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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 97-06-25
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, June 25, 1997
NEWS IN DETAIL
 EUROPE'S PROGRESS ON SOCIAL DIALOGUE EXAMINED IN THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, June 25 (MPA)The first international conference for the discussion of promoting social dialogue in Southeast Europe is currently held in Thessaloniki, initiated by the Greek Economic and Social Committee (OKE).
OKE has invited representatives of social partners and professional groups in south-eastern Europe to participate at the two-day meeting which started yesterday.
The conference's agenda includes promotion of social, political and economic co-operation among countries in the region and with the EU.
The under-secretary to the Prime Minister George Paschalides saluted the conference as a very significant event and added that "Greece promotes a systematic dialogue with the countries of Southeastern Europe.
"A significant step was taken during the Thessaloniki-held meeting of Southeastern Europe's Foreign Ministers. Every era has its dialogue, every region has its issues. The biggest issue in our region is to restore, through common actions the geo-political extension of Europe into its south-eastern region, up to the Mediterranean, the Middle East and the Black Sea regions, thereby creating a unified and cohesive economic inter-cultural area. The first step is a code of communication, for example to forget the world 'infiltration' and to get used to the word 'co-operation'," Mr. Paschalides stated.
The conference's primary aim is to institutionalise co- operation among the south-eastern European social allies and to establish a permanent observatory that will provide two-way information between the European Union and the region's countries.
Specifically, the organisers would like to form a mechanism that will expedite the process towards an institutional modernisation and promote the updating of the various governments' institutional framework as a necessary pre-condition for harmonising the south-eastern European countries' economies with the demands of the European Union. The participants are looking into promoting the process of a permanent social and economic dialogue among the south-eastern European countries on issues concerning development, employment and immigration.
Participating in the meeting are 30 institutes from eight countries: 15 trade unions from Romania, Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Croatia, FYROM and Slovenia and 11 employment associations from Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, Croatia, Slovenia and Turkey.
Greece is represented by 26 social agencies, including the largest workers' and employers' unions.
The Meeting was also saluted by the Minister of Macedonia- Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos and the secretaries-general of the Ministries of National Economy and Labour, Apostolos Fotiades and V. Brakatsulas respectively, as well as the Mayor of Thessaloniki Konstantinos Kosmopoulos. A.F.
 GREEK MINISTER OF DEFENSE IS CURRENTLY IN U.S., MEETS WITH WILLIAM COHEN
Washington, June 25 (MPA)Greek Minister of Defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos is currently on a six-day visit to the United States, within the framework of the Greece's presidential term in the cross-Atlantic activities of the Western European Union.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos is scheduled to meet with the US Secretary of Defense William Cohen, assistant Secretary of State Strode Talbot and US Senators Olympia Snow and Paul Sarbanis.
Moreover, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will also speak before the US Senate Committee and groups of businessmen on issues concerning the defense and the economy.
Tomorrow. Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will visit New York where he will be received by the Archbishop of America Spyridon and will give an address before a Greek-American conference in Astoria. A.F.
 PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA AND ALL OF AFRICA ON A PRIVATE VISIT TO ATHENS
Athens, June 25 (MPA)The Patriarch of Alexandria and all of Africa Petros is currently on a private visit to Athens, accompanied by the Metropolite of Kenya and Irinoupolis Irineos.
Patriarch Petros is to meet with the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, the Greek Premier Kostas Simtyisi, the Archbishop of Athens Seraphim, and various other political leaders with whom he will discuss the problems the Patriarchate is faced with. A.F.
 PRESIDENT OF NORWEGIAN PARLIAMENT ARRIVES IN ATHENS TODAY
Athens, June 25 (MPA)The President of the Norwegian Parliament Christi Grodahl embarks on a four-day visit to Athens today, following an invitation issued by her Greek counterpart Apostolos Kaklamanis.
Ms. Grodahl will be received by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, while she will also meet with Mr. Kaklamanis, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis and the members of the parliamentary group Greek- Scandinavian Friendship.
Moreover, Ms. Grodahl will meet with the leader of the main oppposition party, New Democracy's Kostas Karamanlis and the Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos. A.F.
 VICTORIA'S PREMIER IN GREECE, MEETS WITH GREEK CULTURE MINISTERThessaloniki, June 25 (MPA
Jeff Kennet, the Prime Minister of the Australian state Victoria, is currently in Greece where he met with the Minister of culture Evangelos Venizelos and discussed cultural co-operation between the two countries.
Mr. Kennet announced the creation of a Greek Museum in Melbourne, the city with the third largest in Greek population city outside Greece.
Mr. Venizelos pledged that the Greek Ministry of Culture will cooperate with the Greek Museum through a series of Greek antiquities exhibitions.
Also, Mr. Venizelos praised Mr. Kennet for the positive stance his government has displayed in regards to the issues concerning Greece's foreign policy, and especially on the issue of the Parthenon Marbles for which Mr. Kennet is a firm supporter of their return to Greece from the British Museum. A.F.
