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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-05-07

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, May 7, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREEK PREMIER TO GRANT PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY

  • [02] THESSALONIKI JUBILANT OVER ITS BASKETBALL TEAM’S TRIUMPH

  • [03] FATOS NANO TO VISIT THESSALONIKI TODAY

  • [04] FINNISH PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT ON THREE-DAY VISIT TO GREECE

  • [05] STATE TO COVER MEDICAL EXPENSES OF AIDS PATIENTS

  • [06] IONIAN BANK TO GO PRIVATE, BUT STAFF THREATEN WITH STRIKE

  • [07] THE COHESION FUND DISREGARDS THE TURKISH DISPUTES OVER THE GREEK SOVEREIGNTY ON THE ISLANDS

  • [08] THE COHESION FUND DIRECTOR SATISFIED OVER THE PROJECTS ABSORPTION IN NORTHERN GREECE

  • [09] SIMITIS: THE COURSE TO THE EMU IS IRREVERSIBLE

  • [10] INFLATION IN GREECE REACHED 5.3% IN APRIL

  • [11] KARADJIC’S BROTHER IS IN THESSALONIKI

  • [12] RADOVAN KARADJIC WILL NOT SURRENDER SAYS HIS BROTHER

  • [13] PAPANDREOU-SOARES TO MPA OVER THE ROLE OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] ECOFIN OFFERS RECOMMENDATION FOR GREEK PUBLIC DEFICIT

  • [15] STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON COMMENTS ON CYPRUS

  • [16] NEW ZEALAND’S FORMER MINISTER IS UN’S NEW ENVOY TO CYPRUS

  • [17] BBC REPORTS MEETING BETWEEN GREEK, TURKISH ARMY CHIEFS

  • [18] TZOGANIS-KARADAYI MEETING

  • [19] KLINTON: MILITARY MISSION TO KOSOVO POSSIBLE


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK PREMIER TO GRANT PRESS CONFERENCE TODAY

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to grant a press conference today in order to outline the results of last weekend’s Euro Summit held in Brussels.

    The Premier is also expected to announce the timetable for the restructural changes that are to take place in the state’s economy in order to facilitate Greece’s accession to the Economic and Monetary Union in the year 2001.

    Meanwhile, the European Committee is advising Greece to expedite the privatization process and to cut back in its public deficit.

    [02] THESSALONIKI JUBILANT OVER ITS BASKETBALL TEAM’S TRIUMPH

    Thousands of PAOK fans poured into the streets of Thessaloniki last night and gathered in front of the city’s trademark White Tower in order to celebrate the triumph of their basketball team which defeated Athens’s Olympiakos 58-55.

    Tonight Panathinaikos is playing against AEK.

    [03] FATOS NANO TO VISIT THESSALONIKI TODAY

    Albanian prime minister Fatos Nano, accompanied by the minister of National Economy and Privatization Ily Bufi and a six- member delegation, will be in Thessaloniki today within the framework of a 4-day visit, after an invitation by the Northern Greek Industries Federation (SVVE).

    Mr. Nano, who is due to arrive in Thessaloniki at 7:00pm, will attend the general assembly of SVVE tomorrow. The Greek government will be represented by defense Minister Tsochatzopoulos.

    The Albanian prime minister will also meet with Macedonia - Thrace minister Philippos Petsalnikos.

    [04] FINNISH PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT ON THREE-DAY VISIT TO GREECE

    The President of the Parliament of Finland Ritta Maria Uosukainen is embarking on a three- day official visit to Greece today, on the invitation of Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    Ms. Uosukainen will also be received by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, as well as opposition party leaders and other parliament officials.

    [05] STATE TO COVER MEDICAL EXPENSES OF AIDS PATIENTS

    AIDS patients in Greece will have their medical expenses covered by public health funds and the government, the deputy Health Minister Theodoros Kotsonis has announced.

