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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (09/04/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Tuesday, April 9 1996


TITLES

  • [01] GREEK PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS MEETS WITH U.S PRESIDENT CLINTON

  • [02] U.S. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON EXPRESSES HIS SUPPORT TO GREECE

  • [03] ARCHBISHOP IAKOVOS PROTESTS TO MILOSEVIC

  • [04] GREECE DOES NOT ACCEPT A DIALOGUE ON ITS SOVEREIGN RIGHTS, STATED THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN

  • [05] GREEK PREMIER ADDRESSES THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB

  • [06] FOREIGN MINISTER MET WITH U.S. SECURITY ADVISOR

  • [07] GREEK PRIME MINISTER TO MEET WITH U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE TOMORROW

  • [08] GREEK PREMIER MEETS WITH GREEK-AMERICAN COMMUNITY LEADERS

  • [09] FOREIGN MINISTER ADDRESSES CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT IN WASHINGTON

  • [10] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER SPEAKS TO CNN

  • [11] GLIGOROV COMMENTS ON FYROM RECOGNITION BY FRY

  • [12] THE PROBLEM OF THE NAME MUST BE RESOLVED THROUGH DIRECT DIALOGUE BETWEEN GREECE AND FYROM

  • [13] THE EU EXPRESSED SATISFACTION OVER THE RECOGNITION OF FYROM BY BELGRADE

  • [14] FYROM HAS AN IMPORTANT ROLE FOR THE STABILITY IN REGION, SAYS HOLBROOKE

  • [15] FYROM MEDIA REPORT ON RECOGNITION BY FR YUGOSLAVIA

  • [16] SERBIAN PARTIES REACT POSITIVELY TO FYROM RECOGNITION, BUT NOT THE DEMOCRATS

  • [17] THE GREEK-SKOPJAN TALKS BEGIN IN NEW YORK ON MONDAY

  • [18] THE MAYOR OF THESSALONIKI CHARACTERIZED BELGRADE'S DECISION AS HOSTILE

  • [19] THE CANADIAN MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE IS ON A VISIT TO GREECE

  • [20] GOLD MINING IN HALKIDIKI TO CONTINUE, SAYS NATIONAL ECONOMY UNDERMINISTER

  • [21] CYPRUS, GREECE AIM TO LAUNCH A COMMON SATELLITE

  • [22] BULGARIA ASKED GREECE'S SUPPORT FOR ITS PARTICIPATION IN THE EU PROGRAMMES

  • [23] ALBANIA AND GREECE TO COOPERATE IN TELECOMMUNICATION SECTOR

  • [24] GREEK-ROMANIAN BANK OF COMMERCE IS ESTABLISHED IN BUCHAREST

  • [25] HUNGARY'S ADMISSION TO NATO BEFORE ROMANIA WOULD START ARMAMENT RACE BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES

  • [26] U.S. CONGRESSMAN VISITS BUCHAREST

  • [27] ROMANIAN SOCIALIST PARTY: ROMANIA'S FATE IS STILL UNDECIDED

  • [28] LOCAL ELECTIONS IN ROMANIA ON MAY 26

  • [29] ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT MOLDOVA ON APRIL 23

  • [30] FYROM MILITARY DELEGATION TO VISIT ROMANIA

  • [31] CROATIA WILL NOT JOIN ANY REGIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

  • [32] REPUBLIKA SRPSKA CHARGES 16 WAR PRISONERS FOR WAR CRIMES

  • [33] ROVER THE BIGGEST FOREIGN INVESTOR IN BULGARIA CLOSES ITS PLANT

  • [34] FIRST ROMANIAN NUCLEAR POWER REACTOR BECOMES OPERATIVE ON APRIL 17

  • [35] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] GREEK PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS MEETS WITH U.S PRESIDENT CLINTON

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis stated this evening that his meeting with United States President Bill Clinton will aid in the improvement of the bilateral relations between Greece and the U.S., while emphasizing that Greece's aim is to promote stability, welfare and peace in the Balkans and the Eastern Mediterranean.

