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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (26/07/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, July 26, 1996


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] BODY OF PATRIARCH PARTHENIOS TO LIE IN STATE AT ATHENS CATHEDRAL

  • [02] DEATH TOLL IN TURKISH PRISONS REACHES EIGHT, ATHENS DENOUNCES ANKARA

  • [03] AGRICULTURE UNDERSECRETARY: FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE IS UNDER CONTROL

  • [04] GREEK COALITION PARTY LEADER MEETS WITH ISRAEL'S SIMON PERES

  • [05] NEXT BALKAN SUMMIT TO BE HELD IN GREECE, LIKELY CHOICE IS THESSALONIKI

  • [06] GERMAN POLICE DISCOVER BODY OF ABDUCTED GREEK MAN IN MUNICH

  • [07] INVESTIGATIONS INTO ATTACK AGAINST PASOK HEADQUARTERS CONTINUE


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [08] FALLEN JET'S BLACK BOXES HAVEN'T LED TO FINDINGS YET

  • [09] POLITICAL PRISONERS ISSUE IS TURKEY'S PROBLEM, SAYS US GOVERNMENT

  • [10] THOUSANDS OF KURDISH PRISONERS JOIN PROTESTS AGAINST TURKISH PRISONS

  • [11] EURO-PARLIAMENT THREATENS TO GRADUALLY "FREEZE" AID TO TURKEY

  • [12] US STATE DEPARTMENT WITHDRAWS ITS SUPPORT TO SALI BERISHA

  • [13] ALBANIAN PRISONS DIRECTOR ASSASSINATED OUTSIDE HIS HOME IN TIRANA


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] BODY OF PATRIARCH PARTHENIOS TO LIE IN STATE AT ATHENS CATHEDRAL

    The body of Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and all of Africa Parthenios will lie in state today at the Athens Cathedral where a memorial service will be held under the direction of the Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece Serapheim.

    The Patriarch's body will be taken with state leader honors to the airport where it will be flown in an C-130 to Egupt for burial.

    The funeral wil take place on Tuesday at the patriarchal church of St. Nicholas in Cairo and the Patriarch will be buried at the Saint George monastery in the Egyptian capital.

    Mr. Parthenios died of a heart attack on Tuesday while he was vacationing on the Greek island of Amorgos.

    Alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos will represent the Greek government at the funeral.

    [02] DEATH TOLL IN TURKISH PRISONS REACHES EIGHT, ATHENS DENOUNCES ANKARA

    The ever-increasing number of deaths in Turkey's prisons, where eight political prisoners have starved themselves to death so far, and tens others are on the verge of losing their lives after months-long hunger strikes, has provoked intense reactions throughout Greece's political community.

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stated today that Greece is doing what it can and what it must, so that the international community pressure Ankara to respect the prisoners' rights. Mr. Reppas diplomatically avoided being specific on what exactly Athens plans to do, however he stated that "these actions are not to be announced and behind-the-scenes activity must not create impressions."

    Commenting on the statement made today by US government spokesperson Nicholas Burns, who said that the whole prison situation is simply Ankara's internal matter, Mr. Reppas emhasized that it is indeed an internal matter, however, "when people are dying in the struggle for human rights, then this matter surpasses all borders and becomes a matter for the whole world."

    Mr. Reppas added that Greece feels justified since most now recognize that human rights violations in Turkey are an existing problem.

    "Greece always linked the issue of human rights with the development of relations between Turkey and the European Union," the government spokesperson said.

    The Honorary President of the country's main opposition party, New Democracy's Konstantinos Mitsotakis also denounced the "tragic and inhumane events that are taking place in Turkish prisons" and added that "the upholding of basic freedoms and human rights of the Turkish people is a matter that concerns all of us."

    Also, the Coalition of the Left and Progress Party (Synaspismos) accuses the international community of brutally ignoring the matter and, in a statement it issued today, outcries the community's "lack of reflexes." The Coalition party called upon the Greek government and Greek Commissioner Christos Papoutsis to undertake specific intitiatives at a European Union level.

    At the same time, the Greek Communist Youth organization has called upon Greece's youth to "strengthen the wave of protests against the Turkish government and to condemn the imperialist forces that arm the hands of Ankara's militarists." The organization's Thessaloniki branch, organized a protest rally in front of the city's Turkish Consulate.

    [03] AGRICULTURE UNDERSECRETARY: FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE IS UNDER CONTROL

    The epidemic of smallpox that has hit livestock in the Evros region is being handled through draconean measures, while the foot and mouth disease that has stricken animals in the same region is currently under control, stated the Agriculture Ministry's Undersecretary Apostolos Fotiades.

    Moreover, the Undersecretary is optimisitic that when the European Union's Permanent Veterinary Committee convenes on August 1, the restricting measures it has enforced on the exportation of meat, its by-products and un-pasteurized milk from Greece will be limited to the specific region, and will not be extended to the rest of the country.

