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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 97-11-10

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, 10 November 1997


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GOVERNMENT TO FINALIZE FISCAL POLICY ON WEDNESDAY

  • [02] EPISODES AT TVX GOLD MINE YESTERDAY, FIVE LOCAL OFFICIALS ARRESTED

  • [03] THE MAIN GREEK LABOR UNION DISCUSSED THE SOCIAL DIALOGUE

  • [04] ACCUSATIONS FOR EXTREME-RIGHT PRESENCE IN THE GREEK POLICE WERE MADE BY A PARLIAMENT DEPUTY OF PASOK

  • [05] PRO-JUNTA ACTIONS REPORTED IN POLICE FORCE, INVESTIGATION ORDERED


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [06] US PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY RICHARD HOLBROOKE IN CYPRUS TODAY

  • [07] HOLBROOKE SPEAKS TO “THE WASHINGTON POST” ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE

  • [08] EUROPEAN UNION’S FOREIGN MINISTERS TO CONVENE IN BRUSSELS TODAY

  • [09] TURKISH FM MEETS WITH RAUF DENKTASH AT CYPRUS’ OCCUPIED REGION

  • [10] REPPAS: THE MOBILITY AIMED AT THE SOLUTION OF THE CYPRUS PROBLEM CONTINUES

  • [11] 350.000 SIGNATURES FOR THE TEACHING OF THE GREEK LANGUAGE IN THE EUROPEAN SCHOOLS

  • [12] THE GREEK MERCHANT MARINE IS THE “KEY” FOR THE STRENGTHENING OF RELATIONS WITH JAPAN

  • [13] HALBROOKE-CLERIDES-DENKTASH MEETING

  • [14] A TURKISH CYPRIOT REGIME “MINISTER” IS WANTED FOR THE KILLING OF A GREEK CYPRIOT

  • [15] THE EU IS DISPLEASED WITH THE TURKISH STANCE

  • [16] TENSION IN THE PERSIAN GULF

  • [17] EU: POSITIVE MESSAGE TO ALBANIA

  • [18] MPA ORGANIZES THE JOURNALISTIC CONFERENCE “EUROPE AND THE MASS MEDIA: OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE”

  • [19] INFLATION IN BULGARIA REACHED 565,2%

  • [20] INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISTIC CONFERENCE TO BE HELD BY M.P.A.

  • [21] HOLBROOKE IN CYPRUS, TO MEET WITH CLERIDES AND DENKTASH

  • [22] GREEK POLICEMEN EXPRESS SOLIDARITY TO BULGARIAN COUNTERPARTS

  • [23] EUROPE SEES ALBANIA’S ECONOMY WITH A POSITIVE EYE

  • [24] F.R.Y. PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TRAVELS TO CHINA ON THURSDAY


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GOVERNMENT TO FINALIZE FISCAL POLICY ON WEDNESDAY

    The state budget is expected to be approved on Wednesday by the governmental committee which has unanimously approved the budget’s main points, as they have been submitted by the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou.

    According to Mr. Papantoniou, 1998’s tight fiscal policy is in line with the European Union’s convergence program.

    The committee is to decide on salary increases and pensions, as well as tax breaks. A.F.

    [02] EPISODES AT TVX GOLD MINE YESTERDAY, FIVE LOCAL OFFICIALS ARRESTED

    Five community leaders have been arrested at Halkidiki’s Olympiada region, on charges of aiding and abetting yesterday’s episodes when a large group of irate locals clashed with police, after trying to blockade a drilling operation conducted by the area’s gold mining company TVX Gold.

    The drilling was to be conducted under the watch of a strong police force but the opposing locals, about 1,500 of them, formed a ring around the premises in an effort to obstruct the operation. The SWAT team used tear gas against the protesters when they began overturning police vehicles and throwing stones against the policemen.

    The project, operated by TVX Gold Hellas, an affiliate of the Canadian mining company TVX Gold Inc., has been in the eye of the storm for a long time now as a select group of local residents is opposed to the mining operation fearing that it will result in environmental pollution and a drop in tourism.

    The Prefect of Hallkidiki Vasilios Vasilakis told the MPA “the matter should not have come to this. I had repeatedly appealed to both the company (TVX) and the Ministry of Development asking them to refrain from drilling for the time being since that would incite the locals. Now, with the presidents of five communities having been arrested, the locals have more reasons to be angry. The climate is uncertain and pretty bad.”