    "We believe that there are some principles which we must apply and respect," the Greek Premier stated. "The first such principle is the avoidance of the use of violence or the threat of the use of violence," he added.

    Also, Mr. Simitis stated that the international accords and the International Law must be enforced.

    The Greek Premier characterized his meeting with the U.S. President, held this evening in the White House, as "constructive and interesting" and noted that Greece wishes to achieve better relations with the U.S. and to have a positive cooperation.

    "We discussed ways through which we can achieve this," Mr. Simitis said, "how we can co-oeprate in the Balkan region and to develop common initiatives."

    According to Mr. Simitis, the two leaders also discussed the European embodiment, the situation in the Balkan-region countries, Greece's relations with its neighbors and its relations with Turkey, as well as the Cypriot issue.

    "Regarding our relations with Turkey, we both said that there must not be violence or the threat of violence.

    "If there are various problems, they must be solved through the International Justice Court at The Hague," the Premier said, "that means that the International Court and the international accords must be enforced."

    He concluded by saying that the discussion with Mr. Clinton was very interesting, and will help Greece to solve problems.

    "I believe that we have achieved a great lot and that we have taken a step forward," he said.

    [02] U.S. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON EXPRESSES HIS SUPPORT TO GREECE

    United States President Bill Clinton expressed his support to Greece, following his meeting this evening with Greek Premier Kostas Simitis in the White House.

    President Clinton stated that the issue of the Imia islet should be referred to the International Court at The Hague, or through some means of international mediation, and said that "we are on Greece's side on this issue."

    He added, though, that he has also cooperated with Turkey on the same matter, a country with which the U.S. maintains friendly relations.

    "Greece's difference with Turkey, this collission that exists, worries us, but we believe that if both sides respect the international accord, there is no need to use violence and also we must respect the territorial integrity of other countries," the U.S. President stated.

    Mr. Clinton said that he had told Turk President Suleiman Demirel the same things during their recent meeting in the White House.

    Moreover, Mr. Clinton stated that Greece must undertake an active role in accomplishing stabiltity in the Balkans and added that there must be a solution found to the Cypriot rpoblem.

    "I believe that we will have the opportunity to discuss it in order to find a solution. The Cypriot issue is an issue that has called my interest, I have spend some time in Cyprus and would like to see if we, as the United States, can do something," Mr. Clinton added.

    The American President thanked Greece for its participation in the Bosnia peacekeeping forces and characterized the FYROM issue as an important one.

    [03] ARCHBISHOP IAKOVOS PROTESTS TO MILOSEVIC

    The Archbishop of North and South America Iakovos expressed today his dissatisfaction for the recognition of Skopje with the name of "Republic of Macedonia" by the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, by sending a telegram to FRY President Slobodan Milosevic.

    "Your hasty action to recognize Skopje as 'Macedonia' constitutes an exhibit of ingratitude and an injury to the alliance of the two peoples of Greece and Serbia. No one else has supported your people, as much as Greece and the Orthodox Church of America," Mr.Iakovos states in his telegram to the Serb leader.

    [04] GREECE DOES NOT ACCEPT A DIALOGUE ON ITS SOVEREIGN RIGHTS, STATED THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas in an interview to the New York greek-american newspaper "Proini", stated that Greece does not accept dialogue on its sovereign rights which are consolidated by International Law, International agreements and treaties. Mr.Reppas said that if Turkey has a problem regarding the islets of Imia, in south-eastern Aegean, then it can bring the issue before the International Court of Justice in The Hague and this way, mr.Yilmaz's words can be accompanied by the appropriate deeds. The greek government spokesman said that there are many issues for discussion, such as the illegal immigrants and the drug- trafficking but there can not be a dialogue over Greece's sovereign rights.

    Also, mr.Reppas reiterated Greece's known positions on the issue of Skopje and stated that the country enters the negotiations with those positions. He said that the greek side hopes that the bilateral relations will continue to improve and mentioned that it has been achieved increased economic cooperation and normalization of the previously cold relations.

