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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-11-03

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, November 3, 2000

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] YILMAZ: OUR DIFFERENCES ARE NOT INSURMOUNTABLE
  • [02] 16TH PHILOXENIA FAIR UNDERWAY IN THESSALONIKI
  • [03] PREMIER TO TOUR NORTHWESTERN GREECE TOMORROW
  • [04] WEU ASSEMBLY SPEAKER KLAUS BUHLER IN ATHENS
  • [05] HOLIDAY INN HOTEL TO OPEN IN THESSALONIKI
  • [06] EUROSTAT: SOUTHERN AEGEAN HAS MOST BEDS IN EU
  • [07] YILMAZ MAKES LIGHT OF RECENT QUIP: "I WAS JOKING"
  • [08] INCREASE BY 5.25% IN THE INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION
  • [09] LOSSES OF 0.64% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [10] TWO MILLION SIGNATURES HAVE BEEN COLLECTED ON THE ISSUE OF THE IDENTITY CARDS
  • [11] THE PRIME MINISTER PRESENTED TO YILMAZ THE FIRM GREEK POSITIONS
  • [12] YILMAZ: THE ISSUE OF THE REOPENING OF THE THEOLOGY SCHOOL IN HALKI WAS NEVER RAISED TO ME BY A GREEK GOVERNMENT
  • [13] NEW ATTACKS AGAINST GREECE ON THE 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES
  • [14] KAKLAMANIS BRIEFED HIS EUROPEAN COUNTERPARTS ON THE ELECTION IRREGULARITIES IN HIMARA
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [15] BYZANTINE SCHOLAR SIR STEVEN RUNCIMAN DIES
  • [16] NEW GREEK AMBASSADOR TO TIRANA

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] YILMAZ: OUR DIFFERENCES ARE NOT INSURMOUNTABLE

    The differences pending between Greece and Turkey "are not insurmountable", according to Turkey's vice-president and ex- foreign minister Mesut Yilmaz, who is presently in Athens to address a Greek-Turkish business cooperation conference.

    A keynote speaker at the conference, titled "Greece - Turkey - EU: Opportunities for business and economic cooperation", Mr. Yilmaz stated that "the Greeks want this cooperation, and this desire should guide future governments."

    The conference, held under the aegis of the Greek Foreign Ministry, will give the delegates the opportunity to be briefed by EU commissioners on community regulations regarding trade and business activities.

    Moreover, the conference will provide the opportunity for the formation of joint ventures in the Black Sea region and central Asian countries.

    The event features the participation of over 300 business delegates from Turkey, Greece and other EU countries, as well as government officials from both countries and EU commissioners.

    Mr. Yilmaz is to meet with the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, Prime Minister Costas Simitis, and the leader of the main opposition party New Democracy Costas Karamanlis.

    [02] 16TH PHILOXENIA FAIR UNDERWAY IN THESSALONIKI

    The 16th Philoxenia tourism trade fair, organized by Helexpo, was inaugurated at Thessaloniki's Exhibition Center last night by the Minister of Development Nikos Christodoulakis, while the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace George Paschalides was among the keynote speakers.

    In his address, Mr. Paschalides stressed the significance of tourism for Greece, a vital source of income for the country, and pointed out that "the time has come for the country to deal with tourism development as a parameter of viable development, by embodying all of its new forms into an overall European outline, in a wider market that surpasses the borders of Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean."

    The fair, which will run through Sunday, features 515 participants, 450 from Greece and 65 from abroad, including the European Tourism Trade Fair Association, which represents 20 members from around the continent and the first ever official participation of Turkey.

    [03] PREMIER TO TOUR NORTHWESTERN GREECE TOMORROW

    Prime Minister Costas Simitis is to tour the region of Epirus, northwestern Greece, tomorrow, in order to brief local officials on the 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF) and its contribution to the country's development and modernization.

