|Monday, 20 January 2020|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 00-12-06
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 GREECE IS SATISFIED WITH THE EU-TURKEY PARTNERSHIP RELATION TEXTAthens, 5 December 2000 (17:38 UTC+2)
The foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey had a telephone communication last night in which they briefed each other under the light of the EU Foreign Ministers Council meeting conclusions on the EU-Turkey partnership relation.
Mr. Papandreou reiterated Greece's will to contribute to the new framework of EU-Turkey relations by strengthening the cooperation between the two countries and by offering know-how.
The two foreign ministers agreed on a new meeting of the Greek-Turkish committee of specialists to be held in Antalia, Turkey on December 18. Head of the Greek delegation will be foreign ministry general secretary Ilias Plaskovitis, responsible for European issues.
Meanwhile, the Greek government is completely satisfied with the positive conclusion concerning the EU-Turkey partnership relation text that was approved by the "15" in the Foreign Ministers Council in Brussels yesterday. The above were stated by Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis, who underlined that it was a very hard negotiation and its conclusion is the basis for Turkey's European course.
Mr. Beglitis also pointed out that there are reliable mechanisms that will monitor Turkey regarding the commitments it has undertaken.
 THE CULTURE MINISTER IS SATISFIED WITH THE OUTCOME OF MARIA CALLAS' PERSONAL OBJECTS AUCTIONAthens, 5 December 2000 (19:16 UTC+2)
Greek culture minister Evangelos Venizelos is very satisfied with the outcome of the auction of Maria Callas' personal objects as the Athanaeum Fund (Maria Callas Grand Prix) managed to acquire almost all the strictly personal objects of the great artist, undertaking the commitment to destroy them out of respect to her private life.
The Athanaeum Fund got possession of Callas' personal objects after paying the sum of about 9 million drachmas which was offered by the ministry of culture.
Meanwhile, the municipality of Athens got possession of part of her written correspondence, photographs and other personal objects for the sum of about 40 million drachmas undertaking the commitment to exhibit them in a municipal museum dedicated to her memory.
The culture ministry has undertaken to cover half of the sum and the relevant economic settlement was launched and will be completed by the Greek embassy in Paris.
 PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS IS IN NICE, FRANCE FOR THE EU SUMMIT MEETINGAthens, 6 December 2000 (18:41 UTC+2)
Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis is in Nice, France to attend the EU Summit meeting that opens tomorrow in which a number of reforms will be examined regarded as necessary for the successful enlargement of the European Union.
France and Germany disagree on issues such as, the makeup of the European Commission and the number of the European Commissioners as well as issues concerning the votes of the member-states.
France, which is currently holding the rotating EU presidency, is ready to issue an appeal to the European governments to bridge their differences before the opening of the summit.
Meanwhile, the French police has adopted strict security measures in Nice in view of the protest demonstrations prepared by labor unions, environmental organizations, organizations for the protection of human rights and others.
 HITIRIS: TURKEY'S MODERNIZATION PASSES THROUGH ITS RELATION WITH THE EUAthens, 6 December 2000 (17:47 UTC+2)
Turkey's modernization and its economic development pass through its relation with the European Union, stated Greek acting government spokesman Tilemachos Hitiris.
Mr. Hitiris made the statement responding to a question by a reporter referring to the economic crisis in Turkey.
 COOPERATION MEMORANDUM OF GREEK AND UKRAINIAN SCIENTISTSAthens, 6 December 2000 (17:39 UTC+2)
A memorandum for the further development of the cooperation and education relations between Greek and Ukrainian scientists was signed in the Greek Culture Foundation. The memorandum also provides for the establishment of a cultural and education Greek-Ukrainian forum.
The signing of the memorandum took place within the framework of the visit held by Ukrainian academicians headed by Kiev's National University History professor.
The presentation of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences publication "Greeks in the Ukrainian land" was held during the delegation's visit to Athens. This encyclopedic work is the result of a cooperation between the History Studies National Institute and Ukraine's Central State Archive.
