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Macedonian Press Agency, News in English, 98-05-20

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 20, 1998

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] STRIKE FEVER CONTINUES AT BANKS, SPILLS OVER AT TRANSPORTATION
  • [02] PRESIDENT, PM TO OPEN GREEK INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION ASSEMBLY
  • [03] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER: WE ACCEPT NO PACKAGE FROM ANYONE
  • [04] ECONOMY AND LABOR MINISTERS TO MEET WITH STRIKING STAFF
  • [05] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS TO INTRODUCE FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM
  • [06] SPANISH ROYALS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI, VERGINA
  • [07] PROPOSAL TO THE EURO-PARLIAMENT FOR THE ADOPTION OF OLYMPIC TRUCE
  • [08] THE WORLD'S LARGEST FLAG WILL BE HOISTED IN DIDIMOTICHO ON THE INDEPENDENCE DAY OF THRACE
  • [09] SIMITIS - PAPANDREOU MEETING
  • [10] THE NEW MAYOR OF THESSALONIKI WILL BE ELECTED TOMORROW
  • [11] A 20MEMBER JAPANESE BUSINESS DELEGATION WILL VISIT THESSALONIKI
  • [12] EGYPTIAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS: THE TOMB OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT IS IN ALEXANDRIA
  • [13] OVER 18.500 GREEKS LOST THEIR JOBS IN APRIL
  • [14] THE FUND RAISER FOR THE GREEKS IN THE BLACK SEA IS AN INITIATIVE OF NATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [15] EC PLEASED WITH COURSE OF GREECE'S ECONOMY
  • [16] NATO's DEFENSE UNDERSECRETARIES TO MEET AT TIRANA
  • [17] US STATE DEPARTMENT: NO NEW POLICY ON G/T ISSUES
  • [18] INTERBALKAN COOPERATION FOR RAILWAYS DEVELOPMENT
  • [19] BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY ROBIN COOK VISITS TURKEY
  • [20] KOSSOVO'S ALBANIANS MIGHT BOYCOTT FRIDAY'S TALKS WITH SERBS
  • [21] TSOCHATZOPOULOS: GREECE DOES NOT ACCEPT A DISCUSSION ON GRAY ZONES IN THE AEGEAN
  • [22] GREEK F-16 JETS FLEW OVER PAPHOS IN CYPRUS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] STRIKE FEVER CONTINUES AT BANKS, SPILLS OVER AT TRANSPORTATION

    In protest to the state's privatization plans for the Ionian Bank, employees at Commercial Bank are continuing their strike for a second consecutive day today, while employees at Ionian have been on an indefinite strike for a week.

    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.

    Today 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). In Thessaloniki city buses will not operate until 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

    [02] 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 today in Athens 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.

    [03] GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER: WE ACCEPT NO PACKAGE FROM ANYONE

    US President Bill Clinton and Britain's prime minister Tony Blair support the concept of a comprehensive "package" solution to the multiple outstanding issues between Greece and Turkey, but Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Theodoros Pangalos has responded that Greece does not agree with this concept, which in any case is far too vague and even self-contradictory.

    "We will not accept "packages" from anyone," Mr. Pangalos characteristically said.

    The Cyprus problem, tension in the Aegean, jurisdiction on disputes and the position of Turkey vis-a-vis the European union cannot be solved in isolation from one another, according to Mr. Clinton, while Mr. Blair stressed the need for closer ties between Turkey and the European Union.

    There never was and there could never be a package deal for these two major issues (the Cyprus problem and Greek-Turkish relations)", Mr. Pangalos stressed and also said that Mr. Clinton's statements linking the Cyprus issue and Greek- Turkish problems in the Aegean contained certain contradictions.

    By their very nature, Mr. Pangalos said, the Cyprus problem and Greek-Turkish relations were different.

    "The Cyprus issue is an international problem of invasion and occupation which concerns the world community. It is not a Greek- Turkish issue."

