|Saturday, 19 October 2019|
Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-10-26
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 26, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 FESTIVITIES HONOR THESSALONIKI'S PATRON SAINT DIMITRIUS
Thessaloniki, October 26 (MPA)Three-day festivities are beginning in Thessaloniki today which is honoring its patron saint Dimitrius, as well as the city's liberation from the Turkish yoke 86 years ago, (October 28) which is the same day the country gave a resounding "NO" to Italian occupation forces during World War II 58 years ago. . The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos is presently in Thessaloniki, while the Prime Minister Kostas Simitis is being represented by the Minister of National Defense Akis Tsochatzopoulos. Also present in the city are the Ministers of Culture and Macedonia-Thrace, Evangelos Venizelos and Philippos Petsalnikos, respectively, as well as the leader of the main opposition party Kostas Karamanlis.
Speaking on arrival at the Macedonia Airport, President Stephanopoulos referred to the state's interest in the city of Thessaloniki and the greater region of Macedonia. This morning's liturgy at the city's St. Dimitrius church will be officiated by the Archbishop of Athens and All of Greece Christodoulos.
 PREMIER AT MT. ATHOS, TO MEET WITH ECUMENICAL PATRIARCH
Thessaloniki, October 26 (MPA)Prime Minister Kostas Simitis will be at Mount Athos today, where he will meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos. The monastic community is celebrating the 1,000th year anniversary since the founding of the monastery of Xenophon.
Festivities held yesterday were attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, the leader of the country's main opposition party Kostas Karamanlis, the President of Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, a score of ministers and government officials, as well as the archbishop of Athens and All of Greece Christodoulos.
 NATO'S ULTIMATUM TO YUGOSLAV PRESIDENT EXPIRES TOMORROW
Brussels, October 256 (MPA)NATO's general commander in Europe, Wesley Clark has returned to Brussels along with other officials, after a meeting held in Belgrade with Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.
While no statements were made, reports abound that the NATO officials asked Mr. Milosevic to immediately withdraw all of the Serb military forces from Kossovo.
 ADDRESS OF PATRIARCH VARTHOLOMEOS AT MT. ATHOS
Thessaloniki, October 26 (MPA)The Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos, the spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians, gave an address at Mt. Athos during the celebrations of the monastic community's celebration of the 1,0000th-year anniversary since the founding of the Xenophon monastery.
His Eminence stressed the need for the unification of Hellenism, stressing the many divisions it has suffered in the past. He lauded the church's role in promoting Hellenism and Orthodoxy in Greek communities abroad.
Mr. Vartholomeos planted a cypress tree in the monastery's ground, in a symbolic gesture.
 PRESIDENT STEPHANOPOULOS AT MT. ATHOS
Thessaloniki, October 26 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos was at the monastic community of Mt. Athos yesterday where he attended the festivities held at the monastery of Xenophon in commemoration of its 1,000-year anniversary.
Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos gave President Stephanopoulos the Grand Cross commemorating the anniversary.
Mr. Stephanopoulos said that Turkey would do well to claim some of the kudos enjoyed by the Patriarchate worldwide, thus eliminating the need for international treaties to secure its continued existence in Istanbul.
He also praised the Church and the monastic community of Mt. Athos for promoting the spirit Orthodoxy in the world.
 GREEK PREMIER STRESSES SOCIAL PARTNERSHIP AT EU SUMMIT
Portschach, October 26 (MPA)Greece's Prime Minister Kostas Simitis took part in the European Union's informal summit, held in Portschach, Austria yesterday and delivered a seven-point memorandum wherein he stressed the need to revive the "European plan" and to give a new vision to the European Union's citizens.
The Premier's seven-point text centered on the question "After EMU What?", attempting to provide answers to developments after the adoption of the euro, according to the press office.
