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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-03-19

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, March 19, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PASOK PARTY'S FIFTH CONGRESS CONTINUES IN ATHENS
  • [02] LATVIAN PRESIDENT IN THESSALONIKI TODAY, WILL VISIT MT. ATHOS
  • [03] ADVERSE WEATHER STRIKES GREECE, MANY VILLAGES INACCESIBLE
  • [04] ULMANIS CANCELS MT. ATHOS VISIT DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER
  • [05] MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY REACTS NEGATIVELY TO PM'S ADDRESS
  • [06] MAJKO: TURKISH TROOPS IN ALBANIA WON'T TURN AGAINST GREECE
  • [07] FM MILO: KOSOVO'S ALBANIANS HAVE FULFILLED THEIR OBLIGATION
  • [08] GREECE'S ALTERNATE FM SATISFIED OVER CofE'S STANCE ON OCALAN
  • [09] VUJANOVIC: GREECE WILL NOT ALLOW FOR A CHANGE OF BORDERS
  • [10] CHRISTOS PROTOPAPPAS: REDISTRIBUTION OF NATIONAL REVENUE
  • [11] PASOK'S UNITED COURSE IS A CONCERN FOR THE PARTY CONGRESS DELEGATES
  • [12] SIMITIS-MAJKO MEETING
  • [13] TSOCHATZOPOULOS: GREECE WILL PARTICIPATE ONLY IN A PEACE MISSION IN KOSOVO
  • [14] A UKRAINIAN SHIP REMAINS IMMOBILIZED AT STRATONI, CHALKIDIKI
  • [15] INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION IN THE BALKANS
  • [16] FOSSILIZED ANIMAL BONES 5-9 MILLION YEARS OLD DISCOVERED IN SERRES, KASSANDRA AND GREVENA
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [17] KOSOVO: PEACEKEEPING TALKS WRAPPING UP IN PARIS TODAY
  • [18] GREEK-DUTCH CONSORTIUM ONLY BIDDER OF BULGARIA'S BTC
  • [19] PAPANDREOU ARRIVES IN BUCHAREST FOR BALKAN FM CONFERENCE
  • [20] ISRAEL CANCELS TWO FLIGHTS TO TURKEY FOR SECURITY REASONS
  • [21] SERBS: THE ALBANIAN SIDE HAS SIGNED A NON-EXISTENT AGREEMENT
  • [22] DECLARATION ON KOSSOVO WAS ISSUED BY FIVE BALKAN FOREIGN MINISTERS
  • [23] THE INTER-BALKAN CONFERENCE ON KOSOVO IS BEING HELD IN BUCHAREST
  • [24] HENRY KISSINGER'S NEW BOOK REFERS TO THE TRAGEDY OF CYPRUS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PASOK PARTY'S FIFTH CONGRESS CONTINUES IN ATHENS

    The ruling PASOK party is presently holding its fifth Congress, inaugurated yesterday with a rousing address given by the Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, who, along with the secretary of the party's Central Committee Kostas Skandalides, appealed for unity and cohesion in light of the European elections and the national polls.

    Mr. Simitis vowed that PASOK will defy the naysayers who predict its demise. He launched an attack against the main opposition party New Democracy by accusing its leaders of resorting to a populist policy.

    Among those to take the podium today are the Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos and Minister of the Interior Vaso Papandreou.

    The four-day congress, which features the participation of 5,802 party members, will culminate on Sunday with the election of the president and the new central committee.

    [02] LATVIAN PRESIDENT IN THESSALONIKI TODAY, WILL VISIT MT. ATHOS

    Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis, who is presently on an official visit to Greece, is to arrive in Thessaloniki today and will make a brief visit to the all-male monastic community of Mt. Athos by helicopter.

    Later today, President Ulmanis will meet with Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos who will bestow upon him the city's gold medal. Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yiannis Magriotis will host a dinner in the Latvian President's honor later in the evening.

    On Saturday morning, President Ulmanis and his wife will visit the St. Dimitrius Church and will tour the city's Byzantine Museum prior to departing for Latvia.

