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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH
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Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory
MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Tuesday, April 16 1996
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
 UNITED STATES FAVOR THE HAGUE VENUE FOR SETTLING THE IMIA ISSUE
 NEW ROUND OF GREECE-FYROM TALKS BEGINS TOMORROW IN NEW YORK
 FYROM'S STAND TO DETERMINE THE RESULT OF TALKS WITH GREECE
 GREECE HAS NOT AGREED TO A COMPROMISE SOLUTION ON NAME ISSUE
 GREEK SHIPOWNER STAVROS NIARCHOS DIED TODAY
 LEADS DISCOVERED TO THESSALONIKI'S TRAIN BOMB INCIDENT
 TURKISH TOURIST BOAT RUNS AGROUND IN THE ISLAND OF KOS
 A NEW ERA HAS BEEN REACHED IN GREECE-US RELATIONS, ACCORDING TO GREEK-AMERICAN PRESS
 BRITISH DOCUMENTARY ON PARTHENON MARBLES FAVORS THEIR RETURN TO GREECE
 THE POSSIBILITY TO BRING THE TREASURES OF PRIAMOS EXHIBITION TO GREECE WILL BE DISCUSSED IN MOSCOW TOMORROW
 WITH SMART TACTIC SIMITIS AND PANGALOS GOT THE US ON THEIR SIDE, ACCORDING TO AN ARTICLE IN THE TURKISH NEWSPAPER "SABAH"
 THE TURKISH HONORARY AMBASSADOR STRESSES IN AN ARTICLE THAT TURKEY'S CHANCE TO WIN ITS CASE IN THE HAGUE IS SLIM
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
 BRITISH FARMERS THREATEN WITH LAWSUIT OVER MEAT BAN
 NO AGREEMENT BETWEEN TURKEY AND ISRAEL ON ANKARA'S ACCESS TO THE SOUTHERN COASTS OF CYPRUS, STATED THE CYPRIOT FOREIGN MINISTER
 THE LEGIONARIES' DISEASE IS A THREAT FOR TURKEY'S TOURISM
 CYPRUS SUPPORTIVE OF GREECE'S ACTIVITIES IN THE EU
 FORMER BOSNIAN PREMIER HARIS SILAJDZIC DECLARED HIS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATURE
 BOSNIAN PRESIDENT ALIJA IZETBEGOVIC CRITICISED SILAJDZIC'S OPPOSITION PARTY
 AN EXTRA-NATO MILITARY ALLIANCE
 HUNGARY DOES NOT WANT TO COMPETE NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES
 CONTAINERS TERMINAL TO BE BUILT ON THE DANUBE, IN ROMANIA
 ALBANIA AND BAVARIA TO COOPERATE
 AUSTRALIAN COMPANIES TO INVEST IN ALBANIA'S IRON MINES
 FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN ROMANIA
 ROMANIAN EXPORTS TO THE E-U REDUCED BY 26.6 PERCENT
 BULGARIA HOSTS 5TH ANNUAL MEETING OF E.B.R.D.
 SCIENTIFIC-TECHNICAL COOPERATION BETWEEN YUGOSLAVIA AND DPR KOREA
 RUSSIA WILL SUPPLY GAS TO YUGOSLAVIA THROUGH BULGARIA
 BOSNIAN MUSLIMS HELD A PEACEFUL RALLY IN BRCKO
 FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT
NEWS IN DETAIL
[A] NATIONAL NEWS
 UNITED STATES FAVOR THE HAGUE VENUE FOR SETTLING THE IMIA ISSUEIn a letter sent to the International Co-ordinating Committee for Justice in Cyprus, United States President Bill Clinton writes that "the U.S. agree with the greek government's position that the Imia islets issue should be referred to the International Court of Justice at the Hague."
In the letter, dated April 10, the U.S. President states that his government is in favor of referring this "difficult and complicated -due to the challenge of the interpretation and even the validity of certain documents- issue of the Imia islet's sovereignty, to the International Court of Justice at The Hague or to another International Forum." Mr. Clinton also mentions that the greek government has accepted that this issue be referred to the International Court.
