|Thursday, 14 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-03-27
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 27, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 ALBANIAN PRESIDENT IN THESSALONIKI TODAY, TO ADDRESS SVVE
Thessaloniki, March 27 (MPA)Albania’s President Reijep Meidani is currently in Thessaloniki, 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.
 ALBANIAN PRESIDENT DECLARED PROFESSOR EMERITUS IN THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, March 27 (MPA)Albania’s President Reijep Meidani is to be declared professor emeritus at the Physics Department of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki today.
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.”
Upon his arrival in Thessaloniki yesterday evening, President Meidani condemned what he called the "collective punishment" of Albanian nationals in Greece for a recent upsurge in crime.
Mr. Meidani said that "it is not a characteristic of a friendly and democratic country to proceed with collective punishments in our times", adding that each case should be examined separately.
This evening the Albanian head of state will be the guest of honor at a dinner hosted by Macedonia-Thrace Minister Philippos Petsalnikos.
 PREMIER HEADS CABINET MEETING TO REVIEW ECONOMIC MATTERS
Athens, March 27 (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). Yesterday, the General Price Index at the Athens bourse rose by 3.4% and trading surpassed the 80-billion-drachmas mark.
 INVESTIGATION ON PRO-JUNTA POLICEMEN COMPLETED IN THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, March 27 (MPA)Thessaloniki’s District Attorney is expected to file charges today against those policemen who are said to have been involved in a pro-junta party held in 1993. The suspects were identified by video footage.
Former leaders of the Police Department have turned over their investigation findings to the district Attorney’s office.
 RAIN STORMS TORMENT GREECE, CAUSE FLOODS AND BLACK OUT IN ATHENS
Athens, March 27 (MPA)Torrential rainstorms brought on extensive flooding and power shortages in Athens last night, paralyzing the Greek capital for hours on end and closing the Athens airport to both international and domestic flights - many of which were rerouted to Thessaloniki’s airport.
The storms also affected Athens’ power stations with lengthy black outs, forcing the government to hold an emergency meeting in order to map out the measures to be taken.
In Thessaloniki today, the temperatures are low, between 2 and 5 degrees Celsius, with sleet or snow falling inmost of the region rendering the use of anti-skid chains on vehicles necessary.
The adverse weather has brought on extensive crop damages to local farmers.
 VISA REQUIREMENT ABOLISHED FOR GREEK CITIZENS WHO TRAVEL TO US
Washington, March 27 (MPA)In an overwhelming majority, 360-46, the United States House of Representatives abolished the visa requirement for Greek citizens wishing to travel to the US and stay there for more than 90 days.
The President of the Council of Greeks Abroad (SAE) Andrew Athens has expressed his gratification over this decision which is the result of lengthy efforts exerted by SAE.
"In light of our victory today in the US House of Representatives, the people of Greece will soon no longer need a visa to visit the United States," he stated, adding that "today's vote will end this mistreatment of one of the United States' best allies."
The request for the abolishment of the visa requirement was filed on March 10 and was voted on March 25, the day when Greek Independence is celebrated as a national holiday.
Until now, Greece and Portugal were the only two European Union member-states for whose citizens a visa requirement was enforced for entry tot he US.
The US Senate has already approved a similar amendment. The procedure requires approval of the two amendments in a joint session of Congress, that will then adopt the final form of the amendment to be sent to US President Bill Clinton for signing.
 THESSALONIKI TO HOST SE EUROPE ECONOMY FORUM ON MONDAY
Thessaloniki, March 27 (MPA)Thessaloniki is to host a two-day forum on business and economic development in the Balkan region, for the fifth consecutive year, on Monday, featuring the participation of ministers, bankers, stockbrokers and industrialists from 13 countries.
The event, titled "Thessaloniki Forum: Greece and the Balkans: An Emerging Market in Southeastern Europe" is organized by the Northern Greek Industries Association (SBBE), Macedonia- Thrace Bank, and the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce.
The issues to be addressed are expected to reach beyond theory and actually delve into specific issues, such as the incentives and shortcomings in investment, the familiarity of the Balkan entrepreneurs with the western business mentality, as well as Greece’s role as the only Balkan country that is a member of the European Union. The honorary president of SVVE, Nikos Efthimiades, stated that this year’s forum is to focus on economic issues, as opposed to political ones.
He added that two significant figures, the vice presidents of Bulgaria and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Mgrs. Boskov and Vusic respectively, will be present at the forum in order to provide the views of the privatization process their state economies are undergoing.
Moreover, Mr. Efthimiades added that the prevailing optimism is fortified by the American SECI initiative in regards to facilitating commerce and creating a unified code of transporting goods through the Southeastern European region.
This initiative is of specific interest to Greece, at a time when the International; monetary fund is to loan 70 million dollars to the region’s countries or the upgrading of border stations, a matter over which significant announcements are to be made on Monday at the forum.
 STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON COMMENTS ON CYPRUS’ S-300 MISSILES
Washington, March 27 (MPA)The spokesperson of the US Secretary of State James Rubin reiterated yesterday that the Clinton Administration position on the S-300 missiles deployment on Cyprus has not changed.
During the daily news briefing, Mr. Rubin stated that “although we do not question Cyprus' right to make decisions about its defense, we believe the S-300 missile deal increases the danger of conflict on the island and is a serious obstacle to our efforts to reach a settlement of the Cyprus dispute. We continue to urge the Government of Cyprus to cancel the deal.”
Nevertheless, the US official added that “we have also urged Turkey to address the S-300 issue through diplomatic means and to refrain from threats to take the missiles out militarily.”
With regard to the idea of a no-fly zone that Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos raised in his recent meetings with Secretary of State Madleine Albright, Mr. Rubin stated that “we certainly would welcome the establishment of a permanent moratorium of all combat aircraft over-flights over Cyprus by Greece and Turkey as a serious effort to reduce tensions and build confidence.
“We do not agree, however, that a no-fly enforcement regime that could potentially pit one NATO ally against the other, is the best way to accomplish this objective.”
Commenting on the meeting held between Mr. Pangalos and Ms. Albright, Mr. Rubin stated that “the two had a very good meeting.”
 UN SECRETARY GENERAL TO MEET WITH RAUF DENKTASH TOMORROW
Nicosia, March 27 (MPA)The United Nations secretary general Koffi Annan is to received the self-called leader of the Turkish-Cypriots Rauf Denktash in Geneva tomorrow.
Mr. Denktash is expected to insist on his known intransigence concerning the talks for resolving the Cyprus issue and the start of accession talks between the European Union and Cyprus.
The Turkish-Cypriot leader is reportedly counting on Mr. Annan‘s support for the official recognition of his enclave as a “state”, which he sets forth as a condition for talks between the two communities of the island republic.
Meanwhile, the Secretary-general’s special envoy for the Cyprus issue Diego Cordovez characterized tomorrow’s meeting as significant, stating that it could alleviate the current impasse.
 RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BLUNDERS AT MEETING WITH KOHL
Moscow, March 27 (MPA)In a slip of the tongue, Russian President Boris Yeltsin declared open a press conference, which actually was not a press conference but, instead, an informal summit meeting with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
His spokesperson Sergei Yastrezebski tried to gently remind Mr. Yeltsin that it was the start of talks, not a press conference but the undaunted Russian President went on and asked the journalists present at the meeting to submit their questions.
Of course, there were no questions to be submitted as the talks had not taken place yet.
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/