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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-05-11

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, May 11, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] WEU MEETING BEGINS IN RHODES TODAY

  • [02] ALL GREEK BANKS TO BE CLOSED TODAY

  • [03] GREEK FOREIGN AND DEFENSE MINISTERS AT THE WEU CONFERENCE

  • [04] GREECE SWEEPS 29 MEDALS IN “ACROPOLIS” WORLD SWIM MEET

  • [05] HOLY SYNOD CONVENES UNDER ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS

  • [06] GENERAL INDEX DROPS BY 6.53%

  • [07] REPPAS: THE CHURCH LEADERS’ FUNCTIONS ARE DEFINED

  • [08] THE WEU SUMMIT OPENED IN RHODES

  • [09] CONTACTS ON THE SIDELINES OF THE WEU SUMMIT

  • [10] THE HOLY SYNOD OPENS ITS MEETING TODAY

  • [11] MILOSEVIC-HALBROOKE MEETING

  • [12] THE “GREEK PETROLEUM LTD” EMPLOYEES THREATEN WITH STRIKE ACTION

  • [13] THE “ST.GEORGIOS MILLS” WILL UNDERTAKE THE MANAGEMENT OF THE LARGEST FLOUR INDUSTRY IN GEORGIA

  • [14] THE AMBASSADORS OF BULGARIA AND S.AFRICA VISITED THE GREEK PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT

  • [15] THE MINISTERIAL SESSION OF THE WEU CONTINUES

  • [16] ROMEOS-BONEV MEETING FOR FIGHTING AGAINST CRIME


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [17] FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY IN WASHINGTON

  • [18] RICHARD HOLBROOKE’S MEETINGS IN BELGRADE BEAR NO RESULTS

  • [19] NEW ROUND OF TALKS BETWEEN HOLBROOKE, MILOSEVIC

  • [20] ALBANIAN PM SAYS NO TO UNILATERAL PROPOSALS ON KOSSOVO

  • [21] THE EURO-PARLIAMENT WANTS EU INITIATIVES IN THE BALKANS

  • [22] A TURKISH CYPRIOT PASSENGER PLANE MISSED THE RUNWAY

  • [23] THE CYPRIOT STRUGGLE WORLD COMMITTEE CONFERENCE OPENS IN WASHINGTON TOMORROW


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] WEU MEETING BEGINS IN RHODES TODAY

    The two-day conference of the Western European Union’s Defense and Foreign Ministers is to begin at the island of Rhodes today.

    Greece, which is presently holding the WEU’s six-month rotating presidency, will be represented by the Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

    The participants at the conference are to set forth the issue of Kossovo and the need to take measures in order to avert a worsening of the crisis, while NATO secretary-general is to discuss the Confidence Building Measures over the Aegean Sea with the Defense Ministers of Greece and Turkey.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Defense Minister has stated that he will not bring up his country’s accusations that the PKK has set up offices in Greece.

    [02] ALL GREEK BANKS TO BE CLOSED TODAY

    All of Greece's banks are to be closed today in protest of the state's decision to privatize Ionian Bank, a subsidiary of the state-run Commercial Bank.

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos 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.

    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 round 6 per cent of loans and 7.5 per cent of deposits nationwide.

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

    [03] GREEK FOREIGN AND DEFENSE MINISTERS AT THE WEU CONFERENCE

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos is currently at the island of Rhodes today, accompanied by alternate foreign Minister George Papandreou, in order to take part a the Western European Union conference.

    Yesterday, Mr. Pangalos stated there were "certain thoughts on the WEU playing some role" in defusing the Kossovo situation, focusing on the parameters "that could lead to the problem spreading, such as weapons trafficking and the unchecked activity of armed bands".

    He added that we will have to see what the intentions of our other colleagues are and, chiefly, what the general disposition is towards giving the WEU a role comparable to that (played) in Albania, for example. "

    Greece’s Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos has stated that the Western European Union is now becoming a more effective instrument for ensuring peace and stability in Europe than it was in the past, given the tripartite relationship between the European Union, the WEU and NATO.

