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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-01-04

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, January 4, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] OVER 200 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARRIVE IN NAXOS ON TURKISH BOAT
  • [02] GREEK PM ANNOUNCES:EU 2003 SUMMIT TO BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI
  • [03] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS DEPARTS FOR JERUSALEM
  • [04] INCUMBENT PM IS MOST SUITABLE FOR POST, ACCORDING TO POLL
  • [05] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS SIGNS GROUND SERVICE ACCORD WITH AACO
  • [06] PREMIER IS SATISFIED OVER COURSE OF COUNTRY'S ECONOMY
  • [07] N.D.'s HONORARY PRESIDENT WORRIED OVER POST-EMU COURSE
  • [08] SNOW BLANKETS MACEDONIA, TEMPERATURES DROP TO BELOW ZERO
  • [09] ASE BOURSE MARKS LOSSES OF 1.63%, TRADE VOLUME REMAINS HIGH
  • [10] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC DEPARTS FOR HOLY LAND
  • [11] TWELVE COUPLES FROM FINLAND WERE MARRIED IN THESSALONIKI IN THE FIRST MINUTES OF 2000
  • [12] REFUGEES MADE UP 9% OF GREECE'S POPULATION
  • [13] LOSSES OF 3.56% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [14] 7 BILLION DRACHMAS WERE RAISED BY THE PEOPLE IN SUPPORT OF THE EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS
  • [15] 126 EUROPEAN BANKS ARE INTERESTED IN OPENING TRANSACTIONS IN GREECE
  • [16] SPIROS MARKEZINIS DIED THIS MORNING
  • [17] SYMPOSIUM FOR THE STRENGTHENING OF THE GREEK-ITALIAN BUSINESS RELATIONS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [18] CROATIA: OPPOSITION CLAIMS IMPRESSIVE VICTORY
  • [19] ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER OUTLINES POLICY PRIORITIES
  • [20] US PRESIDENT'S BI-MONTHLY REPORT ON CYPRUS
  • [21] A GREEK-AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECT WILL DESIGN THE EUREKA TOWER IN MELBOURNE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] OVER 200 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARRIVE IN NAXOS ON TURKISH BOAT

    Two hundred and twenty illegal immigrants, mostly Iraqi Kurds and Afghans, were discovered aboard a Turkish cargo boat, which attempted to sail to the island in the Aegean archipelago amid strong winds that measured up to nine Beaufort.

    The Turkish boat was located by Greek Coast Guard forces who rescued the exhausted immigrants and transported them to the island. About 20 of them were given emergency medical care at the Naxos health center.

    Port authorities and police took the immigrants to the island's primary school where they were given food and medical treatment.

    [02] GREEK PM ANNOUNCES:EU 2003 SUMMIT TO BE HELD IN THESSALONIKI

    The European Union's first semi-annual summit in 2003 will be held in Thessaloniki, Prime Minister Costas Simitis announced yesterday, stressing that the northern capital city's existing infrastructure is quite satisfactory so as to not require a considerable amount of additional efforts.

    "The event will project the relation of northern Greece --and Greece in general-- with the Balkans and the broader region, will boost the growth potential of the area and will signal that Greece continues to play an important role in the region," Mr. Simitis stated.

    [03] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS DEPARTS FOR JERUSALEM

    The Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, who arrived in Thessaloniki on Sunday for the inauguration of the city's Concert Hall, performed the divine liturgy at Thessaloniki's Metropolitan church yesterday, prior to his departure for the Phanar.

    His Eminence was welcomed by the city's Metropolite Panteleimon, who bestowed upon him a diamond-studded medal in the shape of the Bethlehem Star, as well a triptych icon depicting the Birth of Jesus Christ, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

    Also present to welcome the Ecumenical Patriarch were the Minister of National Defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos. Development Evangelos Venizelos and Macedonia-Thrace Yiannis Magriotis, as well as the Prefect of Thessaloniki Costas Papadopoulos, the city's Mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos and other dignitaries and church officials.

    The Ecumenical Patriarch will depart for Jerusalem today, where he will attend the Orthodox Christmas liturgy which will be performed on Friday in Bethlehem.

    [04] INCUMBENT PM IS MOST SUITABLE FOR POST, ACCORDING TO POLL

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is viewed as the most suitable politician for the premiership, according to a nationwide opinion poll conducted by V-PRC.

    Specifically, 43.8 percent of those polled, opted for Mr. Simitis as premier, with 33.1 percent preferring the leader of the main opposition party, New Democracy's Costas Karamanlis.

