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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-05-13

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, May 13, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ECONOMY MINISTER TO CHAIR MEETING ON PRIVATIZATION

  • [02] SE EUROPEAN MP MEETING BEGINS IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW

  • [03] NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE OPENS BRANCH IN BUCHAREST

  • [04] GREEK EU COMMISSIONER OPENS ENERGY CONFERENCE

  • [05] TWELVE STATE-RUN COMPANIES WILL BE PRIVATIZED

  • [06] THE GOVERNMENT WILL PROCEED WITH THE MERGER OF SOCIAL SECURITY FUNDS

  • [07] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT TARGETING AKIN BIRDAL

  • [08] PAOK-PAO 1-1 AT THE FINAL BASKETBALL GAME


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [09] US SECRETARY OF STATE COMMENTS ON CYPRUS ISSUE

  • [10] ARMED CLASHES REPORTED IN PRISHTINA

  • [11] ALBANIAN LEADER RUGOVA TO MEET WITH PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC

  • [12] EU SUPPORTS FOUNDING OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

  • [13] SOUTHERN CAUCASUS: EC OKs MECU9.6 IN HUMANITARIAN AID

  • [14] THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL OPENS THIS EVENING

  • [15] MILOSEVIC-RUGOVA MEETING ON FRIDAY

  • [16] INCONTESTABLE EVIDENCE SUPPORT THE GREEK POSITIONS IN THE AEGEAN

  • [17] VETRIN: THE PARTICIPATION OF THE TURKISH CYPRIOTS IS NOT A PRE-CONDITION FOR THE EU ACCESSION TALKS

  • [18] KIPRIANOU-BRILL MEETING IN NICOSIA

  • [19] AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL DENOUNCES THE ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON AKIN BIRDAL

  • [20] “THE NEW YORK TIMES”: THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO WILL SPILL OVER INTO FYROM

  • [21] EIGHT ALGERIAN TERRORISTS PLANNING FOOTBALL WORLD CUP ATTACKS WERE ARRESTED

  • [22] ALBANIA SATISFIED OVER MILOSEVIC-RUGOVA DIALOGUE


  • 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 today. 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, today’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] SE EUROPEAN MP MEETING BEGINS IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW

    Parliamentarians from countries in southeast Europe are to meet in Thessaloniki tomorrow where they will discuss the developing cooperation between parliaments in the region on political, economic, defense and cultural issues.

    The three-day meeting is being organized by the Council of Europe's International Institute for Democracy.

    Thirty-five deputies from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Federal Yugoslavia, FYROM, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey are expected to attend.

    [03] NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE OPENS BRANCH IN BUCHAREST

    The National Bank of Greece is to officially inaugurate the operation its branch in Bucharest tomorrow, in a ceremony attended the bank’s governor Theodoros Karatzas.

    Mr. Karatzas recently stated that consolidating National Bank's presence in the Balkans was one of his prime targets.

    The state-owned bank plans to become an international force in the region, acting as an intermediary between global investors and Balkan markets, beyond serving Greek businesses, and plans to open an additional two branches in Albania, and its first in Belgrade.

    [04] GREEK EU COMMISSIONER OPENS ENERGY CONFERENCE

    European Union Commissioner Christos Papoutsis inaugurated the Euro-Mediterranean Energy Cooperation conference, held in Athens yesterday.

    In his address, Mr. Papoutsis stated that "the need for the promotion of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in the energy sector has led us to the creation of an action- plan...which includes specific proposals for immediate application..."

    He further added that cooperation of Mediterranean nations in the energy sector is vital for the future development of the region in the "spirit and the letter" of the Barcelona Agreements.

    [05] TWELVE STATE-RUN COMPANIES WILL BE PRIVATIZED

    Greek minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou gave the assurance that the circle of political decisions has closed, as far as privatizations are concerned, stressing characteristically that this is the phase of the materialization of those decisions. Within this framework Mr. Papantoniou announced today the privatization of 12 state-run companies.

    The revenues from the privatization are estimated to be 800 billion drachmas, of which 650 billion will end up in different public funds. The privatization process for the 12 state-run companies will start in July 1998 and will last until September 1999.

    [06] THE GOVERNMENT WILL PROCEED WITH THE MERGER OF SOCIAL SECURITY FUNDS

    The government will proceed with mergers and groupings of social security funds after the completion of the social dialogue on the social security issue.

    The government plans provide for the creation of a single social security organization for the self-employed through the merger of three social security funds. Similar changes will take place in the police welfare funds, and the social security funds of the lawyers as well as, the social security funds of the State Telecommunications Company (OTE), the State Railway Organization (OSE) and the State Postal Service.