    "The WEU will gradually, on the basis of that defined by the Amsterdam treaty, become the defense arm of the European Union while at the same time it constitutes the European pillar of the North Atlantic Alliance," Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said.

    WEU Secretary-General Jose Cutilheiro, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana as well as EU Commissioner responsible for foreign affairs Hans van den Broek will be among the participants at the meeting, the first hosted by Greece as the holder of the current rotating six-month presidency. Greece became a full WEU member in March 1995.

    Issues to be discussed by 56 foreign and defense ministers from WEU member- states, associate members and observer states include the organization's role and prospects after the Amsterdam and Madrid summits, the WEU's role in the management of crises and upgrading its operational capabilities.

    The WEU has 10 full members -- Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain, Portugal and Greece. The five other EU members - Austria, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Ireland - are observers and NATO members Iceland, Turkey and Norway are associate WEU members. Ten East European neighbors of the EU are ``associate partners.''

    [04] GREECE SWEEPS 29 MEDALS IN “ACROPOLIS” WORLD SWIM MEET

    Greece’s swept seven gold, 10 silver and 12 bronze medals during the 12th international swim meet “Acropolis” held in Athens.

    Specifically, in the men’s races, Greece won gold and silver at the 100-meter Butterfly Heat, gold, silver and bronze at the 200-meter freestyle and bronze at the 200 backstroke.

    In women, Greece earned silver in the 100 freestyle and bronze in the 200 butterfly.

    [05] HOLY SYNOD CONVENES UNDER ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS

    The Holy Synod is convening today for the first time under leadership of the newly-elected Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece Christodoulos, with whom it will review religious matters.

    Tomorrow, the Archbishop will meet with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and the two are expected to discuss relations between church and state.

    [06] GENERAL INDEX DROPS BY 6.53%

    The Greek stock market’s general index ended 6.53 percent lower at the close of last week, accompanied by bond liquidation and price restructuring.

    Banks plunged 3.35 percent, Insurance fell 1.87 percent, Investment was 3.47 percent off, Leasing dropped 1.56 percent, Industrials ended 2.79 percent down and Construction rose 0.50 percent.

    [07] REPPAS: THE CHURCH LEADERS’ FUNCTIONS ARE DEFINED

    The relations and the functions of the Church leaders are defined, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas when he was asked by reporters to comment on tomorrow’s meeting between prime minister Kostas Simitis and Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece.

    On the Church-State relations, Mr. Reppas said that they were excellent in the past and expressed the hope that they will continue to be excellent within the framework of the Constitution and the state laws. He also underlined that the Simitis- Christodoulos meeting has a clearly ceremonial character.

    [08] THE WEU SUMMIT OPENED IN RHODES

    The Western European Union foreign and defense ministers’ meeting opened in the south-eastern Aegean island of Rhodes at noon today. Issues for discussion will be the situation in the Balkans and especially in Kosovo, the WEU relations with NATO and the course of democratization in Albania.

    Meanwhile, Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos is expected to meet with his Turkish counterpart Ismet Sezguin on the sidelines of the summit.

    [09] CONTACTS ON THE SIDELINES OF THE WEU SUMMIT

    The Greek ministers and undersecretaries of foreign affairs and defense had a number of contacts with their European counterparts within the framework of the two-day summit of the Western European Union in the south-eastern Aegean island of Rhodes that deals with the situation in the Balkans and especially in Kosovo, the relations of the WEU with NATO and the course of democratization in Albania.

    Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos had a private meeting with his British counterpart George Robertson and briefed him on the Greek positions regarding the operational upgrading of the WEU.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos also raised Cyprus’ request to become an associate member of the WEU.

    Yesterday, Greek deputy foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou met with Portuguese foreign minister Mr. Gama, while Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos is scheduled to meet tomorrow with Bulgarian foreign minister Ms. Michailova.

