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Macedonian Press Agency News In English (96-10-23)

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

Macedonian Press Agency News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, October 23, 1996


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PRIME MINISTER TO ATTEND MOSCOW CONFERENCE OF BLACK SEA COUNTRIES

  • [02] PREMIER TO ATTEND EUROPEAN SOCIALIST LEADERS MEETING IN HUNGARY

  • [03] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS MET WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

  • [04] THE GREEK PRESIDENT COMPLETED HIS FORMAL VISIT TO POLAND

  • [05] GREECE DOES NOT WANT TENSION IN THE AEGEAN, SAYS DIMITRIS REPPAS

  • [06] GREECE IS ABLE TO FACE IN AN EFFECTIVE WAY THE HOT INCIDENT TURKEY WANTS, STATED THE GREEK DEFENCE MINISTER

  • [07] THE ND LEADER ANNOUNCED THAT THE PARTY CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD IN JUNE

  • [08] SAE PRESIDENT CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION OF TURKEY

  • [09] TVX GOLD TO STAY, AGREEMENT REACHED WITH LOCALS

  • [10] OTE INCREASES LOCAL RATES, LOWERS LONG DISTANCE

  • [11] EGNATIA ROUTE STUDIES TO BE READY BY SUMMER, SAYS ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

  • [12] WORLD HELLENISM COUNCIL OF AMERICA TO PROMOTE GREEK INVESTMENTS


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] BULGARIA TO HOLD PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ON SUNDAY

  • [14] THERE IS NO REACTION ON BEHALF OF THE MILITARY LEADERSHIP ON THE ISSUE OF DISENGAGEMENT, STATED THE CYPRIOT MINISTER OF DEFENCE

  • [15] THE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT'S LETTER TO DENKTASH ON THE KILLINGS OF UNARMED GREEK-CYPRIOTS WILL BE SENT TOMORROW TO THE POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS FOR REMARKS

  • [16] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE CHARACTERIZED AS WARM THE CONTACTS MR.VARTHOLOMEOS HAD IN BULGARIA

  • [17] MEETING OF THE BALKAN RAILWAY NETWORKS GENERAL DIRECTORS IS BEING HELD IN THESSALONIKI

  • [18] THE LEADER OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS UNION PARTY IN ALBANIA ACCEPTS THE RESULTS OF THE OCTOBER 20th ELECTIONS

  • [19] GREEK AND TURKISH BUSINESSMEN WILL MEET IN ATHENS ON DECEMBER 9


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PRIME MINISTER TO ATTEND MOSCOW CONFERENCE OF BLACK SEA COUNTRIES

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will depart for Moscow tomorrow in order to participate at the summit meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) countries.

    The Premier will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and a delegation of officials from the Foreign and National Economy ministries.

    Present at this summit meeting will be the presidents or premiers of BSEC's 11 countries-members which are Russia, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, the Ukraine, Georgia, Moldavia, Armenia, Albania and Azerbaijan.

    The "11" are expected to sign a manifesto which will confirm their intent to deepen cooperation among them, especially in the economic sector.

    The two basic issues of concern to BSEC are, first, to what degree must priority be given to cooperation among the countries- members and, second, if and when must BSEC be established into an international organization.

    Greece supports that the strengthening and intensification of the already-existing economic cooperation within BSEC must be given priority status. Moreover, both for BSEC's expansion and its transformation into an international organization, the greek side proposed that a task group be formed in order to study the relevant consequences prior to undertaking any decision.

    Siding with the greek proposals are Bulgaria, the Ukraine and Armenia, which have submitted, along with Greece, a relevant proposal to be discussed in Moscow. Also, Greece would be willing to consent to BSEC's expansion if Cyprus was included among other countries, a proposal which has met Turkey's opposition. Currently, Cyprus has observer status in the BSEC.

    Two other issues are expected to be tabled in Moscow from the greek side. First, the Bank of Commerce and Development of the Black Sea, based in Thessaloniki, whose first President would be Mr. Volkan, Turkish Foreign Minsiter Tansu Ciller's advisor, and second, the International Center of Studies of the Black Sea which will be permanently established in Athens.

