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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-05-18

Macedonian Press Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, May 18, 1998

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PRESIDENT, PM TO OPEN GREEK INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION ASSEMBLY
  • [02] BANK EMPLOYEES TO EMBARK ON ROTATION STRIKES
  • [03] NEW TAX BRACKETS IN '99, MORE FAVORABLE TO TAXPAYERS
  • [04] GREECE'S DEFENSE MINISTER ON TWO-DAY VISIT TO SWEDEN
  • [05] THESSALONIKI TO HOST FAYUM PORTRAITS EXHIBITION IN AUGUST
  • [06] MR. REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE GOVERNMENT ECONOMIC POLICY
  • [07] MR. REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE ALBRIGHT VISIT
  • [08] PROBLEMS IN THE BANK TRANSACTIONS
  • [09] CHANGES IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM
  • [10] THE ELECTION OF INTERIM MAYOR WILL BE HELD POSSIBLY ON WEDNESDAY
  • [11] PARLIAMENT REPRESENTATIVES FROM SE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES MEET IN ATHENS
  • [12] THE GREEK CANNED FRUITS PROMOTION PROGRAM IN RUSSIA WILL MATERIALIZE IN 1998
  • [13] THE WORLD COUNCIL OF HELLENES ABROAD (SAE) ORGANIZES A FUND RAISER FOR THE GREEKS IN FORMER SOVIET UNION
  • [14] TSOHATZOPOULOS-SYDOW MEETING
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [15] WEU PARLIAMENTARY GROUP MEETS IN PARIS
  • [16] HOLBROOKE TO VISIT CYPRUS AFTER CARDIFF SUMMIT
  • [17] PASOK DELEGATES ATTEND SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL
  • [18] EUROPEAN UNION GRANTS ECU3 MILLION TO SUPPORT MONTENEGRO
  • [19] ALBANIAN STUDENTS RETURN TO PRISHTINA'S UNIVERSITY TODAY
  • [20] PROTEST RALLY OUTSIDE THE TURKISH CONSULATE IN MELBOURNE ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE GENOCIDE OF THE GREEKS IN PONTOS
  • [21] GREAT INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR IN TIRANA
  • [22] TURKISH CYPRIOT APPEAL AGAINST ANKARA IN THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
  • [23] YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENT VOTES AGAINST KONTIC GOVERNMENT

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PRESIDENT, PM TO OPEN GREEK INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION ASSEMBLY

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to salute the open session of the annual assembly of the Greek Industries Association (SEV) which will be held on Wednesday and will also be attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    The Minister of Finance and National Economy Yiannos Papantoniou will be among the speakers at the event, along with SEV's Chairman Jason Stratos and the chairman of the German Industries Association Hans-Olaf Henkel.

    [02] BANK EMPLOYEES TO EMBARK ON ROTATION STRIKES

    In protest to the state's privatization plans for the Ionian Bank, employees at the Agricultural Bank of Greece are to strike today, while their colleagues at Commercial and Attica banks will strike tomorrow.

    The employees at Ionian Bank have been on an indefinite strike for a week, while rolling strikes by bank staff are scheduled to continue until June 12 when the shareholders of Commercial Bank vote on whether they will approve the sale of subsidiary Ionian.

    On Wednesday, employees at the state-owned enterprises (DEKOS) and banks will hold a four-hour work stoppage, a decision issued by the General Confederation of Greek Laborers (GSEE).

    [03] NEW TAX BRACKETS IN '99, MORE FAVORABLE TO TAXPAYERS

    The Ministry of Finance and National Economy is working on a series of new tax brackets that will be more favorable to the taxpayers as of 1999.

    The draft plan is to be submitted in Parliament in the Fall and will be part of the next year's budget.

    [04] GREECE'S DEFENSE MINISTER ON TWO-DAY VISIT TO SWEDEN

    Greece's Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos embarked on a two-day official visit to Sweden yesterday evening.

