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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-10-21
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 21, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 PASOK PARLIAMENTARY GROUP TO CONVENE TODAY
Athens, October 21 (MPA)The ruling PASOK party's parliamentary group is to convene today in order to examine the causes of the party's defeat during last weekend's municipal and prefectural elections.
During the meeting, Prime Minster Kostas Simitis is expected to outline the initiatives he will be undertaking in order to salvage the government and the party from a potential defeatist mode.
Nevertheless, responding to leading officials' views that there is a need for structural reform within the party and improvement of the government's social impact, the Premier postponed any whatsoever changes that may take place until after the party's congress.
 DEPUTIES SUBJECT TO IMMUNITY LIFT GO BEFORE PLENARY SESSION
Athens, October 21 (MPA)The Parliament's plenary session is to vote this evening on whether or not the parliamentary immunity of two main opposition (New Democracy) party deputies will be lifted.
Given the recent information leaks, ND leader Kostas Karamanlis yesterday asked the party's parliamentary group secretary to remind the faction's deputies that the party's official position is to lift these two men's immunity.
 GREEK-AMERICAN APPOINTED CHIEF OF STAFF AT THE WHITE HOUSE
Washington, October 21 (MPA)A forty-nine-year-old Greek American John Pontesa will act as the right-hand man of United States President Bill Clinton, after having been appointed as the White House Chief of Staff.
Mr. Pontesa's mother was born in Greece, in the town of Leonidio,Arcadia. He himself states that he is proud of his Greek origin.
In his post, Mr. Pontesa will handle all matters concerning the White House and its relations with Congress.
 GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER TO VISIT MOLDOVA AND RUSSIA TODAY
Athens, October 21 (MPA)Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos embarks on visits to Moldova (the first visit by a Greek minister to Moldova) since its independence and Russia today.
During his visit to Moldova, Mr. Pangalos will be received by President Petru Lucinschi, Prime Minister Ion Ciubuc, Foreign Minister Nicolae Tabacaru and Parliament President Dumitru Diakov. He will also visit the Greek section at Chisinau University and meet with members of the Greek community and Greek business people.
Tomorrow, Mr. Pangalos will travel to Russia where he will meet with Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov, his counterpart Igor Ivanov and with other government and national assembly (Duma) senior officials.
While in Russia, the Greek Foreign Minister will sign a cooperation protocol between the two countries' departments of historical archives and an agreement for the upgrading of the consular authorities in the Greek and Russian capitals.
In honor of the 170th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, Mr. Pangalos will inaugurate an exhibition at the Moscow Music Hall dedicated to the life and works of Greek composer Dimitris Mitropoulos.
 PREMIER TO LAUNCH INT/L BUSINESS CONFERENCE IN NORTHERN GREECE
Alexandroupolis, October 21 (MPA)Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will inaugurate an international business conference to begin at the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis tomorrow.
Expected to attend the four-day 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.
 PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION TRAVELS TO AZERBAIJAN
Athens, October 21 (MPA)Greek deputies Christos Rokofyllos and Spylios Spyliotopoulos are to represent the Hellenic Parliament during the conference of the Alliance Committee which will begin tomorrow in Azerbaijan and will address NATO's expansion.
During their stay in Baku, the two parliamentarians will meet with Azerbaijan's President of the Republic, the Speaker of the House, and the ministers of defense and foreign affairs.
 GREEK-CYPRIOT MILITARY EXERCISE "NIKIFOROS" GETS UNDERWAY
Nicosia, October 21 (MPA)The joint Greek and Cypriot military exercise "Nikiforos" got underway yesterday, featuring the participation of Greek air and naval forces.
The six-day exercise is being 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.
Cypriot Defense Minister Yiannakis Omirou stated that the aim of the annual Nikiforos exercises was to test the readiness of the island's weaponry and the National Guard forces and reservists.
He reiterated that the Cypriot government's upgrading of its defense systems would continue until progress has been made on UN-backed political talks to reunite the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
"The message is that the armed forces are ready to defend our country against any threat," Omirou said.
He further added that political negotiations are currently at a critical stage, and stressed that the Greek Cypriots only wanted peace and security on the island and in the region.
 CYPRIOT FOREIGN MINISTER IN EGYPT TO ASK FOR INTERVENTION
Nicosia, October 21 (MPA)Cypriot Foreign Minister Yiannakis Kasoulides, currently on an official visit to Egypt, has stated that Nicosia will ask Cairo to intervene in the direction of Turkey in regards to the Cyprus issue.
"We will certainly ask of our friendly neighbor, Egypt, to exert its influence on Turkey, just as we ask all those who have the capability to do that", Mr. Kasoulides stated on his way to Cairo.