    TVX officials state that these episodes threaten the suspension of what is Greece’s largest project in the past three decades, that is a whooping 270-billion-dollar investment. According to the company’s spokesperson, Stelios Samaras, “we’re waiting for the relevant authorities to act before we draw our decidions and proceed to the relevant measures.” Mr. Samaras added that the damage caused to the plant’s facilities is quite extensive.

    The president of the Olympiada community Stavros Stoitsas, who is among those arrested, told the MPA yesterday that the locals were unjustifiably attacked by the police.

    “You don’t invest with the use of SWAT teams. They (TVX) went ahead with the drilling instead of conducting studies,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the local residents are to soon proceed to various types of mobilizations, while at the community of Asprovalta, whose president has been arrested, the schools remained closed.

    Not all locals are opposed to the plant’s operation. The local laborers‘ association is in favor of the gold processing since they say that it will promote the region’s much-desired development. Last year, hundreds of local workers and residents took part in a march held in support of the project.

    TVX Gold foresees that the Olympiada project will triple the area’s gold output to 1.2 million ounces by next year. The company bought the two mines in the peninsula of Halkidiki in December of 1995 for 11 billion dollars following an international call for tender.

    According to the environmental impact study reports published by TVX Gold, the project is environmentally sound as it will employ modern technology to process the gold. A.F.

    [03] THE MAIN GREEK LABOR UNION DISCUSSED THE SOCIAL DIALOGUE

    A government meeting on the course of social dialogue was held under the presidency of Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou.

    A discussion on the social dialogue was also held by the Greek General Confederation of Labor. Its President, mr.Polizogopoulos, underlined the significant conquests made by the confederation but pointed out that the efforts to safeguard the rights of the workers should intensify.

    The opposition, within the confederation, has expressed objections and requested that the dialogue should not end today but after the budget’s presentation in Parliament.

    [04] ACCUSATIONS FOR EXTREME-RIGHT PRESENCE IN THE GREEK POLICE WERE MADE BY A PARLIAMENT DEPUTY OF PASOK

    Governing Socialist party of PASOK Parliament deputy Paraskevas Paraskevopoulos has tabled a question in Parliament that will be discussed in the following days on the activities of extreme right and pro-junta organizations within the special police forces in Thessaloniki.

    Mr.Paraskevopoulos maintains that the incidents that took place in Thessaloniki on October 30 during the conference on Ataturk and Venizelos were caused by members of nationalist and extreme right organizations with the tolerance of members of the special police forces who have pro-junta sentiments.

    On the revelations made today by the newspaper “Eleftherotypia”, according to which, a video tape shows special forces’ officers in a gathering singing songs dated back to the junta times, firing shots in the air and wearing symbols of the junta, the PASOK deputy stated that there are more evidence that are already at the disposal of the Minister of Public Order, who has ordered a special internal investigation on the issue.

    [05] PRO-JUNTA ACTIONS REPORTED IN POLICE FORCE, INVESTIGATION ORDERED

    Public Order Minister, George Romeos, has ordered an inside investigation after the charges of the State Council deputy of PASOK, Paraskevas Paraskevopoulos, against the action of ultra- right-wing followers and pro-junta organizations within the special forces of the police force of Thessaloniki.

    Responding to a question concerning a video-document, which is being published today by a Greek daily and shows officers of the special forces during a celebration amusing themselves with pro-junta songs, firing in the air and wearing junta symbols on their hats, Mr. Paraskevopoulos stressed that there additional documents that are currently at the disposal of the Public Order Minister.

    E.K.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [06] US PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY RICHARD HOLBROOKE IN CYPRUS TODAY

    The United States presidential envoy to Cyprus Richard Holbrooke is currently in Nicosia where he will have separate meetings with Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish- Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Mgrs. Clerides and Denktash are to also meet informally together with Mr. Holbrooke tomorrow. Also, the special coordinator for the Cyprus issue Toni Miller is currently in Cyprus where he will be received by President Clerides.

    Following his stay in Cyprus, Mr. Holbrooke will travel to Brussels where he will meet with European Commissioner Hans Van Den Broek while he may also travel to Moscow for the matter of the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles the Russian government has sold to Cyprus. A.F.

