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BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN (12/01/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki, January, 12 1996


NEWS IN BRIEF

[A] NEWS IN ENGLISH

[B] SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT (by Vlasidis Vlasis)


[A] NEWS IN ENGLISH

  • [01] GOVERNMENT SPOKES PERSON COMMENTS ON PREMIER'S AWARENESS

  • [02] THE CONDITION OF THE PRIME MINISTER IS UNCHANGED

  • [03] GREEK PRESIDENT TO VISIT PRIME MINISTER ON LATTER'S REQUEST

  • [04] GREEK-FYROM TODAY IN NEW YORK IN A CLIMATE OF GUARDED OPTIMISM

  • [05] UNCERTAINTY OBSTACLE TO NEGOTIATIONS ON CYPRUS PROBLEM

  • [06] TURKISH ATROCITIES AGAINST THE KURDS HORRIFIED EUROPE

  • [07] AGRICULTURAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN GREECE AND ALBANIA SIGNED TODAY

  • [08] RUSSIAN AUTOMATIC RIFLES AND FIREARMS DISCOVERED IN THESSALONIKI

  • [09] ZACHAROV PRIZE TO BE GIVEN TO TURKISH JAILED POLITICIAN

  • [10] EFFORTS FOR A MACEDONIAN HISTORY LIBRARY IN HAMBURG


  • [B] SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT (By Vlasidis Vlasis)

  • [11] WILL 1996 BE A BETTER YEAR FOR THE BALKANS? NEWS IN DEPTH


  • [A] NEWS IN ENGLISH

    [01] GOVERNMENT SPOKES PERSON COMMENTS ON PREMIER'S AWARENESS

    The greek government spokesperson and Minister of Press and Media Tylemachos Hytiris stated today that the hospitalized Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou is fully aware of the current issues that have arisen within the greek political arena. According to the spokesperson, mr. Papandreou knows that he has been hospitalized for more than fifty days. He is also aware of the recently defeated proposal of no-confidence submitted to Parliament by the main opposition party New Democracy.

    Referring to the premier's upcoming meeting with the greek President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, mr. Hytiris said that the meeting will be of an informative nature.

    The government spokesperson also responded today to the issue that has arisen from the main opposition party leader's letter sent to the greek Premier Andreas Papandreou.

    New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert yesterday sent a letter to the prime minister asking him to resign from his post. Although the letter was personally adressed to the hospitalized premier, it was intercepted by the Minister of Health Dimitris Kremastinos who is also the premier personal physician. As a result, mr. Evert has threatened the minister of health with legal action, claiming that the law of privacy has been violated.

    According to mr. Hytiris, the letter does not contain get well wishes and mr. Kremastinos, in his capacity as the premier's personal doctor - not as minister- is the best suited person to open the letter in order to assess its effect on his patient.

    To begin with, the government spokesperson added, the letter should have been addressed to the minister replacing the premier in his absence, mr. Akis Tsohatzopoulos or the premier's office.

    [02] THE CONDITION OF THE PRIME MINISTER IS UNCHANGED

    The general condition of greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou remains unchanged while today the medical council observing him has decided to issue only one medical bulletin a day, namely the one issued at noon.

    Today's medical bulletin mentions that the condition of the Prime Minister has presented no essential changes in the past 24 hours. The kinesi=A6therapy and respiratory physiotherapy continue while the patient's respiratory function is periodically supported by respirator and the renal function by artificial kidney.

    [03] GREEK PRESIDENT TO VISIT PRIME MINISTER ON LATTER'S REQUEST

    Greek President mr Constantinos Stephanopoulos has accepted the Prime Minister's request to visit him in the Onassion Cardiology Center reportedly to discuss the political developments related to mr. Papandreou's 53-day absence from office. According to the announcement made by the President's office, the visit will be held at a suitable time and after taking under consideration mr.Papandreou's treatment needs.

    Sources in the greek Presidency, mention that the meeting was unlikely to take place today as it was reported by many private radio and television stations.

    The President's office also stated that it will not comment on the letter sent to mr. Papandreou by opposition New Democracy party leader mr.Miltiadis Evert in which is expressed the view that the best solution to the political problem would be if the 76-yearold Premier resigned. Mr.Evert stresses in his letter that by doing so mr.Papandreou would protect himself, his party and the country.

    Meanwhile, well informed sources say that New Democracy is planning to table a motion in Parliament calling for an amendment to the law on the cabinet which will "facilitate and at the same time bind the government majority to replace the Prime Minister".

    [04] GREEK-FYROM TODAY IN NEW YORK IN A CLIMATE OF GUARDED OPTIMISM

    The greek-skopjan talks on the issue of the name that will be used by FYROM begin this afternoon in New York under the UN auspices and with mediator mr.Cyrus Vance. In the talks participate greek Ambassador Christos Zaharakis and his skopjan counterpart Ivan Tosefski.

    The talks were scheduled to take place yesterday but they were postponed due to the bad weather conditions in the eastern United States.

