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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-01-09

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, 9 January 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREECE BRIEFS EU ALLIES ON TURKISH VIOLATIONS OF ITS AIR SPACE

  • [02] GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: TURKEY MAINTAINS TENSION TO MASK PROBLEMS

  • [03] FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN: SITUATION IN AEGEAN IS UNDER CONTROL

  • [04] GOVERNMENT CONFERENCE OVER THE ECONOMY HELD TODAY

  • [05] PRIME MINISTER MEETS WITH RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR IN ATHENS

  • [06] CYPRIOT FOREIGN MINISTER IN ATHENS TODAY

  • [07] GREECE’S MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR TRAVELS TO CHINA

  • [08] MINISTER OF DEVELOPMENT TRAVELS TO AUSTRIA

  • [09] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER MET WITH HIS FRENCH COUNTERPART

  • [10] THE GREEK MINISTER OF DEFENSE MET WITH HIS GEORGIAN COUNTERPART

  • [11] REPPAS: THE TURKISH ALLEGATIONS ARE RIDICULOUS

  • [12] MR.REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE ELECTIONS IN CYPRUS

  • [13] CONCERN OF ARAB NATION OVER MANOEUVERS IN MEDITERRANEAN


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] TURKEY REFUSES TO SIGN MEASURES TO COMBAT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

  • [15] BRITISH PM ON CYPRUS’S ACCESSION PROCESS TO THE EU

  • [16] PRESIDENT OF FYROM TO TRAVEL TO MOSCOW

  • [17] ALL ASPECTS OF THE TURKISH VIOLATIONS ARE BEING GRADUALLY REVEALED

  • [18] THE BEST SOLUTION FOR IMIA IS THE HAGUE, SAID THE US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE

  • [19] THE GREEK LANGUAGE WILL BE TAUGHT IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE AUSTRALIAN STATE OF VICTORIA

  • [20] INMATES IN TURKISH JAILS ENTERED THE 50TH DAY OF THEIR HUNGER STRIKE

  • [21] THE TURKS ARRESTED 69 IRAQI KURDS WHILE TRYING TO ENTER GREECE ILLEGALLY

  • [22] THE EU DECISION IN LUXEMBOURG BROUGHT THE CYPRUS PROBLEM TO A DEAD END

  • [23] BULGARIA AND DENMARK SIGNED A DEFENSE COOPERATION MEMORANDUM

  • [24] INFLATION IN BULGARIA REACHED 577,4% IN 1997

  • [25] ALBANIA:TENSION IN THE COUNTRY AGGRAVATES


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREECE BRIEFS EU ALLIES ON TURKISH VIOLATIONS OF ITS AIR SPACE

    The Greek government has filed demarches with its allies in the European Union over the violations of its air space conducted by the Turkish military aircraft.

    Tens of violations were conducted yesterday by Turkish aircraft which were intercepted by Greek ones. A total of 28 Turkish F-16 fighter jets and 12 F-4 warplanes entered the Athens FIR without having submitted flight plans. The violations of Greek airspace took place between the islands of Samothrace and Rhodes.

    Thirty-eight Hellenic Air Force Mirage 2000, F-16, F-4 and F- 1 fighters intercepted the Turkish violators.

    Meanwhile, the undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis stated yesterday that there is no cause for concern over the Turkish provocation. A.F.

    [02] GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: TURKEY MAINTAINS TENSION TO MASK PROBLEMS

    The Minister of Press and Media and government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas told an Athens radio station today that Turkey’s desire to tip the balance in the Aegean is a given, and the Greek government is aware of this.

    Mr. Reppas added that following the European Union’s decision to exclude Turkey from the countries candidate for accession, Turkey is in search of a strategy it must adopt in order to achieve its target.

    Moreover, the government spokesperson opined that Turkey will attempt to maintain the tension with Greece in order to mask its domestic problems, believing thereby that it exerts pressure on the EU to see the issues in the region under the (false) scope of a Greek-Turkish crisis. A.F.

