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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-04-28

The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <>


  • [01] Hopes of diplomatic solution to Kosovo crisis
  • [02] NATO boosts military presence in Kosovo
  • [03] Environment minister dismisses fears of toxic substances
  • [04] US to make efforts for Cyprus solution
  • [05] Blast at Athens Intercontinental Hotel kills a woman
  • [06] King and queen of Sweden continue visit to Greece
  • [07] Ocalan affair inquiry committee concludes sessions
  • [08] Housing loans on lease system
  • [09] Athens stock exchange on upward trend
  • [10] Greek student elections
  • [11] Bulent Ecevit to receive mandate for new Turkish government
  • [12] Ocalan's lawyers to sue Turkish newspapers

  • [01] Hopes of diplomatic solution to Kosovo crisis

    There seems to be more than just faint hope for a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis. The prospect of peace was opened up yesterday in statements by White House spokesman James Rubin, while at the same time a diplomatic marathon continues in Moscow.

    For the first time since the NATO operation in Yugoslavia started, the White House spokesman intimated last night that the bombings in Yugoslavia might stop if the Serbs accepted the terms set by the alliance and withdrew their forces from Kosovo, though the alliance will reserve the right to resume military operations in case of non-compliance by Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic.

    UN secretary-general Kofi Annan and Greek foreign minister George Papandreou are expected in Moscow today for consultations with Russian officials. US deputy secretary of state Strobe Talbot had constructive talks, as he said, with the Russian leadership in Moscow yesterday, but the US and Russia are still at loggerheads over the deployment of a multinational force in Kosovo.

    In Belgrade, deputy premier Vuk Draskovic reiterated yesterday that his country might accept the presence of a peacekeeping force in Kosovo under the auspices on the UN. He added that an agreement on the issue had been achieved between president Milosevic and Russian envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin. However, American defence secretary William Cohen has said that the peacekeeping force in Kosovo will have to be under NATO's command.

    [02] NATO boosts military presence in Kosovo

    In the meantime, the alliance is continuing to reinforce its military presence in the region, as US president Bill Clinton has approved calling up 33 thousand reserve troops to be sent to the Balkans, while approximately 800 Canadian soldiers are expected to arrive in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    According to the Yugoslav government, which yesterday briefed the UN security council on casualty figures so far, approximately 1000 civilians have been killed, including many children, since the start of the NATO operation.

    NATO air strikes continued last night on targets in Belgrade suburbs. In the town of Surdulica at least 20 people were killed, according to Serbian television, while yesterday afternoon 3 large explosions were heard near the airport in Montenegro's capital, Podgorica.

    Supreme commander of NATO forces in Europe, General Wesley Clark, said yesterday that the Serbian defence had suffered significant damage from the bombings, though much remained to be done.

    Moscow announced yesterday it would not observe the oil embargo on Yugoslavia imposed by NATO. Furthermore Russia's giant oil company "GAZ- PROM" announced yesterday it would continue to provide Yugoslavia with 3 million cubic meters of natural gas daily.

    [03] Environment minister dismisses fears of toxic substances

    Environment minister Kostas Laliotis gave assurances yesterday that no toxic substances have been recorded so far in Greece as a result of the war in neighbouring Yugoslavia. The minister was speaking after extensive consultations with a group of scientists and other experts.

    [04] US to make efforts for Cyprus solution

    The US is determined to make every effort for the improvement of Greek- Turkish relations and a solution to the Cyprus issue, the State Department's special coordinator for the Cyprus issue, Thomas Miller, has said, speaking at a conference organised in Washington jointly by the Kokkalis Foundation and Tafts University foreign policy analysis institute.

    In the course of the discussion--with the participation of former Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos, Turkish assistant undersecretary of state Mr Logoglou and the New Democracy party's international relations secretary Mr Valinakis--Mr Miller pointed out that the US is cooperating with the UN and dismissed reports of an independent American initiative.

    "We act under the UN umbrella", Mr Miller said, adding that he himself was working with the representatives of the international organisation as well as Britain and other European countries, aiming at the creation of a bi- communal, bi-zonal federation in Cyprus.

    [05] Blast at Athens Intercontinental Hotel kills a woman

    One woman was killed and a man injured late last night when a home-made explosive device went off at the front door of the Athens Intercontinental Hotel.

    The two persons were working in the hotel in preparation of the 3rd "Economist" meeting which was to open this morning.

    Responsibility for the attack was claimed by a terrorist group calling itself "Revolutionary Nuclei", in phone calls warning the media of the explosion 20 minutes before the blast. Police said hotel staff were aware of the warnings but for some reason chose to ignore them and did not evacuate the premises.

    [06] King and queen of Sweden continue visit to Greece

    The king and queen of Sweden, who are on an official four-day visit to Greece, met on Monday with the president of the Greek republic, Kostis Stefanopoulos. Later, the royal couple had a meeting with the speaker of the Greek parliament, Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    Yesterday the king and queen were received by the prime minister, Kostas Simitis, at the Maximos Mansion. Earlier the royal couple met the Mayor of Athens, Dimitris Avramopoulos, who presented them with the golden medal of merit and the key to the city of Athens. King Karl Gustav and his wife, Queen Sylvia, also met all the opposition party leaders.

    Today the royal couple are scheduled to inaugurate an exhibition of Cypriot antiquities in Athens.

    [07] Ocalan affair inquiry committee concludes sessions

    The parliamentary committee investigating the Ocalan case will conclude its examination of witnesses with the testimony of former interior minister Alekos Papadopoulos.

    As speaker of parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis announced, the committee's proceedings will not be extended.

    Nevertheless, opposition New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis, believing the investigation can not be completed in such short time, has requested an increase in the number of witnesses as well as further testimony from the former director of the Greek intelligence service, Haralambos Stavrakakis.

    [08] Housing loans on lease system

    Labour minister Miltiadis Papaioannou yesterday announced there would be favorable terms for loans, with the method of leasing, for beneficiaries of Workers' Housing.

    [09] Athens stock exchange on upward trend

    The general share price index on the Athens Stock Exchange closed 5.51% up yesterday at 3,431.31 points. In the parities, the US dollar was fixed at 306.09 drachmas, the German Mark at 166.456 drachmas and the euro at 325.56 drachmas.

    [10] Greek student elections

    Greek students go to the polls today to elect representatives to sit on the new boards of Higher Educational Institutions and Technical Training Institutes.

    [11] Bulent Ecevit to receive mandate for new Turkish government

    Turkish president Suleyman Demirel is expected to give the mandate for the formation of a new government to Bulent Ecevit after the swearing in ceremony for the new parliament which emerged from the elections on 18 April. The ceremony will be held on 2 May and the president will then give the mandate to the new prime minister who will open consultations expected to last several weeks.

    [12] Ocalan's lawyers to sue Turkish newspapers

    The lawyers of jailed Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan announced yesterday that they will sue 18 Turkish newspapers for violating the law on the press and professional ethics in articles which concern their client. In the wake of the Kurdish leader's arrest Turkish newspapers published confessions attributed to Ocalan but without indicating their sources.
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