    [07] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT TARGETING AKIN BIRDAL

    The assassination attempt targeting Akin Birdal, president of the Turkish Human Rights Association is a blow on human rights, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, who also spoke of a “gray democracy” in Turkey.

    Mr. Reppas stressed that the attack shows that there are mechanisms operating in Turkey that target all those who express democratic points of view. The only thing they achieve, said Mr. Reppas, is to hurt Turkey itself because its image is not that of a country that wants to become an EU member. He also said that it is to the interest of Turkey to combat such phenomena in an effective way.

    [08] PAOK-PAO 1-1 AT THE FINAL BASKETBALL GAME

    Basketball sports club of PAOK, Thessaloniki was the winner in the second match of the series of basketball finals today as it beat, at home, Panathinaikos, Athens of 73-58.

    PAOK managed to equalize the games to 1-1 which means that at the third decisive match between the two teams, to be held on Sunday in Athens, PAOK will try to reverse Panathinaikos’ advantage of playing at home.

    PAOK had the support of 6.000 of its fans who swarmed the sports field hoping to win the trophy this year, which will be the first time since 1992.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [09] US SECRETARY OF STATE COMMENTS ON CYPRUS ISSUE

    US Secretary of State Madleine Albright has stated that the United States support and are promoting a solution for the Cyprus issue which is based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. Ms. Albright also added that this is the best approach in the effort to resolve the lengthy issue.

    Moreover, the Secretary of State stated that in order for progress to be achieved on the Cyprus issue “there has to be some type of recognition of the pseudo-state as an entity.

    [10] ARMED CLASHES REPORTED IN PRISHTINA

    New episodes occurred in Prishtina yesterday, resulting in the death of three persons, one Serb policeman and two Albanian civilians.

    Efforts exerted by the Us presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke to resolve the Kossovo crisis have borne no fruit. Today, Mr.Holbrooke is expected to meet again with Serb President Slobodan Milosevic.

    [11] ALBANIAN LEADER RUGOVA TO MEET WITH PRESIDENT MILOSEVIC

    The leader of Kossovo’s Albanian community Ibrahim Rugova is to meet with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Serb president Slobodan Milosevic in Prishtina in the near future, according to Richard Holbrooke and Robert Gelbard, special envoys of the U.S. President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

    Mr. Holbrooke stated that this meeting constitutes the achievement of a small step towards easing the Kossovo crisis, nevertheless he added that the differences between the two sides are still vast.

    [12] EU SUPPORTS FOUNDING OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT

    The European Commission will support the 1998 International Campaign for the establishment of an International Criminal Court (ICC) with an ECU 390, 000 grant.

    This money will be awarded to the non-governmental organization "No Peace without Justice", which has been fighting for the adoption of the international treaty on the ICC by the United Nations (UN) Member States. "Societies shattered by the nightmare of war can not resume normality unless the guilty are brought to justice. We have seen this in Yugoslavia, in Rwanda and in other places", said Foreign Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek.

    "The European Union therefore strongly supports the UN's efforts to set up a permanent Criminal Court". Campaign activities will include conferences, advocacy and provision of infrastructure for Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) participation during the Rome ICC Treaty Conference in June/July 1998. The Commission will also support the World Federalist Movement with ECU 525,000 for a project that will ensure effective participation of NGOs from developing countries in the Rome Conference. An additional sum of ECU 238,330 will be granted to help the work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) with a specialized library, a technical support system and a study place for ICTY staff.

    [13] SOUTHERN CAUCASUS: EC OKs MECU9.6 IN HUMANITARIAN AID

    The European Commission has cleared ECU 9.6 million for humanitarian aid in the Southern Caucasus. The aid is split as follows among the three countries covered : Armenia ECU 1.6 million; Azerbaijan ECU 4.1 million; Georgia ECU 3.96 million.

    The aid, managed by the European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO), will enable non-governmental organizations to carry out a coordinated program over the next 12 months. This ECHO package has been mounted in response to a United Nations appeal on behalf of the region, and is intended to complement resources made available by other Commission services, and bilateral aid from Member States, as well as funding from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

    [14] THE CANNES FILM FESTIVAL OPENS THIS EVENING

    The International Film Festival in Cannes opens this evening. Thousands of people have gathered outside the Festival building to see famous cinema people, such as film director Martin Scortseze, who presides over the 10member jury that will decide which of the pictures will receive the Cannes prize.

    Greece this year participates in the festival with the film of director Theodoros Angelopoulos “ An eternity and one day”. Sharon Stone, John Travolta and Elton John were among the first to arrive in Cannes.

    [15] MILOSEVIC-RUGOVA MEETING ON FRIDAY

    Federal Republic of Yugoslavia president Slobodan Milosevic and leader of the Albanian-speaking population in Kosovo Ibrahim Rugova will meet in Belgrade on Friday, according to an announcement made by US presidential envoy Richard Halbrooke.

