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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-12-14

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 14, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREECE: OUR ONLY DIFFERENCE WITH TURKEY IS CONTINENTAL SHELF
  • [02] PREMIER TO ADDRESS FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION TODAY
  • [03] GREEK FM: WE CAN PROVIDE TECHNOLOGICAL KNOW- HOW TO TURKEY
  • [04] MAIN OPPOSITION HEAD CALLS FOR POLITICAL LEADERS MEETING
  • [05] STOCKBROCKERS OPTIMISTIC OVER ATHENS BOURSE'S COURSE
  • [06] OVER HALF A TON OF HASHISH DISCOVERED IN FREEZER-TRAILER
  • [07] GREEK, TURKISH KIDS FROM AEGEAN SEA ISSUE PEACE MESSAGE
  • [08] CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS GREEK RELICS PILFERED BY BULGARIANS
  • [09] MITSOTAKIS: THE HELSINKI EU DECISION ON CYPRUS IS A GREEK SUCCESS
  • [10] CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE FROM ISTANBUL WILL BE HOSTED BY THE MUNICIPALITY OF NEAPOLIS
  • [11] SIMITIS: NEW DIRECTION FOR THE RELATIONS BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEY
  • [12] SIMITIS: THE COOPERATION AND FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEY IS FEASIBLE
  • [13] KARAMANLIS: THERE IS NO ROOM FOR BOASTING BY THE GOVERNMENT
  • [14] TWO OUT OF THREE GREEKS VIEW THE TURKS POSITIVELY - INCREASED POPULARITY FOR MR. SIMITIS
  • [15] LOSS OF 0.9% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [16] GREEK MINISTER URGES BRITISH PM TO RETURN MARBLES TO ATHENS
  • [17] DEFENSE MINISTER CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO FYROM
  • [18] HOUSING LOANS TO 1.800 ALBANIAN FAMILIES
  • [19] AGREEMENT ON MILITARY COOPERATION WAS SIGNED BY TSOCHATZOPOULOS
  • [20] CEM IN FAVOR OF TELEVISION PROGRAMS IN THE KURDISH LANGUAGE - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREECE: OUR ONLY DIFFERENCE WITH TURKEY IS CONTINENTAL SHELF

    Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stated yesterday that the only recognized difference with Turkey was the delimitation of the Aegean continental shelf, over which, he stated, Ankara could seek recourse to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

    Mr. Reppas stressed that Greece is not obliged to consent to discussing any issue raised by Turkey.

    Referring to the Helsinki EU summit, Mr. Reppas stated that the results of the agreement were satisfactory and more than covered Greece's positions, he said.

    "We're not saying that all the problems have been solved; but we are in a better situation today than we were yesterday," he said.

    [02] PREMIER TO ADDRESS FOREIGN PRESS ASSOCIATION TODAY

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will be the guest speaker at a 1 p.m. luncheon held in his honor by the Foreign Press Association (FPA) of Greece today at the Caravel Hotel in Athens.

    Mr. Simitis will speak on government policy and answer questions by Greek and foreign reporters.

    [03] GREEK FM: WE CAN PROVIDE TECHNOLOGICAL KNOW- HOW TO TURKEY

    The Greek government desires to strengthen cooperation with Turkey and wishes to actively support Turkey's efforts to become a member of the European Union, Greek foreign minister George Papandreou said in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt yesterday.

    Mr. Papandreou offered Greece's assistance based on its own experiences from EU accession and, according to the article, he has already discussed with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem the prospect of "transferring know-how" with respect to helping Turkey adapt to the 'acquis communautaire".

    [04] MAIN OPPOSITION HEAD CALLS FOR POLITICAL LEADERS MEETING

    The leader of the main opposition party, New Democracy's Costas Karamanlis, has called for a political leaders meting under the chairing of the president of the republic, reiterating his displeasure with the results of the European Union's Helsinki-held summit.

    Mr. Karamanlis stated that when he becomes premier he will try to re-negotiate the terms of the Summit's agreement regarding Turkey's acceptance as an EU candidate-member.

    He stated that the agreement is not balanced since "Turkey got what it wanted without conditions and exchanges, while Greece limited itself to an in principle positive statement over the Cyprus issue which, however, also has questionable formulations".

    He further accused the government of abandoning Greek positions which had been shaped over the past 25 years and in essence accepted that border differences exist which should be resolved with an across-the- board political dialogue without conditions being set for respect for international law, international treaties, the lifting of the threat of the use of force and the abandonment of Ankara's unilateral claims.