    Moreover, Mr. Kotsonis stated that the Health Ministry will begin incorporating the number of HIV-carriers in its studies instead of just those patients whose condition has deteriorated into fully -blown Aids.

    [06] IONIAN BANK TO GO PRIVATE, BUT STAFF THREATEN WITH STRIKE

    Ionian Bank, a subsidiary of the state-run Commercial Bank, is to go private through a bidding process on the Athens Stock Exchange, announced the National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.

    Mr. Papantoniou stated that the government decided to sell Ionian Bank on the grounds that it could not remain competitive in the domestic banking sector under its present status.

    Moreover, he said that the option to merge Ionian Bank with Commercial Bank - its main shareholder - was rejected as carrying a greater social and economic cost.

    The Ionian Bank employees' unions have decided on a four-hour work stoppage today, between 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., as well as a rally outside the bank's central offices.

    They also called for a 24-hour, nation-wide strike tomorrow and a 48-hour strike at the bank's data processing center.

    Ionian is Greece's fourth largest commercial bank, with assets of 2.2 trillion drachmas and a 7.2 per cent share in the domestic banking market, holding around 6 per cent of loans and 7.5 per cent of deposits nationwide.

    The bank has about 4,350 employees and 220 branches.

    [07] THE COHESION FUND DISREGARDS THE TURKISH DISPUTES OVER THE GREEK SOVEREIGNTY ON THE ISLANDS

    The director of the EU Cohesion Fund, mr Vesrtynge, in a statement to MPA, expressed the firm stance that the Fund would not reconsider the projects it finances on Greek islands, in case Turkey disputed the Greek sovereignty there.

    Mr Vestrynge noted that the Fund has received many proposals from the Greek government regarding projects on the islands, several of which it has accepted, but all the proposed programmes concern the Greek territory whereas Ankara's objections relate to projects of which the Regional Fund is in charge.

    Mr Vestrynge, also, stressed that the European Commission is willing to expand certain projects on the Greek islands and reiterated that the Cohesion Fund would accept any proposal submitted by the Greek government, concerning its territory.

    [08] THE COHESION FUND DIRECTOR SATISFIED OVER THE PROJECTS ABSORPTION IN NORTHERN GREECE

    The director of the EU Cohesion Fund, Z. Vestrynge, during an interview with MPE, expressed his satisfaction over the increasing absorption of these projects during the last 2 years.

    According to mr Vestrynge, through the Cohesion Fund, which finances several projects in Northern Greece, Greece has taken nearly 2 billion ECUS for several projects such as the construction of the Egnatia Road, two projects concerning the sewage system and the anti-flood protection as well as the biological cleaning of Thessaloniki while it intends to proceed with financing the action plans regarding the restoration of the Koronia lake, which is destroyed due to pollution and industrial waste, the administration of solid waste and the water supply project in Thessaloniki.

    Mr Vestrynge appeared to be particularly contented with the progress of the Egnatia Road project which -as he said- presented an improved absorption over the last two years, especially after the establishment of the Egnatia Road Ltd and the appointment of mr Lambropoulos as its managing director, and underlined that the Fund plans to grant 100 million ECUS for this project, in 1998.

    He was, also, very contented over his cooperation with the Greek government and praised the activities of the vice minister for Development, mr Pahtas, and the ministers of Environment, mr Laliotis, Internal Affairs, mr Papadopoulos, Transport, mr Mandelis, and Aegean Sea, ms Papazoe, who are the main people he works with, although he admitted that the administrative bureaucracy impeded their task.

    Regarding the projects to be financed, especially the restoration of the Koronia lake, mr Vestrynge appeared to be optimistic about reaching an agreement with the Greek government over the necessary measures and research in order to proceed with its materialization.

    [09] SIMITIS: THE COURSE TO THE EMU IS IRREVERSIBLE

    The sacrifices of the Greek people were not made in vain, underlined prime minister Kostas Simitis in an interview he gave in Zappion building in Athens today.