    Meanwhile, commenting on the recent meeting of turkish Prime Minister Yilmaz with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos during which mr.Yilmaz asked for the Partiarch's assistance in order to face certain religious needs of the "turkish" minority in Thrace, as he called it, the greek government spokesman stressed that the minority in Thrace, in north-eastern Greece, is muslim and not "turkish" and that its members enjoy all the rights of the greek citizens.

    Mr.Reppas said that the turkish Prime Minister lacks continuity in his political word because on the one hand he proposes direct dialogue for the solution of problems and on the other, he appeals to the Ecumenical Partiarch regarding a non- existent issue. Mr.Reppas stated characteristically that mr.Yilmaz should decide what he wants.

    Finally, mr.Reppas announced that in the next few months the programme of the state television network ERT will be broadcasted to the United States via satellite on an 18-hour basis, just like in Europe.

    [05] GREEK PREMIER ADDRESSES THE NATIONAL PRESS CLUB

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis reiterated yesterday that it is Turkey who must take the initiative to go to the International Court of Justice for resolution of its sovereignty claims in the Aegean Sea.

    Addressing the National Press Club in Washington last night, Mr. Simitis stated that "Turkey must go to the International Court of Justice, it is not for us to do it." If Turkey thinks it has claims on the islets, it should go to The Hague."

    When asked whether Greece had "backed off" a military confrontation with Turkey over Imia, Mr. Simitis responded, "we didn't back off. We didn't want war... But this does not mean that in future cases we will not decide to fight. We are ready to fight."

    Also, Mr. Simitis referred to the recent State Department warning issued to American travelers that the Athens airport falls short of international security standards.

    The Premier stated that "this was a very unfortunate decision... Mrs. Clinton was in Athens (recently) and was very secure," he stated.

    [06] FOREIGN MINISTER MET WITH U.S. SECURITY ADVISOR

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos met with United States President Bill Clinton's national security advisor Tony Lake today in the White House.

    The two men discussed the situation in the Southeastern Mediterranean and, according to reports, Mr. Pangalos asked Mr. Lake that the U.S. exert pressure on Turkey in order to stop the provocations in the Aegean Sea.

    Today, Mr. Pangalos will visit the editorial staff of the Washington Post and Washington Times newspapers.

    [07] GREEK PRIME MINISTER TO MEET WITH U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE TOMORROW

    Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is scheduled to meet on Wednesday morning ith U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher at the State Department.

    On Thursday, the Premier will speak at Yale University and meet with Archbishop of North and South America Iakovos.

    He will also meet with United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali on Friday.

    In his week-long official visit to the U.S. the Greek Premier is accompanied by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs Theodoros Pangalos, National Economy Yiannos Papantoniou and Press and Media Dimitris Reppas.

    [08] GREEK PREMIER MEETS WITH GREEK-AMERICAN COMMUNITY LEADERS

    "I am happy, because at a time so significant for Greece, I am near the most important part of hellenism, the Greeks abroad," stated Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in his address to the prominent members of the Greek-American community, given last night at a gala organized in his honor.

    Mr. Simitis assured the overseas Greeks that he personally and the Greek government grant significant importance to the Greek community's role overseas.

    "The diaspora is Hellenism's power base," stated the Premier, adding, "you live in a powerful country and use your power correctly. We, in Greece, are proud of your accomplishments and your successes in all areas, from politics and economy to the sciences, the arts and sports."

    [09] FOREIGN MINISTER ADDRESSES CARNEGIE ENDOWMENT IN WASHINGTON

    Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, speaking yesterday evening at Washington's Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, defined Greece's foreign policy keystones for an audience consisting of more than 100 U.S. academics, researchers and State Department officials.

    The Foreign Minister stated that Greece respects international law and the internationally-recognized borders and promotes peaceful co-operation.

    Referring to the Balkan region, Mr. Pangalos pointed out that in that area Greece is in essence a "superpower", both politically and economically.