It is the first encyclopedic publication on the 2.500 years old history of the Greek diaspora in the country. The publication is prefaced by the presidents of Greece and Ukraine.
 NEW IMPRESSIVE GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 6 December 2000 (17:05 UTC+2)
Impressive gains of 5.74% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index was at 3.733,82 points, while the volume of transactions was satisfactory at 126.04 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority namely, 340 stocks recorded gains, while 17 had losses and 18 remained unchanged.
 TSOCHATZOPOULOS: OLD ATTITUDES IN NATO MUST CHANGEAthens, 6 December 2000 (17:03 UTC+2)
Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos referred to the unacceptable tactics adopted by Turkey in the recent military exercise "Destined Glory" speaking in the NATO defense ministers summit meeting.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated to his counterparts, in a discussion on the defense review of the alliance, that the new NATO must change the old attitudes.
 DINNER WITH MARBLES LEAVES BITTER AFTERTASTELondon, 6 December 2000 (14:23 UTC+2)
The British Museum's decision to host a gala dinner in the hall housing the Parthenon Marbles has provoked the displeasure of Greek Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexandros Sandis -who has refused an invitation to attend the event even though Queen Elisabeth will be among the 600 guests.
In an unusual move, the Greek Ambassador has forwarded the Museum's officials and Queen Elisabeth a reply explaining the reasons he will not be attending the gala.
"We are upset and astonished that the British Museum has decided to use the Duveen galleries for this event.
"We think it is really insensitive of the Museum, coming straight after the revelations about the holding of corporate dinners there and a buffet lunch during a conference on the Parthenon sculptures last year.
"The Ambassador has decided not to attend either the opening or the dinner, as it would be discourteous to the Queen to arrive but leave before the dinner took place," said the Greek embassy's spokesman.
 GREEK, EGYPTIAN FOREIGN MINISTRIES HOLD TALKSCairo, 6 December 2000 (14:08 UTC+2)
The foreign ministries of Greece and Egypt are to conduct talks in Cairo today, in an effort to examine opportunities for bilateral cooperation in various sectors.
In an interview with the Cairo daily Al Ahram, the secretary general of Greece's Foreign Ministry George Savaides referred extensively to relations between the two countries and stressed that Greece, as a European Union member, will exert every effort to assist Egypt in achieving its targets in regards to the European Partnership Accord.
Furthermore, the Greek diplomat expressed his regret over the episodes in the Palestinian territory and confirmed the imperative need to enforce the United Nations' resolutions for resolving the Middle East and Cyprus crises.
Mr. Savaides also saluted the Egypt entrepreneurs for their contribution to Greece's economy.
He hailed relations between the two countries as "excellent", stating that historic ties bind the two countries, both of which contribute to peace and abide by international law.
 PM PLEDGES LOWER TAXES, REAL CONVERGENCEAthens, 6 December 2000 (13:57 UTC+2)
Undaunted by the market's present pessimism, the Greek government will remain steadfast to its economic agenda, Prime Minister Costas Simitis stated yesterday during his address before the 11th annual conference of the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce where he presented the key points of his cabinet's economic policy.
Referring to Greece's accession to the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), the Premier hailed the feat as the culmination of a seven-year policy marked by perseverance and resolution.
"The Greek economy is facing the perspective of long-term stability," the Premier said, adding "we are now in a new economic and political reality which creates new needs and demands.
"We are now before a great challenge to utilize all the potentials which are opening. We are at the start of an optimistic and hopeful course for our country, society and the citizens.
""Our aim now is to achieve real convergence, to secure social cohesion and stability."
Outlining the state's strategy of bringing about real convergence, Mr. Simitis stated that the government will aim for a budget surplus equal to 2 percent of gross domestic product in 2004, while public debt is also projected to fall below 90 percent of GDP during the next four years.
He further added that declining public debt will allow resources to be re-allocated to other vital sectors such as education, health and employment, thus giving all Greeks the chance to enjoy the fruits of stability and growth.