The seven points are as follows:
A. The need for a common vision on the future of the EU.
B. The need for speeding up the political unification of the EU
C. The need for fighting unemployment
D. The need for the EU to come closer to citizens
E. The need for promoting an effective common foreign and security policy.
F. The need for strengthening the society of citizens
G. The need for creating a Union which will be responsive to the demands of European societies.
Before departing from Austria the premier called on Greek social partners to join the government in its fight against inflation and contribute to the goal of entering the European Monetary Union.
On the summit's sidelines the premier met new German Chancellor Gerhard Shroeder, new Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
The leaders of the European Union's member states discussed the future of Europe, the EU's enlargement, the Economic and Monetary Union, the desired political fulfillment and the social continent.
 GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER STERNLY WARNS TURKEY
Alexandroupolis, October 26 (MPA)"Turkey is undertaking a tremendous responsibility and is called on to realize that with such aggressive behavior in the Aegean it will be held solely liable for any future accidents. It takes full responsibility. Greece will not tolerate any further Turkish aircraft maneuvers that endanger the security of other aircraft, their crew, as well as the safety of civil aviation," stated the Greek Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos during his stay in Evros, referring to the repeated violations of Greek and Cypriot air space by Turkish planes during the joint Greek-Cypriot military exercise "Nikiforos-Toxotis".
"Turkish aircraft even harassed commuter planes, in fact, commuter planes belonging to third countries. We have not spoken during the holding of the exercise because we wanted it to be completed, making it clear that whatever means they (Turkish military) use, they are not in a position to prevent the implementation of the joint defense doctrine between Greece and Cyprus," Mr. Tsochatzopoulos further said.
"Turkey should definitely and clearly realize that, contrary to other countries where its threats yield results, this is not the case either with Greece or Cyprus. The sooner they realize this, the brighter their future in the European Union will be...Turkey will either learn to behave in a European fashion or it will be definitely left out of Europe," he said.
Mr. Tsochatzopoulos expressed his satisfaction over the successful conclusion of the joint military exercise which ended yesterday.
 GREEK PREMIER SPEAKS ON EU SUMMIT IN PRESS CONFERENCE
Portschach, October 26 (MPA)Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simitis hailed the Austria-held European Union's informal summit as positive because it reconfirmed the need for the "15" to adopt a common stance on international economic developments.
Speaking in a press conference after the Summit, Mr. Simitis also stated that the summit was useful, but did point out that no decisions can be taken at an informal summit.
Concerning the EU's Common Foreign Policy and Security Policy, Mr. Simitis said that all members agree that the decisions to be taken must be realized in order to enable Europe to have a role and a presence.
The Premier referred extensively to the issue of employment and the European social model, saying that all agree that it constitutes a main issue for Europe and that defining new policies to decrease unemployment are necessary. He also noted that following a change in government in Germany and Italy a different disposition appears to exist for more determination on these issues but, as he said, the disposition was merely expressed at this time.
Apart from the economic policy issues, the questions of internal security and the handling of crime were also discussed. Mr. Simitis said that there is a joint conviction that better cooperation and common policies for handling these problems are necessary.
Mr. Simitis said that crime emanating from economic immigration concerns all countries and all must contribute to its tackling. In any case, he added, Italian Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema said that his country cannot handle the problem alone and it must be examined by all at a European level.
Mr. Simitis said that the majority of EU leaders appeared not to share the view of French President Jacques Chirac for the need to enact a common tax policy since each country has its individualities although, as he said, many believe that that there must be no competition differences due to different tax settlements in each country.
On the occasion of the discussion held between the "15" on the prospect of decreasing interest rates at a European-wide level in the effort to handle the international crisis, a speedup in development and combating unemployment, Mr. Simitis observed that there is an acceptance by the majority of citizens in Greece for accession to EMU but, as he said, apart from acceptance of the target acceptance of measures is also necessary to enable them to produce results.
"When we will achieve accession to EMU then the interest rates will fall very quickly to approach the lower interest rates of EU countries, resulting in more investments and more jobs," he said.
