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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-04-03

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, April 3, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GERMAN PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN GREECE TODAY
  • [02] MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER HOLDS RALLY IN LESVOS
  • [03] PREMIER STRESSES PARTY'S EMPHASIS ON EMPLOYMENT
  • [04] LECTURES ON GREECE'S "FARAWAY" NEIGHBORS
  • [05] THESSALONIKI HOSTS BALKAN AGRICULTURE CONFERENCE
  • [06] $1 MILLION REWARD FOR PROVING GOLDBACH CONJECTURE
  • [07] OPTIMISM ABOUNDS FOR G/T TRADE RELATIONS
  • [08] ELECTION RACE MOVES TO THESSALONIKI WITH RALLIES
  • [09] KARAMANOU ON THE 13 JAILED JEWS IN IRAN
  • [10] GREEK GENERAL ARMY STAFF DELEGATION IN GEORGIA
  • [11] INCREASED DEMAND FOR FOREIGN EXCHANGE
  • [12] GAINS OF 0.29% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [13] MEETING OF THE PRESIDENTS OF GREECE AND GERMANY
  • [14] THREE ALBANIANS ATTEMPTED TO SMUGGLE TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY KILOS OF HASHISH TO GREECE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [15] EU, ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY SUMMIT BEGINS
  • [16] FYROM WANTS TO OPEN A CONSULATE IN THESSALONIKI
  • [17] AN EXPERIENCE SIMILAR TO THAT PRESENTED IN THE FILM "MIDNIGHT EXPRESS"

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GERMAN PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN GREECE TODAY

    German President Johannes Rau is to embark on an official, three-day visit to Greece today, at the invitation of the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    President Rau will be holding talks with his Greek counterpart, Prime Minister Costas Simitis and leaders of Greek political parties. He will also visit Parliament and meet Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, as well as the Athens Town Hall where Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos will award him the Gold Medal of the City of Athens.

    Accompanied by President Stephanopoulos, Mr. Rau will visit the town of Kalavryta in southern Greece and will lay a wreath at the monument of those who died during the German occupation of Greece. He will also have contacts with economic officials and visit the new Athens airport at Spata, east of Athens, while he will be visiting Thessaloniki on Wednesday, the last day of his stay.

    [02] MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER HOLDS RALLY IN LESVOS

    The leader of the main opposition party, New Democracy's Costas Karamanlis continued his election campaign yesterday, with a rally in the island of Lesvos where he reiterated that his party's main focus is the expeditious, dynamic and balanced development of the country, along with unemployment and the weaker classes.

    Mr. Karamanlis stated that New Democracy represents "the calm force of the middle political spectrum" and "the genuine expression of liberalism and social solidarity."

    He accused the PASOK government of "black propaganda", "arrogance" and "mudslinging".

    [03] PREMIER STRESSES PARTY'S EMPHASIS ON EMPLOYMENT

    PASOK leader and Prime Minister Costas Simitis reiterated yesterday that his party's focus is combating unemployment, earmarking the following four-year term as the period of jobs, when 300,000 new positions are to be founded, and just as many vocational training opportunities will open.

    In an interview with the Sunday edition of the Athens daily "Eleftherotypia",Mr. Simitis also referred to the Athens Stock Exchange, stating that a drop in the bourse could not bring about defeat for PASOK. He stressed that "on April 9 the Greeks will punish all those who are pleased when the general index falls and are disappointed when it rises. New Democracy's political opportunism at the Stock Exchange has an April 9 expiration date."

    [04] LECTURES ON GREECE'S "FARAWAY" NEIGHBORS

    The University of Macedonia's department of Balkan, Slavic and Eastern Studies is holding a series of lectures entitled "Our ‘Faraway' Neighbors: Economic, Social and Cultural Approaches"

    The lectures are to span themes pertaining to the cultures, societies, economies and political systems of the Balkan peoples, and of Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Near East.

    Tomorrow's featured speaker will be the Bulgarian Ambassador to Greece Kiril Topalov who will speak on "International and Balkan Dimensions in the Relations between the Bulgarian and Greek Cultures from the Middle Ages to the Present Era".

    [05] THESSALONIKI HOSTS BALKAN AGRICULTURE CONFERENCE

    A Balkan conference on agricultural research and development was held in Thessaloniki over the weekend, resulting in the resolution to establish an accredited laboratory for genetically modified products in the city by next year.

