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Macedonian Press Agency: Brief News in English, 99-02-19
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, February 19, 1999
NEWS IN DETAIL
 NEW MEMBERS OF CABINET HAVE BEEN SWORN IN
Athens, February 19 (MPA)The Cabinet's new Ministers and undersecretaries have been sworn in a ceremony officiated by the Archbishop of Athens and all of Greece Christodoulos.
The ceremony was attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and the Prime Minister Kostas Simitis.
The Premier is presently chairing a new Cabinet meeting. A.F.
 NEW CABINET OF THE GREEK GOVERNMENT, AS OF FEBRUARY 19, 1999
Thessaloniki, February 19 (MPA)Prime Minister: Kostas Simitis
Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization Minister: Vasso Papandreou
National Defense Minister: Akis Tsochatzopoulos
Foreign Minister: George Papandreou
National Economy Minister: Yiannos Papantoniou
Finance Minister: Yiannos Papantoniou
Development Minister: Evangelos Venizelos
Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Minister: Kostas Laliotis
Education and Religious Affairs Minister: Gerasimos Arsenis
Agriculture Minister: George Anomeritis
Labor and Social Security Minister: Miltiades Papaioannou
Health and Welfare Minister: Lambros Papadimas
Justice Minister: Evangelos Yiannopoulos
Culture Minister: Elizabeth Papazoi
Merchant Marine Minister: Stavros Soumakis
Public Order Minister: Michalis Chrysohoidis
Macedonia-Thrace Minister: Yiannis Magriotis
Aegean Minister: Stavros Benos
Transport and Communications Minister: Tassos Mantelis
Press and Media Minister: Dimitris Reppas
Minister to the PM: Costas Geitonas
 CABINET RESHUFFLED, MINISTERS TO BE SWORN IN THIS AFTERNOON
Athens, February 19 (MPA)Following yesterday's resignations of the ministers of foreign affairs, Interior and Public order, at the Premier's request, the cabinet has been reshuffled with the swearing-in ceremony taking place this afternoon.
The cabinet, in its new formation, will convene immediately thereafter, under the heading of Prime Minster Kostas Simitis.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will now be headed by George Papandreou, formerly alternate FM, while Vaso Papandreou, formerly Minster of Development, will now head the Ministry of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization. The Ministry of Public Order will be headed by Manolis Chrysochoides.
The Ministry of Development will be headed by former Minister of Culture Evangelos Venizelos, the Ministry of Culture will be headed by former Minister of the Aegean Elizabeth Papazoi, the Minister of the Aegean will be headed by Stavros Benos, who served until now as deputy interior minister.
Yiannos Kranidtiotis, formerly undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, will now serve as alternate FM.
The parliamentarian of the district of Magnesia Leonidas Tzanis is to serve as undersecretary of the Interior, Grigoris Niotis will serve as undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, and Yiannis Haralabous will serve as undersecretary of Development. A.F.
 MAIN OPPOSITION PARTY ASKS FOR GOVERNMENT TO RESIGN
Thessaloniki, February 19 (MPA)Greece's opposition parties are demanding that the government resign and the country be led to early elections, in spite of the resignations of three misters believed to be involved in the Ocalan case.
Specifically, the main opposition party New Democracy holds Prime Minister Kostas Simitis responsible, a view held by the other parties as well, since all three ousted ministers stated that he was indeed informed of their actions. A.F.
 PRESIDENT OF HELLENIC PARLIAMENT RECEIVES US CONGRESSMEN
Athens, February 19 (MPA)The President of the Hellenic Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis received 12-member delegation of U.S. Congressmen who visited Greece yesterday in order to meet with Greek government officials on political and economic affairs and defense and security issues.
The delegation, led by Nebraska Republican Douglas Bereuter, is on a six-day tour of the region and, after Greece, will also visit Turkey.
Following the meeting, Mr. Kaklamanis expressed "feelings of bitterness" by the Greek people and Parliament in relation to Washington's ties with Ankara.
According to the announcement issued by Mr. Kaklamanis' office, the United States was inactive towards the continuing Turkish invasion and occupation in Cyprus.
