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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-05-12

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, May 12, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ECONOMY MINISTER TO CHAIR MEETING ON PRIVATIZATION

  • [02] TURKEY’S DEFENSE MINISTER COMMENTS ON G/T RELATIONS

  • [03] ECONOMY MINISTER TO ADDRESS SEMINAR ON PRIVATIZATION PROCESS

  • [04] WEU MEETING CONTINUES IN RHODES TODAY

  • [05] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS TO BE RECEIVED BY PREMIER

  • [06] PANGALOS COMMENTS ON NATO INTERVENTION IN KOSOVO

  • [07] THE WEU PROCEEDINGS CONTINUE IN RHODES

  • [08] REPPAS’ COMMENTS ON THE SEZGUIN STATEMENTS

  • [09] THE SIMITIS-CHRISTODOULOS MEETING WAS HELD IN A GOOD CLIMATE

  • [10] REPPAS’ STATEMENTS ON THE SIMITIS-CHRISTODOULOS MEETING

  • [11] THE INTEREST OF GREEK INVESTORS HAS FOCUSED ON ROMANIA

  • [12] THE WEU CONFERENCE WAS COMPLETED

  • [13] THE “PAPAGEORGIOU” HOSPITAL TO OPERATE SOON


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [14] RICHARD HOLBROOKE TO MEET AGAIN WITH IBRAHIM RUGOVA

  • [15] LIFE IN 21ST CENTURY WILL BE HEALTHIER, ACCORDING TO UN REPORT

  • [16] HALBROOKE IS ON A VISIT TO PRISTINA

  • [17] KRANIDIOTIS: CYPRUS HAS THE RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE

  • [18] GREEK INVESTOR ACCUSES A ROMANIAN BANK OF FRAUD

  • [19] ARMED CLASHES ARE REPORTED ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF PRISTINA IN KOSOVO

  • [20] INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN SOFIA ON RIGAS VELESTINLIS

  • [21] ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON THE PRESIDENT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS UNION IN TURKEY

  • [22] MILOSEVIC MET WITH A RUGOVA REPRESENTATIVE


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] ECONOMY MINISTER TO CHAIR MEETING ON PRIVATIZATION

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou is to chair a ministerial meeting on the state’s privatization process tomorrow.

    Until the end of the week, the Bank of Greece and the government are to determine the policy they will adopt on matters concerning labor, insurance and privatization of the state-owned enterprises.

    Moreover, tomorrow’s meeting will finalize the sale, through the stock market, of a fourth of the Greek Petroleum’s shares, 75% of the country’s duty free shops and an additional 15% of the state telecommunication organization’s (OTE) shares.

    [02] TURKEY’S DEFENSE MINISTER COMMENTS ON G/T RELATIONS

    Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Sezgin has not ruled out his country’s recourse tot he International Court of Justice at The Hague, while at the same time he stressed that Ankara wants to discuss with Greece its sovereign rights in the Aegean, accusing the Greek government of militarizing the island’s in the eastern Aegean, and warning that Turkey will take the necessary measures if the S-300 missiles are installed in Cyprus.

    In an interview with a Greek daily, Mr. Sezgin that his country’s military planes are not bound to uphold ICAO regulations while in regards to the challenge of Greece’s sovereignty in 4-5 inhabited island, he added that “there is a way out. All the issues can be set forth in the framework of a dialogue

    These problems... can be solved if we sit down at a [negotiating] table," he said in the interview published today.

    In regards to the Lausanne treaty, Mr. Sezgin said that “we can set forth all the Articles of the Lausanne Treaty, but not in one of these Articles is there the term that the islands be militarized. Nevertheless, there is military on the islands.”

    Concerning Greece’s proposal that Turkey seek recourse with the International court of Justice at The Hague, Mr. Sezgin stated that “the International court of Justice at the Hague is the last institution that we would seek recourse with. We could set forth all the issues that concern us and, if we don’t reach an agreement, then the only institution that remains for us to seek recourse with will be the ICH.”

    [03] ECONOMY MINISTER TO ADDRESS SEMINAR ON PRIVATIZATION PROCESS

    National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou will be the guest speaker at a seminar on privatization today, an event organized by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE).

