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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-04-18

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 18, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PRESIDENT OF CHINA TO VISIT GREECE ON FRIDAY
  • [02] NEW WORLD WONDER TO BE BUILT ON RHODES BY 2004
  • [03] PRESIDENT OF CYPRUS TO VISIT GREECE IN MAY
  • [04] SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER CLARK IN ATHENS
  • [05] GREEK FM MEETS WITH US AMBASSADOR BURNS
  • [06] PRESIDENT OF GREECE TO VISIT ISRAEL, PALESTINE
  • [07] BSTDB BOARD OF GOVERNORS ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT
  • [08] ATHENS BOURSE ON ROAD TO RECOVERY
  • [09] GREEK, TURKISH FASHION DESIGNERS TO SHARE RUNWAY
  • [10] OLIVE TREE OFFERED BY GREEK TO TURKISH STUDENTS
  • [11] US SENATOR CAMPELL MET WITH PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS
  • [12] THE GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER MET WITH PERES AND HOBACH
  • [13] THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE RECORDED LOSSES OF 2.78%
  • [14] PAPANDREOU-HOBACH MEETING
  • [15] WORLD CAMPAIGN FOR THE RESCUE OF THE SEFARAD LANGUAGE
  • [16] THE AXES OF THE GOVERNMENT POLICY
  • [17] ALLERGIES HIT 30% OF THE GREEKS
  • [18] NETWORK OF CINEMA ORGANIZATIONS IN SE EUROPE
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [19] ROMANIAN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARRESTED AT BORDER
  • [20] TENTH CRIME CONGRESS ENDS WITH DECLARATION
  • [21] AUSTRALIANS OBJECT TO GOVERNMENT FUNDS FOR OA
  • [22] GREEK AND TURKISH FMs "PERSONALITIES OF THE YEAR"
  • [23] BTK SALE TO OTE-KPN INCHING AHEAD
  • [24] GERMANY FEARS MORE DEMANDS FOR WAR REPARATIONS
  • [25] THE EUROPEAN SOCIALISTS' CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD IN TIRANA IN JUNE
  • [26] GREEK ARMY GENERAL CHIEF OF STAFF PANAGIOTAKIS IS VISITING ROMANIA
  • [27] THOUSANDS OF ROMANIANS ATTEMPT TO CROSS THE GREEK BORDERS
  • [28] DESTABILIZATION RISK AT THE BORDERS OF KOSOVO WITH SOUTHERN SERBIA

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PRESIDENT OF CHINA TO VISIT GREECE ON FRIDAY

    The President of the People's Republic of China Jiang Zemin is scheduled to arrive in Greece on Friday for a four-day visit at the invitation of the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos.

    Following his arrival and reception by Stephanopoulos, Mr. Zemin is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who will also hold a dinner in honor of the Chinese president on Saturday evening.

    [02] NEW WORLD WONDER TO BE BUILT ON RHODES BY 2004

    Artists from around the world are to soon be invited to submit their plans for a new "world wonder" and millennium monument to be will be built on the harbor of the island of Rhodes.

    According to the island's Mayor George Yiannopoulos, the monument will draw inspiration from the "Kolossos" statue, one of the Seven Wonders.

    "It will be a landmark technical achievement for Greece and an international reference point sending national identity messages of Greek presence in international developments," the mayor stated.

    Invitations for the submission of plans are to be given by the end of the upcoming summer.

    [03] PRESIDENT OF CYPRUS TO VISIT GREECE IN MAY

    The President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides is expected in Athens on May 19, for talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    Messrs. Clerides and Simitis will meet two days prior to the third round of proximity talks to be held between the Cypriot president and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in New York.

    [04] SUPREME ALLIED COMMANDER CLARK IN ATHENS

    Europe's Supreme Allied Commander Wesley Clark, who started a two-day farewell visit to Greece yesterday, held a courtesy meeting with the National Defense Ministry's civil and military leadership.

    Mr. Clark was also received by the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos.

    The outgoing official will be replaced by Commander Rolston on May 3.

    [05] GREEK FM MEETS WITH US AMBASSADOR BURNS

    Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou met with the United States Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns yesterday in a courtesy meeting at the Ministry.

