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Macedonian Press Agency: News in English, 2001-05-30

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, May 30, 2001

SECTIONS

  • [A] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS TITLES
  • [] NATIONAL NEWS
  • [01] GREEK FM: FYROM SITUATION IS EXTREMELY FRAGILE
  • [02] CYPRUS IS NO CZECHOSLOVAKIA, IT'S OCCUPIED LAND
  • [03] LABOR UNION LEADER MEETS WITH MINISTER TODAY
  • [04] THESSALONIKI AT THE CORE OF ATHENS 2004 RUSH
  • [05] GREECE, UZBEKISTAN SIGN ANTI-SMUGGLING ACCORD
  • [06] SWEDISH PREMIER TO VISIT ATHENS TOMORROW
  • [07] MORE TEEN GIRLS THAN BOYS SMOKE IN GREECE
  • [08] GREECE TABLES PROPOSAL FOR IMMIGRATION WATCH
  • [09] TURKEY TO SEND EXPLORATORY VESSEL IN AEGEAN
  • [10] TURKEY'S SECURITY COUNCIL ROARS OVER CYPRUS
  • [11] GREEK, BULGARIAN DAs FEUD OVER DRUG BUST DEATH
  • [12] THE "PIRI REIS" ISSUE HAS BEEN CLARIFIED
  • [13] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE
  • [14] THESSALONIKI MUNICIPALITY HONORS ATHOC PRESIDENT
  • [15] REPPAS: EVERY TERRORIST ACTION IS A CRIMINAL ACT
  • [16] PEOPLE IN THESSALONIKI WANT QUALITY HUMAN RELATIONS
  • [17] "ATHENS 2004" VISA GOLD CARD ISSUED
  • [18] ATHLETES TO RECRUIT VOLUNTEERS
  • [19] PROCEDURES FOR OLYMPIC OVERLAYS LAUNCHED
  • [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS
  • [20] ALBANIAN EXTREMISTS THREATEN TO TAKE ACTION IN GREECE
  • [21] ONE IN FIVE EUROPEANS QUITS SCHOOL

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [A] NATIONAL NEWS

    [01] GREEK FM: FYROM SITUATION IS EXTREMELY FRAGILE

    In light of the escalating tension in FYROM, where the balance between stability and instability is reportedly hanging by a thread, NATO's foreign ministers issued a joint communique in Budapest yesterday, reiterating their full support for the country's security, stability and territorial integrity.

    According to Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou, the Allied FMs are to decide on their future actions in FYROM during their joint meeting today.

    "We have requested the intense presence of the EU and NATO already has been offering for months now technical aid and support in the intelligence sector," he stated.

    In addition to FYROM, the NATO FM's discussed Kosovo and Bosnia, as well as EU-NATO relations in light of the previous summit in Nice last December.

    While in Budapest, Mr. Papandreou held separate sideline meetings with his counterparts from FYROM, Turkey and Russia.

    [02] CYPRUS IS NO CZECHOSLOVAKIA, IT'S OCCUPIED LAND

    Turkey is apparently uneasy over Cyprus's accession course to the European Union, Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou stated in reference to statements made by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, who said that Cyprus could peacefully be divided into two states much like the peaceful separation of Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s,

    "As long as Cyprus's accession course progresses, the Turkish reactions will escalate. However, Greece' stance remains unchanged, focused on the island republic's accession course and peaceful relations with Turkey. These relations will have to develop within the framework of support for our national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Otherwise, we have the ability, through our diplomacy and defense, to counter every effort to undermine our national sovereignty," he stated.

    Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas also responded harshly to Mr. Ecevit's statement, pointing out that Cyprus is a UN member-state which has suffered an invasion and that the "United Nations has devised a framework, that's still in effect, for a solution to the problem.

    "This framework foresees a federal state with one citizenship. This must be respected by all sides, especially Turkey, which has done nothing to contribute to a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem. "

    [03] LABOR UNION LEADER MEETS WITH MINISTER TODAY

    The President of Greece's largest labor union the General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE) Christos Polyzogopoulos is to meet with Labor Minister Tasos Yiannitsis today in order to outline the sectors demands from the state.

