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MPA NEWS IN BRIEF (23/05/1996)

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 23, 1996


TITLES

  • [01] EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JACQUES SANTER SUPPORTS DIAVLOS PROGRAM

  • [02] SUBSIDIARITY'S USE AT LOCAL-REGIONAL LEVEL IS UNCERTAIN, SAYS CEMR PRESIDENT

  • [03] ATHENS MAYOR PROPOSES A COMMON EUROPEAN URBAN POLICY

  • [04] LOCAL AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY, SAYS EUROPEAN REPRESENTATIVE

  • [05] FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON COMMENTS ON MESUT YILMAZ'S STATEMENTS

  • [06] THE US WANT TO SEE CYPRUS UNITED, SAYS CLINTON'S PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR

  • [07] MORE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS TO BE ESTABLISHED FOR GREEKS ABROAD

  • [08] UN PUBLISHES REPORT ON RUSSIA IMMIGRANTS, GREEKS FROM PONTUS INCLUDED


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] EUROPEAN COMMISSION PRESIDENT JACQUES SANTER SUPPORTS DIAVLOS PROGRAM

    Thessaloniki, May 23 (M.P.A.)

    European Commission President Jacques Santer stated today that the Macedonian Press Agency's "Diavlos" program "is a good initiative that deserves to be supported by the European Union."

    Mr. Santer met today with M.P.A.'s general director Spyros Kouzinopoulos, and was briefed on "Diavlos", the news agency's program that foresees the satellite link between all the national news agencies in the Balkan countries, through Thessaloniki, aiming at the improvement of news and information exchange.

    The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 20th General Assembly of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, currently being held in Thessaloniki.

    The "Diavlos" program was also submitted in early May to the President of European Parliament Klaus Hensch, the European Union's Greek Commissioner Christos Papoutsis, and to officials from the EU's 10th Directorate, during a visit to Brussels by the general directors of all the national news agencies of the Balkan countries.

    [02] SUBSIDIARITY'S USE AT LOCAL-REGIONAL LEVEL IS UNCERTAIN, SAYS CEMR PRESIDENT

    Thessaloniki, May 23 (M.P.A.)

    Although he is optimistic that the Maastricht Treaty's revision will promote a common european policy, at least in the areas of monetary union, defense, justice and security, the President of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, Mayor of Barcelona Pasqual Maragall, is guarded when it comes to extending the subsidiarity principle to the local and regional levels.

    Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Maragall stated that "I am not optimistic that the principle of subsidiarity will be extended to a local and regional level," explaining that certain countries may be resistant to the principle of subsidiarity since almost all procedures should be performed at their level.

    Considering the CEMR's proposals, to be presented to the European Union, Mr. Maragall stated that they will center on the "establishment of a Europe of citizens, with the Regions Commitee having a vital role."

    The CEMR President stated that the Regions Committee's role will be continuously upgraded, adding that it would be preferable if the European Commission presented its annual program before the Regions Committee, so that "it can be in the position to have input in the Commission's actions."

    [03] ATHENS MAYOR PROPOSES A COMMON EUROPEAN URBAN POLICY

    Thessaloniki, May 23 (M.P.A.)

    Two proposals will be presented by the Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos, concerning the appointment of a Commissioner responsible for issues of local government and local authorities in the European Commission, and the establishment of a common European urban policy.

    Mr. Avramopoulos will present his proposals during tomorrow's plenary session of the council of the 20th General Assembly of the Council of European Municipalities annd Regions, which is currently being held in Thessaloniki.

    According to the Athens Mayor, the Assembly's sessions illustrate the need for strengthening the local authorities' role in the direction of undertaking initiatives regarding international cooperation programs.

    Regarding his proposal for the establishment of a common European urban policy, Mr. Avramopoulos noted that 80 percent of Europeans live in urban centers, whereas for the remaining 20 percent of the population, who mostly live in rural areas, a common rural policy has already been instituted.

    The common urban policy, Mr. Avramopoulos stated, should address issues on city planning, environment, architecture, protection of cultural and traditional buildings, as well as the social problems that arise from the urban lifestyle.

    Referring to the speech given yesterday by European Commission President Jacques Santer, the Athens Mayor stated that the basic principles presented by Mr. Santer, are in line with the Greek local government's positions, regarding granting priority to problems faced by local communities, foremostly that of unemployment. Nevertheless, he added, before reaching the point of providing solutions to the problems, a lot remains to be done.

    The Mayor of Athens made special reference to tomorrow's meeting that will be held between the city mayors of countries found in Southeastern Europe.

    [04] LOCAL AND REGIONAL AUTHORITIES SHOULD TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY, SAYS EUROPEAN REPRESENTATIVE

    Thessaloniki, May 23 (M.P.A.)

