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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-05-08

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, May 8, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] FOREIGN AFFAIRS SPOKESMAN RESPONDS TO U.S. REGARDING PKK

  • [02] ALBANIAN PM IN THESSALONIKI, MEETS WITH DEFENSE MINISTER

  • [03] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS TO BE ENTHRONED TOMORROW

  • [04] THESSALONIKI’S AIRPORT REPLACED BY KAVALA’S FOR 4 DAYS

  • [05] WESTERN EUROPEAN UNION TO CONFER IN RHODES THIS WEEKEND

  • [06] ALBANIAN PREMIER FAVORS PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO KOSSOVO

  • [07] GREEK PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT RECEIVES FINNISH COUNTEPRART

  • [08] GREEK AVIATION OFFICIALS APPLAUDED FOR KEY RING ALERTNESS

  • [09] PUBLIC ORDER MINISTER RECEIVES ALBANIAN COUNTERPART

  • [10] MAN CONVICTED FOR POSSESSING “KEY-CHAIN” HAND GUN IN GREECE

  • [11] NANO VISITED THESSALONIKI’S TECHNOLOGICAL PARK

  • [12] FATOS NANO’S STATEMENTS ON KOSOVO

  • [13] PACHTAS: GREECE MUST WIN ITS BET ON EMU

  • [14] THE EMPLOYEES OF THE IONIAN BANK WENT ON STRIKE

  • [15] AN EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 4.6 ON THE RICHTER SCALE SHOOK CRETE

  • [16] INFORMATION OFFICES FOR WOMEN IN RURAL AREAS OF SEVEN BALKAN COUNTRIES

  • [17] ARCHBISHOP SPIRIDON-SKANDALIDIS-KRANIDIOTIS MEETING


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [18] AMERICAN HELLENIC INSTITUTE PROTESTS US’ POSITION OVER S-300

  • [19] STATE DEPARTMENT PLEASED WITH GREEK RESPONSE ON PKK OFFICE

  • [20] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER: WE AGREE WITH SOLANA’S CBMs

  • [21] CLERIDES: WE ARE GRATEFUL TO THE RUSSIANS

  • [22] TURKEY USES GERMAN WEAPONS AGAINST THE KURDS

  • [23] TENSION IN KOSOVO IS MOUNTING

  • [24] NATO REJECTED THE PROPOSAL FOR THE DEPLOYMENT OF A MILITARY FORCE IN ALBANIA

  • [25] THE MUZAHEDIN SUPPORT THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY

  • [26] ECOLOGICAL DISASTER AT THE GREEK-BULGARIAN BORDERS

  • [27] UNDERWATER EXCAVATIONS ARE HELD FOR THE FIRST TIME BY GREEKS IN ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT

  • [28] RUSSIA:THE RECOGNITION OF THE TURKISH-CYPRIOT LEADERSHIP IS OUT OF THE QUESTION

  • [29] FATOS NANO CALLS ON GREEK BUSINESSMEN TO INVEST ON ALBANIA


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] FOREIGN AFFAIRS SPOKESMAN RESPONDS TO U.S. REGARDING PKK

    The spokesman of the Greek Foreign ministry Konstantinos Bikas, responding to the State Department’s question as to whether or not there is a PKK office operating in Greece, made the following statement yesterday:

    "The United States Administration is very well aware of Greece's position towards matters connected with Kurdish organizations, as expressed both in recent official announcements and during the briefing received by the US Embassy in Athens at its request.

    "No offices of the PKK operate in Greece and no such question has arisen. However, there are offices of Kurdish political organizations, as there are in almost all the other countries of the European Union and in the United States. The Geneva Convention grants such rights to refugees.”

    Moreover, Mr. Bikas stressed that "as a European democratic state, Greece believes that human rights anywhere in the world are not a domestic issue for any state and that positions should not be adopted selectively. The violations of human and minority rights in Turkey are thus a major issue, and only by means of its resolution can stability in that country and the general area be guaranteed and the development and progress of the Turkish people safeguarded.

    "Lastly, it goes without saying that the development of activities involving elements of violence or terrorism is not permitted in this country."

    [02] ALBANIAN PM IN THESSALONIKI, MEETS WITH DEFENSE MINISTER

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

    Mr. Nano, who arrived in Thessaloniki yesterday, will attend the general assembly of SVVE today. He is also expected to meet with defense Minister Tsochatzopoulos and Macedonia -Thrace minister Philippos Petsalnikos.

    [03] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS TO BE ENTHRONED TOMORROW

    The newly-elected Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece Crhistodoulos is to be enthroned tomorrow at the Athens Metropolis.