    [10] THE HOLY SYNOD OPENS ITS MEETING TODAY

    The meeting of the Holy Synod, that is presided over by Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece, opened today and will be completed on Thursday. In the meeting will be examined crucial ecclesiastical issues.

    The head of the Greek Church will meet tomorrow with prime minister Kostas Simitis and their talks will focus on the Church- state relations.

    [11] MILOSEVIC-HALBROOKE MEETING

    US diplomats Richarc Halbrooke and Robert Gelbart will have a new round of talks with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade today.

    Meanwhile, the prime minister of Albania responding to a MPA question stressed that his country will not accept unilateral initiatives on the Kosovo problem.

    [12] THE “GREEK PETROLEUM LTD” EMPLOYEES THREATEN WITH STRIKE ACTION

    The employees of the “Greek Petroleum Ltd” in northern Greece examine the likelihood of strike action if they do not receive assurances that their demands will be met during the Wednesday meeting with the company president.

    They have already warned the company with strikes and other forms of mobilizations in case the already announced investments are not made especially, in the sectors of chemicals. The promised investments are necessary to ward off the danger of losing 300 jobs.

    [13] THE “ST.GEORGIOS MILLS” WILL UNDERTAKE THE MANAGEMENT OF THE LARGEST FLOUR INDUSTRY IN GEORGIA

    The leading Greek flour industry “St. Georgios Mills” is in the process of materializing a new important investment move.

    Specifically, it will undertake the management of the largest flour industry in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, while it will buy-out a small stake of the industry. The majority of the Georgian flour industry stake belongs to a consortium of German and French businessmen.

    Meanwhile, “St. Georgios Mills” aims at putting its products on the shelves of about 80 retail food stores in Romania. Already, products of the pasta industry “STELLA”, that has been bought by “St. Georgios Mills”, are on the shelves of the Romanian retail food stores.

    [14] THE AMBASSADORS OF BULGARIA AND S.AFRICA VISITED THE GREEK PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT

    Greek Parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis received outgoing Bulgarian ambassador to Athens Branimir Petrov and the two men confirmed the excellent cooperation climate between their two countries.

    Later, Mr. Kaklamanis received South African ambassador to Athens David Jacobs, who briefed him of the situation in his country, stressing the positive role the Greek community plays in the development of South Africa.

    Mr. Kaklamanis issued an invitation to the president of the South African Parliament for an official visit to Greece.

    [15] THE MINISTERIAL SESSION OF THE WEU CONTINUES

    The ministerial session of the Western European Union Foreign and Defence ministers, which focused on the Kosovo crisis and the general situation in the Balkans, continues in a good climate in the south-eastern Aegean island of Rhodes.

    Regarding a demand from Cyprus to become an affiliated member of the WEU, the Turkish Defence Minister Ismet Sezgin claimed that the Cypriot government does not represent the whole island.

    Responding to the turkish view, Greek ministers of Defence Akis Tsohatzopoulos and Foreign Affairs Theodoros Pangalos pointed out that the Cypriot Republic’s government is the only one, internationally recognized.

    [16] ROMEOS-BONEV MEETING FOR FIGHTING AGAINST CRIME

    Greek minister of National Order Giorgos Romeos and Bulgarian Internal minister Bogomil Bonev, at a meeting they had today in Sofia, discussed the eventuality of a Greek-Bulgarian cooperation concerning the fight against car smuggling.

    The two ministers also examined the potential for information exchange regarding arrests of Greek and Bulgarian citizens who are accused of criminal acts, in the two countries.

    Mr Romeos’ three-day visit to Sofia is held within the framework of bilateral meetings which were planned in Athens last January.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [17] FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY IN WASHINGTON

    Greece’s undersecretary of Foreign Affairs is currently visiting Washington where he is to hold talks regarding the Cyprus problem. Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides is to also travel to Washington on May 20. Meanwhile, in an interview with a Greek daily yesterday, the US special coordinator for the Cyprus issue Thomas Miller expressed his fears of the possibility if a warm incident taking place either in or in the Aegean.