 MPA ORGANIZES CONFERENCE ON PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT IN S.E. EUROPE
Thessaloniki, June 25 (MPA)The general directors of the Balkan mass media are to meet in a sea resort near Thessaloniki on June 30 and July 1, within the framework of the conference "Peace and Development in Southeastern Europe: the role of the mass media", an event organized by the Macedonian Press Agency.
This significant two-day event will be declared open by Minister of Communication and Transportations Haris Kastanides and Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos, while Minister of Press and Media Dimitris Reppas will close the conference. A.F.
 APOSTLE PAUL'S CONTRIBUTION TO EUROPE'S CULTURE EXAMINED TODAY IN VERIA
Veria, June 25 (MPA)The contribution made by Apostle Paul to Europe's culture will be the topic of discussion at an international conference which starts today in the city of Veria, in central Macedonia.
Veria is the city where the podium from where Apostle Paul preached the Bible is saved, according to archaeologists.
A score of local and foreign experts are to attend the four- day conference, which will conclude with a liturgy. A.F.
 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF THE UNION FOR DEMOCRACY IN THE BALKANS
Thessaloniki, June 25 (MPA)The international conference on "Culture and Reconciliation in South-Eastern Europe" will be held in a sea resort near Thessaloniki on June 26-29.
The conference will examine all the parameters that form the cultural atmosphere of South-Eastern Europe. Among the issues that will be discussed are education, the Ottoman heritage, the significance of the economy, the motives of the big powers and their effect on South-Eastern Europe, religion, as well as, cultural and ethnic minorities.
The Union for Democracy in the Balkans was founded in 1995. It is a non-profit society that aims at helping in the development of democratic institutions and the society of citizens in the Balkan and the Black Sea countries. A.F.
 GREEK AND YUGOSLAV BANKS SIGN COOPERATION AGREEMENT
Athens, June 25 (MPA)A cooperation agreement signed between a Greek and a Yugoslav Bank will establish customer account books written in both Greek and Serb languages and will allow the Yugoslav bank's customers to withdraw their money in Greek currency while the are in Greece.
The governor of Greece's Agrotiki Bank Christos Papathanasiou and the president of Yugoslavia's "Beobanka" Zlatan Perucic signed the aforementioned agreement in Athens, while they also signed a protocol that foresees the overall co-operation between the two banking institutions, thereby expressing their will to further promote bilateral collaboration.
This agreement also foresees the establishment of the necessary prerequisites fort the mutual creation of a bank in Yugoslavia as well as for the promotion of joint ventures in the sectors of leasing, mutual funds and factoring agencies. A.F.
 STATE UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS START, FIRST EXAM IS COMPOSITION
Thessaloniki, June 25 (MPA)Greek high-school students are being examined in composition today, during the first test of the state university entrance examinations which are currently underway.
Passing the nation-wide exams is the prerequisite for entering the public university and technical schools.
This year, 170,000 candidates will vie for a chance at a college degree. A.F.
 ALBANIA TO DO AWAY WITH PYRAMID INVESTMENT SCHEMES
Tirana, June 25 (MPA)Observers from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe have began arriving in Albania where they will be dispersed throughout the country in light of the imminent parliamentary elections of June 29.
Meanwhile, 15 persons were killed during the last 24-hour period in violent episodes throughout the country.
Albanian President Sali Berisha has signed a presidential order through which he mandates the abolishment of all pyramid- like investment operations. A.F.
 EU COMMISSION'S REPORT: TURKEY DOES NOT MEET EU ACCESSION STANDARDS
Brussels, June 25 (MPA)Turkey does not meet the basic prerequisites for acceding to the European Union along with the candidate countries of central and eastern Europe, according to a newly-published report by the European Commission, which refers to the EU's strengthening of ties with Turkey.
The report, according to the BBC, will be presented by EU Commissioner Hans Van Den Broek during tomorrow's luncheon of the EU's Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg, an event to be held on the sidelines of the EU Foreign Ministers Council.
Basic prerequisites for further establishing ties between Turkey and the EU, according to the report, are the improvement of Turkey's relations with Greece, the country's overall improvement in its standard of living, improving its human rights record and the non-violent resolution of the /Kurdish minority problem in Turkey's south-eastern provinces.
Moreover, the report refers to Turkey's funding from the MEDA euro-mediterranean economic co-operation program, which will target medium-sized businesses, the protection of consumers, environment, and the promotion of respecting human rights.
The report makes no mention of a specific date for Turkey-EU negotiations and indirectly refers to Turkey's future accession to the Community, yet without undertaking any commitment towards Ankara.
According to the BBC's commentary, all remarks regarding he EU's expansion and Turkey are accompanied by negative assessments, both in the political and the economic and technical sectors.
The central idea of the van den Broek report is to discover ways to upgrade and strengthen ties between Turkey and the EU, but always under strict prerequisites , which are in large related to Turkey's ties with Greece., human rights and the Kurdish issue. A.F.
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/