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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-04-19

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 19, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] PANATHINAIKOS BEATS EFES PILSEN 81-71
  • [02] PORT STRIKE CALLED OFF IN THESSALONIKI, PIRAEUS
  • [03] PINTER SPEAKS TO MPA ON ALL CURRENT ISSUES
  • [04] NEW EDUCATION MINISTER SHELVES SCHOOL REFORMS
  • [05] PERES: WE HAVE AN OPEN MARRIAGE WITH TURKEY
  • [06] GREEK PRESIDENT TO VISIT CANADA IN MAY
  • [07] PRESIDENT OF CHINA TO VISIT GREECE ON FRIDAY
  • [08] MIT'S NEGROPONTE ON FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY
  • [09] BALKAN PROFESSORS TO MEET IN THESSALONIKI
  • [10] TURKISH DIPLOMATIC DELEGATION VISITS THESSALONIKI
  • [11] ND WILL HOLD ITS EXTRAORDINARY PARTY CONGRESS IN JUNE
  • [12] SHEARER: THE INTERVENTION IN KOSOVO WAS NOT A MISTAKE
  • [13] EUROLEAGUE: THE EFES LEADER WISHED SUCCESS TO PANATHINAIKOS
  • [14] ALI TUIGAN: THE GREEK-TURKISH FRIENDSHIP IS NOT GIVEN
  • [15] IMPRESSIVE GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [16] SHEARER: THE GREEK-US RELATIONS ARE BETTER THAN EVER
  • [17] ROMANIAN ECONOMY WEEK IN GREECE
  • [18] GREEK AND TURKISH JOURNALISTS WILL MEET IN RHODES
  • [19] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER WILL MEET WITH THE PARENTS OF A BABY-BOY HELD BY HIS EGYPTIAN GRANDFATHER
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [20] F.R.Y. FINES INDEPENDENT AGENCY BETA WITH $15,000
  • [21] AMERICA SAE YOUTH HOLDS FIRST CONFERENCE
  • [22] THE EU AGAINST SOCIAL ISOLATION
  • [23] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE AID TO THE PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PANATHINAIKOS BEATS EFES PILSEN 81-71

    Panathinaikos Athens beat Efes Pilsen of Turkey 81-71 in the European Basketball Championship semifinal held in Thessaloniki last night.

    The Athens team will play with Maccabi Tel Aviv, which beat Barcelona 65-51 earlier in the evening, in tomorrow's final.

    [02] PORT STRIKE CALLED OFF IN THESSALONIKI, PIRAEUS

    Workers at Greece's key ports of Thessaloniki and Piraeus have called off a planned three-day strike , thanks to the interevention of the newly-appointed Minister of Merchant Marine Christos Papoutsis.

    According to the Federation of Port Workers, the key points of their collective bargaining agreement have been approved by the state and are to be in enforcement until December 31, 2001.

    [03] PINTER SPEAKS TO MPA ON ALL CURRENT ISSUES

    World-renowned British playwright Harold Pinter received an honorary Ph.D. by the English Literature department of the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki last night.

    In an interview with the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Pinter spoke on his work, his opposition to NATO's involvement in Kossovo, the arrest of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and, overall, the pessimism he holds for Europe's future, or the world's for that matter.

    A fervent opponent of the Alliance's operation in Kossovo, Mr. Pinter stated that the outcome justified his point of view and noted that his country bowed to US President Bill Clinton.

    The British intellectual confided that he feels a sense of loneliness in his own country, given his political beliefs and stance. However, he added, he was impressed by the massive volume of supporting letters he received from his compatriots once he expressed his opposition to NATO's operation in Kossovo.

    "I am not a politician. I live in a free country, I am free and I think freely," he stated.

    Regarding his work "Mountain Language", written for the Kurdish people, Mr. Pinter stated that upon Ocalan's arrest last year the British press has reported that the murderer of 30,000 people has been apprehended while, in reality, the playwright added, the Turkish army was responsible for the killings. He stressed that he has a very clear view of Turkey and is aware of the country's torture practices.

    Events held in his honor include the inauguration of an exhibition of photographs, titled "Pinter on the Greek stage", from 40 of the playwright's various works on Greek theater stages.

