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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 99-12-29

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, November 29, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] RULING PARTY PASOK AHEAD OF OPPOSITION, ACCORDING TO SURVEY
  • [02] RULING PARTY AND MAIN OPPOSITION EXCHANGE SEVERE WORDS
  • [03] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC TO VISIT PORTUGAL THIS WEEK
  • [04] NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ARRIVES IN ATHENS TODAY
  • [05] HOUSE SPEAKER: TURKEY HAS TAKEN NO STEPS TO RAPPROCHMENT
  • [06] QUAKE OF 3.9 RICHTER SHAKES POROS, NO DAMAGES REPORTED
  • [07] MPA TO HOST INTER-BALKAN CONFERENCE ON REGIONAL PEACE
  • [08] SEISMIC ACTIVITY IN THE ISLAND OF ZAKYNTHOS
  • [09] REPPAS: GREECE WILL EXPRESS ITS POSITION REGARDING TURKEY'S EU CANDIDATURE IN HELSINKI
  • [10] REPPAS: PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD IN SEPTEMBER 2000
  • [11] BIG GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [12] PAPAZOI: THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES TO GREECE IS A MORAL ISSUE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [13] PRINCE CHARLES SYMPATHETIC TO PARTHENON MARBLES RETURN
  • [14] FOREIGN MINISTER IN SWEDEN TO DISCUSS UPCOMING EU SUMMIT
  • [15] COVER UPS ORCHESTRATED OVER DAMAGE TO PARTHENON MARBLES
  • [16] BELGRADE INSISTS, WANTS ITS SOLDIERS BACK IN KOSOVO'S BORDERS
  • [17] PROMISES TO GREEK INVESTORS BY THE ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER
  • [18] THE EU WARNS TURKEY NOT TO EXECUTE THE DEATH PENALTY IMPOSED ON OCALAN
  • [19] ECOFIN MEETING IN BRUSSELS - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] RULING PARTY PASOK AHEAD OF OPPOSITION, ACCORDING TO SURVEY

    Ruling PASOK party is leading the popularity race in the Attica basin by 29.8%, followed by the main opposition party of New Democracy with 20%, according to a survey conducted recently by the "Opinion" polling company.

    The two main parties are followed by the Communist Party of Greece with 6.4% , the Coalition of the Left and Right with four percent, Democratic and Social Movement with 4.8% and Political Spring with three percent.

    Approximately thirty percent of those polled stated that they are undecided as to whom they plan to vote, although, according to the findings of a V. PRC survey, 47 percent of those polled believe that PASOK will win the next elections. Moreover, 40.7% of those polled are not in favor of early elections.

    [02] RULING PARTY AND MAIN OPPOSITION EXCHANGE SEVERE WORDS

    In a climate reminiscent of a pre-election mood, Prime Minister and ruling PASOK party leader Costas Simitis took offense to remarks made by main opposition leader Costas Karamanlis on Friday, in which he accused the government of what he called audacity and abuse of power, claiming that "the long stay in power results in an abnormal function of the political system's institutions".

    Mr. Simitis stated that "it appears that Mr. Karamanlis, in his swing to the ultra- right, has forgotten that there is democracy in this country and we will defend this democracy."

    [03] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC TO VISIT PORTUGAL THIS WEEK

    The President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos will conduct a state visit to Portugal from December 1-4 at the invitation of his Portuguese counterpart Jorge Sampaio.

    President Stephanopoulos will be accompanied by deputy foreign minister Christos Rokofyllos.

    [04] NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ARRIVES IN ATHENS TODAY

    NATO Secretary General George Robertson will arrive in Athens today, November 29, where he will hold talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas announced.

    On Thursday, the president of the European Union, Finnish Prime Minister Paavo Liponnen will be in Athens for talks.

    [05] HOUSE SPEAKER: TURKEY HAS TAKEN NO STEPS TO RAPPROCHMENT

    Turkey has not taken any steps of rapprochement so far towards the Greek side, despite the relevant remarks made by United States President Bill Clinton to the Turkish leadership, the President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis told his Italian counterpart Luciano Volante, when the latter inquired on the course of Greek-Turkish relations.

    Regarding Cyprus, Mr. Kaklamanis said there are no indications that something substantive will result from the impending meeting between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Messrs. Kaklamanis and Volante signed a protocol yesterday on widening prospects of promoting bilateral Parliamentary cooperation, which will concern issues such as parliamentary diplomacy, combating organized crime, the holding of joint cultural events and the exchange of visits at all levels, among others, are the focus of the cooperation.

