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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-05-18

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] NATO attacks escalate after lull due to bad weather
  • [02] Diplomatic moves for Kosovo solution in Brussels and Helsinki
  • [03] Greek defence minister visits Bulgaria
  • [04] Turkish efforts for tension in Aegean prove fruitless
  • [05] Greek prime minister meets visiting EU Commission president
  • [06] Stolen car used by terrorist group found abandoned
  • [07] Streamlining public enterprises discussed at meeting
  • [08] Cypriot government awards medal to Greek composer
  • [09] Athens Stock Exchange dropped 2.37% yesterday
  • [10] Burial of eminent Athens journalist

  • [01] NATO attacks escalate after lull due to bad weather

    NATO attacks against Yugoslavia escalated yesterday after two days of abatement due to bad weather conditions.

    Three strong explosions were heard in Belgrade early today, while Yugoslav anti-aircraft guns were firing for quite a while afterwards, the French news agency reported.

    NATO missiles yesterday struck numerous fuel depots in several parts of Serbia and as a result one civilian was killed and many others were injured, including a nine year old boy.

    Earlier NATO aircraft launched two missiles on Batanica, in the outskirts of Belgrade, where a military airport is situated.

    Meanwhile the chief of the British armed forces said last night a ground operation in Kosovo could not be ruled out, stressing the air strikes had not reached the final phase.

    [02] Diplomatic moves for Kosovo solution in Brussels and Helsinki

    Diplomatic moves for the promotion of a peace plan in Kosovo are intensifying, while Greece and Italy are promoting a "complementary" initiative to the one undertaken by the Group of Eight. Brussels was the epicenter of diplomatic efforts yesterday, on the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers' council.

    Greek foreign minister Yorgos Papandreou has said the plan provides for a cessation of the NATO bombings, a UN resolution on resolving the crisis on the basis of the general principles laid out by the G8, on condition that Russia and China will agree, but also the despatch of ground forces if Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic does not respond positively.

    Mr Papandreou supported the positions at the successive meetings he had yesterday with his counterparts from Russia and Germany.

    Late last night, the Greek foreign minister met in Paris with his French counterpart Hubert Vedrine. The two officials discused the Kosovo issue and the pact of stability for the Balkans, promoted by Germany, which was adopted yesterday by the EU foreign ministers' council held in Brussels.

    Mr Vedrine stressed the need for a speedy completion of the draft resolution to be submitted to the UN security council to pave the way for an end to the war in Yugoslavia. Mr Papandreou said they exchanged views with his French counterpart on all issues relating to the future of the Balkans.

    Mr Papandreou today will have talks on the peace initiative in Finland with the country's president Maarti Akhtisari, Russian mediator Viktor Chernomyrdin and American under-secretary of state Strobe Talbot.

    British prime minister Tony Blair declared once more there would be no compromise on NATO conditions for an end to the bombings. After meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Kostov in Sofia, Mr Blair ruled out any kind of compromise, thus replying to the Greek proposal for a 48-hour cease fire agreement in Yugoslavia.

    [03] Greek defence minister visits Bulgaria

    Greek defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos met in Sofia yesterday with Bulgarian president Petar Stojanov and foreign minister Nadezda Mikhailova. He ascertained Bulgaria shared the view for the need of a political and diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis as soon as possible.

    Mr Tsohatzopoulos also met the leader of the socialist opposition Georgi Parvanov and speaker of the house Jordan Sokolov. Today he will visit Veliko-Tirnovo.

    [04] Turkish efforts for tension in Aegean prove fruitless

    Ankara's efforts to create tension in the Aegean have proved fruitless.

    Foreign policy should not be exercised by civilians, Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis said in reference to the incident caused by 20 Turkish journalists who entered Greek territorial waters and tried to disembark on an island of the Imia group of rocky islets yesterday. Ankara should have recourse to the international court at The Hague over disputed areas, Mr Simitis added.

    From Sofia, Bulgaria, defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos said that all irresponsible people trying to create impressions were working in vain. He added there was nothing to negotiate.

    [05] Greek prime minister meets visiting EU Commission president

    The setting up of the new European Commission, the new form of the EU and the Kosovo crisis were the main subjects discussed at a meeting Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis had yesterday with the new president of the European Commission Romano Prodi.

    Between Mr Simitis and Mr Prodi there was full convergence of views as regards the political role of the European Commission, which, according to the Greek prime minister, should be the power lever of the EU.

    [06] Stolen car used by terrorist group found abandoned

    The car probably used by members of the November 17 terrorist organization to escape after launching a rocket on the residence of the German ambassador in Athens was found abandoned near the site of the attack yesterday.

    The vehicle had been stolen and police said there was blood on the back seat. The fact that blood was also found on the pavement where the rocket was launched confirms police conjecture that one of the terrorists was injured during the attack.

    [07] Streamlining public enterprises discussed at meeting

    The streamlining of public enterprises which have been turned into societes anonymes (S.A.) was examined yesterday at a conference under the chairmanship of national economy minister Yannos Papantoniou.

    Replying to questions, he reiterated that the floating of the fourth package of shares of the Greek Telecommunications Organisation would take place in July, as scheduled.

    [08] Cypriot government awards medal to Greek composer

    The Cypriot government yesterday honoured famous Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis with the Extraordinary Services Medal, for his services to Cyprus.

    Cypriot president Glafkos Kliridis said that Mikis Theodorakis was one of the most eminent personalities of modern Greek culture. He added he succeeded in gaining international recognition and become a universal composer.

    Replying, Mikis Theodorakis focused his speech on the war in Yugoslavia and warned that the continuing bombardments against a neighbouring friendly country would lead humanity to an unprecedented international crisis.

    [09] Athens Stock Exchange dropped 2.37% yesterday

    On the Athens stock exchange the general share price index dropped yesterday by 2.37%, closing at 3,936.59 units.

    In the parities, the US dollar was fixed at 304.780 drachmas, the Deutschmark at 166.374 drachmas and the euro at 325.400 drachmas.

    [10] Burial of eminent Athens journalist

    The funeral of eminent journalist and member of the board of the Athens Press Association, Dimitris Leventakos, who died of cancer at the age of 52, was held at the First Athens cemetery yesterday.
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