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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-02-27

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, February 27, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] HOUSE TO VOTE ON OLYMPIC AIRWAYS PRIVATIZATION
  • [02] THESSALONIKI TO HOST WINE COMPETITION IN DETROP
  • [03] GREEK BUSINESS DELEGATION VISITS BELGRADE
  • [04] GREEK FM TO MEET WITH US SECRETARY OF STATE
  • [05] MERRY DEFENDS VIEWS: I AM NOT ATTACKING GREECE
  • [06] GREEK FM ON NAME ISSUE: A VERY DELICATE MATTER
  • [07] CROATIAN PREMIER ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO ATHENS
  • [08] MASS EXODUS CLAIMS 33 LIVES, LEAVES 323 INJURED
  • [09] GREEK FIRMS ACTIVE IN TURKEY ARE NOT AT RISK
  • [10] GREEK FM HAS "CONSTRUCTIVE" TALKS WITH POWELL
  • [11] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER IN BELGRADE
  • [12] GREECE IMPROVES RANK IN US HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT
  • [13] EFFORT TO REGISTER THE GREEK BUSINESSMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD
  • [14] MORE LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [15] THE MEETING OF THE PRIME MINISTERS OF GREECE AND CROATIA WAS HELD IN A POSITIVE CLIMATE
  • [16] STEPHANOPOULOS-CIAMPI MEETING IN THE IONIAN SEA ISLAND OF KEFALONIA
  • [17] REACTIONS TO A LIKELY AGREEMENT ON THE ISSUE OF THE FYROM NAME
  • [18] THE GENERAL POPULATION CENSUS IN GREECE WILL BE HELD ON MARCH 18
  • [19] EARTHQUAKES IN THE IONIAN AND THE AEGEAN SEA
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [20] THE EXHIBITION ON THE HOLOCAUST OF THE GREEK JEWS ENDED IN STRASBOURG
  • [21] PASCHALIDIS-PITIC MEETING IN BELGRADE
  • [22] PAPANDREOU: COOPERATION OF BALKAN STATES BASED ON THE SCANDINAVIAN MODEL

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] HOUSE TO VOTE ON OLYMPIC AIRWAYS PRIVATIZATION

    A parliamentary discussion and vote on the privatization of Olympic Airways is to be held this week, after having been postponed on Thursday due to a lack of quorum.

    Presenting the privatization bill last Thursday, Deputy Finance Minister Apostolos Fotiades stressed that the government's foremost concern is to secure the jobs of the ailing national carrier's employees.

    While supporting the move to sell the national air carrier, the main opposition party of New Democracy stressed that it was done way too late, as the company has now amassed sizeable debts.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Coalition of the Left and Progress (Synaspismos) both argued against the privatization and requested a roll call vote.

    [02] THESSALONIKI TO HOST WINE COMPETITION IN DETROP

    The second International Wine Competition will be held in Thessaloniki between February 28-March 3, aiming to present the world's quality wines and to further promote and expand the wine culture in the Mediterranean region.

    Coinciding with the international food and beverages trade fair "DETROP", the event is organized by the Ambelonas Vinters Union and held under the auspices of Office International de la Vigne et du Vin and several Greek wine agencies.

    The judges committee will comprise Greek and foreign wine experts, producers and journalists.

    [03] GREEK BUSINESS DELEGATION VISITS BELGRADE

    A 100-member business delegation, headed by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace George Paschalides, is embarking on a two-day visit to Belgrade today, an event organized by the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI), in cooperation with the Interbalkan and Black Sea Business Center and Thessaloniki's production and scientific agencies.

    According to the TCCI, the purpose of the delegation will be to probe possibilities of developing cooperation between businessmen from the two countries. It is the first delegation to be organized by agencies in Thessaloniki to the region after the end of the war in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

    Various seminars will be held on the sidelines of business activities, where speakers will include Serbian Minister of International Trade Relations Goran Pitic, Minister of industry and Privatization Alexandar Vlachovic and Mr. Paschalides who will speak on "Reconstruction Steps."

    Mr. Paschalides will have a series of meetings with government officials, among them the Prime Minister of Serbia Zoran Djindjic.

    [04] GREEK FM TO MEET WITH US SECRETARY OF STATE

    Foreign Minister George Papandreou briefed his European Union counterparts on the results of the recently-held Inter-Balkan Summit in Skopje, during an EU General Affairs meeting held yesterday in Brussels.

    The talks focused on the latest developments in southern Serbia, in light of the latest upsurge of violence, and the Middle East, following the change of government in Israel.

    The EU Foreign Ministers tabled a series of measures that would lead to the de-escalation of tension, among them dispatching EU observes in the area, limiting the security zone is southern Serbia and promoting the region's economic and social development.

    In regards to the Middle East, the General Affairs Council decided to allocate 60 million euros in economic aid to the Palestinian Authority and to exert pressure upon Israel to cease the economic isolation it subjects the Palestinians to.

