|Tuesday, 19 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-07-15
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 A FIRE FIGHTING AIRCRAFT CRASHED INTO A SLOPE OF PILIO IN CENTRAL GREECEThessaloniki, 15 July 2000 (15:47 UTC+2)
Undersecretary of defense Dimitris Apostolakis stated that the two pilots of the fire fighting aircraft that crashed into a slope of Pilio in central Greece, were killed while they were trying to do their job.
According to Mr. Apostolakis, the human factor played the basic role in the accident clarifying that it was not an error but an effort by the pilots to take the most out of their aircraft. Every time an aircraft dips into the smoke nobody knows if it will be able to rise again, stated Mr. Apostolakis, in an effort to describe the degree of difficulty of the pilots' work.
The Air Force Chief of General Staff stated that the aircraft was possibly flying at a very low altitude of 30meters and one of its wings touched the mountain slope.
It is the 8th fire fighting aircraft that crashes since 1977 and the last accident happened 7 years ago in 1993.
National Defense General Staff Chief general Manolis Paragioudakis stated that 26.000 soldiers are in a state alert across Greece and hold organized patrols in order to spot the fires before they spread, while war ships patrol the region of the Ionian Sea islands.
Prime minister Kostas Simitis expressed his deepest regret for the loss of the two pilots and stressed that this tragic event reflects the heroism and altruism of all those involved in the fire fighting efforts.
Meanwhile, two fire fighters suffered serious burns in the effort to put out a fire in Corinth, southern Greece and were taken to hospital, also a woman fire fighter was injured when she fell in a ravine in the region of Akrata.
The fires continue to burn across Greece fanned by the strong winds that constantly change direction making the situation very difficult to handle, while the destruction is immeasurable.
Tens of fires rage in 18 prefectures and the most serious are those in Corinth and Achaia in the Peloponese, in region of Samarina in the prefecture of Grevena in north-western Greece and in Pilion in central Greece.
 THE HELLENIC-AMERICAN NATIONAL COUNCIL EXPRESSED ITS SUPPORT TO GREECEChicago, 15 July 2000 (15:50 UTC+2)
The Hellenic-American National Council expressed its solidarity to Greece on the occasion of the biblical disaster caused by the fires in the country and through the "Plant your roots to Greece" committee decided to send the symbolic sum of US$ 10.000 for the reforestation of the Aegean island of Samos.
The Committee "Plant your roots to Greece" started planting trees in Sounio, near Athens last year on the occasion of the visit to Greece by Hillary Clinton.
The Hellenic-American National Council calls on all the Greeks living in the United States and its member-federations to assist in the effort aimed at the reforestation of the country, stressing that it is a huge issue of national importance for Greece.
 FOREIGN INVESTORS RETURN TO THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 15 July 2000 (17:30 UTC+2)
The gains recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange in the last two days of the week are attributed to the inflow of foreign capital, according to a front-page article by the Athens financial newspaper "Naftemporiki".
The newspaper mentions that Morgan Stanley, Midland, Deutche Bank, Coldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Citybank are among the most well-known foreign brokerage houses that converted foreign currency into drachmas. It is estimated that the overall inflow of capital yesterday was close to 200 million Euro, while on Thursday the inflow of capital was 120 million Euro.
The inflow of foreign capital is expected to give a boost to the Athens Stock Exchange but the longevity of the positive developments will depend not only on the intentions of the foreign institutional investors but on the stance of the Greek investors as well.
 192 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WERE ARRESTED BY THE GREEK COAST GUARDAthens, 15 July 2000 (16:52 UTC+2)
One hundred and ninety two illegal immigrants from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone were spotted by the Greek Coast Guard in the early morning hours yesterday on board a Turkish boat sailing in the region of Kalamaki in Koroni, Peloponese.
Eleven of the illegal immigrants (6 men, 4 women and a child) were taken to a hospital because they showed signs of exhaustion.
The boat's captain and his accomplice, both Turks, were arrested. According to the police, about 60 illegal immigrants boarded the boat in Bulgaria 5 days ago and the rest were picked up from a deserted coast near Istanbul. Each of them paid US$ 2.500 in order to go to Italy.
According to figures provided by the Coast Guard, 1.559 illegal immigrants have been arrested since January 1, 2000, 23 boats have been seized and 67 sailors, who were involved in slave-trading, were brought to justice and received long prison terms.
 EUROPEAN BRANCH OF IHA TO BE CONFIRMED IN 2001Thessaloniki, 14 July 2000 (22:03 UTC+2)
The building used by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) is considered to be the most appropriate for the European Branch of the Inter-Parliamentary Hellenism Association for foreign ministers with Greek roots to be based in. However, the final decision relating to the creation of this office and of the central office will be made during the Global Association's next General Meeting, due to be held in Greece in 2001. The memorandum of articles for this branch will also be discussed, as well as issued concerning immigrant policy, drugs and Athens 2004 publicity.
