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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (03/07/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, July 3, 1996


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] SIMITIS, CLINTON EXCHANGE CORRESPONDENCE OVER AEGEAN SEA ISSUES

  • [02] US PRESIDENT REFERS TO THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS IN LETTER TO SIMITIS

  • [03] PANGALOS: GREECE READY TO IMPLEMENT PAPOULIAS-YILMAZ AGREEMENT

  • [04] ARSENIS MEETS WITH US UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE IN ATHENS

  • [05] GREEK ALTERNATE FOREIGN MINISTER COMPLETES VISIT TO BULGARIA

  • [06] ALTERNATE FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS ON FYROM TO RESPECT INTRERNATIONAL LAW

  • [07] NO MILITARY AGREEMENT DRAWN BETWEEN GREECE-SYRIA,SAYS ATHENS

  • [08] MEASURES WILL BE TAKEN FOR THE ASSAULT OF ALBANIAN IMMIGRANTS

  • [09] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE AND WWF HOLD SEMINARS ON ENVIRONMENT

  • [10] ERBAKAN SAYS HE WANTS DEVELOPMENT OF GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS

  • [11] FOREIGN AND DEFENSE MINISTERS MET WITH US UNDERSECRETARIES

  • [12] GERMAN COURT OPENS WAY FOR WAR REPARATION CLAIMS BY INDIVIDUALS

  • [13] THE MEANS TEST FOR GREEK POLITICIANS SHOWS THEIR ANNUAL INCOMES

  • [14] THESSALONIKI WILL NOT SIZZLE DURING UPCOMING HEATWAVE


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [15] UN BELIEVES THAT THE MISSING IN CYPRUS ARE DEAD, SAYS KORNBLUM

  • [16] EU MAY BAN IMPORTS OF MEAT FROM FYROM

  • [17] UN SPECIAL ENVOY EXPRESSES HOPE FOR PROGRESS IN CYPRUS PROBLEM

  • [18] TURKEY'S COALITION GOVERNMENT IN LIMBO, CILLER'S DEPUTIES RESISTANT

  • [19] TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN BALKAN FOREIGN MINISTERS SUMMIT IN SOFIA THIS WEEKEND


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] SIMITIS, CLINTON EXCHANGE CORRESPONDENCE OVER AEGEAN SEA ISSUES

    Prime Minsister Kostas Simitis forwarded a letter to United States President Bill Clinton, pointing out the greek government's concern over Ankara's unambiguous challenges in the Aegean Sea.

    In his letter,the Premier thanks the US Administration for its prompt reply and actions in the case of Gavdos island and adds that Greece and the US share a strong commitment to peace and stability in the region, pointing out that the two countries' joint position is that the reduction of tensions in the area must proceed in the context of relations based on International Law and Treaties,on the respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity and the exclusion of the use of force or the threat thereof.

    Mr. Simitis stresses that much of the tension in the Aegean is the direct result of the massive and intentional violation of Grece's airspace and territorial waters by Turkey, and proceeds to point out that the Greek air force and navy are obliged to respond to these violations, albeit so far with exemplary restrain.

    Yet, Mr. Simitis adds, "I am sure you understand Mr President, the reasons for which our responsible attitude must not lead to the interpretation that restraint is the only (italic) possible response of Greece to persistent and flagrant provocations regarding Greek sovereignty." Furthermore, the Premier writes that the Greek government has repeatedly called on Turkey to activate the 1988 Papoulias-Yilmaz accords, wich provide for a set of rules, that, if implemented with good faith and common sense, will drastically reduce the risk of dangerous incidents.

    "Unlike the Turkish side, which has never implemented the provisions of these accords, Greece, acting unilaterally, has always respected their stipulations," writes Mr. Simtis, "additionally, Greece has accepted in principle the institution of a hotline within a NATO framework."

    In a prompt response, President Clinton assured Premier Simitis that he shares the serious concerns raised in his letter about the continuing climate of confrontation between Greece and Turkey.

    "My administration and I have devoted considerable time and energy to finding ways to help resolve these problems. I have no doubt that a conflict between Greece and Turkey would be an unparalleled tragedy for both countries, and a disaster for NATO and the entire region," the US President writes in his letter.

    Moreover, Mr. Clinton linearly agrees with Mr. Simitis that stability in the Aegean is essential and must be everyone's common goal.

