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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 98-10-30
From: The Macedonian Press Agency at http://www.mpa.gr and http://www.hri.org/MPA.
BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY
Thessaloniki, October 30, 1998
NEWS IN DETAIL
 THE NEW GOVERNMENT WAS SWORN-IN TODAY
Athens 30 October (MPA)The new government was sworn-in at 11am today before president Kostis Stephanopoulos and an hour later the newly formed cabinet was scheduled to hold its first meeting. The discussion in parliament on prime minister Kostas Simitis’ request for a vote of confidence will start on Sunday afternoon and will be completed on Tuesday at midnight. The government reshuffle brought a change of leadership in the ministries of public order, Macedonia-Thrace, agriculture and health. Also, changes were made in the undersecretaries of interior, transport, agriculture and labor. Strong criticism was made by all the parties of the opposition on the government reshuffle.
Philippos Petsalnikos, who until now was Minister of Macedonia-Thrace takes over the ministry of public order replacing Giorgos Romeos and the place of Mr. Petsalnikos, as minister of Macedonia-Thrace, is taken over by PASOK deputy Giannis Magriotis.
Stephanos Tzoumakas was removed from the ministry of agriculture and is replaced by Giorgos Anomeritis. Kostas Gitonas is removed from the ministry of health and takes over the post of minister to the prime minister’s office responsible for government- parliament relations and his place as minister of health is taken over by Lambros Papadimas.
 THE PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE INTERVENED IN THE CASE OF THE NEO- NAZI GATHERING
Thessaloniki 30 October (MPA)A preliminary investigation to determine the reasons of the neo- nazi meeting in Thessaloniki, what they discussed and if a violation of the system of government was committed was announced by the prosecutor’s office in Thessaloniki. The case of the secret meeting of the neo-nazis that was held on the outskirts of Thessaloniki in the region of Filiro on October 24 has upset the public opinion. It should be noted that police authorities were aware of the meeting and they had briefed the ministry of public order immediately. The orders they received were to watch the meeting discreetly and intervene only in the case of an offense.
 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE IN ALBANIA
Tirana 30 October (MPA)Deputy foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou is in Tirana today to represent Greece in the international conference that is being held in Albania. In the conference will be discussed Albania’s democratization course and its economic backing. The weaknesses in the country’s way of government as they were described by foreign minister Paskal Milo are the failure to appoint professionals to public administration posts, the battle against illegal trade, the restoration of order and the reform in the justice system.
 THE GREEK GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN COMMENTED ON KOSOVO
Athens 30 October (MPA)Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas stated yesterday that Greece backs the agreement for the monitoring of Kosovo by NATO, responding to the question if Greek fighter jets will participate in the air patrol operations.
Mr. Reppas added that Greece participates in the consultations for peace in Kosovo and is a member of NATO and since the first moment was in favor of a peaceful solution.
 REPPAS: TURKEY’S STANCE IS HYPOCRITICAL
Athens 30 October (MPA)Greek government spokesman Dimitris Reppas characterized Turkey’s reaction to the Greek memorandum on the Greek-Turkish relations delivered by Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos to the EU partners as hypocritical, misleading and expected.
Mr. Reppas said that Turkey is among those countries that do not recognize the authority of the International Court of Justice in The Hague and is not willing to comply with what is given in the European Union adding that this stance hurts Ankara itself.
 HALBROOKE: GREECE HELPED IN REACHING A PEACEFUL SOLUTION IN KOSOVO
Washington 30 October (MPA)The United States are grateful for the stance of the Greek government regarding Kosovo, stated US mediator Richard Halbrooke in a briefing he made in the US State Department on Wednesday.
Mr. Halbrooke, responding to a question by a Greek correspondent on the role of Greece in reaching an agreement with Yugoslav president Milosevic, stated that during the crisis foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos telephoned to Belgrade and made it absolutely clear to the Yugoslav authorities that Greece is a member of NATO and fully backs NATO’s authority regardless of the reservations he had.
Mr. Halbrooke stressed that due to the special relations between Greece and Serbia it is greatly appreciated the fact that the Greeks supported the US and for this reason US ambassador to FYROM Christopher Hill visited Athens.
Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman James Rubin also referred to the improvement of the Greek-US relations on Wednesday.
Mr. Rubin clarified that the reason of US ambassador Nicholas Burns’ visit to Washington was the speech he was scheduled to deliver to the US State Department Overseas Security Advisory Council, as well as his appearances to universities and Greek- American organizations on the improved Greek-US relations and also his meetings with US officials.