In the letter, Mr. Clinton also writes:
"The United States did not adopt a position regarding the sovereignty issue of the Imia-Kardak islet. The issue of the islet's sovereignty is complicated, as it includes a number of documents and agreements, some of which date back decades and refer to convoluted negotiations between Italy and Turkey. The interpretation -even the validity of certain documents- are challenged by the parties. The greek government has urged that all of the territorial differences in the Aegean be solved with out the use of force or the threat of use of force. We are in total agreement with this position. Along with the European Union, we are now working with Greece and with Turkey in finding a mutually acceptable formula regarding the sovereignty of Imia, and the other current differences in the Aegean between these two significant NATO allies."
Mr. Clinton also emphasizes that the U.S. intend to undertake an initiative in solving the cypriot problem and expresses the hope that this initiative will lead "finally to a peaceful solution", noting that resolving the lengthy cypriot problem will help reduce the tension and will pave the way for reconciliation between Greece and Turkey.
Concluding his letter, the American President emphasized that "I have been firmly committed to helping Greece in the efforts it puts forth on finding a peaceful settlement for its differences with Turkey."
 NEW ROUND OF GREECE-FYROM TALKS BEGINS TOMORROW IN NEW YORKA new round of greek-skopjan talks will begin tomorrow in the United Nations headquarters in New York, aimed at resolving the issue of FYROM's name.
The talks will take place under the United Nations auspices, with Mr. Cyrus Vance acting as mediator. Representing Greece is Greek Ambassador to the UN Christos Zacharakis, while his Skopjan counterpart is Ivan Toshevski.
Regarding the talks, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis reiterated upon his return from the United States that "our country's positions on the issue are known."
Meanwhile, in FYROM little attention has been granted by the media to tomorrow's negotiations. Yesterday, the state-owned radio station in Skopje referred to the talks and noted that it will be the fourth time that Athens and Skopje will sit at the negotiations table, following the New York-signed interim agreement of September 1995.
 FYROM'S STAND TO DETERMINE THE RESULT OF TALKS WITH GREECEThe greek public opinion is awaiting with keen interest the new round of talks to begin tomorrow in New York between Athens and Skopje regarding the name of the neighboring country.
The outcome of the talks, held between Greek Ambassador to the UN Christos Zacharakis, and his Skopjan counterpart Ivan Toshevski, will depend heavily upon to what degree FYROM's leadership is willing to proceed to the necessary concessions, in order to find a solution that will lead to the reinstatenment of greek-skopjan relations. Or, on the other hand, if FYROM will continue to display intransigence, insisting on the name "Republic of Macedonia" which was adopted five years ago by the leader of this Former Yugoslav Republic, thereby violating the historical truth, justice and reality.
Although the situation is not especially positive for Greece, given the recent recognition of FYROM by Belgrade with the name "Republic of Macedonia", the salutes issued by many european governments for Milosevic's act of recognition, as well as the easing up of the pressures exerted by the United States upon Skopje, all of which bolster Kiro Gligorov's instransigence, still, there is room for an honorable and mutually beneficial compromise. As long as the greek side displays stability in its positions, and the Skopjan leadership understands that the improvement of the economic, political and even military position of the state is inavoidably dependant upon stabilizing its relations with Greece.
 GREECE HAS NOT AGREED TO A COMPROMISE SOLUTION ON NAME ISSUEGreece has not agreed to a compromise solution of a compound name with the neighboring republic, stated today the Minister of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Akis Tsohatzopoulos.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos stated that the greek government has consistenly reiterated that it applies this strategy in addressing the Skopje issue. Moreover, he added that the greek government's policy has led to the interim agreement whose positive parts are already notable and concluded by saying that Greece will continue with a dialogue without pressure, hoping that there will be an acceptable solution reached.
 GREEK SHIPOWNER STAVROS NIARCHOS DIED TODAYThe Greek tycoon Stavros Niarchos died today in Switzerland at the age of 87.
Mr.Niarchos was born in Athens in 1909 where he studied law. Since WWII, he was the head of one of the most prominent international economic structures, among which was a formidable merchant shipping industry.
 LEADS DISCOVERED TO THESSALONIKI'S TRAIN BOMB INCIDENTThe explosive device that ignited in a train in Thessaloniki's raillway station on Sunday was placed in the wagon's toilet in Thessaloniki, and not Bulgaria, according to the outcome of the investigations that were completed today.
The investigation led to the finding that the bomb was placed in Thessaloniki shortly after the train was serviced by a private cleaning company.
 TURKISH TOURIST BOAT RUNS AGROUND IN THE ISLAND OF KOSA turkish tourist boat ran aground yesterday in the shores of the greek island Kos, having ran out of fuel.