    [03] ADVERSE WEATHER STRIKES GREECE, MANY VILLAGES INACCESIBLE

    A wave of adverse weather has stricken all of Greece during this last week of winter, with temperatures having plummeted to single-digit in many regions and gusty winds prevailing in the Aegean.

    Snow fall continues in Western Macedonia where transportation in provincial roads can be conducted with anti-skid chains. Many villages have become isolated due to the dense snow.

    [04] ULMANIS CANCELS MT. ATHOS VISIT DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER

    Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis, who arrived in Thessaloniki this morning, has canceled his scheduled visit to the all-male monastic community of Mt. Athos due to the adverse weather conditions. Instead, he will visit the archaeological sites of Vergina.

    Later today, President Ulmanis will meet with Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos who will bestow upon him the city's gold medal. Macedonia-Thrace Minister Yiannis Magriotis will host a dinner in the Latvian President's honor later in the evening.

    [05] MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY REACTS NEGATIVELY TO PM'S ADDRESS

    The spokesperson of Greece's main opposition party, New Democracy's Aris Spiliotopoulos launched a verbal attack against the Prime Minster Kostas Simitis yesterday, following the latter's rousing speech at the PASOK party's fifth congress.

    Responding to Mr. Simitis' address, Mr. Spiliotopoulos said the Prime Minister has relegated the country to the bottom of Europe and has lost every economic and political battle in Brussels.

    [06] MAJKO: TURKISH TROOPS IN ALBANIA WON'T TURN AGAINST GREECE

    Albanian Prime Minister Pandeli Majko, who addressed Greece‘s ruling PASOK party congress, assured his audience that the Turkish troops stationed in Albania will not be used against Greece, by stating that "since the Balkans are crawling with suspicion, I assure you that no foreign soldier will be used by Albania for other purposes."

    During his address, Mr. Majko referred to the efforts exerted by his country in facing its tremendous problems.

    Regarding Kosovo, the Albanian Premier described the situation as a conflict between simple folk who are defending their homes against a political machine.

    He further supported that the solution to the crisis has to be sought through the course of dialogue and added that the sooner these problems are overcome, then the sooner will the Balkans enjoy closeness.

    In closing his address, Mr. Majko stated: "Now that I have seen you, I can leave calmer."

    [07] FM MILO: KOSOVO'S ALBANIANS HAVE FULFILLED THEIR OBLIGATION

    Albania's Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, presently in Paris where he observed the Kosovo talks, expressed his satisfaction after the region's ethnic Albanians signed the peacekeeping agreement.

    "By signing the agreement, Kosovo's Albanians have secured the beginning of a process that will determine the future status of Kosovo," Mr. Milo stated, adding that they have fulfilled their obligation and that the responsibility for whatever might ensue now falls upon the Serbs who refuse to endorse the agreement.

    The Albanian Foreign Minister, responding to a relevant question, stated that he believes if Serbia insists on its present stance, then NATO will act on its threats.

    [08] GREECE'S ALTERNATE FM SATISFIED OVER CofE'S STANCE ON OCALAN

    Greece's alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis has expressed his satisfaction over the Ocalan-related discussion held by the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council of Europe. . "Turkey's efforts to downgrade the issue of respecting the Kurdish people's human rights into a matter of terrorism, trying to transpose its responsibilities onto others," were unsuccessful, Mr. Kranidiotis said.

    The alternate FM added that there was no chance Greece would endorse a statement which would condemn an organization as being terrorist, without referring to the reasons behind a 15-year-old situation in southeast Turkey, that is the Turkish state's systematic and flagrant violations of human rights.

    "The Greek government has steadfastly favored a political resolution to the Kurdish issue, through peaceful means, governed by human rights principles and the sovereignty of borders. We shall support every effort in this direction, stemming from the Council of Europe's request that Mr. Ocalan be granted a fair and public trial, as foreseen by the fundamental regulations and legal processes of the C of E," Mr. Kranidiotis stated.