    [06] QUAKE OF 3.9 RICHTER SHAKES POROS, NO DAMAGES REPORTED

    A weak tremor measuring 3.9 on the Richter scale shook the island of Poros during the early morning hours today, with the epicenter located in the sea region.

    The tremor, which occurred at 4 a.m., was also felt in nearby Athens.

    [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] SEISMIC ACTIVITY IN THE ISLAND OF ZAKYNTHOS

    An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale shook the sea region of the Ionian Sea island of Zakynthos today.

    The tremor occurred at 10am this morning and according to police, no damages were reported.

    [09] REPPAS: GREECE WILL EXPRESS ITS POSITION REGARDING TURKEY'S EU CANDIDATURE IN HELSINKI

    The US ambassador to Athens reiterated his country's position, responded Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas when asked by reporters to comment on the interview given by Mr. Nicholas Burns to the Athens newspaper "Kathimerini" in which he was in favor of Turkey's EU candidature.

    The Greek government will express its position on the issue when the time will come in the Helsinki EU Summit meeting said Mr. Reppas and added that Greece wants Turkey's European prospect and works toward this direction but most of all Turkey itself must work toward this end.

    [10] REPPAS: PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS WILL BE HELD IN SEPTEMBER 2000

    There will be no early parliamentary elections neither a speeding up of the procedures for the election of the new president of the republic, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas responding to questions made by reporters.

    Mr. Reppas stated that the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy raises an issue of parliamentary elections on the occasion of the election of the new president of the republic, expressing the position that it will refuse to vote for the re-election of Kostis Stephanopoulos to the post but it has not asked yet for early elections.

    Nobody wants early elections, said Mr. Reppas, adding that the government's position is to complete its term. Elections will be held in September 2000 and only two days ago the prime minister pointed out that the government will complete its four-year term and will not seek early elections, said the government spokesman.

    Mr. Reppas pointed out that Mr. Simitis has not received proposals for early elections by government officials, while on the public opinion polls according to which, the governing socialist party of PASOK leads the right-wing main opposition party of New Democracy, Mr. Reppas commented that the public opinion polls do not influence the government, adding that it is working in order to win the vote of the people. The government is elected by the people and not by the opinion polls, said Mr. Reppas, adding that the political climate is positive toward the government efforts and optimism is justified.

    [11] BIG GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Big gains have been reported in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index closed at 5.806,33 with a rise of 3.37%, while the transactions reached 376.2 billion drachmas.

    The interest of the investors focused on the shares of big credit institutions, like the National Bank of Greece, the Bank of Commerce, the Credit Bank and Ergo Bank. The stock market had the same behavior with that of last Friday. It started with a dynamic rise and later there was decline but on the second half of the transactions there was an explosive rise of purchase interest.

    The majority of the stocks closed with gains, while 102 dropped and 32 remained stable. All the secondary indexes closed with gains except from the holdings that had losses.

    [12] PAPAZOI: THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES TO GREECE IS A MORAL ISSUE

    Minister of culture Elisavet Papazoi characterized the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece as a moral issue. In a press conference she pointed out that certain well- known personalities have expressed great interest in the issue and this is indicative of the positive climate formed in the British public opinion.

    Ms. Papazoi referred to the extensive damage caused to the Parthenon Marbles mainly in the period 1937-38, while on the legal basis of the Greek demands for the return of the Elgin or Parthenon Marbles she pointed out that there are issues that leave the field open to legal manipulation, adding however that a case like this can not be resolved at a legal level.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [13] PRINCE CHARLES SYMPATHETIC TO PARTHENON MARBLES RETURN

    Pressure is mounting on the British government for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, with the Prince of Wales himself having stated that in light of the Olympic Games of the year 2004, the priceless monuments should be returned to their homeland.

    Meanwhile, an international symposium is to get underway tomorrow where the participants will review issues related to the Marbles's maintenance and upkeep at the British Museum where they are being presently housed.

    [14] FOREIGN MINISTER IN SWEDEN TO DISCUSS UPCOMING EU SUMMIT

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou is presently on a visit to Stockholm, another stop in his round of contacts to brief the European Union member-states on Greece's positions, in light of the imminent EU Helsinki summit.

