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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-12-01

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, December 1, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] MACEDONIA THRACE MINISTER INAUGURATES SAE YOUTH CONGRESS
  • [02] SAE WORLD YOUTH CONFERENCE OPENS IN THESSALONIKI TODAY
  • [03] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC TO VISIT PORTUGAL TOMORROW
  • [04] US EMBASSY HOSTS INTERNATIONAL TOURISM EVENT IN ATHENS
  • [05] SAE TO HOLD THIRD CONFERENCE IN THESSALONIKI THIS WEEK
  • [06] THESSALONIKI HOSTS EXPATRIATE ENTREPRENEURS 1ST CONGRESS
  • [07] MPA TO HOST INTER-BALKAN CONFERENCE ON REGIONAL PEACE
  • [08] SAE PRESIDENT HAILS WORLD YOUTH CONGRESS AS HISTORIC EVENT
  • [09] DEPUTY FM: EXPATRIATE YOUTH A PART OF UNITY'S STRATEGIC PLAN
  • [10] SAE'S WORLD YOUTH CONGRESS IS UNDERWAY IN THESSALONIKI
  • [11] THE GREEK PRESIDENT WILL VISIT PORTUGAL TOMORROW
  • [12] THE YOUNG GREEKS LIVING ABROAD ARE A FOUNTAIN OF LIFE FOR THE WORLD COUNCIL OF HELLENES ABROAD
  • [13] PAPAZOI: THE ISSUE OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES WAS DEALT WITH BY THE BRITISH IN A NEGATIVE WAY
  • [14] SIX CHILDREN ARE INFECTED WITH AIDS EVERY MINUTE AROUND THE WORLD
  • [15] THE TRUE POWER OF HELLENISM
  • [16] SAE WILL HAVE A MORE DYNAMIC ROLE FOR THE GREEKS AROUND THE WORLD
  • [17] THESSALONIKI'S MACEDONIA AIRPORT IS ONE OF THE MOST MODERN IN EUROPE
  • [18] NEW LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [19] NIOTIS: TURKEY'S WESTERNIZING CAN TAKE PLACE UNDER PRE-CONDITIONS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [20] FOREIGN MINISTER CONTINUES OFFICIAL VISIT TO MOSCOW
  • [21] LONDON CONFERENCE ON MARBLES HAS BOTH POINTS OF VIEW
  • [22] ATHENS WOULD GIVE HUMANITARIAN AID TO CHECHNYA MIGRANTS
  • [23] GREEK FM: IT'S NOT NATO'S PREROGATIVE TO SAY WHO BUYS WHAT
  • [24] GREEK FM OPENS MOSCOW EVENT "UNDER SKIES OF SACRED GREECE"
  • [25] BULGARIA SATISFIED OVER KOZLODUI COMPROMISE WITH EU
  • [26] THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT SUFFERS FROM PNEUMONIA - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] MACEDONIA THRACE MINISTER INAUGURATES SAE YOUTH CONGRESS

    The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis declared the commencement of the First World Youth Congress of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) in Thessaloniki this morning.

    Mr. Magriotis stated that the Ministry will participate in the initiatives to be taken by the European Youth Congress delegates, as well as those from the other continents, while he expressed his satisfaction at having ascertained that significant steps have been taken by the participants in terms of organization and structure, which have resulted in a number of interesting points of view and proposals.

    Minister Magriotis pledged that his ministry will always be at the core of the overseas youth's thoughts.

    [02] SAE WORLD YOUTH CONFERENCE OPENS IN THESSALONIKI TODAY

    The first world youth conference of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) opened in Thessaloniki today, featuring the participation of approximately 200 delegates who were appointed during the five regional conferences, one for each continent.

    The body will elect a number of delegates that will represent SAE Youth in the Regional and World Conventions of SAE that will take place December 3-8, 1999.

    The participants will review all the proposals and suggestions submitted at the April convention, which are classified into three sections, as follows: a. Issues that can be addressed directly by the young Hellenes abroad e.g. Internet networking etc. b. Issues that require the help of the Greek State e.g. university programs in Greece, and c. Issues that involve the participation of and cooperation among the young Hellenes of the N. & S. America Region and the other SAE Regions worldwide.