    "I understand that improving Greek-Turkish relations will not be easy, but this goal must be pursued. My government stands ready to help. As I said during your visit here, an improvement in relations must be based on respect for international law and treaties, respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and a commitment to resolve disputes without force or the threat of force. In the case of the Aegean islets, I reiterate my suggestion that it should be referred to the International Court of Justice or some other consensual body for adjudication."

    Regarding the Turkish provocations in the Aegean Sea, the US President writes that the State Department approached the Turks quickly and clearly regarding Gavdos.

    "Their statement had only served to heighten tensions in the region. I am pleased that Turkey has now clarified that it did not, and does not, mean to question the sovereignty of Gavdos."

    Regarding the 1988 Papulias-Yilmaz accords, Mr. Clinton acknowledges that there has been some consideration of implementing the agreements and of instituting a hotline between the two capitals.

    "This would be a good start toward reducing the risk of inadvertent confrontation, and a reassuring sign of good will to citizens of both countries. My government is ready to help," the US leader concludes.

    [02] US PRESIDENT REFERS TO THE GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS IN LETTER TO SIMITIS

    Greek government spokesman, Dimitris Reppas stated today that US President Bill Clinton in a letter to Prime Minister, Kostas Simitis refers to the greek-turkish relations and mentions the respect of sovereignty, borders and International Law.

    The greek government spokesman pointed out that the letter, dated July 1st, is not a congratulatory letter for the election of mr.Simitis to PASOK's leadership.

    In the letter is mentioned the 1988 Papoulias-Yilmaz agreement in Vouliagmeni, on which mr.Reppas stated that constitutes a good basis for confidence-building-measures between Greece and Turkey.

    Mr.Reppas stated that Turkey did not respect this memorandum which provides among others, that no military exercises should be held in the Aegean in the months of July and August. He characterized as "good" the letter sent by the US President and said that the full text will become public after the greek Prime Minister sends his reply.

    [03] PANGALOS: GREECE READY TO IMPLEMENT PAPOULIAS-YILMAZ AGREEMENT

    Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos, after his meeting with US assistant Secretary of State, Peter Tarnoff stated that the greek government is ready to implement the agreement signed by Karolos Papoulias and Mesut Yilmaz for the easing of tensions between Greece and Turkey.

    Mr.Pangalos stated that he discussed with mr.Tarnoff the content of this agreement and that Greece is ready to implement it as a whole or the part concerning the issue of the military exercises in the Aegean.

    Also, mr.Pangalos said that he expressed to mr.Tarnoff Greece's discontent regarding the turkish violations of the greek airspace and the dangers hidden behind those provocations.

    From his part, mr.Tarnoff avoided to respond on whether the US government is examining the issue of "grey zones" in the Aegean, while he characterized as positive the greek Foreign Minister's point of view on the implementation of the Papoulias- Yilmaz agreement which sets the basis for the implementation of confidence-building-measures between Athens and Ankara.

    Mr.Pangalos also expressed the view that there will be no hot incident in the Aegean, adding that the greek armed forces are ready to face any possibility. Mr.Pangalos said that the greek armed forces are obviously present protecting the greek airspace and territorial waters from violations, while they respond to the turkish armed forces provocations under the strict orders that they will not launch an attack first.

    [04] ARSENIS MEETS WITH US UNDERSECRETARY OF DEFENSE IN ATHENS

    Greek Minister of Defence, Gerasimos Arsenis met today with US assistant Secretary of Defence, Jan Lodal and they discussed the greek-turkish relations, the developments in the wider region and bilateral relations.

    Mr.Arsenis briefed the US government official on the greek positions regarding the greek-turkish relations, while mr.Lodal informed him that Ankara in seriously considering to consent to the partial implementation of the 1988 agreement, best known as the "memorandum of Vouliagmeni".

    Specifically, mr.Lodal stated that Ankara is willing to agree to the materialization of the part of the agreement according to which, no military exercises should be held in the Aegean in the months of July and August. Mr.Arsenis stated that Greece implements this specific measure since 1988.

    Ankara refuses to implement two points of the memorandum concerning the setting of specific areas for military exercises and also the setting of specific distances between warships and aircrafts during the military exercises.

    During the meeting between mr.Arsenis and mr.Lodal, were also discussed issues concerning the US-Greek relations, especially the cooperation on issues of military stores. The two delegations discussed and Greece's role in the NATO operation in Bosnia and mr.Lodal thanked Greece for its significant contribution to peace in former Yugoslavia.

    Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General, Javier Solana in letters to the governments of Greece and Turkey suggested that the military exercises in the Aegean should be avoided. Inspite this, Turkey continues its provocations as the new Prime Minister Necmetin Erbakan in a meeting yesterday with mr.Tarnoff and mr.Lodar accused Greece of turkish airspace violations and stressed that his country has no territorial aspirations against Greece, but at the same time, will not allow Athens to claim territories that do not belong to Greece or violate treaties.

    Greek government spokesman, Dimitris Reppas responded to those statements by saying that Greece does not follow a policy of provocations, this way rejecting the turkish allegations for greek violations of the neighbouring country's airspace.

    Mr.Reppas stated that mr.Erbakan should be more careful if he wishes for the improvement of the greek-turkish relations and should not make such statements.

    [05] GREEK ALTERNATE FOREIGN MINISTER COMPLETES VISIT TO BULGARIA

    Greek alternate Foreign Minister, Giorgos Romeos stated in a press conference in the bulgarian capital that Greece supports Bulgaria's request for full membership in the European Union, stressing that the new enlargement of the EU must reach south- eastern Europe and include Bulgaria, pointing out that there should be no exceptions.

    The greek alternate Foreign Minister stressed that when Bulgaria becomes a full EU member the greek-bulgarian friendship and cooperation will be the nucleus of a wider cooperation in the region.

    Mr.Romeos completed his three-day working visit to Sofia, during which he discussed Greece's cooperation with Bulgaria within the framework of the EU in meetings he had with bulgarian President Zelev, Prime Minister Videnov and Foreign Minister Pirinski.

    As head of the greek delegation, mr.Romeos had meetings with Foreign Affairs Undersecretary, Irina Bokova responsible for Bulgaria's relations with the European Union and they decided the establishment of mechanisms for continuous cooperation. Also, mr.Romeos announced a greek initiative for the establishment of a special office in the greek Foreign Ministry, which will undertake the technical or any other support that will be requested by the bulgarian Foreign Ministry.

    Responding to the question by reporters on whether the greek government will recognize a "pomak nation" characterized the issue as non existent. He said that in Greece there is only one nation and is included among the countries with national homogeneity, adding that the only minorities in Greece are the religious ones.

    Also, mr.Romeos responding to the question if there is any new element in the policy of the Simitis government and specifically in the relations with Sofia, said that the greek Prime Minister and PASOK party President will continue exactly the same Balkan policy founded by Andreas Papandreou.

    [06] ALTERNATE FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS ON FYROM TO RESPECT INTRERNATIONAL LAW

    Greece's alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos called on FYROM today to respect international law, commending on Skopje's request to participate at the imminent Summit of Balkan Foreign Ministers as "Republic of Macedonia".

    Moreover, Mr. Romeos expressed the hope that the Greek delegation which will participate at the Summit will not be found in a position which would not aid the completion of the Summit's aims.

    In response, a spokesperson from Bulgaria's Foreign Ministry stated that his government will make attempts to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issue prior to the Summit.

    He added that FYROM has threatened to reduce the level of its participation at the Summit in the case that they are obstructed from using the name of their choice.

    [07] NO MILITARY AGREEMENT DRAWN BETWEEN GREECE-SYRIA,SAYS ATHENS

    There is no military agreement between Greece and Syria, said today the Minister of Press and Media Dimitris Reppas, in a statement confirming his Syrian counterpart's recent words that there is no bilateral military agreement between the two countries.

    "Syria is a friendly country with which we wish to have cooperation, but cooperation of such type and form does not exist between Greece and Syria," Mr. Reppas said.

    [08] MEASURES WILL BE TAKEN FOR THE ASSAULT OF ALBANIAN IMMIGRANTS

    The government is abhorrent over the recent assault and battery of Albanian immigrants, stated Minister of Press and Media Dimitris Reppas today.

    "These events are contrary to the principles and values of Greek society," Mr. Reppas stated, adding that "such incidents dishonor Greek society."

    [09] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE AND WWF HOLD SEMINARS ON ENVIRONMENT

    A series of seminars on the environment organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Phanar and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), was inaugurated this week through the symbolic planting of a sapling sent by US President Bill Clinton in the court of Halki Theological School by Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos.

    The seminars are being conducted under the co-patronage of Patriarch Vatholomeos and Prince Philip,Duke of Edinburgh, who is the President of WWF International

    The seminars, to run until July 7, will be attended by theologians from various religions, environmentalists, scientists and media representatives from western and eastern Europe, the US, Canada, Africa and the Middle East. Also, workshops will be held at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Heybeliada, Turkey.

    [10] ERBAKAN SAYS HE WANTS DEVELOPMENT OF GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS

    Turkish Prime Minister, Necmetin Erbakan stated that he wants the development of the greek-turkish relations during his term as Prime Minister.