Referring to the state's tax policy, the Premier stated that there will be a change in tax policy, in line with campaign promises of lower taxes.
"Taxation after 2002 will be simpler and fairer. It will also lay the foundation for a competitive economy. Tackling the black economy and continuing the crackdown on tax evaders will create opportunities for further corporate and individual tax cuts," he said.
Moreover, the Premier stressed the government's determination to proceed with its privatization program, this with regard to employees' rights.
Lastly, he referred to the 2004 Olympic Games, Third Community Support Framework funds and structural reforms, which he called "the linchpin of growth" in the coming years, while he stated that the next challenge is reforming the national health system.
 THESSALONIKI-PLOVDIV CONFERENCE OPENS TONIGHTThessaloniki, 6 December 2000 (12:42 UTC+2)
A conference titled "Thessaloniki and Plovdiv in Parallel Roads -History, Art, Society, 18th-20th Centruries" is to be formally inaugurated this evening by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace George Paschalides.
The conference, organized by the Cultural Society of Northern Greece's Entrepreneurs, is to feature the attendance of 50 researchers from Greece and Bulgaria who will examine the two cities' parallel roads and will discuss matters pertaining to religion, communities, culture, education, economy, society, architecture and art.
A concurrent art exhibition titled "The Balkan Urban Phenomenon - Thessaloniki - Plovdiv similar cities" is to be held in Thessaloniki between December 7-20.
 AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER TESTIFIES IN YAK-42 TRIALThessaloniki, 6 December 2000 (12:27 UTC+2)
Even the use of a military radar would not have assisted the ill-fated Yakovlev-42 airplane, carrying 73 passengers and crew, which crashed in the mountains southwest of Thessaloniki in December 1997, an air traffic controller testified in court yesterday.
Adamandios Fragiadoulis, one of two air traffic controllers who have been charged over the air tragedy, said that even if he and his colleague had asked the air force for assistance, the situation would have only become more complex. He attributed the crash to "blatant violations of international landing procedures."
When asked by the court as to why he and his colleague Yiannis Yiannakopoulos were not alarmed when the plane's pilot repeatedly requested that he be guided by radar, Mr. Fragiadoulis responded that at some point he saw the plane fly above the air traffic control tower, at an ascending altitude of 110 feet, and he believed that the pilot was steering the aircraft to a waiting area north of Thessaloniki.
The two defendants face charges of manslaughter and traffic law violations. The hearing is scheduled to resume today.
 STOYANOV: THE SOFIA-ATHENS RELATIONS ARE FRIENDLY AND OPENSofia, 6 December 2000 (18:15 UTC+2)
Bulgarian president Petar Stoyanov stated that the relations between Sofia and Athens are friendly and open in statements he made upon his return to his country last night after his two-day formal visit to Greece held at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Kostis Stephanopoulos.
Mr. Stoyanov stated that Bulgaria does not forget that Greece is the only one of its neighboring countries that is a member of the European Union and NATO and this fact gives a strategic importance to bilateral relations.
Regional development and public works minister Evgeni Tsatsev, who accompanied the Bulgarian president in his visit to Athens, stated that the construction of a bridge linking the border stations of Kulata and Promachona at the Greek-Bulgarian borders will be completed by the end of 2001. Also, a new border crossing linking Gotse Delsev with Dramas is scheduled to be opened in 2001, while Athens and Sofia have agreed to speed up the construction works for the opening of other two border crossings in Kirtzali-Komotini and in Ruzodem-Xanthi.
 TELEPHONE COMMUNICATION BETWEEN PAPANDREOU AND KERIMSkopje, 6 December 2000 (16:45 UTC+2)
Newly appointed FYROM foreign minister Sergan Kerim had a telephone communication with his Greek counterpart Giorgos Papandreou.
According to Skopje's newspaper "Dnevnik", Mr. Kerim stated that Mr. Papandreou confirmed Greece's support to FYROM's wish to form association ties with the European Union and reiterated his country's willingness to improve bilateral relations.