    Mr. Burns expressed his satisfaction over the results of April 9's parliamentary elections and discussed with Mr. Papandreou the details pertaining to the latter's upcoming visit to New York where he will meet with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and his Turkish counterpart Ismael Cem.

    Mr. Papandreou has welcomed the Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's recently-expressed desire to meet with him, by stating that "I will gladly meet with Mr. Denktash when we -as European citizens- will be able to cross Cyprus from end to end, without technical or other obstacles."

    [06] PRESIDENT OF GREECE TO VISIT ISRAEL, PALESTINE

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos is to conduct an official visit to Israel and Palestine between May 14-18.

    The President will meet with Israel political and state leadership, while he will also hold talks with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

    [07] BSTDB BOARD OF GOVERNORS ELECTS NEW PRESIDENT

    The Black Sea Trade and Development Bank (BSTDB) has announced the election of Merab Kakulia, vice-president of the National Bank of Georgia, as the president of its board of governors, with vice-presidents D.I. Remes from Romania and V. Yuschenko from the Ukraine, following the bank's second annual meeting on Saturday.

    The meeting coincided with a Black Sea Business Day, where prominent business leaders and bankers met to discuss project and trade financing opportunities in the Black Sea region.

    Outlining the numerous opportunities in the Balkans and Black Sea area for Greek companies, Deputy National Economy Minister Yiannis Zafiropoulos stated that Greek businesses stand out amongst the top five foreign investors in the region, especially in the sectors of telecommunications, computer software, financial services, construction, and food and beverages.

    The annual meeting also approved the bank's annual budget and its financial statistics for 1999. The bank's board of governors is scheduled to meet again on May 21, 2001.

    [08] ATHENS BOURSE ON ROAD TO RECOVERY

    Taking the road to recovery, the General Price Index of the Athens Stock Exchange presented significant gains of 1.37% at noon today, posting 4,120,55 points.

    At the same time, transactions volume amounted to 95 billion drachmas.

    [09] GREEK, TURKISH FASHION DESIGNERS TO SHARE RUNWAY

    Turkish fashion designer Cemil Epikci will present his "Harem 2000" collection in a April 20 and 23 fashion show he will hold together with Greece's couturier Michalis Aslanis, within the framework of the "Turkish-Greek friendship and Cooperation Fair" in Athens.

    According to Turkey's news Agency Anadolu, Mr. Ipekci stated "I feel the honor of being the first Turkish fashion designer holding fashion show in Greece. It will be the most important fashion show in my life. I undertook a mission."

    Moreover, the Turkish designer referred to his roots, stating that " I was born in Istanbul, but my parents are from Salonica."

    Mr. Aslanis was born in Athens, but his parents are from Smyrne (Izmir).

    [10] OLIVE TREE OFFERED BY GREEK TO TURKISH STUDENTS

    A young olive tree was offered by Christian and Muslim students of the inter-cultural elementary school in Sapes, northern Greece, to their Turkish fellow students during their three-day visit to the municipality of Sisli in Istanbul, Turkey.

    The visit was held within the framework of the initiatives undertaken by the municipality of Sapes aimed at the strengthening of relations and the materialization of cooperation between Greek and Turkish local administration organizations in different sectors.

    The Greek students, who were accompanied by representatives of the municipality of Sapes, conveyed to Sisli mayor Mustafa Sarigul the message of friendship and cooperation sent by his Greek colleague in Sapes Dinos Haritopoulos. The young students attended special events organized by the Turkish municipality, while they also visited a photo exhibition on the earthquakes and the visit of the "Train of Friendship" to Thrace.

    [11] US SENATOR CAMPELL MET WITH PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS

    US Senator Tom Campell, who is on a two-day visit to Greece, was received today by Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos.

    In the meeting that took place in the presence of US ambassador Nicholas Burns Mr. Stephanopoulos presented the Greek positions on issues of national importance.

    [12] THE GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER MET WITH PERES AND HOBACH

    Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos had separate meetings with former prime minister of Israel Simon Peres, who is currently minister of regional cooperation and special coordinator of the Stability Pact in south-eastern Europe Bodo Hobach.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated to reporters that with Mr. Peres they discussed issues that have to do with the stability in the region, the Greek-Israeli relations and the relations between Israel and Turkey. They also had the chance to reaffirm the direction followed in order for the cooperation of Greece and Cyprus with Israel to contribute to the success of the stabilizing policy.

