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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-09-25

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, September 25, 2000

SECTIONS

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

  • NEWS HEADLINES

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

  • [01] GREECE EARNS SILVER IN MEN'S GYMNASTICS RINGS
  • [02] FUEL TANK TRUCK DRIVERS GO ON STRIKE TODAY
  • [03] GREECE, AUSTRALIA: SPORTS COOPERATION ACCORD
  • [04] ATHENS 2004 PRESIDENT SPEAKS EXCLUSIVELY TO MPA
  • [05] MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER SIGNS CHURCH'S PETITION
  • [06] FUNERAL OF WIDELY RESPECTED MP AVDIS TOMORROW
  • [07] TWO LIONS FLY TODAY TO ENGLAND FROM GREECE
  • [08] HELLENIC POSTAL SERVICE UP FOR PRIVATIZATION
  • [09] KEDIKOGLOU LEFT PASOK
  • [10] GAINS OF 1.48% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [11] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY DENIES RUMORS ON ALLEGED PRESSURES EXERTED ON MILOSEVIC BY PAPANDREOU
  • [12] GREECE CAN HOST AN ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN MEETING - THE PALESTINIAN AMBASSADOR'S INTERVIEW WITH MPA
  • [13] REPPAS ON THE ELECTIONS IN YUGOSLAVIA
  • [14] THE 14TH INFOSYSTEM OPENS ON THURSDAY WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF 756 EXHIBITORS
  • [15] ENGINE FIRE ON A PASSENGER PLANE IMMEDIATELY AFTER TAKE OFF FROM IRAKLION, CRETE
  • [16] THESSALONIKI WILL HAVE A PLANETARIUM IN 2002
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • [17] GREEK DIPLOMAT: TROUBLE-FREE ELECTIONS IN F.R.Y.
  • [18] THE GREEKS COMPETING IN THE OLYMPICS TOMORROW
  • [19] EU: MILOSEVIC CAN NOT CLAIM VICTORY

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREECE EARNS SILVER IN MEN'S GYMNASTICS RINGS

    Greece's Dimosthenis Tampakos won the silver medal yesterday in the men's gymnastics rings at the Sydney Olympic Games.

    Tampakos took the silver with a score of 9,762 after an impressive routine ending with a double somersault and a perfect landing.

    [02] FUEL TANK TRUCK DRIVERS GO ON STRIKE TODAY

    Joining Europe's wave of strike action sparked by high oil prices, Greece's public utility vehicle drivers and fuel truck owners have called the first of a series of strikes as of today, claiming that government taxes and high international oil prices are putting them out of business.

    The drivers are also expressing their opposition to the government's decision to "open" their profession, a "closed-shop" one, by no longer requiring a special license. This, the drivers say, will open the gates of competition, which means lower prices and improved services.

    The strike could seriously disrupt transport and other services in scenes resembling protests in northern Europe earlier this month. At the same time, the oil's surging international price, in conjunction with the increasing exchange parity of the U.S. dollar against the drachma, are expected to cause the prices of numerous products to rise.

    According to the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou, the government is examining the possibility of implementing measures to support lower income groups, if the dollar and fuel prices continue to soar. If given the green light, the measures will be taken within the context of the new state budget for next year.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis has repeatedly warned that harsh penalties will be imposed on anyone found to be exploiting the current situation by profiteering.

    [03] GREECE, AUSTRALIA: SPORTS COOPERATION ACCORD

    A sports cooperation memorandum was signed in Sydney this weekend between Greece and Australia, aimed at strengthening bilateral relations in the sector of athletics.

    Greece's Deputy Sports Minister George Floridis and Australian Sports Committee executive director Jim Ferguson signed the he memorandum which anticipates, among others, the transfer of know-how, mutual visits by sports officials, the exchange of sports training programs and information on developing sports, sports research, organizing joint symposiums, conferences and conventions and promoting trade relations between the two countries in the framework of organizing the Olympic Games.

    After the signing ceremony, Mr. Floridis hosted a dinner in honor of the Australian officials at the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee's hospitality center.

