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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-05-13

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Russian president fires prime minister
  • [02] American envoy back in Russia
  • [03] Greek foreign minister denies NATO bombing met goals
  • [04] Greek president continues visit to Armenia
  • [05] Election campaign for Euro-elections started in Greece
  • [06] Positive developments in Greek economy
  • [07] Athens Stock Exchange down 0.37% yesterday
  • [08] Battle of Crete to be celebrated in Australia and New Zealand

  • [01] Russian president fires prime minister

    Russia is going through a political crisis following the dismissal of prime minister Yevgeny Primakov by president Boris Yeltsin. Interior minister Sergei Stepashin was appointed in his stead.

    The US described Mr Primakov's dismissal as a Russian internal affair and expressed the hope that the economic reforms would continue.

    The last president of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, criticised Yeltsin's decision and said it was jeopardizing Russia's stability. Ukraine president Leonid Kutsma also expressed his objection to the dismissal of Mr Primakov.

    Russian communist leader Gennady Zyuganov called on the people to remain calm and on the forces of order to remain loyal to the regime.

    The lower Duma has warned it will not approve Primakov's replacement by interior minister Sergei Stepashin and has appealed to president Yeltsin to resign, one day before a three-day debate on his dismissal. President of the Duma's budget committee Aleksandr Zukov said Primakov's dismissal may jeopardize talks for a loan from the International Monetary Fund.

    [02] American envoy back in Russia

    American undersecretary of state Strobe Talbot is returning to Moscow today for further talks with Russian special envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin, on a joint American-Russian approach to the Kosovo crisis, American state department spokesman James Rubin announced. Russian president Boris Yeltsin has warned Russia may withdraw from the negotiations if its positions are not heeded.

    In Beijing, German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder did not secure China's support for the G8 plan on a peaceful resolution of the Kosovo crisis.

    The EU is working out specific proposals for the creation of a European Reconstruction Organization which would see to the restoration of damage and reconstruction of Kosovo and the broader Balkan region after the war, EU foreign relations commissioner Hans van den Broek has said.

    The Albanian parliament yesterday expressed support for the Kosovo Liberation Army and the government formed by Hasim Vatsi. It also called for the creation of an international protectorate in Kosovo and the deployment of NATO troops in the region to guarantee the safe return of refugees to their homes.

    Meanwhile former Albanian president Sali Berisha's party has expressed support for moderate ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova who has formed his own Kosovo government under Buhar Bukosi.

    Finally, the American state department has announced intensified bombings on a 24-hour basis, while NATO air raids on Yugoslavia continued throughout last night.

    [03] Greek foreign minister denies NATO bombing met goals

    NATO's political goals have not been accomplished, Greek foreign minister Yorgos Papandreou told a press conference yesterday. Mr Papandreou said that, as regards the day after the end of the war, Greece plans to play an integral role in the drive for Yugoslavia's reconstruction.

    The minister said that efforts to cope with the humanitarian problem have been successful. He emphasised that the specific danger of a huge wave of refugees has been successfully averted and he underlined the positive role Greece played in promoting cooperation in the Balkans.

    [04] Greek president continues visit to Armenia

    Greek president Konstantinos Stefanopoulos and Armenian president Robert Kotsaryan, who had talks in Erevan, expressed the political will for a further improvement of economic and trade relations between Greece and Armenia.

    The two sides have signed an agreement to avoid dual taxation, an agreement for mutual customs facilities and the protocol ratifying the friendship and cooperation agreement between the two countries signed in 1997 in Athens. President Stefanopoulos has invited the Armenian president to visit Greece.

    [05] Election campaign for Euro-elections started in Greece

    The election campaign for the Euro-elections to be held on June 13th opened officially yesterday.

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis spoke in the evening at a meeting of PASOK party electoral committees at Nikea, a suburb of Athens. He said what was needed was a politically strong Europe with a common foreign policy. He also pointed out that the logic of a single super-power was erroneous and a factor of international instability.

    Opposition New Democracy party leader Kostas Karamanlis also delivered a speech in Eastern Attica yesterday. He criticised the government's policy on the Yugoslav crisis and also referred to the issue of unemployment, which he described as the most serious problem.

    At a press conference yesterday evening, secretary general of the Greek Communist party Aleka Papariga announced that deputy Stratis Korakas, Euro- deputy Yannis Theonas and professor Kostas Alissandrakis would head the party's list for the Euro-elections.

    Mrs Papariga said the elections should express the Greek people's firm opposition to the government's current policy.

    Speaking in Brussels yesterday, leader of the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress Nikos Konstantopoulos said the idea of European unification was the main victim of the war in Yugoslavia.

    [06] Positive developments in Greek economy

    National economy minister Yannos Papantoniou has described as positive the developments in the Greek economy.

    Speaking at a conference at the national economy ministry yesterday, Mr Papantoniou said that the timetable and the procedures for Greece's accession to European economic and monetary union will be strictly observed. This means, he said, that in March next year Greece will submit its application for admission, to be evaluated on the basis of its attainments by the end of this year.

    The economy is doing well and all criteria have been secured, therefore Greece is certain to join the euro-zone on January 1st, 2001, Mr Papantoniou concluded.

    [07] Athens Stock Exchange down 0.37% yesterday

    On the Athens stock exchange yesterday, the share price index dropped slightly by 0.37%, closing at 4,089.48 units. In the parities, the fixing price for the US dollar was 305.240 drachmas, for the Deutschmark 166.359 drachmas and for the euro 325.330 drachmas.

    [08] Battle of Crete to be celebrated in Australia and New Zealand

    The 58th anniversary of the historic battle of Crete during the second world war will be celebrated in many major cities in Australian and New Zealand since many soldiers from these two countries had taken part in the battle.

    A delegation of the Greek armed forces is in Australia to take part in the celebrations.


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