|Saturday, 14 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-12-19
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
Last Update: 23:27 GMT+2
NEWS IN DETAIL
 CULTURE MINISTRY DEDICATES YEAR 2000 TO GREEK POET SEFERIS
Web Posted: 14:52 GMT+2Athens, 19/12/1999 (MPA) The Culture Ministry will dedicate the year 2000 to Greece's renowned poet Giorgios Seferis, 1963 Nobel Laureate in Literature, marking the centennial anniversary since his birth in Smyrna.
A series of events will be held throughout the year, starting with Cyprus which will host a seminar on Seferis.
A vast selection of photographs, manuscripts and personal items will be on display in Athens in an exhibition that will travel throughout the cities associated with the life of the man who is regarded by many as the greatest Greek poet of the 20th century.
 THESSALONIKI TO GRANDLY CELEBRATE END OF MILLENNIUM
Web Posted: 14:52 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 19/12/1999 (MPA) Thessaloniki plans to grandly celebrate the end of the millennium and the beginning of the new one, with a series of events that will include music, dancing, and theatrical shows, while the city's port will play host to a 6,500m2 exhibition and design space geared toward the younger generation.
Also, the city's new concert hall is scheduled for inauguration on January 2.
The culture ministry plans a year of events, including celebrations to mark 10,000 years of Hellenic civilization, 5,000 years of urban living, 3,000 years of the Greek alphabet - entitled "From 'Word' to Software" - and "2, 000 years of Christianity".
The Autocephalus Orthodox Church of Greece will work closely with the culture ministry in planning for the series of events that will comprise the "2000 Years of Christianity" subject, which will also include participating in "Bethlehem 2000" events at the Jerusalem Patriarchate.
 GREECE ENTERS SCHENGEN PACT AS OF JANUARY 1, 2000
Web Posted: 14:52 GMT+2Athens, 19/12/1999 (MPA) Greece meets all necessary Schengen Pact criteria for its full integration into this European Union system, which allows for the unrestricted travel of E.U. citizens to all signatory member- States.
According to a decision of a Schengen - Norway - Iceland Joint Committee of Permanent Representatives, Greece will join the Pact on January 1, 2000, although several secondary airports in Greece's provinces will not be included in the initial phase, they will, however, be integrated by March 2000.
Concerning this decision, the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Christos Rokofyllos, stated that "It is a new and important upgrading of our country within Europe. The unification of Greek territory with the rest of the Schengen territory will complete our country's inclusion into a democratic region of guaranteed security."
 DECEMBER 31 A HOLIDAY THROUGHOUT ENTIRE FINANCIAL SECTOR
Web Posted: 14:52 GMT+2Athens, 19/12/1999 (MPA) December 31, 1999, will be a bank holiday for the Bank of Greece, the Athens Stock Exchange, the Central Values Repository, the Derivatives Bourse, the transactions Settlement Co., as well as the credit institutions and branch offices of foreign banks, businesses providing investment services, financing S.A. companies and mutual funds S.A. companies.
The above decision will be regulated through a relevant amendment which has been tabled in Parliament to handle possible problems which could be created in Greece and abroad in electronic systems due to the so-called "millennium bug."
 S.E. EUROPEAN INSTITUTES CONCLUDE MEETING IN THESSALONIKI
Web Posted: 14:52 GMT+2Thessaloniki, 19/12/1999 (MPA) The first meeting among the Institutes of Southeastern Europe was hosted by Thessaloniki on December 17-18, aiming at the establishment of a permanent cooperation forum among the academic and research centers.
The event featured the participation of representatives from 30 S.E. European research centers and took 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.
The researchers agreed to set up a regional union of institutes to be named "The Kranidiotis Forum", in memory of the late Greek politician. They said that naming the
union after Mr. Kranidiotis was a mark of respect as the veteran diplomat had actively supported the scheme.
Mr. Kranidiotis was killed on September 14 when the prime minister's Falcon jet on which he was traveling hit turbulence over Romania.
Attending the session were researchers from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Cyprus, Moldova, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey.
At the session - the first of its kind - delegates agreed that their institutes should launch cooperation through exchanges of experts and information on research programs. The group's second meeting is scheduled for December 2000, again in
 ECONOMY-FINANCE MINISTER CERTAIN OF ELECTIONS IN MARCH
Web Posted: 14:52 GMT+2Athens, 19/12/1999 (MPA) The Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou has expressed his certainty that the main opposition party of New Democracy will drive the country to early elections in March.
Speaking to the Sunday edition of "Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia", Mr. Papantoniou referred to the Athens Stock Exchange, which has taken a downward trend as of lately, and said that the market has gotten tired, albeit he forecast a rebound as of 2000.
 FM: GREECE DOES NOT NEGOTIATE ITS SOVEREIGN RIGHTS
Web Posted: 14:52 GMT+2Athens, 19/12/1999 (MPA) Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated that Greek government officials are to meet with Romano Prodi and European Commission member in order to discuss ways to assist Turkey in adjusting to the European standards.
In an interview with the Athens daily "Kathimerini", Mr. Papandreou stated that he will travel to Turkey accompanied by a delegation of Greek businessmen in order to sign a Greek-Turkish cooperation accord. Moreover, Mr. Papandreou stated that he believes it is unlikely, albeit not a given, that Ankara would return to its unilateral claims such as the rock islets, but he did stress that Greece will not negotiate its sovereign rights and stated that Turkey should seek recourse with the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
 CYPRIOT FOREIGN MINISTER ARRIVES IN ATHENS TOMORROW
Web Posted: 14:52 GMT+2Nicosia, 19/12/1999 (MPA) Cypriot Foreign Minister Yiannis Kasoulides will visit Athens tomorrow, December 20, for talks with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou, according to press reports.
Mr. Kasoulides is expected to brief Mr. Papandreou on the first round of proximity talks on the Cyprus issue, held in New York earlier this week. The Greek Foreign Minister will brief his Cypriot counterpart in turn on the decisions affecting Cyprus taken at last week's EU summit in Helsinki.
 RUSSIANS VOTE FOR THE NEW DUMA TODAY
Web Posted: 14:52 GMT+2Moscow, 19/12/1999 (MPA) Over 107 million Russians will turn to the ballots today in order to vote on the election of the 450 deputies of the new Duma or Lower House of parliament.
The newspapers have published the latest opinion polls according to which, the pre-election race is led by Genadi Zuganov's Communist Party with over 20% of the voters. However, the war in Chechnya has increased the number of voters who support the pro-Yeltsin political parties.
Complete archives of the Macedonian Press Agency bulletins are available on the MPA Home Page at http://www.mpa.gr/ and on the U.S. mirror at http://www.hri.org/MPA/