    [04] ATHENS 2004 PRESIDENT SPEAKS EXCLUSIVELY TO MPA

    "Extremely proud" of the Greek athletes' victories in the Sydney Games is the president of the "Athens 2004" Olympic Games Organizing Committee Yianna Daskalaki-Aggelopoulos, who, in an exclusive interview with the Macedonian Press Agency, stressed that she is looking to learn from Australia's apparent unity in the Games and bring the same spirit of camaraderie to the next Olympics in Greece.

    The Greek athletes have once again made us proud, Ms. Daskalaki-Aggelopoulos stated, adding that "this means arduous efforts, unwavering commitment to the target".

    This, she said, should give us the impetus to proceed towards the 2004 Games united, focused on the future and produce similar results.

    "In spite of the hurdles they had to face, the Australians managed to how a united Australia," Ms. Daskalaki-Aggelopoulos said, "above all expectations, and which gave an excellent example to Greece."

    When asked if Greece will be able to organize a better Olympics, having had the experience of Sydney's exemplary organization, the president of "Athens 2004" responded that "if we manage to achieve such organization in the Athens Games, which will also coincide with the Games;' return to Greece, them it will be something unprecedented. Everything we see around us has to become a lesson to all of us."

    [05] MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER SIGNS CHURCH'S PETITION

    The leader of the main opposition party of New Demcoracy Costas Karamanlis signed a Church petition calling for a referendum on whether religious affiliation should remain listed on the state-issued identification cards.

    Accompanied by his wife, Natasha, who also signed the petition, Mr. Karamanlis told journalists outside a church in the Athens suburb of Aghia Paraskevi that Greeks have the inalienable right to do what their consciences dictated and protest government decisions.

    Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece Christodoulos told a congregation yesterday in Ilioupolis, Athens, that they should "not substitute the Church's umbrella with nylon or multi-colored umbrellas."

    [06] FUNERAL OF WIDELY RESPECTED MP AVDIS TOMORROW

    Former Communist parliamentarian and Athens town councillor Leon Avdis died of cancer yesterday in an Athens hospital at the age of 63. His funeral will be held in Athens' first Cemetery tomorrow at 4 p.m.

    Mr. Avdis, a lawyer who enjoyed wide respect across the political spectrum, was elected to Parliament in 1996 on the Greek Communist Party (KKE) ticket, but resigned in 1997 to run for mayor of Athens.

    His platform included improving living conditions in run-down areas and creating bicycle lanes in the capital.

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis, opposition leader Costas Karamanlis and the KKE expressed their condolences.

    [07] TWO LIONS FLY TODAY TO ENGLAND FROM GREECE

    A ten-year-old lioness and a four-year-old lion will be hosted for a few hours at Thesssaloniki's "Macedonia" airport today, en route to a better habitat in England.

    The two majestic animals were kept at the zoo of Florina, which recently shut down. Thanks to the efforts of the Born Free Foundation, an international wildlife charity, the two lions will be transported by plane to England where they will be taken to a man-made jungle.

    [08] HELLENIC POSTAL SERVICE UP FOR PRIVATIZATION

    The privatization process for the Hellenic Postal Service (ELTA) is to get underway in October, where a minority stake of 15% will be sold to a private investor, while the organization's management will remain in the state's hands.

    The process will comprise two phases, commencing with the international strategic partnership and ending with the listing of ELTA shares on the Athens bourse.

    According to the National Economy and Finance Ministry's plans, the French, German, Dutch and British postal services have all expressed an interest in the partnership and are expected to submit non-binding bids within October. A short list will precede the binding bids.

    Valued at GRD80-100 billion, ELTA's revenue during the first half of 2000 amounted to approximately GRD59.6 billion, a 7.6 billion increase from last year's comparable time period.

    [09] KEDIKOGLOU LEFT PASOK

    Parliament deputy Vasilis Kedikoglou left the governing socialist party of PASOK. Mr. Kedikoglou had been expelled from the party's parliamentary group after a decision by prime minister and PASOK party leader Kostas Simitis and had been sent before the party's responsible bodies with the question of expulsion from the party's ranks.

    Mr. Kedikoglou made known his decision to leave PASOK with a letter addressed to the president, the party's executive bureau and parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    [10] GAINS OF 1.48% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    The week opened for the Athens Stock Exchange with gains of 1.48% and the general index was at 4.151,48 points, while the bank shares showed the biggest rise. However, the volume of transactions was low at 82.9 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today 217 recorded gains, 119 had losses and 38 remained unchanged.