    [05] STOCKBROCKERS OPTIMISTIC OVER ATHENS BOURSE'S COURSE

    Greek stockbrokers are optimistic over the course of the Athens Stock Exchange by assessing that the general price index will reach the 5,800-point mark by the end of the year. They attribute the positive trend to the climate created after the European Union's Helsinki summit and by tomorrow' s reduction of interest rates as announced by the Bank of Greece.

    [06] OVER HALF A TON OF HASHISH DISCOVERED IN FREEZER-TRAILER

    Customs officials have discovered more than 674 kilos of hashish in packages stashed inside a freezer-trailer that entered Greece from Albania early this morning at the border station of Kristallopigi in Florina.

    The truck's 38-year-old driver, an Albanian national, claimed that he is merely a transport company employee and was not aware of the trailer's content.

    He told the interrogating officers that he was to load shipments of fruit in Thessaloniki and was to come into contact with unidentified individuals who would notify him via a cell phone.

    [07] GREEK, TURKISH KIDS FROM AEGEAN SEA ISSUE PEACE MESSAGE

    Greek and Turkish children from the Aegean Sea have issued a peace resolution which was adopted at the Aegean children's summit Conference organized by the Turkish college "Yukselis".

    The event featured the participation of Greek children from the islands of Samos and Chios who, along with Turkish youngsters, signed the resolution asking for the further improvement of bilateral ties.

    [08] CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS GREEK RELICS PILFERED BY BULGARIANS

    An international conference aimed at informing public opinion on relics stolen by Bulgarians from Greek monasteries during the course of World War will be organized by the prefectural local administration of Serres and the Democritus University of Thrace in September 0f 2000.

    According to the chairman of the Democritus University's Department of History and Ethnology Prof. George Papazoglou, who also spearheaded the conference's effort, the conditions have matured for the return of pilfered goods to their country of origin.

    While Bulgarian officials had - until 1990 - insisted that the relics had been returned to Greece in 1923, foreign experts, mostly Germans, discovered that the stolen goods (among them priceless manuscripts and Byzantine icons) were stored inside the Sofia Academy of Sciences.

    Professor Papazoglou stated that it is absurd to see these relics being presented by the Bulgarians as their own cultural heritage and exhibit them in the United States and Japan.

    [09] MITSOTAKIS: THE HELSINKI EU DECISION ON CYPRUS IS A GREEK SUCCESS

    Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis adopted a different position from that of party president Kostas Karamanlis regarding the Helsinki EU decision.

    He characterized as undoubtedly a Greek success the part of the decision concerning Cyprus and expressed the belief that time will not work in favor of Turkey, stressing that there is hope that we will get out of the deadlock. Mr. Mitsotakis also added that the intervention of US president Bill Clinton was decisive towards this direction.

    On the Greek-Turkish relations, the framework of the decision is unclear and there are doubts if it will work in favor of Greece as it does not bind Ankara. However, Mr. Mitsotakis expressed the belief that those issues will be dealt from a better basis in the coming years. He said that it is better to have a Turkey that is an EU candidate state instead of an isolated Turkey. Mr. Mitsotakis said that even if Greece could it should not have tried to block Turkey's EU membership because there is no national reason whatsoever to do that.

    He also stressed that the policy of New Democracy was in favor of the European orientation of Turkey, and the socialist governing party of PASOK was against this policy. Therefore, today that PASOK follows this policy this does not displease the party of New Democracy.

    [10] CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE FROM ISTANBUL WILL BE HOSTED BY THE MUNICIPALITY OF NEAPOLIS

    Children and young people from Istanbul will be hosted by the municipality of Neapolis, in the prefecture of Thessaloniki, according to mayor Grigoris Hatzisavvas, who visited the city heading a delegation.

    The mayor of Neapolis discussed with the leaders of the Greek minority in Istanbul the establishment of exchange programs for young people and theater companies as well as the likelihood to establish a scholarship for students coming from Istanbul. Also, ways were discussed to back the Greek community in the city mainly in the form of voluntary work.

    [11] SIMITIS: NEW DIRECTION FOR THE RELATIONS BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEY

    The decision for the recognition of Turkey as an EU candidate state opens new prospects in the relations of Greece with Turkey, underlined prime minister Kostas Simitis in his speech prior to the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents news conference in Athens.