    [02] PREMIER TO ATTEND EUROPEAN SOCIALIST LEADERS MEETING IN HUNGARY

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and Defense Minister (also European Socialist Party Deputy President) Akis Tsohatzopoulos will represent Greece's ruling PASOK party at the European Socialist Leaders' meeting to be held this weekend in Budapest.

    Socialist parties from European Union member-states will meet in Hungary with socialists from eastern European countries for the first time to discuss developments in the EU and the issue of its expansion.

    [03] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS MET WITH THE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF YUGOSLAVIA

    Greek Prime Minister, Kostas Simitis met in Athens today with President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Zoran Lilic who requested the meeting with the greek Premier, while being on his way to Belgrade.

    According to diplomatic sources, during the meeting that lasted about 45 minutes, the excellent relations between the two countries were affirmed and were discussed bilateral issues, particularly issues of economic cooperation.

    The same sources mentioned that mr.Lilic delivered an invitation to the greek Prime Minister to visit Belgrade.

    [04] THE GREEK PRESIDENT COMPLETED HIS FORMAL VISIT TO POLAND

    Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos completed his formal visit to Poland. The greek President was accompanied by deputy Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    This morning mr.Stephanopoulos visited the nazi concentration camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau paying tribute to the memory of the victims of the nazi atrocities during WWII.

    In Auschwitz, the greek President laid a wreath at the so- called "wall of death" stating characteristically, "we bow to the shadows of the innocent victims that suffered in those concentration camps".

    [05] GREECE DOES NOT WANT TENSION IN THE AEGEAN, SAYS DIMITRIS REPPAS

    "The Greek government does not wish for tension in the Aegean and within this framework, it had agreed this summer to avoid military drills in the Aegean, while for the remainder of the year, it will see to it that the military exercises in the Aegean will be performed in accordance with International Law and international accords," stated the Minister of Press and Media Dimitris Reppas today.

    Commenting on the statements made by the State Department spokesperson Nicholas Burns who spoke of "questioned-status" islets in the Aegean, Mr. Reppas stated that "we wish to hold onto the positive characteristics of the statements made by United States President Bill Clinton.

    "Beyond that," he added, "we take note of the contradictory statements made by various people. And of course, we are concerned when for 22 years the wall of shame in Cyprus is continued and when international accords are violated by Turkey."

    Mr. Reppas asked the international community to advise Turkey to uphold international principles and laws and noted that it is Turkey which ought to actively prove its respect to the International Law by changing its behavior.

    [06] GREECE IS ABLE TO FACE IN AN EFFECTIVE WAY THE HOT INCIDENT TURKEY WANTS, STATED THE GREEK DEFENCE MINISTER

    Greek Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos speaking in the Army Officers' Club in the city of Didimoticho in north-eastern Greece, stated that Greece is able to face in an effective way the hot incident Turkey wants in order to change the existing status quo.

    Mr.Tsohatzopoulos accused Turkey of escalating its provocativeness in the Aegean, of disputing the status quo and international treaties, mainly the Treaty of Lausanne, and also of promoting a tactic of coercive diplomacy asking for negotiations.

    Mr.Tsohatzopoulos also pointed out that he regards as necessary the new armaments programme for the greek armed forces and promised to table in Parliament the draft bill concerning the army officers' wages, conscription and the all-people defence programme.

    The Minister of Defence visited military outposts at the borders along Evros River, talked with soldiers and had contacts with officers of the 12th and the 16th Infantry Divisions.

    [07] THE ND LEADER ANNOUNCED THAT THE PARTY CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD IN JUNE

    New Democracy leader, Miltiadis Evert speaking in the first meeting of the party Central Committee announced that the ND party Conference will be held in June. He said that the Conference is imperative for the party in order to be more effective in its mission in the opposition.

    Mr.Evert made an appeal for unity and stressed that the Conference will be held based on the party's charter and not on personal wishes, while he also made known that there will be no in- party elections prior to the Conference.

    Mr. Evert denied press information concerning the likelihood of Political Spring party leader, Antonis Samaras' cooperation with New Democracy but emphasized that his party has its doors open for everyone accepting its principles and positions.