    [11] THE GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY DENIES RUMORS ON ALLEGED PRESSURES EXERTED ON MILOSEVIC BY PAPANDREOU

    Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis categorically denied the rumors reported by foreign news agencies according to which, foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou had a telephone communication with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic in order to exert pressures on him to accept any election result. Mr. Beglitis stated that there was no communication between them.

    Greek foreign ministry circles stated that for the moment there is no clear picture of the election results. However, according to information from Belgrade, Milosevic is clearly ahead in Montenegro and Kosovo with a 6 to 1 ratio, while in other cities opposition candidate Voiclav Kostunica gets over 60% of the votes.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Papandreou left for Sydney today where he will stay until October 1 accompanied by general secretary of Greeks living abroad Dimitris Dollis.

    [12] GREECE CAN HOST AN ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN MEETING - THE PALESTINIAN AMBASSADOR'S INTERVIEW WITH MPA

    Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis in the meeting he had with Yasser Arafat in New York within the framework of the UN millennium summit, left open the likelihood for Greece to host a meeting of Israelis and Palestinians. Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah, head of the Palestinian diplomatic representation in Greece, in an interview with MPA, stated that the Greek prime minister confirmed to the Palestinian leader in their meeting in New York that Greece can play a role in the solution of the Middle East problem and left open the likelihood for an Israeli- Palestinian meeting in Greece. Mr. Abdullah referring to the prospects for the solution of the Palestinian issue, pointed out that the problem will be solved sooner or later but a precondition for this is that Israel will respect and implement the UN decisions. The Palestinian ambassador stated that the United States must exert pressures on Israel to implement the UN decisions if they want peace to be preserved in the Middle East while, at the same time, he underlined that Yasser Arafat with the decision to postpone the Palestinian state declaration offered another chance to peace in the region.

    Mr. Abdullah stated that there was a progress made in Camp David and the proof of this success was that the Israelis agreed to put on the negotiating table all the issues dividing the two sides. He said that they agreed to discuss the issue of Jerusalem, the return of the refugees, the Jewish settlements, borders and security. This is regarded as a step on the road to success. The second step in the same direction is for Israel to recognize the principles based on which peace talks had started namely, to withdraw from all the territories it occupied in 1967, as it did in the front of Egypt and Jordan, the full implementation of the UN Security Council decisions as it already happened in the fronts with Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt, and as they have already promised that they will be implemented in the front of Syria as well as, the implementation of the UN Security Council decision 194 for the return of the refugees, stressed Mr. Abdullah. The Palestinian diplomat also underlined that the Israelis while initially were categorically denying to discuss certain issues slowly give way reaching a point where they discuss issues that until recently were forbidden for them.

    Israel can not continue for ever to disregard the UN decisions as those decisions are the decisions of all member- nations, including those which support Israel like the United States. This means that there is a progress in their positions but this progress is not enough. There will be a solution because it is to the interest of the Palestinians, the Israelis and all the people in the region. However, whether this solution is close it depends on how much the Israeli leadership is willing to recognize reality. Always, the Israeli governments move with a very slow pace. It took 22 years for them to withdraw from South Lebanon and they paid the cost dearly both in material and in human terms, added Mr. Abdullah.

    Referring to the issue of east Jerusalem, which is a thorn in the peace negotiations, Mr. Abdullah pointed out that the implementation of the UN decision 242 means the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from all those regions. He said that since the year 636 when the city came under the Arab control it became the center of Palestine and it continues to be until today. Jerusalem will return as a capital of the state of Palestine. Jerusalem is the center of culture, economy, politics and religion. The Palestinians say that "there can be no Palestinians without Palestine and no Palestine without Jerusalem". He said that Jerusalem is not regarded as just the capital of the Palestinians but the third holy place for over one billion Muslims. It is the spiritual center for all the Palestinians, Christians and Muslims. For the Palestinian Christians it is the holiest place. This is the position occupied by Jerusalem in the conscience of every Palestinian regardless of being Muslim or Christian, stated the Palestinian ambassador.