    [09] VUJANOVIC: GREECE WILL NOT ALLOW FOR A CHANGE OF BORDERS

    Montenegro's Prime Minister Philip Vujanovic, addressing the fifth congress held by Greece's ruling PASOK party, stated that Greece and Yugoslavia should not allow a change of borders in Kosovo.

    Mr. Vujanovic, who is also Montenegro's Democratic Socialist Party leader, stated that while the region's Albanians should be granted autonomy, the borders should remain intact.

    "I hope that the crisis in Yugoslavia is nearing an end and that this end will arrive with Greece's vast contribution," Mr. Vujanovic stated.

    " I believe that Greece and PASOK will not allow for a change of borders in Kosovo since that would be catastrophic for the Balkans and Europe. I know that Greece has won many battles with PASOK. I believe PASOK will help strengthen Greece's role as a bridge between the Balkans and Europe."

    [10] CHRISTOS PROTOPAPPAS: REDISTRIBUTION OF NATIONAL REVENUE

    Undersecretary of labor Christos Protopappas, speaking in PASOK's 5th party congress, stressed the need for the redistribution of the national revenue in favor of the financially weaker.

    He said that the EMU does not concern only the stock exchange and the economy and referred to the government plans in order to deal with unemployment and the issue of the 35-hour working week. He also stressed that there is room for everyone and that each one has a role to play but the crucial fights should not be fought by only a few.

    Meanwhile, former minister of transport and parliament deputy Charis Kastanidis underlined that it is not self-evident that the party congress is being held in a crucial period and this should be made clear, observing that there are certain who believe that the congress can be used to settle personal matters.

    [11] PASOK'S UNITED COURSE IS A CONCERN FOR THE PARTY CONGRESS DELEGATES

    The united course for victory in the Euro-parliament elections and the elections for the national parliament is one of the main concerns of the delegates participating in PASOK's 5th party congress which continues for a second day in the Olympic Stadium facilities in Athens.

    PASOK's central committee secretary Kostas Skandalidis stated that an effort is being made to continue the work of Andreas Papandreou, while minister of environment, public works and land planning Kostas Laliotis characterized the speech delivered by prime minister Kostas Simitis as very inspired and expressed the certainty that on Monday a new day will dawn for PASOK. Paraskevas Avgerinos backed the efforts to homogenise the party congress, while parliament deputy Anastasios Peponis stated that the deep wish of all the party members is unity, based on the union of hearts which in turn needs clarity of speech and dialogue.

    [12] SIMITIS-MAJKO MEETING

    The prime minister had contacts today with foreign officials on the sidelines of PASOK's 5th party congress. Mr. Simitis met this morning with Albanian prime minister Panteli Majko and discussed ways in which the spread of the crisis in Kosovo could be averted.

    Later on, Mr. Simitis met with Socialist Party of Spain general secretary Mr. Almunia and discussed the relations of the two political parties as well as the coordination of their efforts in view of the European Parliament elections.

    [13] TSOCHATZOPOULOS: GREECE WILL PARTICIPATE ONLY IN A PEACE MISSION IN KOSOVO

    Minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, speaking in the opening ceremony of the two-day international conference that is being held in Athens on the occasion of the 50th anniversary since the establishment of NATO, pointed out the need for no revisionist positions within NATO concerning the existing borders in Europe.

    Referring to the situation in Kosovo, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stressed that Greece will participate only in a peace mission and if an agreement is reached between the Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo.

    NATO deputy secretary Klaus Kleinberg stated that the North Atlantic Alliance is not the policeman of Europe, adding however, that in certain cases the cost of indifference is higher than the cost of participation. He said that NATO is ready to avert the bloodshed in Kosovo and to impose itself in the region in case there is no agreement between the two sides.

    [14] A UKRAINIAN SHIP REMAINS IMMOBILIZED AT STRATONI, CHALKIDIKI

    The Ukrainian cargo ship "Khanza", loaded with high-grade ore, remains immobilized for a third day since it run aground at a rocky area in Stratoni, Chalkidiki in northern Greece. The rough seas do not allow the tugboats to approach the region.