    [08] SAE PRESIDENT CALLS FOR INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION OF TURKEY

    The President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Andrew Athens has called on all the greek-origin leaders throughout the world to unite in order to achieve the international condemnation of the turkish policy.

    According to Mr. Athens, the initial reactions expressed from the United States, Great Britain and other countries and organizations, such as the European Union and the United Nations peacekeeping forces, in the repeated criminal acts committed by turkish soldiers in the recent months, have been sufficiently strong.

    "Yet," Mr. Athens, added, "the international community must understand that such acts will continue until the time comes when the strong powers stop Turkey. The countries that have openly expressed their opposition to the murders in Cyprus must act against Turkey now so that we will not have similar tragedies in the future."

    [09] TVX GOLD TO STAY, AGREEMENT REACHED WITH LOCALS

    An agreement has been brokered by a government delegation on the dispute between the Canadian gold processing firm TVX-Gold and local residents who are opposed to the establishment of the plant in the Olympiada and Varvara villages of Halkidiki in northern Greece.

    Press and Media Minister Dimitris Reppas stated that "the Government will keep its promise to protect the environment."

    Yesterday, a government delegation reached an agreement with the locals that the plant will be located as far as possible from the administrative limits of the Olympiada and Varvara villages. The local residents had blockaded for ten months the road that leads to the mines, fearing that the gold mining plant would damage the environment and hurt the local tourism.

    Last week the company had threatened to pull out of the 64 billion drachma investment by yesterday if the protests did not end.

    [10] OTE INCREASES LOCAL RATES, LOWERS LONG DISTANCE

    In an effort to balance rates and gradually adjust them to cost, which is required by law, the Greek Telecommunications Organization (OTE) has decided on a 4.7 per cent average increase in its services, to be effective of January 1, 1997.

    According to company officials, the increase was dictated by the need to modernize OTE, improve its services and boost its competitiveness. This increase is expected to boost OTE's revenues by an additional GRD 22.5 billion.

    These new rates include an increase for city calls from 10.2 to 11.5 drachmas per three minutes, and a 1.78 reduction for long- distance calls.

    Calls to the United States, Canada and Australia will be reduced by 18 per cent, while calls to the rest of Europe will rise by seven per cent. Specifically, calls to the U.S. and Japan, which are now among the most expensive at 245 drachmas per minute, will drop to 200 GRD a minute.

    [11] EGNATIA ROUTE STUDIES TO BE READY BY SUMMER, SAYS ENVIRONMENT MINISTER

    In an effort to dig up funds needed to complete the Egnatia Route project, the Government is closely considering the option of joint ventures in conjunction with privately-contracted assignments, according to the Minister of Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Kostas Laliotis.

    Mr. Laliotis stated that the construction of Egnatia's as-of- yet unfunded 135 kms could be promoted through contracted assignments in the axis of Patras-Athens-Thessaloniki-Greek- Bulgarian border.

    The Minister categorically stated that the studies for the total project will be completed by the following summer and eight new construction bases will be established by then. Moreover, Mr. Laliotis stated that by the end of 1997, 30 projects will be under construction, covering a total of 270 kms.

    The Egnatia Route mammoth-project encompasses a total of 680 kms, of which 122 have already been constructed.

    [12] WORLD HELLENISM COUNCIL OF AMERICA TO PROMOTE GREEK INVESTMENTS

    The American chapter of the world Hellenism Council has embarked on a program that aims to develop and support greek businesses and investments in the Greek communities abroad and in Greece.

    America's SAE President Christos Tomaras stated that the Committee of Business and Investment Issues has already began work on short- and long-term projects.

    "Hellenism must show that it can count with any given weights and measures, and in the times ahead, these weights and measures are, for the majority, economic," Mr. Tomaras said, adding that the greek communities abroad must show that they possess a powerfully organized economic power since it determines the developments in most areas.

    Among the activities to be pursued by the Committee will be the provision of information in the Internet, an on-line forum of communication between businessmen, special reports, etc.

    SAE's net page can be reached on http://www.saeamerica.org/ begining on November 1, 1996.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [13] BULGARIA TO HOLD PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION ON SUNDAY

    With a formidable economic crisis plaguing the country and the shadow of former Premier Andrei Loukanov's recent assassination casting over, Bulgaria will hold its presidential elections this Sunday under draconean measures.

