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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-09-29
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 29, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 ALBANIAN PREMIER FATOS NANO RESIGNS, DEVELOPMENTS TO FOLLOW
Tirana, September 29 (MPA)Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano submitted his resignation last night in Tirana, by stating that he does not enjoy the support of the Socialist ruling party and its government allies.
Mr. Nano is expected to be replaced at the party's leadership level by the 31-year-old Pandeli Majko.
Albania's former president and main opposition party leader Sali Berisha saluted Mr. Nano's resignation, stating that there is now a realistic opportunity for dialogue with the Albanian people.
 ALBANIA'S NEW PM MAJKO SPEAKS TO THE MPA: I WILL FORM A NEW CABINET
Tirana, September 29 (MPA)Albania's new Prime Minister Pandeli Majko told the Macedonian Press Agency this morning that he intends to form a new cabinet, which will also include his close associates.
Mr. Majko also expressed his certainty that the National Council of the ruling Socialist Party (where he served as secretary-general under Fatos Nano's term) will ratify his appointment from the party's presidium, during today's session.
It should be noted that these are the first statements made by the new Albanian Premier-by-proxy who, prior to 1997's elections along with Albanian President Rexhep Meidani, had handled the Socialist Party's negotiations for the formation of the current coalition government.
When asked what his first moves will be when he steps in office, Mr. Majko responded “You know, in Albania we say ‘wait and see'.”
Also, responding to a relevant question, he stated that he plans to participate in the Inter-Balkan conference to be held in Antalya.
 GREEK DEFENSE MINSTER IN CYPRUS TOMORROW FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY
Nicosia, September 29 (MPA)National Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos will travel to Cyprus tomorrow for talks with Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides, the speaker of the Cypriot Parliament Spyros Kyprianou, Archbishop Chrysostomos and other political and military officials.
Mr. Tsohatzopoulos is also expected to attend a military parade on October 1, the Cyprus Republic's independence day.
 CONFLICT CONTINUES IN KOSSOVO
Prishtina, September 29 (MPA)Conflict continues in the strife-torn region of Kossovo, in spite of the Serb Premier's (Mirco Marianovic) declaration that the Serb forces have been withdrawn from the area.
According to reports, a number of villages southwest from the city of Prishtina are being bombarded, while tens of fighters belonging to the Kossovo Liberation Army have been killed.
 GREEK PREMIER CONGRATULATES GERMANY'S SCHROEDER ON VICTORY
Athens, September 29 (MPA)Prime Minister Kostas Simitis has forwarded a congratulatory telegram to Germany's Chancellor-elect Gerhard Schroeder, expressing his pleasure at the latter's electoral victory.
In his message, Mr. Simitis said the two governments could work together on social policy in Europe to combat unemployment and in laying the foundations for a European common foreign policy.
Government spokesperson Dimitris Reppas stated that the Premier sent similar messages to the victorious SPD party's leader Oskar Lafontaine and Greens party leader Joschka Fischer.
Mr. Reppas also added that the Greek government had the greatest regard for outgoing Chancellor Helmut Kohl, whose presence at Germany's helm was decisive for the country's reunification and for the efforts to unify Europe.
 PM TO OPEN CONFERENCE ON “THE EU AFTER THE AMSTERDAM TREATY”
Athens, September 29 (MPA)Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to open the conference of "The European Union after the Amsterdam Treaty", to be held in Athens on Thursday.
The main topics to be discussed at the two-day conference will be "Europe as a political vision" and necessary institutional changes, as well as "EMU and employment after the Amsterdam Treaty" and "joint European Union policy and the European citizen."
The conference is organized by the Tsatsos Foundation in collaboration with PASOK's Eurodeputies group.
 DEPUTY FM INAUGURATES BLACK SEA STUDIES CENTER, CHAIRS FIRST MEETING
Athens, September 29 (MPA)Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis inaugurated the Black Sea International Studies Center (DIKEMEP) in Athens last night and chaired the first of its two-day meetings.
The center will prepare research and conduct studies concerning the achievement of its parent organization, the Black Sea Cooperation Pact, primarily in the economic, industrial and technology sectors.
The eleven members of BSEC are Azerbaijan, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Ukraine, Romania, Russia and Turkey. BSEC approved a Greek proposal in 1996 for the center to be housed in Athens.
"The ICBS will contribute to promoting the wider goal of BSEC for greater democracy, peace and development in the Black Sea region," Mr. Kranidiotis said in his opening speech to the Center's board.
The center will be an independent body, and Greece will help to support it both on an organizational and financial level, also bringing it closer to the European Union, he added.
The organization's secretary general, Vassil Baytchev, said that the academic communities of BSEC's member-states could play a primary role in cooperation among governments through the exchange of information, joint programs, and regional cooperation in research and technology.
 GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER: NO ACTION TAKEN IN KOSSOVO WITHOUT S.C.'S OK
Athens, September 29 (MPA)There can be no military action taken by NATO in the Serb province of Kossovo unless there is a previous United Nations Security Council decision, as well as a new political decision by the alliance's member-states, according to Greece's Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos, addressing an event organized by the Institute of Strategic and Development Studies - Andreas Papandreou (ISTAME) last night, called on the international community to consider Greece's particular historical and geographic position in the Balkans.
