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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 96-11-19
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY
Thessaloniki, November 19, 1996
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREEK PREMIER TO MEET WITH ITALIAN PREMIER IN ROME TOMORROW
Athens, November 19 (M.P.A.)Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will travel to Rome tomorrow for a two-day visit where he will meet with Italian Premier Romano Prodi and the president of Italy's Democratic Left Party Massimo Di Alema.
On December 2-3 Mr. Simitis will attend the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Summit Meeting in Lisbon, while on December 12 he will be on a working visit to The Hague. On December 13-14 the Greek Premier will be attending the European Union's Summit Meeting in Dublin.
 MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER LOOKS AT BUSINESS TIES WITH ONTARIO
Toronto-Montreal, November 19 (M.P.A.)The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos, currently on an official visit to Canada, is examining the opportunities for economic collaboration between northern Greece and Ontario.
In Toronto yesterday, Mr. Petsalnikos met with Ontario's Minister of Economics David Johnson who stated that, despite the vast geographical distance, Canadian businessmen are quite interested in investing in Greece. Also, it was ascertained that the obstacles in the operation of the Canadian gold-mining firm TVX-Gold have been overcome in its Halkidiki plant.
The Canadian Minister briefed Mr. Petsalnikos on his country's drastic austerity measures, with marked cutbacks in the public sector aimed at reducing the deficit. Mr. Johnson emphasized that as a result of the austerity program, public servants in his country have been reduced from 80,000 to 75,000, while a further 12,000 reduction is expected.
Mr. Petsalnikos stated that these measures should not be allowed to affect Ontario's significant and pioneering multi- cultural program, especially the sector of Greek language studies.
The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace also met with the Greek- origin Canadian parliamentarians Mssrs. Karygiannis and Kannis with whom he discussed national matters as well as issues that concern Hellenism's substantive presence in the economic, cultural and social life of their "second" country.
In Montreal, Mr. Petsalnikos had a very constructive meeting with the Liberal Party's deputy and former minister in Quebec's Cabinet Christos Syros, especially on issues concerning the upgrading of Greek education in all sectors. Mr. Petsalnikos emhasized the need not to cut back on the funds earmarked for Greek studies.
Mr. Syros expressed his fears that the Quebec government may intend to close the national minorities schools and emphasized the need for Greek-Canadians to concert their efforts in order to avert such potential.
While in Montreal, Mr. Petsalnikos also met with various leaders of the city's Greek community and attended a dinner organized by Quebec's Greek-Canadian Congress.
 MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER INSPIRES GREEK-CANADIANS IN TORONTO
Toronto, November 19 (M.P.A.)The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos presented the Greek government's strategic targets in becoming a source of stability in the Balkans, through strengthening national defense and reinforcing development in the economic, social and cultural fields.
Addressing a large gathering at the Greek community's Cultural Center in Toronto, Mr. Petsalnikos stated that Hellenism can face the future with confidence, as long as it gains on lost time and doesn't let opportunities created at home go to waste.
The Minister added that Greece has a difficult eastern neighbor -as he characterized Turkey- emphasizing that Ankara's political, economic and military policies create continuous problems not only for Greece but for the greater region as well.
Mr. Petsalnikos in turn referred to Greece's five-year defense program, noting that "defense demands sacrifices."
"If the balance of powers in the Aegean is overturned, then Turkey will not be contained to verbal statements," The Minister stated.
Earlier yesterday, Mr. Petsalnikos inaugurated the Cultural Center of Ontario's Pan-Macedonian Union and announced that the center will be funded by the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace with a first-phase award of ten thousand dollars. Moreover, the Ministry will establish two annual awards, "Alexander the Great" for politicians and "Aristotle" for scientists, which will be bestowed upon international figures who are Greece's friends.
 GREEK INTERPARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION VISITS GERMANY
Bonn, November 19 (M.P.A.)A six-member inter-parliamentary delegation, headed by the Hellenic Parliament's second vice-president Panayiotis Sgourides, conducted a formal visit to Baden-Vutenberg, following an invitation issued by the German local parliament.
During the formal visit, held between November 12-15, the delegates met with the miniature state's Premier Erwin Teufel and the undersecretary of Economy Dr. Mohrlander, as well as other parliamentary officials.
Following a proposal suggested by the Greek delegation, German businessmen who wish to invest in Greece and the Balkans will accompany the German parliamentary delegation that is to visit Greece in June of 1997.
During a press conference, Mr. Sgourides emphasized that the Greek citizens believe in a united Europe, in the European Economic Cohesion and the European Monetary Union, and are making sacrifices in order to meet these targets.
Nevertheless, Mr. Sgourides added, Greece's starting point for these goals differs from that of the European Union's other member-states since Greece is obliged to spend more on its defense, given the existing threat of its territorial rights posed by 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/