    [03] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC TO VISIT PORTUGAL TOMORROW

    The President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos will embark on a four-day, state visit to Portugal tomorrow, at the invitation of his Portuguese counterpart Jorge Sampaio with whom he will hold talks.

    In addition to Mr. Sampaio, President Stephanopoulos will also meet with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres. Mr. Stephanopoulos will inaugurate the new Greek embassy building in Lisbon and an exhibition of Byzantine icons at the Jeronimos Monastery.

    The Greek president will be accompanied by deputy foreign minister Christos Rokofyllos.

    [04] US EMBASSY HOSTS INTERNATIONAL TOURISM EVENT IN ATHENS

    Delegates from 31 countries are to attend an international tourism infrastructure conference which opens in Athens today.

    The three-day conference, held by the United States embassy, aims at bringing closer US companies and firms from Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Georgia, Greece, Estonia, FYROM, Spain, Israel, Italy, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Palestine, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Turkey and Finland.

    The US delegation will include representatives from the Commerce and State Departments, Export-Import Bank, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and US ambassadors from around the world.

    Originally to be held in Thessaloniki, the conference was postponed earlier in the year due to the crisis in Yugoslavia.

    US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns has stated that Greek-American economic relations were steadily expanding after starting from a low level. He said that US companies were soon expected to show their interest in the Greek market, which they viewed as fast growing and with a healthy outlook linked to its anticipated entry into the euro zone.

    [05] SAE TO HOLD THIRD CONFERENCE IN THESSALONIKI THIS WEEK

    The forum of overseas Greek entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and overseas Greek women will be held in Thessaloniki on December 3-4, while over one thousand Greeks from all five continents will attend the World Council of Hellenes (SAE) Third International Assembly, also to be held in the northern capital between December 5-8.

    The event will be opened by Prime Minister Costas Simitis and will be attended, among others, by President Costis Stephanopoulos, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and several party leaders.

    The SAE's third council will elect an 11- member presidium, while, according to reports, SAE President Andrew Athens will seek his re- election for the third time.

    [06] THESSALONIKI HOSTS EXPATRIATE ENTREPRENEURS 1ST CONGRESS

    The First World Congress of Expatriated Entrepreneurs is to be held in Thessaloniki on Saturday, December 4, illustrating the city's role as a Balkan reconstruction center.

    The congress, which will be held within the framework of the World Council of Hellenes (SAE) Third International Assembly, to be held in Thessaloniki between December 5-8, will review Greece's role as a starting point for the development of economic cooperation with Balkan and Black Sea countries.

    Participants will have the opportunity to discuss potential ventures in the sectors of industry, exporting, trade, banking, construction, energy, telecommunications, transportation, high technology and tourism. The event will be inaugurated by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis.

    [07] MPA TO HOST INTER-BALKAN CONFERENCE ON REGIONAL PEACE

    The Macedonian Press Agency is to host a journalism conference, titled "the Prospect of Inter-Balkan cooperation after Kosovo: the Role of the Media", which will be attended by senior journalists from 60 of the Balkan region's largest media organizations.

    The event, to be held in Thessaloniki on December 10-11, will feature the participation of leading journalists from Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, FYROM, Moldova, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey and Yugoslavia, as well as directors and chief editors from Greece's largest media.

    The strife-torn region of Kosovo will also be represented at the conference; the publisher of the "Koha Ditore" daily Beton Suroi will attend, as well as the director of the "Rilidia" daily Plerim Reka, the journalist-historian Skelcem Ratsa, and others.

    Moreover, the event will feature the participation of officials from the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as FYROM's alternate Minister of Press and Information Dragi Arsov and Albania's Minister of Press Musa Oulkini.

    The conference is taking place under the auspices of the Ministries of Press and Mass Media, Development, and Macedonia-Thrace, as well as with the assistance of the Thessaloniki Trade and Industry Chamber and the Northern Greece's Journalists Association.

