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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-07-06

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, July 6, 1998

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] THOUSANDS OF ACRES OF FOREST TURNED TO DUST, MOST FIRES UNDER CONTROL
  • [02] THOUSANDS OF HECTARES WERE DESTROYED BY FIRES
  • [03] 64.500 HOTELS OPERATE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN EU STATES
  • [04] THE MEDITERRANEAN WILL SOON BECOME A DEAD SEA
  • [05] ATHINA ONASIS - ROUSSEL MET WITH ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS OF ATHENS AND ALL OF GREECE
  • [06] THE 1999 YOUTH CONFERENCE WAS DISCUSSED IN THE EUROPEAN YOUTH SAE MEETING
  • [07] REPPAS: GREEK GOVERNMENT EFFECTIVELY FOUGHT FIRES
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [08] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER EMBARKS ON CONTACTS IN NEW YORK
  • [09] HELLENIC PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT ON VISIT TO CHINA
  • [10] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER IN WASHINGTON, TO MEET WITH US COUNTERPART
  • [11] INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS ARRIVE IN KOSSOVO TODAY
  • [12] HOLBROOKE WRAPS UP THREE DAYS OF TALKS OVER KOSSOVO
  • [13] RUSSIAN ENVOY CRITICISES ALBANIAN LEADERS FOR LACK OF UNITY.
  • [14] BOSNIAN SERB DOCTOR CHARGED WITH GENOCIDE BY WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL
  • [15] KAKLAMANIS IS IN CHINA
  • [16] THE FIRST GENOCIDE COURT TRIAL IN THE HAGUE
  • [17] THE CYPRIOT MINISTER OF DEFENSE WILL VISIT RUSSIA
  • [18] GREECE'S NEW AMBASSADOR TO WASHINGTON IS ALEXANDROS FILON
  • [19] YILAMZ ON A TWO-DAY VISIT TO FYROM

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] THOUSANDS OF ACRES OF FOREST TURNED TO DUST, MOST FIRES UNDER CONTROL

    Two persons have died and thousands of planted acres have turned to dust and fire-fighters and the military are constantly at work putting out forest fires that have been sweeping across the country throughout the weekend.

    According to the government, most of the fires have been set under control. Prime Minster Kostas Simitis said that the appropriate state agencies have moved fast to contain the disaster, a statement made in response to the opposition parties who accuse the government of lacking co-ordination and sufficient infrastructure. Press and Media Minster Dimitris Reppas stated that those who have suffered damages will be compensated and those forest areas that have been burned will be replanted.

    The fires were ignited due to the high temperatures that sizzled the country for three days straight and the high winds that followed. Police are also investigating whether arson was to blame for some of the fires.

    [02] THOUSANDS OF HECTARES WERE DESTROYED BY FIRES

    Two large fires are in progress since noon today in the region of Kamena Vourla and Thermopiles, while the rest of the fires that have burnt thousands of hectares of forest land across the country have been put under control. Two people lost their lives and more than 50 houses were burnt down.

    Minister of agriculture Stefanos Tzoumakas appeared satisfied with the mobilization of the state mechanism and reiterated that all the forest land that has been destroyed by fires since 1975 will be declared eligible for reforestation.

    The political parties of the opposition blamed the government for inadequate preparation in forest fire prevention and control.

    [03] 64.500 HOTELS OPERATE IN THE MEDITERRANEAN EU STATES

    Over 64.500 hotels are in operation today in the Mediterranean European Union states, while most of them are in Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal, according to an announcement by the International Organization for the Protection of the Environment in the Mediterranean (MESAEP).

    Specifically, Italy has 34.300 hotels, Spain 10.400, Greece 8.000 and Portugal 1.800, while Africa and Asia combined have a total of 22.000 hotels. According to the same source, the largest number of tourists ( an average of 22.1 million) visit Italy.

    [04] THE MEDITERRANEAN WILL SOON BECOME A DEAD SEA

    The Mediterranean is in danger of becoming a dead sea as, based on lab results, the quality of its waters deteriorates gradually.

    Based on the scientific research conducted, 55% of the city sewage from 120 coastal cities end up in the sea untreated and as a result 25% of the Mediterranean coasts are unsuitable for use by the people as the risk of hepatitis and polio infection is high.

    The data was provided by the "Mediterranean SOS" program of the International Organization for the Protection of the Environment in the Mediterranean (MESAEP).

    [05] ATHINA ONASIS - ROUSSEL MET WITH ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS OF ATHENS AND ALL OF GREECE

    Athina Onasis-Russel, the daughter of Christina Onasis and granddaughter of the late Greek tycoon Aristotelis Onasis, who is currently in Greece for a short holiday, met in Athens today with Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece.

    The meeting took place at the initiative of Athina's father, Tierri Russel.

    [06] THE 1999 YOUTH CONFERENCE WAS DISCUSSED IN THE EUROPEAN YOUTH SAE MEETING

    The proceedings of the European Youth coordinating committee meeting of the regional Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) will end in Thessaloniki today.

