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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-05-14

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

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory

MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH

Thessaloniki, May 14, 1998


NEWS IN ENGLISH

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

[B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


TITLES

[A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREEK WORKERS PROTEST STATE’S PRIVATIZATION PLANS

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

  • [03] THE BANK EMPLOYEES HAVE FORMED A FRONT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT

  • [04] CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF PASOK TO HOLD CRUCIAL SESSION ON STATE- OWNED COMPANIES OF SOCIAL BENEFIT


  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [05] SULEIMAN DEMIREL CHALLENGES SOVEREIGNTY OF GREEK ISLANDS

  • [06] MILOSEVIC-RUGOVA TO MEET TOMORROW

  • [07] UN NAMES NEW SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE TO CYPRUS

  • [08] EC SUPPORTS GREECE’S EFFORTS IN DEFICIT REDUCTION

  • [09] GREECE’S “ACTIVE MEMBER” TO RAP FOR PARTHENON MARBLES

  • [10] FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY SPEAKS ON CYPRUS ISSUE

  • [11] GREEK FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY SPEAKS AT CARNEGIE HALL

  • [12] THE US STATE DEPARTMENT BLAMES THE TURKISH SIDE FOR THE FAILURE OF HALBROOKE’S EFFORTS

  • [13] BEN GILMAN IS ALARMED BY THE ATTACKS AGAINST THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE

  • [14] THE EU COMMISSION SEES PROGRESS IN GREECE’S EFFORTS TO LIMIT THE PUBLIC DEFICIT

  • [15] TODOR ZIVKOV IS IN INTENSIVE CARE

  • [16] HADJISKI SUGGESTS DAYTON-TYPE AGREEMENT FOR KOSOVO

  • [17] KLINTON-KOHL TALKS IN BONN


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK WORKERS PROTEST STATE’S PRIVATIZATION PLANS

    The General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) and their workers union’s at the state-owned enterprises (DEKO) are strongly reacting to the privatization plans announced by the National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou who said that the state will p[proceed to privatize 12 DEKO by the end of the year 1999.

    Mr. Papantoniou said that the government will not sacrifice its accession to the Economic and Monetary Union over the workers’ protests.

    The companies slated for privatization are the phone company; the duty free shops; the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair; Olympic

    Catering; the Corinth canal; the Athens stock exchange; the nation's race tracks; Thessaloniki's water and sewage systems; and the ports of Thessaloniki and Piraeus.

    [02] SE EUROPEAN MP MEETING BEGINS IN THESSALONIKI TODAY

    Parliamentarians from countries in southeast Europe are to meet in Thessaloniki today 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] THE BANK EMPLOYEES HAVE FORMED A FRONT AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT

    The bank employees in Greece formed a front against the government after its decision to sell the Ionian Bank which will be implemented in early August, according to minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou.

    The Ionian Bank employees continue their strike action, while the Commercial Bank employees announced 48hour strikes. The employees of the rest state-owned banks starting tomorrow will engage in 24hour strikes that will last until June 6 and the first one of them to go on a strike will be the National Bank of Greece.

    [04] CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF PASOK TO HOLD CRUCIAL SESSION ON STATE- OWNED COMPANIES OF SOCIAL BENEFIT

    The suggestion concerning a session of the Central Committee of the governing party of PASOK titled “Financial Developments- Structural Changes in the Economy-Social Policy”, to be held in the next two days, was unanimously approved by the members of the party’s Executive Bureau.

    After the session of the Executive Bureau, the secretary general of the Central Committee of PASOK Kostas Skandalidis noted that the suggestion included issues which concern the overall ideological and political stance of the party regarding the welfare state and social policy.

    Responding to a question on whether members of the Executive Bureau have expressed objections to the privatization plans, mr Skandalidis said that there was a general discussion about structural changes in the economy and certain additional views were expressed.


    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [05] SULEIMAN DEMIREL CHALLENGES SOVEREIGNTY OF GREEK ISLANDS

    Turkish President Suleiman Demirel has openly challenged the sovereignty of a number of Greek islets in the Aegean Sea.