    Moreover, he underlined Greece's good relations with the Balkan countries, emphasizing that the current problems are steadily decreasing and will eventually disappear all together.

    Mr. Pangalos expressed his optimism for the development of the Cypriot issue, stating that in 1998 Cyprus' accession process to the European Union will begin.

    The Foreign Minister also stated that he favors the gradual approach of the two communities on the island, and said that holes must be opened in the wall that divides Cyprus in two.

    [10] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER SPEAKS TO CNN

    Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos expressed his hope that a solution will be found to the FYROM name issue, through the negotiations taking place with the mediation of the United Nations.

    Answering to a question posed by the television channel CNN whether the name "Macedonia" is negotiable, Mr. Pangalos stated that "everything is negotiable except our existence and our freedom."

    [11] GLIGOROV COMMENTS ON FYROM RECOGNITION BY FRY

    The President of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Kiro Gligorov revealed today in a radio interview to the "Free Europe" station that he had agreed with Serb President Slobodan Milosevic that Belgrade will recognize Skopje with the constitutional name "Republic of Macedonia."

    According to Gligorov, Greece no longer has a strong influence on Belgrade, as it did in the beginning of the Yugoslav crisis, and that now Milosevic can act as he wishes.

    [12] THE PROBLEM OF THE NAME MUST BE RESOLVED THROUGH DIRECT DIALOGUE BETWEEN GREECE AND FYROM

    Head of the US diplomatic delegation in Skopje, Victor Komras in an interview to ANA speaks about direct dialogue between Greece and FYROM on the issue of the name in case the United States stop playing a mediatory role.

    Mr.Komras maintains that the problem of the name must be resolved bilateraly by the two interested parties. He said that after the signing of the interim accord the two parties began to have direct talks, adding that this is the best procedure. Mr.Komras also said that the United States do not play the same mediatory role with the one they had played when US President Clinton had appointed as his personal mediator mr.Mathew Nimitz.

    The US diplomat in other parts of his interview underlines that if a compromise on the name is possible then it should be encouraged and in conclusion, he said, that the United States will not determine what will be the basis for such a compromise, adding that the position of the United States is that the involved parties must find a solution directly and in a constructive way.

    [13] THE EU EXPRESSED SATISFACTION OVER THE RECOGNITION OF FYROM BY BELGRADE

    The European Union's satisfaction over the recognition of FYROM by Belgrade was expressed today in Brussels by a European Commission representative.

    Responding to a question by a reporter, European Commissioner Van Den Broek's Press Representative said that the EU is satisfied with this development because the way for Belgrade's recognition by Europe has been opened.

    The EU official made no more comments stressing that the European Commission has not yet been informed formally by the Belgrade authorities over FYROM's recognition, adding that this is expected to take place soon. He reminded that the mutual recognition of the former Yugoslav Republics was a pre-condition set by the General Affairs Council in return for Europe's recognition of the newly created states.

    Meanwhile, the belgian press, french and dutch speaking, refers today to the news of Skopje's recognition by Serbia and some of the newspapers even mention that Belgrade did not recognize this republic with its official name as "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" but as Republic of "Macedonia".

    German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel also welcomed the signing of the mutual recognition agreement by FYROM and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and according to the skopjan state TV, he said that with the signing of the agreement for full diplomatic relations between the two countries was removed and the last obstacle for the recognition of Yugoslavia by the EU member states.

    Mr.Kinkel also stressed that with this action the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia opens the way for its accession into the International Community.

    [14] FYROM HAS AN IMPORTANT ROLE FOR THE STABILITY IN REGION, SAYS HOLBROOKE

    "FYROM has had the important role in establishing the stability in the region," former Assistant State-Secretary Richard Holbrooke stated for Radio Skopje. Therefore, he stressed the importance of the Interim Accord between FYROM and Greece for the stability in the Balkans.

    Hobrooke also said that the instability in the Balkan region was not created by the great countries, but it was a heritage of the agreements concluded after the Second World War and the cold war.