    The seminar is titled "Demystifying Privatization" and will focus on the process in Greece in the context of Europe, pinpointing the obstacles to success.

    [04] WEU MEETING CONTINUES IN RHODES TODAY

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

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

    Turkish Defense Minister, in an interview with an Athens daily, said that his country’s could resort to the International Court of Justice at the Hague if talks take place between Athens and Ankara and if these talks arrive at some conclusion.

    Meanwhile, bilateral talks between the Greek and the Turkish sides on the confidence Building Measures over the Aegean did not take place yesterday at the meeting.

    [05] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS TO BE RECEIVED BY PREMIER

    The newly-elected Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece Christodoulos, will meet with Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in Athens today.

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stated that this is a ceremonial contact. On behalf of the Archbishop, the Metropolite of Serres Maximos stated that Mr. Christodoulos is ready to discuss ecclesiastical issues, such as the taxation of church and others.

    [06] PANGALOS COMMENTS ON NATO INTERVENTION IN KOSOVO

    On the sidelines of yesterday’s session of the Western European Union Foreign and Defense Ministers Conference, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos expressed strong doubts that an idea for intervention in Kosovo had been put forward within the NATO alliance.

    "It is a matter of interpretation. I would be very guarded on whether such an idea was being examined by NATO," he told reporters.

    Fifty-six foreign and defense ministers from 28 European countries participate in the two-day WEU summit, with the participation of NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana.

    [07] THE WEU PROCEEDINGS CONTINUE IN RHODES

    The Western European Union foreign and defense ministers’ summit continues in the south-eastern Aegean island of Rhodes.

    In an interview with an Athens newspaper, the Turkish minister of defense suggested direct dialogue with Athens on every aspect of Ankara’s claims in the Aegean. Mr. Sezguin leaves open the likelihood of a Turkish appeal to The Hague if the preceding talks between the two sides reach a conclusion.

    No bilateral contacts were held between the Greek and the Turkish side on the issue of the confidence-building-measures in the Aegean.

    Mr. Sezguin, speaking in the two-day conference, repeated the provocative position of his country when he reiterated that there are geographic regions with islands in the Aegean on which the two sides should enter negotiations.

    On the issue of the allegations concerning Greece’s assistance to the Kurdish PKK party, the Turkish minister of defense stated that he wants to believe that this is not true. At the same time, Turkish armed forces deputy commander Cevik Bir reiterated the Turkish allegations that Greece’s support to the PKK is a reality, while the Turkish foreign ministry spokesman stated that the generals in Turkey will not allow the installation of the Russian S-300 missiles in Cyprus.

    Greece has reacted in a specific way to the known Turkish position and can not respond each time Turkey raises the same issue for its own policy purposes, stressed Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos in response to the Sezguin statements. The Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos expressed the position that the Greek views are absolutely clear.

    [08] REPPAS’ COMMENTS ON THE SEZGUIN STATEMENTS

    Commenting on the statements made by Turkish minister of defense Ismet Sezguin to the Athens newspaper “TA NEA”, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the policy followed by Ankara is known, promoting as a demand the negotiations in Cyprus, while he blamed Turkey for the fact that the Greek-Turkish relations continue to be cold.

    Mr. Reppas also mentioned that the policy followed by Ankara is being handled decisively by Greece and that the Greek policy is specified.

    [09] THE SIMITIS-CHRISTODOULOS MEETING WAS HELD IN A GOOD CLIMATE

    The framework of the effective cooperation between the Church and the State has been determined in the past decades and the cooperation for the joint solution of problems will continue within this framework, stated prime minister Kostas Simitis after the meeting he had with Archbishop Christodoulos.

    From his part, the Archbishop said that in the meeting were raised essential issues on the role of Orthodoxy, the state and the nation.

    [10] REPPAS’ STATEMENTS ON THE SIMITIS-CHRISTODOULOS MEETING

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas reiterated today that the meeting prime minister Kostas Simitis had with Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece was aimed at the exchange of views on issues concerning the relations between the State and the Church and added that each one has distinctive tasks and roles.

    Mr. Reppas also stated that the government wants to have an excellent relation-cooperation with the Church for the handling of any problems that may exist in the Church.

