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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-04-29

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, April 6, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PASOK PARLIAMENTARY GROUP TO CONVENE TODAY

  • [02] EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 5.9 ON RICHTER SCALE ROCKS PELOPONNESE

  • [03] ITALIAN DEFENSE MINISTER EMBARKS ON ONE-DAY VISIT TO ATHENS

  • [04] GREEK CULTURE MINISTRY, CHILEAN EMBASSY COLLABORATE

  • [05] OA FLIGHTS BACK TO NORMAL AS MANAGEMENT, PILOTS AGREE

  • [06] PRIME MINISTER ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT, DEFENDS POLICY

  • [07] NEW ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS IS THE FIRST AMONG EQUALS

  • [08] THE DEFENSE MINISTERS OF GREECE AND ITALY MET IN ATHENS

  • [09] MR. REPPAS RESPONDED TO THE COMMENTS OF THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN

  • [10] SIMITIS: THE GOVERNMENT POLICY IS NON NEGOTIABLE

  • [11] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS SUPPORTS THE CHURCH’S MODERNIZATION

  • [12] 3,86% RISE IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

  • [13] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS WILL LEASE 6 AIRPLANES

  • [14] THE AUSTRALIAN MINISTER OF IMMIGRATION MET WITH THE MINISTER OF MACEDONIA-THRACE

  • [15] THE ATHENS MEDICAL CENTER WILL EXPAND TO ALBANIA AND FYROM

  • [16] THE ACCUSATIONS ON THE ULOF PALME ASSASSINATION ARE FABRICATED, STATES THE PKK

  • [17] A GREEK EURO-DEPUTY MET WITH THE ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

  • [18] GREEK PARLIAMENT SESSION ON REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION

  • [19] CONFERENCE ON RIGAS FEREOS IN BELGRADE


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [20] CONTACT GROUP FOR KOSSOVO CONVENES TODAY IN ROME

  • [21] CYPRUS TO HOST “POLIS-CITY” EXHIBITION, SAME AS THESSALONIKI’S

  • [22] US PRESIDENT SENDS CONDOLENCES FOR LATE KARAMANLIS

  • [23] GREECE’S ROLE AS TERM PRESIDENT OF C OF E SALUTED

  • [24] TURKISH AIR EXERCISES IN THE NICOSIA FIR

  • [25] GREEK EURO-DEPUTY ON THE PERSECUTION OF JOURNALISTS IN TURKEY

  • [26] FATOS NANO CALLS FOR NATO TROOPS TO BE DEPLOYED IN ALBANIA


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PASOK PARLIAMENTARY GROUP TO CONVENE TODAY

    The Parliamentary Group of Greece’s ruling party PASOK is to convene today.

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to address the deputies and is expected to put an end to persistent rumors of early elections.

    Moreover, the Premier will reiterate that the government will press on with its policy, defying any political costs. Lastly, Mr. Simitis will refute the rumors over another devaluation of the Greek national currency, the drachma.

    [02] EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 5.9 ON RICHTER SCALE ROCKS PELOPONNESE

    An earthquake measuring 5.9 on the Richter scale shook the region of Messinia in the Peloponnese early this morning at 6.30, causing minor material damages. The quake’s epicenter was discovered 120 kilometers south of the city of Kalamata and, according to seismologists, it is still too early to say if this is the main tremor or if aftershocks will follow.

    [03] ITALIAN DEFENSE MINISTER EMBARKS ON ONE-DAY VISIT TO ATHENS

    Italy's Defense Minister Beniamino Andreatta is to embark in Athens today on a one-day, official visit. Mr. Andreatta’s visit falls within the framework of contacts between the Greek and Italian chiefs of the general staff over the past two years.

    Greece’s Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos had visited Rome last year.

    [04] GREEK CULTURE MINISTRY, CHILEAN EMBASSY COLLABORATE

    The Ministry of Culture, the Embassy of Chile and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival have collaborated on the holding of a two-day tribute to Chilean culture that opens today in Athens.

    The tribute, titled “Greece and Chile: A Relationship of the Heart”, will start with the presentation of a film by Chilean (of Greek origin) director, Miguel Littin-Cucumidis, “El recurso del Metodo”.

    Another film by director Littin, “Actas de Marusia”, whose music score is written by Mikis Theodorakis, will be screened tomorrow.