    In reference to statements made by Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who vowed that minimum pensions will not be reduced, Mr. Polyzogopoulos stated that "every element capable of assisting in finding solutions to the social security issue is taken into serious consideration."

    The union leader further added that GSEE's strategy throughout the negotiations period will be "clear, including both dialogue and militant readiness for strike action".

    [04] THESSALONIKI AT THE CORE OF ATHENS 2004 RUSH

    A memorandum of understanding and cooperation was signed yesterday in Thessaloniki between the city's Chamber of Industry & Commerce (EVETH) and Athens 2004 Olympics Organizing Committee (ATHOC).

    During the signing ceremony, ATHOC President Yianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki stressed that Greece in whole needs to take part in the Olympics effort, adding that Thessaloniki had much to offer. The memorandum will facilitate the participation of northern Greece's firms into projects linked to the Games.

    She further announced that ATHOC, as per the recommendation of EVETH, will establish a business information center in Thessaloniki.

    The ATHOC President stressed that economic activity related to the Games will be of unprecedented magnitude, adding that the 2004 Olympics will expedite the process of infrastructure projects, will expand the country's productivity rate and will result in a GDP increase.

    "The Olympics will provide an opportunity to the world to become re-acquainted with Greece and the Balkans, providing is the opportunity to modernize everyone's views of our country and human resources," she stated.

    Moreover, Ms. Angelopoulos-Daskalaki expressed her confidence that Thessaloniki has a lot to give, and gain, from the Athens 2004 Olympics.

    Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos concurred, stressing that the Olympics of 2004 place Thessaloniki at the core of developments since it will be receiving a sizeable amount of Minister funds (more than 110 billion drachmas) for various infrastructure projects. The memorandum was signed by the Chamber's president Dimitris Bakatselos.

    [05] GREECE, UZBEKISTAN SIGN ANTI-SMUGGLING ACCORD

    Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Elizabeth Papazoi, presently on a visit to Tashkent, signed an accord to combat smuggling and drug trafficking as well as a consular protocol, following talks with Uzbekistan's Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov yesterday.

    Mr. Kamilov stated that Greek-Uzbeki bilateral relations are "excellent, noting that the two countries share a common understanding on political issues and cooperation within international organizations.

    In turn, Ms. Papazoi stressed that both Greece and Uzbekistan are factors of stability in their regions. She also called for an improvement in bilateral economic trade, adding that the extension of a credit line by Athens towards Greek investors in Uzbekistan will further improve ties.

    During her stay in Tashkent, Ms. Papazoi inaugurated an exhibition at the city's archaeological museum, entitled "Greece- Uzbekistan: Common Cultural Traditions," which includes exhibits dating to the time of Alexander the Great and the subsequent Hellenistic era.

    [06] SWEDISH PREMIER TO VISIT ATHENS TOMORROW

    Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson, whose country presently holds the European Union's rotating presidency, is to arrive in Athens tomorrow, where he will hold talks with the Greek government.

    Mr. Persson visit to Athens is part of a tour of European capitals ahead of the EU summit in Gothenburg on June 15-16.

    [07] MORE TEEN GIRLS THAN BOYS SMOKE IN GREECE

    Not exactly the spitting image of the rugged Marlboro Man, teenage girls in Greece are more like to start smoking than their male counterparts, reversing the trend found in older age groups where male smokers outnumber females.

    According to a survey carried in March among 2,400 young people aged 17-25, 64 percent of girls and 53 percent of boys smoke, even though 80 percent of them think it is bad for their health. The survey also found that girls are more easily influenced by their parents' smoking and begin at an earlier age than boys.

    The results of the survey were presented at a conference on "Smoking and Youth" held by Corelco College and the Greek Anti- Cancer Association.

    [08] GREECE TABLES PROPOSAL FOR IMMIGRATION WATCH

    Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysohoides presented Greece's proposal for the establishment of a European Watch of Immigration to the European Union's Council of Justice and Interior Ministers yesterday.

    According to Mr. Chrysochoides, the said Watch will be responsible for the collection and exchange of data on immigration in Europe, as well as the drafting of scientific reports based of this data, which will be supplied by member-states in close cooperation with other Union agencies, such as Europol and Eurostat.

