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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-07-03

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, July 3, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] ABNA REAFFIRMS COOPERATION AND EXPANDS
  • [02] GREEK PRESIDENT TRAVELS TO IRELAND TODAY
  • [03] U.S. ARCHAEOLOGIST APPEARS IN COURT TODAY
  • [04] CONFERENCE ON EURO HELD IN ATHENS TODAY
  • [05] PM TO RECEIVE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT CLERIDES
  • [06] STRONG WINDS IMPEDE BRITISH MD's NOBLE EFFORT
  • [07] COOPERATION IN TURKISH, GREEK TOURISM SECTOR
  • [08] MINISTRY ON ALERT FOR IMMINENT HEATWAVE
  • [09] THE ECONOMIC GROWTH RATE FOR THE YEAR 2000 IS EXPECTED TO BE AT 4%
  • [10] AN IMF DELEGATION WILL BE IN ATHENS ON JULY 6-7
  • [11] INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING CONFERENCE IN ATHENS ON SEPTEMBER 25- 26
  • [12] SERB MARATHON RUNNERS IN THESSALONIKI
  • [13] SIMITIS: TURKEY CONFIRMS ITS INTRANSIGENCE
  • [14] CLERIDES: CLOSE COOPERATION BETWEEN GREECE AND CYPRUS
  • [15] LOSSES OF 0.84% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [16] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE CONFISCATION OF GERMAN PROPERTY
  • [17] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE MOVEMENT OF TURKISH OCCUPATION FORCES TO THE DEMILITARIZED ZONE IN CYPRUS
  • [18] STATEMENTS ON TERRORISM BY US AMBASSADOR BURNS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [19] VICTORIA STATE PM TO ARRIVE IN ATHENS JULY 9
  • [20] US CONGRESSMEN PRESS CLINTON FOR CYPRUS
  • [21] THE GREEK AMBASSADOR TO BELGRADE MET WITH JUGANOVIC

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] ABNA REAFFIRMS COOPERATION AND EXPANDS

    The Association of Balkan News Agencies (ABNA) concluded its 10th General Assembly in Athens yesterday, where the members vowed to improve cooperation amongst them and to further expand their activities in the sector of new technologies. The two-day event was attended by the general directors of the national news agencies of Albania (ATA), Bulgaria (BTA), Yugoslavia (TANJUG), Greece (Macedonian Press Agency and Athens News Agency), FYROM (MIA), Romania (ROMPRESS) and Turkey (AA). ABNA approved the membership application of the Moldovan news agency (MOLDPRESS) which up to date was holding observer status.

    Among the decisions reached, ABNA agreed to establish two groups -each comprising three members- one for the promotion of the Athens 2004 Olympics throughout the Balkan region and the other for dealing with ecological and environmental concerns in the peninsula.

    Moreover, the ABNA members reaffirmed its desire for the pluralistic dissemination of information in the Balkans, as this would contribute to a climate of peace, security and prosperity in the region.

    On administrative matters, ABNA decided to extend the terms of the Association's rotating presidency to one year, from the present six-month term, and its general secretariat to two years. Also, the presidium's rotation order will now be based on the alphabetical order of the news agencies, rather than the cities in which they are headquartered. Presently holding the ABNA presidency, the Athens News Agency will remain in that post for another six months.

    ABNA's secretary general Spyros Kouzinopoulos, the Macedonian Press Agency's general director, was re-elected to the post and will serve for another year and a half.

    In his address before the Assembly, Mr. Kouzinopoulos stated the ABNA developed cooperation between the Balkan news agencies, but also played a vital role in their contribution to the establishment of a climate of peace, security, good neighborliness and cohesion in the sensitive Balkan peninsula.

    Furthermore, he noted that ABNA was the first inter-Balkan organization to be established in southeast Europe, "a feat achieved during an arduous period for Balkan relations, a period marked by phenomena of fanaticism, mistrust, nationalist and territorial designs perilously emerging from some of the region's countries."

    The ABNA general secretary also presented the future plans for the Association's Internet server, created by the MPA at the www.abna.org site, featuring the transmission of news from the member-agencies.

    The assembly was also addressed by its president, the Athens News Agency general director Andreas Christodoulides, who referred to the need for more effective and far-reaching cooperation between the Balkan news agencies in order to deal with the increasing competition and radical changes taking place internationally in the field of information.

    The meeting was opened by Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who spoke about Greece's basic foreign policy axes in the Balkans.

