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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2000-01-15

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, January 15, 2000

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] US EMBASSY, CONSULATE CLOSED FOR M.L. KING DAY
  • [02] INTER-BALKAN TELEMARATHON ON "RIGA'S CHARTER"
  • [03] YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN ATHENS TOMORROW
  • [04] EVENT TO BE HELD IN MEMORY OF PAVLOS PETRIDES
  • [05] CHILD SWEPT AWAY FROM HARBOR BY GIANT WAVES
  • [06] COUNCIL OF STATE HEARS ARGUMENTS AGAINST TVX
  • [07] CHOPPER DEBRIS FOUND, SEARCH ON FOR SURVIVORS
  • [08] TURKS RESCUE GREEK FROM SAVAGE SKINHEAD MOB
  • [09] GREEK MINISTER: ALBRIGHT PRESSED FOR DU COVER UP
  • [10] 20 KILLED, 224 INJURED IN 176 TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
  • [11] THESSALONIKI GAS DISTRIBUTION CO. EYES CLUSTER
  • [12] BEGLITIS: NO DISTANCE OF VIEWS BETWEEN PAPANDREOU AND KOSTUNICA
  • [13] THE ALBANIAN HEALTH MINISTER WILL BE IN THESSALONIKI ON THURSDAY
  • [14] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [15] OVER 50% OF THE GREEKS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT FOOD SAFETY
  • [16] THE FUNERAL OF ACTOR KOSTAS RIGOPOULOS WAS HELD TODAY
  • [17] REPPAS: TURKEY'S STANCE ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE IS UNACCEPTABLE
  • [18] PAPANDREOU MET WITH HIS CUBAN COUNTERPART
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] US EMBASSY, CONSULATE CLOSED FOR M.L. KING DAY

    The United States embassy and consulate in Athens, the Thessaloniki consulate and all U.S. government offices in Greece will be closed today, January 15, 2001 in observance of Martin Luther King's birthday, a U.S. national holiday.

    [02] INTER-BALKAN TELEMARATHON ON "RIGA'S CHARTER"

    The Inter-Balkan Cultural Agency is to hold a telemarathon today, to be broadcast by Greece's ERT channel, aiming at the promotion of regional cooperation on matters of culture.

    "Riga's Charter" has drawn a series of initiatives for 2001, among them meetings in Athens and Brussels, seminars, theatrical plays, book presentations, etc.

    Costas Georgousopoulos is the president of the Inter-Balkan Cultural Agency.

    [03] YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN ATHENS TOMORROW

    The President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Vojislav Kostunica will arrive in Athens tomorrow, January16, for his first official visit to Greece.

    President Kostunica will be received by his Greek counterpart Kostis Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, at 11:00 a.m. and the two will give a joint press conference at 12:30 p.m.

    Just before 1:00 p.m. the Yugoslav president will meet with Prime Minister Costas Simitis at his office and the two will make statements at 1:45 p.m. A working dinner offered by the prime minister will follow.

    At 3:20 p.m. on the same day, Kostunica will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, after which he will visit the Acropolis and the Athens Town Hall, where he will meet with Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos.

    At 5:30 p.m., he will make his way to Parliament for a meeting with Parliament speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis, followed by a meeting with main opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis at 6:00 p.m., with Coalition of the Left leader Nikos Constantopoulos at 6:30 p.m. and with Communist Party of Greece (KKE) General Secretary Aleka Papariga at 7:00 p.m.

    Finally, the Yugoslav president will attend an official dinner at the Presidential Mansion and is due to leave for Belgrade at 11:30 p.m.

    [04] EVENT TO BE HELD IN MEMORY OF PAVLOS PETRIDES

    An honorary event in memory of the late Pavlos Petrides, vice- president of the Papandreou Foundation and president of the MPA, will be held this evening at the Foreign Ministry's amphitheater.

    The event will feature the presentation of the latest book authored by Petrides, referring to Greece's political scene between 1957-67.

    The book will be presented by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs George Papandreou, Culture Evangelos Venizelos and Press and Media Dimitris Reppas, as well as the speaker of the main opposition party, New Democracy's Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the President of the minor opposition party of Coalition of the Left and Progress Nikos Constantopoulos and professor George Magakis.

    [05] CHILD SWEPT AWAY FROM HARBOR BY GIANT WAVES

    An eight-year-old girl was swept away by giant waves yesterday evening, as she was taking a family picture with her mother and uncle at the harbor of the island of Zakynthos .

    The child has yet to be found, but her 29-year-old mother and 27-year-old uncle, both of whom jumped into the sea to rescue her, were pulled lifeless by a rescue team. The child's aunt, who also joined her siblings in the frantic effort to save the child, is presently in a critical condition at the island's hospital.

    The torrential rains and storms have caused havoc in many parts of the country, while eight people died in weather-related traffic accidents during the weekend.

    Five people were killed when the taxi they were riding in overturned on the 35th kilometer of the Tripoli-Sparta highway, southern Greece.

    Three more people died near Thermopylae, on the Athens-Lamia highway, in a collision involving two cars and a truck.