    [11] THE INTEREST OF GREEK INVESTORS HAS FOCUSED ON ROMANIA

    The interest of Greek investors appears to be directed toward Romania as the country occupies a leading place as far as the comparative advantages for the protection of business initiatives are concerned.

    It should be noted, that Greece occupies the 12th place among foreign investors in Romania based on the amount of invested capital and the 14th place based on the number of business units open.

    Since 1994, the Greek exports to Romania have presented a steady upward trend even though the variety of the exported products is regarded as limited.

    [12] THE WEU CONFERENCE WAS COMPLETED

    The two-day conference of the Western European Union Foreign and Defense ministers, which took place in the south-eastern Aegean island of Rhodes, was completed today. All the WEU members concluded on the need to expand the business capacities of the Union, to strengthen the cooperation with NATO and to ratify the Amsterdam Treaty on joint defense.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Defense minister Ismet Zezgin reiterated his country’s provocative views concerning the existence of “gray zones” in the Aegean sea.

    Regarding the results of the conference, the Bulgarian Foreign minister Nazgenda Michailova stressed that Europe realized that the Balkans are not just a source of instability and conflict but, also, an indication for optimism towards a more constructive cooperation.

    [13] THE “PAPAGEORGIOU” HOSPITAL TO OPERATE SOON

    The modified law for the operation of the “Papageorgiou” Hospital, in western Thessaloniki, was discussed today during a session of the standing Parliamentary Social Affairs Committee.

    Greek minister as well as deputy minister of Health, Kostas Gitonas and Manolis Skoulakis, respectively, reassured that the new hospital, the official name of which will be “General Regional Hospital Papageorgiou”, will operate under the same rules as all private hospitals and noted that it will have financial and administrative independence.

    However, the opposition will not support the law, according to statements made by deputies of all opposition parties. The Parliament does not have the right to suggest further modifications but only to approve or reject the law.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [14] RICHARD HOLBROOKE TO MEET AGAIN WITH IBRAHIM RUGOVA

    United States presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke is to travel to Prishtina today in order to meet with the leader of Kossovo’s Albanian community Ibrahim Rugova. After meeting with Serb President Slobodan Milosevic yesterday, Mr. Holbrooke stated that the distance between the two leaders of Kossovo is vast.

    Mr. Holbrooke stated that his earlier meetings in Belgrade with Milosevic and with Rugova in Tirana 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.

    [15] LIFE IN 21ST CENTURY WILL BE HEALTHIER, ACCORDING TO UN REPORT

    Life in the twenty-first century should be healthier and longer for more people than ever before, according to a major report released yesterday by the UN World Health Organization (WHO).

    In The World Health Report 1998, WHO offers a "cautiously optimistic" view of the future. It predicts that worldwide, premature deaths -- defined as occurring before the age of 50 years -- will be cut by half by the year 2025. But it warns that in 1998, over 7 million adults will die before reaching this age, and 10 million children will die before their fifth birthday.

    WHO says global life expectancy at birth, now 66 years, is projected to reach 73 years by 2025. However, Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, WHO's Director- General, points out that the extra years are shared unequally among rich and poor. "Tragically, while average life expectancy has been increasing throughout the 20th century," he says, "three out of four people in the least developed countries are dying before the age of 50 - - the global life expectancy of half a century ago".

    Dr. Nakajima says the international community's prime concern must be the plight of those most likely to be left furthest behind "as the rest of the world steps confidently into the future".

    The Report, which is based on a review of health trends over the last 50 years, finds that socioeconomic development and major advances in health have benefited people in most countries and are likely to continue in the next century, unless a major economic crisis arises. The Report cites "an unmistakable trend towards healthier, longer life".

    For developing countries, the good news is that by 2025, infectious diseases such as poliomyelitis, leprosy, guinea-worm disease, filariasis and hepatitis B, which together afflict and disable hundreds of millions of people, will have been eliminated or reduced to very low levels.

    In the industrialized world, where the aging population is a major concern, declines in disability from heart disease and some cancers among older people are already evident, due to prevention programs, education and improved treatment, WHO says. Technological advances, and more progress in medical research, treatment, care and rehabilitation should further enhance the quality of life, especially for older people.

    [16] HALBROOKE IS ON A VISIT TO PRISTINA

    US presidential envoy Richard Halbrooke is scheduled to meet with the leaders of the ethnic Albanian population in Kosovo.