    In Athens, there is a climate of guarded optimism regarding the outcome of the talks but according to greek Foreign Ministry sources, the efforts aiming at reaching a final solution will take a long time. Nevertheless, they underlined the good and productive climate of cooperation existing between the two sides and the fact that Skopje agreed to enter negotiations in order to discuss the issue of the name.

    According to press information, mediator Cyrus Vance will ask the two sides to submit their proposals concerning the names they refuse in principle to discuss in the negotiations.

    [05] UNCERTAINTY OBSTACLE TO NEGOTIATIONS ON CYPRUS PROBLEM

    A US State Department spokesperson admitted that there are obstacles to the resumption of the negotiations on the Cyprus problem due to the uncertainty in Greece's and Turkey's political scene.

    According to the US official, who requested to remain anonymous, apart from the greek Prime Minister's health problems and the uncertainty concerning the formation of a coalition government in Turkey there are many other factors bolstering up the climate of uncertainty around the US initiative.

    Last month, US mediator Richard Holbrooke had announced his intention to make a tour in the eastern Mediterranean in order to contribute to the solution of the problem.

    [06] TURKISH ATROCITIES AGAINST THE KURDS HORRIFIED EUROPE

    Greek government spokesman Tylemachos Hitiris commented on the photograph that travelled around the world showing a turkish soldier who is flaunting the severed head of a kurdish rebel, by saying that the photograph speaks for itself. He also stressed that the turkish government owes explanations to the international community regarding the content of the photograph.

    The photograph of a turkish soldier showing off as a trophy the severed head of a slaughtered kurdish rebel that was published by the newspaper "European" created horror all over Europe.

    The photograph supports a revealing article written by Roman Rollnick on everything that is going on in south- eastern Turkey, near the borders with Iran and Iraq. The article writer mentions that in the photograph one can clearly see that the weapons of the turkish soldiers are german made.

    The photograph arrived in Britain when a turkish soldier sent it to a friend of his in London who then gave the photo to the Kurdish Information Center.

    European Parliament Socialist Group Leader, Pauline Green protested strongly to turkish President, Suleiman Demirel and asked for guarantees that those actions by the turkish army will not be left unpunished.

    Also, British Conservative Party deputies expressed their indignation and stressed that they will ask Britain's Foreign Affairs Minister to intervene.

    [07] AGRICULTURAL AGREEMENT BETWEEN GREECE AND ALBANIA SIGNED TODAY

    The first meeting of Greece's and Albania's Joined Agriculture Committee, aimed at promoting agricultural development in Albania, took place in Athens today.

    The protol, signed today by greek Underminister of Agriculture Alexandros Damianides and his albanian counterpart, Mislim Osmani, affirms the two countries' collaboration in the areas of plant and animal production, agricultural application, training and research, veterinanian development and foresting and fishing.

    According to the greek Ministry of Agriculture, this agreement will facilitate the development of Albania's agricultural economy and is a step towards a climate of trust for the promotion of greek export interests in Albania.

    [08] RUSSIAN AUTOMATIC RIFLES AND FIREARMS DISCOVERED IN THESSALONIKI

    Greek police in an arrest made today in Thessaloniki, have stumbled upon russian firearms and automatic rifles, a discovery that leads them to believe that there are weapon-importing rings in Greece that stem from the former Soviet Union.

    The greece-born georgian Theoktistos Kritharides had in his possession seven automatic Kalasnikov rifles, which, he claims, were supplied to him by two Georgian men who visit Greece frequently.

    Working on leads, the police arrested Kritharides as he was about to re-sell the weapons to an unknown to the police man for the amount of one million drachmas.

    The illicitly imported weapons are distributed to the greek underworld where they are especially popular. According to the police, a similar discovery was made in Thessaloniki two years ago, while an imported weapon- selling led by serbs and skopjans was tapped lone year ago.

    [09] ZACHAROV PRIZE TO BE GIVEN TO TURKISH JAILED POLITICIAN

    The Zacharov prize for "spiritual freedom" will be given to turkish Layla Zana, former turkish parliament deputy and member of the Turkish Democratic Party, as was announced by the European Parliament today.

    Ms. Zana has been incarcerated in turkish prison since March 1994, serving a 15-year term. She was arrested because she is of kurdish descent, as were three more former deputies of the same party.

    The turkish authorities have turned down all of the euro-parliament's persistent efforts to free ms. Zana, even temporarily. Ms. Zana's husband, who has also been sentenced to a prison term for testifying to the commissioners of Euro-parliament, will represent her at the prize dispensation ceremony.

    Ms. Zana's candidacy was suggested to euro- parliament by greek deputy Alekos Alavanos.

    [10] EFFORTS FOR A MACEDONIAN HISTORY LIBRARY IN HAMBURG

    The Association "Alexander, son of Philippos", based in Hamburg made an appeal to everyone, who can offer books of historical, cultural and literary content, to send them to its offices in order to establish as soon as possible a library which will inform the greeks abroad and the german citizens on issues of history and culture with an emphasis on the history of ancient Macedonia.

