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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-10-19
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 19, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 THESSALONIKI PREFECT AND NEWLY-ELECTED MAYOR COMMENT ON VICTORY
Thessaloniki, October 19 (MPA)Thessaloniki's newly-elected Mayor Vasilis Papageorgopoulos, supported by the country's main opposition party New Democracy, thanked the town's voters for his victory and called the outcome a "great honor" for him.
Speaking after his election last night, Mr. Papageorgopoulos stated that "we are resolved and prepared to demand from the central government what they owe to this city and we are going to achieve that if we all join in a struggle for a common cause."
The PASOK-backed candidate for the city's mayoral post Thrassyvoulos Lazaridis stated that he and his side would contribute to the unity of the new administration and that he had telephoned Mr. Papageorgopoulos to wish him success in his endeavor.
Re-elected Thessaloniki prefect Kostas Papadopoulos, who is backed by PASOK, extended an offer for cooperation between "victors and defeated" for the benefit of Thessaloniki.
Referring to collaboration with Mr. Papageorgopoulos, the Prefect stated that "we can work together for the benefit of the city...I intend to work with all the mayors in the prefecture so that Thessaloniki can advance, away from partisan 'feuds'."
 CONSERVATIVE MAIN OPPOSITION WINS COUNTRY'S LARGEST MUNICIPALITIES
Thessaloniki, October 19 (MPA)The country's main opposition party New Democracy won the mayoral posts in the second largest municipality of Greece Thessaloniki and in Piraeus, and also came ahead of the ruling PASOK party in the races for prefect in Attica and Drama-Kavala-Xanthi.
As a result, the conservative main opposition won a great number of the country's prefectures and municipalities, while PASOK ended up with 24 out of the 41 prefectures it had held in the past, among them Thessaloniki.
Nevertheless, in spite of the jubilance, abstention was a key ingredient of the results.
 PREMIER MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER COMMENT ON LOCAL ELECTIONS RESULTS
Athens, October 19 (MPA)Commenting on the outcome of yesterday's local elections second round, which was disappointing for the government, Prime Minister Kostas Simitis (who is also the ruling party's president) stated that "PASOK gave a fight for reform and decentralization and was successful in establishing its points of view."
Nevertheless, Mr. Simitis added that the result fared below the government's expectations.
He stressed that the government's work will be judged at the end of the four-year term and vowed that the government will support the newly-elected local officials.
On the other hand, New Democracy leader Kostas Karamanlis said that the elections result reflects the people's resentment with the governmental policy .
 FYROM ELECTIONS: HIGH VOTER PARTICIPATION RATE
Skopje, October 19 (MPA)Approximately 70 per cent of registered voters turned up to cast their ballot during yesterday's parliamentary elections in FYROM which were held in a calm climate.
According to the latest unofficial results, the VMRO- DPMNE (Democratic Alternative) coalition elected 18 deputies, the Social-Democrats elected seven, the Albanian Democratic Welfare party also seven, while the PDPA-NDP coalition elected two.
Based on the newly adopted election system, 85 of the seats will be distributed according to the majority system and the remaining 35 according to the proportional system.
 ECONOMICS NOBEL PRIZE WINNER TO ARRIVE IN ATHENS TOMORROW
New York, October 19 (MPA)This year's winner of the Nobel prize for Economics, Dr. Amartya Sen, will be in Athens tomorrow, October 20, in order to present an address at an event organized by the Andreas Papandreou Institute.
The Nobel laureate, an economist from India, will speak on "The political element of economic development: a tribute to Andreas Papandreou". The event, which will be held at the Old Parliament Building. will be attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and the Prime Minister Kostas Simitis,
 PREMIER TO LAUNCH INT/L BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN NORTHERN GREECE
Alexandroupolis, October 19 (MPA)Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will inaugurate an international business conference to be held in the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis on October 22-25.
Expected to attend the conference are officials from seventy six countries including ministers, ambassadors, trade attaches and bank governors.
Among the items on the agenda are energy networks, transport, telecommunications, small and medium-sized enterprises, and peace and security in the region.
Moreover, the event will review the prospects for a new economic area after the year 2000 spanning the Mediterranean, Balkans and Black Sea.
Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou, who is also the head of the conference's organizing committee, has personally called on the delegates to forge contacts in order to help expand cooperation in the region.
Organizing the event is the Foundation for Mediterranean Cooperation, backed by the European Parliament, the European Investment Bank, the Foundation for Mediterranean Studies and local authorities in the north.
 NAVAL EXERCISE "ASTRAPI '98" BEGINS TOMORROW IN AEGEAN
Thessaloniki, October 19 (MPA)The Greek Navy is to embark on the exercise "Astrapi '98" (lightning) tomorrow, in the central and eastern regions of the Aegean Sea.
The two-day exercise will feature the participation of surface ships, submarines, helicopters and naval support aircraft.
 GREEK-CYPRIOT MILITARY EXERCISE "NIKIFOROS" BEGINS TOMORROW
Nicosia, October 19 (MPA)Greek air and naval forces will participate in the Cypriot National Guard exercise, "Nikiforos", which begins tomorrow.
