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

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, December 29, 1999

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] TEMPORARY DROP IN TEMPERATURES
  • [02] TWO TURKISH SLAVE-TRADERS BROUGHT 25 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO THE ISLAND OF KOS
  • [03] SKEPTICISM OVER THE CONFISCATION OF GERMAN PROPERTY
  • [04] US STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [05] LOSSES OF 1.38% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [06] FORMAL VISIT TO ATHENS BY AUSTRALIA'S VICTORIA STATE PRIME MINISTER
  • [07] MR. REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN CYPRUS
  • [08] DOBBINS AIRS VIEWS ON CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [09] 140 FIRES ENGULF GREECE
  • [10] OTE-YAHOO APPROACH FINAL AGREEMENT
  • [11] INFLATION WAS AT 2.5% IN THE MONTH OF JUNE
  • [12] THE FIRE IN THE ISLAND OF SAMOS RAGES OUT OF CONTROL
  • [13] US-CANADIAN PAN HELLENIC CONFERENCE SUCCESSFUL
  • [14] SENATOR WANTS UK TO NEGOTIATE RETURN OF MARBLES
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [15] GREECE HAS A SAD LEAD IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
  • [16] THE GREEK MINISTER OF DEFENSE CONTINUES HIS VISIT TO RUSSIA
  • [17] THE CAPITAL INCREASE IN THE BANK OF PIRAEUS IN ROMANIA HAS BEEN APPROVED
  • [18] TSOCHATZOPOULOS-PUTIN MEETING

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] TEMPORARY DROP IN TEMPERATURES

    The north winds blowing in Greece since this morning dropped the temperatures by 4 to 6 degrees Celsius throughout the country. However, on Sunday temperature will rise again to 42 degrees and on Monday it will be lower but starting on Tuesday until Friday temperature will rise again to 42 and 43 degrees Celsius.

    In Athens, temperature rose yesterday to 44.4 degrees Celsius and due to the excessive heat 16 people were taken to hospitals with heat exhaustion, 52 with heart problems, 37 with respiratory problems, while 50 people fainted because of the high temperatures.

    The long heatwave and the continuous operation of the air conditioners resulted to 4-hour interruptions in electricity supply in spite of the efforts made by the state Electricity Company to avoid them.

    The Greek Fire Department announced yesterday that a total of 141 fires were in progress across the country fanned by the strong winds and already they have destroyed thousands of hectars of forest land.

    [02] TWO TURKISH SLAVE-TRADERS BROUGHT 25 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO THE ISLAND OF KOS

    Two Turkish slave-traders were arrested in the region of Psalidi in the south-eastern Aegean island of Kos. Coast Guard officers arrested the two men when they spotted 25 illegal immigrants on their boat. Two of the illegal immigrants were women and the majority of them were Iranians and Palestinians.

    All of them were taken to the Port Authority in Kos.

    [03] SKEPTICISM OVER THE CONFISCATION OF GERMAN PROPERTY

    Minister of justice Michalis Stathopoulos doubted yesterday the legality of the property confiscation move and whether a ministerial permit is needed in order to be implemented, commenting on the court action launched by the relatives of the Nazi atrocity victims in Distomo, central Greece during WWII, given the fact that a court decision on the confiscation of Goethe Institute property will be implemented today or on Monday at the latest.

    Mr. Stathopoulos stated that the courts will judge whether the seizure was legal or not and whether a justice minister permit was necessary.

    From his side, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the government is opposed to the confiscation and stressed that there should be an agreement on a common stance among all interested sides in the country taking under consideration the national interest without by-passing the rights of the people in favor of whom the court has ruled.

    [04] US STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE

    US assistant secretary of state James Dobins commented on the Turkish move in the region of Strovilia, Cyprus near Famagusta after the meeting he had with Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou in Athens.

    The US official stated that the United Nations are in contact with the two sides in an effort to solve the issue, adding that the United States encourage a satisfactory solution.

    On the Cyprus problem, he expressed the wish of the United States to see the two sides move to concrete proposals for its solution.

    [05] LOSSES OF 1.38% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The week ended today in the Athens Stock Exchange with significant losses of 1.38%. The general index dropped to 3.914,03 points, while the volume of transactions was low at 68.57 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today 293 recorded losses and only 38 had gains.

