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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-01-17

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 17, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [01] PRESIDENT HOSTS DINNER IN HONOR OF KOSTUNICA
  • [02] YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT MEETS WITH PARTY LEADERS
  • [03] CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM DISCUSSION OPENS TODAY
  • [04] YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT: EUROPE WAS BORN IN GREECE
  • [05] GREEK FM MEETS WITH HIS YUGOSLAV COUNTERPART
  • [06] COMMISSION: 50 BILLION EUROS FOR EU JOB MARKETS
  • [07] BRITON TO SUE OLYMPIC AIRWAYS OVER BLOOD CLOT
  • [08] DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS CALL FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE DEPLETED URANIUM SHELLS
  • [09] RELIEF IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE TODAY
  • [10] GREECE IS AT THE 43RD PLACE ON FIFA'S LIST
  • [11] THE CANCER CASES ARE 500% UP IN REGIONS BOMBED WITH DEPLETED URANIUM SHELLS
  • [12] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT DID NOT COMMENT ON THE NUCLEAR ARMS IN ARAXOS
  • [13] STATEMENTS BY THE GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER ON THE GREEK SOLDIERS IN KOSOVO
  • [14] THE ALBANIAN HEALTH MINISTER WILL BE IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [15] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION ON THE INTERRUPTION OF THE DEPLETED URANIUM USE

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] PRESIDENT HOSTS DINNER IN HONOR OF KOSTUNICA

    The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos hosted a dinner in honor of his Yugoslav counterpart Vojislav Kostunica, before the latter's departure for Belgrade last night.

    Addressing President Kostunica at the Presidential Mansion, Mr. Stephanopoulos stated that Greece refused to participate in the NATO bombings against Yugoslavia, and referred extensively to the friendship between the peoples of Greece and Serbia.

    President Stephanopoulos stated that Greece and Serbia always found themselves "on the same side of the struggle for freedom and independence."

    Moreover, the President pledged Greece's support in contributing toward the consolidation of the democratic institutions in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and spoke of the need for the comprehensive development of southwestern Europe. He also called for the "full implementation of the decisions of the UN Security Council in all cases, whether they regard Cyprus, or Kosovo, or the Middle East."

    Accompanied by Yugoslav Foreign Minister Goran Svilanovic, President Kostunica met with Greek government leaders with whom discussed the strengthening of economic and political ties between the two countries, as well as the issue of NATO's use of depleted uranium bombs.

    [02] YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT MEETS WITH PARTY LEADERS

    The President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Vojislav Kostunica, who conducted a one-day visit to Athens yesterday, met with Greece's political and party leaders, namely the Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Costas Karamanlis, Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) Nikos Constantopoulos and Communist Party of Greece (KKE) secretary general Aleka Papariga.

    Following talks with his Greek counterpart Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis, President Kostunica was received by Mr. Kaklamanis who offered the House's economic aid for the rehabilitation of the two Serbian parliaments.

    ND leader Mr. Karamanlis stressed that the international community, including the European Union, bears "immense responsibilities" for the reconstruction of Yugoslavia. Mr. Karamanlis also stressed that "there should not be any further changes of borders, nor should there be any new states in the region, as it would lead to instability."

    Mr. Constantopoulos called on the Greek government to undertake initiatives securing the status quo of the existing borders in the Balkans, while Ms. Papariga said that the KKE is opposed to plans for the breaking away of Kosovo from Serbia and the policies adopted by NATO and European governments.

    [03] CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM DISCUSSION OPENS TODAY

    A discussion on planned reforms to the constitution is to get underway in Parliament today, where talks are expected to focus on matters concerning transparency in public affairs, particularly regarding the media and problems of accumulation of financial power, which is viewed as a threat to democracy.

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos (formerly Minister of Justice) the ruling party's rapporteur, has proposed the compulsory absence of main shareholders of mass media businesses from state auctions. The said proposal was prompted by the dangers inherent in the excessive growth of business groups - mostly from the media sector- and their potential control over the political system.

    The House will devote two weekly sessions to discussions on constitutional reforms, with talks expected to wrap up in April.

    [04] YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT: EUROPE WAS BORN IN GREECE

    Greece is the cradle of civilization, "this is where Europe was born", Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica stated yesterday during his stop at the Acropolis part of his one-day, official visit to Athens.

