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MPA NEWS IN ENGLISH II (22/08/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki, August, 22, 1996


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAN NEWS

  • [01] GREEK PRIME MINISTER CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS ON SEPTEMBER 22


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [02] US SENATOR ASKS FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST TURKEY FOR AGREEMENT WITH IRAN

  • [03] INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ABOUT CHILD ABUSE IN STOCKHOLM


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAN NEWS

    [01] GREEK PRIME MINISTER CALLS FOR EARLY ELECTIONS ON SEPTEMBER 22

    Greek Prime Minister mr Constantinos Simitis announced today the desicion of the cabinet, that early elections be called on September 22nd so that Greece faces,as he stressed, national, finacial and social challenges.,

    The decision of the cabinet was unanimous and was taken after a suggestion of the Prime Minister himself who according to the greek constitution has the privilige to ask for the dissolution fo the parliament and early elections.

    After a session of the cabinet which lasted for more that an hour and a half, mr Simitis, who tomorrow will visit the president of the Republic to ask for the dissolution of the parliament, said that important national and international problems of the country are on the bend and should be faced by a government with a new and strong mandate by the greek people.

    Mr Simitis characterised the next four years as a very important period for Greece so that it is not isolated in the procedure of the economic and political unification of Europe and annouced big tranformations and initiatives in the Balkans which would, as he said, ensure peace.

    Greek Prime Minister accused Turkey of exercising an offensive policy against Greece and said that a long term pre- electoral period would be destructive for the interests of the country.

    The greek constitution provides for a four-year mandate for the government which should have the confidence of the majority of the 300-seat parliament but mr Simitis said that only a government with a fresh mandate by the people will be able to make all decisions necessary for the future of the country and he expressed his conviction that PASOK will win elections.

    In a statement he made after the announcement of the early elections, the President of the main opposition party of New Democracy mr Miltiades Evert welcomed the electionsn noting that he had asked for them, doubted that there are reasons of national interest that call for early elections and characterised the Prime Minister as a liar and unreliable since for some months now, he had been committing himself to not resorting to early elections.

    Mr Evert said that early elections are due to the economic nowayouts which were created by the government and fact that the 1996 bugdet could not close and accused the government of lying, having failed, giving false promises to the greek people, aiming at imposing new taxes after the elections and cancelling the constitutional reform which would be discussed in the parliament in autumn.

    The President of the main opposition party underlined that he is sure that his party would win election and called on mr Simitis to approach the greek people through radio and tv.

    President of the minor oppostion party of Political Spring mr Antonios Samaras also accused the Prime Minister of being unreliable for the calling of early elections although he had been contradicting it.

    Mr Samaras predicted a new austerity programme after the elections while he said that the current government had the most voiceless foreign policy among all recent greek governments and added that "Spring" was optimistic on the results of the elections,since as mr Samaras said, greek people have understood that both big parties are the same.

    The Secretary General of the Communist Party (CPE) ms Aleka Paparega also expressed the optimism of her party for the elections and stressed that the CPE enters elections with a clear conscience and attributed the early elections to a decision by the greek idustry owners, the European Union and the US.

    Last general elections were held in October 1993 and the then main opposition party of PASOK under late Andreas Papandreou won 170 seats, the then governmental party of New Democracy under Constantinos Mitsotakis 111, the then newly-founded Political Spring under ex-foreign minister of the New Democracy governments, mr Antonis Samaras, 10 and the Communist Party 9.

    During the parliamentary term, one New Democracy MP moved to the Political Spring and another one, the ex-foreign minister mr Michalis Papakonstantinou, was written off the party.

    Six parties are expected to pass the 3% precondition set by the electoral law for representation in the parliament.Apart from the four already in parliament, the other two are the Coalition of the Left which in the 1993 elections received 2.94% and the Democratic Social Movement which was founded last December by once finance minister of PASOK mr Dimitris Tsovolas who appeared to be very popular inside the party before the disagreements with Andreas Papandreou started.

    Four out of the six big parties appear in front of the polls with new leaders.Current Prime Minister Constantinos Simitis replaced Andreas Papandreou in January 1996 and five months later, in June, after Andreas Papandreou's death, was elected president of the party at PASOK's fourth congress.

    In November 1993, after the defeat in the elections, former prime minister mr Constantinos Mitsotakis had resigned from the leadership of the New Democracy party and was replaced by mr Evert while a month later mr Nikos Constantopoulos replaced ms Maria Damanaki in the leadership of the Coalition.

    According to recent opinion polls, the Prime Minister, mr Constantopoulos and Mr Tsovolas enjoy very big popularities with positive opinions on them exceeding 50%.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [02] US SENATOR ASKS FOR SANCTIONS AGAINST TURKEY FOR AGREEMENT WITH IRAN

    US Senator Alfredo D' Amato in a letter he sent to president Clinton of the US asked that sanctions be imposed on Turkey for the agreement Ankara signed with Iran on natural gas last week.

    Mr D'Amato characterises the deal as "provocative to the US policy" since it was signed only a week after president Clinton had signed the legislation providing for sanctions on all companies on trade with Iran and Libya on energy.

    US Senator believes that the 23-year $20 billion agreement will give Tehran the chance to continue the support to terrorism and obtain weapons of mass destruction while he stresses that an eventuality that no sanctions are imposed on Turkey, wiil create a dangerous precedent for all companies who are on trade with Iran or Libya.

    [03] INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION ABOUT CHILD ABUSE IN STOCKHOLM

    An international convention against commercial and sexual abuse of children will be held between 27-31 August in Stocholm under the aegis of the swedish government and in co-ordination with UNICEF, the organisation "Stop child prostitution in the tourism of Asia" and the Group of Non-Governmential Organizations for the Convention of the Child's Rights.

    The convention will search for ways of action concerning law and its enforcement, the psychological and social rehabilitation of the victims, the presentation of the problem to the public and the responsibilities of the media.

    At the same time during seminars and presentations that will take place besides the convention, there will be discussions on the size of the problem and ways of preventing child abuse.

    íhe greek delegation will be headed by professor Ioannis Tsiantis, Mrs. Evd¶kia Kolponthinou-Boundoura, head of the Law preparation department of the Ministry of Justice and Mrs. Ioanna Maganara adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affaires and an expert on issues concerning Human Rights.


    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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