    Mr. Simitis also ranks first on the political leaders' popularity scale, amassing 54.4% of the votes, followed by the leader of the Coalition of the Left and Progress Nikos Constantopoulos (48.2%), N.D.'s Costas Karamanlis (47%), the leader of the Democratic and Social Movement Dimitris Tsovolas (46.1%), the Liberals leader Stephanos Manos (25.2%), Political Spring's Antonis Samaras (19.5%) and the secretary-general of the Communist Party of Greece Aleka Paparega (18.9%).

    When asked which politician they trust most, the polled voters opted for Mr. Simitis (31.9%), followed by Mr. Karamanlis (27.5%). Approximately 19 percent of those polled responded that they trust no one.

    [05] OLYMPIC AIRWAYS SIGNS GROUND SERVICE ACCORD WITH AACO

    Greece's national carrier Olympic Airways has announced the signing of a three-year association agreement with 13 Arab airlines for the provision of ground services.

    The 13 airlines, members of the Arab Air Carriers' Organization (AACO) are the following:

    GULF AIR, SYRIAN ARAB AIRLINES, ROYAL AIR MAROC, TUNIS AIR, MIDDLE EAST AIRLINES, ROYAL JORDANIAN, KUWAIT AIRLINES, YEMEN AIRWAYS, SAUDI ARABIAN AIRLINES, EGYPTAIR, AIR ALGERIE, SUDAN AIRWAYS, and LIBYAN ARAB AIRLINES.

    The alliance covers Athens Airport and regional airports, with an option for cooperation at Athens' new Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in Spata, which is still being built.

    According to an OA announcement "the effort aims at successful maintenance of this activity with relocation to the new Athens International Airport."

    [06] PREMIER IS SATISFIED OVER COURSE OF COUNTRY'S ECONOMY

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis expressed his satisfaction over the course of Greece's economy, during his address at the Industrial Chamber of Greece yesterday.

    Mr. Simitis stated that 2000 would be a year of decisive importance for Greece's development, adding that the government would place particular emphasis on health, unemployment and the problems faced by the country's agricultural sector.

    The Premier stated that he was not concerned about the election issue as much as the continuation of the policy of previous years.

    The Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou, and the governor of the National Bank, Theodoros Karatzas, were both optimistic about the course of the Greek economy.

    [07] N.D.'s HONORARY PRESIDENT WORRIED OVER POST-EMU COURSE

    The honorary president of New Democracy, Constantinos Mitsotakis, has expressed his confidence that Greece would achieve its goal of entry to the Economic and Monetary Union, albeit he stressed that he is concerned with the aftermath.

    Mr. Mitsotakis said the course of the economy was quite good but pointed out that things would become more difficult after admission to EMU. He also added that elections should take place soon because an extended pre-election period was not good for the country.

    New Democracy's leader, Costas Karamanlis, noted following Greece's entry to EMU growth, a fairer share of resources and a reduction in unemployment levels would be the country's main goals.

    [08] SNOW BLANKETS MACEDONIA, TEMPERATURES DROP TO BELOW ZERO

    Although the country is currently in the grip of a wave of icy weather, the low temperatures are expected to abate as of tomorrow, according to the National Weather Bureau.

    Temperatures dropped to minus 18 degrees centigrade in Nevrokopi, northern Greece, while many villages have been cut off by snow.

    Traffic circulation in the prefectures of Ioannina, Magnesia, Serres, Kozani, Imathia, Pella, Grevena and Florina is possible only for vehicles equipped with anti-skid chains.

    Because of gale force winds in the Aegean, no ferries have been allowed to set sail from the port of Piraeus.

    [09] ASE BOURSE MARKS LOSSES OF 1.63%, TRADE VOLUME REMAINS HIGH

    The Athens Stock Exchange marked losses of approximately 1.63 percent today, marking a retreat from yesterday's impressive gains.

    Specifically, the general price index fell to 5,700.55 points, similarly affecting all sector indices which marled vast losses.

    Nevertheless, trade volume remained at quite satisfactory levels, reaching 209 billion drachmas this afternoon.

    [10] PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC REPUBLIC DEPARTS FOR HOLY LAND

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos is departing tomorrow for a four-day official visit to the Holy Land where a series of events will be held in celebration of the 2000 Years of Christianity.

    President Stephanopoulos will meet with his Israeli counterpart Ezer Weizman and the President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze tomorrow, while he will also hold talks with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat on Thursday.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos will also meet with the Patriarch of Jerusalem Diodoros and the city's mayor, as well as with other religious and political leaders.