    [07] HOLBROOKE SPEAKS TO “THE WASHINGTON POST” ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE

    Shortly before he departed for Cyprus where he is to meet with the Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides, the United States Presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke told the US daily “The Washington Post” that he is “neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but I do believe in creating opportunities. ”

    In the article, Mr. Holbrooke saluted the recently-held meeting between the premiers of Greece and Turkey, Mgrs. Kostas Simitis and Mesut Yilmaz respectively, as one such opportunity, stating that “following months of deteriorating ties, the two Premiers, along with other leaders, vowed to work together in order to create the conditions in their regions that will promote welfare within the framework of peace, security, good neighborliness and stability.”

    The newspaper characterizes Mr. Holbrooke’s visit to the island as the most intense effort exerted by the Clinton Administration for resolving the issue. Mr. Holbrooke is expected to focus his pressure on the negotiations for Cyprus’s accession to the European Union.

    Mr. Holbrooke has repeatedly stated that resolving the Cyprus issue will reduce the tension between Greece and Turkey, while the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has stated that Washington cannot ignore the issue, since “the island is a hotbed that threatens significant strategic interests of the United States in the region, such as NATO’s expansion and stability in the Balkans. A.F.

    [08] EUROPEAN UNION’S FOREIGN MINISTERS TO CONVENE IN BRUSSELS TODAY

    The Foreign Ministers of the European Union’s 15 member- states are to convene in Brussels today in order to examine the future of the Community’s relations with Turkey.

    The officials are to closely examine Turkey’s ties with the EU following the European Commissioner Hans Van Den Broek’s recent visit to Ankara.

    The European Commission had provided Turkey with specific proposals last summer, in regards to supporting the customs union, the development of cooperation in the services sector, to which Greece -along with other countries- is opposed, developments of telecommunications and the information society, as well as the liberalization of agricultural product imports-exports.

    According to a high-ranking official from the Luxembourg-held EU Presidency, the agricultural products import-export sector is a sore point since many countries are unsure of their cooperation prospects with Turkey. These hurdles, as well as the issue of application and maintenance of human rights in Turkey, are to be discussed by the Foreign Ministers in light of the EU-Turkey Association Council meeting to be held on November 24.

    However, sources in Brussels say that it is doubtful that the Council meeting will be held since the Ministers are to decide on November 24 if it will actually take place or if the Turkish Foreign Minister will merely be invited to attend that day’s formal dinner during which they will discuss the Turkey-EU related issues.

    Greece is to be represented today by Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos who will brief his allies on the results of the meeting held between Mr. Simitis and Mr. Yilmaz, as well as on the overall results of the Inter-Balkan Summit conference held recently in Crete. A.F.

    [09] TURKISH FM MEETS WITH RAUF DENKTASH AT CYPRUS’ OCCUPIED REGION

    Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ismael Cem met with the leader of the Turkish-Cypriots Rauf Denktash at Cyprus’s occupied region yesterday.

    The two men re-confirmed the Demirel-Denktash declaration concerning the integration of the island’s occupied part to Turkey.

    Mr. Cem arrived at Cyprus yesterday accompanied by the Turkish Minster of Presidency, responsible for Cyprus-related matters Sonkru Giurel. A.F.

    [10] REPPAS: THE MOBILITY AIMED AT THE SOLUTION OF THE CYPRUS PROBLEM CONTINUES

    The belief that the mobility for a permanent, viable, effective and fair solution of the Cyprus problem will continue, was expressed by Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, commenting on the visit to Cyprus by US presidential envoy Richard Halbrooke.

    Referring to the recent statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, he pointed out that mr.Cem is moving to the wrong direction because the Turkish Cypriot regime has been recognized only by Turkey and no other country.

    Also, mr.Reppas reminded that Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides agrees to discuss the way in which the Turkish Cypriots will participate in the Cypriot delegation that will negotiate Cyprus’ accession into the EU but he is met with many negative reactions on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot side which lead to its isolation.

    [11] 350.000 SIGNATURES FOR THE TEACHING OF THE GREEK LANGUAGE IN THE EUROPEAN SCHOOLS

    A list with 350.000 signatures of Greek citizens, who support the teaching of the Greek language in all levels of education in the EU member-states, was delivered today to vice-president of the Greek Parliament Panagiotis Kritikos.

    The list was delivered by a delegation of the organizing committee for the support of the mentioned above proposal, which was submitted to the European Parliament by a group of Spanish Euro-deputies.

