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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-07-12

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 12, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] A MINUTE OF SILENCE FOR THE VICTIMS OF TERRORISM
  • [02] MOBILIZATION OF THE STATE MECHANISM IN VIEW OF THE NEW HEATWAVE
  • [03] PAPANDREOU: POLITICAL SOLUTION TO THE GERMAN WAR REPARATIONS ISSUE
  • [04] LOSSES OF 0.83% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [05] PLACIDO DOMINGO: I AM FILLED WITH AWE BECAUSE I WILL SING UNDER THE SHADOW OF THE ACROPOLIS
  • [06] REPPAS ON THE GERMAN PROTEST DEMARCHES
  • [07] PAPANDREOU MET WITH HIS COUNTERPART FROM LUXEMBOURG
  • [08] REPPAS ON THE TURKISH ARSONIST
  • [09] MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE MEETS TO PLAN OLYMPIC PREPARATION TIMELINE
  • [10] MEASURES TO BE TAKEN FOR FINANCIAL INVESTMENT IN SAMOS
  • [11] SWIMMERS ARE ADVISED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [12] GERMANY IS ANNOYED BY THE CONFISCATION OF ITS PROPERTY IN GREECE
  • [13] THE SITUATION IN STROVILIA REMAINS UNCHANGED
  • [14] EFFORTS FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE COPY OF ARCHIMEDES' MANUSCRIPT
  • [15] GREECE HAS NOT MISLED IOC ON THE ISSUE OF SECURITY IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] A MINUTE OF SILENCE FOR THE VICTIMS OF TERRORISM

    A minute of silence was held today at noon in all the public offices in Greece at an initiative undertaken by the Greek government aimed at sensitizing the public opinion on the serious issue of terrorism. At the same time, a text under the title "One minute of silence" was broadcast by all radio and television stations in which terrorism is characterized as a threat for modern Greece.

    The text has as follows: "Terrorism constitutes an insult for the Greeks because of the contempt it displays toward the sanctity of human life, and because it seeks to undermine the social cohesion and political stability. It is a threat for today's Greece. It is totally strange toward Greece's philosophy and logic. It is strange toward all of our traditions. The battle against terrorism is a priority. A priority not only for the state but for the Greek people, its political culture. It is a commitment undertaken by the government and the society's objective to continue the effort aimed at uprooting terrorism. In every possible way. We owe it to the victims of the terrorists. We owe it to Democracy and its human values. We owe it to Greece".

    [02] MOBILIZATION OF THE STATE MECHANISM IN VIEW OF THE NEW HEATWAVE

    The mobilization of the state mechanism in view of the new heatwave tomorrow was decided in yesterday's government meeting held under prime minister Kostas Simitis. Specifically, patrols will be made in the areas that were destroyed by the recent fires in the country, while 300 more soldiers will be sent to the Aegean island of Samos, where all the fire fronts are under control.

    The ecological disaster is now followed by the economic one as 99% of the Dutch tourists as well as, German tourists are leaving the island.

    Yesterday, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized as anti-Greek action the fact that leaflets were found on the island calling on all the tourists to abandon it.

    Meanwhile, minister of interior, Ms. Vaso Papandreou stated that the massive mobilization plan for the prevention of fires is in effect, while minister of public order Mr. Michalis Chrisochoidis made an appeal to all the people in Greece to mobilize in order to avert another disaster. At the same time, he expressed strong concern over a likely repeat of extreme weather conditions starting today.

    [03] PAPANDREOU: POLITICAL SOLUTION TO THE GERMAN WAR REPARATIONS ISSUE

    The Greek government is opposed to the decision made by the relatives of the victims of the massacre committed in Distomo by the Nazis during WWII to proceed with the confiscation of German state property in Athens.

    Foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou maintained that the issue must be solved at a political level as the court measures do not reflect the size of the problem neither the true dimensions of justice.

    [04] LOSSES OF 0.83% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Small losses of 0.83% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 3.920,57 points.

    The volume of transactions was very low at 59.8 billion drachmas and of the stocks trading today 49 had gains and 283 recorded losses

    [05] PLACIDO DOMINGO: I AM FILLED WITH AWE BECAUSE I WILL SING UNDER THE SHADOW OF THE ACROPOLIS

    World famous Spanish tenor Placido Domingo will give a concert in Athens this evening accompanied by soprano Anna Maria Martines and Bucharest's "Jorge Enesu" orchestra.

    The great artist stated that he is filled with awe and can not wait to sing for the Greek public under the shadow of the Acropolis.

    He said that Greece is one of the most important countries in the sectors of literature and the arts and stated that any proposal to hold in Greece the opera competition "Operalia", that was established by him in 1993, is welcomed.

