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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-11-10

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 10, 1998

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] NEW CAR PRICES TO BE LOWERED BY 5.5% AS OF MONDAY
  • [02] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE TO PROTEST WITH EU OVER CHALKI
  • [03] PREMIER TO CHAIR CABINET MEETING ON BUDGET TOMORROW
  • [04] HOLBROOKE PLANS A VISIT TO ATHENS, ACCORDING TO US AMBASSADOR
  • [05] TRADE BETWEEN GREECE, CHINA RISES 26.7 PCT IN JANUARY-AUGUST
  • [06] ALTERNATE FM: GREECE WILL EXERCISE VETO IF CYPRUS IS LEFT OUT OF EU
  • [07] GREECE'S COHESION FUND ABSORPTION RATE UP BY SEVEN PER CENT
  • [08] COUNTRY'S LARGEST LABOR FEDERATION TO STRIKE OVER BUDGET
  • [09] GREEK PREMIER AND JACQUES DELORS TO SPEAK AT ATHENS SEMINAR
  • [10] MOODY'S GIVES HIGH MARKS TO GREEK BANKS
  • [11] THE STATE BUDGET WILL BE APPROVED TOMORROW
  • [12] KRANIDIOTIS: THE GOVERNMENT TOOK ALL NECESSARY DIPLOMATIC STEPS CONCERNING THE THEOLOGY SCHOOL OF HALKI
  • [13] KRANIDIOTIS: THE START OF THE EU ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS IS A MILESTONE FOR CYPRUS
  • [14] GREECE WILL NOT RECOGNIZE A TURKISH VETO ON CYPRUS'S ACCESSION INTO THE EU
  • [15] BALKAN ASSOCIATION FOR PLASTIC RECONSTRUCTIVE AND AESTHETIC SURGERY
  • [16] YOUNG PUPILS FROM THREE BALKAN STATES GATHER IN NIMPHEON, FLORINA
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [17] FOUR EU MEMBERS WANT CYPRUS ISSUE RESOLVED BEFORE ACCESSION TALKS
  • [18] TENSION MOUNTS AGAIN IN KOSOVO
  • [19] US SENATOR ESTABLISHES GREEK-AMERICAN COALITION FOR LOBBYING
  • [20] THE NEGOTIATIONS FOR CYPRUS'S ACCESSION INTO THE EU ARE UNDERWAY
  • [21] EU CONCERNS OVER THE REFUGEES IN KOSOVO
  • [22] THE NEW BRANCH OF THE NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE OPENS IN DURRES TODAY
  • [23] THE PAN-MACEDONIAN OF AMERICA REACTS TO THE HOLLYWOOD FALSIFICATION OF THE PERSONALITY OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] NEW CAR PRICES TO BE LOWERED BY 5.5% AS OF MONDAY

    New car prices are to be lowered by 5.5% as of Monday, according to the Undersecretary of Finance George Drys.

    Meanwhile, IRS inspectors have embarked on on-the-spot reviews at car dealerships in order to ascertain whether or not the prices are being lowered.

    Meanwhile, the cabinet is expected to approve the new budget tomorrow, which will be tabled in Parliament by the end of the week. Following his meeting with the General Confederation of Greek Laborers, the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou stated that the inflation rate could drop as low as two percent by mid-1999.

    [02] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE TO PROTEST WITH EU OVER CHALKI

    The Greek government is standing by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, stated the alternate Foreign Minister of Greece George Papandreou, who yesterday tabled with the European Union's General Affairs Council the demarche of Patriarch Vartholomeos over Ankara's move to abolish the supervisory committee of the Chalki Theological School.

    Mr. Papandreou said that the act is unacceptable and associated it with the EU-Turkey funding protocol, by stating that while EU is proceeding with granting funds to Turkey,. This country is violating human rights and religious freedoms.

    Recently, the Turkish government decided to dismiss the School's supervisory committee members, claiming financial mismanagement and anti-Turkish propaganda. Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos yesterday stressed that the dismissal of the supervising board aims at transferring the school's property to the Turkish state.

    [03] PREMIER TO CHAIR CABINET MEETING ON BUDGET TOMORROW

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will chair a Cabinet meeting tomorrow, in order to discuss the 1999 state budget.

    The budget is expected to be submitted to Parliament shortly and before the constitutional deadline of November 30.

