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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-04-14
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 14, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREEK PM DEPARTS TODAY FOR TWO-VISIT TO BULGARIA
Athens, April 14 (MPA)The proposal made by Greece’s Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos that a regional military force be found and established in Thessaloniki is to be among the issues to be discussed by Greece’s Premier Kostas Simitis during his meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart Ivan Kostov.
Mr. Simitis will depart for Sofia today, embarking on a two-day visit where he will discuss with Mr. Kostov a series of matters related to security, cooperation and progress in the Balkans.
The two premiers will focus on regional security, Bulgaria’s candidacy for accession to the European Union and NATO, bilateral relations, and the application of the declarations that stemmed from the Crete Summit held last November.
 FORMER PRESIDENT KARAMANLIS REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION
Athens, April 14 (MPA)Greece’s former President Konstantinos Karamanlis continues to be in a critical condition, suffering a heart attack early Sunday morning. His physicians stated that the attempt to remove the artificial respirator from the patient failed. However, they did say that if his situation allows for it, there could be another attempt to remove the respirator from Mr. Karamanlis. The 91-year-old statesman, who was hospitalized on Tuesday with bronchial pneumonia, went into cardiac arrest at 2.25 am Sunday, and doctors at the YGEIA hospital acted immediately to restore the heart's function, and 20 minutes later moved him to the intensive care unit for better monitoring of his condition.
 ARCHBISHOP SPYRIDON: OPPORTUNITY TO REVIVE AND SPEAD ORTHODOXY IN THE US
New York, April 14 (MPA)The Archbishop of America Spyridon, speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency in an exclusive interview, stated that for the first time in the history of Western Orthodoxy there is an opportunity to spread its message to more people.
The 54-year-old prelate, with the impressive pastorate in the Churches of Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the successful representation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the Worldwide Council of Churches, since September 21, 1996, when he was enthroned Archbishop of America, has tried to inspire a new wind of creativity and revival in Orthodoxy at the United States.
According to the Archbishop, the American society is thirsty for something new, more authentic, more spiritual having grown tired of the propagandist social and political messages.
Moreover, in response to certain circles in the US that would like Orthodoxy to be separated from its Greek roots, the Archbishop stated that Orthodoxy is by nature Greek.
He also stressed the role of the Church is promoting the Greek letters and the Greek culture and emphasized the importance of carrying the Greek heritage and culture to the second and third generations.
Archbishop Spyridon stated that the American culture provides the church with singular opportunities to conduct a successful mission, which truly provides the Orthodox church the opportunity to expand and reach a greater amount of people.
 CANCELLATIONS, DELAYS CONTINUE AT OLYMPIC AIRWAYS FLIGHTS
Athens, April 14 (MPA)Olympic Airways (OA) flight services continue to suffer serious disruption today due to a shortage of personnel which is leading OA management to consider hiring aircraft with foreign crews to serve passenger needs. The problem has been compounded by a shortage also of technicians which has resulted in five OA aircraft remaining grounded following extensive maintenance work, while a further five are expected to gradually re-enter service by June.
 GREECE SUPPORTS BULGARIA’S MEMBERSHIP BID FOR EU, NATO
Sofia, April 14 (MPA)Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis, who is embarking on a two-day, official visit to Sofia today, expressed Greece’s support for Bulgaria’s membership bid for the European Union and NATO. Speaking to the Bulgarian News Agency, Mr. Simitis said that Sofia's drive to join the Euro-Altantic organizations opened prospects for even closer bilateral ties and welcomed coordinated moves by Greece, Bulgaria and other Balkan countries to try to resolve the Kossovo crisis.
The Premier stated that for the first time since the former Yugoslavia collapsed, a unified proposal was drafted for a solution in Kossovo when a six-nation contact group met in Bonn last month. Healthy ties between Greece and Bulgaria, whose bilateral trade exceeded US$500 million in 1997, resulted from regular contracts among government and other officials, according to the Premier, who stressed that the both countries were working to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the Balkans.
 GREEK STOCKS MARK NEW RECORD , GENERAL INDEX UP 4.53%
Athens, April 14 (MPA)Greek equities posted their 11th record close in the last 20 sessions on the Athens Stock Exchange yesterday, according to press reports, where the market welcomed news that the private Bank of Piraeus had posted the highest bid in a tender for the sale of state Macedonia- Thrace Bank. The general index closed 4.53 percent up at 2,255.81 points with most sector indices scoring gains. Specifically, Banks soared 5.64 percent, Insurance rose 4.44 percent, Investment was 4.61 percent up, Industrials increased 4.09 percent, Construction was 3.58 percent higher, Miscellaneous rose 4.03 percent and Holding increased 2.89 percent.
