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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 98-11-20

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 20, 1998

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ADVERSE WEATHER STRIKES ALL OF GREECE
  • [02] CUSTOMS WORKERS IN PORTS, AIRPORTS AND BORDERS CONTINUE STRIKE
  • [03] DELEGATION OF CHINESE JOURNALISTS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI NEXT WEEK
  • [04] EDUCATION MINISTER TO INVOLVE TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IN REFORM
  • [05] PM MEETS WITH UNION LEADERS, STRESSES EMU SIGNIFICANCE
  • [06] PRINCE CHARLES TO ARRIVE IN ATHENS ON SUNDAY
  • [07] TENS OF VILLAGES ARE CUT OFF BY THE SNOW IN NORTH-WESTERN GREECE
  • [08] THE CABINET MET TODAY UNDER PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS
  • [09] 50 EURO-DEPUTIES CALL ON ITALY TO GRANT POLITICAL ASYLUM TO OCALAN
  • [10] AMENDMENT ON KOZLODUI'S NUCLEAR REACTORS PROPOSED BY A GREEK EURO-DEPUTY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [11] ITALY PERSISTING IN ITS DECISION NOT TO EXTRADITE OCALAN
  • [12] ALBANIA: REFERENDUM FOR CONSTITUTION TO BE HELD ON SUNDAY
  • [13] CYPRIOT PRESIDENT CLERIDES TO VISIT ATHENS ON NOVEMBER 27
  • [14] SEMINAR ON THE GREEK ECONOMY TO BE HELD IN PARIS TODAY
  • [15] GREEK FM IN S. AFRICA, MEETS WITH NELSON MANDELA
  • [16] INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE HELD IN SOFIA
  • [17] PRIMAKOV TO REPLACE YELTSIN ON VISIT TO INDIA
  • [18] CLINTON'S REPORT TO CONGRESS ON CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [19] TURKISH GOVERNMENT IS TOPPLING, CENSURE MOTION TO BE HELD NEXT WEEK
  • [20] OSCE AMBASSADOR RECEIVED DEATH THREATS IN TIRANA
  • [21] NATO BLAMES BOTH THE SERBS AND THE ETHNIC ALBANIANS FOR THE SITUATION IN KOSOVO

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] ADVERSE WEATHER STRIKES ALL OF GREECE

    Adverse weather has stricken all of Greece with snow falling in many areas. A number of villages central Greece have been isolated as the roads are inaccessible and most transportation can be conducted with anti-skid chains. Temperatures in northern Greece have reached the below-zero mark in many areas.

    The central ports have issued weather advisories and ships remain docked due to high winds.

    [02] CUSTOMS WORKERS IN PORTS, AIRPORTS AND BORDERS CONTINUE STRIKE

    Greek customs workers are continuing their three-day strike for the third day today, a move that has created havoc in the country's ports, airports and borders where travelers can enter the country only by foot.

    Customs workers have said they will only allow the entry of military-related equipment, pharmaceuticals for hospitals and radioactive materials. The strike, set to end today, also poses problems for implementation of the government's new tax regime on automobiles, as cars set for import remain stuck at border posts for at least three days

    [03] DELEGATION OF CHINESE JOURNALISTS TO VISIT THESSALONIKI NEXT WEEK

    A delegation of Chinese journalists, led by the secretary- general of the Pan-Chinese Journalists' Association Liang Gujie, is to visit Thessaloniki between November 23-25.

    The delegates are to conduct a series of meetings, among them with the Prefect of Thessaloniki Kostas Papadopoulos on Tuesday, November 24.

    [04] EDUCATION MINISTER TO INVOLVE TEACHERS AND STUDENTS IN REFORM

    Education Minister Gerasimos Arsenis has announced that he will meet with teachers and students at their schools during the following the days in order to hold talks over the educational reform recently announced.

    During a three-hour press conference held yesterday afternoon, Mr. Arsenis opined that the negative reactions to the reforms stem from "fear of the unknown".

    The Education Minister stressed that the aim of the reform was open education and open access to tertiary education. Mr. Arsenis reiterated that by the year 2000 there would be an additional 70 departments in the country's universities, and that all high-school graduates would be able to attend the university, without having to undergo entrance examinations, solely on the basis of grades in their school graduation certificate.

    [05] PM MEETS WITH UNION LEADERS, STRESSES EMU SIGNIFICANCE

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis met with the presidium of the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), the country's largest union, yesterday and, while stating that he is willing to hold talks on their demands, he stressed that the state's labor policy would be determined by entry into European economic and monetary union.

    The Premier further added that the government's priority is to support low wage earners and the unemployed.

    He said that beyond measures being taken, both categories would benefit from government policy, including a drop in interest rates and cuts in indirect taxes.

    GSEE President Christos Polyzogopoulos charged the government with reneging on its word and increasing the tax burden on workers to 27 percent this year.

