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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-07-04

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, July 4, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREEK PRESIDENT IN IRELAND TODAY
  • [02] TOURISM DATA BY NATIONAL STATISTIC SERVICE
  • [03] THASSOS HOSTS CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT
  • [04] TEMPERATURES REACH SCORCHING LEVELS
  • [05] SANCTIONS ON GREECE FOR BREACH OF EU LAW
  • [06] DEMARCHE FOR TURKISH ADVANCE IN BUFFERZONE
  • [07] GREEK RED CROSS CHAPTER VISITS FYROM
  • [08] WIDOW OF BRIGADIER SAUNDERS MEETS WITH PM
  • [09] PM CHAIRS MEETING ON WAR REPARATIONS
  • [10] TEN GREEK COMPANIES IN THE "BUSINESS WEEK" MAGAZINE LIST
  • [11] MEETINGS ON OTE, OLYMPIC AIRWAYS AND THE FREEING OF THE MARKETS
  • [12] LOSSES OF 1.03% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [13] JULIA MIGENES WILL GIVE A CONCERT IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW
  • [14] GOVERNMENT MEETING ON THE GERMAN WAR REPARATIONS
  • [15] COMMENTS BY MR. REPPAS ON THE NEW PROVOCATION IN CYPRUS
  • [16] TERRORISM SCENARIOS BY THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
  • [17] JOSE CARERAS IN ATHENS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [18] STROVILIA: MILITARY CHECKPOINT STILL IN PLACE
  • [19] ARTICLE IN "LA NACION" IN FAVOR OF THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES
  • [20] CYPRUS PROTESTED TO THE UN ON THE STATUS QUO VIOLATIONS
  • [21] A GREEK-AUSTRALIAN LAWYER INVENTED A NEW HYDRO-ELECTRIC GENERATOR
  • [22] BRITISH PARLIAMENT DEPUTIES CRITICIZED THE FOREIGN OFFICE FOR THE INSUFFICIENT SECURITY MEASURES IN THE BRITISH EMBASSIES

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK PRESIDENT IN IRELAND TODAY

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is presently on an official visit to Ireland, the first such visit by a Greek head of state.

    President Stephanopoulos will hold talks with Irish President Mary McAllise and Prime Minister Berty Ahern in Dublin today, while he will also address a Greek-Irish economic forum.

    He is accompanied by Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi and Deputy National Economy Minister Yiannis Zapheiropoulos.

    President Stephanopoulos' visit aims at strengthening business ties between the two countries.

    Upon his arrival yesterday, Mr. Stephanopoulos met with the Archbishop of Great Britain Grigorios who traveled from London to Dublin expressly for this purpose.

    [02] TOURISM DATA BY NATIONAL STATISTIC SERVICE

    Charter flight tourist arrivals in Greece have undergone a decline of 4.4 percent this year, according to the National Statistic Service which reported that they totaled 685,671 in May from 717,553 the same month last year.

    In a report issued yesterday, the NSS said that overnight stays also fell by 2.95 percent to 1,865,418 in May from 1,922,145 the corresponding month in 1999.

    Figures were based on tourist arrivals in Greece's main airports (Athens, Corfu, Crete and Thessaloniki) which account for 60 percent of tourist traffic in the country.

    [03] THASSOS HOSTS CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT

    Four hundred scientists are presently at the island of Thassos, northern Greece, where an international conference on the protection and restoration of the environment is being held.

    In addition to the 290 Greek scientists who are present, other participants have arrived from US, Canada, Germany, England, Spain, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Yugoslavia, Albania, Morocco, and other countries.

    During the course of the conference, the scientists will present their work, giving detailed presentations of their research and applications studies on matters concerning the environment.

    The scientists will exchange information and experiences, present new ideas and achievements in the area of environmental protection and discuss educational, political, legislative and research needs to promote these.

    The event is organized by the Environmental Mechanics department of the University of Thrace and the Environmental Mechanics Center of Stevens University in the US, in collaboration with Hellenic Link.

    It is funded by the Greek Parliament as part of events celebrating the 80th anniversary since the liberation of Thrace.

    [04] TEMPERATURES REACH SCORCHING LEVELS

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

    It is one of the hottest summers of recent years, when the highest temperature recorded in the first week of July has been no higher than 36 degrees.

    As the Xenokrates plan for addressing natural disasters comes into effect today, ambulance services will be on standby while large, air-conditioned halls will be made available for people suffering from the heat.