    [15] FYROM MEDIA REPORT ON RECOGNITION BY FR YUGOSLAVIA

    Yesterday's signing of an agreement of mutual recognition between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia has been granted a massive amount of coverage by the press inboth countries.

    According to the Skopje radio, the regulation on mutual relations between FYROM and Yugoslavia will be based upon the principles of equality, non-interference in the internal affairs and respect of the sovereignty and the territorial integrity according to the principles of the UN Charter and the OSCE documents.

    The two parties have agreed to immediately embark on negotiations regarding economic cooperation and trade.

    Also, FYROM and FRY plan to form a mutual expert commission regarding a proposal for an international document on mutual border lines.

    [16] SERBIAN PARTIES REACT POSITIVELY TO FYROM RECOGNITION, BUT NOT THE DEMOCRATS

    Serbian oppostion parties have reacted positively to FYROM's recogniton as "Republic of Macedonia, although the Democratic Party (DSS) stated that although it was "a desirable act, onm codniton that Serbian -greek relaitons are not disturbed."

    The Democratic Party's spokesperson Miroland Jovanovic stated that the move to recognize FYROM was premature as talks are pending between Greece and Skopje on the name issue.

    [17] THE GREEK-SKOPJAN TALKS BEGIN IN NEW YORK ON MONDAY

    The greek-skopjan talks on FYROM's name, according to the interim accord that was signed in September, begin in New York on Monday under the mediation of Cyrus Vance and in the "shadow" of Skopje's recognition as "Macedonia" by the Serbs.

    The agreement on mutual recognition signed yesterday by the Foreign Ministers of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and FYROM, a week before the greek-skopjan talks begin and only a day before the greek Prime Minister's meeting with the US President, surprised the greek government which reacted strongly characterizing Belgrade's move as non friendly action toward Greece.

    The move by Rump Yugoslavia was expected by the greek government but it was sudden regarding the time it took place. The greek government repeatedly had called upon the serb officials not to recognize Skopje as Republic of "Macedonia" because it would make Greece's position difficult while it would help Skopje in following an intransigent position in negotiations.

    [18] THE MAYOR OF THESSALONIKI CHARACTERIZED BELGRADE'S DECISION AS HOSTILE

    Belgrade's move to recognize FYROM with the name "Macedonia" was condemned by Thessaloniki's mayor Kostantinos Kosmopoulos who characterized it as hostile.

    In a statement mayor Kosmopoulos maintains that "such a behaviour Greece could expect only from enemies" and points out that when Serbia was isolated Greece helped it more than anyone.

    The mayor of Thessaloniki asked for a meeting on the issue with the Prime Minister and called the government to react immediately.

    [19] THE CANADIAN MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE IS ON A VISIT TO GREECE

    Issues of bilateral interest and also issues concerning Greece's relations with neighbouring states were discussed today in the Foreign Ministry building in Athens by greek alternate Foreign Minister, Giorgos Romeos and Canadian Minister of International Trade, Art Egleton, who is on a visit to Greece for contacts with greek officials.

    Specifically, according to information the Canadian Minister pointed out that the 300 thousand greeks living in Canada are an important bridge for the strengthening of the relations between the two countries. Mr.Egleton also referred and to his country's investments in Greece estimated at billions of dollars. Canada's most important investment in Greece is the Cassandra gold mines in Chalkidiki, northern Greece which are being operated by the TVX company.

    The canadian Minister also emphasized that the strong friendship and close cooperation between the two countries can be strengthened even more through the European Union. Mr.Egleton underlined the action programme between Canada and the European Union which is expected to be signed by next June.

    Yesterday, the canadian minister attended the inauguration of the Canadian Consulate in Thessaloniki, while today he also had a meeting with Undersecretary of National Economy mr.Beteniotis and later he is expected to meet with Minister of Development ms.Vasso Papandreou.

    [20] GOLD MINING IN HALKIDIKI TO CONTINUE, SAYS NATIONAL ECONOMY UNDERMINISTER

    "The government is determined to continue and will continue steadily. It is time that we understand that we must oppose this unproductive and stale climate, with a responsible stance towards our country," stated the Underminister of National Economy Christos Pachtas, in an interview to the Macedonian Press Agency, referring to the gold production project in Olympiada, in the Halkidiki peninsula.