    The conference, held on the initiative of the National Institute of Agricultural Research (ETHIAGE) and under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, featured the participation of Balkan undersecretaries and high-ranking officials from various sector-related organizations. Among the issues discussed were market globalization, competitiveness in terms of the main and traditional agricultural products of the Balkan region, environmental protection in cultivated lands, development of mountainous mass and the reformation of the overall Balkan countryside, coordination and promotion of agricultural research and bio-technological methods, etc.

    ETHIAGE's secretary-general Spyros Vizantopoulos stated that the Ministry of Agriculture will provide the opportunity of funding bilateral cooperation programs at the tune of 40-50 GRD million per year.

    Among the proposals tabled at the conference were the establishment of a Balkan committee that will coordinate agricultural research and development in Southeaster Europe, as well as the opening of an information bureau in Thessaloniki.

    [06] $1 MILLION REWARD FOR PROVING GOLDBACH CONJECTURE

    The publishers of "Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture", an acclaimed novel by Greek author Apostolos Doxiadis, are offering a prize of $1million to any person who can prove Goldbach's Conjecture by the year 2004.

    The Conjecture, which is thought to be one of the most notoriously difficult math problems, i.e. every even number greater than two is the sum of two primes, was first stated in 1742 by Christian Goldbach and succeeding efforts exerted by other mathematicians to prove it have failed.

    Published in the United States by Bloomsbury, "Uncle Petros" is the eloquently-told story of a mathematician who devotes his efforts to the problem.

    The 47-year-old author-director was admitted to New York's Columbia University at the age of fifteen after submitting an original paper to the Department of Mathematics. He has published critical essays and short stories and translated numerous plays from English to Greek.

    [07] OPTIMISM ABOUNDS FOR G/T TRADE RELATIONS

    Undersecretary of National Economy Rodoula Zisi is optimistic that trade relations between Greece and Turkey will be strengthened further, especially in the sectors of information, energy and banking.

    Ms. Zisi stated that nine Greek hotel units are already active in the neighboring country, encompassing 28% of the Greek investments, while she added that a great number of other firms are active in Turkey.

    The Undersecretary also referred to the Balkan Reconstruction Plan and stated that the Ministry of National Economy is following a support program which aims at the establishment of the necessary institutional framework which will assist firms in taking advantage of the opportunities that will arise.

    [08] ELECTION RACE MOVES TO THESSALONIKI WITH RALLIES

    With Sunday's parliamentary ballots nearing, the pre-election campaign is heating up and Thessaloniki will be turned into an "arena" this week when the two major contenders in the race, ruling PASOK party and main opposition of New Democracy, are to hold their massive rallies in the northern port city.

    New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis is to address the residents of Thessaloniki this evening, in a rally to held at the city's central Aristotelous Square. With turnout expected to be massive, traffic police have advised motorists to avoid driving to downtown after 6 p.m.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis will also be in Thessaloniki tomorrow, where he will also address a rally at Aristotelous Square.

    [09] KARAMANOU ON THE 13 JAILED JEWS IN IRAN

    Greek governing socialist party of PASOK Euro-deputy Anna Karamanou called on the European Commission and the European Council to intervene for the fair and open trial of 13 Iranian Jews who are held in prisons in Iran.

    The prisoners, mentions the Greek Euro-deputy, are the subjects of daily inhuman treatment and humiliation, while most of them have not been allowed to have their own lawyers in the trial scheduled to take place on April 13.

    [10] GREEK GENERAL ARMY STAFF DELEGATION IN GEORGIA

    A delegation of the Greek General Army Staff will be in the former soviet republic of Georgia today within the framework of a one-day working visit.

    According to Georgian ministry of defense officials, the Greek delegation will have meetings with the head of the Georgian Armed Forces General Staff, the deputy minister of defense and the parliamentary defense and security committee president.

    The two sides are expected to sign a cooperation agreement between the ministries of defense of Greece and Georgia for the current year.

    [11] INCREASED DEMAND FOR FOREIGN EXCHANGE

    An increase in the demand of foreign exchange is being recorded lately, according to a report on the Athens newspaper "TO ETHNOS" and as a result the foreign currency flow in the past month has reached 1 billion Euros.

    The foreign currency demand, according to Bank of America liquid assets management director Mr. Dimitropoulos, is attributed to the insecurity in view of the elections, while as secondary reasons he mentioned the investment of Greek private and institutional capital in foreign markets and the funding of Greek assets with drachmas and not foreign exchange.

    Regarding the Athens Stock Exchange, there is a belief that foreign capital will be attracted and this is based on the positive prospects created concerning the Greek companies due to the high growth rates of the Greek economy in the next years.

