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

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From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.


MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY NEWS IN ENGLISH
Thessaloniki, December 12, 2000

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] PREMIER URGES STATE, PUBLIC TO PROTECT CHILDREN
  • [02] THESSALONIKI TO HOST PART OF KOSTAKIS COLLECTION
  • [03] GREECE, FYROM DISCUSS SOUTHERN SERBIA IN SKOPJE
  • [04] BULGARIAN BUYS OFF SENTENCE WITH FAKE MONEY
  • [05] UN, ABDUCTORS NEGOTIATE RELEASE OF OBSERVERS
  • [06] BLAST ROCKS ECONOMY MINISTRY EMPLOYEE'S HOME
  • [07] FIRST MODERN DELPHIC GAMES HELD IN MOSCOW
  • [08] PM STRESSES SIGNIFICANCE OF INFORMATION SOCIETY
  • [09] THE TWO UN OBSERVERS ARE EXPECTED TO BE RELEASED BY TOMORROW
  • [10] THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF GREECE AND FYROM WILL MEET TOMORROW
  • [11] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS LAUNCHED AN ATTACK AGAINST THE FRENCH EU PRESIDENCY
  • [12] LOSSES OF 1.97% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [13] REPPAS: THE KOSTUNICA VISIT IS PENDING
  • [14] GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: THE ATTACKS ON THE NICE SUMMIT RESULTS ARE GROUNDLESS
  • [15] NEW INTEREST RATE CUTS BY THE BANK OF GREECE
  • [16] THE TRIAL ON THE CASE OF LITTLE BEN WAS PUT OFF TO TAKE PLACE ON MAY 10
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [17] GREEK SINGER GLIKERIA WILL GIVE A CONCERT IN TIRANA TOMORROW
  • [18] PROFESSOR SPIROS SIMITIS ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PREMIER URGES STATE, PUBLIC TO PROTECT CHILDREN

    In light of the International Children's Day, Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday called on citizens and the state to provide for the protection and support of children, especially those that are exploited and isolated from society.

    "It is an important day which makes us feel responsible, both as a state and as individual citizens, for their present and future," Mr. Simitis stated, adding "life is not always like a fairy tail; for this reason we must focus on the children that live under difficult circumstances, those children that we pass by every day in the busy streets of the big city, while they try to sell their wares, the children that fall victims of exploitation and ill-treatment everyday."

    [02] THESSALONIKI TO HOST PART OF KOSTAKIS COLLECTION

    A section of the Kostakis collection of priceless Russian avant-garde artwork will go on display in Thessaloniki's Lazariston Monastery this month.

    The three-month exhibition will feature 100 artworks out of the overall collection that consists of 1,275 Russian avant-garde pieces, including works by Malevic, founder of the "supremacist" school, Tatlin the founder of "constructivism", Papova, Rozanova and Matiushin. The collection comprises mostly paintings, although sketches, engraved manuscripts and documents are included.

    Art aficionado George Kostakis, a Moscow resident of Greek descent, amassed his collection between 1930 and 1960 through the exchange of works by western artists for paintings dating from the period of 1910-1930 by then unknown Russian avant-garde artists.

    The Greek state formally acquired the collection with the signing of an agreement last April between the Thessaloniki State Museum of Modern Art and representatives of the late collector's granddaughter, Aliki Kostaki, through a 14 billion-drachma purchase deal.

    [03] GREECE, FYROM DISCUSS SOUTHERN SERBIA IN SKOPJE

    Greece's Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos met with the President of FYROM Boris Traijkovski in Skopje yesterday, as well as with the country's Premier Ljubco Georgievski and new Foreign Minister Srdzan Kerim.

    Following the discussions, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said that FYROM's leaders expressed their concerns over the developments in southern Serbia, following recent raids into that territory by ethnic Albanian bands operating from UN- and NATO-controlled Kossovo.

    Regarding bilateral relations, the Greek Defense Minister pointed to the need for closer defense ties between Athens and Skopje, such as an agreement for cooperation in the armaments sector and the promotion of defense and security-related programs on the both the bilateral and European level.

    A memorandum of understanding and a military cooperation agreement was also signed between Mr. Tsochatzopoulos and his counterpart from FYROM Ljuben Paunoski.