He said that he will discuss with his Egyptian counterpart Amr Moussa "issues of mutual interest, developments in the Middle East peace process, the problem between Turkey and Syria and of course the Cyprus question".
"We lay particular emphasis on our relations with all the countries of the region and specifically Egypt, with whom we maintain friendly ties even before the Cyprus Republic was established," , he added.
Commenting on the role of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the conflict between Turkey and Syria, he noted "every political personality that can exert influence on Turkey is obviously a positive thing for us".
 EU THREATENS GREECE WITH FYROM'S NAME RECOGNITION
London, October 21 (MPA)The European Union's member-states have expressed their intention to recognized FYROM with the "Republic of Macedonia" name if Greece insists on its veto against Turkey's EU funding, within the framework of its conventional obligations from the Customs Union, the BBC reported.
The BBC was quoting sources in Strasbourg, where the relevant Commissioner's proposals are being discussed today concerning the granting of EU funds to Turkey.
According to the report, the EU's representatives are insistent that such granting does not require a consensus and that , rather , a majority rule will do. In spite of the Greek delegation's objections, supported by legal and institutional arguments, the Allies appear steadfast in their views and refer to the EU leaders' decisions drawn at the Cardiff summit.
The European Commissioner presented two regulations concerning Turkey's funding, amounting to ECU 195 million.
Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos has forwarded a letter to the EU allies as well as to the European Commission, wherein he requests that the financial protocol not be unbound and also asks the EU allies not to proceed to decision that are contrary to what has been agreed upon during the General Affairs Council and the summit conferences.
Should these objections not be heard by the allies, Greece is determined to seek recourse to the European Court of Justice.
 BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY TO MEET WITH KOSOVO'S ALBANIANS
Skopje, October 21 (MPA)British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook is to meet with Kosovo's Albanian leaders in Skopje today with whom he will discuss the agreement reached between US mediator Richard Holbrooke and Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic on Kosovo.
According to the BBC, Mr. Cook is expected to press home the message that Kosovo's Albanians must play their part in making the agreement work and he is likely to remind them that the international community as a whole does not support their demand for full independence, for fear it would lead to more instability, not less, in the Balkans.
The foreign secretary's message is likely to be that the Holbrooke agreement is the best that is available and that it does offer the prospect of meaningful self- government for Kosovo.
 PRESIDENT TO BE IN THESSALONIKI FOR PATRON SAINT HOLIDAY
Thessaloniki, October 21 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and the Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece will attend next week's festivities in Thessaloniki held in honor of the city's patron Saint Demetrius (October 26) and the anniversary since the city's liberation (October 28).
According to the events program, the holy icon of St. Demetrius will be carried in procession on Sunday morning, while in the evening the President will be formally greeted by the local authorities. A doxology will be performed on Monday, St. Demetrius day.
On the 28th of October, the President will lay a wreath at the 3rd Army Corps and will attend the military parade.
 ECONOMICS NOBEL PRIZE WINNER AMARTYA SEN SPEAKS IN ATHENS
Athens, October 21 (MPA)This year's winner of the Nobel prize for Economics, Dr. Amartya Sen, saluted Greece's late leader Andreas Papandreou during his address given in Athens last night which was attended by a score of officials, among them the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and the Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.
The Nobel laureate, an economist from India, spoke on "The political element of economic development: a tribute to Andreas Papandreou" at an event organized by the Andreas Papandreou Institute and held at the Old Parliament Building.
Dr. Sen spoke highly of Andreas Papandreou, whom he met for the first time in 1963, describing him as an individual with "extraordinary talents and gifts that made him both a remarkable academic and an outstanding political leader."
Admitting the difficulty of summarizing the task of Andreas Papandreou as an economist in a mere 45 minutes, Dr. Sen stressed that Mr. Papandreou's achievements, both as a statesman and as an economist, are of outstanding value both for Greece as well as in the world at large.
Dr. Sen, who has illustrated how the institution of democracy safeguards the peoples from famine, also characterized Mr. Papandreou as one of Europe's pioneering politicians who fought for the establishment of a welfare state, understanding developments as a process with extensive social and cultural consequences.
"I know of no one else who has had so many interesting things to say on basic issues in economic theory and who has also achieved such astonishing success as a political leader and statesman. As one goes through Andreas's public statements and examines the nature of political reasoning he presents, one is forcefully struck by the critical quality of his arguments," he noted.
Among the key topics in his address was the correlation between the market, the state and the role of structural change, the tensions concerning democracy, as well as poverty and how it affects third world voters.
Dr. Sen's Nobel prize winning work incorporated factors such as income distribution and health in measuring poverty.
Before making his home in Britain, the 64-year-old master at Britain's Trinity College in Cambridge was a professor of economics and philosophy at Harvard, where he still has an office and remains professor emeritus.