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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-12-17

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 17, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] CABINET CONVENES TODAY TO REVIEW CULTURE- RELATED MATTERS
  • [02] ASE'S SMALL INVESTORS COUNT THEIR LOSSES AS PRICE INDEX FALLS
  • [03] TURKISH AIRCRAFT VIOLATE ATHENS FLIGHT INFORMATION REGION
  • [04] S.E. EUROPEAN INSTITUTES MEET IN THESSALONIKI TODAY
  • [05] PARTIES GET READY FOR PRE-ELECTION PHASE AFTER CHRISTMAS
  • [06] ILLEGAL ALIENS DISCOVERED STASHED INSIDE ITALY-BOUND FERRIES
  • [07] FLIGHT DELAYS AND CANCELLATIONS HAMPER OLYMPIC AVIATION
  • [08] THE CABINET DISCUSSED ISSUES CONCERNING THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE
  • [09] PAPANDREOU: A NEW PAGE WAS TURNED IN HELSINKI
  • [10] REACTIONS TO THE MASS VIOLATIONS OF THE GREEK AIRSPACE BY TURKISH JETS
  • [11] THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE SESSION CLOSED WITH GAINS
  • [12] THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DIRECT ACTION RADIO NETWORK AND AN ETHICS CHARTER FOR JOURNALISTS IS PROMOTED BY ERA
  • [13] FORMER PRIME MINISTER GEORGIOS RALLIS IS IN FAVOR OF MR. STEPHANOPOULOS' RE-ELECTION TO THE PRESIDENCY
  • [14] THE DRAFT BILL ON THE GREEKS FROM THE FORMER SOVIET UNION WILL BE PASSED IN PARLIAMENT NEXT MONTH
  • [15] GREECE CAN HAVE SIGNIFICANT BENEFITS FROM THE HELSINKI DECISION, SAID MR. MITSOTAKIS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [16] LANDMARK DEAL TO BE SIGNED FOR NAZI VICTIMS COMPENSATION - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] CABINET CONVENES TODAY TO REVIEW CULTURE- RELATED MATTERS

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to chair a cabinet meeting today where the agendaed items include culture-related matters.

    Yesterday evening the Premier hosted a Christmas gala in honor of the ruling PASOK party's parliamentary group. Mr. Simitis has already formed the party's central committee for the next elections and the participants are to convene on January 14.

    [02] ASE'S SMALL INVESTORS COUNT THEIR LOSSES AS PRICE INDEX FALLS

    More than 300,000 of small investors on the Athens bourse are counting their losses, which in some cases range between 30-35%, after yesterday's general price index dropped by 4.41% , closing at 5,192.7 with a low transactions volume that amounted to 202 billion drachmas.

    According to financial analysts, new investors capital was estimated at 3.5 trillion drachmas, while losses have already surpassed the one trillion mark.

    Bank of Greece governor Lukas Papademos said that the losses recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange are not due to the disappointment of investors but are rather a result of stocks liquidated by institutional investors and the lack of cash flow.

    [03] TURKISH AIRCRAFT VIOLATE ATHENS FLIGHT INFORMATION REGION

    Fourteen Turkish military aircraft violated Greece's flight information region yesterday, between the islands of Lesvos and Chios and east of Rhodes.

    Greek aircraft intercepted the Turkish military planes on three occasions.

    [04] S.E. EUROPEAN INSTITUTES MEET IN THESSALONIKI TODAY

    The first meeting among the Institutes of Southeastern Europe is to be hosted by Thessaloniki today and tomorrow, December 17-18, aiming at the establishment of a permanent cooperation forum among the academic and research centers.

    The event will feature the participation of representatives from 30 S.E. European research centers and is taking place under the initiative of the Center of International and European Finance Law, the Institute of International Public Policy Law, the Institute of Balkan Peninsula Studies and the Center for the Study and Development of Greek Culture of the Black Sea.

