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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-09-25
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 25, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREEK FM PRESENTS ADDRESS TO UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
New York, September 25 (MPA)During his address to the 53rd United Nations' General Assembly yesterday, Greece’s Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos accused Turkey of promoting the partition of Cyprus instead of contributing to a just and viable solution to the island's protracted problem.
"The reaction from Ankara, obediently echoed by the Turkish Cypriot leadership has been one of harsh rejection. Either in terms of a flat negation, or by putting conditions, tantamount to canceling whatever has been so far desired by the international community, prescribed by the UN resolutions and even accepted by the Turkish Cypriot leadership themselves, " Mr. Pangalos said.
"Such an attitude of rejection is easily explained by notorious designs of the Turkish government to effect the partition of Cyprus. Mr. (Bulent) Ecevit, deputy prime minister of Turkey, has in several occasions pointed out that the Cyprus question had be resolved, once and for all, by his country's armed forces invasion in 1974," he added.
“Twenty four years after the invasion. Cyprus remains a divided island and the Turkish occupation forces increase their presence and weaponry, even denying to their victims the right to effectively defend themselves,” Mr. Pangalos said.
The past year has been "a year of stagnation and frustration. Frustrated have been the efforts of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and his special advisor Mr. Cordovez to relaunch the intercommunal talks.
"Frustrated remain the hopes of the European Union to lead the Turkish Cypriot together with the Greek Cypriot community in a prosperous state of Cyprus, a member of the European family," Mr. Pangalos said.
"It is time for the international community to strongly support the UN Secretary General to fulfill his mandate, to bring the two communities to the negotiating table, to initiate a dialogue on gradual disarmament towards the complete demilitarization of the island," he added.
"Greece wishes to establish good neighborly relations with Turkey, based on the principles of international law and respect for international treaties, " the Greek foreign minister told the assembly referring to Greek-Turkish relations.
"The International Court of Justice at The Hague, whose compulsory jurisdiction has been accepted by Greece, is the appropriate legal forum for the settlement of eventual problems in our relations. A positive response of Turkey to that effect would constitute a step towards the beginning of a new period of mutual understanding," he added.
"Greece pursues a policy promoting stability, good neighborly relations, cooperation and economic development in South Eastern Europe. We participate in international projects or take our own initiatives, in the context of bilateral or multilateral schemes.
We offer troops and counseling, funds and food. Greece offers to her neighbors and the region the much-needed feeling of trust and security," Mr. Pangalos said.
"My country accords a high priority to our relations with Albania. We welcome the efforts of the Albanian government to further pursuing the process of normalization of democratic institutions, and its close cooperation with the international community. Greece considers it her duty to stand by Albania, in its efforts to overcome the serious difficulties it faces.
"In the neighboring Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and more particularly in the area of Kossovo, the situation has reached a critical point. The vicious circle of the use of force must be halted. The refugees and displaced persons must be allowed to return to their homes safely without delay. Greece has sent humanitarian assistance for alleviating the plight of the refugees in northern Albania. We welcome the setting up of the Albanian negotiating group and support the immediate start of the negotiations with the view to arriving, as soon as possible, at a peaceful and negotiated solution on the future autonomy status of Kossovo, within the internationally recognized borders of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Terrorist acts and indiscriminate and disproportionate repression are unacceptable. Greece has and will actively participate in all international efforts aiming at securing a peaceful solution in Kossovo," Mr. Pangalos further said.
"In the Middle East, the present stagnation underlines the urgency to reactivate the peace process. Its revival will bring them hope for peace and prosperity. Once more, we stress the need of full implementation of the relevant UN resolutions and agreements and we urge the parties to undertake any effort in order to achieve real peace, which should be a just, lasting and global one," he said.