    [05] OA FLIGHTS BACK TO NORMAL AS MANAGEMENT, PILOTS AGREE

    The management of the country’s national air carrier Olympic Airways and the pilots' union finally reached an agreement on the issues of overtime work and on meeting the needs of the national carrier's summer schedule, thus allowing the ailing company its flights as normal.

    Meanwhile, European Union experts are arriving in Athens today in order to review the OA’s old and new programs of revitalization.

    The results of their reports will determine whether or not Brussels will grant the second and third payments for the increase of the OA’s share capital.

    [06] PRIME MINISTER ADDRESSES PARLIAMENT, DEFENDS POLICY

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, addressing the Parliamentary debate on social policy last night, stressed the government’s priority of establishing modern and effective social net of protection, which will not be dependent on the achievement of high rates of economic growth, but will be a condition for better living standards for all.

    The prime minister said the inflation rate was now at the lowest level of the last 25 years, real incomes had risen by three per cent and pensions by 7.2 per cent during the 1994-97 period.

    Moreover, he stated that the government planned to subsidize 50,000 jobs for young people aged 20-27 at a cost of 90 billion drachmas, with supplementary training program for 20,000 jobless, costing 30 billion, and subsidies for 12,000 positions for the long-term unemployed.

    [07] NEW ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS IS THE FIRST AMONG EQUALS

    The newly-elected Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece Christodoulos has set as a priority to reach the people and especially the younger generations.

    The Archbishop stated that he asked the Minister of Education Gerasimos Arsenis to relay to the government the Church’s intention to work closely with the state for the sake of the Greek people.

    Mr. Christodoulos also said he will make efforts to achieve closer relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    In the past, the new Archbishop adopted and implemented a wide-ranging program to combat unemployment, drug abuse and the spread of AIDS.

    Mr. Christodoulos speaks several languages, is a lecturer in canon law at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University and has often appeared on television to discuss ecclesiastical matters.

    [08] THE DEFENSE MINISTERS OF GREECE AND ITALY MET IN ATHENS

    The need for the establishment of a multi-national peace- keeping force in the Balkans was underlined in the meeting the defense ministers of Greece and Italy Akis Tsochatzopoulos and Beniamino Andreatta had in Athens today.

    Mr. Andreatta pointed out that the force should be based in a NATO member-state namely either in Greece or in Turkey.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated on the issue in Kosovo, that international pressures should be exerted on both sides for an immediate dialogue without pre-conditions. The Greek minister of defense also briefed his Italian counterpart on the destabilizing behavior of Turkey.

    [09] MR. REPPAS RESPONDED TO THE COMMENTS OF THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN

    Greek government spokesman Dimitiris Reppas responded to the comments made by the French government spokesman who characterized Greece’s stance on the EU funding of Turkey as incomprehensible.

    Mr. Reppas stressed that incomprehensible is the position adopted by those who in an opportunistic manner ignore that Turkey disputes Greek territories.

    The Greek government spokesman stated that the European Union, a constituent part of which should be a policy of principles, must view with understanding and furthermore fall into line with the policy of principles exercised by one of its member- states such as Greece.

    [10] SIMITIS: THE GOVERNMENT POLICY IS NON NEGOTIABLE

    The policy followed by the government is non negotiable, stated prime minister Kostas Simitis in his speech in the governing party of PASOK parliamentary group meeting. “There is no other policy, our policy is a one-way street and it is the only one that serves the interests of the workers”, said Mr. Simitis and underlined that the responsibility for its materialization belongs not only to the government but to all those who got the public mandate two years ago.

    The prime minister ruled out the likelihood of early elections and characterized as “foolish” the rumors that circulate, while he assured that elections will be held in the year 2000.

    [11] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS SUPPORTS THE CHURCH’S MODERNIZATION

    The goal of the new Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece is to give to the people the Church’s reliable word of which it was deprived until now. Archbishop Christodoulos backs the Church’s modernization and its close cooperation with the state.

    Minister of education and religion Gerasimos Arsenis characterized the election procedure and the stance of the Metropolites as impeccable.

    [12] 3,86% RISE IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    he general price index in the Athens Stock Exchange presented a 3,68% rise at noon today. The value of transactions reached 205 billion drachmas.

    In the inter-Bank market the interest rates show a downward trend, while the drachma exchange rate is being strengthened toward the main foreign currencies after the intervention of the Bank of Greece.