    [04] GREEK COALITION PARTY LEADER MEETS WITH ISRAEL'S SIMON PERES

    During his formal visit to Israel and the Gaza Strip, in a tour that aims to promote peacekeeping initiatives, the leader of Greece's Coalition of the Left and Progress Party (Synaspismos) Nikos Konstantopoulos met today with Israel's former prime minister Simon Peres.

    Following his meeting with Mr. Konstantopoulos, Mr. Peres expressed the hope that the peacekeeping procedures will overcome current obstacles and emphasized the continuous development of relations between Greece and Israel.

    Mr. Konstantopoulos underlined the need to strengthen these peacekeeping efforts and stressed that any delay will bear tragic consequences for the whole region.

    The Coalition party leader is expected to meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat tomorrow in Gaza.

    [05] NEXT BALKAN SUMMIT TO BE HELD IN GREECE, LIKELY CHOICE IS THESSALONIKI

    Europarliamentarian Nikos Papakyriazis has expressed his pleasure that Greece will host the next Balkan Summit, a decision that was drawn during the session of the Joint Parliamentary Committee of the European Union-Bulgaria, which ended today in Sofia.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Papakyriazis clarified that he considers Thessaloniki's candidature as the city to host the event to be a excellent choice, taking into consideration the city's status as co-capital of Greece, which as a Balkan country and EU member is working towards the strengthening of relations between the EU and the Balkan region.

    In turn, Bulgarian Prime Minister Zhan Videnov, following his meeting with Mr. Papakyriazis, stated that his country will be able to fulfil the prerequsites for accession io the EU within the next decade.

    [06] GERMAN POLICE DISCOVER BODY OF ABDUCTED GREEK MAN IN MUNICH

    The German police have discovered the body of a Greek man who was abducted last week in Munich and have arrested three male suspects in the kidnapping and murder.

    Greek interpreter Michaels Tsipes, 53 years old, was kidnapped on July 18 by two German men and one Greek, although the motives remain unknown.

    According to German police, the three men had contacted the victim's family and demanded 700,000 DM in ransom money. Two days later, ransom was reduced to 170,000 DM, but Tsipes family was still unable to amass this amount.

    [07] INVESTIGATIONS INTO ATTACK AGAINST PASOK HEADQUARTERS CONTINUE

    Athens' First Magistrate will interrogate twenty-seven-year- old Panayiotis Drimilis today over his role in the recent attack against the police guard at PASOK's central offices, where he is believed to be involved along with the late Christophoros Marinos, a man commonly suspected, but never proven, of being involved in terrorist acts.

    Drimilis is charged with complicity in a murder attempt against a police officer.

    According to Athens Police, Drimilis is reported to have confessed, after Marinos's death, that he and Marinos opened fire against the police guard on July 5.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [08] FALLEN JET'S BLACK BOXES HAVEN'T LED TO FINDINGS YET

    Yesterday's discovery of the plane's black boxes have not given any leads on the cause of the explosion that destroyed TWA's Boeing 747 jet on July 17.

    However, according to the experts who are studying the tapes, an undeterminable and strange sound can be heard for one second.

    Meanwhile, FBI authorities have stated that the investigators will soon be able to arrive at the cause of the explosion.

    [09] POLITICAL PRISONERS ISSUE IS TURKEY'S PROBLEM, SAYS US GOVERNMENT

    The six political prisoners who died in Turkey's prisons after months-long hunger strikes, and the tens of others who are on the verge of losing their lives, have not swayed the United States government, whose spokesperson stated that the whole situation is simply Ankara's internal affair.

    State Department spokesperson Nicholas Burns said that Turkey's Prime Minister Necmettin Erbacan has fulfiled many of the prisoners' demands and added that, according to sources, some of the imprisoned were forced to participate in the strikes by their co-prisoners.

    Meanwhile, Turkey's Minister of Justice claimed yesterday that his country's correctional system surpasses western standards and threatened the striking prisoners that the state will show its strength when the right time comes.

    However, European Parliament Socialist Group leader Pauline Green, has warned Ankara that the European Socialists will undertake an initiative in order to stop the EU funds for Turkey.

    In a letter addressed to Mr. Erbacan, Ms. Green asks that the pending cases be tried, the prisoners be allowed to communicate with their relatives, and that international observers be given permission to visit the prisons.

    In Athens, the political community en masse denounces Turkey's blatant violations of human rights and the government's spokesperson stated that Greece will present to the European Union in the best possible way the situation noted in Turkey, while 34 MPs from various parties have signed an appeal asking the international community to get involved in stopping the crimes being committed against Turkey's political prisoners.