    [03] FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN: SITUATION IN AEGEAN IS UNDER CONTROL

    The spokesperson of the Greek Foreign Ministry Konstantinos Bikas stated that the situation in the air space above the Aegean Sea is currently under control, while he also added that Turkey’s violation of Greece’s air space creates problems, as it has for decades now.

    Mr. Bikas also added that through its behavior, Turkey is exposing itself before the international community and is in a worse situation than before. A.F.

    [04] GOVERNMENT CONFERENCE OVER THE ECONOMY HELD TODAY

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis chaired a conference today on the course of the country’s economy, attended by the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou and the governor of the Bank of Greece Lukas Papademas.

    The meeting was held on the occassion of the pressures exerted on the Greek drachma. Yesterday, the general price index at the Athens Stock Market presented a drop of 2.39%. A.F.

    [05] PRIME MINISTER MEETS WITH RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR IN ATHENS

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis met yesterday with Russia’s newly-assigned ambassador to Greece, Valentina Matvienko, with whom he discussed the course of bilateral relations in the political and economic sectors.

    Ms. Matvienko said that Greek-Russian relations were developing well in all sectors and that her talks with the Greek Premier were "constructive and very positive". When asked to comment on the current tension in the Aegean Sea, Ms. Matvienko stated that her country always favored the resolution of problems through dialogue.

    Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov is to visit Athens on February 16-17. A.F.

    [06] CYPRIOT FOREIGN MINISTER IN ATHENS TODAY

    The Foreign Minister of Cyprus Yiannakis Kasoulides is to arrive in Athens today to hold talks with his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos on issues related to Cyprus’ accession to the European Union.

    Prior to his departure from Larnaca, Mr. Kasoulides stated that the current period could be characterized as critical for the Aegean Sea region due to the Turkish provocation, but added that the Greek government is facing the situation with cool-headedness.

    Following his stay in Athens, Mr. Kasoulides will travel to Lisbon, Portugal, where he will meet with Portuguese officials, prior to returning to Nicosia on January 13. A.F.

    [07] GREECE’S MINISTER OF THE INTERIOR TRAVELS TO CHINA

    The Minister of the Interior Alekos Papadopoulos is to depart for the People's Republic of China tomorrow, embarking on an official visit that aims at strengthening bilateral relations.

    Mr. Papadopoulos is to meet with Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng and the mayors of Beijing, Zia King-Lin, and of Shanghai, Hu Kuang-Di.

    During his stay in China, he is to sign a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the fields of public administration and personnel management . A.F.

    [08] MINISTER OF DEVELOPMENT TRAVELS TO AUSTRIA

    The Minister of Development Vaso Papandreou will embark on a two-day official visit to Austria on Monday.

    Ms. Papandreou is to meet with Austrian National Economy Minister Johannes Farnlaitner, the president of the Federal Economic Chamber, Leopold Mandertaner, and officials from the Federation of Austrian Industrialists.

    Talks will concern focus issues such as Austria's term as the European Union's president in the second half of 1998, while a review will also be made of bilateral economic relations as well as an examination of prospects for closer bilateral cooperation in various sectors. A.F.

    [09] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER MET WITH HIS FRENCH COUNTERPART

    Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos met in Athens today with his French counterpart Yber Ventrin.

    The French foreign minister expressed his regret for the Greek air space violations by Turkish fighter jets and the tension observed in the Aegean and added that the EU decisions in Luxembourg on the EU relations with Turkey will not be disputed. He also said that the participation of Turkey in the European Conference will be to the interest of Ankara. On the issue of the Kurds, he said that it has to be handled within the framework of the European Union and the Schengen accord and that Turkey’s cooperation is necessary.

    Greek foreign minister Mr.Pangalos stated on Ankara’s allegations regarding the Muslim minority in Thrace, north-eastern Greece, that it is unacceptable for Turkey to claim for itself the care of the Muslim minority. He said that Turkey is not the best protector of minority groups in the world because it does not respect human rights and reminded that three former Turkish Kurds Parliament deputies, members of the Kurdish party, are still in Turkish prisons.

