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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (01/04/1996)

From: Macedonian Press Agency <mpa@philippos.mpa.gr>

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Monday, April 1 1996


TITLES

  • [01] EU AGRICULTURE MINISTERS DECIDE NOT TO LIFT THE BRITISH COW BAN

  • [02] TURKS CONTINUE PROVOCATIONS AT IMIA ISLETS AREA

  • [03] GREECE EXERCISES FULLY ITS SOVEREIGN RIGHTS OVER THE AEGEAN ISLETS, STATED THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN

  • [04] THE ISSUE OF IMIA SHOULD BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE HAGUE, ACCORDING TO THE SWEDISH UNDERSECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

  • [05] CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY IN THE BALKANS TO BE CREATED IN THESSALONIKI

  • [06] MINISTER OF INTERIOR SPEAKS IN THESSALONIKI

  • [07] TIME IS ON GREECE'S SIDE, SAYS TRANSPORTATION MINISTER

  • [08] NEW DEMOCRACY'S HONORARY PRESIDENT KONSTANTINOS MITSOTAKIS SEES GREAT PROGRESS IN GREEK-AMERICANS

  • [09] GREEK PARADE HELD IN NEW YORK'S FIFTH AVENUE

  • [10] GREEK-CANADIANS PARADE IN MONTREAL FOR NATIONAL HOLIDAY

  • [11] PRIME MINISTER UNEASY OVER THE RISING INFLATION RATE

  • [12] EU AGRICULTURE MINISTERS HOLD EXTRAORDINARY MEETING IN BRUSSELS

  • [13] CYPRUS WILL ATTEND THE NORTH ATLANTIC PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY SPRING SESSION AS AN OBSERVER

  • [14] THE DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETING HELD IN TIRANA ENDS TODAY

  • [15] INTER-BALKAN MEETING OF FOREIGN MINISTERS WILL BE HELD IN SOFIA

  • [16] EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON THE LOCAL ADMINISTRATION CHARTER WILL BE HELD IN COPENHAGEN ON APRIL 17-18

  • [17] WILLIAM PERRY IN TIRANA TODAY FOR BALKAN DEFENCE CONFERENCE

  • [18] BALKAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS MINISTERS TO MEET IN SOFIA

  • [19] EXIT VISA FOR ALBANIA IN FORCE BY THE END OF THE MONTH

  • [20] ROMANIAN CANDIDATE FOR NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE

  • [21] THREE NEW CHECKPOINTS ON BULGARIAN-GREEK BORDER

  • [22] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] EU AGRICULTURE MINISTERS DECIDE NOT TO LIFT THE BRITISH COW BAN

    The European Union's Agriculture Ministers unanimously decided today -with the exception of Britain- not to lift the ban on british beef meat exports, imposed last week by the European Commission, until the spreading dangers of the "mad cow disease" are contained.

    The British Agriculture Minister Douglas Hogue, in an effort to dissuade his counterparts from voting in favor of the ban, proposed the slaughter and burning of all the animals that are above the age of 30 months, which amounts to approximately four million animals in the following five to six years.

    Moreover, Hogue suggested the application of a funding program where 80% of the funds will arise from the EU and 20% from Britain.

    European Union officials assess that the meeting was marked by a climate that is supportive of the market.

    [02] TURKS CONTINUE PROVOCATIONS AT IMIA ISLETS AREA

    The turkish Foreign Ministry proceeded yesterday to issue a letter of protest to the Greek Ambassador in Ankara Dimitris Nezeritis, stating that a greek patrol boat harrassed a turkish one, when the turkish patrol boat tried to prevent a greek livestock farmer from landing on Imia to tend his animals.

    [03] GREECE EXERCISES FULLY ITS SOVEREIGN RIGHTS OVER THE AEGEAN ISLETS, STATED THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN

    Greece exercises fully its sovereign rights over the Aegean islets, stated greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas underlining that Greece will respond with a verbal note to Turkey's protest over the fact that a greek shepherd went ashore on the Imia islet yesterday in order to tend his animals.

    Also, mr.Reppas stressed that Greece has not authorized US President Clinton to play the role of a mediator in the greek- turkish relations, by characteristically saying that, mr.Clinton is the President of a big power which has a lot of influence, but Greece has its own positions.

    Referring to mr.Clinton's letter to Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, the greek government spokesman said that it refers to the greek-turkish relations but is not taking sides regarding the essence of the issues. Mr.Reppas concluded that the letter refers on the issues that will be discussed in the White House by the US President and the greek Prime Minister.

    [04] THE ISSUE OF IMIA SHOULD BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE HAGUE, ACCORDING TO THE SWEDISH UNDERSECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

    Sweden's Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Pierre Siorri backed the position according to which, the issue of the Imia islets should be brought before the International Court of Justice in The Hague, if is not resolved through democratic dialogue between the European Union and Turkey, while at the same time, he maintained that the issue concerns all the EU member states and not just Greece.

