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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-10-13
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, October 13, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 GREEK PREMIER’S ADDRESS IN ANTALYA SUMMIT
Antalya, October 13 (MPA)In his address at the Summit of heads of state and governments of southeast European countries, which began yesterday in Antalya, Turkey. Prime Minister Kostas Simitis stressed the importance of promoting stability, prosperity and good neighborliness in the wider region. "The promotion of stability, prosperity and good neighborliness in South Eastern Europe, to the benefit of the entire region, is one of the fundamental aims of Greece's foreign policy, “ Mr. Simitis said. “Due to its geographical location, economic development and international affiliations, my country is able and willing to work together with its neighbors in order to support their European orientation. "Security in Europe as a whole cannot be guaranteed without sustained economic development and mature democratic institutions in South Eastern Europe. During the present transition phase, the complex political, economic and historical background of our region requires a novel and daring approach. Nation-states have been critically undermined by either ethnic strife or political crisis and by the absence of civil society.
"Ethnic and religious differences brought to the fore issues such as autonomy, self-determination and minorities rights, that were either ignored or suppressed by the previous regimes. The protracted war in Bosnia- Herzegovina and now the situation in Kosovo should have persuaded most of the people that violence, arbitrary partition and ethnic cleansing do not deliver lasting peace. On the contrary they nourish hatred and conflict and impede coexistence and cooperation. Dialogue, respect for ethnic religious and cultural communities, groups and minorities and protection of their rights, are the remedy.
"A comprehensive stabilization policy in our area should, thus, be based on certain fundamental principles: respect for the territorial integrity of states and the inviolability of existing borders, according to the UN Charter and the OSCE, non- interference in internal affairs, refraining from the threat or the use of force. Equally important is the peaceful settlement of disputes between countries in the region through constructive efforts, including recourse to the International Court of Justice, in accordance with the generally recognized norms of international relations, international law and relevant international practices. “Greece, the only country in South Eastern Europe, which is both a NATO and EU member, has a crucial role to play in promoting these noble goals. The successful integration of the South Eastern area into European and Euro- Atlantic structures is of strategic importance to Greece. Thus, Greece will be part of the same family of countries with all her northern neighbors, for the first time since the Second World War. Furthermore, economic integration of the South East European states will greatly contribute to the well being and prosperity of the area and of Europe as a whole. "The development of good bilateral relations is essential but does not suffice for stability and good neighborly relations in our sensitive area. Hence, Greece has, also, actively promoted multilateral cooperation. The Crete Summit gathered together around the same table all the leaders of South East European countries, with positive results. In addition, there are today a number of regional cooperation schemes and patterns, such as the European Union's Royaumont Process on Stability and Good- Neighborliness, the US-sponsored South East European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. The existence of these numerous initiatives is a point of strength. Different interests and aims can be accommodated in an appropriate framework, featuring flexibility and efficiency, on a mutually beneficial basis. "However, we must not rest on these successes. On the contrary, we must work together to promote a climate of confidence and trust. We must convert our words into action. It is not enough to sign Joint Statements and depart with satisfaction from our meetings. We should endeavor to implement our decisions. "Regional cooperation is essential for the modernization of countries in our area. At the same time, however, during our meetings, we, the leaders of countries of South East Europe must discuss the dangerous issues affecting our region. "I am referring specifically to Kosovo. The Ministerial meeting in Istanbul last June proved to be a frustrating experience. We should avoid its repetition today. The dangerous situation in Kosovo is on television every day for the whole world to watch. “It threatens stability in the region and can destroy the fragile peace there. The humanitarian crisis would have disastrous consequences for all our countries and put an abrupt end to economic development. “We should not forget that our countries, Yugoslavia’s immediate neighbors, are most affected both by the crisis in Kosovo and by any punitive measures of the international community. I use every opportunity to drive this point home to Greece's partners in the European Union and NATO.
"The Antalya Summit provides an excellent venue for a significant step forward. This is the only multilateral forum where the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia fully participates on an equal footing with the other countries of the area. It should therefore use this forum to express its views so that we can have a substantial discussion on Kosovo and achieve progress. "I further believe that European Integration could not be complete without the participation of South East European countries, based on the very same principles that helped to establish and develop what is today the European Union."
 SIMITIS- YILMAZ TALKS PRODUCE NO RESULTS
Antalya, October 13 (MPA)The meeting held last evening between Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis and his Turkish counterpart Mesut Yilmaz has been characterized as friendly and useful, albeit unproductive.
The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Antalya-held Balkan Summit.
Mr. Yilmaz reiterated his country’s wish to conduct a dialogue with Greece spanning all subjects, while Mr. Simitis once again stressed that Ankara should seek recourse for its differences with the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
 SECOND ROUND OF LOCAL ELECTIONS TO BE HELD THIS SUNDAY
Thessaloniki, October 13 (MPA)The second round of the local government elections is to be held this Sunday in Thessaloniki and Piraeus as no candidate was able to win a majority during last Sunday’s primaries. The candidates backed by the conservative opposition New Democracy are ahead in both cities. In Thessaloniki, New Democracy-backed Vassilis Papageorgopoulos won 44.3 per cent of the vote, compared to the 31.3 per cent pulled in by PASOK's Thrasivoulos Lazarides. That gives Papageorgopoulos reason to hope for the victory in next weekend's run off against Lazarides. The 15 per cent of voters who chose the Left and Progress Coalition candidate Spyros Vougias in Sunday's race will be crucial in determining the outcome of the run off.
 ALLIANCE ALLOWS FOUR DAYS TO MILOSEVIC BEFORE FORAY
Brussels, October 13 (MPA)NATO’s permanent representatives in Brussels have granted Serb President Slobodan Milosevic with a four-day grace period before the Alliance conducts an air strike against military forces in Yugoslavia. The move comes in the wake of extensive talks held between Mr. Milosevic and US envoy Richard Holbrooke who returned to Belgrade from Brussels early this morning. Mr. Holbrooke said that there are optimistic signs of the Serbs backing away.
 EUROPEAN SOCIALIST PARTY’S PRESIDIUM MEETS TODAY IN BRUSSELS
Brussels, October 13 (MPA)Greece’s Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis is currently in Brussels where he will participate in the European Socialist Party's (ESP) presidium meeting today. The participants will examine the prospects for European socialists in light of June’s European Parliament elections. Also on the agenda are developments in the Balkans, including Kosovo. Mr. Kranidiotis will present Greece's positions regarding Kosovo.
 FAMILY OF FLIGHT 111 GREEK VICTIM FILES $1.25 MILLION SUIT AGAINST SWISS AIR
Athens, October 13 (MPA)The family of Greek music teacher Chronoula Bonanou- Ikonomopoulou, who was among the victims of the Swiss Air aircraft that crashed off the Nova Scotia coast on September 3, has filed a lawsuit against the airline seeking 1.25 million dollars in damages.
The suit, which was filed in Brooklyn’s Federal Court, charges that the company failed to ensure the passengers’ safety abroad Flight 111.
 EU COMMISSIONER: GREECE’S GROWTH EXPECTATION IS REALISTIC, AMBITIOUS
Athens, October 13 (MPA)The European Commissioner for Finance has characterized the Greek government’s development rate expectations (3.7% in 1999) as realistic, albeit ambitious. Yesterday, the European Union economics ministers (ECOFIN) approved Greece's 1998-2001 revised plan of convergence in order to gain accession to the economic and monetary union. German Finance Minister stressed that in order for Greece to attain this goal, it must accelerate its fiscal revitalization plan.