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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-09-23

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, September 23, 1998

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREEK PREMIER: GREECE WILL BE IN THE EMU IN THE YEAR 2000
  • [02] OPPOSITION PARTIES REACT WITH CRITICISM TO PASOK RALLY
  • [03] REPPAS: NO CHANGE SEEN TO CYPRUS'S ACCESSION TO THE EUROPEAN UNION
  • [04] MEDITERRANEAN CULTURE MINISTERS TO HOLD CONFERENCE IN RHODES
  • [05] "ARTISTS WITHOUT BORDERS" EMBARKS ON 3-MONTH TRAIN TOUR OF BALKANS
  • [06] SPARTATHLON '98 RACE BEGINS FRIDAY IN GREECE, 23 COUNTRIES REPRESENTED
  • [07] SIMITIS HAD CONTACTS WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
  • [08] GAINS ARE RECORDED IN THE EUROPEAN STOCK MARKETS
  • [09] GREECE IS A PROSPEROUS COUNTRY ACCORDING TO THE OSCD
  • [10] 167 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM IRAQ WERE ARRESTED IN CRETE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [11] GREECE'S FOREIGN MINISTER IN WASHINGTON
  • [12] CYPRIOT PRESIDENT TO MEET WITH UN'S SECURITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES
  • [13] CLERIDES : I WANT MY COUNTRY TO BE A FEDERAL, INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC
  • [14] GREECE'S PRESTIGIOUS ARSAKIO SCHOOL OPENS IN TIRANA, TEACHES GREEK TOO
  • [15] THE SERB ARMY UNITS CONTINUE THE MILITARY OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO
  • [16] THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES A RESOLUTION ON KOSOVO TODAY
  • [17] THE US PENTAGON ON THE SALE OF THE F-15 JETS TO GREECE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK PREMIER: GREECE WILL BE IN THE EMU IN THE YEAR 2000

    In his address before a large and enthusiastic crowd during last night's rally marking the second anniversary of the ruling PASOK party's 1996 general election victory, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis stressed that the country will achieve its target of equal- terms accession to the Economic and Monetary Union in the year 2000.

    Mr. Simitis added that during the general elections of the year 2000, the people will grant another large majority vote to the ruling party's forces of change and reform, thereby allowing PASOK to turn the page to the next millennium and lead Greece into Europe. The Premier admitted that the government's economic policies have been tough, but he stressed that the sacrifice has paid off.

    "We've asked the people to make sacrifices, and we're proud the sacrifices are paying off. Greece is moving ahead, it has a voice, and it's an equal partner in the European Union. "The future belongs to us, to the youth, to all who have a plan for the future", he continued. People want a strong Greece, and PASOK is building it, said Mr. Simitis; Greece is winning its battles, because everyone's fighting together.

    Referring to his decision to devalue the drachma in March so Greece could join the European stable exchange rate system, Mr. Simitis said that "the global crisis recently showed we'd made the right decision."

    "As a result of the March decision, we were able to weather the international economic storm well. If we hadn't entered the exchange rate mechanism, not only the drachma but the entire country would've been destabilized when crisis hit".

    The prime minister also said that his tough stabilization policies have been socially sensitive, defending not only the nation's currency, but also working people's wages. "We're moving forward", the Prime Minister assured the nation. "We're sending out a message of hope, certainty, and continuity".

    [02] OPPOSITION PARTIES REACT WITH CRITICISM TO PASOK RALLY

    Commenting on the prime minister's speech during yesterday PASOK rally in Kallithea, main opposition New Democracy deputy Prokopis Pavlopoulos stated that Mr. Simitis had chosen to make an account of his government's work for the past two years at a time when six out of 10 citizens regarded him unreliable.

    The ND parliamentarian added that this period was marked by the government's failure to lead the country into EMU, as well as the devaluation of the drachma and inability to push structural changes and real privatizations.

    An announcement by the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) said that "the failed PASOK rally is an apparent expression of popular displeasure at the PASOK government's anti-popular attack". It further said that Mr. Simitis used "ideologically intimidating arguments to persuade working people that things for them were on a good path".

    The Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) described the PASOK rally as a "directed fiesta for television consumption".

    [03] REPPAS: NO CHANGE SEEN TO CYPRUS'S ACCESSION TO THE EUROPEAN UNION

    The framework for the accession of Cyprus and other countries to the European Union has been defined by the decisions of the Luxembourg and Cardiff summits and any change to this should be brought to the competent EU bodies, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated yesterday, in response to related objections expressed by France, Italy and Spain.

    The government spokesperson said that such a development "is not practically feasible and politically correct".

