to the country by a Belgian monarch in the history of Greek-Belgian relations.

    Welcoming the royal couple, President Stephanopoulos presented Queen Paola the Cross of the Order of Honor, while the Belgian monarch bestowed the Cross of the Order of Leopold upon the Greek President.

    During an official dinner hosted by the President yesterday evening, the President delivered an address spanning a variety of issues, such as the situation in FYROM, the Cyprus issue, Greek- Turkish relations and the European Union enlargement process.

    President Stephanopoulos stated that Greece wishes to see FYROM return to normalcy through actions based on the principles of international law.

    "Developments (in FYROM) cause grave concern, which we hope is shared to the same degree by other countries of the European Union, so as they may steadfastly take the necessary measures, which will secure peace in the region," President Stephanopoulos stated.

    In regards to Cyprus, he stressed the need for an fair and viable solution to the issue, one that would be in line with the United Nations resolutions, while he also reiterated Greece's position in favor of the EU's enlargement with Cyprus included in the first wave of countries to gain accession.

    In reference to G/T relations, the President stated that Turkey's candidacy to the EU would have a positive impact in promoting democratic institutions in that country and would normalize Greek-Turkish relations.

    King Abert II and Queen Paola are to travel to Thesssaloniki tomorrow, 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.

    [04] GREEK FM RECEIVES BELGIAN COUNTERPART MICHEL

    The excellent level of bilateral relations between Greece and Belgium was ascertained yesterday during talks held between Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Belgian counterpart Louis Michel, who is presently in Greece as part of the delegation accompanying Belgian King Albert II and Queen Paola in their three- day official visit.

    Messrs. Papandreou and Michel discussed conditions in the Balkans, the European Union's security and defense identity, the Cyprus problem and Turkish-EU relations.

    Following the meeting, Mr. Papandreou said that he and Mr. Michel discussed the future of Europe, especially under the scope of Belgium's turn at the EU's rotating presidency as of July 1st.

    Mr. Papandreou stated that Greece and Belgium have similar views and both place special emphasis on the participation of citizens in this discussion.

    Furthermore, he added that EU relations with Balkan countries and conditions in FYROM topped the agenda of their talks along with the recent discussions within NATO for the European Union security and defense identity.

    In turn, Mr. Michel, who will preside over the European Union foreign ministers' council as of July 1st, referred to FYROM and said that the Belgian presidency would work on the problem.

    [05] PAPANTONIOU SATISFIED WITH THE ECONOMY

    Minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou appeared satisfied with the course of the Greek economy in statements he made after the meeting he had with prime minister Kostas Simitis today.

    Mr. Papantoniou pointed out that in spite of the problems as a result of the slow down in the world economy and the oil crisis, the growth rate in Greece will be over 4.5% and inflation will be just under 3%, while the creation of fiscal surplus is regarded as certain. Referring to the investment growth rate, he said that it is high which means new job positions.

    The minister of national economy stressed the need to maintain the satisfactory results, stating that when the economy goes well actual income increases and the budget can sustain social spending.

    [06] EGYPTIAN PASSENGER SHIP TOWED TO SHORE

    A passenger ship with 30 Egyptian nationals on board was towed to shore by the cargo ship "Alexandros" in the early morning hours today. The ship was adrift as a result of a mechanical failure.

    The Egyptian crew members maintained that the ship sailed off from Port Said in Egypt but they did not have a compass, lost their orientation and as a result the ship ended up in the Aegean island of Kasos.

    [07] GREECE RANKS 55TH ON FIFA'S LIST

    The Greek national football team goes from bad to worst. Its bad performances and the fact that it was excluded from the 2002 World Cup brought Greece 7 places down and now ranks 55th on FIFA's list with 558 points.

    France ranks 1st with 818 points followed by Brazil with 796 points and 3rd comes Argentina with 771 points. Italy is 4th (747), followed by Portugal (734), Spain (733), the Czech Republic (726), Germany (720), Holland (718) and Paraguay which is 10th on the list with 714 points.