    Among the keynote speakers on Saturday's session will be the Minister of Foreign Affairs George Papandreou, Minister of Development Evangelos Venizelos, Minister of Macedonia- Thrace Yiannis Magriotis, the representative of the Republic of Cyprus, Ambassador S. Epaminondas, European Parliament Deputy Petros Efthimiou (PASOK) and the secretary-general of the Foreign Ministry's European Affairs Department Stellios Perrakis.

    [05] PARTIES GET READY FOR PRE-ELECTION PHASE AFTER CHRISTMAS

    A mere few days following public opinion polls that give the ruling PASOK party an edge ahead of the main opposition of New Democracy, signs are prominent that the country will enter a pre-election period after the holiday season is through.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis announced yesterday the formation of a pre-election committee which will convene the first week of January, while New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis address a crowd of supporters last night in an event that had all the makings of a pre-election rally.

    [06] ILLEGAL ALIENS DISCOVERED STASHED INSIDE ITALY-BOUND FERRIES

    Forty-four illegal immigrants were discovered hiding aboard two ferries conducting routes from Greece to Italy, among them a two- year-old child who was hospitalized in Italy for sickle-cell anemia.

    The first group of 17 aliens were located on the Super Fast Ferry 1, the Patras-Bari route, 14 of whom were stashed inside a lorry that had been sealed by Bulgarian authorities. While a three-member family will remain in Italy where its child is now undergoing medical treatment, the rest of them will be returned to Greece for deportation.

    A second group of 27 Kurds was located inside the garage of Super Fast Ferry 2, traveling from Patras to Ancona. They were discovered by crew members inside a tank truck where one of the aliens had already passed out from the fumes. This ship will too return to Greece.

    [07] FLIGHT DELAYS AND CANCELLATIONS HAMPER OLYMPIC AVIATION

    Serial flight delays and cancellations are hampering the operation of Olympic Aviation, the subsidiary of Olympic Airways, as a result of the strike declared by flight crews and ground support staff.

    Eleven flights were canceled today and the situation is expected to remain just as dire until tomorrow when the two-day strike will end. The workers are demanding salary increases through collective bargaining and are also asking that the company's seasonal staff be hired on a permanent basis.

    [08] THE CABINET DISCUSSED ISSUES CONCERNING THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE

    Today's cabinet meeting that was held under prime minister Kostas Simitis focused on issues concerning the ministry of culture and especially the issue of the Cultural Olympiad.

    According to information, a Cultural Olympiad organization, made up of non governmental organizations and international personalities, is expected to be established. The results of the Helsinki EU Summit were also discussed in the cabinet meeting.

    Meanwhile, the five-day discussion on the new state budget will open in parliament this evening. The voting on the new budget will take place on December 22.

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis, speaking in the cabinet meeting, expressed satisfaction for the achievements of his government in the sectors of foreign policy and economy and called on his ministers to keep up the work. He reiterated that the present parliament can elect a president while he added that the opposition will be responsible if early elections are called.

    [09] PAPANDREOU: A NEW PAGE WAS TURNED IN HELSINKI

    A new page was turned in Helsinki that will have long-term results and the isolated incidents must not be exaggerated, stressed Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou referring to the violations of the Greek national airspace by Turkish fighter planes.

    Meanwhile, his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem expressed the certainty that a period of permanent friendship will get underway between Greece and Turkey. Speaking in an event in Istanbul Mr. Cem stressed that bilateral relations become better day by day.

    The Turkish foreign minister stated that the problems between Greece and Turkey will be solved faster than predicted, characterizing as brave the choice made by prime minister Kostas Simitis and foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou on the issue of Turkey's EU candidature. Mr. Cem congratulated Mr. Simitis and Mr. Papandreou on their decision speaking in an event on "The relations between Turkey and the EU after the Helsinki Summit" organized in Istanbul by the Economic Development Foundation.

    Mr. Cem underlined that he believes that the two countries will solve their problems in a friendly way sooner than expected and added that the whole Europe will see that the choice made by Mr. Simitis and Mr. Papandreou was right.

    [10] REACTIONS TO THE MASS VIOLATIONS OF THE GREEK AIRSPACE BY TURKISH JETS

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas commenting on the violations of the Greek airspace by Turkish fighter jets, stated that it appears that certain people find it very hard to adjust to the new era that dawned in Helsinki.