    The Greek President will attend the Divine Liturgy at Bethlehem and will return to Greece on Saturday evening.

    [11] TWELVE COUPLES FROM FINLAND WERE MARRIED IN THESSALONIKI IN THE FIRST MINUTES OF 2000

    Twelve couples from Finland were married in Thessaloniki in the first minutes of 2000. The group ceremony was held in Thessaloniki's Evangelical Church and the bridegrooms were NATO soldiers participating in the peace-keeping force in Serbia who were married to their brides from Finland.

    The idea for this wedding was first presented by a military priest. The NATO soldiers that were interested proposed to their girlfriends who arrived in Skopje with a military flight on December 28. The couples departed for Thessaloniki where they stayed at a central hotel in order to prepare for the wedding ceremony.

    The wedding started at 11:30pm on December 31, 1999 and given the fact that no parents or relatives were present in the ceremony the brides were given away by major Hanu Laitinen. The wedding was completed in the first minutes of the year 2000 and a wedding reception was held at the hotel where the couples were staying.

    [12] REFUGEES MADE UP 9% OF GREECE'S POPULATION

    Refugees made up 9% of Greece's population, according to data provided by the national Center of Social Research included in the book "Ourselves and the others". The number of refugees who live in Greece increased in the past decade from 2 to 9%, which is a record increase at a world level.

    National Center of Social Research director Dionisis Charalambis stated that after the collapse of the eastern block Greece became a country that received many immigrants and suffered a shock because of their large numbers.

    Mr. Charalambis stressed that the big percentage of immigrants turned Greece gradually into a multi-cultural society. The wave of immigrants created xenophobic tendencies in Greece, said Mr. Charalambis, stressing that thousands of people were allowed to enter the country and live in lawlessness, without guarantees, security or rights. He said that this situation of lawlessness is a fertile ground for crime and no effort has been made for those people to become part of the Greek society and even be assimilated into it.

    [13] LOSSES OF 3.56% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The Athens Stock Exchange session closed with big losses of 3.56% today ending the upward trend of the past seven sessions.

    According to stock market officials, today's performance at the Stock Exchange that led the index to drop to 5.588,65 points was expected. Today's losses in the general index are greatly associated with the pressures exerted on the bank shares, while big gains were recorded in the parallel market which played a leading role again in today's session.

    The volume of transactions was increased at 350 billion drachmas proving that there is a renewed purchase interest.

    [14] 7 BILLION DRACHMAS WERE RAISED BY THE PEOPLE IN SUPPORT OF THE EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS

    Undersecretaries of finance and social welfare Nikos Christodoulakis and Theodoros Kotsonis referred to the measures taken for the support of last summer's earthquake victims in a press conference they gave in Athens.

    The two undersecretaries maintained that from the first moment of the earthquake in Athens thousands of Greeks offered money for the support of the earthquake victims and stressed that over 7 billion drachmas have been raised, while 6.5 billion drachmas have already been distributed to those in need.

    [15] 126 EUROPEAN BANKS ARE INTERESTED IN OPENING TRANSACTIONS IN GREECE

    The Greek banking market appears to be very attractive for the foreign banking institutions and already 126 European banks have submitted applications to the Bank of Greece asking to be allowed to develop inter-border transactions in Greece.

    The banks that have so far submitted such applications come from Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Holland, Austria, Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Denmark and Norway. Among the banks interested in the Greek market are according to the Athens newspaper "TO VIMA", the British Charterhouse, Rothchild, 3i Group, Henry Schroeder Wagg & Co and RBS Trust Bank, the German Deutsche Siedlungs und Landersrentenbank as well as the French Credit Lyonnais and State Street Banque.

    [16] SPIROS MARKEZINIS DIED THIS MORNING

    Spiros Markezinis died this morning at the age of 90. He had founded the Progressive Party, had been elected in parliament and had served as minister in the Papagos government.

    In 1952 as a minister of coordination overseeing all the economic ministries in the Papagos government was the first one to proceed with a 50% devaluation of the drachma to the US dollar, while his party was the only one in the Greek parliament that cooperated with the junta. Markezinis himself was appointed prime minister in October 1973 by dictator Georgios Papadopoulos, who had taken over the post of the president of the republic.

    His government was overthrown by Ioannidis in November of the same year after the student uprising at the Athens Polytechnic School.

