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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 96-12-02
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, December 2, 1996
NEWS IN DETAIL
 OSCE SUMMIT CONFERENCE BEGINS IN LISBON TODAY
Lisbon, December 2 (M.P.A.)The Summit Conference of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) began today in the Portuguese capital, with the participation of 55 formal delegations headed by state leaders from Europe, the United States and Canada.
Heading the Greek delegation is Prime Minister Kostas Simitis who is scheduled to address the Summit tomorrow morning. The Premier is accompanied by Minister of Press and Mass Media Dimitris Reppas, alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou and various advisors.
The Summit's Plenary session was held until noon, local time, and was followed by a luncheon hosted by the Portuguese Premier. The Plenary session will reconvene later in the afternoon.
In the evening, the President of Portugal will host a formal dinner in honor of the 55 state leaders at the Palacio de Yuta.
The Summit's agenda will mostly concentrate on European security issues and the course towards the 21st century, as the delegates consider the topic of cooperation for added security in Europe to be a key point and agree for the removal of nuclear warheads from countries such as the Ukraine and Kazakstan. Moreover, the delegates condemn policies of national cleansing and mass exiles.
Nevertheless, it became apparent to all that the draft resolution worked on by the delegations last night became the source of debate on numerous points.
During the Summit, the President of FYROM Kiro Gligorov is expected to raise the issue of ethnic minorities, a subject that also concerns Greece. It is reminded that at the Summit for Security and Cooperation in Europe (SSCE), held in Copenhagen during June of 1990, it was resolved that the members of ethnic minorities must not be subjected to discrimination and that their religious, ethnic, cultural and linguistic identity must be protected. This excerpt has been internationally characterized as a form of "European Constitution", especially in regards to human rights.
Mr. Simitis will have a series of contacts in Lisbon, which began this morning with a meeting with Romanian President Emil Constantinescu. The Greek Premier is expected to promote the positions for a peaceful resolution of the greek-turkish differences and the resort of the Imia islets issue and the continental shelf matter to the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Among the other state leaders participating in the Summit are Victor Cernomyrdin, Helmut Kohl, John Major and Romano Prodi. Representing the United States is Vice-President Al Gore.
 SEVERE FLOODS STRIKE PROVINCE OF XANTHI IN NORTHEASTERN GREECE
Xanthi, December 2 (M.P.A.)Three persons drowned yesterday, among them a father and his 14-year-old daughter, in the torrential floods that were brought about by severe rain in Xanthi, a city in northeastern Greece.
The heavy rain caused severe losses to the region's crops, while many houses and stores have been devastated by damages. Hundreds of families from the surrounding villages have been rendered homeless. The province of Xanthi was declared a "state of emergency" yesterday and the Government enforced its "Xenocrates" contingency plan in the stricken area.
Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos, who has been at the stricken premises since yesterday, told the Macedonian Press Agency that, as soon as damage estimates are drawn, the Government will proceed to relief measures for the support of flood-stricken victims, including a grant of GRD200,00 to each of the flood's victims (about $810).
The Minister of Environment, Planning and Public Works Kostas Laliotis is currently heading a government delegation on a visit to Xanthi and will preside over a conference with local authorities.
 GREEK FARMERS CONTINUE TO BLOCK MAJOR NATIONAL ROADS
Thessaloniki, December 2 (M.P.A.)The national highway linking Athens with Thessaloniki remains closed for the third successive day by protesting farmers who are continuing their rallies against the Government's economic policy.
The Thessaly Coordinating Committee of Farmers has turned down the Agriculture Minister's (Stefanos Tzoumakas) proposal to meet with the presidiums of the largest agricultural unions in Athens.
Following Thessaly, the farmers of northern Greece and the Peloponnese also joined the rallies.
 EARTHQUAKE MEASURING 5,1 RICHTER SHAKES CYPRUS
Nicosia, December 2 (M.P.A.)A strong earthquake measuring 5,1 on the Richter scale occured this morning in Cyprus at 6:09 a.m. and its tremor was felt throughout the island.
According to the Cypriot Geological Review Department, today's quake is an aftershock stemming from Pafos' sea region and constitutes part of the stronger quake (6,4 Richter) that struck Cyprus on October 9, 1996.
Cyprus' strongest quake to date occured in 1896 and measured 6,5 degrees on the Richter scale.
 F.R.Y.: ANTI-GOVERNMENT DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUE TO MOUNT
Belgrade, December 2 (M.P.A.)Thousands of disgruntled followers of the Federal Yugoslav Republic's three-member coalition opposition Zajedno (Together) continue to rally in the streets of Yugoslavia's larger cities, calling President Slobodan Milosevic to step down and demanding that the Government resign.
The rallies stem from the Government's decision to annul results of the local elections in those municipalities where Zajedno prevailed.
The third round of the local elections was held last week under a shadow of the strongest polarization the country has known during the past five years.
The local authorities annulled the second round's results claiming that various shortcomings, irregularities and violations of law were noted during the voting procedure.
Opposition officials asked the voters not to participate in the voting, which they dubbed as "a process of theft and distortion of the second round's election results where 'Zajendno' was elected the winner in 15 out of Yugoslavia's 18 largest cities."
Meanwhile, Government officials have began arresting the protesters and sentencing them to jail.
 FYROM: GLIGOROV'S PARTY PREVAILS IN SECOND ROUND OF LOCAL ELECTIONS
Skopje, December 2 (M.P.A.)The Social-Democratic Union, the party of FYROM's President Kiro Gligorov, appears to prevail in the second round of the country's local elections held yesterday. With 50 per cent of the cast ballots counted, the state-owned television station announced yesterday that the voter turnout rate reached the 60% mark, slightly below that of the first round of the elections.
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/