    Mr. Pinter was born in London's East End and first appeared as a playwright in 1957 with his plays "The Room" and "Birthday Party". Of late, he has directed many of his plays.

    [04] NEW EDUCATION MINISTER SHELVES SCHOOL REFORMS

    Having wasted no time, newly-appointed Education Minister Petros Efthymiou has postponed one of the more controversial aspects of the education reform adopted by his predecessor, Gerasimos Arsenis.

    Mr. Efthymiou said that students in the first and second years of high school will not have to sit for aptitude tests and, instead, will be able to write the tests on May 12. The results will not count toward their final marks - as was the original plan.

    He is expected to announce today the material that will be covered during the exams.

    [05] PERES: WE HAVE AN OPEN MARRIAGE WITH TURKEY

    Addressing an Athens-held conference on S.E. Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, former Israeli Premier and current Minister for Regional Cooperation Shimon Peres underlined that Israel is neither one of Turkey's allies, nor does it take part in the Greek-Turkish dispute.

    One of the keynote speakers at the roundtable discussion on "Reconstruction, Development and Security in Southeastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean", organized by The Economist magazine, Mr. Peres stated that his country's cooperation with Ankara should not be construed as a threat to anyone.

    "Turkey and Israel are not a couple, they are co-existing in an open marriage, which you could also join," he said metaphorically.

    Mr. Peres stressed that Israel has the same relations with Ankara as it has with Athens.

    Presently on a three-day visit to Greece, Mr. Peres met with the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, Foreign Minister George Papandreou and other officials.

    [06] GREEK PRESIDENT TO VISIT CANADA IN MAY

    President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, accompanied by Foreign Minister George Papandreou, will visit Canada at the invitation of the country's General Governor Adrienne Clarkson, from May 27 to June 2.

    President Stephanopoulos is scheduled to meet with the country's Greek expatriate community leaders, at the sidelines of his official meetings with Canada's state leadership.

    Expected to arrive in Ottawa on May 27, the President will participate in a Greek Orthodox Liturgy in the city's cathedral on May 28, while on May 29 he is to meet with Mme. Clarkson.

    The Greek president, accompanied by a 30-member delegation of Greek businessmen, will also visit Toronto and Montreal.

    [07] 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.

    The Chinese President will also meet with the leader of the main opposition party New Democracy's Costas Karamanlis ad will visit the Hellenic Parliament, the Acropolis and the Panathinaiko Stadium.

    On Sunday Mr. Zemin will travel to Heraklion, Crete, where he will visit the city's archaeological museum and Knossos. He will depart for South Africa on Monday morning.

    [08] MIT'S NEGROPONTE ON FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY

    The Greek-American Professor of Media Technology and researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Nicholas Negroponte, well known for his prognostications on the future of technology, spoke extensively on the changes to occur in humanity in the realm of the new, digital era, during a recent lecture given at the Megaron Mela in Athens.

    A world-renowned scientist, Mr. Negroponte has spent the last 30 years of his life predicting how and to what degree human life will change as a result of developments in technology, while his insights about the future of the world and its social structures continue to astound people.

    According to the Athens daily "Kathimerini", Mr. Negroponte referred to the oncoming surprises in the digital era, how technology will dominate daily life and how these changes will affect the way we live, beginning with the Internet and its application in all areas of life, from entertainment to education.

    Contrary to popular belief, "the future of technology, belongs to everyone, not only to governments and large companies," he stated, adding that smaller countries which now present a limited participation in cyberspace will take center stage in the years to come.

    "We'll see countries such as China and India acquiring a leading role on the Internet, edging the United States and Europe, and that will be the first major difference," he said.

    Moreover, Mr. Negroponte believes that the future use of computers will not be limited to communication tools but, rather, will expand into all areas of daily life.

    "Every type of machinery will be linked to the Internet and will utilize its intelligence in order to execute commands," he added.

    Mr. Negroponte also added that tomorrow's adults, who will have grown with the Internet, will be less burdened by nationalism.

    "Within the international environment of the Internet, they will become more aware of the holistic nature of the world and the global character of human existence" he stated.

    The information technology sector, following the pace of entrepreneurship demanded by the international market, is growing and bearing fruit.

    Referring to the ever-growing trend of e-commerce, Mr. Negroponte stated that the consumer will have greater access to the markets, and will, for example, be able to purchase a car from the manufacturer, dealership, or insurance company.

