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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-03-26

Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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, March 26, 1998


TITLES

  • [01] PREMIER HEADS CABINET MEETING TO REVIEW ECONOMIC MATTERS
  • [02] US TURN DOWN GREEK FM’S PROPOSAL CONCERNING CYPRUS
  • [03] EUROPE’S TOP 500 LIST INCLUDES 20 GREEK COMPANIES
  • [04] THESSALONIKI TO HOST SE EUROPE ECONOMY FORUM
  • [05] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW
  • [06] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT TO BE DECLARED PROFESSOR EMERITUS
  • [07] CONTACT GROUP CONVENED IN BONN, CLIMATE IS POSITIVE
  • [08] ALBANIA DISPLEASED WITH CONTACT GROUP’S DECISIONS
  • [09] COUNCIL OF EUROPE SECRETARY GENERAL IN ATHENS
  • [10] EU COMMISSION: GREECE NOT READY FOR EMU, HAS MADE PROGRESS
  • [11] INTERNATIONAL FIREARMS RING UNCOVERED, 8 GREEKS INVOLVED
  • [12] LEADER OF TURKEY’S ARMED FORCES TO BE AT ATHENS IN APRIL

  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] PREMIER HEADS CABINET MEETING TO REVIEW ECONOMIC MATTERS

    Athens, March 26 (MPA)

    The Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to head a meeting of the cabinet’s economy and finance ministry officials in order to look into the possibility of privatizing Ionic Bank, cutting public expenses by 320 billion drachmas and forming a timetable for the state- owned enterprises (DEKOS).

    The European Commission’s report on the course of Greece’s economy contains positive remarks, as Commission President Jacques Santer welcomed the progress Greece's socialist government had achieved in tightening up the economy.

    "Greece's economy is on the right track and the Greek government has the political will to implement policies needed for the drachma's entry into the single European currency," Santer said in Brussels.

    [02] US TURN DOWN GREEK FM’S PROPOSAL CONCERNING CYPRUS

    Washington, March 26 (MPA)

    The US State Department has turned down the proposal submitted by Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, who proposed that the deployment of the Russian-made anti-aircraft S-300 missiles in Cyprus may be canceled under the condition that the international community and organizations, such as NATO, guarantee that Turkish fighter jets will not conduct flights over the island’s air space.

    A State Department spokesperson stated that the Clinton Administration does not agree with the enforcement of flight zones which could potentially bring two allies in conflict.

    He did state that Washington would view favorably the enforcement of a permanent moratorium on all military flights above the island republic, within the framework of the effort to reduce tension in the region.

    [03] EUROPE’S TOP 500 LIST INCLUDES 20 GREEK COMPANIES

    Athens, March 26 (MPA)

    Europe 500, the organization which annually assesses the most dynamic and fast developing companies, has included 20 Greek businesses in its list this year, a number surpassing that of Austria and Belgium.

    Specifically, eighteen companies have been selected from Austria and Belgium and 17 from Sweden.

    The main criterion for a company to join Europe's 500 is the Birch indicator which measures the increase in turnover combined with the increase in human potential. Another criterion is the company's stable profit-making over many years.

    [04] THESSALONIKI TO HOST SE EUROPE ECONOMY FORUM

    Thessaloniki, March 26 (MPA)

    Thessaloniki is to host a two-day forum on business and economic development in the Balkan region, for the fifth consecutive year, next week.

    The event, titled "Thessaloniki Forum: Greece and the Balkans: An Emerging Market in Southeastern Europe" is to feature the participation of ministers, bankers, stockbrokers and industrialists from around the region and is organized by the Northern Greek Industries Association (SBBE), Macedonia-Thrace Bank, and the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce.

    [05] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT ARRIVES IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW

    Thessaloniki, March 26 (MPA)

    Albania’s President Reijep Meidani is to arrive in Thessaloniki tomorrow, invited by the Northern Greek Industries Association (SVVE), in order to examine the opportunities to expand Greek investments n Albania.

    This is part of SVVE’s initiative to promote contacts with neighboring countries aiming at strengthening northern Greece’s economic ties with the Balkan and Black Sea countries.

    Albania’s Prime Minister Fatos Nano is to also arrive in Thessaloniki on May 8 in order to address SVVE’s general assembly.

    According to SVVE, Albania is a growing market and is slowly -but surely- overcoming the hurdles it presented due to the lack of a favorable investment framework.

    [06] ALBANIAN PRESIDENT TO BE DECLARED PROFESSOR EMERITUS

    Thessaloniki, March 26 (MPA)

    Albania’s President Reijep Meidani is to be declared professor emeritus at he Physics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki tomorrow.

    During his address, President Meidani will speak on the topic “From the liquid crystals through the biological applications to the problems of public, social and political life.”

    [07] CONTACT GROUP CONVENED IN BONN, CLIMATE IS POSITIVE

    Bonn, March 26 (MPA)

    Belgrade has accepted the outcomes of yesterday’s meeting of the “contact group” for the former Yugoslavia, held in Bonn. According to the Yugoslav news agency “Tanjug”, there is undoubtedly a favorable climate for the positions of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

    The “contact group”’s final announcement calls for the postponement of any new sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia and grants the President of FRY Slobodan Milosevic with a four-week deadline to submit proposals to Kossovo’s Albanians that will allow for the start of talks, without terms and conditions.