    [12] GAINS OF 0.29% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The week opened for the Athens Stock Exchange with gains of 0.29% today and the general index closed at 4.807,42 points as it managed to regain the losses it had suffered in the opening of the session.

    The volume of transactions was very low today and just before the closing of the session it reached 100 billion drachmas.

    Market circles pointed out that today's picture of the Athens Stock Exchange is indicative of the sessions that will follow as investors remain cautious in view of the April 9 parliamentary elections.

    [13] MEETING OF THE PRESIDENTS OF GREECE AND GERMANY

    German president Johannes Rau met in Athens at noon today with Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos immediately after the formal reception ceremony at the presidential building. The two presidents exchanged gifts and the German president stated that democracy started from Greece, while Mr. Stephanopoulos pointed out that the Greek-German relations are at an excellent level and continue to improve in the economic and trade sector, adding that the two countries work jointly within the framework of the European Union to achieve its ideals.

    Tomorrow, Mr. Rau will meet with prime minister Kostas Simitis and then he will visit Kalavrita, in southern Greece, together with Mr. Stephanopoulos to lay a wreath at the monument of the Greeks who were executed by the Nazis on December 13, 1943.

    The German president will also meet with parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis and other politicians, while on Wednesday he will be in Thessaloniki to meet with Greeks who were former immigrants to Germany.

    On April 6-8, Mr. Rau will be in Turkey expressing this way his backing to the de-escalation of the tension between the two countries and the procedure for the creation of friendlier relations between them.

    Next Saturday, the last day of his visit to the neighboring country, he will make another symbolic move as his program includes a meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos at the Fanar in an effort to show the need for tolerance in the relations between different Churches and religions.

    Finally, according to information, the German president will raise the issue of the reopening of the Theology School of Halki in the contacts he will have with the Turkish leadership.

    [14] THREE ALBANIANS ATTEMPTED TO SMUGGLE TWO HUNDRED AND FORTY KILOS OF HASHISH TO GREECE

    Three Albanians attempted to smuggle to Greece 240 kilos of hashish and small quantities of heroin and cocaine loaded on horses but they were located by the Greek security forces in Kastoria, north-western Greece, in the forest region of Petropoulakio, very close to the Greek-Albanian borders.

    The drugs were loaded in 8 sacks and in total the responsible Greek authorities confiscated 239 kilos of hashish and 100 grams of heroin and cocaine.

    The three Albanians were supposed to meet with a fellow Albanian at the village of Polikastano in the prefecture of Kozani. Police surrounded the area but the forth Albanian did not show up.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [15] EU, ORGANIZATION OF AFRICAN UNITY SUMMIT BEGINS

    A two-day summit conference between the European Union and the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the first of its kind, begins in Cairo today, where the participants will examine issues of African regional unification and integration to the global economy, as well as human rights and democratic institutions.

    Heads of state, prime ministers and foreign ministers from the EU and the OAU, as well as European Commission President Romano Prodi, will also attend. Greece will be represented by Alternate Foreign Minister Christos Rokofyllos.

    The EU-OAU summit will also focus on development issues, including poverty in Africa, investments in human resources, education, health and the environment.

    [16] FYROM WANTS TO OPEN A CONSULATE IN THESSALONIKI

    The issue of the opening of a FYROM consulate in Thessaloniki was brought again to publicity by the Skopjan newspaper "Vecer".

    The newspaper wrote today that the FYROM government has planned for this year to open consulates in Istanbul, New York and Toronto as well as in two cities of EU member-states, one of which is likely to be Thessaloniki.

    [17] AN EXPERIENCE SIMILAR TO THAT PRESENTED IN THE FILM "MIDNIGHT EXPRESS"

    The US television network NBC presented the recent ordeal of a US tourist boat captain in Turkey who was arrested by the Turkish Coast Guard in Kusantasi at the Aegean coasts and was jailed in conditions similar to those seen in the film "Midnight Express".

    TV show presenter Denis Murphy referred extensively to the systematic violations of human rights in Turkey, the savage conditions in the Turkish jails and the corruption in the Turkish justice system in a country that is regarded as a US ally and an important member of NATO.

    In spite of the efforts made by certain of his famous friends, like actor Dustin Hoffman, to win his release from jail through the extensive publicity in the US and Turkish mass media, the US sailor remained jailed in the Busa Prison for many months and no charges were brought against him.

    He was later informed that he was going to be extradited to Greece where Greek ship-owner Stilianos Tsirakolgou was accusing him of piracy on his private boat in Libya and Interpol had informed the Turkish authorities on the issue.

    When he arrived in Greece, he was jailed in Koridallos Prison for a number of days and was later released.


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