    Furthermore, he forecast that the future of school education will be student-teacher-book interactive, in line with the explosion in telecommunications.

    In all, Mr. Negroponte finds that vital sectors of public life such as health and public administration urgently need to be modernized and the only way to do this is through digital technology.

    The founder of Wired magazine, Mr. Negroponte is also the "father" of the MIT's Media Laboratory, a pioneering research center for studying future forms of human communication. Currently supported by nearly 170 corporations worldwide the Media Lab has pioneered the development of now-familiar areas such as digital video and multimedia.

    A graduate of MIT, Professor Negroponte has taught at the universities of Michigan, California (Berkeley) and Yale.

    He is also author of the 1995 best-seller "Being Digital" which has been translated into more than 40 languages.

    [09] BALKAN PROFESSORS TO MEET IN THESSALONIKI

    University professors from Greece and other Balkan countries are to meet in Thessaloniki on Friday, within the framework of the first regular General Assembly of the Balkan Association of Pedagogics and Education (VEPE).

    Presiding over VEPE is the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki's literature professor Nikos Terzis, while the Board of Directors comprises professors from Albania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, FYROM, Romania, Serbia and Turkey.

    The General Assembly will elect its new Board of Directors, while the Greek-Turkish committee will review matters pertaining to the pedagogical conference to be held at Istanbul in September.

    [10] TURKISH DIPLOMATIC DELEGATION VISITS THESSALONIKI

    A seven-member delegation of Turkish diplomats visited the Center of International and European Economic Law in Thessaloniki today, within the framework of a series of bilateral contacts initiated by Greece's and Turkey's foreign ministers, Messrs. George Papandreou and Ismael Cem respectively.

    The Greek side has offered to contribute, through the Center, to the organization of training seminars aimed at Turkey's adoption of European ideals and principles.

    The Turkish delegation was given a tour of the Center's premises and was briefed on its activities.

    Turkey's alternate undersecretary of foreign affairs Ulug Ozulker told the Macedonian Press Agency that Turkey and Greece share many characteristics and added that his country can benefit from Greece's experience in regards to European Union issues.

    "The difficulties Greece experienced during its (EU) accession course and the advantages it enjoys today will constitute an interesting example for us and will guide us to a path for the course of accession to the EU," he stated.

    [11] ND WILL HOLD ITS EXTRAORDINARY PARTY CONGRESS IN JUNE

    Opposition conservative New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis, speaking before the party's parliamentary group, announced that the party's extraordinary congress will be held on June 3 and 4.

    He said that New Democracy will be changed through reforms in its structure, organization and operation, while he reiterated that it is the party of the center, pointing out that the choices made in the period before the elections were not opportunistic.

    On the April 9 election results, he said that New Democracy increased its power by 5%, while referring to himself he said that the party congress elected him to the presidency, adding that he may have displeased certain people but his conscience is clean.

    Honorary ND leader and former prime minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis did not attend the parliamentary group meeting.

    [12] SHEARER: THE INTERVENTION IN KOSOVO WAS NOT A MISTAKE

    The view that the NATO intervention in Kosovo was a one-way street when the negotiations with the Milosevic regime collapsed, was expressed to Macedonian Press Agency by Derek Shearer, senior researcher for the Economic Strategy Institute in Washington and member of the Information Security Policy Advisory Commission.

    He said that the decision to drive all the ethnic Albanians out of Kosovo had been made a long time before by Slobodan Milosevic and it was aimed at promoting his own political career. Therefore, he said, if the international community was not quick to intervene the war could have spread to other south-eastern European countries resulting to even bigger human losses and huge social effects. Mr. Shearer said that at first it was thought that Europe had to handle the issue but in the end the US and NATO intervention was necessary for the massacres to stop. He said that negotiations continued until the last moment and when ambassador Holbrooke went to Belgrade had told Milosevic that there could be other ways to settle the crisis, but Milosevic reacted as if he was not interested. It was like as if we were negotiating with Hitler. At some point, you just stop talking and decide to stop him, said the US official.

