|Tuesday, 10 December 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-03-10
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, March 10, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREEK PREMIER TO RECEIVE CYPRIOT PRESIDENT GLAFKOS CLERIDES
Athens, March 10 (MPA)Greece’s Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to receive the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides in Athens today.
The two leaders are to discuss the island’s accession course to the European Union. The Cypriot President is to also meet with the leader of the country’s main opposition party, new Democracy’s Kostas Karamanlis and other political leaders.
 THE CONFEDERATION OF GREEK LABORERS TO CONFER ON THURSDAY
Thessaloniki, March 19 (MPA)The General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE) is to hold its 29th conference on Thursday in the northern Greek city Kavala.
Over 400 leading unionists from Greece and other countries are to participate, along with government representatives from the European Union.
The conference is to be inaugurated by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.
 CONTACT GROUP THREATENS YUGOSLAVIA WITH EMBARGO
London, March 10 (MPA)The six-member contact group for Bosnia, namely, Italy, Germany, France, Russia, The United States and Great Britain, has issued to the Serb President of the Federal republic Of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic a 15-day deadline to stop the Serb military’s clean up operations against Kossovo’s Albanians, otherwise his country will be faced with an embargo.
Meanwhile, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey are expected to issue a common declaration today concerning the Kossovo crisis.
Greece’s undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis has characterized the situation as “alarming”.
 TIRANA SATISFIED OVER CONTACT GROUP’S DECISIONS REGARDING KOSSOVO
Tirana, March 10 (MPA)The Albanian Foreign Minister Paschal Milo has relayed his government’s satisfaction over the decisions drawn by the six- member contact group, comprising Great Britain, Italy, France, Russia, Germany and the United States, which aim at the peaceful resolution of the crisis that has erupted in Kossovo.
Mr. Milo characterized the common statement issued by the “six” as “an achievement of international diplomacy.”
The Albanian Minister also added that this is a “significant document that illustrates not only the international community’s commitment to Kossovo, but also our government’s’ right choices for the solution of the problem.”
Referring to the deadline issued by the contact group to the Serb President Slobodan Milosevic, Mr. Milo stated that it was the best possible solution at the given phase and added that “this is the first time that the international community is seriously committed to Kossovo.”
Moreover, he added that the Albanian government will continue its efforts to resolve the issue with peaceful means and he granted heightened emphasis to the start of a dialogue between Prishtina and Belgrade, in the presence of an international mediator who, as Mr. Milo stated, could be a representative of the contact group.
 GREEK PM SUPPORTS DIALOGUE FOR KOSSOVO, BUT NO CHANGE OF BORDERS
Athens, March 10 (MPA)Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, who received the Albanian President Reijep Meidani in Athens yesterday, stated that the Greek government is opposed to any change in the Balkan region’s existing borders.
Mr. Simitis stated that the "vicious circle of terrorist acts and the use of force must be broken" and added that Greece disapproves of secessionist tendencies, is opposed to terrorism and military force, while it supports sincere and substantial dialogue without preliminary conditions.
In regards to Greek-Albanian relations, Mr. Simitis said they are characterized by steady progress and considerably contribute to peace, security and stability, while he also stressed that Greece will continue to support Albania's efforts to join Euro- Atlantic structures.
In turn, Mr. Meidani described the situation in the region as a threat to peace and stability and asked for Greece's help and the intervention of NATO and the European Union to stop the armed attacks.
Moreover, Mr. Meidani said Greek-Albanian relations are excellent, noting that Greece was a friend of Albania. He stressed that Albania needs Greece's support to help it implement the necessary reforms.
 PRESIDENT OF GREECE MEETS WITH ALBANIAN COUNTERPART REIJEP MEIDANI
Athens, March 10 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos received yesterday the Albanian president Rejep Meidani, who embarked on an official, three-day visit to Greece.
Following their meeting, the Greek President stated that the talks held with Mr. Meidani coincided on the need for "prudent and sensible views" to prevail in resolving the Kosovo problem.
Mr. Meidani called on Greece, as a member of NATO and the European Union, to play its role within the framework of Euro- Atlantic structures "in order to make Belgrade stop using force and sit at the negotiating table, so that a viable and long-term solution can be found."
Mr. Stephanopoulos said he was certain that his Albanian counterpart's visit would contribute to the further improvement of bilateral relations, while Mr. Meidani said Tirana was willing to broaden bilateral relations in all sectors and stressed the need for Greek investments in Albania.
Stating that the Greek minority living in Albania gave additional impetus to the "brotherly and friendly" relations between the two countries, President Meidani gave the assurance that the Albanian state "will respect the minority's rights in accordance with international standards". He added that the Albanian workers in Greece were a link of friendship between the two peoples, noting that the Greek government was doing everything possible towards granting them legal status and improving their living conditions.
Stressing that Greece was a "top priority partner", Mr. Meidani said he had ascertained this during the difficult period which Albania had gone through, citing in particular Greek assistance in consolidating democratic institutions in his country.
Mr. Meidani also stressed the importance of Greek support for Albania's efforts to joint Euro-Atlantic structures.
Following the talks between the Greek and Albanian presidents, a cooperation protocol was signed by Merchant Marine Minister Stavros Soumakis and Albanian Interior Minister Neritan Ceka providing for joint patrols by the border police and the Greek coast guard for a more effective policing of the two countries' sea borders.
Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, and Education Minister Gerasimos Arsenis, were also present during talks, among others.