    [08] SAE PRESIDENT HAILS WORLD YOUTH CONGRESS AS HISTORIC EVENT

    "A day of renewal, full of hope and expectations", was the characterization given by the President of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) Andrew Athens to SAE's First World Youth Congress which opened in Thessaloniki's "I. Vellidis" Conference Center his morning.

    Specifically, Mr. Athens stated that "this marks the first time in the history of Hellenism where young men and women from all corners of the world gather in Thessaloniki, the capital of expatriated Greeks, to celebrate their cultural heritage and establish close ties among them, as well as with Greece and Orthodoxy, and gaze the future along with SAE."

    Moreover, Mr. Athens called the event a crossroads in SAE's history and presented his own challenge, which is, in his words, "inspired by SAE's commitment to provide assistance to the expatriated community, wherever there is great need.

    "As such, I call on you to display your commitment through the establishment of an international structure that will provide a hand of assistance to the Greek communities in Greece and abroad. This assistance can be philanthropic, educational or any other form that may be necessary. Let's create our own Hellenic Youth Corps within our own communities as citizens of the world," he stated.

    [09] DEPUTY FM: EXPATRIATE YOUTH A PART OF UNITY'S STRATEGIC PLAN

    Greece's deputy Foreign Minister Grigoris Niotis saluted the First World Youth Congress of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE), presently held in Thessaloniki.

    Mr. Niotis stated that today's historical gathering completes and seals a course which is inclusive of the belief of continuance, the youth's participation in the institutional- strategic plan of uniting the Hellenes, a plan currently under execution and which is constantly being transformed from a geo- political and geo-economic point of view.

    Moreover, Mr. Niotis made extensive references to the strategy of the networks established by the Greek communities abroad, stating that the said strategy envisages the promotion of a unified Greek community of 17 million expatriates throughout the world.

    Namely, Mr. Niotis outlined the establishment of the Greek Diaspora Youth Network which is being formed in order to fill the gap in relations between the metropolitan center and the Diaspora.

    He stated that the newer generations of Greeks living abroad are called on to harmonize their course as citizens in the host countries with the knowledge of the Greek heritage, language and culture, as well as orthodoxy.

    The deputy foreign minister also stressed that, in light of the new millennium, Greece will need the contribution of the expatriated Greek community in the multi-cultural environment, so as to form a strategy for language-related issues, orthodoxy and Greek culture in the global community.

    [10] SAE'S WORLD YOUTH CONGRESS IS UNDERWAY IN THESSALONIKI

    The 1st World Youth Congress of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, is underway in Thessaloniki. Greek deputy foreign minister Grigoris Niotis stressed that this historic 1st World Organizing Congress marks the beginning of a course that incorporates the philosophy of continuance and the participation of the young Greeks in the institutional planning of the unity of Hellenism.

    World Council of Hellenes Abroad president Andrew Athens stated that this is a day of rebirth full of hope and expectations. Mr. Athens spoke of a crossroads in SAE's history and presented his own proposal for assistance to the Greeks living abroad.

    Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis addressing the young Greeks participating in the congress underlined that they will be the Greeks of the 21st century, while referring to the operation of SAE he stressed that its activities were productive and creative.

    [11] THE GREEK PRESIDENT WILL VISIT PORTUGAL TOMORROW

    Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos will embark on a four-day state visit to Portugal tomorrow, at the invitation of his Portuguese counterpart Jorge Sampaio with whom he will hold talks. In addition to Mr. Sampaio, President Stephanopoulos will also meet with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos will visit the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and he will inaugurate the new Greek embassy building in Lisbon as well as an exhibition of Byzantine icons at the Jeronimos Monastery. Mr. Stephanopoulos' visit has an additional significance due to the fact that Portugal will take over the EU presidency on January 1, 2000. The president will return to Athens on Saturday afternoon.