    ABNA was established in Thessaloniki on June 26, 1995.

    [02] GREEK PRESIDENT TRAVELS TO IRELAND TODAY

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos embarked on an official visit to Ireland today at the invitation of his Irish counterpart, Mary McAleese.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos will address a joint Greek-Irish business forum during his three-day visit.

    Accompanying President Stephanopoulos will be Alternate Foreign Minister Elisabeth Papazoi and Deputy National Economy Minister Yiannis Zafiropoulos.

    [03] U.S. ARCHAEOLOGIST APPEARS IN COURT TODAY

    An American professor of archaeology who was detained for antiquities smuggling at Athens' international airport yesterday is to appear before the Athens magistrate today.

    Michael Martin Kumpf, 55, from Iowa, was apprehended when airport security discovered a nine-inch high, ancient amphorae in his hand baggage before he boarded a plane to Chicago.

    Mr. Kumpf could face a misdemeanor charge of antiquities possession.

    According to an initial estimate by the Archaeological Museum of Athens, the amphorae belongs to the late Roman period, and falls under the regulations regarding the protection of antiquities.

    [04] CONFERENCE ON EURO HELD IN ATHENS TODAY

    An international conference on the transition from the drachma to the euro is to begin in Athens today.

    The two-day conference is being held under the aegis of the Association for European Monetary Union and is sponsored by EFG Eurobank.

    Among speakers at the event are National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou and central bank governor Lucas Papademos.

    [05] PM TO RECEIVE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT CLERIDES

    The President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides is to conduct a working visit to Athens today where he will meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, prior to traveling to Geneva for the third round of proximity talks on July 5.

    In a CNN interview, President Clerides warned that the regional stability would be upset if the Cyprus issue remains stagnant.

    The Cypriot president also stated that even if the proximity talks result in an impasse, international interest will continue as such a deadlock would bear an impact on regional stability.

    [06] STRONG WINDS IMPEDE BRITISH MD's NOBLE EFFORT

    A British doctor's attempt to swim between two Aegean islands, as part of a campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Athens, was impeded by strong winds which prevented him from finishing the 26-nautical mile distance and forced him to give up a mere three miles away from the finishing line.

    Dr. Stockdale, who has swum marathon distances for various causes in the past, covered a formidable 23 nautical miles between the islands of Delos and Paros. He started his effort at 10 a.m. on Saturday from Delos, the island where, according to mythology, Apollo was born. He covered 23 of the 26 miles distance to Paros which was chosen because, according to history, the island was used to keep the funds of the Athenian Alliance which were used to build the Parthenon.

    In spite of having been defeating by Aeolus, Dr. Stockdale was given a hero's welocme by the locals, while Minister of the Aegean Nikos Sifounakis welcomed him as "a victor in a struggle of the good".

    According to the Melina Mercouri Foundation, which organized the swim, one of the event's objectives was to gather sponsorship funds for the construction of a new Acropolis Museum in Athens to house the Marbles.

    [07] COOPERATION IN TURKISH, GREEK TOURISM SECTOR

    The members of the Association of Turkish Tourism Investors (TYD) and the Association of Greek Tourism Entrepreneurs (AGTE), reaffirmed their cooperation during a meeting held in Bodrum, vowing to turn the Aegean into a "Sea of Peace".

    Moreover, both TYD and AGTE decided to form a six-member joint committee comprising representatives from both associations, and agreed to exchange tourism personnel and provide training for them.

    According to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, two tourism fairs are being planned, one in Thessaloniki in the Fall and another in Istanbul in February, 2001. Both associations will be represented at the fairs.

    As a part of the decisions they have reached, AGTE and TYD will work to set up joint investments and the two countries will inform each other about the tourism developments in their countries.

    Moreover, representatives from both associations will meet in Crete in September to confirm their determination to continue the cooperation.

    [08] MINISTRY ON ALERT FOR IMMINENT HEATWAVE

    Temperatures are expected to reach scorching levels this week, exceeding 40 degrees Celsius on Wednesday and Thursday in mainland Greece.

    The state's Xenocrates plan has gone into effect, with all air conditioned public facilities remaining open.

    The Ministry of Health has issued advisories, especially for the young and elderly, with pointers on how to stay cool, such as staying in the shade, wearing light clothing, eating lightly, avoiding alcohol and refraining from exerting themselves.