    The investment, according to Mr. Pachtas, will be tabled for ratification in Parliament near the end of April.

    Regarding the continuous protests by area residents, who are opposed to the project because they say that it will destroy a tourist area and will cause environmental pollution, the Underminister stated that he is sorry that "a portion of residents has not yet realized the project's necessity" and he pointed out that all those interested can attend an informative seminar scheduled to take place on April 21 and 22 in Halkidiki where the public will be informed that the project is environmentally sound and that all the environmental requirements have been met.

    The project, operated by TVX-Gold Hellas, an affiliate of the Canadian mining company TVX Gold Inc., will cost the greek government 63 billion drachmas. TVX Gold foresees that the project will triple gold output to 1.2 million ounces by 1998.

    According to TVX Gold officials, modern technology will be used to release fine gold contained in quartz and pyrite reserves at the mines. The arsenic content in ore will be stabilized to avoid leaching and effluent that would pollute the enviornment. Also, stockpiles will be treated.

    The gold production plant is scheduled to be completed by 1997.

    [21] CYPRUS, GREECE AIM TO LAUNCH A COMMON SATELLITE

    The Transportation Ministries of Greece and Cyprus have embarked on plans to launch a common satellite before the year 1999, based on an inter-governmental agreement between the two countries.

    Concurrently, the Ministries have filed requests with the International Telecommunications Union in order to secure earth- stationary positions.

    This Greek-Cypriot satellite would replace the previous satellite attempts, Greece's Hellas-Sat and Cyprus' Kipros-Sat, since the two would have competed against each other.

    Currently, both countries are researching the market in order to assess the interest from countries and channels which would want to be included in the common satellite. According to ministerial reports, the first signs of market interst are more than encouraging.

    [22] BULGARIA ASKED GREECE'S SUPPORT FOR ITS PARTICIPATION IN THE EU PROGRAMMES

    Greece's support for the participation of bulgarian Non Governmental Organizations in European Union programmes was requested by bulgarian Parliament deputy Alexander Marinov during the meeting he had at noon today in Athens with greek alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Romeos.

    Mr.Marinov, speaking to reporters referred to Bulgaria's interest in the process of the European Integration and also in a new meeting to be held in Athens with the participation of bulgarian Non Governmental Organizations.

    From his part, mr.Romeos assured the bularian Parliament deputy that Greece will contribute to the neighbouring country's course toward Europe.

    [23] ALBANIA AND GREECE TO COOPERATE IN TELECOMMUNICATION SECTOR

    The Albanian Telecom and the Greek company Intracom intend to install 190 telephone boots in Tirana, starting with 15 new boots in central zone of the Albanian capital, Albanian media reported.

    Tirana and a number of Albanian cities have direct acces to the global telephone network, but overall connections are poor and the system often breaks down. Therefore, the Albanian government consider the improving of the telecomunication system a top priority in its efforts to rebuilt the nation's infrastructure.

    [24] GREEK-ROMANIAN BANK OF COMMERCE IS ESTABLISHED IN BUCHAREST

    Greek-Romanian Bank of Commerce is being established in Bucharest after an agreement signed a few days ago by the Bank of Macedonia-Thrace and four of the five Romanian Private Ownership Funds. The agreement was also signed by the National Investment Fund and the companies FINANCIARA S.A. and PROMPT S.A. which are the Bank's romanian share holders.

    The new bank's share-capital is 13,66 million dollars and the participation of the Bank of Macedonia-Thrace will be 49,5% of the total capital. The greek share holders will be industries and construction companies and also another greek bank and according to Bank of Macedonia-Thrace President, Andreas Boumis the names of the greek share holders will be announced in two months when the list with the greek share holders will be completed.

