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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-01-29
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY THE MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY
Thessaloniki, January 29, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 PARLIAMENT TO VOTE MONDAY ON DEKO AMENDMENT
Athens, January 29 (MPA)The Greek government has submitted an amendment in its proposed draft bill for labour relations governing public enterprises and utilities (DEKOs) to the Parliament, which will be voted upon on Monday.
The amendment will concern only those state-subsidised yet loss-making and problematic DEKOs, according to National Economy and Finance Minister Yiannos Papantoniou.
 US AMBASSADOR CONDUCTS FIRST VISIT TO THESSALONIKI TODAY
Thessaloniki, January 29 (MPA)The United States Ambassador in Athens Nicholas Burns conducted his first visit to Thessaloniki today, where he will remain for three days.
Mr. Burns was received by the Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos this morning, followed by a meeting with the city’s Mayor Konstantinos Kosmopoulos.
“This region, of the Balkans and northern Greece, is of increasing importance to the united states” and we want to do everything we can to make sure that our companies here invest in northern Greece, in Thessaloniki and work with their Greek partners for the mutual benefit of all concerned,” Mr. Burns stated, adding that Thessaloniki is a city that we believe will play a more important role in the future, economically and certainly culturally.
Moreover, the US ambassador stated that Greece has played a positive role in the Balkans, specifically Albania and FYROM, both economically and politically.
Responding to a question regarding Greece’s will to mediate in the Kossovo issue, through a Nano-Milosevic-Rugova meeting, Mr. Burns stated that the United States will support any Greek initiative.
“(Greece’s) alternate foreign minister Andreas Papandreou has made that offer and we believe that the Greek government has a great deal of expertise in this area. We are concerned about the situation in Kossovo. We look forward working with Greece. And work productively with the government of Belgrade in convincing it to reduce tension.”
Lastly, the US Ambassador declined comment on Greek-Turkish issues before he meets with Greece’s FM Pangalos privately, but did state that “the US is a friend of Greece and Turkey. Our only hope is that Greece and Turkey might be able to work out their problems. We are a loyal friend of both countries and I think you can see that through our actions.
At 8:30 p.m. this evening, Mr. Burns will be the keynote speaker at a “Propeller Club” meeting.
Tomorrow, the US Ambassador will meet with the Prefect of Thessaloniki Kostas Papadopoulos and on Saturday evening he will be attend the formal reception given on board the United States Sixth Fleet’s flagship “LaSalle”, which will have sailed into the port of Thessaloniki on Saturday morning.
The ship, with a 700-member crew, will remain at the port until February 4.
 TURKISH CARGO SHIP REMAINS IMMOBILE OFF THE COAST OF ISLAND OF KOS
Athens January 29 (MPA)Fire erupted on board a Turkish cargo ship with 20 crew members yesterday and a distress signal was sent from the international waters, off the coast of the island of Kos, when its captain was unable to control it.
A Greek helicopter arrived in the region and its pilot contacted the ship’s captain, who refused the Greek assistance, stating that he has requested help from a Turkish tugboat. A Greek Navy frigate and a tugboat have also arrived in the region.
 GREECE-FYROM TALKS ON NAME ISSUE TO BE HELD IN NEW YORK TODAY
New York, January 29 (MPA)The Ambassadors of Greece and FYROM, Christos Zacharakis and Ivan Tosevski respectively, are to hold a new round of talks concerning the FYROM name issue in New York today.
Tuesday’s negotiations lasted two hours and featured the participation of United Nations mediator Cyrus Vance.
Following the talks, Mr. Tosevski was asked if any progress was noted, whereupon he responded “certainly.”
 EU AND RUSSIAN OFFICIALS HOLD FIRST COOPERATION CONFERENCE
Brussels, January 29 (MPA)The European Union's Council of Foreign Ministers and Russian officials yesterday held their first cooperation conference, which Greece’s Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos saluted as the starting point for a new era of closer cooperation and trust between the two.
Moreover, the EU foreign ministers yesterday met with Albanian Foreign Minister Paskal Milo, within the framework of the EU-Albanian Political Dialogue.
Mr. Pangalos noted Albania's special role in Balkan cooperation within the framework of the interbalkan conference summit, to be held in Turkey.
 EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN ATHENS TODAY
Strasbourg, January 29 (MPA)The President of the European Parliament Jose Maria Jil Robles is to conduct a three-day official visit to Athens, beginning today.
Invited by the President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, Mr. Robles will meet with Greece’s political leadership.
In a press conference given in Strasbourg recently, Mr. Robles stated that his contacts with Greece’s political leaders will be of a general nature and he noted that he wants to form an opinion on how Greece sees the structural hurdles of the European fulfilment, the Euro, the Amsterdam Accord, and the Greek Parliament’s view on issues related to the unified European election process.
Referring to the dialogue which Athens pioneered with other Mediterranean countries and states from the Middle East, Mr. Robles stated that “Greece is the preferential observation post and I believe that the views of the Greek authorities will help us in developing our ties in that (geographical) direction. We have an interest in working toward the development of the Mediterranean’s southern end, since Europe’s’ viable interests are not limited only to the North.
While avoiding comment on Greek-Turkish issues, Mr. Robles did say that “the European Union is always on the side of its allies.”
 UN GIVES RECOMMENDATION TO ALBANIA ON FYROM’S NAME
Tirana, January 29 (MPA)The United Nations representative to FYROM has offered a thinly veiled recommendation to the Albanian government in regards to FYROM’s name and in light of the imminent signing of the friendship and Cupertino accord between the two countries.
According to the Albanian press, the UN envoy to Skopje met with the Skopje-based Albanian Ambassador and indirectly alluded that “the official name of the country is FYROM” and the Albanian authorities should keep this in mind.
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/