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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-03-11
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 11, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREEK PREMIER IN LONDON TODAY
Athens, March 11 (MPA)Greece’s Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is in London today, where he will participate at the European Conference for the accession of the candidate-countries to the European Union.
Mr. Simitis will hold talks with other European leaders on the course of the country towards the common currency, the Euro.
 CYPRIOT PRESIDENT IN LONDON FOR EUROPEAN CONFERENCE
Athens, March 11 (MPA)The President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides is to travel to London today where he will attend the European Conference convened by the British-held presidium of the European Union.
The European Conference aims at the discussion of the EU’s expansion to include the countries of eastern and central Europe and Cyprus. The formal negotiations on Cyprus’ accession into the EU will start on March 31 together with the negotiations that will be held with the other five candidate countries namely, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
Mr. Clerides, who will submit a proposal for the participation of the Turkish-Cypriots in the accession negotiations, is to be received by the British prime minister Toni Blair this evening, while tomorrow he will meet with Foreign Minister Robin Cook.
 GREEK EU-COMMISSIONER CHRISTOS PAPOUTSIS IN THE UNITED STATES
New York, March 11 (MPA)The European Union Commissioner Christos Papoutsis for Small to Medium-Sized Enterprises is currently on an official visit to the United States, where he will travel to the cities of New York, New Jersey, Washington and San Francisco in order to hold energy- related talks with US Energy Secretary Federico Pena and other officials .
"In the enterprises sector...we are trying to forge bonds of cooperation between the European Union and the US, but at the same time to obtain certain concepts, certain initiatives which have already been developed in the United States," Mr. Papoutsis said.
He further added that policy favoring small and average-sized enterprises is a policy ranking high on the EU's agenda because it is combined with the top priority issue of employment.
He said that pressures being exerted on Greece in the framework of the "contradiction" between the tough monetary and fiscal policy and the demands of working people are less intense than those appearing in other EU member-states.
 ALBANIA REQUESTS ASSIGNMENT OF NATO FORCE AT YUGOSLAVIAN BORDER
Tirana, March 11 (MPA)The Albanian government is to request the Assignment of a NATO military unit at its border with Yugoslavia, in order to improve the control of the situation in Kossovo, according to undersecretary of Defense Perikli Teta.
Mr.Teta, prior to his departure for Brussels where he is to meet with Alliance officials, stated that his country wants to see an increase of military units either in Albania or at Kossovo in order to prevent any arms trafficking at the border region.
 NATO HOLDS EXTRAORDINARY MEETING FOR KOSSOVO
Brussels, March 11 (MPA)NATO is to hold an extraordinary meeting today in order to discuss the crisis in Kossovo, following a relevant request submitted by Albania.
A spokesperson from the Alliance stated that NATO will try to prevent the spillover of the crisis into neighboring Balkan countries and will examine ways to provide aid to Albania.
Albania’s undersecretary of defense Perikli Teta, who sit o participate in the meeting, stated that the Albanian government will present its proposals for resolving the Kossovo crisis, albeit he did not elaborate on the content of these proposals.
NATO’s secretary-general Javier Solana stated that this meeting was deemed as necessary given the explosive situation in an extremely sensitive -from a strategic point of view- region, as he said, as the Balkans. He did express his concern for the repercussions that could be borne on the wider region if the Kossovo crisis worsens.
 TWO THOUSAND ALBANIANS RALLY IN FYROM IN SUPPORT OF KOSSOVO
Skopje, March 11 (MPA)Two thousand Albanians living in FYROM rallied yesterday at the center of the city of Debar in a sign of support to their “Kossovo brothers”.
The rally, organized by the ethnic Albanian parties PDP and DPA, was vast and participants voiced intense criticism against the Serb leadership and the President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic.
Also present at the rally was FYROM’s alternate defense Minister, Ramazan Croi, who is Albanian.
 US DISPATCH ANOTHER SPECIAL ENVOY TO KOSSOVO
Washington, March 11 (MPA)The US State Department has assigned James Sweigert, an alternate to the special envoy in the Balkans Robert Gilbard, who is to focus on the Kossovo crisis.
According to State Department spokesperson James Foley, Mr. Sweigert, who is the Director of the State Department’s Office for South and Central European Affairs, is to deal exclusively with the US policy in Kossovo.
 BELGRADE PROPOSES DIALOGUE TO KOSSOVO’S ALBANIANS
Belgrade, March 11 (MPA)The Serb government has proposed the holding of an “open dialogue” with the Albanians of Kossovo, according to the news agency Tanjug.
The Serb government‘s announcement reads that “dialogue is the only way to develop political processes aimed at resolving the crisis in the province.”
Moreover, it stresses that the Serb government makes a clear distinction between the terrorists and the members of the Albanian minority and appeals to the “responsible” Albanians to keep their distance from the terrorists and condemn their acts.
From Pristina, Nite Zeka, an official of the main Albanian party, the Democratic alliance of Kossovo, stated that the Albanians “will surely respond to such appeal, if the dialogue is held without conditions, with the mediation of the contact group and within a specific time period.”
“Nevertheless,” he added, “everything will depend on that is hidden behind this appeal.”
Meanwhile, the Serb government also invited the “officials from the Redo Cross international committee to travel to the province and restore the complete truth” in regards to the conflict that erupted between the Serb police and the Albanians.
 ADVERSE WEATHER IN NORTHERN GREECE, HEAVY SNOWFALL
Thessaloniki March 11 (MPA)Adverse weather has hit most of Greece, with snow falling in the mountains areas of the country, especially heavy in Macedonia.
Transportation is conducted in the provincial roads only with anti-skid chains, while the road from Kavala to Prinos has been closed since yesterday.
Many villages in the region of Thrace remain cut off as the roads have become inaccessible due to the snow and gale.
 GERMAN TOURIST ARRIVALS EXPECTED TO INCREASE IN 1998
Berlin, March 11 (MPA)Greece’s Development Minister Vasso Papandreou, addressing a press conference in Berlin during the tourism exhibition “ITB ‘98”, stated that arrivals of German tourists in Greece will increase by at least 10 per cent this year compared to 1997.
Moreover, Ms Papandreou referred to several major infrastructure projects in Greece, which she said will have a direct impact on the improvement of the quality of the Greek tourism-related products in coming years.
The Greek National Tourism Organization’s (EOT) pavilion at the ITB exhibition in Berlin is dedicated to the Olympic Games.
 GREECE’S ARKTOUROS, BULGARIA’S WILDERNESS FUND IN THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, March 11 (MPA)Greece’s Arktouros program and Bulgaria’s Wilderness Fund are to hold a three-day conference on the exploitation of bears for profit, which is to start in Thessaloniki tomorrow.
Representatives of environmental organizations from Greece, Bulgaria, Albania, FYROM and Yugoslavia will address the conference.
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/