    The Greek-Romanian Bank of Commerce will be based in Bucharest and the know-how for its establishment and operation will be provided by the Bank of Macedonia-Thrace and by the company it will establish with Intrasoft. In the future plans of the Bank of Macedonia-Thrace is included its cooperation with the new Bank on a unified network. Also, the greek side will undertake the new Bank's management and the permit for its operation is expected to be issued by the Central Bank of Romania in the next few months.

    The first two branches of the 40 that will be established will be in operation in 10 months based on the initial planning, while the charter for the new bank's operation will be signed in Thessaloniki by mid May.

    [25] HUNGARY'S ADMISSION TO NATO BEFORE ROMANIA WOULD START ARMAMENT RACE BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES

    If Hungary will join the North Atlantic Alliance, before Romania, an arms race would be triggered and would have "uncontrollable consequences", Romanian Minister of Defence Gheorghe Tinca stated in an interview with the Hungarian tv station "Duna TV" station in Bucharest.

    There is a political game between Romania and Hungary "acceptable in some regards", but these two countries should be actuated by a constructive competition aimed to the basic political treaty and to making steps toward reconciliation, said Mr. Tinca, quoted by Romanian media.

    [26] U.S. CONGRESSMAN VISITS BUCHAREST

    "The timetable for the integration into NATO of Central and East European nations is a complex matter to be decided by the Alliance," the U.S. congressman Tom Lantos stated in Bucharest.

    "The United States is expecting Romania to promote a more liberal policy regarding the ethnic minorities," Tom Lantos said in a statement for Hungarian media. He also said that he will urge to Romanian President Ion Iliescu today to set up a Hungarian university.

    Before visiting the Romanian capital, the American congressman was in Hungary where he stated that Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary might be the first to join NATO, Romanian News Agency Rador reported.

    "Those three countries seems to move faster towards integration, but the situation is still fluid," Tom Lantos ponted out in Bucharest. American congressman offered to facilitate romania's relations with neighbouring countries, especially, with Hungary and Ucraina.

    The opinion of the Hungarian descendent American congressman is that a faster conclusion of the mutual treaty between Romania and Hungary might smooth out Romania's integration in the EU and NATO structures, stressed the

    Today, Tom Lantos and all members of American parliamentary delegation meet Romanian Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca.

    [27] ROMANIAN SOCIALIST PARTY: ROMANIA'S FATE IS STILL UNDECIDED

    Influence zones continue to exist in Europe and is sure that Romania "is part of none of them", its fate being still "undecided", said the chairman of the Romanian Socialist Party Tudor Mohora in a interview with "Jurnalul National"

    "It would be deeply negative for us that NATO security umbrella be placed somewhere west of Romania" Tudor Mohora said. He also expressed the opinion that, obviously, for the present Western countries do not have a well shaped strategy on Eastern Europe countries admission to the NATO structures.

    Tudor Mohora opines that the Western countries want to wait for Kremlin to predetermine the lines of the behaviour in order to ensure the security of the Russian Federation with respect to the countries in Europe, otherwise "they cannot be sure as regards the former Eastern Bloc states".

    The SP chairman considers that Romania's internal evolution cannot be changed by the political evolution of the Russian Federation and that the fundamental issue for linking with this country is to show real interest for economic cooperation with the former Soviet states.

    [28] LOCAL ELECTIONS IN ROMANIA ON MAY 26

    Local elections in Romania will be held on May 26, unless contestation concernig elections' unconstitutionality are submitted to court, Romanian News Agency Rador reported, quoting the chairman of the ruling Party of Social democracy in romania (PDSR) Oliviu Gherman.

    [29] ROMANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT MOLDOVA ON APRIL 23

    Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Melescanu is expected to make an official visit to Chisinau, on April 23, in the eve of the Romanian-Moldovan interministerial commitee session, Romanian News Agency Rador reported.

    According to Romanian radio correspondent to Chisinau, last time Moldovan foreign minister visited Romania was in september 1994.

