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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-10-15
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 15, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 PARTIES ROLL UP SLEEVES FOR SECOND ROUND OF LOCAL ELECTIONS
Thessaloniki, October 15 (MPA)Government officials are getting ready for the second round of municipal and county elections to be held this weekend.
While the current in New Democracy remained high, due to the fact that its candidates have the lead in most municipalities, supporters of the ruling PASOK party are standing by their policy, amid comments that the message from voters was received. The party's Central Committee of prefectural and municipal elections has reconfirmed its decision to support candidates outside of the conservative circles.
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 victory in the run off against Lazarides. The 15 per cent of voters who chose the Left and Progress Coalition candidate Spyros Vougias in last Sunday's race will be crucial in determining the outcome of the run off.
 1999 BUDGET IS OUT, DIRECT TAXES SLASHED
Athens, October 15 (MPA)The 1999 budget foresees significant reductions in direct taxes in order to facilitate a drop in inflation.
According to the Minister of National Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou, the new budget calls for a deficit below the two-per cent mark of the GNP and curbing public spending. Meanwhile, heating oil will be available to consumers at a lower price as of today. In Thessaloniki and Athens it will be sold at 70 drachmas per liter, while in other cities it will be sold for 72-76 drachmas per liter.
 SERB FORCES WITHDRAW FROM KOSOVO
Washington, October 15 (MPA)US State Department spokesperson James Rubin has stated that there are positive indications that show Serbia as complying with the terms set forth by the United Nations.
European and US officials are stating that Serb security forces are gradually withdrawing from Kosovo, while refugees have started returning tot heir homes.
 ECONOMICS NOBEL WINNER: FAMINES ARE CAUSED BY LACK OF DEMOCRACY
New York, October 15 (MPA)The winner of the Nobel prize for Economics, Amartya Sen, stated yesterday that famines are linked to dictatorships and lack of democracy.
Addressing a United Nations press conference in New York, Mr. Sen, an economist from India who has participated in the preparation of the annual development report of the United Nations Development Program, said that famines were peculiarly extreme deprivations which were also easy to prevent.
Mr. Sen said that although there were other economic factors which caused famines, in the political arena very often governments did not have incentives to prevent such famines because while they might kill millions, they typically did not affect the rulers.
The Nobel laureate said that democracy makes the rulers pay a cost, because once a famine comes the rulers would be criticized by the free press, they would be attacked by other political parties, if other political parties were tolerated, and they would be chastised in parliament if there was a parliament. "And you will lose the next election, if there are elections. So a democratic government immediately has an incentive not to have a famine." According to Mr. Sen countries that were currently experiencing famine, whether in Africa or Asia, "are countries without a democratic form of government." He said he was depressed by this because he did not think that winning as a scientist was more important than winning as a human being. "I would wish that my predictions were proved wrong and there would be no famines even in these dictatorships because a lot people live under dictatorships."
 KOSTAKIS ART COLLECTION INAUGURATED IN THESSALONIKI
Thessaloniki, October 15 (MPA)The "Kostakis collection" of Russian avant-garde works of art, which arrived from Cologne last week, was inaugurated in Thessaloniki yesterday. The collection will be initially housed at the Lazariston Monastery until the completion of the city's modern art museum.
Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos stated that an interim agreement has been signed for the purchase of about half of the Kostakis collection in January. A substantial part of the Kostakis Collection is also in the possession of the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow.
George Kostakis, a Moscow resident of Greek descent, amassed the collection between 1930 and 1960 by exchanging works by western artists for paintings dating from the period 1910-1930 by then unknown Russian avant-garde artists.
The collection, which now belongs to the daughter of the famous collector, Aliki Kostaki, includes works by Malevic, founder of the "Supremacist" school, Tatlin, the founder of "Constructivism", Popova, Rozanova and Mathiushin.
 "DIMITRIA 1998" CELEBRATED IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Melbourne, October 15 (MPA)The famed "Dimitria 1998" festivities are currently underway in Melbourne, Australia, successfully organized by the Pan- Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria, and have been saluted by the political leaders of both Greece and Australia.
The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos forwarded a salutation the festival wherein he hails "the Dimitria events which promote literature, arts and sports, promote Greek culture, strengthen the national institutions of family with the mother land, constitute a magnificent cultural event for the wider region of Victoria, reflect the admirable progress and social status achieved by Greeks who are second and third generation, who were born and live in Australia."
In his message, the Archbishop of Australia Stylianos expressed his certainty that this year's events will attract the interest not only of the Greeks living abroad, but of the wider Australian public as well. The Archbishop also congratulated the Association's members for their activities concerning Greece's national-interest issues.
The Prime Minister of Australia stressed the vast cultural contribution made by Australia's Greeks and stated that the "Dimitria" grant Australians with the opportunity to become acquainted with Greek culture and traditions.
The leader of Greece's main opposition party, New Democracy's Kostas Karamanlis, also forwarded a salutation to the event which, as he stated, constitutes a continuation of Thessaloniki's "Dimitria".
"This proves that you carry within you our land, our country and everything it represents, as you are representatives of the Greek culture in dear Australia, your second land," Mr. Karamanlis stated.
The Minister of Macedonia-Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos, saluting the event, stressed that "the festivities constitute a great cultural event, an established tradition with resounding effect, which contributed to the maintenance and promotion of our cultural heritage, our culture and traditions, our history."
The festival, which will be held until November 15, was inaugurated on Sunday, October 11, with a doxology performed at the Cyrill and Methodius Church in Preston.
The festivities will continue on Saturday with the annual Pan- Macedonian ball, while a soccer match will be held on Sunday morning, dubbed "DIMITRIA CUP". Poetry readings will be held on Sunday afternoon, while on Sunday evening the Macedonian Press Agency's general director Spyros Kouzinopoulos will give an address on "The Developments in the Balkans and the Macedonian Press Agency's Role in the Efforts for Inter-Balkan Cooperation".