    [06] REPPAS ON THE GERMAN PROTEST DEMARCHES

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas confirmed that the German government made protest demarches in response to the confiscation of German property procedure that is underway in Athens for the compensation of the relatives of the victims of the Distomo massacre that was committed by the Nazis in WWII.

    Mr. Reppas stated that two protest demarches have been made, both of them verbally, which however, do not constitute an action against Greece but they make a reference to the issue in question.

    One protest demarche was delivered to the Greek foreign ministry by the German ambassador to Athens and the second one was delivered to the Greek ambassador to Berlin.

    Mr. Reppas reiterated that the issue of the German war reparations is a sensitive one and that such issues are being dealt with taking under consideration the national interest without ignoring the interests of the people based on the decision reached by the Greek court.

    He also repeated that the approval of the justice minister is needed in order to proceed with the confiscation of a foreign state property.

    [07] PAPANDREOU MET WITH HIS COUNTERPART FROM LUXEMBOURG

    The foreign ministers of Greece and Luxembourg expressed the hope that by September, when the new phase of the third round of talks on Cyprus will be underway, the situation in Strovilia, Famagusta in Cyprus will be different.

    At the same time, they pointed out that there must be constructive efforts on behalf of Turkey in order to proceed with the necessary reforms that will contribute to its European course.

    Luxembourg's government vice-president and foreign minister, who is on a visit to Greece, stated that the level of bilateral relations is very good and thanked Greece for its cooperation on European issues.

    On Cyprus and the Greek-Turkish relations, she said that the two countries share almost the same views, while she stressed that she appreciates the efforts made by Greece and its positive stance on the EU-Turkey relations.

    Commenting on the issue created by the Turkish occupation forces in Strovilia, Famagusta in Cyprus, she expressed her deep regret saying that it was "the wrong move at the wrong time".

    [08] REPPAS ON THE TURKISH ARSONIST

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized as a provocative action the incident with the Turkish arsonist that happened last Sunday on Cyprus' "green line".

    Mr. Reppas stated that this action creates an additional tension and referred again to Turkey's intransigence.

    The government spokesman also added that foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou has briefed his counterparts in the general affairs council on the provocative Turkish actions.

    [09] MINISTERIAL COMMITTEE MEETS TO PLAN OLYMPIC PREPARATION TIMELINE

    The Olympic Ministerial Committee met today to discuss the time-plan for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games preparations. The meeting was chaired by Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, who asked that preparations be speeded up, emphasizing that they should not be a question of routine, especially during the summer season.

    Before the meeting got into full swing, the Prime Minister made a few general remarks, stating that the committee's work is positive and that the situation is slowly getting underway. At the same time, he warned of the danger of falling into a routine, which could lead to stagnation within the committee. In respect to this, Mr Simitis went on to say that every member should be aware of their specific responsibility and that a great effort should be relentlessly made by all ministries concerned and by the Olympic Games Committee, not even allowing a summer break in the preparations for the event.

    "Preparation for the Olympic Games is in a state of emergency. The fact that Greece's international image could be affected by the final result makes it a top priority for our country and renders it necessary that we succeed entirely".

    The Prime Minister also referred to the manner of cooperation which should exist, noting that the Olympic Committee acts as a means of communication between Greek ministries and the International Olympic Committee, therefore highlighting the importance of communication between the first two aforementioned bodies.

    He further asked that a cooperation plan be drawn up by Mr Florides, Mr Kartalis and by Athens 2004 officials, in order to provide a permanent operation plan for all those involved to follow.

    Mr Simitis then informed those present at the meeting that he would be arriving in Athens on the 24th and 25th of August together with members of the International Olympic Games Committee, who will visit the capital with the intention of checking preparation progress. The Prime Minister added that all relevant ministries should provide memorandums clearly stating the tasks that they have undertaken, which will then be made into official agreements in November. At this point, Mr Simitis referred to an international circle which has presented a negative view on the Olympic Games through news articles due to be published in foreign newspapers, adding however that "it is natural for such problems to exist and we are bound to come across them." Finally, Mr Simitis informed his audience that a delegation from the Olympics 2004 Committee will visit Lausanne to make a speech concerning the preparations for the Races, something which has not been done previously. A group of representatives from Greece will arrive in Sydney on September 15th for the starting of the Olympic Games, after giving a press interview including a presentation of the country's preparations so far on September 7th.

    Telemachus Chytiris, Press undersecretary, announced that the next Olympic Ministerial Committee meeting would be held on July 26th.

    [10] MEASURES TO BE TAKEN FOR FINANCIAL INVESTMENT IN SAMOS

    Nikos Christodoulakis, Development minister, assured the citizens of Samos that full measures would be taken to deal with the recent blow to the tourist market dealt by the raging fires that swept across the island destroying a large percentage of its forest land, adding that social tourism programs have been hammered out to increase tourist attraction.

