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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-07-17

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 17, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] CATARRHAL FEVER IN CATTLE IN CENTRAL GREECE
  • [02] EARTHQUAKE OF 3.8 ON THE RICHTER SCALE IN THE IONIAN SEA
  • [03] POLICE DENIES A "SUNDAY TIMES" REPORT ON THE ARRIVAL OF SCOTLAND YARD AGENTS TO THESSALONIKI
  • [04] 222 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WERE ARRESTED BY THE GREEK COAST GUARD
  • [05] GAINS OF 1.87% WERE RECORDED IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [06] INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TOURISTS ENTERING GREECE FROM THE BORDERS WITH FYROM
  • [07] MINISTERIAL DECISION OVER ID CARDS IS REACHED
  • [08] CHURCH RESPONDS ACUTELY TO THE DECISION OVER ID CARDS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [09] THE TURKS WILL NOT BE NEEDING A VISA FOR ONE-DAY EXCURSIONS TO GREECE
  • [10] INTENSE EFFORTS BY THE GREEK POLICE FOR THE ARREST OF THE KILLERS OF BRIGADIER SAUNDERS
  • [11] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS WILL VISIT BULGARIA TOMORROW
  • [12] NEW BORDER CROSSING WAS FOUNDED AT THE GREEK-BULGARIAN BORDERS
  • [13] GREECE IS A MODEL OF PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE IN THE BALKANS
  • [14] PAPANDREOU'S INTERVIEW WITH THE FYROM STATE TELEVISION

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] CATARRHAL FEVER IN CATTLE IN CENTRAL GREECE

    The Greek ministry of agriculture has taken measures since yesterday to deal with the catarrhal fever disease that was traced in cattle in the central Greek region of Larissa.

    The catarrhal fever cases were diagnosed in cattle in the region of the Delta of Pinios River and the ministry of agriculture has banned the movement of live animals from the region were the problem was traced.

    The disease is spread by gnats and the authorities began spraying the region with insecticides. Local authorities point out that the problem will be solved easily given the fact that no movement of live animals is observed during that time of year.

    [02] EARTHQUAKE OF 3.8 ON THE RICHTER SCALE IN THE IONIAN SEA

    The sea region, north of Preveza and east of the Ionian Sea island of Lefkada, was rocked by an earthquake measuring 3.8 on the Richter scale at 9:07am this morning.

    Thessaloniki's Aristotle University geophysics laboratory seismologist Mr. Giorgos Karakaisis stated to MPA that a small seismic activity is being observed in the region for the past few days but there is no evidence on a likely development. It should be noted that the region had an intense seismic activity in the past and gave strong earthquakes.

    [03] POLICE DENIES A "SUNDAY TIMES" REPORT ON THE ARRIVAL OF SCOTLAND YARD AGENTS TO THESSALONIKI

    The Greek police denied the British "Sunday Times" report according to which, Scotland Yard agents are in Thessaloniki to hold an investigation on the assassination of British embassy military attache in Athens brigadier Stephen Saunders.

    According to the "Sunday Times" report that is being republished by the Thessaloniki newspaper "Angelioforos", the investigation has been directed to Thessaloniki because Saunders participated as an observer in the NATO exercise that was completed in the region last May.

    The "Sunday Times" referred to Thessaloniki characterizing it as a tough port city with a long history of political violence and mentions that given the anti-NATO and pro-Serb sentiment it is likely that the visit of Saunders to Thessaloniki during the NATO exercise was regarded as a provocation by the "17 November" members. The British newspaper also maintains that there can be a Bulgarian link in the moves of the terrorists. It is believed that the 45caliber handgun used by 17N has similarities with the so- called "sacred gun" associated with the Bulgarian underground moves, while it is also believed that the small Greek terrorist cell is associated with the Bulgarian underworld. It is believed that the 17N is made up of a 3-member nucleus using 2 independent special associates who stalk the future victims.

    "Angelioforos" writes that Thessaloniki security police director Philippos Karagiozidis has stated that Scotland Yard agents never came to Thessaloniki and had no contact with the police. He said that formally no contact was made with the local police and neither Athens nor the British have made any requests, adding that such investigations are not secret and therefore, if British agents were about to visit Thessaloniki the local police would have been informed about it.

    [04] 222 ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS WERE ARRESTED BY THE GREEK COAST GUARD

    Two hundred and twenty two illegal immigrants, who almost crashed into the rocks off the Tenaron Cape in Lakonia, Peloponese when the fishing boat carrying them was left adrift, were arrested by the Greek Coast Guard.