    According to a press release, the Premier will refer to the investment programs of the 3rd CSF and the prospects to arise therefrom, while he will also express the need for the correct utilization of the 17.5 trillion drachmas.

    This revenue, the announcement added, will change the country's image over the next six-year period (2000-2006).

    [04] WEU ASSEMBLY SPEAKER KLAUS BUHLER IN ATHENS

    The President of the European Union (WEU) Assembly Klaus Buhler arrived in Athens yesterday for an official visit, at the invitation of Greek Parliament speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    In addition to Mr. Kaklamanis , Mr. Buhler will meet with the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, Defense Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Foreign Minister George Papandreou and political party leaders.

    [05] HOLIDAY INN HOTEL TO OPEN IN THESSALONIKI

    Thessaloniki will soon acquire its very own Holiday Inn hotel as of April 2001, following a cooperation deal signed this week with the city's Capitol hotel.

    The Holiday Inn hotel chain, owned by Bars Hotels & Resorts (BHR), will grant its name to Capitol and will also supply brand products, while Capitol will keep control of the hotel's management.

    Owned by Aristotle Thomopoulos, Capitol hotel (A category), has 178 rooms and suites with 332 beds. It recently completed a renovation project, worth 1.5 billion drachmas, to upgrade its services to luxury standards.

    The hotel's turnover totaled one billion drachmas last year, with profits at 250 million drachmas.

    [06] EUROSTAT: SOUTHERN AEGEAN HAS MOST BEDS IN EU

    The region of the southern Aegean has the highest ratio of hotel beds to population in the 15-member European Union, according to a report published by Eurostat, the EU's statistics service.

    According to the report, the proportion is 550 hotel beds to 1,000 inhabitants in the Cyclades and Dodecanese islands. The EU average in 1998 was 25 hotel beds for 1,000 inhabitants.

    [07] YILMAZ MAKES LIGHT OF RECENT QUIP: "I WAS JOKING"

    Turkish vice president and former foreign minister Mesut Yilmaz, presently in Athens for a Greek-Turkish business conference stated today that his recent remark that "after shaking hands with Greece you must count your fingers" was "just a joke" that didn't deserve so much attention.

    "I respect the Greek people and am, after all, among the first who embarked on the rapprochement process," he stated, adding that "the two peoples can overcome the problems between them, as long as there is a healthy dialogue."

    Mr. Yilmaz is to meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis today and the latter, according to government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas, is to stress upon all the issues pending between the two countries. Moreover, according to Mr. Reppas, Mr. Simitis intends to criticize Turkey's stance during the NATO military maneuver "Destined Glory 2000".

    The Greek premier is also expected to touch upon Turkey's relations with the European Union, by reminding to Mr. Yilmaz the obligations his country has undertaken as per the Helsinki accord.

    [08] INCREASE BY 5.25% IN THE INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

    Notable increase by 5.25% was recorded in the industrial production index in the 8month period of January-August 2000 compared to the same period in 1999. This happened in spite of the fact that the index's increase rate was slowed down in August and reached 1.9% compared to the same month last year.

    According to the National Statistics Agency, the general index for the mines, industry, electricity, natural gas and water production increased by 6.6% in August, while the increase in the mine production index was 12.9%. The electricity, natural gas and water production index increased by 16.5%.

    [09] LOSSES OF 0.64% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Losses of 0.64% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index dropped to 3.791,88 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 55.3 billion drachmas.

    Regarding the stocks trading today the scenery changed in the last few seconds of the session as 201 stocks recorded gains, 133 had losses and 47 remained unchanged.

    [10] TWO MILLION SIGNATURES HAVE BEEN COLLECTED ON THE ISSUE OF THE IDENTITY CARDS

    The committee of the Church of Greece that was formed to deal with the issue of the new state-issued identity cards that do not list the religion of the bearer met today and assessed the course of the campaign for the collection of signatures calling for a referendum on the matter, 50 days after the whole initiative was launched. According to data provided from different churches across Greece, the number of signatures that have already been collected are 2 million.