    The leaderships of the two neighboring countries must create a situation of stability, friendship and cooperation strengthening the climate formed after the earthquakes, said Mr. Simitis, adding that the Greek government is already doing this by safeguarding the Greek national rights and interests. He said that Greece has a leading place in the region and this is due to its democratic institutions, its strong economy and its contribution to the efforts for peace and cooperation.

    Mr. Simitis stressed that Greece will enter the year 2000 having achieved the recovery of its economy and added that this success is being recognized by all foreign organizations, stressing that the country is not characterized by insecurity but by the convergence with the rest European countries. He said that the place of Greece in the new juncture is the biggest recognition for the efforts made so far and the Greeks can face the future with optimism and positive anticipation.

    Responding to the question on the criticism launched by the opposition regarding the Helsinki decision on the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Mr. Simitis stated that the outcome of the Helsinki EU Summit meeting is absolutely positive for Greece. He said that Greece does not recognize any other difference with Turkey except from that of the continental shelf in the Aegean and if Turkey believes that it has demands it can bring its case to The Hague.

    On the likelihood of the threat for the use of force by Turkey, he said that there is no such precedent in the European Union and the European Council can reconsider its EU accession if something like that happens. He underlined that there is a new direction for the Greek- Turkish relations which will become more visible as time passes. He said that the war climate between the two countries is a picture that belongs to the past, adding that there is no reason for concern calling on Turkey to follow this new direction.

    Commenting on the statements of Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit he said that the European Council decisions are binding for all and for the EU candidate states.

    The prime minister characterized as positive the statement made by New Democracy honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis, who stated that the EU decision on Cyprus is undoubtedly a Greek success.

    [12] SIMITIS: THE COOPERATION AND FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN GREECE AND TURKEY IS FEASIBLE

    The clear position that the solution of the Cyprus problem is determined by the framework set by the UN resolutions was expressed by prime minister Kostas Simitis responding to a question by Turkish newspaper "Hurriyet" correspondent Anur Batur in the press conference he gave in the Association of Foreign Press Correspondents in Athens.

    Mr. Simitis responding to the question what would be his advise to Glafkos Clerides after the Helsinki EU summit meeting, underlined that the Cypriot president has repeatedly stated that the UN decisions determine his stance and the Greek government is in total agreement. Mr. Simitis stated that the United Nations have given directions that should be followed.

    The "Hurriyet" correspondent also asked the prime minister if it would be to the benefit of the European Union to accept only the Greek Cypriot side which, according to her, it will lead to the separation of the island and create further problems. Mr. Simitis stressed that the EU decision in Helsinki correctly points out that the solution of the political problem will help in the accession procedures adding however, that when there was a decision for the opening of the EU accession negotiations with Cyprus in 1995 the existence of the political problem was known for 20 years.

    It was known that in spite of the repeated efforts that had been made the problem was not solved, said Mr. Simitis. The European Union reached its decision knowing that there was a likelihood that the political problem will remain unsolved and that it will be faced with the question on whether it will accept the Cyprus membership in spite of that fact. It then decided to go ahead with the accession negotiations even if the Cyprus problem remained unsolved. Mr. Simitis added that the EU reaffirmed in Helsinki that the solution of the political problem is not a pre-condition for Cyprus' EU membership.

    Mr. Simitis underlined that such a development is to the benefit of the Greek- Turkish relations and stressed that the solution of the Cyprus problem will contribute to peace and cooperation and also to the efforts aimed at overcoming the rivalries between the two communities in the island.

    [13] KARAMANLIS: THERE IS NO ROOM FOR BOASTING BY THE GOVERNMENT

    Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis called for the political party leaders council to convene in the meeting he had with president Stephanopoulos while he reiterated his proposal for the establishment of the National Council on Foreign Policy.

    In the meeting dominated the conditions formed after the Helsinki EU decision and afterwards Mr. Karamanlis stated to reporters that that the government moved away from the firm Greek positions as they had been developed in the past 25 years. He said that Greece is being led to a negotiation on all issues with Turkey and only regarding Cyprus the Helsinki EU decision was positive in principle. He also underlined that there is no room for boasting and celebrations by the government while there is a lot of room for concern.

    [14] TWO OUT OF THREE GREEKS VIEW THE TURKS POSITIVELY - INCREASED POPULARITY FOR MR. SIMITIS

    Two out of three Greeks have friendly feelings toward the Turks after the recent earthquakes that hit both countries, according to a secret research conducted on behalf of PASOK by the polling company Metron Analysis which was published by the Athens newspaper "TA NEA".