Mr. Simitis said that it is a common conviction that this is the sole course to combat unemployment and for stability, while there will also be more funds for other policies, such as health and education, as a result of this development.
Mr. Simitis said that a drastic decrease in inflation is necessary in Greece and the role played by interest rates is different since there can be no correlation between the situation in Greece and that in the EU.
 INT/L BUSINESS CONFERENCE ENDS IN NORTHERN GREECE
Alexandroupolis, October 26 (MPA)The 3rd International Conference on Mediterranean Cooperation and Development, which was held at the northern Greek city of Alexandroupolis, came to a successful close yesterday as it outlined the ways to secure viable prospects of the new economic Region after the year 2000.
The four-day conference was attended by delegates from 35 countries, as well as observers from another 45, ministers, undersecretaries, ambassadors and representatives of the business world and scientific fields, focused on issues concerning peace, security, cooperation, transport networks, telecoms, small and-medium-sized enterprises, trade, etc.
The participants confirmed Greece's role as a key country that constitutes the crossroads of the East and the West.
Following a proposal submitted by the Council of Europe's first vice-president Jan Pierre Massue to the Serb Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to accept the request for accession to the C of E's EUROPA agreement, which concerns the prevention, facing and containment of natural and man-made risks and disasters.
The Ministry of the Interior announced the formation of a bureau of European Organizations which will promote cross-regional cooperation among the EU member-states and the Balkans.
Moreover, the majority of the delegation that took party at the conference approved the proposal; submitted by the Foundation of Mediterranean Cooperation for the creation of local bureaus which will develop networks for cooperation in the social, economic and cultural sectors.
The event was organized by 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.
 ST. DIMITRIUS UNITES THESSALONIKI WITH SERB CITY
Thessaloniki, October 26 (MPA)St. Dimitrius unites Thessaloniki with the Serb city Sremska Mitrovica, according to Yugoslav press reports.
Today's celebrations honoring Thessaloniki's patron saint are also held in the Serb city where, according to the "Politica" Yugoslav newspaper, a special ceremony will be held in the beginning of November dedicated to the deacon Dimitrius of Sirmius.
Invited to take part in the ceremony is a delegation from Thessaloniki, as part of the effort to establish relations among the two cities, a moment awaited by the Serbs , as the paper writes, for 17 centuries now.
According to Yugoslav archaeologist Petar Milosevic, there have been numerous attempts to prove that these two cities have the same patron saint, although science has yet to clarify this point.
Moreover, Mr. Milosevic stated that during a Thessaloniki- held symposium, it was supported that St. Dimitrius was one and the same with the Saint of Sirmius, albeit this was not proven. On the other hand, he pointed out, neither was it proven that the two saints are different entities.
"The only thing proven by science was that someone named Leontius, prior to constructing the St. Dimitrius church at Sirmius, built the St. Dimitrius church in Thessaloniki," the archaeologist stated.
The residents of Mitrovica will request from the visiting delegation to give them either a part of the Saint's relics or a section of his clothing for worship.
 DINGHY CARRYING 25 ALBANIANS SINKS IN THE ADRIATIC
Tirana, October 26 (MPA)A dinghy carrying 25 Albanians who sought illegal entry to Italy caught fire and sank after colliding with another Albanian small boat, off of the Albanian coast.
The dinghy had set sail from Vlore and eight miles from the shore, near the Sazani island, collided with another which was coming home after having smuggled another group of Albanian refugees to Italy.
Four bodies have been recovered and identified so far, including that of a baby, his 23-year-old mother, a 24-year-old woman and the dinghy's owner.
Six of the survivors were rescued by passing boats and are hospitalized at the Vlore hospital.
Albania's Minister of Public Order Petro Koci arrived at the hospital while the Ministry's announcement states that "the Albanian criminal organizations in cooperation with Italian ones, continue in the most inhumane manner to smuggle illegal immigrants and causing new tragedies.