    [30] FYROM MILITARY DELEGATION TO VISIT ROMANIA

    FYROM Defense Minister Blagoj Hanjiski, invited by his Romanian counterpart, is expected to visit Romania at the end of this month. The invitation was handed to Hanjiski by the Romanian diplomatic representative Nicolae Ricu.

    During the visit, the areas of mutual interest will be discussed and some cooperation agreements will be determined.

    [31] CROATIA WILL NOT JOIN ANY REGIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

    Zagreb does not want "any regional association, nor will it will join any kind of Balkan conferences, which Croatia regards as a half-way house," "Vecernji List" reported, quoting the Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic as saying.

    Granic added that Croatia's "basic strategic goal is to join the Euro-Atlantic political and security associations and direct relations with the EU."

    Since 1991, Croatia, like Slovenia, repeatedly pointed out that it does not want to be part of any grouping that smacks in a way or another of some kind of new Yugoslavia.

    However, Mate Granic told Albanian Foreign Minister Alfred Sereqi that Croatia wants good relations with all countries in the region, including RF Yugoslavia.

    [32] REPUBLIKA SRPSKA CHARGES 16 WAR PRISONERS FOR WAR CRIMES

    "All 16 prisoners who had been charged by Republika Srpska for complicity in war crimes against Serbian people are in Pale," announced the president of the RS Commision for Prisoners of War Exchange Dragan Bulajic.

    The evidence of their participation in war crimes was sented to the Hague Tribunal, where the future of prisoners will be decided, Bulajic said. He added that, until the Hague Tribunal comes to a decision and will request their transfer, the prisoners will be held in prison.

    Bulajic reiterated that, in spite of international news report, the Repulica Srpska has already fulfilled all its obligations concerning on prisoners of war release.

    [33] ROVER THE BIGGEST FOREIGN INVESTOR IN BULGARIA CLOSES ITS PLANT

    Rover Group, the biggest foreign investor in Bulgaria outside the food sector, announced that it will stop assembling automobiles at its Bulgarian plant in Varna, international media reported.

    "We were led to believe that we could rely on government support in setting up our plant here, but such support failed to materialize," a Rover-Rodacar spokesman said. The plant was opened less that 7 month ago.

    Rover owns a 51% stake in Rodacar, Bulgaria's one and only car maker. The other 49% is held by Daru group wich has been facing severe financial problems.

    [34] FIRST ROMANIAN NUCLEAR POWER REACTOR BECOMES OPERATIVE ON APRIL 17

    The inauguration ceremony of the first Romania's reactor of the Cernavoda nuclear power plant will take place on April 17, Romanian News Agency Rador reported. Thanks to it, Romania will be able to export nuclear electricity to its neighbours, especially to Bulgaria and Ucraina.

    The Cernavoda plant is built in cooperation with a Canadian- Italian consortium and has a 705 MW capacity, being the first in Central and Eastern Europe region which benefit by Western technology.

    According to the Canadian Ambassador to Romania Gilles Duguay, Canadian Prime Minister is expected to join the inauguration. During his visit to Bucharest, Mr. Chretien will also sign an accord on investments.

    [35] FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT

    CURRENCY          FIXING      BUY         SELL
    ECU              301.6700   300.7650    302.5750
    U.S. Dollar      240.6600   239.9380    241.3820
    Deutsche Mark    161.9000   161.4140    162.3860
    UK Sterling      367.3600   366.2580    368.4620
    French Franc     47.5200    47.3770     47.6630
    Swedish Crown    35.9400    35.8320     36.0480
    Danish Kroner    41.9540    41.8280     42.0800
    Norwegian Crown  37.3650    37.2530     37.4770
    Italian Lira     15.3635    15.3170     15.4100
    Swiss Franc      200.6600   200.0580    201.2620
    Spanish Peseta   1.9394     1.9336      1.9452
    Finnish Mark     51.6870    51.5320     51.8420
    Yen              222.5700   221.9020    223.2380
    

    Complete archives of the Macedonian Press Agency bulletins are available on the MPA Home Page at http://www.mpa.gr/ and on the U.S. mirror at http://www.hri.org/MPA/

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