    The Greek foreign minister accused Turkey of a Kurdish genocide, saying that the country violates all human rights.

    Mr.Pangalos refused that there was a US intervention in the Greek-Turkish relations and pointed out that there is only continuous cooperation between Greece and the United States. On the issue of the massacres in Algeria, he stressed that Greece’s position is that the country should accept the assistance of the European Union.

    [10] THE GREEK MINISTER OF DEFENSE MET WITH HIS GEORGIAN COUNTERPART

    The Greek government launched an information campaign directed to all the EU and NATO countries regarding the Turkish provocation, after yesterday’s new violations of the Greek air space and the Athens FIR.

    Minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos met in Athens with his Georgian counterpart and the two men signed a defense cooperation agreement that provides for the exchange of information and training visits by armed forces officers.

    Mr.Tsochatzopoulos stated that the Greek national air space will continue to extend to 10 miles in spite of the planned violations committed by the Turkish jets and added that at this level there is nothing under negotiation with Turkey in the Aegean. He said that Turkey should realize that with its behavior provokes, destabilizes peace in the region and plays with fire.

    The Greek minister of defense also stated that there was no US initiative targeted at the Greek side, but the US has intervened calling on Turkey not to hold the air and sea exercise on the rocky islet of Kalogeri.

    [11] REPPAS: THE TURKISH ALLEGATIONS ARE RIDICULOUS

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized as ridiculous the allegations made by Turkey concerning the way the Muslim religious minority in Thrace, north-eastern Greece, is being treated by the Greek state.

    The Greek government spokesman stated that the accusations are not acceptable because they have nothing to do with reality, while speaking on the situation in Thrace, he said that Turkey uses this issue as a necessary addition to its policy of tension toward Greece.

    Responding to a question by a reporter on whether there were direct talks between Greece and Turkey on the issue of the Turkish exercises in the region of the Kalogeri islets, Mr.Reppas pointed out that there were talks with US ambassador to Athens Nicolas Burns, who was fully briefed by the leadership of the Greek foreign ministry.

    Mr.Reppas clarified that there was no discussion concerning an initiative by the US ambassador directed at the Turkish side. He said that Greece received a direct response by the US ambassador, who stated that the status of the islets is clear and the same position was expressed by US assistant Secretary of State Mr.Grossman.

    [12] MR.REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE ELECTIONS IN CYPRUS

    The elections in Cyprus is an issue that concerns exclusively the Cypriot people, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    He said that the Greek government respects the sovereign rights of the Cypriot people and added that it is absolutely certain that the Greek government will have a close cooperation with any government that will be elected in the upcoming poll.

    The Greek government spokesman also said that the visit of Cypriot foreign minister Yiannakis Kasoulides to Athens has nothing to do with the elections.

    [13] CONCERN OF ARAB NATION OVER MANOEUVERS IN MEDITERRANEAN

    The Arab nation is particularly concerned and skeptical about the joint military manoeuvres of Israel, Turkey and the USA and it expresses its sympathy to Greece regarding its problems with Turkey. This message was conveyed to the members of the Foreign Affairs committee of the Greek Parliament during a 2,5-hour meeting with the 12 Arab ambassadors in Athens.

    The Arab diplomats, via their rector ambassador of Lebanon Helias Fuad Hosnie, underlined that the most important problems of the region are the ones of Cyprus and Palestine which are international problems and therefore they -particularly the problem of Cyprus -should be approached according to UN decisions.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] TURKEY REFUSES TO SIGN MEASURES TO COMBAT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

    The Turkish delegation participating at the Rome-held meeting of police chiefs from six European countries has refused to sign a communique on proposed measures to combat illegal immigration.