    [12] THE YOUNG GREEKS LIVING ABROAD ARE A FOUNTAIN OF LIFE FOR THE WORLD COUNCIL OF HELLENES ABROAD

    This year was the year of the young Greeks living abroad and there could be no future for Hellenism abroad without their active participation underlined Dimitris Dollis, general secretary responsible for the Greeks living abroad, speaking in the 1st World Organizing Congress of the Young Greeks living abroad which is underway in Thessaloniki's "Ioannis Vellidis" Conference Center.

    Mr. Dollis stated that the young Greeks of the Diaspora have proved with their participation in different organizations abroad and the present congress that they have both the will and the dynamism necessary to cooperate with the older generations in the new course that is being drawn up for the Greeks abroad at the dawn of the 21st century, while they have also proved that they care for the preservation of the Greek cultural identity.

    [13] PAPAZOI: THE ISSUE OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES WAS DEALT WITH BY THE BRITISH IN A NEGATIVE WAY

    Greek minister of culture Elisavet Papazoi stated in the Greek Federation of the culture ministry employees conference that the Greek scientists were not satisfied with the way the British Museum management handled the issue of the Parthenon Marbles.

    Ms. Papazoi stated that the conference on the maintenance of the Parthenon Marbles was organized with the sole purpose to create impressions. Ms. Papazoi added that the observations made by the British side were scientifically unfounded contrary to the scientific observations made by the Greek side.

    [14] SIX CHILDREN ARE INFECTED WITH AIDS EVERY MINUTE AROUND THE WORLD

    Six children are infected with AIDS each minute around the world and the plague of the century hits mostly Africa.

    According to figures provided by UNICEF, on the occasion of December 1st, the World Day Against AIDS, 2 million Africans died from AIDS in 1998, while the people killed in armed clashes across the world were 200.000 last year.

    Based on official figures, 48% of the AIDS cases are in south and east Africa, home to 4.8% of the world's population. According to UNAIDS and the World Health Organization, 12.200.000 women and 10.000.000 men have AIDS in the African countries south of the Sahara, while 16.3 million people have died from AIDS worldwide since the epidemic first appeared.

    [15] THE TRUE POWER OF HELLENISM

    "The true leader of the planet is me, because of the two of us, only I have a world network", said World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, president Andrew Athens in the meeting he had in Intercontinental Hotel with US president Bill Clinton during his recent visit to Greece.

    Mr. Athens, who is a close friend of Mr. Clinton for many years, asked the US president in that meeting to become more clear regarding the issues of Greek national importance. The above were revealed by undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis in Thessaloniki within the framework of the 1st World Youth Congress.

    Responding to a relevant question, the SAE president stated that Mr. Clinton was very satisfied with his trip to Greece and with the talks he had with the Greek government. Mr. Athens also stated that Mr. Clinton will make an effort to materialize everything that was discussed with prime minister Kostas Simitis. Mr. Athens expressed the belief that before the end of his term in the US presidency Mr. Clinton will try to win a solution for the Cyprus problem in order to present it as a success.

    [16] SAE WILL HAVE A MORE DYNAMIC ROLE FOR THE GREEKS AROUND THE WORLD

    The dynamic role the young Greeks abroad can play in the effort of the Greeks around the world to meet their goals, was underlined by minister of Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis stressing the importance of the activities of the World Council of the Hellenes Abroad, SAE, in the four years of its operation. He stated that SAE was active in a productive and creative way in many sectors.

    Speaking in a joint press conference with SAE president Andrew Athens, parliament committee on the Greeks abroad president Dimitris Pantermalis, general secretary responsible for the Greeks abroad Dimitris Dollis and new generation general secretary Petros Sfikakis, Mr. Magriotis referred to the initiatives undertaken by SAE especially in offering support to the Greeks around the world, in countries where the social and political changes of the past years brought them to a very difficult spot. He referred to the Greeks in the former Soviet Union as well as to those in Albania and to SAE's work mainly for their moral and social backing, stressing that the focal point in SAE's activities was the sector of health.

    Undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis stated that based on the presidential decree SAE is referred to as World Council of the Greek Diaspora and it is a advisory body of the Greek state on issues concerning the Greeks living abroad and operates as an autonomous non governmental organization. The participation in SAE it is determined based on the relevant presidential decree.