    [13] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS WILL LEASE 6 AIRPLANES

    The Greek state airline Olympic Airways will deal with the increased demands during the summer by leasing 6 Boeing airplanes and also, by hiring 50 specialized employees that will staff the economic agencies and the marketing department of Olympic Airways.

    At the same time, the goal of the company’s management will be to find the sum of 18 billion drachmas to pay off the airplanes the company has purchased.

    The EU director of air transportation is expected in Athens tomorrow to examine the course of the efforts for the reform of Olympic Airways, while a similar investigation is already being held by the representatives of a foreign airline that has been selected for that purpose by the European Union.

    [14] THE AUSTRALIAN MINISTER OF IMMIGRATION MET WITH THE MINISTER OF MACEDONIA-THRACE

    Australian minister of immigration Philip Ruddock met in Thessaloniki this morning with minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos.

    The two ministers discussed the development of bilateral economic relations and Mr. Petsalnikos underlined that the strong presence of the Greek community in Australia is a bridge between the two peoples which opens new prospects.

    Mr. Petsalnikos raised the issue of the Greek studies in Australia and expressed regret over the fact that Greek Studies Departments are about to close in certain universities due to lack of funds.

    The Australian immigration minister pointed out that his country is a model of a multi-cultural society and shows great interest in the preservation and development of the culture and language of the different ethnic communities. He referred to the language teaching programs for young students and underlined the significant contribution of the Greeks in Australia in different sectors.

    [15] THE ATHENS MEDICAL CENTER WILL EXPAND TO ALBANIA AND FYROM

    The investment programs of the Athens Medical Center are in progress and the establishment of diagnostic centers in Albania and FYROM is being promoted. Company executives are currently visiting the two countries to settle pending details.

    Already, the Athens Medical Center has established diagnostic centers in Bucharest, Podgorica, Belgrade and Sofia. The goal of the company president Giorgos Apostolopoulos is to open diagnostic centers in all the Balkan states, while significant investment efforts are being made in eastern European countries as well.

    [16] THE ACCUSATIONS ON THE ULOF PALME ASSASSINATION ARE FABRICATED, STATES THE PKK

    The Kurdish PKK party representative in the Balkans, Ms. Kilits Semsi stated to MPA that the Turkish secret services have spread the news that PKK’s former second in command Semdin Sakik has testified that the party is responsible for the assassination of Ulof Palme.

    Ms. Semsi stated that this information is not serious and reminded that the Swedish authorities had conducted investigations in the past on PKK’s involvement in Palme’s assassination and have already stated officially that the party has no involvement in the case.

    The representative of the Kurdish party stated that Turkey faces serious economic, social and political problems which in combination with the fact that PKK steadily wins international recognition have brought the country to a difficult position and now Ankara tries to hurt PKK’s picture by creating scenarios and spreading false news.

    [17] A GREEK EURO-DEPUTY MET WITH THE ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER

    The developments in Kososvo and the relations between the European Union and Albania were discussed in the meeting of Albanian foreign minister Paskal Milo with Greek Euro-deputy of the party Coalition of the Left Alekos Alavanos.

    Mr. Alavanos will visit Tirana next week to meet with president Redzep Meidani, prime minister Fatos Nano and other members of the Albanian government.

    [18] GREEK PARLIAMENT SESSION ON REVISION OF THE CONSTITUTION

    The Greek Parliament session over the revision of the Constitution began today and will be completed within 8 days.

    In the speech he addressed, prime minister Kostas Simitis noted that the revision of the Constitution is a matter which concerns everyone and particularly focused on the preservation of human rights and the strengthening of the democratic institutions.

    The leader of the main opposition party of New Democracy Kostas Karamanlis stressed that the revision of the Constitution could be an important boost towards modernisation and underlined that a wide consensus is essential for the constitutional revision to become a political contract for everyone.

    Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos is the main speaker from the side of the government while the main opposition party has named Ioannis Varvitsiotis as its main speaker.

    [19] CONFERENCE ON RIGAS FEREOS IN BELGRADE

    The organizers of the international conference titled “Rigas Fereos and the Balkan People” which will take place in Belgrade on May 7-9, gave a press conference today in the Yugoslav capital.

    The conference is organized by the faculty of Modern Greek Studies of the University of Belgrade, in cooperation with the University of Thrace, under the auspices of the Greek and Serb Culture Ministries, the Greek and Serb Church, the Balkan Institute, the Greek parliamentary Cross-party Committee for Greeks abroad and the Belgrade municipality.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [20] CONTACT GROUP FOR KOSSOVO CONVENES TODAY IN ROME

    As the tension is escalating in Kossovo, the six-nation “Contact Group” is to convene in Rome today in order to decide on the measures to be taken in order to defuse the crisis.