    The initiative for the establishment of the library, which will include books and documents in the greek and the german language, was undertaken by the Association and according to its Chairman, Stavros Aslanidis aims at better informing the german public opinion on the greek positions regarding the skopjan issue.


    [B] SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT (By Vlasidis Vlasis)

    [11] WILL 1996 BE A BETTER YEAR FOR THE BALKANS?

    The year 1995 was especially difficult for the Balkan region. It was marked by the on-going war in Bosnia and Craina, ultra-nationalist activity in Romania, Kossovo and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), economic instability and mistrust in inter-state relations.

    By contrast, 1996 is expected to be more favorable for the strife-torn Balkans. In former Yugoslavia, despite the hatred that continues to ferment among Muslims and Serbs in Bosnia, or the Croats and Serbs for the land of Craina and Slavonia, the military war has ceased and the machine guns have been silenced. The establishment of NATO divisions in Bosnia and Craina is proceeding without any serious stumbling blocks. The European Union, the United States and Japan have approved economic aid in the sum of six billion dollars for the reconstruction of Bosnia.

    The wind of optimism is blowing in Belgrade. The Serbs, after the lift of economic sanctions by the United Nations, are hopeful that within the year they will accomplish their political and economical re-accession to the International Community. The European Union is shedding a positive eye at Yugoslavia's request to participate in the PHARE program. The exporting business is expected to enjoy bounding increases as Yugoslavia has accumulated great amounts of copper, iron ore, timber and advanced electronics, which it will see to export at low prices, while it has great needs of capital goods and investments.

    Croatia, after the Dayton and Paris peace accords, is looking at the future with optimism. Last year's military successes ceded the country's territorial independence, while Germany's full-scale support guarantees economic recovery.

    Equally bright appears FYROM's future. The albanian ethnic minority's demands have subsided. The accession to international organizations have created a climate of security, vital for this country's future. Among Branco Tservenkovski's government aims for 1996 are to improve the country's economic planning and combat corruption in the public sector.

    Even in Kossovo, the albanian majority, after many years, now hopes that Belgrade will cooperate in the revocation of the 1989 measures, while the self-elected president, Ibrahim Rugova has asked Germany and the U.S. to pressure Milosevic into accepting the Kossovo's separation from Belgrade rule.

    In Romania and Bulgaria, both the government and the opposition party support the complete accession to NATO and the European Union, but no one expects that these goals can be met in 1996.

    Boukourest's optimism stems from its historical alliance with Hungary, which will be re-affirmed this year with the signing of a new friendship and collaboration accord, a rapprochement that will greatly lessen the tension between the hungarian minority and romanian majority in Romania. Multi-ethnic businesses are beginning to invest, while the program of de-nationalization or, better yet, popular capitalism, enforced last October, has refuted every doom sayer and is expected to prove fruitful within 1996.

    In Sofia, everyone is looking forward to the beginning of the de-nationalization program, which, if succesful, will change the economy's shape. Construction on the oil pipeline of Burgas-Alexandroupolis and the european Number 9 highway is expected to begin during the year. The only cloud that spoils the optimistic climate seems to be the European Union - Bulgaria dispute Bulgaria regarding the operation of the nuclear plant in Kozlodui. Government officials and presidential circles are afraid that this dispute could delay Bulgaria's incorporation to european frameworks and freeze part of the country's financial assistance.

    In Albania the future is uncertain as 1996 is a presidential election year and it is not certain that Berisa will remain in power. In contrast, the discovery of large oil rigs and natural gas in the Adriatic Sea has stirred the interest of foreign oil companies, mainly Agip and Elf, for their exploitation. Finally, Albania urgently wants the creation of the Paraegnatia route whose construction is unlikely to proceed in 1996 due to insufficient funds, despite the support of European Commissioner Van der Brooke.

    Oppositely, 1996 finds Turkey embedded in a climate of uncertainty as it remains without a government. However, this instability is expected to soon come to an end, while the main question is found in whether or not the islamists will actively participate in the country's government. However, the political observers anticipate that the voters of Greece's eastern neighbor will be led to the ballot box again in 1996.

    On the Cyprus issue, after a many-year wait, there seems to be a ray of hope in reaching a solution, since Clinton is looking to garner the greek-american votes in order to gain re-election. Nevertheless, any progress in the cypriot issue is closely related to the creation of a government in Ankara and the resolve of the uncertainty that stems from the replacement of the greek premier.

    Finally, Greece seems likely to gain a new prime minister which will bring to an end the political crisis created by the extended illness of Andreas Papandreou, founder and president of the Panhellenic Socialist Party, PASOK.

    Conclusively, one could say that towards the closure of 1995 the Balkan-region governments realized the dangers that ultra-nationalism and intolerance bear. During 1996 all of the region's countries are expected to give particular emphasis to their economic development and conducively cooperate in the promotion of peace.

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