    The Council also discussed the draft a new directive on the reunification of families of immigrants who legally reside in the Union.

    [09] TURKEY TO SEND EXPLORATORY VESSEL IN AEGEAN

    Turkey plans to send the exploratory vessel Piri Reis into the Aegean to search for oil deposits on the continental shelf of Greek islands.

    According to a formal note issued by Ankara to Athens on May 24, the Piri Reis will sail from Aksaz (east of Rhodes) on Monday, June 4, and will return on June 28.

    As the Athens daily "Kathimerini" reported, the exploratory vessel will first move in a southwesterly direction, south of the Greek islands of Rhodes and Karpathos, over the Greek continental shelf in the eastern Aegean. When south of Karpathos it will turn east - still over the Greek continental shelf - and at some point will cross over to the Turkish continental shelf. Still heading east, it will cross over onto the Cypriot continental shelf before turning north toward the Turkish coast and continental shelf. It will then turn west, crossing over onto the Greek continental shelf south of Kastellorizo before ending up in Aksaz.

    The Piri Reis expedition is being carried out at the same time as a Turkish aerial and naval exercise. The first phase, which began on May 28, is being conducted in international waters around the Dodecanese, on the basis of a scenario that cuts these islands off from the rest of Greece.

    The second phase will be conducted in the eastern Mediterranean, in the area where the Piri Reis will carry out its research. This is no coincidence. The blocking off of parts of the area for the exercise and the presence of Turkish navy ships will function as an umbrella for the Turkish exploratory vessel.

    Ankara has used the Piri Reis in the past to create crises, as in 1987 which brought the two countries to the brink of war.

    The Piri Reis expedition has been timed to coincide with Balkan defense ministers' meeting in Thessaloniki on June 5.

    [10] TURKEY'S SECURITY COUNCIL ROARS OVER CYPRUS

    In a thinly veiled thread, Turkey's National Security Council (MGK) has warned that if the Republic of Cyprus enters the European Union without the resolution of the divided island's problem, then peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean region will face "uncertainties".

    In an announcement released yesterday, MGK also warned that it will not accept any "fait accompli" that returns Cyprus to the period prior to 1974.

    Also, the council reiterated Ankara's standing demand that two separate and equal states be recognized on the divided island, while accusing Greece of having "an obsession to transform Cyprus into a Greek island".

    Greek government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stressed that the issue of Cyprus is one of invasion and occupation, noting that the United Nations has designated the resolution framework, one that is acknowledged by all, except Turkey.

    [11] GREEK, BULGARIAN DAs FEUD OVER DRUG BUST DEATH

    The death of a Bulgarian drug dealer who was killed by a Greek police officer during the course of a drug bust in Thessaloniki has resulted in a legal battle between Greek prosecutors and their Bulgarian counterparts who demand that a warrant be issued for the officer's arrest.

    According to the Greek prosecutors, the district attorney's office of South Bulgaria has demanded that an arrest warrant or even an Interpol "red alert"- be issued for the death of Stoyan Stoyanov, a Bulgarian national and former police officer who attempted to sell a kilogram of cocaine to undercover Greek police officers at a price of $120,000.

    According to the Greek police, Stoyanov pulled a knife on the officers when they stormed the building where the drug sale was to take place. Following lengthy investigations, the Greek prosecutor concluded that the Greek officer's weapon went off accidentally when he was attacked by Stoyanov. Two of Stoyanov's accomplices, both of whom indicated that he was the gang leader, were sentenced to 20.5 years imprisonment by a Greek court.

    In a letter addressed to the Greek Ministry of Justice, the Greek prosecutor recommends that the Bulgarian prosecutor's claim be denied, pointing out that such move would challenge Greece's sovereign rights and would subject the Greek policeman to double jeopardy which is prohibited by Article 9 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

    [12] THE "PIRI REIS" ISSUE HAS BEEN CLARIFIED

    Greek foreign ministry spokesman Panos Beglitis characterized as totally inaccurate the press reports on a crisis in the Greek- Turkish relations on the occasion of alleged imminent research to be conducted in the Aegean by the Turkish "Piri Reis" scientific marine research vessel.

