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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 99-02-02
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, February 2, 1999
NEWS IN DETAIL
 WEATHER SLIGHTLY IMPROVES BUT MANY VILLAGES REMAIN CUT OFF
Thessaloniki, February 2 (MPA)Following a 24-hour period of constant snowfall, the weather in northern Greece has slightly improved with temperatures slowly rising. Nevertheless, hundreds of villages throughout the region remain inaccessible and isolated. The thawed snow has turned to frost thus making driving hazardous. Transportation in most of the provincial roads and the national highways can be conducted with anti-skid chains.
Thessaloniki's "Macedonia" airport remained closed this morning, since the layer of frost on the runways made aircraft takeoffs dangerous. It re-opened later in the day. A.F.
 TEACHERS FEDERATION TO CONVENE TODAY, STUDENT PROTESTS ABATE
Athens, February 2 (MPA)The administrative council of the Secondary Education Teachers Federation (OLME) is to hold another round of talks today in an attempt to forge an agreement on the 11th grade's examination process.
At the same time, fewer and fewer schools remain under occupation by students throughout the country, a shift welcomed by the Education Ministry.
In spite of this apparent abatement, the students are planning another round of rallies on Friday. A.F.
 US SECRETARY OF STATE MEETS WITH ALBANIAN PREMIER
Tirana, February 2 (MPA)The international community continues its mediation efforts in finding a peaceful solution to the fermenting Kosovo crisis. There are hopes that the two conflicting sides will make some progress during their negotiations set to start on February 6 in France.
The talks will be mediated by France's and Great Britain's Foreign Ministers and will also have the direct involvement of the Contact Group. The Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) is to announce tomorrow whether or not its representatives will attend the talks.
United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with Albania's Prime Mister Panteli Majko and requested his assistance in securing the presence of UCK representatives at the talks. A.F.
 MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER IN BONN, MEETS WITH KOHL
Bonn, February 2 (MPA)The leader of Greece's main opposition party, New Democracy's Kostas Karamanlis completed his three-day visit to Germany yesterday, where he met with the former chancellor Helmut Kohl.
The two men discussed Greek-Turkish relations, Cyprus' accession process to the European Union, Europe's political integration and the problems currently facing the EU's common foreign policy.
Mr. Karamanlis said that his talks with Mr. Kohl (whom he called "the architect of the new Europe") were very interesting.
Mr. Kohl stated that he is in favor of Cyprus' accession to the European Union without any added conditions, while adding that any progress in the Cyprus division issue would be helpful.
Moreover, the two discussed present foreign policy issues, particularly the Kosovo crisis.
Mr. Karamanlis said that Europe should become more involved in the matter and help towards finding a peaceful solution. He noted that there should be no change in existing borders, a development which could cause long-term instability and conflict. A.F.
 DELEGATION OF ALBANIAN DEPUTIES VISITS HELLENIC PARLIAMENT
Athens, February 2 (MPA)A delegation of the Albanian Parliament's foreign affairs committee was received by the President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis yesterday with whom they discussed matters of mutual interest, particularly the Kosovo crisis, and prospects of bilateral cooperation.
The Albanian delegation comprised the chairman of the committee Sabri Godo, and parliamentarians Sevet Pellumbi and Ligoreq Karamolo. A.F.
 GREEK DEFENSE MINISTER RECEIVES SWEDISH COUNTERPART
Athens, February 2 (MPA)Greece's Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos received his Swedish counterpart Bjorn von Sydow in Athens yesterday, where they held talks spanning the present situation in Europe and the Balkans. The two officials discussed the Kosovo crisis and the Cyprus issue, as well as a bilateral defense cooperation agreement.
Following the meeting, Mr. von Sydow stressed that the two countries were cooperating closely on a series of European issues, such as the common defense and security policy. A.F.
 GREECE PROVIDES COLOMBIA WITH AID AND PRE-BUILT HOUSES
Athens, February 2 (MPA)The Greek government dispatched a shipment of humanitarian aid to earthquake-stricken Colombia, where a 6.0 Richter earthquake struck early last month killing more than 900 people and causing widespread devastation.
The humanitarian aid includes pre-built houses. The aid, shipped in ten containers aboard the "Peggy Dawe", will take 12 days to arrive to its destination. A.F.
 PREMIER RECEIVES GREEK EU COMMISSIONER CHRISTOS PAPOUTSIS
Athens, February 2 (MPA)Prime Minister Kostas Simitis received the Greek EU Commissioner Christos Papoutsis in Athens yesterday, where they held a discussion spanning all issues concerning Europe and Greece's prospects during the European parliament elections in June.
According to reports, agreement was achieved for a united course towards the PASOK party congress which would prove a determining factor for the party's victory in the Euro-elections. A.F.
 SPD DELEGATION IN ATHENS, MEETS WITH STATE OFFICIALS
Athens, February 2 (MPA)A delegation of officials from the Social-democrats Party of Germany (SPD) is presently on an official visit to Greece, where they will be received by the Prime Minister Kostas Simitis today.
In turn, the delegates will visit the Foreign Ministry and the ruling PASOK party's central offices.
The talks will focus on the latest developments in the Kosovo crisis, the ties between Greece and Germany, June's Euro-elections and the European Socialist Party's congress. A.F.
 KOSOVO'S ALBANIANS HAVE DECIDED TO ATTEND TALKS ON FEBRUARY 6
Prishtina, February 2 (MPA)Political leaders of Kosovo's ethnic Albanians have decided to attend the negotiations of February 6, to be held in France, while a representative from the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) is expected to announce whether or not UCK members will attend the talks with Belgrade.
The European Union's special envoy Wolfgang Petric made the said announcement during an interview with Belgrade's radio station "B-92", after meeting with the US mediator Christopher Hill and Kosovo's Albanian leader Ibrahim Rugova. A.F.
 US CALLS FOR OCALAN TO TURN HIMSELF IN AND BE TRIED IN TURKEY
Washington, February 2 (MPA)The United States has called on all countries to deny entry to the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan and take steps to return him to Turkey for trial, according to the French news agency AFP.
Mr. Ocalan's whereabouts remain unknown since yesterday, when Greece refused his entry in the country after his plane had tried unsuccessfully to enter the Netherlands.
US State Department spokesperson James Rubin stated that the US believes that the PKK leader should be brought to justice for the crimes of which he is accused in a matter consistent with international standards and due process.
He stated Washington believes that perhaps Mr. Ocalan's plane had landed in here but Greece, like other countries, did not allow him to stay.
"I think that private plane is flying around without a home," Mr. Rubin added. A.F.