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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH (06/08/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, August 6, 1996


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

[C] EUROPEAN NEWS


TITLES

-----

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] CROATIAN AND SERB PRESIDENTS TO MEET TETE-A-TETE IN ATHENS TOMORROW

  • [02] GREECE'S OLYMPIC MEDALISTS GET HEROES' WELCOME AT HOME

  • [03] PRESIDENT OF GREECE TO TOUR THE CYCLADES ISLANDS NEXT WEEK

  • [04] TURKEY'S INTENTION TO CONVERT AGHIA SOPHIA INTO MOSQUE IS "PILLAGE"

  • [05] EARTHQUAKE HITS TOWN OF KONITSA AGAIN, THE STRONGEST ONE SO FAR

  • [06] SEVENTY-FIVE AEGEAN SEA ISLANDS EARMARKED FOR TOTAL TAX EXEMPTION

  • [07] DECISION IS FIRM, SAYS GOODYEAR, LOCAL PLANT WILL NOT REOPEN

  • [08] MY COUNTRY HAS NOTHING TO GAIN FROM AGIA SOPHIA'S CONVERSION, SAYS TURKEY'S FORMER PRESIDENT

  • [09] OLYMPICS SHOULD BE PERMANENTLY HELD IN GREECE, SAYS CANADIAN PRESS

  • [10] GREEK LANGUAGE TAUGHT IN AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS VIA TV

  • [11] GREEK MINORITY SCHOOLS WILL OPEN IN THREE ALBANIAN CITIES

  • [12] IMPRESSIVE INCREASE IN NUMBER OF TOURISTS FROM FORMER YUGOSLAVIA COMPARED TO 1995

  • [13] FOREST FIRE AT THE GREEK-BULGARIAN BORDERS


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] THE MOTROCYCLISTS PARTICIPATING IN THE MARCH TO THE TURKISH OCCUPIED NORTHERN CYPRUS, DECLARE THAT THEY DON'T WANT TO CLASH WITH POLICE

  • [15] NO PROGRESS IN THE MILITARY DIALOGUE IN CYPRUS

  • [16] THE TWO GREEKS ARRESTED IN THE SEA REGION OF PAPHOS WILL BE TRIED TOMORROW IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

  • [17] "LE MONDE": EUROPEANS MUST ASSUME THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES IN CYPRUS

  • [18] SYSTEMATIC EFFORTS BY THE TURKISH AUTHORITIES AGAINST THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE, ACCORDING TO THE DUTCH NEWSPAPER "TROUW"


  • [C] EUROPEAN NEWS

  • [19] COMMISSIONER PAPOUTSIS:US CREATE PROBLEMS FOR EUROPEAN OIL INDUSTRY

  • [20] IBM-MERCEDES TO WORK TOGETHER ON ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS FOR CARS

  • [21] BRITISH AIRWAYS POSTS 11% RISE IN ITS PROFITS

  • [22] EU TO PROVIDE 15.8 MECU TO DUBLIN AND CORK FOR URBAN REGENERATION


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] CROATIAN AND SERB PRESIDENTS TO MEET TETE-A-TETE IN ATHENS TOMORROW

    The first tete-a-tete meeting between the President of Croatia Franjo Tudjman and Slobodan Milosevic will be held in Athens tomorrow, following the invitation of Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.

    According to Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas, the two leaders will hold talks on "the further improvement of bilateral relations between Yugoslavia-Croatia."

    [02] GREECE'S OLYMPIC MEDALISTS GET HEROES' WELCOME AT HOME

    Overflowing with pride, Greece welcomed this evening its "golden children", as the Olympic Games medalists are lovingly referred to, with pomp and circumstance, although marching bands and fireworks replaced the ancient tradition of tearing down the city's walls.

    The eight medalists, four gold and four silver, arrived at the Athens airport's eastern terminal at six o' clock this evening, where an exuberant crowd of relatives, friends, supporters and political leaders embraced them and adorned them with laurel wreaths.

    Weightlifting gold medalist Pyrros Demas led the champions' procession, followed by the gold medalists Nikos Kaklamanakis in yachting's mistral race, Ioannis Melissanides, rhythmic gymnastics, and weighlifter Akakios Kakhiasvilli. Immediately behind them were the silver medalists, three weightlifting champions Leonidas Sabanis, Leonidas Kokkas and Valerios Leonides along with Niki Bakoyianni, silver medalist in the women's high jump competition.

    "Whatever we did, we did it for Greece," said Demas, who thanked all Greeks for their support and promised to return triumphant in the Olumpic Games of 2000 and 2004.

