|Tuesday, 19 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 01-02-27
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
 MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER IN BELGRADEBelgrade, 27 February 2001 (13:44 UTC+2)
The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace George Paschalides, presently on a two-day visit to Belgrade today heading a business delegation, addressed a seminar today with a speech entitled Reconstruction Steps, where he stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between Greece and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) on all levels.
Underlining that time lost has to be regained, Mr. Paschalides stated that the country's isolation in the recent years led to its absence from initiatives concerning regional cooperation.
It is very important that we unite our powers is order to expedite the country's re-accession into the international community and to promote initiatives and actions that will lead to a development respectful of the environment and the citizens' needs, he said.
The Minister also stated that the various delays noted in the materialization of projects that fall under the Balkan Reconstruction Plan are due to bureaucratic roadblocks and the simultaneous operation of a plethora of regional initiatives, as well as to the slow adjustment of the Balkan states' institutional and legislative frameworks.
In order to combat these hurdles, Mr. Paschalides proposed that a common front be created against bureaucracy and corruption.
Moreover, the Minister stressed that the Greek government is bilaterally and multilaterally supporting FRY's re-accession course and has already allocated $15 million for this purpose.
Greece's five-year Balkan reconstruction plan envisages spending a total of 180 billion drachmas, with the money to be spent on social infrastructure, financial infrastructure and services and production.
Moreover, Mr. Paschalides stressed the significance of the city of Thessaloniki in the Balkan Reconstruction plan, both through its role as the headquarters of various international organizations, and through its multiple initiatives. Specifically, he pointed out that the Ministry will soon feature a Bureau of International Economic Relations in Southeastern Europe, while a SECI coordinating office will also soon open in the city.
During his stay in Belgrade, Mr. Paschalides will have a series of meetings with government officials, among them the Prime Minister of Serbia Zoran Djindjic.
 GREEK FIRMS ACTIVE IN TURKEY ARE NOT AT RISKAthens, 27 February 2001 (13:07 UTC+2)
Greek firms active in Turkey are reportedly not at risk over the economic turmoil and appear undaunted by the looming crisis, given the neighboring country's numerous difficult periods they have survived in the past.
From the information systems sector, the Datamedia firm already has a ten-year presence in Turkey, while Intracom and Pouliades have recently entered the Turkisyh market by purchasing 20 percent of Turkey's Gantek Tenchologies and 50% of the Index firm, respectively.
According to Datamedia's managing director Andreas Zervos the turkish lira's devaluation is not expected to impact the financial structure of the three firms affiliated with Datamedia as two of them have not had to borrow, while the third Porcan Holding SA, has borrowed in the turkish currency which is now to its benefit.
 GREEK FM HAS "CONSTRUCTIVE" TALKS WITH POWELLBrussels, 27 February 2001 (13:43 UTC+2)
Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou held constructive, useful and friendly talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell today in Brussels, during a meeting held on the sidelines of a NATO summit.
During their 30-minute talks, Messrs. Papandreou and Powell discussed bilateral relations and regional developments, as well as the Cyprus issue, Greek-Turkish relations and European defense.
Following the talks, Mr. Papandreou said that in general terms there was a coincidence of views in regards to the Balkan crisis, while he also added that Mr. Powell praised Greece's role in the region.
Mr. Papandreou is to also meet with his Turkish counterpart Ismael Cem.
 CROATIAN PREMIER ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO ATHENSAthens, 27 February 2001 (13:04 UTC+2)
Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan is to arrive in Athens on an official, one-day visit today.
Premier Racan is expected to hold talks with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis this afternoon, while he will be received by the President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis this evening.
Bilateral ties, which had been disrupted during the war that led to the breakup of Yugoslavia, are expected to top the agenda.
 EARTHQUAKES IN THE IONIAN AND THE AEGEAN SEAThessaloniki, 27 February 2001 (18:43 UTC+2)
An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale shook the sea region south of the Ionian Sea island of Kefalonia in early afternoon today. According to seismologists, the tremor is placed within the framework of the usual seismic activity in the region.
Another tremor, measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, alarmed the people in the islands of Mitilini and Limnos, in the northeastern Aegean Sea, in the morning hours today. The epicenter of the tremor has been located at the Turkish coasts.
 THE GENERAL POPULATION CENSUS IN GREECE WILL BE HELD ON MARCH 18Athens, 27 February 2001 (18:34 UTC+2)
The general population census in Greece, that will be conducted by the National Statistics Agency, will take place on Sunday, March 18.
Minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou in a press conference he gave characterized the population census of historical importance.
 REACTIONS TO A LIKELY AGREEMENT ON THE ISSUE OF THE FYROM NAMEThessaloniki, 27 February 2001 (18:00 UTC+2)
The Greek-American National Council sent an open letter to the Greek political and state leadership expressing its discontent over the latest developments concerning a likely agreement between Athens and Skopje on the name that will be used by FYROM.
The council reacts to the likely use of the term Macedonia or any of its derivatives in the FYROM name. It also mentions that if the name Macedonia is given away it would mean that the Greek history and identity are up for negotiation.
Meanwhile, the Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne-Victoria in a statement it has issued also reminds its position regarding the name of FYROM.
In the statement it is mentioned that the Pan-Macedonian Association rejects any name for FYROM that will include the term Macedonia or any of its derivatives.
 STEPHANOPOULOS-CIAMPI MEETING IN THE IONIAN SEA ISLAND OF KEFALONIAKefalonia, 27 February 2001 (17:36 UTC+2)
Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos will welcome Italian Republic president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in the Ionian Sea island of Kefalonia on March 1.
Mr. Ciampi will be on the island to attend a memorial service for the Italian soldiers killed during WWII.