    A few days ago, the Turkish Defense Minister, shortly before arriving at the island of Rhodes to take part at the Western European Union meting held there, had also challenged the sovereignty of a number of Greek islands.

    [06] MILOSEVIC-RUGOVA TO MEET TOMORROW

    The leader of the Albanian community of Kossovo Ibrahim Rugova is to meet with the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic tomorrow.

    The meeting, which is viewed as a historic one, was orchestrated by the United States presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke who traveled back and forth between the two sides repeatedly.

    [07] UN NAMES NEW SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE TO CYPRUS

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named Anne Hircus of New Zealand as his new Deputy Special Representative and Chief of the Mission of the United Nations Operation on Cyprus. She will take over for Gustave Feissel after he retires on 30 June.

    Ms. Hercus has held a number of diplomatic and government posts over the course of her career, including serving as New Zealand's Ambassador to the United Nations from 1988 to 1990. She was also a member of the Secretary- General's Eminent

    Persons Group on Preparations for the 1995 World Conference on Women.

    A founding member of World Women Parliamentarians for Peace, Ms. Hercus is currently chairperson of the New Zealand Women's Refugee Foundation. She was a Member of Parliament from 1978 to 1987, and Minister of Social Welfare for Police and Women's Affairs from 1984 to 1987.

    As Deputy Special Representative and Chief of Mission, Ms. Hircus will continue the efforts of Mr. Feissel to keep the peace and bring about a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.

    [08] EC SUPPORTS GREECE’S EFFORTS IN DEFICIT REDUCTION

    The European Commission has endorsed the measures adopted by the Greek government in order to contain the public deficit and recognizes the progress made int he state’s economy in the recent years.

    An EC report on the "Orientations of Economic Policies of Member-States for 1998," states that "Greece has, for a number of years now, made noteworthy progress in stabilizing prices. In combination with efforts towards fiscal recovery made in these recent years, this development allowed the entry of the drachma into the Exchange Rate Mechanism of the EMS in March 1998.

    "Greece has (also) made noteworthy progress for the reduction of significant imbalances in public finances in recent years, but the deficit still stood at around 4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product in 1997...(It) must continue the efforts for fiscal recovery," it added.

    [09] GREECE’S “ACTIVE MEMBER” TO RAP FOR PARTHENON MARBLES

    The Greek rap group Active Member is to perform in a concert at London's Astoria concert hall on May 31 in order to raise money for the campaign calling on the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.

    The concert is being organized by the Union of Greek Students in Britain, which yesterday also announced the launch of an English-language magazine on Greece, titled Symposium, issued free in the UK every two months.

    [10] FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY SPEAKS ON CYPRUS ISSUE

    Greece’s Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, currently on an official visit to the United States, addressed the 9th annual conference of the Cypriot Struggle World Coordinating Committee (PSEKA) in Washington yesterday.

    Mr. Kranidiotis stated that the Cyprus issue is an obvious anachronism which must be eliminated and stressed that the course towards Cyprus' membership in the European Union will act as a catalyst for a solution of the island's political problem, and will greatly contribute to improving the standard of living of the Turkish Cypriot community, as well as maintaining the cultural, religious and national heritage of all Cypriots.

    He also referred to the efforts exerted worldwide to resolve the issue and stressed that they should be based on declarations of the United Nations Security Council.

    Referring to various reactions to the deployment of Russian- made S-300 anti- aircraft missiles at Cyprus, Mr. Kranidiotis said the international community should turn their efforts towards the demilitarization of the island and make it clear to Turkey that it is the large-scale gathering of weapons in occupied northern Cyprus that overturns balances.

    Moreover, he stated that the root of Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash’s intransigence can be found in Ankara.

    [11] GREEK FOREIGN UNDERSECRETARY SPEAKS AT CARNEGIE HALL

    Greece’s Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis outlined the Greek government’s foreign policy during an address he gave at the Carnegie Foundation.

    Referring to the Balkan policy of friendship and cooperation which is enforced by the Greek government. Mr. Kranidiotis spoke of the improvement in the ties held by Greece and its neighbors, while he also stressed Greece’s role as a mediator in the efforts to resolve the Kossovo crisis.

