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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-02-04

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, February 4, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREEK PREMIER TO MEET WITH NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL TODAY
  • [02] STUDENTS TO CONDUCT PROTEST RALLIES TOMORROW
  • [03] CYPRIOT FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS WITH PANGALOS IN ATHENS
  • [04] PREMIER EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENT, BACKS A SECOND TERM
  • [05] PM DENIES THAT OCALAN HAS ASKED FOR POLITICAL ASYLUM IN GREECE
  • [06] THESSALONIKI METRO IN OPERATION FIVE YEARS FROM NOW
  • [07] GREEK FM FORWARDS LETTERS TO COUNTERPARTS OVER KOSOVO
  • [08] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS MET WITH THE NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL
  • [09] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS THE PROPOSAL FOR THE DEMILITARIZATION OF CYPRUS
  • [10] G. PAPANDREOU ON THE VETO RIGHT IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
  • [11] THE CONTRACT FOR THESSALONIKI'S METRO WILL BE SIGNED TOMORROW
  • [12] STUDENT REACTIONS LED TO THE CANCELLATION OF THE US AMBASSADOR'S VISIT TO MACEDONIA UNIVERSITY
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] SERB PARLIAMENT CONVENES TODAY
  • [14] THE SERB PARLIAMENT SESSION IS UNDERWAY

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK PREMIER TO MEET WITH NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL TODAY

    NATO's Secretary-General Javier Solana is presently in Athens where he will be received by the Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, as well as the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Theodoros Pangalos and Defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

    Among the topics of discussion will be the latest developments in Kosovo, the Alliance's new structure and the course of Greek-Turkish relations.

    Mr. Solana is presently touring the capital cities of the Alliance's member-states, in light of the Summit conference to be held at Washington in April.

    [02] STUDENTS TO CONDUCT PROTEST RALLIES TOMORROW

    A new round of rallies, expected to be the last one, is to be held tomorrow throughout the country by students who are opposed to the academic reforms introduced by the state.

    Members of the student co-ordinating committees have announced that the future course of their mobilizations will be determined tomorrow.

    Meanwhile the Teachers Federation (OLME) has accused the Education Minister Gerasimos Arsenis of intransigence and will embark on two three-hour work stoppages tomorrow in order to enable teachers who wish to take part in the students' protests.

    [03] CYPRIOT FOREIGN MINISTER MEETS WITH PANGALOS IN ATHENS

    Cyprus' Foreign Minister Yiannakis Kasoulides, who arrived in Athens yesterday, met with his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos with whom he discussed the Cyprus issue, the island's accession course to the European Union and the results of the talks Mr. Kasoulides had with EU Commissioner Hans van den Broek.

    The two officials examined the coordinated efforts to be taken by the two countries in regards to the Cyprus issue.

    Mr. Kasoulides stressed that the basic aim is the enforcement of the United Nations Security Council resolutions Nos. 1217 and 1218.

    [04] PREMIER EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENT, BACKS A SECOND TERM

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis has expressed his support for the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and did not hesitate to advocate him for another term in office.

    "He is a very able and competent president. He has correctly kept the dictates of the Constitution and I believe he should be president of the Republic for the next four-year term ," Mr. Simitis stated during an in-depth interview broadcast last night by a Greek private television channel.

    Mr. Simitis further reiterated that double elections for Greece and the European Parliament would not take place in June, while he stressed that the main issue at hand was for the government to carry out its task.

    Responding to questions submitted to the program by the viewers in advance, Mr. Simitis touched all of the present issues pressing the country, while among the most popular topics were education, unemployment, social welfare and the economic and monetary union (EMU).

    According to "Mega" channel officials, the program was inundated with over 2,000 calls and e-mails. One e-mail wanted to know what the Prime Minister was going to do about the neighbor's fence.

    [05] PM DENIES THAT OCALAN HAS ASKED FOR POLITICAL ASYLUM IN GREECE

    Prime Minister Kostas Simitis has categorically reiterated that Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan has not asked for political asylum in Greece, and that if he came this would prove Turkish claims that Greece was fuelling the Kurdish uprising.

    "This would also be detrimental to the Kurds themselves, and Turkey would be granted the additional argument that Greece was provoking tension and exhibiting aggressive tendencies," he said during a televised interview yesterday evening.

    During the same interview, Mr. Simitis referred to the Cypriot government's cancelled order of the Russian-made S-300 anti- aircraft missiles.

    He stated that the decision to purchase the missiles had not been made during his term in office, and that its cancellation, over which Greece concurred, was ultimately the best course.

    He added that "the US, Britain and the European Union have undertaken, through statements, the obligation to move the Cyprus issue again," and that Greece had to keep spurring the interest of the international community.

    "The Cyprus issue makes progress because of the alertness of the international community. When this alertness subsides, we have the obligation to remind of the issue again, and this we achieved," he said.

    [06] THESSALONIKI METRO IN OPERATION FIVE YEARS FROM NOW

    The Thessaloniki metro, whose construction was approved yesterday by the appropriate state committee, will start operating in the fall of 2004, according to the Minister of Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister Kostas Laliotis.

    The project amounts to 220 billion drachmas and has been undertaken by the Thessaloniki Metro consortium, led by Bouygues of France.

    Bouygues, the major shareholder, will operate the subway for 20 years before ownership reverts to the state.

    Mr. Laliotis said that construction will begin immediately once Parliament ratifies the agreement and will take five years.