    [06] FORMAL VISIT TO ATHENS BY AUSTRALIA'S VICTORIA STATE PRIME MINISTER

    General secretary of the Greeks living abroad, Dimitris Dollis will receive on behalf of the Greek government Australia's Victoria state prime minister Steve Bracks, who will be on a formal visit to Athens on July 9-11. The visit is regarded as important for the promotion of bilateral relations which are very strong due to the large Greek community in Melbourne which numbers over 350.000 people.

    Mr. Bracks was a former colleague of Mr. Dollis and the two men share a close friendship since the start of Mr. Dollis' long political career in Australia as the deputy leader of the Labor Party and shadow minister before his repatriation to Greece last year.

    The prime minister of Victoria belongs to the renewal movement within Australia's Labor Party, comes from Lebanon and is a known philhellene.

    [07] MR. REPPAS COMMENTED ON THE DEVELOPMENTS IN CYPRUS

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas attributed to a misunderstanding the impressions created according to which, there is a divergence of views between Athens and Nicosia after the new provocative move by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in the region of Strovilia in Cyprus.

    When asked to comment on the statements made by Cypriot minister of defense Mr. Hasikos, who spoke of a change in the status quo and an action that constitutes a cause of war, the Greek government spokesman stressed that you can not speak about a cause of war when your government participates in the talks aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. Mr. Reppas stated that the priority is to back the Cypriot government and Cypriot president Glafkos Clerides, who is defending the national interests, adding that it would be best if all the rest were avoided.

    Mr. Reppas reiterated that the issue concerns the UN and stressed that the specific move by the Turks exposes the international organization to the point of humiliation. He stressed that the Greek government has raised the issue and will continue to do so reminding that foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will raise the issue at the EU general affairs council.

    Mr. Reppas stated that all political and diplomatic means must be used in order to deal with the problem and strengthen the stance of the Cypriot government which handles a major national issue.

    In conclusion, Mr. Reppas stressed that the reliability of the United Nations and the international community and their ability to impose solutions in accordance with the international law are being challenged by this Turkish move.

    [08] DOBBINS AIRS VIEWS ON CYPRUS ISSUE James Dobbins, US undersecretary of Foreign Affairs today issued a statement shortly after his meeting with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou during which the recent action taken by Turkey in the region Strovilia was discussed.

    The US official stated that his country is currently in contact with both sides and is trying to find a solution to the issue.

    As far the issue of Cyprus is concerned, Dobbins expressed the desire of the US to see both sides offering specific solutions to the problem. Although there is bound to be a huge gap between these potential solutions, the US undersecretary maintained that it is only once possible solutions are offered that efforts can then be made to bridge differences between the two.

    [09] 140 FIRES ENGULF GREECE There were 141 fully fledged fires in Greece last night according to the country's fire brigade service, bringing the total number of acres burnt during the month of July to 15,000.

    This figure is three times higher than was measured during the same period of time last year. Over 500 acres of forest land and 3,000 olive trees have been burnt to ashes in Messinia, where fires continue to rage for the third day running, threatening the lives of inhabitants in nearby villages.

    [10] OTE-YAHOO APPROACH FINAL AGREEMENT

    The agreement between the Greek Telecommunications Organization (OTE) and the Internet search engine Yahoo seems to be reaching its final stages.

    A Yahoo delegation is expected to arrive in Athens next week to discuss the concluding details of the agreement, which deals with OTE's purchase of legal rights of a certain section within the Yahoo network.

    The OTE Internet department will start setting up its new network field if both sides come to an agreement. Mr Manasis, the company's president, pointed out that that "all telecommunications organisations are progressing gradually, to incorporate Internet technology."

    [11] INFLATION WAS AT 2.5% IN THE MONTH OF JUNE

    Inflation closed at 2.5% in the month of June with a drop of 0.4% compared to the previous month, as it was announced today by the Greek government's economic staff.

    Meanwhile, the economic and social committee met in Athens this morning under minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou to discuss the freeing of the telecommunications and energy markets.

    The telecommunications will be freed on January 1, 2001 and Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, will lose the monopoly in the telephone market.

    The relevant draft bill was presented by minister of transportation Christos Verelis and it is expected to be tabled in parliament in August.

    [12] THE FIRE IN THE ISLAND OF SAMOS RAGES OUT OF CONTROL

    The big fire in the Aegean island of Samos rages out of control since Thursday night destroying thousands of hectars of forest land. Meanwhile, the fire in the region of Kalentzi in Peloponnesos, south Greece is in progress and another fire that broke out in the region of Tripes in the island of Chios is under partial control. Five other fires that broke out in different parts of the country have been put under control.