    Specifically, Mr. Kranidiotis stated that Greece has proposed that Kossovo be granted greater autonomy, albeit without a change in borders.

    “In order to establish peace, stability and economic development in the wider region,” Mr. Kranidiotis stated, “the Balkan countries need to gain access to the European bodies, such as NATO and the European Union, since we cannot speak of a United Europe without the Balkans.”

    Moreover, Mr. Kranidiotis proposed that Greece undertake the role of mediator in achieving rapprochement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, citing the two contacts held in Greece by leaders of both sides.

    [12] THE US STATE DEPARTMENT BLAMES THE TURKISH SIDE FOR THE FAILURE OF HALBROOKE’S EFFORTS

    The US State Department blames Turkey for the failure of the efforts made by US envoy Richard Halbrooke aimed at the reopening of direct dialogue in Cyprus. In a written statement US State Department spokesman James Rubin mentions that according to Mr. Halbrooke the Turkish side is mostly responsible for the lack of progress in the talks.

    Mr. Rubin also expressed Washington’s satisfaction for the statement of PASOK’s central committee secretary Kostas Skandalidis, who stressed in meetings he had with US officials, that Greece is not opposed to the prospect of Turkey’s EU membership.

    [13] BEN GILMAN IS ALARMED BY THE ATTACKS AGAINST THE ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE

    US House of Representatives International Relations Committee chairman Ben Gilman, in a letter to Turkish prime minister Mesut Yilmaz, expressed strong concern for the continuing attacks against the Ecumenical Partiarchate.

    In his letter, Mr. Gilman mentions that unfortunately there is a continuous campaign in Turkey launched by specific individuals, who attack Christian Orthodox places of worship, mentioning as the most recent of them the vandalism and desecration of the Christian Orthodox cemetery of Agios Eleftherios in Istanbul.

    Mr. Gilman also requests to be briefed on the measures the Turkish authorities intend to take for the protection of the Ecumenical Patriarchate property and the arrest and punishment of those responsible for the attacks.

    [14] THE EU COMMISSION SEES PROGRESS IN GREECE’S EFFORTS TO LIMIT THE PUBLIC DEFICIT

    The EU Commission, in a report on the course of the economies of the European Union member-states toward the monetary union, mentions that a significant progress has been achieved in the efforts to cut down the public deficit in Greece.

    The European Commission calls on the Greek government to honor the commitments it has undertaken on March 14 pledging for privatizations, reforms in the social security system and the restructuring of state-run companies.

    The EU Commission also calls on the intensification of the efforts for the control of inflationary pressures and the cutting down of state subsidies.

    [15] TODOR ZIVKOV IS IN INTENSIVE CARE

    Former Bulgarian communist leader Todor Zivkov is in the intensive care. Mr. Zivkov was taken to hospital on Monday with heart and blood circulation problems, according to the newspaper “Trud”. The 86yearold Zivkov, who has ruled Bulgaria for 35 years, is also a diabetic.

    The newspaper mentions that two hospitals had refused to admit him and that he will have to pay for his hospitalization.

    [16] HADJISKI SUGGESTS DAYTON-TYPE AGREEMENT FOR KOSOVO

    FYROM foreign minister Blagoi Hadziski, in an interview with the Skopje weekly magazine “Focus”, suggested a Dayton-type agreement for Kosovo.

    The FYROM foreign minister pointed out that the hammering out of an agreement for the solution of the issue of the Albanian- speaking population in Kosovo is necessary before the opening of negotiations, while he also underlined that no peaceful solution will be reached in Kosovo without the presence of an international mediator in the consultations.

    Mr. Hadjiski, underlining that the settlement of the issue concerning the status of Kosovo must take place within the Yugoslav borders, stressed that the existing borders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are not an issue for discussion.

    [17] KLINTON-KOHL TALKS IN BONN

    US President Bill Klinton and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, during a meeting they had yesterday in Bonn, held talks concerning bilateral and US-European relations, the developments in Kosovo and the impact of the nuclear tests in India. In their talks mr Klinton and mr Kohl also referred to issues which concerned security in Europe, relations between the West, former socialist countries and Russia, the perspectives of a NATO expansion towards the East as well as the developments in the Balkans.


    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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