    [08] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.93% at 2.806,65 points, while the volume of transactions was at 126.2 million Euro or 43 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority, namely, 277 recorded losses and 53 had gains, while 52 stocks remained stable.

    [09] PAPANDREOU: MESSAGE ON THE WORLD REFUGEE DAY

    The need for everybody to contribute to the creation of a big movement that will fight to protect human rights and democratic institutions and eliminate the reasons that create new waves of refugees, was stressed by foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou in his message on the occasion of the World Refugee Day and the 50th anniversary of the founding of UN's High Commission on Refugees.

    Mr. Papandreou stated in his message that people have to battle the forces of xenophobia, racism and hate toward foreigners and contribute to the creation of societies and institutions of multi-cultural coexistence against dependency, underdevelopment and poverty, and against violence and war.

    [10] SAMARANCH-"ATHENS 2004" COOPERATION

    International Olympic Committee, IOC, president Juan Antonio Samaranch had a meeting with the "Athens 2004" organizing committee in the Greek capital today.

    In statements made after the meeting, "Athens 2004" president Ms. Yianna Angelopoulou-Daskalakis referred to Mr. Samaranch's 20year-long contribution to the Olympic movement and the assistance he has offered to the organizing of the Greek Olympic Games.

    From his side, Mr. Samaranch expressed the belief that the Athens Olympic Games will be a huge success.

    At noon today, IOC vice-president Jacques Rogge met with prime minister Kostas Simitis.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [11] NATO DECIDED TO SEND TROOPS TO FYROM

    NATO is ready to send a 3.000-men strong force to FYROM to monitor the disarmament of the Albanian rebels under the precondition that an agreement will be reached first between the Albanian rebels and the FYROM government.

    The above were decided in today's meeting of the NATO states' permanent representatives in Brussels giving a positive response to FYROM president Boris Trajkovski's request for the deployment of a force that will monitor the disarmament and the plan concerning the amnesty that will be granted to the Albanian rebels.

    EU's foreign policy and policy of defense chief Javier Solana and NATO's special envoy are expected in Skopje tomorrow.

    [12] GREEK-AUSTRALIAN REACTION ON FYROM

    The Australian government announced that in response to the reactions on behalf of the Greek-Australian organizations it will withdraw a directive according to which, the Australian states would refer to the FYROM language using the term "Macedonian". Also, Australia's federal government will not adopt any new directives on the issue in question.

    Meanwhile, the government of the state of Victoria agrees with the position of the federal government based on which, the acceptable name is Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, FYROM and the country's people are called Slav-Macedons.

    [13] FRANKFURT 2001: NEW ROADS TO ITHACA FOR THE GREEK BOOK

    The roads to Ithaca for the Greek book pass through Frankfurt's 53rd International Book Exhibition that will take place on October 10-15, while the German public appears eager to meet the modern Greek literature.

    The Greek participation in the 53rd International Book Exhibition in Frankfurt, in which Greece will be the honored country, was presented by culture minister Evangelos Venizelos, "Frankfurt 2001" organizing committee president Giorgos Romeos, Greek Authors' Association president Vasilis Vasilikos and Frankfurt Book Exhibition director Lorenzo Rudolf in a press conference they gave in Frankfurt today.

    Responding to a question by a reporter, Mr. Venizelos stated that the Cypriot book production is an integral part of the Greek- speaking book production, and therefore, it will be present in the Frankfurt Book Exhibition.

    Mr. Venizelos stated regarding the presence of the Turkish literature in Greece and the Greek in Turkey that the Greek writers can find an interesting market in Turkey and the same can happen for the Turkish writers in Greece, adding that there is a long list of Turkish books that have been translated into Greek.

    The Greek culture minister also stated that Greek prime minister Simitis and possibly German Chancellor Schroder will attend some of the 25 events scheduled to take place within the framework of the Greek participation in the exhibition.

    "Frankfurt 2001" organizing committee president Mr. Romeos underlined that about 100 Greek writers will have the opportunity to present their work to the German public.


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