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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-11-06

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, November 6, 1998

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PASOK CENTRAL COMMITTEE EMBARKS ON TWO-DAY CONGRESS TODAY
  • [02] CHEAPER CARS AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK, IN AN EFFORT TO CURB INFLATION
  • [03] INFLATION RATE TAKES A PLUNGE IN OCTOBER
  • [04] NEW MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER INAUGURATES PHILOXENIA EXPOSITION
  • [05] GREEK PM WILL TRAVEL TO WARSAW TO MEET WITH POLISH COUNTERPART
  • [06] AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL-GREECE ISSUES REPORT ON US HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
  • [07] GREEK AIR FORCE HONORS ITS PATRON, ARCHANGEL MICHAEL
  • [08] THESSALONIKI'S DESIGN MUSEUM AT INTERNATIONAL BIENNALE 1998
  • [09] THE GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE MET TODAY
  • [10] THE US STANCE TOWARD GREECE HAS NOT CHANGED
  • [11] PANGALOS: GREECE WILL BE A CANDIDATE AGAIN FOR THE POSITION OF UN SECURITY COUNCIL NON-PERMANENT MEMBER
  • [12] NIKOS ZABOUNIDIS IS THE NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE PARLIAMENTARY GROUP OF FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN GREECE AND THE BALKAN STATES
  • [13] KAKLAMANIS WILL MEET WITH A US SENATOR ON MONDAY
  • [14] INFLATION DROPPED TO 4.7% IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [15] UN SECRETARY GENERAL ISSUES REPORT ON KOSOVO
  • [16] GREEK FILMMAKER YIANNIS SMARAGDIS HONORED IN US FOR "KAVAFIS"
  • [17] AIDONIA TREASURE EXHIBITION IN AUSTRALIA NEXT WEEK
  • [18] ISRAEL WILL NOT RATIFY THE PEACE DEAL WITH THE PALESTINIANS
  • [19] THE TREASURES OF THE MONASTERY OF HILANDARIOU ARE EXHIBITED IN BELGRADE
  • [20] PROTOCOL OF COOPERATION SIGNED BY THE STATISTICS AGENCIES OF GREECE AND FYROM
  • [21] GERMAN TV DOCUMENTARY ON OLD AND MODERN LESVOS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PASOK CENTRAL COMMITTEE EMBARKS ON TWO-DAY CONGRESS TODAY

    The ruling PASOK party's Central Committee is to embark on a two-day congress this evening in Athens, while its Executive Bureau met yesterday night.

    The Central Committee's secretary Kostas Skandalides told reporters that the participants discussed the results of the recent municipal and prefectural elections. According to reports, the Prime Minister Kostas Simitis has made it clear that there will be no reshuffling in the Executive Bureau.

    [02] CHEAPER CARS AS EARLY AS NEXT WEEK, IN AN EFFORT TO CURB INFLATION

    In an effort to curb inflation, the government is accelerating its plan to reduce indirect taxes, starting with automobiles whose prices could be reduced by an average five per cent. The relevant legislation is to be tabled in Parliament within the following days.

    According to reports, the lower car prices will be effective as soon as the legislation is ratified and the reductions could mean GRD 300,000 less for an automobile of 1400 horsepower. A According to the Laborers' Federation, the average consumer will pay approximately GRD2,000 less a month.

    [03] INFLATION RATE TAKES A PLUNGE IN OCTOBER

    The inflation rate dropped to 4.7-4.8% last month, a notable reduction when compared to September's 5.2 %.

    The chairman of the Bank of Piraeus Michalis Salas has requested that the National Bank of Greece reduce its standard interest rates by 2.25-2.5%.

    [04] NEW MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER INAUGURATES PHILOXENIA EXPOSITION

    The newly-appointed Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yiannis Magriotis, inaugurated the 14th Philoxenia exposition at the International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki yesterday, where he forecast "an explosion of tourism activity".

    Mr. Magriotis stated that he expects the tourism flow to increase given Greece's expected EMU accession.

    The minister stated that the port, airports, railway and highways infrastructure improvements are "inflexible options" and added that "the state and the professionals in the tourism section must jointly work on creating a complete program of tourism development ".