    The athletes boarded military jeeps and were driven through the seaside avenue of Poseidon to Hadrian's Gate, passing through the thousands of spectartors who cherred them on.

    Waiting for them upon a platform was the Mayor of Athens and the members of the city council who bestowed upon them the gold medal of Athens.

    Afterwards, the Olympic Games medalists walked towards the city's Panathinaikon Stadium where the country's political leadership awaited en masse their arrival.

    President of Greece Kostis Stephanopoulos greeted and congratulated the Olympians in an emotion-filled atmosphere as this is the same stadium where the modern Olympics of 1896 were held. Also, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, saluted the champions and told them that the nation is mirrored in their medals.

    "We thank you for your victory, as you have proven that Hellenism has the strength to create a strong Greece on all levels," he added.

    Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos announced that the city's municipal council will re-name Athens' Kallirois Avenue as Avenue of "Greek Olympic Champions" and a plaque with the names of the Atlanta Games medalists will be erected in the Stadium beside a plaque that features the names of past winners.

    Following the awarding of the medalists, there was a firework display and the festivities in Athens will be capped late tonight with a concert by Greek composer Stamatis Spanoudakis.

    Thessaloniki will also celebrate the arrival of its champions, gold medalist Melissanides and silver medalist Valerios Leonides as well as all those Olympic athletes who have local roots.

    The city will be showered in lights and the athletes will be greeted at the Macedonia airport upon their arrival by Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos, Mayor of Thessaloniki Konstantinos Kosmopoulos and other local dignitaries.

    A victory parade will follow, which will run through the city's major arteries and will lead to the White Tower where the Municipality will host an open-to-the-public festivity.

    The Parliament of Greece will honor the Olympic champions tomorrow morning with an event attended by the President Stephanopoulos, Prime Minister Simitis, main opposition New Democracy party leader Miltiades Evert and the leaders of other minor opposition parties.

    In acknowledgment of their extraordinary performances, National Defense Minister Gerasimos Arsenis will bestow upon the Greek Olympic champions the title of reserve lieutenant, while the two-times gold medalist in weightlifting Pyrros Demas, who was appointed army lieutenant after his victory in the Barcelona Games of 1992, will be promoted to captain.

    [03] PRESIDENT OF GREECE TO TOUR THE CYCLADES ISLANDS NEXT WEEK

    The President of Greece Konstantinos Stephanopoulos will conduct a three-day tour of the Cyclades islands on August 15-18.

    President Stephanopoulos will visit the islands of Paros, Naxos, Koufonisia, Schinousa, Iraklia, Donousa, Folegandros, Sikinos, Kimolos.

    [04] TURKEY'S INTENTION TO CONVERT AGHIA SOPHIA INTO MOSQUE IS "PILLAGE"

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos has forwarded a stern warning to Ankara over the intentions of Turkey's islamist-led government to convert the Byzantine church of Aghia Sophia into a mosque.

    Mr. Pangalos stated that such act will not be viewed as a mere bilateral issue but rather will constitute "a serious retrogression for the turkish peoples itself and the international community."

    Also, the Turkish president of the Greco-turkish Associations Jekil Bektash stated that the conversion of Aghia Sophia into a mosque is "pillage" and noted that such plan is an political ploy of Turkish Premier Necmettin Erbacan who aims to please the islamists in his country.

    Meanwhile, PASOK parliamentarian Stelios Papathemelis who is currently in Melbourne, Australia, stated today that the Church of Aghia Sophia must be positioned within the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    Mr. Papathemelis, who is attending the Melbourne-held 10th Congress of the local federation of Panmacedonian Unions, called upon Greeks throughout the world to embark on an international mission to face the "turkish expansionism" and Ankara's provocations.

    [05] EARTHQUAKE HITS TOWN OF KONITSA AGAIN, THE STRONGEST ONE SO FAR

    An earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale temblored this morning at 1:46 a.m. in the town of Konitsa, 215 kilometers west of Thessaloniki, in northwestrern Greece.

    According to the Aristotle University Geophysics Laboratory's seismologist Vasilis Karakostas, today's earthquake, as well as the two aftershocks that followed at 2:58 a.m., measuring 3.9- Richter, and at 5:43 a.m, measuring 3.7-Richter, are part of the region's seismic activity that began on July 29 with an earthquake measuring 5.2-Richter.

    According to Mr. Karakostas, the earthquake expert are guardedly assesssing that today's quake was the major temblor and the ones that may follow will be of smaller magnitude.