The turkish-flag "Orient" boat, took a 46-degree tilt and was towed by a greek boat.
Two men and one woman, all of whom are turk citizens, had set sail with the "Orient" from Constantinople on April 11 to the Fetiye port in South Turkey.
 A NEW ERA HAS BEEN REACHED IN GREECE-US RELATIONS, ACCORDING TO GREEK-AMERICAN PRESSThe Greek Prime Minister's recent visit to the United States has marked the beginning of a new era, according to the overall consensus of the greek-american press.
"Even if the rest of the outcomes of Mr. Simitis' visit to the United States are not judged so favorably, this close contact by the Premier with the Greeks abroad is enough to characterize it as the beginning of a new era," wrote the US-based greek newspaper "Ethnikos Kiryx".
The paper also writes that overall, "the presence of Mr. Kostis Stephanopoulos at the post of the Presidency of the Hellenic Republic, whose visit to the U.S. has given us similar impressions, as well as the repeated 'shots of honesty' by Mr. Konstantinos Mitsotakis, (honorary president of Greece's main opposition party New Democracy) encourage our belief that indeed something has (or might) changed in the way the greek politicians behave."
Regarding the outcomes of the meeting held between Mr. Simitis and US President Bill Clinton, the newspaper states that at first glance they do not look very satisfactory, although it grants an analysis to the "step by step" process of solving the greek-turkish differences. The newspaper considers as basic prerequisites for Greece to hold a dialogue with Turkey to be the referral of the matter of Imia to the International Court of Justice at The Hague, as well as the Aegean continental shelf issue, a process to take place concurently with Turkey's accession to the European Union.
Another US -based greek newspaper "Proini" has granted special emphasis to the Premier's visit with the United Nations Secretary- General Butros-Butros Ghali.
 BRITISH DOCUMENTARY ON PARTHENON MARBLES FAVORS THEIR RETURN TO GREECEAn hour-long documentary on the Parthenon Sculptures, will be broadcast tonight at 9 pm by the British television channel "4"
The documentary will present the history of the Marbles' removal from the Parthenon, the way they were acquired by the British Museum and the public debate surrounding Lord Elgin's efforts to bring the Marbles to England.
The film will also present an interview of the Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos who will analyse the significance the Parthenon Marbles and the Caryatis pillar have for the Greek nation. The documentary's host and producer, William Stewart, is clearly in favor of returning the Marbles to Athens the year 2001, thereby commemmorating the bi-centennial anniversary of their removal from the Parthenon, provided that Greece picks up the tab of their transportation costs and allows replicas of the Marbles to remain at the British Museum.
Also featured in the documentary will be the British Shadow Minister of Arts Mark Fisher, who will suggest that constructive talks be held with the Greek government, as well as the British Under-minister of National Heritage Lord Englewood, who will reiterate his government's known position on the matter.
The documentary's producer also mentions that his request for an interview with a representative from the British Museum was turned down.
Immediately following the documentary's broadcast, viewers will be able to cast their votes by telephone on whether or not they are in favor of the Parthenon Marbles' return to Greece.
 THE POSSIBILITY TO BRING THE TREASURES OF PRIAMOS EXHIBITION TO GREECE WILL BE DISCUSSED IN MOSCOW TOMORROWThe possibility to bring the Exhibition of the Treasures of Priamos to Athens and also parts of the bilateral educational programme signed last December will be examined in Moscow tomorrow by greek Culture Ministry General Secretary mr.Giorgos Thomas and russian Undersecretary of Culture mr.Michail Svitkoi.
Mr.Thomas visited the Exhibition in Moscow's Pushkin Museum today a few hours before its official opening accompanied by a group of greek archaelogists and journalists.
The General Secretary of the greek Culture Ministry is expected to attend this afternoon and the official opening of the exhibition that has caused a controversy among Russia, Turkey and Germany, as the three countries are claiming the treasures.
German ambassador to Moscow, mr.Won Stultz during yesterday's presentation of the Treasures disputed Russia's right to organize this exhibition, while earlier he had stated that he will not attend the opening of the exhibition unless the talks between Germany and Russia for the return of the Treasures are completed.
Russian Culture Minister Yevgeni Sinterov responding to the question, where those Treasures belong to Russia, Germany, Greece or Turkey, underlined that the Treasures of Troy belong to the world civilization adding that his country since 1993 follows an "open culture" policy aiming at taking the archeological findings out of the storage rooms.
