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MPA NEWS IN BRIEF (15/05/1996)

From: Macedonian Press Agency <mpa@philippos.mpa.gr>

Macedonian Press Agency Brief News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki May 15, 1996


TITLES

  • [01] GREECE IS IN THE RIGHT, DOESN'T NEED TO SEEK LEGAL OPINIONS, SAYS PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS

  • [02] EUROPEAN COMMISSION FORESEES UPWARD SWING FOR GREEK ECONOMY

  • [03] CYPRIOT GOVERNMENT SATISFIED BY OUTCOME OF EU-CYPRUS ASSOCIATION COUNCIL


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] GREECE IS IN THE RIGHT, DOESN'T NEED TO SEEK LEGAL OPINIONS, SAYS PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS

    Chicago, May 15 (M.P.A.)

    "Greece is in the right and does not need to seek opinions from legal experts, but instead, a simple reading of the documents and international agreements will do. It is not difficult for the American President to understand the reality of the greek-turkish relations, even if he does not want to express his point of view publicly," stated the President of Greece Kostis Stephanopoulos during a speech he gave in Chicago, Illinois yesterday.

    In Chicago, his last stop of this official state visit to the United States, the Greek President attended a formal dinner given in his honor by the Presidents of the World and Regional Councils of Greeks Abroad (SAE), Mr. Athens and Mr. Tomaras respectively, and during his speech he reiterated that "Greece is not begging anyone, not even the United States," indicating that he came to the US in order to express his points of view.

    In his address, Mr. Stephanopoulos thanked US President Bill Clinton, with whom he met at the White House on May 9, for "his guarrantees on the upkeep of international accords, the security of territorial sovereignty and the inviolability of borders."

    President Stephanopoulos stated that the Balkan- region problems have almost eclipsed, with the only remaining issue being that of greek-turkish relations.

    "It is not difficult, I believe, for Mr. Clinton to understand what is happening even though in a letter he sent some time ago (to a leading member of the greek community) he had stated that the greek-turkish differences are complex. Mr. Clinton knows these problems better than I do, but he is not able to publicize this knowledge.

    "Without question, the greek side is in the right," President Stephanopoulos stated, adding that "the US President should turn his words into actions and maintain them."

    President Stephanopoulos was addressed by Chicago Mayor Richard Galey before a large audience that included the alternate Foreign Minister George Romeos, the Greek Ambassador to the US Lukas Tsilas, the Greek Consul- General in Chicago, the SAE Presidents and many leading members of the greek-american community.

    In his speech, the President made extensive references to the founding meeting of SAE, held in Thessaloniki, to which he was present.

    "SAE is not an agency of greek special interests, but, rather, a means of communication between Greeks living at home and those Greeks living abroad, a means that will allow maintaining the ties between the Greeks abroad and Greece. If it was up to me, I would say that SAE has one and only aim and that is language, language, language."

    Mr. Stephanopoulos referred to the greek church by pointing out that "there is also Orthodoxy, but this (area) has very able representatives" and added that "hellenism constitutes the center of Orthodoxy" and emphasized that "Patriarch Vartholomeos represents Orthodoxy while having common aims with Greece."

    The President made extensive references to the Greeks living abroad and the role they can carry out in promoting greek national issues. He characterized Chicago's greek-american community as a "valuable piece of hellenism" and outlined that their relation with the mother country is a "relation of blood, heart and humanity."

    "You are Greeks away from Greece, therefore you are two times Greeks. Greece has the joy, and the misfortune, to have her children scattered throughout the world. Let the greek voice and the greek name be heard throughout," the President said.

    The President will meet with the governor of Illinois today and will attend a ceremony for the opening of Chicago's Greek Center. He is scheduled to depart the United States today and arrive in Greece tomorrow.

    President Stephanopoulos' visit to the United States holds special significance since it marks the first time a Greek leader has officially travelled to the US in the past 43 years. During his nine-day stay, the President visited Washington, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Chicago, all of which are cities with a pronounced Greek population.

    [02] EUROPEAN COMMISSION FORESEES UPWARD SWING FOR GREEK ECONOMY

    Brussels, May 15 (M.P.A.)

    The Greek economy is expected to proceed at a better development rate during the next two-year period, compared to the median rate set by other European Union members.

    According to the European Commission, a relevant report is expected to be approved today and, in turn, will be submitted in June to the EU Summit, scheduled to be held in Florence.

    The report foresees that the developments of the greek economy's macroeconomic sizes will not be affected negatively by the recession noted in other european countries, mostly due to the german economy's recent negative performance.

    In the report, the Commission emphasizes that "during the recent years, Athens has applied wise economic policy, but it must continue its efforts in limiting public deficit, giving weight to limiting public expenses and in the prudent application of the privatisation plan."

    Moreover, the European Commission praises as "noteworthy" the greek government's investment program, but outlines that the effort to correct the macroeconomic sizes must continue in order for the greek government's convergence program to succeed.

    According to data provided by the Commission, Greece's GNP increase rate is expected to reach 2% this year and nudge up 2.5% in 1997. Inflationary pressure is currently estimated at approximately 7.5%, while it is expected to be reduced to 7% in 1997.

    In contrast, the country's unemployment rate is expected to move upwards to 9.8% and will be reduced in 1997 to 9.6%.

    Regarding the rest of the EU member-states, the report is disappointing. According to the Commission, economic recession has plagued all the countries, while the report foresees that in 1999, when the common EU currency will go into effect, according to the Maastricht Treaty, no EU member, Germany and France included, will be able to meet the Treaty's preconditions. It should be noted, that the french and german governments are currently exerting pressure on the Commission to make - even at the last minute- changes to the report and change the data it provides.

    [03] CYPRIOT GOVERNMENT SATISFIED BY OUTCOME OF EU-CYPRUS ASSOCIATION COUNCIL

    Nicosia, May 15 (M.P.A.)

    Cypriot Foreign Minister Alekos Mihaelides expressed his satisfaction for the outcome of the European Union- Cyprus Association Council held yesterday.

    Speaking from Brussels, Mr. Mihaelides stated that it is at last a european conviction that Cyprus, along with Malta, will be the first of the candidate-countries to be included in the next expansion of the EU.

    "Everyone assesses that Cyprus is ready in all areas for accession (to the EU) and the only concern is the cypriot issue which must be resolved as soon as possible," the Cypriot Foreign Minister stated.

    Mr. Mihaelides added that the need for EU participation in the efforts to solve the Cyprus issue, along with the United Nations, is beginning to be understood. He added that these efforts are centered around the initiative being promoted by the United States.


    Complete archives of the Macedonian Press Agency bulletins are available on the MPA Home Page at http://www.mpa.gr/ and on the U.S. mirror at http://www.hri.org/MPA/

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