Based on the newspaper report, the two ministers agreed to meet in the immediate future at a border region. The date and the place of the meeting will be determined later.
 GREECE IS SECOND ON FYROM'S EU TRADE PARTNERS LISTSkopje, 5 December 2000 (17:08 UTC+2)
Greece is second on the list with FYROM's trade partners from the European Union as the volume of transactions between Athens and Skopje reached US$ 250 million this year. First on the list is Germany with trade transactions of US$ 500 million while Italy is listed third.
The European Union remains FYROM's best trade partner this year as 44% of the exported FYROM goods found their way to the European Union markets.
The FYROM goods that are well-received by the European Union markets are textile, ready-to-wear clothes, footwear, tobacco, zinc, wine, and different types of cables and sheet metal. These products make up 67% of the FYROM exports to the European Union. FYROM's revenues from the exports to the European Union were estimated at US$ 360 million this year.
 CELEBRATIONS FOR THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GREEK COMMUNITIES FEDERATION IN HOLLANDRotterdam, 6 December 2000 (16:41 UTC+2)
An event on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Greek Communities Federation in Holland will be held in Rotterdam on December 16.
A book presentation with the participation of Greek dance and music groups will be held within the framework of the event. The presentation of the book "The Greeks in the Low Countries (1600-2000)" will be held in the presence of Greeks abroad general secretary Mr. Dollis, World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, president Mr. Athens, SAE vice-president Mr. Aslanidis, Greece's ambassador to Holland Mr. Varouxakis and many personalities from Greece, Holland, Belgium and Germany.
 BRITISH MUSEUM HOSTS GALA AT PARTHENON WINGLondon, 5 December 2000 (13:43 UTC+2)
Inaugurating its grant central courtyard, the British Museum will hold a formal dinner inside the hall housing the Parthenon Marbles, a move that has provoked the displeasure of Greek Ambassador to the United Kingdom Alexandros Sandis -who has refused an invitation to attend the event even though Queen Elisabeth will be among the 500 guests.
The Greek Ambassador has forwarded the Museum's officials and Queen Elisabeth a reply explaining the reasons he will not be attending the gala.
"We are upset by the fact that the British Museum decided to use the Duneen Hall for this event," an embassy official stated, adding that the Ambassador opted not to attend the event since it would be disrespectful to the Queen if he were to depart prior to the dinner.
 EU AGRICUTURAL COUNCIL ADOPTS POSITIONS ON BSEBrussels, 5 December 2000 (12:31 UTC+2)
The European Union's special Council of Agriculture Ministers adopted a series of proposals on addressing Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), during a session held in Brussels yesterday.
Specifically, the Council agreed on a six-month ban of meat and bone meal (MBM) meat flour in feeding animals in an effort to contain the disease. Greece had advocated a 12-month ban.
The Council also adopted a complete ban of intestines of bovines, regardless of age, but not the intestines of sheep under the age of 12 months.
The EU's Food Safety Commissioner David Byrne stated that the adopted measures will promote consumer confidence in beef.
The EU produces approximately three million tons of meat and bone meal every year and the Commission has said it would cost three billion euros ($2.66 billion) to destroy the animal waste by incineration.
 THE GREEK NATIONAL DEFENSE GENERAL STAFF CHIEF IS SATISFIED WITH HIS US CONTACTSNew York, 6 December 2000 (17:10 UTC+2)
Greek National Defense General Staff Chief general Manousos Paragioudakis stated that he is satisfied with the contacts he had in his five-day visit to the United States.
The Greek National Defense General Staff Chief had a series of contacts and meetings with his counterpart general Henry Shelton, the Atlantic Forces supreme commander (SECLANT), the Air Combat Command leadership and the US Navy War School.
General Paragioudakis stated, according to the New York based Greek-American newspaper "Ethnikos Kirix", that the goal of his visit was to exchange views mainly on the command system used in the US armed forces as Greece is in the middle of an effort for dynamic changes in its armed forces.