    [05] GREEK PM WILL TRAVEL TO WARSAW TO MEET WITH POLISH COUNTERPART

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will pay a two-day visit to Warsaw on November 9-10 at the invitation of his Polish counterpart Jerzy Buzek, it was announced yesterday.

    During his stay, Mr. Simitis will have talks with Mr. Buzek on bilateral and international issues.

    He will also meet with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski and have talks with the speakers of Poland's house of representatives and senate and political party leaders.

    [06] AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL-GREECE ISSUES REPORT ON US HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

    United States ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns was handed an Amnesty International report on abuses of human rights in the United States, drawn by the Greek branch of the international human rights organization.

    Members of the delegation gave Mr. Burns a replica of the Statue of Liberty as a poignant reminder that the United States, often touting itself as a crusader of human rights throughout the world, has not yet managed to ensure the protection of human rights, both within the U.S. and abroad, as the group stated.

    Amnesty's report focuses on the "violation of human rights in the US by police officers and prison guards as well as the arbitrary and discriminatory use of the death penalty and tendency to imprison those requesting political asylum."

    Moreover, the report criticizes the US for its "double standard in foreign policy and commitments to protecting human rights elsewhere in the world".

    According to the general secretary of Amnesty International Pierre Chanet, by being the "biggest producer and exporter of arms in the world, the US contributes to the violation of human rights by other governments and to abuses by armed groups , including torture and political murder".

    Mr. Chanet pointed to the case of Turkey, where in 1995, according to a US State Department report, American-made military equipment was used in the displacement of Kurdish villagers and during other human rights abuses.

    [07] GREEK AIR FORCE HONORS ITS PATRON, ARCHANGEL MICHAEL

    Greece's Air Force is honoring today its patron Archangel Michael, although the series of festivities and events programmed to take place have been canceled due to the death of 26-year-old pilot Nikolaos Panousis who heroically delayed his ejection from a Mirage-2000 fighter jet in serious mechanical trouble, in order to prevent the plane from crashing in a populated area. The crash occurred on Wednesday.

    The air force bases will be open to the public today until Sunday.

    [08] THESSALONIKI'S DESIGN MUSEUM AT INTERNATIONAL BIENNALE 1998

    The Design Museum of Thessaloniki will participate in the international Biennale Design 19898, which will be held at Saint- Ettien, France between November 7-15.

    Fifty countries and 800 designers are to participate in the exhibition which will feature the presentation of 3,500 products, as well as a series of lectures, seminars and workshops.

    [09] THE GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE MET TODAY

    The governmental committee met today presided over by prime minister Kostas Simitis to discuss the third EU framework of support and the course of the absorption of funds from the second package.

    Meanwhile, PASOK's central committee meeting opens this afternoon and will be completed tomorrow. There is great interest in the speech prime minister Kostas Simitis is scheduled to deliver as well as in the stance of the so-called "in-party opposition" and the leading members of the party. Also, an assessment will be made on the results of the recent local elections.

    [10] THE US STANCE TOWARD GREECE HAS NOT CHANGED

    The stance of the United States toward Greece and Cyprus has not changed, while Richard Halbrooke is expected to visit Athens, Nicosia and Ankara, stated US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns immediately after his meeting with Thessaloniki prefect Kostas Papadopoulos.

    The US ambassador briefed Mr. Papadopoulos on the interest displayed by American businesses for investments in Thessaloniki and requested greater support for "Anatolia" American College. Mr. Burns stated that "Anatolia" College will offer a programme of government studies named after the Greek-American former US Senator Michael Dukakis.

    Later, Mr. Burns met with minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis.

    [11] PANGALOS: GREECE WILL BE A CANDIDATE AGAIN FOR THE POSITION OF UN SECURITY COUNCIL NON-PERMANENT MEMBER

    Greece will be a candidate again for the position of UN Security Council non-permanent member in the year 2005, said foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos in parliament today, responding to a question by former foreign minister of the opposition party of New Democracy Mr. Varvitsiotis.

    Mr. Pangalos characterized the fight Greece gave to become an non-permanent member as unequal, while he strongly criticized the stance adopted by a so-called friendly country which held a negative stance toward Greece based on the argument that Greece would take advantage of its position in the UN Security Council in the problems it has with Turkey. Mr. Pangalos said characteristically that unfortunately sometimes friends are proved to be worse than enemies.