    [04] HOLBROOKE PLANS A VISIT TO ATHENS, ACCORDING TO US AMBASSADOR

    The United States Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns has announced that Richard Holbrooke, the US special envoy, is expected to visit Athens and Ankara soon.

    Mr. Burns pointed out that US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had also expressed a desire to visit the region and that efforts were under way to scheduled her trip.

    [05] TRADE BETWEEN GREECE, CHINA RISES 26.7 PCT IN JANUARY-AUGUST

    The value of trade between Greece and China increased by 26.7 percent to 248 million US dollars in January-August compared with the corresponding period last year, the ambassador of the People's Republic of China, Jiang Quonsen, has announced.

    According to news reports, the Chinese diplomat spoke in fluent Greek during a seminar on Greek- Chinese relations, titled "The financial crisis in Asia and China, and growth prospects for Chinese-Greek relations".

    He said China's average economic growth neared 10 percent in the last two decades, while trade totaled 325 billion US dollars in 1997, sharply up from 20.6 billion in 1978.

    The ambassador said that the Chinese currency will remain stable and will not be devalued in the aftermath of a financial crisis in Asia.

    T. Vlassopoulos, director of the national economy ministry's secretariat of international economic relations, told the seminar that bilateral trade relations could further improve.

    "The institutional framework exists, but the availability of information is lacking," Mr. Vlassopoulos said.

    The seminar was held by the Institute of International Economic Relations.

    [06] ALTERNATE FM: GREECE WILL EXERCISE VETO IF CYPRUS IS LEFT OUT OF EU

    Greece's alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou has stated that Greece will exercise its veto power if after the accession negotiations the European Union refuses to accept Cyprus as a full member, on the sole reason of the island's political problem.

    Speaking to a radio station in Athens, Mr. Papandreou stated that the fact that the EU accession negotiations for Cyprus officially begin today, is a victory in itself.

    While he stressed that Greece holds rights within the EU and intends to exercise them, he added that it is premature to speculate on what the Greek government's next move would be since there a lot of time ahead until the negotiations come to a close and developments could arise in the Cyprus issue in the interim.

    When asked to comment on Turkey's funding from the EU, Mr. Papandreou characterized it as "illegal" and stressed that Greece will insist on its points of view. He further added that in spite of the millions of ECU Turkey will derive from the funding, it will be unable to enter the EU unless it undergoes radical changes in significant matters, such as its foreign policy and human rights issues.

    [07] GREECE'S COHESION FUND ABSORPTION RATE UP BY SEVEN PER CENT

    Greece's Cohesion Fund absorption rate has risen by seven per cent during the recent months, reaching 51% in March of 1998, according to data released by the Ministry of National Economy. Specifically, 51% of the approved credits in the environment sector have been approved, thereby marking a significant improvement in relation to March's 46%.

    The overall course of the Cohesion Fund's projects is to be presented today at a conference to be held in Athens.

    [08] COUNTRY'S LARGEST LABOR FEDERATION TO STRIKE OVER BUDGET

    The country's largest labor federation, the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) is to conduct a 24-hour strike when the 1999 budget will be discussed in Parliament.

    GSEE's representatives, following their meeting with the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou yesterday, stated that the burden allocation that arises from the convergence policy is unfair.

    Mr. Papantoniou stated that changes in the tax system will be feasible after the year 2000. He vowed to meet with GSEE's representatives once again in order to attempt an agreement over the processes that could lead to tax reforms.

    [09] GREEK PREMIER AND JACQUES DELORS TO SPEAK AT ATHENS SEMINAR

    Greece's Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and the European Commission's former president Jacques Delors are to address a seminar titled "Searching for the European Identity", to be held in Athens on November 13-14.

    The event is being jointly organized by the "Greek Center of European Studies" and the "Notre Europe", the chairman of which is Mr. Delors.

    A number of academics and political figures from the European Union's member-states are to address the event.

    [10] MOODY'S GIVES HIGH MARKS TO GREEK BANKS

    Moody's has granted high marks to Greece's banks, thereby certifying that the country's financial institutions continue to be on a strong development course, in spite of the global economic crisis.

    Having reviewed ten banks, nine of which are commercial, Moody's granted the highest mark -in regards to economic health- to the Alpha Credit and Labor Bank.

    Immediately following are Commercial Bank and Eurobank, receiving a grade of D+, followed by National, Ionian Bank of Piraeus and Chiosbank, all of which received a grade of D.