    The communique was issued after a meeting of the police chiefs of Greece, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and Turkey who discussed a series of measures to deal with the ever-increasing wave of illegal immigrants entering Europe , mostly Kurds, from Turkey.

    The Turkish police chief refused to sign the communique stating that he reserved judgment on the document and said he would express his opinion after examining it.

    The Greek police chief, Athanasios Vassilopoulos, stated that the Turkish delegation “isolated” itself by refusing to accept the communique that represented a common proposal of all the others.

    Moreover, he stated that the Greek delegation brought forward its experience on the issue of illegal immigration and at the same time stressed that the root of the problem is found in Turkey.

    The issue is clearly a political one and, as such, its solution should be a political one as well. A.F.

    [15] BRITISH PM ON CYPRUS’S ACCESSION PROCESS TO THE EU

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair left room for questions over whether Cyprus' accession process toward the European Union will be affected if the Turkish-Cypriots do not participate in the talks and if a solution to the Cyprus issue is not achieved.

    During a press conference given on the occasion of Britain’s undertaking the European Union’s presidency for the first six months of 1998, given in the presence of Commission President Jacques Santer, Mr. Blair stressed that the accession talks will begin without conditions, with or without the participation of the Turkish -Cypriots. However, he did clarify that the European Union aims at finding a permanent solution to the differences that divide the island’s two communities and stressed that “prospects will be far better if there is a settlement to the problem and our efforts are directed at finding a viable solution.

    However, I repeat that in holding the Presidency we will implement the timetable and the decisions which we took in Luxembourg concerning the accession of Cyprus," he added.

    Having outlined the targets of the British EU Presidency, Mr. Blair referred to Turkey and stated that the British presidency’s priority is to convince that country that the EU wants to include it in its arena, while he also referred to the situation with the Kurds which matter, he said, will be dealt with at the EU’s following Council of general Affairs.

    Mr. Santer reminded that Turkey must fulfill the criteria and preconditions requested from the other candidate countries to become a member of the EU.

    Regarding the Kurdish issue, Mr. Santer differentiated himself from the mostly German-held view, by stating that “Europe is not a fortress” and by pointing to the Schengen Accord which provides for the free movement of European citizens. A.F.

    [16] PRESIDENT OF FYROM TO TRAVEL TO MOSCOW

    The President of FYROM Kiro Gligorov is to conduct an official visit to Moscow on January 27.

    During his stay at the Russian capital, Mr. Gligorov will meet with his Russian counterpart and the country’s political leaders.

    The two heads of state are to sign a declaration of friendship and cooperation as well as a memorandum for the liberalization of trade relations between the two countries. A.F.

    [17] ALL ASPECTS OF THE TURKISH VIOLATIONS ARE BEING GRADUALLY REVEALED

    All aspects of the Turkish violations are being gradually revealed, as today came to light information according to which, Turkish fighter jets harassed a Jordanian passenger plane making the flight from Amman to Munich on the Day of the Epiphany last Tuesday. The plane’s pilot had to change its course and his conversation with the control tower in the Athens Airport has been recorded.

    The Turkish exercise in the Aegean continued today in the region north of the island of Limnos and no activity was recorded on behalf of the Turkish Air Force and Navy.

    [18] THE BEST SOLUTION FOR IMIA IS THE HAGUE, SAID THE US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE

    US assistant Secretary of State Mark Grossman in an interview to the newspaper “Exousia” stated that Turkey canceled part of its exercises in the Aegean after a US intervention.

    In the same interview, Mr.Grossman points out that the best way to solve the issue of the rocky islets of Imia, in south- eastern Aegean, is the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

    The US goal for Greece and Turkey in the Aegean is for those countries to have the best possible relations and this means direct communication, settlement of problems and efforts to find solutions between the two countries, said the US assistant Secretary of State.

    Regarding the relations between Turkey and the EU as well as, the Luxembourg decision, he said that the US wants to have the best possible relations with Turkey and Greece and that Turkey should concentrate on the positive aspects of the Luxembourg decision and work for the long-term future dealing with the issues of human rights and its relations with Greece and Cyprus.