Several US Congressmen responded that the United States wishes for a peaceful and stable Mediterranean and the best possible relations between Athens and Ankara. A.F.
 FM DESIGNATE PAPANDREOU CALLS FOR EU'S AID ON KURDISH ISSUE
Bonn, February 19 (MPA)Greece's Foreign Minister designate George Papandreou has requested that the European union form a common position regarding the Kurdish issue, following his Bonn-held talks with Germany's former chancellor Helmut Kohl.
"The EU must at last take a position and formulate a common stance on the Kurdish problem and also ensure, by any means possible, that Ocalan's integrity will be guaranteed at his trial, which should be conducted in a European manner," Mr. Papandreou stated.
Mr. Papandreou stated that his talks with Mr. Kohl focused mainly on the Kurdish issue, as well as Greek- Turkish relations. He hailed the former German chancellor as "one of Europe's most historical figures." A.F.
 DEFENSE MINISTER AND OUTGOING FM MEET WITH SLOVAKIAN FM
Athens, February 19 (MPA)Slovakian Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan was received yesterday by Greece's outgoing FM Theodoros Pangalos and National Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, during his visit to Athens.
Msgrs. Kukan and Pangalos discussed Slovakia's prospects of joining NATO, and the European Union, which Athens supports, as well as bilateral issues.
During the talks between Mgrs. Kukan and Tsochatzopoulos, the two officials discussed the various forms of cooperation between the two countries in order to help resolve the crisis in the strife-torn region of Kosovo, as well as for further strengthening bilateral defense cooperation. A.F.
 KENYAN AGENTS ARRESTED OCALAN, NAIROBI PRESS REPORTS
London, February 19 (MPA)Nairobi newspaper "Daily Nation" has reported that it was Kenyan agents who apprehended PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan on Monday in Kenya, thereby refuting widely- published claims that he was captured by Turkish commandos, while also contradicting the statements made by Kenya's Foreign Minister and confirming what has been stated by the Greek Embassy in Nairobi.
The journalist who wrote the article, Steven Muiruiri, spoke to the BBC and, quoting a Kenyan police official, gave an account of Mr. Ocalan's arrest.
"Last Monday, officials from Kenya's information agency went to the Greek ambassador's residence in Nairobi and in turn departed with Mr. Kostoulas (the ambassador) and the Kurdish leader to an unknown direction. They later returned to the ambassador's residence, but this time only with Mr. Kostoulas, remained for a short while and left again. Mr. Kostoulas returned to his house after many hours."
The Kenyan journalist stressed that "everything which the Kenyan Foreign Minister Dr. Godana said on the Ocalan affair does not correspond with the truth."
Moreover, according to Mr. Muiruiri, the chief of police Frank Kuinka, who has been dismissed, revealed that it was Kenyan officers who ordered that Mr. Ocalan leave the country, while he also confirmed that Kenyan officers transported the PKK leader to an airplane at the Gemoniata airport.
"The reports of police chief Frank Kuinka correspond with what has been stated by the Greek embassy in Nairobi. Therefore, rumors that Turkish agents arrested Ocalan while en route to the airport are untrue," Mr. Muiruiri said.
Furthermore, the Kenyan reporter told the BB that the four Kurds who escorted Mr. Ocalan to Kenya are now being held by the Kenyan security forces at an unknown location, while he did not rule out the possibility that they may no longer be in the country. A.F.
 KURDS HOLD RALLIES THROUGHOUT EUROPE
Athens, February 19 (MPA)Thousands of Kurds throughout Europe marched in rallies yesterday, held in protest to the arrest of their leader Abdullah Ocalan who is presently incarcerated at a remote prison-island in Turkey.
Meanwhile, the Greek embassy in London was freed yesterday when the Kurds occupying the premises departed peacefully.
At the same, Europe, the United States and Canada have called on Turkey to ensure a fair trial for Mr. Ocalan. Turkey's Premier Bulent Ecevit stated yesterday that the prisoner is been treated well. A.F.
 EURODEPUTIES DELEGATION TRAVELS TO TURKEY
Ankara, February 19 (MPA)A delegation of European Parliament deputies is presently in Istanbul, in order to present the EU parliament's resolutions on the Abdullah Ocalan case.