    He studied Law and Political Science at the University of Athens and he worked as a lawyer and legal council for a number of companies and institutions. In 1936 became the legal council to King Georgios B' and run for parliament for the first time in 1946 when he was elected with the United Nationalist Party. In 1947 he founded the New Party and in the March 1950 election got 2.5% of the votes electing one deputy in parliament. He was a close associate of general Papagos and worked for the establishment of the Greek Alarm. In the 1951 and 1952 elections he was elected in parliament with that party. In 1956 he founded the Progressive Party which failed to elect a deputy in the elections of that year. He was elected again in 1958 and in 1961 he cooperated with the Center Union Party. In 1964 he was elected parliament deputy for the last time with the National Radical Party.

    He took part in crucial negotiations in July 1974 that concluded with the abolition of the dictatorship and the formation of a national unity government under Konstantinos Karamanlis. He formed the Progressive Party that elected one Euro-deputy in the 1981 elections.

    He wrote many books and the most distinguished are the four- volume new Greek political history and the also four-volume political history of contemporary Greece.

    [17] SYMPOSIUM FOR THE STRENGTHENING OF THE GREEK-ITALIAN BUSINESS RELATIONS

    The strengthening of the Greek-Italian economic and trade relations will be at the center of the Hellenic-Italian Symposium that will be held in Athens on January 17-23 for a fifth year organized by the Italian Trade Chamber in Greece.

    Among the issues that will be discussed will be the sectors of the Greek economy, the course toward the EMU as well as the prospects that are being opened in the business front in view of the new millennium.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [18] CROATIA: OPPOSITION CLAIMS IMPRESSIVE VICTORY

    Croatia's opposition coalition of Social-Democrats and Social- Liberals is the apparent leader in the country's parliamentary elections held yesterday, leading in eight out of the ten electorate districts, with 61 percent of the ballots having been counted.

    The Deputy Chairman of the ruling Democratic Alliance, Croatian Foreign Minister Mate Granic, has admitted the defeat of his party which had 75 out of 127 mandates in the former parliament.

    Mr. Cranic told state television that the Croatian Democratic Alliance had obviously lost the parliamentary elections.

    [19] ALBANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER OUTLINES POLICY PRIORITIES

    The Kosovo issue, the enforcement of the Stability Pact for the Balkans and Albania's accession course to the Euro-Atlantic structures are among the country's foreign policy priorities for 2000, Foreign Minister Pascal Milo stated during an interview with the Macedonian Press Agency.

    "The key aim of Albanian diplomacy is the democratization of Kosovo and the expeditious holding of new elections in order to apply the UN Security Council's Resolution No. 1244," Mr. Milo stated, adding that Albania wants to see the opportunity to grant a final resolution to the Kosovo matter,

    The Albanian foreign minister assured the MPA that his government will uphold its commitment to a fair resolution of the matter.

    "This is the reason why the Albanian government is cooperating closely with the international community, and the political leaders of Kosovo," he stated.

    Regarding the Stability Pact, Mr. Milo stressed the significance bestowed by his country on the successful application of the agreement's programs.

    Concerning Albania's accession to European-Atlantic structures, Mr. Milo stated that his country wishes to expand its cooperation with the European Union and expressed his optimism that "negotiations will get underway in 2000 for the signing of an association agreement with the EU."

    Moreover, he stated that the Albanian government intents to grant priority to strengthening strategic ties with the United States, Italy, Greece and other countries in the region. Mr. Milo added that Tirana would also like to expand its ties with other friendly countries, "especially Turkey."

    Lastly, the Albanian foreign minister stated that "Albanian diplomacy wants to transform Tirana into a diplomacy center in order to prove that Albania is and will remain a factor of stability and peace in the region."

    [20] US PRESIDENT'S BI-MONTHLY REPORT ON CYPRUS

    United States President Bill Clinton's bi-monthly congressional report on the Cyprus issue refers to the UN Secretary General's announcement for proximity talks between the island's two sides.

    Specifically, the report, which spans the period between October 1 and November 30, 1999, states that the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan announced the beginning of proximity talks on December 3, in an effort to discover "a resolution to the lengthy dispute in Cyprus."

    [21] A GREEK-AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECT WILL DESIGN THE EUREKA TOWER IN MELBOURNE

    The construction work for the Eureka Tower at the banks of Yara River which flows through the city of Melbourne will start in September 2000. The tower which will be 270 meters tall and will have 80 floors with 463 apartments, has been designed by Greek-Australian architect Nontas Katsalidis.

    In his statements he stressed that the project will be ready in early 2003 and will be a jewel for the city of Melbourne. The total cost of the project will be US$ 400 million and the company that has undertaken to construct it has also undertaken to build the Greek Corner complex at the center of Melbourne.


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