    Mr. Reppas said he believed there would not be any change to the EU's decisions, adding that Greece and Cyprus were "unprepared" to pay the price of the stand-off over finding a solution to the division of Cyprus, due to Turkey's intransigence.

    Spain, Italy and France have reportedly albeit unofficially, proposed that a solution must be arrived at regarding the island's Turkish occupation before its full entry.

    According to the Cypriot Foreign Minister, Yiannakis Kasoulides, the EU External Affairs Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek clarified during their meeting yesterday in New York that Cyprus' accession course was progressing uninhibited.

    [04] MEDITERRANEAN CULTURE MINISTERS TO HOLD CONFERENCE IN RHODES

    The first Mediterranean wide conference of culture ministers will be held on the island of Rhodes this weekend from September 25-27.

    Greece's Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos has stated that all of the region's countries except Libya will be participating and will discuss all the large cultural programs planned for the celebration of the new millennium as well as the 2004 Olympic Games.

    The minister said that the celebrations for the year 2000 include exhibitions, publications, Greek participation in musical and theatrical international events, as well as the new monuments such as the new Acropolis museum and Goulandris Museum of Modern Art.

    He said that the events for the year 2000 include a religious element represented by the Orthodox Christian Church and organized by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and will include Byzantine art exhibitions.

    [05] "ARTISTS WITHOUT BORDERS" EMBARKS ON 3-MONTH TRAIN TOUR OF BALKANS

    "Artists Without Borders", a Greek non-profit group, is to embark on a three-month train tour of 11 Balkan and European cities today, outlining the origins of culture and the development of Western civilization.

    The train consists of six white wagons representing various stages of Western culture: democracy, theater, commerce and industry, technology, the Olympic idea and human rights. The train will spend at least two days in each city and hold theatrical shows with local groups. It is funded by the Greek culture ministry and parliament.

    The train will first visit Sofia, Bulgaria and then travel to Bucharest, Romania; Leipzig, Germany; Brussels, Belgium; Strasbourg, France; Milan, Italy; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Zagreb, Croatia; Banja Luka and Sarajevo, Bosnia; Belgrade, Yugoslavia and end in Skopje, capital of FYROM.

    [06] SPARTATHLON '98 RACE BEGINS FRIDAY IN GREECE, 23 COUNTRIES REPRESENTED

    Over 190 athletes representing 23 countries will be in Athens on Friday to take part in what is considered to be one of the most grueling races in the world, the international ultra-distance endurance race "Spartathlon '98".

    The race, held for the 16th consecutive year, will begin on Friday at the foot of the Acropolis. The athletes will have 36 hours to run the 246-kilometer distance to the city of Sparta, in southeastern Peloponnese. They will be tracing the steps of the ancient Athenian courier Pheidippides, and will run 1,200 meters up Mount Parthenio in the dead of night.

    According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus' account of the Battle of Marathon, Pheidippides was sent to Sparta to ask for help when the Persians landed at Marathon. Herodotus says Pheidippides arrived in Sparta "the next day".

    The Spartathlon was originated by John Foden, a British Royal Air Force wing commander who ran the course in 1982 with four RAF colleagues.

    The 1st International Spartathlon was organized in 1983 with the participation of 45 runners from 11 countries as well as Greece.

    [07] SIMITIS HAD CONTACTS WITH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis had contacts with government officials today to discuss the current political developments. A meeting was held this morning presided over by Mr. Simitis with the participation of undersecretary to the prime minister's office Mr. Paschalidis and also undersecretaries of national economy Mr. Pachtas, environment land planning and public works Mr. Verelis and PASOK's executive bureau member Mr. Tsoukatos.

    The prime minister expressed satisfaction over yesterday's open-air rally in Kallithea, Athens, while in statements he made on the issue undersecretary of national economy Mr. Pachtas pointed out that the government got a message of optimism from the people's participation in the rally.

    [08] GAINS ARE RECORDED IN THE EUROPEAN STOCK MARKETS

    An upward trend is being recorded today at the European Stock Markets. The investors await with great interest for the statement the US Central Bank governor will make before the US Congress hoping that he will give the message that the US interest rates will at last be lowered at the end of the month.

    In the Athens Stock Exchange the general price index has closed with marginal gains.

    [09] GREECE IS A PROSPEROUS COUNTRY ACCORDING TO THE OSCD

    Greece is regarded as prosperous but not rich country, according to a statistic comparison conducted by the OSCD. Based on a research by the international organization, the national income of Greece corresponds to 67% of the average income of all the OSCD countries, which are among the most developed in the world.

    At the top of the list is Luxembourg with 160% and the United States with 120%, while Greece's level is equal to Slovenia's and the Czech Republic's.