    During his stay, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will meet with his Swedish counterpart Bjorn von Sydow and foreign minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen. He will also take part in an open gathering organized by the Federation of Hellenic Associations and communities in Sweden.

    [05] THESSALONIKI TO HOST FAYUM PORTRAITS EXHIBITION IN AUGUST

    Thessaloniki is to host an exhibition of 46 ancient Fayum portraits between August 1-31, a loan from the British Museum. These unique portraits on coffins combine Hellenic and Egyptian Styles and date from the 1st to 4th century AD, found in the Al Fayum region of Egypt.

    Prior to the exhibition's arrival in Thessaloniki, the portraits will be on display on May 20 at the Agios Markos Church in Irakleio, Crete, while from June 24 to July 26 they will be hosted at the Benaki Museum in Athens.

    [06] MR. REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE GOVERNMENT ECONOMIC POLICY

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated to reporters that the government will continue to implement its economic policy which is aimed at meeting the targets set for Greece's participation in the European Economic and Monetary Union. The policy followed, said Mr. Reppas, provides for deficit cuts and a decrease in interest rates as well as, in all the economic indexes that will safeguard the prosperity of the Greek people.

    Responding to a question on whether the European Union is forcing the Greek government to follow the privatization policy, he stated that, the government does not have an order to implement specific political measures but there is a specific framework which determines where the economic indexes should be.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the government has chosen this policy because it believes that it is the most effective not only in improving the economic indexes but in order to become more competitive as a country.

    [07] MR. REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE ALBRIGHT VISIT

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas commented on the likelihood for a postponement of the scheduled visit by US Secretary of State Ms. Madeleine Albright.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the Greek government has absolutely no information concerning the cancellation of her trip to Athens.

    [08] PROBLEMS IN THE BANK TRANSACTIONS

    The problems continue in bank transactions due to the strike action undertaken. Most Ionian Bank branches continue to be closed, while also on strike are the employees of the Agricultural Bank within the framework of the 24hour strikes in all state-owned banks announced by the Bank Employees' Union (OTOE).

    The Commercial Bank employees will strike tomorrow and the day after, while a 4hour work stoppage will take place in all the banks and the public service agencies on Wednesday.

    [09] CHANGES IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM

    Minister of education Gerasimos Arsenis will announce changes in the education system tomorrow.

    According to information, in those changes are included the adoption of a single form of secondary education, the abolition of university admission exams by the year 2000, the admission to higher education institutions of all the secondary education graduates and the replacement of the existing three semesters by two.

    The teachers' union is considering the likelihood of strike action.

    [10] THE ELECTION OF INTERIM MAYOR WILL BE HELD POSSIBLY ON WEDNESDAY

    The City Council of the municipality of Thessaloniki will meet possibly on Wednesday to elect the interim mayor, who will hold the post until the municipal elections in October. According to a decision already reached by the City Council members from the party of New Democracy, who constitute the majority in the City Council, the interim mayor will be city councilor Dimitris Dimitriadis.

    City Council chairman Sotiris Kapetanopoulos stated to MPA, that Konstantinos Kosmopoulos should formally submit his resignation in order to initiate the procedure for the election of the interim mayor.

    [11] PARLIAMENT REPRESENTATIVES FROM SE EUROPEAN COUNTRIES MEET IN ATHENS

    The representatives of south-eastern European Parliaments meet in Athens today and at the center of their discussions are the developments in Kosovo, while they will also discuss ways to deal with destabilization hot-points in the region as well as, the means for the promotion of peace and security in the Balkans.

    Speaking in the meeting, Greek Parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis pointed out that peace is threatened in Kosovo, while the wounds of the civil war in Bosnia have not been healed yet.

    The south-eastern European Parliaments are examining the likelihood to create an advisory assembly of Parliaments aimed at advancing cooperation for the solution of problems and promoting the course of the Balkan states toward their full participation in the united Europe.