    Four tandems will compete in Bulgaria's presidential elections, the second after the country's democratic change which started in 1989 and, perhaps, the most critical in its modern history. These are the candidates of the Democratic Left (BSP), the United Opposition (UDF) the Bulgarian Business Bloc and the Civil Rally for the Republic.

    The up-to-date polls give a clear lead to the 44-year-old Peter Stoyanov, nominee of the centrist United Democratic Forces and the pro-Turkey Movement of Rights and Freedoms. Not far behind is Ivan Marazov, Minister of Culture in the current Socialist Cabinet under the leadership of Premier Jean Videnov.

    While Stoyanov's conservative, right-wing tandem looks forward to an avalanche victory, confident of garnering over 50% of the votes, many analysts assess that the race will enter a critical stage during run-offs, given the fact that aside from these two candidates, 11 others covet the presidential seat, of whom three or four are expected to gather impressive rates.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Marazov stated that "we will be the sure winners in the second round, along with all the coalition candidates, expect Stoyanov, who come from the center-left and who, of course, will not want to contribute to the election of a president of the right wing, which, with its 'shock' policy, drove Bulgaria into today's economic crisis."

    Mr. Stoyanov's way to the presidential nomination was not smooth. He was nominated for President during a United Democratic Forces conference last March by a secret ballot. The Popular Union coalition nominated the incumbent President Zhelyu Zelev for another term in office. In the primaries of June 1, 1996, Mr. Stoyanov garnered 574,636 votes and Mr. Zhelev 295,089. After claiming that Stoyanov's victory was a "big manipulation", Mr. Zhelev stated that he would not be among the candidates on October 27.

    Mr. Marazov was nominated by the BSP when the Supreme Court and the Central Election Commission of Bulgaria refused registration from the Foreign Minister Georgi Pirinski since they considered him ineligible to sumbit nomination for failure to meet the constitutional requirement of being a natural-born Bulgarian. Mr. Pirinski was born in New York in 1948. His Bulgarian father had left Bulgaria for political reasons. Speculations abound that Mr. Pirisnki's disqualification was a matter of legal manipulation. Although the law on the Election of President and Vice President does not bind the candidates to prove that they are natural-born Bulgarians, the Central Election Commission asked Mr. Pirinski to attach a certificate of Bulgarian Citizenship.

    Aside the two strong candidates, Stoyanov and Marazov, a high number of votes is expected to flow over to George Ganchev, candidate of the Bulgarian Business Bloc, and Alexander Tomov, leader of the Civil Rally for the Republic, the third and fourth strong names in the presidential battle, respectively.

    The so-called "battle" in the presidential race began approximately one month ago, when Mr. Pirinski's candidature was challenged as ineligible because of his place of birth and his replacement followed by Professor Marazov. Until then, all public opinion polls showed that Pirinski had a lead over Stoyanov by six- seven points and was considered to be a sure-winner. A few days after the official announcement of Marazov's candidature, Stoyanov appeared to have the lead over his opponent by 17 per cent, although this rate is presented as shrinking continuously.

    Meanwhile, with a country skewering on economic, banking and social problems, coupled with a skyrocketing unemployment rate and the national currency, leva, having taken a nose-dive, Bulgaria appears to be in for harder times ahead.

    [14] THERE IS NO REACTION ON BEHALF OF THE MILITARY LEADERSHIP ON THE ISSUE OF DISENGAGEMENT, STATED THE CYPRIOT MINISTER OF DEFENCE

    The United Nations are expected this week to call the Chiefs of Staff of the National Guard and the turkish occupation forces for consultations on the military dialogue, stated cypriot Minister of Defence, Kostas Eliadis.

    Mr.Eliadis also stressed that there is no reaction on behalf of the military leadership on the issue of disengagement, adding that there are reservations and proposals on the position that will be adopted by Cyprus.

    The cypriot Minister of Defence stated that the military leadership has an obligation to express its views in order for political decisions to be reached, while referring to the issue of Greece's armaments programme stated that those decisions are being made by the greek government in relation to Cyprus' armaments programme within the framework of the course of the implementation of the joint defence doctrine.