    [09] THE ECONOMIC GROWTH RATE FOR THE YEAR 2000 IS EXPECTED TO BE AT 4%

    The economy's growth rate, the drop of inflation and public deficit and the promotion of structural changes are the macro- economic targets of the Greek national economy ministry that are included in the Stability Program for the 2001-2004 four-year period.

    The economic growth rate is the priority of the program and the ministry of national economy points out that the Greek economy can achieve a growth rate of 5% in 2003 while in the current year the growth rate is expected to be at 4%.

    However, in order for those targets to be met private investments must accelerate by 6-7% until the year 2004.

    Regarding inflation, it is expected to reach 2.1% of the GDP in the year 2000 instead of 2.3%-2.4% as it was initially predicted, while for the four-year period of 2001-2004 there are two scenarios on the course of inflation which are related with the oil prices.

    According to the optimistic scenario, inflation in 2001-2004 will be at 2%, while another less optimistic scenario predicts an average inflation rate of 2.5%. Keeping the price of oil at 8.120 drachmas per barrel is a factor that will play a decisive role in maintaining inflation at 2% of the GDP.

    [10] AN IMF DELEGATION WILL BE IN ATHENS ON JULY 6-7

    The prospects of the Greek economy will be discussed during the visit of an International Monetary Fund, IMF, delegation to Greece on July 6-7. The delegation will meet with officials of the ministries of national economy and finance and the Bank of Greece.

    The IMF delegation will focus its attention on the planing of structural changes mainly in the social security system, the privatization process and the changes in public administration.

    The delegation will be briefed on the Greek government's 2001 anti-inflation policy, and the policy aimed at tackling unemployment. The ministry of national economy will also brief the IMF on the policy aimed at cutting public spending and the course of public debt.

    [11] INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING CONFERENCE IN ATHENS ON SEPTEMBER 25- 26

    The third international shipping conference on quality management against funding risks in shipping will be held in Athens on September 25-26 organized by the Mare Forum organization.

    The conference will be attended by 5 merchant marine, transportation and trade ministers from EU countries and the United States, as well as many leading personalities from almost all the sectors of the international shipping industry to present their views.

    [12] SERB MARATHON RUNNERS IN THESSALONIKI

    The marathon race that started in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia on June 28 with the participation of 14 athletes, in the memory of the children who were killed in the 1999 NATO bombings, will end in Thessaloniki on Wednesday.

    Thessaloniki's Committee for the International Detente and Peace will organize the reception of the Serb marathon runners.

    [13] SIMITIS: TURKEY CONFIRMS ITS INTRANSIGENCE

    Turkey confirms its intransigence and defiance of all the existing agreements and UN decisions stated Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis, after the meeting he had in Athens today with Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides, referring to the issue that arose in the past few hours when Turkish occupation forces moved to Cyprus' buffer zone that separates the free from the occupied part of the island.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the Turkish side decided to change the status quo in the region which exists since the ceasefire agreement and underlined that the Greek side condemns this action and will take all necessary measures to underline the need for the restoration of the status quo in the region.

    Mr. Simitis also stated that in view of the proximity talks the Cyprus issue is in a phase of likely developments and underlined that there is a coincidence of views between Greece and Cyprus, adding that efforts will be made for those developments to be speedy and positive. He said that the whole of Europe discusses the need for the consolidation of regulations for peace and cooperation and the Cyprus problem can not remain open. He said that those who keep the problem open have an obligation to make steps toward peace. Mr. Simitis spoke of the positive developments in the Helsinki Summit meeting that opened the way to a peaceful coexistence of all the people living in Cyprus, reiterating that in the meeting with Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides were examined issues concerning bilateral relations, while the bilateral cooperation on issues of defense was reaffirmed within the framework of the joint defense doctrine.

    Mr. Simitis characterized Cyprus' course toward the EU as satisfactory, pointing out that Cyprus is in a better position compared to all the rest candidate states for EU membership.

    [14] CLERIDES: CLOSE COOPERATION BETWEEN GREECE AND CYPRUS

    Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides stated that Greece and Cyprus have a close cooperation in statements he made after the meeting he had in Athens today with Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis.

    Referring to the issue that arose in the past few hours when the Turkish occupation forces moved to a demilitarized zone in the region of Strovilia in Famagusta in Cyprus, Mr. Clerides stressed that the measures taken by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash regarding the peace-keeping force lead him to a confrontation with the UN Security Council because it has decided to extend the presence of UNFICYP in Cyprus.

    Mr. Clerides stressed that Mr. Denktash blocks this force that has the authority by the UN Security Council to act on the basis of avoiding tensions, expressing the belief that the Turkish side will not be able to maintain those measures for a long time.