    On the meeting with Mr. Hobach, the Greek minister of defense stated that it was an opportunity for them to exchange views on the promotion of the Stability Pact for the Balkan states, adding that the region needs support at an economic level as the economic recovery is the basic precondition for the strengthening of security and peace.

    They also discussed the situation in Kosovo and Mr. Tsochatzopoulos pointed out that they agreed that it can be improved, adding that time and the consistent implementation of the policy followed are necessary.

    [13] THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE RECORDED LOSSES OF 2.78%

    The Athens Stock Exchange recorded losses of 2.78% at 3.951,85 points today, while the volume of transactions was at 198 billion drachmas and most of it corresponded to sales of stocks.

    According to market circles, the fact that the sales of stocks usually intensify at the last half hour of the session, shows that there is an intention for a further decline of the Athens Stock Exchange general index.

    [14] PAPANDREOU-HOBACH MEETING

    The regional meeting of the Stability Pact, that will be held with the participation of leading personalities from the Balkan region, government representatives and non governmental organizations, will take place in Thessaloniki on June 9-10 after a proposal made by Greece.

    The decision was made today in the meeting of Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and Stability Pact special coordinator Bodo Hobach. They later explained that June 10 was selected as a symbolic day because on that day last year the war in Kosovo had ended and now it can become a day of peace and stability in the region.

    Mr. Papandreou characterized the cooperation he had with Mr. Hobach as very constructive and pointed out that they discussed the recent Donors Conference that was held in Brussels and was much more successful than expected as the funds raised were significant. According to Mr. Papandreou, this shows that there is political will on behalf of the parties involved for the promotion of the reconstruction of the Balkans.

    Mr. Hobach referred to Greece's special role characterizing it as a significant partner in the Stability Pact that has influence and uses it in order to help, while he made a special reference to the effort made personally by Mr. Papandreou. Responding to a question on the participation of Yugoslavia in the regional conference in Thessaloniki, Mr. Hobach stated that if Milosevic is not in power the country will attend.

    [15] WORLD CAMPAIGN FOR THE RESCUE OF THE SEFARAD LANGUAGE

    A language is at risk of extinction namely, the Spanish- Jewish language that was spoken by the Jews of Thessaloniki. Now, the language is spoken only by 50.000 people in the world and a world campaign is in progress on behalf of the Jews for its rescue.

    The Sefarad, which in reality is the Medieval Spanish language, was widely spoken in Europe after 1492 when 1 million Jews were driven out of Spain and until WWII it was spoken by most of the Jews. However, the overwhelming majority of the people speaking that language were killed in the Nazi concentration camps taking their language with them.

    According to Thessaloniki's Jewish community president Andreas Sefiha, the Sefarad is spoken only by about 400 of the 1.200 Jews who are left in the city.

    [16] THE AXES OF THE GOVERNMENT POLICY

    The Athens newspaper "TO ETHNOS" presents the three main axes of the government policy in the new four-year term as they were announced by prime minister Kostas Simitis to his close associates giving an emphasis to the increased growth rate, the negotiations for Greece's accession into the EMU and the social state.

    The new government will have the responsibility for the successful negotiation of the country's accession into the EMU, stated the prime minister. He said that the new government has to persuade the EU partners that the good performance of the Greek economy will continue, guaranteeing high growth rates and the implementation of the necessary structural interventions in the wider public sector. Mr. Simitis characterized the higher growth rate (over 4%) as the basis for all the rest.

    The efforts of the government will also focus on the immediate materialization of the measures for a social state with main target the creation of new job positions and the improvement of the state health system through the necessary reforms.

    Another target will be the creation of a new and modern government characterized by less bureaucracy and more effectiveness.

    [17] ALLERGIES HIT 30% OF THE GREEKS

    It is estimated that 30% of the Greeks suffer from allergies. According to scientists, there is a 20-30% increase in frequency and severity of allergic reactions recorded in the developed countries in the past few years.

    The Athens newspaper "TO ETHNOS" writes that a decisive role in the allergic episodes is played by the environmental pollution, infections and stress.