    The US diplomat is also scheduled to go to Belgrade for new contacts with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

    [17] KRANIDIOTIS: CYPRUS HAS THE RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE

    Greek undersecretary of foreign affairs Yannos Kranidiotis, speaking in the Carnegie Institute in Washington yesterday issued an appeal to the United States to continue their initiatives for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Kranidiotis characterized as positive the fact that the US initiatives seek for solutions that are based on the UN resolutions and are aimed at a two-zone, two-community federation.

    He also pointed out that the US decision not to recognize the Turkish Cypriot regime is a favorable development but expressed disappointment for the failure of US presidential envoy Richard Halbrooke’s mission aimed at the resumption of negotiations between the two communities on the island.

    Responding to a question on the S-300 missiles, Mr. Kranidiotis stated that it is a defense missile system and that Cyprus, just like any other country, has the right of self- defense. Mr. Kranidiotis stated that the missiles are necessary due to the strong Turkish military presence on the island and that in any case Cypriot president Clerides’ proposal for demilitarization is on the table and awaits for the approval of the other side.

    [18] GREEK INVESTOR ACCUSES A ROMANIAN BANK OF FRAUD

    The Romanian “Ion Tiriac Bank” is accused by Greek ship-owner Stelios Katounis of misappropriating 25 million dollars. The main shareholder of the bank is former tennis champion Tiriac, according to the Romanian newspaper “National”.

    The newspaper published copies of the letter sent by Mr. Katounis to the bank accusing it of “premeditated theft”.

    Mr. Katounis had deposited 25 million dollars to the bank in 1993 as a guarantee for the purchase of cargo ships but soon after he discovered that the bank had caused the deposits made from 1993 to 1995 to disappear through a number of transfers. The fraud came to light when the deal with the Romanian state collapsed.

    [19] ARMED CLASHES ARE REPORTED ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF PRISTINA IN KOSOVO

    The armed clashes continue in Kosovo, in spite of the endless consultations of the US envoys with the Yugoslav leadership and the leaders of the ethnic Albanian population in the province.

    According to information, armed clashes between the Yugoslav police forces and members of the Kosovo Liberation Army were reported on the outskirts of the provincial capital Pristina yesterday and today.

    Also, based on information, Yugoslav police forces have opened fire against armed members of the Liberation Army at the village of Slatina, 12 kilometers from Pristina and very close to its airport. According to Albanian sources, three people have been injured and similar scenes are reported across Kosovo and especially near the Yugoslav-Albanian borders.

    [20] INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN SOFIA ON RIGAS VELESTINLIS

    An international conference on “Rigas and the supporters of the Balkan Federation idea” opened in Sofia today with the participation of scientists from Greece, Bulgaria and Germany. The presentations that will be made by the conference participants will focus on Rigas Velestinlis’ contribution aimed at joining together the efforts of the Balkan peoples for their liberation from the Ottoman Turks in the 18th and the 19th centuries.

    The conference has been organized by the Greek ministry of culture and the National Bank of Greece.

    Sofia National Library director Cyril Topalov stressed in his speech that the idea for the creation of a Balkan Federation, expressed by the ideologists of the Balkan national liberation movements against the Ottoman rule, should be turned today into an idea promoting the creation of a Balkan community as well as, the free spiritual, cultural, trade, economic and political communication among the Balkan peoples.

    [21] ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON THE PRESIDENT OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS UNION IN TURKEY

    Akin Birdal, known for his efforts for the protection of human rights in Turkey and president of the Human Rights Union was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after he was shot by terrorists in Ankara.

    The hospital doctors stated that he was shot 6 times by unidentified gunmen who opened fire at him while he was in his office. His condition is described as very critical and according to the doctors his life is in immediate danger.

    [22] MILOSEVIC MET WITH A RUGOVA REPRESENTATIVE

    The U.S. delegation, headed by Richard Holbrooke, arrived today in Belgrade, in order to hold new rounds of talks with the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Slobodan Milosevic, concerning the settlement of the Kosovo crisis.

    The Belgrade-based press agency “BETA”, quoting Albanian sources, reported that the assistant of the Kosovo Albanians’ leader Ibrahim Rugova, Fehmi Agani, also participates in the talks.


    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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