 US SECRETARY OF DEFENSE TO ARRIVE IN ATHENS ON APRIL 21
Washington, April 14 (MPA)The United States Secretary of Defense William Cohen is to arrive in Athens next Tuesday where he will hold talks with his Greek counterpart Akis Tsochatzopoulos.
Mr. Cohen’s four-hour visit to Athens is part of his five-day regional tour which starts this Friday, and includes Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Israel. Mr. Cohen is also expected to be received by the President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. He will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Athens. US Pentagon officials stated that the American secretary will discuss NATO's structural changes and will reiterate his country’s support for confidence-building measures in the Aegean, promoted by NATO's Secretary General Javier Solana. He will also discuss a Greek weapons acquisition . Prior to his arrival in Athens, Mr. Cohen's first stop will be at Ankara, where he will meet with Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and other Turkish leaders. He will discuss the continued use of air bases by the US and Greek-Turkish relations, among others. Mr. Cohen will hold talks with Middle East leaders on the peace process and bilateral military ties of those countries with Washington as well as the situation with Iraq. During this trip he will also meet with Jordan's King Hussein, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli Prime Minister Benjanim Netanyahu.
 BULGARIA CALLS OFFERS TO SELL ITS BALKAN AIRLINES
Sofia, April 14 (MPA)The consultant in the sell-off of Bulgaria's Balkan airlines has announced that it will shortlist the carriers' potential investors by end-April and invite them to make concrete proposals. Eberhard Bussche-Huennefeld from Treuhand Osteuropa Beratungsgesellschaft mbH (TOB) told a news conference that the consultants planned to sell the airline or a stake in it by September under their agreement with the Privatization Agency. Bussche-Huennefeld said the Bulgarian government had announced the sale of 100 percent of the airline with 20 percent to be offered to its staff at a preferential price. The potential buyers included two Bulgarian and two German investors and four multinational consortiums. The United States and Russia had one potential investor each.
 6,000 ALBANIANS IN KOSSOVO HOLD PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION
Prishtina, April 14 (MPA)About six thousand Albanians from Kossovo marched in Prishtina yesterday, in a peaceful demonstration against the Serb government. The half-hour marches, held during the past four days, were incident-free with only traffic police standing by. The silent protesters, mainly young people, did not carrying any banners and refrained from making any gestures.
 POST OFFICES WORKERS REACT TO ECONOMIC RESTRUCTURES
Thessaloniki, April 14 (MPA)Staff at Greece’s post offices are strongly opposed to the economic restructuring proposed by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, and appear determined not to accept the reduction of wages and other changes in their work sector.
The Ministry has proposed a two-year freeze on wages, price increases amounting to 20%, state subsidies, elimination of the deficit and increased production. Meanwhile, officials from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development are to arrive in Athens next week in order to review the latest developments in the state-owned enterprises (DEKO) and their revitalization programs.
 POLICEMAN INJURED BY GRENADE BLAST IN KOSSOVO
Prishtina, April 14 (MPA)A policeman was slightly injured when three grenades hurled at a police station in the Serbian province of Kossovo exploded, according to the French news agency AFP. The attack in Prishtina took place yesterday around 11:30 p.m. The police station targeted was located in Vranjevac, an Albanian neighborhood.
The injured policeman suffered shrapnel wounds to one of his hands.
 RUSSIA’S CHIEF WEATHERMAN APOLOGIZES FOR WRONG FORECAST
Moscow, April 14 (MPA)Russia’s chief meteorologist apologized for the erroneous weather forecast he made yesterday, when heavy snow fall covered Moscow, as opposed to the high temperatures and sunny weather he had announced.
“It’s difficult to predict this sort of phenomena--- because of rapidly changing situation,” stated Alexander Bedritsky, the head of Russia’s Federal Service of Hydrometeorology and environment Monitoring.
He stated that this service, known as Gidrometcenter, had failed to make a correct forecast of the trajectory of a microcyclon. Mr. Bedritsky did add that yesterday’s snowfall may be the strongest of the century.
Moscow was not pleased at all. It lambasted the center for numerous mistakes it said it made throughout the winter and announced that it will terminate its contract with the service.
“Weathermen had made different weather forecasts six times throughout the day and if no emergency measures were taken by the city road maintenance service on their own, the situation on the roads might have been very critical,” the Russian government’s press service stated. It will now create its own weather monitoring service.
 GREECE’S NEW ARCHBISHOP TO BE ELECTED ON APRIL 28
Athens, April 14 (MPA)The country’s 77 Metropolites are to elect the new Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece on April 28, with the voting taking place in the presence of the Minister of Education and Religion Gerasimos Arsenis.
Those who are considered as likely candidates are the Metropolite Anthimos of Alexandroupolis, the Metropolite Christodoulos of Dimitriada and the Metropolite Ieronymos of Theva. All three are projecting a message of unity in the Church’s hierarchy.
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/