|Tuesday, 12 November 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-04-01
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, April 1, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 REPPAS CRITICIZES BURNS FOR HIS REMARKS IN THESSALONIKIGovernment spokesperson Dimitris Reppas criticized the United States Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns for the latter’s statements concerning Greek labor laws and bureaucracy as well as remarks that implied the Greek government was dormant in regards to terrorism .
In his address at the forum on business and economic development in the Balkan region, titled "Thessaloniki Forum: Greece and the Balkans: An Emerging Market in South-eastern Europe", Mr. Burns said that bureaucracy, labor laws and bomb attacks against foreign firms are factors that discourage American investments in Greece.
In response, Mr. Reppas advised the US diplomat to keep his views on labor relations in Greece to himself.
"The legislative framework which governs these relations is in the interests of Greek society and the state," the government spokesperson stated and, referring to the ambassador's comments on terrorism, stressed that terrorism is a worldwide phenomenon, "the combating of which requires the cooperation of all".
Mr. Reppas also emphasized that terrorism is not "flourishing" in Greece, adding that Mr. Burns is "the last person" who could refer to the issue.
 RUSSIA WILL DELIVER S-300 MISSILES TO CYPRUS,YELTSIN CONFIRMSGreek minister of defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who is on three-day visit to Moscow, met with Russian president Boris Yeltsin who has confirmed that his country will proceed as planned with the delivery of the anti-aircraft S-300 missiles to Cyprus.
The two also discussed the crisis in Kossovo and Iraq and exchanged points of view on security issues in Balkan region.
 PASOK DEPUTIES DIFFER WITH STATE’S STANCE ON NATIONAL AIRLINESeventeen parliamentarians from the country’s ruling PASOK party have forwarded a letter to the Speaker of the House Apostolos Kaklamanis in which they state their opposition with the Transportation and Communications Minister’s draftbill on the revitalization of Olympic Airways.
Meanwhile, the O.A. employees insist that the draftbill be withdrawn and that talks continue in order to find a compromise-solution. According to the submitted bill, -which will voted upon tomorrow- all employees who do not wish to continue with the airline under the new conditions will have to resign with compensation.
 UNIVERSITY STUDENT BODY ELECTIONS UNDERWAYUniversity and college students throughout Greece are called to the polls today in order to cast their vote for their schools’ student bodies.
A recent-years phenomenon, the abstention rate is expected to be high. The voting process began this morning at 9 am and will wrap up at 8 p.m.
 GREEK PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION IN TIRANAA Greek Parliamentary delegation, of the Foreign and Defense Affairs Committee, wrapped up an official, three-day visit to Tirana, invited by the corresponding Albanian committee.
Headed by former Foreign Minister Karolos Papoulias, the six-member delegation was briefed on the current political situation in Albania, the Kossovo crisis, and the course of Greek-Albanian relations.
The delegation met with Archbishop of Tirana and all of Albania Anastasios, as well as with Albanian President Rejep Mejdani, Prime Minister Fatos Nano and former Albanian president and Democratic Party leader Sali Berisha.
The delegates also visited the Greek military force in Albania, and held talks with their Albanian counterparts and representatives of the Greek minority.
The visit was within the framework of contacts between the parliaments of the two countries and will coincide with the tabling of a bill in the Albanian parliament for a six-month extension of the Greek military forces' stay in the neighboring country aimed at contributing in the efforts to restructure the Albanian military.
 BRITISH PM: ACCESSION OF CYPRUS COULD LEAD TO SOLUTIONBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair stated yesterday that the accession of Cyprus to the European Union could promote a solution to the Cyprus problem.
"I believe the accession process, we are now embarking upon, should promote the prospects for a peaceful Cyprus settlement, which is now being pursued by the UN secretary-general", Mr. Blair wrote in a written reply to Conservative Chipping Barnet MP, Sir Sydney Chapman.
In regards to Turkish-Cypriot participation in the accession negotiations, the British Premier said "if (Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf) Denktash is unwilling to participate at the start, we will continue to encourage both sides to come to a suitable arrangement as the accession negotiations progress".
Furthermore, he stressed that he had a useful meeting with President Clerides on the eve of the European Conference, adding that he made clear to President Clerides that settlement of the Cyprus problem was not a precondition for EU accession.
"President Clerides agreed with me on a desirability of offering the Turkish Cypriot community participation in the accession negotiations, and has made what seemed to us a reasonable offer, which we conveyed to Mr. Denktash on 13 March", Mr. Blair added.
 FOUNDATION OF GREEKS ABROAD TO OPERATE IN TWO MONTHSThe President of the Greek Parliament’s cross-party Committee for Greek abroad Grigoris Niotis stated that the operation of the Foundation of Greeks Abroad is to be announced formally within the next two months and its headquarters will be in Thessaloniki.
Speaking from New York, where the committee had traveled for an official visit with Greek-American officials and Archbishop Spyridon, Mr. Niotis added that the Foundation of Greeks Abroad will enjoy benefits such as tax exemption for the donations it will receive.
Referring to his meeting with the Archbishop, Mr. Niotis stated that a series of pilot program concerning the teaching of the Greek language abroad is currently under works, whose funding will be derived from the European Union, amounting to 1.8 billion drachmas.
 NATIONAL ECONOMY AND FINANCE MINISTER ADDRESSES BUSINESS FORUMThe Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou addressed yesterday the Thessaloniki-held business forum titled " Thessaloniki Forum: Greece and the Balkans: An Emerging Market in South-eastern Europe".
In his address, the Minister stressed the need for restructuring labor relations and the social security system, as well as promoting privatization. The minister also pointed out that Greece was lagging behind in the issue of issue of labor relations and stressed that the deregulation of the system would greatly benefit employees and facilitate the adjustment of the labor force to the new requirements.
At the same time, a demonstration was held outside the forum’s premises by public utility employees who protest the government's privatization plans.
 EU WANTS IMPROVED GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONSThe Foreign Ministers of the European Union member- states set forth the issue of improving Greek-Turkish relations, on the sidelines of yesterday’s talks for Cyprus’s accession to the Union.
According to statements made by the Ministers of France, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany, political circles in Brussels asses that the EU intents to exert pressure on Greece to lift its veto over the EU’s financial aid to Turkey amounting to MECU375.
German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel stated that the key to EU-Turkey relations lies with the G/T relations.
“Both countries need to resolve their differences. If this fails then everything else will fail,”he stated.
Moreover, the German diplomat called on Greece to take a decisive step in reducing the tension with its neighbor, by freeing the EU’s financial assistance to Turkey, while he also called on Ankara to accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice at The Hague in regards to its territorial disputes which it claims it has with Greece.
However, the British Foreign secretary Robin Cook, who is also presiding over the Foreign Ministers Council, characterized the discussion as untimely and pointed out that these are matters to be discussed at the forthcoming Foreign Minister’s council in April.
 UNITED NATIONS VOTES TO IMPOSE ARMS EMBARGO ON YUGOSLAVIAThe United Nations Security Council voted 14-0 in favor of imposing an arms embargo on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia yesterday, with China casting the only abstention.
The embargo was enforced in the effort to reach a peaceful resolution to the Kossovo crisis. The Council’s resolution also calls on authorities in Belgrade and the leadership of Kossovo’s Albanian community to open a meaningful dialogue. Yugoslavia's ambassador to the UN rejected the council's involvement in what he says are purely internal affairs..
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