    In a written statement, Mr. Beglitis stressed that the Greek foreign ministry received information in the past few days according to which, the research vessel "Piri Reis" was going to conduct research on behalf of a Turkish university in the wider sea region of eastern Mediterranean. Mr. Beglitis stated that after contact with the Turkish side the issue was clarified and after this positive development everything mentioned referring to the creation of a crisis in the Greek-Turkish relations is absolutely inaccurate.

    Greek foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou discussed the issue in Budapest yesterday with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem on the sidelines of the NATO ministers summit meeting. Mr. Cem gave assurances that there will be no research activity by the vessel "Piri Reis" in the specific region.

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated that the information on the research by "Piri Reis" is not true, adding that the necessary clarifications have been given. Mr. Reppas stated that the vessel in question will not proceed to research activities contrary to initial information.

    [13] LOSSES IN THE ATHENS STOCK EXCHANGE

    Losses were recorded in the Athens Stock Exchange today. The general index dropped to -0.95% at 3.102,71 points, while the volume of transactions was 276.76 million Euro or 94.30 billion drachmas.

    Of the stocks trading today, 71 recorded gains and 255 had losses, while the value of 54 stocks remained stable.

    [14] THESSALONIKI MUNICIPALITY HONORS ATHOC PRESIDENT

    Thessaloniki mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos honored "Athens 2004" Organizing Committee president Ms. Yianna Angelopoulou- Daskalakis recognizing the difficult task she has undertaken.

    Mr. Papageorgopoulos stressed that the preparations pace for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games has accelerated in the past year and Thessaloniki feels that it has an obligation to back the effort made and recognize the contribution of Ms. Angelopoulou- Daskalakis.

    From her part, Ms. Angelopoulou-Daskalakis stressed that she studied in the university of Thessaloniki and that she has very good memories from the years she spent in the city as a student. She also expressed the certainty that Thessaloniki will play a leading role in the Olympic Games organizing and will be watched by about 4 billion people around the world.

    [15] REPPAS: EVERY TERRORIST ACTION IS A CRIMINAL ACT

    Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas was called to comment on yesterday's discussion on the anti-terrorist draft law that was held in the responsible parliamentary committee and specifically, on the statements made by justice minister Michalis Stathopoulos that certain terrorist actions can have an ideological basis.

    Mr. Reppas stated that a terrorist action is not a political action but a criminal act, stressing that a terrorist taking away the life of another citizen is a criminal.

    [16] PEOPLE IN THESSALONIKI WANT QUALITY HUMAN RELATIONS

    Human relations is the top priority for the people in Thessaloniki, while the volunteer work in the 2004 Olympic Games features last on the list. According to a research on "the city of Thessaloniki in 2001, contemporary problems and prospects", the people are concerned exclusively with life quality issues and have no interest in whether Thessaloniki is a strategic crossroads for the developments in the Balkans.

    The research, conducted on behalf of the state TV station ERT3 on a sample of 1.500 people in May 2-16 under the scientific supervision of Thessaloniki Aristotle University applied statistics professor Mr. Hatzipantelis, showed that for all those who responded to the questionnaire the quality human relations occupy the top place in terms of meaningfulness followed by issues concerning the economic situation, with an emphasis on the social security issue, and everyday life issues.

    [17] "ATHENS 2004" VISA GOLD CARD ISSUED

    An "ATHENS 2004" VISA Gold Card has just been issued by ALPHA BANK, allowing cardholders to contribute to the Olympic effort, becoming "mini-sponsors" while enjoying many benefits, such as advantageous interest rates.

    The card, valid up to the 2004 Olympic Games, is a product of the cooperation between two sponsors, within the framework of Cause-Related Programmes: Grand National Sponsor ALPHA BANK and TOP V international sponsor VISA International. A percentage of the 400-euro subscription dues as well as a percentage of the cardholder's turnover will be advanced to ATHOC.

    The new VISA Gold Card bearing the "Athens 2004" marks was presented by the President of ALPHA BANK, Ioannis Costopoulos, in a special press conference attended by ATHOC President, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.