    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 the consumption of alcohol and refraining from exerting themselves.

    [05] SANCTIONS ON GREECE FOR BREACH OF EU LAW

    In an unprecedented move against a European Union member- state, the European Court of Justice has imposed a fine on Greece for a breach of European Union law, finding that the e Greek government had failed to comply with an eight-year-old court order to close a waste tip on the island of Crete.

    The court ruled that Greece should pay about twenty-thousand dollars a day from now until it closes the waste tip.

    According to the BBC, the ruling could bring some relief to local inhabitants who say the stench and the smoke from burning refuse is almost intolerable. A local scientist has also found that pollution has been leaking into a stream that leads down the sea.

    In 1989 the European Commission complained that the tip at the of Chania, on the northern coast of Crete, was contravening EU rules on the disposal of toxic waste. Three years later, the Court of Justice in Luxembourg ordered the Greek government to close it down. Greece failed to comply, so in 1997 the Commission went back to the judges and asked for the fine to be imposed.

    [06] DEMARCHE FOR TURKISH ADVANCE IN BUFFERZONE

    Athens is to file a protest demarche with the United Nations Security Council over the Turkish forces' advance into Cyprus's buffer zone, while Foreign Minister George Papandreou is to also forward a letter to the UN Secretary General and the European Union.

    Concurrently, Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides is to provide the UN with photographs documenting the barricades set up by the Turk-Cypriot forces.

    Following talks with Mr. Clerides in Athens yesterday, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis stated that normalization in Greek- Turkish relations cannot be achieved without progress in the Cyprus issue.

    [07] GREEK RED CROSS CHAPTER VISITS FYROM

    A delegation of Red Cross volunteers from Greece is presently conducting a visit to FYROM, in an effort to strengthen ties and exchange information with the neighboring country's Red Cross.

    The president of Greece's Greek Red Cross chapter Andreas Martines, met with his counterpart from FYROM Elias Sfekanovski and discussed matters pertaining to organization, training, blood drives, and volunteerism.

    Mr. Martines invited Mr. Sfekanovski to reciprocate the visit.

    [08] WIDOW OF BRIGADIER SAUNDERS MEETS WITH PM

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis met with Heather Saunders, the widow of the British military attache who was murdered by November 17 terrorists on June 8.

    Following their talks, Mrs. Saunders, who was accompanied by British Ambassador David Madden, reiterated her appeal for anyone who has any information regarding the killing to come forward. She further added that the Premier assured her that anyone who testifies on the murder will be granted full protection.

    [09] PM CHAIRS MEETING ON WAR REPARATIONS

    A discussion on the state's policy on war reparations to be paid by Germany to the relatives of civilians executed by Nazis in 1944, will be held by Prime Minister Costas Simitis with the Minister of Justice Michalis Stathopoulos and Foreign Affairs George Papandreou today.

    Although the Greek state has characterized the matter as a "political not legal one", the lawyer for the descendants of the 214 civilians who were executed in the village of Distomo in central Greece, has moved to confiscate properties owned by the German state in Greece, in an effort to partially satisfy a ruling issued recently by the Greek Supreme Court which called on Germany to pay about 15 billion drachmas in compensation. Berlin has yet to comply with the ruling. The said properties house the German School, the German Archaeological Society and the Goethe Institute and are estimated at eight billion drachmas.

    The state has apparent reservations on the matter, as government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas hinted yesterday that the government will not condone, at least for now, such as a move. Specifically, he stated that the government is handling the matter "in accordance with national interest" and asserted that the prior permission of the justice minister is necessary to seize the property of a foreign state, quoting article 923 of the code of civil procedure.

    Not so, the plaintiffs' attorney Ioannis Stamoulis challenged, citing cited article 2 of the UN's 1976 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which requires states to enforce legal remedies when granted. Moreover, Mr. Stamoulis cited a 1997 European Court of Human Rights decision requiring Athens to execute a decision against Greece, based on the Council of Europe's Convention on Human Rights (article 6).

    Over 63,000 such claims have been filed in First Instance Curt throughout the country, collectively amounting to more than two trillion drachmas.

    [10] TEN GREEK COMPANIES IN THE "BUSINESS WEEK" MAGAZINE LIST

    Ten Greek companies are included in the list with the 200 leading companies in the emerging markets which will be published on the July 10 issue of the weekly financial magazine "Business Week".