    Based on the statement issued by the Holy Synod after the committee meeting the signature collection procedure continues firmly in every Metropolis of the Church of Greece and the people signing come from every social and political sector.

    [11] THE PRIME MINISTER PRESENTED TO YILMAZ THE FIRM GREEK POSITIONS

    The meeting of Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis with Turkish government vice-president Mesut Yilmaz, who is on a visit to Athens, was held in a friendly atmosphere and there was a wide exchange of views.

    According to government sources, the Greek prime minister presented the firm Greek positions on the relations of the two countries and stated that Greece wants peaceful and good neighborly relations with Turkey which is to the benefit of both peoples, adding that Greece moved toward this direction in Helsinki for the approval of the Turkish bid for EU membership.

    He said that any difficulties between Turkey and Greece can be faced better and more effectively within the framework of the EU. In this spirit the Greek government launched some time a ago the talks on low policy issues. As it was proven these talks were productive and already nine "low policy" agreements have been signed that will be presented for approval to the Greek parliament.

    He also said that the latest developments in the NATO exercise had a negative effect on the Greek public opinion because of the backing out on behalf of the Turkish side, adding that no statements should be made that could hurt bilateral relations.

    Mr. Simitis stated that the meeting of the two foreign ministers in Budapest to examine the confidence-building-measures was satisfactory and Greece believes that there will be a partnership relation between the EU and Turkey that will reflect those agreed in Helsinki. On that basis Greece backs Turkey's European prospects, said the Greek prime minister, adding that Turkey is expected to make specific steps of good will that have not been made yet.

    On Cyprus, Mr. Simitis stated that it is not a Greek-Turkish problem but an international one and the Turkish side must make clear steps of good will based on the UN decisions.

    According to information, Mr. Yilmaz stated on the Greek- Turkish relations that Turkey needs some time to adjust to the European standards and will examine ways to overcome the difficulties existing with Greece. He said that Turkey wants the issue of the partnership relation with the European Union to close in a positive way, adding that there is a notable change in the Turkish public opinion which is in favor of peaceful relations and cooperation with Greece. Mr. Yilmaz also stated that the interest of many Greek businessmen to invest in Turkey was a positive surprise.

    [12] YILMAZ: THE ISSUE OF THE REOPENING OF THE THEOLOGY SCHOOL IN HALKI WAS NEVER RAISED TO ME BY A GREEK GOVERNMENT

    An Ipekci Prize delegation asked for the contribution of Turkish government vice-president Mesut Yilmaz to the reopening of the Theology School in Halki in the meeting they had in Athens today. Mr. Yilmaz responded that he is aware of the issue adding, however, that it was never raised to him by a Greek government.

    Ipekci secretariat representative Andreas Politakis, who delivered a memorandum to Mr. Yilmaz for his constructive stance toward the Ipekci Prize as well as, for his contribution to the improvement of the Greek-Turkish relations, stated to the Turkish politician that the issue of the reopening of the Theology School in Halki had been raised a number of times and maybe it just did not reach him.

    Mr. Politakis stated that if the Theology School in Halki is not reopened, the Ecumenical Patriarchate will not be able to operate, as every Ecumenical Patriarch has to study in it.

    Mr. Yilmaz stated that this issue must be handled delicately and accepted Mr. Politakis' proposal for the establishment of a wide committee as soon as possible that will be made up of the mayors of the twinned municipalities in Turkey and Greece, a total of 20 from each side, that will visit Ankara under the auspices of the Ipekci Prize and raise the demand for the reopening of the Theology School in Halki.

    Mr. Politakis also stated that it would be very useful if Mr. Yilmaz attended the Ipekci Prize ceremony that will be held in Istanbul and deliver the awards. Mr. Yilmaz instructed a member of the Motherland Party, who is also a mayor, to undertake the organizing of this important event.

