|Sunday, 17 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-07-26
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 THE SACEUR SUPREME COMMANDER VISITED GREECEAthens, 26 July 2000 (15:09 UTC+2)
Supreme commander of the European Allied Forces (SACEUR) wing-commander Joseph Ralston was in Athens today. In the talks he had at the national defense ministry were raised issues concerning the situation in the Balkans and the new NATO structure.
Wing-commander Ralston met with Chief of National Defense General Staff general Manousos Paragioudakis and the general staff chiefs as well as, with defense undersecretary Dimitris Apostolakis
At noon today, before leaving for Brussels, he was received by president of the republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.
 A PIRACY IS UNDERWAY IN NAFPLIO, CENTRAL GREECENafplio, 26 July 2000 (13:13 UTC+2)
A piracy on a passenger sailing-boat is in progress in Tolo, central Greece since this morning. The small leisure boat left the port of Nafplio at 6am with a Greek captain and 5 Swiss tourists for a sea voyage.
Just before leaving the port of Nafplio, an unidentified person, possibly a foreigner, jumped on the boat and threatening its captain with a gun demanded to be taken to Casablanca in Morocco.
The boat is 1,5 mile off the coasts of Tolo, near Nafplio and it is followed by the Coast Guard and frogmen.
 THE PIRACY ON BOARD THE SAILING-BOAT "ERATO" CONTINUESAthens, 26 July 2000 (17:58 UTC+2)
The suspense continues for the 5member Swiss family of tourists and their Greek captain Aristidis Kalothis, who are held hostage on board the sailing-boat "Erato" by an unidentified foreigner. The boat is off the coasts of Leonidio in southern Greece and a rescue operation is in progress since the early morning hours today as the small leisure boat is surrounded by three Coastguard boats, frogmen and helicopters.
The pirate, who wants to go to Casablanca in Morocco, is holding hostage the Heger family.
It all started at 6am today when a man jumped to the boat as it was leaving the port of Nafplion and threatened the captain and the passengers with a gun.
 THE MINISTER OF MACEDONIA-THRACE MET WITH THE SAE PRESIDENTThessaloniki, 26 July 2000 (15:33 UTC+2)
Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis and World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, president Andrew Athens met in Thessaloniki today and among the issues discussed was the formal inauguration of the new SAE offices.
On the 75th anniversary of Thessaloniki's International Trade Fair and the fact that the United States is the honored country this year, Mr. Paschalidis said that there will be an increased presence of Greek-Americans in the exhibition, who will have the opportunity later to materialize programs within the framework of the reconstruction of the Balkans.
Mr. Paschalidis also said that an assessment of the SAE activities was made in the meeting, while they also discussed the activities of the medical centers in the former soviet republics and the efforts made by Mr. Athens and his associates for the promotion of the Greek positions on issues of foreign policy.
Mr. Athens stressed that summer was always a season of intense activities for SAE and added that medical centers will open in Albania next month, similar to those that have opened in the former soviet republics.
 LOSSES OF 0.95% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 26 July 2000 (15:05 UTC+2)
Losses of 0.95% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 3.950,41 points, while the volume of transactions was just 62.6 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today 65 recorded gains, 269 had losses and 37 remained stable.
 GREEK-BULGARIAN CONSULTATIONS IN ATHENSAthens, 26 July 2000 (14:51 UTC+2)
Representatives of the foreign ministries of Greece and Bulgaria will meet in Athens today within the framework of the bilateral dialogue on issues of European integration.
The Bulgarian delegation is headed by foreign affairs undersecretary, in charge of the Bulgarian negotiating team in the EU accession negotiations, Vladimir Kisiov. The Greek delegation is headed by Elias Plaskovitis foreign ministry general secretary, responsible for European integration issues.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS MET WITH HIS SLOVENIAN COUNTERPARTAthens, 26 July 2000 (14:37 UTC+2)
A memorandum of mutual understanding for cooperation in the sectors of armaments and defense technology was signed yesterday by Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos and his Slovenian counterpart Yanez Jansa.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the agreement confirms the common stance of the two countries regarding peace and security in the region.
The two ministers discussed issues concerning the economic development of the Balkans and the EU enlargement and Mr. Tsochatzopoulos wished for the speedy EU accession of Slovenia, Cyprus and all the countries that are in the phase of negotiations.
The Slovenian minister of defense stated that the NATO membership is a strategic goal for his country and thanked Greece for its support.
 THE DEAL FOR THE BUYOUT OF AMC BY COSMOTE-TELENOR WAS SIGNED YESTERDAYAthens, 26 July 2000 (14:24 UTC+2)
The signing of the deal for the buyout of 85% of the Albanian state-owned mobile phone company AMC (Albanian Mobile Telecommunications) by the Cosmote-Telenor joint venture took place in Tirana yesterday.
Greek minister of transportation and telecommunications Christos Verelis expressed satisfaction for the successful outcome of the talks and the signing of the deal and issued a formal invitation to Albanian minister of state economy and privatization Mustafa Mutsi and transportation minister Sokol Nako to visit Athens to discuss bilateral relations issues of a mutual interest.