    Today's quake destroyed part of the restaraunt and dorms of the town's Student Housing facilities, while damages were also noted in houses that had not been previously condemned. Scores of the town's panic-filled residents spent the night in the streets.

    The Prefect of Ioannina Nikos Zarbalas has assigned repair units to the town of Konitsa for assessing the extensive damages.

    The strength of earthquakes is most commonly measured using the Richter scale which gauges the total energy released by a quake. The scale is logarithmic, which means that a quake of 5- Richter is ten times the power of a 4-Richter quake.

    [06] SEVENTY-FIVE AEGEAN SEA ISLANDS EARMARKED FOR TOTAL TAX EXEMPTION

    In a move that was precipitated by the decreasing population in some of the Aegean Sea's islands, the Finance Ministry announced today its decision to provide complete tax exemptions to those islands with less than 3,000 residents.

    "It's our duty towards these islands," stated the undersecretary of Finance George Anomerites, in regards to the government's proposal to provide the tax exemptions which will apply not only to the permanent residents of these islands, but to the public sector employees stationed there, as well as retirees and business people.

    The Finance Ministry's bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament by next Friday and, if approved, the new regulations will be enforced within 1997. Included among the affected islands are Skyros, Alonnesos, Samothrace, Patos, Nisyros, Amorgos, Serifos, Folegandros, Kimolos, Megisti and Sifnos.

    [07] DECISION IS FIRM, SAYS GOODYEAR, LOCAL PLANT WILL NOT REOPEN

    Goodyear, the US-based tire making company, will not reopen the doors of its Thessaloniki plant, according to an announcement made today by Greece's Labor Ministry following the meeting held between Labor Undersecretary Lambros Kanellopoulos and the vice- president of Goodyear's european branches.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Kanellopoulos stated that he asked the Goodyear official to review the possibility of reopening the plant and offered him a commitment for lengthy and problem-free labor relations.

    Goodyear apparently remained undaunted as, according to the company official, the decision to close Thessaloniki's plant is part of its overall and long-term european strategy.

    Approximately 350 local workers have lost their jobs and no restitutional provisions have been offered so far by Goodyear, aside from the public unemployment pension.

    [08] MY COUNTRY HAS NOTHING TO GAIN FROM AGIA SOPHIA'S CONVERSION, SAYS TURKEY'S FORMER PRESIDENT

    If the turkish islamist-led government achieved its plan to turn the Byzantine landmark Church Aghia Sophia into a mosque, the country really wouldn't gain much in any respect, stated today the former President of Turkey Kenan Evren.

    "When we were kids it was a mosque. Then it was turned into a museum," Mr. Evren said.

    "So what if it's a museum? If it's turned into a mosque will Turkey gain anything? We have nothing to gain from dealing with such issues," he added.

    [09] OLYMPICS SHOULD BE PERMANENTLY HELD IN GREECE, SAYS CANADIAN PRESS

    Canadian newspaper "The Gazette" in a correspondence from Paris, written after the shortcomings and the commercialization observed in Atlanta, proposes that the Olympic Games should be held permanently in Greece.

    The newspaper mentions a statement made by former member of the french anti-terrorist forces, Jean-Francois Limon, who recently maintained that the prestige of the Olympic Games can be restored, only if this international sports event is held permanently in Greece.

    [10] GREEK LANGUAGE TAUGHT IN AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS VIA TV

    Catching on to young people's keeness for the tube, the Australian Education Department in Victoria has brought a televised Greek language learning program into the classrooms.

    The program is titled "Hi Kids" and is broadcast in elementary schools every Tuesday and Friday for two-and-a-half hours. An interactive program, the students can participate by providing ideas and asking questitons.

    [11] GREEK MINORITY SCHOOLS WILL OPEN IN THREE ALBANIAN CITIES

    According to the Tirana television, the albanian government reached important decisions yesterday concerning the country's education sector.

    One of the decisions is based on the Pre-University Education law, approved after the talks held in Tirana between Greek President Stephanopoulos with his Albanian counterpart Berisha on the education of the greek minority children. According to this decision, in the school year of 1996-97 there will be greek language classes in the cities of Delvino, Argyrokastro and Agii Saranta for the greek minority elementary school children, who will be taught their mother tongue.

    In a statement by the greek Foreign Ministry is expressed satisfaction for the decision and is mentioned that the greek government believes that this action will contribute to the further improvement of bilateral relations for the benefit of progress for both peoples, and also for the benefit of stability, peace and mutual cooperation in the Balkans.