    Thanks to the prompt intervention of the Coast Guard the shipwreck was averted and the illegal immigrants, most of them with dehydration symptoms, were taken to Githio.

    The majority of them were Kurds and Iraquies, among them 7 children and 6 women.

    The boat was spotted yesterday at noon off the island of Kithira, south of the Peloponese. The 6 Turkish slave-traders were also arrested by the Coast Guard.

    [05] GAINS OF 1.87% WERE RECORDED IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Gains of 1.87% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 4.081,52 points, while the volume of transactions was satisfactory at 127,3 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today 310 recorded gains, 26 had losses and 28 remained stable.

    [06] INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF TOURISTS ENTERING GREECE FROM THE BORDERS WITH FYROM

    The number of tourists entering Greece from the borders with FYROM has notably increased compared to previous years and according to estimates, it has almost doubled compared to last year when the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia had just ended.

    Most of the tourists entering Greece from the border crossing of Evzoni are FYROM citizens, who show increased interest in visiting Greece for tourism. It should be noted that the travel agencies in the neighboring country that in the past were urging their customers to visit Turkey for vacations now suggest Greece and especially the regions of Pieria, Chalkidiki, Thasos, Kavala etc. in northern Greece.

    The Skopje state radio reported that last Saturday morning and in a period of a few hours over 3.000 tourists from FYROM had entered Greece from the border crossing of Bogorodica at the FYROM- Greek borders.

    [07] MINISTERIAL DECISION OVER ID CARDS IS REACHED

    The Greek minister of Civil Order, Michalis Chrysochoides and the under secretary of Finance, George Drys have finally signed a document calling for religious faith to be removed from personal ID cards, originally called for by the Personal Protection Authority. According to the document, the new ID cards will have the owner's full name and that of his parents, the date and place of the card holder's birth, height, municipality, municipal roll number, photograph, signature as well as the card holder's blood type if he so wishes. The ID card holder's full name and that of his father will be written in Latin characters, to enable the cards to be used as travel documents in countries within the European Union. The cards will be issued to all citizens who are applying for an identification card for the first time and to those who have lost their card and require a replacement.

    The Press under secretary Telemachus Chytyras stated that the decision is not surprising and the government's position is completely consistent.

    A press representative at the residence of Archibishop Charis Konidaris stated that the church has made its decisions and will maintain its position on the matter.

    George Kalos, who is head of Education for the New Democracy party, stressed that although the government has cut all ties during the summer season, the opposition will continue attempts for talks.

    [08] CHURCH RESPONDS ACUTELY TO THE DECISION OVER ID CARDS

    The Church has made an acid response to the decision taken concerning the ID cards, which states that religion should be removed from the new cards.

    In an announcement, Church representatives insisted that it has noted the persistence of certain government circles in applying an illogical, anti-religious program, whilst totally disregarding the opinion of religious Greek citizens who recently voiced their views at the Church rallies held in both Athens and Thessaloniki.

    The statement claims that "the Church of Greece would like to inform the Prime Minister, Costas Simitis that it continues to uphold the belief that there should be a vote concerning the optional removal of religion from new ID cards".

    The announcement goes on to say that "the Church considers that dialogue and the nation's wish, should overrule authoritarian decisions in a democratic State".

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [09] THE TURKS WILL NOT BE NEEDING A VISA FOR ONE-DAY EXCURSIONS TO GREECE

    According to the Turkish newspaper "Hurriyet", citing a document of Greek consul general in Istanbul Emanuel Apostolakis, the Turks will be able to make one-day excursions to Greece without needing a visa.

    According to the newspaper report, that has not been confirmed by the Greek foreign ministry, the Piraeus based "Stinpoli Shipping" company managed to get a permit by the Greek ministries of foreign affairs and interior allowing the Turkish tourists, making one-day trips to Greece with its ferry-boats, to travel without a visa.

    The newspaper writes that based on the document, the foreign nationals, including the Turks, who participate in one-day organized excursions from the Turkish coasts to the Greek islands and back do not have to get a visa and they can just display their passports to the Greek authorities.

    [10] INTENSE EFFORTS BY THE GREEK POLICE FOR THE ARREST OF THE KILLERS OF BRIGADIER SAUNDERS

    The head of the British anti-terrorist agency, the director of Scotland Yard, expressed his satisfaction over the efforts made by the Greek police authorities aimed at the arrest of the killers of British military attache in Athens brigadier Stephen Saunders.