    [04] ECONOMY AND LABOR MINISTERS TO MEET WITH STRIKING STAFF

    The Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou, along with the Minister of Labor Miltiades Papaioannou are to meet with representatives from the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) and the General Confederation of Bank Employees (OTOE) today, in order to attempt to ease the crisis that has erupted in the banking sector where striking employees are opposed to privatization plans.

    GSEE has called a nationwide strike for May 27, while, today, workers at all banks, Thessaloniki's Public Transportation Organization, the Public Power Corporation (DEH), the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE), Hellenic Post Offices (ELTA) and Olympic Airways are due to undertake a work stoppage between 12pm and 4pm today.

    [05] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS TO INTRODUCE FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM

    The national air carrier Olympic Airways is to introduce a Frequent Flyer Program as of June 15, in an effort to attract passengers and offset the losses recently suffered by the economic upheaval brought on by the strikes, flight cancellations and delays. .

    The frequent flyer program is to be modeled after the packages currently offered by other international air carriers and is expected to be announced later this week.

    Olympic Airways will have to cut costs by 250 billion drachmas over the next five years, or face closure, by minimum or no salary increase, reductions in overtime pay, longer working hours for flying crews, and reduced seasonal employment during the busy summer season.

    [06] SPANISH ROYALS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI, VERGINA

    King of Spain Juan Carlos and his wife Sophia are to arrive in Athens on Monday for a four-day official visit at the invitation of the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    President Stephanopoulos will host a dinner in honor of the Spanish royals on Monday night, while the couple will also inaugurate the "Classic Greece in Spain" exhibition.

    On May 28 King Carlos and Queen Sofia will visit Thessaloniki where they will be received by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos and on May 29 the royal couple will visit the archaeological sites and museum of Vergina.

    [07] PROPOSAL TO THE EURO-PARLIAMENT FOR THE ADOPTION OF OLYMPIC TRUCE

    Greek governing Socialist party of PASOK Euro-deputy Ms. Angela Kokkola called on the European Parliament to back the proposal of the Greek government to adopt the Olympic Truce during the Olympic Games.

    In a letter to the Euro-Parliament, she points out that the revival of this ancient institution will help the Olympic Games to escape the commercialization and return again to the service of peace and culture.

    [08] THE WORLD'S LARGEST FLAG WILL BE HOISTED IN DIDIMOTICHO ON THE INDEPENDENCE DAY OF THRACE

    The largest and heaviest flag in the world, according to the Guinnes Book of Records, will be hoisted in the Byzantine castle of Didimoticho, in north-eastern Greece on Sunday, May 24, the day when the events commemorating the liberation of Thrace will culminate.

    The flag covers 480 square meters and weighs 130 kilos. According to a decision reached by the local authorities, it will be hoisted three times a year namely, on the two national holidays and the anniversary of the city's liberation.

    [09] SIMITIS - PAPANDREOU MEETING

    Deputy foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, after his meeting today with prime minister Kostas Simitis, characterized as necessary the US State Department clarification on the US president proposals.

    US State Department spokesman James Rubin stated that the United States do not propose a new round of negotiations or another approach that will link the Greek-Turkish issues and the Cyprus problem in a "package" deal. He added that the two issues remain separate and are handled as such through diplomatic channels.

    [10] THE NEW MAYOR OF THESSALONIKI WILL BE ELECTED TOMORROW

    The New Democracy group of city councilors in Thessaloniki's City Hall will have a closed-door meeting tomorrow at noon to elect the new mayor, who according to the available information will be city councilor Dimitris Dimitriadis the only candidate for the post.

    The meeting will be held in the City Hall building and based on the existing regulations an absolute majority is necessary for the election of the new mayor. If no absolute majority is achieved in two rounds of voting then a third round will be held and the candidate with the most votes will be elected to the post.

    [11] A 20MEMBER JAPANESE BUSINESS DELEGATION WILL VISIT THESSALONIKI

    Twenty members of the Japanese Economic Organizations' Federation, better known as "Keidanren", will be in Thessaloniki on Friday to examine the investment opportunities in northern Greece and open contacts with representatives of the local business community.

