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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-09-09
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, September 9, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 MANY CONSUMER GOODS AND FOODSTUFFS TO BE SOLD AT LOWER PRICES
Thessaloniki, September 9 (MPA)A number of foodstuffs are expected to be sold at lower prices soon, following an agreement reached between the Ministry of Development and food manufacturers to continue with negotiations that could lead to lower prices.
Meanwhile, according to the Ministry of Finance, state revenue showed an increase of 18.23% during the month of August 1998, in comparison to last year..
 GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER: TURKISH VIOLATIONS ARE STRONG ARM TACTICS
Athens, September 9 (MPA)The Minister of National Defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated that the recent violations of Greece’s air space by Turkey ate nothing more than the neighboring country’s strong arm tactics. Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that Turkey from time to time was to actively display its dynamic presence in the Aegean Sea by challenging the air space between six and ten miles. The Defense Minister stressed that these air space violations are dynamically dealt with by the Greek Air Force.
 YELTSIN INSISTS ON HIS CHOICE OF PREMIER, DUMA CONTINUES TO REJECT HIM
Moscow, September 9 (MPA)While the Russian parliament has for the second time rejected Victor Cernomyrdin as prime minister, President Boris Yeltsin is to insist on his choice of premier and will once again nominate his name to the Duma. If the Duma rejects Cernomyrdin in a third vote, which must take place within a week of Yeltsin's renomination of the acting premier, the parliament may be dissolved, and the country will be launched into a three to five month election process.
 CYPRIOT DEFENSE MINISTER IN CORFU, WARNS OF TURKISH EXPANSIONISM
Corfu, September 9 (MPA)Cypriot Defense Minister Yiannakis Omirou, who was at the island of Corfu yesterday in honor of the twinning of the island with the city of Paphos, stated that Turkish expansionism is a threat not only to Cyprus but to all of Greece. Mr. Omirou said that the present time was "critical for our national issues". Referring to recent statements by Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz, the Cypriot Defense Minister said that the Turkish premier was "repeating himself." Mr. Yilmaz, in Israel on an official visit, warned Cyprus on Monday that Ankara would "take all necessary measures" if Nicosia deployed Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the divided island.
 GREECE’S ALTERNATE FOREIGN MINISTER RECEIVES YUGOSLAV AMBASSADOR
Athens, September 9 (MPA)Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou received the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Dragan Vucicevic yesterday. The two men discussed the European Union-imposed ban on Yugoslav civil aviation flights to EU countries and other issues of mutual concern. Mr. Papandreou reiterated Greece’s steadfast positions concerning Kossovo.
 GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER COMMENTS ON TURKISH-ISRAELI COOPERATION
Thessaloniki, September 9 (MPA)National Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos stated that the Turkish-Israeli cooperation in the form of an axis has provoked reactions from all of the region’s countries. The creation of the axis "is confirmed from the moment Turkey uses high Israeli technology to support its own unilateral claims against many nations in the region,” Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said. “This creates a problem, is a source of instability provoking a crisis and dangers for the region," he added. Mr. Tsochatzopoulos stated that he will meet with his Israeli counterpart in Athens during October and will bring before him the Greek objections concerning the Turkish-Israeli cooperation.
 GREEK FM: TURKEY IS ONLY INTERESTED IN ECONOMIC RELATIONS WITH THE EU
Tehran, September 9 (MPA)Greece’s Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos yesterday accused Turkey of being interested only in the economic aspect of its relations with the European Union and called on Ankara to respect European values.
Speaking at a joint conference with Iranian and Armenian Foreign Ministers Kamal Kharrazi and Vartan Oskanian, respectively, Mr. Pangalos said that "Turkey claims that it is a European nation, it wants to enter the European Union, but is interested only in the economic and funding aspects." He said that anyone who was "interested joining such families as that of the EU must learn to respect the values and responsibilities, which all the European countries have". Any such nation must respect human rights as well as the rights of minorities and to apply the rules of International Law, he added. Mr. Pangalos reiterated that Greece supports the immediate resumption of talks for the resolution of the Cyprus problem and the application of all relevant United Nations decisions and resolutions. He added that "Turkey refuses dialogue and refuses to apply the resolutions of the UN, aspiring to keep the island divided and to retain its military presence there." Referring to Greek-Turkish relations, Mr. Pangalos said that "when one creates a problem, one must show the way to its solution" while he stressed that Turkey has a "package" of territorial claims against Greece.
 GREECE, IRAN AND ARMENIA SIGN MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
Tehran, September 9 (MPA)The Foreign Ministers of Greece, Iran and Armenia - Theodoros Pangalos, Kamal Kharrazi and Vartan Oskanian, respectively - met in Tehran yesterday where they signed a memorandum of understanding which constitutes a continuation of the one signed during the first tripartite ministerial meeting in Athens on December 22, 1997.