Referring to the Greek proposal for the 'Olympic Truce' the foreign minister stressed:
"I would like also to refer briefly to an issue, which is of particular concern to my country, the Olympic Games. Greece, inspired by the Olympic Ideal, has presented, on Feb. 4 1998, during the session of the International Olympic Committee in Nagano, Japan, a comprehensive proposal outlining a set of organizational structures and a broad range of activities, aiming at the practical realization of the 'Olympic Truce' by the Athens Games of 2004 and the strengthening of the role of the Olympic movement.
In order to support these important activities, Greece proposed the establishment of an International Center for 'Olympic Truce', at the very site of ancient Olympia.
"Further, Greece has taken the initiative and proposed the creation of the 'Cultural Olympics' for the first time in the contemporary world. This proposal was welcomed by the International Olympic Committee and the preparatory work has already started between UNESCO, the International Olympic Committee and the Greek government," Mr. Pangalos said.
Mr. Pangalos also referred to Greece's candidacy for Security Council : "Last but not least, I would like to refer to the candidacy of Greece for one of the two non-permanent seats, allocated to the western European and other states group at the Security Council of the UN, for the term 1999-2000.
"My government has legitimate and justified ambitions for requesting the support of UN member-countries to such a distinction. Our long-standing foreign policy is dedicated to world peace and security; to the trend of decolonization and self- determination; to assisting developing and less developed countries, to respect for international law and human rights," he added.
 NATIONAL DEFENSE COUNCIL CONVENES TO APPOINT NEW POLICE CHIEF
Athens, September 25 (MPA)The National Council of Defense and Foreign Affairs (KYSEA) is to convene today in order to appoint a new police chief, following yesterday’s resignation of Greek Police Chief Athanassios Vassilopoulos.
Public Order Minister George Romeos also submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Kostas Simitis after being called back from Brussels to explain the incident, but it was rejected. The government has sacked Attica Police Chief Yannis Georgakopoulos and the head of the state security, Theodoros Papafilis, following Wednesday night’s fiasco which left two persons seriously injured, and another ten in hospital.
Twelve people, including the head and deputy head of the police force and six police officers, were injured when a hand grenade exploded following a standoff between police and a Greek-Romanian fugitive, Sorin Matei.
A preliminary inquiry is expected to look at the circumstances surrounding the decision to raid the apartment as well as what lead to the hostage-taking situation and the aftermath of the raid. The inquiry will decide whether disciplinary or criminal charges should be brought against those involved.
 GREEK FM PANGALOS MEETS WITH US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE
Washington, September 25 (MPA)Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos called “substantive” the talks he had yesterday with the US assistant Secretary of State Mark Grossman.
The two men discussed the Cyprus issue, the Greek-Turkish relations, the developments in Kossovo and Albania.
When asked by journalists if he is optimistic over the Cyprus issue, Mr. Grossman responded that “ I prefer to be realistic than optimistic.”
 US SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WILLIAM COHEN ARRIVES AT FYROM TODAYUnited States Secretary of Defense William Cohen is to arrive in FYROM today, where he will participate in the Third Conference of Defense Ministers of Southeastern European countries, to be held on Saturday in Skopje.
The Defense Ministers of Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Albania and FYROM will discuss the founding of a multinational peacekeeping force of quick intervention in S.E. Europe.
 GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TO MPA: ALL THE ISSUES WILL BE FACED
New York, September 25 (MPA)Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos had a lengthy (90 minutes) meeting with the US assistant Secretary of State Mark Grossman yesterday.
Speaking to the Macedonian Press Agency, Mr. Pangalos stated that the talks were “substantive” and spanned issues of bilateral interest, such as Kossovo, Albania and the Middle East, “as well as issues of our own interest such as Cyprus and Greek-Turkish relations.”
When the Macedonian Press Agency asked the Greek Foreign Minister on the outcome of these talks, Mr. Pangalos responded that “all the issues will be faced.”
Following the talks, Mr. Grossman was asked if there will be a US initiative aiming at the improvement of Greek-Turkish relations and he responded that “this is what we wish for, this is the United States’ position.”
In regards to the S-300 missiles purchased by Cyprus, Mr. Pangalos said that the matter was not brought up for discussion with Mr. Grossman, but said that “I did bring it up as a background introduction.”