    The 20member delegation, that will be accompanied by the Japanese ambassador, will be received by Thessaloniki's Commerce and Industry Chamber and by minister of Macedonia-Thrace Mr. Petsalnikos.

    Also, local businessmen will make brief presentations of the sectors of industry, trade and tourism.

    [12] EGYPTIAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS: THE TOMB OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT IS IN ALEXANDRIA

    The tomb of Alexander the Great is in Alexandria, according to Egyptian archaeologists, who will present new facts on their excavations, during the conference under the title "Alexander the Great: From Macedonia to the World" that will be held in the northern Greek city of Veria on May 27-30.

    Their views on the exact place of the tomb are conflicting. Professor Fauzi El Fakharani maintains that it must be in the Ptolemaic necropolis, while his colleague Mahmud El Saadani places it in the area where the ancient Roman theater was located, at the center of the ancient city of Alexandria.

    [13] OVER 18.500 GREEKS LOST THEIR JOBS IN APRIL

    The Greeks lost their jobs at a rate of 743 a day in the month of April. A total of 18.574 people became jobless last month, confirming the record high layoffs and unemployment that characterized the first four months of 1998.

    According to official data, that were given to publicity by the ministry of labor and social security, the percentage of the registered unemployed increased by 1 point in April compared to the same month last year, while 9.5% of the work force remains unemployed.

    [14] THE FUND RAISER FOR THE GREEKS IN THE BLACK SEA IS AN INITIATIVE OF NATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

    World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) secretary Dimitris Konstantinidis, referring to the international radio and television fund raiser for the Greeks of the former Soviet Union which is organized by the World Council of Hellenes Abroad to take place on May 23 and 24 under the auspices of Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos, said that this world initiative undertaken by SAE is very important as for the first time the Greeks from all over the world will express their support and solidarity to the Greeks of the Black Sea.

    Responding to a question by MPA, Mr. Konstantinidis stated that it is an obligation of the Greeks around the world to offer their help to the Greeks in the Black Sea not as a charity but as an initiative of national responsibility toward a forgotten part of the Greek nation.

    He said that the fund raiser was scheduled to coincide with the anniversary of the genocide of the Greeks in Pontos (Black Sea) that was committed by the Turks. Genocide and refugees are the two faces of a crime, said Mr. Konstantinidis and added that the Greeks have a duty to stand by those people, who were ignored for at least 70 years, and create for them a medical care system.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [15] EC PLEASED WITH COURSE OF GREECE'S ECONOMY

    The European Commission has expressed its satisfaction over the course of Greece's economy. During yesterday session of the European Union's Finance and National Economy Ministers, extensive reference was made at the significant improvement of the basic indexes of the Greek economy, fully adopting the country's target to join the Economic and Monetary Union in the year 2001.

    [16] NATO's DEFENSE UNDERSECRETARIES TO MEET AT TIRANA

    The defense undersecretaries of the states-members of NATO are to meet at the Albanian capital, Tirana, on Friday. The undersecretaries of defense from Greece, Albania, Italy, FYROM, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and the Unites States will attend the session, along with officials from the alliance and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

    [17] US STATE DEPARTMENT: NO NEW POLICY ON G/T ISSUES

    US State Department spokesperson James Rubin stressed yesterday that the Clinton Administration has no new policy in regards to Greek-Turkish issues and the Cyprus matter, referring to questions that arose after US President Bill Clinton's statement that calls for a "comprehensive solution to these matters. . "The President's statement speaks for itself in reaffirming long-standing US policy," Mr. Rubin said. adding that "we want to help Greece and Turkey resolve their problems peacefully; we want to help resolve the Cyprus problem; and we strongly support Turkey's EU aspirations."

    Moreover, the US diplomat said that the US is not proposing a new set of negotiations or any other approach that would link these issues in some sort of package deal.