The Treasures of Priamos had been discovered more than 100 years ago by Schliemman near the village Hisarlik in the region of Dardanelles, where according to contemporary archeologists, the Troy of Homer was located.
Schliemman bought the treasures and later donated the collection to Berlin and for this decision in 1881 he became Berlin's honorary citizen. The Treasures of Priamos had been brought to Russia by the Red Army after the end of World War II.
 WITH SMART TACTIC SIMITIS AND PANGALOS GOT THE US ON THEIR SIDE, ACCORDING TO AN ARTICLE IN THE TURKISH NEWSPAPER "SABAH"The interesting view, according to which, Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos through the "smart tactic" they followed managed to take US President Clinton and the United States on their side, is expressed by turkish journalist Mehmet Ali Birad in an article published in newspaper "Sabah".
The turkish journalist underlines that during the Simitis- Clinton meeting, the greek Prime Minister after presenting the greek positions on the issue of the Aegean islets as well as the whole spectrum of the greek-turkish relations, stated to the US President that Greece is interested in the normalization of the relations with Turkey and under no circumstance prefers the war.
The turkish journalist continues by mentioning that President Clinton was very satisfied by mr.Simitis' position, while US State Department officials stressed that mr.Simitis through his smart tactic won over President Clinton. Mr.Birad mentions in his article that the fact that Athens got Washington on its side does not mean that the United States will openly support Greece, but underlined that the americans are mostly interested in countering the dangerous climate between the two countries.
Mr.Birad also expresses the view that in the immediate future will be examined simultaneously both the greek-turkish differencies and the Cyprus problem, while the US are avoiding to officially play the role of the mediator fearing that they will lose one or both of their allies.
He also stresses, that it is of decisive importance the two countries' Foreign Ministers meeting in Bucharest, as well as, US Assistant Secretary of State John Cornbloom's visit to Ankara where he will have the first contacts with the turkish government.
 THE TURKISH HONORARY AMBASSADOR STRESSES IN AN ARTICLE THAT TURKEY'S CHANCE TO WIN ITS CASE IN THE HAGUE IS SLIMTurkey has only a remote chance to win its case in the International Court of Justice in The Hague over the issue of the Aegean islets, according to an article signed by honorary turkish ambassador Sehim Giunver which was published in the turkish newspaper "Gumhurriyet".
The turkish diplomat appears pesimistic over the issue and expresses the belief that the decision that will be issued by the International Court of Justice in The Hague will not be favourable for his country even if Turkey's attorney will be german Herbert Golsong, former head of the Council of Europe Human Rights Directorate, as he characteristically mentioned.
Mr.Giunver also stresses that as turkish Foreign Minister Gionensai recently told him, the islets are not the only issue with Greece. He said that Turkey wants discussions with Athens which will include all the issues, adding that if all ways are tried out and there is no result then the issue of the islets could be brought before the International Court together with other issues, such as, the territorial waters, the continental shelf, air-space and the armaments of the islands. He also mentioned that the road to The Hague is long and is the last solution.
[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
 BRITISH FARMERS THREATEN WITH LAWSUIT OVER MEAT BANThe british livestock farmers are threatening to resort to justice against the European Commission if the recent ban it imposed on all beef meat exports from Britain is not lifted.
The NFU announced that it is looking into this possibillity following the recent statement made by the EU Commissioner responsible for agricultural matters Frants Fishler, who said that, according to his personal opinion, british beef is harmless, but the ban was necessary in order to avoid the total collapse of European beef-selling market.
Meanwhile, Britain is expected to announce today details of the plan to slaughter approximately four million cows in the course of the following four years.
 NO AGREEMENT BETWEEN TURKEY AND ISRAEL ON ANKARA'S ACCESS TO THE SOUTHERN COASTS OF CYPRUS, STATED THE CYPRIOT FOREIGN MINISTERThe Cypriot government has no information, according to which Ankara has access to the southern coasts of Cyprus based on an agreement between Turkey and Israel, stated cypriot Foreign Minister Alekos Michailidis.
Mr.Michailidis stated that is not possible for Israel to have accepted an inter-state relation with Turkey in which the region of Cyprus is involved.