 THE MEETING OF THE PRIME MINISTERS OF GREECE AND CROATIA WAS HELD IN A POSITIVE CLIMATEAthens, 27 February 2001 (16:48 UTC+2)
Prime minister Kostas Simitis met in Athens today with his Croatian counterpart Ivica Racan. In their meeting they discussed the situation in the Balkans, while the Greek prime minister reiterated the firm Greek position that the existing borders in the Balkans must be respected. He also expressed Greece's support to Croatia's effort for cooperation with the European Union, while he was in favor of the strengthening of the Greek business presence in Croatia.
Croatia is an integral part of southeastern Europe, while it plays a significant role in the efforts for peace and cooperation as it was proven in the recent meeting of the Balkan and EU leaders in Zagreb, said Mr. Simitis, adding that Mr. Racan's presence in Greece will contribute greatly to the further improvement of bilateral relations.
The two prime ministers signed an air transportation agreement, while they expressed interest in signing other agreements as well especially, in the sectors of electricity, farm products and alternative energy sources. They characterized their meeting as friendly and cordial.
As it was made known, Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos is scheduled to visit Zagreb in May.
 MORE LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGEAthens, 27 February 2001 (16:36 UTC+2)
More losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to 0.33% at 3.154,03 points, while the volume of transactions was 143.8 million Euro or 48.99 billion drachmas.
Of the stocks trading today, 272 recorded gains and 69 had losses, while the value of 30 stocks remained stable.
 EFFORT TO REGISTER THE GREEK BUSINESSMEN ALL OVER THE WORLDThessaloniki, 27 February 2001 (15:58 UTC+2)
The World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, businessmen network has launched a big effort aimed at having all Greek businessmen around the world registered.
Network president Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos stated to MPA that when the project is completed Greece will receive the assistance it wants in the sectors most needed. The initial goal is to register the top 100 businesses in each country.
Mr. Dimitrakopoulos underlined that the businessmen of Greek origin are interested in investing in Greece and want cooperation with Greek businesses, while they also want to become active in the 2004 Olympic Games.
 GREECE IMPROVES RANK IN US HUMAN RIGHTS REPORTWashington, 27 February 2001 (14:10 UTC+2)
In its annual global report on human rights, the State Department notes that Greece has made significant progress in the area, albeit adding that problems still remain in regards to police treatment of prisoners and discrimination against the gypsies.
The report also makes extensive references to the assassination of British diplomat Stephen Saunders, who was killed by the terrorist group 17 November
At the same time, the State Department's report, as set forth by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is highly critical of Turkey's human rights record, which h remains dismal.
 PAPANDREOU: COOPERATION OF BALKAN STATES BASED ON THE SCANDINAVIAN MODELBelgrade, 27 February 2001 (17:10 UTC+2)
Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, in an interview with the news agency SENSE that was published by the Belgrade newspaper "Politika", referred to the prospects of cooperation among the Balkan states, the conclusions of the summit meeting of the southeastern European states in Skopje, the role of Greece in the stabilization of the situation in the region and the investigation underway in the Greek banks for the location of bank accounts that belong to Slobodan Milosevic and his associates.
Mr. Papandreou expressed the hope that now with democratic governments in every Balkan state the region will move decisively on the road toward the European integration, while referring to the cooperation prospects among the Balkan states he expressed the view that it can be planned based on the Scandinavian model.
On Greece's role, he said that it is the only Balkan state which is an EU member, and recently a Euro-zone member as well, and stressed that the wish is for every country in the region to become an EU member. He also added that Greece is ready to offer its experience and exert its influence.
Regarding the outbreak of violence by extremists in Kosovo, south Serbia and FYROM, Mr. Papandreou stated that the summit meeting in Skopje has sent a clear message that extremism in the region must end. Mr. Papandreou was also against the further breakup of the existing states in the Balkans.
Referring to the investigations for the location of Slobodan Milosevic bank accounts in Greece, Mr. Papandreou stated that an investigation was launched in all Greek banks by the Central Bank and the accounts that were located, based on EU and Court of Justice in The Hague evidence, have been frozen. He also said that he does not know the exact size of the accounts and added that Greece is ready for further cooperation with the Court of Justice in The Hague.
 PASCHALIDIS-PITIC MEETING IN BELGRADEBelgrade, 27 February 2001 (16:32 UTC+2)
Greek minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis met today with Serbia's international economic affairs minister Dr. Goran Pitic within the framework of his visit to Belgrade heading a large Greek business delegation.
In the meeting, Mr. Paschalidis was briefed by Dr. Pitic on the new economic and political reality in Serbia where a new law is being promoted that will facilitate foreign investments opening the way for the Greek businessmen in the region who want to make new investment moves.
Mr. Paschalidis reminded that the Greek government has already prepared a new law based on which the Greek Plan for the Reconstruction of Southeastern Europe will be implemented. The Greek plan provides for economic assistance of 70 billion drachmas for Serbia.
Mr. Pitic stated that the fact that Greece was the first country to run to Serbia's economic assistance was not a surprise for the Serb government, and expressed joy over the fact that more than 100 Greek businessmen will have contacts with about 400 Serb businessmen.
 THE EXHIBITION ON THE HOLOCAUST OF THE GREEK JEWS ENDED IN STRASBOURGStrasbourg, 27 February 2001 (16:19 UTC+2)
The photo, documents and objects exhibition under the title the "Holocaust of the Greek Jews-Hunted and saviors" that opened in the Council of Europe building in Strasbourg on February 12 ended yesterday.
The exhibition attracted the interest not only of the diplomatic community and the international organizations in Strasbourg but the Greek, Jewish and French society as well.
The goal of the exhibition was to make the history of the Jewish Holocaust in Greece known and to pay tribute to the individuals and institutions in Greece that contributed to the rescue of the Jews hunted down by the Nazis during WWII.