Nikos Papadopoulos, Dimitrios Yiannaros, Alexander Sarondev and Yiannis Kesisoglou, all members of the Association, are currently holding a conference with Grigoris Niotis, Mr Kyrko and Mr Pappa, all representatives of the Greek government's inter-parliamentary committee for emigrated Greeks and with the president of the SAE Europe Angelos Aslanides.
During a press interview held after the conference, Nikos Papadopoulos, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Association of Hellenism and Swedish Social Democrat Party MP, stated that the cooperation of the Association with the Greek Parliament and with SAE was discussed. He further mentioned that it was decided to name the objectives for the next General Meeting and to publish the memorandum of articles that would be agreed upon during the Meeting.
Grigoris Niotis, President of the Greek government's inter-parliamentary committee for emigrated Greeks, mentioned that the matter of voting for Greeks living abroad was also discussed, adding that the fact that these Greeks cannot vote by post pushes them further away from the country. He also stated that this matter would be discussed in Parliament. Mr Niotis maintained that Greek ministers with foreign roots suggested introducing voting by letter following the example shown by the governments by which they themselves were elected.
Furthermore, Mr Niotis mentioned that the issue of activating friendship groups in countries where Hellenes are elected was also discussed, to bridge countries together.
Angelos Aslanides, President of SAE Europe, invited ministers abroad with Greek roots to contribute to discussions concerning unemployment and health in Greece experienced by immigrants and how they can be solved.
Finally, Alexander Sarontev, a Ukrainian MP with Greek roots, stated that there are seven members of parliament with Greek roots in his country and that he himself has already started trying to promote the Olympic Games.
 PAPANDREOU SAYS FIRE SITUATION HAS IMPROVEDAthens, 14 July 2000 (22:02 UTC+2)
Today saw an improvement in the intensity of the fires which have been raging through Greece for the past ten days, according to a statement issued by Vaso Papandreou, Interior minister, following a meeting at the fire brigade headquarters.
During a speech aired by the radio station "Flash", Ms Papandreou stressed that all forces, not only the fire brigade, have been mobilized to deal with the problem, further adding that the Armed Forces, local governments and hospitals have also been mobilized.
"The situation is better today as far as weather conditions are concerned, but tomorrow's change in temperature will create extreme conditions" maintained the Interior minister, noting that the expected change of wind direction is expected to make the extinguishing project more difficult.
The Interior minister also mentioned that although "some of the fires were caused deliberately, we can't talk of an organized plan. Some of the fires were caused by the weather conditions, some by negligence on the part of the citizens".
Finally, Ms Papandreou stressed that this years action plan for the extinguishing of the fires was much better than last year's.
 CYPRUS: EVENTS IN MEMORY OF THE COUP VICTIMSNicosia, 15 July 2000 (18:07 UTC+2)
Political parties and organizations in Cyprus organized a number of events today in memory and in honor of the victims of the July 15, 1974 coup against the democratically elected government of Archbishop Makarios.
The sirens were heard at 8:20 am, the actual time of the coup, and a memorial service was held in Nicosia for those killed while defending legality and democracy.
 PAPANDREOU SUBMITTED A NUMBER OF PROPOSALS TO STRENGTHEN THE VOICE OF THE BALKANS IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITYOchrid, 15 July 2000 (16:34 UTC+2)
The Balkan foreign ministers summit meeting in Ochrid, FYROM was completed with a number of proposals submitted by Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou aimed at strengthening the voice of the Balkans in the international community.
Mr. Papandreou called on all the countries in the region to participate in the 2004 Cultural Olympiad organized by Greece. He proposed that the countries in the region should cooperate in cases of natural disasters on the occasion of the fires that are destroying almost all of the Balkans. From Turkey's side, foreign minister Ismail Cem suggested that assistance must be offered to Greece by his country in order to deal with the fires.
At a political level, Mr. Papandreou suggested that representatives of the Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo must be invited, within the framework of the Inter-Balkan initiative, to a direct discussion with the Balkan countries and at the same time, open a wide dialogue with all political forces including the opposition in Serbia and Montenegro. Especially on Kosovo, Mr. Papandreou categorically rejected any independence plans, pointing out that the right solution would be to give an autonomy to the province within the framework of the Yugoslav federation.
Other issues examined by the summit participants were the cooperation in the sectors of the economy and trade and on issues concerning the organized crime, the terrorist attacks and the illegal trade of drugs, arms and people.
In the Ochrid summit participated the foreign ministers of Greece, FYROM, Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia while also present was the Stability Pact coordinator Bodo Hobach as well as representatives of international organizations.
 GREECE IS AMONG THE COUNTRIES THAT WILL PRINT THE EUROBrussels, 15 July 2000 (17:05 UTC+2)
Greece is included in the European Central Bank list with the European Union countries that will print the Euro.
The list was given to publicity yesterday and based on the decision reached, the 12 Euro-zone countries must print a total of 14.5 billion pieces of paper money with a value of 616 billion Euro by January 1, 2001.
Greece will print 581 million pieces of paper money with a value of 24,68 billion Euro.