    [12] THE GREEK CANNED FRUITS PROMOTION PROGRAM IN RUSSIA WILL MATERIALIZE IN 1998

    The program for the promotion of the Greek canned fruits exports to Russia will be implemented this year. The program is the result of a cooperation between the "Helkof Ltd." group, formed by most of the canned fruit sector companies in cooperation with the Organization for the Promotion of Exports.

    The duration of the program has been set to two years and is likely to expand if it is proven that it helps both in the increase of Greek exports and in winning a large part of the local market.

    [13] THE WORLD COUNCIL OF HELLENES ABROAD (SAE) ORGANIZES A FUND RAISER FOR THE GREEKS IN FORMER SOVIET UNION

    It is the first time that the Greek communities around the world unite their efforts with the common goal to offer help to the suffering Greeks in former Soviet Union, stated World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) president Andrew Athens referring to the World Fund Raiser for the Greeks in the former Soviet Union that will be held on the Greek state radio and television on May 23 and 24 under the auspices of Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    The SAE has already launched a gigantic effort to assist the Greeks in former Soviet Union by inaugurating medical centers in regions with a strong Greek presence. Those centers offer medical care to all local residents regardless of their origin.

    [14] TSOHATZOPOULOS-SYDOW MEETING

    Greek Defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, who is on a two- day official visit to Sweden, met today with his Swedish counterpart Bjorn von Sydow.

    The main issue of the talks, the two officials had, concerned the eventuality to strengthen the defence cooperation between Greece and Sweden.

    Mr Tsohatzopoulos, in statements he made, noted that the meeting was a chance to realize the common points in the two countries' strategies for peace and stability within the areas they belong to.

    The Greek defence minister stressed that the eventuality of signing a defence cooperation agreement as well as issues of bilateral interest, such as the exploitation of armaments and infrastructures in order to cover the needs of each country, were also discussed.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [15] WEU PARLIAMENTARY GROUP MEETS IN PARIS

    The 44th conference of the Western European Union's parliamentary group began this morning in Paris. Greece, which held the WEU's presidency in past six months, is to be represented by Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and an 11-member parliamentary delegation headed by Konstantinos Vretos.

    The three-day conference features the participation of the WEU's 11 member-countries, the three associate members (among them Turkey), the five countries that have observer status and the 11 allies. They will discuss issues related to security and the WEU's police force.

    WEU officials stated that the outcomes of the Greece-held presidency of the WEU can be characterized as positive.

    "A small country like Greece can develop more flexibly than a large country," the same officials said, who also noted that progress was made on issues concurring defense and foreign policy.

    [16] HOLBROOKE TO VISIT CYPRUS AFTER CARDIFF SUMMIT

    Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides has said that US Presidential Envoy for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, will return to the island in June in order to discuss procedural issues relating to the resumption of peace talks to settle the Cyprus problem.

    President Clerides stated that Mr. Holbrooke is expected to visit Cyprus after the European Union summit to be held in Cardiff, Wales, in June.

    "His visit will focus on procedural issues and not the essence of the Cyprus problem," he said.

    Mr. Holbrooke, who was appointed last year, was in Cyprus at the beginning of this month in a bid to resume negotiations between the island's two communities. His efforts stumbled on preconditions set by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, for the recognition of his illegal entity in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus and the withdrawal of Cyprus' application to join the European Union.

    The Cardiff summit is expected to tackle EU relations with Turkey, after strong reaction by Ankara following December's Luxembourg summit which set preconditions for the improvement of relations with Turkey.

    The EU had said Turkey should improve relations with Greece, back efforts to settle the Cyprus problem, solve the Kurdish question and improve its human rights record and its economy.

    [17] PASOK DELEGATES ATTEND SOCIALIST INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL

    A delegation of PASOK eurodeputies is currently in Norway in order to attend the two-day Socialist International Council, hosted by the Norwegian Labor Party (DNA), which starts today.

    The council is to address the issue of "World Solidarity", examining ways to strengthen democracy, protect human rights, extend humanitarian action, promote initiatives on peace, combat poverty and invest in human potential.