    Mr. Papandreou is expected to hold talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell today in Brussels, during a meeting held on the sidelines of a NATO summit. According to a foreign ministry announcement, Messrs. Papandreou and Powell are expected to discuss bilateral relations and regional developments.

    [05] MERRY DEFENDS VIEWS: I AM NOT ATTACKING GREECE

    E. Wayne Merry, a former employee at the US Embassy in Athens who appears to be running a one-man campaign against Greece's alleged inability to crush terrorism, staunchly defended his position through a letter to the editor published in the periodical "The Weekly Standard".

    "I am not attacking Greece and its people", Mr. Merry wrote. "My founded accusations concern the political leaders who have shamed their nation through their tolerance of terrorists who could have been ferreted years ago," he added in his letter, written in response to the director of the Greek Embassy Press Office Achilleas Paparsenos who had earlier accused Mr. Merry of having embarked on an anti-Greek vendetta.

    Merry, presently a senior associate on the American Foreign Policy Council, stressed that the notorious terrorist organization "17 November" has claimed responsibility for 106 attacks, none of which have been resolved by the Greek police. Moreover, he added that the US National Commission against Terrorism has identified 146 terrorist strikes against American interests in Greece, of which Greek police have solved one, and that in Thessaloniki.

    [06] GREEK FM ON NAME ISSUE: A VERY DELICATE MATTER

    The name issue pending between Greece and FYROM is a particularly "delicate" matter for both sides, Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated during an interview with the radio station of Skopje.

    "What is new and different is the fact that we now regard the problem as a problem between friends, not enemies. Greece regards Macedonia as an equal and it strives to find a solution that will reflect our mutual respect. I think that the political powers in both countries should work together on the issue and put an end to this chapter of our history," he stated.

    In reference to the hurdles that surface between the two neighbors over the name of FYROM, the Greek FM pointed out that during the Inter-Balkan Summit held in Skopje one could not see inscriptions of names of countries, but only of names of ministers, prime ministers and presidents.

    "We need to invest more energy in solving such problems. There are also bureaucracy issues, such as issuance of visas, production, economy. Concerning international commitments, we are signing agreements and are ratifying them in our parliaments. We have many things in common and we can accomplish a lot together. This is why we should overcome this last problem. It takes courage, it is tough, but, if we succeed, the generations to follow will appreciate it.

    "I can only say this: Let's reach into the problem bravely and find a solution acceptable to both sides, which will improve our relations and direct us toward the future."

    Moreover, he added that the issue is not a technocratic one, but it rather concerns the deepest feelings of the two peoples. "The peoples are those who will give the final decision. At the end I would like to say that the people of both countries should be the ones to say yes, we would like to be friends, and we can find a solution that will satisfy both sides.' "

    [07] CROATIAN PREMIER ON OFFICIAL VISIT TO ATHENS

    Croatian Prime Minister Ivica Racan is to arrive in Athens on an official, one-day visit today.

    Premier Racan is expected to hold talks with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis this afternoon, while he will be received by the President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis this evening.

    Bilateral ties, which had been disrupted during the war that led to the breakup of Yugoslavia, are expected to top the agenda.

    [08] MASS EXODUS CLAIMS 33 LIVES, LEAVES 323 INJURED

    Even though the highway patrol had taken extraordinary measures in light of the mass exodus expected during the three-day Lent Monday weekend, the death toll was high again with 33 people having lost their lives and 323 injured, in 223 car accidents.

    The expected mass exodus was marred at its onset when six occupants of a car died in a horrific triple collision on Friday night on the Nea Moudania-Kassandra provincial road on the Halkidiki peninsula, south of Thessaloniki. All six passengers, aged between 17 and 20, were fatally injured.

    Highway patrols had added extra lanes to ease traffic flow for the incoming city dwellers.

    [09] GREEK FIRMS ACTIVE IN TURKEY ARE NOT AT RISK

    Greek firms active in Turkey are reportedly not at risk over the economic turmoil and appear undaunted by the looming crisis, given the neighboring country's numerous difficult periods they have survived.

    From the information systems sector, the Datamedia firm already has a ten-year presence in Turkey, while Intracom and Pouliades have recently entered the Turkish market by purchasing 20 percent of Turkey's Gantek Technologies and 50% of the Index firm, respectively.

    According to Datamedia's managing director Andreas Zervos the Turkish lira's devaluation is not expected to impact the financial structure of the three firms affiliated with Datamedia as two of them have not had to borrow, while the third Porcan Holding SA, has borrowed in the Turkish currency which is now to its benefit.

    [10] GREEK FM HAS "CONSTRUCTIVE" TALKS WITH POWELL

    Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou held "constructive, useful and friendly" talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell today in Brussels, during a meeting held on the sidelines of a NATO summit.