    However, the repercussions of the fires on the island's economic situation are clearly visible, particularly in the tourist sector, where several groups consisting of mainly Danish tourists swiftly left the island. Tourist agents are talking of "a difficult new beginning", as attraction to the island has dropped rapidly.

    Meanwhile, local members of the island are meeting up with production representatives in order to estimate the gravity of the situation and to prepare a list of causes of the fires and issues currently at hand, which is to be presented to the government.

    Panayiotis Fourlas, leader of the Fire Brigade, maintained that a rekindling of the fire is to be expected due to high temperatures, a factor which concerns the firefighters considerably. Back up supplies are constantly being brought to the island and attempts are being made to extinguish any small fires which may re-start.

    [11] SWIMMERS ARE ADVISED TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS

    The ministry of Commercial Shipping is taking emergency measures for the protection of swimmers as the summer season gets into full swing.

    According to valid sources, the number of drowning victims is significant and the ministry of Commercial Shipping is appealing to all relevant sectors, such as port authorities, local government and the Greek National Tourist Organization (EOT), to hire life-guards for all organized beaches. Swimmers are also being advised to follow instructions offered by port authorities relating to the use of jet skis and other forms of rapid sea transport.

    An appeal is being made by the ministry of Commercial Shipping to parents and the media, since many of the drowning victims every year are children: of the 129 people that have drowned in Greek shores since the start of the year, 5 have been children.

    According to statistics provided by the ministry of Commercial Shipping, 73% of drowning victims are old age people who go for a swim directly after having eaten, whilst many children swim without a life jacket or float.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [12] GERMANY IS ANNOYED BY THE CONFISCATION OF ITS PROPERTY IN GREECE

    The German government appears annoyed by the Greek court decision to start the procedure for the confiscation of Goethe Institute property in Athens.

    Already, the German ambassador to Athens delivered a protest demarche to the Greek foreign ministry. The newspaper "Financial Times" point out that the war reparations' sum that is demanded by the relatives of the Distomo massacre committed by the Nazis during WWII is not a very large one, but it could provoke a chain reaction in other eastern and southern European countries that could launch similar procedures against the German state.

    A representative of the German foreign ministry in Berlin stressed to BBC's Greek radio service that for Germany the issue has ended and stated that based on international law the Livadia court decision is invalid and illegal. Also, the German foreign ministry representative mentioned that the Livadia court decision can not be implemented without previous approval by the Greek justice ministry and given the fact that no such approval has been issued the confiscation procedure can not start.

    Berlin also mentions that Germany's federal government recognizes its moral responsibility for the plight of the Greek people during the Nazi occupation and for this reason Germany signed an agreement with Greece in 1960 and paid war reparations of DM 115 million. The then Greek government undertook to distribute the money to the relatives of the Nazi victims and therefore, the issue ended for Germany.

    [13] THE SITUATION IN STROVILIA REMAINS UNCHANGED

    The situation in Strovilia, near Famagusta in Cyprus remains unchanged, stated Cypriot minister of defense Sokratis Hasikos avoiding to make other comments, while parliamentary committee on defense president Takis Hatzidimitriou stated that the situation as it has been formed is an "expansion of occupation".

    In statements he made after the committee meeting, Mr. Hatzidimitriou stated that the Turkish action in Strovilia had a huge effect domestically and abroad.

    [14] EFFORTS FOR THE RESTORATION OF THE COPY OF ARCHIMEDES' MANUSCRIPT

    Scientists in the Rochester Institute of Technology in the United States have begun the restoration of a copy of a manuscript by ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes dated back to the 10th century AD.

    The manuscript which is the only known copy of Archimedes' code was damaged by a monk in the 12th century AD, 200 years after it was written and in 1998 it was bought by an anonymous buyer for US$ 2 million in an auction in the United States.

    Using digital cameras and film development techniques as well as ultraviolet and infra-red filters the scientists have captured images of Archimedes' authentic words and drawings which were erased and then covered by a new text by the monk who caused the damage.

    [15] GREECE HAS NOT MISLED IOC ON THE ISSUE OF SECURITY IN THE OLYMPIC GAMES

    It is categorically denied that Greece misled the International Olympic Committee, IOC, on the issue of security in the Olympic Games as it was alleged in an article by A. Graig Copeta published on the newspaper "Wall Street Journal".

    The newspaper published letters on the issue by Greek embassy to London charge d'affaires Mr. Bitsios and former parliament deputy Mr. Andrianopoulos in response to Mr. Copeta's article published on the July 4, 2000 issue.

    Mr. Bitsios stresses that the Greek authorities will take all necessary measures for the safety of the athletes, visitors, tourists and spectators, while he denies the allegations included in the article according to which, Greece misled the IOC on the Olympic Games security issue.

    Mr. Adrianopoulos in his letter to the newspaper characterizes as exaggerated the fears expressed by the journalist on the safety of the Olympic Games that will be held in Athens in 2004.


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