    The Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, is at the 16th place, at the 22nd place is the National Bank of Greece, Alpha Bank is at the 51st, the Panafon mobile phones company is 61st, the Commercial Bank is 82nd, Intracom is 93rd, the Hellenic Petroleum is 134th, Ergo Bank is 162nd, Viochalko is 173rd and the Greek Bottling Company (3E) ranks 186th.

    [11] MEETINGS ON OTE, OLYMPIC AIRWAYS AND THE FREEING OF THE MARKETS

    The adviser responsible for the privatization of the Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, will present tomorrow his proposals on the issue of the strategic investor to minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou and transportation and telecommunications minister Christos Verelis. The course of the privatization of Olympic Airways will also be discussed.

    In tomorrow's meeting decisions are expected to be reached on the privatization percentage and the specifications that must be met by the prospective investors.

    The economic and social committee will meet on Friday to discussed the freeing of the telecommunications market starting on December 31, 2000 and the freeing of the electricity market starting on February 19, 2001.

    [12] LOSSES OF 1.03% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The losses continued today in the Athens Stock Exchange and the general index dropped to -1.03% at 3.978,98 points, while the volume of transactions was low at 66.7 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today 53 recorded gains, while 278 had losses.

    [13] JULIA MIGENES WILL GIVE A CONCERT IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW

    The daughter of an immigrant from the Aegean island of Chios and a Spanish woman the diva of the opera, Julia Migenes, will give a concert in Thessaloniki tomorrow the content of which will be a surprise. Ms. Migenes will not sing songs that demand a lot of energy because she is afraid that she will have problems because of the heatwave in Greece as it will be an open-air concert.

    Speaking about her family in a press conference she gave today, Ms. Migenes revealed that her mother had 5 children, two with her husband and three with her next-door neighbor, Kostas Mouzianakis, who was her real father. Her mother married her father when she was 10 years old. She said that her parents are Europeans but she is an American and when she comes to Greece she feels her roots.

    Referring to the opera, she said that this kind of music is not very popular, adding that the American students do not learn anything about music in school.

    Ms. Migenes stated that she had her first experience with the opera at the age of three when her mother woke her up one night to replace the little girl that was playing Madame Butterfly's little girl.

    Ms. Migenes concluded that she continues to work hard and that she tries not to take herself seriously.

    [14] GOVERNMENT MEETING ON THE GERMAN WAR REPARATIONS

    The issue of the war reparations the families of the victims of the Nazi atrocities in Distomo, central Greece, demand to be paid by Germany, dominated in a government meeting that was held today under prime minister Kostas Simitis with the participation of foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and justice minister Michalis Stathopoulos.

    As it was made known, Mr. Stathopoulos will meet with his German counterpart and with the German ambassador to Athens to discuss the issue of war reparations, while Mr. Papandreou will have a meeting with the German foreign minister. The reparations the German state must pay to the Greek Jews who worked in forced labor camps and the cases of private citizens who brought the German state to justice will also be examined.

    Undersecretary of press Tilemachos Hitiris stated that the issue is very sensitive and wide and announced that it will be considered in a future meeting.

    [15] COMMENTS BY MR. REPPAS ON THE NEW PROVOCATION IN CYPRUS

    The international community must attribute responsibility to Turkey for the provocative advance of the Turkish occupation forces to the demilitarized zone in Cyprus, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas. He characterized this move as unacceptable and called on Turkey to realize that its course toward Europe passes through specific terms and preconditions to which it must comply.

    Mr. Reppas referred to the protest moves made by the Greek government, pointing out that those initiatives will continue until the previous status is reestablished in Cyprus.

    The Greek government has sent a letter to UN secretary- general Kofi Annan asking him to deal with the issue personally and give the right solution, while it briefed the EU member-states in order to be sensitized and react in the appropriate way.

    On Monday, foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will raise the issue in the EU general affairs council.

    [16] TERRORISM SCENARIOS BY THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

    The newspaper "Wall Street Journal" in an attempt to preserve the scenarios that came to light after the recent assassination of brigadier Stephen Saunders by the terrorist organization "17 November" writes in a front-page article that the 2004 Olympic Games are at risk of possible terrorist attacks.

    The newspaper correspondent in Athens maintains that the June 8th terrorist attack has made the sponsors of the games skeptical and are reexamining the correctness of the decision to have the Olympic Games hosted by Greece.