The US$ 85.6 million buyout is the biggest private investment in Albania and it is placed in the Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, strategy for the development of the telecommunications in the wider Balkan region.
 THE BRITISH FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY CONTACTS IN ATHENSAthens, 26 July 2000 (14:04 UTC+2)
The British foreign undersecretary, who is on a formal visit to Athens, had meetings with Greek government ministers yesterday.
The British government official and Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreiu in a symbolic move in memory of British military attache, brigadier Stephen Saunders, who was assassinated by "17 November" terrorists, planted an olive tree at the gardens of the British embassy in Athens.
The British foreign undersecretary met with the ministers of justice and public order and with the deputy foreign minister and stated that he is satisfied with the course of the investigation on the assassination of the British military attache.
 SATISFACTION OVER THE BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY COMMITTEE FINDINGSAthens, 26 July 2000 (13:54 UTC+2)
Greek culture minister Theodoros Pangalos expressed satisfaction over the British parliamentary committee findings on the Parthenon Marbles.
Mr. Pangalos stated that he was happy to see that the British parliamentary committee findings took seriously under consideration the arguments and views of the Greek side. He said that this is the first step toward a solution based on the principles that protect the cultural heritage.
He stated that the efforts for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece will continue and thanked the enlightened, spiritual people making up the British committee for the return of the Parthenon Marbles as without their devotion and enthusiasm the issue would not have taken the dimensions it has today.
Minister of interior Ms. Vaso Papandreou, commenting on the British parliamentary committee findings on the Parthenon Marbles and the statement of the British culture minister concerning the opening of a dialogue, stated that the fact that the British government recognizes that there is an issue and that there must be a dialogue is a first positive step.
Ms. Papandreou also stated that the efforts will continue and added that finally, the people and the government of Britain will be convinced that the marbles must return to their natural environment.
 STRONG EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 5 ON THE RICHTER SCALE IN KALAMATA, SOUTHERN GREECEKalamata, 26 July 2000 (13:38 UTC+2)
An earthquake measuring 5 on the Richter scale shook the region of Kalamata, in southern Greece at 10:34pm last night. Its epicenter was located in the region of Meligala, north of Kalamata and the damages reported were limited.
Thessaloniki's Aristotle University seismologist Mr. Kostas Pantazakos stated to MPA that it is an isolated tremor and it is difficult to predict the future seismic activity in the region.
 THE GREEKS ARE IN FAVOR OF A SINGLE EUROPEAN CONSTITUTIONBrussels, 26 July 2000 (17:39 UTC+2)
The overwhelming majority of the Europeans, except from the British, are in favor of the prospect of a European constitution.
According to a Euro-barometer opinion poll conducted in the period April-May 2000, 88% of the Dutch back a common constitution followed by the Italians and the Greeks with 82%. The only exception is Britain where just 47% is not opposed to the adoption of a European Constitution when the European average is close to 70%.
In Greece, 75% of those questioned responded that the country benefited from the EU accession and 69% are in favor of the Euro, while the Italians are in the first place with 81%. In Britain only 22% back the single European currency.
On the common foreign policy and the policy of security and defense, 76% of the Greeks are in favor, while 53% believe that the priority of the EU is its enlargement, while more cautious on that issue appear to be the Germans, the French and the Finns.
 INTERVENTION BY A GREEK EURO-DEPUTY ON THE SAFETY OF COMMERCIAL FLIGHTSBrussels, 26 July 2000 (16:07 UTC+2)
Greek Euro-deputy Mr. Alavanos tabled a question to the European Union on the safety of commercial flights after yesterday's air tragedy in Paris.
Mr. Alavanos stressed the big frequency of passenger plane accidents and referred to a "Financial Times" article dated July 18, 2000 according to which, a recent Boeing 737-200 crash in India was due to the old age of the plane, which was built 20 years ago. Mr. Alavanos also reminds that the passenger plane fleets of most EU countries, Greece included, are made up of Boeing 737 planes to a large degree. Mr. Alavanos calls on the EU to take additional and more strict measures that will safeguard the safety of commercial flights.
 EUROSTAT: UNEMPLOYMENT IN GREECE WAS UP TO 11.7% IN 1999Brussels, 26 July 2000 (15:53 UTC+2)
The Greek economy has a high growth rate and its performance is enviable in most economic indexes but the picture is different when it comes to unemployment.
According to the European Agency Eurostat, the average unemployment rate in April 1999 was at 11.7% showing an increase of 0.9% compared to the same period in 1998. It should be noted that the biggest unemployment rate is recorded in north-western Greece and the smallest in the Ionian Islands.
Regarding the unemployment rate among young people under the age of 25, north-western Greece and Epirus are among the regions with the biggest unemployment rate in that category, with 47% and 42% respectively.
In the unemployment among women, Greece recorded an increase of 1.4% in April 1999 and reached 17.9%.