    The opinion poll was conducted across Greece in September on a sample of 2.403 people over the age of 18 and shows an increase in the popularity of the prime minister by 8 percentage points, while the governing socialist party of PASOK is leading the second largest party by 0.7%. On the Greek-Turkish relations, 57.5% of the Greeks have a better opinion about the Turks compared to the past and 41.6% have not changed their opinion about them. Specifically, among the PASOK voters 63.7% have a better opinion about the Turks. Also, 51.1% of those participating in the Gallup poll anticipate the improvement of the Greek-Turkish relations, while 44.2% do not believe that anything will change.

    Of the most interesting facts in the research is that two out of three Greeks (67.7%) state that they have friendly feelings toward the Turks and only one in three (31.5%) have responded that they have a dislike toward them or they are indifferent. The positive feelings about the Turks transcend party lines (70.9% for PASOK and 62.1% for New Democracy).

    [15] LOSS OF 0.9% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    New losses of 0.9% were recorded today in the Athens Stock Exchange and the general index closed at 5.574,15.

    The enthusiasm over the political developments in Helsinki and the imminent interest rate cut proved to be of short duration as the investors appeared cautious and showed limited purchase interest. The main characteristic of the session was again the mass liquidation of stocks while the volume of transactions remained low at 225 billion drachmas (5 billion drachmas lower compared to yesterday's session).

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [16] GREEK MINISTER URGES BRITISH PM TO RETURN MARBLES TO ATHENS

    Presently in London for a two-day official visit focusing on economic, commercial and bilateral relations, Development Minister Evangelos Venizelos urged British Prime Minister Tony Blair yesterday to return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece.

    Following a meting with the British Premier in Downing Street yesterday, Mr. Venizelos stressed that such a gesture would consolidate the British leader's position on the world stage.

    "I observed to Mr. Blair that if he hopes to play the role of a world leader, and he truly aspires to this role, then an initiative in the direction of the Marbles was the best way to go."

    [17] DEFENSE MINISTER CONDUCTS OFFICIAL VISIT TO FYROM

    Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos is presently conducting an officials visit to Skopje, on the occasion of delivering ten "Leonidas" personnel armored tanks from Greece to FYROM.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos is to meet with his counterpart from FYROM Nikola Kliusev, Prime Minister Liupcho Georgievski, president-elect Boris Trajkovski and Foreign Minister Alexander Dimitriov.

    Prior to returning to Greece this evening, the Defense Minister will attend the tank- delivery ceremony which will be held at the Ilinden camp of Skopje.

    [18] HOUSING LOANS TO 1.800 ALBANIAN FAMILIES

    One thousand eight hundred families will have a house soon thanks to the housing loan granted by Greece to Albania.

    According to the newspaper "Sekuli", the loan will be used for the construction of 1.500 apartments and the purchase of other 300 which will house the families who lost their houses when they invested in the so-called "pyramid schemes" the collapse of which had led to the disruption of the Albanian state in 1997.

    [19] AGREEMENT ON MILITARY COOPERATION WAS SIGNED BY TSOCHATZOPOULOS

    Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos signed a defense cooperation agreement in Skopje with his FYROM counterpart Nikola Kljusev.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos and Mr. Kljusev stressed that the two sides are committed to the military cooperation, adding that the fact that the two countries sign such agreements proves that they have friendly relations. Meanwhile, the formal delivery to FYROM's armed forces of 10 "Leonidas" armored personnel carriers and 5 "Mercedes" jeeps offered by the Greek armed forces took place today.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos also announced that in April next year the Greek ministry of defense will equip the heart surgery unit that will operate within the framework of the FYROM armed forces. In addition, both ministers stated that there is a need for the situation in Kossovo to be stabilized.

    [20] CEM IN FAVOR OF TELEVISION PROGRAMS IN THE KURDISH LANGUAGE

    Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem stated that Turkey from now on will not block the demand of the Kurdish population for television programs in their language now that the country is an EU candidate state.

    Mr. Cem stated to CNN Turk that all Turkish citizens must be able to use their mother tongue in television programs, adding that this is a conviction of the Turkish state and this right is regarded as very important by the European Union.

    The Turkish foreign minister admitted that in certain cases there was violation of freedoms underlining that the time has come for such restrictions to be lifted.

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