    Most of the 28 members of its crew, Ukrainians and 3 Maroccan illegal immigrants, were carried to the shore on board Greek Coast Guard ships, while on the Ukrainian ship remain its captain and 8 sailors, who will participate in the efforts to remove the ship expected to be underway as soon as the weather improves.

    [15] INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION IN THE BALKANS

    The international conference on education in the Balkans, which is held in Thessaloniki today and tomorrow organized by the History Archives of Modern Greek Education and the Balkan Society of Pedagogy and Education, is a starting point for the establishment of better relations of cooperation among the Balkan states in the sector of education, according to Aristotle University of Thessaloniki dean Michalis Papadopoulos.

    In today's proceedings of the conference were examined among others issues concerning the education systems of the Balkan states in the 19th century, the role of the Church in education and the relation of education with the effort to create new national states.

    In the conference participate scientists from Greece, Turkey, Albania, Romania, FYROM, Serbia, Bulgaria and Cyprus.

    [16] FOSSILIZED ANIMAL BONES 5-9 MILLION YEARS OLD DISCOVERED IN SERRES, KASSANDRA AND GREVENA

    Fossilized bones of animals that lived 5-9 million years ago were discovered in Kristalopigi, in Kassandra, Chalkidiki as well as in Sidirokastro, Serres, in northern Greece, while two tusks 4,40 meters long estimated to be 3 million years old were unearthed in Milia, Grevena in north-western Greece.

    The discoveries show that in those regions lived not only small horses, antilopes and giraffes but carnivorous animals as well, which proves that many different animal species used to live in the region millions of years ago.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [17] KOSOVO: PEACEKEEPING TALKS WRAPPING UP IN PARIS TODAY

    The peacekeeping talks presently held in Paris over the strife-torn Kosovo region are to close today, although they have apparently led nowhere, as, reportedly, the Serb side will not budge from its stance in spite of the mounting pressures.

    Western diplomats stated that the Serb delegation will be asked to endorse the accord which has been signed by the Albanian side. The accord grants autonomy to the region's ethnic Albanians and allows for the deployment of an international observation mission to the area.

    [18] GREEK-DUTCH CONSORTIUM ONLY BIDDER OF BULGARIA'S BTC

    The Greek-Dutch telecommunications consortium OTE-KNP was the sole bidder for the purchase of 51% of Bulgaria's state-owned telecommunications organization BTC, with the offer submitted yesterday.

    Much to the dismay of BTC, neither Germany's Deutsche Telecom nor Spain's Telefonika, acted on their previously expressed interest.

    The 51% controlling stake is estimated at between $600 million and one billion dollars.

    Bulgaria's telephone network is relatively developed with 2.7 million telephone lines and its 1998 profits rose to $300 million.

    [19] PAPANDREOU ARRIVES IN BUCHAREST FOR BALKAN FM CONFERENCE

    Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou has arrived in Bucharest where he will participate in the Balkan Foreign Ministers Conference.

    The conference is taking place following the signing of the peacekeeping accord by the Albanian side of the Kosovo conflict, while the Serb side still refuses to endorse the agreement.

    The Balkan Foreign Ministers will attempt to arrive at an outcome which would avert NATO's imminent air strikes against Serb targets, while, at the same time, convincing the Serb side to adopt a stance that would safeguard peace in the Balkans.

    [20] ISRAEL CANCELS TWO FLIGHTS TO TURKEY FOR SECURITY REASONS

    Israel's national airline "El Al" has canceled two of its flights to and from Turkey today for security reasons, according to a company spokesman.

    According to the French news agency AFP, the canceled flights were a morning route to Istanbul and a return route to Tel Aviv.

    The company stated it will decide in the future whether or not it will maintain its Turkey flights, depending on the given situation due to the repeated bomb attacks in Turkey following the arrest of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

    Turkey has become a favorite destination for thousands of Israelis in the recent years. "El Al" is considered to be among the most secure airlines in the world.

    [21] SERBS: THE ALBANIAN SIDE HAS SIGNED A NON-EXISTENT AGREEMENT

    As the second round of Kosovo talks has concluded in Paris with the one-sided signing of the agreement, political circles in Serbia have expressed their satisfaction over the unwavering stance maintained by the Yugoslav delegation and have said that "the Albanian side has signed a non-existent agreement."