 GREECE, BULGARIA, ROMANIA, TURKEY, FYROM AGREE ON KOSSOVO CRISIS
Sofia, March 10 (MPA)In a meeting held in Sofia yesterday, five Balkan countries, namely Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and FYROM,- agreed on a joint declaration on the Kossovo crisis, to inaugurate closer cooperation between Balkan states in jointly dealing with regional problems.
FYROM participated in the group of five after the Greek government’s proposal. According to reports, the declaration's text is in favor of granting broad autonomy to Kosovo, which is inhabited mostly by Albanians, but within the internationally recognized borders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, stressing that the five nations were against altering borders in the region.
Moreover, the five also proposed that a 1996 educational agreement between then Serb president Slobodan Milosevic and ethnic Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova be implemented immediately.
At the same time they expressed regret at the violent repression of several peaceful demonstrations in Kosovo, while also condemning the use of terrorism as means to attain political goals.
The five Balkan countries called on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and the leaders of Kosovo's Albanians to begin talks to settle the problem, while underlining the need for respect for ethnic Albanians' human rights.
The declaration ends by addressing an appeal to the United States and the European Union to contribute in preserving stability in the Balkans, stressing that the five nations were counting on their support in finding a solution to the Kosovo problem.
 MAIN OPPOSITION’S HONORARY PRESIDENT DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM PARTY
Athens, March 10 (MPA)The main opposition party’s honorary president , New Democracy’s Konstantinos Mitsotakis has once again distanced himself from the party’s leadership.
“I do not intend to argue with anyone, let those who without reason and reasoning push the party into catastrophe and practically grant the next election to Mr. Simitis take the responsibility upon themselves,” He stated, adding “ I will not give them an alibi or extenuation.”
 US PRESIDENTIAL ENVOY TRAVELS TO PRISHTINA
Washington, March 10 (MPA)The United States presidential envoy for the former Yugoslav countries Robert Gelbard is expected in Prishtina today where he will hold talks with the leader of Kossovo’s ethnic Albanians Ibrahim Rugova.
Meanwhile, international pressures are mounting on Serb President Slobodan Milosevic to peacefully resolve the Kossovo crisis.
 SWEDEN’S FM: THERE IS NO COUNTRY THAT RECOGNISES OCCUPIED CYPRUS
Stockholm, March 10 (MPA)Sweden’s Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm Wallen has stated that "there is no country that has recognized the occupied part of Cyprus as an independent country, " adding that "...as a result, Rauf Denktash has not been recognized as the leader of a country or as a president and this must be understood by the Turkish Cypriots."
Sweden is currently a United Nations Security Council rotating member and Ms. Wallen’s statement was a reply to possible UN Security Council reactions should Mr. Denktash make such requests.
Ms Wallen added that although the European Union wants the Turkish Cypriots to be included in Cyprus' accession talks, Mr. Denktash will under no circumstances take part as the leader of an independent country.
 EU FINANCE MINISTERS’ MEET IN BRUSSELS, EMU’S THIRD PHASE DOMINATES
Brussels March 10 (MPA)Greek Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou participated in the European Union’s Finance Ministers' Council (ECOFIN), held in Brussels yesterday, which paved the way for a session to be held on May 2 and which will decide on the list of countries which will first adopt the EU’s common currency, the Euro.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Papantoniou said he intended to ask the "15" to ensure that countries which will join the Euro at a later date be considered on equal terms as the first group of members.
Moreover, the "15" also decided yesterday to look into possible distortion of the principles of free competition in the Union, arising from unequal taxation treatment of firms.
Greece, Spain, and Portugal submitted their reservations on the Commission's interpretation of legislation regarding its competence to cut funding from the regional fund to one member- state when it finds mistakes in financial management.
 CONTACT GROUP DECIDES ON KOSSOVO
London, March 10 (MPA)The six-member “contact group”, comprising Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the United States, convened in London yesterday where it decided to assign a mission of a mediation group to Kossovo, headed by Spain’s former Premier Felipe Gonzales, while it also requested the assignment of a group from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
The “contact group” is to organize an immediate meeting of officials from the countries that border with Kossovo in order to discuss the consequences of the domestic conflict and its potential spill over throughout the Balkans, while it will also request that the UN Security Council impose a world-wide embargo on Yugoslav arms purchases, a measure to run concurrently with the European embargo.
In spite of Russia’s reservations, the contact group also decided to ban the issuance of visa to high-ranking Yugoslav officials, including ministers and any individuals who are viewed as responsible for the violence in Kossovo will be stripped of foreign aid in commerce and investments, while foreign capital is to “freeze” within ten days if the situation is not normalized.
Moreover, the decision reads an appeal to Yugoslavia’s President Slobodan Milosevic wherein he is asked to proceed to immediate and productive measures that will put an end tot he violence and ask for his commitment to reach a political resolution for Kossovo through dialogue.
Moreover, Mr. Milosevic is asked to allow the Red Cross’s international committee access in the area, along with the contact group’s representatives.
“If Mr. Milosevic promotes the specific measures, we shall review the decision we have adopted, however, if he does not do so, and the situation in Kossovo continues as it is today, we shall proceed to further measures,” the contact group warns in its announcement.
 OIL PRICES PLUNGE DOWNWARDS WORLDWIDE, LOWEST RPICES IN 4 YEARS
Athens, March 10 (MPA)Oil prices has plunged downwards throughout the world, sending the price-per-barrel at the lowest it has been in the last four years.
According to the majority of financial analysts, the oil prices are expected to plummet even further, reaching the decade’s low of $12.90.
The drop in prices is attributed to the announcement issued by Saudi Arabia that it does not intend to put a cap on its production, thereby refuting the investors’ expectation that the top oil-producing country will reduce OPEC’s production in order to support the prices.
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/