    Accompanied by Greece's Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos, President Kostunica openly favored the return of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, stating that "everyone should own cultural monuments which belong to them. I am certain of that. Just as in Greece, certain important pieces of our cultural heritage are absent in my country, Serbia. It's not enough to just think about it, they (monuments) should be situated where they were created. I am sorry that this is happening in Greece too."

    Messrs. Kostunica and Venizelos discussed the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum, as well as restoration work presently underway at the Parthenon, the new Acropolis museum and the ecological issue currently preoccupying the Balkans.

    [05] GREEK FM MEETS WITH HIS YUGOSLAV COUNTERPART

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou met yesterday with his Yugoslav counterpart Goran Svilanovic, who accompanied President Vojislav Kostunica on his visit to Athens.

    Messrs. Papandreou and Svilanovic discussed matters of bilateral interest, including European Union-Yugoslav relations, regional cooperation and issues pertaining to the energy, transport and development sectors.

    Following their talks, Mr. Papandreou announced that a joint Greek-Yugoslav committee will be established to examine the possibilities of cooperation between the two countries in the economic, cultural and educational sectors. According to Mr. Papandreou, the said committee will initially be presided by the foreign ministers of the two countries.

    Mr. Papandreou also stated that he and Mr. Svilanovic discussed regional cooperation, in light of the Balkan Summit, scheduled for the end of February in Skopje.

    In turn, Mr. Svilanovic invited his Greek counterpart to visit Belgrade.

    [06] COMMISSION: 50 BILLION EUROS FOR EU JOB MARKETS

    The European Commission is to invest about 60 billion euros between 2001-2006, for modernizing and restructuring of the European Union's labor markets and supporting investments in human potential.

    According to a Commission announcement, issued on the initiative of Greek Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou, sixty percent of these funds are to be allocated for the support of national and regional policies for the economic and social cohesion of the EU's poorest areas.

    Out of the funds package, 11.6 billion euros are to be allocated towards countering social marginalization, eight billion for the support of entrepreneurial initiatives, 11 billion for human resources investment support and four billion for action supporting gender equality.

    [07] BRITON TO SUE OLYMPIC AIRWAYS OVER BLOOD CLOT

    A British man is to sue Greece's national air carrier Olympic Airways, as well as Air France, over a blood clot he says he suffered after flying with them.

    According to Britain's "Daily Telegraph", 35-year-old attorney at law Lars Lewis plans to sue the airlines for failing to warn him of the dangers of blood clots.

    Mr. Lewis spent two weeks in a hospital being treated with blood-thinning agents after he was found to have a potentially fatal blood clot in his lungs, according to the article.

    He said the clot arose after he flew economy class from Paris to Athens and back, and then a couple of days later, from Paris to La Rochelle in western France.

    [08] DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS CALL FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE DEPLETED URANIUM SHELLS

    Doctors Without Borders - Greece board of directors member Elias Pavlopoulos stated in a press conference in Thessaloniki today, that was given on the occasion of a photography exhibition for the 10 years of the organization in Greece, that the use of depleted uranium weapons must be abolished. He also called for the immediate publication of all the scientific reports in the possession of NATO concerning the effects of the specific bombs on the health of the general population, as they were recorded in the research conducted in the Persian Gulf and Bosnia.

    Mr. Pavlopoulos pointed out the need to shed light on the issue, adding that the scientists will not be able to reach safe conclusions in the immediate future concerning the effects of the depleted uranium shells on the health of the general population, the environment and the food chain as the results will be evident after a considerable period of time.

    The Doctors Without Borders, said Mr. Pavlopoulos, have already started their own scientific research and the results will be made public as soon as all necessary data will be collected to support specific points of views.

    [09] RELIEF IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE TODAY

    Gains were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index was up by 2.29% at 3.205,01 points and the volume of transactions was at 127.4 million Euro or 43.417 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 294 recorded gains and 46 had losses, while the value of 34 stocks remained unchanged.

    [10] GREECE IS AT THE 43RD PLACE ON FIFA'S LIST

    Greece is at the 43rd place of FIFA's world listing. The Greek national football team was one place down in the month of January as it gathered 573 points.

    The first place in the world listing is occupied by Brazil, followed by France and Argentina. The forth place is shared by the Czech Republic and Italy with 742 points, while the 6th place is occupied by Portugal.