    Brigadier Saundres' assassination by the "17 November" terrorist group resulted to the total change of the stance of the Greek authorities regarding terrorism, underlines among others the BBC correspondent to Athens.

    The Scotland Yard director stated to BBC that the professionalism displayed by the Greek police authorities is notable as they do everything they can and work very hard. He also stated characteristically that the Saunders case would have been resolved if there were any cases the solution of which depended solely on the efforts made.

    [11] PRIME MINISTER SIMITIS WILL VISIT BULGARIA TOMORROW

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis will make a one-day working visit to Plovdiv, Bulgaria tomorrow at the invitation of his Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Kostov.

    The two leaders will discuss the joint infrastructure plans in the sectors of transportation, energy industry and telecommunications.

    In tomorrow's meeting a complementary protocol will be signed aimed at avoiding double taxation. Among the issues that will be discussed will be the construction of three new border crossings at the Greek-Bulgarian borders. They will also discuss the construction of the Sofia-Thessaloniki motorway that will facilitate the development of bilateral economic and trade relations.

    A special emphasis will be given to the development of bilateral cooperation between Sofia and Athens within the framework of the Stability Pact and Greece's support to Bulgaria's candidature for accession into the Euro-Atlantic structures.

    According to the Bulgarian press, Mr. Simitis will raise the issue of the buyout of 51% of the Bulgarian Telecommunications Organization (BTK) by the Greek-Dutch joint venture OTE-KPN.

    [12] NEW BORDER CROSSING WAS FOUNDED AT THE GREEK-BULGARIAN BORDERS

    Bulgarian prime minister Ivan Kostov laid the foundations today for the construction of the "Iliden" border crossing that will link the cities of Gotse Deltsev in Bulgaria and Dramas in Greece. Present in the ceremony was Greek ambassador to Sofia Michalis Christidis.

    The Greek company "Proodeftiki" has undertaken the construction of the road network that will cost 9 million Euro and is scheduled to be completed in 18 months, while the construction of the customs office that will take 15 months to complete and will cost 4.5 million Euro was undertaken by the Bulgarian "Sikonko" company.

    The materialization of the project was delayed by 1,5 year due to the intervention of ecological organizations for the protection of the brown bear population living in the region. The mutually acceptable solution was the construction of a 590meter long tunnel, 150 meters of which will be on Bulgarian territory.

    [13] GREECE IS A MODEL OF PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE IN THE BALKANS

    The Strategic and International Studies Center in Washington in a new report on the Islam in the Balkans mentions that in spite of a few problems that arise from time to time with the Muslim minority in Western Thrace, Greece is a model of peaceful coexistence in the Balkans, a region that often suffered from national and religious conflicts.

    Based on the report, the presence of Islam in Europe is expected to increase and bring social and cultural changes that could lead to new tensions, especially in south-eastern Europe, putting the region's stability at risk.

    Whether the Balkans will become a bridge or an obstacle to the coexistence of Christians and Muslims will depend on the extent and the speed of the democratization of the Balkan states and the incorporation of the region into the European institutions.

    On Bulgaria, the report maintains that even though the tension between Christians and Muslims was very serious in the past the country's democratization has improved the Christian- Muslim relations.

    On FYROM, it is pointed out that the new state of the Balkans has been based on the coexistence of ethnic groups.

    [14] PAPANDREOU'S INTERVIEW WITH THE FYROM STATE TELEVISION

    There is a will to settle the problem of the name that will be used by FYROM both by the country itself and from Greece's side, stated Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou in the FYROM state television on the occasion of his participation in the meeting of the foreign ministers from south-eastern Europe that took place in Ochird, FYROM.

    On the question if there was a discussion on a specific proposal regarding FYROM's name in the meeting he had recently with the political party leaders in Athens Mr. Papandreou responded negatively, adding that the name was among the important foreign policy issues that were discussed in order to establish if there is a will to continue the consultations in the United Nations and attempt to find a solution. He said that there is such a will and if a solution is found will depend on the form of that solution.

    Referring to the cooperation between the two countries, he characterized it as constructive and reminded that they followed a common line on the inviolability of the borders in the Balkans and the handling of the crisis in Kosovo.

    Responding to the question if he really said that Greece must protect FYROM from the increasing Albanian minority, he said that he did not use those words. He stated that he said clearly that the intention is to preserve the existing borders and avoid the partition of countries along ethnic lines adding that this concerns not only FYROM but all the countries in the region.


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