Referring to turkish press publications on the issue, the cypriot Foreign Minister stated that the cypriot government has begun contacts with the israeli Foreign Ministry aiming at examining the relative information.
Meanwhile, Israel's ambassador to Nicosia stated that the cypriot embassy in Israel will be briefed within the week on the content of the military agreement signed recently by Israel and Turkey.
The israeli ambassador to Nicosia also stated that he was not officialy briefed on the information according to which, an israeli aircraft had violated the Nicosia FIR.
 THE LEGIONARIES' DISEASE IS A THREAT FOR TURKEY'S TOURISMThe Legionaries' Disease is threatening Turkey's tourism, according to an article signed by Bulent Etsevit, which was published by the turkish newspaper "Gumhurriyet". The disease is caused by a bacterium which is found in the ventilation systems and in water deposits.
In the article is mentioned that last year, 14 british tourists who were staying at a five-star hotel in Kusantasi's Kandinlar Denisi region, showed signs of the disease a few days after they returned to their country. The incident got a lot of publicity and the turkish Ministry of Health put the hotel in quarantine.
Inspite of the fact that the health control showed no trace of the disease-causing germ in the hotel, all foreign travel agents working in the region asked the hotel's management to install a purification system threatening that they will boycott the hotel by not sending any tourists.
 CYPRUS SUPPORTIVE OF GREECE'S ACTIVITIES IN THE EUThe spokesperson of the cypriot government Yiannakis Kasoulides underlined today Greece's support to Cyprus, commending on the recent visit to Athens by Cyrpiot President Glafkos Klerides where he met with the Greek Premier Kostas Simitis.
Mr. Kasoulides stated that Greece's successes in the European Union have a positive reflection upon Cyrpus and added that "an isolated Greece is not beneficial to Cyprus."
He also noted that neither the cypriot nor the greek government adopt the stance that all of the greek-turkish differences must be resolved prior to tackling the cypriot issue.
 FORMER BOSNIAN PREMIER HARIS SILAJDZIC DECLARED HIS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATUREFormer Bosnian prime minister Haris Silajdzic founded a new political party - "Party for BH"- on Saturday and declared his candidature for president against Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic in the elections sheduled for September.
"If international community does not accept seriously Bosnia- Herzegovina as a united, sovereign country, in this case it will led to desintegration," Silajdzic said on "Party for BH" convention, held on Saturday. He warned that the disharmony between the reality on the ground and "what we want for Bosnia-Herzegovina could be resolved by war".
Born into a prominent Muslim clerical family in Sarajevo, Haris Silajdzic was foreign minister in the Bosnian government when the war broke out in April 1992. One year later, in 1993, he was named prime minister. A dispute with the nationalist Party of Democratic Action (SDA) in the summer of 1995 led Silajdzic to resign as premier. Fluent in English, Arabic and Bosnian, Silajdzic established himself on the international stage as the most eloquent defender of his country's multi-ethnic tradition.
A recent poll published by the Sarajevo magazine "Dani" identified Silajdzic as Bosnia's most popular politician, with 40% of the urban voters against 26% for Izetbegovic, but he faces a formidable task in taking on the high-organised and well-funded SDA, which controls the access to state media.
 BOSNIAN PRESIDENT ALIJA IZETBEGOVIC CRITICISED SILAJDZIC'S OPPOSITION PARTY"Lies and half-truths serve as a means in fighting for power," Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic said, heavily criticising the "Party for BH", founded by former premier Haris Silajdzic for trying to wrest power from his government.
"They are not saying that the peace has come. People are not being killed anymore. The dying has stopped. Half of Bosnia has been defended. A strong army was created almost from nothing...The Bosnian nation was saved from extinction...They remain silent on these very importants facts," Izetbegovic said, quoted by the state BH News Agency. He never mentioned Silajdzic's party by name, but - according to the source - clearly had it in mind when he accused the opposition of only emphasising problems related to the war.
"If there had been no Party of Democratic Action, Bosnia today would be a province of a Greater Serbia or it would be destroyed," Izetbegovic said about his Muslim nationalist party from which Silajdzic resigned in January.
 AN EXTRA-NATO MILITARY ALLIANCE"Former member states of the Warsaw Pact and some former Soviet countries could form an extra-NATO military alliance in case the Russian communist presidential candidate Gennadi Zuganov would win in this year's elections," Romanian General army Chief of Staff Dumitru Cioflina said, quoted by the Romanian News Agency Rador.