    [12] THE GREEK MERCHANT MARINE IS THE “KEY” FOR THE STRENGTHENING OF RELATIONS WITH JAPAN

    Greece can play a significant role in the Japanese transit trade in Europe by exploiting its strong merchant marine and the business interest of this Asian country in the Balkan markets.

    Greece’s formal participation in the international fair “Sea Japan” and the creation of a joint Greek-Japanese Chamber of Shipping are expected to give a new boost to the activities of the Greek merchant marine in Japan. It should be noted, that according to the consulate harbour-master in Tokyo, 9 ships under Greek flag were built in Japan in 1996, six cargo ships and three oil- tankers.

    [13] HALBROOKE-CLERIDES-DENKTASH MEETING

    US presidential envoy Richard Halbrooke will have crucial talks in Cyprus this evening. The US official will have separate meetings with Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. A joint meeting with both leaders will be held in “Lydra Palace” tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, special coordinator for Cyprus, mr.Miller met with President Clerides in Nicosia this morning.

    [14] A TURKISH CYPRIOT REGIME “MINISTER” IS WANTED FOR THE KILLING OF A GREEK CYPRIOT

    The alleged “minister of agriculture” of the Turkish Cypriot regime, Kenan Akin, is wanted by the Interpol as the killer of the Greek Cypriot hero Solomos Solomou, who was shot in cold blood at the barricade of Derynia in August 1996.

    According to the Turkish newspaper “Sabah”, the Turkish Cypriot is wanted because the authorities of the Cypriot Republic have identified him as the one who shot the young Greek Cypriot in cold blood.

    The newspaper has published statements made by Akin according to which, he does not admit his guilt and maintains that he was not the one who fired against the victim, even though he characterizes the shooting as a “honorable act”.

    [15] THE EU IS DISPLEASED WITH THE TURKISH STANCE

    Turkish journalist Mehmet Ali Birad mentions in an article published in the Turkish newspaper “Sabah” that there is widespread discontent among most EU countries against Turkey.

    Conveying his impressions from a conference that was held in Luxembourg, which is currently holding the EU rotating presidency, mr.Birad underlines that the overall climate in Europe, especially concerning the Cyprus issue, is that a small island is under the Turkish occupation and that this situation must change, adding that Cyprus must be reunited under one flag and become an EU member. Mr.Birad also points out that Turkey does not play well the game in Cyprus and is now in isolation.

    [16] TENSION IN THE PERSIAN GULF

    Tension continues in the Persian Gulf as a result of the statements made by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, who warned that the US airplanes that will fly over his country will be shot down.

    US airplanes flew over Iraq at a high altitude this morning and an Iraqi military spokesman stated that his country’s armed forces are in a state of preparedness.

    [17] EU: POSITIVE MESSAGE TO ALBANIA

    The European organizations sent positive messages to the Albanian government under the pre-condition that Tirana will fulfill the economic and political pledges it has undertaken toward the EU, the OSCE and the Council of Europe.

    Ms.van der Laan, spokeswoman of EU Commissioner Hans van den Broek stated to MPA, that Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano has set priorities that move toward the right direction with the support of the EU. The focal point of the European efforts is the establishment of a climate of “political reconciliation”, while the immediate European initiatives include the building of new schools and prisons as well as, the offering of assistance for the reorganization of the Albanian police.

    [18] MPA ORGANIZES THE JOURNALISTIC CONFERENCE “EUROPE AND THE MASS MEDIA: OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE”

    One of the most significant international journalistic conferences held in Greece in recent years and possibly the only one that deals with cultural issues, is organized by MPA in cooperation with the Organization Thessaloniki Cultural Capital of Europe for 1997 that will take place on November 24 and 25.

    The European Journalistic Conference on “Europe and the Mass Media: Our Cultural Heritage” will be attended by general directors, editors-in-chief, and executive officials of 100 mass media from 34 European countries, and also by distinguished personalities in the press, radio and television. The official opening of the conference will be made on November 24 by Minister of Press and Mass Media Dimitris Reppas.

    In a press conference, MPA’s general director Spyros Kouzinopoulos stated that the conference could be characterized as one of the most significant out of a total of 90 conferences, held in Thessaloniki in 1997 within the framework of the Cultural Capital of Europe events. It is the second international journalistic conference held in Greece in the past 12 years. The first one was held by the Association of Journalists in Macedonia- Thrace in November 1985 within the framework of the events for the 2.300th anniversary of the founding of Thessaloniki.