    In addition to the United States Secretary of State and the Foreign Ministers of Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Russia, the foreign ministers of the Balkan countries also participated and developed their positions on the Kossovo issue. Greece was represented by alternate foreign minister George Papandreou. The Foreign Ministers warned Mr. Milosevic that if he does not meet the deadline, then they will proceed to attaching the Yugoslav state’s assets abroad.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of Serb students rallied in Prishtina yesterday, expressing their opposition to the agreement that has been signed for the return of Albanian students to Kossovo’s universities.

    [08] ALBANIA DISPLEASED WITH CONTACT GROUP’S DECISIONS

    Tirana, March 26 (MPA)

    In contrast with the Serb government, which is satisfied with the outcome of yesterday’s “contact group” meeting in Bonn, the Albanian government and Kossovo’s political leaders made no effort to hide their displeasure over the final announcement.

    While Great Britain’s Foreign Minister Robin Cook characterized the contact group’s decision as “especially strict”, the majority of Kossovo’s leaders view it as “insufficient and tame”.

    Albania’s political parties also expressed their pessimism over finding a solution to the Kossovo issue, by expressing the view that there is great delay in starting talks and diffusing the situation.

    France’s President Jacques Chirac has saluted Albania’s position on the matter.

    In a letter addressed to his Albanian counterpart, President Reijap Meidani, Mr. Chirac stated that while his country will support the best possible solution for Kossovo’s ethnic Albanians, he added that the independence sought by them is not realistic.

    [09] COUNCIL OF EUROPE SECRETARY GENERAL IN ATHENS

    Athens, March 26 (MPA)

    The Council of Europe (CoE) Secretary-General Daniel Tarschys embarked on an official, three-day visit to Athens yesterday, in light of Greece’s reign as president of the CoE, to start in May.

    Today, Mr. Tarschys is scheduled to meet with President Kostis Stephanopoulos and will be received by Prime Minister Kostas Simitis tomorrow as well as by the parliament president Apostolos Kaklamanis, members of the Greek representation at the CoE and the foreign ministry leadership.

    [10] EU COMMISSION: GREECE NOT READY FOR EMU, HAS MADE PROGRESS

    Brussels, March 26 (MPA)

    Greece will not be ready to join the European Union's single currency on January 1, 1999,the European Commission announced today, since the country has yet to meet any of the targets contained in the Maastricht Treaty, which aims to align member states' economies ahead of the monetary union.

    The drachma joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism on March 14, when it was also devalued by 14 percent, in order to ease entry.

    The Commission also said that Greece had adapted its national legislation for economic and monetary union, including granting autonomous status to the Bank of Greece, the country's central bank.

    Commission President Jacques Santer welcomed progress Greece's socialist government had achieved in tightening up the economy.

    "Greece's economy is on the right track and the Greek government has the political will to implement policies needed for the drachma's entry into the single European currency," Santer said in Brussels.

    Economic indicators in recent years showed that the economy was improving. Strict adherence to the country's economic convergence program would enable entry into the single currency in the near future, he said.

    [11] INTERNATIONAL FIREARMS RING UNCOVERED, 8 GREEKS INVOLVED

    London, March 26 (MPA)

    An international firearms smuggling ring has been uncovered by the Italian and British police authorities, after a year-long investigation, where eight Greeks are said to be involved in the trafficking of 50 tons of automatic rifles and ammunition.

    According to the BBC, two of the Greek suspects, Nikos Sehopoulos and Christos Ieronymides, were arrested yesterday in Italy, while the remaining six, whose names are unknown as of yet, were apprehended by the German police in Frankfurt.

    The British police has requested the extradition of the eight Greeks, asking that they stand trial in Britain.

    The BBC reported that the eight-member ring had bought the arms from a Serb arms factory and planned to sell them to terrorist organizations active in Britain, against three million dollars. The firearms were contained in 10 cases and had been loaded on a ship docked in a Serb port. The ship never sailed as Italian secret service agents managed to come in contact with the eight Greeks and, posing as “terrorists”, convince them that they are interested in the weapons.

    The Italian authorities planned to locate and confiscate the firearms but, instead, fearing that it would “disappear”, opted to arrest Sehopoulos and Ieronymides and, as such, lost trace of the ship which may still be docked at a Serb port.

    A Scotland Yard spokesperson declined to comment on whom the illegal cargo was to end up with, but did add that perhaps it was not terrorist organizations, as the Italians have supported, but, instead, the receiver of the illegal and pricey cargo could be rings in the European and American underworld.

    [12] LEADER OF TURKEY’S ARMED FORCES TO BE AT ATHENS IN APRIL

    Ankara, March 26 (MPA)

    The leader of Turkey‘s Armed Forces, Gen. Ismael Karadayi is to visit Athens during the first week of April in order to participate at the meeting of the Western European Union leaders.

    The announcement of Mr. Karadayi’s visit was made yesterday evening by the second-in-command of the Turkish Armed Forces Cevik Bir, at the formal reception held at the Greek Embassy in Ankara on the occasion of the Greek Independence Day.


    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/


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