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MPA NEWS IN BRIEF (04/07/1996)

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, July 4, 1996


TITLES

  • [01] MERE REPARATIONS WILL NOT ERASE HOLOCAUST FROM VICTIMS' MEMORY

  • [02] ARCHBISHOP IAKOVOS SPEAKS ON HIS IMMINENT RESIGNATION

  • [03] LOCAL MAN ATTEMPTS GUINESS RECORD THROUGH GIANT PUZZLE

  • [04] LOCAL HOSPITALS ARE ON READY ALERT FOR HEATWAVE


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] MERE REPARATIONS WILL NOT ERASE HOLOCAUST FROM VICTIMS' MEMORY

    Thessaloniki, July 4 (M.P.A.)

    The recent ruling by a German Constitutional Court in Carlsruhe that allows individuals to file compensation claims against the German state constitutes a ray of hope for the Greek Jews who were nazi-era wartime victims and suffered in concentration camps.

    Commenting on the Court's decision, released yesterday, the director of Thessaloniki's Israeli Community Samuel Yiosafas told the Macedonian Press Agency that "the Holocaust is not paid back through reparations. A financial compensation will be a symbolic act so that we can say that a fine was imposed on Germany."

    "Those who survived are very few and don't want to talk about their traumatic experiences because every time they recall them it's like killing them," Mr. Yiosafas stated.

    Thessaloniki's Vasilis Lykos, a concentration camp survivor, believes that all of the survivors must be compensated, even with a fifty-year delay.

    "We will ask for what's due to us in any Court if it's necessary," he stated, adding that "but the Greek Foreign Ministry must get involved in the process, even if it concerns individual claims. As I was informed, six American pilots who were co- prisoners of mine have received in compensation 164 million drachmas, each, through the aid of their government."

    Errika Amarillo, daughter of one of Thessaloniki's Jewish families stated that financial restitution will not bring back the city's 50,000 Jews who were killed during the war.

    "I have not asked for restitution and whatever the Court's decision is, I don't think that they will actually carry it out," she added.

    Ms. Amarillo pointed out that only four per cent of Thessaloniki's Jewish community managed to escape the nazis and most of them are not living today.

    "It would be nice if those people who are alive today receive some money to help them. But I don't care. Why should I? Just so that the Germans can say that they have paid us back?" she said.

    By its decision, the Court rejects the German government's standard argument that, according to international law of general application, individual claims regarding wartime events can be solely settled upon the basis of international law (at an inter- state level) and only through peace treaties.

    The Court's opinion was in relation to a case of 22 Jews from Poland, Hungary and Germany who had filed compensation claims for wartime hard labor in Auschwitz from 1943 to 1945 and which lawsuits had been litigated before Bonn's First Instance Court.

    The ruling holds certain implications for compensation suits filed by Greek citizens, one being that when the claims reach the Court, it will be called upon to decide on the bilateral Greek- German agreement, dated March 18, 1960, according to which Germany paid Greece 115 million german marks as compensation for the victims of the Nazi occupation.

    However, in contrast with Hungary and Poland -which had then signed unilateral agreements not to bring forth such lawsuits in the future- Greece had not been bound to do the same. Instead, Greece's then-ambassador to Bonn, Themistocles Ypsilantis, had pointed out that Greece had reservations on the specific point.

    [02] ARCHBISHOP IAKOVOS SPEAKS ON HIS IMMINENT RESIGNATION

    New York, July 4 (M.P.A.)

    "I am not resigning from Christianity, I am resigning from bureaucracy and management," said the Archbishop of North and South America Iakovos, in an emotional speech he gave yesterday in Manhattan during a Byzantine music recital.

    Mr. Iakovos thanked everyone for their support during his 37- year stay at the Archbishopry and expressed his admiration for the recital's musical direction provided by Spyros Peristeris and Dimitris Fusteris. The Archbishop bestowed on Mr. Persiteris Apostle Paul's gold medal for his contribution to Byzantine ecclesiastical music.

    [03] LOCAL MAN ATTEMPTS GUINESS RECORD THROUGH GIANT PUZZLE

    Thessaloniki, July 4 (M.P.A.)

    A Thessaloniki-man will attept to get his name in the Guiness World Records Book, by constructing a gigantic puzzle with the Atlanta Olympic Games sign at the city's waterfront.

    Pavlos Pavlides will try to assemble the puzzle, whose enormous dimensions measure 17 meters high and eight meters wide, this afternoon from 12:00 to 8:00 p.m.

    His previous attempt to complete his feat was hampered by adverse weather conditions.

    "I hope the weather won't get in my way today," Pavlides said.

    [04] LOCAL HOSPITALS ARE ON READY ALERT FOR HEATWAVE

    Thessaloniki, July 4 (M.P.A.)

    Thessaloniki's hospitals, health centers and the state-owned entertainment centers for the elderly (KAPH) are on ready alert to face any potential problems that may arise from the unusually-high temperatures expected today and throughout the weekend.

    According to meteorologists, Northern Greece's temperature is not expected to surpass the 38C mark through Sunday. Today's temperature in Thessaloniki will be 36C.

    The National Weather Bureau forecasts that the heatwave will bring sizzling temperatures mostly to the central and southern part of the country, with the mercury reaching 40C (100F).


    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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