    The President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will be present at the ceremony, along with representatives from the ecumenical patriarchate and the orthodox churches.

    [04] THESSALONIKI’S AIRPORT REPLACED BY KAVALA’S FOR 4 DAYS

    Thessaloniki’s “Macedonia” airport is to be closed for maintenance works for another four days during which time it will be replaced by the “Alexander the Great” airport in the northern Greek city of Kavala.

    Following a decision drawn by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and Olympic Airways, Kavala's airport will handle about 50 flights daily between May 8 and 12.

    The timetable allows 43 international flights from European countries daily and 7-8 domestic and charter flights carrying tourists from Europe.

    The runway works at Thessaloniki's airport are part of a month of projects to improve air access to the airport, where flights are often postponed due to fog.

    Also, the airport's ILS I landing system will be upgraded to ILS II, boosting visibility by 80 percent.

    [05] WESTERN EUROPEAN UNION TO CONFER IN RHODES THIS WEEKEND

    The Western European Union is to hold a conference at the island of Rhodes this weekend and, according to reports, NATO’s secretary-general Javier Solana is expected to refer to the subject of confidence-building -measures between Greece and Turkey.

    At the recent meeting of the WEU parliament in Spain, Mr. Solana met with Greek defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who invited the Alliance‘s chief to Greece this summer. The foreign and defense ministers of Greece and the other nine WEU members will be at the Rhodes conference, while Turkey’s defense minister will also attend, as Turkey has associate status in the WEU.

    [06] ALBANIAN PREMIER FAVORS PEACEFUL SOLUTION TO KOSSOVO

    Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano, who arrived in Thessaloniki last evening, has expressed his wish to reach a peaceful solution to the Kosovo crisis.

    He expressed his belief that both sides involved in the crisis will “proceed to a courageous dialogue, which will offer long-term solutions."

    Mr. Nano stated that his country has advised both sides, “Belgrade, which continues to strike at unarmed civilians, and to the representatives of the Albanian community who do not react in the same manner, that Albania is a member of the international community which exercises pressures and offers solutions for the peaceful settlement of historic differences."

    When asked if he was ready to meet with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, Mr. Nano responded yes, if the latter "takes off his military uniform."

    [07] GREEK PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT RECEIVES FINNISH COUNTEPRART

    The President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis received his Finnish counterpart Ritta Maria Uosukainen and both ascertained that the two countries enjoy excellent bilateral relations and ties of friendship.

    Mr. Kaklamanis and Ms. Uosukainen, who is on a three-day official visit to Greece and is heading a Finnish parliament delegation, discussed their countries’ convergence programs with the European Union, and reviewed the role played by national parliaments in upgrading the status of the European citizen.

    Ms. Uosukainen is scheduled to meet with the President of the Hellenic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, as well as opposition party leaders and other parliament officials.

    [08] GREEK AVIATION OFFICIALS APPLAUDED FOR KEY RING ALERTNESS

    The head of security at Athens international airport confirmed yesterday that Greek authorities have confiscated two small key-chain pistols which are undetectable by metal detectors and X-ray machines.

    According to a Reuters report, Takis Tassopoulos, civil aviation head of security at Athens airport, stated that the unloaded key rings were not detected by airport machines “but by very capable and experienced personnel who got suspicious.

    “They did not contain bullets. If they had then the alarm would have been set off. There have been arrests,” Mr. Tassopoulos said, without giving any more details.

    The deadly pocket gun, which can pass unnoticed through normal airport security checks, is causing concern among airport authorities around the world.

    The weapon, which resembles a key ring, fires two .32-calibre bullets and can kill at a range of 20 yards. The gun is covered in leather and able to bypass airport metal detectors. It is cocked by pulling on the ring and fired with the push of a button.

    The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is charged with United States aviation security, said it was warned about the gun earlier this year by Greek officials and has since warned all airlines and airport managers.

    [09] PUBLIC ORDER MINISTER RECEIVES ALBANIAN COUNTERPART

    Greece’s Public Order Minister George Romeos received his Albanian counterpart Perikli Teta in Athens yesterday, with whom he reviewed the relations between the two countries on police matters.

    The two officials agreed to improve coordination between the police forces of the two countries by appointing liaison officers and exchanging information.

    Mr. Romeos told Mr. Teta that if the two neighbors failed to take the necessary measures to curb the influx of illegal immigrants into Greece, then the situation would lead to serious problems for both countries.

    "Greece cannot endure any more economic refugees," Mr. Romeos said.