    In a press conference in Thessaloniki today, where he arrived in order to attend the events marking the 10th anniversary of the assassination of swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme, the swedish Undersecretary characterized the issue of Imia as "hot" stressing that it must be settled through democratic dialogue "without the economic interests playing the decisive role".

    Meanwhile, one of Thessaloniki's most beautiful parks located in the municipality of Kalamaria, was dedicated to Olaf Palme, while a Peace Institute will open very soon. The decision was made as a tribute to the man who identified his life, as a man and as a politician, with the fight for peace and disarmament. Also, the swedish Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Stockholm's mayor and swedish diplomats were present in the unveilling ceremony of Palme's bust.

    [05] CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY IN THE BALKANS TO BE CREATED IN THESSALONIKI

    The representatives from nine Balkan countries participating at last weekend's International Conference on Democracy and Civil Society, held in Thessaloniki, have unanimously decided to create a "Center for Democracy in the Balkans" to be established in Thessaloniki.

    The Conference, which was rounded up yesterday afternoon, was organized by the Association for Democracy in the Balkans and featured participants from Greece, Turkey, Federal Yugoslav Republic, Bosnia, Bulgaria, FYROM, Croatia, Moldavia and Romania, while Albanian representatives did not attend due to technical difficulties.

    The first step to establishing the Center will be the creation of a task force, to be composed of one member from each Balkan country.

    According to the Resolution signed by the Association, the Conference exemplified "a remarkable meeting of minds, which demonstrated that we share a common understanding of the necessity for the furtherance both of democracy anf of civil society in our region."

    The Association also intends to begin publishing a bi-monthly newsletter, prepared by an editorial committee composed of the journalists who participated in the Conference.

    The Association supports that any progress in the Balkans depends on peace and stability being maintained in the whole region, and particularly in the former Yugoslavia.

    "We believe it is crucial that progress be made in recreating a multi-communal society in Bosnia, and that the present arrangements need to be considerably improved with this end in view," the Association's resolution stated.

    [06] MINISTER OF INTERIOR SPEAKS IN THESSALONIKI

    Minister of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Akis Tsohatzopoulos stated today that "there will not be another Andreas Papandreou after today's", when asked about the issue of who will succeed whom in PASOK.

    Referring to various rumors about dual leadership in the party's hierarchy, the Minister stated that "ther is no problem regarding the so-called dual leaderships" and added that "much will be said until the ruling party's Congress.

    Moreover, commending on scenaria regarding collective leadership, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos merely stated that " collective leadership can be found in various areas of PASOK."

    [07] TIME IS ON GREECE'S SIDE, SAYS TRANSPORTATION MINISTER

    Transportation and Communications Minister Haris Kastanides stated yesterday that Greece must remain to the end firm on its national position, that is, it should not sign any whatsoever compromise related to the name "Macedonia", while, at the same time, it should create good neighboring relations with FYROM.

    Speaking in Thessaloniki, Mr. Kastanides stated that "time is Greece's ally not its enemy," thereby supporting that under no circumstance should Greece be driven to a hasty close of the name issue.

    According to the Transportation Minister, Greece should develop multi-level relations with Skopje, relations that should be extended both in the political and business sectors, as well as the cultural.

    [08] NEW DEMOCRACY'S HONORARY PRESIDENT KONSTANTINOS MITSOTAKIS SEES GREAT PROGRESS IN GREEK-AMERICANS

    The main opposition party New Democracy's honorary President Konstantinos Mitsotakis expressed his satisfaction stemming from the development of Greeks in the United States and the positive outcomes from their efforts to promote the greek national issues.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Mitsotakis, who formerly held the premiership, stated that the greeks abroad are always on the right track.

    "Greeks in the US are climbing upwards in the areas of education, business and politics," Mr. Mitsotakis stated, adding that "the new generations, as it is natural, are better. Their parents, the first immigrants, had the desire to offer their children the education, and the next generation will be even better."

    Mr. Mitsotakis is in New York to attend the festivities honoring the 175th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821.

    [09] GREEK PARADE HELD IN NEW YORK'S FIFTH AVENUE

    The annual parade of Greek-Americans who live in New York was held yesterday commemorating the Greek Revolution's 175th anniversary, although this year's festivities took the form of protest against the recent turkish threats in the Aegean Sea.

    The spectators warmly welcomed the floats representing the Dodecanese islands and the Cypriot organizations, as well as the presence of noted greek dignitaries, such as President of Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanisand honorary President of oppostion party New Democracy Konstantinos Mitsotakis.

    A moment of silence was observed in honor of the officers who lost their lives during the recent Imia islets crisis.

