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The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 00-10-09
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
NEWS IN ENGLISH-ERA.5THE VOICE OF GREECE
9/10/2000 1:27:37 μμ
 Clashes between the Israeli and the Palestinians continue.Critical is the situation in the Middle East as clashes between the Israeli and the Palestinians, killing over 90 people so far , continue in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Intensive diplomatic activity has been noted in the region the last days.
Lebanon and Israel put its troops on alert following the capture of three Israeli soldiers by the Hizbollah guerilla group.
Israeli Prime-minister Ehud Barak warned the Palestinian leader Yaser Arafat again yesterday that the deadline to end the wave of violence expired Monday night , otherwise the Israeli army would use all means to stop clashes.
A UN spokesman announced that the UN Secretary General Kofi Anan will fly to Tel-Aviv within the next few hours in an efort to put an end to clashes betwen the Israeli and the Palestinians. American President Bill Clinton will visit the region for talks with the both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders . Also the EU High Commissioner on foreign policy and security issues Xavie Solana will visit the region.
Due to the critical situation in the Middle East ,the Egyptian Foreign minister Amr Musa returned to Egypt interrupting his official visit to Ancara.
 The EU will today decide on the lifting of economic sanctions on Yiougoslavia .Reviving Yiougoslavia's battered economy ,ending itsyears of isolation, improving Serbia-Montenegro relations and smooth political development in the domestic front are the top priorities of the new Yiougoslav president Voislav Kostunica. Greek Foreign mnsiter Giorge Papandreou was the first EU official to visit Belgrade after political changes in the country.Mr.Papandreou yesterday met with the newly elected Yiougoslav president and conveyed Greek Prime-minister Kostas Simitis congratulations on his election as well as President Stefanopoulos invitation to visit Greece as soon as possible.
The EU General Affairs Council convenes in Louxembourg today to decide on the lifting of economic sanctions against Yiougoslavia.
The president of the European Commission Romano Prodi sent a letter to the new Yiougoslav President congratulating him on his elction and expressing the EU's confidence that he would bring Yiougoslavia to the European family.
American President BillClinton had a telephone contact yesterday with Voislav Kostunica to congratulate him on his elction .President Clinton promised that he would promote the tightening of relations between the two countries.
In parallel ,American Secretary of State Madleen Allbright said that har first priority was to assist the new Yiougoslav President by lifting sanctions on his country.
In the meantime, one of the ethnic Albanian leaders in Kossovo , Hasim Thatsi made clear that he did not intend to hold a dialogue with the new goverment of Belgrade, insisting on Kossovo's independence .
 President Stefanopoulos on a tour of the Baltic Republics .The President of the Greek Republic Kostis Stefanopoulos, arrived in Riga yesterday,on the first leg of his tour of the Baltic Republics of Latvia and Esthonia. His trip is in response to visits made some tome ago to Greece by the presidents of both countries ,and his aim is to strenghten bilateral relations-particularly in the economic and cultural sectors.
Diplomatic sources indicate that both Latvia and Esthonia depend on Grek support in order to become members of Nato and subsequently ,the EU.
President Stefanopoulos, who is accompanied by the secretaries of the National Economy and Foreign Affairs, as well as a delegation of businessmen, is scheduled to meet today with the President of Latvia and later attend an economic forum of Greek and Latvian businessmen.
President Stefanopoulos will also visit with representaives of the Greek community in Latvia.
 American Defence Secretary takes part in South East Europe's Defence Ministers's Council held in ThessalonikiAmerican Defence Secretary William Cohen is taking part in the meeting of South East Europe's Defence Ministers held in Thessaloniki today.
Mr. Cohen gave a joint press interview with his Greek counterpart Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday. Developments in Yiougoslavia were the main items in the interview. Mr Cohen hailed the new Yiougoslav predident's plans for democratisation of the country and insisted that Milosevits should stand trial at the International Court in the Hague. Mr.Cohen praised Greece's role in the Balcans.
 Greek-Turkish reporters met in Konstantinopolis.During the second meeting of Greek-Turkish reporters in Konstantinopolis, Ecumenic patriarch Vartholomeos said that the major problem of the Halki Theological School would be resolved. The prefecturer of Konstantinopolis agreed with Patriarch Vartholomeos proposal regarding the operation of the Halki theological School as vocational scholl and not a university.
In the meantime, Turkish prime-minister Bulet Ecevit, who attended the dinner in honour of both countrie journalists, called them to contribute in the improvement of both countries relations, reminding their efforts which began 15 years ago.
 Cyprus issueAccording to Cypriot President Kleridis, at this stage, there is no other alternative to efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue than the UN sponsored talks He noted that in the past year ,the most important initiative -following the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island -was undertaken by the UN to settle the long-standing dispute. Mr Kliridis wishedthat an agreement was reched on a federal, united and demilitarised state .
 Industrial actions. Banks closed, hospital doctors on strike.A series of nationawide strikes begin today. Banks will be closed for 48 hours, due to industrial action by the Greek bank employees federation. Hospital doctors have also staged a 24 hour strike for today. Another 24 hour strike Tuesday, by the General Confederation of Greek Labour and Civil Servants Union ,isexpected to shut down a large number of private and public services.
Meanwhile Athens blue buses, trolleys,electric trains and the metro will not operate from midnight today to midnight on tuesday and the strikes will also paralyse railway transport and domestic flights.