Afterwards, the three foreign ministers expressed satisfaction over progress achieved in all sectors of tripartite cooperation and over the work achieved by the four committees created after the first ministerial meeting in Athens and which are the communications, tourist cooperation, industry and technology and economy and energy committees. The three ministers agreed to extend their cooperation to other sectors and to create an additional committee which will deal with environmental protection, health and the handling of industrial accidents and natural disasters with the cooperation of corresponding national organizations from each country. All three foreign ministers reportedly expressed strong reservations over military cooperation between Israel and Turkey..
 GREEK ALTERNATE FM MEETS WITH US AMBASSADOR TO ATHENS
Athens, September 9 (MPA)Greece’s Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou met with and US Ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns yesterday and discussed relations between Greece and the US, the situation in the Balkans and the investment climate in Greece. Following the talks, Mr. Papandreou said that he and Mr. Burns discussed issues concerning the prospects of American investments in Greece and the wider Balkan region, as well as joint investments in this region by Greece and the US. They also discussed issues regarding the Thessaloniki International Fair. In turn, Mr. Burns said that he briefed Mr. Papandreou on the participation of American companies in the TIF. Mr. Burns said that "for a long time American companies abstained (from investments in Greece), but the Greek economy is being expanded, restructured and modernized and therefore it is a very good place for Americans to invest."
 GREECE, BULGARIA, ROMANIA SIGN PROTOCOL TO FIGHT CROSS-BORDER CRIME
Athens, September 9 (MPA)A protocol of close cooperation in the fight against cross- border crime in the region of the Balkans was signed yesterday by the public order minister of Greece, George Romeos, and the interior ministers of Bulgaria, Bogmil Bonev and of Romania, Gavril Dezeu. "The citizens of all the countries regard security as an ultimate good. It is our obligation to provide it to them", Mr. Romeos said during a press conference after the signing. Expressing his satisfaction at the signing of the cooperation protocol, the Greek minister said that the course to be followed from now on will prove the three governments will to fight organized crime. The protocol envisages the implementation of a system and exchange of information to prevent and investigate into different forms of organized crime, terrorism, as well as production and trafficking of illicit drugs, an announcement of the Bulgarian interior ministry said. It added that the protocol also provided for cooperation between the three countries in the fight against arms smuggling, money laundering and illegal financial operations and theft of cultural property.
 GREECE RATIFIES COE PROTOCOL ABOLISHING CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
Athens, September 9 (MPA)Greece yesterday ratified a protocol of the Council of Europe (CoE) Treaty on the Protection of Human Rights and Basic Freedoms, which abolishes capital punishment. The protocol, to become effective on October 1, essentially formalizes what was approved of long ago. The abolition of the death penalty had been ratified by the Greek parliament in 1993 and the last execution in Greece took place in 1973.
 1998 STATE BUDGET HAS SURPLUS, SURPASSES GOVERNMENT’S EXPECTATIONS
Athens, September 9 (MPA)Last month’s state revenue rose to GRD747.3 billion, amounting to an increase of 18.3%, surpassing the government’s own expectations which had hoped for an increase of approximately 12 per cent. The increase in revenues during the month of August is primarily due to a 24.12% increase in revenues from income tax and a 6.5% increase in customs tax. Also, revenue acquired from the Value Added Tax increase by 6.51%, thus pouring significant figures into the state coffers. The surplus in revenues has brought on a wave of optimism among the government finance and economy circles. According to reports, the state may reduce the special consumption tax if the inflation rate allows it do so. The upward course of public revenue was a year-long process, as revenues received over the January to August period of 1998 increased by 15.25 per cent compared to an annual target of 10.85 per cent.
 MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER TO VISIT THESSALONIKI ON FRIDAY FOR 3- DAY STAY
Thessaloniki, September 9 (MPA)The leader of the main opposition party, New Democracy’s Kostas Karamanlis, is to embark on a three-day visit to Thessaloniki this Friday.
During his stay in the northern capital. Mr. Karamanlis will local party leaders and deputies.
On Sunday, Mr. Karamanlis will visit the 63rd International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki and will give a press interview in the afternoon.
 LEADER OF OPPOSITION PARTY “COALITION” IN THESSALONIKI TOMORROW
Thessaloniki, September 9 (MPA)The leader of the Coalition of the Left and Progress opposition party Nikos Konstantopoulos is to arrive in Thessaloniki tomorrow for a two-day visit accompanied by a delegation of party officials.
Mr. Konstantopoulos will give a press conference tomorrow afternoon and afterwards will visit the International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki.
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/