 GREEK ECONOMY IS STRONG, ACCORDING TO NATIONAL STATISTICS SERVICE
Athens, September 25 (MPA)The Greek economy remained strong in the first seven months of 1998, according to figures released by the National Statistics Service yesterday.
Industrial production increased 8.4 percent in July alone to show a 5.1 percent increase in the period January-July compared with the same period last year. Construction activity was also sharply higher, rising by 12.7 percent in June for a 10.7 percent increase in the first seven months of 1998 compared with the corresponding period in 1997.
 SPARTATHLON ’98 RACE BEGINS TODAY, 23 COUNTRIES REPRESENTED
Athens, September 25 (MPA)Over 190 athletes representing 23 countries are currently in Athens in order to take part in what is considered to be one of the most grueling races in the world, the international ultra- distance endurance race "Spartathlon '98".
The race, held for the 16th consecutive year, will begin today at the foot of the Acropolis. The athletes will have 36 hours to run the 246-kilometer distance to the city of Sparta, in southeastern Peloponnese. They will be tracing the steps of the ancient Athenian courier Pheidippides, and will run 1,200 meters up Mount Parthenio in the dead of night.
According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus' account of the Battle of Marathon, Pheidippides was sent to Sparta to ask for help when the Persians landed at Marathon. Herodotus says Pheidippides arrived in Sparta "the next day".
The Spartathlon was originated by John Foden, a British Royal Air Force wing commander who ran the course in 1982 with four RAF colleagues.
The 1st International Spartathlon was organized in 1983 with the participation of 45 runners from 11 countries as well as Greece.
 MEDITERRANEAN CULTURE MINISTERS CONFERENCE BEGINS IN RHODES TODAY
Rhodes, September 25 (MPA)The First Mediterranean Conference of Culture Ministers commences today on the island of Rhodes and will be held until Sunday, September 27.
Greece’s Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos has stated that all Mediterranean countries except Libya will be participating and will discuss all the large cultural programs planned for the celebration of the new millennium as well as the 2004 Olympic Games.
Mr. Venizelos said that the celebrations for the year 2000 include exhibitions, publications, Greek participation in musical and theatrical international events, as well as the new monuments such as the new Acropolis museum and Goulandris Museum of Modern Art. Ministers are also expected to discuss the holding of an 11-nation Mediterranean forum - with the participation of the five EU Mediterranean countries, namely Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Greece, as well as non-EU members Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt , Algeria, Turkey and Malta.
Greece’s Culture Minster also said that the events for the year 2000 include a religious element represented by the Orthodox Christian Church and organized by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and will include Byzantine art exhibitions.
 INTERBALKAN SYMPOSIUM OF ORTHODOXY BEGINS IN NORTHERN GREECE
Serres, September 25 (MPA)A symposium titled “The Orthodox Heritage in the past, present and future of Southeastern Europe” is to begin today in the northern Greek city of Serres.
The symposium, featuring 30 speakers from Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria and Albania, will discuss issues concerning ecclesiastical history, education, art and culture.
Messages will be forwarded by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Archbishop of Greece and the Archbishop of Albania.
The three-day event is organized by the prefecture of Serres, and the Municipality of Nigrita, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, The Foundation of National And Religious Concern Karipion Melathron, as well as the Metropolis of Serres.
 INFORMATICS FIRMS KEEP GROWING IN N. GREECE, TRADE EXHIBITION TO OPEN
Thessaloniki, September 25 (MPA)Thessaloniki will host the 12th "Infosystem - Hi-Tech '98 exhibition", scheduled to open in September 30, which will host 625 exhibitors from Greece and 22 countries of Europe, America and Asia.
Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will salute the opening of the event through a telematic connection with Athens.
After a 15.7 per cent growth rate and a turnover of 170 billion drachmas in 1997, prospects for Greek informatics firms in northern Greece appear favorable, according to sector representatives.