The smuggling of immigrants is an indirect aid to national cleansing, performed by the Serbs in Kossovo."
 INCREASED RADIATION LEAKS IN KOZLODUI
Sofia, October 26 (MPA)The radiation leak from Kozlodui's nuclear power plant has been increased, although the rise is reportedly not dangerous, according to the Sofia daily "24 Hours".
According to the same sources, there has been a 100% increase to radio-active waste in the atmosphere after repairs performed on the plant's fourth nuclear reactor.
Plant officials also claim that the said increase does not pose any threat since it concerns an amount that does not bear any effect either on the plant's workers or on the environment overall.
Moreover, the officials clarified that the admissible levels of radioactive waste at Kozlodui's plant are 1400 Megabeckerels on a 24-hour basis.
According to experts, at every refueling and during the course of repairs performed in the reactor, the radiation limits are slightly upped, but such increase not does surpass the allowable levels.
 THREE BULGARIANS STRUCK BY CANCER EVERY HOUR, SAYS WHO
Sofia, October 26 (MPA)Three Bulgarians are struck by cancer every hour, which means that by the year 2005 the country will hold first place in cancer incidence rate in all of Europe, according to World Health Organization data presented at the Bulgarian oncologists conference.
According to the statistics presented at the conference, whose theme was "Oncologists and the Mass Media", smoking is deemed as the main cause for 50% of cancer cases.
The numbers are grim. One out of every three families in Bulgaria has a member who suffers from cancer, while over 180,000 individuals in Bulgaria are cancer victims. Over 26,000 Bulgarians die from cancer every year, the majority of whom are of a productive age.
 AUSTRALIA'S POLITICAL LEADERS WARMLY SALUTE "DIMITRIA"
Melbourne, October 26 (MPA)Warm political messages continue to pour in from Australia's political leaders to the Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne- Victoria on the occasion of the "Dimitria '98" festivities currently being held in this Australian city which is home to about 300,000 Greeks.
Australian Premier John Howard forwarded a message to the chairman of the Association Dimitris Minas, wherein he stresses that for many years the Greek community enriched the Australian society with its vast cultural heritage, the ancient Greek traditions, the arts and literature that are among humanity's greatest achievements.
Mr. Howard also lauds the "Dimitria" as an exceptional opportunity for the members of the Greek community and its supporters to get together and celebrate this cultural heritage.
Moreover, the Australian Premier notes that his government is committed to upholding the foundation of a free, multi-cultural society in the country, and that all Australian citizens, regardless of their nationality, religion or origin, enjoy the right of fully participating in the society and having equal opportunity for any position.
The Greeks of Australia, Mr. Howard stated, "constitute one of the most fascinating stories of successful immigration, having greatly contributed to the historic, cultural and societal development of Australia, having built a bright future for their children and grandchildren."
Another philhellene Australian politician, Victoria's Premier Jeff Kennett forwarded a message where he mentions that he had the opportunity to visit Thessaloniki "a beautiful city full of history and traditions."
Mr. Kennett added that "Thessaloniki is not only one of the most significant fortresses of Hellenism, but also constitutes a significant unification gate for Greece and the Balkans." He also added that it is no surprise Melbourne has become a sister city with Thessaloniki.
The Greek leaders who forwarded messages to the "Dimitria '98", an event organized by the Pan-Macedonian Association of Melbourne and Victoria, are the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, the president of Greece's main opposition party, New Democracy's Kostas Karamanlis, the Minster of Macedonia- Thrace Philippos Petsalnikos, the Greek Ambassador to Australia I. Beveratos, the Greek Consul-General in Melbourne G. Veis, the Secretary-General of the Greeks Abroad S. Labrinides, the chairman of the Association of Macedonian Studies K. Vavouskos, the General Director of the Macedonian Press Agency Spyros Kouzinopoulos and the director of the Center of Macedonians Abroad Kostas Pyrzas.