    [11] THE STATE BUDGET WILL BE APPROVED TOMORROW

    The Greek cabinet is expected to approve tomorrow the new state budget that will be presented in parliament by the end of the week.

    Minister of national economy and finance Yiannos Papantoniou in statements he made after the meeting he had with the Greek General Confederation of Labor predicted that inflation will be at 2% by mid 1999. He also stressed that the cuts in certain indirect taxes will be the only relief for the tax payers in 1999, while issues concerning wage increases will be considered after the year 2001.

    [12] KRANIDIOTIS: THE GOVERNMENT TOOK ALL NECESSARY DIPLOMATIC STEPS CONCERNING THE THEOLOGY SCHOOL OF HALKI

    The Greek government took all necessary steps aimed at informing its EU partners and allies on the true dimensions of the issue of the Theolody School of Halki, stated undersecretary of foreign affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    The issue goes beyond the narrow framework of the Greek- Turkish relations as it constitutes a problem of human rights and religious freedoms in Turkey and as such has caused the reaction of other governments and organizations as well, said Mr. Kranidiotis.

    [13] KRANIDIOTIS: THE START OF THE EU ACCESSION NEGOTIATIONS IS A MILESTONE FOR CYPRUS

    The official opening of the EU accession negotiations constitutes a milestone for Cyprus's European course, stressed Greek undersecretary of foreign affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis in a statement he has issued.

    Mr. Kranidiotis points out that Cyprus's EU accession is a strategic choice of high importance for the Greek foreign policy, adding that its accession into the EU will play a catalytic role in the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He added that Cyprus's European choice serves peace and stability in the wider region and it is to the benefit of both communities on the island. Mr. Kranidiotis said that the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots will be able to live together in a federal Cyprus which will be under the safety umbrella offered by the European law and order.

    Greece wants the accession of a united Cyprus and for this reason it supports every effort for the solution of the Cyprus problem but at the same time, it opposes the efforts to associate the EU accession with the solution of the political problem on the island because this is not provided by the EU decisions and encourages the intransigence of Turkey making Cyprus its hostage.

    [14] GREECE WILL NOT RECOGNIZE A TURKISH VETO ON CYPRUS'S ACCESSION INTO THE EU

    The Greek stance according to which, Greece will use its veto power to block the accession of the rest candidate-states into the EU if the European Union refuses to accept Cyprus as a member using as an argument the political issue on the island, was reiterated by acting government spokesman Nikos Athanasakis.

    Greece's stance is clear, said Mr. Athanasakis and explained that Athens can not allow Cyprus to turn into a hostage of Turkey and that it can not recognize a Turkish veto on Cyprus's accession into the EU.

    [15] BALKAN ASSOCIATION FOR PLASTIC RECONSTRUCTIVE AND AESTHETIC SURGERY

    The newly formed Balkan Association for Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, BAPRAS, will announce tomorrow its founding, its goals and prospects as well as its first conference that will be held in Thessaloniki on April 1999.

    The association was founded at the initiative of plastic surgeons from Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania and FYROM.

    BAPRAS, which is under the auspices of Thessaloniki's Medical Association, underlines the need to look for ways of communication in the Balkan region especially in sectors that only consensus can create such as, the health of citizens and the education of scientists.

    [16] YOUNG PUPILS FROM THREE BALKAN STATES GATHER IN NIMPHEON, FLORINA

    "Small painters" from schools of Albania, Bulgaria, FYROM and Greece, who used their talent to draw the brown bear, which is threatened by extinction, will be the guests in the facilities of "Arkturos" in the village of Nimpheon in Florina north-western Greece. They are the winners of the Balkan Children's Competition that had as a theme the protection of brown bear and their drawings have already been published in the form of a calendar for the year 1999.

    The competition was organized by education groups of environmental, non governmental organizations that belong to the Balkan Network, a European programme for the preservation of eco- systems where the brown bear lives.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [17] FOUR EU MEMBERS WANT CYPRUS ISSUE RESOLVED BEFORE ACCESSION TALKS

    A political solution to the division and partial occupation of Cyprus must be found as a matter of urgency as the only way which would resolve problems that will arise in the country's accession course, according to a statement issued by France, Germany and the Netherlands at a meeting of the European Union General Affairs Council.

    The statement, which was backed by Italy, was given one day prior to the start of negotiations between the EU and six candidate countries, including Cyprus.

