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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-11-06

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 6, 2000

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] "TRAIN OF CIVILIZATION" ARRIVES IN THESSALONIKI
  • [02] US CITIZENS IN GREECE VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT
  • [03] INQUIRY ORDERED ON HIJACKER'S SUICIDE IN CUSTODY
  • [04] THESSALONIKI TO HOST GREEK-CANADIAN CONFERENCE
  • [05] EU COMMISSION WARNS GREECE ON EMPLOYMENT PLAN
  • [06] HILARY CLINTON TO ATTEND 2004 GAMES IN ATHENS
  • [07] GREECE SWELLING, MORE TOURISTS THAN POPULATION
  • [08] THE ONASIS INTERNATIONAL PRIZES FOR 1999 WILL BE AWARDED TOMORROW
  • [09] OTE RETURNS TO BULGARIA FOR THE MOBILE PHONE SERVICE
  • [10] LOSSES OF 1.70% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [11] TWO-DAY CONFERENCE ON ECONOMY AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE BALKANS
  • [12] HUNGARIAN BUSINESSMEN VISITED THE ATHENS 2004 ORGANIZATION
  • [13] EXPLOSION ON A TURKISH TANKER CARRYING CHEMICALS SOUTH OF CRETE
  • [14] GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: THE ROLE OF THE MASS MEDIA WAS POSITIVE
  • [15] STATEMENTS BY THE GREEK MINISTER OF DEFENSE
  • [16] VISITS BY PAPANTONIOU AND PASCHALIDIS TO BALKAN CAPITALS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [17] THE GREEK MINISTER OF DEVELOPMENT WILL MEET WITH THE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] "TRAIN OF CIVILIZATION" ARRIVES IN THESSALONIKI

    "The Train of Civilization" is to arrive in Thessaloniki on November 10, transporting members of various groups supporting friendship with Balkan countries, Turkish parliamentarians, representatives of Balkan leagues and associations active in Turkey, as well as an array of artists, journalists and local authorities.

    Aiming to strengthen the ties of friendship among the Balkan peoples, the Train's voyage will last until November 12, and its stops include Plovdiv, Sofia, Skopje. In Greece, the train will visit Thessaloniki, Drama, Xanthi and Komotene.

    Every stopover will be met with festivities and cultural activities, while upon its arrival inThessaloniki on November 10, the day Kemal Ataturk died, the delegates will attend a ceremony to be held at the home where the founder of the Turkish Republic was born.

    [02] US CITIZENS IN GREECE VOTE BY ABSENTEE BALLOT

    Reflecting the high abstention rates in the United States, a mere 20 per cent of the 100,000 U.S. citizens residing in Greece have already cast their vote for the November 7 presidential elections by posting their absentee ballot through the DHL World Wide Express, a service provided by the US embassy in Athens for free.

    These voters either mailed or dropped off their ballot at their local DHL office in Greece by November 1 and DHL couriered it to New York's JFK airport, where the ballots entered the US postal system. Collection boxes were available at all DHL service centers in Greece and at the American Citizens Services section at the US embassy in Athens.

    Seventy percent of Greece's U.S. citizens, the majority of whom are Greek-Americans, reside in Athens, with the remaining dispersed in Thessaloniki, the Peloponnese, and the islands of Rhodes, Kos, and Chios.

    [03] INQUIRY ORDERED ON HIJACKER'S SUICIDE IN CUSTODY

    The Public Order Ministry has ordered a sworn inquiry into the suicide of the deranged man who took a bus full of Japanese tourists hostage on Saturday and then, after being arrested, jumped out of the seventh-floor window of the police headquarters.

    The 48-year-old hijacker, Christos Kenteras, leaped out of the window at 8:40 a.m. Sunday when he momentarily escaped the attention of police officers who were about to fingerprint him. They had reportedly taken off his handcuffs so that he could be fingerprinted when Kenteras bolted across the hallway to an office on the other side of the building and hurled himself through a closed glass window. He was killed instantly after falling seven floors.

    Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis and the Athens prosecutor immediately ordered separate inquiries into the death in custody.

    "This is not one of the finest moments of the Greek police, this tragic end," Public Order Ministry General Secretary Dimitris Efstathiadis stated in reference to the suicide.

    Kenteras, who was described as "distraught and dangerous", had held the Japanese tourists, their tour guide and the bus driver hostage Saturday for ten hours, before agreeing to exit the bus and hold negotiations with a Greek television reporter.

    About two hours prior to hijacking the bus, Kenteras had gunned down his elderly mother-in-law and another man because he reportedly blamed them for his marital problems.

