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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-05-04
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, May 4, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREEK PREMIER SATISFIED OVER EUROPEAN SUMMIT ON EURO
Brussels, May 4 (MPA)Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis said in Brussels yesterday that the European Union summit's results on the issue of the common currency (euro) were extremely positive for Greece.
The prime minister stressed the fact that Greece's entry into the third phase of European monetary union (EMU) will be based on the same criteria used for the other 11 countries which just entered the system.
Mr. Simitis expressed his total satisfaction over the results of the long-drawn out session of this summit, which ended early yesterday morning with the election of Dutchman Wim Duisenberg as the first President of the European Central Bank.
The premier said that within the next few days he will inform President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and the political leadership of the country on the outcome, and discuss the results with them. Mr. Simitis said that the road toward the adoption of a common currency will not be without problems. A common currency without a common government and a common taxation system is a new experience, he added.
 RICHARD HOLBROOKE’S CONTACTS IN CYPRUS BEAR NO RESULTS
Nicosia, May 4 (MPA)The United States Presidential envoy for the Cyprus issue Richard Holbrooke is shuttling between the Presidency building in Nicosia where he meets with President Glafkos Clerides, and the occupied territories in the northern part of the island where he meets with Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. So far Mr. Holbrooke’s efforts have borne no result, but the experienced diplomat will persist with his efforts for the next ten days. Mr. Denktash is remaining intransigent in his position that the occupied part of Cyprus be recognized as an independent state. The US, the European Union and the United Nations have stated that this will not happen. Mr. Holbrooke is to visit Athens and Ankara today.
 TENSION MOUNTS IN KOSSOVO
Prishtina, May 4 (MPA)Tension is mounting in the strife-torn region of Kossovo, between the Serbs and the Albanian-speaking locals. Yesterday, a delegation of Albanian Ministers, headed by vice-president Bashkim Fino, visited border regions. Albania’s defense Minister did not rule out the possibility of stationing troops at the border regions. Meanwhile, Belgrade is protesting the sanctions drawn by the “Contact Group” against their country.
 DEVELOPMENT MINISTER IN EGYPT FOR ENERGY AGREEMENT
Cairo, May 4 (MPA)Minister of Development Vasso Papandreou is currently visiting Egypt in order to finalize an energy agreement. Ms. Papandreou is in Cairo attending a conference to consider potential business opportunities in the region. Papandreou, accompanied by representatives from Greece's Public Power Corporation (DEH), will sign the first energy cooperation agreement between Greece and Egypt today. During her visit, she will also meet with Orthodox Patriarch Petros of Alexandria.
 WIM DUISENBERG ELECTED CHIEF OF EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK
Brussels, May 4 (MPA)Following lengthy negotiations, European Union leaders chose yesterday Dutchman Wim Duisenberg to head the bank that will control Europe's single currency, the euro. In a compromise, Duisenberg was selected as chief of the new European Central Bank, but with the proviso that he leave in 2002, when Frenchman Jean-Claude Trichet will take over for four years. The dispute over the central bank post – mainly between Germany and France – marred celebrations at the landmark summit of EU leaders called to confirm the selection of 11 nations that will adopt the euro as their shared currency on January 1 and create an unprecedented economic union.
 GREEK CLIMBER DIES IN THE HIMALAYANS, HIS BODY UNRETRIEVABLE
Katmandu, May 4 (MPA)A 44-year-old Greek mountaineer died in the Himalayan Mountains on Friday after he slipped and fell from a peak, according to the Nepalese government.
Nikos Papandreou, a businessman from Athens, fell 4,950 feet from Mount Dhaulagiri on Friday, his team members said.
His body was not found and the Nepalese government said it will not try to look for it. Expeditions rarely look for bodies during such accidents because they often fall into deep crevices and it is impossible to retrieve them. The accident occurred when Mr. Papandreou slipped at a height of 24,750-feet, on the way to the summit of the summit, said the Nepalese Tourism Ministry, which monitors all climbing activities in the country. The seven-member Association Hellenic Mountaineers SEO team abandoned its bid on the mountain, 26,950 feet high.
 GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER IN MADRID FOR WEU, NATO MEETINGS
Madrid, May 4 (MPA)National Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos is currently in Madrid today to attend NATO’s and the Western European Union's Parliamentary Assembly. According to reports, Mr. Tsochatzopoulos is to meet with the Alliance’s Secretary-General Javier Solana who will reiterate the importance of trust-building measures in the Aegean. Mr. Tsochatzopoulos will be making an address in the framework of the WEU's Parliamentary Assembly tomorrow. Afterwards, he will meet his Spanish counterpart Mr. Sera at the Spanish Defense Ministry and will also visit Spanish defense industries, as well as the Military Museum in Madrid.
 HELEXPO HOLDS CORRESPONDENTS FORUM IN THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, May 4 (MPA)The Organizer of the International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki HELEXPO is holding a four-day correspondents' forum in Thessaloniki, starting today, in order to promote tourist attractions of central Macedonia. Reporters from Vienna, Prague, Berlin, Budapest, Moscow and Belgrade have been invited to attend the forum. HELEXPO president Antonis Kourtis said that the exhibition agency has worked in the past to promote tourism in the region by taking part in several international tourism exhibitions.
 OCCUPATION FORCES IMPOSE VISA LEVY ON GREEK JOURNALISTS
Nicosia, May 4 (MPA-AFP)Greek Cypriot journalists left in protest a meeting in Turkish occupied Nicosia after they were told that next time round they will have to pay so-called visa charges, imposed by the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime. The reporters were told by Taner Etkin, a self-styled minister of the regime, that "we will implement all the principles at the borders after this meeting and we will ask you, the media, who want to come to the north to fill the forms and pay the visa charges." The move by the regime comes in retaliation to yesterday morning's development when Turkish journalists, who arrived on the island through an illegal port of entry in occupied Cyprus, were not allowed by the Cyprus police to cross into the government controlled areas of the Republic to cover a meeting between President Glafcos Clerides with US emissary Richard Holbrooke. Ports of entry in the northern part of Cyprus, occupied by Turkish troops since they invaded in 1974, have been declared illegal and anybody wishing to enter the Republic of Cyprus should do so through points controlled by the Cypriot authorities. The Turkish Cypriot regime imposes what it calls "visa charges" at the only crossing point between the northern Turkish occupied areas and the southern government controlled part of Cyprus.
 “THE LONDON TIMES”: GREECE HAS WORLD’S CLEANEST BEACHES
London, May 4 (MPA)Greece has the cleanest beaches in the world, according to a poll conducted by Great Britain’s daily “The London Times”, which gathered opinions from 100 travel agencies in England. The travel bureaus voted their preferences as follows: 15% Greece, 13% the beaches in the remaining Mediterranean, 10% the shores of the Indian Ocean and 8% Africa. According to Greece’s Undersecretary of Development Michalis Chrysochoides, a great number of tourists is expected to arrive in Greece this year fueled by the devaluation of the drachma.
 O.A.’S BOARD CONVENE TODAY TO DISCUSS PILOTS’ TERMS
Athens, May 4 (MPA)The national air carrier’s, Olympic Airways, administrative board is to convene today in order to decide on whether or not they will accept the agreement reached between the company’s pilots and the OA’s chairman Theodoros Tsakirides. Last week, the board members turned down the agreement reached between the pilots and Mr. Tsakirides. In case the agreement is not up to par for the board members, the pilots have made it clear they will not work overtime, which will certainly bear consequences on the flight schedules.
 HOLBROOKE: TALKS IN CYPRUS ARE AT TEMPORARY DEADLOCK
Nicosia, May 4 (MPA)The United States presidential envoy for the Cyprus issue Richard Holbrooke has characterized the talks he recently held at the island as a “temporary deadlock”.
Following his successive meetings with Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the US emissary said “I do not think it’s either a crisis or a catastrophe”.
He did add that there is an impasse in the talks, which he characterized as important. Moreover, during the press interview Mr. Holbrooke stated Mr. Denktash is insistent that the occupied part of the island be recognized as a state and refused to embark on negotiations until this is done. During an interview with the “Washington Post”, Mr. Holbrooke said that the shift in the Turkish stance is the reason no progress has been made in the Cyprus issue, adding that the US involvement in Cyprus will be continued in order to avert a worsening turn of the situation. Mr. Holbrooke stressed that the two days of talks reached an impasse when Mr. Denktash set forth two new terms for restarting the talks. that is, first to conduct the talks based on two “states” and, second, that President Clerides must withdraw Cyprus’s accession bid from the European Union.
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/