    In the three-day meeting the participants had an open discussion with Euro-deputy of the governing Socialist party of PASOK Nikos Papakiriazis, while an emphasis was given to the communication policy and the objectives of the creation of a registry of Young Greeks living in European states as well as, the creation of a web site in each country.

    The young members of the European SAE also discussed with Young Generation general secretary Petros Sfikakis the exchange programs involving young people and issues concerning the Youth Conference that will be held in June 1999.

    [07] REPPAS: GREEK GOVERNMENT EFFECTIVELY FOUGHT FIRES

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas expressed the government's deep sorrow for the people who lost their lives and those who suffered damages by fires all around Greece while he congratulated everyone who helped set the fires under control.

    Mr Reppas stated that all 180 fires that broke out during the weekend have been set under control and noted that the government took concerted and effective action in order to fight the problem, despite unfavourable weather conditions.

    However, the main opposition party of New Democracy spokesman, Aris Spiliotopoulos, stressed that the government has led the country to a complete disintegration. Moreover, the Greek Communist Party, in a statement it issued concerning the fires, pointed out that the government is, basically, responsible for the fires.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [08] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER EMBARKS ON CONTACTS IN NEW YORK

    The Minister of National Defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who is on an official visit to the Unites States is currently in New York where he will attend a Greek-American Business Council meeting and will also address a Council of International Affairs conference on "Security Policy in the Balkans, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea".

    In turn, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will travel this afternoon to Washington for two days of talks with Vice President Al Gore, his US counterpart William Cohen and other government officials.

    The Greek Defense Minister is to also visit N. Carolina and Massachusetts, while he will also give a speech at Harvard University.

    [09] HELLENIC PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT ON VISIT TO CHINA

    The President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis is currently on a nine-day official visit to China, as of yesterday, following an invitation by his Chinese counterpart Li Peng.

    During his stay in Beijing, Mr. Kaklamanis met with Mr. Peng to whom he stressed Greece's will for the promotion of Greek- Chinese relations on a more permanent basis.

    Mr. Kaklamanis informed Mr. Peng on recent developments over the Cyprus issue, Greek-Turkish relations and Turkish provocations against Greece.

    Mr. Peng stated that "China's long-standing position on international relations issues, is that they must be resolved with peaceful means."

    He added that "in this framework, a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem must be sought in accordance with the rules of International Law, regarding the independence and territorial integrity of countries, which must be respected by all."

    The two men expressed their satisfaction over the progress made in Greek- Chinese relations and stated the decision for the further promotion of cooperation between the two countries in all sectors.

    Mr. Kaklamanis visited the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China.

    [10] GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER IN WASHINGTON, TO MEET WITH US COUNTERPART

    National Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos is currently on an official tour to the United States, where he will meet with his US Defense Secretary William Cohen, in Washington today.

    According to reports, the two men will discuss the Cyprus issue, Greece's purchase of US military equipment, the continuation of efforts for a reduction of tension in the Aegean and the creation of a Balkan multinational force.

    On Wednesday, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will be received at the Pentagon and will attend a reception in his honour at the US State Department.

    The defense minister will also meet with the chief of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and members of the Jewish community.

    [11] INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS ARRIVE IN KOSSOVO TODAY

    International observers are to embark on a mission to Kossovo today where they will start work with routine patrols that are to be held on a daily basis.

    According to the United States envoy to Kossovo Richard Holbrooke, the observers are to be the core of an international force assigned to the area.

    Meanwhile, the vice-president of the Serb government Voislav Seseli renounced Mr. Holbrooke's policies and stated that he never wants to meet with the US diplomat.

    "Holbrooke will never be able to resolve the Kossovo issue," Mr. Seseli said. "Let's be honest. The Serb government holds differentiated views regarding his person. Our allies in the government coalition, the Socialist Party of Serbia believe that we should be talking with him. But I will not meet with him since he met with the Albanian terrorists in Kossovo."

    [12] HOLBROOKE WRAPS UP THREE DAYS OF TALKS OVER KOSSOVO

    US mediator Richard Holbrooke wrapped up three days of talks aimed at defusing violence in Kossovo, yesterday, and stated that a change of Kossovo's status within Yugoslavia was needed.

    ``Some change in the current status of Kossovo within the boundaries, the international boundaries, of Yugoslavia is essential in our view,'' Holbrooke told reporters after a three and a half hour meeting with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

    Mr. Holbrooke declined to comment in the content of his talks with Mr. Milosevic, stating that it was confidential.

    ``The talks with President Milosevic and the talks with the Albanian leaders in Kossovo have been very useful in clarifying many issues,'' Holbrooke said. ``As usual I can't go into any of the details of our talks here in Belgrade.''

    ``It neither succeeded nor failed, it simply continues intensively,'' he added.

