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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-11-04

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, November 4, 1998

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PARLIAMENT GRANTS CONFIDENCE VOTE TO GOVERNMENT
  • [02] GREEK AIR FORCE PLANE EXPLODES, CRASHES THIS MORNING NEAR ATHENS
  • [03] CABINET TO CONVENE TODAY OVER THE ECONOMY
  • [04] PREMIER TO MEET WITH PRESIDENT TODAY
  • [05] POST OFFICE WORKERS TO STRIKE TOMORROW
  • [06] ALBANIAN SPORTS MINISTER IN GREECE ON OFFICIAL VISIT
  • [07] MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY CHALLENGES PASOK TO ELECTIONS
  • [08] PHILOXENIA '98 STARTS TOMORROW, S.E. EUROPE'S BIGGEST TOURISM FAIR
  • [09] THESSALONIKI TO HOST IN/AL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE "ARISTOTLE"
  • [10] REPPAS: THE YILMAZ VISIT TO THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES IS ILLEGAL
  • [11] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE NEW GOVERNMENT IN FYROM
  • [12] TAXATION ON CARS IS BEING REDUCED
  • [13] GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [14] THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY SUMMIT OF ORTHODOX COUNTRIES ENDED IN THESSALONIKI
  • [15] THE PROGRAMME OF THE 39TH FILM FESTIVAL OF THESSALONIKI
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [16] CLINTON BENEFITS FROM CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS
  • [17] GREECE TO PROVIDE CYPRUS WITH WATER AS DROUGHT RELIEF MEASURE
  • [18] A GREEK AMONG IN/AL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL'S NINE ELECTED JUDGES
  • [19] THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES RETURN TO KOSOVO, UN REPORTS
  • [20] OTE SHARES THE SECOND MOST TRADED AT NYSE ON OPENING DAY
  • [21] GREECE HOLDS THE SECOND PLACE IN THE PREFERENCE OF THE BRITISH TOURISTS
  • [22] RUGOVA VISITED VILLAGES IN KOSOVO
  • [23] PRINCE CHARLES WILL VISIT BULGARIA ON FRIDAY
  • [24] THE ACTIVITIES OF OSAMA BIN LADEN IN ALBANIA WERE REVEALED BY AN ALBANIAN NEWSPAPER

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PARLIAMENT GRANTS CONFIDENCE VOTE TO GOVERNMENT

    The parliament granted a confidence vote to the government last night, with 163 deputies voting in favor and 136 voting against.

    After the results were announced, Prime Minster Kostas Simitis stated that the government enjoys a "clear majority and a clear order to proceed with its policy."

    Moreover, he stated that expelled parliamentarians Moschos Ginokoglou, Vasilis Kedikoglou and Christos Kipouros will be reinstated to the party's parliamentary group.

    Mr. Simitis sought the confidence vote immediately after the government reshuffle last Thursday.

    [02] GREEK AIR FORCE PLANE EXPLODES, CRASHES THIS MORNING NEAR ATHENS

    A Mirage 2000 aircraft of the Greek air Force exploded in the air and crashed in the region of Malakasa, approximately 40 kilometers outside of Athens, this morning.

    According to reports from the Air Force's General Staff, the aircraft's control malfunctioned and the pilot, second lieutenant Parousis, was forced to abandon the plane by using the automatic ejection system. Despite rescue attempts, he has not been recovered, according to the same reports.

    This marks the fourth air force accident during the course of this year.

    [03] CABINET TO CONVENE TODAY OVER THE ECONOMY

    The government's economy and finance officials are to convene today in a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis in order to discuss fiscal matters.

    The participants are to draw the final touches on the reduction of indirect taxes on automobiles, as well as the Value Added Tax on the electricity bills by three percent.

    The governor of the National Bank of Greece Lukas Papademos is to also take part in the meeting, along with the Premier's economic adviser Tasos Yanitsis.

    [04] PREMIER TO MEET WITH PRESIDENT TODAY

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to be received by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos today.

    The meeting, which was re-scheduled from Monday, is taking place after the Parliament granted a vote of confidence to the government last night.

    The Premier will brief the President on the course of the state's internal and foreign policies.

    [05] POST OFFICE WORKERS TO STRIKE TOMORROW

    Postal workers are to conduct a 24-hour strike tomorrow, in protest to the postal market-related bill which will be tabled in Parliament.

    The post office employees maintain that the said bill needs to be improved in order to prevent concessions in the management agreement terms which, as they say, will essentially impede the course and development of the Greek postal services.