    The inclement weather, coupled with gale-force winds, has made ferry boat sailing prohibitive.

    [06] COUNCIL OF STATE HEARS ARGUMENTS AGAINST TVX

    The rapporteur for the Council of State, Greece's top administrative body, has rejected the arguments of a petition filed by a group of Halkidiki residents who are opposed to plans by Canadian-based TVX Hellas to expand its facilities in their area.

    The locals argued that a gold mine operated by TVX Hellas is harmful to the environment and their health and that the decision to allow the mine to go ahead was illegal and unconstitutional.

    The rapporteur responded that the company had taken all the necessary steps to protect the environment and the antiquities in the area.

    The residents' legal counsel countered by drawing attention to the dangers of pollution the water resources and soil in the area from chemicals used in the mine that were on the black list of dangerous toxic substances.

    TVX, a Toronto-based mining company, wants to expand its gold mining operations in the area and to build a processing metal plant at the Olympiada site.

    Its polymetallic gold project, (budgeted at $248 million) aims to develop 254,000 ounces of gold on an annual basis, along with 2.3 million ounces of silver, 21,500 tons of zinc and 22,500 tons of lead over the first five years of production.

    Prior to gaining the state's approval of its environmental impact report last year, TVX was subject to a series of protests and obstructive action from local groups.

    [07] CHOPPER DEBRIS FOUND, SEARCH ON FOR SURVIVORS

    An air and sea search is presently underway for survivors of the medical helicopter that went down in the Aegean Sea yesterday, with five people on board, among them a 75-year-old heart attack victim.

    Debris believed to be from the helicopter has been spotted 10 nautical miles from Cape Sounion, southeast of Athens.

    Besides the patient, who was being transported from the island of Patmos to Athens for emergency medical care, four more people were on board, among them the two pilots, a doctor and a nurse.

    [08] TURKS RESCUE GREEK FROM SAVAGE SKINHEAD MOB

    Greek man who was violently beaten by a mob of skinheads in Munich last Saturday, was rescued by a group of Turks who took on the attackers in a street fight.

    The victim, 32-year-old Artemios Tsouknopoulos who was taken to the hospital in a state of coma and with severe head injuries, is presently out of danger.

    According to police reports, the victim was merely passing by an area frequented by neo-Nazis and had a brief verbal exchange with a woman in the skinhead group. After closing in on him, the skinheads threw him to the ground and began kicking him in the head with their jackboots.

    Two Turks who were standing across the street, witnessed the incident and called on their compatriots inside a nearby bar to come to the Greek's rescue.

    A street fight ensued between the two groups, even through the mob of neo-Nazis (about 20) by far outnumbered the ten Turks.

    German police who arrived at the scene when the neo-Nazis tried to enter the restaurant, have arrested 15 skinheads in relation to the attack.

    [09] GREEK MINISTER: ALBRIGHT PRESSED FOR DU COVER UP

    U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright pressed until recently that the use of depleted uranium (DU) bombs during NATO's raids in Kosovo be concealed, according to Greece's Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

    In an interview with the Athens daily "Ta Nea", Mr. Tsochatzopoulos rhetorically wondered if the war in Yugoslavia was "worth it", while he also reiterated that the Greek government had advocated a diplomatic solution to the conflict and was opposed to the military raids.

    Referring to compensation due over health injuries and environmental damage resulting from the raids, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that the European Union's financial protocol for the Western Balkans (CARDS) provides for a special environmental mechanism.

    He further added that the Greek government plans to table a proposal at the EU's General Affairs council on January 22, calling for a thorough action plan to deal with the repercussions of the war in Yugoslavia.

    [10] 20 KILLED, 224 INJURED IN 176 TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS

    Twenty people were killed and 224 were injured in 176 traffic accidents that occurred between Friday afternoon and early Monday morning.

    According to traffic police, the majority of the accidents were caused by the stormy weather sweeping the country, marked by near gale-force winds and heavy snow fall.

    Storms are expected to subside in the western part of Greece as of this afternoon.

    [11] THESSALONIKI GAS DISTRIBUTION CO. EYES CLUSTER

    The Thessaloniki Gas Distribution Company (EDA) is reportedly considering the formation of a cluster network in the natural gas sector, comprising the city's production agencies.

    The project has been granted the go-ahead of ITALGAZ, which holds a 49% stake in the shares of the Thessaloniki Gas Supply Company (EPA).

    According to EDA's chairman Dimitris Christodoulou, the first step towards this direction is expected to be taken imminently, with talks to be held with the Northern Greece Industrialists Association (SEVE), the Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SVVE), the Prefecture, the Central Macedonia Region and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

    According to Mr. Christodoulou, about 30 kilometers of Thessaloniki's natural gas network are to be constructed within the year, with the supply of natural gas expected to begin in the near future.

    [12] BEGLITIS: NO DISTANCE OF VIEWS BETWEEN PAPANDREOU AND KOSTUNICA

    Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis denied press publications according to which, there is a distance of opinion between Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou and Yugoslav president Voislav Kostunica.

