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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-04-16
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, April 16, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 ORTHODOX MOURN DEATH OF CHRIST, AWAIT RESURRECTION
Thessaloniki, April 16 (MPA)The Greek Orthodox are mourning the death of Christ and are flocking to the church in order to receive Holy Communion. From the Ecumenical Patriarchate to the last corner of the earth where Orthodox Christians reside, everyone awaits the Resurrection of Christ.
 FORMER PRESIDENT KARAMANLIS REMAINS IN CRITICAL CONDITION
Athens, April 16 (MPA)Konstantinos Karamanlis, Greece’s 92-year-old former president, remains gravely ill at an Athens hospital, where his breathing is facilitated by a respirator. His treating physicians are reluctant to make any prognosis as to when they will attempt again to remove the respirator as a previous attempt to do so had failed.
 FREE ACCESS TO MT. ATHOS TREASURES EXHIBITION FOR 2 DAYS
Thessaloniki, April 16 (MPA)The exhibition of the Mt. Athos treasures, currently hosted at Thessaloniki’s Byzantine Museum, is to be open to the public free of charge this Saturday and the Monday after Easter.
Due to the Easter holidays, the Museum will be open on Good Friday between 12.30-17.00 p.m., on Saturday from 8.30 am to 15.00 p.m., will be closed on Easter Sunday and will re-open on the Monday after Easter between 8.30 am and 15.00 p.m.
 CANCELLATIONS, DELAYS CONTINUE AT OLYMPIC AIRWAYS FLIGHTS
Athens, April 16 (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. Many flights are nring merged or canceled today, both domestic and abroad. The problem has been compounded by a shortage 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.
 US SECRETARY OF DEFENSE TO ARRIVE IN ATHENS ON APRIL 21
Washington, April 16 (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. The defense secretary will discuss with Greece the possible sale of U.S.-made F-15s and F-16s -- something that concerns Turkey because it doesn't want Athens to gain military strength. Greece will be Cohen's last stop before returning home April 21. 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.
 13TH MEDICAL CONFERENCE ON NORTHERN GREECE IN THESSALONIKI NEXT MONTH
Thessaloniki, April 16 (MPA)The 13th Medical Conference of Northern Greece will be held in Thessaloniki from May 15-17. Among the topics to be discussed will be Greece’s grim record in Europe for the number of road accidents and fatalities. According to the data to be presented, 20.5 deaths resulting from traffic accidents correspond per 100,000 inhabitants.
 STATE DEPARTMENT WARNS TURKEY OVER THREATS AGAINST CYPRUS
Washington, April 16 (MPA)The United States criticized Turkey for its threats against Cyprus over the island’s decision to deploy Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the island republic. "The problem with the missiles cannot be resolved with use of threats," US State Department spokesman James Rubin stated. "We have encouraged Turkey to approach the issue of the S- 300 missiles in a diplomatic manner and to avoid threats of destroying them by military means," he added. He nevertheless expressed US opposition to the deployment of the missiles. The S-300 missiles are scheduled to arrive on the island later in the summer, after an agreement was reached between Nicosia and Moscow in January 1997.
 PATROL POLICE TAKE EXTRA MEASURES TO PREVENT BLOOD BATH
Thessaloniki, April 16 (MPA)As with every Easter, Greeks are flocking to the highways and roads by the thousands in order to escape the city this holiday and the Greek road Patrol is taking extra measures in order to prevent traffic accidents and fatalities.
One of these measures is the ban on truck traffic today on the national highway. Also, the patrolmen are to be equipped with mobile phones in order to coordinate their posts.
 CYPRUS ASSIGNS NEW AMBASSADOR TO GREECE
Nicosia, April 16 (MPA)The Cyprus Republic's new ambassador to Greece, Christodoulos Pashiardis, presented his credentials to the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, yesterday. Foreign Undersecretary Yiannos Kranidiotis was among officials present at the ceremony. Mr. Pashiardis succeeds Mr. Charalambos Christoforou who has retired.
 MACEDONIA-THRACE MINISTER RECEIVES BLACK SEA BANK GOVERNOR
Thessaloniki, April 16 (MPA)The Minister of Macedonia Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos received yesterday the governor of the Black Sea Commercial and Development Bank, Ersoy Volkan in Thessaloniki.
Mr. Volkan briefed the Minister on the preparations underway for the multi-national bank's operation. Both men agreed that the Thessaloniki-based development bank should play an important role in relation to development and investment activities in the Balkans and Black Sea region. Mr. Petsalnikos assured the Mr. Volkan that his ministry will do anything it could to assist in efforts.
 TWO MOROCCANS KILLED BY MINE IN GREEK-TURKISH BORDER
Orestiada, April 16 (MPA)Two Moroccan illegal immigrants were killed by a mine explosion late last night when they tried to cross the Greek-Turkish border at Evros.
According to the local police, Abdelaziz Belajual, 22 years old, and Mohamed Hikhami, 26, tried to enter Greece from Turkey by crossing the Evros River.
At 1:30 a.m. they became disoriented and mistakenly entered the fenced military minefield. They were instantly killed when they stepped on a mine.
 EASTER MESSAGE OF SECRETARY-GENERAL OF GREEKS ABROAD
Athens, April 16 (MPA)The Secretary-general of the Greeks Abroad Stavros Lambrinides has issued a message of unity and optimism in light of the Easter celebration.
“Easter, a crowing moment in Orthodoxy, a crowing celebration of Hellenism, unites us all with the same concerns and the same dreams. Seventeen million Greeks in 141 countries throughout the world celebrate the Resurrection of Christ, the Resurrection of the Nation,” he stated.
 UKRAINE WANTS CHERNOBYL’S REACTOR CLEANED WITH ROBOT
Los Angeles, April 16 (MPA)Ukraine wants to send a US-made robot inside the damaged Chernobyl nuclear reactor, ignoring US experts’ warnings that this would ruin the craft and thwart the project's purpose, according to a “Los Angeles Times” article.
Scientists at the NASA laboratory where the robot was developed assert that Ukraine, frustrated with the international response to the Chernobyl disaster, is demanding the machine be used to begin cleaning up immediately.
However, they warn that extremely high radiation levels in the reactor core would destroy the robot in a matter of days, long before it can carry out the data- gathering functions for which it was primarily designed.
"Their position is: We want to do the clean up now -- we are not interested in waiting six months for the scientific data to come in," said Neville Marzwell, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) coordinator on the project to build the robot, told the “L.A. Times.”
If the robot, known as "Pioneer", is inserted into the core at the start of its mission, it will become "another piece of junk inside the reactor," said Marzwell, who works with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Ukrainian embassy officials contacted in Washington declined to comment on the assertions by the US experts.
The meter-high Pioneer, fitted with tank tracks and a bulldozer plow, will gather images to build a three- dimensional model of the damaged building. A specially- designed drill will take samples of the structure.
The data it collects will be transmitted by cable to a work station in a lead-lined room near the reactor's core. Ukrainian operators there will manipulate the robot and Kiev will decide what data to publish. The two million-dollar robot is scheduled for delivery to Ukraine in August.
The 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl plant, the worst civilian nuclear catastrophe ever, killed 32 people outright and exposed millions across Europe to abnormally high radiation levels.
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/