    [06] ALBANIAN SPORTS MINISTER IN GREECE ON OFFICIAL VISIT

    Albania's Sports Minister Mr. Tartari met with Greece's deputy Minister for Sports Andreas Fouras yesterday, during his official visit to Greece where he is heading an Albanian delegation which will study the organization of sports events.

    Regarding the Euro 2000 qualifying match to be held between Greek and Albanian teams in Tirana on November 18, Mr. Tatari assured Mr. Fouras that it would not be marred by any incident. The Euro 2000 qualifying match between Albania and Greece was originally scheduled for October 10 but postponed by UEFA on October 1 due to political unrest in Albania.

    Mr. Fouras is scheduled to visit Tirana on November 17 to sign a protocol of cooperation in the sports sector between the two countries.

    [07] MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY CHALLENGES PASOK TO ELECTIONS

    Greece's main opposition party leader, New Democracy's Kostas Karamanlis, stated that last night's confidence vote in the Parliament was a "farce" and accused the government of "arrogant behavior and contempt for the people."

    "How can you be proud of your work, after the painful results of the recent local government elections and the growing public disaffection?" Mr. Karamanlis asked during his Parliament address.

    He called on the Prime Minister to "stop concealing his personal inadequacy behind the national goal of taking the country into Economic and Monetary Union (EMU)."

    "You cannot receive absolution for the disintegration of the state, your mistakes and omissions through EMU," he stressed.

    [08] PHILOXENIA '98 STARTS TOMORROW, S.E. EUROPE'S BIGGEST TOURISM FAIR

    The Helexpo-founded PHILOXENIA '98, the biggest tourism exhibition in South-East Europe, is to start in Thessaloniki tomorrow, November 5, featuring 10,000 sq.m. of exhibition space and more than 350 exhibitors of the tourism industry from around the world.

    Among the sectors to be represented at the four-day fair are hotels, apartment and other accommodation forms, transportation, meeting, conference and incentive travel, tour operators, nature and adventure trips, data communications and publications.

    PHILOXENIA reached its peak last year with 369 exhibitors. More analytically, 311 of these were from Greece while 58 from abroad. The exhibitors presented their products to 10,000 visitors of which 4,000 visitors with trade interest.

    This year's event is jointly organized by Thessaloniki's HELEXPO and Great Britain's REED EXHIBITIONS, a marketing company which organizes 336 exhibitors worldwide, nine of which are for the tourism sector .

    The collaboration agreement, which is expected to be finalized by the end of August, is expected to contribute decisively to the improvement of services offered in the area of international marketing. The two companies will sign a ten year agreement commencing in1999.

    [09] THESSALONIKI TO HOST IN/AL MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE "ARISTOTLE"

    Thessaloniki will host the fifth international management conference titled "Aristotle", which will be held on November 18- 19.

    The event is being organized by the Macedonia section of the Greek Association of Business Management (EEDE) and will be held at the "Macedonia Palace" hotel.

    [10] REPPAS: THE YILMAZ VISIT TO THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES IS ILLEGAL

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized as illegal the visit of Turkish prime minister Mesut Yilmaz to the Turkish occupied northern Cyprus, pointing out that this action undermines the efforts for peace and stability in the region.

    Commenting on the statements made by Mr. Yilmaz concerning the annexation of the occupied territories to Turkey, Mr. Reppas pointed out that this is not wished not even by the Turkish Cypriots themselves, who are looking forward to Cyprus's European prospect.

    [11] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE NEW GOVERNMENT IN FYROM

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas expressed the Greek government's joy over the fact that the democratic institutions in FYROM operate and wished that the new FYROM government will cooperate with the Greek government for the benefit of the two countries.

    Mr. Reppas called on the FYROM government to show the same sense of responsibility displayed by the Greek government.

    [12] TAXATION ON CARS IS BEING REDUCED

    The minister of national economy and finance announced cuts on the special consumer tax on cars and the VAT included in the state electricity company bills after the meeting he had with prime minister Kostas Simitis.

    The special consumer tax on cars will be cut by up to 20%, while the VAT on the state electricity company bills will be reduced from 18% to 8% which means that the company's bills will be smaller by 8.7%.

    Mr. Papantoniou pointed out that the 1999 budget, which will be presented in parliament soon, provides for cuts in indirect taxes which are estimated at 180 billion drachmas.

    [13] GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Upward trends prevailed in the Athens Stock Exchange session today. The general price index closed with gains of 1.14%.

    Strong upward trends prevail in all the European stock markets since this morning after yesterday's temporary, as it appears to be, indecision displayed by investors.

