|Sunday, 22 September 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-01-07
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, January 7, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 ROME TO HOST INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON KURDISH REFUGEES
Rome, January 7 (MPA)Almost in their entirety, the European governments are expressing their opposition to the vast exodus of Kurdish people from Turkey and Austria has also taken measures to avert the inflow of Kurdish refugees.
In Brussels today, a team of European Union experts is to examine the matter, while in Rome tomorrow an international conference of police forces from five European countries is to take place in an effort to reach a solution to the incoming wave of illegal immigrants towards the countries that enforce the Schengen Accord. The countries to participate at the conference will be France. Germany. Austria, the Netherlands, Italy Greece and Turkey.
Representing the Greek police will be its chief Vasilopoulos. Also invited to take part in the conference is the second-in- command official of the Turkish police force, since the Europeans deem that Turkey is responsible for the “flight of the Kurds”.
German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel retorted sharply to the statements made by Turkey’s Minister of the Interior who accused the European countries of encouraging the illegal immigrants through their policies on granting asylum.
Mr. Kinkel stated that “the European policy on asylum is not responsible for this wave of refugees.
“Ankara knows that it is supported by Europe on its struggle against PKK’s terrorism. However, the overall Kurdish issue can only be resolved through political and economic means, with civilised and social measures, and it should be handled as such.” A.F.
 TSOVOLAS UNDERGOES OPEN HEART SURGERY, CONDITION IS EXCELLENT
Thessaloniki, January 7 (MPA)The president of opposition party Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) Dimitris Tsovolas underwent open heart surgery yesterday at Thessaloniki’s Papanikolaou Hospital and his condition is excellent according to his surgeon Panayiotis Spyrou.
Mr. Tsovolas suffered a heart attack during the Christmas holidays and on Sunday was taken into the hospital.
He underwent four bypasses, an operation to direct blood flow through new veins outside the heart. Mr. Tsovolas is expected to be released from the hospital after a ten-day stay.
The Prime Minister Kostas Simitis has forwarded the President of DIKKI a get-well telegram, while similar wishes were also forwarded by other political party leaders and the mayor of Athens. A.F.
 BONN WON’T PAY REPARATIONS TO WWII VICTIMS, ONLY RECOURSE IS HAGUE
Bonn, January 7 (MPA)The German federal government has issued an “once and for all” statement that it will not grant any form of reparations payment to Greeks or relatives of Greeks who fell victim to Nazi atrocities during World War II.
The issue arose after a relevant question was submitted to the German parliament by the deputies of the Democratic Socialist Party (former Communists of the former Eastern Germany) who support the Greek claims by referring to the recent ruling issued by the Greek court of Livadia, according to which the residents of the village of Distomo are entitled to a DM60 million reparation payment by the German government.
Bonn has repeatedly stated that it does not recognize the Greek court’s decision, adopting the already known position of Chancellor Helmut Kohl who has stated that the matter of war reparation payments to Greece or its citizens has been settled through the Greek-German agreement of 1960, when a payment of 115 million German marks was granted to the Greek government, although no one seems to know where that money went or if it was granted fully or partially to those who were entitled to reparations.
According to judicial circles, the interested parties have no other recourse but through the International Court of Justice at The Hague and the Council of Europe. A.F.
 TAX PLAN IS TABLED IN PARLIAMENT TODAY, 12 NEW TAXES PROPOSED
Athens, January 7 (MPA)The government new tax plan is to be tabled to Parliament today, introducing the enforcement of 12 new taxes.
The state is hoping to secure additional revenue amounting to 300 billion drachmas. Nevertheless, the draft has provoked the public’s ire and a strong reaction from opposition parties and union organizations.
Specifically, the new tax laws will concern a five per cent increase on the tax withholdings of free lancers, who have to issue an invoice, thus raising the taxes withheld to a whooping 20%, as well as similar increases on the withholdings of the salaried workers who receive additional benefits.
Moreover, there will be a tax increase on the named shares not listed with the Athens Stock Market (Chrimatistirio Athinon), increases on the wealth indicator taxing system, increases on the taxes of mutual shares, imposed taxes on stock market exchanges, fees on mobile phones, etc.
Additionally, the new tax draft is proposing a new indexation of tax scales.
The Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou and the undersecretary George Drys have stated that they will not accept any amendments to the proposed tax plan. A.F.
 TREMOR IN THESSALONIKI, MEASURES 3.3 ON RICHTER SCALE
Thessaloniki, January 7 (MPA)A slight tremor shook Thessaloniki during the early morning hours, measuring 3.3 on the Richter scale.
According to the Geophysics Laboratory of Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, the earthquake’s epicenter was located 13 miles away from the city, in the region of Nea Evkarpia. The tremor was felt by the residents of the city’s western suburbs.
According to seismologist Vasilis Papazachos, there is no cause for concern over this slight tremor since it is a common phenomenon.
“Earthquakes of this type occur every hour, everywhere, beneath our feet,” Mr. Papazachos stated. A.F.
 WASHINGTON DEFENDS JOINT TURKISH-ISRAELI-US SEA EXERCISES
Washington, January 7 (MPA)US State Department spokesperson James Rubin has assured Middle Eastern countries that there is nothing to worry about over the five-day, tri-national Turkish-Israeli-U.S. military exercises currently underway in the Mediterranean, off of the Israeli port of Haifa. “As we have stated in the past, “Reliant Mermaid” (the code name of the exercises) is strictly humanitarian in nature, (it is a search and rescue exercise) and is not related to any real world events nor is it directed against any party,” Mr. Rubin said.
The essential part of the exercise will be held today. The scenario includes a sinking fishing ship calling for help with the objective of rescuing the endangered crew. A.F.
 UN APPLAUDS ITALIAN GOVERNMENT’S DECISION TO GRANT ASYLUM TO KURDS
Geneva, January 7 (MPA)The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressed its concern over the increasing number of migrants who have arrived in Italy from Turkey or Iraq.
According to the UNHCR’s spokesperson Pam O’Toole, many of these Kurdish migrants have fallen victim to unscrupulous traffickers who demand huge sums of money in order to transport them to Italy, adding that many of these people have had to sell their homes or possessions in order to amass the money for the trip.
In recent months, Ms. O’Toole added, there have been numerous incidents of the migrants being washed up on the shores of Italy or Greece, having sailed abroad unseaworthy and overcrowded boats, some of which have sunk.
The United Nations refugee agency strongly condemned the smugglers and applauded the Italian government’s decision to allow the migrants to apply for asylum. A.F.
 ALBANIAN PREMIER FATOS NANO TO OFFICIALLY VISIT FYROM ON JANUARY 17
Tirana, January 7 (MPA)Albania’s Prime Minister Fatos Nano is to visit Skopje, after an invitation issued by FYROM’s Premier’s Branco Cervenkovski during the latter’s visit to Tirana last month.
In preparation of Mr. Nano’s visit to the neighboring country, the Albanian government has approved the agreements that are to be signed between the two leaders and which concern the borders, protection of investments, trade and customs cooperation as well as the application of judicial orders.
During his stay, Mr. Nano will be received by FYROM’s President Kiro Gligorov and other political leaders. 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/