"Romania received encouraging signals concernig its integration into NATO, but if someone would be left outside the Alliance, the ballance of the forces in the region might be lost," Romanian Defense Minister Gheorghe Tinca indicated in an interview with the Romanian public radio. He also said that both the Romanian and the Hungarian armies were equally interested in becoming members of the same alliance, as he noticed the Hungarian officials reaction to his previous allegations. Last week the German Defense Minister Volker Ruehe attended in Bucharest the official inauguration of "Manfred Woerner" Association, a nongovernmental organization designed to promote Romania's integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures.
 HUNGARY DOES NOT WANT TO COMPETE NEIGHBORING COUNTRIES"Hungary does not want to compete with neighboring countries in the process of Euro-Atlantic integration, on the contrary, it is interested in their accession as soon as possible. That would have beneficial effects on the bilateral relations and a positive influence on the ethnic minorities living in those countries," Hungarian Foreign Minister Laszlo Kovac stated at a forum on international policy. His comments were a reply to the Romanian defense minister's allegation on the effects a competition on entering NATO could have on Romanian-Hungarian relations, Romanian News Agency Rador reported.
Romania is unhappy with the possibility of being admitted into NATO in a second stage, after Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland. Referring to the warning Romanian Defense Minister gave against a possible arms race in case Hungary would join NATO before Romania, German Federal Defense Minister Volker Ruehe told reporters in Budapest that "the countries which will be received in the first stage must commit themselves not to block the subsequent admission of the other condidates." He also stressed that entering NATO does not mean that the foreign troops presence on national territories or holding nuclear arms are necessarly.
 CONTAINERS TERMINAL TO BE BUILT ON THE DANUBE, IN ROMANIAAn upgrading plan of the Romanian Maritime Harbours Administration includes the building of a containers terminal on the Danube, near Braila, Romanian News Agency Rador reported.
Foreign companies from countries including the United Kingdom and Holland stated their willingness to take part in the project. The terminal, the biggest on the Danube, will make the junction between river and maritime traffic.
 ALBANIA AND BAVARIA TO COOPERATEBavarian officials will help Albania to improve its tax system and administration of the public ownership, Radio Tirana said, after the Albanian Vice-Prime Minister Dylber Vrioni's three-day visit to Germany. Vrioni was also promised extensive aid in promoting Albania's economic reforms.
Experts from Bayerishes Landesbank will visit Tirana to look for possibilities of establishing a subsidiary in Albania.
 AUSTRALIAN COMPANIES TO INVEST IN ALBANIA'S IRON MINESAlbania invited Australian mining companies to invest in its ferro-nickel mines, Albanian media reported. Albania's ferro-nickel reserves are estimated at 250 million ton.
Australian mining company officials requested from Albanian Energy Minister Abdyl Xhaja four licences to prospect for ferro- nickel in several location.
 FOREIGN INVESTMENTS IN ROMANIAForeign investors injected $ 114.1 million during the first quarter of 1996, up from a cummulative 1.597 billion at the end of 1995, the Romanian National News Agency Rompres reported, quoting the Romanian Development Agency, the country's main investment promoter.
The largest contributor for the period was the $12.1 joint venture between Shell Gas Romania and Butagaz International BV, a unit of Royal Dutch Shell. The Romanian unit of Royal Dutch Shell has signed a contract with the city of Bucharest to build 12 service stations worth $18 million.
 ROMANIAN EXPORTS TO THE E-U REDUCED BY 26.6 PERCENTRomanian exports to the European Union fell in the first quarter of 1996 by 26.6 percent, compared to the same period last year, reaching a total of only $431.6 million.
Except Greece, Luxembourg and Portugal, Romania exported significantly fewer goods to all EU countries. The most drastic falls were in exports to Ireland (down by 55.1 percent), Netherlands (45 percent) and Belgium (41.9 percent), Romanian National News Agency Rompres reported quoting the National Statistics Commision. Romania has $2 billion trade deficit in 1995.
 BULGARIA HOSTS 5TH ANNUAL MEETING OF E.B.R.D.The Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is helding its annual meeting in Sofia on April 15 and 16, Bulgarian media reported.
Starting from April 13, the 25 countries of Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet republics were presenting with EBRD works reports about the investment and business opportunities.The meeting was also accompanied by seminars, workshops and country presentations. The event is taking place at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, innovated for the EBRD gathering.