    Referring to the context of the Simitis-Arafat talks in New York, Mr. Abdullah stated that Mr. Simitis shares a long friendship with Mr. Arafat. Greece has a historic place in backing the rights of the Palestinians and about a month ago, Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou had stated clearly that the Palestinian state will be recognized as soon as it will be declared.

    [13] REPPAS ON THE ELECTIONS IN YUGOSLAVIA

    The electoral process in Yugoslavia appears to have developed without phenomena that can offer grounds for the dispute of the election results, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    The statement was made when Mr. Reppas was asked to comment on the Yugoslav elections that were held yesterday.

    [14] THE 14TH INFOSYSTEM OPENS ON THURSDAY WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF 756 EXHIBITORS

    The 14th international computer systems exhibition INFOSYSTEM opens in Thessaloniki on Thursday with the participation of 756 exhibitors from Greece and 28 foreign countries.

    The exhibition will last until October 1 and will cover a space of 13.150 square meters with a record number of participants, both direct and indirect exhibitors from Greece and abroad.

    INFOSYSTEM is the biggest exhibition in the sector of computer systems in south-eastern Europe and last year it was visited by 54.395 people most of them professionals from Greece and abroad.

    [15] ENGINE FIRE ON A PASSENGER PLANE IMMEDIATELY AFTER TAKE OFF FROM IRAKLION, CRETE

    Fire broke out in one of the two engines of an Amsterdam bound Boeing 757 Transavia Airlines' passenger plane just after take off from the Iraklion Airport in the south Aegean island of Crete.

    There was an explosion and the airplane flew in circles above the sea in order to empty its fuel reservoirs before returning to the airport where it landed safely.

    The airplane's 238 passengers were unharmed.

    [16] THESSALONIKI WILL HAVE A PLANETARIUM IN 2002

    The construction of the Center for the Dissemination of Science and the Museum of Technology, part of which will be the planetarium, will be completed in Thessaloniki by December 2002. The center will be housed in a space of 49.000 square meters that was donated by the municipality of Thermi. It will be made up of a large parking space, a conference hall and a CD-ROM library. The project is estimated to cost 6.5 billion drachmas and it will be funded by the ministry of national economy and the European Bank. The center will be divided into four sectors among them, a 150- seat planetarium where new digital technologies will be used for the projection and re-enactment of celestial data.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [17] GREEK DIPLOMAT: TROUBLE-FREE ELECTIONS IN F.R.Y.

    Yesterday's presidential elections in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were trouble-free, according to the chairman of the Greek Parliament's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Karolos Papoulias who is presently in Belgrade.

    As the Yugoslav news agency Tanjug reported, Mr. Papoulias stated that "the Greek government and I personally are opposed to sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia and ask for their immediate lift."

    Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the U.S. Democratic Party Chris Spyrou also seconded Mr. Papoulias view on the elections, by stating that he did not notice any irregularities in the voting process.

    "The present conditions allow the voters to freely and democratically express their will," he characteristically stated.

    Mr. Papoulias, who was personally invited by the neighboring country, was also accompanied by a parliamentary delegation.

    [18] THE GREEKS COMPETING IN THE OLYMPICS TOMORROW

    The swimming pools will be the center stage for the Greek athletes competing in the Sydney Olympics tomorrow.

    The Greek water polo national team will face Holland in the fourth round of the preliminaries and will try to qualify for the next phase of the event.

    In the synchronized swimming, Christina Thalassinidou and Despina Theodoridou will compete in the finals and will try to win a medal.

    In the diving competition, Thomas Bibis and Nikos Siranidis, will represent Greece, while in the sailing competition the Greek champions will continue their efforts for a place among the top three.

    [19] EU: MILOSEVIC CAN NOT CLAIM VICTORY

    The European Union announced today that any statement by Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic claiming victory in yesterday's presidential elections will be a "fraud".

    In a statement issued by the French EU presidency it is stressed that the high participation of the voters in the elections shows that the people want to take destiny into their own hands. The Yugoslav people wanted to express their views in spite of the intimidation and the pressures exerted by the Milosevic regime before and during the elections.

    According to the statement, the EU is in close contact with the United States, Russia, the UN mission in Kosovo and the OSCE..


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