    [15] THE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT'S LETTER TO DENKTASH ON THE KILLINGS OF UNARMED GREEK-CYPRIOTS WILL BE SENT TOMORROW TO THE POLITICAL PARTY LEADERS FOR REMARKS

    The letter of cypriot President Glafkos Kliridis to Rauf Denktash on the recent killings of unarmed greek-cypriots and other issues concerning the Cyprus problem will be sent tomorrow to political party leaders for remarks, stated cypriot government spokesman Yiannakis Kasoulidis.

    Mr.Kasoulidis also mentioned that the National Council will meet on November 1 to study the new developments in the Cyprus problem.

    Responding to questions made by reporters, mr.Kasoulidis stated that Cyprus' appeal to the UN Security Council is a remote possibility. The cypriot government spokesman also added that the contacts mr.Kliridis had with the political party leaders have helped him to form the position that he will follow but a final decision will be made during the imminent National Council meeting.

    [16] THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE CHARACTERIZED AS WARM THE CONTACTS MR.VARTHOLOMEOS HAD IN BULGARIA

    The contacts Ecumenical Patriarch, Vartholomeos had with Patriarch of Bulgaria, Maximos, Prime Minister Jan Videnov and the President of the bulgarian Parliament are characterized as warm in an Ecumenical Patriarchate press release. Those meetings were held during the recent visit made by mr.Vartholomeos to Sofia on the occasion of the 1.050th anniversary of the death of St.John of Rila.

    A special emphasis is given to the close relations between the Ecumenical Throne and the Church of Bulgaria as those were repeatedly stressed by mr.Vartholomeos in the references he made to the life and work of St.John of Rila. In the press release is characteristically mentioned that the unity and cooperation among the Orthodox Christians can contribute a lot to the consolidation of peace, justice and democracy as well as, to the region's stability and the european unification.

    Also, are being mentioned the references made by the Ecumenical Patriarch to the brotherly spiritual ties, as he described them, that exist between the bulgarian and the greek peoples.

    [17] MEETING OF THE BALKAN RAILWAY NETWORKS GENERAL DIRECTORS IS BEING HELD IN THESSALONIKI

    A two-day meeting of the Balkan Railway Networks' General Directors opened in Thessaloniki today with the participation of representatives from the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, FYROM, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.

    In the meeting, that is presided over by the Greek Railway Organization, decisions are expected to be reached on the expansion of traffic corridors, the creation of railway axis to Greece via Yugoslavia, technical issues that will make travelling through border crossings easier and issues concerning the railway networks cooperation within the framework of international organizations.

    [18] THE LEADER OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS UNION PARTY IN ALBANIA ACCEPTS THE RESULTS OF THE OCTOBER 20th ELECTIONS

    The low percentage of votes won by the Human Rights Union party in the October 20th local elections in Albania is attributed by the party's leader Vasilis Melios to the fact that the members of the greek minority in the country, who live and work in Greece, did not turn out to vote.

    The election outcome had as a result for the party to lose the municipalities of Argyrokastro, Delvino and Agii Saranta, where there is a large number of registered voters, members of the greek minority.

    In an interview to MPA, mr.Melios characterized the October 20th elections as acceptable and stated that there was a clear improvement in the way they were held compared to the parliamentary elections of March 26. He said characteristically that one can not say that the elections were completely free and democratic but nevertheless, they are acceptable.

    [19] GREEK AND TURKISH BUSINESSMEN WILL MEET IN ATHENS ON DECEMBER 9

    Greek and turkish businessmen are trying to establish between their countries the friendship politicians were unable to achieve, according to an article published by the turkish newspaper "Hurriyet" on the Turkish-Greek Business Council meeting held in Constantinople.

    During the meeting the greek businessmen invited their turkish colleagues to visit Athens on December 9. The turkish businessmen characterized the greek proposal as a pleasant surprise made in a period of tensions in the greek-turkish relations.

    In the meeting that began two days ago was decided the forming of a committee for the improvement of greek-turkish relations in the business world whish also will examine the economic cooperation potential. President of the committee will be the Turkish-Greek Business Council vice-President, Selim Egeli.


    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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