    GSEE has already called a nationwide 24-hour strike on December 15 to protest the government's economic policy, and civil servants are expected to follow suit.

    [06] PRINCE CHARLES TO ARRIVE IN ATHENS ON SUNDAY

    Prince Charles is to conduct an official visit to Athens on Sunday, November 22, until Tuesday, November 24.

    The Prince of Wales is to arrive at the Greek capital on Sunday evening and will attend a formal reception at the Megaron Mousikis. On Monday morning he will lay a wreath at the Unknown Soldier's monument and immediately thereafter he will be received by the Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos who will decorate him with the city medal.

    In the afternoon, the Prince will be received by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and will visit the Acropolis later in the day.

    On Tuesday, Prince Charles will travel to Heraklion, Crete where he will visit Knossos, prior to returning to the United Kingdom.

    [07] TENS OF VILLAGES ARE CUT OFF BY THE SNOW IN NORTH-WESTERN GREECE

    Snow, rain and extremely low temperatures are the main characteristics of the weather in northern Greece. Snow falls since this morning across north-western Greece and as a result 36 villages have been cut off in the prefectures of Kastoria, 31 in Grevena and 4 in Kozani, while in many regions the temperature has dropped below zero.

    Cars can move only with non-skid chains in the road network of Veria-Kozani in the region of Kastania, Florina-Kastoria via Vigla and Vitsio and in the road network of Drama-Kato Nevrokopi as well as, throughout the regional road network of the prefectures of Florina, Kastoria and Grevena.

    The bad weather has hit the rest of the country too, while in Athens the streets have turned into rivers due to the heavy rainfall.

    [08] THE CABINET MET TODAY UNDER PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS

    The new internal regulations for the government ministries were the main topic of the meeting that was held today by the cabinet, presided over by prime minister Kostas Simitis.

    Specifically, announcements are expected on mergers of government agencies, abolition of departments and transference of state employees. The cabinet also discussed the measures that need to be taken to deal with the problem that will be faced by computers due to the so-called, millennium bug, in the year 2000.

    [09] 50 EURO-DEPUTIES CALL ON ITALY TO GRANT POLITICAL ASYLUM TO OCALAN

    Fifty Euro-deputies have signed a text calling on Italian prime minister Massimo D'Alema to grant political asylum to Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

    The text was delivered to Italian ambassador to Athens Enrico Pietromacri by Greek Euro-deputy of the Coaltion of the Left party Alekos Alavanos.

    [10] AMENDMENT ON KOZLODUI'S NUCLEAR REACTORS PROPOSED BY A GREEK EURO-DEPUTY

    The final closure of the first four nuclear reactors of the Kozlodui nuclear plant is a pre-condition for Bulgaria's uneventful EU accession course, according to an amendment proposed by Greek Euro-deputy from the New Democracy party Antonis Trakatelis which has been approved by Euro-parliament's foreign affairs committee.

    Mr. Trakatelis stated that since the nuclear safety is an Agenda 2000 priority the operation of nuclear reactors that can not be upgraded should stop as they can cause a nuclear accident with tragic consequences for the public health and the environment.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [11] ITALY PERSISTING IN ITS DECISION NOT TO EXTRADITE OCALAN

    Italy's Minster of Justice has asked the Italian Court of Appeals to restrict PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to at-home confinement.

    Italian Premier Masimo D'Alema reiterated his government's stance not to extradite Mr. Ocalan by stressing that "there are still certain principles which are not bound by any threat."

    Meanwhile over 700 of Mr. Ocalan's supporters were arrested in Turkey for rallying in favor of their leader.

    [12] ALBANIA: REFERENDUM FOR CONSTITUTION TO BE HELD ON SUNDAY

    A referendum for the establishment of the country's first constitution is to held on Sunday in Albania, the first since the fall of the communist regime in 1990.

    The ratification of a democratic constitution, which will replace that of 1976, constituted one of the prerequisites set forth to Tirana for Albania's accession to Europe.

    [13] CYPRIOT PRESIDENT CLERIDES TO VISIT ATHENS ON NOVEMBER 27

    Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides is to be received by Greece's Prime Minister Kostas Simitis on November 27, during his visit to Athens where he will be accompanied by Cypriot Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides and Defense Minister Yiannakis Omirou.

    The talks will be attended by Greece's Foreign and Defense Ministers, Mgrs. Theodoros Pangalos and Akis Tsochatzopoulos, respectively.

    On the agenda for the meeting are Cyprus' EU accession process and the issue of the S-300 missiles.

    [14] SEMINAR ON THE GREEK ECONOMY TO BE HELD IN PARIS TODAY

    A seminar on the Greek economy will be held in Paris tomorrow, jointly organized by the French Commerce Chamber of Greece with the Federation of Greek Industry and French employers association, MEDEF.