    [12] NIKOS ZABOUNIDIS IS THE NEW CHAIRMAN OF THE PARLIAMENTARY GROUP OF FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN GREECE AND THE BALKAN STATES

    Governing socialist party of PASOK parliament deputy Nikos Zabounidis was appointed chairman of the parliamentary group of friendship between Greece and the Balkan states taking the place of Yiannis Magriotis who was appointed minister of Macedonia- Thrace.

    Mr. Zabounidis expressed satisfaction for his appointment and referred to the significant role he can play in the promotion of cooperation with Balkan countries, while he also announced that a parliamentary delegation from Bulgaria will visit Athens and Thessaloniki next week.

    [13] KAKLAMANIS WILL MEET WITH A US SENATOR ON MONDAY

    Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis will meet on November 9 in Athens with US Senator from the state of Maine Ms. Olympia Snowe.

    Ms. Snowe is the first Greek-American woman elected to the US Senate in 1994 with the Republican party.

    [14] INFLATION DROPPED TO 4.7% IN THE MONTH OF OCTOBER

    Inflation dropped to 4.7% in Greece in the month of October compared to 5.2% in September, according to the National Statistics Agency.

    The drop is attributed to the cuts in the prices of gas, ship fares, cars, heating oil and food.

    In statements he made after the governmental committee meeting minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou speculated that the drop of inflation will continue and the 2% limit will be reached soon allowing Greece to enter the economic and monetary union.

    The drop of inflation has a positive effect on the economy as it accelerates the interest rates cuts, speeds-up investments and the economic growth process, said Mr. Papantoniou.

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said that the cabinet will discuss the 1999 budget next Wednesday and in the evening of that day it will be tabled in parliament.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [15] UN SECRETARY GENERAL ISSUES REPORT ON KOSOVO

    The human rights situation in Kosovo continues to be cause for grave concern, according to a new report released by Secretary- General Kofi Annan yesterday.

    The report notes that since April, the scope and intensity of the conflict in Kosovo grew dramatically while the human rights situation deteriorated. Prospects for improvement arose following the agreement reached in mid- October between President Slobodan Milosevic and United States envoy Richard Holbrooke.

    "Serious human rights abuses were being reported on a daily basis throughout the summer and early autumn," the Secretary- General observes.

    The period since August has been marked by more discoveries of concentrations of corpses and evidence of massacres, including the massacre of Serb and Albanian civilians, according to the report, which details evidence of the killings.

    Under the Milosevic-Holbrooke accord, up to 2000 monitors of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will be stationed in Kosovo, comprising the Kosovo Verification Mission. Meanwhile, the United Nations Special Rapporteur and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights are active throughout the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. "The need for an expanded international human rights presence, linked to the establishment of office premises of the Office of the High Commissioner in Kosovo and undertaken in consultation with OSCE, remains urgent as the human rights situation in the region continues to be grave cause for concern," the Secretary-General concludes.

    [16] GREEK FILMMAKER YIANNIS SMARAGDIS HONORED IN US FOR "KAVAFIS"

    The American Directors Guild has invited the Greek director Yiannis Smaragdis to join its team, following the "public recognition of his talent" through his film " Kavafis ", a poetic and sweeping work concerning the life and times of one of Greece's most renowned poets Konstantinos Kavafis (1863 - 1933).

    "Kavafis" was given the National Award for Best Greek Feature Film for 1997, blending exquisitely beautiful cinematography and a remarkable score by Greece's Vangelis Papathanasiou.

    It enjoyed immense success at the six American festivals where it has been screened so far, with the most significant being in San Francisco where 1,000 people reportedly had to be turned away from the 1,600-seat cinema.

    Mr. Smaragdis was present at San Francisco's sold-out screening where he received resounding applause.

    The film is a passage through the memories of the poet's youth. Kavafis, alone, lies ill in a a hospital bed in Alexandria, but his memories are revived through the words of the young biographer who has come to read his writings to Kavafis, seeking the poet's accord before publishing.