    Greece's alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou has reacted strongly to the statement, while Prime Minister Kostas Simitis stressed that Greece definitely wants Cyprus' accession to the EU.

    [18] TENSION MOUNTS AGAIN IN KOSOVO

    The Serb police has announced its intent to intensify patrols in Kosovo following the murders of two policemen, which are suspected to have been committed by Albanian-speaking guerrillas. However, the Kosovo Liberation Army claims that it was the Serb side which first opened fire.

    Meanwhile, international community observers are worried that the truce is being violated, while A Serb leader stated that the tension has mounted after the policemen's murders.

    [19] US SENATOR ESTABLISHES GREEK-AMERICAN COALITION FOR LOBBYING

    United States Senator Leonidas Raptakis is the founder of the "Greek - American Coalition of New England", a coalition created to lobby Congress on issues of concern to Greece and Cyprus.

    Among the issues which will interest the coalition are supporting accession of Cyprus to the European Union, promoting the demilitarization of Cyprus and human rights issues.

    Featured among its members are former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential candidate, Mike Dukakis, as well as Connecticut State Representative, Dimitrios Giannaros, New Hampshire State Representative, William Tsiros, Rhode Island State Representative, Myrna George, Massachusetts State Senator, Steven Panagiotakas, Representatives Ted Speliotis and Paul Demakis, Connecticut State Representatives Dimitrios Giannaros, Kostas Diamantis, John Geragosian and Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut's Secretary of State- elect.

    [20] THE NEGOTIATIONS FOR CYPRUS'S ACCESSION INTO THE EU ARE UNDERWAY

    The negotiations for the accession of Cyprus and other 5 candidate states into the European Union opened in Brussels today.

    Greece will block the EU membership for the rest of the candidate-states by using its veto power in case the EU, after the end of the accession negotiations, refuses to accept Cyprus as a full member just because of the political problem on the island, stated Greek deputy foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    The fact that the negotiations for Cyprus's accession into the EU open formally today constitutes a victory, stated the deputy foreign minister, who warned that Greece as a member of the EU has rights and it will exercise them.

    [21] EU CONCERNS OVER THE REFUGEES IN KOSOVO

    The EU foreign ministers expressed concern over the unpleasant situation 250.000 people are experiencing after leaving their homes in the region of Kosovo.

    The Council of Ministers reiterated that Yugoslavia must immediately comply with the terms of the October 13th agreement between Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic and US representative Richard Halbrooke. The Council also stressed that the group of the 2.000 OSCE observers must begin its work in the Serb province immediately.

    [22] THE NEW BRANCH OF THE NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE OPENS IN DURRES TODAY

    The new branch of the National Bank of Greece in the Albanian port city of Durres, the second after the branch already in operation in Tirana, opened today.

    According to a statement issued by the National Bank of Greece, the branch is housed in a building located at the city's commercial center and it is equipped with modern computer systems while its employees are fully trained to handle all bank transactions.

    The goal of the new branch is to serve businesses, both Albanian and foreign, active in the specific region.

    [23] THE PAN-MACEDONIAN OF AMERICA REACTS TO THE HOLLYWOOD FALSIFICATION OF THE PERSONALITY OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT

    Two films on Alexander the Great ,which are prepared by Hollywood, while offering different views on the conditions of his death they try at the same time to give a totally new interpretation of his life, work and personality. However, both films have one thing in common, they present Alexander the Great as a "cold-blooded war criminal".

    This falsification of history has caused the reaction of the Pan-Macedonia Association of America according to the New York Greek-American newspaper "Proini".

    Chairman of the Pan-Macedonian Association of America Mr. Evangelos Michalopoulos stated that the film must first reach its final form before the necessary protest steps are made and added that if the rumours are true the historians will be called to give the answers before the film reaches the cinema halls.

    Chairman of the New York based Macedonian Studies Center Mr. Ilias Neophitidis expressed his indignation over the efforts made for the falsification of history and stressed that the different peoples conquered by the army of Alexander the Great later regarded it as an honor to be called his descendants.

    Commenting on the screenplay of both films, Oxford University Classical Studies professor Michael Wood stated to the London Times that due to the lack of historians in those times film directors are free to imagine anything they want. They can even accuse for the murder of Alexander the Great, his own mentor Aristotle, but the most likely scenario is that his death was the result of natural causes.


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