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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-05-03

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

From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <ert.ntua.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Slim possibility of peace as Nato air strikes continue
  • [02] FYROM on verge of economic collapse warns PM
  • [03] Serbs claim NATO casualties
  • [04] Papandreou cautiously upbeat on possible political solution
  • [05] Greek media stages anti-war protest
  • [06] Clerides insists on EU entry irrespective of Cyprus issue
  • [07] Survey indicates PASOK more popular since NATO bombing

  • [01] Slim possibility of peace as Nato air strikes continue

    As Nato air strikes against Yugoslavia continue, intense diplomatic activity is under way to find a political solution to the Kosovo crisis.

    Today American president Bill Clinton is meeting in Washington with the Russian mediator Victor Chernomirdin who will convey a letter from Russian president Boris Yeltsin. Meanwhile, the leader of the Republicans in the American Senate, Trent Lot, stated yesterdat that it was time to give peace a chance.

    For his part, the Reverend Jesse Jackson who yesterday accomplished the release of three American prisoners in Yugoslavia, addressed a plea to president Clinton to agree to a face to face meeting with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

    The American president hailed the release of the three marines, but insisted that NATO bombings will continue until the Kosovar refugees' return to their homes is assured and President Milosevich agrees to the alliance's terms for peace, while the US Defence Secretary, William Cohen, said the NATO bombardments would be stepped up.

    In a related development, a peace plan which has been drafted by members of the American congress, but also with the participation of a representative of President Milosevic, which was released yesterday, provides for the deployment of a light force in southern Kosovo -- a condition which, up to now, was rejected by Belgrade.

    According to President Milosevic's wife, Miriana Markovic, no ethnic cleansing operations were being carried out in Kosovo. She made the comments during an interview with the American CBS television network, adding that Yugoslavia was on the verge of economic collapse due to the NATO bombings, which-- she pointed out--had killed dozens of civilians.

    Following stepped-up NATO attacks last night, two people were killed and 35 injured when a police station and the Interior Ministry were bombed.

    This morning, power was restored to most regions in Serbia and to some Belgrade suburbs, which had suffered a blackout, after the bombing late Sunday of a power station. However, the state television network is still off the air, after the destruction of a transmission centre.

    [02] FYROM on verge of economic collapse warns PM

    FYROM Prime Minister Lyubko Georgievsky has expressed fears of an outbreak of civil war in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia unless the West makes rapid moves to deal with the economic problems that have arisen in that country, due to the refugee crisis.

    [03] Serbs claim NATO casualties

    The Serbian anti-aircraft defence claimed yesterday to have brought down an American f-16 fighter plane. However, a NATO spokesman maintained that its fall was due to a mechanical malfunction.

    Meanwhile, an A-10 made a forced landing in Scopje yesterday while a British Harrier-type plane crashed into the Adriatic.

    [04] Papandreou cautiously upbeat on possible political solution

    In an interview with the Greek daily newspaper, "Kathimerini", yesterday, Foreign Minister George Papandreou appeared cautiously optimistic about a political solution to the Kosovo crisis.

    The presence of a peace-keeping force in Kosovo and the withdrawal of the forces present may lead to a solution to the problem, he said. He expressed the opinion that the key to lifting the deadlock would be agreement on the form and nature of this force.

    According to the Greek foreign minister, Washington would like the speedy cessation of hostilities because the continuation of war is obstructing a final settlement, and also because Western public opinion is questioning the efficacy of NATO's air campaign.

    [05] Greek media stages anti-war protest

    With the slogan "The Press is being bombed; we grieve and protest", the Journalists' Union of Athens' daily newspapers and employees in the mass media are organising a protest rally in Athens today, against the war on Yugoslavia, on the occasion of World Press Day.

    Commenting on the initiative, the government spokesman and Press Minister, Dimitris Reppas, observed that the press' function was not merely to inform, but to contribute substantively to the application of democratic principles.

    In the meantime, more than 500 Greek journalists and owners of press, television and radio facilities from all over the world are participating in the First World Conference of Greek Media Abroad.

    Among the topics to be covered is a more effective promotion of Greece's major national issues.

    [06] Clerides insists on EU entry irrespective of Cyprus issue

    The president of the Cypriot socialist party, EDEK, Vassos Lisaridis, who is going to Bonn today, will convey a letter from Cypriot president Glafcos Clerides to the German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

    Mr. Lisaridis clarified that the letter stresses that there should be no connection betwen a solution to the Cyprus issue and the country's entry into the European Union.

    [07] Survey indicates PASOK more popular since NATO bombing

    According to a poll published yesterday in the Sunday newspaper, "To Ethnos tis Kyriakis"--the first since the start of the NATO bombardment of Yugoslavia--the difference between the ruling PASOK party and the opposition New Democracy party has decreased in favor of PASOK, and it is now only 5%.

    The survey also concludes that 57.3% of citizens "would like the government to see its term through and says "no" to double elections in June.


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