    Right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy press spokesman Aris Spiliotopoulos said that an effort is being made to downgrade the Turkish violations and called on the government to accept the proposal of ND for an immediate meeting of the political party leaders' council under the president of the republic and the establishment of a National Council on Foreign Policy.

    [11] THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE SESSION CLOSED WITH GAINS

    The session of the Athens Stock Exchange was characterized as a thriller today. The general index dropped to 3% at noon today but it managed to cover the losses and the session finally ended with gains. The general price index closed at 5.224,67 with gains of 0.65%, while the volume of transactions reached 318.4 billion drachmas.

    The leading role in the change observed was played by the bank and industry shares which closed with satisfactory gains. One hundred and forty one stocks had gains, losses were recorded in 153, while 27 remained stable.

    [12] THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DIRECT ACTION RADIO NETWORK AND AN ETHICS CHARTER FOR JOURNALISTS IS PROMOTED BY ERA

    The contacts a Greek State Radio, ERA, delegation will have in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Belgrade and Podgorica starting tomorrow are aimed at the promotion of two plans that were drawn up by ERA for the establishment of a Direct Action Radio Network and an Ethics Charter for Journalists.

    Also, efforts will be made for the further improvement of relations with the Yugoslav state radio networks in Belgrade, Nis and Montenegro, in Bosnia and the Bosnian Serb Republic.

    An ERA delegation will visit for the same purpose Slovenia, Croatia, FYROM, Albania and Kossovo by mid January.

    [13] FORMER PRIME MINISTER GEORGIOS RALLIS IS IN FAVOR OF MR. STEPHANOPOULOS' RE-ELECTION TO THE PRESIDENCY

    Former prime minister Georgios Rallis, who visited president Kostis Stephanopoulos at the presidential building in Athens today, stated that he is in favor of Mr. Stephanopoulos' re- election to the post.

    Mr. Rallis stated that Mr. Stephanopoulos exercises his duties in an impeccable way and strongly criticized the members of the right- wing main opposition party of New Democracy who exert pressures to the New Democracy leader seeking early elections.

    [14] THE DRAFT BILL ON THE GREEKS FROM THE FORMER SOVIET UNION WILL BE PASSED IN PARLIAMENT NEXT MONTH

    The draft bill on the Greeks from the former Soviet Union republics will be passed in parliament by the end of January.

    The draft bill that was presented in a joint press conference of foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, Macedonia-Thrace minister Yiannis Magriotis and undersecretary of foreign affairs Grigoris Niotis provides for the issuing of Greek nationality status to the Greeks of the former Soviet Union without them having the obligation to come to Greece in order to be eligible for it.

    [15] GREECE CAN HAVE SIGNIFICANT BENEFITS FROM THE HELSINKI DECISION, SAID MR. MITSOTAKIS

    The belief that Greece can benefit significantly from the Helsinki decision, was expressed by right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy honorary president Konstantinos Mitsotakis speaking today in a diplomatic corps event.

    Mr. Mitsotakis said that it is to the interest of Greece to support and encourage Turkey's turn toward Europe, adding that the sooner this turn is completed the sooner the contradictions and the deadlocks inherited by the 20th century will be left behind.

    ND honorary president made a quick retrospection to Turkey's course in the past century and added that the opportunity for it to become westernized must not be missed. He also said that Cyprus' accession into the EU is now certain and it will go ahead regardless of whether the political problem is solved.

    On the contribution of the United States to the recent developments in the Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Mitsotakis said that US president Bill Clinton was more determined than his predecessor George Bush. He also stressed that with the exchange of populations and the movement that will be observed when Turkey enters Europe the Greeks will be able to return to their lost homelands.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [16] LANDMARK DEAL TO BE SIGNED FOR NAZI VICTIMS COMPENSATION

    A five-billion-dollar landmark agreement calling for compensation to Nazi concentration camp survivors is to be ratified in Germany today between German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

    About 12 million people were forced to perform labor during the Nazi era. The compensation fund is to be paid by German companies who had profited from the labor performed in the camps. - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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