    During their 30-minute talks, Messrs. Papandreou and Powell discussed bilateral relations and regional developments, as well as the Cyprus issue, Greek-Turkish relations and European defense.

    Following the talks, Mr. Papandreou said that in general terms there was a coincidence of views in regards to the Balkan crisis, while he also added that Mr. Powell praised Greece's role in the region.

    Mr. Papandreou is to also meet with his Turkish counterpart Ismael Cem.

    [11] MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER IN BELGRADE

    The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace George Paschalides, presently on a two-day visit to Belgrade today heading a business delegation, addressed a seminar today with a speech entitled "Reconstruction Steps", where he stressed the need to strengthen cooperation between Greece and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) on all levels.

    Underlining that time lost has to be regained, Mr. Paschalides stated that the country's isolation in the recent years led to its absence from initiatives concerning regional cooperation.

    "It is very important that we unite our powers is order to expedite the country's re-accession into the international community and to promote initiatives and actions that will lead to a development respectful of the environment and the citizens' needs," he said.

    The Minister also stated that the various delays noted in the materialization of projects that fall under the Balkan Reconstruction Plan are due to bureaucratic roadblocks and the simultaneous operation of a plethora of regional initiatives, as well as to the slow adjustment of the Balkan states' institutional and legislative frameworks.

    In order to combat these hurdles, Mr. Paschalides proposed that a common front be created against bureaucracy and corruption.

    Moreover, the Minister stressed that the Greek government is bilaterally and multilaterally supporting FRY's re-accession course and has already allocated $15 million for this purpose.

    Greece's five-year Balkan reconstruction plan envisages spending a total of 180 billion drachmas, with the money to be spent on social infrastructure, financial infrastructure and services and production.

    Moreover, Mr. Paschalides stressed the significance of the city of Thessaloniki in the Balkan Reconstruction plan, both through its role as the headquarters of various international organizations, and through its multiple initiatives. Specifically, he pointed out that the Ministry will soon feature a Bureau of International Economic Relations in Southeastern Europe, while a SECI coordinating office will also soon open in the city.

    During his stay in Belgrade, Mr. Paschalides will have a series of meetings with government officials, among them the Prime Minister of Serbia Zoran Djindjic.

    [12] GREECE IMPROVES RANK IN US HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT

    In its annual global report on human rights, the State Department notes that Greece has made significant progress in the area, albeit adding that problems still remain in regards to police treatment to prisoners and discrimination against the gypsies.

    The report also makes extensive references to the assassination of British diplomat Stephen Saunders, who was killed by the terrorist group "17 November"

    At the same time, the State Department's report, as set forth by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is highly critical of Turkey's human rights record, which h remains dismal.

    [13] EFFORT TO REGISTER THE GREEK BUSINESSMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD

    The World Council of Hellenes Abroad, SAE, businessmen network has launched a big effort aimed at having all Greek businessmen around the world registered.

    Network president Giorgos Dimitrakopoulos stated to MPA that when the project is completed Greece will receive the assistance it wants in the sectors most needed. The initial goal is to register the top 100 businesses in each country.

    Mr. Dimitrakopoulos underlined that the businessmen of Greek origin are interested in investing in Greece and want cooperation with Greek businesses, while they also want to become active in the 2004 Olympic Games.

    [14] MORE LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    More losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to 0.33% at 3.154,03 points, while the volume of transactions was 143.8 million Euro or 48.99 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 272 recorded gains and 69 had losses, while the value of 30 stocks remained stable.

    [15] THE MEETING OF THE PRIME MINISTERS OF GREECE AND CROATIA WAS HELD IN A POSITIVE CLIMATE

    Prime minister Kostas Simitis met in Athens today with his Croatian counterpart Ivica Racan. In their meeting they discussed the situation in the Balkans, while the Greek prime minister reiterated the firm Greek position that the existing borders in the Balkans must be respected. He also expressed Greece's support to Croatia's effort for cooperation with the European Union, while he was in favor of the strengthening of the Greek business presence in Croatia.

    Croatia is an integral part of southeastern Europe, while it plays a significant role in the efforts for peace and cooperation as it was proven in the recent meeting of the Balkan and EU leaders in Zagreb, said Mr. Simitis, adding that Mr. Racan's presence in Greece will contribute greatly to the further improvement of bilateral relations.

    The two prime ministers signed an air transportation agreement, while they expressed interest in signing other agreements as well especially, in the sectors of electricity, farm products and alternative energy sources. They characterized their meeting as friendly and cordial.

    As it was made known, Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos is scheduled to visit Zagreb in May.

    [16] STEPHANOPOULOS-CIAMPI MEETING IN THE IONIAN SEA ISLAND OF KEFALONIA

    Greek president Kostis Stephanopoulos will welcome Italian Republic president Carlo Azeglio Ciampi in the Ionian Sea island of Kefalonia on March 1.