    The EU countries have decided to enter the final phase of the EMU, the course to the EMU is irreversible and the recognition of Greece’s efforts by the European Council is a confirmation that the sacrifices of the people were not in vain, said Mr. Simitis.

    He also stressed that the improvement in the economy was very notable after 1993 when, as he said, the New Democracy convergence program had failed and added that the government is now certain that it will be able to achieve what in the past appeared to be unattainable.

    Responding to the criticism of the opposition parties, he stressed that the argument according to which, in 18 months Greece must do everything not achieved in the past four years is a “myth”, while he characterized as impressive progress the achievements made since 1993.

    Mr. Simitis said that the government is determined to lead Greece to the EMU and stressed that Greece should not waste even one day.

    The prime minister presented figures on the improvement of the economic indexes as well as, on the measures taken by the government aimed at supporting the workers’ income, while he pointed out that there was an increase in investments.

    He said “No” to the unjustified benefits and deficits and presented as an example the fact that the Greek state continues to pay-off installments for a 1914 bond and it will continue to do so until the year 2002.

    On the “Euro”, he stressed that together with the US dollar will be the two strongest currencies in the world and that Greece will not be threatened by speculative pressures. With the “Euro”, said Mr. Simitis, there will be greater certainty and stability that will lead to a single capital market in Europe which will mean lower interest rates with positive results.

    The prime minister ruled out the likelihood of early elections and responding to questions on the opposition expressed within his party, he said characteristically that the policy of the government is non negotiable and will be implemented.

    [10] INFLATION IN GREECE REACHED 5.3% IN APRIL

    Inflation in Greece showed an increase in the month of April. According to the National Statistics Agency, inflation reached 5.3% last month, presenting a notable increase compared to the previous month of March, when it reached 4.6%.

    The inflation increase is attributed to the devaluation of the drachma and the price increases due to the Easter holidays.

    [11] KARADJIC’S BROTHER IS IN THESSALONIKI

    Radovan Karadjic’s brother, Loukas, is in Thessaloniki to meet with lawyer Alexandros Likourezos.

    He stated that he is in Greece on a private visit to meet with friends and to be briefed on the effort launched by Mr. Likourezos aimed at forming a committee for the restoration of the reputation of former Bosnian Serb leader, Radovan Karadjic, who is currently wanted by international organizations.

    [12] RADOVAN KARADJIC WILL NOT SURRENDER SAYS HIS BROTHER

    The brother of the former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadjic, Lukas, the doctor Aris Moutsionis, and the lawyer, Alexandros Likourezos, announced today, in Thessaloniki, the formation of a committee to restore the historical truth regarding mr Karazic.

    In a press conference he gave, Lukas Karazic noted that the formation of the committee is based on personal motives and aims at the protection of his brother's work-who is accused of war crimes during the Bosnian war- while he stressed that it does not concern any other of the suspects who were indicted to the Hague Tribunal or refuse to surrender.

    Mr Karadjic said that his brother is in Bosnia where he feels safe and denied the fact that Radovan Karazic had any contact with the international crime court but admitted that new evidence exists which could lead to the retraction of the charges without giving further details.

    Responding to a question about the members of this international committee, mr Karadjic refused to reveal specific names and only said that the committe is based in Pale and its branch established in Greece is the first one.

    Mr Karadjic also denied that his brother had contacts with the international community and described all relavant information as an exchange of accusations between french and US intelligence services and media.

    Finally, mr Karazic refused to make any comments about Slobodan Milosevic and Biljana Plavsic explaining that they will be judged by history.

    [13] PAPANDREOU-SOARES TO MPA OVER THE ROLE OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE

    Greek alternate Foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou stressed today that Greece as the President of the Council of Europe intends to actively contribute to the settlement of conflicts and tension in the Balkans as well as the Caucasus.

    Mr Papandreou, accompanied by the Council of Europe’s secretary general, Daniel Tarschys, is due to visit the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Georgia and other Caucasian countries so as to hold talks concerning the situation in Kosovo and Karabach.