    [04] THESSALONIKI TO HOST GREEK-CANADIAN CONFERENCE

    A conference on the coexistence of different cultures, titled SMulticulture: A developing dialogue. The Greek and Canadian example", will be held in Thessaloniki, on November 8-10, under the auspices of Greece' Culture Ministry.

    The conference will highlight the issue of coexistence between different cultures in the two countries and will be attended by Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Thessaloniki Deputy Mayor Nikos Makrantonakis and the Canadian Ambassador to Greece David Hatton.

    The event is organized by the Canadian embassy and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

    [05] EU COMMISSION WARNS GREECE ON EMPLOYMENT PLAN

    The European Commission has sternly warned Greece over its omissions of the National Action Plan pertaining to employment, given that the country's unemployment rate surpasses the European Union's average.

    In a recently-published report on Greece's employment rate, the European Union acknowledges that the Greek state's strategy to combat unemployment are in the right direction, but also issues issue a reprimand for the government's "foot dragging" in enforcing the necessary measures.

    [06] HILARY CLINTON TO ATTEND 2004 GAMES IN ATHENS

    In an interview with a Greek periodical, United States First Lady Hilary Clinton, who is also a Senate candidate for New York, expressed her hope for the Greek vote and acknowledged that the Greek-American community of N.Y. has provided her with moral and economical support.

    Moreover, Ms. Clinton, who had accompanied her husband during his official visit to Athens last year, characterized Greece as a wonderful country with amazing, warm and bright people, and also stated that she would like to attend the 2004 Games in Athens in order to live the Olympic spirit in its birthplace.

    [07] GREECE SWELLING, MORE TOURISTS THAN POPULATION

    By the end of the year, Greece will have hosted more tourists than its population of approximately ten million, as, according to the Greek Tourism Organization (EOT), foreign arrivals in 2000 are expected to amount between 12.4 - 12.6 million - not counting those who will arrive aboard cruise ships.

    In spite of the impressing numbers, the same cannot be said of this year's percentile increase which doesn't surpass the four-percent-mark, in comparison to 1999's boom of 11.43 per cent.

    Overnights stays in Athens and Thessaloniki presented satisfactory increases, with 8.29 percent in the capital between January-April and 11.25% in Thessaloniki between April-August.

    Contained optimism abounds for next year's tourism prospects, given the limited demand noted in most markets and the rising costs of fuel.

    Nevertheless, Greece is expected to withstand the any given limitations, considering the country's accession to the Economic and Monetary Union, its stable political and economic environment and the noted improvement in transportation and tourism-related infrastructures.

    [08] THE ONASIS INTERNATIONAL PRIZES FOR 1999 WILL BE AWARDED TOMORROW

    President of the Greek Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos will deliver the Onasis International Prizes for the year 1999.

    After a decision by the Alexandros Onasis Institute board of the directors and the Onasis International Prize Committee, former president of the French republic Valery Giscard d' Estaing will be honored with the International Understanding and Social Contribution prize, while music composer Mikis Theodorakis will take the cultural award and professor-researcher John W. Doran will receive the environment award. All the awards will be accompanied by the sum of US$ 250.000.

    The formal ceremony will be held tomorrow at the Megaron Music Hall in Athens.

    [09] OTE RETURNS TO BULGARIA FOR THE MOBILE PHONE SERVICE

    The Greek Telecommunications Organization, OTE, will be a candidate in the bid for the second mobile phone service provider permit in Bulgaria in which will participate companies from Turkey as well.

    According to press publications, OTE is expected to give a strong battle in spite of the fact that the Bulgarian government shows a preference toward the Turkish companies.

    The deadline for the applications to be submitted by the candidate companies ends on November 30, 2000.

    [10] LOSSES OF 1.70% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Significant loses of 1.70% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange in today's session and the general index dropped to 3.727,36 points, while the volume of transactions was very low at 32.13 billion drachmas setting a new negative record.

    Of the stocks trading today, the overwhelming majority namely, 261 stocks recorded losses, 84 had gains and 36 remained stable.

    [11] TWO-DAY CONFERENCE ON ECONOMY AND OPPORTUNITIES IN THE BALKANS

    A two-day business conference attended by the commercial attaches of the Balkan and Black Sea states on the course of the Balkan state economies, the business activity and the development of bilateral economic relations will be held in Thessaloniki's Chamber of Arts and Crafts on November 9 and 10.

    The goal of the conference is to brief and inform the businessmen and the interested institutions on the economies of specific countries and the business opportunities that exist. The two-day conference is expected to be attended by undersecretary of national economy Yiannis Zafiropoulos.