    PASOK is being represented by Eurodeputy Paraskevas Avgerinos, Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis and Eurodeputy Anna Karamanou, among others.

    [18] EUROPEAN UNION GRANTS ECU3 MILLION TO SUPPORT MONTENEGRO

    A financing agreement will be signed today in Brussels, between the European Commission and Dr. Miomir Mugosa, Minister for Labor and Social Welfare of the Government of Montenegro.

    The Agreement, which consists of a contribution of ECU 3 million from the European Union (EU) towards outstanding social welfare costs, is the implementation of the political decision of EU Foreign Ministers, which was adopted on 30 April 1998, in the framework of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. The contribution underpins EU support for the political and economic reforms presently being undertaken by the Government of Montenegro.

    The EU's ECU 3 million contribution will be used to pay outstanding social welfare benefits, such as child support and family benefit, maternity leave and allowances, benefits for veterans and disabled persons, health insurance contributions and other such benefits.

    [19] ALBANIAN STUDENTS RETURN TO PRISHTINA'S UNIVERSITY TODAY

    For the first time in seven years, the Albanian- speaking college students of Kossovo are to freely enter the premises of three departments at the Polytechnic University of Prishtina.

    The students' return, part of an education-related agreement signed between Prishtina and Belgrade, was allowed after the group of protesting Serb students withdrew yesterday from the school's premises where they had camped for the past nine days, asking the authorities not to allow the entrance of the Albanian students.

    [20] PROTEST RALLY OUTSIDE THE TURKISH CONSULATE IN MELBOURNE ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE GENOCIDE OF THE GREEKS IN PONTOS

    A large crowd of members of the Greek community in Melbourne gathered outside the Turkish Consulate building within the framework of the events organized by the Coordinating Committee of Pontos Associations on the occasion of the black anniversary of the Genocide of the Greeks in Pontos by Kemal Ataturk's Young Turks.

    The protesters condemned the Turkish barbarity and adopted a resolution demanding from Ankara to recognize the genocide of the Greeks in Pontos and apologize to the international community for the crimes it has committed.

    The protesters also demanded from the international community, the government and the political parties in Australia to exert pressures on Turkey to recognize the Genocide of the Greeks in Pontos that was committed in the period of 1915-1923.

    [21] GREAT INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR IN TIRANA

    Over 90 Balkan businesses participate in the international exhibition "Eurobalkan 98" that opened its gates in Tirana two days ago.

    In the exhibition participate companies from Greece, Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria and Turkey, while there is also notable western European presence from Italy and Spain.

    The exhibition is organized by the Greek company for the promotion of national and European products in the Balkans and the Albanian "Elinta and Company" that was founded in 1994.

    [22] TURKISH CYPRIOT APPEAL AGAINST ANKARA IN THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

    The European Committee on Human Rights found admissible in terms of procedures the appeal made by a Turkish Cypriot, who protested against the violation of his right to communicate freely with the people living across the "green line" in Cyprus.

    As especially positive is regarded the fact that the Committee rejected any recognition of the occupation regime of Rauf Denktash in northern Cyprus, even an indirect one, pointing out that Ankara is responsible for the violations of human rights in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus.

    The appeal was made by Ahmet Djavit An, the Turkish Cypriot coordinator of the Movement for an Independent and Federal Cyprus that was founded in 1989. The movement, in cooperation with Greek Cypriots, promotes the development of harmonious inter-communal relations between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots by organizing joint events of political, cultural and social nature.

    [23] YUGOSLAV PARLIAMENT VOTES AGAINST KONTIC GOVERNMENT

    The Federal Parliament of Yugoslavia passed today a vote of censure on the government headed by prime minister Radoje Kontic.

    The no-confidence motion was approved with a vast majority by the two Councils of the Federal Parliament, the Council of Citizens and the Council of the Republics.

    Mr Kontic, addressing the parliamentary session, supported his government work and expressed his surprise for the fact that even parties which belong to the federal government voted in favour of the no-confidence motion.


    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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