    [15] LOSSES OF 0.84% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Losses of 0.84% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange, while the general index was at 4.020,29 points. The volume of transactions was at 62 billion drachmas which is a new record low.

    Of the stocks trading today, 56 recorded gains, while 273 had losses and 33 remained unchanged.

    [16] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE CONFISCATION OF GERMAN PROPERTY

    There can be no confiscation of foreign public property without a permission by the justice minister according to article 923 of the political economy code, clarified Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas responding to a question on the occasion of the confiscation of the German property in Greece promoted by the relatives of the Distomo Nazi massacre victims who have brought their case to the Greek courts.

    The government spokesman stressed that this issue is being handled by the Greek government to achieved the best possible result based on the Greek national interests.

    [17] REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE MOVEMENT OF TURKISH OCCUPATION FORCES TO THE DEMILITARIZED ZONE IN CYPRUS

    Illegal and unacceptable was characterized by Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas the new provocation by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash who moved the Turkish occupation forces to new positions in the demilitarized zone cutting off Greek Cypriot families.

    Mr. Reppas stated that this action is in defiance of the United Nations and in violation of the agreements reached, adding that it is a trick by Debktash in an attempt to shift the interest of the international public opinion away from the essence of the talks on Cyprus that resume in Geneva on Wednesday.

    Mr. Reppas concluded by saying that the UN must ask Mr. Deenktash to comply not only with older agreements but to be consistent with the commitment he has undertaken to settle the Cyprus issue.

    [18] STATEMENTS ON TERRORISM BY US AMBASSADOR BURNS

    US ambassador Nicholas Burns in a press conference he gave in Thessaloniki today expressed the view that the problem of terrorism is an international problem found not only in Greece but in every country in world, including the United States.

    Mr. Burns stated that in the past few weeks the United States backed Greece on the issue of terrorism both through the statements made by US president Bill Clinton and through those made by US secretary of state Madeleine Albright and himself.

    "Every time I am in Greece I feel welcomed and safe and the precautions I take for my protection are the regular ones taken in any country. That is why we encourage both the US tourists and the US artists to come to your country to enjoy the Greek reception and hospitality", stated Mr. Burns.

    The US diplomat also clarified however, that the problem of terrorism exists in Greece and affects the US diplomats and especially the military attaches, adding that "it is widely known that we have already lost 5 people from terrorist attacks while several others have been injured", said the US ambassador to Athens.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [19] VICTORIA STATE PM TO ARRIVE IN ATHENS JULY 9

    The premier of Australia's Victoria State, Steve Bracks, will conduct a brief visit to Athens on July 9 where he will meet with the ministers of transport and communications and culture. Among the topics to be discussed is the future of the Olympic Airways flights to Melbourne, the Museum of Greek Antiquities in Melbourne, and the prospect of a formal agreement with Greece on exhibition exchanges.

    Mr. Bracks will also discuss matters related to the teaching of the Greek language in Victoria.

    [20] US CONGRESSMEN PRESS CLINTON FOR CYPRUS

    United States congressmen have expressed their strong support for the proximity talks set to begin in Geneva tomorrow over the Cyprus issue, and urged President Bill Clinton to step up his efforts to promote a settlement.

    "We believe that the current Cyprus settlement talks, having reached a critical stage, now call for your utmost attention and involvement," 81 U.S. senators and more than 225 members of the House of Representatives (both Republicans and Democrats) said in two separate but identical letters addressed to President Clinton.

    "A Cyprus settlement, in accordance with long-established U.S. policy and United Nations resolutions, will benefit all the people of Cyprus...as well as serve the interests of America and our allies, Greece and Turkey," they said.

    [21] THE GREEK AMBASSADOR TO BELGRADE MET WITH JUGANOVIC

    The backing of the Greek government to the policy followed by Montenegro which is oriented toward democratization and reforms was conveyed to Montenegro president Milo Juganovic by Greek ambassador to Yugoslavia Panagiotis Vlassopoulos who visited Podgorica.

    According to a statement issued by the presidential office in Podgorica, Mr. Juganovic briefed Mr. Vlassopoulos on the current political situation and positions of Montenegro and asked him to convey his thanks to the Greek prime minister and the foreign minister.

    Mr. Vlassopoulos from his side underlined that the political cooperation between Greece and Montenegro is at a very good level and stressed that efforts must be made for the promotion of the economic and any other kind of cooperation.


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