    Mr. Beglitis confirmed that the two men had a telephone communication in view of the visit to Athens tomorrow by Mr. Kostunica, while Mr. Papandreou also had a telephone contact with his Yugoslav counterpart Goran Svilanovic.

    Among the top issues for discussion, during Mr. Kostunica's visit will be the development of bilateral relations, as well as the developments in the wider Balkan region with an emphasis on Montenegro and Kosovo, Yugoslavia's European prospect and the domestic developments.

    The Greek foreign ministry also believes that the issue of the "freezing" of the Yugoslav accounts in foreign banks will be discussed very soon in the European Union and the United Nations within the framework of the lifting of the embargo and all sanctions against Yugoslavia.

    High on the agenda of the talks tomorrow will be the issue of the environmental pollution in Yugoslavia as a result of the uranium depleted bombs that were used during the NATO bombings.

    Mr. Kostunica will also discuss the review of certain bilateral agreements that were signed by the old regime and the Greek foreign ministry has pointed out that the new Yugoslav leadership has expressed the same wish not only as far as Greece is concerned but other countries as well.

    On the issue of the withdrawal of the candidature of Alexandros Rontos for the post of the OSCE office director in Belgrade, Mr. Beglitis stated that Greece reached this decision when it agreed to back the Portuguese candidature. Mr. Beglitis denied that the decision was reached after a request by the new Yugoslav government, stressing that it was reached within the framework of an EU coordination.

    [13] THE ALBANIAN HEALTH MINISTER WILL BE IN THESSALONIKI ON THURSDAY

    Albanian health minister Leonard Solis will be in Thessaloniki on Thursday at the invitation of Inter-Balkan Medical Center president Georgios Apostolopoulos. The Albanian minister will be accompanied by University of Tirana medical school professors.

    The goal of the visit is to promote cooperation on health issues and new technology applications in medicine.

    Mr. Apostolopoulos will honor the delegation in a special ceremony that will be held on January 19 followed by a lecture on music's therapeutic properties.

    The Albanian delegation will depart for Athens on January 20.

    [14] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Big losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange. The general index dropped to 4.43% at 3.167,22 points, while the volume of transactions was small at 151.27 million Euro or 51.5 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 339 recorded losses, while the value of 18 stocks remained unchanged.

    [15] OVER 50% OF THE GREEKS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT FOOD SAFETY

    Over 50% of the Greeks are concerned about food safety, according to the Greek Consumers Institute, which mentions that it occupies the first place on the list of complaints in 1998 and in 1999 with 9.104 and 16.017 complaints respectively, while the complaints recorded in 2000 were 18.135.

    According to the institute, 91% of the Greeks are concerned about genetically modified food, the "mad cow" disease (81%), dioxin (85%), pesticides (81%), hormones (76%), junk-food (75%), food additives (63%), radiation (62%), pollution (60%) and fast- food (57%).

    [16] THE FUNERAL OF ACTOR KOSTAS RIGOPOULOS WAS HELD TODAY

    The funeral of famous Greek actor Kostas Rigopoulos was held in Athens today in the presence of family, friends and colleagues.

    Kostas Rigopoulos died yesterday at the age of 70. He was hospitalized in an intensive care unit for the past few months after suffering a severe cerebral hemorrhage incident.

    [17] REPPAS: TURKEY'S STANCE ON THE CYPRUS ISSUE IS UNACCEPTABLE

    The Greek government is in line with the Cypriot government initiatives and the UN has the responsibility to point out to Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash their obligation to take all indicated measures for the resumption of the talks aimed at the solution of the Cyprus problem, stated Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas responding to a relevant question by a reporter.

    The Greek government spokesman stated that Turkey's stance is unacceptable and tries to undermine the effort aimed at reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem, adding that it will not succeed in its effort to block Cyprus' EU course. Mr. Reppas concluded that the EU decision on Cyprus' accession into the European family is given.

    [18] PAPANDREOU MET WITH HIS CUBAN COUNTERPART

    An agreement for political consultations between Greece and Cuba was signed today in the meeting of the foreign ministers of the two countries in Athens. The two government officials also discussed the signing of agreements in the sectors of agriculture, tourism, sport, transportation and shipping.

    Greek deputy foreign minister Elisavet Papazoi and undersecretaries of national economy Yiannis Zafiropoulos and sports Giorgos Floridis will visit Cuba for this purpose, while foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou will visit the country before the end of 2001.

    The two foreign ministers stated after the meeting that they decided to cooperate and back non governmental humanitarian organizations active in different places of the world, like Africa and Latin America.

    They also discussed issues concerning the EU-Cuban relations and Mr. Papandreou stressed that Greece not only backs the development of those relations but it will undertake specific initiatives for their further strengthening.

    The Cuban foreign minister expressed his country's thanks for Greece's warm support in putting an end to the US embargo on his country, pointing out that it was among the 166 countries that voted in favor of ending this policy.

    Responding to a question by a reporter, the Cuban foreign minister stated that he is not optimistic that the Cuban-US relations will normalize under the new US administration.

    He also referred to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, stating that the injustice that was done in 1996 has been restored.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS


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