    Among those who will address the seminar titled "Greece at the Dawn of the New Millennium", are Development Minister Vasso Papandreou and Deputy National Economy Minister Alekos Baltas.

    French representatives of business will discuss their experiences in Greece of the industry and infrastructure sectors.

    [15] GREEK FM IN S. AFRICA, MEETS WITH NELSON MANDELA

    Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos is presently on an official two-day visit to South Africa where he met with South African President Nelson Mandela.

    Mgrs. Mandela and Pangalos signed five bilateral agreements regarding investment protection, tourist sector cooperation, avoidance of double taxation and the construction of a hospital in South Africa.

    Mr. Mandela has also accepted the offer to head the 2004 Olympic Games truce initiative.

    Famous Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis is accompanying the FM on his visit and will conduct his musical adaptation of Odysseus Elytis' epic "Axion Esti".

    Mr. Pangalos has said that proceeds from the concert would be donated to South African President Nelson Mandela's charity to help impoverished children. Mr. Mandela has said he will attend the Greek composer's concert.

    Today, Mr. Pangalos will travel to Ethiopia to meet with government officials while he will also meet with Patriarch Paul. The Foreign Minister is to conclude the Africa tour tomorrow where he is scheduled to return to Athens.

    [16] INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CONFERENCE HELD IN SOFIA

    An international conference titled "Media and Communication in the 21st Century" began in Sofia yesterday, dedicated to the centennial anniversary since the founding of the Bulgarian Telegraph Agency (BTA).

    The conference featured the participation of news agencies from around Europe and among the speakers was the Macedonian Press Agency's general director Spyros Kouzinopoulos, the editor in chief of the Athens News Agency, the director of Turkey's Anadolu news agency Mehmet Guler, the director of the French Press Agency (AFP) Gilbert Greler, as well as representatives of news agencies from Albania, Romania, Germany, the Czech Republic, and others.

    The conference focused on methods that news agencies must use to confront rapid technological developments in order to secure and upgrade their leading role in providing reliable and credible information to the public.

    In his address, Mr. Kouzinopoulos stated that the explosion of new technologies is challenging certain fundamental axioms, such as the individual's image and the right to freedom of mobility and conduct.

    [17] PRIMAKOV TO REPLACE YELTSIN ON VISIT TO INDIA

    Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov will replace President Boris Yeltsin on an official visit to India, planned for early December, according to the Kremlin.

    "Mr. Yeltsin did not always feel well, but he works a lot every day, he is aware of all events and he is constantly making decisions" chief Kremlin's spokesman Dimitri Yakushkin said.

    The Indian trip will be the third in as many months that the Russian President has backed out of, apparently for health reasons, although official spokesmen denied that the strain of traveling was the cause of the latest cancellation.

    [18] CLINTON'S REPORT TO CONGRESS ON CYPRUS ISSUE

    The United States steadily support a solution for the Cyprus issue that will be based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, according to President Bill Clinton's bi-monthly report to Congress.

    The report, which spans the period between August 1-September 30, the US President stresses that the US have encouraged both sides on the island to prepare for potential negotiations spanning all issues.

    US envoy Richard Holbrooke and special coordinator for the Cyprus issue Thomas Miller have conveyed this message in numerous contacts they have had with officials from Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, held in New York last September.

    [19] TURKISH GOVERNMENT IS TOPPLING, CENSURE MOTION TO BE HELD NEXT WEEK

    Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz has stated that he does not plan to resign before the censure vote to be held against him in Parliament on November 25.

    The coalition government yesterday lost the initial stage of a parliamentary vote, as the assembly voted 310-213 against Mr. Yilmaz.

    Parliament will now hold a full-blown vote of confidence on Wednesday, November 25 and if more than 275 parliamentarians vote in favor of the censure, then the government will fall. ``We are waiting to be overturned with a censure,'' Ahad Andican the Minister of the Presidency stated.

    [20] OSCE AMBASSADOR RECEIVED DEATH THREATS IN TIRANA

    The head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Tirana, Dans Everts, received death threats shortly after the opposition accused him of participating in propaganda supporting the constitution.

    According to local press reports, an unidentified person called at the OSCE bureau in Tirana and warned Mr. Everts that iof he does not cease calling on the Albanians to vote during Sunday's referendum, he "will not leave Albania alive."

    While Mr. Everts refused to elaborate, he simply commented that OSCE is especially concerned over the possibility of a climate of instability being created, especially by the Democratic Party.

    [21] NATO BLAMES BOTH THE SERBS AND THE ETHNIC ALBANIANS FOR THE SITUATION IN KOSOVO

    NATO accused the Serb security forces and the ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo of putting in danger the truce which is in effect in the Serb province.

    The ambassadors of the North Atlantic Alliance, who met in Brussels, stated that a dangerous vicious circle has been created with attacks and counterattacks between armed groups from both sides.


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