    The Defense Minister was accompanied by a delegation of representatives from the Hellenic Arms Industry who held talks with the dean of FYROM's military academy and visited the metal industry of Skopje.

    [04] BULGARIAN BUYS OFF SENTENCE WITH FAKE MONEY

    A Bulgarian national was arrested in Northern Greece, after he attempted to buy off a court sentence imposed on his wife with counterfeit Greek money.

    Thirty-eight-year-old Ivan Iliev reportedly tried to post restitution for his sentenced wife with fake 10,000-drachma bills. Police officers are now investigating if Iliev is part of a counterfeit money ring. He will appear before the prosecutor in the city of Drama today.

    [05] UN, ABDUCTORS NEGOTIATE RELEASE OF OBSERVERS

    Negotiations are presently underway for the release of the two UN observers, a Greek infantry captain and a Polish colonel, who were abducted by unidentified armed men in Georgia's breakaway Abkhazia province.

    According to the spokesperson of the UN observers mission in Georgia, the negotiations are being handled by an envoy of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and a representative of the President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze. No information has been released on the abductors' demands or identities.

    [06] BLAST ROCKS ECONOMY MINISTRY EMPLOYEE'S HOME

    A strong blast occurred early this morning outside the Athens home of an employee of the National Economy Ministry, causing minor material damage.

    The explosive device was placed in the trash bin outside the Vouliagmeni home of Dimitris Souliotis. No responsibility has been claimed for the blast.

    [07] FIRST MODERN DELPHIC GAMES HELD IN MOSCOW

    The first modern Delphic Games were held in Moscow earlier this month, under the aegis of alternate president of the council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE) Costas Pappas, who is also the President of Germany's Greek Communities Federation.

    The Games featured the participation of 939 delegates and artists from 27 countries, among them Greece, China, Japan, the United States and Germany.

    Addressing the closing ceremony, Mr. Pappas said that this is only the start of a great course in the name of culture, understanding among the peoples, and mutual tolerance and acceptance.

    The next Delphic Games, which are to be held one year prior to the Olympics, will take place in 2003.

    The Delphic Games, held in accordance to ancient Greek tradition, aim to restore and strengthen channels of communications between national and international initiatives and to create a global network for the assessment of outstanding artists.

    [08] PM STRESSES SIGNIFICANCE OF INFORMATION SOCIETY

    The government's vision for an information society should become a vehicle for social cohesion, Prime Minister Costas Simitis stated this morning, addressing an Athens conference organized by the ministries of Interior and National economy.

    "A community with social exclusions leads to an economy with limited capabilities of meeting the expectations of globalization," the Premier stated and stressed that the state aims to ensure that the information society will be available to all.

    Mr. Simitis also stated that technological advances have improved the level and quality of relations between the state and the citizens, facilitated public service and strengthened transparency in operations and transactions.

    The Premier also called on the private sector to utilize modern technology in order to promote growth and competition, while he also stressed that it is technology that has to adjust to society, and not vice versa.

    [09] THE TWO UN OBSERVERS ARE EXPECTED TO BE RELEASED BY TOMORROW

    The news coming from the former soviet republic of Georgia, where a Greek infantry captain and a Polish colonel were abducted last Sunday, is positive. As it was made known, a group of Georgian army officers contacted the abductors.

    According to information, the kidnapped Greek army captain Efstathios Kokkinidis and the Polish colonel are in a good state. The Greek ministry of defense has announced that the two UN observers are expected to be released by tomorrow.

    [10] THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF GREECE AND FYROM WILL MEET TOMORROW

    The formal opening of the new customs station at the Greek- FYROM borders, that was funded by the European Union, will take place tomorrow in the presence of FYROM prime minister Ljupko Geogievski and foreign minister Serzan Kerim, while also present will be Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis.

    After the inauguration ceremony, the two foreign ministers will go to Thessaloniki's Hyatt Hotel where they will hold talks.

    [11] ARCHBISHOP CHRISTODOULOS LAUNCHED AN ATTACK AGAINST THE FRENCH EU PRESIDENCY

    Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All of Greece launched an attack against the French EU presidency.

    He stated characteristically that the French side gave a fight in order to remove any reference to Christianity from the Human Rights Charter. He also said that France suffers from the 1789 revolution complex, while he stressed that Europe distances itself from Christianity and is swept by a wave of atheism.