    [11] THE CANCER CASES ARE 500% UP IN REGIONS BOMBED WITH DEPLETED URANIUM SHELLS

    The cancer cases in certain regions of Serbia and Kosovo, that a year and a half ago were bombed by NATO with depleted uranium shells, have increased as much as 500%, like in the case of Pancevo. The increase in cancer cases throughout Serbia compared to their number before the NATO bombings is estimated at 30%, while the next thirty generations will suffer the effects of the depleted uranium bombs. The above were stated by Serb ecologists Biljana Tomasevic and Budomir Babic in a press conference they gave in Thessaloniki today on the occasion of the event under the title "From the Persian Gulf Syndrome to the Balkans Syndrome" organized by Greek environmental organizations at Thessaloniki's Macedonia University.

    The Serb ecologists underlined that the 31.000 depleted uranium bombs dropped on Yugoslavia have left behind a total of 15 tons of nuclear waste and in order to be cleaned the country's soil must be removed at a depth of 2 meters, according to the Serb minister of health.

    Mr. Babic stated that reports drawn up by independent organizations in the United States and Holland have showed that the depleted uranium is catastrophic for the environment and the health of the general population, stressing that Thessaloniki as well as cities in Albania, Bosnia and Bulgaria must be concerned.

    Responding to the question if the parts of the depleted uranium shells will be collected, Mr. Babic stated that the Yugoslav army has started collecting them in south Serbia, while there is not enough information on what takes place in Kosovo.

    [12] THE GREEK GOVERNMENT DID NOT COMMENT ON THE NUCLEAR ARMS IN ARAXOS

    The Greek military force in Kosovo is deemed necessary, its role is peacekeeping and stabilizing, reiterated today Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas when asked to comment on what will be the government's decision concerning the transfer requests submitted by Greek soldiers serving in the region, adding that the government will take all necessary measures to safeguard this presence.

    Mr. Reppas underlined that the isolated requests submitted will be taken under consideration.

    When called to comment on a press report published by the Athens newspaper "TA NEA" based on which, nuclear arms were removed from the Araxos Air Base, the Greek government spokesman responded that there will be no further comment, adding that from time to time a number of decisions are being made within the framework of the cooperation with NATO.

    [13] STATEMENTS BY THE GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER ON THE GREEK SOLDIERS IN KOSOVO

    The assurance that the requests of the Greek soldiers serving in Kosovo and want to return to Greece will be met, was given today by Greek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who met in Athens with his Bulgarian counterpart Bojko Noev. Mr. Tsochatzopoulos denied the information that the transfers of the Greek soldiers in Kosovo have been frozen and stressed that all necessary measures are being taken for the protection of the health of the Greek soldiers in the region.

    Commenting on the Athens newspaper "TA NEA" news report based on which, nuclear arms have been removed from the Araxos Air Base, the Greek minister stated that NATO is responsible for any statements on the issue but Greece's position on the restriction of nuclear weapons is firm.

    The Greek and Bulgarian ministers of defense agreed on the promotion of the bilateral defense cooperation.

    Mr. Tsochatzopoulos was also asked on the concerns raised by the information according to which, a "mad cow" disease case was recorded in the Italian cattle farm that supplies with meat an international fast-food restaurant chain and the Greek army. The Greek minister of defense gave assurances that all necessary inspections are being made on the food with which the Greek army is supplied.

    [14] THE ALBANIAN HEALTH MINISTER WILL BE IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW

    Albanian health minister Leonard Solis will be in Thessaloniki tomorrow 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 visit of the Albanian minister takes place after the contacts Mr. Apostolopoulos had with Albanian prime minister Ilir Meta and Mr. Solis during his recent trip to Albania for the promotion of Inter-Balkan cooperation issues in the sector of health and the training of doctors.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [15] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION ON THE INTERRUPTION OF THE DEPLETED URANIUM USE

    The European Parliament approved a joint resolution on the interruption of the use of depleted uranium until the scientific investigation which is underway is completed. The resolution was reached at the initiative of Euro-deputy Antonis Trakatellis, elected with the Greek right-wing opposition party of New Democracy. The investigation seeks to establish if the specific substance is linked to the health problems observed on NATO soldiers serving in Yugoslavia and the local population.

    The Euro-deputy spoke in the European parliament's plenary session about the risks and effects of the depleted uranium use and referred to the role of the European Commission and EU foreign and defense policy head, Javier Solana with regards to the issue.


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