    He also expressed the US position according to which, the EU- Turkey customs union should be achieved simultaneously with the opening of Cyprus’ EU accession negotiations. He also made an appeal to all sides by saying that they should not do anything that would make it harder for the United Nations, the European Union and Richard Halbrooke to find a solution.

    [19] THE GREEK LANGUAGE WILL BE TAUGHT IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE AUSTRALIAN STATE OF VICTORIA

    As of this year, the students in public schools of elementary and secondary education will be taught the Greek language within the framework of a program that makes compulsory the teaching of at least one foreign language in the Australian state of Victoria.

    According to the minister of education in this Australian state, in certain schools the teaching of foreign languages, including the Greek, will be made via satellite.

    [20] INMATES IN TURKISH JAILS ENTERED THE 50TH DAY OF THEIR HUNGER STRIKE

    The hunger strike in the Turkish prison of Erzerum continues for a 50th day and the inmates taking part are close to death, while other 70 inmates in the Aidin prison started a hunger strike yesterday. According to the Turkish newspaper “Zaman”, human rights organizations’ representatives appealed to the inmates to end their strike.

    The president of the Human Rights Association (IHD) stated that the demands of the hunger strikers are of a humanitarian nature and not political ones and that an agreement has been reached on 49 of them, while 3 more are still under discussion.

    [21] THE TURKS ARRESTED 69 IRAQI KURDS WHILE TRYING TO ENTER GREECE ILLEGALLY

    The Turkish authorities arrested 69 Iraqi Kurds in a village in the region of Endirne as they were trying to enter Greece illegally.

    The number of illegal immigrants arrested in Turkey in the past year in their attempt to enter Greece is estimated at about 12.000, of whom almost 10.000 were Kurds from northern Iraq.

    [22] THE EU DECISION IN LUXEMBOURG BROUGHT THE CYPRUS PROBLEM TO A DEAD END

    Turkey will continue the same policy that has followed in the past 40 years in Cyprus, said Turkish president Suleiman Demirel during his meeting with a Turkish Cypriot parliamentary delegation.

    The Turkish president maintained that the EU decision in Luxembourg brought the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem to a dead end, while he added that whatever the developments in the future, Turkey’s position will be the same with that which was adopted since the issue was created.

    [23] BULGARIA AND DENMARK SIGNED A DEFENSE COOPERATION MEMORANDUM

    The ministers of defense of Bulgaria and Denmark signed a defense cooperation memorandum in Sofia today.

    The agreement provides for the exchange of visits at defense ministers’ and senior officials level. Bulgaria and Denmark will also exchange observers during military exercises and will seek their joint participation in seminars concerning the UN peace- keeping missions.

    [24] INFLATION IN BULGARIA REACHED 577,4% IN 1997

    Inflation in Bulgaria reached 577,4% in 1997, according to estimates by the National Statistics Agency, while the exact figure will be formally announced in the following days.

    In statements he made to the Bulgarian news agency BTA, deputy director of the National Statistics Agency Miltso Mladenov speculated that the main factors that led to the hyper-inflation in 1997 were the devaluation of the Bulgarian national currency, the lev, the prices hikes in fuel and electricity last February and the false shortage of goods in the country’s market that was created by speculators.

    According to the predictions made by National Statistics Agency director Zachari Karamfilov inflation in 1998 will be between 20-25%.

    [25] ALBANIA:TENSION IN THE COUNTRY AGGRAVATES

    The climate of tension and fear continues all over Albania. Today the police chief of the town of Tropoje Fatmir Haklaj shot dead one of his subordinates, officer Shefqet Hoxha who, as the chief of police claims, had killed his brother. The Democratic party, in a strong reaction, demanded the resignation of the Interior Minister Neritan Ceka was strong and one of his deputies Axhem Haidary claimed that police stations across the country are led by criminals.


    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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