|Monday, 27 March 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-04-07
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From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
 Developments on Yugoslavian truce proposalNato continued its raids with bombers and missiles against Yugoslavia yesterday as well, while it has rejected as "insufficient" the truce the Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic proposed during the Easter holiday. At the same time, Nato announced that it will launch new air strikes on Yugoslavia.
The Yugoslav government announced a unilateral ceasefire in Kosovo as of 21:00 hours yesterday evening due to the Orthodox Easter, proposing at the same time to the leader of the ethnic Albanians Ibrahim Rugova a temporary autonomy agreement for the ethnic minorities in Kosovo.
The deputy prime minister of Yugoslavia Vouk Draskovic has called on all the refugees from Kosovo to return to their homes, stressing that Belgrade is ready to negotiate with the international community and the UN Security Council.
The Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis has described president Milosevic's proposal as a "first step" for peace and stressed that the proposal should be immediately completed with the relative clarifications and assurances by Yugoslavia, guaranteeing among other things, the unobstructed return of the refugees, the withdrawal of the Yugoslav army and peace in Kosovo through the use of an international peace keeping force.
In Belgrade, the Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic told the visiting leader of the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress Nikos Konstantopoulos that Ibrahim Rugova's talks were at a very advanced stage and an agreement on a settlement of the problem was possible.
The Nato secretary general Xavier Solana has stated that the unilateral truce declared by Yugoslavia and the government of Serbia is obviously insufficient. President Milosevic should meet the international community's demands so that a cease fire may exist, Mr Solana said.
The German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, the French president Jacques Chirak--who was especially hard in his statements against Belgrade--the Italian prime minister Massimo d'Alema and the White House spokesman Joe Lockhart, have also described the Serb proposal for truce as definitely insufficient.
 Latest Nato strikes on YugoslaviaLast night, Nato planes bombarded the broader region of Pristina, Belgrade - where strong explosions were heard - and the village of Fudina in Montenegro.
The environs of the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, a factory of chemicals in the city of Lucani and a military base near the seaside city of Tivat, were also bombarded.
During last Monday's attack against an inhabited region, at the town of Alexinac, where there were no military targets, 12 civilians were killed and more than 30 others were wounded.
 Recent statements by Slobodan Milosevic's brotherThe ambassador of Yugoslavia in Moscow Borislav Milosevic estimates that his brother and president of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic will not retreat and did not rule out the possibility of Kosovo's split up.
In his interview with a French newspaper, Borislav Milosevic stressed that the government, the parliament and all the parties were backing his brother. He also said that Yugoslavia wished for a political solution to be found to the Kosovo problem.
Finally, he said that Nato's intention was to deploy troops to Kosovo and that the Albanians were merely a pretext to this end.
 Kosovar Albanian Baton Hadjiou is aliveBaton Hadjiou--the editor in chief of the Kosovo Albanian speaking newspaper "Koha Ditore"--who was considered dead, since the first day of the Nato strikes on Kosovo, is alive.
Hadjiou is in fact in London and as he has stated, he will meet with the British foreign secretary Robin Cook. Mr Hadjiou plans to ask Mr Cook whether his newspaper could be published in Britain.
 The Greek prime minister briefs Party leaders on KosovoIn Athens yesterday, prime minister Kostas Simitis met with the leaders of the opposition New Democracy party, the Greek Communist party and the Political Spring, as well as with the former prime ministers Konstantinos Mitsotakis and Georgios Rallis, on the Kosovo issue.
The opposition New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis said after his meeting with the prime minister that he requested the setting up of a foreign policy council.
The secretary general of the Greek communist party Aleka Papariga said that her party would react to a possible dispatch of Greek soldiers to Albania or FYROM.
The Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras, stressed that the Greek government should take up mediatory initiatives for a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Yugoslavia.
The former prime minister Georgios Rallis expressed his concern over the issue, while Konstantinos Mitsotakis said he had the feeling that the hostilities would stop.
Tomorrow, Mr Simitis will meet with the leaders of the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress Nikos Konstantopoulos and the Democratic Social Movement leader Dimitris Tsovolas.
 Greek government and EU plans on refugeesThe Greek government has prepared a plan on the reception of refugees in Greece in cooperation with the Red Cross and the UN.
EU competent organs will hold sessions in Brussels today and tomorrow to decide on the number of refugees each EU member country will receive.
The criteria Greece will bring forward with regard the distribution of refugees are the population of each country, its economic situation and the number of foreigners it is already hosting.
 EOT plans on tourism in GreeceThe leadership of the Greek Tourism Organisation - EOT - is on the alert to deal with any problems that might arise in the Greek tourism due to the war in Yugoslavia, as 1999 is believed to be a good year for tourism with a 15% increase compared to last year.
In a move meant to avert a possible refusal from the part of the Americans to visit Greece, the development minister Evangelos Venizelos will meet with the American ambassador in Athens Nicholas Berns as well as with the ambassadors of France and Italy who have indirectly expressed their reservation about the safety of their citizens in Greece these days.
 FYROM's concern over refugeesThe prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Mr Georgefsky has sent letters to the Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis and the leaders of the other EU member states, expressing his fear that Skopje is about to face a political tragedy.
Mr Simitis had a telephone contact with his FYROM counterpart to whom he expressed once again Greece's willingness to help effectively the refugees that have fled to FYROM by providing humanitarian aid.
The Greek prime minister also said that Greece has emphasized the need for the maintenance of the present borders of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to all the international organisations.
 Rallies in solidarity with the Yugoslavian peopleMajor demonstrations in protest against the continuing Nato bombardments on Yugoslavia will take place throughout Greece tonight.
The demonstrations are organized by the youth organizations of political parties in Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities in Greece.
The Piraeus labour union and the municipalities of the broader region organised a march to the American embassy yesterday evening.
 AEK faces PARTIZAN in friendly match todayThe Greek soccer team AEK today flies from Budapest to Belgrade for a friendly match with the local team PARTIZAN. The friendly match is given in solidarity with the suffering Yugoslav people.
The Greek team is accompanied by journalists, politicians, veteran athletes and sports fans. AEK will fly to Budapest immediately after the match which will be broadcast live on television in Greece and other European countries.
 The Athens mayor will keep the postAthens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos yesterday announced his decision to remain in the post of mayor, thus putting an end to the rumours that he was going to establish a new political party. However, Mr Avramopoulos admitted that in the last few months he was thinking hard whether he ought to go ahead with the establishment of a new party, but he did not do it because - as he said - in the present phase Greece is going through a period of crisis and everyone ought to rally around an axis.
Referring to the Kosovo crisis, Mr Avramopoulos called for an end to the bombardments on Yugoslavia immediately, stressing that the Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic should guarantee the return of the refugees to their homes.
 Greece claims EU credits for environmentThe environment and public works ministry is claiming from the third EU support framework the sum of 1,6 trillion dollars for infrastructure works in the sector of environment for the period 2000 to 2006. As the environment minister Kostas Laliotis has stated the ministry will manage the 525 billion drachmas and the prefectural and local administration and other bodies the rest of the sum.
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