    Alexandria, his childhood, the poet's relationship with his mother, the life of privilege until the Arab uprising, and their flight to Constantinople all are part of Kavafis 's life. But it is the city night life and its pervading eroticism etched in his memory, and attested throughout his writing, where his sexual preference begins to blossom. The movie journeys through his return to Alexandria and the death of his mother, when Kavafis travels to Greece and meets a young poet.

    [17] AIDONIA TREASURE EXHIBITION IN AUSTRALIA NEXT WEEK

    The Aidonia Treasure Exhibition, a valuable collection of late Aegean Bronze Age objects, will be exhibited in Melbourne, Australia next week, when Greece's Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos will inaugurate the Hellenic Antiquities Museum on Monday, November 9.

    This the first time these priceless objects, Minoan - Mycenaean in style, go on permanent display outside Greece and the exhibition will be rotated regularly.

    The Australian press has hailed the event as "an extraordinary exhibition coup for Victoria, a gesture of great generosity by the Greek side."

    The treasures, comprising gold rings, sealstones, gold clothing ornaments, semiprecious stones, amber and glass, first surfaced in 1993 in New York, where it was placed on auction at the Michael Ward Gallery.

    One month later, the Greek government took legal action to cancel the auction. It sought the return of the objects, by claiming they were acquired during an illegal excavation at Aidonia, near Nemea in the Peloponnese.

    The auction was canceled by court order. Negotiations established an agreement so that these precious object could be returned to their rightful owner, Greece, this setting a legal precedent.

    The Michael Ward Gallery donated them to the Society for the Preservation of Greek Heritage, a Washington-based cultural foundation, which exhibited them in Dallas and Washington, before returning them to Greece in January 1996.

    The collection includes one large gold signet ring which is a unique depiction of a vivid Bronze Age hunting scene.

    The 31 objects are examples of Mycenaean craftsmanship from the 15th century BC, predating the Trojan war. Two items date from the 16th century BC and are most likely of Minoan origin, the great Cretan Proto-European civilization discovered at Knossos by Sir Arthur Evans.

    [18] ISRAEL WILL NOT RATIFY THE PEACE DEAL WITH THE PALESTINIANS

    The Israeli government decided against the ratification of the peace deal reached with the Palestinians in Washington unless the Palestinian authority takes action to counter terrorism.

    Palestinian president Yasser Arafat condemned today's bomb attack that killed two people in Jerusalem and called on Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanjiahu not to abandon the efforts for the ratification of the peace deal.

    [19] THE TREASURES OF THE MONASTERY OF HILANDARIOU ARE EXHIBITED IN BELGRADE

    An exhibition of the treasures of the Monastery of Hilandariou will be inaugurated in the Serb Academy of Sciences and Arts in Belgrade today on the occasion of the 800 years since the founding of the monastery.

    In the inauguration will be present Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, while a speech will be delivered by the president of the Serb Academy of Sciences and Arts. The exhibition includes 68 valuable pieces (manuscripts, icons etc).

    [20] PROTOCOL OF COOPERATION SIGNED BY THE STATISTICS AGENCIES OF GREECE AND FYROM

    A protocol of cooperation was signed in Skopje by FYROM's Statistics Agency director Mr. Gerasimofski and Greek National Statistics Agency general secretary Mr. Karavitis.

    In statements they made, the representatives of the statistics agencies of the two countries expressed the belief that the protocol will promote their cooperation and the exchange of information with economic interest.

    [21] GERMAN TV DOCUMENTARY ON OLD AND MODERN LESVOS

    The German television programme "Sudwest" aired a documentary on the Aegean island of Lesvos. "The island of Lesvos" by Doris Metz is the second part of a trilogy Ms. Metz started in 1996 with a documentary that presents the region between Thessaloniki and Alexandroupolis where tobacco is being cultivated.

    In 45 minutes Ms. Metz managed to present the history of the island, the personality of Sapfo, who was called "the 10th muse" by Socrates and the uprooting of the Greeks from Asia Minor with footage from Ismir in 1922. Also, the documentary presented today's economic problems faced by the people in Lesvos, the problems of modern women, the hard work and the friction with Turkey.

    The documentary will be aired soon by the television programme "ARTE" as well.


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