    Former CIA director James Woolsey stated to the newspaper that there is no doubt that the US businesses that will sponsor the Olympic Games in Athens put their people at risk as there is a big likelihood for someone to get killed in the event. Among the sponsors are companies like IBM and McDonald's Corp. that have been hit in the past by the terrorist organization.

    [17] JOSE CARERAS IN ATHENS

    World famous tenor Jose Careras will give a concert in Athens tomorrow at the invitation of the American Community Schools in the Greek capital.

    In a press conference today he expressed satisfaction for being in Greece, adding that he is even more pleased by the fact that the concert is held to raise money that will be used to build the American Community Schools Music and Theater Events Center in Athens.

    He expressed his admiration for the great Greek music composers Mikis Theodorakis, Manos Hatzidakis and Vangelis Papathanasiou and stressed that Mikis Theodorakis in particular is very famous in Spain.

    Present in the press conference was the US ambassador to Athens who thanked the artist for accepting the invitation as well as culture minister Theodoros Pangalos, the Central Archaeological Council and the Greek Festival.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [18] STROVILIA: MILITARY CHECKPOINT STILL IN PLACE

    The Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus continue to violate the island's UNFICYP status quo through the construction of an illegal Turkish military check point in Strovilia in the south eastern part of Cyprus.

    The military check point, which restricts the movement of UNFICYP soldiers, "reiterates the intransigence of the Turkish side", Greece's Prime Minister Costas Simitis stated yesterday after meeting with the President of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides.

    Meanwhile, the military chiefs of the Cyprus Republic's armed forces, the National Guard, and UNFICYP will probably meet in the next 48 hours to discuss the issue, while UN officials are trying to arrange a meeting with the Commander of the Turkish forces in occupied Cyprus as soon as possible and they are having contacts at all levels on the issue.

    [19] ARTICLE IN "LA NACION" IN FAVOR OF THE RETURN OF THE PARTHENON MARBLES

    An extensive article under the title "At the traces of the past" which is referred to the issue of the return of the Parthenon Marbles from Britain to Greece was published on the Argentine newspaper "La Nacion".

    The article presents the history of the marbles and the views of National Anthropology Institute president Rafael Gofii, who stated that the Parthenon Marbles must be returned to Greece immediately, stressing that all the antiquities that were taken out of their countries in unacceptable ways must be returned to their places of origin.

    [20] CYPRUS PROTESTED TO THE UN ON THE STATUS QUO VIOLATIONS

    The Cypriot foreign ministry delivered a letter to the United Nations expressing the strong reaction of the Cypriot government to the Turkish violations of the status quo in Cyprus demanding the return to its previous state.

    The letter was delivered to deputy special envoy of the UN secretary-general in Cyprus Mr. Vlosovic by Cypriot foreign ministry general director Michalis Attalidis. Mr. Vlosovic stated that the United Nations do not accept the situation as it has developed and called on the Turkish Cypriot leader to take under serious consideration the international organization's stance on the issue.

    [21] A GREEK-AUSTRALIAN LAWYER INVENTED A NEW HYDRO-ELECTRIC GENERATOR

    Greek-Australian lawyer from Melbourne Pavlos Kouris maintains that he has made a very important invention. According to him, he managed to invent a way to produce cheap electricity without hurting the environment.

    Mr. Kouris invented a new hydro-electric generator, a turbine, which will be able to produce energy from small or large quantities of water. A patent has already been taken out in the United States and Australia to protect his invention.

    [22] BRITISH PARLIAMENT DEPUTIES CRITICIZED THE FOREIGN OFFICE FOR THE INSUFFICIENT SECURITY MEASURES IN THE BRITISH EMBASSIES

    The British foreign office is criticized strongly over the insufficient measures taken for the safety of the British diplomats abroad in a report drawn up by the foreign affairs parliament committee on the occasion of the assassination of British military attache in Athens brigadier Stephen Saunders.

    The British parliament deputies participating in the committee maintain in their report that in spite of the increased tension in Greece due to the NATO air campaign against Yugoslavia no increased security measures were taken and Athens was regarded to be at the same level with the rest European capitals of the NATO member-states in terms of personnel safety.

    The British foreign office admits in a letter to the committee that it had suspicions that the "17 November" terrorist group would look for easier targets than the Americans due to the increased security measures in the US side.


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