    [12] HUNGARIAN BUSINESSMEN VISITED THE ATHENS 2004 ORGANIZATION

    Twenty one representatives of big Hungarian companies and investment circles as well as the economic attache of the Hungarian embassy in Athens made an informative visit to the Athens 2004 Organization offices this morning.

    They were briefed by the Athens 2004 officials on the Olympic projects, the trade of goods and the transportation, as well as on the investment opportunities that are being created.

    [13] EXPLOSION ON A TURKISH TANKER CARRYING CHEMICALS SOUTH OF CRETE

    An explosion rocked a Turkish tanker carrying chemicals. The ship was sailing 30 nautical miles south the southern Aegean island of Crete when the explosion occurred.

    Three Turkish crew members were injured and they were taken to a military hospital after they were picked up by a Greek all- weather "Super Puma" helicopter which responded to the SOS signals sent out by the fifteen-member Turkish crew.

    According to information, the explosion took place in the ship's hold and it is not clear yet what caused it.

    [14] GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: THE ROLE OF THE MASS MEDIA WAS POSITIVE

    The mass media adopted a responsible position and played a positive role in the handling of the recent hostage crisis last Saturday when 35 people, 33 Japanese tourists and 2 Greeks, were held hostage on a tourist bus by a distraught man, commented Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas.

    On the role of the famous television talk-show host Makis Triantafillopoulos, Mr. Reppas stated that he helped the responsible authorities in their efforts to complete the rescue operation.

    [15] STATEMENTS BY THE GREEK MINISTER OF DEFENSE

    Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, commenting on the likelihood of a leadership issue to be raised in the governing socialist party of PASOK after his interview with the VIMAgazino yesterday, in which he referred to mistakes committed by the governing party maintaining that it has lost its socialist character, stated to reporters from the city of Xanthi in north- eastern Greece today, that it is inconceivable to discuss leadership issues just 6 months after the elections.

    Referring to Turkey's stance, he stressed that Greece demands good relations from Ankara and backs its accession into the European Union. When asked to comment on whether the Greek-Turkish relations affect the relations between Christians and Muslims in Thrace, he stressed that the Muslims are Greek citizens and have the same rights with the rest of the Greeks, while he pointed out that those relations do not depend on any external factor.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stressed that an effort is being made by certain sides to create impressions on issues concerning the claims on behalf of Turkey and its stance regarding Thrace, the Aegean and Cyprus. He said that the Greek-Turkish relations is useful to be improved, the tension must ease off and if possible disappear from the wider region.

    On the relations between the Muslims and the Christians in Thrace, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos pointed out that a systematic and continuous effort is being made to safeguard all the rights that stem from the international treaties, adding that there may have been certain delays but the efforts continue to achieve a complete equality in those relations. He mentioned characteristically that in the armed forces certain procedures have been implemented that abolish any discrimination.

    [16] VISITS BY PAPANTONIOU AND PASCHALIDIS TO BALKAN CAPITALS

    Ministers of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou and Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis will visit Belgrade, Sofia and Skopje on Sunday within a framework of a tour that will last until next Tuesday, while more visits to other Balkan capitals will follow.

    The visits are placed within the framework of the Greek plan for the reconstruction of the Balkans and according to Mr. Paschalidis, Greece's Balkan policy is based on five points, the consolidation of democracy, economic development, the inviolability of the borders, regional cooperation and the gradual incorporation of the Balkan countries into the European Union.

    In a luncheon he gave in honor of the general consuls in Thessaloniki today, Mr. Paschalidis stated that the logic of infiltration must be abandoned because it insults the culture of the Balkan states and the logic of cooperation must prevail. He also stated that a ministry of Macedonia-Thrace office will open soon and will back the Greek reconstruction plan.

    On behalf of the consulate corps, Bulgarian consul general Ilko Svatsev stated that the positions of the Greek government and the role played by the ministry of Macedonia-Thrace and the minister himself on issues concerning the reconstruction of the Balkans are of great interest. He also said that the dream shared by all is peace, friendship and cooperation in the Balkans.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [17] THE GREEK MINISTER OF DEVELOPMENT WILL MEET WITH THE YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT

    Greek minister of development Nikos Christodoulakis, who is on a visit to Belgrade, will meet with Yugoslav president Voijlav Kostunica.

    Mr. Christodoulakis has already met with federal government vice-president and minister responsible for international economic affairs, Lambus Miroljub as well as, with the Serb government energy minister.

    In the Yugoslav capital and Novisad, the Greek minister of development will have talks with EPS Elektroprivreda electricity service management representatives and oil distribution company NIS executives. He is also scheduled to visit the Novisad oil refineries.


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