    SAE's presiding board will be made up of 11 members instead of 9, and specifically will be made up of the president, the deputy president, 5 vice-presidents, a treasurer and 3 secretaries who will serve for a two-year term.

    From his side, SAE president Andrew Athens referred to its activities in the past 4 years underlining its work in the social sector, while he made a special reference to the establishment of a health center in south Albanian in cooperation with Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All of Albania.

    [17] THESSALONIKI'S MACEDONIA AIRPORT IS ONE OF THE MOST MODERN IN EUROPE

    Thessaloniki's Macedonia Airport is not inadequate and in the following years it will become one of the most modern in Europe when the 140 billion drachmas development projects which are underway will be completed.

    The above were stated by an airport official who stressed that the airport's characterization as inadequate in the secret airport report conducted on behalf of the German drivers club, ADAC, is unfair. The airport official said that the observations made can not be used as an excuse in order to describe it as a problematic airport, as it is mentioned in German newspapers, neither can be regarded as serious problems.

    He pointed out that the airport's parking space has a capacity of 700 cars and it completely satisfies the needs of the passengers, also the people can use the city buses and taxis for their transportation to and from the airport. The airport's small size facilitates the passengers while those who want to make a short visit to the city can leave their luggage to the well-organized Left Luggage Room. According to the airport official, the police patrols in the airport area create a sense of security to the passengers, while the airport will soon have new seats in its waiting areas.

    [18] NEW LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The Athens Stock Exchange general index had losses of 1.02% today and closed at 5.653,94 failing to maintain the pace that led to the explosive gains of last Friday and Monday.

    In spite of the fact that the investors were expecting more gains today as a continuation of the significant recovery recorded in the past few days it appears that they were not expecting such a big dive.

    As a result the transactions today were characterized by nervousness and the purchase of stocks recorded in the past few days gave its place to massive liquidation of stocks, while investors showed a renewed interest in stocks of small to medium capitalization withdrawing their interest from the bank shares and the blue chips that were the most favorite of the past few days in the Athens Stock Exchange.

    [19] NIOTIS: TURKEY'S WESTERNIZING CAN TAKE PLACE UNDER PRE-CONDITIONS

    Greece wants Turkey to become Europeanized under the pre-condition that it will proceed with the democratization of its institutions, it will respect human rights and the inviolability of the borders and will lift its claims against Greece, stated undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis speaking on Greece's foreign policy and the Greeks living abroad.

    On the Cyprus issue, Mr. Niotis stressed that Greece wants Cyprus to be free, united and independent on the basis of a two-zone and two- community federation, while he reiterated Greece's firm position that Cyprus must become a member of the EU regardless of whether there will be a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Niotis gave a special emphasis to the role Greece is called to play in the Balkan region, stressing that Greece participates actively in the initiative for the reconstruction of the Balkans and the Stability Pact.

    He also characterized as absolutely successful for the country the government's stance in the Kossovo crisis because it managed on one hand to maintain its role as a factor of stability in the region while on the other hand it did not upset its relations with the European Union and NATO, adding that the Greek humanitarian aid is second in size only to that offered by Germany.

    Referring to the situation existing in the region of Kossovo, he underlined that he is not pleased with the course of disarmament so far, stressing that the Serbs are the persecuted minority while the imminent elections will give a political character to the problems.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [20] FOREIGN MINISTER CONTINUES OFFICIAL VISIT TO MOSCOW

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou is continuing his visit to Moscow where he met yesterday with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov.

    In a joint press conference, Messrs. Papandreou and Ivanov stated that Greece and Russia keep a permanent political dialogue on bilateral problems and topical international issues, while they also gave a positive assessment to the results of the recent OSCE summit in Istanbul. Mr. Ivanov stated that the documents stemming from the summit create a basis for the further strengthening of stability and security on the European continent. Referring to the situation in Chechnya, Mr. Papandreou stated that Greece insists on the soonest settlement of the conflict in a peaceful way and is deeply concerned over the fate of civilians in the region.