    The statement, which was published in the turkish press, was made to greek ambassador to Ankara, Dimitris Nezeritis during the formal reception in the US embassy yesterday for the anniversary of the american independence.

    [11] FOREIGN AND DEFENSE MINISTERS MET WITH US UNDERSECRETARIES

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and Defense Minister Gerasimos Arsenis received today the Unąted States Assistant Secretary of State Peter Tarnoff and Assistant Defense Secretaty Jan Lodal.

    The two US officials will also meet with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis this evening in order to discuss greco-turkish relations and the Cyprus problem.

    Yesterday, the National Defense Ministry denied the Turkish Premier Netsmetin Erbacan's claims that Greek fighter jets violated Turkey's air space.

    In an announcement, the Greek Defense Ministry pointed out that within the framework of the Yilmaz-Papoullias agreement signed in 1988, no exercises are carried out in the Aegean during the two-month period of July-August and, therefore, Mr. Erbacan's claims lack substance.

    [12] GERMAN COURT OPENS WAY FOR WAR REPARATION CLAIMS BY INDIVIDUALS

    Germany's Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe released a decision today according to which Greek citizens who were Nazi- era wartime vitctims can file individual compenstation claims agaisnt the German state.

    By its decision, the Court rejects the German government's standard argument that, according to international law of general application, individual claims regarding wartime events can be solely settled upon the basis of international law (at an inter- state level) and only through peace treaties.

    The Court's opinion was in relation to a case of 22 Jews from Poland, Hungary and Germany who had filed compensation claims for wartime hard labor in Auschwitz from 1943 to 1945 and which lawsuits had been litigated before Bonn's First Instance Court.

    The ruling holds certain implications for compensation suits filed by Greek citizens, one being that when the claims reach the Court, it will be called upon to decide on the bilateral Greek- German agreement, dated March 18, 1960, according to which Germany paid Greece 115 million german marks as compensation for the victims of the Nazi occupation.

    However, in contrast with Hungary and Poland-which had then signed unilateral agreements not to bring forth such lawsuits in the future, Greece had not been bound to do the same. Instead, Greece's then-ambassador to Bonn, Themistocles Ypsilantis, had pointed out that Greece had reservations on the specific point.

    [13] THE MEANS TEST FOR GREEK POLITICIANS SHOWS THEIR ANNUAL INCOMES

    The 1996 tax statements of Greece's politicians have been released, presenting no significicant changes from last year's reported incomes.

    According to the Vice-President of Greek Parliament, who released the data, Pavsanias Zakolikos, the highest reported income belongs to PASOK deputy Pholis Arvanitis, reaching alsmost the 45-million-drachma mark. Mr. Arvanitis, whose reported occupation is a "businessman", has a total family income of more than 76 million drachmas, including his spouse's.

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis has a reported income of 29,977,510 drachmas, making it the highest one among political party leaders. Main opposition party New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert reports an income of 17,153,582 drachmas and claims no property ownership, in contrast to his wife, Liza, who holds titles amounting to hundreds of millions of drachmas.

    Minor opposition Political Spring party leader Antonis Samaras' tax statement shows an income of 17,209,786 million drachmas while the Communist Party (KKE) Secretary-General Aleka Paparega reports an income of 15,715,289 million.

    Andreas Papandreou's last tax statement reports a 1996 income of 19,064,546 drachmas, while his wife's, Dimitra-Liani Papandreou, reports 15,700,732, of which 4,209,064 is her retirement pension from Olympic Airways where she had worked as a stewardess prior to her marriage.

    [14] THESSALONIKI WILL NOT SIZZLE DURING UPCOMING HEATWAVE

    With the temperatures in Greece rising to 40C (104F) and even higher on Thursday and throughout the weekend, Thessaloniki residents are not expected to suffer as much as their Athenian couterparts.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, the meteorologist at Micra's Weather Bureau stated that temperatures in Thessaloniki are not expected to surpass the 39C mark, while the highest temperatures, 38C, will be noted at Kilkis and Serres.

    Thessaloniki's Center of Healtth and Hygiene has taken precautionary measures to address any cases of heatstroke that may arise during the heatwave.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [15] UN BELIEVES THAT THE MISSING IN CYPRUS ARE DEAD, SAYS KORNBLUM

    The United Nations have for long believed that those missing in Cyprus are dead, an assessment adopted due to the lack of evidence to the contrary, stated the United States Assistant Secretary of State John Kornblum.