    The president of the OSCE’s “Committee of the Wise” and former Portuguese president, Mario Soares, to a question from the MPA regarding the role of Council of Europe responded that the issue was not settled yet.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] ECOFIN OFFERS RECOMMENDATION FOR GREEK PUBLIC DEFICIT

    The European Commission has provided recommendations to the Greek state for reducing its public deficit and expediting the privatization process , as part of the Economic and Monetary Union's (EMU) main criteria for the euro.

    In its document-warning, the ECOFIN reminds the Simitis government its pledge to reduce the public deficit in 1998 and to implement fiscal measures adopted in the framework of the convergence program to achieve this target.

    [15] STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON COMMENTS ON CYPRUS

    The US State Department spokesperson James Foley stressed yesterday that the United States recognize only one government on the island of Cyprus, and that is the Republic of Cyprus, headed by President Glafkos Clerides.

    “The fact of the matter is that the island of Cyprus is divided, alas, Mr. Foley stated, adding that “we're working in the best way we can, and supporting the UN additionally, in efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution of the conflict separating the island of Cyprus. We only recognize, of course, the government of Cyprus in Nicosia; that is a fact.”

    The State Department spokesperson also stated that the US favor and have endorsed the idea of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation.

    “What we're trying to achieve is a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in which all the citizens, without exception, in Cyprus will feel at home as part of a single unified island,” he added.

    Responding to a question concerning Turkish threats over the establishment of the S-300 missiles on the island which Cyprus has purchased from Russia, Mr. Foley stated that “we strongly advise all parties in the Eastern Aegean to avoid threats and hostile rhetoric, let alone actions which can disturb stability in that region and undermine efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement.”

    Lastly, Mr. Foley stated that the United States cannot impose a solution on Cyprus.

    “It cannot want a solution on Cyprus more than the two parties involved. That remains a fundamental fact. But we're willing to keep at it; and, Ambassador Miller will be returning there.”

    [16] NEW ZEALAND’S FORMER MINISTER IS UN’S NEW ENVOY TO CYPRUS

    Lady Ann Herbous , a 56-year-old former minister from New Zealand, has been appointed as the new permanent representative of the United Nations secretary-general to Cyprus.

    Ms. Herbous is succeeding Gustav Feischel.

    [17] BBC REPORTS MEETING BETWEEN GREEK, TURKISH ARMY CHIEFS

    The Greek radio service of the British Broadcasting Corporation has reported, claiming reliable sources, that an informal meeting was held in Brussels yesterday between the Chiefs of General Army Staffs of Greece, Gen. Athanasios Tzoganis, and Turkey, Gen. Ismael Karadayi.

    According to the report, the meeting was held on the sidelines of NATO’s military committee meeting and the two men discussed the technical details concerning confidence building measures between Greece and Turkey.

    There were no leaks over the content of the talks, while both the Greek and the Turkish sides refused to confirm the meeting, which, according to BBC, was reported on by other diplomatic sources.

    [18] TZOGANIS-KARADAYI MEETING

    The Greek and Turkish General Staff Chiefs Mr. Tzoganis and Mr. Karadayi had an informal meeting in Brussels, according to the Greek service of the BBC radio.

    Their meeting was held on the sidelines of NATO’s military committee and they discussed the technical details for the confidence-building-measures between Greece and Turkey.

    [19] KLINTON: MILITARY MISSION TO KOSOVO POSSIBLE

    US president Bill Klinton, following the meeting he had today, in Washington, with the Italian prime minister, Romano Pronti, expressed the stance that the settlement of the Kosovo conflict would be possible if the two sides-Serbs and ethnic Albanians-began negotiations so as to grant Kosovo Albanians a form of autonomy within the Serb sovereignty.

    Mr Klinton reiterated the need for strong pressure to be applied and responding to a question regarding the eventuality of a military force deployment to the area, he noted that no eventuality is excluded stressing that the issue was not discussed with mr Pronti.


    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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