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MPA NEWS IN BRIEF (22/05/1996)

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

Macedonian Press Agency Brief News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki May 22, 1996


TITLES

  • [01] 20TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF EUROPEAN MAYORS BEGINS IN THESSALONIKI

  • [02] "THRACE" TRADE EXHIBIT TO GROW INTO INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT BASE

  • [03] EUROPEAN COMMISISON TO ADOPT PROPOSAL ON FETA CHEESE

  • [04] CYPRUS WILL NOT BECOME EU MEMBER BEFORE CYPRIOT ISSUE IS RESOLVED, SAYS GONENSAy

  • [05] WORLD COORDINATING COMMITTEE ON THE CYPRIOT STRUGGLE BEGINS

  • [06] DENKTASH REJECTS TALK FOR ESTABLISHING MULTI-NATIONAL FORCES ON CYPRUS

  • [07] US HOUSE OF REPS TO DISCUSS REDUCTION OF ECONOMIC AID TO TURKEY, OR EVEN COMPLETE WITHDRAWAL OF FUNDS


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] 20TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF EUROPEAN MAYORS BEGINS IN THESSALONIKI

    Thessaloniki, May 22 (M.P.A.)

    Two thousand European local and regional elected representatives will participate at the three-day 20th General Conference of the European Municipalities and Regions, which will be formally inaugurated this evening by European Commission President Jacques Santer.

    The government will be represented by Minister of Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Akis Tsohatzopoulos, while New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert will deliver a speech.

    Main speaker in the formal opening ceremony will be Council of European Municipalities and Regions International President Pasqual Maragall, while Thessaloniki Mayor Konstantinos Kosmopoulos and Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos will also address the Conference.

    Mr. Santer is expected to arrive in Thessaloniki this afternoon, thereby making his first formal visit to Greece. He will speak on the situation in the EU and the challenges facing the local and regional authorities in the ICG.

    Ways of facing the issue of unemployment, as well as issues of environmental concern will be at the center of discussions held during the Conference. Also discussed will be the European local government's input at the Inter-Governmental Conference (ICG) -in Turin, Italy- since it is considered necessary that the future accords include the citizens' right to have access to information regarding the European Union's policies and initiatives. The ICG will decide on the future of the EU within the framework of the Maastricht Treaty revision.

    The European representatives will discuss the principles of reinforcement, as well as the bases of a multi-level cooperation, where the local and regional authorities will have the task of executing the european policies. This procedure will grant the opportunity to improve the quality of decision-making in the EU and will strengthen the validity of such decisions.

    This will be the largest gathering of elected representatives of the local and regional authorities in the European Union.

    The Council of European Municipalities and Regions is the european section of the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA) and was established in 1951. Today, it numbers over 100,000 local and regional authorities, federated together in 38 large National Associations in 25 European countries.

    The General Conference traditionally closes with the adoption of a proclamation which will be transferred to the european bodies and mass media. This proclamation presents the positions of the elected local and regional representatives regarding the conditions of the european structure and the roles of the local and regional self- government.

    Greece will participate with 154 delegates, Germany with 164, France with 82, Britain with 45, Switzerland with 10, Sweden with 27, Spain with 29, Italy with 150, Portugal with 110, Norway with six, Holland with 10, Luxemburg with 32, Finland with 23, Denmark with ten, Belgium with 26 and Austria with 45, while hundreds of large city mayors and representatives of local administration will also be able to participate in the conference through the Council of European Municipalities and Regions.

    also participating in the conference will be countries outside the European Union, such as Cyprus with three mayors, the Czech Republic with four, Israel with one, Saudi Arabia with two, Poland with 13 and FYROM with one.

    [02] "THRACE" TRADE EXHIBIT TO GROW INTO INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT BASE

    Komotene, May 22 (M.P.A.)

    The trade exhibit "Thrace '96", to be inaugurated this evening in Komotene, has set targets to grow into a development base for the further development of Greek and foreign businesses in the geographical region of the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Black Sea, thereby paving the way for international status.

    Commissioned consultant N. Pinakides, from the International Fair of Thessaloniki- Helexpo, stated that "Thrace '96" has already produced satisfactory development records, pointing out that more than 100 exhibitors from throughout Greece, as well as Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain, Belgium, Switzerland and the US, are participating.

    "We believe that there is still room for further participation of local businesses and industry sectors. We are sure that the productivity and significance of "Thrace 96" will be a decisive factor for their participation," Mr. Pinakides stated.

    The Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace Secretary-General Chrysa Manolia addressed the exhibit's opening ceremony and stated that Thrace, once developed, will play a significant part in the country's development.