    "We do, however, believe, as the President indicated, that progress in one area can improve the climate and the atmosphere for progress in another. But they are still separate issues being dealt with separately through diplomatic channels," he added.

    When asked if US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is planning to travel to Turkey and Greece very soon, Mr. Rubin responded "I don't think any decision has been made on that."

    [18] INTERBALKAN COOPERATION FOR RAILWAYS DEVELOPMENT

    A new age is dawning on the Balkan railway systems, after the cooperation protocol signed yesterday in Belgrade among the chiefs of Southeast European railway organizations.

    The group comprises Greece, Bulgaria., Romania, Turkey, Yugoslavia, FYROM and Albania (whose representative did not attend the meeting). The representatives of the aforementioned countries met to lay the ground rules of expanding the itineraries of intercity and eurocity trains in order to improve the provided services. Moreover, the contacts aimed at reducing the waiting period at the borders through amending the customs and police controls in accordance to international standards.

    [19] BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY ROBIN COOK VISITS TURKEY

    The British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook conducted a four- hour visit to Ankara yesterday, in preparation of Monday's Association Council between the European Union and Turkey.

    Mr Cook arrived with a draft proposal from the EU Commission that was supposed to tempt the Turks back into discussions with promises of a "strategy" which would offer a path towards EU membership. However, Turkey's Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem, stated yesterday "there is discrimination against us on the part of the EU, and unless it is removed, the limits on our political dialogue will remain."

    [20] KOSSOVO'S ALBANIANS MIGHT BOYCOTT FRIDAY'S TALKS WITH SERBS

    Kossovo's Albanians who have agreed to holding talks with the Serbian government over the future of Kossovo stated yesterday that they could boycott the first session on Friday in Pristina.

    ``We have not decided to attend or not to attend,'' said a member of the negotiating team assembled by Ibrahim Rugova, leader of Kossovo's ethnic Albanians.

    ``This is not a division between one group of advisers who think we should go and another who think we should not. We all see the pro's and con's. We all have a good list of reasons why we shouldn't attend and yet we still see a reason to attend.''

    Political observers say they may be the last chance to avoid a war in Kossovo that could spread to ther parts of the Balkans.

    Mr. Rugova and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic met for the first time in Belgrade last Friday and the first substantive session between their representatives is supposed to take place this Friday in Kosovo's capital, Pristina.

    [21] TSOCHATZOPOULOS: GREECE DOES NOT ACCEPT A DISCUSSION ON GRAY ZONES IN THE AEGEAN

    Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos stressed, in his address before the Western European Union parliamentary assembly in Paris, that Greece is not possible to accept a discussion on alleged "gray zones" in the Aegean. During the meeting, the European delegations expressed satisfaction for the successful Greek WEU presidency and pointed out its positive contribution to the operational upgrading of the WEU.

    Regarding the Greek-Turkish issues, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos reiterated that the only pending issue between the two countries is the issue of the continental shelf and added that the Greek government supports the dialogue with Turkey for the solution of real problems and not for the discussion of unilateral claims expressed by the Turkish side. In any case international law should be respected by all, said the Greek minister of defense.

    On the Cyprus issue, he pointed out that the island's accession into the European Union will offer a decisive boost to the solution of the problem.

    [22] GREEK F-16 JETS FLEW OVER PAPHOS IN CYPRUS

    Four Greek F-16 fighter jets flew twice over the "Andreas Papandreou" military base in Paphos this morning, within the framework of the Greek armed forces' air and sea exercise, code- named "Toxotis".

    The Greek fighter jets bombarded sea targets within the framework of the exercise.

    [23] BULATOVIC WILL ANNOUNCE THE MEMBERS OF THE NEW GOVERNMENT

    Momir Bulatovic, who received the mandate to form a government as the prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia is expected to present today to the federal Parliament the program, the targets and the members of his government.

    Bulatovic had consultations yesterday with representatives of political parties for their participation in the new government.


    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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