    [12] IMPRESSIVE INCREASE IN NUMBER OF TOURISTS FROM FORMER YUGOSLAVIA COMPARED TO 1995

    The number of cars and tourists entering Greece from the customs office of Evzoni has increased significantly in the past week, while there was also a considerable increase in the number of tourists in the months of June and July compared to the same period last year.

    According to official data from the Evzoni customs office, 1.500 private cars entered Greece on August 1st compared to 950 on July 1st and their numbers continue to increase until today. Most of the tourists come from New Yugoslavia and FYROM.

    [13] FOREST FIRE AT THE GREEK-BULGARIAN BORDERS

    Large forest fire rages at the greek-bulgarian borders, near the greek village of Pandroso.

    In the fire fighting efforts participate soldiers, local residents and two airplanes. Bulgarian fire-fighters are trying to stop the fire from crossing their country's borders.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] THE MOTROCYCLISTS PARTICIPATING IN THE MARCH TO THE TURKISH OCCUPIED NORTHERN CYPRUS, DECLARE THAT THEY DON'T WANT TO CLASH WITH POLICE

    The intention to demonstrate peacefully was declared in a press conference by the organizers of the European Peace March of Motorcyclists to the turkish occupied territories in northern Cyprus. The press conference was held in Thessaloniki on the occasion of the arrival of 150 european motorcyclists this afternoon, participating in the first international anti- occupation march of motorcyclists.

    The organizers stressed that the demonstrators will not try to break the police lines and that the last thing they want is clashes between greek motorcyclists and greek police. They said that they will try to persuade the cypriot government to change its position and if they don't succeed the march will change its course away from the police barricade.

    On Saturday August 9th, a European Motorcyclists delegation will request a meeting with the cypriot Ministers of Defence and Public Order in order to persuade the cypriot government to lift the additional security measures. In case the cypriot government doesn't change its position then a delegation is likely to be sent to the turkish occupied territories in order to meet with the turkish occupation forces and to demand the free movement of all the motorcyclists in the occupied territories.

    Meanwhile, the Greek Federation of Motorcyclists has sent a letter of protest to Cypriot President Glafkos Kliridis regarding the stance of the Cypriot National Council, while the cypriot government is reassured that the motorcyclists don't want a confrontation with the cypriot police or the UN peace-keeping force.

    In the march to the turkish occupied territories in northern Cyprus that will take place the night of August 10, will participate about 7.000 motorcyclists from the EU member states, Cyprus, Canada, South Africa and Australia.

    [15] NO PROGRESS IN THE MILITARY DIALOGUE IN CYPRUS

    Alternate Special Representative of UN Secretary General in Cyprus, mr.Gustav Feisel stated that there is no progress made regarding the issue of the military dialogue in Cyprus.

    Mr.Feisel added that there is still hope for a meeting between the National Guard Leader and the Commander of the turkish forces.

    Mr.Feisel avoided to respond to the question on whether turkish-cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash remains firm in his demands for the participation of the so-called "turkish-cypriot commander" in the dialogue.

    [16] THE TWO GREEKS ARRESTED IN THE SEA REGION OF PAPHOS WILL BE TRIED TOMORROW IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

    The trial of the two greeks arrested by the turkish forces in the sea region of Kokkinon in Paphos last week, was postponed to take place tomorrow in the turkish occupied territories in northern Cyprus. They are 48yearold Athanasios Tsalikas and 35yearold Dimitris Gotsis and the cypriot government, as well as the greek embassy in Nicosia are making representations for their release.

    Yesterday, there was information that the two greeks were going to be released today but finally, the Denktash regime postponed their trial for tomorrow.

    [17] "LE MONDE": EUROPEANS MUST ASSUME THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES IN CYPRUS

    French newspaper "Le Monde" in an article under the title "Cyprus: A serious test for the European Union", written by Henri de Bresson, stresses that the europeans must assume their responsibilities regarding the issue of the continuing turkish occupation of northern Cyprus.

    The article refers to the recent visit of French European Affairs Minister, mr.Barniet to Cyprus and Malta and underlines that he had returned to Cyprus with the belief that the problem in the island will be a new challenge for the ability of the Europeans to undertake a true political initiative in a field which, as in the case of Former Yugoslavia, is of great interest to them, while the americans once again have assumed the role of the critic-mediator.

    Mr.De Bresson writes in his article that the island still remains a powder-keg, as in the turkish occupied northern Cyprus are deployed 35.000 soldiers and hundreds of armoured tanks and personnel carriers, while the turkish Air Force jets are only a few minutes away from the cypriot coasts. The article adds that the greek-cypriots have also purchased military equipment from abroad.