    [18] RICHARD HOLBROOKE’S MEETINGS IN BELGRADE BEAR NO RESULTS

    United States presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke’s meetings in Belgrade with Serb President Slobodan Milosevic and in Tirana with the leader of Kossovo’s Albanian community Ibrahim Rugova has born no results, as Mr. Milosevic has "made it clear he does not want an international negotiator."

    Mr. Holbrooke told reporters that he had "no idea" about how to resolve the Kosovo crisis and was concerned after the Albanians warned him that "violence is spreading like wildfire."

    At least 150 people have been killed in fighting between Serbian police and guerrillas of the ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) this year.

    [19] NEW ROUND OF TALKS BETWEEN HOLBROOKE, MILOSEVIC

    United States presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke and his assistant Robert Gelbard are to meet with Serb President Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade today, for another round of talks regarding the Kossovo crisis.

    The American diplomats met with Mr. Milosevic on Friday and traveled to Prishtina and Tirana yesterday where they met with the leader of the Albanian community of Kossovo Ibrahim Rugova.

    Msgrs. Holbrooke and Gelbard stated that the United States respect Yugoslavia’s territorial integrity but added that the Kossovo issue is far more complex than that of Bosnia since “both the Serbs and the Albanians set forth history-based arguments regarding Kossovo’s reign.”

    They likened the Kossovo crisis with the situation in Jerusalem.

    [20] ALBANIAN PM SAYS NO TO UNILATERAL PROPOSALS ON KOSSOVO

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Albania’s Prime Minister Fatos Nano stated that his country will not accept unilateral initiatives regarding Kossovo.

    Responding to a question on the influence he holds over Kossovo’s Albanians, Mr. Nano stated that he trusts the new generation’s maturity, displayed through the young people’s return to the schools.

    [21] THE EURO-PARLIAMENT WANTS EU INITIATIVES IN THE BALKANS

    A report prepared by British Euro-deputy Tom Spencer, president of the European Parliament foreign relations committee, will be discussed during the week in the Euro-Parliament’s plenary session and promotes the view that the European Union should undertake initiatives in the Balkans.

    At the same time, the Euro-deputies will discuss the draft resolution calling for the activation of the EU in dealing with the crisis in the Balkans, as the majority of them stress that until now the US presence is dominant in the region.

    The members of the Euro-Parliament criticize the lack of ambition in forming a joint and comprehensive policy in the Balkans, where the political influence of the EU remains limited compared to that of the United States.

    [22] A TURKISH CYPRIOT PASSENGER PLANE MISSED THE RUNWAY

    A Boeing 727 passenger plane of the Turkish Cypriot airlines coming from Antalia, Turkey had a brake failure during landing at the airport of Timpou in the occupied northern part of Cyprus.

    The passenger plane missed the runway, according to the Turkish radio station “Bairak” and no injuries were reported among its 92 passengers and crew.

    [23] THE CYPRIOT STRUGGLE WORLD COMMITTEE CONFERENCE OPENS IN WASHINGTON TOMORROW

    The Cypriot Struggle World Coordinating Committee Conference opens in Washington tomorrow with the participation of representatives from the United States, Canada, Cyprus, Europe, Australia and Africa.

    The conference will be held at the Capitol Hill and will last until May 14. The participants will have the opportunity to meet with US Senators and House Representatives and brief them on the developments in the Cyprus problem, while the conference participants themselves will have the chance to be briefed on the actions of the US government.

    On May 14, the conference participants will hold a protest rally for the first time and Archbishop Spyridon of America will hold a memorial service for Andreas Kasapis. The young Cypriot, who was killed during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 at the age of 17 and his remains were found in the occupied northern part of the island.

    During the conference, the representatives of the Pan-Cypriot Association in Florida will deliver an open letter to all the US Senators and House Representatives, co-signed by all the associations members of the pan-Hellenic Federation of Florida, under the title : “Turkey, the trouble-maker of Europe and the Turkish Expansionism”.


    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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