    In order for multimedia technology to be optimally applied, the local and regional authorities of european countries must provide their input methodically, according to a meeting held today under the auspices of the 20th General Assembly of European Municipalities and Regions.

    The B Committee of the Council of European Minicipalities and Regions, in a meeting titled "Challenges in an information society and the role of local government", gave emphasis to the need of providing information technology to local governments in order to optimally serve the citizens.

    According to Margot Weakstorm, who also leads the Swedish Association of Local Authorities, urban development will invariably be affected by the new technology.

    "Therefore, the local and regional authorities must have a vision and methodical input," Ms. Weakstorm stated, adding that the use of new technology will result in the creation of jobs, in sectors that aid both industry and trade.

    [05] FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESPERSON COMMENTS ON MESUT YILMAZ'S STATEMENTS

    Athens, May 23 (M.P.A.)

    "The greek positions are firm and well-known regarding the greek-turkish issues," stated the Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Konstantinos Bikas, commenting on the statements made yesterday by Turk Premier Mesut Yilmaz.

    The Turk leader yesterday proceeded to question the Lausanne Treaty and spoke of "grey areas" in the Aegean Sea -he stated that the Aegean is not a Greek sea-, and strongly objected to Greece's right to extent its territorial waters in the region to 12 miles from the current six.

    "Greece insists on a step-by-step approach between the two countries, under the condition that Turkey will resort to the International Court of Justice at the Hague, regarding the Imia islets," stated Mr. Bikas.

    Referring to Mr. Yilmaz's "grey areas" claims, the Foreign Ministry's spokesperson emphatically stated that Greece does not accept such issue.

    [06] THE US WANT TO SEE CYPRUS UNITED, SAYS CLINTON'S PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR

    Washington, May 23 (M.P.A.)

    The United States foreign policy has set its eyes on a target, that is to accomplish peace in Cyprus.

    "The US want to see Cyprus united and without foreign military forces," stated George Stephanopoulos, US President Bill Clinton's advisor, addressing the annual conference on the World Coordinating Committee on the Cypriot Struggle, yesterday in Washington.

    Mr. Stephanopoulos stated that in order for peace to be accomplished in Cyprus, there must be stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region and expressed his concern for the political situation noted in Turkey, and the Athens-Ankara differences.

    Referring to Mr. Kornblum's recent visit to the island, Mr. Stephanopoulos said that Richard Beattie will also visit Cyprus soon.

    "We wish to see progress on the Cyprus issue and that is why we are holding talks with all sides, because 22 years is a long time for the island to be divided," Stephanopoulos said.

    Meanwhile yesterday, 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 efforts in promoting the greek positions in Congress.

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

    [07] MORE EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS TO BE ESTABLISHED FOR GREEKS ABROAD

    Athens, May 23 (M.P.A.)

    An amendment tabled in Greek Parliament yesterday is set to put an end to bureaucratic tangles faced by the government's General Secretariat of Greeks Abroad.

    The amendment, which was voted unanimously by the parliamentarians, was presented during a legislative discussion regarding "Greek education abroad and intercultural training."

    As such, the General Secretariat will now be able to establish various programs that will aim at strengthening the ties between Greece and those Greeks who live abroad, such as, greek language lessons, cultural programs, and professional training for those immigrants who return to Greece.

    [08] UN PUBLISHES REPORT ON RUSSIA IMMIGRANTS, GREEKS FROM PONTUS INCLUDED

    New York, May 23 (M.P.A.)

    The Greeks from Pontus, as well as the political refugees who settled at the former Soviet Union following the end of the Greek civil war and were forced by the soviet authorities during that era to re-settle to other regions further into Russia, are referred to extensively in a United Nations special report.

    The UN report analyses the problems the refugees are faced with, in light of the regional summit of the Commonwealth of the Independent States of the former Soviet Union, which will take place in Geneva on May 30- 31. Greece will participate at the Summit.

    According to the report's introduction, "the break up of the Soviet Union resulted in the largest and most complex transfering of human power following World War II. In total, nine million persons left their houses behind. Between 1936 and 1952, three million people re- settle to Siberia and Central Asia from the Soviet Union's western borders."

    According to the report's statistical data, approximately 36,000 Greeks were forced to re-settle from the Black Sea to Kajakstan, while 5,000 Greeks who were removed in November of 1955 from Georgia, are referred to as the first "national group" who were transferred as a result of the soviet policy regarding "special immigrants."

    In the "minorities map" that accompanies the report, it includes data up to 1989, there is mention of 99,000 Greek refugees who were forcibly removed from their homes, while another 100,000 Greeks living in Georgia are also recorded.


    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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