"Some EBRD financial projects for Bulgaria are expected to be finalized during the meeting," Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development Roumen Gechev told a recent news conference.
The EBRD has approved 16 Bulgarian projects worth ECU 692 million for 1995, from which ECU 49 milion have already been received. The major projects are for telecommunications, the Maritsa- Iztok II Thermoelectric Power Station, the reconstruction of railways and transit roads and agricultural wholesale markets. Nine percent of the projects, worth ECU 21.1 million, are to be implemented in the private sector. The EBRD approved a project of ECU 45 milion for the establishment of a post-privatization fund in Bulgaria.
 SCIENTIFIC-TECHNICAL COOPERATION BETWEEN YUGOSLAVIA AND DPR KOREAA Protocol on Scientific and Technical Cooperation and the standing orders for a Joint Commision were signed in Belgrade by the state delegations of the FR Yugoslavia and the Democratic Republic of Korea.
Both the Yugoslav Minister of Development Janko Radulovic and the Chairman of the State Scientific and Technological Commision Choe Hui Jong expressed their hope that technical and economical cooperation would be succesful.
 RUSSIA WILL SUPPLY GAS TO YUGOSLAVIA THROUGH BULGARIAFederal Republic of Yugoslavia and Russia signed last week in Moscow an agreement on construction of a new pipeline branch to carry gas from Russia to Yugoslavia through Bulgaria.
A joint stock company will be formed between a consortium of Yugoslav companies and Russian gas giant Gazprom. Joint companies for the delivery and sale of oil products in Yugoslavia and abroad are also planned.
A protocol on long-term supply of Russian oil to Yugoslavia was also signed during the one-day visit in Moscow by Yugoslav deputy Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic. He met the Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Oleg Davidov and Energy Minister Yuri Shafranik.
 BOSNIAN MUSLIMS HELD A PEACEFUL RALLY IN BRCKOOver 15,000 Bosnian Muslims gathered on Sunday in Muslim- controlled Brka, three miles south of Brcko and held a peacefuly rally, Bosnian media reported.
Banners reading "Brcko is ours," "Brcko is not Serbia," and "No one else can be happy in MY house," were held by protesters demanding to return to their homes nearby Serb-held Brcko, where they formed a majority before the war. U.S. helicopters flew overhead.
Brcko, a port on the Sava River, which links Serb lands in the west and east of Bosnia with neighboring Serbia, was the scene of some of the worst war atrocities. Brcko Serbs fear an influx of Muslims and Croats would spoil the balance and endanger Serb control in the region. As a result, Bosnian Serb authorities have packed Brcko with Serb refugees. Over 20,000 Muslims exiled from Brcko have been housed in Brka for more than three years.
Senior Bosnian officials, including acting President Ejup Ganic, attended the rally. "There is no peace without Brcko," Ganic told protesters. A Bosnian member of parliament Mirsad Dzapo from Brcko stressed that unless the Brcko issue is not resolved, the Dayton agreement is only a cease-fire.
"Brcko is the town of all its citizens, regardless of faith or nationality," said Sabrija Slomic, an organiser of the rally. He sent Easter greetings to all Serbs, who are Christian Orthodox.
The Dayton agreement ended the fighting in Brcko, but the key northeastern town is still disputed, its fate is to be resolved within a year by international arbitration. Under the peace treaty, the parties agreed to demilitarize frontlines, release prisoners, allow freedom of movement and the return of all refugees. But few people have returned so far. Carl Bildt, international high representative in Bosnia, describes Brcko as the most difficult test for the success of the peace treaty.
 FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATE REPORT
CURRENCY FIXING BUY SELL ECU 301.0820 300.1790 301.9850 U.S. Dollar 242.9650 242.2360 243.6940 Deutsche Mark 160.9340 160.4510 161.4170 UK Sterling 366.6600 365.5600 367.7600 French Franc 47.3950 47.2530 47.5370 Swedish Crown 35.9800 35.8720 36.0880 Danish Kroner 41.7200 41.5950 41.8450 Norwegian Crown 37.3210 37.2090 37.4330 Italian Lira 15.4170 15.3710 15.4630 Swiss Franc 197.7140 197.1210 198.3070 Spanish Peseta 1.9312 1.9254 1.9370 Finnish Mark 51.0930 50.9400 51.2460 Yen 224.3350 223.6620 225.0080
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