    The agreement was reached in the talks the US diplomat had in Belgrade and Pristina.

    [16] INCONTESTABLE EVIDENCE SUPPORT THE GREEK POSITIONS IN THE AEGEAN

    The diplomatic documents on the Dodecanese Islands in south- eastern Aegean, on which the Greek positions on the ownership of islands and islets like Imia are based, were presented in London by Greek foreign ministry historic archives director Fotini Konstantopoulou overturning for one more time the Turkish arguments concerning the sovereignty of the Aegean islands.

    Ms. Konstantopoulou, who was in London within the framework of the cultural events “Greece in Britain”, gave a lecture in the Greek Center of the British capital.

    Ms. Konstantopoulou, in an interview with the BBC radio, explained that the basis for the Greek positions on Imia is the 1932 protocol signed by Italy and Turkey and the additional minutes that were attached to it a year later, in 1933.

    [17] VETRIN: THE PARTICIPATION OF THE TURKISH CYPRIOTS IS NOT A PRE-CONDITION FOR THE EU ACCESSION TALKS

    The participation of the Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus’s EU accession talks is welcomed but it does not constitute a pre- condition for the talks, stated French foreign minister Mr. Vetrin after the meeting he had in Paris yesterday with his Cypriot counterpart Mr. Yiannakis Kasoulides.

    Mr. Vetrin stressed that his country supports the fair and viable solution of the Cyprus problem for the creation of a two- zone, two-community Cyprus, based on the UN resolutions.

    From his side, Mr. Kasoulides stated that the Cypriot government makes efforts for the reopening of talks within the framework of the UN resolutions.

    [18] KIPRIANOU-BRILL MEETING IN NICOSIA

    US ambassador to Nicosia Kenneth Brill met with Cypriot Parliament president Spyros Kiprianou.

    In his statements Mr. Brill stressed that even though there are two sides in the community talks for Cyprus the United States have relations with the Cypriot government only with which the official transactions on the island are conducted.

    Referring to the recent trip of US presidential envoy Richard Halbrooke to the island, he stressed that the international press and the Greek journalists in Cyprus have realized that the Turkish Cypriot side is responsible for the failure of Mr. Halbrooke’s diplomatic efforts.

    [19] AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL DENOUNCES THE ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON AKIN BIRDAL

    Amnesty International denounced the assassination attempt targeting the president of the Turkish Human Rights Association, Akin Birdal and accused the Turkish government that with the silence it kept when Birdal was accused of having close relations with the PKK, in effect opened the way to the terrorist attack against him.

    Akin Birdal, president of the Turkish Human Rights Association since 1992 was repeatedly accused by the Turkish authorities of “separatist propaganda” because he had protested against the human rights violations committed mostly on the Kurds in south-eastern Turkey.

    Since 1991, ten Association members have been killed and in most cases the assailants remain unidentified.

    [20] “THE NEW YORK TIMES”: THE CRISIS IN KOSOVO WILL SPILL OVER INTO FYROM

    The US newspaper “The New York Times” writes that it is only a matter of time for the crisis in Kosovo to spill over into FYROM.

    The newspaper mentions that the crisis will start to spread with the refugee wave that will be created from Kosovo to FYROM and predicts that the Albanian-speaking population of that country will soon participate in an armed uprising aimed at fulfilling their dream of a Greater Albania.

    The “New York Times”, in a correspondence from the FYROM capital of Skopje, publishes the statement of an ethnic Albanian party member, who among others points out that the situation in FYROM resembles more and more that of Bosnia just before the 1992 civil war broke out.

    [21] EIGHT ALGERIAN TERRORISTS PLANNING FOOTBALL WORLD CUP ATTACKS WERE ARRESTED

    The British police arrested 8 Algerian Muslim extremists in London, who were planning terrorist attacks to take place during the Football World Cup that opens in France on June 10.

    According to the newspaper “Daily Mirror”, those arrested were planning a number of terrorist attacks and the first one of them would have taken place during the football match between the national teams of England and Tunisia, scheduled to be held in the city of Marseilles on June 15.

    [22] ALBANIA SATISFIED OVER MILOSEVIC-RUGOVA DIALOGUE

    The Albanian government, in a statement issued today, expressed its satisfaction over the decision concerning a meeting between the president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic and the leader of the Kosovo Albanians Ibrahim Rugova which it described as positive and consistent with Albania’s political line regarding the opening of a Belgrade- Pristina dialogue aiming at the settlement of the Kosovo problem.

    The Albanian Foreign minister Pascal Milo noted that the dialogue between ethnic Albanians and Serbs will not be easy due to the existing conflict, but this does not mean that positive results should not be expected from the dialogue.


    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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