    In their statement, the parliamentarians point out that Turkey has displayed inhumane behavior towards the prisoners and demand that the international community take whatever action is necessary to stop this blatant violation of human rights.

    [10] THOUSANDS OF KURDISH PRISONERS JOIN PROTESTS AGAINST TURKISH PRISONS

    Thousands of kurdish political prisoners, in a show of solidarity, joined today the protest campaign which began two months ago by leftist political prisoners in the turkish prisons and according to the kurdish news agency DEM, they are on a periodical hunger strike.

    The news agency reported that on periodical hunger strike are 10.000 inmates held in 40 turkish prisons, accused of being members of Kurdistan's Workers' Party, known as PKK. Also, the news agency reports that three jailed PKK members clarified that themselves and their co-prisoners are not on a mortal hunger strike yet but they will make such a decision if the massacre does not end.

    In Ankara, the turkish Health Ministry announced today the establishment of 38 special centers for the handling of the crisis in the turkish prisons which will monitor the hunger strikers' state of health.

    Meanwhile, another inmate died today in a turkish prison raising the number of the dead hunger strikers to seven. According to turkish newspaper "Gumhuriyet", Erol Ozbolat died in the high security Tsankiri Prison, north of Ankara, after being on a hunger strike for 68 days. Later, the prison's officials denied the information stating that the hunger striker is not dead but he went into a coma.

    The turkish independent organization for the protection of human rights, IHD, maintains that about 70 political prisoners are close to dying after a two-month long hunger strike.

    The crisis in Turkey took a different turn today when a high- ranking officer of the turkish police was murdered by two unindentified men. According to the news agency Anadolu, the assassination appears to have political motives. Constantinople's police department inspector, Emir Esbir was shot last night while he was in a police patrol car and another policeman was injured in the attack.

    Anadolu reported that this attack has a lot in common with other attacks carried out by leftist extremist organizations.

    In another incident, unidentified men shot and killed a turkish policeman, member of the anti-terrorist police squad, while another police officer was injured in the attack that was carried out in the city of Gebze yesterday.

    Tensions mount in Turkey, as in the past five days seven political prisoners have died after a 2month hunger strike with main demand the improvement of living conditions in the turkish prisons.

    [11] EURO-PARLIAMENT THREATENS TO GRADUALLY "FREEZE" AID TO TURKEY

    The European Parliament threatens to gradually "freeze" the EU economic aid to Turkey if the living conditions in the country's jails, where political prisoners are being held, do not improve.

    The Socialist Group leader in the European Parliament, ms.Pauline Green in a letter to the European Parliament President calls on him to ask the Council of Ministers to take a position on the political developments in Turkey. According to ms.Green, the human rights situation in Turkey has deteriorated in the past 6 months.

    Meanwhile, External Affairs Committee President, Gerardo Fernandez-Albor member of the European Popular Party, asked European Commissioner Hans Van Den Broek, responsible for the EU- Turkish relations to issue a strong demarche to the turkish authorities calling them to put an end, without a delay, to the crisis in the turkish prisons and to improve the detention conditions.

    [12] US STATE DEPARTMENT WITHDRAWS ITS SUPPORT TO SALI BERISHA

    US State Department has apparently decided to sever its ties with Albanian President Sali Berisha, following the turmoil noted during the Tirana-held elections on May 26.

    Addressing the US Congressional Subcommittee on Human Rights, senior deputy assistant Secretary of State Rudolph Perina stated that the foundation of the US-Albania relations has been weakened following the elections, and outlined the serious problems noted during the voting procedure which, as he stated, marred the outcome.

    Speaking in equally harsh language, Senator Thomas Lantos denounced Tirana's stance on human rights, and especially the Greek minority there, and called upon the US governemnt to withdraw its financial aid from Albania.

    Also taking the podium to condemn Albanian policy regarding human rights were Greek-American author Nicholas Gage, president of the pan-epirotic federation of teh US and Albania's former deputy Premier Gramoz Pasko, who, along with Berisha, was co- founder of the ruling Democratic Party. Mr. Pasko disengaged from Berisha's rule and transferred to the opposition prior to moving to the US where he teaches eastern european studies at the Widrow Wilson University.

    The discussion has caused a flutter in Albania and press reports abound that the US are preparing a thorough review of bilateral relations which could very well include economic aid programs.

    [13] ALBANIAN PRISONS DIRECTOR ASSASSINATED OUTSIDE HIS HOME IN TIRANA

    Buyiar Kalosi, Director of the Albanian Prisons was assassinated today outside his home in a Tirana suburb, as it was announced by the albanian police.

    The attack against the 40yearold victim took place this morning and according to statements made by a Justice Ministry official, there is no information on the motives of the assassination.

    The Albanian Justice Ministry has not issued yet an official confirmation of the news of the attack.


    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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