    In reponse to a letter forwarded by the President of the Hellenic-American Institute and the Justice Committee for Cyrpus Savas Tsivikos, Mr. Kornblum noted that the only way to resolve the issue of the missing persons is through cooperation with the investigation committee, and not through aphorisms and legal claims.

    Responding to Mr. Kornblum, Cypriot Foreign Minister Alekos Michaelides stated that the Cypriot government insists on discovering the fate of each of the missing persons.

    Mr. Michaelides stated that even if proof and data are presented showing that some of the missing are dead, their burial place must be pointed out, their bodies will have to be exhumed and they should be re-buried in accordance to the greek orthodox church's traditions.

    [16] EU MAY BAN IMPORTS OF MEAT FROM FYROM

    The foot-and-mouth disease epidemic is spreading rapidly in FYROM's live-stock and the European Union after finding inadequate the measures taken, examines the possibility to ban all imports of meat from this country.

    FYROM's National Veterinary Office Director, Michailo Zoric stated that 600 head of cattle infected by the disease have been destroyed. The same official clarified that are being destroyed and cattle on which there is suspicion of infection in an effort to put the disease, that hit almost 30% of FYROM's live-stock, under control.

    The EU Veterinary Committee which recently visited FYROM and Albania, from where the foot-and-mouth disease originated, estimates that the measures taken by FYROM are inadequate and ineffective. According to information from Brussels, the EU is considering to ban all imports of meat from FYROM.

    Already, the export of 10.000 sheep to Croatia has stopped and strict controls are in effect at the borders between FYROM and New Yugoslavia.

    [17] UN SPECIAL ENVOY EXPRESSES HOPE FOR PROGRESS IN CYPRUS PROBLEM

    United Nations special envoy Han Sung Ju, who is on a visit to Ankara expressed the hope that there will be progress toward the solution of the Cyprus problem and responding to questions by reporters before the meeting with mr.Inal Batu, assistant of the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, said that he brought with him no specific plan.

    Responding to the question on the efforts by the United States and Britain said that he hopes they will have a more active role within the framework of the efforts undertaken by the United Nations and the international community, adding that the necessary coordination must be secured.

    Mr.Batu stated that he will cooperate fully with mr.Ju for the solution of the problem. Mr.Ju, accompanied by mr.Gustav Feissel, also met and with Foreign Affairs Undersecretary, Onur Oymen.

    [18] TURKEY'S COALITION GOVERNMENT IN LIMBO, CILLER'S DEPUTIES RESISTANT

    Turkey's Erbakan-Ciller duet seems to be going sour as, mere days before the Welfare and True Path parties are given the much needed confidence vote, some 40 True Path deputies have signed a resolution asking others not to grant their faith to the coalition.

    In contrast,the nationalist-islamist group Great Unity Party (BBP) broke its silence today when its vice-president Retzep Kiris stated that his party is willing to grant the confidence vote only if the government protocol is reformed to include his party (seven deputies all in all) and if the investigations of Ciller's alledged financial wrongdoing continue.

    Meanwhile, in a surprise move, a deputy of Bulent Ecevit's Democratic Left Party switched to Ciller's side,bringing the True Path Party's parliamentary count to 128 deputies.

    According to turkish state television, three more of Ecevit's deputies are also on the brink of switching to Ciller's side, something that she apparently was implying when she knowingly stated "Wait until Monday, there's more to come."

    However, Ecevit retorted that in case the coalition government gains the coveted confidence vote, Erbakan must proceed to early elections in order to secure absolute majority and thereby strip Ciller from the opportunity to govern the country in two years.

    [19] TURKISH FOREIGN MINISTER WILL NOT PARTICIPATE IN BALKAN FOREIGN MINISTERS SUMMIT IN SOFIA THIS WEEKEND

    Turkey's Foreign Minister, Tansu Ciller will not participate in the Balkan Foreign Ministers Summit that will be held in Sofia this weekend.

    Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman, Omer Akbel stated that ms.Ciller will not participate in this meeting because the new turkish government was formed recently and the discussion on its policy statements is still in progress in the turkish National Assembly. Head of the turkish delegation in the Sofia Summit, that will be held on July 6 and 7, will be Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, Onur Oymen.

    The previous summit of the Balkan Foreign Ministers had been held in Tirana in 1990 and was agreed that they should meet more regularly but this was not possible due to the instability in the region as a result of the bosnian war.

    The turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman also stated that Turkey hopes this meeting will promote a new process which will bring lasting peace and stability in the region.


    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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