    MPA president professor Pavlos Petridis characterized the conference as very significant event and underlined the role MPA wants to play on issues of inter-Balkan cooperation, both through the initiative for the establishment of the Association of Balkan News Agencies and the conferences it has organized. He also added that MPA has won a high place in credibility, a fact that is being confirmed through the 426.318 calls it received on the Internet last October.

    Among the conference participants are included leading personalities in the European mass media like, London Times director Peter Stothard, director of the French newspaper “Le Monde” ms.Anne Chaussebourg, the president of the Portuguese news agency “LUSA” as well as, the directors of the Russian ITAR-TASS, the Italian ANSA, the Spanish EFE and the French AFP news agencies.

    [19] INFLATION IN BULGARIA REACHED 565,2%

    Inflation reached 565,2% in Bulgaria in the period January- October 1997.

    Based on data provided by the National Statistics Agency, only the prices of certain food items fell by 0,6%, while in other goods and services has been recorded an increase in prices of 1,2% and 2,4% respectively.

    [20] INTERNATIONAL JOURNALISTIC CONFERENCE TO BE HELD BY M.P.A.

    One of the most important international journalistic conferences that has taken place in Greece during the last years, and perhaps the only one concerning cultural issues, is organized by the Macedonian Press Agency in cooperation with the Organization of Cultural Capital “Thessaloniki’ 97” on the 24th and 25th of November. General Directors, Chief Editors of one hundred mass media organizations from 34 European countries, including Greece, will participate in the conference “Europe and Mass Media : Our cultural heritage”. The General Director of MPA, Spyros Kouzinopoulos, characterized this conference as the most important of the 90 and more conferences that have been organized in Thessaloniki during 1997, given that the event will bring Thessaloniki and Macedonia into the limelight and will further propel Greece towards a unified Europe.

    E.K.

    [21] HOLBROOKE IN CYPRUS, TO MEET WITH CLERIDES AND DENKTASH

    The United States Presidential Envoy for the Cyprus issue Richard Holbrooke told the American daily “The Washington Post”, just before leaving for Cyprus, where he is to meet with the Cypriot President, Glafkos Clerides, and Turkish-Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, that he is neither optimistic nor pessimistic, but he believes in the creation of opportunities. Mr. Holbrooke stated that “one such opportunity appeared with the summit conference of the South - Eastern countries of Europe in Crete. After months of tense relations, the Premiers of Greece and Turkey, Mgrs. Kostas Simitis and Mesut Yilmaz respectively, along with other leaders vowed to work together in order to create the conditions in their regions that will promote welfare in a framework of peace, security, good neighborliness and stability.” E.K.

    [22] GREEK POLICEMEN EXPRESS SOLIDARITY TO BULGARIAN COUNTERPARTS

    The members of the Union of Greek Policemen has expressed its solidarity to their Bulgarian counterparts in regards to their efforts in modifying their country’s laws in a way that will enable the members of the police force to become public servants who get paid from their country’s Ministry of the Interior.

    According to the President of the Greek Policemen’s Union Helias Vlachogiannis, the absence of such legislation in contrary to the European law which foresees that policemen should financially independent enough so that he will be able to at least make a decent living. A.F.

    [23] EUROPE SEES ALBANIA’S ECONOMY WITH A POSITIVE EYE

    A score of European organizations are confident of the course of Albania’s economy and are willing to provide their aid in strengthening the country’s efforts, under the condition that the Nano government uphold its political and economic vows.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, the European Commissioner Hans Van den Broek’s spokesperson stated that “we think that the Albanian Premier Fatos Nano has set the right priorities and is moving in the right direction, which is why he has the support of the European Union.” A.F.

    [24] F.R.Y. PRESIDENT SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC TRAVELS TO CHINA ON THURSDAY

    The President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic is to travel to China on Thursday where he will stay for a three-day visit following the invitation issued by his Chinese counterpart Zhiang Zheming.

    This is the second time an official from the F.R. Y. travels to China, the first being when Foreign Minster Milan Milutinovic traveled there last August.

    During he course of the war in the former Yugoslavia, China maintained its ties will all of the region’s political forces but it did criticize the West for using force against the Serbs in Bosnia. The Chinese Premier Li Peng had characterized Belgrade’s foreign policy as an “independent” one. A.F.


    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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