    Meanwhile, the self-called Liberating Army of Kossovo called on the region’s Albanians to gather together in order to face, as it said, the common enemy.

    [21] CYPRUS TO HOST “POLIS-CITY” EXHIBITION, SAME AS THESSALONIKI’S

    The "Polis-City '98" exhibition, an event modeled after Thessaloniki’s HELEXPO-organised “Polis” exhibition held last November, is to open in Cyprus today.

    The five-day event, held in Nicosia, is organized under the auspices of the Association of Municipalities, the Association of Communities and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    [22] US PRESIDENT SENDS CONDOLENCES FOR LATE KARAMANLIS

    The President of the United States Bill Clinton has forwarded a letter of condolences to his Greek counterpart Kostis Stephanopoulos, for the recent death of Greece’s former President Konstantinos Karamanlis.

    President Clinton wrote that the late statesman was a man of great vision and continuous achievements, expressing the hope that his legacy will last forever and will inspire people throughout the world.

    "On behalf of the American people I express my condolences to you and the Greek nation on the death of former President and Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis. He was a great friend and ally of the US and we will miss him greatly."

    [23] GREECE’S ROLE AS TERM PRESIDENT OF C OF E SALUTED

    Greece’s leadership as the present term president of the Council of Europe was saluted during a presentation made before the committee of C of E’s permanent members.

    The president of the C of E’s Venice Committee Antonio la Pergola praised Greece for its organization of the two-day conference titled “Democratic Institutions and Citizens Society on southeastern Europe”. which h is to be held in Strasbourg on May 5 and 6.

    Moreover, Mr. la Pergola saluted Greece’s initiatives for strengthening ties between the C of E and Armenia, Ajerbaijan and Georgia.

    The Venice Committee aims to establish democratic processes and constitutional principles in al of southeastern Europe’s newly- founded republics.

    [24] TURKISH AIR EXERCISES IN THE NICOSIA FIR

    Air exercises will take place in the Nicosia FIR within the framework of the scheduled Turkish military exercises under the code-names “Determination” and “Toros” that opened yesterday with the participation of land, air and sea forces.

    The Turks informed on the exercise only the authorities at the illegal airport in the Turkish occupied Timbou, while they ignored the Cypriot Republic Civil Aviation authorities. The Cypriot government has already protested over the fact to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

    In the exercises, that will last until April 30 and will take place in the Turkish occupied northern Cyprus, the international waters and the eastern Mediterranean air space, will participate Turkish occupation forces, while Turkish Navy ships will sail into the port of the occupied Kerinia.

    [25] GREEK EURO-DEPUTY ON THE PERSECUTION OF JOURNALISTS IN TURKEY

    Greek governing party of PASOK Euro-deputy and vice-president of the Euro-Parliament’s Socialist Group Mr. Yiannis Roubatis submitted questions to the EU Council of Ministers and the European Commission as soon as he was informed of the dismissal of Turkish journalists Mehmet Ali Birad and Tsengiz Tsandar which was the result of the pressures exerted on their employers by the military establishment in Ankara.

    Mr. Roubatis expressed concern that their dismissal could bring about a possible assassination attack against them.

    Specifically, Mr. Roubatis wants to know what measures the EU institutions intend to take to protect the two journalists from a possible assassination attack. Also, what recommendations will be made by the responsible EU Commissioner and the EU Commission representative in Turkey aimed at offering every possible moral or other kind of assistance to the two journalists and finally, when it will be made clear to the Turkish leadership and authorities that among the principles, based on which the European democracies operate, is the freedom of thought and expression.

    [26] FATOS NANO CALLS FOR NATO TROOPS TO BE DEPLOYED IN ALBANIA

    Albanian prime minister Fatos Nano in a letter he sent today to Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini called for the deployment of NATO troops in Albania.

    Mr Nano noted that information coming from Kossovo reveals an increasing tension as well as a potential danger for a wider conflict in the area.

    In his letter, mr Nano also underlined that the albanian government agreed with the demands of the Contact Group to reach a solution for the Kossovo crisis through dialogue and democratic means and pointed out that his country was making every effort to restrain Albanians on both sides of the border with Kossovo.


    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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