    Mr. Shearer also stated that if Milosevic was not stopped in Bosnia and Kosovo the war would have spread to south-eastern Europe and things would have been even worse for the neighboring countries of Kosovo, namely FYROM and Albania, while Greece and Italy would suffer great consequences as the number of refugees would be bigger, and the loss of life greater.

    He also said that the NATO intervention was not a mistake and the West is not responsible for the state of the Yugoslav economy, adding that if Milosevic wanted a stable economy he could have made different choices.

    [13] EUROLEAGUE: THE EFES LEADER WISHED SUCCESS TO PANATHINAIKOS

    The members of the Turkish basketball team Efes Pilsen recognized the superiority of Panathinaikos after yesterday's semi- final in Thessaloniki, in which the Athens team dominated with an 81-71 score.

    Turkish team leader Ibrahim Kutluai wished success to Panathinaikos in the rest of the tournament and stated that he and his teammates will try for the best possible outcome in the small final against Barcelona on Thursday afternoon.

    [14] ALI TUIGAN: THE GREEK-TURKISH FRIENDSHIP IS NOT GIVEN

    Turkish businessmen are in Greece to present their products in the trade exhibition that opens tomorrow, while the Greek businessmen will present their own products in Turkey in April 2001.

    Turkish ambassador to Athens Ali Tuigan in an interview with the newspaper "Imerisia" mentions that everything achieved so far in bilateral relations must not be regarded as given and that those who criticize this rapprochement should appreciate all that have happened.

    The nine agreements signed by the two countries are of vital significance for both economies, stated the Turkish ambassador, and specifically for sectors such as, tourism, trade, the safety of the people. He said that the critics of the rapprochement should wonder why all these did not happen earlier if they were so easy to achieve as they maintain.

    He said that the difficulties, pointed out in the letter sent by Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem, still exist in spite of the progress in bilateral relations, adding that they are the known issues concerning the disagreements over the Aegean and are mainly agenda and methodology problems.

    The Turkish ambassador said that proposals will be made when the right time will come and added that there are certain circles on both sides of the Aegean that wait for the right moment to say that the rapprochement did not work and nothing has changed. Mr. Tuigan expressed the wish that they will be proven wrong, stressing that there are many things that have changed while he added that maybe the problems still exist but the parameters of the Greek-Turkish relations are different.

    [15] IMPRESSIVE GAINS IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Impressive gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today which are mainly due to the interest rates cuts announced by the Bank of Greece and the positive course of the European and US markets.

    The general index recorded gains of 7.74% at 4.257,85 points, while the volume of transactions was 178.8 billion drachmas. Of the stocks trading today, 331 had gains and only 7 recorded losses.

    [16] SHEARER: THE GREEK-US RELATIONS ARE BETTER THAN EVER

    The Greek government policy develops toward the right direction even though important reforms have to be made in different sectors, stated to MPA Derek Shearer, senior researcher with the Economic Strategy Institute in Washington as well as, international adviser for Ziff Brothers Investments and member of the US Information Security Policy Advisory Commission.

    He said that the social benefits and the economic development are not incompatible prospects for Greece because there are formulas that can bring a balance between the social benefits offered by a government and the economic development target.

    Mr. Shearer stated that the Greek-US relations are better than ever and that the two countries now work as allies on a more equal basis in order to deal with common problems.

    He also said that the United States do not see the economic strengthening of the European Union as a threat but on the contrary, they support its expansion eastwards and toward the former communist countries. He said that the expansion of the EU distances the likelihood of conflicts and wars between European economies that are linked with each other.

    The US official, who in 1992 assisted the then governor Bill Clinton in the election campaign for the US presidency and put his mark on the campaign's economic program, also referred to the prospects of the US economy.

    He stated that its prospects remain positive, while he characterized as "good" the recent correction in the Wall Street, speculating that the next interest rate increase by the FED will be between 0.25%-0.50%.

    [17] ROMANIAN ECONOMY WEEK IN GREECE

    Romanian Economy Week will be organized in Greece on June 5-9 by the East European Investment Institute in cooperation with the Forum Invest Romania.

    Bilateral business meetings will be held during the event, while the Greek-Romanian Forum will take place on June 7.

    The issues that will be discussed concern the funding programs for the strengthening of cooperation with Greece, the funding through banks, investments, capital markets and the access to sums offered by the Greek state within the framework of the Greek-Romanian programs.