    ATHOC has already achieved 93 percent of its sponsorship revenue goal with only five of its 40 planned sponsorships completed.

    [18] ATHLETES TO RECRUIT VOLUNTEERS

    Team Sports athletes work closely with ATHOC in developing the Olympic Volunteer Programme and promoting the Olympic Spirit for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.

    A delegation of the "Team Sports Athletes' Initiative" met with ATHOC President, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, at ATHOC Headquarters to discuss ways of furthering the common cause.

    "We want these athletes, as role models, to help Greece cultivate inspiring examples through Sport. We believe the 2004 Olympic Games provide us with this unique opportunity," said the President, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.

    Panagiotis Fassoulas, member of Parliament and former centre- forward of the National Basketball Team, stressed his conviction that the sports movement, the sporting family, should be the forerunner in recruiting volunteers.

    [19] PROCEDURES FOR OLYMPIC OVERLAYS LAUNCHED

    Eight months earlier than was the case in Sydney, ATHOC has commenced procedures for the Olympic Overlays. This concerns eight contracts for the drawing up of architectural plans, which will be assigned by ATHOC in the third of fourth quarter of 2001, at an estimated initial budget of 7 million Euro (about 2.4 billion drachmas).

    Both Greek and foreign planners and researchers, who have signed and ratified the Public Contracts Agreement of the World Trade Organization, may participate in the tenders issued. All studies on the Olympic overlays must be completed by September 2003 at the latest. Top priority is expected to be given to the Olympic Village overlays, so that these may be taken into account in the final study and the construction of the residences there, which is to start in the upcoming months of June-July.

    [B] INTERNATIONAL NEWS

    [20] ALBANIAN EXTREMISTS THREATEN TO TAKE ACTION IN GREECE

    A political representative of the so-called National Liberation Army (NLA), who lives in Switzerland stated to the Australian state radio yesterday evening, local time, that armed Albanians will take action in northwestern Greece as well!.

    The FYROM state news agency "MIA" reports, based on a correspondence from Sydney, that the political representative of NLA, under the name Ahmeti, has maintained that in the specific Greek region, he called "Chameria", live about one million Albanians and stated that the members of the so-called "Liberation Army of Chameria", (UCC), which has already been created, are perfectly trained and soon will be called to defend their rights.

    The Albanians from every Albanian country in the Balkans must enjoy their rights and this is our demand, stated Ahmeti, pointing out that the war in FYROM will end only when the demands set by NLA will be met.

    He concluded that NLA will defend the rights of the Albanians in Greece as it defends the rights of the Albanians in FYROM which are being violated.

    It should be noted that the Skopje magazine "Zum" had published an article last week mentioning that a detailed plan for the creation of the Liberation Army of Chameria had been drawn up in Switzerland since early this year.

    The magazine, citing sources close to the FYROM secret services, had written that initially Albanian organizations will be founded in Greece and then an armed struggle will get underway for the annexation of part of the Greek territory to the so-called "Greater Albania". The UCC will also turn against the ethnic Greek minority in southern Albania, mainly targeting Omonia organization members.

    FYROM's state-run news agency in another news report mentions that the Albanian rebels' plan concerning Greece is in a way confirmed by the fact that on April 21 journalists had maintained that about a week earlier the Greek authorities had confiscated a truck full of weapons marked with UCK initials at the Greek-FYROM borders. However, the Greek authorities had denied the information.

    The FYROM news agency also points out that in many non- Albanian speaking web sites on the Internet there are messages that lead to the conclusion that the creation of UCC is being prepared. Those messages many times end with the phrase "Greece is the next country from which we will take back our land".

    [21] ONE IN FIVE EUROPEANS QUITS SCHOOL

    One in five Europeans, between the ages of 18 and 24, quits high school in spite of the fact that in the last 30 years there is a rise in the EU member-states' education level.

    According to the European Statistics Agency, Eurostat, the highest percentage is in Portugal (46%), followed by Spain (29%) and Italy (27%). The lowest percentage is in Austria and Denmark (12%), Finland (10%) and Sweden (7%).

    The phenomenon is more frequent among males between the ages of 18 and 24 with the exception of Germany and Austria.


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