    Mr. Romeos is also expected to discuss the same matters with Albanian Premier Fatos Nano during the latter’s stay in Thessaloniki tomorrow.

    [10] MAN CONVICTED FOR POSSESSING “KEY-CHAIN” HAND GUN IN GREECE

    A man was arrested and has been convicted of attempting to pass a “key chain” hand gun through the Athens airport on April 29, Greek police announced yesterday.

    The 29-year-old jewelry store owner Ioannis Trabakopoulos was arrested on April 29 was later convicted to 21-month-prison term (and fined 800,000 drachmas) for possessing an unloaded "key chain" hand-gun which he tried to smuggle the pistol on board.

    Such pistols are not detectable by X-ray machines or other security equipment and it was sharp-eyed was police officers who noticed the weapon and arrested the man.

    According to the Public Order Ministry, 12 such weapons have been confiscated in Greece so far.

    [11] NANO VISITED THESSALONIKI’S TECHNOLOGICAL PARK

    Albanian prime minister Fatos Nano visited the American college “Anatolia”, the American farm school and the technological park in Thessaloniki.

    In the afternoon, he will speak in the general assembly of the Association of Industries in Northern Greece, while he will meet with Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos with whom he will discuss the developments in Kosovo.

    Tomorrow. Mr. Nano will go to Vergina and on Sunday he will be in Chalkidiki.

    [12] FATOS NANO’S STATEMENTS ON KOSOVO

    The use of weapons against civilians and the violation of human rights must stop in Kosovo and when this happens a peaceful co-existence can be achieved in the region, stressed Albanian prime minister Fatos Nano in statements he made in Thessaloniki today.

    Speaking to reporters in the Technological Park of Thessaloniki, he added that from the moment the incidents stop and the problems in Kosovo are resolved in a peaceful way the good cooperation between Greece and Albania can become a significant factor for the establishment of peaceful co-existence in the region.

    During his visit to the Technological Park, Mr. Nano had an unscheduled meeting with undersecretary of national economy and finance Christos Pachtas, who praised Mr. Nano’s role in the efforts aimed at the restructuring of Albania and wished for the country to meet its goal and become a member of the European Union.

    [13] PACHTAS: GREECE MUST WIN ITS BET ON EMU

    The bet Greece must win in the course toward the EMU is that of the competitiveness of its economy in the European and international economic environment, stressed undersecretary of national economy and finance Mr. Pachtas speaking in a Workers’ Union Center conference on the EMU and the “Euro” held in Thessaloniki.

    He also said that for the success of this attempt the strengthening of the public and structural part of the convergence program is imperative as well as, a new dynamic boost with the creation of the appropriate investment climate.

    [14] THE EMPLOYEES OF THE IONIAN BANK WENT ON STRIKE

    The Ionian Bank employees went on strike today protesting against the sale of their bank, while for the same reason the Greek Union of Bank Employees has decided a 24-hour strike to take place on Monday in all the Greek banks.

    Meanwhile, Parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis promised to the Ionian Bank representatives that he will intervene for the opening of dialogue with the government.

    [15] AN EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 4.6 ON THE RICHTER SCALE SHOOK CRETE

    An earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale shook the region of Agios Nikolaos in Crete, southern Aegean this morning. The earthquake’s epicenter was located at the sea region of Agios Nikolaos Bay, 340 kilometers south-east of Athens.

    The tremor alarmed the residents of eastern Crete, while no damages were reported to the local authorities.

    It should be noted, that three tremors measuring 4.8, 5 and 4.2 hit the same region three days ago.

    [16] INFORMATION OFFICES FOR WOMEN IN RURAL AREAS OF SEVEN BALKAN COUNTRIES

    The UNESCO center in Thessaloniki promotes the establishment of offices in Balkan countries that will provide with useful information the women working in rural areas in the effort to improve their work conditions.

    The program which is in progress provides for the establishment of information offices in 7 Balkan countries that will be linked with each other via a computer network.

    Those centers will offer information on issues of economic development, culture, education, social welfare and environmental protection.

    [17] ARCHBISHOP SPIRIDON-SKANDALIDIS-KRANIDIOTIS MEETING

    A Greek governmental and parliamentary delegation, which is on a visit to the US in order to participate in the first pan- American conference for the Hellenes abroad that will be held tomorrow, met today with the Archbishop of America Spiridon.

    The conference aims at the establishment of a mutual exchange of information concerning the joint course of the Hellenes in Greece and Abroad.