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos, who travelled to New York to be present at the parade, stated that "today (the festivity of) has a dual meaning. On one hand, to honor all those who undertook the important task of freeing our country fro, turkish rule and, on the other hand, to empower our will, our unity in order to maintain the national independence and sovereignty of our country. This year, the festivity has an even greater meaning as it follows threats and claims made by Turkey."

    [10] GREEK-CANADIANS PARADE IN MONTREAL FOR NATIONAL HOLIDAY

    Before 40,000 spectators, Greek-Canadians held their parade yesterday in Montreal commemorating the 175th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821.

    The doxology, sung in Montreal's Annunciation Holy Church and led by Canadian bishop Mr. Soteriou, was followed by the parade marched to the sounds of the Kalamaria Philharmonic and the participation of a force of evzones from the Hellenic Presidential Guard.

    Present at the parade were the Under-Minister of Health and Welfare Theodoros Kotsonis, the Canadian Minister of Constitutional Affairs Stefan Dion, Montreal's Mayor Pierre Bourke, Greek-Canadian parliamentarians and others.

    In a message conveyed on behalf of the Greek Premier Kostas Simitis, Mr. Kotsonis emphasized the need for Greek-Canadians to rally together in the struggle for our national rights.

    [11] PRIME MINISTER UNEASY OVER THE RISING INFLATION RATE

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, as well as the government's economic staff, are uneasy over the increasing inflation rate noted in March. Financial circles estimate that the rise is due to the doubling of fuel prices, while the situation created in the market by the "mad cow disease" resulted in the sharp increase of prices in various other items.

    [12] EU AGRICULTURE MINISTERS HOLD EXTRAORDINARY MEETING IN BRUSSELS

    The European Union Ministers of Agriculture will convene in an extraordinary meeting today, in order to discuss and examine the situation created by the "mad cow disease."

    The British Agriculture Minister Douglas Hogue who arrived in Luxemburg this morning for talks with the EU Commissioner responsible for agricultural issues Frans Fishler, stated that he is not very optimistic that the ministerial meeting will produce a solution to the crisis.

    "I do not want to create any expectations," Mr. Hogue stated, although he will attempt to lift the ban of british meat exports.

    Minister of Agriculture Stavros Tzoumakas stated yesterday that Britain is expected to receive EU financial aid of approximately 300 billion drachmas in order to face the crisis created in its livestock industry by the disease.

    Meanwhile, last weekend in Britain beef sales were markedly increased, as consumers defied the warnings and stocked up on meat that was sold at very low prices.

    The Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) is commonly known as "mad cow disease" and has been linked with the deadly Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease found in humans.

    Up to date, 49 tons of Britain-imported beef have been confiscated in Greece.

    [13] CYPRUS WILL ATTEND THE NORTH ATLANTIC PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY SPRING SESSION AS AN OBSERVER

    For the first time in its history, Cyprus will attend the Spring Session of NATO's Parliamentary Assembly that will be held in Athens on May 16-20, as an observer.

    Cyprus' participation was finalized during the meeting of the North Atlantic Assembly Permanent Committee that was held in Ottawa, Canada on March 28-31.

    Malta and Tunisia will also attend the proceedings of the North Atlantic Parliamentary Assembly Spring Session as observers.

    [14] THE DEFENSE MINISTERS MEETING HELD IN TIRANA ENDS TODAY

    The two-day meeting of the Defense Ministers from Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, FYROM, Italy and the United States that was held in Tirana ends today. The issues discussed were regional security in the southern Balkans and the possibilities for the widening of cooperation among the countries, aiming at strengthening stability.

    Albanian President Sali Berisha opened the meeting underlining his country's decisiveness to contribute to peace and stability in the region and also, its willingness to cooperate both with the Balkan states and with NATO in order to reach this goal.

    The albanian President stated that the Defense Ministers' meeting in Tirana is not turning against any country that was not present, while referring to the issue of Kosovo reiterated the albanian government's firm position, according to which, there is a need for dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade in the presence of a third party.

    Albanian Defense Minister Safet Zuliali stated that the fact that Greece, even though it was invited chose not to participate in the meeting, will not affect the already good greek-albanian relations.

    US Secretary of Defense William Perry praised the Tirana initiative for the meeting characterizing it as an opportunity for the consolidation of security in the region.

    He also stated that NATO is the first of the important elements in the building of a new Europe, adding that it is the foundation of European security.

    [15] INTER-BALKAN MEETING OF FOREIGN MINISTERS WILL BE HELD IN SOFIA

    The Balkan Foreign Ministers' meeting that will be held in Sofia next June will focus on four basic axes of cooperation.

    In a meeting recently held in the bulgarian capital, at Foreign Ministry Directors level, had been decided that the issues on which the first inter-balkan meeting will focus will be cooperation, transportations and tele-communications, commerce and the joint effort for fighting organized crime.