Greek Euro-MP Alekos Alavanos, representing the Coalition of the Left and Progress, will represent the European Parliament at the joint committee meeting with the Turkish national assembly. Mr. Alavanos said that Turkish officials avoided a meeting with the deputies.
The committee calls for Mr. Ocalan's trial to be fair and public, for the accused to be given the right to choose his own lawyer and that European Parliament members be allowed to visit him.
It also reminds Turkey of its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe not to apply the death penalty. A.F.
 EU GENERAL AFFAIRS COUNCIL TO BE HELD ON MONDAY
Brussels, February 19 (MPA)The European Union's General Affairs Council will be held in Brussels on Monday and discussions are expected to focus on the Ocalan affair, the EU's stance of the EU and relations with Turkey Greece will be represented by Foreign Minister designate George Papandreou who has stated that he plans to raise the Kurdish issue "about which there is, unfortunately, a great deal of hypocrisy in the EU. We have not confronted the problem with strength and determination." A.F.
 GREECE'S OTE NOW OWNS 35% OF ROM TELECOM
Bucharest, February 19 (MPA)Greece's state-owned Hellenic Telecommunications Organization (OTE), now owns 35 percent of Romania's Rom Telecom and has 51 percent of voting rights, OTE president Vassilis Rapanos announced yesterday in Bucharest.
Furthermore, a 2.7 billion dollar investment plan for Rom Telecom is being discussed with the country's government. A.F.
 BORDER ZONE TO INCREASE DEVELOPMENT IN N.E. GREECE
Thessaloniki, February 19 (MPA)The Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace has drawn a plan called "Border Zone", which aims at increasing development in northeastern Greece, including the border region, working with local authorities.
The program, presented yesterday in the city of Xanthi by the ministry's secretary-general George Lyssaridis, includes infrastructure projects and administrative improvements. A.F.
 KOSOVO: NATO WILL RESORT TO VIOLENCE IF TALKS FAIL
Belgrade, February 19 (MPA)NATO's secretary-general Javier Solana has stated that if the Rambouillet-held talks over the Kosovo crisis fail, then the Alliance will very soon resort to violence.
Mr. Solana stressed that there is a need to sign a political accord calling for the deployment of peacekeeping forces in the region, which would ensure the enforcement of the agreement.
The NATO chief met with FYROM's premier Liupsko Georgievski whom he briefed on NATO's plans in Kosovo.
The FYROM Premier denied published reports that claim his country will allow the deployment of NATO forces if the need arises. A.F.
 YELTSIN, CLINTON TALK ON PHONE OVER KOSOVO CRISIS
Moscow, February 19 (MPA)Russian president Boris Yeltsin had a telephone conversation with the president of the United States Bill Clinton during which he reiterated that Kremlin is determined not to allow NATO to hold military maneuvers in Kosovo.
Mr. Yeltsin stated that he emphasized Russia's opposition to air strikes against Yugoslavia, even if Belgrade should not manage to reach a compromise with the Albanian side. A.F.
 WASHINGTON: YELTSIN, CLINTON DID NOT SPEAK ON THE PHONE
Washington, February 19 (MPA)A U.S. State Department spokesperson has denied claims made by Russia's president Boris Yeltsin, who said that he and US President Bill Clinton had a telephone conversation concerning the Kosovo crisis.
The State Department official stated that the two heads of state have not had any recent communication, while he added that Russia's position on any potential air strikes by NATO in Kosovo is known. A.F.
 COUNCIL OF EUROPE SUMMIT TO BE HELD IN TURKEY
Strasbourg, February 19 (MPA)The European Council will hold its Summit on "Democratic Stability, Peace and Sustainable Growth in the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions", on February 25-26 in Turkey.
Also, the joint meeting the C of E's Parliamentary Assembly and the congress of Local-regional Authorities of Europe, which will feature the participation of 40 countries, will take place at Marmaris, off the Sea of Marmara, precisely where PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan is being held prisoner by the Turkish state.
EU Commissioner Hans van den Broek will visit Istanbul on February 24-25, at a time when Ankara is requesting that EU funds allocated for Turkey be freed. A.F.