    According to data available, 1 in 12 children under the age of 6 presents food poisoning symptoms, while 1 in 25 has a specific food allergy.

    [18] NETWORK OF CINEMA ORGANIZATIONS IN SE EUROPE

    The establishment of a Network of Cinema Organizations in south-eastern Europe was decided in a meeting held in the Aegean island of Hydra at the initiative of the Greek Cinema Center with the participation of representatives from 10 national cinema organizations from south-eastern Europe.

    The problems faced by the sector are many and different for each country. Some of them, like the Bulgarian, Romanian, Yugoslav, Slovenian, Bosnian, Albanian and the FYROM cinema must face the consequences from the political-economic changes of the past years or the war, while others like, the Turkish, Greek or Cypriot are at a different stage but the common element they share is that all of them are poor. They all agreed to the necessity of cooperation and mutual help, mainly at the level of co-productions and film distribution.

    Also, it was decided that the five countries (Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria) which are members of the European Co- production Fund will exert pressures for the participation of the other five.

    Turkish undersecretary of culture Abdullah Dortlemez referred to the co-productions made by Greece and Turkey, saying that they created a very good climate of cooperation. Bosnian undersecretary of culture Asaf Dzanic also referred to the positive climate existing, while Antoneta Borisova, in charge of Bulgaria's National Center, characterized the meeting as a source of hope.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [19] ROMANIAN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARRESTED AT BORDER

    One hundred Romanians were arrested by Bulgarian authorities at the Greek-Bulgarian border on Saturday as they tried to smuggle into Greece, according to Bucharest's news agency Mediafax.

    According to the wire report, the would-be illegal immigrants lived as transients by sleeping in parks in the city of Petric and encouraging their children to beg for money. Bulgarian police have reported that ten of them have already been returned to Romania.

    According to Bulgarian reports, Romanians rank first among all foreigners who try to smuggle into Greece from Bulgaria.

    [20] TENTH CRIME CONGRESS ENDS WITH DECLARATION

    The Tenth Crime Congress ended yesterday in Vienna after the adoption of its final declaration which, among other things, establishes the target of the year 2005 for achieving a significant decrease in trafficking in persons, especially women and children, and the smuggling of migrants.

    The Congress will be followed a three-day session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice.

    Pino Arlacchi, the Executive Director of the UN Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention stated that "the desire to act globally is absolutely clear."

    "Just as criminals have harnessed technology for their own use, so must we. Just as criminals have globalized their action, so must we."

    [21] AUSTRALIANS OBJECT TO GOVERNMENT FUNDS FOR OA

    Citizens of Australia's state of Victoria reportedly object to their government's offer to financially support the Greek airline Olympic Airways so that it may continue its direct flight from Athens to Melbourne.

    According to local press reports, the Victoria government will spend 600,000 Australian dollars in the next two years to promote the route, which was recently on the brink of being axed by OA for economic reasons.

    [22] GREEK AND TURKISH FMs "PERSONALITIES OF THE YEAR"

    Greece's Foreign Minster George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Ismael Cem are to be declared "Personalities of the Year" by the East-West Institute, during their visit to New York on May 2.

    Moreover, Greece's and Turkey's Emergency Task Forces, EMAK and AKUT respectively, are to be jointly awarded with the "Humanitarian Prize" in acknowledgment of their massive rescue efforts during the successive earthquakes that struck both countries last August and September.

    Earlier the same day, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Richard Holbrooke - the next Secretary of State if Al Gore is elected president - will hold a reception in honor of the two ministers, with whom he has often worked in the past in his capacity as presidential envoy on the Cyprus issue and in the Balkans.

    On May 3, Messrs. Papandreou and Cem will travel to Washington, where they will meet with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright at the State Department.

    She is expected to congratulate Mr. Papandreou on his victory, but to encourage both to make the most of the "historic opportunity" and to take "courageous steps."

    Mme. Albright is also expected to remind Mr. Cem of the usefulness of a positive gesture towards Greece in return for Greece's approval of Turkey's candidacy for EU membership in Helsinki.