    In the article is stressed that during the continuing occupation of part of their island, the greek-cypriots have performed a miracle by turning the free part of Cyprus into a center of prosperity, based on tourism from the West and Russia and on trade with Lebanon and the Middle East. Also, is mentioned that the annual per capita income for the greek-cypriots is 12.000 US dollars, much higher than the annual per capita income of the greeks and the portuguese.

    According to mr.De Bresson, the Cyprus problem can be for the European Union the lesson learned from its previous failures and can also be an opportunity for it to show that it is able to start materializing a joint policy on foreign affairs and security.

    [18] SYSTEMATIC EFFORTS BY THE TURKISH AUTHORITIES AGAINST THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE, ACCORDING TO THE DUTCH NEWSPAPER "TROUW"

    The systematic efforts of the turkish authorities aiming at forcing the few remaining greeks and the Ecumenical Patriarchate into leaving Constantinople, are mentioned in a report published in the dutch newspaper "TROUW".

    The newspaper also writes about the Theology School in Chalki and referring to its uncertain future, mentions that many are wondering what will happen to the education of the patriarchs. In the report is mentioned that the turkish government had decided in 1971 to close the Theology School in Chalki based on a law according to which the religious and military higher education institutions must be under the supervision of the turkish state.

    The newspaper maintains that even though the Erbakan government has no clear position on the operation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the islamist press has launched an attack against it and has also criticised the efforts for the reopening of the Theology School in Chalki.

    The dutch newspaper points out that in Constantinople now remain only 4.000 greek Orthodox Christians and 30 priests.


    [C] EUROPEAN NEWS

    [19] COMMISSIONER PAPOUTSIS:US CREATE PROBLEMS FOR EUROPEAN OIL INDUSTRY

    Christos Papoutsis, the Greek European Union Energy Commissioner appeared today extremely critical of the US "D' Amato Bill" imposing sanctions on non-american companies cooperating with Iran and Libya.

    Mr Papoutsis expressed his concern that the bill would create big and serious problems for the European oil industry when implemented.

    Mr Papoutsis said that oil and gas reserves in Iran and Libya would, in the long run, be influenced as new investments in the two countries and deliveries of technical equipment for the oil industry are covered in the Bill and added that any action which influences world oil market, which is a global market, should be the result of a concerted international approach.

    Meanwhile, Sir Leon Brittan, Vice-President of the European Commission stated that the European Union fully supports the determination of the United States to combat terrorism in all its forms and whatever its source and shares American shock at recent incidents that, whether attributed directly to terrorism or not, have undermined the sense of security of innocent people within America and outside.

    Nevertheless,Sir Leon Britan said that the European union doesn't believe that he d'Amato law goes in the right direction and added that it establishes the unwelcome principle that one country can dictate the foreign policy of others, and disturbs the unity of purpose between allies that is so necessary if we are to stamp out terrorism successfully together.

    European Union's vice-president said also that the EU has already said it will act to defend its rights and interests if they are jeopardised by this legislation.

    [20] IBM-MERCEDES TO WORK TOGETHER ON ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS FOR CARS

    Mercedes-Benz AG and International Business Machines Corp. announced their cooperation on future electronics products for Mercedes vehicles

    IBM already supplies some components for electronics in Mercedes cars and trucks and the new arrangement will give IBM a broader role in designing internal data systems for vehicles.

    IBM and Mercedes said Monday they would try to develop an overall system that can monitor all the functions, aiming to save money through fewer components and a computer that may eventually connect a car to broader computer networks, including those that deliver traffic and business information, even electronic mail.

    [21] BRITISH AIRWAYS POSTS 11% RISE IN ITS PROFITS

    the pretax profit of British Airways PLC (BA) for the first quarter of the year rose to 11% the company's officials reported.

    The rise was partially due to improved contributions from its global alliance said the company's officials.

    BA's chairman Sir Colin Marshall said in a press statement that the outlook for the airline industry in general and for British Airways remains encouraging and added that this will be another record year for the industry.

    [22] EU TO PROVIDE 15.8 MECU TO DUBLIN AND CORK FOR URBAN REGENERATION

    Irish cities of Dublin and Cork are to receive ECU 15.8 million from the EU's Structural Funds for the regeneration of urban areas.

    The aid comes under the Community initiative URBAN and is designed to tackle the effects of severe deprivation in the areas of Ballymun and West Tallaght/Clondalkin in the city of Dublin and the Northside of Cork.

    Altogether, these programmes will help to create 200 jobs and contribute toward the training of another 500 people.


    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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