This year’s growth rate is expected to reach 17.2 per cent, with a turnover of 200 billion drachmas, the president of the sector's association, Athanasios Tzikas, said in a press conference in view of the exhibition.
He said the event should work in the way of promoting contacts between Greek informatics professionals with their counterparts from countries in the Balkans, further afield in Europe, and the Middle East.
Mr. Tzikas said HELEXPO, the trade fair organization, was in discussions with US and British companies for the joint organizing of the 1999 event. The 12th Infosystem will last until October 4.
 SANTORINI TO HOST COUNCIL OF EUROPE COMMISSIONERS CONFERENCE
Athens, September 25 (MPA)The Political and Joint Committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly is to convene tomorrow at the island of Santorini.
Taking part in the three-day event will be parliamentarians and permanent representatives from the C of E’s 40 member-states. Greece will be represented by deputies D. Vrettos and V. Maginas.
Greece’s Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou will also address the conference.
 ONE OUT OF EVERY THREE YOUNG PERSONS IS JOBLESS IN GREECE
Thessaloniki, September 25 (MPA)Greece ranks fourth among the European Union’s 15 member- states when it comes to unemployment rates concerning those below the age of 25, with one out of every three young persons in Greece (31%) being jobless.
According to the European statistics agency EUROSTAT, the country’s overall unemployment rate during the three-year period of 1995-95 rose to 9.4%. According to the same report, certain regions of Greece are among those in the EU where the plight of unemployment has skyrocketed in the recent years.
One of these regions is western Macedonia where one out of two young persons is without a job, specifically 45.9%, whereas in the region of Epirus the rate is almost as high with 40% of the young and able being unemployed.
Central Greece is the third region most stricken by joblessness among its youth with a rate of 37/9%, and central Macedonia is not far behind with 28.6%.
On the other end of the scale, regions laden with tourism- related activities are not so hard hit by unemployment. For example, Crete and the northern Aegean Sea’s islands present youth unemployment rates that do not surpass the 16.8% and 15.2% marks, respectively.
 D.A. CHARGES POLICEMEN WITH CAUSING BODILY HARM THROUGH NEGLIGENCE
Athens, September 25 (MPA)The policemen involved in the botched rescue attempt during Wednesday night’s hostage situation that left two people maimed and eight others injured, are now charged with causing bodily harm through concurring negligence.
Moreover, the Attica prosecutor has filed charges against the Romanian-born escaped convict Sorin Matei for attempted murder, causing an explosion, as well as providing and possessing a hand grenade.
Also, the Athens District Attorney’s office will investigate whether penal and disciplinary action should be filed against the deputy D.A. who was present during the police force’s first attempt in capturing the fugitive.
 ONE MILLION FOREIGNERS ARRIVE AT “MACEDONIA” AIRPORT SO FAR IN 1998
Thessaloniki, September 25 (MPA)One million foreigners from every corner of the world have traveled through Thessaloniki’s “Macedonia” airport so far in 1998, marking a traffic increase of 5.4% in comparison with the same time period last year.
Specifically, 450,000 Germans, Britons and Austrians arrived in Northern Greece through the airport, thereby illustrating their preferred holiday spot.
On the contrary, arrivals from eastern European countries marked a slight decrease , which is contributed to the complex visa-issuing process.
During the period of January 1 to August 31, 1998, the western European country with the most airline arrivals in northern Greece is Germany, with 320,750 persons, while the eastern European country with the most arrivals is Russia with 33,195 persons.
 PRESIDENT OF CYPRUS TO ADDRESS UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY
New York, September 25 (MPA)The President of Cyprus Glafkos Clerides is to address this evening the United Nations 53rd General Assembly and is expected to call on Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to return to the negotiations table in order to arrive at a fair solution of the Cyprus problem, based on the UN resolutions.
Later, Mr. Clerides will meet with the UN secretary-general Kofi Annan who is expected to develop his points of view to the Cypriot president for the resolution of the Cyprus issue.
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/