    [13] NEW ATTACKS AGAINST GREECE ON THE 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES

    Another International Olympic Committee, IOC, member has launched an attack against Greece concerning the organizing of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. IOC press office head Franklin Shryber stated to the "Financial Times" that the delay in the completion of the Olympic projects is possible to reduce the demands on the capacity of the facilities, bring about the withdrawal of certain sports events and cause the reduction of the number of the participating athletes.

    "Athens 2004" Organization president Ms. Yianna Angelopoulou- Daskalaki has sent a letter to IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch asking for his support against the anti-Greek propaganda by certain IOC members.

    Referring to the issue, minister of environment, land planning and public works, Kostas Laliotis pointed out that IOC members should not involve Athens and the 2004 Olympic Games in their election aspirations concerning the succession of Mr. Samaranch in the IOC.

    Minister of culture Theodoros Pangalos said that such comments are meaningless and curious, while commenting on the view that the Olympic Games must be hosted only by rich countries, he stated that the Olympic Games is an affair that concerns the many and not the few.

    [14] KAKLAMANIS BRIEFED HIS EUROPEAN COUNTERPARTS ON THE ELECTION IRREGULARITIES IN HIMARA

    Greek parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis pointed out the irregularities established by the international observers in the recent municipal elections in Albania and especially in the region of Himara, where most of the ethnic Greek minority lives, in a letter addressed to his European counterparts and heads of international organizations.

    Mr. Kaklamanis referred in his letter to the fact that many voters living outside Albania were not allowed to enter the country, while others, who had voted in the first round of elections were blocked from exercising their right to vote in the second round, stating that these are characteristic phenomena of disregard toward fundamental rights protected by international treaties.

    Also, Mr. Kaklamanis stated that according to international observers, certain polling boxes were almost full before the election process got underway, while ballot papers were marked and the election process was interrupted many times for no serious reasons. He also pointed out the fact that psychological violence was exerted on voters with intimidation, abuse and arrests for no serious reason. In addition, he referred to the strong presence of special police forces which in combination with the fact that sea exercises using live ammunition were held in the region of Himara and Sarante constitute a clear proof of the fear and pressures cultivated by the Albanian side.

    Mr. Kaklamanis underlined in his letter that it is obvious that those irregularities constitute gross violations of the fundamental rights of the citizens of a country that seeks to consolidate its democratic and social ties and upgrade its place in the European Union.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [15] BYZANTINE SCHOLAR SIR STEVEN RUNCIMAN DIES

    Sir Steven Runciman, scholar of the Byzantine Empire and well- known for his three-volume work "A History of the Crusades," died in London on November 1, at the age of 97. Sir Runciman's work, published between 1951 and 1954, became a standard for professional scholars and history-lovers and was followed by "The Eastern Schism" in 1955, "The Sicilian Vespers" in 1958, and "The Fall of Constantinople" in 1965.

    His last book, "A Traveler's Alphabet" - painting a picture of a privileged and convivial man on easy terms with diplomats and leading scholars - was published in 1991.

    After having taught Byzantine history at the University of Istanbul between 1942-45, Sir Runciman traveled to Athens, where he headed the British Council.

    Greek Ambassador to Britain, Alexandros Sandes, has conveyed the deepest condolences of the President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos and the Greek government to the family.

    [16] NEW GREEK AMBASSADOR TO TIRANA

    Albanian president Redzep Meidani received Greece's new ambassador to Tirana Dimitris Iliopoulos, who presented his credentials.

    The meeting of Mr. Meidani with the new Greek ambassador was held in the presence of the Albanian foreign affairs undersecretary, according to a statement issued by the Albanian foreign ministry.

    The Greek ambassador was accompanied by diplomats of the Greek embassy in Tirana. An Albanian foreign ministry representative stated exclusively to MPA that the meeting of Mr. Meidani with Mr. Iliopoulos lasted 35 minutes.


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