    [13] RUSSIAN ENVOY CRITICISES ALBANIAN LEADERS FOR LACK OF UNITY.

    US envoy Richard Holbrooke has urged the leader of Kossovo's Albanian community Ibrahim Rugova to expand his political base in light of potential negotiations with Belgrade, a view also held by Russian deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Afanasievski.

    Mr. Afanasievski also stated that the lack of unity among the Albanian leaders stands in the way of resuming a dialogue to resolve the Kossovo crisis.

    Mr. Afanasievsky said he came to the conclusion that it is Albanian politicians who now should give answers to acute issues concerning the Kossovo crisis.

    Belgrade's readiness for the dialogue is obvious, he added.

    The deputy minister was talking to Russian reporters after his trip to Kossovo. Albanian politicians should foremost "assume control over the situation in the region and ensure cease-fire guarantee" by the so-called Kossovo Liberation Army, he said.

    Second, the international community expects that the Albanian side signals "readiness to resume concrete talks with the official Belgrade" over Kossovo's future.

    Speaking about the upcoming Contact Group meeting over the former Yugoslavia in Bonn on Wednesday, Afanasievsky said Moscow is planning to propose measures on strengthening mutual cease fire obligations by Serbs and Albanians, as an important prerequisite for the peaceful solution of the problem.

    Meanwhile, during the Prishtina-held talks between the US envoy, Mr. Rugova and the Russian deputy FM, Mr. Holbrooke stated that the Albanian leader's goal to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the crisis enjoys the US' support.

    It should be noted that the Kossovo Liberation Army does not recognise the authority of Mr. Rugova, who was elected as Kossovo's "president" unchallenged, in unofficial polls, not acknoweledged by Belgrade.

    [14] BOSNIAN SERB DOCTOR CHARGED WITH GENOCIDE BY WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL

    Bosnian Serb doctor Milan Kovacevic appeared before the U.N. war crimes tribunal on former Yugoslavia and pleaded innocent to genocide, the first such case to be heard before the International Court at the Hague.

    Prosecutors allege that Kovacevic, 57, as a senior official, helped set up camps in the Prijedo region of north-western Bosnia in which his Croat and Muslim victims were raped, tortured and killed. He was snatched by NATO officers.

    He has denied 14 counts of genocide, complicity to genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

    If found guilty, Kovacevic faces a maximum of life imprisonment.

    [15] KAKLAMANIS IS IN CHINA

    Greek Parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis met in Peking with his Chinese counterpart Li Peng.

    Mr. Kaklamanis underlined Greece's wish to promote bilateral relations, while he briefed Mr. Li Peng on the latest developments in the Cyprus issue and the intensified provocation of Turkey toward Greece.

    Mr. Li Peng stressed that Mr. Kaklamanis' visit is a tangible confirmation of Greece's will to further develop bilateral cooperation and friendship.

    [16] THE FIRST GENOCIDE COURT TRIAL IN THE HAGUE

    The first genocide trial opens in The Hague International Tribunal for the War Crimes committed in Bosnia today.

    The 57yearold Bonian Serb medical doctor Milan Kovacevic, who served as a Bosnian Serb command officer in the Prijedor region in north-western Bosnia, was the first official arrested by the NATO forces and is accused of being an accessory to the crime of genocide.

    [17] THE CYPRIOT MINISTER OF DEFENSE WILL VISIT RUSSIA

    Cypriot minister of defense Yiannakis Omirou will leave tomorrow for Russia for talks with his Russian counterpart on issues of mutual interest.

    Mr. Omirou when called to comment on press reports concerning the imminent visit of Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos to Cyprus, he said that a visit is likely but it will depend on the Greek defense minister's schedule.

    [18] GREECE'S NEW AMBASSADOR TO WASHINGTON IS ALEXANDROS FILON

    Greece's new ambassador to the United States Alexandros Filon has arrived in Washington. The former Greek foreign ministry general secretary will present copies of his credentials to the US State Department, while the date for the presentation of his credentials to US president Bill Clinton will be announced later.

    Alexandros Filon was born in Athens in 1939 and studied law and public relations in Paris. He was accepted to the Greek foreign ministry in 1965 and he served in New York, Vienna, London and Istanbul. In the period 1984-1989 he served as ambassador- adviser deputy head of the Greek diplomatic mission in Washington.

    In 1989 he was appointed Greece's ambassador to New Delhi and in 1993 he returned to the Greek foreign ministry as political affairs general director, while in 1997 he was promoted to general secretary.

    [19] YILAMZ ON A TWO-DAY VISIT TO FYROM

    Turkish prime minister Mesut Yilmaz is on a two-day visit to FYROM, where he was received by president Kiro Gligorov and held talks with his counterpart Branko Crvenkovski.

    The talks the two prime ministers had, focused on the development of bilateral relations as well as on the situation in the Balkans. Mr Crvenkovski and mr Yilmaz stressed that good relations between Turkey and FYROM secure stability and peace in the area.


    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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