    In an interview published in Sunday's edition of the Athens newspaper "Eleftherotypia", Mr. Papandreou said that if Greece was forced to use its veto at Helsinki on the issue of Turkey's candidacy, the responsibility for this would lie with Greece's EU partners. The outcome at Helsinki, he added, would have an effect on Greek-Turkish rapprochement presently under way but he said he hoped that talks over the next few days would bring results.

    [15] COVER UPS ORCHESTRATED OVER DAMAGE TO PARTHENON MARBLES

    A London-held conference, which gets underway today, will hear a series of claims of conspiracy, bribery and cover-ups allegedly orchestrated by the British Museum for the past 60 years concerning the damage it inflicted upon the priceless Parthenon Marbles.

    According to the U.K. newspaper "the Daily Telegraph", historian William St. Clair will tell today's conference that senior British politicians -- including two prime ministers -- as well as the museum's own staff have been deceived by the cover-up.

    Mr. St. Clair has also uncovered evidence that Lord Elgin, who removed the sculptures from Greece in 1801, bribed Turkey which ruled Greece at the time -- to allow him to take more pieces than he had been officially allowed, the paper stated.

    The conference will also hear claims that the marbles were cleaned more than 60 years ago with wire wool, hammers and chisels to remove stains and traces of paint, it said. More than 20 specialist archeologists and conservationists from around the world will provide testimony during today's conference. A.F.

    [16] BELGRADE INSISTS, WANTS ITS SOLDIERS BACK IN KOSOVO'S BORDERS

    Belgrade insists on a return of troops to the UN-administrated Kosovo province and its borders with Albania and FYROM, according to a French news agency AFP dispatch.

    Yugoslav Foreign Minister Zivadinas Jovanovic stated that his country insists on fulfilling an obligation of returning a part of its army and police to Kosovo and the border with Albania and FYROM, according to the Tanjug news agency, whil ehe also accused international officials of preventing the deployment, "showing they are on the side of (ethnic Albanian) terrorists and separatists, for the creation of a greater Albania and changing the borders in the Balkans.

    "Therefore, they are not only in a conflict with Yugoslavia, but also with a majority of UN members, since most of the world demands full respect of the UN resolution," Mr. Jovanovic said.

    [17] PROMISES TO GREEK INVESTORS BY THE ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER

    Assurances for the creation of the appropriate conditions that will allow for free investment activity in his country were given to representatives of Greek businesses participating in the "Trade Fair 99" exhibition by Albanian prime minister Ilir Meta.

    Meanwhile, Greek ambassador Alexandros Mallias, who accompanied the Greek businessmen, underlined that there is big investment interest in Albania. From his side, prime minister Meta promised the creation of suitable conditions (incentives and implementation of a legislative framework) that will contribute to the recovery of the Albanian economy.

    The Albanian prime minister after underlining the excellent state of bilateral relations, he stressed that Albania has to create better conditions for the promotion of specific cooperation programs given the fact that Greece is a strategic partner for Albania. He assured the Greek businessmen that he will not allow any kind of pressures to be exerted on them coming for example, from government ministers or public administration officials which could block their investment activity and could create corruption phenomena. Mr. Meta also called on the Greek businessmen to inform him personally in case they face such problems in order for those responsible to be brought to justice.

    [18] THE EU WARNS TURKEY NOT TO EXECUTE THE DEATH PENALTY IMPOSED ON OCALAN

    Finnish prime minister Paavo Liponen issued a warning to Turkey according to which, the execution of the death penalty imposed on Kurdish PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan would block the country's accession into the European Union.

    The Finnish government official stressed that Turkey must abolish the death penalty as it is not compatible with the situation existing in Europe, adding that this is something that must be done if the Turkish side wants someday to be accepted in the European Union.

    Also, Javier Solana, head of the joint foreign and defense policy, had warned Turkey last week that its application for an EU candidate status could be put at risk in case no positive steps were made in the Ocalan case.

    [19] ECOFIN MEETING IN BRUSSELS

    The course of the Euro and its exchange rate to the US dollar are being discussed today in the EU finance and national economy ministers meeting, ECOFIN, that is being held in Brussels.

    Also, a reference will be made during the meeting to the positive course of the Greek economy, while it is expected that the EU recommendation to Greece to cut its excessive public deficit will be lifted. This fact is being interpreted as a recognition of the fact that the deficit in Greece has been cut and also, as a positive step for Greece's course toward joining the EMU.

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