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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 99-05-19

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] Diplomatic

  • [01] Diplomatic shuttle on a peaceful Kosovo solution continues</strong>

    The diplomatic shuttle aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Yugoslav crisis continues. Talks resume in Helsinki today between the Finnish president, Maarti Ahtisaari, the Russian envoy, Viktor Chernomyrdin, and the American under-secretary of state, Strobe Talbot. Mr Ahtisaari described yesterday's discussions as serious and constructive. After today's meeting the Finnish president and the Russian mediator will fly to Belgrade for talks with the Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic.

    Speaking from the Finnish capital yesterday, the Greek foreign minister, Giorgos Papandreou, said Greece had proposed a 48-hour ceasefire to enable agreement on a diplomatic solution to be finalised. The foreign minister had talks with his Finnish counterpart yesterday and is scheduled to meet with Mr Ahtisaari and Mr Talbot today.

    Meanwhile the German chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, said after his meeting with the Italian prime minister, Massimo D'Alema, yesterday that it was "inconceivable" that ground forces would be deployed in Kosovo. At a joint press conference they gave in the Italian city of Bari, the two leaders called on the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution on settlement of the Kosovo crisis based on the proposals put forward at the recent meeting of the Group of Eight, which comprises the world's seven most industrialised countries plus Russia. The Group of Eight is meeting in Bonn today to discuss a settlement of the crisis in Kosovo, after the Serbian president, Milan Milutinovic, told the Italian foreign minister, Lamberto Dini, in a telephone conversation yesterday that the G-8 peace plan was acceptable to Yugoslavia.

    The American president, Bill Clinton, said steps had been made towards a peaceful solution, but he still did not rule out the possible deployment of ground troops.

    Belgrade bombed again after Chinese embassy disaster

    For the first time since the bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Nato planes carried out air strikes on the Serbian capital again last night, hitting fuel depots belonging to the state petroleum company Jugopetrol in the suburb of Tsukarica. One woman was killed and 12 others injured in Nato raids on the region of Valjevo yesterday.

    Meanwhile Nato has announced that 72 F-15 and F-16 jet fighters will be deployed in Turkey by the end of this month in a move to strike at Yugoslavia from all sides. The Pentagon spokesman, Ken Bacon, has announced that the Nato peace force which will go to Kosovo will be between 45,000 and 50,000 strong.

    Greek defence minister ends visit to Bulgaria

    Winding up his two-day visit to Bulgaria, the Greek national defence minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, appeared optimistic yesterday over a peaceful settlement of the Kosovo crisis.

    In the meantime, a Greek all-party parliamentary delegation is leaving for Belgrade today for meetings with the Yugoslav president, Slobodan Milosevic, and opposition party leaders. Heading the 8-member delegation will be the PASOK deputy, Lambros Kanellopoulos.

    Greek Radio sends aid to Kosovo refugees

    Greek Radio has handed over 16 tons of humanitarian aid for refugees from Kosovo, through the state radio stations in Skopje and Tirana. Ways are also being investigated for the radio to contribute to the reconstruction of all the countries affected by the war in Yugoslavia.

    International organizations stress Greek economy's progress

    According to reports published yesterday by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and Moody's financial advisors, Greece is well on the way to joining European economic and monetary union and the euro zone.

    The two organisations underline the positive developments and progress made in the Greek economy, but stress that more attention should be paid to the inflation rate.

    In Washington, the federal reserve has left basic interest rates unchanged but did not rule out an increase in the next few months.

    Greek parties' election campaigns

    A look at the parties' election campaigns in view of the forthcoming Euro- elections.

    The prime minister, Kostas Simitis, had a meeting yesterday with PASOK's candidates in the European elections to discuss party positions and the election campaign.

    Addressing a meeting of Athens university economics graduates yesterday, the opposition New Democracy party leader, Kostas Karamanlis, once again criticised the government's economic policy.

    The secretary general of the Greek Communist party, Aleka Papariga, yesterday addressed a party gathering.

    Euro-deputies Alekos Alavanos and Mihalis Papayannakis are heading the list of the Coalition of the Left Wing and Progress for the Euro-elections. The list was released by party leader Nikos Konstantopoulos yesterday.

    Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras has criticised the government's economic policy.

    Finally, Liberal party leader Stefanos Manos is touring Corinth, Aegion and Nafpaktos.

    Minister for Macedonia and Thrace visits Cyprus

    The president of the Cyprus republic, Glafkos Kliridis, yesterday received the minister for Macedonia and Thrace, Ioannis Mangriotis, who is on an official visit to Nicosia. After the meeting, Mr Mangriotis said his talks with President Kliridis covered developments in the broader region, with the emphasis on the war in Yugoslavia and its impact on developments both in Greece and Cyprus and on Cyprus' progress towards EU admission.

    Guidelines for 2000 Greek state budget

    The finance undersecretary, Nikos Christodoulakis, yesterday presented the guidelines for next year's state budget. He said the government would continue with the same economic and fiscal policy as in recent years, a policy which has made a decisive contribution to improving the Greek economy.

    New record high on Athens stock exchange

    Meanwhile the general share price index on the Athens stock exchange closed with an impressive rise of 4.32% yesterday, at 4,106.150 units.

    Greece to purchase Patriot missiles

    The American Pentagon has announced that the Greek government made a formal request to purchase Patriot missiles from the United States. According to the Pentagon statement, the purchase will contribute to the modernisation and upgrading of Greece's defence capabilities.

    Minister for the Aegean to visit Melbourne

    The management of Melbourne's Latrobe University National Study and Research Centre has announced that the minister for the Aegean, Stavros Benos, is to visit the university in September to inaugurate an exhibition about the Aegean which is then to tour all major Australian urban centres.


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