    [23] BTK SALE TO OTE-KPN INCHING AHEAD

    In less than two months, Bulgaria's parliament is expected to ratify the amendments pertaining to telecommunications, privatizations and social orders laws as required for the sale of the country's telecommunications organization (BTK) to the Greek- Dutch consortium OTE-KPN, according to the Sofia daily "24 Hours".

    Meanwhile, Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov, the country's Competition Bureau is an independent authority which, through the positions it has adopted, can create significant obstacles for BTK"s sale to OTE-KPN.

    Premier Kostov was alluding to a recent Bulgarian press report that refers to a veiled decision drawn by the Bureau four months ago, calling the prospective buyer's terms as "unacceptable".

    According to Bureau officials, the consortium's terms are contrary to Bulgaria's commitments to the European Union.

    OTE-KPN last month raised its offer for the 51-percent stake in the Bulgarian Telecommunications Company to $600 million from $510 million, saying it was its final offer, demanding in return guarantees and legal changes.

    Under the latest version of the deal, Bulgaria will get $460 million as an up-front payment, with a further $20 million set aside to cover a possible account deficit in BTC for 1999.

    The consortium will pay another $120 million if Parliament amends the privatization and telecommunications laws to enable the government by July 1 to license OTE-KPN to run BTC and a second cell phone operator.

    [24] GERMANY FEARS MORE DEMANDS FOR WAR REPARATIONS

    The German government fears that there will be new demands for compensation by victims of the Nazi atrocities on the occasion of the recent Greek Supreme Court decision that ratified an earlier decision reached by a lower Greek court for the immediate payment of DM 55 million as reparation to the relatives of the 218 people, who were massacred in 1944 by the Nazis at the village of Distomo in central Greece.

    Mr. Lambsdorff, envoy of the German government in the negotiations for the compensation that will be given to the victims of forced labor during WWII, is afraid that this decision will bring again to light the events of that period, something Germany does not want. The German-speaking issue of the "Financial Times" newspaper wrote that Mr. Lambsdorff stated that the decision of the Greek Supreme Court plenary session is negative for the German government.

    In the newspaper report it is mentioned that according to the German view, the massacre in Distomo does not constitute a war crime because it was not racially motivated.

    [25] THE EUROPEAN SOCIALISTS' CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD IN TIRANA IN JUNE

    The conference of the European Social-democrats organized by the European Socialist Party will be held in Tirana in June, according to Albanian Socialist Party public relations secretary Luan Rama.

    The issues that will be discussed in the conference concern the modernization steps made by the socialist parties in the Balkans.

    [26] GREEK ARMY GENERAL CHIEF OF STAFF PANAGIOTAKIS IS VISITING ROMANIA

    Greek army general chief of staff lieutenant-general Konstantinos Panagiotakis is on a visit to Romania at the invitation of his Romanian counterpart lieutenant-general Michail Popescu.

    The two military delegations will discuss issues of common interest on the materialization of the procedure for the reform and modernization of land forces, the Romanian-Greek cooperation within the framework of international military exercises and Romania's NATO accession process.

    During their three-day visit to Romania, the members of the Greek delegation will visit military units in Bucharest and Brasov as well as, sites of historical and tourist interest.

    [27] THOUSANDS OF ROMANIANS ATTEMPT TO CROSS THE GREEK BORDERS

    Romanians occupy the first place among the foreigners, who attempt to illegally cross the Greek borders via Bulgaria.

    According to Romanian press publications citing statistical data, the Bulgarian authorities have arrested 33.000 Romanians, who intended to enter Greece illegally.

    Based on newspaper reports, the Bulgarian authorities also arrested 100 Romanians in the past few days, who attempted to enter Greece illegally.

    [28] DESTABILIZATION RISK AT THE BORDERS OF KOSOVO WITH SOUTHERN SERBIA

    The outgoing KFOR commander German general Claus Reinhart stated during his last press conference, 48 hours before his replacement by Spanish general Juan Ortuno, that the situation at the administrative borders of Kosovo with southern Serbia is tense bearing a destabilization risk for the whole region.

    The German general maintained that the situation remains volatile in spite of the efforts made for the de-escalation of the tension at the Serb valley of Presevo and the recent "assurances" given by the groups of the new UCK. The so-called "UCPMB" is based near the city of Dobrosin and fights for the liberation of the Serb valley of Presevo.


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