Greece "cannot take part in a military action against neighboring peoples, "Mr. Tsochatzopoulos said.
He also reiterated that the Greek government is in favor of a political solution to the Kossovo crisis, while he stressed that a non-autonomous Albanian ethnic community in Kossovo was inconceivable.
He also described the establishment of a multinational peacekeeping force in the region as an effective tool to achieve peace and stability.
 ALBANIAN PREMIER: I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CRISIS
Tirana, September 29 (MPA)Albanian Prime Minister Fatos Nano, who resigned yesterday evening, has claimed responsibility for the failed efforts to form a new government capable of putting an end to the crisis plaguing the country, according to the text of his resignation letter submitted to President Rejhep Meidani.
"The new government formula would have added new elements to the present crisis which would have made it even worse," Mr. Nano wrote, adding that "I take full responsibility for everything which my government was unable to do, either because of its mistakes, or because of pressure exercised on it from all sides."
The announcement of his resignation, made by Nano's Socialist Party, came shortly after Interior Minister Perikli Teta resigned from his post, saying: "I present my irrevocable resignation because I cannot work with a corrupt and incompetent political leadership." Mr. Teta said he was ending his involvement in Albanian politics.
"Albanian politics is not worth helping and incapable of leading Albania out of the crisis," he added.
 FUEL TANKER TRUCK DRIVERS TO DECIDE ON CONTINUATION OF STRIKE TODAY
Thessaloniki, September 29 (MPA)Drivers of fuel-carrying tanker trucks are to decide today whether or not they will continue their strike in northern Greece, protesting planned government changes which would allow private companies to transport fuel.
The strike has affected local drivers as more and more gas stations in and around the city are posting “empty” signs, although sixty-five tankers have been given the “green light” and have been allowed to give fuel to a few stations.
Oil companies have called on the northern capital's public prosecutor to intervene and allow the use of private trucks during the strike. The state fuel truck drivers are to meet with the secretary-general of the Development Ministry and his counterpart from the Transportation Ministry.
 SWEEPING CHANGES AWAITED IN ALBANIA AFTER NANO'S RESIGNATION
Thessaloniki, September 29 (MPA)The sweeping changes awaited by all in Albania, changes which would allow the country to return to stability and the democratic process, started off with last night's dramatic resignation of Socialist Premier Fatos Nano.
The next steps to be taken are not only the formation of a new government, but also the resignation of the “Democratic Party” leader, Sali Berisha, in order to eradicate from the Albanian political scenery those two poles that caused the intense juxtaposition and tension; especially, the man characterized as “troublemaker”, Sali Berisha.
A great number of rumors echoed throughout Albania in the recent days, claiming that intense pressure was being exerted for the resignation of the Albanian Premier. Meanwhile, the President of the Republic Rejhep Meidani had favored the expeditious changes in the coalition cabinet that has governed the country since June of 1997.
Pressure to remove Nano from his post were not only exerted by the Socialist Party's allies, but also from the opposition circles within the party.
President Meidani had also asked for Mr. Nano's removal. According to reports, the Albanian President, during his meeting with the European delegation that traveled to Tirana two weeks ago, had mentioned that he had requested from Mr. Nano that he resign, a few days prior to the attempted coup d'etat of September 14.
In an interview to the Macedonian Press Agency, Vasilis Melos, the president of the Human Rights Union Party (which represents the Greek minority in Albania) had also blamed Mr. Nano for the recent political crisis in the country, stressing that he did nothing for establishing democracy in Albanian and improving the country's economy.
 CABINET COMMITTEE CONFERENCE ON OLYMPIC GAMES OF 2004
Athens, September 29 (MPA)Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is to chair a cabinet committee conference today that will examine the course of the projects concerning the Olympic Games of the year 2004.
Following the end of the session, the government will convene in order to discuss traffic accidents.
 ALBANIAN PUBLIC ORDER MINISTER: NOW ALBANIA IS ON ROAD TO STABILITY
Thessaloniki, September 29 (MPA)The leader of Albania's Democratic Alliance Neritan Ceka told the Macedonian Press Agency that Fatos Nano's resignation from the premier's post is a good development that can lead to the stabilization of the country's political life.
Mr. Ceka, who served as Minster of Public Order in the Nano government until May when he stepped down, stated that his party will support the candidacy of Pandeli Majko for the premiership.
When asked if Mr. Majko is perhaps too young (31 years old) for the post, and therefore inexperienced, Mr. Ceka responded that he may indeed be quite young, “but he has participated in politics since 1990, when he organized anti-Communist rallies.”
 GREECE'S UNDERSECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO MEET WITH CYPRIOT FM
New York, September 29 (MPA)Greece's Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis is to meet with Cyprus's Foreign Minister Yiannakis Kasoulides in New York.
Mr. Kasoulides is continuing his contacts with his counterparts from various countries whom he briefs on the latest developments in the Cyprus issue.
Moreover, Great Britain's and the European Union's special envoy for the Cyprus issue sir David Hannay is to have a series of contacts concerning the island.
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/