    The Forum Invest Romania maintain that the sum of US$78 million will be invested in the most important sectors of the Romanian economy assisting the country in its effort to become a member of the European Union through the Greek program for the reconstruction of the Balkans.

    [18] GREEK AND TURKISH JOURNALISTS WILL MEET IN RHODES

    A Greek-Turkish meeting of journalists will be held in the south-eastern Aegean island of Rhodes on May 26-28 organized by the municipality of Rhodes. The meeting will also be attended by representatives of Local Administration Organizations, Economic and Commerce Chambers and scientific associations.

    In the May meeting will take part 15 journalists, based on a decision reached by the Lasting Contact and Cooperation Group of Greek Journalists and Mass Media that met in Istanbul.

    The topic of the meeting will be the mass media, the local societies, the local administration, economic, scientific and professional activities and tourism as elements for the improvement of relations between the people of Greece and Turkey.

    [19] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER WILL MEET WITH THE PARENTS OF A BABY-BOY HELD BY HIS EGYPTIAN GRANDFATHER

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will meet tomorrow morning with Greek Ioannis Diamantis and his Egyptian wife Mohamad Fati Ali Ahmet Zihan whose 20month old baby-boy is held by his grandfather in Egypt against the will of his parents since last August.

    Mr. Papandreou will examine with them what measures can be taken in order to settle this human tragedy.

    The Muslim grandfather objects to the fact that his daughter is married to a Christian and demands that the couple gets a divorce before giving the child back to its mother.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [20] F.R.Y. FINES INDEPENDENT AGENCY BETA WITH $15,000

    Charged with violating laws pertaining to information, Belgrade's independent news agency BETA has been slapped with a $15,000 fine by the courts of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, following a lawsuit filed by the country's Minister of Information Goran Matic.

    Held personally liable in the lawsuit, BETA's general director Radomir Diklic and editor in chief Ljubica Markovic were prosecuted for reporting on rallies conducted last week by the opposition party's youth supporters, held in the memory of the assassinated editor in chief of the "Dnevni Telegraf" daily Slavko Curuvia.

    In his lawsuit, Mr. Matic claimed that the news report constituted an act of personal defamation against him.

    The Yugoslav minister of information lodged a similar lawsuit against the independent daily "Blic" however the court opined that the newspaper merely ran the news report from BETA's wire and, as such, was not guilty of any wrongdoing.

    [21] AMERICA SAE YOUTH HOLDS FIRST CONFERENCE

    The Youth Chapter of the Council of Greeks Abroad - America (SAE) has held its first conference in Chicago, featuring the attendance of young persons from the United states, Latin America and Canada.

    The event was saluted by Greece's Consul General in Chicago Gabriel Koptsides and the Education Ministry's special adviser Ioannis Eftimopoulos, while SAE America's vice-president Christos s Tomaras was the master of ceremonies.

    In his address, Mr. Tomaras referred to the youth chapter's role within SAE and stressed the need for unity in order to preserve the Greek ideals.

    The conference appointed an 11-member committee which will oversee six subcommittees.

    [22] THE EU AGAINST SOCIAL ISOLATION

    The European Commission can contribute to the efforts aimed at ending the social isolation of all sensitive groups, including the population groups in transit, like the gypsies, pointed out EU Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou responding to a question by Greek Euro-deputy from the opposition conservative party of New Democracy Ms. Marietta Yianakou.

    Ms. Diamantopoulou stated that the tackling of isolation has become a goal for the EU members since the Treaty of Amsterdam, adding that the main responsibility for the prevention and countering of social isolation belongs to the EU member-states. She said that the recent proposals against discrimination that were approved by the EU Commission ban racially and ethnically motivated discrimination at work and in education, in social protection and security, social benefits and access to goods and services.

    [23] ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE AID TO THE PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos sent the sum of US$ 20.000 to Patriarch Pavlos of Ethiopia for the purchase of food that will be distributed to the people of this African country after the very difficult situation that was created by the long drought.

    This is the first part of the aid that will be sent to Ethiopia after a decision by the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Holy Synod.

    Famine threatens 8 million people in the country and an additional 8 million in the wider region. According to the World Food Program, Ethiopia will need in the current year at least 800.000 tons of food to cover the needs of its people.


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