    The subway will have a length of nine kilometres and 789 meters, with 14 stations. It will have a capacity of 18, 500 passengers in each direction during rush hours.

    The Greek state will participate with approximately 67 billion drachmas and an annual ticket subsidy of GRD 50 billion.

    [07] GREEK FM FORWARDS LETTERS TO COUNTERPARTS OVER KOSOVO

    Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos has forwarded a letter to his Yugoslav and Albanian counterparts concerning the participation of their respective government in Saturday's talks over Kosovo, to be held in France.

    Stressing the significance of their participation, Mr. Pangalos also called on them to display constructive intent for the sake of ending the crisis.

    In his letter to the Yugoslav Foreign Minister, Mr. Pangalos underlined that the exacerbation of the Kosovo crisis has raised serious concerns among the international community and jeopardises stability in Yugoslavia and the overall region.

    Mr. Pangalos is to embark on a tour to Montenegro, Bosnia and Croatia this Sunday, February 7.

    [08] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS MET WITH THE NATO SECRETARY-GENERAL

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis met with NATO secretary-general Javier Solana in Athens today. Their talks focused on the developments in Kosovo, the new structure of NATO, the preparations for the next NATO summit meeting in Washington in April, the Greek-Turkish relations and the Cyprus issue.

    The prime minister after the meeting reiterated to Mr. Solana the firm Greek positions on the issue of Kosovo namely, that Greece believes that the solution in the region should be a political one. Mr. Simitis said that a non political solution will not lead to peace in the region and added that the existing borders should be maintained, stressing that the Greek government is opposed to the ideas for the creation of a new state or to Kosovo's independence. However, Mr. Simitis underlined that the autonomy that existed within the framework of former Yugoslavia should continue.

    On the next NATO summit meeting, the prime minister stated that it will seek the finalizing of the new military structure of the alliance within the framework of the common effort for peace, security and stability in the Balkan region. Referring to the confidence-building-measures in the Aegean, an issue that was raised in the meeting with Mr. Solana, the prime minister pointed out that the talks on the issue continue. Mr. Simitis concluded that based on the meeting with Mr. Solana it was established that solutions can always be found even in difficult problems if there is good information and discussion.

    From his side, Mr. Solana thanked Mr. Simitis and the Greek government for the talks that were held in a very positive way. He pointed out that the issue of Kosovo was discussed in detail as well as the preparations for the next NATO summit meeting. On the preparations for the talks between Belgrade and ethnic Albanian officials in France, Mr. Solana said that the international community promotes this initiative in order to find a peaceful solution in Kosovo through diplomacy.

    [09] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS THE PROPOSAL FOR THE DEMILITARIZATION OF CYPRUS

    The Greek government has repeatedly expressed its support to the proposal made by Cyprus for the complete demilitarization of the island, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    The proposal provides for the withdrawal of the occupation forces and if this is accepted by the other side it will be a positive development, said Mr. Reppas.

    [10] G. PAPANDREOU ON THE VETO RIGHT IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

    Greece, just like every other EU member-state, reserves the right to exercise its veto power on issues concerning the common foreign policy and political security in case its national interests are being affected. The statement was made by deputy foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou speaking in the special parliamentary committee that completed the discussion on the treaty of Amsterdam.

    The treaty of Amsterdam will be ratified by the parliament's plenary session next Tuesday.

    [11] THE CONTRACT FOR THESSALONIKI'S METRO WILL BE SIGNED TOMORROW

    The contract for the construction of Thessaloniki's metro will be signed tomorrow. The project will be completed in autumn of 2004 and will cost 220 billion drachmas of which 65 billion will be the state's participation.

    The metro will cover a distance of 10 kilometers starting from the Railway Station and ending up in the region of Depo and it will be able to carry 18.500 passengers each way. The preliminary work on the project will start immediately after the signing of the contract and will last 6 months.

    [12] STUDENT REACTIONS LED TO THE CANCELLATION OF THE US AMBASSADOR'S VISIT TO MACEDONIA UNIVERSITY

    US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns canceled his visit to Macedonia University when he was informed that the students planned to hold a protest. Mr. Burns was scheduled to visit the university this morning to meet with its dean Mr. Michalis Hatziprokopiou. The students reacted to this prospect and yesterday the Macedonia University student union presiding board decided to hold protests aimed at the cancellation of the US ambassador's visit.

    Early this morning, tens of students gathered outside the university administration building holding placards with anti- American slogans among them many Cypriot students who were protesting against the US stance in the Cyprus issue. As a result of the situation, a US consulate spokesman informed the university authorities that Mr. Burns will not visit the campus because "something came up".

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [13] SERB PARLIAMENT CONVENES TODAY

    The Serb Parliament is to hold a session today in order to decide whether or not Belgrade will participate in the Saturday's negotiations which are to be held in Paris.

    The leader of Kosovo's Albanians Ibrahim Rugova and a delegation of representatives from the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) are to take part in the talks.

    Meanwhile, the United States have announced that they are willing to dispatch troops under the auspices of a NATO peacekeeping force, but only if an agreement emerges from the talks.

    [14] THE SERB PARLIAMENT SESSION IS UNDERWAY

    The Serb parliament meets since noon today to decide on whether Belgrade will participate in the peace talks that will be held in France during the weekend.

    Government officials insinuated, based on statements they made, that the Serb side will take part in the talks. Ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova and the Kosovo Liberation Army have already said "Yes" to the talks.


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