    In the meeting participated representatives from 9 Balkan states while Slovenia, which is not regarded as Balkan country, will attend the June meeting as an observer.

    [16] EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON THE LOCAL ADMINISTRATION CHARTER WILL BE HELD IN COPENHAGEN ON APRIL 17-18

    The Local Administration Charter will be discussed in the European Conference of Ministers responsible for issues of Local Administation which will be held in Copenhagen on April 17-18. In the Conference will participate the 39 member states of the Council of Europe.

    The Copenhagen Conference is organized by Denmark, which holds the Council of Europe presidency, and by the Congress of Local and Regional European Authorities, to mark the occassion of the 10th anniversary since the adoption of the Local Autonomy Charter by the Council of Europe.

    In the Conference among others will be discussed whether the charter has been implemented in the western and eastern European countries and its implications on the former communist states.

    [17] WILLIAM PERRY IN TIRANA TODAY FOR BALKAN DEFENCE CONFERENCE

    The conviction that NATO constitutes the first of the important criteria in the construction of a new Europe and it serves as a base of European Security, stated today the United States Defence Secretary William Perry, speaking at the six-nation meeting on Balkan security held inTirana.

    Attending the conference are the Defence Ministers of Albania, Bulgaria, Turkey, FYROM and Italy, along with the U.S.

    Mr.Perry also referred to NATO's efforts to "construct co- operative relations with Russia. This country is a critical element of european security for 300 years now and will be a determining factor in the decades to come for the better or worse. It is our duty to see that it be for the better."

    [18] BALKAN TELECOMMUNICATIONS MINISTERS TO MEET IN SOFIA

    Representatives from telecommunications organizations of Greece, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia convened in Sofia today in order to examine specific proposals for the forthcoming meeting of telecommunications ministers from balkan countries, scheduled to take place on April 25 and 26 in Bulgaria.

    According to a broadcast by the Bulgarian state radio, the ministerial council of the neighboring country has approved a program for the development of telecommunications in Bulgaria.

    [19] EXIT VISA FOR ALBANIA IN FORCE BY THE END OF THE MONTH

    The revocation of the exit visa regime for travelling to Albania will be in force till April 30, Serbian daily "Politika" reported. The exit visa regime, introduced in 1981 by the SFRY government, was revoked by the government of new Yugoslavia (Serbia- Montenegro) on March 14. According to "Politika", the governmental decree on revocation will be published in the Official Gazette which is expecting to apear on April 22 and after 8 days will come into force. The Albanian language newspaper Bujku guoted recentlly Serb border authorities near Prizen saying that they were expacting instructions on implementations of the revocation of the exit visa to Albania. The Albanian media were complainig about visa regime which over the past fifteen years has brought the communication between Albanians in former Yugoslavia and Albania to a virtual standstill.

    [20] ROMANIAN CANDIDATE FOR NOBEL PRIZE FOR PEACE

    The Nobel Prize for Peace Committee confirmed the Ilie Ilascu's candidature. According to the Romanian News Angency Rador, Ilie Ilascu is a Romanian from Moldavia who struggled for the unification of former soviet republic with Romania and the russian troops withdrawal from Trandsnistrian region.

    Ilie Ilascu was arrested by the pro-Soviet authorities from Moldavia who sentenced him to death. After many protests from Romania Ilie Ilascu was not executed and now he is life imprisonment.

    [21] THREE NEW CHECKPOINTS ON BULGARIAN-GREEK BORDER

    An accord regarding on opening of three new border checkpoints on Bulgarian-Greek border was unanimously ratified by the Bulgaria's Parliament.

    By the end of the 1998 Greece and Bulgaria have to build and open on their territories new border checkpoints and roads to them. Rodways will link the Bulgarian towns Haskovo and Kardzali with the Greek Comotini and Alesandropolis, as well as Gotse Delchev with Kato Nevrocopion and Cavala. Also, Smolyan, Roudozem and Zlatograd are to be linked with the Greek town of Ksanti.

    [22] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT

    CURRENCY          FIXING      BUY         SELL
    ECU              302.5600   301.6520    303.4680
    U.S. Dollar      241.5550   240.8300    242.2800
    Deutsche Mark    163.0900   162.6010    163.5790
    UK Sterling      368.3900   367.2850    369.4950
    French Franc      47.8510    47.7070     47.9950
    Swedish Crown     36.3550    36.2460     36.4640
    Danish Kroner     42.2600    42.1330     42.3870
    Norwegian Crown   37.6020    37.4890     37.7150
    Italian Lira      15.3855    15.3390     15.4320
    Swiss Franc      202.2880   201.6810    202.8950
    Spanish Peseta     1.9404     1.9346      1.9462
    Finnish Mark      52.1750    52.0180     52.3320
    Yen              224.6950   224.0210    225.3690
    
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