    The fire front in Samos is 3 to 4 kilometers long and at one point the flames came as close as 100 meters from the houses of the village of Mavratzei.

    According to statements made to the Athens radio station "Flash" by parliament deputy Pithagoras Vardikos, who is elected in the island of Samos, the fire is the work of arsonists as it broke out simultaneously in three different areas and at a time when the fire-fighting aircraft were unable to fly.

    [13] US-CANADIAN PAN HELLENIC CONFERENCE SUCCESSFUL The 54th Pan Macedonian Union conference is successfully continuing in New York, bringing together representatives from all over America and Canada.

    Greek representatives currently attending the conference are professor Dimitrios Pandermalis, attending on behalf of the General Secretary of Hellenic Emigrants and Panayiotis Skandalakis, New Democracy MP, attending on behalf of the Greek parliament's Hellenic Emigrants Committee, of which he is vice- president.

    Dimitris Platis and Vasilis Filippou, General Consuls of Greece and Cyprus respectively, both spoke at the event, as did the president of the Pan Macedonian Union, Dr Serapheim Papayiannis.

    Messages were also sent to the conference by Bill Clinton, US president, Apostolos Kaklamanis, president of the Greek Parliament, Archibishop Dimitrios of America and Alexandros Filon, Greek ambassador to the US, amongst others.

    Also present at the formal dinner held at the start of the gathering was Peter Valon, president of New York's Town Council.

    [14] SENATOR WANTS UK TO NEGOTIATE RETURN OF MARBLES Republican senator Peter Fitzgerald has invited Britain to negotiate the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece before the 2004 Olympic Games are held, according to the amendment he presented to the US Senate.

    Included in the senator's amendments is the statement that the Parthenon was adopted as a symbol of democracy by the founders of America and represents the principles that these founders wanted the functioning of their country to embody.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [15] GREECE HAS A SAD LEAD IN TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

    Greece and Portugal have a sad lead as they hold the first place among the EU members-states regarding the number of traffic accidents.

    The number of deaths in traffic accidents in Greece in the period of 1990-1998 showed an increase of 5% according to figures provided by the European Statistics Agency, Eurostat, while figures in the rest of the EU countries presented a notable decline.

    Based on the Eurostat, the traffic accident deaths in Greece in 1998 were 212 per 1 million people compared to 202 in 1990.

    At a European level, 42.600 people were killed in road accidents in 1998 compared to 56.400 eight years ago.

    According to Eurostat, the biggest decline in the number of traffic accident deaths per 1 million people was recorded in Austria, Finland, Britain and Spain with a 35% drop.

    Based on the data provided, Sweden and Britain have the safest road network, while in 1998 the most deaths in traffic accidents were recorded in Portugal (243) and Greece (212).

    [16] THE GREEK MINISTER OF DEFENSE CONTINUES HIS VISIT TO RUSSIA

    Russian minister of defense Igor Sergeyev responding to a question on the latest Turkish moves in Cyprus stated that Russia and Greece share the same views on the respect and implementation of international law.

    Mr. Sergeyev met in Moscow with Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos who is on a formal visit to Russia.

    [17] THE CAPITAL INCREASE IN THE BANK OF PIRAEUS IN ROMANIA HAS BEEN APPROVED

    The capital increase in the Bank of Piraeus branch in Romania from 100 billion to 400 billion lei was approved yesterday by its shareholders' general assembly.

    According to a statement issued by the bank, the increase of its capital brings it at the top of the list of the Greek banks that are active in the country.

    The transfer of the money will take place by the end of July with the approval of the National Bank of Romania, while it is worth to be noted that 99.99% of the bank's shares belongs to Piraeus Group.

    [18] TSOCHATZOPOULOS-PUTIN MEETING

    Russian president Vladimir Putin had a 40minute meeting today with Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos who is on a formal visit to Russia.

    Mr. Putin stated that Greece is a unique example of cooperation with Russia in spite of the fact that it is a member of NATO, while Mr. Tsochatzopoulos referred to the condemnation of terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism by Russia, regarded as very important references at a period when the Russian leadership is faced with the problem of Chechnya.

    The issue of the improvement of the relations between Russia and NATO was also stressed in the contacts Mr. Tsochatzopoulos had with Russian officials.


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