    Mr. Ciampi will be on the island to attend a memorial service for the Italian soldiers killed during WWII.

    [17] REACTIONS TO A LIKELY AGREEMENT ON THE ISSUE OF THE FYROM NAME

    The Greek-American National Council sent an open letter to the Greek political and state leadership expressing its discontent over the latest developments concerning a likely agreement between Athens and Skopje on the name that will be used by FYROM.

    The council reacts to the likely use of the term Macedonia or any of its derivatives in the FYROM name. It also mentions that if the name Macedonia is given away it would mean that the Greek history and identity are up for negotiation.

    Meanwhile, the Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne- Victoria in a statement it has issued also reminds its position regarding the name of FYROM.

    In the statement it is mentioned that the Pan-Macedonian Association rejects any name for FYROM that will include the term Macedonia or any of its derivatives.

    [18] THE GENERAL POPULATION CENSUS IN GREECE WILL BE HELD ON MARCH 18

    The general population census in Greece, that will be conducted by the National Statistics Agency, will take place on Sunday, March 18.

    Minister of national economy Yiannos Papantoniou in a press conference he gave characterized the population census of historical importance.

    [19] EARTHQUAKES IN THE IONIAN AND THE AEGEAN SEA

    An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale shook the sea region south of the Ionian Sea island of Kefalonia in early afternoon today. According to seismologists, the tremor is placed within the framework of the usual seismic activity in the region.

    Another tremor, measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, alarmed the people in the islands of Mitilini and Limnos, in the northeastern Aegean Sea, in the morning hours today. The epicenter of the tremor has been located at the Turkish coasts.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [20] THE EXHIBITION ON THE HOLOCAUST OF THE GREEK JEWS ENDED IN STRASBOURG

    The photo, documents and objects exhibition under the title the "Holocaust of the Greek Jews-Hunted and saviors" that opened in the Council of Europe building in Strasbourg on February 12 ended yesterday.

    The exhibition attracted the interest not only of the diplomatic community and the international organizations in Strasbourg but the Greek, Jewish and French society as well.

    The goal of the exhibition was to make the history of the Jewish Holocaust in Greece known and to pay tribute to the individuals and institutions in Greece that contributed to the rescue of the Jews hunted down by the Nazis during WWII.

    [21] PASCHALIDIS-PITIC MEETING IN BELGRADE

    Greek minister of Macedonia-Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis met today with Serbia's international economic affairs minister Dr. Goran Pitic within the framework of his visit to Belgrade heading a large Greek business delegation.

    In the meeting, Mr. Paschalidis was briefed by Dr. Pitic on the new economic and political reality in Serbia where a new law is being promoted that will facilitate foreign investments opening the way for the Greek businessmen in the region who want to make new investment moves.

    Mr. Paschalidis reminded that the Greek government has already prepared a new law based on which the Greek Plan for the Reconstruction of Southeastern Europe will be implemented. The Greek plan provides for economic assistance of 70 billion drachmas for Serbia.

    Mr. Pitic stated that the fact that Greece was the first country to run to Serbia's economic assistance was not a surprise for the Serb government, and expressed joy over the fact that more than 100 Greek businessmen will have contacts with about 400 Serb businessmen.

    [22] PAPANDREOU: COOPERATION OF BALKAN STATES BASED ON THE SCANDINAVIAN MODEL

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou, in an interview with the news agency SENSE that was published by the Belgrade newspaper "Politika", referred to the prospects of cooperation among the Balkan states, the conclusions of the summit meeting of the southeastern European states in Skopje, the role of Greece in the stabilization of the situation in the region and the investigation underway in the Greek banks for the location of bank accounts that belong to Slobodan Milosevic and his associates.

    Mr. Papandreou expressed the hope that now with democratic governments in every Balkan state the region will move decisively on the road toward the European integration, while referring to the cooperation prospects among the Balkan states he expressed the view that it can be planned based on the Scandinavian model.

    On Greece's role, he said that it is the only Balkan state which is an EU member, and recently a Euro-zone member as well, and stressed that the wish is for every country in the region to become an EU member. He also added that Greece is ready to offer its experience and exert its influence.

    Regarding the outbreak of violence by extremists in Kosovo, south Serbia and FYROM, Mr. Papandreou stated that the summit meeting in Skopje has sent a clear message that extremism in the region must end. Mr. Papandreou was also against the further breakup of the existing states in the Balkans.

    Referring to the investigations for the location of Slobodan Milosevic bank accounts in Greece, Mr. Papandreou stated that an investigation was launched in all Greek banks by the Central Bank and the accounts that were located, based on EU and Court of Justice in The Hague evidence, have been frozen. He also said that he does not know the exact size of the accounts and added that Greece is ready for further cooperation with the Court of Justice in The Hague.


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