    [21] LONDON CONFERENCE ON MARBLES HAS BOTH POINTS OF VIEW

    An international, two day conference opened in London yesterday, where the participants, 200 historians and archaeologists, are reviewing the conclusions reached by the experts who examined the damage caused to the Parthenon marbles by the British Museum's cleaning methods.

    According to press report, the museum's curator, Ian Jenkins, sought to present his predecessors' cleaning techniques in the best possible light. He admitted that 40 percent of the Marbles had been affected, but stopped short of saying they were "damaged". Mr. Jenkins stated that "the 1930s cleaning event colors, but does not change, the overall responsibility of the Museum's commitment to safeguarding the Marbles."

    [22] ATHENS WOULD GIVE HUMANITARIAN AID TO CHECHNYA MIGRANTS

    Greece is ready to render humanitarian assistance to migrants from Chechnya as need be, Foreign Minister George Papandreou said at a news conference held during his official visit to Moscow yesterday, where he met with his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov.

    Messrs. Ivanov and Papandreou discussed the situation in Northern Caucasus, including Chechnya, where the Greek FM stated that Athens' position on the matter coincides with the European Union's stand.

    Specifically, Mr. Papandreou stated that Greece insists on the preservation of the Russian territorial integrity and does not trust the separatist movement in Chechnya.

    [23] GREEK FM: IT'S NOT NATO'S PREROGATIVE TO SAY WHO BUYS WHAT

    Greece is interested in developing military- technical cooperation with Russia,

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated at a news conference in Moscow yesterday, while he noted that Athens has bought and continues to buy armaments from Russia.

    Asked whether the Greek-Russian military- technical cooperation creates problems for Athens in NATO, Mr. Papandreou said it was not a prerogative of NATO to decide which armament types should be bought by its member-countries. It is just a matter of the compatibility of the armament systems Greece buys from Russia with the systems used by the alliance, he added.

    [24] GREEK FM OPENS MOSCOW EVENT "UNDER SKIES OF SACRED GREECE"

    Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov opened an exhibition with the theme "Under Skies of Sacred Greece" at the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum in Moscow yesterday, where the two ministers noted the long-standing tradition of relations between the two peoples.

    "The very name of the exhibition is symbolic," Mr. Ivanov said, adding that it is vivid testimony of the spirituality and mutual understanding of Russian intellectuals in their attitude to Greece, and a bridge from the past to the present and the future.

    In turn, Mr. Papandreou stated that it would have been impossible to imagine celebrations of the 200th birth anniversary of poet Alexander Pushkin without Greece, adding that Greece was a source of inspiration and a model of beauty and democracy for Pushkin and many of his compatriots.

    According to the Russian news agency Itar- Tass, the exhibition displays verses, stories, letters, diaries and pictures by hand of Pushkin and his circle, inspired by the Greece uprising of 1821. It also features engravings from pictures of Russian artists who traveled in Greece during that time.

    [25] BULGARIA SATISFIED OVER KOZLODUI COMPROMISE WITH EU

    The nuclear-security related commitments undertaken by those Eastern European countries which are candidates for accession have been deemed as sufficiently positive by the European Union.

    Specifically, these commitments concern the shutting down of old reactors which cannot be updated. Bulgaria has announced that it intends to close four old reactors at the Kozlodui nuclear power plant before the year 2006.

    Moreover, the European Union has pledged economic assistance to support the energy sectors of these countries, albeit under certain terms.

    As Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia meet the terms set forth by the EU, they are expected to receive an invitation during next week's Helsinki Summit to embark on accession negotiations.

    [26] THE RUSSIAN PRESIDENT SUFFERS FROM PNEUMONIA

    Russian president Boris Yeltsin suffers from pneumonia, according to Kremlin's press spokesman. Dmitri Yakusin formally confirmed the rumors that had circulated in Moscow. According to the press spokesman, the Russian president is still in hospital where he receives treatment.

    Meanwhile, Russian minister of defense Igor Sergeyev stated that the military operations against the Chechen rebels will be completed in three months. - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    - - - - - - - - - - - - -


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