    [14] THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENTARY SUMMIT OF ORTHODOX COUNTRIES ENDED IN THESSALONIKI

    The two-day meeting of the international secretariat of the European Parliamentary Summit of Orthodox countries ended in Thessaloniki.

    Milutin Stojkovic, head of the Yugoslav delegation, stressed the very significant support offered to his country by the European Parliamentary Summit of the Orthodox countries for the peaceful solution of the crisis in Kossovo and promised that his country will make every effort for Orthodoxy to take its place in the international scene.

    In the summit meeting participated delegations from Russia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Yugoslavia and Greece.

    [15] THE PROGRAMME OF THE 39TH FILM FESTIVAL OF THESSALONIKI

    The 39th Film Festival of Thessaloniki opens on November 13 with the screening of Goran Paskalijevic's film "The powder-keg of the Balkans". In this year's festival which has a budget of 460 million drachmas participate 12 films in the international competition and 19 in the Greek competition, while a large number of films will be screened within the framework of special presentations.

    In the international competition participate films from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Iran, the United States, Germany, France, Tadjikistan, South Korea and Canada.

    The Film Festival will end on November 22 with the screening of "Besieged", the last movie by Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci, while 36 film productions representing the independent American cinema will be screened within the framework of the special presentations.

    A special event will be held to honor British film director Ken Lowds, while French cult film director Jean-Daniel Pollet will be honored in cooperation with the Turin Film Festival.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [16] CLINTON BENEFITS FROM CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS

    The first results of the congressional elections in the United States are encouraging for US President Bill Clinton as it appears that the Democratic Party has managed to maintain its seats in the House.

    According to the latest polls, the Democrats are expected to strengthen their position in the House of Representatives.

    [17] GREECE TO PROVIDE CYPRUS WITH WATER AS DROUGHT RELIEF MEASURE

    Greece is to supply Cyprus with 15 million cubic meters of water on an annual basis, as a drought relief measure, according to an agreement between the two countries.

    The chief advisor of Greece's water supply department (EYDAP) Dionisios Xenos, who met yesterday with Cypriot Agriculture Minister Kostas Themistocleous in Cyprus, stated that the shipment of drinking water could start within three months.

    "The water will be given as aid to Cyprus," Mr. Xenos said, adding that the infrastructure for pumping the water onto tankers was already in place in Greece and would allow for over 40,000 cubic meters of water to be shipped on a daily basis.

    Mr. Themistocleous stated that the Greek government's offer of free drought relief is "significant", but repeated that overall costs might still be too high.

    "It is not the purchase price of the water but rather the transport cost that counts" he said, adding that "if this cost is lower than for other methods of securing water - such as desalination - then we will go ahead with implementation of the Greek offer, " the Cypriot minister said.

    Greek Ambassador to Cyprus, Kyriakos Rodousakis, who also attended yesterday's meeting, expressed his certainty that Cypriot shipowners would be willing to help out with the water shipments, thus reducing costs.

    "There are some very powerful Cypriot shipowners, with strong patriotic sentiments, and I am hopeful they will help out," he said.

    According to Cypriot press reports, Nicosia had considered importing water in 1991 from Crete but shelved the idea due to costs. However, the extended drought and subsequent technological advances have made water shipments an increasingly attractive proposition. The island's occupied areas are already being supplied with water from Turkey by balloon.

    [18] A GREEK AMONG IN/AL CRIMINAL TRIBUNAL'S NINE ELECTED JUDGES

    The UN Security Council's General Assembly has elected nine judges to the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Greece's Dionysios Kondylis among them.

    Six of the elected judges will replace those who have served since 1995 on the two original Trial Chambers of the Tribunal when their terms expire on 24 May 1999. The other three judges will serve on a third Trial Chamber, established by the Security Council in April this year to facilitate the work of the Tribunal.

    The terms of all judges elected yesterday will expire on 24 May 2003. While the six elected to the exiting Trial Chambers will assume their post on 25 May 1999, the other three will start as soon as possible following the elections so that the new third Trial Chamber can start to function at the earliest possible date.

    The Tribunal, which is based in Arusha, Tanzania, was established by the Security Council on 8 November 1994 to prosecute persons accused of genocide or other violations of international humanitarian law committed in Rwanda or neighboring territories in during that year.

    The election process for Tribunal judges begins with an invitation by the Secretary-General to Member States and non- member observers of the United Nations to submit up to two candidates for the Tribunal within 30 days of his request.

    The Secretary-General then forwards the nominations received to the Security Council, which establishes "short lists" by secret ballot, taking into account adequate representation of the principal legal systems of the world.

