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BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN (30/10/1995)

From: Macedonian Press Agency <mpa@uranus.eng.auth.gr>

Macedonian Press Agency Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki, October 30, 1995

NEWS IN ENGLISH

  • [01] ECONOMIC CONFERENCE ON BALKANS BY HELLENIC-AMERICAN CHAMBER

  • [02] RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTER IN ATHENS FOR A FORMAL VISIT

  • [03] GREECE,ITALY,ROMANIA, AND US TO TAKE PART IN MANOUVRES IN AEGEAN

  • [04] GREEK PRESIDENT ON A TWO-DAY FORMAL VISIT TO ROMANIA

  • [05] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH TO VISIT FRENCH CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX BISHOPRIC


    NEWS IN ENGLISH

    [01] ECONOMIC CONFERENCE ON BALKANS BY HELLENIC-AMERICAN CHAMBER

    Greek Minister of Defence Gerasimos Arsenis made a clear and detailed presentation of the greek government's positions concerning the Balkans and the Yugoslav crisis, speaking this morning in the economic- political conference organized in Athens by the newspaper "INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE" and the Hellenic-American Chamber.

    Mr.Arsenis criticised the European Union stressing that if it had formed a unified european policy on the Balkans the crisis would have been avoided. He also said that the european foreign policy must deal mainly with the Balkans and that the European Union must finally accept that the Balkans are not at the sidelines of Europe but constitute an integral part of Europe.

    A European security system is unthinkable without the incorporation of the Balkans, underlined mr.Arsenis and added that Greece will play a catalytic role as an intermediary for the incorporation of the Balkan states in the European Union.

    In this framework the greek Minister of Defence proposed the establishment of a Regional Council of Balkan States that will consist of Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece and the former Yugoslav Republics and will promote economic and technological cooperation, the protection of the environment and human rights, the coordination of infrastructures and the cultural and tourist cooperation aiming at the consolidation of stabilizing dynamics in the region.

    Mr.Arsenis also stated that the above dynamics could expand and to security issues as it already happens in the framework of NATO's Partnership for Peace programme and in the framework of the bilateral defence agreements Greece has already signed with Bulgaria, Albania and Romania. Mr.Arsenis stated that Greece will sign similar bilateral agreements with the former Yugoslav Republics after peace returns to the region.

    The Defence Minister stressed that the greek policy in the Balkans will do everything possible for the promotion of economic initiatives and for the Balkan states' link up with the institutions of the European Union member-states while it will try to avert the infiltration of foreign powers which could try to distabilize the status-quo in the Balkans.

    Mr.Arsenis also said that Russia must participate in the international peacekeeping force that will be deployed in Bosnia for a period of 9 to 12 months after a peace agreement is signed in the region.

    Greek Commissioner in the European Union Christos Papoutsis addressing the economic conference of the Hellenic-American Chamber stressed that the Balkans can not be regarded neither as geo-political outsider nor as the powder-keg of Europe but on the contrary this region always was and will be an organic part of Europe while it can and must be an organic part of the European Union.

    The EU Commissioner stated that the establishment of institutions of regional cooperation in the Balkans and the creation of a free transactions zone should be examined. He also said that the European Union's future goal is the expansion of the PHARE programmes to all the Balkan states and added that in the next few weeks the European Commission will examine the possibilities concerning the forming of a network of agreements with the former Yugoslav Republics that will support the peace process and will be adjusted to the peculiarities of each party.

    The greek EU Commissioner stressed that the European Commission believes in the importance of the EU cooperation with Turkey and also in the new possibilities that will be opened through the materialization of the customs union with Turkey but added that Turkey first must prove it really moves toward the democratization of its political life.

    Mr.Papoutsis also pointed out that the normalization of the relations between Greece and FYROM opens the way for the development of relations and cooperation agreements between FYROM and the European Union.

    Regarding the crisis in Bosnia, the greek European Commissioner stated that the next few weeks will be critical adding that all the involved parties must abandon their intransigence and display a spirit of reconciliation. Mr.Papoutsis also pointed out that the European Union is ready to contribute to the international effort for the rebuilding and the economic and social reconstruction of the former Yugoslav Republics. He also added that to this process of rebuilding the United States will play a decisive and necessary role while the Balkan states must be activelly involved too.

    [02] RUSSIAN DEFENCE MINISTER IN ATHENS FOR A FORMAL VISIT

    Russian Defence Minister general Pavel Gratsev arrived today in Athens for a three-day formal visit.

    The russian Defence Minister met with his greek counterpart Gerasimos Arsenis and examined the developments in the region and the military cooperation between Greece and Russia. The russian Minister will also meet with Undersecretaries of Defence Nikos Kouris and Manolis Bendeniotis while earlier he had met with greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    The Defence Ministers of Greece and Russia are scheduled to give a joint press conference later today.

    Tomorrow, the russian Defence Minister will meet with Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou.

    [03] GREECE,ITALY,ROMANIA, AND US TO TAKE PART IN MANOUVRES IN AEGEAN

    Navy execise under the code-name "IOLKOS" will be held in the Aegean Sea on November 2-10 in the framework of the NATO Partnership for Peace programme.

    Besides the greek navy units will participate and navy units from Italy, Romania and the United States. The navy exercise aims at the joint training of units in peace keeping missions and in missions involving rescue efforts.

    [04] GREEK PRESIDENT ON A TWO-DAY FORMAL VISIT TO ROMANIA

    Greek President mr Constantinos Stephanopoulos will arrive in Bucharest on Thursday, November 2nd for a two-day formal visit aiming at promoting the greek- romanian relations on a political and economic level.

    The visit, which is of great importance for Greece, initially was scheduled to take place on October 5th but was postponed until early November.

    [05] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH TO VISIT FRENCH CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX BISHOPRIC

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos will make a formal visit to the Christian Orthodox Bishopric of France next Wednesday and will attend the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of the Saint Stephanos Cathedral.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch will meet with french President Jacques Chirac, and also with France's Foreign Minister, the President of the National Assembly and the Senate President. The Ecumenical Patriarch will officiate in the Cathedral of Saint Stephanos and in the russian Cathedral of Saint Alexandros, seat of the russian Theological Institute of Saint Sergio.

    The Orthodox Christians in France are estimated at 200 thousand faithful who are mainly of greek and russian descent. Also, there is a number of immigrants from former Yugoslavia and Lebanon and a significant number of French who became Orthodox Christians. The number of greek Orthodox Christians in France is estimated at 50 thousand faithful.

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