Responding to the question if the United States will help Cyprus to build a naval base for its defense, Mr. Rubin stated that he does not have other information besides Cypriot president Clerides’ announcement that a naval base will be built.
 GREECE LOST THE ARCHIMEDES PALIMPSEST
New York 30 October (MPA)Greece “lost” the valuable manuscript of Archimedes, known as Archimedes’ palimpsest, which now belongs to a US collector who bought it yesterday for 2 million US dollars in an auction by Christie’s auction house held in Manhattan, New York. The bid started at 480.000 US dollars and soon reached the sum of 2 million.
Yesterday’s auction followed after a court battle that was lost by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem which maintained that the manuscript had been stolen. New York’s Federal Court ruled that the French owner of the manuscript had the authentic ownership title-deeds and ruled against the Patriarchate’s request to postpone its sale.
 ARCHBISHOP SPYRIDON OF AMERICA WILL VISIT GREECE AT THE END OF DECEMBER
New York 30 October (MPA)Archbishop Spyridon of America met yesterday with US ambassador to Athens Nicholas Burns who is on a visit to the United States in order to back the Simitis government efforts to attract new investments. In the meeting was discussed the whole spectrum of the Greek-US relations, the Greek-Turkish disputes, the Cyprus problem and the problems faced by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey.
According to the Greek-American newspaper “Proini”, the US diplomat showed a great interest in the formal visit of the Archbishop to Athens scheduled to take place at the end of December and as he announced he will give a formal reception in his honor. According to the same information, the Archbishop will be accompanied in his visit to Athens by distinguished members of the Greek-American community.
Mr. Burns appeared pessimistic on the Cyprus problem and according to information, he stated that a dangerous stagnation is being observed, while he did not have anything optimistic to say about the Greek-Turkish relations which are also stagnant.
 INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ALBANIA OPENS IN TIRANA TODAY
Tirana 30 October (MPA)The two-day international conference on Albania opens in Tirana today as a follow-up of the conferences in Rome and Brussels with the participation of 36 countries which have displayed willingness to help the poorest country of Europe as well as, representatives of European and international credit organizations. Greece is represented by deputy foreign minister Giorgos Papandreou.
The conference participants are expected to call on the Albanian government to speed-up the reform procedures and the Albanian leadership characterizes the conference as the most important historical event for the Albanian diplomacy since World War II, while the opposition calls it a “routine conference”.
In statements to MPA, the vice-president of the opposition Democratic Party Mr. Gentz Pollo speculated that the conference will set conditions for the Albanian government. Albanian foreign minister Paskal Milo commenting on Mr. Pollo’s statement told MPA that ways will be suggested through which the international community will send its assistance to Albania.
Strong security measures are in effect by the Albanian police and according to reliable sources from the ministry of public order, about 5.000 police officers will be responsible for the protection of the foreign officials participating in the conference.
 THE VISIT OF THE GREEK PARLIAMENT DELEGATION TO SOFIA ENDS TODAY
Sofia 30 October (MPA)The visit of the Greek parliament delegation to Sofia, headed by vice-president of the Greek parliament Loukas Apostolidis, ends today. During the visit the members of the delegation met with Bulgarian parliament vice-president Mr. Kurtev, undersecretary of foreign affairs Ms. Pramatarova and president of the Bulgarian parliament committee on foreign policy and European incorporation Mr. Asen Agov.
In statements he made to MPA, Mr. Apostolidis stressed that there was an exchange of views on bilateral issues and an agreement was reached for consultations that will be held at least twice a year between Bulgarian parliament foreign policy and European incorporation committee and Greek parliament European affairs committee for the two sides to exchange views and experience in order for Greece to assist Bulgaria in its effort to become a member of the European family of states.
During the visit of the Greek delegation were also examined issues concerning double taxation and ways to be avoided as well as pending issues concerning bilateral relations and agreements that are still in progress. It should be reminded that a memorandum aimed at avoiding double taxation has already been signed by the Bulgarian and Greek finance ministries. Mr. Apostolidis stated that a bilateral meeting will be held in the northern Greek city of Serres next month for the further discussion of the issue.
 THE ALBANIAN PRIME MINISTER WILL VISIT GREECE ON NOVEMBER 12
Tirana 30 October (MPA)Albanian prime minister Pandeli Majko will be on a formal visit to Greece on November 12 for talks with the Greek government.
In statements he made, the Albanian prime minister underlined the excellent level of the Greek-Albanian relations and stressed that there are no issues that should be reconsidered with the Greek government, while he clarified that there are certain issues that need to be made more specific and that a practical approach should be adopted.