    [10] 167 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM IRAQ WERE ARRESTED IN CRETE

    The 167 illegal immigrants from Iraq, among them 80 children, had lived a small odyssey before being arrested by the Greek coast guard near the coasts of the island of Crete. The immigrants, who paid 2.000 US dollars each to the slave-traders in order to bring them to Greece, were left without drinking water for 5 days on board a 20-meter long boat which has a capacity of just 10 people.

    The boat named "Alak" had been spotted by the coast guards in Crete two days ago and according to information given by the people arrested, it had departed from Lebanon with Greece as its destination where the desperate people it carried hoped to find a better life.

    The four crew members from Lebanon and Syria will appear before the prosecutor in Iraklion, Crete today, while the illegal immigrants are being held at the immigration agency offices and they have received medical care and food.

    According to information, an international illegal network is hidden behind the four slave-traders in which the Italian Mafia is involved as well as a number of Greeks.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [11] GREECE'S FOREIGN MINISTER IN WASHINGTON

    Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos met with various of his counterparts in New York yesterday, on the sidelines of the United Nations General assembly.

    Today, Mr. Pangalos will travel to Washington where he will speak on national issues, as well as on European-Greek-Turkish relations.

    The Greek Foreign Minister is to address the UN's general assembly tomorrow, when he will also meet with the United States assistant Secretary of State Mark Grossman.

    [12] CYPRIOT PRESIDENT TO MEET WITH UN'S SECURITY COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES

    The President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides is to meet with the representatives of the United Nations Security council in New York today with whom he will discuss the latest developments on the Cyprus issue.

    Meanwhile, Russia's newly appointed Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, during his meeting yesterday with President Clerides, reiterated his country's support to the UN's resolutions concerning the island republic.

    [13] CLERIDES : I WANT MY COUNTRY TO BE A FEDERAL, INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC

    The President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides, addressing the United Nations Council of Foreign Relations in New York yesterday, slammed the confederation proposal submitted by the Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, saying he would not agree to any solution that would reduce the island into a Greek and Turkish protectorate.

    "I want my country to be a federal, independent republic," President Clerides said. The Cypriot President added that a new, internationally-endorsed arrangement to ensure Cyprus sovereignty must be in place to prevent the island from becoming a protectorate.

    "A repetition of the treaties of the past will not prevent this from happening," he stated. He reiterated that the demilitarization proposal and the idea of an international peace force on the island would be ways to overcome the peace process deadlock.

    [14] GREECE'S PRESTIGIOUS ARSAKIO SCHOOL OPENS IN TIRANA, TEACHES GREEK TOO

    One of Greece's most prestigious private schools, Arsakio, has opened in the Albanian capital, Tirana, teaching first and second-graders Albanian and Greek.

    Enforcing tough admission requirements, the school accepted only eighty children out of the hundreds of applications submitted.

    According to the school's director, the school's aim is to sustain Albanian culture and to add Greek culture to the pupils' learning.

    There are 700 thousand pupils in Albania, where, given the country's exceptionally young population, nearly one in four people is a student.

    [15] THE SERB ARMY UNITS CONTINUE THE MILITARY OPERATIONS IN KOSOVO

    Serb police and army units continue their military operations against villages in the region of Drenica in Kosovo.

    Meanwhile, the UN Security Council examines a resolution on the conflict in Kosovo that could become the legal basis for an international military intervention in the region. The resolution is being promoted by Britain and France, while it has also the backing of Russia.

    [16] THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL DISCUSSES A RESOLUTION ON KOSOVO TODAY

    A resolution on Kosovo will be discussed today in the UN Security Council. The resolution, which can serve as a legal basis for an international military intervention in Kosovo, is promoted by Britain and France while it also has the backing of Russia and calls for the end of the hostilities and the opening of peace talks between the Serb and the Albanian side.

    The resolution refers to article 7 of the UN Charter which in the past had been used for the undertaking of military action, like in the case of Iraq.

    However, according to the BBC radio service, British officials have refused to comment on whether the resolution corresponds to an authorization for a military intervention in Kosovo.

    Russian ambassador Sergei Labrov has stated that there is nothing in the resolution that authorizes the use of military means.

    [17] THE US PENTAGON ON THE SALE OF THE F-15 JETS TO GREECE

    The US Pentagon press spokesman stated that there is no issue of a sale of 60 F-15 fighter jets to Greece at least not at this point.

    Called to comment on the letter of Republican House Representatives Benjamin Gilman and Lee Hamilton addressed to the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in which they express the concern of the US House Representatives over the sale of the fighter jets to Greece, the US Pentagon spokesman avoided to make any comments and directed the question to the US State Department spokesman.


    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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