    The Archbishop had talks with the head of the delegation, secretary of the Central Committee of the governing party of PASOK, Kostas Skandalidis, the deputy Foreign minister Giannos Kranidiotis as well as with the president of the Cross-Party committee for the Hellenes Abroad, Grigoris Niotis.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [18] AMERICAN HELLENIC INSTITUTE PROTESTS US’ POSITION OVER S-300

    The State Department’s position on the S-300s is "a distortion of Orwellian proportions", according to the officials at the American Hellenic Institute who wrote a relevant letter of protest to recent statements made by White House Spokesman Mike McCurry who recently criticized the Cypriot government’s decision to buy the missiles.

    The letter says every country has a right to self-defense under international law and the UN Charter.

    It also adds that the missiles are defensive, and pose no offensive threat to anyone, least of all Turkey, a country which has an "overwhelmingly large population, maintains the areas' largest land army and represents the largest defense expenditure in NATO as a percentage of its GDP."

    The Institute also stressed that unless the US administration recognized that Cyprus was the victim and Turkey the belligerent aggressor, "there will be no progress on the Cyprus problem."

    [19] STATE DEPARTMENT PLEASED WITH GREEK RESPONSE ON PKK OFFICE

    US State Department spokesperson James Foley stated yesterday that the Clinton Administration is pleased with the statement- response made by the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry regarding (false) reports of the establishewmnt of a PKK office in Athens.

    “The Greek Foreign Ministry has told our Embassy in Athens that there has never been, is not and never will be an office of the PKK in Greece,” Mr. Foley stated at the daily State Department news briefing.

    He added that “we welcome this pledge, which is in keeping with Greece's international commitments on counter- terrorism.”

    [20] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER: WE AGREE WITH SOLANA’S CBMs

    Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos has confirmed the Greek government’s agreement with the confidence building measures (CBMs) proposed by the NATO secretary-general Javier Solana.

    In an interview with the Spanish daily “El Mundo”, given during his stay in Madrid for the recently-held WEU meeting, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos nevertheless added that Turkey is the country which consistently challenged the status quo of the Aegean Sea and does refrain from territorial designs against Greece and Cyprus.

    In regards to the communique signed between the Greek Premier and the Turkish President, Kostas Simitis and Suleiman Demirel respectively, during the Madrid Summit held approximately one year ago, the Defense Minister stated that no rapprochement was achieved up to date since “Turkey insists on bring tot he negotiations table all of its unilateral claims, some of which, according to international law, are unfounded.”

    Moreover, the Greek Defense Minister stressed that the Aegean Sea’s status quo has been determined in accordance with the Lausanne and Paris treaties and, as such, “there is nothing more to discuss.

    “If they (the Turks) want to express their disagreement, they can refer to the international court of Justice at The Hague, and stop their destabilizing acts.

    “The matter goes beyond bilateral ties and is affecting the whole region,” he stated.

    Moreover, he reiterated Greece’s firm position which favors Turkey’s European orientation.

    In regards to the Kossovo crisis, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that this constitutes a serious crisis for Greece.

    [21] CLERIDES: WE ARE GRATEFUL TO THE RUSSIANS

    “We are grateful to the Russians for the moral and material support they offer to the Cypriots which is very appreciated by our country especially, in the current phase it is in, said Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides in the meeting he had with Russian news agency Itar-Tass director Vital Ignatenko.

    Mr. Clerides stressed that his country never had problems with Russia in the sector of military cooperation, while all the contracts signed have been implemented successfully.

    He said that Cyprus is grateful for the fact that the Russian leadership responded immediately to the request for its supply with the necessary defense missiles.

    [22] TURKEY USES GERMAN WEAPONS AGAINST THE KURDS

    The Turkish army uses German weapons against the Kurds, according to revelations made by the German television channel APD. The German TV station maintained that Ankara has violated the agreement it had signed with Bonn, according to which Turkey is prohibited from using against the Kurds the weapons systems it has bought from Germany.

    Turkish army officers stated yesterday, in a popular APD television show, that German BTR-60 armored tanks had been used to put down a Kurdish uprising in Kars, in the summer of 1997.

    A Turkish army officer also stated that all the Kurdish rebels were killed even though they had given themselves up.

    [23] TENSION IN KOSOVO IS MOUNTING

    Tension in Kosovo increases as the clashes that took place yesterday had as a result 3 people to lose their lives, while 6 others were injured.

    A Yugoslav soldier and an Albanian were killed in clashes that broke out at the borders of the province with Albania.

    [24] NATO REJECTED THE PROPOSAL FOR THE DEPLOYMENT OF A MILITARY FORCE IN ALBANIA

    The ambassadors of the NATO member-states rejected the Albanian request for the deployment of a NATO military force at the borders with Kosovo.