    [12] LOSSES OF 1.97% IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Significant losses of 1.97% were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today and the general index was at 3.612,66 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 114.03 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, only 30 recorded gains, while 304 had losses and 42 remained unchanged.

    [13] REPPAS: THE KOSTUNICA VISIT IS PENDING

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, responding to a question by a reporter, stated that the visit to Greece by Yugoslav president Voislav Kostunica is pending after an invitation that was extended to him by the Greek prime minister.

    Mr. Reppas clarified that the visit is not expected to take place during this week.

    [14] GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN: THE ATTACKS ON THE NICE SUMMIT RESULTS ARE GROUNDLESS

    The attacks launched by the parties of the opposition on the Nice EU Summit results are groundless and are made for strictly opposition politics purposes, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas, adding that the opposition is not aware of the situation in Nice where tough negotiations took place.

    He characterized the Summit results as positive for the Greek interests, stating that the Greek goals have been met. He also said that Greece maintains its veto right on foreign policy, shipping and funding programs issues, underlining that Greece is interested in the course of the European Union enlargement as it includes the accession of Cyprus.

    [15] NEW INTEREST RATE CUTS BY THE BANK OF GREECE

    The Bank of Greece announced intervention interest rate cuts of 0.75% limiting this way the distance from the European Central Bank interest rate to one percentage point. The final phase for the adjustment of the Greek with the European interest rates is expected to take place on December 27.

    Today, was made the first of two steps toward the complete convergence of the Greek interest rates with the Euro interest rates.

    [16] THE TRIAL ON THE CASE OF LITTLE BEN WAS PUT OFF TO TAKE PLACE ON MAY 10

    The trial of the private detective, who maintains that he had seen little Ben in northern Greece, was put off to take place in Thessaloniki on May 10. The British boy disappeared 9 years ago from the south-eastern Aegean island of Kos where he was on vacation with his parents.

    Private detective Efstathios Bakirtzis maintains that Christos Kerimis, a resident of the city of Veria in northern Greece, can be seen in a video holding Ben together with other children in a gypsy settlement. Kerimis has brought a slander action against Bakirtzis.

    It should be noted that in 1995, Antonis Betsios, who serves a life sentence in prison, had revealed that his cousin Christos Kerimis was holding Ben. An undercover police officer approached the gypsy settlement and videotaped a small boy with Ben's facial characteristics and soon afterwards every trace of the little boy was lost.

    The parents of little Ben speak of omissions that were committed by the police authorities in the investigations for the location of their child and appear determined to file suits.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [17] GREEK SINGER GLIKERIA WILL GIVE A CONCERT IN TIRANA TOMORROW

    The tickets for tomorrow's concert in Tirana that will be given by Greek singer Glikeria were sold out in one day.

    The concert is organized by the Greek embassy press office in Tirana within the framework of a number of cultural and charity events held by the Greek embassy in the Albanian capital. The money raised from the ticket sales will be offered to the families of the police officers who lost their lives while on duty.

    [18] PROFESSOR SPIROS SIMITIS ON THE RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENS

    One brother contributed as a professor to its drawing up and the other contributed as a prime minister to its ratification in the Nice EU Summit meeting. The charter of the fundamental rights of the citizens is a first step for the creation of a single constitution for all the EU member-states. The two brothers are, Greek prime minister Kostas Simitis and Civil and Labor Law Frankfurt University professor as well as computer law professor Spiros Simitis.

    Mr. Spiros Simitis was also the director of the Research Center for the Protection of Personal Data in the same university and in 1998 he was appointed by the European Commission as chairman of the group of specialists on the so-called fundamental civil rights. The conclusions of this group were regarded as highly important and led Germany to suggest the creation of a relevant charter.

    The group of specialists' text served as the basis for the German government proposals in the Cologne Summit in the summer of 1998, where it was decided that a new committee would undertake to prepare the final text which was finally adopted by the EU leaders in the Nice Summit.

    Speaking to MPA, professor Spiros Simitis stated that this charter is the first step toward a European Constitution. The civil rights charter includes a number of rights that are already recognized by the national constitutions and the Strasbourg Convention as well as a number of new rights that reflect the changes that have taken place in society as well as today's problems.

    Mr. Spiros Simitis stated that its implementation by the EU member-states is not mandatory as certain members and especially Britain, believed that this would constitute an intervention in their autonomy.


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