    The list of candidates, which consists of not fewer than 18 names and not more than 27, is then sent to the General Assembly for final decision. On September 30, the Security Council established a short list of 18 candidates, which had been forwarded by the Council President to the President of the General Assembly.

    The remaining eight judges were Navanethem Pillay (South Africa), Laity Kama (Senegal), Mehmet Goney (Turkey), Pavel Dolenc (Slovenia), William Sekule (United Republic of Tanzania), Yakov Ostrovsky (Russia), and Erik Mose (Norway) and Lloyd George Williams of Jamaica and Saint Kitts and Nevis.

    [19] THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES RETURN TO KOSOVO, UN REPORTS

    Over the past week, thousands of internally displaced persons in Kosovo have gone back to their villages, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

    Kris Janowski, a Spokesman for the agency, said the residents were going back mainly to see the condition of their houses and to find out if the police had gone. Some internally displaced persons had said they would stay for a few days, while others were repairing homes to bring in families. In some areas, villagers were preparing to plant the winter crop of wheat.

    Only several hundred of the 10,000 internally displaced persons estimated to be under plastic before the 27 October military withdrawal, had either returned to their villages or are in host families. "Of the handful remaining in the open, about 100 are on the hill above Kisna Reka, where earlier the widely publicized group of 3,500 internally displaced persons were encamped, 30 kilometers west of Prishtina," said Mr. Janowski.

    Since mid-October, UNHCR has doubled the delivery of relief supplies from three times per week to six. According to the agency, those supplies were now reaching areas that had been inaccessible during the conflict. "UNHCR, along with non- governmental organizations (NGOs), can provide assistance to approximately 90,000 people a week," Mr. Janowski said.

    [20] OTE SHARES THE SECOND MOST TRADED AT NYSE ON OPENING DAY

    A New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) official yesterday announced that 34 million shares of the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE) were sold during the initial offering. She added that yesterday alone, eight million OTE shares changed hands, ranking it second in trade volume for the day.

    The spokeswoman said that the share opened for trading at 11 US dollars and closed at 11.31 dollars.

    [21] GREECE HOLDS THE SECOND PLACE IN THE PREFERENCE OF THE BRITISH TOURISTS

    Greece had big gains as a result of the increase in the number of British tourists traveling abroad, as in the first 9 months of 1998 it was the second most popular tourist destination for the Britons.

    Based on data provided by the British newspaper "The Independent", in the period of January-September of 1998 there was an increase of 13% in the British tourism compared to the same period in 1997.

    The number of British tourists, who visited the Greek islands, increased by 33% while there was also an increase of 19% in the number of British tourists preferring Cyprus.

    [22] RUGOVA VISITED VILLAGES IN KOSOVO

    Leader of the ethic Albanians in Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova visited villages which were at the front line of the clashes between ethnic Albanian rebels and Serb security forces.

    Mr. Rugova, accompanied by US mediator Christopher Hill, saw for himself that the refugees return to their homes but he stressed that further measures should be taken for their protection.

    [23] PRINCE CHARLES WILL VISIT BULGARIA ON FRIDAY

    The heir to the British throne Prince Charles will be on a formal visit to Bulgaria on November 6-8. He will arrive in Sofia on Friday at noon and he will meet with Bulgarian president Petar Stoyanov immediately afterwards.

    Prince Charles and president Stoyianov will attend a forum of businessmen that will be held in Sofia and on Saturday the heir to the British throne will visit the city of Plovdiv.

    As it was made known, the prince will be accompanied by 26 journalists from British newspapers, radio and television.

    [24] THE ACTIVITIES OF OSAMA BIN LADEN IN ALBANIA WERE REVEALED BY AN ALBANIAN NEWSPAPER

    The newspaper "Gazetta Skiptare" made revelations on the expansion of the terrorist activities of Islamist Saudi Arabian multi- millioner Osama Bin Laden to Albania and his links with the political leadership of the country during the Berisha regime.

    According to the Albanian newspaper, Osama Bin Laden visited Albania in April 1994 as a member of a Saudi Arabian delegation at the invitation of the then secret service chief Baskim Gazidente who was also the chairman of the Association of Islamist Intellectuals in Albania.

    During his stay in Tirana, he had talks with many government ministers and an aid agreement was reached but the assistance never got to Albania.

    According to the newspaper, the Saudi Arabian terrorist founded the Islamist humanitarian organization "Al Haramen" in Albania which was financed by him personally and worked as a cover- up for his terrorist activities. The newspaper maintains that hundreds of young Albanians were recruited and trained by Bin Laden's organization to be used in terrorist actions directed by the Saudi Arabian terrorist.


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