    The alliance’s officials stated that NATO will try to help Albania only within the framework of the activities of the “Partnership for Peace” initiative, while at the same time they announced that they will reexamine Italy’s proposal to hold military exercises in Albanian territory.

    [25] THE MUZAHEDIN SUPPORT THE KOSOVO LIBERATION ARMY

    The Kosovo Liberation Army has the support of the pro-Iranian organization “Muzahedin”, according to revelations made by the British newspaper “Financial Times” which cites western information agencies, while at the same time, it confirms earlier speculations presented to the US Congress by US envoy in the Balkans Richard Gelbart.

    Mr. Gelbart, according to the newspaper, had stressed recently that the tough policy followed by Belgrade in Kosovo had as a result for the Kosovo Liberation Army to find supporters not only in this Serb province but among the Albanian diaspora in Europe and the United States. As well as, among certain radical organizations in Iran or even in Chechnya, which want to have access to Europe.

    In the “Financial Times” article, part of which was broadcast on the BBC radio, is maintained that the Muzahedin organizations, which had offered assistance to the Muslims in the Bosnian war, now help the Kosovo Liberation Army. And through the network they have formed they can give to the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo the ability to open new fronts by launching terrorist attacks against important targets in Belgrade.

    [26] ECOLOGICAL DISASTER AT THE GREEK-BULGARIAN BORDERS

    An man-made lake in the village of Erma Reka, close to the Greek-Bulgarian borders, where chemical waste from the region’s mines end up, threatens the Bulgarian region of Zlatograd with the worst ecological disaster of the past 10 years.

    The chemical waste, that is made up of large quantities of cyanide, has flooded neighborhoods of the Erma Reka village with a population of about 1.200 people.

    [27] UNDERWATER EXCAVATIONS ARE HELD FOR THE FIRST TIME BY GREEKS IN ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT

    The Greek Institute for the Protection of the Nautical Heritage and the Greek Institute of Ancient Medieval Alexandrian Studies, in cooperation with the Egyptian Antiquities Department, have recently started an underwater archeological research in the Bay of Alexandria, Egypt.

    It is the first underwater archeological research conducted by Greek scientists outside the Greek waters and has a special significance as Alexandria is a city deeply affected by the ancient Greek civilization.

    [28] RUSSIA:THE RECOGNITION OF THE TURKISH-CYPRIOT LEADERSHIP IS OUT OF THE QUESTION

    Russia reiterated today, during the meeting of the five representatives of the UN Security Council on the Cyprus issue, its stance that the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus” should not be recognised.

    The permanent Russian representative in the UN, Sergei Lavrov, expressed his country’s firm position that the recognition of the “TRNC” is out of the question and stressed the need for the Security Council to determine its stance towards the Cyprus issue soon.

    The Russian statements were rejected by the US and Great Britain, the representatives of which underlined that such an announcement would not be expedient yet.

    [29] FATOS NANO CALLS ON GREEK BUSINESSMEN TO INVEST ON ALBANIA

    Albanian prime minister Fatos Nano, in the speech he addressed today at the annual general assembly of the Northern Greek Industries Federation, in Thessaloniki, called on Greek businessmen to invest on his country.

    Mr Nano thanked Greece for its support which contributed to the normalization of the life in Albania and for the 20-million- dollars loan it granted his country.

    Regarding the Albanian refugees in Greece, mr Nano stressed their contribution to the development of the Greek economy due to low salaries and called on Greek businessmen to consider their potential profit if they invested directly on Albania, assuring them that they would not run any risks of losing their investments since the order in Albania is completely restored and describing as groundless all relevant concerns.

    He particularly referred to his country’s rich resources and underlined that the government initiated a course of constitutional, economic, political, institutional and judicial reforms.

    The Albanian prime minister presented his government’s financial objectives and, referring to the encouraging reports by several international economic organizations, such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, he pointed out that the inflation is expected to fall down to10% and the deficit to a level below the10% of the GNP while he predicted that within the next 3 years the country’s development will reach a percentage of 7-8% and the deficit will be reduced to 6%.

    Mr Nano reiterated that he will insist on his bids towards privatization and the abolition of monopolies in his country where- as he said-the 80% of the assets belong to the state while he vowed that all bureaucratic procedures necessary for business activities would be simplified.

    The Albanian premier expressed his conviction that cooperation is the only way to achieve stability in the Balkans and called on Greek people to participate in the progress and success which Albania will soon achieve.


    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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