The six-day exercise, according to the chief of Cyprus' National Guard, Brig.-Gen.
Panayiotis Tatsiopoulos, will be held in conjunction with the Greek armed forces' exercise "Toxotis", within the framework of the two countries' joint defense doctrine.
All of the National Guard's modern weapon systems will be used in "Nikiforos", which will be conducted in three main stages. The scenario includes a search and rescue mission 50 nautical miles from Paphos as well as a National Guard parachute jump.
Under an imaginary scenario, National Guard positions will come under fire from enemy lines. Brig.-Gen. Tatsiopoulos said the main exercise will take place in the southeastern district of Larnaca with the use of live ammunition.
 NEW COIN EDITIONS TO COMMEMORATE FEREOS AND SOLOMOS
Thessaloniki, October 19 (MPA)A draft presidential decree provides for the issuing of new commemorative 50-drachma coins, marking Parliament's declaration of 1998 as Year of revolutionary figure Rigas Fereos and national poet Dionysios Solomos.
Fereos, the visionary of Balkan unity, died in the hands of Ottoman executioners in Belgrade 200 years ago. Solomos was born in the same year in Corfu, and his "Ode to Liberty" provided the lyrics for Greece's national anthem.
The coins will circulate in five million pieces, 2.5 million bearing the portraits of Fereos and Solomos each.
 LONDON'S "FINANCIAL TIMES" ON GREECE'S LOCAL ELECTIONS
London, October 19 (MPA)Reporting on Greece's local elections results, London daily "Financial Times" attributed the defeat suffered by Greece's ruling PASOK party to the government's economic policy.
According to the paper, the reason the conservative opposition snatched the country's three largest municipalities, while also winning many prefectures throughout the state, was the public's resentment over the austerity measures enforced by the government.
 YELTSIN CANCELS SCHEDULED MEETINGS, RECOVERING FROM BRONCHITIS
Moscow, October 19 (MPA)Russian President Boris Yeltsin has canceled his scheduled appointments for the day and will spend the day at his house in the country, recovering from his week- long bout with bronchitis.
According to a government spokesperson, President Yeltsin has postponed his meeting with the Prime Minster Yevgeni Primakov and Chief of Security Vladimir Putin for tomorrow.
The Russian President's state of health is satisfactory, according to the spokesperson, who added that Mr. Yeltsin will have telephone conversations with government officials.
 BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION: ABOLISH DOUBLE TAXATION
Athens, October 19 (MPA)The Black Sea Economic Cooperation's Committee of Legal and Political affairs is to convene in Athens tomorrow and Wednesday in order to form the legal groundwork for the abolishment of double taxation among its member-states.
The BSEC event will be held at the "Caravel Hotel" and will feature the participation of deputies from Greece, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldavia, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.
 KOSSOVO: HOLBROOKE DISSATISFIED WITH RATE OF TROOPS WITHDRAWAL
Prishtina, October 19 (MPA)United States mediator Richard Holbrooke appears dissatisfied with the rate of Serb troops withdrawal from Kossovo.
Mr. Holbrooke warned that in spite of the partial withdrawal of security forces and Yugoslav troops, the international community is not satisfied with the present situation in Kossovo and, as a result, the NATO forces continue to be in a state of readiness in case the Serb leaders do not achieve the full application of the UN Security Council's resolution 1199.
 FIRST GROUP OF OSCE VERIFIERS ARRIVES IN KOSSOVO
Prishtina, October 19 (MPA)The first assessment team, comprising 20 members, of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), arrived in Kossovo yesterday in order to pave the way for 2,000 'verifiers' who have been assigned to the region.
Their basic mission, under a deal struck by U.S. mediator Richard Holbrooke and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, will be to evaluate Mr. Milosevic's degree of compliance with the Holbrooke-Milosevic agreement, which obliges the Yugoslav President to withdraw his security forces from Kossovo.
The second group of OSCE verifiers is to arrive in the region on Wednesday.
 PALM ORDER OF GRAND CROSS BESTOWED UPON AUSTRALIA'S FORMER PM
Melbourne, October 19 (MPA)In a simple ceremony, held at the residence of Greece's consul-general in Australia George Beis, the insignia of the Grand Cross of the Palm Order were bestowed upon Australia's former Prime Minister Malcolm Frazer, for his contribution to the development of ties among the two countries and for his numerous offerings to the Greek community in Australia.
The insignia were granted on behalf of the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos.
Upon receiving the honorable distinction, the former Premier referred to the immense contribution made by Greek immigrants to Australia's development. "Australians are very grateful towards Greece for our modern lifestyle, which was developed from the premises of democracy and the Olympic spirit.
"We hope that the rest of the world will recognize and appreciate Greece's contribution to humanity and will set aside the political and economic motives, so as to not distort Greek history which is also the history of the world.
"I believe that the Australian people will support the Greeks, since not only do they appreciate their lifestyle, but also because both peoples fought and gave their lives for the ideals of freedom in both world wars," Mr. Frazer stated.