    The vice president of Yugoslavia's federation Vuk Drascovic stressed that the Paris negotiations could be through in a matter of minutes if the United States and Europe were ready to accept the Yugoslav side's proposals calling for a modification in certain of the agreement's terms.

    "No one can hold us responsible for the failure of the Paris meeting, since we illustrated our readiness to agree with a good plan," Mr. Drascovic stated, adding that the only thing remaining for Yugoslavia to do is to await NATO's bombs.

    [22] DECLARATION ON KOSSOVO WAS ISSUED BY FIVE BALKAN FOREIGN MINISTERS

    An appeal to the warring sides in Kossovo for the immediate end of hostilities was issued from Bucharest by the foreign ministers of Greece Giorgos Papandreou, Romania's Andrei Plesu, Bulgaria's Nadezda Michailova, FYROM's Alexander Dimitrov and Turkey's Ismail Cem participating in the inter-Balkan conference on Kossovo.

    In their joint declaration the five foreign ministers expressed their concern over the likelihood of the crisis in Kossovo to spread to other countries in the region and the threat against stability. They also expressed their countries' wish for the peaceful settlement of the crisis and their support to Kossovo's autonomy and the preservation of sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

    The five foreign ministers called on the interested sides to respect the rights of all citizens as well as the rights of the ethnic minorities and communities according to the international regulations and principles.

    They also expressed their backing to the efforts of the international community for a political solution of the crisis in Kossovo and reaffirmed their support to the efforts of the Contact Group, NATO, the European Union and the OSCE for a viable peaceful solution, for peace and stability in Kossovo in compliance with the UN Security Council decisions.

    Finally, the foreign ministers of Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, FYROM and Turkey expressed their readiness to contribute to the efforts aimed at bringing Federal Republic of Yugoslavia back to the international institutions in case it signs the Rambouillet peace agreement on Kossovo.

    [23] THE INTER-BALKAN CONFERENCE ON KOSOVO IS BEING HELD IN BUCHAREST

    The inter-Balkan conference, that became a reality at the initiative of Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, is taking place in Bucharest. The conference is not attended by Albania. The text of the joint declaration that will be issued is expected to back Kosovo's autonomy, the NATO and OSCE decisions and the respect of Serbia's borders.

    Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos stressed that Greece will send forces to the region only in a peace mission and if there is an agreement reached between the Serbs and the ethnic Albanians.

    [24] HENRY KISSINGER'S NEW BOOK REFERS TO THE TRAGEDY OF CYPRUS

    Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger attempts to improve his picture among the Greeks and change the widely accepted view both in Greece and in Cyprus according to which, he is personally responsible for the tragedy of Cyprus through his new book "Years of Renewal" in which he records his experience during the time when he was the head of the US diplomacy in the two years of the Ford presidency.

    Mr. Kissinger dedicated a whole chapter to the Cypriot crisis and in 47 pages he attempted to pass judgement on the then political leaderships in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. Even though he regards Archbishop Makarios as responsible for most of Cyprus' ordeals he refers to him using flattering comments for his leading ability and stresses that he was the only one who could guarantee a solution for the Cyprus problem.

    The former US Secretary of State uses less flattering words for the then prime minister of Greece Konstantinos Karamanlis and regards him as being caught in the nationalist spirit of the times characterizing him as unwilling to make compromises that were necessary in order to get out of the deadlock.

    He also maintains that Turkey achieved its goals through the use of force taking advantage of the fact that Washington was absorbed by the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of the then president Nixon, while Ankara also took advantage of the fact that the Sampson regime in Cyprus enjoyed no respect whatsoever and the international isolation of the junta in Athens.

    Mr. Kissinger underlined repeatedly that in the Cyprus crisis of July-August 1974 the primary goal of the US diplomacy was to avert the war between two NATO allies and also to avert the involvement of the then Soviet Union in this conflict. He mentions that those aspirations were achieved but the unity of the Cypriot state was not restored.


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