|Sunday, 26 March 2023|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-04-21
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From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>
 NATO warplanes bomb targets in Belgrade, Novi Sad, ValjevoNATO planes bombed the centre of Belgrade last night. According to the French news agency, the building housing the ruling Socialist party headquarters was hit. Five other explosions also occurred in the Yugoslav capital early this morning.
Targets in the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad and the broader region of the Kosovar capital, Pristina, are also said to have been hit. Two missiles hit a bridge, the last over the Danube river linking Novi Sad to the other bank, and it was closed down. Two other bridges were destroyed on 1st and 3rd April. The Novi Sad oil refinery was also hit and is on fire.
Yugoslav television reported that the Krusik factory in Valjevo and several residential areas in the same town came under fire. At least one person was injured. The television channel described the attack as the worst the town had suffered so far.
According to the Yugoslav news agency Veta, Yugoslav soldiers killed 4 members of the Kosovo Liberation Army during clashes in Montenegro. The announcement also said the Yugoslav side had suffered no casualties.
The Texaco oil company stated yesterday that it would stop sending petrol tankers to Yugoslavia after announcing that the company had delivered a consignment on 10th April, three weeks after the start of the NATO operations.
 Greek prime minister addresses Greek Americans in New YorkSpeaking at an open-air gathering of the Greek community in Astoria, New York, yesterday evening, the prime minister, Kostas Simitis, announced a stepping-up of the efforts to find a political solution for Kosovo.
Mr Simitis spoke of a "synergy" of actions and institutions which would lead to Yugoslavia's consenting to the withdrawal of troops from Kosovo, the safe return of refugees and the deployment of a broadly based international force with a clear legitimate mandate.
He said Greece was formulating an independent foreign policy, based on respect for the inviolability of borders, human and minority rights, the peaceful resolution of differences and cooperation.
 Patriarch Alexei of Russia meets Yugoslav presidentThe Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, said after a meeting with the Russian Patriarch, Alexei II, that he envisaged Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church playing a key role in an end to the bombings.
Later the Patriarch met with the moderate leader of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians, Ibrahim Rugova, with whom he discussed the possibility of a peaceful settlement to the crisis.
 Greek justice minister questions legality of NATO attackThe Greek justice minister, Evangelos Iannopoulos, has issued a written invitation to his German and French counterparts to come to Athens to discuss the rules of international law which are being violated by the NATO attack on Yugoslavia.
 Greece opposes ground offensive in YugoslaviaAfter his meetings yesterday with the honorary president of the New Democracy party, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, and the American ambassador in Athens, Nicholas Burns, the Greek foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, said the government was opposed in principle to a ground offensive in Yugoslavia.
 Oil embargo proposal not adopted by EUA proposal for the imposition of an oil embargo on Yugoslavia was not adopted by the EU's political committee yesterday, as Greece and Italy disagreed with the stand taken by the other EU countries, arguing that there was no legal basis for such an action.
The subject of the fuel embargo is expected to be raised at next Monday's foreign ministers' council of the 15, and also in the context of NATO, according to a statement made late last night by the American secretary of state, Madeleine Albright.
 Greece monitors toxic cloud from YugoslaviaGreek ministers have made reassuring statements regarding the effects on Greece of the toxic cloud produced by the NATO bombings in Yugoslavia. Continuous measurements are being carried out in state laboratories to detect possible toxic substances, while the environment minister, Kostas Laliotis, gave assurances that the ministries of development, health and the environment were ready to deal with any problems that might arise.
International organisations for the protection of human rights have warned of an ecological disaster in the broader Balkan region if the NATO air raids continue.
 Coalition leader visits CyprusThe leader of the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress, Nikos Konstantopoulos, is in Cyprus where he will take part in a meeting of European left-wing parties, which opens in Nicosia today, to discuss Yugoslavia.
Mr Konstantopoulos will have meetings with the Cypriot president, Glafkos Kliridis, the speaker of the Cypriot house of representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, and political party leaders.
 Greek prime minister meets Archbishop Spyridon of AmericaThe Greek prime minister, Kostas Simitis, visited the Archbishop of America, Spyridon, in New York yesterday. The Archbishop said the prime minister's visit to the Archdiocese was a decisive step forward in forging a new close association with the homeland.
For his part, Mr Simitis said they discussed issues related to education, the life of Greeks abroad and their organisation under the guidance of the Church.
Referring to national issues, Mr Simitis underlined that "the Church is always a supporter, a co-worker, and a protagonist in dealing with the Cyprus issue, the issue of Greek-Turkish relations and, now, the prospects in the Balkans, the role Greece is to play and the means for securing peace. For Greece, peace in the region is all-important; it is a precondition for our development and for our country's moving in the right direction for progress and prosperity," Mr Simitis concluded.
 National economy minister in LondonNational economy and finance minister Yannos Papantoniou went to London for the annual session of the European reconstruction and development bank. He said the session gave special emphasis to issues of institutions and procedures and the implementation of rules since this would be a basic factor for successful reforms.
The bank decided to back the reconstruction of Kosovo and the other regions hurt by the military operations in the Balkans.
 Opposition deputies walk out of inquiry committeeOpposition New Democracy party deputies yesterday walked out of the session of the parliamentary inquiry committee investigating the Ocalan case after former chief of the Greek Intelligence Service, retired Air Marshal Haralambos Stavrakakis refused to answer questions he said he believed would harm Greek national interests. The opposition deputies called for Mr Stavrakakis to be arraigned for false testimony.
 Political parties issue announcements on anniversary of coupToday is the 32nd anniversary of the April 21st, 1967 coup in Greece and political parties have issued announcements stressing the need for more democracy but also referring to developments in the Balkans.
Leader of the ruling PASOK party Kostas Simitis said developments in the region made it even more imperative for the Greek people to stand united, also stressing Greece today was a basic factor of peace and stability in the Balkans.
Opposition New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis said today's sad anniversary was a challenge for improving democracy. He also criticised the government saying democracy could not be reconciled with a partisan state.
The announcement issued by the Greek Communist party said NATO as a war machine imposed and backed the 1967 coup, while the Coalition pointed out that national interests would be better safeguarded by planned peace initiatives rather than a passive acceptance of the choices of the American empire.
The Democratic Social Movement said the major powers which planned and imposed the coup are now backing Turkish provocations and wreaking havoc in the Balkans. Finally, the Political Spring party said Greece should go ahead with a bold democratic reform.
 Armenians commemorate genocideThe Thessaloniki bureau of the Armenian National Committee is organizing an event in memory of the Armenians wiped out by the Turkish state. Today is the 84th anniversary of the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by the Young Turks.
On Saturday, a service will be held at the Orthodox Armenian Church of the Virgin Mary and a protest march will be staged to the Turkish consulate in Thessaloniki.
 Athens stock exchange down 0.37% yesterdayThe general share price index on the Athens stock exchange dropped yesterday by 0.37%, closing at 3,373.62.
In the parities, the dollar was fixed at 305.840 drachmas, the Deutschmark at 166.553 drs and the euro at 325.750 drs.
 Popular Greek actor dies of heart failurePopular actor Nikos Rizos died of heart failure yesterday at the age of 75. His funeral will be held today at the Athens first cemetery.
The most renowned "small guy" of the Greek film industry and theater was born in Arta in 1924 and first appeared on stage in 1948, inaugurating a successful career as a comic spanning many decades and a multitude of parts.
 Ankara public prosecutor urges death penalty for OcalanThe public prosecutor of Ankara's Supreme Security Court has asked for the death penalty for Abdullah Ocalan, 10 days before the beginning of the Kurdish leader's trial.
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