    "Thrace is Greece's gate to the Balkans and Eastern Europe and its role in the shaping of economic activity is especially significant. An economic inter-state is developing beyond our borders with pronounced potential which we are called to exploit," Ms. Manolia stated.

    [03] EUROPEAN COMMISISON TO ADOPT PROPOSAL ON FETA CHEESE

    Brussels, May 22 (M.P.A.)

    The European Commission has decided to adopt a proposal through which feta cheese sold in the European Union must be made in Greece, after EU Agriculture Ministers failed to reach a decision on Monday, according to a Commission spokesperson.

    Since there was neither a qualified majority in favor of the proposal, nor one against it, the Commission could proceed to a decision by itself three months after delivering the proposal to the Council of Ministers. The proposal is set to go into effect on June 15.

    Voting against the proposal were Denmark and six other feta-producing countries, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Belgium and France. Britain abstained and the remaining seven EU members voted in favor of the Commission's proposal.

    Feta cheese is one of the 318 regional food products which the Commission wants to protect against products from other regions carrying the same name.

    During Monday's meeting, the Agriculture Ministers' Council examined the European Commission's announcement, according to which the greek feta cheese that is produced by goat and sheep milk is a product- name that is protected in the EU member countries.

    [04] CYPRUS WILL NOT BECOME EU MEMBER BEFORE CYPRIOT ISSUE IS RESOLVED, SAYS GONENSAy

    Washington, May 22 (M.P.A.)

    Cyprus will not become a member of the European Union, before the cypriot issue is resolved, stated the Turk Foreign Minister Emre Gonensay, during a press conference in Washington.

    According to Gonensay, the cypriot issue was brought up during his discussion with United States Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Mr. Gonensay told his US counterpart that Turkey will welcome a United States intitiative, one that will be within the framework of the United Nations Secretary-General's proposals package. As Mr. Gonensay stressed, the turk-cypriot side favors negotiations within the framework of a two-zones, two- communities federation based on equal political rights.

    When asked about Turkey's position regarding Cyprus' accession to the European Union, Mr. Gonensay stated that there is no change between Turkey's position and those of the US and EU member-countries. This means that if there is no solution reached on the cypriot issue, based on a two-zone, two-commnunity federation with equal political rights and with the turkish community's agreement, Cyprus will become a full member of the EU. According to Mr. Gonensay, this is understood by all sides, including the United States.

    [05] WORLD COORDINATING COMMITTEE ON THE CYPRIOT STRUGGLE BEGINS WASHINGTON SESSION

    Washington, May 22 (M.P.A.)

    The annual conference on the World Coordinating Committee on the Cypriot Struggle began yesterday in Washington.

    Honored guests at a formal reception, given at the Cypriot embassy, were the Greek-American Congressman Mike Bilirakis (Rep) and the New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (Dem), who were recognized for their effforts in promoting the greek positions in Congress.

    The two congresspersons stated that they wil continue their struggle for securing a peaceful and fair solution to the cypriot issue.

    Today, the Committee members will visit Capitol Hill where they will meet with members of the Senate. Later, they will attend a White House briefing by the director of the National Security Council on European Issues, Alexander Vershbow, the State Department's special coordinator for the cypriot issue James Williams, and the director of the Southern European office Kerry Kavano.

    [06] DENKTASH REJECTS TALK FOR ESTABLISHING MULTI- NATIONAL FORCES ON CYPRUS

    Nicosia, May 22 (M.P.A.)

    Rauf Dentktash has rejected the idea of establishing multi-national forces in Cyprus in the case of an agreement, and characterized such proposal as "unacceptable."

    Upon his return from Ankara, Mr. Denktash claimed that this idea was presented purposefully by the greek- cypriot side, because- as he said- when these forces arrive on the island, the Turk and Greek soldiers will be able to participate, but Ankara will lose the right to maintain forces, based on the Zurich Accords.

    The turk-cypriot leader stated that the proposal of establishing a multi-national force on Cyprus is contrary to the Ghali proposals and reiterated his opposition to Cyprus' accession to the European Union.

    [07] US HOUSE OF REPS TO DISCUSS REDUCTION OF ECONOMIC AID TO TURKEY, OR EVEN COMPLETE WITHDRAWAL OF FUNDS

    Washington, May 22 (M.P.A.)

    The United States House of Representatives' Sub- committee on Allocation of Funds will address tonight the possibility of reducing, or perhaps even completely withdrawing US economic aid to Turkey for the upcoming year.

    Illinois Senator John Porter (Rep) will submit his amendment asking for the withdrawal of funding to Ankara. Mr. Porter had submitted a similar proposal to the Senate last year, which resulted in a $25 million reduction of economic aid to Turkey.


    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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